Introducing: Sew Red
Win your own copy... see end of post

... and exhale! Phew, I feel like I've been holding my breath for months! I'm so excited to finally be able to tell you about this exciting project I am honored to be a part of. Sew Red is finally out in the world, just in time for American Heart Month, and I couldn't be prouder!

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I met Laura Zander, creator of Sew Red, a follow-up book to Knit Red, at Spring Quilt Market 2012 in Kansas City. I have to thank the amazing Nancy Jewell, of Westminster Fibers, for making the introduction. I'll never forget it... she said, "Do you like the color red?" I chuckled because anyone who knows me knows that red is my favorite color. I said, "Like it? I love it! As a matter of fact, my company logo is red and so are all of our marketing materials!" I pulled out a red Modkid pen from my purse and handed it to her. After she was convinced that I was indeed a fan of the color red, she proceeded to explain the project, a book filled with sewing and quilting projects in honor of women's heart health. She had me at "women's heart health", which has always been a personal cause for me, having had a grandmother fall victim to heart disease many years ago.

As if I wasn't already convinced, Laura then started rattling off a list of the other designers who would be involved. This list sounded like a who's who in the fabric and sewing world! Amy Butler, Nancy Zieman, Denyse Schmidt, Kaffe Fasset, Ty Pennington, Aneela Hoey, Tula Pink, Kaari Meng... and the list goes on and on. I thought to myself, "Am I worthy?"

Laura asked me to design a project using mostly red fabrics (that wouldn't be a problem for me) and add a blurb about how women's heart health is important to me. I knew I had to tell my grandma's story!

My maternal grandmother, known as Mama Alicia to all who loved her, died of a heart attack in 1979. We all lived in Costa Rica at the time and there was no easy way to “call 911” like we do here in the States. She collapsed on the street while walking back from church. A neighbor called the local hospital but they didn’t have a driver for the ambulance at the time. Then they called a taxi cab but the driver did not want to be responsible for her. Finally, they reached a family member but by the time they got there it was too late. The story was incredibly sad and made my mother rethink the way she eats and lives. My mother is now in her late 60s and goes to the gym every day and follows a gluten-free and dairy-free diet. She is healthier than most young people I know. To this day, my mother has been quite an inspiration to her children and grand children.
The project I designed is called Sonoma Purse and it's an easy-to-sew pleated bag made from just three fat quarters of fabric:


You can add extra details like the Grand Bazaar ribbon we added to the handle...

Sonoma Purse by Patty Young from Sew Red by Laura Zander, published by Sixth&Spring Books. Photo by Rose Callahan copyright © 2012 by Sixth&Spring Books/Soho Publishing. Used by permission.

Do check out the book. It has 27 projects that range from quilts to garments to accessories designed by the industry's top talent. The book's design is top notch and the photography is outstanding, plus it includes heart-healthy recipes and personal stories from all the designers involved.

And as if that wasn't reason enough to run out and get this book: Jimmy Beans Wool has agreed to contribute a minimum of 5% of their gross profits from the sale of this Stitch Red product to the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health in support of The Heart Truth® and women's heart health education and research.

Win your own copy of SEW RED! Leave us a comment below and let us know if and how heart disease has affected your life and what you are doing to live a heart-healthy life. We will pick a winner next Friday, Feb. 22nd, 2013. Please leave a way to contact you if you are the lucky winner. Best of luck to you all!!


  1. My grandfather died from complications after a heart attack my first year of college, and I know that high blood pressure and high cholesterol are rampant in my mother's family. My husband also has high blood pressure and high cholesterol, so we do try to eat a diet with plenty of lean meats, whole grains, and vegetables, which is a great habit for him, for me, and for the kids too--picky eaters notwithstanding... Would love a copy of the book! sewingphd (at) yahoo (dot) com

  2. My father had heart disease.He died after open heart surgery.

    I do not eat meat,rarely if at all.I do not use salt.
    rinebird on Ravelry

  3. Hi Patty,
    I am lucky to say that in our family the heart does not seem to be the big problem. My maternal grandma died of complications of Diabetes. This scares me a lot. So I work hard to keep my weight and turned vegetarian when I was 18. My Mom also takes care of her health due to the historical facts...
    xoxo Flávia

  4. My husband recently had bypass surgery. He is recovering and is learning how to eat healthier.

    I rarely use salt, try to eat healthy and squeeze in a little exercise when I can. I hope to add more walking as the weather warms up!

