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About Me

Laura Martell- Lifelong Sewer, Sewing Expert, Teacher and the Founder of The Creative Thimble
I grew up in Wethersfield, CT a beautiful quaint New England town in a wonderful 100 year old home. My interest in sewing started at a very early age. I used to hand sew clothes for my Barbie dolls until my grandmothers taught me how to sew on their machines.


After I got married, I always did something creative. I have made baskets, sewed Teddy Bears, including a mink one from my grandmother's fur muff. During the Cabbage Patch craze, I made lots and lots of dolls and doll clothes.

I started quilting in 1980, during my first pregnancy. Eleanor Burns was teaching her new log cabin, fabric-ripping technique, and I took one of her classes in Newington, CT. I have been quilting ever since.


Handbags and Tote Bags

I have always loved handbags and tote bags, and along with my quilting, I would always be trying the newest bag/purse pattern.

In 1990, I saw a picture of a tote bag in a very expensive catalog using decorator fabrics. I couldn’t afford the tote bag in the catalog, but decided to try to make a bag using decorator fabrics. I was hooked.

I started making tote bags and zippered handbags to sell at local craft shows. By this time, I was living in Poughkeepsie, New York and had 2 children. It was great to be able to work at home and take care of the children. I was doing very well selling my bags at the crafts shows and my family would come with me and enjoy the travel and shows with me.



In 1993, my husband was transferred to Raleigh, NC with his job at IBM. In order to meet new people, I took a few quilting classes at Bernina World of Sewing in Raleigh. I decided that I might like to work outside the home part-time, so I started working at Bernina in February of 1994.

By the first week of March that same year, I was teaching Bernina Club attendees how to make my tote bags. They were so popular that I decided to write it up and make a pattern for sale. I have been selling and teaching Laura’s tote pattern and Laura’s zippered tote patterns ever since.


Sewing Pattern Expansion

In the fall of 2003, I decided to create 3 new patterns. The Raleigh Purse (guess where I got that name?) The Professional Tote, a great tote for all your professional needs, and Janet’s Jewelry Case. The Jewelry case is named in honor of my mother who never had any grandchildren named after her, so I named my “3rd child” after her.

Now that my children are adults (my, how time flies), and I am no longer working outside of the home, I hope to do some traveling and teaching.

So if you would like to have me teach in your shop, or at a sewing group, please contact me at laura@thecreativethimble.com

Take a look at all of my sewing patterns. And if you see one you want to try, use our easy ordering process.



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