Stitch work: Big Creek Studio brings quilt photography to the Rochester area

Meet Amy Stricker—a colorful sewer, quilter and photographer turned business entrepreneur.

Crafting yards of fabric narrative designed for comfort, her former pastime has blossomed into a full-fledged photography business as unique as each throw she quilts.

And there are 20 million quilters waiting for her.

IMG_7690Big Creek Studio, located in Troy, launched earlier this spring. Here is our exclusive interview with the master photographer behind the business.

Rochester Media: Why did you start your Big Creek Studio journey centered on photographing quilts?

Amy Stricker: There’s something in the soul of a woman in particular, to make things for the home that are beautiful.

It’s incredible the expression that comes from quilting.

Because I love quilts, it frustrates me to look at things like (traditional photography that does not showcase quilt stitching). They’re absolutely beautiful quilts, but you only see the design in the picture and not the texture.

A quilt is more than just a design—however beautiful the design is—part of the expression is the texture.

Stitching or quilting holds the three layers together. A quilt is backing fabric, a batting in the middle like insulation, then the top—the side you show to company. The stitching holds all three layers together.

This is my goal, is to show that stitching with every quilt that I photograph.

R.M: How rare is quilt photography—Do you know of any quilt photographers in the area?

A.S: If you enter quilt photographer into your search engine, nothing might not come up, except me. But often hobbyists will photograph quilts for quilters, or, if a professional photographer is used, their specialty is some other area. I am the only photographer that I know of that only photographers quilts. I’m the only one I know of that does nothing but (photographs) quilts. I’m hoping that with 20 million quilters, this will keep me busy enough.

R.M: What is one of the difficulties you have to deal with to photograph a quilt?

A.S: Well, every quilter would like to think she, unlike everyone else, makes her quilts square. But we are human. If quilts were made by machines they would be square. So that is the one fantasy I must fulfill, I make the quilt square. I have 4 aluminum square rulers and a 78″ ruler to make it happen.

R.M: What is your final product like?

A.S: I give the quilt owner a memory stick with the image file of their quilt. This is my basic product. But I also make a high resolution print on archival paper. It’s 100 percent cotton, which is so funny because a lot of quilts are IMG_7689100 percent cotton. So I say, ‘which is going to last longer, the quilt or the print.’

R.M: How many sizes of prints do you offer?

A.S: The one size. The paper is 24 inches. I want the framer to have some edgework so I make the print about 22 inches.

R.M: Why would a quilt owner want a photo of their quilt?

A.S: Insurance—natural disasters, tornadoes, earthquakes, fires.

You put your heart and soul into it—your own creativity into it—there’s something of you in that quilt and if it goes up in flames, you’re heart-broken.

So insurance is a great reason. It needs to be appraised and with a photograph as well.

Also, (quilt) contests require photographs.

And it’s just for professional long-arm-quilters—for their website, if they want a photograph of what they can do.

(Or) just the woman who is serious about her work and wants to document her work.

That’s what I’m hoping they will do. I made them so big so that the long-arm quilter can have them in their studio but they are appropriate for the living room—(for) showing it off.

And I have a special deal for guild members. The first member of a guild, if they will order a print—I price the prints at $100—if they order a print, I’ll give it to them free.

And if they take the print to the meeting—for the whole guild to see, then the whole guild for the next six months can get a free print of one of their quilts.

If people can see my prints, they’ll know what they’re buying, they’ll see the quality. And seeing is always better than looking online.

And if you are not a member of a guild, but have a couple of quilting friends, there is a way to get a free print, too.

R.M: What are some unique features that you are offering new customers?

A.S: One of the things I do for free is (I use) un-buffered, archival tissue paper—this is what museums use.

It’s acid-free and it’s natural, doesn’t have whiteners in it, and when I fold up the quilt, I fold that into it.

When a quilt is folded, it develops creases and you want to put something in there so the creases aren’t forever—and this helps. It’s not a complete solution but it helps.

R.M: What are some plans you have for Big Creek Studio in the future?

A.S: I will be starting a blog soon. The focus of my blog will be on what skills,disciplines, and knowledge a housewife must gain to profitably serve the quilting world.

Business basics:

Big Creek studio is located in Troy, but Stricker has a national reach via postal services.

To learn more, be sure to visit

Here are some additional contact options:

Big Creek Studios
1393 Wheaton Ste 600
Troy, Mi 48083

Phone number: 855-447-3461

Email questions:


About Jen Bucciarelli

Veggie lover and aspiring word chef, reporter Jen Bucciarelli covers all things health and medicine for Rochester Media and The Community Edge. She is always on the hunt for local experts who can help improve the lives of our readers. Send her a note at

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