Thursday, January 31, 2008

Laptop Purse Finishing Kit available now

By popular request, I now have Finishing Kits available for the Laptop Purse.

Having experienced how hard it can be to find the proper supplies for a project, I have put together a kit containing the zippers, strapping, and other hardware needed.

Because I ordered in bulk, I am able to price the kit at a very reasonable $15. That's less than the price it would be at the large chain crafts stores and you don't have to run around finding everything!

Zippers are currently available only in black; other colors are on order.

Free Block of Month pattern for February

The pattern for February's block, Cherries, has been posted. This is a great block for hand or machine appliqué.



Monday, January 28, 2008

A new pattern for Laptop Computer Carriers

I'm excited to announce my newest pattern — Laptop Computer Carriers. The pattern includes two styles of laptop carrier:

  • A simple-to-make zippered case with an outside zippered pocket

  • A super laptop purse with zippered closure, four outside pockets (one zippered), and three open and one zippered inside pockets.

    This pattern was inspired by my daughter's request for a laptop case for Christmas. She is in law school and carries her laptop in her backpack along with her books and everything else. She wanted something simple that would protect her laptop but still fit in the backpack as she didn't want to carry another bag.

    We designed the Laptop Case for her and made it from the fun Olivia fabrics. It turned out really well! She wrote me this note: "Thank you so much for my computer bag. I will think of you every time I pull it out!" What more could a mom ask for?

    Easy-to-make laptop case has an outside zippered pocket.

    The zippers in these cases are SO easy to insert and easy-to-apply bias binding finishes the inside edges.

    Easy to apply bias binding finishes the inside edges.

    Since I was so pleased with her case, I decided it was time to get rid of my staid ol' black laptop bag and make something fun for myself. I wanted all the bells and whistles, so designed more of a purse-type bag with plenty of pockets to hold files and all the extras.

    Laptop purse has four outside pockets and one zippered and three open inside pockets.

    My Laptop Purse has lots of inside and outside pockets and hand-carrying handles plus an adjustable, detachable padded shoulder strap. I even included a back strap so that I can hook the purse on the handles of my rolling luggage when I travel.

    Laptop purse has adjustable and detachable padded carrying strap and back strap to fit over handles on rolling luggage for easy carrying.

    Don't you know someone who would enjoy a fun new purse or case for carrying their laptop computer? You can use your favorite fabrics and colors and make something really special.

    To make it even easier for you, I have found sources for the perfect zippers (sturdy and with large pulls) and all the necessary hardware for the cases. I will have Finishing Kits available soon on my website, so be sure to check that out.

    You'll find more info at my website:
  • Travel in style and comfort

    When I started traveling to quilt shows around the country with Superior Threads, I noticed that Bob and Heather had these cushy little U-shaped neck pillows that they took along on every trip. They'd pull them out as soon as they got on the plane and soon they'd be sleeping like babies — while I tried to rest as my head bobbed and fell onto my neighbor's shoulder.

    Heather finally let me borrow her pillow on one flight and I was hooked! Filled with microbeads and covered with a soft, plush fabric, the pillow has enough "give" to be soft and flexible while still providing good support. I bought myself a pillow in a handy plastic carrying case and it's the first thing I grab when I go on a trip.

    When the handles on the plastic case started tearing, I decided it was time to make a new carrying case — something out of fun fabrics that would look better than plastic! And, of course, I wanted some pockets on the outside for carrying my boarding pass and snacks, and room inside for a bottle of water and a book or magazine.

    Cushy neck pillow makes traveling enjoyable. Handy zippered case has space for pillow, book or magazine, water bottle and more.

    My new pattern Travel Set includes complete instructions for the pillow and carrying case and also includes a bonus pattern for some cute luggage tags.
    A hidden pocket on the back of these sturdy 3" x 5" tags holds a business card or other ID card for private and secure identification of your luggage.

    Hidden pocket holds ID for private and secure identification of your luggage.

    I made pillows, carrying cases, and matching luggage tags for all of my family for Christmas. For the gals, I used pretty fabrics. For a more masculine look for the guys, I used black cotton duck. I embroidered their monogram or name on the center of the pocket and used a coordinating colorful fabric for the handles, binding, and luggage tags.

    You'll find more information and pictures at my website:

    Purse Organizers and more

    Organize and beautify your bag quickly and easily with these fun little projects. Designed with no binding, zippers or buttons, they can be made in just minutes.

    A great use for your fabric and batting scraps, you won't be able to stop with just one. Treat yourself and a special friend today!

    The pattern includes complete, easy-to-follow instructions for four projects:

  • Moveable Purse Pockets (in three sizes)

  • Calendar Cover

  • Mini Electronics Case

  • Tissue Cover

    I love the little Mini Electronics cases — I made one for my MP3 player and one for my digital camera. If I had a cell phone, I'd make one more!

    Great for gifts, these projects really can be made in a half hour or less. For more info and pictures, visit my website:
  • 2008 Block of the Month: free patterns!

    One of the fun programs in my local quilt guid is the Block of the Month (BOM). Each month we publish a pattern and members are invited to make blocks. They bring their finished block to the next meeting and put their name in a drawing. (They get one chance for each block that they make.) A name is drawn and the lucky winner gets to take home all the blocks to make a quilt.

    Members are also encouraged to make a block of their own to put together into a quilt. We'll have a quilt show of the finished quilts made using any of the BOM blocks at our first meeting of the next guild year. It should be fun to see what people have done.

    A friend and I were asked to design the blocks for the 2007/2008 year. We decided on a seasonal theme, with blocks to represent each month of the year. We each made a quilt from the blocks and came up with entirely different colors and settings.

    I used the blocks as a border around a central medallion in which I embroidered this quote by Laura Ingalls Wilder:

    "It's the sweet, simple things of life which are the real ones after all."

    Simple Things version of block of the month quilt

    I used country colors for my quilt, but also designed it using the Marthas Vineyard line of fabrics designed by Susan Branch for RJR. It gives it an entirely different look, don't you think?

    Block of the month quilt designed using Marthas Vineyard fabrics

    Karen added strips around each block and set them in four rows of three blocks each. I don't have a photo of her quilt, but it looks something like this:

    Karen's version of block of the month quilt

    I thought that visitors to my website might enjoy making these blocks, too, so will post a free pattern for a new block each month. You can find it at

    Please remember that the free patterns on my website are for personal use only and should not be copied. If you'd like to share the patterns with a friend, please forward a link to my site to them. I'd love for them to visit my site and perhaps do a little shopping while they are there!

    Patterns will be posted at the beginning of each month, so be sure to check back monthly for the new pattern. If you sign up for my newsletter, I'll let you know when the new blocks are posted.

    Happy stitching!