I’m in Modern Patchwork!

Isn’t this a nice view?  One might think this was an ordinary day with an ordinary magazine,  but, no.

Color Block Bucket Bag by Julie Cefalu, in Modern Patchwork Magazine


This is an extraordinary day with an extraordinary magazine!  I’ve been published in Modern Patchwork Magazine!  (See the end of this post for Interweave Store deals).


I’m not kidding.  This is a first for me, which means it’s the most exciting thing ever!  I made this bag (which has been named the Color Block Bucket Bag) and wrote the pattern and took pictures of my process.  Modern Patchwork did a great job of editing (minimal) and staging the bag.

Color Block Bucket Bag by Julie Cefalu, in Modern Patchwork Magazine

Color Block Bucket Bag by Julie Cefalu, in Modern Patchwork Magazine


Many years ago, I made the original bucket bag for my oldest daughter, Kelly.  The design was based on a bag that I bought in Portugal which I had given to her.  She loved it to pieces, and so I was forced to make Kelly (and myself) another one. Eventually, I made 6 or 7 more bags for friends and family.

Towards the end of last year, I decided to make a bag for Quilt Con and I added the MQG (Modern Quilt Guild) logo letters to the front of this bag.  I submitted the design to the Quilt Con magazine and they declined it.  I was so disappointed.

Color Block Bucket Bag (MQG Version) by Julie Cefalu, in Modern Patchwork Magazine

Color Block Bucket Bag (MQG Version) by Julie Cefalu, in Modern Patchwork Magazine


A few months later, I got an email from the editors at Quilting Arts Magazine (parent of Modern Patchwork) and they thought it would be a great project for Modern Patchwork.  I’m not going to argue with that!

Color Block Bucket Bag by Julie Cefalu, in Modern Patchwork Magazine


Yesterday, I coerced asked my daughter, Nicole, to model it for me.  She is quite the actress/model and did a great job of making everything look good. I hope you don’t mind a few pictures (and humor).

Color Block Bucket Bag by Julie Cefalu, in Modern Patchwork Magazine.  Modeled by Nicole Cefalu

Color Block Bucket Bag by Julie Cefalu, in Modern Patchwork Magazine. Modeled by Nicole Cefalu


O.k. thanks for humoring me.  I’ve got that out of my system.  I’m actually the luckiest mom (and wife) ever.

This bag is great to wear on shopping trips.  It can be worn as a cross-body bag or a shoulder bog.  When it’s worn cross-body, it allows your hands to be free for, well, for shopping.  I’ve taken this bag on a few hiking trips and it holds all of the essentials like a water bottle, car keys and sunscreen.  Again, hands free and the strap is wide and comfortable.

Color Block Bucket Bag by Julie Cefalu, in Modern Patchwork Magazine


It’s also completely reversible!

Color Block Bucket Bag by Julie Cefalu, in Modern Patchwork Magazine


I made another sample with canvas and a great fabric line from Quilting Treasures called Life…Enjoy the Ride by Tina Higgins.

Color Block Bucket Bag by Julie Cefalu, in Modern Patchwork Magazine


The wording fits perfectly into the wide strap of the bucket bag:

Color Block Bucket Bag by Julie Cefalu, in Modern Patchwork Magazine


And when you turn the bag inside out (being reversible is nice that way), you can see more of the words that I love in this fabric piece.

Color Block Bucket Bag by Julie Cefalu, in Modern Patchwork Magazine


I ended up changing the size of that pocket (above) to a smaller one (shown below).  It “fits” the bag better.

Color Block Bucket Bag by Julie Cefalu, in Modern Patchwork Magazine


One of the things I love about this bag is the inset zipper pocket.  It is so much easier to make than it looks!

Color Block Bucket Bag by Julie Cefalu, in Modern Patchwork Magazine


You can add a nice pop of color with the zipper and use a fun fabric inside there, too.

Color Block Bucket Bag by Julie Cefalu, in Modern Patchwork Magazine


The main bag fabric is from Essex Linen from Robert Kaufman in natural.  It’s made out of 55% linen and 45% cotton, and it’s perfect for bags.  The rest of the fabric came from my stash.

Color Block Bucket Bag by Julie Cefalu, in Modern Patchwork Magazine


I’d like to share something that has made me the happiest about this whole experience.  I received an email yesterday from Jennifer W.  She said:

Hi Julie!
I just wanted to let you know that I immediately bought the new issue of Modern Patchwork when I saw your bag pattern.  I started the bag the day after I bought the magazine and thoroughly enjoyed every second of the project! The instructions were crystal clear.  I started sewing about 2 years ago and have focused mainly on bags but none of them have involved piecing together strips. I have been wanting to quilt but have been so intimidated by the process. Piecing the strips for the front of the bucket bag has given me the confidence to start working on a simple quilt.  Thank you!!


