Friday, August 22, 2014

How to Make a Quilt

My latest book, How to Make a Quilt is now in print! What a treat to find a box of 12 copies in my mail when I arrived home from our three-week vacation in the San Juan Islands in Puget Sound!

Published by Storey Publishing, How to Make a Quilt is one of several books in their Storey Basics series. This 5 x 7" paperback book is 120 pages of step-by-step directions that will help a beginner learn to quilt, as well as serve as a helpful reminder for those who have made quilts but want helpful reminders. 

What's Inside

The book includes simple-to-follow illustrations and easy-to-follow directions for each of the basic steps, including pattern and color selection, block assembly, quilt-top assembly, simple quilting, and finishing steps. It's handy to keep by your sewing machine or tuck into your tote to take to quilting class. This is my third book for Storey, and as always, the experience working with them has been a stellar one.

The book includes directions for Log Cabin piecing with suggestions for a few Log Cabin projects. The chapter on learning how to make patchwork blocks includes directions for making 12 different sampler blocks using different techniques. You'll also find directions for turning the blocks into a small wall hanging (or table topper). You will use these techniques over and over when making other quilts and quilted projects.

At a price of only $9.95, this little book makes a great gift for crafty friend. I hope you will check it out at and enjoy using it or giving it as a gift. Until next time, 
Keep on Sewing and Smiling,

PS If you are looking for a special tote pattern to make for carrying supplies to sewing or quilting classes, be sure to visit my pattern store at
Check out The Quilted Carryall--my best-selling tote pattern--for a roomy 8-pocket bag!

Friday, May 30, 2014

Travel On...With Quilted Tote Bags and More

It's that time again to plan your summer travels and if you are thinking of stitching up a travel bag or two, you'll find several perfect patterns in my pattern store at One of my travel bag patterns is selling up a storm right now. My Quilted Travel Tote is a wonderful bag tote with lots of room and plenty of pockets and is a wonderful carry-on bag and it's my topseller right now. It's designed so you can use it as an open-top tote, too. When you unzip, the zipper panel drops down inside. One of the outside pockets also has hidden zipper for security and there's an inside zipped pocket too! Directions are included for quilting your own fabric so you can make this bag reflect your own taste rather than settling for what's available in quilted double-sided fabric.

The Terrific Travel Tote

For a similarly styled travel tote made from unquilted fabric, check out The Terrific Travel Tote. It's really lightweight when sewn in outdoor fabric, or super stylish in tapestry or a decorator print like the one shown on the pattern cover. It has the same pockets and zip-top as the Quilted Travel Tote, making it a lighter version of the quilted one. Great to fold flat and pack in your baggage and then to tote all your goodies home from your trip.

It's Beach Time!

Travel to the beach in style and comfort with my Sew 'n' Go BeachMat Tote & Pillow. Unzip it at the sides and out it folds to a quilted mat. There's a matching pillow that fits inside the zipped tote for your comfort, whether you're lounging in the sand or poolside at your hotel. And there's plenty of room for other beachside accouterments. An outside pocket is perfect for small items!

Get Organized!

Use the three small bags in my latest pattern to pack and organize small items in your carry-on or your sewing tools for sewing and quilting classes. The Iron Caddy opens to reveal an insulated pressing mat that's the perfect size to keep by your sewing machine for quick pressing jobs with your mini iron or tacking iron.

Carry Me Tote with Handles

Ditty Bag

Iron Caddy /Pressing Mat
Pressing Mat with Mini-Iron

Happy Summer Sewing...

And remember that almost any tote bag you make can double as a travel companion. Check out my other tote bag designs and my quilt and other patterns in my Craftsy pattern store at:

Have fun sewing for your travel time and keep on sewing and smiling!
Until next time,

Thursday, May 15, 2014

A New Bag Pattern...Finally!

It's been a long time since I made a new bag pattern...and it took me a long time to finish this one. Too many distractions, including a vacation to Maui (poor me), a trip to Colorado for Easter with my Mom and family, illness, and now trying to find an Adult Family Care home for my husband's mom, who will be 100 in July! She fell and cracked ribs and can no longer live in Assisted Living, so the search is on for home that will be a good fit. I've also been taking a year-long mixed media art class, which has absorbed lots of time and revealed that I have more artistic talent then I every allowed myself to realize. I'll share some of that work in another upcoming post, along with a story about a very young Canadian girl who is winning quilting awards!!

