QUILT TALK Blog Hop Day 10 – GRAY – with Maddie Kertay

Day 10 takes us down south to Chattanooga, TN, and into the arms of the inimitable Maddie Kertay of the BadAss Quilters Society, and of the new quilt shop Spool. Gray is the color for the day!

GRAY Bucket

You might not know that I spent my formative years hopping back and forth between England and the US, and because of that, I have some blind spots in my ability to spell. The word GRAY/GREY is one of those spots. I had to research this one before making the pattern… it turns out that A belongs to the US and E belongs to everywhere else. I put both in the pattern so that wherever you are, you’ll be OK!

And now, to Maddie. I adore this woman. She is all-out inspiration, living life large, but the best part about that is she encourages those of us around her to do the same. She started BAQS when one person too many told her to be a bit more seemly, and to make her quilts fit their definition of proper. Not only did Maddie rebel, she made a place for all of us to go be ourselves. Acceptance is the first tenet of BAQS, and being totally, beautifully, uniquely YOU is the next, and “be nice” is the third – no flame wars allowed! AND she dived into making a quilt for the book with wild abandon! (See the pix on her hop)

Beyond that, she is the champion of MANY in the quilt arena. She is a wise business woman who uses her powers for good, the embodiment of one of my favorite quotes from Madeleine Albright:


She helps those of us around her, coaching us all to shine a bit brighter. She promotes and links and shares and praises the things she believes in with generous abandon, and I’m a very, very grateful recipient of her TLC.

She’s also a dear, dear pal. I ended up in the hospital during last quilt market, and she and Megan Dougherty scrambled their schedules to make sure I had a friend with me pretty much until I got discharged. Lucky me, I get to take another picture like this one next week in Houston! (while avoiding the hospital like the plague!)

Maddie and Sam

Please hop over to Maddie, and if you haven’t joined BAQS yet, please do so… it’s one place you can go to just make the quilts you love to make.

Here’s a reminder of the tour and COLOR bucket schedule:


BTW – Did you join my mailing list yet? Do it here. I’m dreaming up groovy exclusive stuff for you!



QUILT TALK Blog Hop Day 1 – PURPLE – with the Bitchy Stitcher

The first step of the tour begins with Megan Dougherty, our industry’s own quilt humorist, known to us as The Bitchy Stitcher. She’s hosting the PURPLE pattern for you!


Once upon a time, in a galaxy not so far away, a mutual acquaintance reached out to me to talk to Megan about how I built the design walls that are such an important part of my studio. So I called her, and in that brief conversation about flannel and fleece, and getting boards to stick to walls in a way that won’t give your landlord hives, I found a dear friend. Sometimes friendships have to grow slowly – but I knew almost immediately I’d have Megan in my family for a long time.

It was a couple of years before I met her in person (at Quilt Market, natch) and as we like to tell the story, we damn near needed a room.


Last Quilt Market in Pittsburgh, we finally shared one and stayed up half the night giggling like only women friends can. She’s the kind of friend that sends you a Lego Wolverine after she hears you saw the last X Men movie twice because Hugh Jackman in THAT scene was worth a second look (and maybe a third, but who’s counting?)


And for whipped cream on the whole ice cream sundae, her sweet kiddos are allowing me to be their crazy auntie from afar.

As well as being a great pal, she’s also a great mentor. The writes like a maniac, but she knows her stuff backwards, and helps me all the time with the literary end of my world.  If you’re not already a fan, go read some of the stuff she writes about the crazy process of learning to quilt, cephalopods, men with burritos, and of course, Tom Hiddleston. Only a brilliant mind could make all that work! And word to the wise… DO NOT drink liquids while reading her humor, lest you need to wipe down your monitor and keyboard.

When my book journey began two years ago, I reached out to her for a gallery quilt, and she used the Quilt Talk alphabet to great effect, nailng down a custom quilt that is covered in her personality… she’ll be telling you all about that in her hop, so head over there and give it a read! Oh, and if you need another book in your life, consider getting hers, Quilting Isn’t Funny – you’ll go back to it every time you have to suffer through a dry guild board meeting, or try to miter binding without pictures.

Here’s a reminder of the schedule:


BTW – Did you join my mailing list yet? Do it here. I’m dreaming up groovy exclusive stuff for you!

Dots, Dots, Dots, Dots!

I really hope you read that title with the rhythm of the Spam song in your head!

Quilt Dots Club 500x500

Today is my stop on the blog hop for Quilt Dots. If you haven’t seen these great little quilt lover’s accessories, you’re in for a treat! The Dots are quilting designs on magnets, clips and buttons. There are also necklace and keychain bases that you can swap the magnets out on. There are so many styles of designs available… truly something for everyone!

I met Kim, the owner of Quilt Dots last year at Quilt Market, and she had just added a collection from my dear pal Megan, The Bitchy Stitcher, that featured her delightfully snarky designs. That’s me wearing Bitchy’s “Don’t Make Me Cut You” as a necklace, below.

Sam with Dots

Kim added my Sassy Button designs to her catalog, and you can find them here.

