Designer Spotlight: Create Kids Couture

create kids couture

Looking at the patterns by Create Kids Couture, you can’t help but smile. The patterns are adorable, the fabrics they chose are perfect and the models are the best part. We recently had the pleasure to sit down with Shannon and Tiffany to learn more about what inspires them.

An Interview with Create Kids Couture

Qw.com- Your business is a partnership. What roles do each of you play in CKC?

CKC- Actually, we both do everything! We did have set roles, but then we realized if something were to happen to one of us, Create Kids Couture would suffer because we didn’t know how to do each other’s job! Most of our time these days is spent managing our staff. We have a wonderful staff of 20 stay-at-home moms and one dad to help make CKC what it is today!

Qw.com- How would you describe the patterns you make?

CKC- We started out Create Kids Couture with boutique style clothing patterns for girls. We’ve stayed true to the boutique style, but we’ve expanded to include boys, dolls, tweens, womens, womens plus, and even dogs! We also just started doing some home goods patterns. We have over 400 patterns to choose from on our website.

create kids couture

Whitney’s Ruffle Neck Romper Sewing Pattern

Qw.com- How do you find inspiration for your patterns?

CKC- Our daughter’s have been our main source of inspiration from the start. As they have grown and their style is developing and maturing, our style changes to accommodate them because they are the main reason we started sewing! Nothing is better than spending all day sewing a dress and having your daughter love it!
We do have other designers working on patterns under us, and they all have a different style from us. We love it! When CKC started growing and we saw the following we were getting because our patterns were easy to follow, we knew we wanted to make it sort of a one-stop shop for PDF patterns.  We knew we couldn’t do that if we didn’t grow with our customers and offer more styles.

Qw.com- Many of your patterns incorporate mixed prints. What advice would you give to someone for choosing fabrics for a project?

CKC- This is a great question! Honestly, when we started out we stuck to a lot of fabric lines. It’s so easy to mix and match prints within a line. When you do it often enough you get familiar with what colors you like and what colors you think go well together. You also learn what prints mix and match well so you start to do it on your own. What we love to do is use a nice large, bold print for the main dress and then tiny, complimentary prints for the ruffles, straps, etc. It really allows you to highlight each piece in it’s own way!

create kids couture

Natalie’s Ruffle Butt Romper Pattern

Qw.com- Where do you find your adorable models?

CKC- When we started we were lucky enough to have our daughter’s at home to photograph whenever we needed them! They dominated our site and there was no question that they were our daughter’s! Now they will both be in school full-time this year, which will make it a little harder to get the photos we need. Luckily for us, the addition of all our amazing new designers is that they all have daughters! Between us all there is no shortage of girls. Additionally, we have some amazing testers with great taste and cute children so our website is a cuteness overload of dogs, babies, and children!

Qw.com- What kind of pattern do you enjoy designing the most and why?

CKC- We are probably best known for our girly, over-the-top, ruffled designs. Our patterns were very distinguishable because there was no shortage of ruffles! We toned it down since we started because our daughter’s tastes changed, but our staffs with the younger girls are keeping it going and we love them for it! Tiffany and I have been doing a lot with knits lately because that’s what our daughters like and, after all, that’s why we started sewing.

Qw.com- As pattern designers, what is your biggest challenge? 

CKC- Choosing just one pattern to make! Sometimes, I will just be so overwhelmed with ideas I can’t even concentrate on one of them.

NancySignature

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Quilting Workshops and Lectures Part 4

quilting workshops and lectures

“Hunter’s Star” Workshop Taught by Peggy Gelbrich

Savvy quiltshop owners and guild members know the value of lining up quality teachers for quilting workshops and lectures. A good teacher can offer so much to a quilter who is looking to enhance their skills. This is part four of our series that includes quilting workshops and lectures taught by some of our super talented and designers here at QuiltWoman.com.

Quilting Workshops and Lectures Part Four

Peggy Gelbrich- Yellow House Quilter

quilting workshops and lectures

A long time quilter from Yamhill, Oregon, Peggy loves both designing and teaching using her quilting skills. Peggy teaches across the United States and Canada and got her start when she and her family lived in Alaska. She states,”As with most beginning quilt classes we started with a sampler quilt. At that time we used cardboard templates and scissors. Thinking back it’s how our foremothers made quilts and it works. But, thank you to rotary cutters which have made our passion to create quilts easier.” Her Hunters Star (top) class is aimed at confident beginners who will learn how to get perfect points without cutting or piecing a diamond shape. It is an easy construction process and using accurate pressing creates sharp points. 

