Guest Blogger Month at the Quilting Gallery

My daily life is filled with quilts and fabrics as a designer of both. But my love of quilts and fabrics began many years ago. It seems like I have always been drawn to needlecraft. My earliest memories are filled with sewing of some kind – including a shoebox of small doll clothes that I designed (and most of those were evening gowns) to 5″ scrap squares that I cut out to make my first quilt.

Various forms of needlework were instilled in me from my earliest years. My grandmother (as well as her ancestors) quilted. I have several quilts passed down from my great grandparents along with the “wedding” quilts for my grandmother and grandfather. My grandmother had a quilting frame attached to her ceiling that she dropped down to quilt. My mother sewed and knitted. She knitted matching sweaters for us when I was a toddler (and I still have both of them). My aunt cross stitched, needlepointed, embroidered and crocheted. So from these fabulous women in my life, I learned the same skills as soon as I became old enough to hold a needle and I’m still holding that needle.

I’ve also tried many other crafts along the way, but always come back to that needle. I was very adept at macramé and made several pieces of my own design. I did lots of crewel because I loved the needle. I tried decoupage. I took batik classes and stained glass classes. I have to admit that I was a drop out on the stained glass – I didn’t like to see the spots of blood on my hands from the glass cuts. You have to draw the line somewhere and that was the one for me.

But I stayed with the needle. I concentrated at first on cross stitch and needlepoint. At that point, I was feeling pretty creative and started designing cross stitch. I jumped in with both feet and started self-publishing cross stitch leaflets and booklets under the name of Lucky Duck Designs. I designed and published cross stitch for 5 years publishing 50 booklets, when I decided to switch to free lance designing and moved into quilt designing.

Gypsy Breeze Quilt

I have since designed numerous quilts for books, magazines, manufacturers and kits. I wrote and designed 2 quilt books, “Dimensional Quilts” and “Fun with Flannel”.

Something to Crow About

Lets Bloom

Like most of you, I simply love and adore fabric and buy it – just because, no reason other than because. There’s something about being drawn to a piece of fabric. You can’t pass it up. You purchase it because you love it and just have to have it!

Fabric Stash

So along with designing quilts, I’ve always dreamed of designing fabric. I included painting in my list of skills and started painting fabric designs. Having a knowledge of quilting is a huge plus when designing quilt fabrics. It gave me the knowledge of how fabrics work together when quilting and to know the size scales needed for a collection. I presented my first collection to Hancock Fabrics. And to my delight, they picked it up and printed my first fabric collection of 20 fabrics in flannel.

As much as I wanted to work on another collection right away, I took a job for 2 years designing textile products. These were fun products and also used my knowledge of quilting. I designed Christmas tree skirts and stockings as well as various other products like table runners and placemats for a manufacturer.

After this stint, I was anxious to return to fabric designing and am so excited to be designing for Quilting Treasures. My first collection with them was “Sweetheart Ballerinas”, featuring a frog, a cat and a black spotted cow in a tutu. I’ve been asked many times, why a tutu. My answer is “why not”! My latest collection was “Meow, Meow” inspired completely by the sassy attitudes of my own kitty. If you have a cat, you know what I mean!

Meow, Meow

And I’m really excited about my newest collection. “It’s a Dog’s Life” will be in stores later this spring around May. While the dogs are not sassy, I hope you will find them heart warming. I’m showing you the very first sneak peak of some of the collection below.

It's a Dog's Life

If any of you are attending the Spring Quilt Market trade show in Pittsburgh, I am presenting a Schoolhouse segment, “Using Trends to Boost Your Sales”, on Thursday, May 14 and would love for you to attend. I would love to meet you.

I love blogging and have been blogging for over 2 years. I would love for you to visit my blog where I have some free patterns or my website. I would also love to have you to sign up for my newsletter.


I will select two people who leave a comment on either this blog or my blog to receive some fabric cuts from my “Meow Meow” fabric line. Also, I will select 1 person who signs up for my newsletter to also receive fabric cuts of “Meow Meow”. Doing both will double your chances! The winners will be chosen on March 9, 2009.

Its a fun job to have my work the same as my hobby and lifelong love. Many thanks Michele for inviting me to write as a guest blogger and whom I also look forward to seeing at Quilt Market.

Note – the Gypsy Breeze Quilt (top quilt above) is a free pattern [PDF] available on the Quilting Treasures website.

Phyllis Dobbs

Phyllis Dobbs

28 thoughts on “Phyllis Dobbs

  • February 28, 2009 at 7:53 pm

    G’day Phyllis
    Gosh no wonder you are a’ lucky duck’ … who wouldn’t want to have a job that is all three in one… job = hobby + a fabric love affair … All the best – it was great to read about you … OOroo … Bethel

  • March 1, 2009 at 12:07 pm

    hi phyllis!
    oh what a wonderful and inspiring story. i love learning more about your journey.

    thank you for sharing it!

