StudioKat Designs: Handbags, Notions & Tips Galore!


StudioKat Designs

You may have met her at an AQS QuiltWeek Show and know just how wonderful StudioKat Designs bags and goodies are, but if you haven’t, you’re in for a treat! Be sure not to miss Kathy’s incredible tips and video links below.

Meet Kathy Southern of in her own words…

After working for 30 years as a municipal employee for the City of Winston-Salem, NC, I retired very young (at 51) and started this business. I’ve been a sewist all my life and I’ve enjoyed making quilts, clothing, and various craft items…particularly bags. It’s long been my tradition to make many of the gifts I give during the holiday season.

In 2004, I started StudioKat Designs with my first three bag patterns and a website I coded myself. I had absolutely NO business experience or training, but it seemed like a fun thing to try and since at that point I printed all my own patterns and pretty much wore ALL the hats, there was very little down-side to giving the old college try.

My husband and I live in NC with my 2 cats. Our daughters family live in nearby Charlotte with our two grandchildren who we love spending time with! We built a studio onto our house so I don’t even have to get in a car to go to work (That’s both a good AND a not so good thing!)

The Bags…

We generally aim for releasing two new patterns per year.  In April, StudioKat Designs released the Bangle Buddie shown below.

We’re currently in the midst of the pre-release promotional blog posts for our new pattern for Fall which has yet to be named.

You can see our most recent post about this new design by clicking here, it features the 1st prototype of what will eventually be a finished pattern which we’ll release shortly prior to the Fall Quilt Market.

The Zippers…

We also try to release a new zipper style or two each year. You can see all of our zipper styles in this post as well as a little video explaining a few unique things about purse zippers. There’s also a picture of our newest zipper, which is all silver with silver zipper teeth and a cool star zipper pull.  Our new zipper for Fall is due in any day now and will be similar, only gold on gold with another very unique (yet different) zipper pull.

Kat’s Magic Bag of Tips and Tricks…

I find that many quilters are intimidated by two things:

1- zippers – which there’s nothing easier than sewing a zipper into a bag. Its WAY different than sewing one into a clothing item, and…

2applying bias tape to a curved edge – This too is a pretty easy thing to do. But it’s amazing how many folks don’t realize a couple of easy tricks that make applying bias tape as easy as pie! Here’s a  video detailing these tips and you can see it here.

            Applying Bias Tape with a Smooth Finish

And here’s a little post I wrote with tips about sewing thru tight curves.

            Smooth Curves Ahead

You can see these tips and many more on our Tips & Tricks page on our website.

            Kat’s Bag of Tips & Tricks

Of course, people love to look at our bag samples. We bring lots of ‘em so folks can get a good look, but they’re probably most surprised at our zippers which are totally original with us. We get them manufactured especially for StudioKat Designs. Here’s great picture of our line of zippers (excluding the new gold zipper which is due any day) below.

At AQS QuiltWeek…

The best part about Quiltweek that we enjoy is the volunteers who come out and work so hard to make the show great. We enjoy interacting with them and getting to know as many as possible. This is particularly true in Paducah, KY where the entire town virtually rolls out the red carpet for us! I love seeing all the red jackets!

Don’t miss StudioKat at…

You can also find us at our online store-

But our customers can also keep up with what we’re doing by –

Joining our newsletter mailing list– here’s a link to our latest newsletter

We’re also very active on the following social media outlets:

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Will you be at the Houston International Quilt Festival 2019?

Be sure to check out their show schedule! It looks like the answer is yes.

-Emily Cross


Do you have any quilted napsacks/backpacks?