quilting workshops and lectures

The “Rocky Roads to Kansas” pattern dates back to the late 1800’s. Peggy states “It was most likely named for the arduous journey the settlers made during their trip west.” In this class, students will make a quilt in fabrics representative of the time or celebrate the present with something new. The new quilting methods of freezer paper, paper piecing make this quilt an easy project. 

quilting workshops and lectures

Along with offering several workshops, Peggy enjoys delivering quality lectures. Her “History of Signature Quilts” lecture discusses the way in which friendship and camaraderie are intertwined with quilt making since family, friendship and fundraising brought quilters and non-quilters together to sign their names on quilts, documenting their signatures in history

Peggy loves teaching people how to make quilts. She states, “I love hanging out with quilters and sharing new patterns and ideas. It’s the camaraderie with the quilters that makes teaching so special. It’s a joy to be able to teach across the United States.” For more information about her quilting workshops and lectures, including testimonials from students who have taken her classes, visit her website

Beth Helfter- EvaPaige Quilt Designs

quilting workshops and lectures

Beth has been quilting and designing for 19 years and is primarily self-taught. Now an active designer, lecturer, and teacher, Beth lives with her husband and three daughters in Pepperell, Massachusetts. She describes her design style as “fun over fuss” and loves bringing her lectures and workshops which focus on keeping the fun in quilt making to quilters all over the country. 

“Plays Well With Others” – An inspiring look at group quilt making beyond your basic round robin. Accompanying and decidedly un-basic “Round Robin in a Day” workshop will get your guild working together to create entire quilt tops in record time.

Her popular “Perfection is Overated” lecture is a humorous romp through her own finished quilts that will have attendees ignoring their perceived “mistakes” in quilting and show them how to burn with love for every quilt they create, unmatched points and all. Her “Plays Well With Others” lecture is an inspiring look at group quilt making beyond your basic round robin. According tp Beth, the “accompanying and decidedly un-basic “Round Robin in a Day” workshop will have guild members and other quilting groups working together to create entire quilt tops in record time.”

quilting workshops and lectures

Happy Jacks Quilt Pattern

Beth says “inspired designs and relaxed attitude is what I am all about. Quilting is supposed to be fun, and I have taken it upon myself to keep it that way. Because I have a hard time getting in a box, my patterns feature a little bit of everything: innovative slicing and piecing techniques, vibrant colors, scrappy joyous fun, fanciful machine applique, fun embellishments, forgiving designs with few matching points, and whole lot of fun and inspiration – because that is what quilting should be about.”  Go here, for more information on her quilting workshops and lectures.

If you enjoyed reading about these teachers, see more of our blog posts featuring teachers who travel and deliver some amazing quilting workshops and lectures.

 

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More of Our Favorite Quilting Workshops and Lectures

Quilting Workshops and lectures

Pave the Way Quilt Pattern

Are you a guild member or a quilt shop owner in search of quality quilting workshops and lectures? Maybe you are an avid quilter or an eager beginner? Read our latest post on quilting workshops and lectures you should not miss!

Reeze L. Hanson- Morning Glory Designs

Midnight Posies Block of the Month Quilt Pattern

Midnight Posies Block of the Month Quilt Pattern

A lifelong sewer and a college speech teacher, Reeze Hanson discovered quilting more than 20 years ago. Reeze lives in Ottawa, Kansas with her husband, critters and impressive fabric stash. Still teaching college full time, Reeze has a busy schedule of teaching, designing, lecturing regionally and nationally, and vending at regional quilt shows. 

Quilting workshops and lectures

August Gladiola Quilt Pattern

She is well known in the area for teaching and lecturing widely on computer aided design using EQ7. In addition to her work as a digital artist, Reeze also teaches and lectures about Color Confidence for Quilters, finding inspiration in an odd variety of places, as well as discussing (and showing!) her impressive collection of Grandmother’s Flower Garden quilts.  Other course offerings include “Easy Machine Applique,” Seminole Peicing,” “Curved Piecing Without Pins” and “One Patch Piecing Techniques.” See more information on Reeze’s classes here.  

Toby Lischko- Gateway Quilts

quilting workshops and lectures

Mosaic Magic Quilt Pattern

Toby, a resident of Beaufort, MO, has been been quilting since 1985 and designing quilts since 1995. She considers herself a traditional quilter “with a twist”. She enjoys taking traditional blocks and adding her own special flair to create new designs.Her background in Special Education for 25 years makes her an excellent teacher. She prides herself in breaking down techniques into simple steps that cause quilters to say after they take her class “I didn’t think I could do that!”

quilting workshops and lectures

Clover Fields Quilt Pattern

Her lectures feature her rise in the quilting community with a trunk show of that contains inspiring and unique quilts. Some of her lectures include; “Using Mirrors to Enhance and Add Variety to your Quilt Blocks” and “How the Curved Block has influenced my Quilt designs”. She also lectures and teaches a workshop on using EQ7. She teaches a variety of workshops from beginner to more advance techniques in curved piecing, foundation piecing and miniatures. Most of her workshops are technique oriented and she encourages you to go beyond her sample quilt and create your own designs. Find more about Toby’s quilting workshops and lectures here. 

