Sunday, March 22, 2015

dreaming big!

Spring break has flown by, with all my kids home (and a few extras at times!) and running them from place to place. I have been trying to sneak in a few minutes here and there to work on a new project - The Dream Big Applique Quilt by Jennifer Jangles!

It's a super fast and completely adorable applique pattern. And I do mean fast! OK, tracing out the pieces takes a little time, but it's one of those things you can do while doing something else, like watching a movie with your kids. That's what I did. (We watched Night at the Museum 3, and loved it!)

photo courtesy of Jennifer Jangles blog
Here's the pattern version - isn't it adorable!?! I love the fabrics she used (and designed!), especially the wood grain for Daisy the Hedgehog. It's pretty much exactly the colors and prints I lean towards!

I thought about making a very girly version, with pinks and greys, but I decided to go with navy, red, grey, and aqua. No specifically girly or floral prints, so I think the end result is appropriate for a girl or a boy.

These prints are all from my stash and are a variety of designers and brands. Can you tell I love polka dots?! Chicken wire and gingham are also faves, I collect them in every color I find! I used Kona Ash for the background.

The stars need some accent stitching to make it pop, I think. I will probably hand stitch around each star with red thread to help them stand out. And I still need to stitch on Daisy the Hedgehog's smile :) I may play around with some of the decorative stitches on my machine when I stitch the edges of the letters.

I am kind of at a loss for quilting ideas. I want to do this one myself, but I am basically a straight line quilter. I'm thinking about trying echo quilting around the letters? Will that look ok on the backside? I haven't chosen a backing fabric yet, but I'm leaning towards the red gingham for binding. How would you quilt it?

I hope you like my version! I rarely make the same quilt twice, but I am already thinking about making a 2nd one of these! I think the hedgehog would make a fun pillow too. If you want to make your own, the pattern is available over at Jennifer Jangles!

You should also check out her bunny applique pattern - so cute for spring!
Thanks for stopping by! Now, go sew something!

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

more bitty blocks


Have you been sewing along with the Quiltmaker's Bitty Blocks? March's block is this sweet little 3" house! Super fast and easy, and a great use for leftover jelly roll strips!

February's Bitty Blocks were tiny baskets! 1.5" HST - don't be scared, hey, if I did it so can you! They actually went together easily, although I made my HST blocks slightly bigger and trimmed them to size. Ain't nobody got time for 7/8" nonsense. lol I have several more of these to make.

They also shared some layout ideas for us, in case you're one of those quilters who likes to see the big picture! There are several sizes to choose from, or get creative and design your own!

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Spring Break Sewing!

I am excited to have another kids class coming up! The pillowcase classes we did last summer were a lot of fun, and I have had several people ask when we'll do another one. It is hard to find (free) space and enough machines to allow us to have very many children in a class. (And I don't like to charge a fee, figuring that the kids already have to buy their fabric.)

We are going to make drawstring backpacks, and I am still working out the details (also known as experimenting on my own kids!) I have to make sure they can complete the project in 3 hours or less, and that the instructions are pretty simple to follow. And decide if I want to tackle grommets with these kiddos, or opt for simple tabs. That is today's task, after I go to work for a bit. We've got a school group coming in to choose fabrics for their class. I get to take my son Sawyer along, just another reason why I love my (very part time) job!

It kind of makes me laugh that I cut off my star points in my sign. Not that I EVER do that in my quilt blocks! haha!

If you're local, call right away to reserve your child's spot. I checked on Friday and the class only had 3 spots left! Happy sewing!

Thursday, February 26, 2015

good morning!

Hello there, and welcome to my stop on the blog hop! If you're new here, welcome. I'm Tammie, a busy momma of four who tries to carve out a little time for creativity every day. So I'm a big fan of Moda and their pre-cuts, anything that gets me sewing faster is a winner in my book! I'm glad to be able to share this fabulous new fabric line with you guys today. (There's another stop today as well, over at Young Texan Mama, so head there next!)

Gina Martin's newest line is called From Bump To Baby. Now, maybe you're not in the market for any baby prints right now. The good news is, the line includes several designs that are fresh and fun and would be at home in any quilt. The graphic patterns are cool, the teensy hearts are to die for, and the floral prints are pretty too.

