Interview by Terrys Fabrics, England

I just received this interview that Terrys Fabrics Co, UK conducted with me and am delighted to share it.  Thank you to Terrys Fabrics!

Courtesy of: Terrys Fabrics UK

For the top 5 choices above, Number 2 is from Lori Siebert Studio Blog, and number 4 are tea towels from Robin Pickens.


The In’s and Out’s of Designing and Licensing!

Do  you want to know more about the in’s and out’s of either designing or licensing?  I was delighted to be interviewed by Monica Lee in her video series Smart Creative Women. In the interview, I discussed my career of over 25 years. I talk about some of the many, many things that I learned over the years in the business of designing and licensing. And it has been a very rewarding career, especially from the view of doing something that I really love and in getting to be creative on a daily basis.

I hope that you will check it out.  But warning, you need to understand the “southern” way of talking! Thank you to Monica for the interview!


Upcycle – Create a Decorative Pillow from Pants or Other Clothing!

If you are like me, you have a lot of clothing hanging in your closet that you no longer wear. But there is something you still love about these pieces – the color, fabric design, etc. Repurpose or upcycle it to give it a new life. I repurposed a pair of capri pants made with fabric that I loved into a decorative pillow for a guest blog post on FaveCrafts for Earth Week. I had never worn these pants and think that I bought them just for the fabric.

Upcycled decorative pillow by Phyllis Dobbs

Although I chose to make a decorative pillow, you can make many different type projects using this technique. I added detail to the pillow top by sewing multiple wavy lines of both non-metallic and metallic Gutermann threads vertically to quilt the fabric to a piece of cotton batting.  I used different shades of both turquoise and coral threads in addition to a black thread. I also sewed turquoise, red and yellow beads randomly and to the flowers. Please visit the FaveCrafts blog post for full tutorial instructions as well as additional photos.

Close up detail of upcycled pillow by Phyllis Dobbs

In addition to your closet, you can locate fabulous finds at thrift stores or yard sales to repurpose. I’m a fabric junkie so I always keep my eyes peeled for fabrics, as well as sweaters and other items I can sew into something else or use in other type of crafts.



Interview by BluPenny for Sketchbook Story

One of the best things about traveling to trade shows and events is meeting people who I’ve talked with via social media and forums.  At the Surtex show last year, I met Cindy Ann Ganaden in person. She is a fellow artist and author of the BluPenny blog. She publishes a Sketchbook Story series in which she interviews artists on their inspiration, how they use it to create sketches and finalize into art.  The art is then licensed for various products.BluPenny Blog
Cindy Ann just interviewed me and posted the interview for the Sketchbook Story in which I show my inspiration and results. I used my cat for inspiration to create an art collection which was then turned into a fabric collection for Quilting Treasures. Everyone has different techniques and ways they use to create their art.  I hope you will check out mine.

The apron shown in the interview can be downloaded – free half apron pattern.

I’m off to Houston for Quilt Market.  Please check back as I will post pictures of Market next week.


Organization Tips for Sewing and Craft Rooms and Repurposing Thrift Finds!

I love comments you readers post to my blog or email me. Today, I want to feature one of my readers, Dee Fox of Cedar City, UT who had a prior business of helping people organize their homes. She posted a comment on my recent blog post on spray painting my filing cabinets for my studio redecorating.  I emailed her and she mentioned that she loved finding unique thrift items to refinish for her sewing room and  how she had it organized. I asked if she would mind sharing some of her finds and tips with you.

Dee lucked up when she found two filing cabinets in a thrift store for $7 each. What a find!! She immediately spray painted them and added another salvage of an old lid from a fish tank.  The result – a new desk. (Tip from Dee, light a vanilla candle to lesson the temporary smell of spray paint. I just love the smell of vanilla!)  I also love the rack with blue holders for markers and the button jars that she placed on the desk. Dee also keeps a dish of cat food handy for her cats, Fancy and Coco Bear.

Dee Fox painted filing cabinets

Dee found this small cabinet in her father-in-law’s garage and spray painted it blue. His loss, her gain! Its the perfect size for storing her fat quarters.

Old cabinet used to store fat quarters

She found this old cabinet for $40 at a yard sale.  Again, Dee painted it using a cheery red and uses it to store more sewing supplies.

Red storage cabinet for sewing supplies

Dee’s favorite organizing tip for craft or sewing areas is to group like things together. She keeps everything she needs at arm’s reach for her sewing area as well as her cutting table and other areas. Keeping scissors, rotary cutters, rulers and other needed items close by prevents needless interruptions for trips to locate them as well as prevents time lost while searching for them.  A great example of keeping like things together is Dee’s stablizer holder that she sewed to hang close by.

Stabilizer holder made by Dee Fox

You can see from this photo that Dee is well organized and well stocked with her sewing supplies. I doubt she has to stop in the middle of a project and run to the store. You can also see that she makes great use of plastic containers and carts, which are ideal for storing craft and sewing supplies.

Dee Fox's organized sewing room

Dee also recommends that you make your space happy!  Doing so will make you want to spend more time in it.  I love this happy and decorative setting below where she uses little pots to hold fat quarters and a colorful lamp made with terra cotta pots.

