Sunday, July 10, 2011

New Pattern Anouncement!

Here it is! My newest pattern, called Hidden Treasure Tote. My daughter thought up the name and I think it is perfect. Inside this mid-size tote there is a hidden surprise. You will find a mini purse that is attached to the inside of the bag with Velcro. This is the same bag that I taught at the NC Quilt Symposium. I didn't have a name for it then so it was called Laura's Sampler Tote.
I love the size of this tote; I took it with me on the cruise that my son works on and it was perfect. I carried the whole tote during the day when we were site-seeing and in the evening I unhooked the mini purse and off we went to dinner and the show.

This is inside of the tote with the mini purse attached. The light blue flap folds down when it is out of the bag and covers up the back pocket on the purse. A narrow shoulder strap is hiding in the back pocket while it is in the tote.

I just added this to my website this afternoon. The special offer for the new pattern is 2 free zippers for the tote. In the comment section of the order form, tell me what colors you would like and I will add 2 - 14" zippers to your order for FREE!!! This offer will end Sunday, July 17, 2011 at midnight EST.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

NC Quilt Symposium & Hidden Treasure

I had so much fun teaching at the North Carolina Quilt Symposium. This was the first time that I taught at such a large venue and it was FUN!

Quilt Symposium was held at Peace College in downtown Raleigh, NC. It is a small all girls school with a beautiful campus. Opening day was Thursday the 2nd of June and the temperature was around 98 degrees and humid all day. So just walking from building to building was enough to work up a nice sweat! Thursday night was the opening ceremony where all of the teachers introduce themselves and briefly talk about their classes. This means getting up on stage in front of 400+ people. I am very comfortable teaching in a classroom of 10-20 students, but 400 is NOT in my comfort zone! To make it worse, I was in the company of very famous national teachers, like Pepper Cory, Jan Krentz and Patsy Thompson, to name only a few, who are very comfortable with large audiences. Fortunately, we went in alphabetical order and M is in the middle of the pack, so I didn't have to go first. We had our own "Vanna White" holding up our class projects while we talked about our classes at a podium. I think I managed to say everything that I needed to say in the microphone before I moved toward "Vanna" to try and show the tote myself. I'm sure the front row of teachers heard all about the remainder of the tote. After that was over, I felt much better and was really looking forward to teaching my class.

Here is a description of the tote bag that I taught at Symposium. It is a brand new pattern that will be available for sale. The name of this new tote will be Hidden Treasure Tote.

Store all of your shopping purchases in this roomy tote. It has 2 large front pockets and up to 3 zippered outside back pockets. Inside this midsized tote you will find a hidden pint-sized purse for all your essentials that stays safely secured in place until you want to take it out for a night on the town. Don't worry about changing purses for the evening; everything you need is already in place in your pint-sized purse. Remove the purse to find a shoulder length strap hidden inside the back pocket. This pint-sized purse has 2 outside pockets and one inside pocket and it closes at the top with a zipper. Place it back in the tote and you are ready for more shopping tomorrow.
Here is my class at the end of a long fun day of sewing. Every one of them finished the Pint-sized purse that hides inside of the larger tote. The smaller purse uses most every technique that is on the larger tote, so they shouldn't have any problem finishing the tote on their own.

Front of Hidden Treasure Tote
Back of Hidden Treasure Tote with 3 zippered pockets

Front of hidden mini purse
Back of hidden mini purse
Ann, front row right, finished her tote on Monday and sent me these wonderful pictures above. 

Saturday, June 11, 2011


Hello again!
My husband and I are back from our wonderful cruise and seeing our son, Dan. (That's my son in the picture, not my husband) It was so good to see him, he looks great and happy. Isn't that what moms want to know. After being so busy right up to our departure date, it took me about 2 or 3 days to finally get really relaxed. The cruise stopped in Cozumel, Mexico; Belize; Isle of Roatan and Grand Cayman Island.
I have to share one special day we had with you. It was my birthday on Thursday of the cruise and we were on the Island of Roatan which is a beautiful island off of Honduras. My husband rented us a cabana for the day and we had a ball. I am not a beach person, but I could get used to it if I had a place like this every time.