Claudia Lash- Presto Avenue Designs

quilting workshops and lectures

Stars and Stripes Quilt Pattern

Claudia Lash began quilting many years ago and describes herself as obsessed with quilting. She enjoys all types of quilts and all aspects of quilting, including teaching. Her workshops include; “Fusible Appliqué” (Beginners) which focuses on machine appliqué with the buttonhole stitch, “Decorated Blocks” (Beginners or Intermediate)
which teaches participants a positive/negative fusible appliqué technique, and “Free Motion Machine Quilting.” She lives and works in Indiana. More on her workshops can be found here. 

quilting workshops and lectures

Striped Diamonds Quilt Pattern

 Sue Beevers- Trillium Ridge Quilt Patterns

Sue Beevers, who lives in central New York state, loves to teach! According to Sue, “It’s so exciting to watch quilters of all experience levels discover new techniques and new ways of using techniques with which they are already familiar”. Sue is available for guild sponsored events, retreats, and conferences. She particularly enjoys working with workshop sponsors
to tailor a workshop to their distinct situation, and to each participant’s individual needs.

quilting workshops and lectures

Soaring Geese Table Set Pattern

Sue’s ”Curls and Swirls” workshop has been designed for intermediate to advanced quilters. It’s the perfect workshop for students looking for a new way to design contemporary quilts. Her “Monkey Wrench” class introduces students to a versatile traditional block that is often overlooked. Participants explore new and creative ways to
use this block and create amazing contemporary quilts.

quilting workshops and lectures

Sarabande Quilt Pattern

For more information on Sue’s quilting workshops and lectures, visit her website .

Among the many workshops and lectures offered by our designers, we hope you find something that will inspire you!

NancySignature

 

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Designer Spotlight: Barbara Huber Designs

barbara huber

Cape Cod Carry All Pattern

We have long admired Barbara Huber’s clever handbag patterns. As a special treat to you, we are offering her patterns at 20% off for a limited time. Visit QuiltWoman.com to see all of Barbara’s patterns. Recently, I had a chance to get to know more about Barbara and her creative process. Here is what she had to say.

QW.com- At what age did you begin sewing? What was the biggest challenge as a beginning sewer?

Barbara Huber (BH) – I began sewing at about age 13 or 14. My mom is a talented seamstress and always emphasized good technique in sewing. My impatience and lack of attention to detail meant that I spent a great deal of time as a young sewer with a seam ripper in my hand. I am grateful for those lessons learned early on because I would not be the sewer that I am today without great guidance in the beginning years.

QW- You design a lot of hand bag and tote patterns, what inspires you to create them?

BH-I love purses but I don’t always like the prices of purses.  My first pattern, The Knot Handle Reversible Tote, was inspired by an overpriced, poorly made sack that I saw in an upscale shop.  I thought that I could do a better job so I went home, grabbed some muslin and went to work.  I also love the fact that an individual can take one of my patterns and make a bag that is completely unique…a one of a kind.  I always try to include ideas for customizing my bags in the patterns so that each sewer can truly end up with a “designer original.”  I hope that my patterns are just the beginning in a creative process that results in a beautiful project.

barbara huber

Knot Handle Reversible Tote Pattern

QW- If you had more time to sew, what would you make?

BH-I would love to make a Baltimore Album quilt but think that I need to work on my applique before I tackle one.  Maybe when I retire…..

QW- What inspires y0ur designs? Each one is so different from the next?

BH-I find inspiration in many places.  I always carry a notepad with me and if I see an element in a purse or tote that I like, I write it down.  The idea for the Napa Valley Picnic Tote grew out of necessity.  My husband and I enjoy concerts and performances in parks and were tired of lugging a big cooler.  I try to design bags that I would like to carry and that have some unique elements that are interesting and fun to sew.

barbara huber

Napa Valley Picnic Tote Pattern

QW- What are you working on right now? Where are you at in the process?

