Archive for November, 2011

“Modern Blocks” Book Giveaway

November 28, 2011

Just in time for the holidays, I am giving away a copy of Modern Blocks: 99 Quilt Blocks from Your Favorite Designers. If you haven’t seen this book, you can read more about it on my November 13th post. To put your name in the hat for the drawing, simply leave a comment about quilting or fabric. (If, like me, you are still recovering from too much pie during Thanksgiving and need some ideas: Do you like working with solids, prints, or a combination best; do you like working on one project at a time or multiple; what colors are you most drawn to right now.)

Next Sunday, December 4th, my daughter with the assistance of our newest family member Audrey (see my last post), will draw the winner’s name from the hat. The winner will be announced here and then contacted via e-mail for mailing info, so stay tuned!

New News: A New Store, New Pattern, New Kits

November 21, 2011

There seems to be a lot of new going on in my life, right now – new online store, new pattern, new kits, new dog …

Audrey, 8 months old

After much back and forth over the course of the last 18 months, I have finally opened an online store on Big Cartel. During this time, I spent a lot of hours going back & forth – Etsy vs. Big Cartel. In the end, I opted for Big Cartel for several reasons, including it was fairly easy for someone with a severe case of technophobia (like me) to set up; its clean design; and a very responsive customer support staff. Hopefully, this will make it a bit easier to shop although customers can still call (630-810-0585) or e-mail ( me to place an order via credit card or personal check. New items in the store will be announced here and possibly added to the ever expanding sidebar at the right. The store will also have a limited amount of fabric for sale – right now, selected Marcia Derse fabrics are featured.

If you are in a similar boat about where to sell your handmade goods, talk to friends and others who sell online, read forums, and check out the sites themselves. This great blog post by Brigitte compares three of the big online sites, Etsy, Big Cartel, and Storenvy.

In October, I released a new quilt pattern, “Avenue.” This is the first in a series of small quilt patterns that are intended to be portable enough to tuck inside a purse or brief case to work on wherever your busy life takes you. “Avenue” finishes up to about 9″ x 11-1/2″ so it is small enough to work all by hand or you can combine machine piecing with hand quilting. If you have never given machine quilting a try, this is a perfect project for experimenting with that technique as well.

“Avenue” is available as a pattern only or as part of a kit that includes all fabric (for quilt front, back, and rod pocket) and batting – this makes a great gift, too, for other quilters. The kit is available in two colorways – the one above and the one below:

By the way, relative to the Etsy vs. Big Cartel decision, I don’t always take a lot of time to make important decisions. For example, we (my family and I) decided to adopt our 8-month puppy, Audrey, from a shelter in about 2 minutes, even though we had never had a dog before. Surprisingly, she has fit into our household fairly quickly and has been most helpful in unforeseen ways:  My son practiced his presentation for his Spanish class in front of her – it was on the Running of the Bulls in Spain, a topic that got her particularly excited and crazy as puppies sometimes get (I’ve learned). We thought it was a good sign that the presentation brought out so much emotion; in the end, he got an “A” on the project. Audrey was also able to bring quick closure to a dramatic situation in my 11-year old daughter’s life (where most things have a dramatic spin these days)  with a few swipes of her tongue across my daughter’s face. I was slightly jealous of Audrey since I had just spent 10 minutes trying to talk about the situation without much progress. In the future, I will simply call in Audrey and step aside while she works her magic!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Just Published – Modern Blocks: 99 Quilt Blocks from Your Favorite Designers

November 13, 2011

I am pleased to say that Modern Blocks: 99 Quilt Blocks from Your Favorite Designers, a book I contributed four blocks to, is now in bookstores and quilt shops!

I own a couple of quilt block books and the thing I love about them is that they are a great source of inspiration – the block design is there, now you get to play with it from a color and layout standpoint. Block books can also force your hand to experiment with new techniques or fine tune others; you can just make a single block without committing to a large quilt.  That said, as a designer, when you design just one block, you do have to think ahead to how someone can take this single block and turn it into a wall hanging or something larger like a bed quilt.

Here are the four blocks I contributed …

Checkered Fields. A side note here – If you buy the hard copy of this first printing of Modern Blocks, you just might have something valuable in another 50 years or so. The designer was misidentified here as Angela Yosten, rather than me. It has all ready been corrected in electronic versions and will be corrected in the next print run, so better get your copy now!

Open Book.


Seeing Double.

So, I suggest you pick up a copy of this book from your local bookstore or quilt shop and start experimenting! If you live Chicago’s western suburbs, Anderson’s Bookshop has the book in stock as does the Quilt Basket in Downers Grove.

Please stay tuned for a giveaway of this book within the next month.

Happy sewing!