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Daniel Lundby is an American fiber artist specializing in quilting and textile design. Born and educated in Iowa, Daniel currently lives and works out of his Denver CO home. Daniel started sewing beside his grandmother Betty, owner and designer at Betty’s Custom Bridal in Carroll, Iowa. And, he took his knowledge to Iowa State University where he graduated in 2003 with his degree in apparel manufacturing and design. Daniel’s career spans almost a decade of working in the New York City fashion industry, with a return to Iowa State University for a graduate degree; and, eventually led to creating his own business, Made by a Dude LLC. Concentrating on a variety of Items from tie dyed fashion, reusable tote bags up-cycled from thrifted T-shirts, and one of a kind art quilts.
DT: I have known Daniel Lundby for close to two decades. We ran in the same fashion circles and some mutual friends as well. What struck me about Daniel, was his red hair, height, passion from politics, his love for his parents, and his passion of quilting. Yes, you heard me correctly, Daniel is a master quilter.
Daniel, thank you for taking the time to chat with me.
Tell me where you grew up and when did you move to NYC?
DL: I grew up in a small town in Marion, Iowa. I moved to NYC in 2003 after college.
DT: Did you start out as a quilter? Who did you learn it from?
DL: I went to college for fashion design…women’s fashion, specifically. My mother, the late Mary Lundby, asked me to do a quilt in purple and green, king size, so I taught myself how to make a quilt. I sewed it like I would do a fashion piece.
During this period, I met a professional quilter by the name RaNae Merrill, who took me under her wings and taught me the basics of quilting. At this time, she was writing her first book. My second quilt I made was featured in her second book called, ‘Magnificent Spiral Mandala Quilts’. The quilt featured in the book is called, ‘A Summer on Grant Island’.
A Summer on Grant Island by Daniel Lundby
DT: You often speak about your parents. What lessons did you learn from your mother and father?
DL: I learned how to be a good man from my father and standing up for people. From my mother, I learned how to yell and be heard.
DT: I love that you ran for office in Iowa over 10 years ago. Why politics?
DL: I had just graduated from Grad School and was trying to figure out what to do. I wanted to stay close to my dad in Iowa; he needed my emotional support after my mother passed away. So, I decided to run for the State House in my home district. I was inspired by my mother when she ran for office in the 80s. She served from 1987-2008 (24 Years).
I think (what) motivated me (was) the legislature at the time was writing legislation against the arts and LGBTQ+.
Iowa Quilt by Daniel Lundby
DT: You now reside in Denver, Colorado, and have launched your online quilting business and tie-dye business, correct?
DL: I launched my business, Made By A Dude LLC. It started as a hobby and is now a thriving business. I started doing craft fairs and farmer markets, which is ideal for the Denver’s weather.
Since the pandemic locked us all inside, I went full speed ahead with my business endeavors online, through social media and my website.
If you can’t be happy wearing tie-dye, you’re dead inside. I started to see tie-dye all over Instagram on influencers.
DT: What are you grateful for?
DL: I am grateful for my father; he is everything to me.
I am grateful for growing up in Marion, Iowa.
I am grateful for my cat, which was a feral adoption.
I am grateful I broke my addictions to cigarettes and alcohol; I see the world a lot clearer now. It released a lot of anger in my life and helped me grow and change.
DT: Tell us how you see your business expanding in the next 7-10 years?
DL: I want to have a very contained business that provides me the life I want and the freedom to travel with it. I just wanna create, sell, and explore this beautiful country, especially nature.
DT: What knowledge would you impart on entrepreneurs in the 21st century, Dude Quilter?
DL: Do not pay attention to others; focus on what you need and want to accomplish. Avoid doing something for “likes” or a quick buck; pour your true soul into it and the commerce will come.
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