Dana Woodard holds up a selection of her newly designed fabric collection in front of a quilted pattern on display, and for sale, at Kenai Fabric Center. (Photo courtesy Gwen Woodard)

Dana Woodard holds up a selection of her newly designed fabric collection in front of a quilted pattern on display, and for sale, at Kenai Fabric Center. (Photo courtesy Gwen Woodard)

Quilted Creations

Dana Michelle Woodard has been surrounded by fabric her entire life, so it was only a matter of time before she started making her own quilted creations.

Born in Kenai, Woodard said she was truly raised in the family fabric store — Kenai Fabric Center.

“She’s homegrown,” said Dana’s mother, Gwen Woodard, co-owner of Kenai Fabric Center. “She is a major part of our sales, with her patterns, and she grew up in this store.”

“I was there pretty much everyday they were open,” Dana said. “… When I was 20, I started working part-time while at Kenai Peninsula College and at the time, they needed samples for kits and displays.”

To fill this need, Dana started creating quilt patterns and designs using a new technique at the time called Raw Edge Appliqué. Today, after honing her skills, Dana designs and creates about eight quilt patterns a year in addition to multiple fabric designs.

“My first design was Caribou on the Kenai Flats. … I did it to fill a gap, there were no caribou at the store’s display … so I thought maybe I’ll try to make one and people liked it,” Dana said. “Then I had another idea with salmon and another … and now I have my first line of my own fabrics.”

Dana said Alaska plays a prominent role in her work.

“Alaska has really been my primary inspiration,” she said. “I really am inspired by nature more than anything.”

When creating her most recent collection of patterns and fabrics, Dana found that her focus was leaning more toward the ocean.

“It’s all marine themed, but one of them I had put a fish netting in the background but it didn’t feel right,” Dana said. “And it’s because I prefer to leave manmade items out of my designs. I prefer to keep it all natural, to keep human hands out of it.”

Throughout the year, Dana says she can design up to a dozen quilt patterns using a raw edge appliqué technique.

“There are so many great subjects in Alaska, between the flora, fauna and scenery,” she said. “It keeps me pretty busy keeping up with all the Alaskan subject matter.”

This allows quilters to add customizations by placing shapes with an adhesive back onto the quilt before sewing the design onto the larger piece.

“It allows you to make much more detailed designs and they’re much faster to make,” Dana said. “When I have concepts in mind, I’ll start drawing, edit and redraw. The way raw edge works is you trace everything in reverse… So you make a pattern the way you want it then you have to draw all the pieces in reverse, making sure they all fit in the pattern and are layering correctly.”

Over time, Dana’s work morphed to include profit with her passion. She now runs her own company, Wildfire Designs Alaska, and has just recently released her first fabric collection through Hoffman California Fabrics.

Her ‘Into the Wild’ collection feature her drawings of different Alaska wildflowers and plants, including fireweed and lupine. She has also released ten new patterns that include her fabrics.

For more information on Dana’s work and where to find her quilt patterns, visit wildfiredesignalaska.com or the Kenai Fabric Store, where nearly all of her patterns are on display.

Reach Kat Sorensen at kat.sorensen@peninsulaclarion.com.

A selection of Dana Woodard’s quilted artwork is on display at her family’s store, Kenai Fabric Center, in Kenai. Gwen Woodard, Dana’s mother, says that a major part of their sales are based on Dana’s designs and patterns. (Photo by Kat Sorensen/Peninsula Clarion)

A selection of Dana Woodard’s quilted artwork is on display at her family’s store, Kenai Fabric Center, in Kenai. Gwen Woodard, Dana’s mother, says that a major part of their sales are based on Dana’s designs and patterns. (Photo by Kat Sorensen/Peninsula Clarion)

More in News

Trees with fall colors populate the Shqui Tsatnu Creek gully as seen from Fourth Avenue on Friday, Sept. 23, 2022, in Kenai, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Kenai to use $770k in grants to remove hazard trees along Shqui Tsatnu Creek

The money will be used to mitigate hazards caused by dead and dying spruce trees over more than 100 acres of city land

Alaska state Rep. David Eastman, a Wasilla Republican, is shown seated on the House floor on April 29, 2022, in Juneau, Alaska. (AP Photo/Becky Bohrer, File)
Alaska judge keeps Oath Keepers lawmaker on November ballot

Judge Jack McKenna on Thursday ordered elections officials to delay certifying the result of that particular race

An image purportedly from the computer screen of a digital media specialist for Gov. Mike Dunleavy shows numerous files and folders of campaign advertising. A complaint filed against the governor, plus other individuals and organizations, claims administrative staff is illegally doing paid campaign work on behalf of the governor. (Screenshot from complaint filed with the Alaska Public Offices Commission)
Dunleavy faces more accusations in campaign complaint

Governor calls it “specious and unfounded.”

A recent photo of Anesha "Duffy" Murnane, missing since Oct. 17, 2019, in Homer, Alaska. (Photo provided, Homer Police Department)
A 2019 photo of Anesha “Duffy” Murnane, who went missing since Oct. 17, 2019, in Homer. (Photo provided, Homer Police Department)
Calderwood indicted for murder

Indictment charges man accused of killing Anesha “Duffy” Murnane with first-degree murder, kidnapping and sexual assault.

Triumvirate Theatre is seen on Monday, Feb. 22, 2021, in Nikiski, Alaska. The building burned in a fire on Feb. 20 of that year. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Kenai council gives Triumvirate more time to build theater

The Kenai City Council voted last summer to conditionally donate a 2-acre parcel of city land near Daubenspeck Park and the Kenai Walmart

Leaves fall at the Kenai Senior Center on Thursday, Sept. 22, 2022, in Kenai, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Kenai Senior Center makes plans for $715,000 endowment

The money comes from the Tamara Diane Cone Testamentary Trust

Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire
On Thursday morning at what police described as an active crime scene, JPD Officer Austin Thomas and Officer Taylor Davis walk the fielded area which was blocked off by crime scene tape. Multiple tents and a police vehicle sat in the field where the tape surrounded, another police vehicle sat in a dirt parking area.
No arrests made as Juneau death investigation continues

Shortly before 4 p.m. Wednesday that a woman’s body was found

Damage from the remnants of typhoon Merbok can be seen in Golovin, Alaska, on Sept. 20, 2022. Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy has requested a federal disaster declaration for areas in western Alaska affected by the storm. (Photo by Jeremy Cubas/Office of the Governor)
Damage from the remnants of typhoon Merbok can be seen in Golovin, Alaska, on Sept. 20, 2022. Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy has requested a federal disaster declaration for areas in western Alaska affected by the storm. (Photo by Jeremy Cubas/Office of the Governor)
Repair work begins in some Alaska towns slammed by storm

About 21,000 people living along a 1,000-mile stretch of Alaska’s western coast were affected by the storm

Camille Broussard testifies in support of an advisory planning commission in Nikiski during a meeting of the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly on Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2022, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Assembly approves advisory planning commission for Nikiski

The commission area as petitioned and approved covers just over 3.5 million acres

Most Read