BH- I always have several projects going at the same time.  One is contemporary quilt that I am making for my daughter and her fiance.  This project is still in the planning stages.  Another is a batik quilt that was a block of the month from about a year ago…I got a little behind!   Most of the blocks are finished but I have quite a bit of work to do on the settings for the blocks.  I always have some hand work around too.  My favorite is wool applique.

QW- What is your favorite quote and why?

BH- “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.” – Winston Churchill.  This quote says it all for me.  It’s important not to get so wrapped up in “getting” that we forget to give back.

barbara huber

Memory Quilt Pattern

QW- What would your perfect day be like? Who would you spend it with? What would you do? Where would you go?

BH- For me, any time spent with my family is treasured.  My son, daughter-in-law, my daughter and future son-in-law all live out of town so when my husband and I get everyone together it is a special treat.  Having everyone at our cottage on Lake Chautauqua in NY is always fun.  We don’t need to be doing anything extraordinary.   Just being together is a perfect day for me.

Thanks so much for joining me for my chat with Barbara Huber!

NancySignature

 

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Designer Spotlight: Interview with Christina McCourt

christina mccourt

Antique Star Quilt Pattern

Christina McCourt’s quilt patterns are great for showcasing fabric collections. Her traditional designs have been widely published in magazines. A long time fan, I couldn’t wait to get to know more about her as a designer and a person.

Designer Spotlight: Interview with Christina McCourt

QW- How did you get started in quilt pattern designing?

Christina McCourt (CM) -I started designing for myself in 2007 when I fell in love with fabric and couldn’t find a pattern for it. I designed something for it. I did this for a couple of quilts. In May 2008, Pat from the Hickory Stick Quilt Shop in Hannibal, MO asked me to design a quilt. It was for the quilt that she has made for a raffle for the Tom and Becky program. After that things just took off. Initially I just sold my patterns to her store. I submitted quilt to magazine also.  To get my patterns out past Hickory Stick I submitted my work to QuiltWoman.com and was accepted.

QW- Tell us more about publishing your designs in magazines. How did you get started in that?

CM- I had help getting my quilt designs out there and published. My first submission was to Quilt magazine. Pat took the quilt to Quilt Market to show around and Quilt magazine liked it.  I also designed the quilt for Pat for the quilt shop spotlight in Quilt Sampler. I had a quilt in Quilting for Christmas and Fabric Trends that were submitted by the fabric company.  After that push I started submitting on my own. I have a quilt in Quilt Almanac 2011 that I submitted. I also was in Quiltmaker’s 100 blocks after designing a block for Volume 3 and 4. Currently I have been submitting to Fon’s and Porter magazine and have had great success with them.

Christina mccourt

Ribbon Pinwheel Quilt Pattern

QW- Do you have a favorite pattern design? Which one and why?

CM- My favorite patterns are Ribbon Pinwheel and Sweet Adelaide. I really can’t decide which I like the best. I like the fact that in both you make one block and when you put them together and you get a secondary design. Love the movement in both.

QW- How do you decide which fabrics to use when designing?

CM- I use fabrics that appeals or “talks” to me. I have been trying to use fabric that is not in my comfort zone. My favorite is Kansas Trouble and Civil War reproduction fabrics. Sometimes I have the fabric and I let it lead me in the design of a quilt. I have quite a few quilts designed but the right fabric hasn’t appeared.

QW- What are you working on right now? Where are you at in the process?

CM-Right now I am working on a quilt for Fon’s and Porter magazine. I am in the piecing stage. It is a scrappy quilt and I am using colors that I normally do not use. It has been fun!

Christina McCourt

Victorian Medley Quilt Pattern

QW- What is your favorite quote and why?

CM-”Put your big girl panties on and deal with it” and “Suck it up buttercup”. Hate whining.

QW- What would your perfect day be like? Who would you spend it with? What would you do? Where would you go?

CM- Right now the perfect day would be on a deserted island. I would be myself for some quality alone time with a book. Hey it’s just for a day. Then back to family time.

christina mccourt

Birds Around the Town Quilt Pattern

QuiltWoman.com is offering 20% off all of Christina’s patterns as a special treat to you. See all of Christina’s beautiful quilt patterns here.

NancySignature

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Our List of the Best Quilting Workshops and Lectures

quilt workshops and lectures

Urban Trilogy Handbag Pattern

Not long ago, we blogged about some of our favorite lectures and workshops offered by QuiltWoman.com designers. So many of our talented designers are also teachers, we decided to feature more of them on our blog. If you are a guild member or shop owner who is looking to bring talented designers to your venue, take note. We do have teachers and they will travel! Here is our list of the best quilting workshops and lectures our designers currently offer.