  5. Thank you for the opportunity to win this book.
    Heart disease, in the form of high blood pressure runs in my family and in my husbands' family, it's in the form of cholesterol. When his father had his first heart attack, my husband totally changed his diet and lost 50 lbs. He has kept it off to this day, 30 years later. We both watch our diets and exercise and we hope for the best.

  6. Thanks for the opportunity. My husbands grandfather has suffered from my heart conditions over the years and now both his sister (early 20's) and my husband (early 30's) himself are being treated for heart conditions too. My husband went in to the hospital about a week after his sister was released. Being there in the hospital with them was probably one of the scariest things I have ever experience.

  7. My grandmother died of heart disease and my dear friends son just passed away of congenital heart disease this morning. This is a cause dear to my heart.

  8. Thanks for the giveaway!
    My dad has had open heart surgery twice and is doing well now.
    My daughter had Wolfe Parkinson White and had it fixed and is
    doing great also. A year later she gave birth to a healthy little

  9. I eat healthy and take extra vitamins and supplements every day.

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  11. Sounds like a great book and for a wonderful cause. My Dad had his first heart attack at age 35 yrs old. He had a quadrupal bypass years later. Diabeties also runs in my family as well as high blood pressure. I'm trying to be more aware of what passes my lips and making smarter food choices.

    Thank you for an awesome giveaway and a chance to win.


  12. Thanks for a great giveaway!
    Luckily no one in my family has been affected but in our village we have lost 2 wonderful people in the last week.
    I try to eat well and take as much exercise as I can

  13. What an incredible project to participate in. My husband and I are Mexican so we have always been so used to being at family get togethers where the meats and things cooked with lard flow freely and we are now seeing grandparents, parents, aunts and uncles pay for a lifetime of eating that way. We mostly eat vegetarian and would like to go back to eating vegan. We want to break the trend and show our kiddos a different way of eating and living. Its so hard but the more we learn the more we want to change.

  14. What an amazing cause to support. My mother has been dealing with heart disease for over 20 years. She had an angioplasty in 1986 and just had a stent put in last year. It was to her credit that she was able to go so long between surgeries with diet, exercise and medication.

  15. Wow! It looks beautiful! And what a great cause! Fortunately, heart disease has NOT affected me or my family thus far. I did have some minor issues with my heart after delivery of my last 2 babies.... enough to worry me... but I got the a.o.k from my cardiologist. It did however, make me so much more aware of things. Exercise is my weakness and where I would like to improve to keep my heart happy! Thanks for the chance!

    sarah8914 at gmail dot com

  16. The book looks wonderful, and what a worthwhile cause! Your grandmothers story is just so sad. My uncle died suddenly from a heart attack less than a year ago, and my family is still shocked by how sudden it was. It's a pity it has taken his death to make us realise the strong history of heart disease in our family.

  17. I love the bag you designed! The book looks great and for a worthwhile cause.
    I have pulmonary hypertension ( high pressure within the heart) It was caused from an auto immune disease and not by life choices. There is no cure for it but it has made me very aware of making changes in my life so as to keep every other part of me as healthy as possible.

  18. I try to exercise every day. Several people I know have recently had heart attacks. I expect to become hypertensive eventually since it runs in my family. Watching my weight is even more important now that I've reached the big 5-0.

  19. My mother had a massive heart attack at age 52, despite watching her cholesterol and being an active person. She died of sudden cardiac arrest at age 66. Because of this, I am careful about my diet and try to maintain good habits. But perhaps most importantly, I pay attention to warning signs of cardiac distress. Last winter I sought urgent treatment when I had chest pain that did not resolve. I felt a little foolish, and was relieved to learn that it was costochondritis (related to the cartilage between my ribs) rather than cardiac. But the hospital personnel assured me I had done the right thing, that I shouldn't diagnose myself at home. So I'm learning to overcome "embarrassment" to avoid serious health issues.

  20. Wonderful book for a great cause! I have been lucky so far, havng had had borderline high cholesterol'while in my twenties, a vegetarian, and at normal weight. I started exercising then, and though that has fluctuated, as well as my weight, my levels went back to normal. I take fish oil pills and my biggeet goal this year is to get my weight stable again, through daily exercise and better stress handling. Your story and the others here are a good wake up call.

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