Atlanta and the Atlanta Gift Market

I have been trying to catch up all week from a whirlwind trip to Atlanta for the Gift Market.  I always return home tired but inspired – tired from the constant walking because the market is so huge and inspired from meetings, visiting with friends and the excitement that just comes from market.

It was encouraging to see that the buyers there were buying, although more cautiously. A lot of the showrooms were really busy, especially for gifts over home decor items.  Also, lower price items were selling better than the really high price items.

I had some great meetings with discussions on new products using my art to debut at the January show.  Meanwhile I was thrilled to see some of my new products that I have been working on the past few months.   Most of the products were still in sample form, but here is one, a “Chick Power” garden flag for Evergreen that is available in 2 sizes.

I can’t wait to show you my other products but will have to wait until they are completely finished and in catalogs.

Is always fun to catch up with friends, plus make some new ones.  I had a fun evening with a dinner with several friends at Azio’s (one of my favorite restaurants in Atlanta). From left to right – yours truly – me, Joyce Shelton, Barbara Barnett, Brenda Pinnick, BJ Lantz, and Carol Eldridge.  I guess you can figure out what happens when 6 women get together – lot of talk and more talk, and most important – lots of laughing.

I wish you each a fabulous weekend.


Free quilt pattern for “It’s A Dog’s Life” quilt.

My life has been going to the dogs recently, but in a good way.  I’ve been sewing and quilting with the whimsical dog fabrics that I designed.  The collection, It’s a Dog’s Life, is available from VIP by Cranston Printworks.  I recently designed and made this quilt, which will be featured on a segment of Martha Pullen’s Sewing Room on PBS.

The pattern is available on Quilting Treasures website for downloading the free pattern in PDF format.

Happy quilting, or woof, woof!








OK all you apron lovers – check out this book “The Best Apron Book Ever“. !  I  received a copy which has an apron that I designed featured in it.  In fact, it made the cover!  The book, filled with 12 wonderful apron patterns, is published by The House of White Birches.  Aprons are so fashionable and so easy and fun to make!  Check back as I have a free apron pattern coming up that I think you will love!

Sew a makeup bag or jewelry roll

I recently received the March issue of Sewing Savvy magazine.  I was delighted to see the article featuring the Blooming Flowers Jewelry Roll and Makeup Bag that I designed and wanted to share it with you.

These are easy to make and feature embellishment with beads and applique.  I also provided instructions to adjust the sizes of the bags.  This issue is filled with wonderful sewing projects.

Have a delightful day!


Valentine Quilted Table Runner

I’m running a little behind in posting this since Valentine’s Day was a week ago.  But I wanted to show you this Valentine Day Table runner that I designed for Quilter’s World magazine.

This is a project that you can plan for next year for Valentine’s Day , or use year round with color changes to match your decor. Hearts are great for any day of the year!

I wish you all a happy day!


“Quilt-opoly” and embroidered quilt blocks

Quiltopoly Board Game

Quiltopoly Board Game

If you are a quilter or sewer, you will love the new “Quilt-opoly” board game from The DMC Corporation that debuted at International Quilt Market.  Its like Monopoly, (which by the way,  I’ve always loved to play) but features quilts and quilting.  The properties are all quilt blocks with escalating degrees of complexity.

Quilt-opoly board game for quilt lovers

Quilt-opoly board game for quilt lovers

I have a special love for “Quilt-opoly” – I designed the graphics for it, including the quilt block properties, the the actual quilt stitching properties shown in the center of each row, as well as some of the sayings on the cards.  It was a fun project to work on and I just love the way it turned out. And I can’t wait to play!

In addition to “Quilt-opoly”, I designed and created the quilt blocks in DMC’s booth featuring their fibers and threads for quilting.  I really loved working with the various textures represented in the various fibers of their product line.

Log Cabin Quilt Block

Log Cabin Quilt Block

Sunflower Quilt Block

Sunflower Quilt Block

Diamond In Block

Diamond In Block

Butterfly Block designed by Phyllis Dobbs for The DMC Corp.

Butterfly Quilt Block

As a special note, I want to say that The DMC Corporation is not going bankrupt or out of business.  Since I have worked with DMC a lot over the past several years, I occasionally get asked this question.  DMC-US is a separate entity and is doing just fine.  They have sold their other divisions and are concentrating on the fibers only and are doing extremely well, I’m happy to say!

Tomorrow, I will write about another “celebrity” that I met at Quilt Market as well as show come of the many gorgeous quilts that I saw there.  So, please check back!

CHA (Craft and Hobby Association) show and Craft Designing

Craft stores have such a huge assortment of craft supplies available, from supplies for scrapbooking to supplies for painting, needlework, sewing and quilting, floral and gardening, beading and many other types of crafts. The good part is that you don’t have to figure out what to do with these supplies. There are many design projects available in all of these categories in magazines, books and project sheets as well as kits that include both the supplies and instructions. Gerber Daisy Flower Sculpture

DenimBroidery embroidered jeansAs someone who has been designing for the crafts industry for many years, 23 to be exact, I thought I would give you a little background on how many designers work in getting their designs there for you.

A lot of craft designers are members of The Craft and Hobby Association (CHA). CHA is hosting their Winter Convention & Trade show in Anaheim, CA in February. This is the premier trade show for anyone involved in the crafts industry and is open only to the trade.  Manufacturers present their newest and hottest products to buyers who attend from all over the world.  CHA has a Designer Section for the designer members and offers several opportunities for designers to connect with manufacturers, publishers and editors.

Jingle Cats Christmas by Joan Elliott

Designers can set up a table in the Designer Showcase held one day during the show.  Designers/artists create a table display showcasing their designs and portfolios so that editors, publishers and manufacturers can view the designs for use or publication.  These are many of the designs that you see and use for creating your craft projects.

Embroidery and Button Flower pillowAnother opportunity for designers is to exhibit in the License and Design Section during the show .  The designers have a booth space to show their art and designs that are available for creating new products or in using products.My Hearts Garden Digital Scrapbook KitThe theme for this year’s show is Fashion Crafting and designers are also showcasing their fashion designs in the Fashion Crafting Display, our version of “Project Runway”.

Sports Scrapbook KitI hope you have enjoyed seeing some of the designs created by friends as well as myself.  The flower at the top is a Gerber Daisy Fabric Sculpture created by Lynne Farris and shown in her newest book “Fresh Felt Flowers” published by C&T Publishing.

The 2 designs embroidered on jeans are from the DenimBroidery embroidery kits I created for Janlynn, a needlework company.

Joan Elliott painted the Jingle Cats Christmas image, which has been licensed on tee shirts, fabrics for hospital scrubs, mugs and cross stitch kits.

Linda Wyszynski designed the embroidered pillowcase for Create and Decorate magazine, using buttons and embroidery to create a floral design for stitching on the pillowcase edge.

Audrey Jeanne Roberts painted “My Heart’s Garden” as part of a digital scrapbook kit for Daisie Company.

Vicki Schreiner painted the sports images which were used to create a scrapbook kit and stickers sold in stores.

I do have some very talented friends!

All the designers that I know who are attending the show, including myself, are now frantically creating new designs to present. So the next time you are using instructions to create a craft or sewing project, it may have come from one of these designers working to create craft projects just for you!

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