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...

Wednesday, November 27, 2013


Why do I always wait until the last minute to make stuff?! Tell me I'm not alone.

I had a baby shower to go to two weeks ago, so about the time I should've been jumping in the shower, I decided I should make some burp cloths to add to her gift. Luckily, those are pretty fast to whip up. They turned out cute too. (tutorial at prudent baby)

But this past Saturday morning, I decided to make a quick little dachshund pencil pouch to add to a birthday gift.  You know, at the last minute.

Once I cut out the first dog, I knew I better make two because come on, they are adorbs, right? And I didn't want to leave Will's sister Mia out. AND they have two wiener dogs, so I need to make two. I was pinning them together, feeling lazy rushed, and I decided they'd be just as cute as a softie, and then I wouldn't have to line or put in a zipper. I'd hand stitch them closed in the car on our way to the party and we could ooh and ahh over their cuteness.

So I stitched the first one together, turned it right side out, poking all the tail tips and feet and nose just right - and then I realized...

They only have two feet!! Hahahaha.

Not quite was I was picturing.

Back to the drawing board. This is why handmade gifts are always my add on item, not my actual gift. Only 50% of them make it to the recipient.

And now, your advice please. Should I continue with the original plan for a pouch, or try to make my own gusset (I think that's what it's called, right?) so they can have four feet like a normal dog? I kind of think they'd be cute just appliqued on a pillow with a little 3D ear flopping about. Not sure how to add that kind of detail to an applique, so if you have any tricks, please share!

Congrats to the winners of the giveaways, Lori & Karen. I've emailed you both, so if you don't see it check your spam folder too :)

Now I've got to start rocking my apron for turkey day. I'm making rolls and pies, how about you?

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

For the Love of Sewing!

It's about time to start those New Year's resolutions! Here's one that doesn't require giving up any of your favorite things.

Join the Pile O' Fabric's newest BOM with me!

I have been wanting to make a sewing themed project for myself, and this is it! If you've done Alyssa Lichner's skill builder BOM before, you know that her directions are amazing and you'll learn a lot along the way.  There will be two lessons a month, and bonus patterns through the year. 15 blocks of cuteness! I can't wait to get started!

She'll give free motion quilt as you go instructions for all the blocks, along with video instruction and pictorials. And at the end of the course we'll receive a PDF book of all twelve lessons.

This is hosted at her new Pile O' Fabric's sewing room, an extension of her blog, and is the first of many great projects coming our way in 2014!

Once you've purchased a course, you'll be able to access and review it at any time. You'll also be building up course points for motivation and entries into giveaways.

Supply kits will be available through the site as well.

I don't know about you, but I'm already choosing my fabrics. I'm thinking aqua, yellow, & green, with accents of navy, gray, and red. We'll get coloring sheets of the quilt so we can play around with that too.

What are you waiting for? Let's do this together! Sign up here.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Nimli scarf giveaway

Have you heard of Nimli?

It's a curated marketplace of makers and sellers, full of gorgeous items for you, your family, and your home. 

Right now they are hosting a giveaway for these three animal print scarves!  Animal prints are still very trendy, and these would be great to spice up your wardrobe.

click here to go to the giveaway
The winner will be selected on December 2nd, open to US residents only.

Just think, you could win one for you, and give the other two as gifts. Or keep them all for yourself, I won't tell :)

I spent too much time shopping online today, but I found some beautiful things that I want.

Like this Daytripper floor mat - of course I look at it and think what a cool quilt that would make, so I was intrigued to read that each mat is "digitally dyed with an original hand cut paper design" by the designers of Domestic Construction. I mean, wow. That's amazing!

Be sure to check out the deal shop, where they have lots of pretty scarves priced around $20.

This is a sponsored post from with my unbiased thoughts.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Classic Modern Quilts tour & tutorial!

giveaway has ended. please scroll down for the tutorial

Hi everyone! It's my turn on the Classic Modern Quilts blog tour!

My block was the Depression block. FYI, I showed my husband Troy the paper with all of the designs we were picking from, and told him to decide which one I should make. They were all so cool, I just couldn't make a decision! He likes simple, so I think that's what drew him to this block.