That said, there are some adorable prints that ARE perfect for babies. I love the scatter print - even though my youngest is 4, I still find myself wanting to buy all that sweet baby stuff at Target, like divided plates and cute onesies! The text print is another favorite.The colors are a nice range, not the same old pastel pinks and blues.

When I got my pretty stack of fabrics, I decided to make a baby quilt. I used a simple layout with an easy to stitch block, commonly known as "sister's choice". I used this block pattern for the barn quilt I painted last summer. It's a favorite of mine, but one I hadn't actually used in a quilt before! Time to remedy that.

Here's how it goes together:

For one block you need:
white - five 2.5" squares and four 3" squares (for HST, corners, and center)
print A - four 2.5" squares for center 9 patch
print B - four 2.5" squares for outer
print C - four 2.5" squares AND four 3" squares for HST

Take one background 3" and one print 3" and pair up for half square triangles. (tutorial here)
Repeat, making 8 HST. Trim to 2.5".

Lay out your squares and stitch together. See, simple and fast! Perfect for chain piecing too.

Once you have your blocks completed (I made 9), it's time to sash them together. I used 2.5" wide sashing in both grey and white for my quilt top. Grey for the inner, white for the outside edge. You will also need four 2.5" squares for the cornerstones.

I stitched on a flange before adding the chevron binding. I used a 1 inch strip, folded in half and basted to the edge. I love how it frames it in without being a big border. Plus, I stitched my binding on by folding the flange up and stitching in the ditch underneath it. I wasn't able to get all the way into the corners, but I'd rather hand sew 4 corners versus an entire quilt! You could, of course, stitch on top of the flange. I was being lazy frugal with my time and didn't want to change my threads to match. ;)

My friend Laura did the machine quilting, with an allover design. I like how the pale grey thread looks with all of the fabrics! There's lots of room for some custom quilting in this quilt layout though. You could switch this up using any 12.5" unfinished block - or make each block different for a custom sampler.

Since this one went together so quickly, I whipped up a 2nd baby quilt using a pattern called Square Dance by Bits & Pieces. This is a popular pattern at Country Fabrics, where I work Friday afternoons. It uses 8 fat quarters and is super fast to put together! I just love these colors!

I changed it up a little and added a solid white in place of the prints for a few of the rows. I added a flange again. I love the text print for binding. Laura did the fun quilting on this quilt too. (Thanks Laura!)

I was going to borrow a friend's little girl to take some photos with, but poor Hattie got the flu and we had to cancel our photo shoot. So picture this sweet little dress on a happy 12 month old with cute curly hair :) I used the Snappy Toddler top tutorial at Prudent Baby.

Well, if you're still reading, thanks, I know that was a long post!! So how about a giveaway? Gina and Moda are letting me give one lucky reader a layer cake of From Bump To Baby! You know how I feel about precuts, and there are so many things you can make with a layer cake!

Enter to win the layer cake using the rafflecopter widget below. US only please. Winner will be announced Sunday afternoon, March 1st, and I will contact by email, so make sure I have a way to reach you! Thanks so much to Gina Martin and Moda for the giveaway!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Here's the list of stops, in case you're new to the hop. Each stop has a project to share and prizes to be won, so go check it out!

Monday the 23rd
Becca Bryan of Bryan House Quilts
Tuesday the 24th
Sally Keller of Sally's Angelworks
Wednesday the 25th
Brooke Sellmann of Silly Mama Quilts
Jessica Toye of Jess Toye Quilts
Thursday the 26th
Hilary Smith of Young Texan Mama
Tammie Schaffer of craftytammie
Friday the 27th
Gina Martin of Pattern & Hue

now, go sew something!

Monday, February 23, 2015

♥ From Bump To Baby Blog Hop!

The blog hop starts today!  Each stop will be sharing something fun that they made using Gina Martin's new fabric line, From Bump To Baby, and each one has a pre-cut to give away! Make sure to stop by each blog and enter for a chance to win. I'll be posting mine this Thursday, so I hope you'll come back and visit that day too :)

Here is a list of the hop participants. Be sure to check each site and register with each blogger for a chance to win precuts of From Bump to Baby. The winners will be announced on Sunday March 1st!

