In The News

Introducing: The New Among Brenda's Quilts September 5, 2009


The website was designed with Ruby on Rails

Once again we are making a major change to the web site. The new site will be more automated on my end, freeing up some of my time so that I can concentrate on quilt design. It should also be more user friendly: we have been told that the recent changes have been fine for Firefox Browser users, and those using Mac's Safari browser, but the menus fail to work properly for users with Explorer. Since most people use Explorer - many people do not even know that there are better alternatives - this has been a serious shortcoming and has prompted the change.

A New Olympic Quilt Design September 4, 2009


New Olympic Quilt Design

Northcott fabrics will be releasing a new line of flannel this fall to celebrate the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver, B.C. Several great Canadian designers (my humble self included) have designed quilts using this vibrant new fabric line. My pattern, Winter 2010 will be released this September and will be available though Northcott fabrics, QuiltSource, Quilt Craft Distributors and in the US through Checker Distributors. Contact your local quilting store to order your single bed sized pattern!

Winter Sports, the fabric, has been designed by Laurie Godin.

Visit Northcott's Website to see all of the designs.

Mark Lipinski Features my Table Runner September 3, 2009


Mark Lipinski Features ABQ

I was pleased to have Mark Lipinski visit my booth at Quilt Market this spring. Mark gets a real charge out of these events – who wouldn’t with a trail of women admirers following his every step and word!

Mark is the driving force behind the new Quilter’s Home magazine which touts itself as ‘The only magazine for quilters that’s fun to read’. I can vouch for that claim having much enjoyed my copy at camp this summer. Mark’s article on table runners, in the Aug/Sept issue, featured my Spin Off Table Runner along with a number of other interesting runner patterns. Get your copy of the magazine to have a look.

My new pattern The Home Cooking Casserole Cover features Mark’s harvest inspired line of fabric called Oakdale printed by Northcott. Where does this creative guy find the time to produce a magazine and design fabric?

Thanks for the recognition Mark!

New: Teacher's Notes XOXO November 7, 2009


Brenda with Hugs and Kisses Quilt

Three simple blocks are twisted and turned to make up the X's and O's in this fun quilt.

Hugs & Kisses has been designed to be made with two-and-a-half-inch strips and 2 coordinates. It's perfect for Jelly Rolls ®, Bali Pops ® and Roll Ups ® or just use up stash fabrics! Make it in lap, single, double, queen or king size. It's fast, fun and easy to make and designed with beginner quilters in mind with full color instructions.

Shop owners will be happy to hear that starting with the Hugs & Kisses pattern I will offer Teaching Notes for all of my designs. Follow the link below to make teaching this quilt in your shop a breeze.

Sally Forth Marco! March 3, 2010


A man of rapier wit, piercing intuition and killer design instinct returns to the forefront of the quilting and crafting world.

Mark Lipinski, lately of Mark Lipinski’s Quilter’s Home Magazine, has just announced a new appointment. He will serve as Creative Director of All American Crafts with a debut magazine edition coming up in the fall of this year called Mark Lipinski’s Create (…when one craft just isn’t enough). This is a quarterly magazine devoted to the crafter and crafting lifestyle and will be written in the first person by Mark – a guarantee of exciting and provocative things to come. This new magazine should be of special interest to quilters who draw from the ideas of other crafts for the embellishment and enlivening of their quilts.

Mark will also be taking over the All American Crafts title magazine Fabric Trends. It will be revitalized beginning with the fall 2010 issue bearing the name Mark Lipinski’s Fabric Trends. Fabric Trends has always been a font of inspiration for Among Brenda’s Quilts, and combined with Mark’s keen design eye we are looking forward to its exciting new content. Way to go Mark!

Free Pattern Download March 18, 2010


This spring I was visiting Hoffman California fabrics in Mission Viejo and they asked if I would design a pattern for them using a new retro fabric line called Full Spectrum. If you click on the quilt pictured it will take you to the free pattern download at their site.

Hoffman California is famous in quilting circles for their gorgeous batik fabrics. Every season they release dozens and dozens of new batiks to the quilting marketplace. Like other fabric houses they also produce lines of screen print fabrics like the Full Spectrum Collection used in the California Rain Quilt.

