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Featured Designer : Ellen Medlock!

February 27th, 2009

This one is for all you bag fanatics and Ellen Medlock fans!  We are huge fans of Ellen here at the shop and although, we love her, we still didn’t know too much about her….Nichole had the chance to meet Ellen at 2008 Quilt Market in Houston this year and got to take pictures and chat and we have developed a friendship on Facebook. So, we were excited when she accepted our invitation to blog!

The Cheri Bag by Ellen will be our featured project for our Perse Anality Club in July! So, if you’re not signed up for Perse, hurry up!!  We’ve had a lot of fun with Perse so far and everyone seems to love their projects.

Anywho, if you aren’t familiar with Ellen’s patterns or merchandise, she has got something for everyone, from Patterns, already made purses, one of a kind art, plates & serving trays and these cute little bangle bracelets, too! Oh! And she is a featured designer in Quilter’s Home Magazine ,  March 2009 issue.

Ellen Medlock
Nichole & Ellen

Who the heck am I??
Howdy! I am sure my name may be new to many.. I am Ellen Medlock, a designer not too far up the road in Tulsa Oklahoma, and like Nichole, I love bags! My background was in interior design & art, and I have never been afraid of my sewing machine- so it all came together with my current product line of handbag related patterns and bag accessories.

How it started:
I can remember sitting with a grade school friend showing her how to make a little paper purses by folding and stapling! Ha! I can still see some of the purses I had growing up.. nothing fancy… but I just loved carrying them, and looking back, they all seemed so special… so it all started early!

Who inspired me to begin:
Several years ago, my then teenage daughter, Kathryn asked me to try to make her a Bag! (she is also a bag addict ) anyway… it began a whole challenge to myself (that is what drives me!). The logic of it all interested me greatly.  After seeing what I was making with their fabric- the owner of a local quilt shop suggested I write a  “pattern”! This was totally new territory, so I tried to write as I would like someone to write for me… in detail!

What  keeps the inspiration coming?
In a word FABRIC! Like all fabric lovers, I just can’t wait to see how a certain pattern will look on a bag style, or I think I just have to do something with that color!
My favorite bag :
My favorite bag at the moment is my new “Coquette” style. I could sit and make these all day! They are quick,  use a small amount of fabric,  have  few pieces to cut, and look so professional when you are finished. I also like the fact that I can pinch off the handle and use it as a clutch, or attach a chain!
A sentimental story to me:
The first time I exhibited at International Quilt Market in 2005, I had no idea what to expect! After driving to Houston, finding my way through downtown, collapsing in the hotel, resurrecting myself, unloading, and setting up my booth…I was a basket case- and it had not even started yet!
On the first day, they had barely opened the doors, when I saw a group of ladies hurrying around the corner of my aisle.. and I was elated to recognize them. They announced that they wanted to place an order with me, and I felt like all the eyes of vendors near me were watching. Later the gentleman across the aisle, from a large established firm, came over to me and said, he had “a bone to pick with me!” I was shaking in my boots! My mind was racing to figure out what I had done wrong??!
He said he always wrote the first order of Market, and this year I had taken the honor away from him, and he was not happy! Then he grinned big, and offered his hand, and said, “Congratulations I think that honor went to you this year!” I will never forget the support of the ladies from the OKC quiltshop, or the kind remark to a newbie from across the aisle- it still means a lot to me.
Something new to share:
I have been dusting off my art skills and playing with graphics recently, and hope to have something to show for it soon. I am thinking of making a special bag kit that would feature my own designs on the fabric… kind of a limited edition thing….

-ellen

The Cheri Bag   Ellen's Booth in Houston

5 Comments »

  1. ellen medlock 's creative mind says

    Just wanted to thank you all, and say… I’m the cute young blonde on the left OK!? (just kidding!):lol:

    February 27th, 2009 | #

  2. Nancy 's creative mind says

    Ellen, Bags are so, sew, much fun. You can never have too many and you can always make one large or small enough for any purpose. I adore them, and your booth has sooooo much eye candy in it. Thanks for sharing. I just had to tell you that after I read your post, the line that really tickled me was your answer to the question What keeps you going? Your reply was Fabric. I burst out laughing because last night my husband ran into his cousin in the store. He had dropped me at the quilt shop that was just across the street. When he picked me up he told me that when he told his cousin I was a quilter, he said “well that’s really nice, my wife has talked about possibly learning to make quilts”. My husbands reply to him was (I know this is true because I have heard him tell other guys this)….”DON’T ENCOURAGE HER….Quilters are a special breed of people and when it comes to ‘Fabic’, they are worse than drug addicts looking for their next fix.” It cracked me up. Having said that I have to tell you that he DOES encourage my quilting and even takes me to quilt shops he has heard about that he knows I haven’t been too. My sewing machine was in storage for over 12 years and during that time I was diagnosed with Scleroderma. The more crippled up I became over the years, the less I could do. I eventually had to give up my beloved counted cross stitch, crocheting doilies, and knitting. BUT, I can run a sewing maching like a champ so quilting is definitely like an addiction to me. I have learned to do all my binding on machine and will soon be learning to machine applique. So you see, even though he makes the remark jokingly, it is and addiction for me because it is so theraputic and it gets me up moving around and doing something that helps me to just zone out all the stresses of life and enjoy. Besides, when he says ‘Quilters are a special breed of people” the word ‘Special’ is completely accurate. Anyone that can walk into a quilt shop or fabric store and feel like they have just come home is OKAY in my book. Thanks again for sharing with us, I really enjoyed your story. Nancy (in Utah) teenietaters@msn.com

    February 28th, 2009 | #

  3. Lesley 's creative mind says

    I discovered Ellen’s bags recently when a customer came in with one. I love them. Enjoyed reading your feature about her.

    March 1st, 2009 | #

  4. Linda 's creative mind says

    Wonderful article and designs! Thanks

    March 3rd, 2009 | #

  5. Kathy 's creative mind says

    Great article. So encouraging not only for quilters, but for anyone who sews. Yes, fabrics do keep us inspired and motivated. We see a new fabric line and we want to make SOMETHING with it. And Nichole, you look a lot like Miss Perse.:wink:

    March 5th, 2009 | #

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