The Classic Clutch

Hi Everyone –

I’m just finishing up the very last of the market preparations.  I’m putting the binding on the last quilt and I am packing my suitcase.  Luckily that last quilt is just a runner, so it should be done shortly.

The pattern is from the Living Large 2 book that I just previewed and the fabric is another sneak peek at Whimsy.  For any shop owners reading this, the line will preview at market.  You can swing by my booth to see lots of quilts done with the line or to see a Henry Glass rep about ordering.  For the rest of you, I will keep you posted on when it arrives in shops – probably the end of June.

Before I forget, the winners of the Living Large 2 book from the last two posts are:

Jenny Michael and Sandi ~ Call me Crazy.  Please e-mail your shipping addresses to:

I have one last preview that I want to get in before I leave for market.  It’s called The Classic Clutch.

I started thinking about clutches in the first place because I was having issues with my large purse.  I use a really large purse because I always want to have a hand-work or knitting project with me at ALL times.  This is how large my purse is –

The problem with having this large of a purse is sometimes I just don’t feel like dragging it with on every errand.  When I am just running into a store for a gallon or milk or a quick trip into the post office, I don’t need the whole thing with me.  I wanted a smaller purse that would fit inside my big purse, that would just hold the necessities.  That way I could grab just that when I ran into the store. 

The first little purse I tried was one of these wallets:

There are everywhere in the stores.  I know many people who have them, so they must be popular.  I didn’t last long with this one, as the clasp never stayed shut.  I decided I needed to make my own because I needed it to be slightly larger – with handles, pockets, and personalized with a cute-large scale fabric.  Something practical, yet cute.  After lots of demos, here is what I’ve come up with:

Inside is a divider that holds the cards I use on a regular basis.  Behind the divider, you can store some cash (not shown).  There is also room for a checkbook and lipstick.  The back pocket holds your keys and cell phone.

I also made a larger size.  I put longer handles on this one so I can throw it over my shoulders for hands-free shopping.  This one still fits inside my regular purse, so I can pull it out for those quick trips.  I will also use this one for an all day shopping trip, as that large purse causes my shoulders to get sore if I use it for a full day.  By the way, you can make both size handles and just switch them out as needed.  I found the little clips at the hardware store for $1.50, so it’s quite inexpensive to make both.

The view from the back side shows the optional zipper pocket (for your cell phone or whatever).  I love the way the zipper cuts through this large print.  By the way, don’t be scared of the zipper.  It’s SO much easier than you think!

(Please excuse the questionable photos.  Joel and I had a good laugh over him trying to be a purse photographer and me trying to be a model!)

Mom and I have made up several color options so far, including another one using fabrics by Valori Wells (the last two were her fabrics as well).

I made this one to match the afore mentioned purse, using my Artful Home fabric.

I also thought I needed a basic black one.  (This is an early demo model, so a few things have been tweaked, including how to reduce the wear-and-tear shown in the area over the magnetic clasp.)

The construction is quick and easy, so they will go together in an evening.  They also make perfect gifts for girlfriends and family members.  The instructions are detailed and full of photos, so that also helps with the construction.  I have struggled in the past with instructions for things other than quilts, so I knew I wanted to include really detailed instructions.  When I look at a quilt, I can often see how it is put together.  When I look at a purse, I have no idea where to begin.  Many patterns just describe how to put the item together, but text can be interpreted in so many ways.  Having photo instructions leaves a lot less room for questions, and hopefully, a more successful outcome.

The patterns started shipping last week, so they should be out and about.  In the meantime, we will continue the tradition and give away a copy to one of the commenters.  I’ll announce the winner after quilt market.

Posted in Fabric Trends, Pattern of the Week, Quilting | Tagged , , , | 154 Comments

The Rest of the Preview

Hi Everyone!

First off, I have to say thanks for all the nice comments that were offered up on my last post.  Sometimes it’s a little nerve-wracking to put yourself out there, so the comments were really appreciated.  I have been struggling with the creative process lately, so the comments were a real encouragement to me!  In fact, I have had so many people asking me about the creative process lately, that I am working on a blog post about it.  I will have time to finish it up after market, so more on that topic later. 

Onto the rest of the quilts from the book –

Spanish Tiles

This design was actually inspired by the fabric on my first demo model, shown below. (or so I thought.)  The fabric is Deer Valley by Joel Dewberry.

Then my husband asked me if it was inspired by the garden sidewalks at the Alhambra, which we visited 6 months before I made this quilt.  I took so many pictures of all the beautiful designs there, but wasn’t looking at the pictures when I was working on the idea for this quilt.  Do you suppose my subconscious remembered?

Here’s a close-up of the quilting, as many or you commented in my last post that you like seeing details on the quilting.  It was my first time trying the pebble or bubble quilting, so that was fun. 