There is an air conditioned room and a front porch on our cabana. We also had our own hammock.

 Two more lounge chairs on the beach, 2 floats for the water AND A WAITER! The waiter got our drinks for us as we lounged on the beach.

These pictures above where all taken from our private beach area. All I can say is WOW, honey thank you so much, it was a blast.
We even had transportation to and from the beach to the pier via a "Magical Flying Beach Chair" shown below. (a.k.a. chair lift)

Back on the ship, Dan was able to give us a tour back stage and show us were he works and what he does. I love seeing all the behind the scenes activities. One of Dan's consoles is in a perch above the stage and just happens to be right above the dancers changing station. I think I have an idea why he is so happy with his job!

When we got home our daughter, Carol,  greeted us at our house with a birthday cake "of sorts" for me. As a part time job Carol is a balloon twister and entertains children and adults with her awesome works of art.
Here I am modeling my birthday cake. My hands are in that position because it's a good way to hide the double chins. I tried to look cheery after a 10 hour day of driving.
Ok, that's enough fun for now. I will be back soon with pictures of quilt symposium.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

It has been a very busy couple of weeks for me. Not only was I finishing up the Ursula & Emily details, like letting my distributors and retailers know about the new pattern, I was writing yet another pattern for the North Carolina Quilt Symposium.

Last fall I was asked to teach at the North Carolina Quilt Symposium which is held the first weekend in June this year. I was thrilled at the opportunity to teach at such a big show. Now, I could have taught any one of my bags at the symposium, but, NO, I had to design a brand new tote bag.

No. problem, I had 9 months to work on it! Well, life has a way of intervening. I had already started on the Ursula & Emily Purse so that was on my plate. I have been sick on and off since November with a nasty cough, (still trying to figure out what that's all about), we had the holidays, travel to CT to see my parents in December, and then travel again to be with my mother when she was back in the hospital again in Feb. I took the month of January to learn Adobe Illustrator graphic program so I could draw better diagrams for my patterns. I had classes scheduled to teach for Ursula & Emily that I had to cancel because I wasn't ready. Can you hear me whining as I write this?

You can stop feeling sorry for me know (as if you were), because I finished writing the new tote which is still unnamed, AND on Friday morning, my husband and I are leaving for a week long cruise on the Caribbean.

Or son, Dan, works on the Carnival Cruise ship "Legend" out of Tampa Bay, Florida. He is the automation technician for the entertainment shows on board. Mike and I are so excited to go, not only do we get to go on a cruise, but we get to see our son.  We haven't seen him since January and only get to talk with him once a week when he is at port in the US. It doesn't hurt that we are getting a great rate, too, because Dan can get us a discount. I will tell you all about it when I return. 

I also have to tell you what great friends Ursula and Kathy are. They have volunteered to test my newest pattern while I am away on my cruise. Now that is above and beyond the call of duty! I promise to bring them a souvenir tee shirt:)

For today, I am posting a few pictures of the Ursula & Emily purses that were made by my students at Bernina World of Sewing in Raleigh. The "real" Ursula was in the class and her picture is below along with my friend Kathy.

Here is my friend, the "real life"  Ursula. Below are 3 pictures of her adorable Ursula Purse showing off a favorite kitty cat fabric.    

This is my friend Kathy with her zipper section as a hat. Sorry, Kathy, but you are adorable!  Below is a picture of her completed Ursula Purse complete with zipper section.

The 4 pictures above are Emily Purses made by my student Nora. She made one in class and one at home and used a corduroy fabric for each of them. Great Job!!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Ursula & Emily Continued

Today is the day! I added Ursula & Emily Purse to my website for sale. It is almost like delivering a baby, not quite as painful, but pretty exciting. I think it took me about 9 months to get it together too!

