Christmas and Bellingrath Garden Christmas Lights

It’s almost Christmas and while visiting family in Mobile AL last week, I toured Bellingrath Gardens to see the Christmas lights.  This has been on my to do list each year so I decided this was the year! I grew up in Mobile, but never visited the gardens except when I was too small to remember.  You know how it is, when you travel, you take in everything you can, but ignore the things close by.  Seeing the Christmas lights was so special and spectacular and may become a new tradition each year! I felt like the kid in the candy store with all the beautiful colors and sparkling lights. It was much, much more than I expected.

Bellingrath Gardens Gingerbread lights

These are a few of my many photos and they do not do justice to the lights at all. Another beautiful scene was around every turn.

Hummingbird Flower Bellingrath GardensBellingrath Gardens Raggity AnnAndy

One of my favorites was walking “under the sea” with all the sea creatures – seahorses, crabs, fish, turtles, seaweed and much more.

Bellingrath Gardens UnderSea

Bellingrath Gardens Seahorse

The alligators in the lake were really great as were the giant lily pads and water lilies close by.

Bellingrath Gardens Alligator Lights

Trees surrounded a large park area and had large snowflakes hanging over them. This is just a small section. It was so beautiful, I had to stop a few minutes and just take it in.

Bellingrath Gardens Trees Snowflakes

Our tour began with a large circular butterfly garden filled with giant butterflies.

Bellingrath Gardens Butterfly Garden

Bellingrath Gardens Swans Lights

Gardens of  giant flowers were all over!

Bellingrath Gardens FlowersBellingraph Gardens Holly lights

I know the kids loved this train. I did and loved the reflection in the lake. The wheels turned and the puffs of smoke moved.

Bellingrath Gardens Train

There were manger scenes, both of lights and regular, but my photos were blurry due to rushing as so many people were taking pictures of them.

After we finished our walk, (almost 2 miles according to my Fitbit), we went into the gift shop. We talked with an employee who told us that 6 women work on setting up all the lights, including using a cherry picker to put lights in the huge trees. They start on September 1, and finish the day before Thanksgiving. Each year, some of the displays are replaced so it’s not the same each year. All the displays are made at Bellingrath Gardens.

If you are anywhere near Mobile from Thanksgiving until the beginning of the year, you should stop by and see the spectacular lights. You won’t be disappointed! In fact, you will be fascinated.

Merry Christmas!


Enjoy Christmas Quilting with a Winter Top Hat Snowman Quilt

Christmas is in the air!  I returned home from Thanksgiving to see beautiful Christmas lights throughout my neighborhood. Our tree is going up this weekend. I’m also in the mood for Christmas quilting and sewing and as a result designed this Winter Top Hat Snowman quilt pattern. This is about the only way I can get cozy with snowmen as it doesn’t snow much here and when it does, it’s not enough to make a nice size snowman that doesn’t start dripping immediately.

Winter Top Hat Snowman Quilt PatternThis pattern is pieced with appliqué noses. Buttons are used for embellishment for the eyes and mouth. The size is 47 1/2″ x 60 1/2″ and can be easily adjusted to make it larger or smaller. Now what kid (or adult) wouldn’t love a snowman quilt to snuggle with to stay warm!

The pattern for Winter Top Hat is available in both my Craftsy and Etsy shops for easy download so that you can get started immediately.

I hope your December is filled with the wonder of family and friends, along with some cherished quilts!


Wholecloth Quilts – Easy to Make for Great Gifts

Spoonflower is great for purchasing fabrics that you can’t find anywhere else for yardage as small as a fat quarter or for cut and sew projects. I recently opened a Spoonflower shop with many of my fabric designs and I’m continuously creating more. I also created wholecloth quilt tops that are easy and quick to make as a 42″ x 36″ quilt. You can also cut them apart for the blocks or use as a center panel of a larger quilt. These quilts are also great for a beginner quilter. Coordinating fabrics are available for each quilt.Love a Nurse Quilt Top

Love A Nurse quilt top is available in light blue and pink color choices.  Red, navy blue and yellow choices will be available in less than 2 weeks. These quilts make a thoughtful way to show your appreciation for a nurse and all that they do. Just make your quilt sandwich, quilt and add binding and it will be finished.

