Sunday, May 3, 2009

Sew Excited!!

Yes, I'm so excited! I just opened the box containing my very own copies of my very own book! The Quilting Answer Book has landed and is available at bookstores, quilt shops, and online. To order online, go to

It's so much fun to see such a big project come to such lovely fruition. Working with the folks at Storey Publishing was a stellar experience for me as an author--on the other side of my usual place on the editor's fence!

Signing Books in Colorado
I'll be traveling to Colorado this month to help my mom following wrist surgery--and I'll be visiting the Great American Quilt Factory on May 23rd from 10:00am to Noon to visit with quilters and autograph copies of my book. If you live there or know a quilter who does, let them know! While in Colorado, I'm looking forward to reconnecting with a colleague from days gone by. I haven't seen Carol Ann Waugh, now an art quilter, with whom I worked at Butterick Publishing in the early 1970s. Check out her website to see her wonderful art quilts!

Save Our Planet
After watching Oprah's recent "green" show and witnessing the disastrous heap of garbage floating between our West Coast and Japan (90 miles deep at places), it became even more obvious to me how important it is for all of us to do our part to save our planet and all who inhabit it. Plastic bags are one of the worst offenders, trapping, encasing, and strangling our wildlife.

Add to the impact of that show, my first-ever trip to a local dump--my husband and I took rotting lumber from an old shed to a local transfer station for transport to the landfill. Midway through our dump, a large garbage dumpster backed up on the opposite side of the container truck into which we were disposing of the rotted wood--which will decompose. As we stepped back to avoid the stench, I watched with dismay at the amount of garbage just one truck holds--and at the things that rolled out that could have been placed in home recylcing bins.

I felt bad for all the times I took the easy way out in the past and just put things in the garbage rather than keeping a recycling bin on my porch. I do recycle now. When I looked to my right, I saw one of the container trucks in the yard with a big sign that read, " Half of the contents could have been recycled."
It should say "should have been recycled." As a result of that sobering trip to the dump, I came home and made a set of 5 cotton canvas tote bags to keep in my car, using my Magic Tuck Market Tote pattern. Of course, plain Jane canvas has no place in my life. I embroidered the pocket for each tote with a favorite fruit or vegetable motif. My Bernina artista 730 made it so easy!! Here are the finished totes.

FYI: I'm w
orking on a "tote-torial" that shows you how to adapt the Magic Tuck Market Tote to a canvas tote with embroidered (or not) pockets. You will find it at

What makes this a magic tote, you ask? Well, it has a
special tuck in the bottom that allows for a flat bottom when you stand it up to load it with your shopping goodies, but when you're not using it lies flat with the bottom tucked up inside as shown in these two photos.

I hope you'll
consider making lots of these totes to keep in your car for your shopping trips. A set of four or six would make a great gift for each of your friends and encourage them to recycle.

Here are closeups of four of the embroideries on the totes:

Until next
Keep sewing and smiling!