About Ad Astra Quilting
What's in a name
Ad Astra Quilting is named after the state motto of Kansas, my home state. The motto being "Ad Astra Per Aspera" Latin for "To the Stars through Difficulty". "Ad Astra" (pronounced like Add As-truh) simply meaning "to the stars", (but don't quote me on my Latin, I learned it from my elementary school teachers while studying the state flag.)
Not only does it ring true to Erin's heritage and regional upbringing as a farm girl from the Plains, it also is a beautiful phrase to speak. Just try it... 'ad astra'.
Ad Astra Quilting is an in-home business located in the Beaverdale neighborhood of Des Moines, Iowa, USA. I offer a smoke-free quilting facility, but make a point of noting that there are pets in my home, a cat and dogs. Though my cat is not able to enter the quilting studio, it is important to note that she lives in the building. The dogs occasionally visit the studio while I work. I do everything I can to prevent contact between your quilt and my pets.
Ad Astra Quilting is home to an APQS Lucey quilting machine on a 12 foot frame. Our machine is equipped with Quilt Path computer guided design technology.
Finally, about the Owner
Ad Astra Quilting is a small business owned solely by a young female entrepreneur, Erin Myone Monfort-Nelson. Erin has a lifetime of memories and experiences with textile art and craft beginning in childhood with her mother's sewing and stitching. It is quite possible that the handmade Halloween costumes, toys, and cross-stitch in the family home was the early inspiration for Erin's own fascination. Erin began sewing in 4-H, creating numerous garments every summer for county and state fair projects.
After entering college at the University of Kansas in Lawrence, Erin found her way into the textile design program where she learned the art and history of textiles. Evenings of dyeing, printing, weaving and sewing in the studios on campus with other student artists and makers left a lasting desire for enriching creative community. Following her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree, Erin moved to Kansas City where she worked at one of the trendiest local arts and crafts stores in the Midwest, Urban Arts + Crafts. It was here where Erin became fully invested in the modern quilting movement, inspired by the various home-sewing fabrics and emerging designers.
Erin returned to school at Kansas State University to pursue apparel design and product development for her Masters of Science degree. At Kansas State, Erin learned about sustainable practices in design and business with a focus on the environment and social responsibility. Her study of sustainability further inspired her to create heirloom crafts and modern traditions. Following her masters degree, Erin moved to Iowa with her husband and pets, where she planned to pursue a PhD leading to a life teaching higher education. However, her love of arts and crafts won out and with a little push from an entrepreneurial course, Erin felt ready to start her own business and pursue the life of crafting that she loved.
At the age of 30, Erin has a decade of personal quilting experience. She helped found the Central Iowa (IA) Modern Quilt Guild in 2017, and currently serves as guild President. Additionally, she serves as a Director at Large and on the quilt show judging committee for the Des Moines Area Quilter's Guild.
She has enjoyed workshops from award winning long arm quilters such as Dawn Cavanaugh and Angela Walters of Quilting is My Therapy. In 2016, Erin was awarded "Best Long Arm Quilting" during the Des Moines Area Quilter's Guild Show in Des Moines, Iowa, and also quilted numerous other first place quilts for the show. Her work has shown around the country, and will appear in published texts in 2018.