    :) melissa

  • March 1, 2009 at 2:53 pm

    Hi, This is a great blog. I am enjoying find lots of new websites that have quilting inspirations on them. My job working with the elderly was just cut to half time… I am going to give myself lots of quilt therapy, to get through this tough time. Stories like this inspire me. THANKS

  • March 1, 2009 at 3:30 pm

    Hi Phyllis, how fun to be a guest blogger! What a nice history of your career in the quilting industry!


  • March 1, 2009 at 3:40 pm

    Whoa! Those are some incredible creations. And a great blog! I’m going to try my first quilt soon. I’ve been dying to get started and am slowly collecting fabric. Your an inspiration! Thank you!

  • March 1, 2009 at 3:44 pm

    Hello There – Lovely to read your article Please enter me into your give away like you I love fabric !
    Happy Blogging!


  • March 1, 2009 at 3:44 pm

    Thanks for posting the pics of your fabric shelves. I’m going to “steal” your idea of using crates to manage the piles of fabric on shelving that isn’t made to store fabric. I’m hoping I’ll win your fabric, thanks

  • March 1, 2009 at 7:06 pm

    Hi Phyllis!
    Thank you for sharing your blog. If only I could figure out a way to make my hobby my job. I work as a nurse in Oklahoma, and usually quilt on the weekends. I have so many projects waiting for me, and I’m getting to them one by one. I first saw you on All Our Quilts, which is a great website for quilters. Thank you!

  • March 1, 2009 at 7:30 pm

    Oh wow! You are so inspiring! I’m a novice quilter with no training whatsoever. I just have this passion for fabric and love creating with it! I love your new collections, but that cockerel is absolutely gorgeous – just love him!

  • March 2, 2009 at 8:13 pm

    Love the quilts! Boy would I love to run my fingers through your stash!!!!

  • March 3, 2009 at 1:07 am

    Loved the story Phyllis – thanks for sharing your work with us here!

  • March 3, 2009 at 10:00 pm

    Oh how exciting to do what you do and it was so fun to read about it. All the best….Thanks for sharing your world

  • March 5, 2009 at 3:18 pm

    I enjoyed hearing about your journey into fabric design. That has to be a dream job. I wouldn’t be good at it, though. Designing patterns is more my thing (I have only started one). That requires the fabric that others have designed.

  • March 6, 2009 at 9:25 am

    Love your quilts and but especially the fabrics. Great that you’re doing what you love.

  • March 6, 2009 at 9:41 am

    Love your new fabric line! I will call my quilt store and ask them to order it, if they haven’t already. So cute.

  • March 6, 2009 at 10:11 am

    Great fabric – I would love to get some to make some quilts for toddlers… need to check my lqs.

  • March 6, 2009 at 9:46 am

    I think both dog and cat collections are superbe You certainly have a gift of design.

  • March 6, 2009 at 11:07 am

    I love the quilts! They are beautiful!

  • March 6, 2009 at 11:28 am

    Hi Phyllis. I LOVE your sweet dog fabrics! The quilt designs you have posted here are wonderful. Thanks for sharing your quilting story. Kat

  • March 6, 2009 at 1:44 pm

    Oh, I know what you mean about just NEEDING a fabric. Unfortunately, I don’t have a job to feed the desire too often….hubby is usually supportive of my NEED for fabric. What a lovely life of living your job/hobby blending! Love the clear color of this new line….great for kid quilts….

  • March 6, 2009 at 2:09 pm

    Love the It’s a Dog’s Life fabric!

  • March 6, 2009 at 4:21 pm

    Cute quilts with cute fabrics. My cat is helping me type right now.

  • March 6, 2009 at 4:55 pm

    What lovely fabrics and congratulations on your new line – love your colours! My fabric helper, aka my 9 year old cat-mad daughter, would love to add some of the “meow meow” fabrics to her ever growing cat fabric collection.


  • March 6, 2009 at 6:32 pm

    Your fabrics are so cute and would be great for toddler quilts! Lucky you to have such a fun job!

  • March 6, 2009 at 7:34 pm

    Who wouldn’t love your job. Designing quilts and fabric. I jsut love it.

  • March 7, 2009 at 10:01 am

    Wouldn’t your new fabric make a great birthday gift! Yes, since my 50th (plus 1) is Sunday, I do hope you choose me! Love your fabric designs, the prints are so me!

    Dorothy S

  • March 7, 2009 at 12:37 pm

    So interesting to read about your travels in the designing and quilting world. Your new line looks lovely and it would make my day to win some fabric or patterns.

  • February 28, 2011 at 12:59 pm

    I have been trying to find the “Its a Dogs Life”apron fabric and free pattern and have had no luck. I tried the Quilting Treasures and again, no luck with this particular fabric and free pattern. I would like to make the dog apron, can you help me find it? Thanks

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