Top row, 3rd from left
And this block is super simple. Composed of half square triangles, this is a great scrap buster. I used a charm pack of 2wenty Thr3e by Eric & Julie Comstock (for Moda) to create my depression blocks.

I made all three block sizes out of 5 inch charms, so as promised, here's a little tutorial!

The larger blocks are pretty simple, and you probably already know this method. Stack 2 charms, right sides together. Draw a line diagonally, corner to corner, and then stitch 1/4" on each side of the line.

Cut on the drawn line, and voila! 2 HST. Trim to 4 1/2" square.

The medium blocks are made by stitching around the outside of your stacked charms. Once you've gone all the way around the charms, you will cut diagonally, from corner to corner, in both directions.

Pat yourself on the back, you just made 4 HST at once! Trim to 3" square.

Then there's the smallest blocks. These finish at 2 inches! Again, stack two charms right sides together. This time, you're going to be drawing two lines, diagonally from corner to corner, making an x.  Then you sew 1/4" on each side of both lines.

Cut along your drawn lines. You will have 4 triangles that look like these.

Cut a line from the long edge to the point of the triangle, lining up the bottom edge with your ruler.

Ta-da, you just made 8 half square triangles at one time! Trim them to 2 inches square.

So, to recap, two 5 inch charms can make two 4 1/2" HST,  four 3" HST, or eight 2" HST. Good to know, right? :)

Today my friend Tia and the quilter behind those gorgeous swirls above is also on the blog tour, so be sure to hop over and visit her! And tomorrow it's Amy Smart's turn, she blogs over at Diary of a Quilter. Enter to win a copy of Classic Modern Quilts using the rafflecopter widget below, and if you're the lucky winner you'll be contacted via email next Wednesday!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

And of course, you can always purchase the book if you're not feeling lucky. Available at these fine establishments :)

Marmalade Fabrics
the Intrepid Thread

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

oh hey!

giveaway has ended. thanks!

It's been a crazy week! Sick kids (stomach bug and fever) then KCMQG last Thursday. Our presenter had to cancel last minute so they asked a few of us who had gone to market to discuss the trends we saw. That was a lot of fun! Normally I get nervous speaking in front of such a huge crowd (150+ members now, woohoo!) but sharing the stage with Elizabeth Nelson, Kim Eichler-Messmer, and Caitlin McIntyre made me feel very relaxed.

I also had some bee blocks to deliver to their owners.

Snowball blocks for Marilyn using cluck cluck sew's tutorial.

I have made many string blocks, but always for bees. I think it's time for one of my own.
String blocks for KC Scrappy Bee (last summer, oops!)

Today I'm hoping to finish my modern maples top. I have 9 blocks done already, and a couple more cut out. I issued myself a challenge, which was to only use prints I had purchased at my LQS, Country Fabrics in Garnett. They sell fat quarters for 1.75 (and on Super Bowl Sunday they are $1!) so I always pick up a few more when I'm in there. I'm trying to stay with oranges and golds, but I have one purple block and a few with aqua thrown in :)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Oh! I never got around to giving away my extra copy of 100 Blocks vol. 8! Enter using the rafflecopter widget above, and I'll draw a name a week from today. Well, rafflecopter will, but you know what I mean.

Tomorrow is my day on the Classic Modern Quilts book tour! We'll be giving away a copy of the book, so check back in the morning for that or visit my friend Trisch today for another chance to win!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

modern maples

I look at quilts every day. Online, in magazines, instagram flickr pinterest and facebook, it's all quilts, all the time.  And occasionally I will print off a pattern that really strikes me.  then it sits on my desk upstairs, and ninety percent of the time that's where it stays.

Resistance is futile. #modernmaple
sunkissed by sweetwater

But sometimes, that design just won't get out of my head. And I find myself dreaming of the perfect fabrics from my stash. And then I have no choice but to pull fabrics for it, even if I have no business starting another project right now!!

I usually begin these kinds of projects with "well, I'll make one block, just to see if I like it." Then, "well, three blocks would be a cute table runner." You see where this is going, right?

Block 3 and calling it a night. #modernmaples
polka dots

So, last night, I put the kids and hubs to bed and disappeared upstairs for a bit. I made three modern maples blocks, and have fabrics lined up for several more. I need to do a little stash searching, I haven't yet chosen all 18 prints but I know that I will love this happy quilt when it's complete!

resistance is futile.