Monday the 23rd
Becca Bryan of Bryan House Quilts
Tuesday the 24th
Sally Keller of Sally's Angelworks
Wednesday the 25th
Brooke Sellmann of Silly Mama Quilts
Jessica Toye of Jess Toye Quilts
Thursday the 26th
Hilary Smith of Young Texan Mama
Tammie Schaffer of Crafty Tammie
Friday the 27th
Gina Martin, Pattern & Hue

Sunday, February 8, 2015

From Bump To Baby blog hop - coming soon!

Recently I jumped at the chance to help Gina Martin promote two of her new Moda fabric lines by participating in upcoming blog hops. Gina is a fellow member of the KCMQG and you might remember, I chose her Folk Art Holiday line for my Jelly Roll Jam 2 quilt.

The first hop will run from Feb. 23-27, and will highlight From Bump to Baby, which has beautiful colors and patterns - not just for the nursery! There are several prints in this line that would be great basics for any design. I think you're going to love them - even if you don't have a baby to sew for! Take a look at the line at the Moda site.

There are going to be prizes, and I am super excited to share a new project with you! Be sure to check back in on my day, Feb. 26th. I'll post a baby quilt tutorial. Hope to see you then!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

scrap bin for the win!

Have you heard about the Quiltmaker Bitty Blocks? Each month in 2015, they'll be offering a free block pattern to make little 3 or 4 inch blocks!

The block pattern for January makes tiny little bow ties. They are 3.5" unfinished. I have never really liked this traditional bow tie block, (not sure why!) But there's something so cute about them in this size!

I decided I could only start this if I made it a scrap buster project! So I dug around in my scrap drawers looking for (mostly) monochromatic pieces. I already had some pulled from my map project last week, but I found a few others and whipped these out in no time. I will continue making them this month, until I have enough for a row.

I know it's kind of boring, but I decided to stick with white for the background.  Low volume could be fun, or what about a polka dot, or another solid color? I decided though that white was my best bet in making sure all of my scraps could play well together. It's my favorite :)

ooh, these could be addicting!
They'll be giving more ideas, tips, and instructions on making these little blocks as the months progress, so be sure to follow along at their blog, Quilty Pleasures. And use the hashtag #qmbittyblocks and share your blocks on instagram, facebook,etc!

Sunday, January 11, 2015

happy new year!

So have you gotten a good start on your resolutions for 2015? I decided not to make any fitness or diet ones this year. I never keep them anyways! I do usually choose something I'd like to learn, in the past it's been pie crust and applique. So I'll attempt free motion quilting again this year. Practice makes perfect, right?

I also have another goal, to make it to more guild happenings this year. I missed all of the meetings and most of the events last year, but I kicked it off right this weekend! I took a class from Shannon Brinkley of Bottle Tree Quilts, making her Around the World map quilt. (I wrote a little about her quilts in this post over at My Stars.) Here's a close up of her quilt:

I wanted to learn her fabric collage methods so I could deal with all the scraps of fabric I can't make myself throw away. And I really loved it! Making the collage fabric was fun, and I definitely will make more of the projects from her book, Scrappy Bits Applique. There are some great templates included with the book.

Once I got home from class, I raided my scrap drawers for small pieces, 2.5" wide or less, and added a little more variety to the prints I had brought to the workshop. The supply list called for more supplies than needed for the map (5 yards of heat 'n bond?!) but since I use it anyways, it's good to have it on hand.

I'm real close to having my top ready to applique, I just need to cut out a few more islands and adjust the placement to be accurate.

(I apologize for the blurry, dark photo)
I'm nervous about appliqueing the map to my background. She recommends FMQ but I don't want to mess up my world!!

Other than that, the only sewing I've done has been test blocks (which I can't share with you yet!) I'm finishing some loooong overdue bee blocks and other quilt debt that is hanging over my head. I have a couple of upcoming projects that will have deadlines, so it's go time around here!

I haven't even been working at Country Fabrics the past month, I took off while the kids were home from school. I'll change the front window display this week, and she's asked me to help design the shop's row for the Row by Row Experience next summer. I signed on to teach kid's sewing classes over spring break too.