Soulful Blossoms, using my Artful Home line.

This quilt was inspired by my asymmetrical kitchen.  You will see why I needed a design with the flowers off to the side when you see my kitchen. (Sorry for the bad lighting, but you get the idea)

The quilting details:

(Kits here)

If you want, you can flip the quilt so the flowers run across the top, as shown below.  I think this makes a great baby quilt.  The photo also shows the baby quilt size of “Hip to {NOT} Be Square.

The baby girl quilt is done up in Whimsy, the newest line from my Mom and I.  (It will be previewing at market next week).  The boy quilt is done with Lily and Will, designed by Anne Sutton of Bunny Hill.  Boy quilts are really hard to find good fabric for, not to mention coming up with a quilting idea that doesn’t involve flowers!

Speaking of flowers –

Pinwheel Posies is the name.

The fabric is called Frolic by Sandy Gervais.

Starlit Evening:  Showing off my sister’s bed room and Bonnie and Camille’s fabric line Bliss.

Here’s a better view of all those interconnecting stars . . .

I’ve already made this quilt three times myself (in different sizes), so it isn’t as hard as it looks.  It’s strip-pieced, I might add.

One of the size options includes this tree skirt.

It also works as a tablecloth.  The fabrics are from my Christmas line “Deck the Halls” which should be coming out this month.

That covers the last of the projects from “Living Large 2”.  That’s a long post!  I you have made it this far, you are eligible to win a copy of the book.  Just leave me a comment about what you are up to, or whatever you feel like talking about.  I’ll announce the winner shortly, so stop back soon.

Pleast note this drawing is now closed 5 – 9-11

Posted in Machine Quilting, Pattern of the Week, Quilting | Tagged , , | 233 Comments

What’s New!


I have been a very bad blogger lately.  It’s less than two weeks until quilt market, so I’ve been busy trying to get everything finished in time.  That means unnecessary things like cleaning, cooking, sleeping and blogging don’t get done!  I wanted to take a time out today to start showing you a few things from the new book.

Here’s the cover ~

Yes, it’s a follow-up to our popular book “Living Large.”  I have made every quilt in that book 3 or 4 times.  I am still collecting large-scale prints, so I decided I needed a little variety and should design a new collection of quilts for large-scale prints.  As you may have heard me mention before, large-scale fabrics require a special pattern – one that doesn’t cut the fabric up into tiny pieces, but shows off the fabric!

My favorite quilt always makes the cover.  Here’s a better shot at that cover quilt, called “Spaghetti Junction:

I had a hard time picking a favorite, as this quilt was also in the running:

This pattern is called Hip to {NOT} Be Square.  These fabrics are so fun – they are from the Summertime collection by Barbara Jones (Henry Glass and Co).  This picture shows a close-up of the yummy fabrics and the machine quilting.  (My husband pointed out that it looks like I am using stolen library books as a prop.  They are actually bought and paid for.  As a kid the summer library sale was always one of my favorite days of the year.  I got to fill my wagon with all the books I wanted for only 10 cents each.)

The next quilt up is Simple Gifts – a simple quilt that can be whipped up in just a few hours.

I had so much fun machine quilting this one.  The design in the cream blocks was one that I hadn’t tried before, so it’s always fun to try something new.

The fabric is so happy – it’s called “Hoot” by Momo (Moda)

The next design is called Patchwork Posies.

I made this quilt last fall.  After quilting it, I took it outside to photograph it and this beautiful tree helped me out.  I think this tree and quilt were made for each other!  I ended up not using this photo in the book, because if you look closely the binding isn’t on.  By the time I got the binding done, the tree had lots all it’s leaves.

But these colors  . . . . .

The fabric is Bloom and Grow by Riley Blake.

I am going to save the rest of the quilts for another day, before this post gets too long.  There are 9 designs in the book and a total of 24 size options to choose from.   The book will retail for $16 and should be appearing in stores next week.  As is tradition on my blog, I always give away the first copy of the new book, so leave a comment to be entered to win.  I’ll post the rest of the quilts next week and give you a second chance to enter for another copy of the book.  click here to see the rest of the quilts)

Please note this drawing is now closed.  5-9-11

Posted in Machine Quilting, Pattern of the Week, Quilting | Tagged , | 263 Comments

What I’ve been up to . . .

So, it’s been two weeks since I have done a blog post.  In that two weeks I have made absolutely nothing to show you!  I have been busy putting the finished touches on my next booklet for market.  I’m a little behind with everything, as I seem to be suffering from some Quilter’s Block.  Then I decided to add size options, so instead of the book having 9 projects, there are actually 24 size options.  That makes for a lot of math, drawing extra diagrams, refiguring, testing, etc.  Then repeat it all a few more times to double, triple, and quadruple check for errors.  I am SOOOO happy to have that all done.  I am ready to move on.  The books will be delivered in a little over a week, so I will show you a preview then.   Next, I have to start preparing my booth for market.  I’m waiting on the fabric, so I hope it gets here soon!  Only three weeks left to go . . . .