Pots to hold fat quarters and lamp made with flower pots

When starting a project, Dee gathers everything for that project and keeps them togehter in a clear container.  She says the way she stays on track is to make lists for everything she needs to do.  She got away from making lists temporarily then realized she was not getting anything done. Being able to mark things off of a list also gives you a feeling of accomplishment.  Another tip is to always straighten your studio or work space at the end of the day so you don’t have to face a mess the next day.

Dee also shows that you don’t have to spend a fortune to have a great craft or sewing space or room. Repurposing old furniture or belongings, found or thrift store items is inexpensive as well as giving them a new life and giving you some unique items.

I love repainting things and am delighted at seeing Dee’s repainted treasures. Paint is inexpensive yet gives you such dynamic results and a quick makeover as well as create a mood. So keep your eyes peeled and imagine what something would look like with a make-over.

Thanks, Dee, for allowing me to feature your amazing and very well organized studio!  I love seeing studios and yours is a real treat!


Craft for Health

Crafting – its not only a fun, recreational hobby, it can also help with health issues.  To me, crafting is a stress-buster.  But it also helps with a medical problem that I have with Restless Leg Syndrome.  A wonderful blog, Craft for Health, tells how crafting has helped with various illnesses as well as stressful situations.  The posts are heart warming, informative, helpful and cover such a variety of situations.

Craft for Health just celebrated their 1st year anniversary and reposted the blog post that I wrote.  I love sharing it with you and if you suffer from Restless Leg Syndrome, you may receive relief by picking up a paintbrush, a glue gun or a needle and craft away in the wee hours when you can’t sleep.

Have a great day and stay cool (its a really hot day here)!


Therapeutic benefits of crafting – Craft for Health

I’ve always known that crafting reduces stress.  As I work on a quilt, sewing, needlework or other craft project, I can always feel the stress just float away  But did you know that crafting is therapeutic for all types of health conditions?

In a new blog, Craft for Health , crafters and artists write about the therapeutic effects of crafting on their health issues or traumatic events in their lives.  You can read my guest blog on how crafting helps me with Restless Leg Syndrome.

Craft for Health was founded by Kathy Peterson and Barb Dehn  RN, NP.  Kathy says, on her inspiration for creating this blog, “I always heard people telling me how much they enjoyed crafting and used it as therapy.  I also saw a void in the market.  So I approached Barb Dehn, a long time friend and business colleague about combining forces together (craft expertise with medical expertise) and we launched CFH. Together we are promoting health and wellness through crafting. Whether it’s quilting, scrap booking or using a hot glue gun, crafting can help everyone create hand made health.”

Kathy has a long career as a design expert, author and TV host and spokesperson and is currently co-hosting Lifetime TV’s The Balancing Act.  Barb is a TV health expert (ABC, CNN, NBC) and spokesperson, visits with patients and publishes health brochures.

I invite you to read my post as well as all the other inspirational and sometimes heartbreaking posts.

May you have a happy and healthy day!


Guest Blog on

I was invited to write a guest blog on by Create for Less.  I enjoyed writing about crafting and how it inspired and influenced a creative career for me.  I learned crafts early, taught by my mother and aunt.  As I see all the emphasis on various retro periods, I think of the crafts I was doing during each period. is hosted by a craft expert and professional of many years, Maria Nerius and is a fabulous site for anyone who loves art, crafts, creative design and working with their hands.

I invite you to read my post and would love to receive comments from you.


Live chats still available.

If you missed my live chat on the Fiber Arts/Mixed Media forum, you can still read the chat.  I duscuss Art Marketing and Licensing and had a lot of quesitons asked from attendees all around the world.  In addition, if you have any questions, you can ask them on the Fiber Arts/Mixed Media forum and I will answer to the best of my ability.

Also if you missed my interview on BlogTalkRadio, Inspired at Home with Tiffany Windsor, you can also listen to it.  I am interviewed on trendspotting – how to find trends and using trends in crafting, designing and decor.

I would love to hear what you have so say, so please post any comment or questions that you may have.


Invitation to join me Sunday night for a live chat!

I am very fortunate to have two events Sunday night (May 24).  At 4:00 p.m. EST, I am going to be the guest for the live chat on the Fiber Arts/Mixed Media Forum with Susan Sorrell.  My topic will be Art Marketing and Licensing.

At 7:15 p.m. EST, I will be on Inspired at Home with Tiffany Windsor on BlogTalkRadio. My topic will be Trending and using trends in designing, home decor, and crafts.

I would love to have you join me as you will be able to ask questions.  If you are unable to join in, you can still listen to to the interviews later by visiting the above links.

I had some wonderful pictures that I took at Quilt Market.  However, something happened to my disk with the photos and all the files were corrupted with strange file names.  I have been unable to open them to post the pictures.  What a bummer!  If any of you know how this could have happened, please let me know.

Quilt Market was wonderful, upbeat and exciting!  I will write more about it in the next couple of days and hopefully, I can get some pictures that my friends took to show you.

I hope to visit with you tomorrow night!


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