Saturday, December 18, 2010

Free Pattern

Three friends and I organize drawing classes for Hollis Chatelein once a year. We have completed Drawing I and II, Portraiture, and next year is "The Color Class". One of our class supplies is a large 3 ring binder. Having spent the last 3 weeks quilting on a quilt for NCQSI 2011, I decided to sew something fun and quick. I found this free pattern from Moda Bakeshop called Funky Quilted Binder Cover by Maria at Passing Down Crazy. (Here is the link to the pattern:

The cover needed to be colorful, of course, and I was going to use left over batiks from making purses, cut into squares. When I dug into my scraps, I found something even better. I had little pieces of hand dyed fabric from Lorin Fields (Local Colour Hues See Blog Post dated 2/3/2010 for the original project made with these lovely fabrics. I cut the already sewn together strips into 2-1/2 inch squares. When I still had little pieces left, I cut them into 1-1/2 inch units. Using an orphan block from a Carol Bryer Fallert class as the center front, I added the smaller pieces as a little border. With black as the large border around this, I then pieces and added the 2-1/2 inch squares as a checker board for the spine and back. It was quilted in simple straight lines. Left over yellow made the pockets for the binders front and back. I even had the binding from a left over project.
This was simple and pretty quick since I had so many of the parts already from other projects.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

My friend Sheri and I had a wonderful visit to England! The ladies we met at Sew and So's in Bungay were so much fun! Rob and Verona took such kind care of us for the afternoon! You can see the photos of the ladies listening intently as I demonstrated how to put together the Two-Hour Tulip Purse. Later we shopped around the cute town and had a snack with Rob and Verona before taking the train back to London.

Visit to Bungay, England

My friend Sheri and I visited the Quilt Store "Sew & So's" in Bungay, England a couple weeks ago. I did a demonstration for the lovely group of ladies.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Leather Handles for the Tulip Purse

When Sheri and I were in Oregon, (see previous post) we shopped at Greenbaum's Quilted Forest. I saw these great leather purse straps and brought one back to make owner Sylvia a store sample. I contacted Cindy at Cindy's Button Company from Idaho. The straps come in different sizes, colors and flower patterns. Check out her website at . I will have some of her products in my booth at Houston at Fall Market.

This is the Large size of the Two-Hour Tulip Purse Bouquet pattern, made using the "A" flap version. This strap part number is 1009-B002

Sister's Outdoor Quilt Show 2010

One of the many fun things about being a designer in the quilt world is to be able to travel and view quilt shows and visit quilt stores. My friend Sheri and I were happy to go to Oregon for 7 days of cool weather, site seeing, and of course, shopping! Added into that fun was to "show and tell" quilt store owners about my patterns and do demos along the way.
My BFF Cary bee's round robin quilt was hung at the Outdoor Quilt Show in Sisters, Oregon. I was able to capture in photo the quilt being hung.
We visited Crater Lake and Cannon Beach as well. Please enjoy these photos of our trip!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Sewing with leather

Almost since making my first tulip purse, I have wanted to make one in leather. I found a lovely red/maroon shinny finish scrap piece of leather, priced by the pound at the Carolina Fabric Outlet in Swannanoah, NC. It was a long skinny piece and I thought it might be large enough for a Small Long Stemmed Tulip Purse. Here is photo of the long piece folded so you see part of the front and part of the sweded back.

I researched what I would need to stitch into leather. I have a Juki TL98Q which is certainly strong enough and a 930 Bernina, which is also strong enough. I purchased the suggested leather needles from Bernina World of Sewing on Glenwood Ave. in Raleigh. I also purchased a teflon foot for the Bernina, as it was something I have been wanting. The other supplies were powder to dust on the machine so the leather would slide under the foot smoothly and binder clips to hold seams together before sewing. Both of these suggestions were excellent!

I chose to make the Long-Stemmed Tulip in the small version but had to make some allowances. One was to only be sewing two layers of leather at a time. To do that I had to make the back of the flap out of cloth, and cut out a smaller version of the flap and sew it to the lining of the flap to attach the snap. The other change was to make the handle base lining out of cotton as well. I had a maroon fabric in my stash that matched well. Here is a photo of the two materials.

The thread I choose first was a thick 12wt. 100% polyester. I was a gold color, similar to what is used in sewing the side seams of jean fabric. I couldn't get the tention in either machine to handle the thickness. Instead I chose a 40wt. King Tut quilting thread. It held well when it was backstitched.

It was suggested in the instructions I found to sew with a large stitch so as not to cut the leather, thereby dividing it into two pieces as you sew. (This is the same problem when sewing the clear plastic onto the name badge holder in the Traveler's Trio pattern, or the luggage tag in the Traveler's Tote pattern.) I lengthened the stitch to 3, then 5, then settled on 4. The Bernina has a dial that will lengthen the stitch by skipping every other stitch. The 3 setting on it with a skipped stitch looked just right. It is necessary to back stitch or to hand knot the threads when the sewing is finished with leather.