The Hoffman warehouse is unique. Inside there are numerous colorful surfboards displayed along the walls. These surfboards are part of a collection belonging to the owners who discovered the beauty of batiks while surfing in the tropics.

Look Who's Coming to Dinner! June 7, 2010


Mark Lipinski

Spring Quilt Market just wrapped up in Minneapolis at the end of May. There are always lots of quilting celebrities in attendance like Mark Lipinski who stopped at my booth. He was kind enough to pose for a photo with yours truly.

Here he is with the Home Cooking Casserole Cover in his Oakdale fabric. The casserole cover pattern includes instructions to make either an 8" x 8" or a 9" x 13" casserole cover that turns into a table runner when opened.

Nancy's Notions Offers ABQ Patterns June 16, 2010


I first met Nancy Zieman at Quilt Market 3 years ago when my friend Shirley stopped her in the aisle and asked to rub her arm for good luck. This must be some sort of odd Irish or Scottish way of passing on luck - rubbing it off! At any rate since then a fair number of my patterns have been carried by Nancy's catalog so I think some of that luck rubbed off on me too.

You'll find several of my patterns are currently carried by Nancy's Notions. The Yoga Girl Bag, The 2B Bag and somewhere on the site you will find The Bevy Bag. Nancy's crew has also kitted the Yoga Girl Bag for a great price so take advantage if you have not made it yet for yourself!

Click on the picture to go to Nancy's Notions.

Discovering the Designer In You September 3, 2010


I'll be giving my lecture and trunk show entitled 'Discovering the Designer in You' at the following locations this fall. I hope to see you there! The picture at right is Lisa Hill and me at Quilt Market. We are not sure who was in that chicken costume!

Oxford Quilter's Guild, Sept. 8th at 7 p.m. and Sept. 9th at 9:30 a.m. at the Creative Arts Center, Ingersoll.

North Lambton Quilter's Guild. A workshop for the Highland Fling Quilt at the Port Franks Community Centre, Oct. 9th from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The Sunshine Coast Quilters Guild, Oct. 19th at 1 p.m. at St. Andrew's United Church, Bayfield.

The Oakville Quilters' Guild, Oct. 21st at 7:30 p.m. at The Central Baptist Church, Oakville

The Rainbow Country Quilters, Oct. 28th at 7 p.m., Lundys Lane United Church, Niagara Falls.

The Blue Water Quilters Guild, Nov. 15th at 8 p.m. at The Bayshore Community Center, Owen Sound.

The Blue Water Quilters Guild, workshop on 'Making Waves', Nov. 16th at 9 a.m. at The Knights of Columbus Center, Owen Sound.

It's been wonderful to meet you! November 18, 2010


June, my 'Mom' at the Blue Water Quilters' Guild

In the course of the year I do some traveling, visiting local guilds to lecture and to teach. This fall has been particularly busy with such trips. I've just finished my last visit for the year and now it's time to knuckle down and fire off a couple of patterns before year's end. Before I do that though, I'd like to say 'thank you' to all of the guilds who had me come and to the many guild members who were so very welcoming. A special thanks to those ladies who 'took in the weary travelers'. It's a great comfort to know that there is going to be someone at our destination who is going to mother us, who'll provided us with a bed and some breakfast. If any of you are reading this post know that we am giving you a big hug!

Brenda & Lisa

NEW! Snow Angels Pillow NEW! February 21, 2011


"All Night, All Day Angels Watching Over Me My Lord."

'All night, all day angels watching over me my Lord". Serene angels hold hands and float down in snowflake form to watch over you and yours.

Stitch this gorgeous pillow using one color of embroidery floss. Easy piecing and a cross over back without zipper make this a happy project.

#@*&* WHERE"S THE REMOTE! March 14, 2011


The Sofa Saddlebag ABQ-154

Has hubby been complaining that he has not seen the top of the coffee table in months? Are the rugs in your home and your clothing covered in loose threads from your latest sewing project? Have the appliqué scissors ever fallen and speared you in the foot? When looking for that embroidery panel you just put down are you horrified to find it under the cat?

