What makes a quilt shop fun?

I recently started a new job as a regional sales manager for Quilting Treasures. It’s all about the fabric, baby! I get to go to quilt shops every day and talk about fabric. Yep, I’m a kid in a candy store.

I’ve been very fortunate to edit sewing and quilting books the last 6 years. I’ve also been blessed to be able to design my own patterns over the last 2 years. Now I have yet another great way to express my love of all quilts. I’m one lucky dog.

My territory is the northern half of California, Nevada (except for Las Vegas), Idaho and the western 2/3 of Montana.

About half of the shops I visit are in California and I live in the Bay Area, so that’s nice. Most of the Nevada shops are in the Reno/Tahoe area, which isn’t far for me. I have family in Idaho and lived in Missoula, MT as a kid, so I have a deep affection for this gorgeous part of our country.

I spent the past week in southern Idaho. It was snowy and windy, reminding me of my hometown in Washington state. I visited some very cosmopolitan quilt shops, some independent one-stop sewing/crafting stores and a few thriving quilt shops in homes and outbuildings.

I have a fresh appreciation for the ingenious, endearing, intelligent and persevering nature of the independent quilt shop owner.

Owning a successful quilt shop must be like running a night club, a hair salon, a school, AND a store. It’s all about creating a welcoming community for your customers. What a talented group of women (and a few men) I am meeting.

Do you know an impressive quilt shop owner?

What do you like about the shops you patronize?


Modern pillow pattern

Quick modern pillow – pattern available


This fab pillow is made using 5 fat quarters of Terra Australis 2 fabric from Ella Blue (due in stores in September). Of course you can use any fabric you like. But seriously, don’t you this fabric is amazing?

The pillow pattern available. It’s a great project for a beginning quilter or home sewist. The cutting and piecing is very basic. It’s a slip-cover, so no zippers or buttonholes required!

The pillow top is quilted in straight lines – easy peasy!

I’m setting up my Etsy store, so for now, just shoot me an email if you want a hard copy or downloadable PDF.

For those of you in the Bay Area, I’ll be teaching this class at Intrepid Thread in Milpitas, CA , October 3rd.

If you haven’t discovered Intrepid Thread yet, I promise that you will LOVE it! Julie carries modern quilt fabrics at great prices. All of the inventory is online, so you don’t need to be in the Bay Area to indulge yourself.

Don’t you love projects that give you instant gratification?

3rd Place! Modern Quilts Unlimited contest


I received some wonderful news a few days ago. One of my quilt block designs placed 3rd in the Modern Quilts Unlimited magazine modern block challenge. I am so excited!

I’ve never entered any quilt show or contest before, so I tried not to get my hopes up. When the publisher called to say I had placed third, I was ecstatic. They announced all the finalists names on Facebook on August 15th: www.facebook.com/ModernQuilts

The magazine, which is a sister publication to the wonderful Modern Quilting Unlimited, will publish photos of the 12 finalists’ blocks in the September issue. The top 3 finishers (including little ‘ol me!) will have their quilts published in an upcoming edition of the magazine, so I’m not sure if our blocks will be shown in the September edition. 

My quilt will appear in the April ’14 edition of the magazine. I am busy selecting the best fabric to use so I can get started. 

I am sorry I cannot show you the block design they selected, or it would disqualify my entry. Suffice it to say that I did not submit a basic nine-patch design. 🙂

I will keep you posted as I travel along this new journey. Thank you for sharing it with me!



Test block for Esther

Test block for Esther

I made this block as a test block for Esther of ipatchandquilt. She’s in the Netherlands and designs some amazing paper pieced quilt blocks. She was looking for someone to proof this pattern.

Like a fool, I thought I could make it a little better by dividing the sections further and alternating sections with light and dark fabrics. Esther correctly predicted that matching all 16 points in the center of the block would be problematic and Yes It Was!

Still, I loved the way it turned out. Just a little messy in the center, but we here at SewMessy don’t really care about that! 🙂