Easy Snap Bag

Posted in Uncategorized at 12:23 pm by Lauretta Crites

I love to make these little bags from the quilted fabric left over from making my “Cutting Mat Tote Bags”
you can make them any size you want. The instructions that follow make a “snap bag” approx. 5 1/2″ x 7 1/2″ finished.

Snap Bag

To make your snap bag, you will need:
1) 1 piece of quilted fabric 8″ x 11″
2) 2 binding fabric pieces 3 1/2″ x 8″
3) 2 prairie point fabric pieces 3 1/2″ square
4) 2 pieces of 1″ wide metal tape measure 7 1/4″ long with the ends rounded and cut edges taped

Start by folding your binding pieces in half lengthwise and pressing.(not shown)
Take your prairie point pieces and fold them in half lengthwise. Press. With the raw edges facing up fold each edge in to the center to form a triangle.

With the “wrong” side of the 8″ x 11″ fabric facing you on the table align the raw edges of your folded binding strips up with the raw 8″ edges of your snap bag, pin in place and stitch with 1/4″ seam allowance.
Press stitching to set then press binding up.

Binding shown stitched and pressed to the “wrong side”

Turn your quilted fabric over and wrap the binding around to the front pinning in place. The binding should come down over the front edge about 1 1/8″ find the center and tuck the prairie points under the binding edge about 1/4″ and pin.(see photo at top of page) Top stitch close to the edge of the binding to stitch binding and prairie points.

snap bag "right sides together"

Fold your snap bag in 1/2 “right sides together” aligning the binding edges. On one side only Stitch 1/4″ seam. Insert each of the metal tape measure pieces under the bindings sliding them all the way into the pocket. The rounded side of the tape measure needs to be on the outside (right side) of the snap bag, so working from the the inside (wrong side) slide it in so the inside curve faces you and the outside curve faces the front. Make sure its the same for both sides of the snap bag.
Stitch the other side closed using 1/4′ seam allowance. Finish by zig zag stitching the raw edges.
Turn right side out and carefully poke out the corners to make nice and flat and square.

These little bags are great on the go and make terrific gifts. I have one I use as my binding tote with scissors needles and binding clips. They make great make up bags and travel bags. I’ve make them in the size of eyeglass cases and have one I use as a pencil case. You really can’t have too many. Enjoy!


CREATE! 7 keys to unlocking your creative power

Posted in CREATE!, LOA, Monthly Mini, Uncategorized at 4:59 pm by Lauretta Crites


For me it begins with the idea that being happy and feeling joyful improves every area of your life. That the very act of feeling good, of being happy, draws to you “magnetizes” all the good stuff you want to come into your life.

Now this really excites me, it excites me that the more I practice and the better I become at using these universal principals the more beautiful and enjoyable my life becomes and I want that for you, too!

So, I’ve developed an acronym CREATE! to explain these ideas and principals to move you to your own exquisitely joyful creations.  C- Choose, R – Request, E – Expect, A- Act, T – Thank, E – Energize, ! – the jzuzzh that brings it all together.

C – The first letter in CREATE! is “C” and “C” stands for CHOOSE. In quilting we begin by making a choice. The 1st decision or choice we have to make is what do we want? Nothing can happen until we decide. Until we choose. Will we make a wall quilt or a bed quilt a baby quilt or a tote bag? When we decide for ourselves that is called a conscious decision and with that we create the world around us. BUT – it’s very important to recognize that not all decisions are conscious ones. Many if not most of our day to day creating is done unconsciously.

We want to be conscious creators of our lives. The best way to be happy with your conscious choice is to follow you heart when deciding. Which means choosing things because they are what other people want for you doesn’t really work, your choices must come from your own heart.

If you are interested in a hands on experience of  CREATE!  I will be holding a class:

Visioning in Fabric:


Visualization is a powerful tool for focusing used to help us achieve our goals. In this workshop we will be creating a small (approx. 11” x 17”) wall hanging to help get us in the “feeling place” of our dreams. Experts agree the more you can “feel” the way achieving your dream will feel, the more likely you are to achieve it. Immerse yourself in the powerful energy created as we work together. This is your dream, there is no should. Use colors that speak to you, embellish as your heart desires. You may make your piece as literal or as abstract as you want.  As long as your quilt makes you smile and reminds you of your desire, it’s perfect. You will learn some tips and tools for taking your dreams from fabric to fruition and the cutting edge science that makes quilting the perfect tool for not only visualizing but achieving your dreams.   Redlands Sewing Center, Sept 29 6pm (909) 792-3994


Happy New Year!!!!

