Tuesday, April 15, 2014


I finished up a few projects that were weighing on me. First, I made a pillow for the school's auction. I won't be able to help out at the actual event, but I thought I could still contribute something.

I started with Jeni's Modern Plus Pillow tutorial. I wanted to try putting a zipper in a pillow, so I made the back from a single piece of fabric.

I quilted both the front and back with grids of somewhat straight lines.

I'm happy with it. I wish I could have found a shorter zipper for the bottom, I think it'd look better with a 14" but I used what I had on hand. Yay me! Shop that stash!

Another was a quilt block for my MIL's church.When she asked me to make her block for her, I said yes without asking for details. It turned out to be an embroidered block, and since I don't do much of that, I was nervous. It turned out nice (I forgot to take a picture!) and I finished it before the due date, which doesn't happen often. 

I also tackled painting out stairway. Ugh. My body is sore but it looks much better. It's nice to knock projects off my list.

Some of you already know this, but I'm going to be blogging for the My Stars blog every other Friday! My first post went up last week. I'll be covering a variety of topics, but if there's something you want to hear more about, let me know. 

Go follow us on facebook so you never miss a post, then enter to win at this post. Good luck!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Around the Block tutorial

Welcome to my turn on the Around the Block Round Robin. If you're new here, thanks for stopping by. I'm Tammie, and I am so happy to be sharing a block tutorial with you all! Anytime is a good time to join in on this quilt along. Just make the block of the week, and submit it to the flickr group for a chance to win that week's sponsored prize. This week, Andover fabrics is giving away a fat quarter pack!

Here's what we're making today. A trio of pinwheels surrounded by sweet squares. Spins & Squares!

And because if one is cute, two is cuter, I made a second version out of solids. I reversed the colors in the pinwheel so you can decide which way you like best. So let's get started!

You'll need:
six 3" squares - white
six 3" squares - purple
fourteen 2.5" squares - assorted
two 2.5" x 4.5" - white
two 2.5" x 6.5" - white

Start by laying out your block. Decide on your fabric placement. Then begin making half square triangles. Pair up one white and one purple 3" square. Use your favorite method, I have a tutorial here. You can finger press the white one in half along the diagonal and then stitch 1/4" from the fold line. Sometimes I draw a line instead of pressing.

Cut them apart and trim them to 2 1/2" squares. I recently bought a Quilt in a Day triangle square up ruler, and I love it for trimming. As you can see, you aren't trimming off much.

Snip off the tips before you press them open.

Once you have your HSTs trimmed & pressed, decide which way you want them to spin. I think I prefer the white to be on the bottom of the half square triangle, instead of on top like in these pictures. But you can decide for yourself.

Sew them together in pairs. Then sew two pairs together for your pinwheel. I open out the center seam when I press, it seems to give me the flattest block. Now you have a pinwheel! Repeat two more times.

Next, start piecing together your squares. This block is put together in three columns, as shown below. (don't be intimidated by my artistic skills, lol!) The arrows show the direction for pressing most of the seams, to allow them to nest neatly together.

For the first column, piece three of the 2.5" squares together. Then attach a white 2.5" x 6.5" strip to it.  Repeat. This unit gets stitched in between a pinwheel block and a set of two 2.5" blocks(sewn together).

For the middle, it's two of the 2.5" squares stitched together, with a white 2.5" x 4.5" strip sewn to it. Repeat. Then place one unit on the top and bottom of a pinwheel block.

The third column is the same as the first, only upside down.

In no time at all, you have a sweet 12.5" block of your own. Go on, go make one! Be sure to post pictures in the flickr group for a chance to win some goodies! Thanks so much to Becky for letting me be a part of the Around the Block Round Robin.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

spring has sprung

hi all! I thought I'd pop in and say a quick hello before I dive into a massive to-do list. the grass is turning green and the birds are singing, it's hard to make time to stay indoors and get things done! Here's what I'm working on this week:

Finishing a 14" x 14" quilted pillow for the school auction.

A test block for the next issue of 100 Blocks. We had a short break after finishing the last issue, and it's time to go again!