So, back to my pattern. I've been wanting to stitch up some small bags for organizing sewing tools and handwork, and an iron caddy that would work for a craft-tacking iron as well as for packing my flat iron when on the go. The new pattern, Quilted  Sewing and Travel Organizers fills the bill. As with all of my patterns, this PDF pattern is available in my Craftsy pattern store at:
Quilted Sewing and Travel Organizer Bags

 Use this trio of quilted bags to stash your hand-sewing tools and craft iron so you can grab them and go when you're headed to sewing class or  appointments where you may have a little time for handwork. All three bags are made from quilted double-faced fabric and have pretty ribbon tassel pulls attached to the zipper pulls. All require a coil separating zipper--which facilitates bag construction and makes it possible to open the iron caddy to make it into a pressing pad. Here's the scoop on the three bags included in the pattern.

Ditty Bag

Ditty Bag

Finished Size: 2" x 5" x 7"
This little bag is super-quick to sew; the separating zipper is the key to making it easy to construct. It's the perfect size for your scissors, needles, thimble, measuring gauge, and any other small tools you want to keep together and close at hand. Use it when you travel to organize charger cords or other small items in your suitcase or carry-on.
Carry Me Tote

Carry Me Tote with Handles

Finished Size: 13-1/2" x 7" x 2-1/2"
This little bag is the perfect place to tuck your handwork, plus the Ditty Bag with your hand-sewing tools. It opens wide, making it easy to pack and then find what you've tucked inside. You can tuck your mini-iron in too, for sewing class or to use when staying in a hotel room. The tote is also a great travel companion for organizing small items in your carry-on or checked luggage.

Insulated Iron Caddy/Pressing Mat

Finished Size: 5" x 14" closed
                         10" x 14" open 

Use this multi-purpose caddy to pack a small craft iron for sewing class or tuck your flat iron and other small hair items  inside when traveling. There's room for other hair items too. Unzip it to reveal a padded pressing mat to keep by your sewing machine and to use at your table during during sewing or quilting classes. It's also good for small touch-up pressing jobs in your hotel room. Lined with silver-coated fabric for ironing boards, the caddy includes a layer of insulated batting too.

Insulated Iron Caddy/Pressing Mat

Unzip the Caddy to reveal a pressing mat to use with a craft iron.
Also use with your mini iron at the sewing machine.
Until Next time,

Keep sewing and smiling...and happy travels. Check out my Quilted Traveler's Tote in my Craftsy store, too. It's been on the Craftsy Leader Board this week. As the weather warms, I think lots of people are thinking about upcoming vacations and sewing bags stash their stuff while on the go!



Sunday, January 26, 2014

Just for the Yin & the Yang of It...A Mug Rug Set

I Almost Forgot to Post These!

Earlier last year, I started taking Yoga at a wonderful studio in Vancouver, WA. Walking into Shanti (peace) was like coming home to myself, for not only is its staff warm and welcoming, they also provide opportunities to explore your soul purpose, in addition to teaching you how to use your breath to support, understand, and move your body in ways that support you physically and emotionally. I started Yoga on my Dr.'s recommendation to help with chronic low back pain, and it has been immensely helpful.

My experiences at Shanti were a good reminder of Yin and Yang. As I've known and accepted for a long time, life is a field of opposites, both light and dark, and they complement each other. "They are essential to life," as my meditation teacher says and "Life is a dance of light and dark." From darkness comes illumination if we are willing to look for it. The ancient Yin and Yang are symbols for this, and are typically drawn with a circle of the opposite color in the "head" of the paisley motif, showing that light and dark are within each other. Because the two are identically shaped, they nestle into each other, completing the circle of life. For me they are a symbol of learning to be at peace with all that life offers up.
The Yin and the Yang of It Quilted Mug Rugs

For Valentine's day, I substituted a heart in each one, signifying the importance of learning to love all of life--the light and the dark! Then your soul finds peace. As quilted mug rugs, they made the perfect gift for my Yoga instructor, who at the tender age of 35 is one of the wisest women I know! She has blessed me with her powerful presence, her love, and her compassion and continues to do so every week. Blessings to you, dear Heather!