I guess every vacation has to come to an end. But it was great while it lasted! Now, time to get to work ;)

Monday, December 8, 2014

Giveaway Day!

It's time again for Sew Mama Sew's giveaway day. I hope you're enjoying visiting all the different blogs and sites, there are a ton of great prizes to win! Today I have a copy of Little One Yard Wonders to giveaway to one lucky US reader, courtesy of Storey Publishing!

Little One-Yard Wonders is full of projects that are perfect for this time of year, when you need some last minute gifts. Grab a yard of fabric and get to work!

I've been browsing the book trying to decide what to make next. The whale pillow from the cover would look great in Sawyer's room. I want to make new curtains anyways, and I could stitch up a matching whale too!

There are lots of patterns for stuffies and toys, clothes and bags, even a hopscotch game.
photo by Julie Toy

Plus, don't forget about moms and dads, there's plenty of ideas for them in this book. Maybe a Boo Boo Buddy? ;)

It would be a great gift for someone who sews, you can pick up a copy for your guild buddies and crafty friends! They're available for purchase through amazon:

Enter using the rafflecopter widget below. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The giveaway is open through Friday the 12th. US only please. I'll contact the winner for shipping information and pass that on to Storey, who will send the book directly.

Friday, December 5, 2014

hello there!

Just stopping in to say hi! We had a great Thanksgiving with family. I've been doing a bunch of baking. Emma helped me to make a pumpkin pie, her first pie!! I also made a pecan pie, which doesn't use corn syrup. I liked it, although the top puffs up and crusts. Sorry, no pics, I forgot to take any! But Troy prefers the original style pecan pie best. Pumpkin bread, fudge, no bakes, dump cake - I've been eating them all. lol. I made lemon jumble cookies from the All American Cookie Book, as a trial for a cookie exchange that's coming up. I liked them but they weren't a big hit at Thanksgiving. I am going to try cinnamon roll cookies tomorrow.

so much has been going on. This past week my husband was on vacation. His cousin John helped him trench in a new water line, and they added a line to my chicken coop! We'll be able to use that faucet for the chickens (and goats, soon) and the fruit trees. That is so exciting to me, which shows that it doesn't take much to make me happy. lol! Plus since we are back to hauling water in, it will be great to have the water system fixed.

**If you're new here, we live in the country and there is no rural water on our road. We have to truck in water!! Seriously, can you say hillbillies? So, we put in a well that pulls water from our lake and brings it to a water treatment system. Only the line broke in the field, so we've been trenching in a new line. I'd rather spend that money on quilts, but what do you do ;)

Our beat up old truck finally died, so Troy got an early Christmas present, a new (old) truck. I never drove the old one, it was unpredictable and always acted up for me. So to have a truck I can haul things in, like wood or furniture, is also exciting! I want to build a box for the living room to store our quilts and blankets in, and I am hoping to put a counter top in the laundry room soon.  And it will be great for 4H and the fair next year. The kids are hoping to join 4H soon, and we're trying to figure out how to fit it in the schedule.

during the process - that was one big window!
I can't remember if I shared this, but Troy also replaced the broken bay window in the living room with two regular windows. I love that I can open them, and that they don't have the grid - it makes the view so much prettier. We've been scouting for deer from the house, they like to walk across the field below.  I made new curtains too! I'll post pics soon :)

Amidst all that, I have been cleaning closets and sorting stuff and trying to get more organized. We are having family come for Christmas so I've been trying to spruce up a bit. Things like finally getting closet doors for the boys' rooms, that we remodeled a year ago.

our sleeping cave

Remember this? Last Christmas, the downstairs was a mess and we were having the popcorn ceiling scraped and sleeping in our upstairs family room. And trying to remember to move the elves each night without waking anyone! whew, glad that's over.

I hope to have some "reveal" pictures soon. I can't believe we're that close to finishing some projects! We're never done with any home improvement, or at least that's how it feels. Of course there's still painting - there's always painting - but it's looking good!

I've been getting lots of packages for the DS charm swap, and I think I'm just waiting on one more before I can start the sorting. Denyse donated a box of scraps for the swap, so I've been chopping them up into extra charms for everyone :)

We have a lot of family stuff going on this weekend, but I'm hoping to get some sewing machine time in the morning! Troy's planning to go hunting and I should have a couple hours to play with my fabrics. How about you? Have you been busy stitching up gifts for your loved ones?

