If you are new here, I'm glad you found your way to my little corner of the world. I'm participating in a Blog Tour called BERNINA Ambassadors - Telling Our Stories, and today is the day that I get to tell mine. If you are a regular reader of my blog, you may already know a few of these little tidbits but sit back and relax as we get to know each other.
My name is Sandy Fitzpatrick and I am a pattern designer, teacher and lecturer of machine appliqué and free-motion quilting. Sewing has always been a passion of mine and I get no greater joy than teaching and sharing my techniques with others.
I became an official BERNINA Ambassador about two years ago, but I've actually been a BERNINA advocate for almost 40 years! I had previously owned another brand of machine which "gagged" whenever I tried sewing over elastic. Since I was making clothes for myself and my children at that time, it was really frustrating trying to find a "work around" to my stitching problems. When I had the opportunity to sew on and purchase my first BERNINA I thought I could hear angels singing, as all of my stitching issues seemed to vanish. I couldn't believe that a machine could make that much difference in my sewing capability. As Ambassadors we also create great tutorials on the We All Sew blog. Here are a few links to some posts which I have previously written.
For years, I made my own clothes and, as my children came along, I made hand smocked outfits for each of my three kiddos. This worked well for a number of years. With two girls and a boy, I would make coordinating smocked outfits for Easter and Christmas along with the normal "church" clothes for the rest of the year. When our son was about four years old, I made coordinating sailor outfits for Easter. On Sunday morning when it was time to get ready for church, my son refused to put on the knickers and smocked shirt that I had so lovingly made. Frustrated, I stomped downstairs and told my husband, "You go talk to him!" About five minutes later, my son came strutting down the stairs, proudly wearing said smocked outfit. "How did you do that?!" I asked my husband. He said, "I told him I'd give him a dollar if he would wear it to church." Let's just suffice it to say that I never made him another smocked outfit.
When my kiddos outgrew these smocked clothes, I had to find another direction in which to focus my sewing. I decided to try quilting, and found my new passion. I began by making traditional quilts, but soon realized that appliqué was more forgiving and I didn't need as many math skills.
It didn't take long for me to realize that I enjoyed creating my own appliqué patterns. When friends started asking me to create patterns of my designs, I realized that perhaps I could turn my fun little hobby into a business, and Hissyfitz Designs became a reality.
I currently have a line of patterns that are a little outside of the box. I once had a customer tell me that I didn't even know where the box was. Hmmm... I guess I'll take that. Anyway, you may find me vending and teaching at quilt shows throughout the U.S. As we speak, er, I mean type, I am teaching and vending at A Mountain Quiltfest in Pigeon Forge, TN and next week you will be able to find me at AQS Quiltweek in Lancaster, PA.
I am currently working on new patterns for Quilt Market in St. Louis in May so keep a lookout to find them at a shop near you.
I hope you enjoy learning about the other participating BERNINA Ambassadors on this little blog tour. Simply click on the names below to get a peek at who we are and what we are all about. Remember that if you are looking for teachers for your guild or local shop we have lots of knowledge and enthusiasm to share!
Monday March 20 Lynn Carson HarrisKelly AshtonDiane DoranMelody Crust
Tuesday March 21 Kathy DelaneyChrista WatsonMandy Leins
Wednesday March 22 Sandy FitzpatrickBeth FerrierCheryl Sleboda
Thursday March 23 Annie SmithLori KennedyKari KarrCatherine Redford
Friday March 24 Joann SharpeCherry GuidryJenelle Montilone
Everyone loves a little free gift! If you have stuck around long enough to get to the bottom of this post, I have a free pattern for you, just sign up for my email newsletter in the pop-up block on my Homepage and this free Stitch It Up pattern will be emailed to you.