Posted in Uncategorized at 8:01 pm by Lauretta Crites


A ritual I love to do this time of year is to sit down with my calendar and planner and work out my goals for the coming year, and make sure I put my vacations in 1st! Last year I did the e-version of Leonie Dawson’s 2014 Create your amazing life & biz workbook and planner. But, considering my computer and I are hardly BFF’s (although we are working on our relationship…) this year I treated myself to the print version.

2015 Create your Shining year workbook

2015 Create your Shining year workbook

Leonie’s workbooks are so fun, colorful and positively supportive. Now that Christmas is over I’ve been curled up with my “2015 Create your Shining Year workbook” and a handful of colorful pens and am deep into planning.  “Planning” Leonie style includes scheduling self care and lots of time to dream along with more practical “action” steps. I have been busy writing in vendor dates for “Old Broads” as well as vacations for myself and my sweetie pie.

I love this workbook and Leonie’s vibe! In case you would like to get one of your own, she has e-versions for life or business or a combo of both. And, if you are looking for some fun positive information from a nutty Aussie who swears like a sailor and loves to make up her own words you can sign up for her mailing list, check out www.leoniedawson.com

2015 is off and running…





Happy Thanksgiving

Posted in Uncategorized at 10:40 pm by Lauretta Crites

Thanksgiving morning

Thanksgiving morning

Happy Thanksgiving!

We have kicked off the holiday season …. last Saturday we went out to the Riverside Municipal Theater to see our Nephew Austin performing with his fellow students. He attends a performing arts high school and it was so fun to see the talent these young people exhibit and the skills they display already. It made me realize how much I miss going to live theater. My husband, David and I both agreed we need to add that back into our lives. We have several theaters and colleges nearby, I’m excited to check out their schedules and order up some tickets!

On Sunday we enjoyed an early Thanksgiving Dinner at the home of our Son’s girlfriend. Her parents Juliet and Mike remained unflappable with nearly 20 sitting down to dinner. I admire them so much. My own sit down dinner on Thursday will be far more modest… 5 at last count. I’ll be doing a blend of home cooking and prepared foods. Leaning on Trader Joe’s market to create a few sides… I’m brineing a turkey. I did it last year for the 1st time and it really is worth it! I’ll make the garlic mashed potatoes from scratch but dear TJ’S is in charge of the corn casserole, pumpkin pie and cleaning and trimming the green beans.

I put the tree up yesterday and will try to complete the indoor decorations for the family room by this morning. With Thanksgiving so late this year I feel like one foot in each holiday is the best technique for managing, dining room and living room is in fall, family room and bedroom moved on to Christmas.

However you choose to tackle the holidays this year, be kind to yourself and remember it will all be over by January 2… Smile. Enjoy, repeat.

Lillian says "Hi"

Lillian says “Hi”



Oh, how sweet it is…!

Posted in Uncategorized at 5:47 pm by Lauretta Crites



Quilt Market and Festival in Houston was sooo much fun! It’s taken me more than a week to catch up and process the experience and my brain is busy calculating plans to attend again next year. Step 1 make another awesome quilt that wins a ribbon….


George Brown Convention Center

OK details… For starters the place is IMMENSE really truly immense. The good news is all that walking keeps the pounds off!

Now for the really good news… “Winter Squash” was awarded 2nd prize in the “Art Miniature” category.

"Winter Squash" at Houston with its 2nd place ribbon

“Winter Squash” at Houston with its 2nd place ribbon

Now, in my opinion, the category should be “Art, Small” since there is a separate category for “Miniature Quilts” which are quilts in reduced scale, something else altogether, but, I am over the moon about winning at Houston!!!! they can call it any thing they like. There were many really really beautiful quilts on display and I had to pick my chin up off the floor on a number of occasions!!

If you’ve never attended the award ceremony for the IQA Houston Festival then you would be as surprised as I was at how they do it.

The ballroom is set up with a small stage at the front with steps at both ends. The stage has a podium and a table with flowers on it. There is a large screen above the stage slightly  to one side. As the award sponsors present each award the winning quilter goes up onto the stage to receive their check.

