If we are honest with ourselves and others, we have to admit that no one gets to where we are by ourselves. There are always people along the way who contribute either in small ways or in some very significant ways to who we have become and what we have achieved. I’d like to acknowledge some of those special people right now. I know I will not remember everyone, but there are some very particular ones that I would like to make mention of.

My Mom. Yes, that may sound corny, but she’s one of the most amazing women I know. I didn’t learn my sewing skills directly from her, but she taught me something more important: If you don’t know how to do something you want to do, find out how!

My first mentor is a lady I never even met, but whose life and sewing expertise touched so many others including myself: Nancy Zieman. ‘Sewing with Nancy’ was probably the first sewing show I ever watched almost 30 years ago. I learned so much from all her videos, yet I did not learn till years later about the challenges she faced in her life. That inspired me to not let challenges keep me from going after what I wanted to do.

A couple of years ago when I started to look at another means for retirement income, I was speaking with my friend, Susan Hutchens, about sewing projects she was working on. She had begun making little bags and pouches and things like that to sell at craft fairs or online and told me about different bag groups that were on Facebook. I’d never heard about that before, so I decided to join one of these groups and started to see that I might be able to make a living selling bags, but my focus quickly shifted to the root of the industry, and my true passion in sewing – designing patterns. It was Susan’s excitement in what she was doing that inspired me to push forward and go after what I wanted.

I could never name all the amazing ladies (and some fellas!) in these bag groups that have taught and inspired so many!

As I began to download different patterns from different designers, I quickly came upon who I unapologetically say is my favorite designer: Christine Welsh, from Chris W Designs. Her patterns are so well written, explained, and documented, and she truly deserves a huge part of acknowledgment on this page. As I currently work on my own patterns, I often refer back to Christine’s to see how she dealt with issues, layouts, etc. Not only does she inspire me as a designer, but as I’ve gotten to know her more these last few months, a friend. She is currently going through so many trials, yet perseveres. I count myself blessed to get to know her more.

No pattern designer will produce a great product without testers! I have several right now working tirelessly on straightening out my mistakes or omissions and help me see others’ perspectives on what is needed for different people’s learning styles. Just because I get what I’m trying to say, doesn’t mean others will! To my testers – YOU are invaluable!