I made a couple of blocks and parts to help viewers understand the ideas I was sharing, and I liked them so much that I just kept on sewing. Then I decided to open up EQ8 design software and see what other possibilities lurked! I was not disappointed.
I have a new idea for a quilt I really want to make, and it happened in a very roundabout way. First let me show you a mockup of the quilt that I designed in EQ8 quilt design software.
I think it would such a great quilt to practice machine quilting on! The blocks are easy and forgiving, and you can use any type of fabrics and it will look great.
I think I will do something special with the border. Stay tuned for that. So here is how this quilt was conceived.
This blog post originally ran in October 2019.
This is Yule Glow, my latest design for McCall’s Quilting and their Nov/Dec ’19 issue, on newsstands now.
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’m excited to have several trunk shows and classes available for booking as virtual learning! We can’t gather for meetings, conferences and all-out quilting parties but we can be together using modern technology, and what’s not to love about sewing in your own space with all of your tools close at hand?!
Visit my Virtual Learning page to learn more, and if you have questions, please reach out: firstname.lastname@example.org. Always happy to hear from you!
I teach a multitude of concepts by using scrap quilts sewn mostly from my stash. You can make this kind of quilt, too! I love showing willing learners how to combine unlikely fabrics they already own to make a dynamite scrap quilt.
Get in touch, and…
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.
A while back I wrote about some quilts that were in trouble with me for a post called “Quilts in the Doghouse.” I just finished piecing another top, a recent UFO (which means I started it in the past year or so), and near the end of the process, I had what you might call a full-on hissy fit.
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.
I’ve been machine quilting much more than usual during this extended time at home. I’m learning a lot. I am so happy to have finished My Wild Garden recently.
It’s an improvisational quilt, which is a fancy way of saying I made it up as I went along. You’ve never had so much fun as improv quilting allows.