ELKO — Starting out as a childhood hobby, quilting has become Marlene Miller’s home business.
“My grandmother was a quilter, and my mother sewed,” she said. “I started out making a pillow for Barbie.”
But a growing love for fabrics turned out to be something much greater — a passion. Miller did sewing and fashion review in her local 4-H club when she was growing up.
“That kind of education stays with you,” she said.
Miller continued quilting while she was a stay-at-home mom. In 2006, she started her own business, Yoyomama Designs, which has been selling patterns to wholesalers all over the world.
By the end of this month, she hopes to expand to doing retail items through her website.
“It’s more than a hobby — we have a product to offer,” said Kenneth Miller, Marlene’s husband who co-owns the business.
Marlene Miller does patterns for quilts and handbags. One of her popular brand items is Vintage Baby, which she developed while she was working at a quilting shop. It can be made as small as a child-sized quilt to as large as a bedspread.
“It’s been popular because you can use fabrics you love and get it done in a reasonable amount of time,” Kenneth Miller said.
The name of the business was inspired by the cellist Yo-Yo Ma, Marlene Miller said. It has become fitting for the business, as she enjoys yo-yo quilting. Yo-yos are little rosettes made by gathering circles of fabric.
Marlene Miller is originally from Montana, but has spent years in Idaho and Nevada. Kenneth Miller recently retired as district manager of the Bureau of Land Management in Elko.
For information, go to yoyomamadesigns.com.