That doesn’t make for a very exciting post, does it? 

I always have to show some pictures . . . .  . . .  so I will show you a project that I haven’t quite finished yet.  Last December I decided to repaint my bathroom.  Here is what it looked like then:

It was based on this painting, that later became my Serenity fabric line (from about 4 years ago).  I liked these colors then, but now I find it a little dull and boring.

I originally set out to look for some wallpaper.  Have you seen all of the beautiful large-scale prints in wallpaper these days?  They are absolutely gorgeous.  And seriously expensive.   The average cost was over $600 for this teeny, tiny bathroom.  I decided that was a bit steep for something I would probably change in about 18 months.

So, I decided to spray my bangs up with some aqua net and go back to the 80’s when stenciling was all the rage.  I based my stencil on a print from an upcoming fabric line (yes, it’s that line that I am waiting for!)

Many of the wallpapers that I liked were all-over, really busy florals.  I thought that might be too overpowering in my little powder bath, so I decided to tread lightly with my stenciling (that I figured the more I did, the more dorky-home made it would look).  

I added the stems first.

When the cream painted had dried, I added in the turquoise roses.  As you can see, I used my hand to blot the stencil brush.  You are supposed to use a paper plate or something, but this just seemed “handier”.

In this photo, it looks like I am smoking my paint brush, but I just realized that I did something wrong.  So, in this photo, I am caught mid gasp and bringing my hand up to my face. “Oh, no.  I screwed up.  I’ve got to repaint that left side.”

I realized that the corner needed to mirror image – like this:

Much better.

My bathroom is so tiny, so it’s really hard to even photograph how it turned out.  My favorite part was getting to paint the tub that wonderful turquoise color.

I even put on my wide-angle lens, but it didn’t really help that much. 

I’m still trying to find some things to decorate the space.  Something with some snap and color.  I also need to make a little quilt to hang above the tub.  Something like this –

But cuter and made out of actual fabric.  Someday . . . .  After market! 

I hope you all have a great weekend.  I’ll be back soon to show you some of the projects from the new book.

Posted in Decorating, Fabric Trends, Quilting | 31 Comments

Deck the Halls

So the fabric that I have been waiting for has finally arrived.  It came late last night, though it was supposed to come last Monday.  It’s my newest Christmas line called Deck the Halls.  I don’t have much time, as I am just heading out the door to go teach several classes and do a trunk show, so I’m just going to show you a few quick images.

The reds. . .  

The Blacks . . .

Aqua Blues . . .

And a few golds and greens.

The photos never do them justice, especially when you are photographing them at night!  So please forgive my bad lighting.   I didn’t have time to get good shots of them before I left, but I still wanted to get the word out to the shop owners that follow my blog.  The reps are taking order now, so get it while you can!  Seasonal lines tend to have limited printings, so there isn’t usually a chance to get in on the second printing.  For everyone else out there, this line will be in stores sometime around the end of May. 

Now I just have to figure out what I’m all going to make out of it. . . .  I just finished sewing the binding on my first sample out of the fabric, as I wanted to get one project with it into my newest book.  My deadline for the book is Monday, so as long as I can get a photograph of the quilt on Sunday, I might just make it!  I will worry about the rest of the fabric after the book is taken care of.  I tell ya, my brain is just spinning with all these deadlines.  Such is the life of a quilt designer, right before quilt market!!!

Have a good weekend!

Posted in Fabric Trends | Tagged , | 35 Comments

Knitting Update

Happy Monday Everyone ~

After my last post, I am going to take a turn off my journey down Sentimental Road.  I may come back to it soon, because I had several people comment that now they know where the name of my business came from (I mentioned that my first sewing machine being a hand-me-down from my Great Grandma Anka).  If I haven’t shared about my Great Grandma Anka yet, I need to take the time to do that.  I know there are lots of you who already know, but I happen to think it’s a story worth telling again.  

My brain isn’t quite up to the challenge for creative writing this morning.  Maybe after my quilt market deadlines are done – So I think I will just share a few knitting pictures.  Several of you asked why I didn’t show all the knitting that I got done in Florida (after this post).  One of the projects is still unfinished, so I will hold off on that one, but here are the other two that I worked on:

#1.  Every Last Yard by Amy Swenson of Indi Knits. 