The mug rugs are super easy to sew since there are only two simple shapes to applique with fusible web. I did simple rows of quilting around the shapes, letting them run off the edge as necessary. Sized at just 6" x 9" each, the mug rugs take minimal fabric. You can use them as small wall hangings, too. I'm happy that others like my design--in the past two days, I've sold two of the PDF downloadable patterns for this design in my Craftsy pattern store:

Be sure to check out the other PDF patterns in my Craftsy store. There are mug rugs for many seasons and reasons, plus placemats, table runners, quilts, and tote bags--over 75 in all! Have fun shopping!

Until next time,
Keep on sewing and smiling!

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Oh My Stars...A Wonderful Quilt to Sew for Baby

If you are looking for a special design to sew for a baby, consider Oh My Stars! It makes a lovely wall quilt for baby's nursery, stitched up in pastels or in brighter colors. The quilt pattern is available as a downloadable PDF at my Craftsy pattern store:
Oh My Stars Sampler Quilt by Barbara Weiland Talbert

My original design features nine different star blocks--great for a beginner to make as a sampler quilt while learning basic quiltmaking techniques.

Each block is surrounded by sashing strips and then assembled to make the center of the quilt top.

The fun and finishing touch is the piano key border with small star blocks at each corner.

 Last year, I received an email from a customer who had purchased my pattern and was making it for her new granddaughter, due in January 2014. Chris needed help because she wanted to change the design by adding a fourth row of star blocks and wondered about how much more fabric she might need. We had several lovely e-mail exchanges and I asked Chris to share photos of the quilt when she had finished it. Yesterday, she sent me photos of her beautiful quilt and said I could share them here with you! I love this first "atmospheric shot" she took outdoors. She did an outstanding job of choosing bright cheery colors and her workmanship is beautiful. I am sure her granddaughter will treasure this bit of stitched-up love!
Oh My Stars Sampler by Chris Wenzel 
This view more clearly shows all of the colorful fabrics Chris combined, plus the three extra (and different blocks she added, which are all in the bottom row (if my eyes are not tricking me). Star blocks are similar but different, so it's difficult sometimes to tell "which to which" as my cousin said when he was young! Kudos to Chris for this beautiful quilted keepsake! Lucky baby!

If you love applique quilts, you might want to consider this design. Barnyard Babies been a popular pattern with quilters looking for a baby quilt to stitch. The sashed setting is fun and fusible applique makes the blocks easy to stitch up. Of course, you can do hand applique if you prefer! As with all of my patterns, this one is also available at my Craftsy pattern store:

Barnyard Babies by Barbara Weiland Talbert

As always, I would love to see any quilts you make using my patterns! My email address is featured in all of them!

Until next time, keep sewing and smiling!

A Valentine's Mug Rug for Friends and Lovers

Here's my latest pattern offering--just in time to sew for Valentine's Day. What fun it would be to use these for a special Valentin'es Day Tea with your best friends! The design is so simple that stitching it up in batches takes no time at all! 

This design features the age-old folk-art symbol--the heart-in- the-hand. 
The "hand" is actually a pretty ruffled glove, trimmed with ruffled lace and ribbon. Fusible appliqué makes this little mug rug a cinch to sew in minutes! Make a set for yourself and several to send as sweetly stitched valentines to show your love for special friends--your love--your family.
Here's My Heart Valentine Mug Rugs
As with all of my patterns, this one is a downloadable PDF, which you can purchase from my Craftsy pattern store at:
Happy stitching and Happy Valentine's Day!

Until next time,
Keep sewing and smiling!

Monday, December 9, 2013

A Better Skater's Waltz Holiday Wreath

The more I looked at it, the Skater's Wreath I showed you in the previous post, the less I liked it. Back to the store for more greens plus a $10 wreath (originally $25). Now I'm truly happy with the results.
I call these "Good, Better, and Best."


Here's the one I showed you in the tutorial posted a few days. Scroll down to the previous post for the how-tos and a different version of this idea.


Here's the second version with more greens and another spray of poinsettia. Now it has better balance! I just tucked the pieces in behind the ones already "tied" to the skate and anchored the new ones to the old with a green twist tie. Much better!


And finally, I added the wreath behind the skate,  "tying" the skate to the wreath with another twist tie. I used another long twist tie to fashion a hanging loop on the back. I think this is the best--with lots more presence on our front door!

What do you think? Actually, I'm happy with either Better or Best!

Hope you're not too cold--it is frigid here in Washington state--unusually so. BRRR. Reminds me of living in Colorado, Wisconsin, and Maine. I'll take rain over this, to be sure!

Wishing you happy holiday preparations!