Kitty Cat Wholecloth Quilt top Spoonflower

I created this Kitty Cat quilt as a quilt pattern that is available in both my Etsy and Craftsy stores in a larger size appliqué quilt.  The fabrics were from my Purr-fect Balance fabric collection available to quilt shops. I used the art to create the Kitty Cat wholecloth quilt top for Spoonflower for those who want to make the quilt without creating the appliqués for the cats.

I have several other quilt tops in my Spoonflower shop am in the process of quilting them. I love the size for quilting with my sewing machine and hope to finish them before Thanksgiving. The weather has turned cool enough that they feel good on my lap while sewing the bindings.

I wish you a wonderful and safe Thanksgiving and time with people you love!


Time for Christmas Quilting

It’s hard to believe that Christmas is just around the corner, and that Thanksgiving almost here. I think that the weather staying warm later this year has made me feel that the holidays are getting here so much more quickly than normal. However there is still time to make a quilt for Christmas, whether for yourself or for a gift and I will be sitting at my machine this week. These quilts are a few that I have designed for Christmas.

Christmas Stocking Quilt Pattern

This Christmas Stocking quilt makes a cute quilt for children to snuggle under. It can be made as a scrap quilt using different scraps of fabric for the different sections of the stockings as well as using your precut fabrics.  The size of this pieced patchwork quilt is 47″ x 58″ but can easily be adjusted to make it larger or smaller.

Holly Christmas Quilt

Holly is a natural at Christmas for decorating. This Holly Christmas quilt can be used each year to go with your holly decorating.  This quilt pattern gives two options, the full quilt or a smaller quilt using the center panel.  The pattern provides instructions for both to give you double use. Make one for yourself and one to give away. The full quilt is 68″ x 84″.

Christmas Tree and Bows Quilt Pattern

This Christmas Tree quilt is made dimensionally with the leaf sections of the tree sewn to the quilt top at the top point of each leaf. The leaves  hang loose at the bottom edge.  Bows are appliquéd in the border.  This quilt is 28″ x 32″ and can be made from your scraps or precut fabrics.  Red ribbon is used for the bow at the top of the tree.

These patterns as well as other Christmas quilt patterns are available in both my Craftsy and Etsy stores as downloadable pdf’s so you can start quilting immediately, without a wait time for shipping. The weather has been nice enough to be outside some but isn’t it more fun to be inside quilting than raking leaves?

Happy Quilting!



Spoonflower Design Challenge – Bohemian

I’m asking a favor, which I hate to do, but here I am doing it!  I entered the Spoonflower Design Challenge for the Bohemian theme using one of my new fabrics that I posted in my new Spoonflower shop, PhyllisDobbs. This is my first time to enter a challenge.  The shop is a work in progress as I’m continuing to add new fabrics as well as cut and sew projects.  Anyway, I would love and appreciate any votes for this challenge. You can vote at the top Spoonflower link.  My entry is below.

Mod Floral Damask Deco Turquoise

Along these lines, I want to show a couple of other things from my shop – cut and sew aprons using this fabric in 2 color selections, Turquoise and Gray.  These aprons are printed and ready to cut out and it’s all on a yard of fabric.  They are easy to make and have full instructions. They make great gifts, put style in the kitchen and are also great for a beginner at sewing.

Cut and Sew Aprons Phyllis Dobbs

I hope you have a nice weekend filled with sewing or quilting.  And if you vote for my design, I really appreciate it!


New Fabrics and Quilt Patterns that are going to the Cats!