I started a quilt for my cousin Katie - who is due, like, really soon. I have my blocks almost finished, and today some fabric I got on #thegreatfabricdestash came for the back. I am excited about how this one is coming along! It's the Kisses quilt from the Modern Applique Workbook.

KC Scrappy Bee blocks - gosh I am so behind! I have Lesley's bookshelf block to do, Nikki's blocks (above) to deliver or mail. I missed this March's meeting because Zach was sick, so I didn't get my kit yet, I don't even know whose turn it is!

Around the Block Quilt Along - I am behind there too. This is my week though, so you'll get to see my block on Wednesday.

The baby chicks are getting their feathers in! Gwen and Evie, the barred rocks, are a lot tamer than Charlotte and Esther, the silver laced wyandottes. Those two are super skittish and tend to freak whenever they are disturbed. I need to make a few changes to the run before they are introduced to the flock.

The garden is tilled but I still need to get my onions & strawberries in the ground. No potatoes this year.

Oy. On the bright side, I have knocked some things OFF my list, like shopping for baseball gear with my 8 year old. He had to get his first cup, lol. Soccer practices and games for all four of our kids. Preparing for AJ's First Communion. Troy is working an outage, which means 5 days of 12 hour shifts on, one day off. Ugh. I'm still working at the quilt shop on Fridays, and I even made it to my local Pieces & Patches guild meeting this month! Thank goodness for free babysitters like my mom and sis-in-law!

I took a workshop at guild with Donna Lynn Thomas, which was fun. We worked on her Shimmering Leaves block, and her technique has got my mind whirling with ideas to use it in other projects!

She stresses accuracy, and gives lots of advice on achieving it.

I have a few other things in the works, like a summer sewing workshop for kids! But that deserves it's very own post and as I said, I have a lot to do right now. I better get to it, but be sure to stop back in tomorrow for my block tutorial!

happy sewing!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Showcase at the Star!

It's coming up soon, on April 4th! If you're in the Kansas City area, be sure to stop by for the opening on First Friday from 5-9 at the KC Star Press Pavilion. Or come see me Saturday (I'll be there in the afternoon), from 9:30am until 3. I have 2 quilts in this show, and there will be tons of other fabulous quilts by my KCMQG friends! This KCMQG showcase is free to the public and I believe the KC Star will also have some of their books for sale during the event. Hope to see you there!

Monday, March 17, 2014

hello spring!

The kids are on spring break this week, and we have some fun activities planned. Tonight I'm sharing one we actually started a couple of weeks ago. We have 6 chickens, which means we collect about 5-6 eggs a day. I saw an idea for reusing the shells for starting seeds at Fresh Eggs Daily, and we decided to give it a try.

First, I collected some clear plastic egg cartons from the recycling center. (Costco sells eggs in these clear cartons too). Then one morning when we had scrambled eggs, we carefully broke the ends of the shell to save as much as possible for planting.

baby sunflowers!
We did sunflower seeds in the shells. I also filled another egg carton with potting soil to start some seeds of Poor Man's Weather Glass, also know as the Scarlet Pimpernel.  The ones we chose have a blue flower that will close up when it's going to rain. It's suited for rocky areas, so I'm hoping to plant them in our driveway flower bed that is very shallow.

The sprouts are so teensy compared to the sunflowers!

Of course, yesterday we woke up to a dusting of snow, but I know that the warm weather will be here soon and we'll be able to plant these then. Just crush the bottom of the egg shell a little before planting them. I'm hoping to harvest lots of sunflower seeds for our chickens!

Monday, March 3, 2014


I recently got an email about a book project that I did - it's finally coming out! Little One-Yard Wonders has a publication date of June 3!

It feels like so long ago that I submitted my idea. It's exciting though, and I can't wait to hold a copy in my hands. There will be a blog tour so I'll keep you posted on that, and I will have copies available for purchase! It's also available for pre-order on amazon.  I loved the other One-Yard Wonder books, and I'm sure this one will be just as awesome!

I am also finishing up my last test block for Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks vol. 9 today. It's hard to not be able to show you what I've been stitching, but once the issue comes out you can count on lots of show & tell!

Enough of that secret stuff, I can share with you my progress on the Around the Block Round Robin!