Block #2! #modernmaples
kaffe fassett star flower

Tuesday, November 12, 2013


it's a little chilly in the house today. It's supposed to be cold all week, so it sounds like the perfect time to finish my Christmas quilt from, er, 2011. I used a ps i quilt tutorial, synchronized squares.

christmas quilt top

It's been sitting there, in my cupboard, waiting patiently. I've decided to tie this one. I figure it's only going to be used two months of the year, so no need to spend tons of time on it. Plus I tied a quilt the other day, my first one, and I actually enjoyed it!

Here are two more of the test blocks I did for QM 100 Blocks v.8. This one is called Celtic Cross, and it's by Monique Dillard.

This one used a layer of tulle over some of the fabrics. It's by Barbara Cline.

be sure to check out the links I've shared, there are lots of giveaways on the blog tour today!

Monday, November 11, 2013

100 Blocks Volume 8

100 Blocks vol. 8 is out, and the blog tour is underway!

I got my copies last week, and there are some really cool blocks in this issue. I did testing for this volume too, so it's fun to be able to share some of the ones I made.

This was one of my favorites. It's by Jocelyn Ueng and you can see her version here (and they are having a giveaway!)

From #100blocks vol 8,  block design by Jocelyn Ueng @fatquartershop
sorry for the dark phone photo!

Here's another I really liked. New Directions by Kay Gentry.

new directions

Occasionally, I get to test a block for a bloggy friend, which is awesome! This one, Lollipop Tree, was designed by one of my bee vintage mates, Pamela Lincoln. You can see her quilt at her blog (she's having a giveaway too!)

Here's my tree:

I'll be back tomorrow with a few more of my test blocks! Don't forget, the blog tour for Classic Modern Quilts starts today too, with daily giveaways. See you later!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

tour dates

Here's the blog tour schedule for Classic Modern Quilts! We're giving away a book each day of the tour, so be sure to check in with us and hear a little more about our quilts!  You can also follow along on the My Stars blog, or keep an eye out for new stuff on the facebook page.

Nov. 11: Lisa Calle, Vintage Modern Quilts
Nov. 12: Lynne Goldsworthy, Lily’s Quilts
Nov. 13: Lauren Hunt, My Aunt June 
Nov. 14: Heather Kojan, Heather Kojan
Nov. 15: John Kubiniec, Big Rig Quilting
Nov. 18: Adrianne Ove, Little Bluebell
Nov. 19: Trisch Price, Hadley Street Quilts
Nov. 20: Tammie Schaffer, craftytammie and Tia Curtis, Tia Curtis Quilts
Nov. 21: Amy Smart, Diary of a Quilter
Nov. 22: Susan Strong, Strong Stitches

I'll be sharing a mini tutorial on my day. Don't forget, you don't have to wait to try to win a copy! Books are available now at pickledish. Have a great week!

Friday, November 1, 2013

Diamonds In The Rough

I almost forgot about the Blogger's Quilt Festival! I guess all the chaos leading up to Houston and then coming home to Halloween has made me a little absent minded!

I'm sure it's no surprise to my readers which quilt I am submitting - yes, it's my quilt from the Classic Modern Quilts book. I've been slacking - this is only the 3rd quilt I've completed this year! Time to get some tops quilted, I guess.

I'm entering this is the throw quilt category. Some details about this baby. I used mostly Kona solids, with some Moda Bella and Freespirit too. The prints are from 2wenty Thr3e by Eric & Julie Comstock for Moda. I used a fat quarter bundle and a charm pack, and had some left over for a strip on the backing.

I love that all three sizes of diamonds in this quilt started with 5 inch charms. Depending on how you stitch them together, you can make different sizes of half square triangles. You guys know how to do this, right? If not, leave me a comment and I'll write a follow up tutorial.

I absolutely love the quilting. Tia Curtis did a fabulous job and chose the designs herself. I love how the swirly quilting looks on the solids. They even used a photo of the quilting on the back cover of the book!

This throw measures 59 1/2" x 76".

Thanks for visiting! We'll be doing a blog tour with all of the authors soon, and some giveaways. Be sure to follow me somehow so you don't miss out!


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