Lois Johnsen and Shari Migdail-Smith- Kindred Quilters (Rhode Island)

Lois and Shari make up the dynamic team that is Kindred Quilters. Together, they have over 40 years of sewing and quilting experience. They offer both one and two day workshops including a fabulous one day workshop that introduces attendees to “Machine Quilting.” In this 4 hour workshop, topics such as free-motion quilting are thoroughly explored and the teachers promise that you will “completely lose your fear of free-motion quilting by the time you leave our class.”

quilting workshops and lectures

Take it All With You Organizer Tote Pattern

They also offer a workshop on creating their Urban Trilogy Handbag. This sleek, little bag pattern features both shoulder and cross-body wearing. Students learn how to add multiple outer and lining pockets (including two zipper pockets) and magnetic snaps. This pattern has a “trilogy” of variations that allows you to express your own creative story. If you are looking for a longer workshop, their Take It All With You Organizer Bag Class is two 5 hour sessions. Attendees learn how to make this wildly popular tote bag that has over 40 pockets!

Kindred Quilters also offers a trunk show featuring the many sewing patterns they have created, their business history, and a demonstration of the easy, pain free method of creating the zipper pocket used in many of their patterns.  Kindred Quilters also enjoys vending at quilt shows and meeting fellow quilters. If you are interested in learning more about the workshops offered by Kindred Quilters, contact Lois and Shari at info@kindredquiltersri.com.

 

quilting workshops and lectures

Bali Jewels Wall Hanging

 Linda J. Hahn- Frog Hollow Designs (Manalapan, NJ)

Linda’s classes are fun and she has a special knack for making the seemingly complicated easy to understand. She has a passion for quilting that shines through when she teaches. Linda offers classes that teach students how to make her quilt patterns that include the Bali Jewels Wall Hanging which is made from one package of Hoffman’s Bali Pops.

quilting workshops and lectures

Junk to Jems Quilt Pattern

If you are looking for a workshop that teaches students how to use up fabric scraps, the Junk to Jems workshop promises to be tons of learning fun. Linda is the author of two award winning books, New York Beauty Simplified and New York Beauty Diversified and she has had several designs published in magazines. She can be reached at lawnquilt@aol.com.

Michele Scott- The Pieceful Quilter (Deptford, NJ) 

quilting workshops and lecture

Michele Scott’s trademark humor combined with her extensive quilting knowledge make any of her workshops or lectures well worth attending. She currently offers lectures including her new one, “Every Quilt Tells a Story.” Delivered with Michele’s high energy and “done is better than perfect” attitude, she takes you on a journey through her 20 years of quilting. From machine and bobbin quilting to designing for magazines to getting your work published, this lecture is the ultimate compilation of her three lectures.

http://www.quiltwoman.com/Circles-And-Squares-Quilt-Pattern.aspx

Circles and Squares Quilt Pattern

If you are looking for workshops by Michele, you will not be disappointed. You can learn curved piecing in her “Curved Piecing Made Easy” workshop. Using one block (constructed by you), you will learn to sew curves easily and produce a fabulous wall hanging. This technique of using freezer paper is for anyone who wants the speed of machine piecing combined with the freedom to put their seams anywhere they choose. The paper eliminates stretching and accurately marks the seam line making curved piecing (practically) painless. For more information on her workshops and lectures, contact Michele at michele@piecefulquilter.com.

Hopefully you see a workshop or lecture that you can bring to your next guild event or quilt shop. Thanks for joining us today!

NancySignature

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Quilting Workshops for Your Quilt Shop

quilting workshops

Napa Valley Picnic Tote

Are you looking for high quality guests to teach techniques in your quilt shop? The designers at QuiltWoman.com are not only exceptional creators, but many of them are talented teachers. Here are some quilting workshops for your quilt shop.

Quilting Workshops for Your Quilt Shop

Barbara Huber (Buffalo, NY)

Barbara Huber of Barbara Huber Designs is a certified teacher with experience in quilting and sewing lectures as well as hands-on workshops.  As a well-know designer of handbags and totes, her lectures feature tips and tricks for making a professional looking purse including: inserting linings that fit, strap construction, bound button holes, inserting zippers, pockets, and boxing bottoms.  If you want to expand your DIY handbag skills, your should attend one of Barbara’s workshops.

quilting worshops

French Baquette Pattern

Barbara’s lecture demonstrations include highlighting various notions, interfacing, trims, fleece, sewing machine feet, etc. found in the shop she is teaching in. Attendees will leave with a free pattern. For more information, contact Barbara.

