Diary of a Cuckoo Clock Designer 12

cuckoo clock designer

Now that’s a claim to fame! In high school, when the guidance counselor asked me what I wanted to study at college, Cuckoo Clock Designer certainly wasn’t on the list of choices. Nor Rubber Duckie Designer, nor Quilting TV Show Host for that matter. Had I stuck with  electrical engineering people who know me wouldn’t, as is often the case,  have to ask me to explain to others what it is I do. What would be the fun in that?

The first time I remember seeing a cuckoo clock I was well into the adult stage of life.  A fancy Swiss clock complete with music and dancers and dogs –oh my! — cast the cuckoo clock spell upon me. Between rubber duckies and cuckoo clocks my eBay rating skyrocketed. As is always the case with me, soon I was struck with the make-my-own-bug: I wanted to design my own.


Realizing the Quilt Shop Cuckoo Clock Dream

ScneiderFactoryBack in– gosh, 2006 was it? — the opportunity arose. I headed off to the Bernina Sewing machine company in Switzerland with a producer and cameraman to shoot several episodes of a TV series for quilters I was hosting at the time. “So, let’s see… That’s real close to Germany… How do I knit together quilting and cuckoo clocks and turn it into a show? Design a cuckoo clock for quilters of course!”

There was one itsy bitsy problem. My German distributor contact here in the States didn’t think the folks at the factory would get as excited as I over the idea. Regardless, off we went, an American TV show wanting to do a story on the making of cuckoo clocks seemed to be enough for the Schneider Cuckoo Clock  factory to put out the welcome mat.

Shoot!Cuckoo Clock Designer

Upon our arrival in Schonach we toured the factory to plan our shoot. As we geared up for taping in the sales room, I pitched the idea of designing a quilt-inspired clock for viewers. And held my breathe. The response wasn’t cold, it was even better than tepid. Wow!

Brainstorming the possibilities, we found a clock there in the salesroom as a starting point. We wanted animation, which this one had. But it had a long way to go before being our clock! You see, our modern pretty lady was an old hag on the original clock. Rolling pin in hand no less. And where the kitty jumps on a pile of bolts of fabric on our clock, two men sat on benches at a table and quaffed beer when the cuckoo sounded. That’s when the old lady smacked one of them over the head with her rolling pin. Gotta love it! (In fact, a German born friend said, when I described the original clock to her, “I’ve seen that exact scene for real and more than once!”)

The clock in this catalog page is similar to that original clock, which has apparently been discontinued.

Designing the Quilt Shop Cuckoo Clock




Changing the old woman to a contemporary quilter was simple to do. And since the woman was already animated, adding a table for her to cut on was no problem. But what about that rotary cutter she needed in her hand? The German-speaking wood carver had no idea what a rotary cutter is, and I hadn’t a clue as to how to translate it, until one of us said, “pizza cutter!” He disappeared and reappeared a few moments later having carved a cutter that needed just a few tweaks to go from pizza- to fabric-ready. What language barrier?


Cuckoo Clock Designer



With limited time, we finished taping the show with a cobbled together first rendition of the clock for our “ta da” moment of the episode. That night in the picture-perfect alpine cross country ski lodge, snuggled in a bed that looked like one from my dollhouse, I could hardly believe what had transpired that day.

Back at home the work began to produce the clock for real.  I set about creating detailed drawings for what would be the real clock.






I sent photos of cutting mats, bolts of fabric, and a rotary cutter to help them get everything quilterly accurate.






A Quilt Shop Cuckoo Clock Needs Quilts!Cuckoo Clock Designer

What would a quilt shop be without quilts? The spaces to the left and right of the cuckoo door provided the perfect spots for two quilts. And an excuse to play around in Electric Quilt to design them.

It’s amazing to look back at this and see how much the clock really does look like the drawings I sent!

It’s a Quilt Shop, It’s a Cuckoo Clock, It’s a Quilt Shop Cuckoo Clock!

With all the details set I awaited the arrival of the sample clock. It knocked my socks off! With a few tiny changes we pushed the go button on production, ordering 125 of them. As they were manufactured and shipped, I wrote checks and held my breathe that other quilters would be nutty enough to think the combination of a quilt shop and a cuckoo clock was enchanting. Turns out they did and in time all 125 clocks found homes.

Fittingly enough, as I am signing off on this I hear my Quilt Shop Cuckoo Clock singing to me from the living room. Dreams do come true! Now that I am both a Cuckoo Clock Designer and a Rubber Duckie Designer perhaps one day I will meet Ernie, Rubber Duckie’s #1 fan, after all!

Please note: Any new clocks will not have that wooden plate on the front with my name. Communication error between me and the factory on the first batch. I wanted it signed by me on the side. No one said anything about it (quilters are so nice!) but I think they’d rather my name not be up front, and I certainly would prefer it not to be!


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12 thoughts on “Diary of a Cuckoo Clock Designer

    • Jodie Post author

      Hi Jim,
      The clocks are currently in the process of being made in Germany. I ordered a few extra, so yes, you can get one. I anticipate delivery mid- to late-June. I can send you a PayPal receipt if you wish to buy one. They are $380 plus $16 shipping within the continental US. You can email me at: rduckie@itsarubberduckieworld.com
      Thanks for your interest!

        • Jodie Post author

          Hi Shan,
          Sorry to say they are all sold. But Ias soon as I get confirmation from the factory regarding their availability to make another batch I will launch another Kickstarter. I am hoping it will be this week.
          I have added you to my — growing — list of people who are interested and will let you know as soon as I get word.
          Thanks for your interest in the clock!

    • Jodie Post author

      Hi Tina,

      You have great timing. Received word today that the clocks will be picked up in Germany by the freight forwarder Tuesday. The estimate is three weeks to get here. Add on a few days for them to get to my actual location. Progress! I’m going over to Kickstarter to post an update to everyone, so know when you receive an email it’s duplicate information.
      I’m glad you’re anticipating your clock’s arrival!


  • Jodie Post author

    Great news!
    The Quilt Shop Cuckoo Clock is available on Kickstarter!
    The closing date to order it is Friday, October 3, 2014. I have to get a purchase order in by close of business Friday, German time, in order to have the clocks made and shipped this yar. That puts them here and onto your wall about the first week in January.
    I sent everyone who responded here and individual e-mail, but one bounced, so am doubling back.
    Thanks for your inteerst in the cuckoo clocks!

    • Jodie Post author

      Hi Joyce,
      I’ll be starting a Kickstarter campaign this coming week. The best way to keep apprised is to be on my email list, so I will add you. Look for an e-mail from The Cuckoo Clock Designer. You’ll need to open it and click to accept being added to the list.
      Thanks so much for your interest!