How the bag got designed… and a giveaway!


Remember this little guy? It was the bag that launched me into a frenzy of bag making that (finally) resulted in the Chunky Wee Bag pattern.

Chunky Wee Bag - COVER - 72dpiRGB

I mentioned to my pal Jake that I had made the bag some seventeen times during the design process, and being as she’s part of the collective brain behind Generation Q Magazine, she asked me to articulate that into something that could be published in the mag.

So I decided to write it like it sounds in my head when I’m designing. There’s a huge monologue churning most of the time upstairs, and it’s full of weird thoughts when I’m in the creative groove. So I tried to capture that, and added a bunch of pix to the raw materials I sent in. The ever fabulous Megan of Bitchy Stitcher fame did a bang-up job of laying it out for the mag, and it magically appeared in the latest issue!


Isn’t it amazing how Jake and her team make that happen? Stuff goes in, pretty comes out. See, it’s magic!

At the end of the article, there’s a discount code for ordering patterns off my site, so you might want to pick one of these up. They are sold in the magazine section of your local bookstore, as well as many quilt shops. And there’s way more in there than just lil ole me – all sorts of fun stuff, patterns, interviews, etc.

And last but not least – I have a couple to give away! Please leave a comment below, and tell me something about what goes on in *your* head while you are designing. I’ll choose 2 winners on Sunday.


Stay creative!


Workshopping in Modesto

Ursula, her daughter Lori, Lori's daughters Maddie and Bella (in arms) and me!

Ursula, her daughter Lori, Lori’s daughters Maddie and Bella (in arms) and me!

A couple of weeks ago I visited the Modesto Country Crossroads Quilters, and the Turlock Quilt Guild. My dear friend Ursula is a member of both guilds, and managed to help them coordinate a visit from me. I have the greatest pals!

Modesto also booked me for a workshop, and chose the Back To Square One pattern for me to teach. This quilt is a bunch of fun… part strip quilt (like a jelly roll race) and part log cabin.

Square One - 72dpiRGB

It can be made with a jelly roll, or you can bust some stash by cutting strips. In the workshop, we sew all morning, and then spend the afternoon playing with the block units.


The guild’s workshop space was wonderful – plenty of room to play with block setting, plenty of power for the irons, and plenty of AC to keep us cool!





The block units are triangles, with the longest edge showing the dominant value. You end up with equal numbers of light and dark units to work with, and then play with those to make squares.



Like log cabin blocks, the layouts can be changed to use the light and dark edges to make dramatically different compositions.



Those cheap flannel backed table cloths make wonderful portable design surfaces. And when you roll them up the blocks only stick to the flannel side, not the plastic side, so they are easier to unroll when you get home.


In addition to playing with the blocks you make, you also get to wander around the room to look at what other people are up to. Its amazing that one setting will look great for one set of blocks and dull in another, and your neighbors’ will look just the opposite! This workshop teaches a lot about looking at value and color to get a pretty quilt top.



What I like best about the workshop is that every time I teach it, I learn new things about color. There is always at least one student that brings in a color combination that I (privately) though might be doubtful, and the finished blocks are absolutely knockout.

It’s also wonderful to hang out with quilters – they really are just the kindest and funniest groups of gals!

Three nights after the workshop I lectured for the guild, and several of the workshoppers brought in their finished tops for all to see (what a go-getting group!):

IMG_3847 IMG_3833 IMG_3837 IMG_3838 IMG_3839 IMG_3842 IMG_3846

Thank you, ladies! Let’s play again soon!


Getting there!


Nope – those are not dead bodies!

As I’ve mentioned before, I’m writing a book. It will be out this time next year under the Stash Books imprint for C&T Publishing. I’d love to tell you more about it, but as the saying goes, if I told you I’d have to kill you! The content must remain a secret until Amazon lists it for pre-order sometime next summer. At that point, you probably won’t be able to shut me up. Consider yourself warned.

My half of the big work is beginning to wind down… the quilts are designed, constructed, quilted and bound. The patterns are tested. The first draft is in, and my editor will soon guide me through polishing everything up. Another team at C&T will photograph it and make it pretty. While I have done nothing but eat, breathe and sew projects for this for the last 6 months, I look at all the raw materials and think that maybe I’ve had the easier end of the project!

A dozen dear pals chipped in along the way to make more quilts for the gallery section of the book. As I worked my way through photographing them this week, I’m thrilled by the creativity expressed, and utterly humbled by the generosity of their offerings. I can’t wait to show them off, and they are so different from the way I approached the designs that they add another layer of inspiration to the book.

So I offer you the image above… all of the quilts (and some other nifty quilty thingies in those boxes!), rolled up and ready to go. Tomorrow I’m driving them to C&T and while I’m there I get to meet some of the people working behind the scenes to make me look good.

It’s gonna be a great day :-)