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Optical Illusions giveaway! (closed)

hi everyone! thanks for stopping by for the blog tour, I hope you've been enjoying it so far! We're having fun showing off the projects compiled for Optical Illusions. This book is another winner from the growing library of My Stars.

One thing I enjoy about their books is the staging choices for the quilt photos. The photos for Optical Illusions were shot in Lawrence, KS, one of our favorite places to hang out. It's a quirky little town, home of the Jayhawks, with a fun downtown, great quilt guild, brewery, delicious places to eat, live music, Sarah's fabrics... Can you tell I love it there?!

Katie Larson's Curvilinear quilt is so cool. I love the movement and appearance of curves where there are none. And she made a single block version in another colorway, because she's fabulous. Read more about her quilts and see her mad crafty skills at her blog, the Crafting Shell.

Tangerine Tumbler by Mary Kay Fosnacht is awesome. And that photo is the best, isn't it?  I can see this quilt made in so many color combos!

I also really like the Tropical Storm quilt by Tia Curtis. I like the subtle gradations of color and pops of prints. It would be a good stash buster project! Plus, half square triangles. You know I love them. You can see more photos of it at her blog today. She did different quilting designs in each color, which makes it fun to look at.

Those are just 3 of the 9 fantastic quilts in Optical Illusions. It's really fun to see these quilters unique talents showcased in a cool book. It's kind of like the show & tell at the KCMQG - inspiring and smile inducing :) You can grab a copy now at their site.

I do have a copy of the book to giveaway, so just tell me in the comments what you're working on this week. I'll check back in a week and choose a random winner. Be sure to stop at the other blogs in the party for more giveaways! Here's the list again:

Nov. 3
My Stars – Kickoff,
Deb Rowden,
Nov. 4
Angela Walters,
Nov. 7
My Stars on behalf of Mary Kay Fosnacht and Karen Hansen,
Nov. 13
Jenifer Dick,
Trisch Price,

Monday, November 3, 2014

party time!

Have you heard about the latest book from My Stars? So many talented quilters and wonderful designs in Optical Illusions! Join us for the blog party, it starts today! There are lots of great prizes too.

Here's the schedule so you can follow along:

Nov. 3
My Stars – Kickoff,
Deb Rowden,
Nov. 4
Angela Walters,
Nov. 5
Penny Layman,
Nov. 6
Melissa Corry,
Lily’s Quilts,
Fat Quarter Shop,
Nov. 7
My Stars on behalf of Mary Kay Fosnacht and Karen Hansen,
Nov. 10
Jamie David,
Nov. 11
Tia Curtis,
Elizabeth Timmons,
Tammie Schaffer,
Nov. 12
Katie Larson,
Nov. 13
Jenifer Dick,
Trisch Price,
Nov. 14
Jessica Toye,
Jacquie Gering,
Shea Henderson,

See you back here in a week or so! I hope one of you wins something cool!

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Blogger's Quilt Festival 2014

Houston is hopping right now at the International Quilt Market! I haven't had a chance to stalk everyone's feeds, but the photos I've seen so far show me that I'm going to have a lot of fabrics on my wish list!

During market, Amy's Creative Side hosts the Blogger's Quilt Festival, and so today I'm sharing my last finish - the Zippy quilt.

I love this simple design! Almost all of my quilts begin with charm squares, and I love swapping and collecting charms. So when I decide to create a quilt, odds are good that it will be based around a 5 inch square.

You can find the tutorial over at Moda Bake Shop, in case you'd like to make one yourself.

I made Zippy using Sweetwater's Elementary line. Lots of fun fabrics with letters, numbers, and symbols! I decided to split the colors into rows in my quilt, but you could definitely mix them up and get a scrappy look, like in my WIP above. (psst - that's the same block with a slight variation!)

The blocks are 12.5" unfinished, and you can really make this as big or little as you'd like. Here's a sketch of a larger quilt, 6 x 8 blocks, using solids for the rows. 