 I told you a few days ago all about the front of Ursula so now is time for the back. This time with real photographs. The back of Ursula and Emily for that matter, has one large slash pocket all the way across the back of the purse. A perfect place to keep your paperwork and receipts. I am amazed that I can fit everything that I need in this purse. As I mentioned before I usually carry a larger purse, but I think Ursula (my friend) is on to something here liking a small purse. I don't seem to throw extra junk into my purse anymore and I am more organized. Inside the purse there is another zipper pocket with a small patch pocket in front of it. On the other side there is a large patch pocket that can be divided into 2 or 3 smaller pockets. That makes this a small purse with 8-10 total pockets (depending how you divide them)! I think that's very exciting!

Emily, is Ursula's alter ego. In real life my friend will use Emily as the name she gives when she is signing in for a restaurant reservation or leaving her name for a food order, because most everyone knows how to spell Emily, but not as many know how to spell Ursula. As far as the purses go, the only difference between Ursula and Emily is the handle choice. Emily has two shorter handbag handles, while Ursula has one long adjustable one.

If you have read this all the way through, you deserve a prize. If you order Ursula and Emily before May 15th, 2011, I will include 3 free notions, 1 magnetic snap (your choice of color), 1 vinyl pocket and 1 buckle. Here is the catch... since I don't know how to add a special discount code to my website, you will need to type in the comment section at checkout, "FREE NOTIONS", and then tell me what color magnetic snap you would like.
Tell me what you think of Ursula & Emily!

Thursday, April 28, 2011



Available May 1, 2011

My friend Ursula has been lobbying for several years to have me design a small purse. She likes to carry a small purse with an adjustable handle that she can wear across her body or over her shoulder. Of course, she still wanted all the pockets and zippers that I have on my other purses, but in a small package. 

What's the saying about persistence (A.K.A, nagging)? Well, she finally wore me down. Not before she put me to shame and actually made her own version by using some of my techniques from my previous purse patterns.  Ursula made an adorable purse that gave me the push I needed to design a small purse. 

I started thinking about what I would want in a small purse. I am usually a big purse lady that likes to fit everything AND the kitchen sink into a purse. How does 8 pockets with a zipper closure at the top sound? All in a 10 wide by 7 1/2" tall package. It's hard to carry a small purse and a bulky wallet, so I added underneath the front flap, 6 credit card pockets and a vinyl pocket for your ID.  The zipper pocket above the front flap is wide enough to hold your paper money. Two side pockets are great for your glasses, phone and even a small bottle of water will fit inside the pocket.

To be continued...(I'll tell you all about the back side and lining of Ursula and who Emily is!)

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Where Does All The Time Go?

I am crawling out of my cozy cave, (I must have some bear in me) to say hello! In my cave I have been designing 2 new patterns. The first one called Ursula and Emily will be out May 1st and the second one I think is going to be called Double Duty Tote. That was just a tease, I will have pictures and more details coming this week.

Cincinnati Quilt Festival
I recently got back from helping out my friend Sandy, aka Hissyfitz Designs at the Cincinnati Quilt Festival. This quilt festival used to be in Chicago, but changed this year to Cincinnati. I wanted to go so I could check things out and see if I wanted to have a booth at the Houston Quilt Market and Festival.

I had so much fun checking out every one's cute tote bags and purses as they walked by. Sandy and I tackled and pulled into her booth anyone who was carrying a Professional Tote and told them that I designed that bag, I was even asked to sign an autograph. Sandy had to bring me back to earth as I was feeling pretty special.

Valerie White & Professional Tote

I noticed a gorgeous red, black and white Professional Tote go by and I pulled Valerie White into my booth to admire it. She mentioned that her friend, Bennie Mann, had made the purse for her as a gift and was so excited to meet me that she had to call Bennie right there and then so I could talk to her. Come to find out Bennie Mann makes marvelous purses and has one of her creations in this month's Haute Handbag Magazine. I had to take a picture of Valerie and her beautiful tote.
Rita Jackson, Me & Lynn Mill

Rita Jackson and Lynn Mill both from the Windsor, Canada area stopped by to show me the Professional Totes Rita made for herself and Lynn.

Sandy and I had a great time with lots of laughs and I think I might, just might have to have a booth in Houston. Hope to see you there.