Jen Eskridge (Helotes, TX)

quilting workshops

QuiltWoman.com Designer and Author Jen Eskridge of ReannaLily Designs is also a teacher. Her course offering include her Books Lecture and Trunk Show and her Get Published! Lecture and Trunk Show.

quilting workshops

In her Books Lecture Jen discusses and demonstrates her popular facing technique as it is presented in Hexagons Made Easy and Learn to Sew Easy Curves.  Each participant is free to ask loads of questions and see all the projects from each book. In her Get Published Lecture, Jen shares her process for proposing projects, ideas and articles to various different publishers. Her animated style will entertain you while you learn what there is to know about becoming a published author. You’ll see actual digital files submitted, published quilts, free pattern ideas, and hear some hilarious stories. Guild chairs should contact Jen (www.reannalilydesigns.com) to book a date for an upcoming lecture.

Jen also offers workshops including Hexagons Made Easy, The Cube Purse and the Adjustable Apron Workshop. More information can be found on her website.

Patti Carey (Sharon, ON)

quilting workshops

Patti Carey is an Author, Quiltwoman.com Designer and Teacher as well as the Vice President of Public Relations for Northcott. She has lead the marketing/sample department at Northcott since 1986.  She recently published a quilting book, entitled “A Taste of Napa Valley”.  She is a regular contributor to The Quilter magazine and the Fons & Porter group of publications, and has had projects published in several quilting magazines.

Patti offers a wide variety of full-day lectures including Simplified Double Wedding Ring – (using the simplified pattern in her book) Easy Lone Star, where participants piece a Lone star wall-hanging and Fast & Fabulous Bargello Wall-hanging in addition to several more.

quilting workshops

Bar Harbor Quilt Pattern

For those wanting shorter lectures, Patti draws on her experience at Northcott and offers From Fiber to Fabric. In a PowerPoint presentation  Patti describes the design and printing process of quilting fabrics.  Have you ever wondered what to do with those panels, patches, stripes and scenics that you see in the quilt shop or have in your stash? In Interesting Quilts From Unusual Fabrics, Patti uses a trunk show to spark your creativity and fill your head with ideas on how to use those unusual fabrics. For more information, contact Patti Carey. (patti.carey@northcott.net)

quilting workshops

Shimmering Strata Quilt Pattern

Whether it be learning how to construct handbags, gathering information on getting published or spending an afternoon piecing a Bargello wall hanging, you are bound to add valuable skills to your quilting abilities. Stay tuned as we bring you more lecture and workshop offerings from talented Quiltwoman.com designers.

NancySignature

 

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Quilting Workshops You Should Not Miss

quilting workshops

Napa Valley Picnic Tote

Are you a Guild Member looking for high quality guests to speak at your meetings or events? The designers at QuiltWoman.com are not only exceptional creators, but many of them are talented teachers. Here are some quilting workshops you should not miss.

Quilting Workshops You Should Not Miss

Barbara Huber (Buffalo, NY)

Barbara Huber of Barbara Huber Designs is a certified teacher with experience in quilting and sewing lectures as well as hands-on workshops.  As a well-know designer of handbags and totes, her lectures feature tips and tricks for making a professional looking purse including: inserting linings that fit, strap construction, bound button holes, inserting zippers, pockets, and boxing bottoms.  If you want to expand your DIY handbag skills, your should attend one of Barbara’s workshops.

quilting worshops

French Baquette Pattern

Barbara’s lecture demonstrations include highlighting various notions, interfacing, trims, fleece, sewing machine feet, etc. found in the shop she is teaching in. Attendees will leave with a free pattern. For more information, contact Barbara.

Jen Eskridge (Helotes, TX)

quilting workshops

QuiltWoman.com Designer and Author Jen Eskridge of ReannaLily Designs is also a teacher. Her course offering include her Books Lecture and Trunk Show and her Get Published! Lecture and Trunk Show.

quilting workshops

In her Books Lecture Jen discusses and demonstrates her popular facing technique as it is presented in Hexagons Made Easy and Learn to Sew Easy Curves.  Each participant is free to ask loads of questions and see all the projects from each book. In her Get Published Lecture, Jen shares her process for proposing projects, ideas and articles to various different publishers. Her animated style will entertain you while you learn what there is to know about becoming a published author. You’ll see actual digital files submitted, published quilts, free pattern ideas, and hear some hilarious stories. Guild chairs should contact Jen (www.reannalilydesigns.com) to book a date for an upcoming lecture.

Jen also offers workshops including Hexagons Made Easy, The Cube Purse and the Adjustable Apron Workshop. More information can be found on her website.

