This blog post originally ran in October 2019.
If you found me because of Global Quilt Connection, you might wonder! Here’s my story.
I spent 11 years as an editor for Quiltmaker magazine, where I wrote pattern instructions and product reviews. I shot how-to videos and wrote a variety of articles related to quilts and quiltmaking. It was a dream job!
I was the online voice of Quiltmaker for most of that time. In the early days, we were figuring out what it meant for a business to be online, along with everyone else. It was exciting, exhausting and fun!
Some of the editors helped promote the magazine by giving trunk shows of the quilts from our pages. I loved doing that, and I got good feedback from quilt groups. So when my time with Quiltmaker ended, since I’d been making quilts for 30 years, I started Stash Bandit and began sharing my own quilts in trunk shows.
I’d been teaching quilters here and there as requests came up over the years, so I added classes to my lineup as well. Writing for a pattern magazine is a form of teaching, so it seemed only natural.
The second part is that I still design and make quilts for magazines. That helps me spread the word about Stash Bandit and leads to calls from quilt guilds. It’s fun to see your work in a professionally styled shot in a national publication! And it’s always a happy day if your quilt makes the cover. Never gets old.
And the third part of my business that I’ve just added this year is helping other quilt-related businesses with social media. I manage this area for a couple of entities and I love doing it. And it’s fine with me if my name is not publicly associated with that work. I’m an introvert and I don’t love the spotlight so much.
The most visible of those is working as brand ambassador for HQ Stitch by Handi Quilter, a line of three (fabulous) domestic sewing machines. I love the machines, and it’s my job to use them and write about them. Which I happily do every day! Learn more: HQ Stitch on IG @hqstitch and on Facebook/hqstitch.
One area that I have not forayed into is the pattern business. After a trunk show, people naturally ask me where they can buy the patterns for my designs. I don’t have a great answer!
It takes a lot to bring a pattern to the market. I’d spend a lot of time and money to do it. And then you have to sell an awful lot of patterns to cover all of that before you start making a profit. And that is just one of the reasons. The others are probably not interesting to a blog reader!
I would much rather show people how to make their own unique quilts by understanding how fabrics work together. I’d like to help them unlock their creativity and be fearless in making something outside their comfort zone. So that is how I work and where I place my focus:
I use scrap quilts to help others understand fabric, color, design and quilting techniques.
Some patterns remain available from the various magazines. And a few are freebies on my own website.
So that’s a bit of my story. It’s nice to meet you!
I’ve started offering virtual trunk shows and classes in 2020. I’d love to bring one to your quilt group! Get in touch and…
You could help me out here by leaving a comment if you’ve been to a class or trunk show of mine. A few sentences about your experience would help others to know what they’re signing up for. Thank you!
I use and love EQ8 quilt design software. I came on board around 2006 or 2007 with EQ5 or so. I was not computer-savvy but EQ was user-friendly and easy to learn, and it’s even more so now.
I’m partnering with The Electric Quilt Company over a few months’ time to show how powerful EQ8 really is. Lately I’ve been playing with one particular design and yesterday I learned how to record what’s happening on my computer screen. This makes it possible to show you much more about EQ and how I use it.
Giveaway next week: EQ8 quilt design software! And a promo code at the bottom of this post for a nice discount, too!
There are times when a certain quilt just doesn’t work out. We all know that any number of things can go wrong. This is the story of a quilt that I designed in EQ8, which was its usual powerful self.
But then everything went wrong. And then I rescued it (virtually), also in EQ8. So you know up front that we are going to have a happy ending. But I’m getting ahead of myself.
You probably know that my specialty is making scrap quilts full of color and pattern. I design many quilts from scratch but I also make other people’s designs from patterns they sell.
When I make a quilt that someone else designed, I usually scrap it up because that’s how I roll. I can’t imagine making a quilt from three fabrics or even six or seven fabrics. I want 60, 70 or 700!
I finished piecing an adorable quilt top over 4th of July weekend. I started it last year on Independence Day and it felt great to complete it.
There’s something incredibly quirky about patriotic pineapples. What does one have to do with the other? I can’t say exactly and yet this design grabbed my attention and I started sewing.
I finished a hawg this week. That’s my new term for a quilt you love and hate as you make it.
It wasn’t the quilt’s fault. I think it was a difficult project because of the bias edges on hundreds of small pieces and on a bunch of big pieces, too.
Another recent finish is my Bitty Blocks row quilt. I started this years ago when I was working as an editor for Quiltmaker. We had this idea to create 3″ and 4″ blocks and post them for free on our website. There was no such thing as a marketing team so we had to market ourselves, and this was one of the ways we did it.
The thing about Bitty Blocks is that they’re addictive. You make a few, and then you make a few more, and you’re having so much fun that pretty soon you have 50 little 4″ stars or 70 tiny houses at 3″ x 3″, and then what?
Hey quilters, how are you holding up? I know. Me, too. Things are starting to open up here in Nebraska, and I wonder if my friends would want to head out to a quilt store this week. I am ready!
I have sewn like a crazy woman during the pandemic. I’ve finished up some things, started a bunch of new things, and practiced machine quilting a LOT.
In December I dug out and shot all the UFOs I could find, including these little baskets.
Yesterday, online learning platform Bluprint, formerly Craftsy, sent an email to instructors saying the company would be closing over the next few months. This was at once surprising and completely unsurprising.
When Craftsy began about 10 years ago (because a guy received a quilt from his aunt), the quilters I knew loved it. It provided something new in the form of online learning, and it was well done. You could interact with the instructors, get answers to your questions, post your progress and make friends with others in your classes. It was amazing.