New Blog Location

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Please come visit Around the Bobbin at its new location, with new blog posts and tutorials.

* Interested in being a tester for Around the Bobbin?  Come sign up!

* How about a tutorial on making awesome purse handles?

* Interested in our new retail store?  We have print and downloadable PDF patterns, with more on the way!

Happy Sewing!


About pattern making and latest news

About pattern making and latest news


I made a decision (a resolution?) that I would post out every week or close to it. It is going to take me a bit to get into the habit!  Perhaps it is the -15 below days and the 5 days the kids had off from school for “cold weather” ?  Or maybe I need to just take the time to work in a new habit.

If you have been struck by freezing temps, I hope you are using all this cold weather time to sew or make something.  It is so fun, you know (the sewing, not the cold weather!).  I have been continuing to play with my silhouette cameo.  It has so much creative potential but I have mostly been using it to cut out my pattern pieces.  More on that for another day.

Things have not been standing still at Around the Bobbin. I have been drafting patterns.  I will tell you.  I definitely am not a speed-drafter. I draw a picture on the computer and consider if it is fat-quarter friendly or could be made into a fat quarter friendly pattern.  I consider if it’s too many pieces and what looks to be the simplest construction method to achieve the result I’m looking for.  Is it unique enough?  Does it teach something new or different? Does it work in a variety of fabrics?  After the idea is down on paper, it gets a thorough attack of questions to see if it stands up.

I have 2 patterns that made their way through that process.  One is ready and written but just need photos.  But I got so excited about the second one that I had to see what it would look like.  I am on the third version of it–it is one of those patterns that can be constructed a variety of ways so I am testing different interfacings and different construction methods to see which one looks the best.

At some point, I will put pictures up here, but it is too early.

The other pieces of news are….

1. I am redesigning my website to incorporate my blog and add a store.  I am so excited to have a website that will be more like me and my style.  Yeah!

2. I turned 3 of my most recent patterns into downloadable pdfs.  They are out on Craftsy:

Craftsy logo

The Bridget Handbag

The Flower Power Table Runner and Trivet


The Olivia Bag.

I’d love it if you go check them out.  I’m so excited to finally have some pdf patterns available, particularly for international sewists but also all you kindle/ipad/tablet people!  On a cold, snowy day like today, it certainly sounds like a great option.

Thanks for stopping by and catching the news.  Back to my samples!!

Happy Sewing,


Introducing the Olivia Bag

I just have to tell you about the other pattern I released this month, the Olivia Bag.  Shown in Art Gallery (surprise, surprise – I’ve never met an Art Gallery fabric I didn’t just fall all over ga ga about. ).  I love their fabrics. The large Olivia Bag is shown in Luxe in Bloom and the Mini Olivia is in Carnaby Street.

TheOliviaBag.ATB-134 from Around the Bobbin

The Olivia Bag is a quick project. As with a lot of purse making, the prep of cutting out and interfacing the pieces is about half the time. But on this one, the sewing doesn’t take very long at all.  I’m done in a couple hours, and I am not a fast sewer (ask anyone–I get easily distracted and tempted to keep changing the pattern for fun).  Anyway, my point is that this one is a quick sew, but it doesn’t skimp on the details like a center pleat and horizontal stitching along the lower bag (more pictures below will highlight that).

I wanted to share some pictures of the Olivia Bag.  The pattern includes two sizes.  My daughter–Olivia– is wearing the Mini-Olivia size in the picture above, and you can see in the picture that the Olivia Bag is quite a bit bigger than the Mini Olivia. The Mini Olivia is made from just two fat quarters and it’s the perfect size for your phone, some keys and your i.d./cash.  Just the essentials and it doesn’t weigh you down.  Actually, you forget you’re wearing it!

Here’s a fun, retro version in the Vintage Scrapbook collection from Benartex’ Contempo line, shown in their booth at fall quilt market in red retro phone fabric!

Contempo booth at fall market 2013 - Olivia Bag

Here’s a close-up of the larger size in the blue retro phone fabric from the same collection:

Olivia Bag in Vintage Scrapbook (Contempo)

Here is the larger size  in Andover’s Moon Flowers collection:

Olivia Bag in Andover's Moon Flower collection

And, to show you one more look, I just finished these samples in Hot off the Press, the funky new batik collection from Fresh Water Designs designed by Stephanie Prescott.  These are …. hot off the press, still warm from my iron!:


I like this picture because it shows the stitching along the lower band, which adds a nice finishing touch to the bag.  The lower part of the bag is interfaced with Soft-and-Stable, which gives a nice structure to the bag.  I like to use Soft-and-Stable when I want the stitching to take center stage–in this case, the foam center of the soft-and-stable is the  perfect stabilizer behind the scenes to make the lines of stitching pop.

So, now you’ve met Olivia.  The bag anyway. You didn’t see too much of the girl behind the bag, but my daughter Olivia is particularly awesome!

Happy Sewing!


International Quilt Market – Introducing Bridget Handbag

If you are coming to International Quilt Market this week, please stop by Booth #1350 to see the latest purse patterns from Around the Bobbin. I would love to meet you, so please come stop in the booth.  It will be an exciting couple of days in Portland, and I am really looking forward to it.

I am excited to show my latest purse pattern, the Bridget Handbag.  It’s available with  3 different handle choices–attached near the top of the bag or two choices with the handle attached at the seam.  Here’s a couple of pictures of the new bag.  Of course, I had to make one in my favorite Marimekko fabric 🙂


The Bridget Handbag can also be sewn with the handle extending down to the lower seam, which looks like this:

BridgetBagAdd'lViews.AG UrbanMod

Have a great week and I will try to post pictures of market soon after I get back!

Happy sewing!


My newest pattern–the Twister Tote

After many months of making large totes, here is the Twister Tote, fully designed, tweaked and ready to go!

TwisterTote.Colorblocked Front Cover with Shadow-DkeryetThe pinwheel design on the front of the tote is made with the Lil’ Twister tool by CS Designs. Have you tried the Lil’ Twister tool yet?  It is fun and completely addicting.  Once you try it, you’ll be looking for more ways to use this fun and easy tool.

The Twister Tote is a large tote (15″H x 16″W (14″ at base) x 6″ D.

One of the fun things about this bag is experimenting with solids and color-blocking.  Pick colors on the opposite sides of the color wheel or various shades of the same hue.  You may surprise yourself at what you’ll discover.  One of my favorite color-blocking combinations is aqua and royal blue, so I can’t wait to try that combination!

And it doesn’t mean you have to create the world’s brightest bag. I do like the bright colors, but you can create enough contrast with color-blocking by combining a more vivid color with a neutral color like gray or black if you’d prefer a more toned-down look. Experiment to fit your personal tastes.

The bag can be made with print fabrics or batiks too.  For example, the basic tote below is shown in fabrics from Joel Dewberry’s Notting Hill collection.


If you’re interested in the pattern, ordering information is on my website at

Happy Sewing!