As recommended, I did practice with the needles and thread in both machines before deciding I was ready to try making the purse. Here are the pieces cut out, ready to sew!

In order not to sew more than 2 layers together of leather at at time, I had to modify the pieces as shown here. The back of the purse has a template pocket. For the part attached to the purse, I cut away the seam allowance and sewed it to a piece of the lining. The inside pockets I made of leather on the outside and lining for the inside of the pocket.

Here is the finished purse. It is not perfect, but if you use the galloping horse rule, I think I will enjoy it very much!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Spring Quilt Market, 2010

Spring Quilt Market, 2010, in Minneapolis, Minnesota. On the right, see my friend Karen Comstock in her booth. She had a lovely booth, but was many isles away from mine.

My booth looked similar to Houston market with
the exception of 3 new patterns and samples of
them (two new quilt patterns and one new bag pattern.)
Brad went with me for the first time. I had tried to warn him it was a lot of work, and now he knows first hand! We enjoyed the trip there and back, though we were tired of sitting! Since he had to use vacation to go with me, he probably won't be back until he retires, but it was great to have such wonderful help! He was so proud when he made his first sale when I left the booth for a short time!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Kissing Nine Patch On Point

This lovely quilt was made for a friend by Lynn H. of Raleigh. It is based on the antique quilt top Lynn and I saw at the Vintage Quilt Study Group meeting in February, 2009. The top is owned by Pat Y. of Raleigh and was purchased in rural central Indiana. Pat does not know who made the original top. This quilt is based on my new pattern, Kissing Nine Patch On Point.

You can see the pattern on my website.

Lynn used Dimples tone-on-tone colors from the focus fabric and cut squares from many different colors to come up with this block setting. She then used the quicker method strip piecing to assemble each color wave of blocks. When we were on our beach retreat she made the 3 pillow shams.

Additional photos show the piecing of the blocks as well as the lovely quilting by Angela Clark of Threadwaggle Longarm Quilting. (

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Quilting Retreat!

This morning I leave for my third quilt retreat of the year! Yes, I do feel very lucky to have a job that allows me time to "play". My Good Intentions Bee has a day long retreat at North Raleigh Church of the Nazarene the first Wednesday of the year. (This was our third or fourth year.) At this retreat we all use the same pattern (a simple one!) and all make a quilt using our own style and fabrics. What is so amazing is how different they all are!!
My second retreat this year was with my BFF (Best Friends Forever) Bee. It is a weekend long retreat held at our regular meeting place, Karen Comstock's home. (She is a great designer.....see her great patterns at
This retreat is the Good Intentions Bee's annual week long trip to the beach in North Carolina. Our destination is Salvo, located on the Outer Banks.
This will be my first time to use my new portable sewing table, the SewEzi. I ordered it from the owner, Barbara on Monday and received it Fedx Ground yesterday at 5:30. If you don't have one of these tables, and you go on retreats, you will want to check them out. Her website is There are different acrylic inserts for the different machines you take to classes or retreats. I ordered one for my Bernina 930, one for my Juki TL98Q and one for my portable Janome Gem Gold.
I hope you will have some time to spend with friends, sewing, eating and laughing soon!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Two-Hour Tulip Easter Baskets!

With Easter just around the corner, I received a phone call last week about a store that had put together the Two-Hour Tulip Purse Petite size with bunny rabbit ears to be used as an Easter Basket. I have not received a photo yet, but one is promised!
However, when I ran into Liat of Miles of Stitches (Hemlock, MI), one of my best customers for this pattern, she told me she would send me a photo of the 42 Easter Baskets they made in 2009. Well, she did send me the photo, or Julie did, and also gave me permission to post it on my blog. Here is it! If this does not inspire you to try this easy pattern, nothing will! Are they not cute?

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

New pattern/old pattern

I am very excited about the new quilt pattern which will be available at Spring Market (or maybe a little before!) I have made 3 of them so far, and have much interest from friends who are currently pattern testing. I won't post a photo yet and keep you in suspense!

However, from a published pattern of mine, Circle in a Square, I was able to construct a wall hanging using the hand-dyed cotton fabrics by the lovely Lorin Fields, of Local Colour Hues. This pattern uses a set of 2-1/2 inch width strips of fabrics. Set in black, these colors just glow! I was able to get two quilts, each with 9 squares using the strips and the pattern. One is going to Lorin for her retail booth and one is going out in my trunk show, which leaves tomorrow. I have included a photo which was taken before binding. It now has a simple black binding that is not in the photo!