We have 4 blocks done and I am so in love with this fabric line. I'm using a fat 8th bundle of April Showers that I picked up at sample spree. I really need some yardage of a bunch of these prints. The dots, stripes, and ginghams are so me, and I love the florals and raindrop prints too. The white on white dot is fantastic - perfect for backgrounds.

The blocks so far have been easy and fun to make! If you want to join in the quilt along, be sure to add pictures of your completed blocks to the flickr group to be eligible for each week's prize! The blocks are posted each Wednesday, and mine is coming up soon (that's a little glimpse of it in the header though, shhh...)

I better get back to work. I have bee blocks to do! happy sewing!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Kitchen Stitches!

I got a copy to review of the new book Kitchen Stitches a couple weeks ago. I wanted to jump right in and make a bunch of these projects! Lots of fun ideas from designers you love, like Kim Niedzwiecki, Jenifer Dick, Amy Ellis, and Melissa Corry - just to name a few!

So I finally had a chance to do some selfish sewing. I made this cute handle cover for our cast iron skillet.

I cooked this frittata recipe the other night and everyone loved it, so I know I'll be using this a lot. Plus it's fun to use some of those scraps of fabrics up!

Brownie wouldn't stay out of the photo shoot. :)

And then I whipped up Jenifer's potholder from the book. This is a whimsical one - looks like a mitt, but isn't. I can't wait to see my husband trying to get his hand into it - ha, kidding! although it would be funny, amirite?

I used some spring-ish colors, even though they are calling for snow - I just can't even think about that! This was a quick little project, and I even added a step by quilting it a little after I turned it right side out. You don't have to, but since I already had my walking foot on, it didn't take any time at all. I also got my block upside down - oops - but whatever, it still works! You could use up some orphan blocks for this too!

This will be a great reference to have on hand for all kinds of gifts and go-to projects.

I love this coupon keeper by Heather of the Sewing Loft! So sweet! There's lots more to see in this book, like casserole covers, aprons, table runners and more. So get a copy for yourself. You deserve it. :)

Friday, February 14, 2014

My turn!

Congrats to Janet, she won the book!

Welcome to the Modern Applique Workbook Blog Tour!

I've been fortunate enough to take Jenifer's invisible applique workshop not just once, but two times! We made a different project each class, and she is a fantastic teacher. I'd only tried raw edge applique prior to taking the class, so I was truly a beginner. She has lots of tips and tricks to help you get the cleanest applique for your project.

The instructions in the book are thorough, and it's definitely one I will refer back to again and again. And the photography is beautiful too, always a plus!

The applique projects in this book are fresh and fun. I love the whimsical appeal of some of the shapes.

I'm going to make Kisses in greys and yellows for my cousin Katie, who's having a baby boy! :)

You can read more about Jenifer's quilts and other books at her blog, www.42quilts.com
Here's the schedule for the other stops on the tour!

Feb. 10: Bonnie Hunter www.quiltville.blogspot.com
Feb. 11: Amy Smart www.diaryofaquilter.com
Feb. 12: Angela Walters www.quiltingismytherapy.com/my-blog
Feb. 13: Debbie Grifka www.eschhousequilts.com
Feb. 14: Tammie Schaffer www.craftytammie.com (that's me!)
Feb. 17: Casey York www.studioloblog.wordpress.com
Feb. 18: Deb Rowden www.debrowden.blogspot.com
Feb. 19: Melissa Thompson Maher @ Generation Q magazine http://generationqmagazine.com/
Feb. 20: Shea Henderson www.emptybobbinsewing.com
Feb. 21: Diane Harris @ Quiltmaker Magazine http://www.quiltmaker.com/blogs/quiltypleasures/ 

If you'd like a shot at winning a copy for yourself, enter using the rafflecopter widget below, and be sure to check out the other stops on the blog tour for more chances! The giveaway will end Feb. 22nd. The winner will receive a book if they are in the US, an e-book if they are international!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

If you feel like you never win and you want to go ahead and get a copy, autographed books are available here, or you can grab a copy at amazon.

Thanks for stopping by, and Happy Valentine's Day!

