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School of Sewing: Book Trailer & Class Outlines

February 10, 2015

School of Sewing landing page:

I want to share a little today about the School of Sewing landing page! You can find it at It has been up and running and the feedback we’re getting on it is so very wonderful to hear.

Among the features:

  • Watch the book trailer (I dare you to NOT get the itch to teach someone to sew!)
  • Find more projects to sew using in the set of free patterns and tutorials. It’s my list of tried and true favorites!
  • Take a peek inside the book!
  • Download (FREE!) class outlines for each of the 12 projects in the book. If you are a shop teaching a room full of customers or an individual teaching a neighbor… these outlines are just for you! Class prep, supply lists, skills taught, teaching tips… it’s all there!

School of Sewing: Free downloadable class outlines from

I’m loving following along Instagram as beginners learn to sew. In the book and on Instagram, I’ve encouraged people to use the hashtag #schoolofsewing to share photos. Please join the fun as you work through the book!

Here’s a nifty School of Sewing fact to end on….One of the students profiled in the book just made her THIRD quilt! To say I am proud of her would be a gigantic understatement.


The Little Spark

December 7, 2014

The Little Spark by Carrie Bloomston

My children are constantly seeking out opportunities and craving more and more time to simply create and draw and imagine. I love watching them reach for supplies in their beloved “art spinner” when they are armed with the potential of a giant piece of blank white paper.

And yet, I don’t carve out enough time for myself to do the same thing. I get consumed with the day to day and the lists and the “priorities” of our daily family life.

Sound anything like your household?


Three years ago I had the incredible fortune to meet Carrie Bloomston of Such Designs. Having started our sewing pattern companies at roughly the same time, we became fast friends. For the last year, we’ve both been working to finish up our first books. Having these parallels in our lives is a pretty neat thing to share and chat about. And her book is exactly what so many adults need!

The Little Spark: 30 Ways to Ignite Your Creativity is a equal parts visual feast and soul hug. I joke that I wish Carrie lived next door so that she could help me embrace being messy with kid art or force me to try a new skill or hobby when I get a case of the nerves. Since I can’t have Carrie in Kansas City, her book is a amazing substitute.

I cannot recommend this book enough. Truly. It’s a book I honestly couldn’t put down.

For you or anyone you know seeking a more creative life, this is the perfect gift. It’s filled to the brim with images and examples and spots to jot down your own ideas and thoughts. Her words are thoughtful and full of encouragement, the design is inspiring and the 30 little “sparks” cover everything from ‘Take a Class’ and ‘Make a Huge Mess’ to ‘Doubt’ and ‘Trust Yourself.’

Want to peek inside the book? Check out the book trailer here. And you can pick up a copy here or ask for it at your local bookstore.

Because it wouldn’t be a book party without a giveaway, Carrie’s giving away FIVE copies of the book! Just head over here to leave a comment on her post by December 9th.

I hope a copy of The Little Spark finds its way to your house and that you “fall into the hole in the page” like I did.


30 Quilts for 30 Years: The Parallels Quilt

November 23, 2014

Parallels Quilt Pattern // By Elizabeth Ancell for Empty Bobbin Sewing Studio

It’s no secret that I love (LOVE!) sewing with Kona solids from Robert Kaufman Fabrics. There’s a Kona sample in nearly all of my sewing patterns and Konas are featured in over half of the cover samples. The colors and selection and sheer number of options keep me coming back time after time! My Kona color card is definitely one of my most used sewing tools.

This year, to celebrate the 30th Anniversary of Kona, RK invited 30 different designers to be included in a special Look Book called “30 Quilts for 30 Years”. The second I was contacted, I knew I wanted to feature a quilt from the pattern book Parallels, which was designed by Elizabeth Ancell and published with my pattern company.

Parallels Quilt Pattern Book- a modern quilt pattern designed by Elizabeth Ancell for Empty Bobbin Sewing Studio

Parallels is a book featuring six different quilt designs (in six sizes each!) and Elizabeth and I included several samples in it made entirely of Konas. The quilt at the top of this post is the “Slingshots” design from the pattern book.

My mom was the tester who made that sample and she commented several times about how quickly it came together. Elizabeth really has such a clever and thoughtful way of constructing quilts. If you’re not familiar with Elizabeth Ancell’s work, I highly encourage you to check her out!

Parallels Quilt Pattern Book- a modern quilt pattern from Empty Bobbin Sewing Studio

This design, “Slingshots”, is made from Kona Blue, Valentine, Salmon and Shale with the binding in Berry. My daughter would very much like to grab this quilt and keep it!

If you’d like to grab a copy of Parallels pattern for yourself, ask for it at your local fabric shop! If instant gratification is your thing, you can find a PDF version here. If you’re a shop owner, check out the kitting info on the RK site!