So that's my entry for the Blogger's Quilt Festival. There are some amazing quilts up in all the categories, so stop over there and get inspired! Thanks so much to all the sponsors and to Amy for organizing and hosting this fun event! Voting starts November 1!

quilt stats
name: zippy
designed and pieced by: Tammie Schaffer
machine quilted by: Jess Toye Quilts
fabrics used: Moda Bella Solids in white and Elementary by Sweetwater
size: 48" x 60"

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

hey friends

I know I've been quiet here lately. Life seems to get busier everyday. This last month I've been doing a lot of reflecting, on priorities and my "creative journey" and such. Wish I could tell you I've found all of the answers, but you'll have to look elsewhere for those. Here's what I did figure out.

My full time job, of course, is being the wife and mother to my family. Besides being mommy, I am the driver, the shopper, the maid, the cook, the gardener, the referee, the nurse, the accountant, the social coordinator, all of it. (as is every other mom out there, raise your hand, you know who you are!) And all of this other stuff, the blogging and sewing and such, it has to come second. (or never, as the case has been lately! And for a week or two, I was feeling pretty resentful of that. Upset that I never get any time to myself. Exhausted at the end of the day, where even if I tried to stay awake to sew, I wouldn't be making anything worth making. I'm burdened with a lot of quilt guilt right now, bee blocks that are way late, a swap gift that is 75% finished (and late) and deadlines I've had to push back. I haven't been to a KCMQG meeting yet this year! The rare chances I've had to meet up with my stitchy friends have been squeezed in, and were never long enough. Waaah, right? It's a huge pity party, come on in.

A photo posted by tammie schaffer (@craftytammie) on

I think the most challenging thing about being a parent is that each day, your kids get another day older and require something different. Needs change all the time, schedules fluctuate, homework gets harder (seriously, I can't figure out what they're supposed to even do half the time and my oldest is only in 4th!!) And dividing my time equally between all four kids? Impossible. Spending 15 quality minutes with each kid per day? Again, a struggle. My husband and I have pretty much ignored our own relationship for far too long, and that has added stress on us too. I worry far too much and enjoy far too little. And let's not even talk about laundry. Or the state of my floors.

It all finally caught up with me. I started feeling terrible, with a bunch of pain in my left shoulder, running down my arm and making my fingers tingle and zing. I have a history of neck and upper back pain, so I assumed it was flaring up and was using muscle relaxers, ibuprofen, and stretching to try to get relief. Then I woke up with a cluster of bumps on my palm. After a day or two, they started to show up on my fingers, and my arm ached so much, I was cradling it against my body like it was broken. I saw my chiropractor a few days in, and he was able to give me some relief, but over the weekend it all hit me and I was a blubbery mess. I usually don't realize how bad I'm feeling until I'm bawling in front of a stranger. I went to the hospital clinic and was diagnosed with SHINGLES. Yes, the thing that people ages 60+ get vaccinated for. Absolutely stress related, and (probably) completely preventable. When your own body says "hey you, calm the f*ck down or I'll give you something to freak out about." Well, let's just say, you listen.

I realized this week as my son played in his football game (and was a one man wrecking crew out there, it was awesome!) that I won't be attending fall quilt market for the next decade or so. I would be missing too much in my little's lives. Like hearing my son's name announced during the game. Or watching my daughter master her volleyball serve at practice. Or putting on an big Halloween Carnival fundraiser for their school with just a handful of volunteers. I am so blessed and not really missing out on anything. And don't worry, my husband and I are off to Nashville for a much needed couples vacation in a few weeks. (It will be the first time we've spent more than one night away from our children, at the same time. In 10 years. Yes, I know that is crazy!)

That doesn't mean I won't love seeing all of your quilt market posts, or that I won't be a teeny bit jealous of the fun everyone is having. I'll enjoy following along from here! I won't stop blogging. But I am going to stop worrying about blogging. If I have something to share, I'll share it (although it will probably be on instagram), and I hope you'll all understand that when I'm not here, I'm enjoying my lovely little chaotic life. On that note, let me introduce you to our latest rescue - Lucy.