Monday, February 10, 2014

the Modern Applique Workbook blog tour

Today starts the blog tour for Jenifer's newest book!

And it is fabulous. If you've ever wanted to learn how to applique, this is the book for you.  Lots of great instructions, and fun modern quilt designs. Check it out over at Bonnie Hunter's blog today, and enter there to win a copy (not on this post)! Here's the full schedule:

Feb. 10: Bonnie Hunter www.quiltville.blogspot.com
Feb. 11: Amy Smart www.diaryofaquilter.com
Feb. 12: Angela Walters www.quiltingismytherapy.com/my-blog
Feb. 13: Debbie Grifka www.eschhousequilts.com
Feb. 14: Tammie Schaffer www.craftytammie.com (that's me!)
Feb. 17: Casey York www.studioloblog.wordpress.com
Feb. 18: Deb Rowden www.debrowden.blogspot.com
Feb. 19: Melissa Thompson Maher @ Generation Q magazine http://generationqmagazine.com/
Feb. 20: Shea Henderson www.emptybobbinsewing.com
Feb. 21: Diane Harris @ Quiltmaker Magazine http://www.quiltmaker.com/blogs/quiltypleasures/

Friday, January 31, 2014

Around the Block

Another fun quilt along I am doing this year is the Around the Block Round Robin quilt along! The first block is coming up soon, and I am excited to see this mystery quilt come together! Lots of great prizes as an incentive to join the quilt along too. You can check out the details at Patchwork Possepsst - sign up for her emails so you don't miss a block!

Monday, January 27, 2014

don't walk,

run! and grab your spot for the 3rd round of the denyse schmidt charm swap!

sign ups are now open and there are only 20 spots left! this round is being hosted by my friend andrea and the fabrics picked so far are beautiful. same rules as before - 2 fabrics, a yard of each, total of 112 charms. you can sign up for more than one spot (which I recommend, as you can cram 2 spots in a flat rate envelope). hope to see you over there!

Sunday, January 26, 2014


It's been a fun month! On the 15th, I got to hang out with some friends from KCMQG and do a little presentation/trunk show on modern quilts. We helped Denise kick off a learn to quilt program at the Don Bosco Senior Center in KCMO. Nikki & Tia and I all brought tons of quilts and tops to show. It was a really fun day. We all went to lunch afterwards, and then a quick stop at Urban Arts & Crafts - Nikki needed some sock yarn :)

This week I was asked to participate in a local authors event at the public library. Of course I said yes! I love my library! I took a few quilts and set up a table in the new books section. It was a fun night, I got to meet several of the other authors. But it made me a little sad, every person that stopped by my table said "I can't sew" or "I don't know how to sew" or "I can't sew a straight line." I really hate it when I hear that! Everyone can sew! Practice makes perfect! You can do it! OK, rant over. But really, you can.

I've been working on more bee blocks, including this flying circle of geese for Bee(ful) of Paper. I still have another block to make before I'm caught up, and since January is my month and I haven't sent out my kits yet, I better get off here and start cutting! 

Tuesday, January 14, 2014


Hey there!

I'm so behind on bee blocks. Here are Toni's for KC Scrappy bee. Sorry they are late.

Tomorrow I'll be speaking about quilts at the Don Bosco Senior Center in KCMO with my friends Nikki and Tia. We're doing a little presentation on modern quilting, and having lunch afterwards. Should be fun!

On the 21st I'll be doing a local author meet and greet at the Ottawa Public library. I'll have copies of Classic Modern Quilts for sale. Plus I'm baking cookies to bring, so if you live around here be sure to come by!

Sunday, January 12, 2014

the Great Fabric Destash!

Hey everyone!

Erin at twomoreseconds had the brilliant idea to do a sitewide instagram destash! It's happening this Wednesday night, and if you're not on instagram yet, I'd go ahead and sign up for this.  There's a beginner's guide at mashable. Here's a quick rundown on how selling and buying on instagram works, in case you're new to this form of selling.

You can find pictures of what people would like to sell
by searching the hashtag #thegreatfabricdestash .

See something you want to buy? 
The first person to leave their paypal address under the photo will get an invoice sent to them. If you want multiple things from the same buyer, be sure to mention that.  They might be willing to combine shipping.