The room is completely draped in black curtains and as each quilt is announced a photograph is projected onto the screen so the audience can see the quilt. They start with honorable mention for each category and work their way up. When they announce the 1st prize winner a spotlight comes up on the wall and a curtain flys away revealing the winning quilt beautifully lit eliciting a gasp and collective ahhhh…

I don’t know why but this part really surprised me, I didn’t expect the quilts to be in the room, and truth be told when I found out and knew I had seen my quilt already displayed down on the show floor, I had a sinking feeling… but as soon as I saw this stunner by Janet Fogg, which won 1st place in “Art – Whimsical”, my heart was back in hopeful excitement, since I knew for sure I had seen her quilt on the show floor.


Eloise Joins the Circus – Janet Fogg 1st place Art -Whimsical

When the Masters awards are presented, those are quilts winning $5,000 and above, a bouquet of flowers is also presented to the winning quilter. I didn’t notice at the time, but later learned that the flower colors are chosen to coordinate with the quilts, which might lend a clue to the highly knowledgeable and extremely sharp eyed among you in the future.

Speaking of the future, I’m setting my sights on another win at Houston. Next time I’d like my quilt to be “behind the curtain” and I wouldn’t complain if it came with a bouquet of flowers, either!

If you’d like to see more of the beautiful quilts in “Quilts: A World of Beauty” the IQA 2014 juried quilt show check them out here http://www.quilts.org/winners.html


I’m off to see the wizard…

Posted in Uncategorized at 1:17 pm by Lauretta Crites

Well, maybe in this case I won’t meet the wizard but I AM heading to the land of OZ or maybe Mecca for quilters.  My quilt “Winter Squash” (the little gift that keeps giving) has been awarded a ribbon at the IQA Houston Quilt Festival. The ribbon comes with a CASH PRIZE!!! The best part of all is they hold an awards ceremony and I get to go! I will be at the show for a week. IQA (International Quilt Association) holds a wholesale market 2 x’s a year and the fall one in Houston is the largest the wholesale market in the country. There are over 600 exhibitors with every imaginable thing for the quilter. After the 3 days of market there is the Winners Circle celebration and preview then the Quilt Festival opens and continues for 3 or 4 days. I get to go to the wholesale market as a pattern designer/producer and also to shop for our retail business. Then be celebrated for my  winning quilt and finish it off seeing all the other wonderful quilts in the show and shopping for myself. I am soooo excited. Gotta go pack my duds. I look forward to posting wonderful pictures when I get back.



On Newsstands Now…

Posted in Uncategorized at 3:22 pm by Lauretta Crites

Oct/Nov issue Quilters Newsletter magazine

Oct/Nov issue Quilters Newsletter magazine

The better it gets, the better it gets! September has been such a wonderful month. I was blessed with time away from our inland heat with labor day weekend at the coast, then I turned right around and headed to San Diego for an awesome time at the San Diego Quilt Show playing all day in our “A couple of Old Broads” booth.

I arrived home to find a big white envelope from Quilters Newsletter magazine. Feeling so excited, I opened to the last page where I knew Winter Squash was due to appear. I can’t describe the thrill chill that I had when I saw it in print. Even now I feel all bubbbly and wobbly and really really appreciative. I placed it in a page protector (no grease or grime on my baby….) and placed it where i can pass by regularly (or grab in a quick sec to show anyone who holds still long enough…) just for the buzz i get from seeing it. These moments are the juicy ones in life and I intend to savor.


It’s not too late….4th of July Project

Posted in Uncategorized at 9:15 pm by Lauretta Crites

Sometimes you just need a really quick way to add some seasonal color. In my last post I shared a few ways I use my quilts for seasonal decorating, today I’ll share a quick stencil design I made in honor of the 4th of July. You could use the panel as the center of a quilt, a throw pillow or a wall hanging.

I start by drawing my design out on freezer paper (shiny side down) this piece is 18″ square. I labeled each area with the color to be painted.  In this case R-red, W-white, B-blue

freezer paper stencil

freezer paper stencil

I cut the stencil apart on the lines with an x-acto knife.  Reassemble the pieces on top of your fabric ( I used washed muslin).  Use the tip of your iron to “tack” the stencil pieces for the white and blue areas to the fabric. Remove the pieces that are for the red areas then press the white and blue areas firmly to the fabric. Use painters tape to mask off the edges of your piece.