Lucy was found by a family that had two big dogs and an allergic mom. So when she mentioned on facebook she needed to find a home for this sweet stray, I knew she'd fit in here. My daughter's cat Isabelle passed away recently, and I showed her Lucy's picture. Emma was smitten with her, so I snuck off and brought her home. The kids are so excited to help welcome this shy girl into our pet family.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Denyse Schmidt Charm Swap, round 4

It's time for the next round of the Denyse Schmidt charm swap! I am hosting this time, and can't wait for all that happy fabric mail.

If you've never joined in on one of our swaps, now is the time! Head over to the flickr group to grab a spot. The swap is open for 56 spots, but you can sign up for more than one, if you'd like.

Each spot requires you to choose 1 yard each of two DS fabrics, cut them into 5" charms (56 from each fabric), and mail them to me. I will then sort them all out, and you will receive 112 different charms in return. Make sense? If you are ordering fabric online, you are welcome to have it shipped direct to me and I will cut them for you. It would save you some shipping costs.

We do not allow duplicates within each round, so be sure to post a photo of your fabrics in the group pool so no one else buys it. Fabrics from both her FreeSpirit lines and her DS Quilts for JoAnn's are fine for this swap.

The deadline to mail charms to me is November 14th. Hope you'll join us in trading charms!

Monday, September 29, 2014

Blog Around the World

Hi everyone! Today is my stop on the Blog Around the World tour, and I was invited to it by my friend Heather Kojan. (hi Heather!)

If you're a new visitor, welcome! I'm Tammie Schaffer, and I live in rural Kansas, about an hour from KC. My husband Troy and I have four kids, preK-4th grade. I also blog over at My Stars, the Kansas City Star Quilt's modern quilt blog. I work a few hours a week at a local fabric shop called Country Fabrics. I'm a member of the Kansas City Modern Quilt Guild and also the Pieces and Patches Guild in Garnett, KS. (Although I am a terrible member and rarely make it to meetings!)

So here we go, four questions, my answers. Read on, my friend.

What am I working on?

It would be easier to tell you what I'm NOT working on! I have a bunch of UFOs and WIPs.

Top priority will be given to my Modern Maple quilt from last fall, when I ran out of the background and couldn't recall the name to buy more. (I finally matched it in a quilt shop in Humboldt KS!) I have 17 more blocks to make and then I need to piece them all together. I can't wait to have a few hours to sit down and crank this out. It will be sent out for quilting, so I need to get it done before winter comes! I challenged myself to make it only with fabrics from the shop. I needed an excuse to use all the fat quarters I'm always buying from there!

I'm also making a flannel tie for a friend's son who has to dress up on Fridays for football, but doesn't care much for it. Hence the flannel, which she is hoping will ease the sting of grown up clothes. I've never made a tie before, it's going to be interesting to say the least.

I have a birthday cake to make for our son Zach's 7th birthday on Wednesday. I'm thinking I'll make this monster cake, unless he decides on something else soon. We're having a birthday party in a week or so for both Zach & Emma, who will be 10 later this month.

My House/DIY list is endless. I am in the middle of painting trim and doors in all three sons' bedrooms. Emma wants to change the color of her room from a pale aqua to a dark aqua and fuchsia. I told her we would tackle that project next weekend, so it's done before the party. I spent the weekend painting the trim on the outside of the house and working on my flowerbeds.

OK, I really could use a nap now.

How does my work differ from others of its genre?

I have been wondering that myself! I feel sometimes, just like in regular life, that I don't really fit in anywhere. I am not modern enough to be a modern quilter, arty enough to be an art quilter, traditional enough... you get the point. I just say, I am a Quilter. I love handmade quilts, whether they are calico log cabins or improv solids. I don't spend a lot of time trying to fit into a certain niche.

I would say my "style" is based on simple, easy to piece designs, that make the most of your fabric and time. I don't get more than a few minutes at a time most days to play with my fabric. So although there are lots of designs I'd like to try, for now I stick with easily attainable ones. No Dear Jane or Mariner's Compass in my 5 year future! I usually make block based designs, but I'm challenging myself to play around with alternative layouts. And I love me some charm squares.

Why do I write/create what I do?

It makes me a happier person. I just love being able to make things. I always knew I wanted a sewing room and I collected fabric years before I made my first quilt block. It took becoming a stay at home mom to "find" the time I needed to sit down and create on a regular basis. The irony of that, of course, is that I have no free time, and my husband gets very frustrated if I've spent the afternoon sewing instead of, oh, making dinner!