Aw, man! Someone else already got what I wanted!
Go ahead and put your name down anyways. If the first buyer falls through, you'd be on the list.

Have any other questions? Leave me a comment and I'll try to help!

Hope to see you on Wednesday - I'm craftytammie over on instagram, and I'll be listing a bunch of vintage sheet fat quarter bundles, as well as some whole sheets, pillowcases, and some quilting cottons and notions! I may even have a few vintage embroidery kits.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

the Good Mother Myth review and giveaway

giveaway is now closed - congrats to #2 Natalie!

I love to read! I always have at least one book on my nightstand, and I visit the library once a week.  I tend to check out mostly craft books, but I read a lot of novels on my kindle and nook.

So I was excited to receive a copy of a new book to review. It's called the Good Mother Myth: Redefining Motherhood to Fit Reality. Edited by Avital Norman Nathman, who writes the blog The Mamafesto. It's a collection of 35 essays, by a variety of mothers. And I do mean a variety. There are essays by a porn director, professors, musicians, and even a transgender mom.

Given all that, and the fact that I don't get myself worked up about feminism, I wondered if I would be able to relate to these stories. And I have to tell you, I loved this book. I didn't rush through it, instead reading an essay or two each night before bed. Doing some deep thinking. Reflecting on my own motherhood and my success/failure as a mom. It was a perfect read for this time in my life. You know, new year, new you and all that.

I've been slowed down my my surgery and forced to "do less", which leaves me feeling like I am falling behind somehow. I feel as though I'm in a race and losing to all the other moms who didn't leave a price tag on a santa gift, who already have their tree down and are taking adorable pictures of their kids playing in the snow.

There is a story in the book about facebook which made me laugh. Those sunshiny photos people share are just half the story. You don't know if the mom behind the camera is yelling at them to stop squirming, or if she's still in her pjs with unwashed hair. If the mess in the living room has been cropped out and filtered.

I found myself with tears rolling down my face as I read one essay from a mom who had PPD and a colicky baby. I look back on those days and I can't believe I lived through them. That same screaming baby who had me on the brink of despair turns eight tomorrow. 

I often feel like as bloggers, we have a certain theme to uphold - clean house, happy kids, lots of fun activities. And when I have a lot of time between posts, it's because those things aren't happening! I can't do a photo shoot when I have dirty dishes in the sink and piles of laundry to fold. And I'm letting myself be ok with that. I could be fake, or I could be real. I hope you'd prefer the real me.

Would you like to read it? Yes? Just leave me a comment. Maybe share a defining moment of your own motherhood experience, or a memory of your own mother being real (mine is of my mom in her muu-muu, sitting at the cluttered kitchen table) Or if you have a book you think we all need to read, share the title. I'll choose a winner in one week. US only please.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

2014 - undaunted

oh 2013. Leaving so soon? I feel like I barely got to know you.

Lots of exciting things happened this year. My favorite? Our son Sawyer finally started talking (with the help of speech therapy and great teachers!) and actually, right now he's yelling nonsense as he marches through the house. So thrilling to have his voice added to the chaos.

I have a lot of memories to share another post, but today I just want to say thank you to everyone who reads this little slice of the web. It was a year of cool new things for me, and I'm hoping to continue that into 2014.

So what's my word for the year?


not intimidated or discouraged by difficulty, danger, or disappointment.

I am planning to submit more of my ideas, try to put myself out there more. Stop using the kids and the housework as excuses.  Focus on streamlining my daily routine so there is time for stitching, more than a few minutes every day. I have one more year before Sawyer starts kindergarten. It's time to do this. :) 

Part of that is knowing when to say no. I will have to be realistic about what I can handle. That's always a hard one for me.

What about you? Do you set goals, or choose a word? I'm not one for resolutions, usually, because I never follow through with them. So help keep me on task, would ya?! 

Happy New Year! Let's make 2014 the best yet!

xo, tammie

Monday, December 23, 2013


hello blog world!  My surgery went fine, and I am feeling pretty good.

(I had a Da Vinci hysterectomy, so if you want more information or have any questions for me, just drop me an email! I don't want to overshare on here but I'd be happy to speak privately with you.)

