Our QT Fabrics team extends beyond our employee-owners.  We work with creative and dedicated artists to expand our in-house studio talent.  We are committed to providing an array of collections suited to many different styles.  Collaboration is the QT Fabrics way!


Julia Cairns

Julia grew up in Oxfordshire, England where she started her working career with horses, her first love. When she was 18 she got the travelling bug and travelled to many places, but it was during her travels in Kenya that she became inspired to paint, attracted by the colorful Maasai and their intriguing lifestyle and with whom she worked for several months. Travelling South to Botswana, Julia discovered a country that was to become home to her for 9 years and where she began her painting career in earnest. Living for many years in the Okavango Swamps, Julia painted the landscape and natural history, often perched in rustic dug out canoes or sitting on a sand bank keeping one eye open for crocodiles!

During her time in Botswana, Julia was commissioned to design four series of postage stamps for the country and was asked to paint a portrait of the then President, Dr. Quett Masire (not an overwhelming quantity of portrait painters in Botswana then!). Through observing the African people and the daily life there, Julia developed a more whimsical style of painting that has become somewhat of a trademark for her and enabled her to continue with her work when she came to the U.S.A. 

In 1992, Julia married an American biologist, John Bulger, who had been working with baboons in the Okavango Delta. They came to live in Davis, CA where John could finish his studies, but it was a very difficult transition for Julia. There was not much to inspire her in this small college town, so she began painting the Africa she remembered and finding refuge in the bright colors and subject matter that were stored in her memory. The paintings became popular with the local Gallery and caught the eye of a Licensing Co. ‘Alaska Momma’ (now affiliated with Big Tent Entertainment). Since then, Julia’s work has been licensed on jigsaw puzzles, mugs, calendars, fabric, shower curtains and many other products. Julia has more recently published her own cards and continues to publish giclee prints (see ‘Prints’ link) of her work.

The colorful, cheerful style that Julia has mastered lends itself perfectly to children’s book illustration and thus far, she has illustrated nine books for children. 

Julia and her family have moved from California to Canada and now to New Mexico, where they are happily living outside Santa Fe in the historical village of Galisteo. The light, colors and unique natural history of the area are compelling to both Julia and her husband and it is where they hope to be for some time to come.

Visits to Morocco and Zimbabwe recently have proved creatively productive for Julia and driven by the colors and culture of these very diverse parts of Africa.