I have found, though, that if I don't spend at least a few minutes a day stitching something, planning something, even just mending something - if I don't get those minutes, I feel grouchy and unfulfilled. I carry an embroidery or crochet project with me, so if I'm sitting at football practice, I can stitch myself into a good mood.

How does my writing/creating process work?

It's very messy, and unorganized. I never measure first. Math and I aren't friends. I just start playing with pieces and adding in until I like the way it's going. I make the backing work out of whatever I have to use - I don't think I've ever bought material with a specific pattern in mind. I start with a general idea, and it grows from there. Even when I do have a pattern, I end up changing it so much that it's irrelevant by the end anyways! It's been a challenge working in the fabric shop, where people want me to tell them exactly how much fabric they will need!

For me the rewarding part is the process, not the product. I love playing with fabric on the design wall. I can zone out to some marathon chain piecing, and when I'm in the right mood, paper piecing is very satisfying. But pushing through to the finish, well, not so much. I need a deadline to make me complete something. Otherwise, there's always tomorrow, and HEY LOOK A SQUIRREL lol.

So that's me in a nutshell. Hope you enjoyed this peek and if so, come back and visit soon!  Thanks to Heather for tagging me! I haven't had a chance to ask anyone else to be next, so how about I tag any of you who haven't been asked yet! If you write up a post, come back and tell me in the comments so I can come read it!

Have a great week, GO ROYALS!!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

that face you make when someone regrams

So, there's been a lot of discussion of late about "regramming". If you're not on instagram, it means that you repost a photo from someone else's feed onto your own. One reason you might do this is to enter a giveaway. A LOT of people were complaining that their instagram feed was clogged up with the same posts over and over because of this trend. (You can read more about it at sew, mama, sew).

that face you make when...

I appear to be in the minority, because this doesn't bother me! I actually enjoy it when someone tags me to enter one of these, because I usually haven't heard of that shop or blogger, and I like to check them out. A lot of people use these regramming contests as a way to promote a new business, or celebrate a milestone.  I really love entering contests, and have won my fair share. So yes, I regram. In fact, I realized I never shared one of my regram wins with you!

I reposted a photo on instagram last March for a chance to win a fabric camera strap from August Blossoms. And I actually won! I got to pick any strap from her etsy shop, and I chose this lovely one made with older Amy Butler fabrics. It's a wonderful strap, I've been using it for many months now and I get compliments on it all the time. It has a little pocket for my lens cap.

Denise's straps are very well made. She's got some super cute listings available in her shop right now. I love this one made with April Showers! So if you're in the market for a strap (or a gift for a photographer), be sure to check out her etsy shop, August Blossoms.

I had never considered that regramming might be annoying to anyone else. I guess I thought of my instagram/twitter/facebook feed as MINE, and not just something I put out there for others.

But then again, isn't that exactly what I'm doing, putting my photos out there for everyone else? So it has made me reconsider what I post. Sometimes I post something to instagram just so I can share it easily with facebook or flickr. If I've ever offended you by regramming or tagging your in a giveaway, and made you make that face above, I apologize. I didn't mean to bother anyone! I just love free goodies :) 

Another subject that came up in one of these discussions, was asking people to jump through hoops to enter giveaways. Well, I used to just ask that you comment to enter. But then Rafflecopter came along, and made it so much easier for me to run a giveaway. And it gives you options like "like my facebook" or "follow on pinterest".

When I host giveaways and I offer extra entries for following me on facebook, etc. - it's simply a way to reward my followers with an extra chance to win. They are already doing those things, and they can easily get another entry with one click. I also offer a simple "click here to enter" option for everyone. No one has to follow anything if they don't want to. To be honest, it's rare that I get new followers from a giveaway, so I'm just happy to be able to share a prize with someone who takes the time to read what I write.

Anyways, I just wanted to publicly admit my regramming habits. Admission is the first step, right?! lol and psst - don't forget to enter the Time To Make book giveaway here ;)

Hope you're having a fabulous weekend! It's gorgeous here, and the Chiefs are playing today! Get them donkeys!


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