If the answer is yes to any of these questions then the Sofa Saddlebag is for you! Here’s a great little organizer that SNAPS SHUT and will hang next to your favorite sofa or chair. Pop your embroidery hoop in the catch-all and your scissors and floss in one of the pockets. It’s easy to make!

Stitches in Time January 3, 2012


Thanks!

As a year closes and dawn breaks on 2012 I’d like to thank you for your patronage in 2011. This year brought significant changes to Among Brenda’s Quilts with a line of embroidery patterns, the exciting new Everything Goes Bag and lots of Bali Pop patterns. The last several months of the year found us "under construction" as a brand new office and studio was built to accommodate our growing business. You may have also noticed that through much of the month of December our web site was down while we struggled with technical difficulties and moved our domain to a new, faster server. Your patience during this period has been much appreciated. We know that you have lots of options in the quilting world when buying patterns and we thank you for your support. Thanks also to go out to those companies that sponsor us notably Hoffman California Fabric, American Efrid Inc., Pellon and Ackfeld Mfg.

From our family to yours, Happy New Year!

Brenda Miller

Beautiful British Columbia January 18, 2012


This past week found my husband and I visiting Victoria and Vancouver. The trip was a combination of work, play and visiting. Along with my good friend and B.C resident Ursula Riegel and her husband Walter, we did some sightseeing, visited wholesalers, did demos and visited a whole bunch of quilt shops.

I've never been to Canada's West Coast in the depths of winter and was very surprised to find some roses still in bloom and other flowers just about ready to start the season all over again. Back home it's still very cold or very wet or very dim depending on the day so it was nice to get away just for a bit and say hello to folks on the other end of the country.

Get It While It's Hot February 4, 2012


My Tag-along Tea Cozy has been featured in the winter 2012 edition of the American Sewing Guild's Notions magazine. This nifty little pattern uses Pellon Insul-Fleece to keep your tea hot in the pot. You can download the pattern for free at ww.pellonprojects.com.

Enjoy!

Feeling Funny May 1, 2012


A line is a line is not a line... See the illusions table set above!

Yes, There's Something Fishy About This... May 4, 2012


What's going one here???

The sloping lines are actually parallel, but don't tell anyone! Perfect for those times when you feel like doing something weird and wonderful!

Enjoy sewing this easy to make runner and place mat set. Use black and white for the best contrast and the most bizarre look!

Click on the picture to read more...

Author, Author. July 19, 2012


No, I've not written the great American novel but... WHOOPEE I'm going to have a pattern printed in the Quilter's Newsletter Magazine's January 2013 edition. It'll be available on newsstands this October.

The lap quilt is called Mardi Gras and it's made with Hoffman California's Spring Batik Collection. I hope you enjoy it!

Brenda

Click on the logo to visit QNM.

Just an update to this post. The Needlework Retailer Magazine is doing a little editorial on my Siting Pretty ipad cover in the next edition of their magazine. Go to http://www.needleworkretailer.com/ to read about this great magazine!

Brenda's Store is Now Open! January 8, 2013


Yes, after much preparation and anticipation the Among Brenda's Quilts online shop is open and ready for business!

My goal is to make ABQ patterns available to you no matter where you might live - be it Miami or Medicine Hat, Amsterdam or Algeria!

Accessories like bag hardware, foam batting, and specialty zippers, all for use with my bags, are also found in the store.

Take advantage of our special on Hoffman Bali Pops (just $40.00 per package) or order from a great color selection hard-to-find wipe clean PUL fabric. You'll also find that we have special hardware packs made up for all of the bag patterns. There's no need to hunt for your accessories anymore!

Special thanks go out to my son Paul for all of his help. He's a prince for putting up with his old Mum and her foibles!

Click on the image to go straight to the ABQ Store.

zig, Zag, ZOOM March 30, 2013


I've received some recognition recently for my quilt pattern called zig, Zag ZOOM! It was featured in two trade magazines over the summer. American Quilt Retailer did a write up as did Fab Shop News. American Quilt Retailer also showed off my Woolly, Woolly Bag pattern. That pattern features a bag to hold your knitting or crochet projects.