That is the biggest compliment of all!  If only one person makes this Color Block Bucket Bag, then I’m a delighted lady (which I am).  And it was nice to know that my instructions actually made sense!  Plus, Jennifer might be on her way to becoming a quilter (I’m always looking for someone to convert).  She sent me a few pictures of her completed bag.  It turned out beautiful!  She used a magnetic snap closure instead of the ties and she used fusible fleece to give it more body.

Color Block Bucket Bag by Jennifer Wiatrowski
Color Block Bucket Bag by Jennifer Wiatrowski


Color Block Bucket Bag by Jennifer Wiatrowski
Color Block Bucket Bag by Jennifer Wiatrowski


Thank you, Jennifer, for sharing your kind words and your photos.  I am very grateful!

This may have been my first project to get featured in a magazine, but I’m sure it won’t be my last.  If you’ve been thinking of submitting an idea to a magazine, I encourage you to go for it!  You have nothing to lose.  I’ve already got a few quilt ideas swirling around in my mind to submit.  I just need to prioritize (and focus).

If you’re interested in purchasing a copy of this issue of Modern Patchwork, you’ll find a few deals at the Interweave Store.  Now thru May 10, they’re having a Mother’s Day special:
Save 30% at Interweave with Offer Code MOM30AFF

Or you can take advantage of their May Day special which is valid on May 1 only:
Save 40% at Interweave with Offer Code MAY40

Thank you, all, for indulging me today.  I am so appreciative of your encouragement and support.  I have a long way to go before I’m famous, but that’s not the goal anyways.  I just want to “enjoy the ride” and share the creative process with you!


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  1. Your daughter is a splendid model. What a pretty girl with a gorgeous smile! And the Brittany? Ah, ever the true hunter. 🙂 Congratulations on the publication, Julie. Really a nice project.

  2. Couldn’t have happened to a nicer lady. I love your blog link posts. Dahlgren0609 at Gmail dot co9

  3. Congrats on the getting published. Very cool. Love the photos of your daughter and the bag. Looks like you all have a good time.

  4. Congratulations, Julie! I like your bag design, and wish you joy as you keep on quilting.

  5. Thanks for providing info on the May 1st discount for the magazine. I popped over there and purchased the digital issue. Besides your bag, there are other interesting projects which I need to take time to investigate.

  6. I love the bag and ordered the magazine right away. I think this bag would be a perfect choice for gifts for my daughters and daughters in law for Christmas. Your post was fun, your daughter made a great model.

  7. OOHH Julie, I am so excited for you & the bag is gorgeous as is the model. Now that you are a “Published Lady” I will be alert for more from JULIE. Although we are only blog writers/readers I could not be mo re proud of your efforts & your success.
    Now, have a run around the park, & take a bow to acknowledge all the applause & the kudos. Should I say, “ENCORE, ENCORE, ENCORE JULIE?”

  8. I have a long bucket list of quilting, but the bucket bag has just made it’s way to the top. Now I just need to find the magazine at a shop near me. Just can’t wait for the mail. Love the bag and may have to make more than one.

  9. I really like your bag Julie. I can’t use a heavy bag (and a larger bag gets heavy) but across the body bag will work. Thank you.

  10. This is exciting news! The bag is classy and so is your model. I’m sure we’ll be seeing (and sewing) more of your published creations soon!

  11. Congratulations! I really enjoyed reading your post, and your model is adorable! This bag looks perfect: not only is it beautiful, but it also looks so comfortable. I love everything about it, from the zippered pocket to the fact that it is reversible. Love the one with the bicycle fabric. I must put the magazine on my wish list…good thing Mother’s Day is coming! 🙂

  12. Julie, I’m so happy for you! And for the quilting world, because if your pattern and instructions are anything like the Spring Petals QAL, everyone is in for a treat! Congratulations, and may you have many more publications.

  13. Just ordered the magazine and can’t wait to get started! Love the look of the tote and a chance to try an inset zipper.

  14. A big congratulations, Julie. It’s a lovely bag and your daughter looks beautiful modeling it for you! What a lovely and very special post.

  15. I am so flattered that you included pictures of my bag in your blog post!! I truly love this pattern. It had not even occurred to me that the bag is reversible. Now, I have so many other ideas for Color Block bucket bags!

  16. Congratulations! it looks like your bag is going to sell lots of this issue of the magazine. I better run out and get my copy before they sell out! The bag looks wonderful and I would love to make at least one, too.