With the heat and high humidity this summer, I have been staying inside and working on new fabric patterns as well as quilt patterns. This is the best way to stay cool, in my opinion and much more fun!

Kitty Cat Applique Quilt Pattern

I love cats and want to show you my latest quilt pattern, Kitty Cat Gallery. The quilt is 51 1/2″ wide x 59 1/2″ high and is made with 16 blocks of appliqué cats. This multicolor quilt can utilize your scraps or precut fabrics. This pattern is available in both my Craftsy and Etsy shops. This quilt is also available in a smaller size, 36″ x 42″ as a whole cloth quilt top in my new Spoonflower shop. (Dog lovers, I have a wholecloth quilt top coming soon with delightful dogs!)

I am excited to have opened a Spoonflower shop, PhyllisDobbs, with these fabrics, with more to come in a few days. Creating fun and colorful fabrics is at the top of my list of favorite things to do!

Spoonflower fabrics PhyllisDobbs

In my Spoonflower shop, I am also creating cut and sew aprons as well as wholecloth quilt tops. Both the aprons and quilt tops are easy to make and are great for a beginning quilter or sewer. They also make quick and fun gifts. I am sewing on my first aprons and quilt top to finish this weekend and will post them.

It’s all about making fun things while staying cool! How are you staying cool? What are you creating?

Happy Sewing or Quilting!


Modern Quilting – a Visit to Savanna for Quiltcon

How time flies!  It’s hard to believe that its been a month since I attended Quiltcon in Savannah, the annual conference for the Modern Quilt Guild. It’s an amazing event – a beautiful quilt exhibit, vendors with irresistible merchandise, and fabulous classes. There is a lecture series that lasts all day each day with really talented speakers. In addition to all of this, there are demonstrations going on with other speakers. There is not a minute to spare while at Quiltcon but it’s so much fun. This is the 2nd year that I attended with my talented friend, Robin Pickens. We both walked around like school kids with our eyes taking in every bit of color and knowledge we could soak up.

Between lectures, we visited the vendors and shopped. I bought some of the most gorgeous fabrics while there.  I love fabric and couldn’t resist.  Here is a sampling of my fabric purchases.

Fabrics purchased PDobbsFabrics purchased PDobbs

In addition, I bought these heavier weight gorgeous fabrics for embroidery. The hoop is a new design that has a spring going around the edge to hold the fabric in place so that the small screw isn’t needed. The hoop came from French General.

Embroidery floss and hoop

Here are a sampling of the many fabulous quilts that were on display from the challenges.  The one below, Lead the Way,  is by Juli Smith of San Diego and was entered in the category of Use of Negative Space. The technique used was machine piecing. Juli loves geometry and wanted to explore things on the diagonal.

Lead the Way quilt Juli Smith

This quilt, Bling, by Katherine Jones of Chigwell, Tasmania, Australia, was amazing and won Best in Show. The technique used was paper piercing. The design was inspired by a princess cut diamond.

Bling by Katherine Jones

Lincoln by Kim Soper of Huntington NY, won first place for Improvisation quilting. At the end of the show, it had been voted People’s Choice Award. The quilt was developed out of a desire to create an entirely improv-pieced, recognizable image without use of template, paper-piecing or appliqué.

Lincoln KimSoper

Not Easy Being Green, by Mary Keasler of Chattanooga, TN, won Best Machine Quilting, Frameless. Mary began the quilt by making small 4 patch blocks with left over hand dyed fabrics then decided to add strips in a log cabin effect.  Then she added white for negative space for a really stunning design.

Not Easy Being Green

Diamond in the Rough, by Christa Watson of Las Vegas, loves creating quilts in black and white with a pop of color. Her quilting with matching threads emphasizes the geometric design of the quilt.

Diamond in the Rough Christa Watson

Shibori, by Amy Friend of West Newbury, MA, was designed using a technique that she calls improvisational paper piecing. The design was inspired by he veins of a leaf, sketched improvisational. She created a paper pieced template and used the original block and its mirror image to create the layout. To me, this quilt looks very Art Nouveau.