Patti Carey (Sharon, ON)

quilting workshops

Patti Carey is an Author, Quiltwoman.com Designer and Teacher as well as the Vice President of Public Relations for Northcott. She has lead the marketing/sample department at Northcott since 1986.  She recently published a quilting book, entitled “A Taste of Napa Valley”.  She is a regular contributor to The Quilter magazine and the Fons & Porter group of publications, and has had projects published in several quilting magazines.

Patti offers a wide variety of full-day lectures including Simplified Double Wedding Ring – (using the simplified pattern in her book) Easy Lone Star, where participants piece a Lone star wall-hanging and Fast & Fabulous Bargello Wall-hanging in addition to several more.

quilting workshops

Bar Harbor Quilt Pattern

For those wanting shorter lectures, Patti draws on her experience at Northcott and offers From Fiber to Fabric. In a PowerPoint presentation  Patti describes the design and printing process of quilting fabrics.  Have you ever wondered what to do with those panels, patches, stripes and scenics that you see in the quilt shop or have in your stash? In Interesting Quilts From Unusual Fabrics, Patti uses a trunk show to spark your creativity and fill your head with ideas on how to use those unusual fabrics. For more information, contact Patti Carey. (patti.carey@northcott.net)

quilting workshops

Shimmering Strata Quilt Pattern

Whether it be learning how to construct handbags, gathering information on getting published or spending an afternoon piecing a Bargello wall hanging, you are bound to add valuable skills to your quilting abilities. Stay tuned as we bring you more lecture and workshop offerings from talented Quiltwoman.com designers.

NancySignature

 

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Designer Spotlight: McKay Manor Musers

mckay manor musers

The women who make up the McKay Manor Musers is the focus of our designer spotlight this time. I recently got a chance to get to know more about Sheila McKay, the mother of this mother-daughter team.

mckay manor musers

Quiltwoman.com (QW)- Where did the name McKay Manor Musers come from?

Sheila McKay (SM) – If you happened to get our answering machine when the girls were growing up, you would get the recording – “You’ve reached the McKay Manor – leave us a message after the beep”.  As for the rest of the name, in Greek mythology the Muses were the nine daughters of Zeus and Mnemosyne, believed to embody literature, science, and the arts, thus the goddesses were credited with inspiring creativity, knowledge, and skill. A Muser is someone who inspires creativity in artisans, and an artisan is someone who is skilled at a craft. We believe that inspiration is everywhere and everyone can be an artisan. Our business may be new, but our love of everything crafty goes back for years. We hope our patterns and projects can inspire you and ignite your creative spark.

mckay manot musers

7 Seas Blanket Pattern

QW- What specific roles do each of you play in the company?

SM- Kira and Kayla are the design experts and have really mastered Adobe Illustrator and InDesign – so they create all the drawings and layouts for our patterns.  Kira really has a knack for color and design so we rely on her to choose the fabrics for our designs.  Kayla is the doodler – and the one that comes up with all the whimsical animals – she is also our web master and Pinterest queen.  Sheila has the MBA so she runs the business end and is still trying to figure out how to turn a profit.  We all love photography so we take turns photographing the products for our pattern covers and our website.

QW- Not only are you pattern designers, you also teach. What else do you do?

SM- Kira and Kayla started ‘teaching’ when they were probably in middle school or high school.  We were raising money for our Girl Scout troop and they taught community education crafting classes ranging from knitting to origami to beading.   We also took items we had created to craft fairs – By the end of their Senior year, they had earned enough to go on a cruise – the ‘reward’ for earning their Girl Scout Gold Awards. I still work full-time for Hewlett-Packard gathering and sharing shopper insights for technology products like PCs, Printers and supplies and run the business in my ‘spare time’.

mckay manor musers

Beachcomber Duvet Pattern

QW- Tell us about your new book. What makes it unique?

SM- One of our first set of patterns was called the critter corner collection.  Kira and I visited Yosemite National Park when she was pregnant with her first child and we fell in love with the Park.  Our first patterns were designed after places in the park – it was called the critter corner collection – basically it was little critters peeking out of the corners of blankets.  For example, we had Tioga the bobcat named after Tioga Pass and Tuolumne the Pika (pronounced Two-all-a-me) named after Tuolumne meadows in the NE corner of the park – they are the cutest little animal – kind of a cross between a bunny and a mouse – I actually saw a couple of them last time we hiked up there.   We released nine critter corner patterns and when we were at a show in California we had a couple people who bought all of them – at $9 a piece that was very expensive.  She suggested that we put all of them in a book, which we titled Yosemite Collection, so we did – and we created new projects to put them on.  In the book you will find directions for the original blanket, a bib, a cross-body bag, a knapsack, a pillow, a quilt, a shirt and a three sizes of a tote.  We also put together one large blanket with all nine critters.

mckay manor muses

QW- What advice would you give someone who wants to write a book?

