Crumb Cake Class Prep

Tomorrow is a “quilt-in-a-day” class called Crumb Cake. Super simple pattern, addicting, and it truly uses up every “crumb” of fabric. It’s a funny story about this pattern. About 7 years ago a frequent customer came in with 14 Crumb Cake quilts she made in one month! When I asked her about the pattern she told me she made it up. She did a class at the local guild and showed us all how to make it. We were hooked! I asked her if I could write the pattern up for her and she reluctantly agreed.  I had it written up within a few days, giving her full credit on the “by” line. It was a popular pattern, I sold hundreds and gave several classes, always giving my customer her full credit and monetary reward. Then, a few years later, while at market in Houston, I walked by the Embellishment Village booth and noticed the Crumb Cake pattern. I stopped and looked at it. It was the same quilt, with a copyright date of 1996!! I was horrified. I am very much a “rules” girl, I would never copy a pattern (knowingly) and of course it is a crime… punishable with a $25,000 fine!

We quickly removed our patterns and replaced them with the Embellishment Village version. We never spoke of it again until they took their pattern out of print in 2009. At that time I contacted them and confessed my story, asking if I could republish the pattern. They said it would be fine if I kept the name the same, and mentioned that our version (we did construct it a little differently) was inspired by Embellishment Village. So, after narrowly escaping incarceration… the pattern is still a favorite of mine and the shop!


My class tomorrow will be attended by Rachel, our new office manager. She has been trying to learn how to quilt and tomorrow is her second class. You can follow her fun blog “Frazzled Patch” as she takes beginner classes and explains foreign words like “jelly roll” and “square up”.

I am getting Rachel’s fabric ready tonight. The best part about the Crumb Cake is it uses up stash fabrics, leftover strips, bits and pieces, and it is a great use for those panels we collect but don’t know why….

I have selected a panel that would be great for Rachel. This is an older Clothworks Halloween panel that is super cute and will be perfect for Rachel and her two darling little boys.

Now I just have to find about 12 fabrics that would go with it.IMG_0535

We can also use “bits”. I tend not to save a lot of little pieces. After all of these years I just find that I don’t use them up. Everything on my fabric shelves is more than a yard. I have two drawers with just panels, and I have a few shelves with full fat quarters. But, I do have a secret stash of bins. They are labeled by color, and they have smaller pieces. They are in the closet, and not used often enough. Crumb Cake is a perfect pattern to wittle those down a bit….IMG_0533IMG_0536OK, Rachel’s project kit is ready. I will spend a little time cutting some strips and sewing some panels together so that I have a working sample to teach from… and Rachel has a head start!!

I have some certainty Rachel will blog about her adventures in the class tomorrow. She will also show the steps. We can hope the finished quilt will appear soon! In the meantime… I have another one of these cute panels left. Just like the one I gave Rachel. I would like to give it away.

Rachel tells me there is some way to fairly do a drawing using a “counter”? maybe I have that term wrong. Anyway, I think all you have to do is “like” this post. We will draw a name on Friday, announce it, and we will put it in the mail to you!

I have LOTS of fun things I can get rid of this way….. stay tuned……



Peek-a-Boo Bag

It seems I have a fetish for bag patterns. Or maybe we can just call it a quest. I’m always looking for that perfect bag with potential for organization that is easy to construct in a lovely custom color….. mmmmm. In yesterdays purging and reorganization of my project closet I found 14 bag patterns. Almost a cry for help don’t you think? It’s funny that I keep looking for that “can’t-live-without-it” bag, but it seems the looking hasn’t included sewing… hmmmmm. I am going to initiate a study… on bags. I am going to make at least 1 per week, and test it for ease of construction, usefulness, and gorgeousness (yes, that is a word). If I find the “perfect bag” I can stop collecting bag patterns…. I should mention… confess really…. I have a small basket where I found 16 more bag pat-terns. ….oooo ooooooh.


Tonight I am making an easy bag called “Peek a Boo Bag” by Terri Staats. It looks pretty cute, clear vinyl front to see your projects. It would serve nicely as a project pouch, notion tote or a make up bag.


Step one is to prepare your fabric. I have to iron a fusible interfacing to the wrong side of the fabric to make the bag slightly stiffer. That makes sense. I wonder if I could use a fusible batting? Or my favorite… soft and stable? The thickness of your interfacing would of course depend on the purpose for your bag. I always make a bag with the suggesting filling first, and check out how much room I have with zippers, turning, etc to be sure I can modify the thickness of the batting on a second bag if I want to.

Step two is to cut an inside and outside back of the interfaced fabric.

Step three is to construct the front of the bag. That was pretty easy, just three pieces. But you have to sew through the vinyl. That requires a piece of paper under the vinyl so it doesn’t draaagggg on the machine. Very necessary step whenever you sew vinyl. The paper is just regular copy paper, after you sew it you just tear it off.

Image Image

Step four is putting in the zipper. Not a horrible task. Her directions are pretty good. Good diagrams. You can easily use one of Terri Atkinson’s 14” zippers and cut it to the size you need. The directions are given how to cut it and add two tabs.


Step five is construction. Simple, but there is some top stitching. I always feel a little self conscious when I have to do visible seams.


Last is the nice box bottom. I think it would be easy to make it slightly boxier if necessary. Again, I guess it would depend on what you want to use the bag for.


This was pretty easy. Super cute. Large enough for small projects, notions, make up. I made a second one using the chalkboard fabric. A labeled bag… definitely!! I liked this pattern. It was easy, the bag is cute and will serve several purposes. You can add a custom zip-per pull and make it in cute fabrics. I made the first one in 45 minutes, second one in 30 minutes.

Oliver, however, remained unimpressed.


Behind the Pen and Patch

I opened the Fabric Patch 15 years ago and have never regretted a single day. I am busier than ever, writing new patterns, developing new classes and clubs, making shop samples, professionally machine quilting, and working in the shop 5 – 6 days per week. If that’s not enough… now Brianna thinks I should write a blog.

Brianna is the energetic young voice of the shop. My 21 year old daughter that runs the business with me. I threaten to retire in about 10 years, but she knows I will never leave. Brianna has some great ideas, and I suppose people really are spending more time on their phones, tablets and computers. I certainly do. Not that I’m good at it… I don’t understand the difference between a tweet and a post… but I guess I can understand why some of you might want to see some great new ideas, patterns, tricks, tips and projects. So I will commit to finding the time to work on this new blog at least two times a week.

At the moment, it is 11:30 at night and I am finally done for the day. I spent today working on machine quilting a customer’s quilt, then cleaning my sewing studio. It wasn’t all that messy to begin with, but I wanted to re-organize both my “project cupboard” and my scrap drawer and do some purging! I found a few quilt tops that just needed a border or two that I am going to finish up, and three projects to give to Thelma (she takes all of the “un-lovables” and turns them into something nice). I was also able to put together a huge box of fabric for the Ephrata High School Independent Living Class (formally known as Home Ec) for their sewing projects. It will be nice to have the space it freed up. I have attached some “after” pictures of my project cupboard. There are currently 37 projects on the 5 shelves. That’s not as bad as it has been!

I will start working on the quilt tops tomorrow – I’ll check in with you and show pictures…

Good night!