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!

CreativFestival Time Again! March 9, 2014


All things creative are taking place April 25th and 26th in Toronto for the spring edition of CreativFestival. This show is bursting at the seams with sumptuous fibres, fabrics and yarns; luxurious beads; fabulous papers, notions and embellishments; trend-setting patterns (by me of course!; handcrafted gifts of distinction and more!

From trendy to vintage and fashionable to functional, there's something for everyone, beginner or seasoned pro. For 2 days only indulge your creativity and passion for sewing, knitting, felting, quilting, beading, stitching, crocheting, scrapbooking, embellishing, crafting and other creative art forms.

Shop for all the latest Among Brenda's Quilts patterns, bag hardware and more at booth 323. We look forward to meeting you there!

Click on the picture to read all the details!

Crazy Love April 30, 2014


This bed runner and pillow sham set accents bed linens, duvets and more. The nice thing about the Crazy Love pattern is that you quilt it yourself using your domestic sewing machine. After all, it's always more satisfying and affordable to do all the sewing yourself!

There are two options for quilting the runner and pillow shams - free-motion or straight line quilting. It's your choice! The runner is quilted one block at a time. Then the blocks are joined together. Directions are given for quilting layouts, raw edge applique and more.

Instructions are included for King, Queen and Full sized runners.

Click on the picture to see and read more!

NOTION COMMOTION BLOG HOP - Sewlite Task Lighting July 3, 2014


I’m always looking for new and innovative products while at Quilt Market and was happy to discover a series of shawdowless task lights called Sewlite™ by the Lumitask™ Company. Under the Sewlite line the company offers several task lighting units that affix in under 5 minutes to the underside of any sewing machine. There are several ways to power up – plug-in, battery or USB. They also manufacture a unique battery powered neck light that stays powered up for 10 hours of continuous use – perfect for hand stitching in dark corners!

Kelly and Dixie Walterscheid from Mesa, Arizona have been creating and supplying task lighting for 13 years and have worked with companies such as Intel, MacTools, Ferma and even the Canadian Government. Proper task lighting is important in industry and to sewists keeping work spaces properly illuminated and providing an unsurpassed comfort level that eliminates headaches caused by poor lighting. Comfort while working is what it’s all about for Kelly and Dixie.

The light provided by the Sewlite products is unique – it casts no shadows. Kelly and Dixie call it invisible light because it eliminates the color cast you’d find in other lights sold in the industry and in dollar store type lights. The HD LED source is from Cree™ which is an industry leader in lighting technology with bulbs that last 25 times longer and use 80% less energy. They’ve established strict standards for color temperature, rendering, brightness and efficiency for the best lighting experience possible.

You can contact Lumitask to order at: P.O. Box 1061 Mesa, AZ 85211, phone, 480.331.5334, Web: lumitask.com, Email: lumitask@gmail.com

China September 12, 2014


I've been invited to teach, speak and show my designs in China this October as a guest of the China Quilts Color and Art Committee and the China International Quilts Festival. This group aims to promote the quilting industry in China. The committee is closely associated with the quilt study courses given at Shaoxing University in Shaoxing City near Shanghai. Sahaoxing City is known as China's textile city and is the biggest fabric distribution center in Asia. The festival is supported by the Univeristy of Nebraska University, Tsing Hua University, the Beijing Cloth Design College and the China Academy of Arts along with Shaoxing University.

Watch for more information on this trip later in the year!

Adventures of a Quilter and Bag Maker in China November 6, 2014


Early in 2014 I was contacted by a company interested in representing my patterns in China. The proposal came first via email, and it seemed like one of those emails you get from time to time that might be somewhat questionable. I read it over a couple of times and then decided to do a little fishing myself and asked some questions. As soon as I replied there began an email conversation with the group that went on for a couple of months. Then I received an invitation to attend a Textile Expo in China as a representative of Canada’s quilting community, to promote quilting in China. I replied that although going to China would be wonderful, I couldn’t come. A reply quickly came back that said they were so happy I could come. After considerable negotiation and back and forth emails we came to an agreement. My husband and I would be going to show samples of my patterns in a 10 x 10 foot booth, teach a class, speak and be part of a question and answer forum. It was going to be a great adventure! We were going to Shaoxing, China in October of 2014.