Quilt Dots has a great giveaways EVERY DAY of the blog tour, so jump to here to see what you could win. Psst… I have free patterns over there!

Be sure to leave your comments THERE (not here… which is why the comments are turned off here). The Grand Prize is a full year’s worth of Quilt Dot goodness delivered straight to your door!

Book Winner! And a little chaos…

BeforeBehold! The “before” picture! This is my new studio-to-be… in my new apartment! Since I last wrote I packed my stuff and upped and moved to the Portland, OR area (from downtown sunny Burbank CA!)

Pretty much everything I own landed in this room, and I’ve been working my way through putting it all where it belongs so that I can rebuild the studio. I’m getting close, and when I do, there will be prettier pix. In the meantime, I seem to be living at either Target or the hardware store as I buy all the things a new home needs (why do I always need to buy different trash cans every time I move???)

While I was on the road, the deadline to pick a winner for Quilting Isn’t Funny came and went, and when I landed I didn’t have internet (I am quite disturbed about how disturbing it was to be disconnected, if you know what I mean!). So now that I have internet, and a computer, and it’s on my desk and I have a chair to sit in, a winner has been chosen!

Random.org chose number 39 of a field of 58 – Kathryn, who wrote: “Most frustrating.  It’s got to be squaring up the quilt.  If all the blocks measure square I”ll never understand why my quilt measurements are off.  But I still struggle with this more than I want to admit…………”

Kathryn – watch for an email from me!



Blog tour + giveaway: The Bitchy Stitcher Wrote a BOOK!

If you’re anything like me, every time you read one of The Bitchy Stitcher/Megan Dougherty’s fab essays, you leave happy to have had your daily dose of “OMG I can’t believe she went there!” while being utterly pissed off about having to wait for the next installment!

Well, we must wait no more! Megan pulled together the best of her ramblings, with guest appearances by her fictional mom and other judgmental biddies from the local guild – you know them… same biddies, different quilted name tags. It’s a full-on feast of Bitchy Stitchery! My fave story? The one about figuring out binding…


So why am I excited about this? First up, Megan is a dear pal. Really dear pal – as in the kind of pal that sends me a care package filled with ORANGE things! We met through other dear pals (the Gen Q ladies) and somehow managed to fall into pal-dom without having set eyes on each other. When we did, we almost needed to get a room.

IMG_2761She has been a source of constant calm and encouragement through some of the tougher spots I’ve gone through writing my own due-next-year-book… and even made a really rockin’ quilt for it. Which I still can’t show you a picture of yet. Dammit.

Anyhoo… Megan made this book all by herself – soup to nuts, every word, every drawing, the cover, the layout… all of it. She is a self-publishing goddess. And herein lies the true story: such feats take a bunch of courage… and Megan, like the rest of we-who-make-art faced that creative fear and stared it down, put on her big girl panties, and got it DONE. It’s not easy putting yourself out there in the sometimes mean anonymity of the interwebs. But she did it, and in my eyes, that inspiration deserves a super-heroine cape. Or knowing Megan… perhaps one with George Clooney on it.

So go buy Megan’s book. You might need two because you’re going to want to gift one to a friend, and it’s kinda rude to gift the one that’s covered in the tea you snorted out your nose while you were taking a teensy-weensy peek before you wrapped it.

Her book is blog-hopping for a few weeks from now through January with a break for the hols (yay for something fun in January!) – for the other stops see below.

And leave me a comment (how about you tell me what the most frustrating part of quilting was for you when you began?) if you’d like to win a copy. I’ll choose a winner on Friday!

Dec. 2 – Maddie Kertay  – Bad Ass Quilter’s Society

Dec. 3 – Sam Hunter – Hunter’s Design Studio

Dec. 4 – Carla Crim – Scientific Seamstress

Dec. 5 – Scarlett Burroughs – Craft Gossip

Dec. 6 – Jill Dorsey – Made With Moxie

Dec. 9 – Victoria Findlay Wolfe – Bumble Beans Inc

Dec. 10 – Lynn Harris – Little Red Hen

Dec. 11 – Teresa Coates – Crinkle Dreams

Dec. 12 – Joshua Helms – Molli Sparkles

Dec 13 – Liz Kettle – Stitch Journeys

Dec. 14 – Leah Day – The Free Motion Quilting Project

Dec 16 – Lisa Sipes – That Crazy Quilty Girl

Dec. 17 – Charlotte Newland – Displacement Activity

Dec. 18 – Teri Lucas – TerifiCreations

Dec. 19 – Cheryl Sleboda – Muppin.com

Dec. 20 – Kelly Biscopink – Stitchy Quilt Stuff

Jan. 6 – Generation Q

Jan. 8 – Rose Hughes – Rose Hughes – Quilt Artist

Jan. 9 – Janice Ryan – Better Off Thread

Jan. 10 – Flaun Cline – I Plead Quilty

Jan. 13 – Heather Jones – Olive and Ollie

Jan. 14 – Meg  – Without A Stitch On

Jan. 15 – Laura Lochore – Quokka Quilts

Jan. 16 – Elaine Wong Haselhuhn – Dashasel Sews

Jan. 17 – Kim Lapacek – Persimon Dreams