The yarn is Dream in Color Classy in the Bermuda Teal color.   I made this project out of their sock yard and wanted to try their heavier yarn.  I didn’t really care for it as I was knitting this project up.  It felt really stiff, but as soon as I blocked it, it relaxed and felt like a totally different yarn.  I cannot stress the importance of a good blocking!  I’m not talking about a block using a little steam.  I used to do that but it doesn’t compare to a good wet block.  I give my sweaters a bath in the sink, blot out the excess water, then pin to size on a blocking board.  It takes a bit of time, but it’s totally worth it.  It has saved many projects for me.

I had to make this project because of the lace detail along the cuffs and bottom of the sweater.

I’m having a little trouble with the whole open cardigan thing.  I spend my day going like this:

And trying to hold it shut.  I may need to adapt this, but I just haven’t figured out how.  I might need to look for some buttons, unless anyone else has any bright ideas for me?

#2.  Calluna Cardigan

I wasn’t totally thrilled with the fit on this one either.  It turned out too small, but again, with a good wet block, I was able to get it buttoned.

Ah, buttons.  Much better.   It just seems like having the buttons gives the cardigan a better shape for my body type.  I think it would help to be busty when trying to wear an open cardigan.  That way you have something to hold the cardigan out in place so it just doesn’t fall to your sides and hang way open.  Lesson learned.

( By the way I’m just speculating with this opinion.  Without ever having had a large chest, it is hard to know for sure ;-)   I’m just saying it isn’t the pattern design, it’s my issue of not knowing what is best for my body shape.)

You know how I love cables . .

The cables continue around to the back.

The yarn is Angel’s Kiss.  It’s a worsted weight alpaca-merino blend.  

It’s another one of those hand-dyed yarns that needs to be worked 2 skeins at a time.  I did the same with the DIC Classy in the first project I showed.  I can’t imagine what would have happened if I didn’t do that, as all my skeins looked quite different.  I think it was worth the extra effort though, as I love the subtle color variations in the yarn.

I’m hoping that the next knitting that I have to show will be a spring project.  I am truly sick of winter and ready to try something other than wool!  BTW, my Ravelry link to these projects can be found here, if you want more info.

Back to work for me – I have new fabric showing up today.  More on that soon . . . . .

Posted in Knitting | Tagged , , , , | 18 Comments

Homespun Mums

Are you all familiar with Australian Homespun Magazine?  I first noticed them when they did articles on some of my favorite designers.  Well, guess what?

This time that designer is me!  Here’s my little spread and the project that I did for them  (perfect for those wanting to try 60-degree angles on a small-scale – BTW)

The article tells a little bit about me and how I got started quilting.  It also talks about “my mum”.  I just think it’s so cute when Australians say Mum.  When I wrote some of this for them, I know I wrote “Mom”, but it’s much cuter this way.  In fact, I had to call up my Mum to tell her about it and why I was calling her Mum.

Writing up my notes for Homespun was actually kind of fun.  I realized that I probably don’t “talk” that much on this blog, as I mostly show pictures, and I’m missing some chances to share about things that are really important to me.  Like my Mum and the things I have learned from her. 

I often wonder if I would have this job if it weren’t for her.  As I mention in the article, some of my first memories were hanging out in Mom’s sewing room.  She would always give me little projects to play on and things from her sewing room to play with.  I remember loving to play with her button stash and come up with color combinations – a skill that I still try to practice daily.  My early projects involved a gingham plaid fabric, stretched in a hoop, with a design marked out on it.  I then used a plastic needle to sort of cross-stitch the design.  Later, at the age of five, I got my first sewing machine.  It was a hand-me-down from my Great Grandma Anka.  I still remember that it had the foot petal attached to the side of the machine and you ran it with your knee, instead of your foot.  Now that I had a machine, Mom patiently taught me how to use it.  I learned how to make my own clothes, along with a few other crafty projects like making my own pound puppies and Cabbage Patch Doll clothes.  Remember those?  We discovered quilting later and I haven’t made any of my own clothing since. 

Through all of that, I think the most important lesson that I learned from my Mum, was that we can do anything with fabric.  I watched her make all of our clothes, curtains, stuffed animals, pillows, recover furniture, and craft up lots of home dec items.  I remember that she even made a covering with handles for a big inner tube that we pulled behind our boat.  See, I told you she could make anything!  I think that attitude had a big effect on me, and was highly influential in my decision to become a pattern designer.  There is a free-ness that comes with thinking that way.  I can do it.  Or at least, with my Mom’s help, I can do it. 

Here’s to being SO grateful for having such a mother !!!!

{Hi Mom!  I love you and everything you have taught me  – even when I forget to say it.  Thank-you for taking the time and being there. }

I hope that this journey has been rewarding for her too.  I hope that there are others out there like me, who have someone like this in their life.  Do you?  I’d love to hear about it.

Posted in Family, Quilting | Tagged , | 35 Comments