SM- Go for it – based it off of a collection of products with something in common.  Base it off of customer demand.  It was a great learning experience for us – we had never published a book so we learned a lot.  Kira and Kayla bought all the props – many of them at the local thrift store and then they prepped them or painted them to look really cool.  Then they took all the photos and Kayla used her mad design skills to create the whole book.  You are always welcome to contact us with questions – just use the contact us form on our website.

QW- What would your perfect day be like? Who would you spend it with? What would you do? Where would you go?

SM- Wow – I would definitely head to one of our National Parks – they truly are America’s treasures.  I would take as many of my friends and family as possible and of course my camera and I would immerse myself in the experience.  I would capture as many new and powerful pictures as possible and when I got home I would create a photobook or a slideshow to share with all the people that came with me.

To order McKay Manor Musers new book an introductory price of $15.00 ($5.00 off the regular price), click here.  I hope you enjoyed my interview with McKay Manor Muses.

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8 Reasons Why You Should Attend a Quilting Retreat

quilt retreat

Are you considering attending a quilting retreat this Summer? We think you should! Here are eight reasons why…

 8 Reasons Why You Should Attend a Quilting Retreat

1. To Recharge and Relax. Do you need a break from the day to day responsibilities associate with home, family and career? Maybe the idea of “no make-up for a weekend” appeals to you. Quilt retreats are places where you can relax, recharge and escape. Often times retreats offer meals as part of the package price. This means no cooking!

2. To Hang Out with Friends. Imagine being surrounded by your quilting supplies, projects, great food and best friends. “Camaraderie”  among friends old and new is one of the best reasons for attending a quilt retreat. There is sure to be plenty of laughter and inspiration.

3. (Almost) Non-Stop Quilting. Ready to put a serious dent in those “UFOs?” (unfinished objects). A quilting retreat is the perfect place to catch up on your quilting! Although quilt retreats often involve some degree of formal instruction, rest assured there will be ample time to work on your projects.

quilting retreat

Quilters Rule Traveling Ruler Case Pattern

4. Formal Instruction. And speaking of that, many quilt retreats include really good classes often taught by internationally known quilters. It’s the perfect place to learn a new technique and be inspired.

5. Exchanges and Swaps. Retreats often include exchanges such as a “block exchange,” where you create quilt blocks and then exchange them with fellow retreat friends. Finally, the blocks can be sewn together for a memorable souvenir of your time at the retreat. Or, a quilt retreat may include swaps such as fabric swaps which will allow you to purge some of that unwanted fabric stash.

quilting retreat

Quilters love the Camaraderie Retreats Offer

6. Quality Lectures. These are often the most inspirational events at a retreat. Your speaker is usually a well-known quilter who can offer lots of helpful tips and fantastic inspiration.

7. Trying Something New. You love to quilt but you love to try your hand at other things as well. Sometimes retreats will include a craft such as working with mosaics or learning illustration. Many times these new skills can inspire new quilting techniques.

quilting retreat

Quilters Enjoy Creating with Mosaics at a Retreat

8. Beautiful Scenery.  Many times quilters will choose a peaceful, remote setting for their retreats. Being in a beautiful place can lead to relaxation which leads to some very productive quilting.

quilting retreat

Quilting Retreats Hosted by Quiltwoman.com

We asked our Facebook Fans to give us their best tips for preparing for a quilting retreat. This is what some of them said.

Francis- “Bring one project that you have had trouble working on–surrounded by other quilters they will give suggestions on how to remove it from UFO status! (or to give up!)” 

Michelle- “Bring snacks, especially if you are on a special diet, but also for when the kitchen is closed and you need to nurse your chocolate craving. I always take at least 3 projects, usually including one I may not really want to work on just in case I get suddenly inspired. Likewise, I take fabrics, some in case inspiration hits, and some in case I want to exchange with someone. Find out if irons and ironing boards are provided; no sense packing these if you don’t need to. Bring money in case you take an excursion to a local quilt shop and water or a personal water bottle. Do not assume you will want whatever water is available; you might not like the taste.” 

Sonja- “I pre-pack my projects in zip lock bags…along with the matching threads/bobbins etc for that project. And I always bring along a hand stitching project (currently a 1/2 inch hexagon, confetti quilt under construction) …just in case I need a change of pace.”

Have you attended a quilting retreat? What was the best part about it? What do you pack to prepare for a quilting retreat?

NancySignature

 

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