My friend Joy hosted her annual cookie exchange a few days after my surgery. It was my first outing after leaving the hospital, and totally worth it for the amazing cookies everyone brought this year! Since I quit playing Bunco a couple years ago, this is the only time I see some of these ladies, so it's nice to have an annual event to catch up with everyone. That's Joy in the Griswold shirt. She's awesome.

Franklin County's finest!
I made my grandma's peanut butter balls, but my favorites this year were Crystal's jam thumbprints, Emily's iced oatmeals, and Shauna's peppermint oreos.  (they are the three on the right in the pic below) I may have eaten all of them by myself. shh...don't tell.

The rest of the cookies were delicious, but those three were it for me. My kids loved the nutter butter reindeer and the melted snowmen!

Grasshopper cookies, earl grey tea cookies, more peanut butter balls, and in the top left, Molten Caramel Lava cookies.

Nine dozen cookies sounds like a lot, but they were all gone in a week! I took some to a friend, sent some to work with Troy, took 2 dozen to the preschool's Christmas program, and ate way more of them than I should have.

So if you're looking for some cookies to leave out for Santa tomorrow night, I can vouch for the ones I linked ;)

Merry Christmas you guys. Hoping you have a wonderful holiday with your loved ones!

Friday, December 6, 2013


wow, I didn't mean to disappear like that! Hopefully everyone had a wonderful holiday and is ready for the cold weather. I am not enjoying replacing the frozen water in the chicken coop several times a day. At least it's not snowing yet!

Guess we'll go out to eat. Those popcorn ceilings are coming down! The question of the day is - keep the paint color in the kitchen or try something new? (those orangey oak cabinets are getting a redo next year)

It's been a really weird week, because we are smack in the middle of the remodel and all six of us are living in our upstairs family room!

Our week long slumber party is almost over. Seriously wondering how my grandparents raised 14 kids in a small house!

I've learned that Troy snores, Alex talks in his sleep and Zach grinds his teeth. :)

Bedroom walls are up! Can't wait to paint and decorate!

The downstairs is looking great though, and they should be finished painting the ceilings today. Then I can start cleaning up - sheetrock dust is everywhere.  As always, I'd rather be sewing.

 Looks like they want donuts for breakfast!

our shelf elf Buddy is back, and he brought a girlfriend (thanks, grandma!) The kids named her Rosie because of her rosy cheeks. Sadly, my oldest daughter now knows that they aren't real, thanks to some non believers at school. She is having fun helping me plan the elf's activities, and so far hasn't inquired about Santa or the tooth fairy or the bunny. Yet.

Next week I'll be having surgery (a partial hysterectomy) so I will probably be MIA for a week or two. I'm ok - just taking care of some issues I was having, no cancer or anything, knock on wood! I will be participating in sewmamasew's giveaway day, so be sure to come back for that. 

Thanks for reading - I love seeing your comments and hope you enjoy your visits!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Winter Stash Flash!

Hi everyone. Thanks for visiting from a²(w) today. I had so much fun pulling fabrics from my stash!

December's theme is winter. I started off with a completely different stack of fabrics, using some of my favorite colors - aqua, green, white, black and red. But then I decided to narrow it down to my favorite colors for holiday decor.  Red, White, and Silver.

I get a little overwhelmed with ideas when I start flipping through my fabrics. I'm easily  sidetracked :) Probably why I have so many UFOs!

There's a nice mix here, lots of shades of red and grey. Clockwise from top left:

Riley Blake Lost & Found
Red Rooster Fabrics Lil Miss Cutie Patootie Springtime
Moda April Showers
Moda Mama Said Sew
Moda Lucy's Crab Shack
Moda Walk in the Woods
Moda April Showers
Riley Blake My Mind's Eye
Moda Funky Monkey
Andover Love Notes
Moda April Showers
Moda April Showers
Maroon text print -no idea!
Moda Walk in the Woods
Robert Kaufman Pop Posies
Moda 2wenty Thr3e

Dots? check. Gingham? got it. Text? yes please.  I wish I had time to turn this stack into a quilt! Maybe next year...


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