Sibori quilt Amy Friend

These were just a small sampling of all the wonderful quilts exhibited. Modern quilting allows for so many variations in quilting to make each one different and unique. And one of the main themes of modern quilting is that there are no rules.

And, for one more of my purchases at Quiltcon, I bought a Juki sewing machine, a workhorse for quilting and sewing. I like it because it does free motion quilting so well and is so simple and easy to use. My friend Robin and I both bought one and I am so happy to add it to my studio!

Juki sewing machine

Next year, Quiltcon will move back to the west coast to Pasadena and I can’t wait to attend again.

Happy Quilting! Do it your way!


Stars and Stripes Waving Flag Quilt to Show Patriotism

Cuddle in this Stars and Stripes Waving Flag  quilt to celebrate your patriotism. This quilt pattern in red, white and blue fabrics is easy to sew to give you a quilt to display all year, for patriotic holidays, or give as a gift to a veteran or someone in the military.

Stars and Stripes Waving Flag Quilt pattern

This quilt is a good size for a lap quilt, wall hanging, or for cuddling. The size of 56″ W x 44″ H  can easily be adjusted for a larger or smaller quilt. The chevron zig zag stripes in an assortment of red and white fabrics give this quilt a fresh modern look. Using both piecing and appliqué methods to construct, this quilt pattern has a wide blue band on one side with appliqué white stars. The pattern has full step-by-step instructions, charts, color diagrams and a full size star pattern.

This Stars and Stripes Waving Flag pattern is available online from Craftsy as well as Etsy as downloable pdf’s.

May our flag forever wave!


ArtBizJam Artist Retreat in Gatlinburg, TN, the Smoky Mountains

We are excited to announce new and exciting details for ArtBizJam, 2016. Enjoy the beautiful fall colors of Gatlinburg, TN in the Smoky Mountains for our 4th annual art business retreat to be held October 5 – 9.  We will be  high in the mountains with a gorgeous view, but only minutes away from Gatlinburg.

ArtBizJam 2016 locationWe are also excited that Susan January will be joining us as a guest instructor!  She is the Vice President of Product Management of Leanin’ Tree, a 65+ year old manufacturer of greeting cards and gift products.  Everyone who knows Susan, knows that she is a guru with her knowledge of the greeting card industry! She is going to share her experience and much more and how it relates to artists over the 3 days of classes at ArtBizJam.

Lori Siebert, Cherish Flieder and myself, will conduct classes with relevant topics for your business to succeed and grow in a variety of ways. You can turn your art business into your dream business! In addition to the business classes, there will also be creative time to ignite your creative spark with rejuvenation and relaxation. There will also be fun surprises and much laughter! You will return to your studio recharged, inspired, with new friendships and ready to create magic with your art business!

ArtBizJam artist retreat

We would love to have you join us! Read more about it at ArtBizJam. Reservations made by June 20, 2016 will receive an early bird special of a free portfolio review by all the instructor (a value of $95).  Spaces are limited so please book early. We will be happy to answer any questions that you may have.


Sew a Bunny Apron for Easter

If you are stuck in the kitchen cooking for Easter, why not make it fun wearing this bunny apron? This apron will delight kids of all ages with the bunny pocket.

Easter Bunny apron pattern

This half apron made with this Bunny Apron Pattern is 33″ W and 21″ H and can easily be adjusted to another size. Buttons and embroidery floss embellishments are used for the bunny face. It can quickly be sewn for Easter or for everyday use in a couple of hours. The bunny pocket can be made without the bunny adornments.

Aprons are so trendy, you can wear it as a fashion statement while hiding the Easter eggs!

This apron pattern is first in a coming series of Special Occasion apron patterns and is priced so low you can easily buy one for each occasion.

Happy Sewing and Happy Easter!


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