Have you seen the other quilts and designers in the 30 Quilts for 30 Years tour? Check out the full schedule here (Pssst! There’s a giveaway at each stop!). Each quilt is so unique in design and color selection. I have really enjoyed reading and looking more closely at each. I keep coming back to this one, called Bartow by Carolyn Friendlander:

Bartow Quilt by Carolyn Friendlander

It’s so, so stunning.

Be sure to check them all out:

Week 1:
Saturday, November 1st: Johanna Masko
Sunday, November 2nd: Alyssa of Aria Lane
Monday, November 3rd: Dorie of Tumblingblocks
Tuesday, November 4th: Megan of Canoe Ridge Creations
Wednesday, November 5th: Daniela of Cozy Quilt Designs
Thursday, November 6th: Faith of Fresh Lemons Quilts
Friday, November 7th: Anita Grossman Solomon
Saturday, November 8th: Debbie of Esch House Quilts

Week 2:
Sunday, November 9th: Alex of Teaginny
Monday, November 10th: Darlene Zimmerman
Tuesday, November 11th: Nichole Ramirez
Wednesday, November 12th: Rita Hodge of Red Pepper Quilts
Thursday, November 13th: Lee of Freshly Pieced
Friday, November 14th: Julie of Jaybird Quilts
Saturday, November 15th: Latifah of The Quilt Engineer

Week 3:
Sunday. November 16th: Elizabeth Hartman
Monday, November 17th: Erica of Kitchen Table Quilting
Tuesday, November 18th: Karrie of Freckled Whimsy
Wednesday, November 19th: Valori Wells
Thursday, November 20th: Marilyn of Quilt Moments
Friday, November 21st: Cortney Heimerl
Saturday, November 22nd: Shayla and Kristy of Sassafras Lane Designs

Week 4:
Sunday, November 23rd: Shea of Empty Bobbin Sewing
Monday, November 24th: Carrie Strine
Tuesday, November 25th: Rachel of Stitched in Color
Wednesday, November 26th: Liz of Lady Harvatine
Saturday, November 29th: Carolyn Friedlander

Week 5:
Sunday, November 30th: Elizabeth of Don’t Call Me Betsy
Monday, December 1st: Emily of Carolina Patchworks
Tuesday, December 2nd: Ken Kaufman
Wednesday, December 3rd: Grand Finale!



Kona Cotton New Colors for 2014 // Robert Kaufman  Fabrics

To celebrate the Look Book for the Kona 30th Anniversary, Robert Kaufman Fabrics is giving away a Kona charm pack of the new colors for 2014! AND, to sweeten the deal, I’ve thrown in a copy of the Parallels pattern book, too. One lucky winner will receive both! Yahoo!

To enter, tell me the Kona color that you love most. (Do you love Pond? If so, we can be best buds.) This giveaway will be open for 24 hours, so leave a comment on this post and I’ll randomly select a winner Monday 11/24 at noon.  

Thanks for stopping by!


Optical Illusions: a book, a quilt and a giveaway

November 14, 2014

Optical Illusions Book- Quilt Patterns

Welcome to my stop on the Optical Illusions book blog tour! Today I’m sharing a little about the work of a guild friend, Jessica Toye. Jessica is a pretty clever quilt designer (check out this one and you’ll see what I mean!) and also a long arm quilter. She recently quilted two quilts for me for the Parallels pattern book!

Check out Jessica’s quilt in the Optical Illusions book. It’s called Water Ripples and is a variation on the snowball block. Jessica used the Kaleido-Ruler for easier cutting and placed those fabrics in such a smart way. I love squinting at this quilt until it blurs. Try it yourself. I’ll wait here….

Water Ripples Quilt by Jessica Toye from Optical Illusions

Fun, right? It’s always neat to see the subtle changes that can be made to traditional blocks or fabric placements and choices that can use a block in such unique ways. Optical Illusions is full of quilts like that.

As part of my stop, leave a comment for a chance to win a large AND small Kaleido-Ruler set by Marti Michell! To enter: Tell me if you’ve ever used a specialty ruler before! Easy as that. I’ll randomly select a winner at noon on Monday, November 17th. (UPDATE: This giveaway has closed! The winner is Michele! Thanks to all who entered.)


Be sure to check out all the stops on the tour for a variety of prizes:

Nov. 3

My Stars – Kick Off

Deb Rowden

Nov. 4

My Stars

Angela Walters

Nov. 5

My Stars

Penny Layman

Nov. 6 

My Stars

Melissa Corry

Lily’s Quilts

Fat Quarter Shop

Nov. 7

My Stars on behalf of Mary Kay Fosnacht/Karen Hansen

Nov. 10 

My Stars

Jamie David

Nov. 11

My Stars

Tia Curtis

Elizabeth Timmons

Tammie Schaffer

Nov. 12

My Stars

Katie Larson

Nov. 13

My Stars

Jenifer Dick

Trisch Price

Nov. 14

My Stars

Jessica Toye

Jacquie Gering

Shea Henderson  (You’re here now!)

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