Woolly, Woolly May 7, 2013
One of the girls from my quilt guild, Karen, has been encouraging me to design a bag for knitters. Karen brought over her bag and other needle holders and such several months ago to show me just the kind of storage the perfect bag would need to have. Since then I've talked to dozens of knitters and crochet hookers (yes, they do call themselves this!) to get even more inspiration.
Having sat in numerous waiting rooms I thought, wouldn't it be nice to be able to bring a bag along that held all the needles, wool, needle stops and things necessary to produce a project.
The new bag, called Woolly, Woolly is the perfect solution to this problem. Be sure to make one for yourself - it's way better than anything you can buy!
Click on the picture to find out more.
In The News
zig, Zag, ZOOM March 30, 2013
Quilt Market is fast approaching and that means it's time to really knuckle down here at ABQ! Here is the second new quilt pattern I've created for you this spring. It's simple and it's very modern. Instructions are given for 5 sizes.
The Zig, Zag, Zoom Quilt is so easy that the blocks almost make themselves.
Zig, Zag, Zoom is made using Hoffman California Fabric 10" Bali Crackers (40 different ten inch squares). I've ordered the same ones used in this quilt for the online shop. Be sure to keep an eye out for them, they are absolutely gorgeous...Click on the picture to read more!
Me and My Baby Lock
"We Still Make Things By Hand" April 22, 2013
“We still make things by hand.” That’s the slogan I came across today in an ad for the John C. Campbell Folk School in the latest edition of the Mother Earth News Magazine. Funny thing is that just today I had been considering why so many of us still do make things by hand, especially things that are sewn. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not talking about making things entirely by hand. Not many of us have the spare time in our lives to do that. Even craft schools use tools and modern mechanization. I have the Baby Lock Unity in my sewing studio and it can do practically everything but the dishes.
Think of all the sewers you know. There are the quilters and the bag makers and those interested in embroidery by machine. How about the fashion sewers and sewists who have taken their skills to the next level and make a living with a sewing machine. What keeps them going back to their spare bedrooms or that corner set aside in the basement to sew their hearts out? What’s the motivation behind the need you feel to make your own things? After all it’s so easy to drive to the store and buy what you need or just click on the 'Add to Cart' button.
I know why I get up each morning and head to my studio to sew. I just love it - period. I love the colors of the fabric, the quiet whir of the Baby Lock sewing machine, the fun of figuring things out. I love planning my next project. I love showing my friends what I’ve made. I really love it when you send me pictures of what you’ve made with my Among Brenda's Quilts patterns. And I am absolutely over the moon when you take one of my patterns and tweak it so it is perfect for you. That’s what I call a pattern with purr-sonality – your personality.
Personality could be the catch word for those of us who love to sew and create. Nothing that’s been purchased can ooze personality like something you have sewn yourself. You’ve picked out the pattern that suits your style, the fabric that suits your look and the accessories that say – “Hey this is me and I love the way I look.”
Are you the kind of crafter or sewer who totally ‘zones out’ when you make something? I know I am. Apparently our brainwaves change when we are creating. Sewing is a simple activity that encourages your mind to meditate. Your mind empties and while all this mental housecleaning is taking place there is space to come up with some fantastic new ideas. You’ll see the result of all these ideas at your next fashion or quilt show. Maybe this creative glow is what keeps you hooked on sewing.
Not sewing isn't an option for the likes of you and me. Not only does making things by hand promote mental health, a sharp mind, and a relaxed state of being it’s also a way to provide pleasure to yourself and to those around you. You can connect with others through sewing, you can look fabulous in your new dress with its matching trendy bag, you can provide some little one with a snuggly blankie, or offer comfort with a donated quilt. Or if you are like me you’ll keep on sewing because you just love it.
Baby Quilting & the New Modern Convenience Pattern March 14, 2013
I've been working on a new table runner and place mat pattern (click on the pic.) and decided to throw caution to the wind and machine quilt it myself. I'm not talking about straight line quilting - I mean the real thing, wavy, crazy, free flowing free motion quilting.
I never really took to free motion quilting on my old machine. The process was fraught with problems. None of us wants to do a crumby job when free motion quilting but birds nests of thread under my work, threads breaking, choppy looking stitching and other unsightly messes were all I had been able to achieve in the past.
Well, I can finally do it! Not only can I do it, but I can do a very respectable job of it! And I suspect that you'd be able to do it really well too on the Unity by Baby Lock. See the result of my work in the picture. Consider that I have not done free motion quilting in years. The only practice I had before starting this place mat was scribbling the design on paper with a pencil.
That's how easy it can be girls. Try this machine out the next time you visit your Baby Lock dealer. You are going to blow your own socks off!
The Birds and Bees at the Stratford Perth Museum March 28, 2013
Visit beautiful Stratford, Ontario between April 16 - May 26th to get your fill of spring. They are having a nature themed quilt show inspired by the beauty of the surrounding countryside. My chicken themed quilt Forbidden Fruit will also be there - backyard chickens really do qualify as nature!
Click on the picture to read more... or go to the exhibits page at
Pellon University April 1, 2013
Last fall, at Quilt Market in Houston Texas I filmed a video for Pellon Projects where I talked about their 975 Insul-Fleece product. I use it in many of my patterns.
The new Pellon website will open on April 3 and you'll be able to access a wealth of free information and projects like the Tag-along Tea Cozy that I show on my Pellon University video.
Click on the picture to watch the video.
Piccadilly Piecing October 9, 2012
Follow Brenda's 4 step lesson plan in your quilting shop when teaching the multi-sized Piccadilly Quilt (ABQ-167). Share these tips to keep beginners coming back to your store again and again.
Click on the image link to see this helpful video!
Youtube Videos! January 2, 2012
Here's an in depth look at how batiks are used as a background fabric for hand embroidery. Follow Brenda as she gives the scoop on the benefits of using Hoffman California's 1895 collection. Tips are given on how to line your embroidery fabric and how to combine lining with transfer pens and markers.