Dirty Little Secrets


A little over three years ago my book, Piecing Makeover, was published. It’s one of my greatest accomplishments and I’m extremely proud of it. 

Three years later, my book is STILL selling. THAT is a BIG DEAL in the quilt book publishing world since there is SO MUCH content online.

My book has been featured in numerous blogs, magazines and even in Library Journal –  another huge honor.

Writing a book has afforded me opportunities that I wouldn’t have otherwise had. It definitely opened doors:  trunk shows, lectures, traveling to teach, and along the way I’ve been fortunate to meet some absolutely amazing people – some who have become dear, dear friends. I’ve loved every second of this journey and I’d do it all again.  

Piecing Makeover has been printed twice (TWICE!!)! Quilters I know around the world tell me they love it, use it, suggest it for ALLLL their students, customers, you name it! It’s an amazing feeling to have people you know, and don’t know, tell you how much they like your book and your work. Euphoria and pride bundled together making your heart want to burst!

The real genesis of the book came from my own struggles, coupled with recurring problems I heard and saw with new quilters. For the most part I’m self-taught, though I

had incredible mentors along the way. As I figured out X and Y and Z, it became clear to me that the struggles I had when learning to quilt were fairly universal. That was highlighted when I worked in a lovely little shop in Decatur, Georgia and heard quilters, specifically new quilters, come in with the same problems over and over again.

One thing I really saw, especially if someone was new to quilting, was excitement and complete and utter intimidation. Talk about a range of emotions! New quilters were eager to learn, terrified to make mistakes and, at the same time, trepidatious about asking for help! And in the age of the internet and access to allll the things, quilters would go online and see perfect patchwork everywhere! Talk about nerve-wrecking!

When I wrote my book it was based on one simple fact: we all make mistakes. We all start somewhere. In fact, I was in Nashville a few years ago and stopped by CraftSouth. There was a quote painted on the wall (I think this was the one….it might also be the one about every professional was once an amateur, but they are in the same vein)….and it has since made it into all my classes. It really resonated with me.

                        EVERY ARTIST WAS FIRST AN AMATEUR.

                                                Ralph Waldo Emerson

We all start at the beginning. We all make mistakes. We can all learn from those mistakes. But we have to ask for help to figure out how to overcome those mistakes. After all, knowledge is power.

What I hear most often when I’m teaching from my book is “Why isn’t X taught that way? It’s so much easier like this!” I LOVE to hear that! I love knowing that I can really make a difference in someone’s work! THAT makes it all worthwhile.

I jokingly refer to my book as quilting’s dirty little secret. Everyone has it, but no one wants to talk about it – since it’s assumed that work should always be perfect and there are no mistakes, right? 🙂

So if you own my book, have read my book, or used a tip from my book, I would love to see what you’ve made or hear how it’s helped. Post a photo or comment here, on my Instagram page (@pattymurphyhandmade) or on FaceBook (Patty Murphy Handmade). I promise I’ll reply!

Happy Piecing!

With heart,


Published by Patty Murphy

Designer. Quilter. Fabric Hoarder.

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