Click on the picture to read the rest of this report.

Attach a Slider to Your Bag's Strap August 3, 2015


Strap with slider

Adjustable straps make using any bag far more convenient. But getting the buckle on the strap so it slides easily can be an exercise in frustration. That is one thing you don't need to worry about any more.

Click on the picture to get step-by-step instructions to attach an adjustable slider to any bag strap. Follow these easy steps to stay tangle free and get the most use out of your bag!

How to make a strap cushion August 17, 2015


Bag strap cushion

Avoid shoulder fatigue with this cushion for your bag's strap.

Click on the picture for full instructions.

Halloween Quilt Featured in Magazine August 20, 2015


Scaredy Quilt

Need a quilt for Halloween? Pick up a copy of the September 2015 American Quilter magazine to get instructions for how to make this one.

It's made with Sew Scary fabric and was a team effort with fabric designer J. Wecker Frisch.

For the whole story of how it came to be, click on the photo.

An Interesting Technique September 21, 2015


Wall Hanging

A layered rug making technique is the starting point for this wall hanging which is to be an entry in the Taiwan International Quilt Exhibit.

Al Cote teaches this class that's based on South American Mola work, a reverse appliqué technique.

Click the photo to see the article.

Inspired to Sew October Issue Profile October 1, 2015


Inspired to Sew October 2015

Check out the October 2015 issue of "Inspired to Sew."

Find out how Among Brenda's Quilts and Bags began, and how a creative hobby turned into a full-time business.

Click the cover to read the magazine.

How I Repaired a Quilt Damaged in a Fire November 18, 2015


Quilt after repairs

Sometimes a project comes along that seems too difficult, or even impossible.

After a devastating fire in the neighborhood that claimed an innocent life, this quilt was one of very few things left, so I felt I must at least try to help salvage it.

Click the photo to read about the repair process.

Into the garden May 31, 2016


Brenda, working in the garden

Designing and sewing is my passion, but I also love to get out into the garden.

To take a stroll through my garden with me, just click on the photo.

The Scrappy Sampler Showcase June 29, 2016


The Original Scrappy Sampler by Brenda Miller

The Scrappy Sampler quilt pattern has been around for quite a while, but recently, right after I decided to retire it, Clothworks helped revive it.

This picture is my original quilt, but this pattern is stunning in the new Fall Feast fabric from Clothworks. See it in Fall Feast fabric, plus take a look at the ones made by other talented quilters over the years in the Scrappy Sampler Showcase. Click on the picture to go to the Showcase.

Woolly, Woolly Showcase August 10, 2016


Woolly, Woolly Bag

Woolly, Woolly is a bag for knit and crochet fans who like to take projects on the road.

To find out why I first designed the pattern and see a variety of finished bags made by talented customers, just click the photo.

Plan your winter sewing projects October 19, 2016


Class in session.

Changing seasons means new activities, from getting the garden ready for cold weather to choosing new sewing projects.

I can't help you with your garden, but new sewing projects? Yes, yes, and yes.

Click the photo to find out what's new.

Online Video Classes Begin December 2, 2016


I'm excited to announce the beginning of a new venture - online video bag making classes. My new site makebagswithbrenda brings me into your home to help you make your own professional bags using my ABQ patterns. The first three classes offered will be for the Essentials Tote, the Sweet Talk Phone Bag and the Homeward Bound Bag. Each class includes a series of short video lessons to make the bag, as well as downloadable printed material for the Cutting List, Cutting Layouts, a Quick Reference Guide for cutting, and written directions to follow along with as you watch the video lessons. You'll be able to watch and sew on your own schedule anytime you'd like. Join me - I'd love to be your teacher!

Click on the picture to take you to makebagswithbrenda.com