I used regular acrylic artists paint. I was going for an aged look and I don’t plan to wash it and wouldn’t mind if some paint washed off. If you want to ensure your project will be long lasting you may prefer fabric paint.  For my rustic and aged look  I muddled some red and black paint together to get the color I was looking for a paper plate makes a great disposable palette.  A makeup sponge makes a great paint applicator for this stencil.

White and Blue areas ironed down

White and Blue areas ironed down

mask off the edges

mask off the edges


red paint mix

red paint mix


Red paint applied

I liked the look of the quilt wrapped around the pillow in the previous post so that’s my design basis.  That quilt was pieced so I worked the paint evenly over the surface then went back over with a second application in a striped fashion to mimic the random width piecing. When working with stencils always start at the masked edge and work IN to the area don’t push the paint into the edges of the freezer paper masking,  that can cause the paint to run into the areas you are trying to protect.

Once the paint dried I placed a piece of clean waste fabric over the painted areas and pressed them with a warm iron to set (don’t know if it was really necessary) then I  removed the pieces for the white sections and took the freezer paper pieces for the red section and pressed them in place over the paint. I painted the white section in the same 2 coat stripe manner as the red. I painted the white stars then pressed the white areas with the press cloth and placed freezer paper stars  back onto the area to be painted blue. I masked off (replaced the freezer paper) the other areas of white where they touched the blue section. The blue paint was also mixed with black paint to give a mottled look, remember to mask off the new edges for the blue. The blue paint was applied in an all over pattern with the makeup sponge working with the various edges so it wasn’t just little rectangles.

White painted stripes

White painted stripes


Detail of stars masked on blue

Detail of stars masked on blue

Let everything dry and remove the masking. The whole thing can be done in a couple of hours with pretty basic supplies. Have fun and enjoy your 4th of July celebrations, whatever they may be!

The finished piece

The finished piece


Happy Memorial Day Weekend!

Posted in Uncategorized at 5:04 pm by Lauretta Crites



I decorate for the seasons. Maybe its because I live in Southern California where we don’t have any seasons. We do have different temperatures though, coolish, warmish, and too darn hot. But, as those don’t line up with any particular dates on the calendar (as evidenced by 95+ degrees last week and 70’s this week) I create my seasons indoors. The cycle changes slightly depending on my mood and my schedule. Just before mothers day I packed up the bunnies and pastel brights in favor of Red/White/Blue. I will continue to layer on more on the theme this week for memorial day and it will stay thru 4th of July.

I do have a “rinse and repeat” process using items stored in totes but increasingly my quilts and a couple of key accents rule the decor. One way I create a new look with the same items is to use them in a new way. Here I have placed a table runner on the back of a couch for a pop of color.P1090321


I wanted a throw pillow in the red/white/blue theme but didn’t find quite what I wanted. This wall quilt didn’t have a good spot this year so I took an existing pillow and simply wrapped the quilt around the pillow.  Placed on a chair or couch that is rarely sat on it looks great.




Don’t stop the presses!!

Posted in Uncategorized at 6:26 pm by Lauretta Crites

Yesterday I received super exciting news! Lori Baker creative editor for Quilters Newsletter Magazine emailed that Winter Squash was selected to be the Photo Finish for their October/November issue. Quilters Newsletter is a well known magazine loved by quilters and the Photo Finish is a full page that has featured so many outstanding quilts I feel giddy to have my work chosen to join that company. I can’t wait to see it!

"Winter Squash"

“Winter Squash”

As I was thinking how nice it will be to see a large picture in print I suddenly realized I never even mentioned the 1st time my work appeared in a national magazine. Sometimes things move so fast and I’m so busy living life I don’t seem to have time to report on all the wonderful things that are happening along the way. Last year, I was also privileged to see my work in print. Quilting Arts ran a reader challenge competition for which the theme was “Text Me” the ubiquitous OMG came instantly to my mind and well… you can see my interpretation below. It certainly jumps off the page …even if I do say so myself.

OMG in Quilting Arts Magazine

OMG in Quilting Arts Magazine


« Previous entries Next Page » Next Page »