I am convinced that I never have enough bags. Small or large, square or cinched, tote or clutch, buttoned or drawstring — there is always a use for each and every one of them! And I’m also convinced I’m not the only girl who feels this way. Enter Penny Sturges of Quiltsillustrated, championing the cause for more of these wonderful and functional accessories with her Quiltsillustrated tote and bag patterns. She has recently come out with several new designs, such as the Little Cupcake Tote, shown on the right. (Just more of the cupcake rage at Market!!)
Hello! My name is Penny Sturges, and I design tote bag patterns and own Quiltsillustrated, Inc., a small but growing pattern publishing company. I have been designing bags and totes for five years. I have been married to Bob (oh my goodness, the best husband ever!) for 37 years and have a one beautiful daughter, Darci, and wonderful son-in-law Ryan. We all live in the Phoenix, AZ area.
Basically minding my own business, making tote bags for friends and family when good friend Gerri Robinson of Planted Seed Designs called and told me about the great fabric she was given by designer Holly Holderman of LakeHouse Dry Goods. Gerri was designing quilts for Holly and asked me to make a couple of bags for the LakeHouse booth in Pittsburg, PA. Gerri sent me fabric, I made a couple of totes, and the rest is history. Holly liked my bags, hit me over the head, and dragged me kicking and screaming into the design and pattern publishing business. I was not sure the design business for me. I had adorable new twin granddaughters and it took many long conversations and pep talks from Holly to get me going!
I now work in the LakeHouse booth at both Spring and Fall Markets, showing the beautiful Holly Holderman fabric designs and writing orders for fabric and tote patterns. Holly and I are currently working on new ideas for teaching and promoting new design and quilting techniques. Now that I think about the past five years, I have not had any rest since I met Hurricane Holly!
Darci now works with Quiltsillustrated full time and we have 4 new patterns that debuted at Portland Quilt Market. Chubby Charmer (on the left) is our newest “charm” tote, it uses 48 5” squares and sports a 10” wide bottom. BYOB is our “green” grocery tote, simple to make with cotton twill handles and fabric from your stash! One of our most popular bags, Bow Tucks is now available in a smaller version called Mini Bow Tucks. We also have a new bag for little girls, called Little Cupcake Tote. I have a small studio where, Jill Navlan (my multi-talented sister-in-law) and I whip up new designs and sample bags using the great LakeHouse fabrics that arrive on my doorstep periodically. We are moving in August, and I will have a big, light and roomy studio for us to work in! Very exciting, lots of space for Jill, Darci and I to create!
A special thank you to Fat Quarter Shop for asking me to post!