  17. Yay! Congratulations Julie! Your bag looks fabulous and I am so proud of you. Love, love, love your modeled photos with your daughter (and dog). Just so much fun! And you already are famous in my eyes!

  18. Woohoo!!! Congratulations on being published, with this brilliant project! I’m glad this magazine recognized a winning project. Your versions are all so appealing, and so is the one made by Jennifer. Can’t wait to see what lies ahead for you, with your growing list of accomplishments. I’m just glad you are willing to share all of these bright quilty ideas!

  19. Oh Julie … What wonderful news … CONGRATULATIONS … all the accolades and public recognition are so well deserved … I feel so proud just having been taught by you …
    I’m in Englnd at the moment so not sure if I can get hold of the magazine for the pattern … I notice that other folk are experiencing the same concern … Maybe you might be kind enough to include it in one of your blogs?
    Again, congratulations … this ‘over-night success’ has taken … how many years of passion, dedicated work, teaching and learning?
    By the way, your daughter ( sorry couldn’t remember her name ) is a natural model … so fresh and full of the ‘joie de vivre’

  20. Hi Julie
    A big and well- deserved Congratulations! Your bag is gorgeous and well worth your ‘claim to fame’. I’m in Scotland right now so not sure the mag is sold here, but I definitely intend to get my hands on it, so thanks for the link. Loved your photos and fun captions too! Have a good week wth creative quilty thoughts

  21. congratulations a wonderful bag, not sure if this magazine is sold here in the UK but will enquire as I want one of your bags

  22. Happy congratulations, Julie! I LOVED reading about your bag in the magazine!! So exciting!! I enjoyed seeing the bag with your beautiful and talented model! Even your dog enhanced the bag photos 😉 I am going out to B&N tomorrow to look for the magazine! Do you think I’ll have time to make the bag before I go on vacation next Wednesday??!! Probably not, but I’ll get it made soon! Thank you for posting this exciting news!!

  23. Dear Julie, Congratulations!
    Along with a coffee, I enjoyed your post. Your bag is indeed a must do pattern. Your girl is beautiful and like you, with a big and sincere smile, and the comments are so funny.
    You are doing a great job, Jennifer is just one example with her beautiful bag. You are an inspiration for me too!

  24. Whoop whoop…..!!!!! I’m so excited for you and I would be over the top just like you. I can’t believe you’ve never been published before. It has to be because you haven’t submitted any of your work or the editors are blind.
    You aren’t my Fav for nothing!!!! Oh, and that cute red head is adorable. She is quite the drama queen, in a good way, and made the bag look HOT.
    WAY TO GO. I’ll have to buy the mag so I can get the tutorial and try to make that bag. The zipper looks scary but I’m going to trust you when you say it’s easier than it looks. It better be!!
    Gmama Jane

  25. Hi Julie
    I’m so excited for you!! Congratulations!! I LOVE making bags! I make them for all my granddaughters and daughters & some of their friends as well!! I’m heading out tomorrow to buy this magazine!! Your bag is absolutely beautiful!! I think I’m going to make myself one as well
    The fabric you chose is beautiful too! Keep up the good work thank you for sharing this with all of us!!

  26. Julie, I love the bag. And your daughter is Beautiful, she looks so full of life and is enjoying her “famous” mother.
    Best wishes to you both. I always enjoy reading your blog.
    Carole in Arizona

  27. Congrats! How awesome to find yourself famous! I’ve enjoyed your posts so much, I already thought of you as someone famous. I can’t wait to get the magazine and try my hand at making the bag.

  28. My neighbor is famous! CONGRATULATIONS! Such a perfect bag! Yes…I’ll need to get a copy of that magazine!
    And….Nicole is gorgeous! Xoxo

  29. Congratulations, Julie, on having your tote bag published in a
    magazine! All of your projects look professional, so it is no surprise. I’m very happy for you!

  30. Congrats on being published!! I purchased this magazine on Sunday and one of the reasons was because of your bag. I love making bags…some using patterns and others I design myself to give as gifts.

  31. Hi – I really enjoyed your blog about your fabulous bag!!! I am so happy for you – congratulations on becoming published!! Yey!! It is a gorgeous bag and I hope to make it. Tell your daughter that she is a star!!!!

  32. Woohoo! You truly ARE famous……well, you always have been in MY inbox. 😎 Congratulations on being published. You know what they say, “publish or perish”, but that may be for researchers, scientists or doctors….. I must buy this magazine so I can tell everyone that my friend Julie is in it with a terrific pattern for a great bag.

    xo Linda

  33. Congratulations Julie, how exciting for you. The bag is beautiful and is now on my to do list. Several years ago I took my first quilting class with you. Thank you for starting me on my way. I am sure there will be more of your work published.

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