Stitching & A Recipe

This week I’m still working on making items to sell at my table in December. I squeaked out 2 Minion pillowcases, a Minion tote, a Minion bib and a Frozen pillowcase.





I’ve gotĀ fabric cut for a Frozen tote and then I think I’ll switch over to making baby play mats for a bit. I also worked on another block for 100 Blocks as I heard from them that they had too many floral applique blocks and could I submit a different design. That went in the mail on Tuesday so I’m done with that for awhile.

Last night I made Creamy Sausage Tortellini Soup and it was sooooo good. Bits of sweet Italian sausage mixed with cheese tortellini and baby spinach…all with fresh bread for dipping…mmmmmm. Click Here for the recipe! The only change I made was to add an additional half bag of tortellini because it was in my freezer.

What are you all working on this week?


Sewing Progress & An Interesting Article

Happy Thursday!

It’s been a slow week for me over here as I’ve been saddled with a cold and some nasty fatigue. I’m feeling better today so I’m thrilled. I tried to get in some sewing for the craft fair in December and I managed to make a few tote bags and even some Star Wars bibs.







After asking around a bit about the best way to do the closures on the bibs, I settled on plastic snaps. I ordered this Kam Snap Plier bundle set from Amazon for $25. It came yesterday but I haven’t tried it yet.

a kam

I ordered some Minion and Frozen fabric this week too. It has arrived and it is washed and waiting to be pressed. These will be for pillow cases.

I came across this article from James Clear about creativity and whether it is a function of destiny or development. It speaks to creativity being a process. I think it’s a great read and very inspiring. What do you think?

Don’t forget to get your $2 Three Jacks Mug Rug pattern on Craftsy!

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It’s also a great time to pick up the Third Seasonal Trio Mini Quilt Pattern on Craftsy…

Third Seasonal Trio Hi Res For QW

And Happy Haunting as well…

1 happy haunt


Review of Pat Delaney’s Craftsy Class, Raising The Bar: Quilting Linear Spaces

I had the total pleasure of reviewing Pat Delaney’s Craftsy class, Raising The Bar: Quilting Linear Spaces this week. I am not only a huge fan of Pat but she is a friend and fellow guild member of mine as well. Pat is the owner of Crabtree Lane Studio and a winner of numerous awards including first place for traditionally pieced quilts at International Quilt Festival. My favorite thing about Pat is that she possesses so much knowledge (that she’s willing to share) yet remains humble and highly personable. I knew this Craftsy class would be a wonderful addition to my quilting ‘tool box of knowledge’.

The subject of the class is learning how to plan and quilt bar spaces which are the long, narrow spaces on your quilt. Pat walks us through how to mark those areas, what to use to mark the areas, how to work with a grid, how to plan the quilting and how to execute the quilting. She includes instruction on dividing the quilt areas and using feathers, fill designs, geometric designs and multipass designs to fill those spaces right up! Once you see Pat demonstrate these stitches both as sketches and then in stitches, you will see that making your quilt look fantastic isn’t as hard or scary as you thought. The loops, curves, crescents, flying geese and triangles are fun to learn and each of those have so many variations that you can truly make your quilt a masterpiece.

These tips and designs apply to traditional as well as modern quilts. Grouping the designs together create beautiful texture especially on whole cloth quilts. I never would have even considered a whole cloth quilt until I saw Pat’s sample in this class. All of Pat’s sample quilts are beautiful and her way of teaching makes you believe that if you practice, yours can look like that too.

Pat covers not only the designs but also some quilt making basics. She takes the mystery out of tension issues and potential problems. I love Pat’s honesty about ripping stitches out…hint, she tries to not ever have to do it because as we know, it takes forever to rip out free motion stitches.

The class was organized well with enough time spent on each of the lessons. Here is the Craftsy description of the class which is on sale right now for $19.99!

From borders to pineapple blocks, find out how to quilt rectangular areas with ease and style. Award-winning quilter Pat Delaney guides you through must-have techniques, and shares more than 20 motifs that will enhance any quilt. Begin with accessible instructions for dividing up your project, as you learn how to mark lines for quilting on the grid. Then, delve into lovely, single-line designs including waves, loops and crescents. Next, discover easy techniques for quilting triangles, flying geese and more, before trying out elegant, single-pass feathers and a range of beautiful variations. Follow along with Pat to fill larger linear spaces with overall designs, and try out intricate, multipass motifs that will enliven narrow areas. By the end of class, you’ll be able to confidently apply each design to enhance your future quilts.

I watched the class intently as I was so happy for Pat that she has a chance to share her knowledge with a wide audience on a great teaching platform. I noticed that her Craftsy class was run much like a real class with Pat which I happened to take a few years ago. She is genuine and oh, so talented. This is a jewel of a class. I can’t wait to apply what I’ve learned on my next quilt.


Pillowcases & Abstract Fun

I’ve been whipping up pillowcases all week to add to inventory for a show I’m vending in December. I’ve got 7 made and now I’m waiting on some fabric to arrive in the mail to make more.




I’ll also be making tote bags and toiletry bags as well as baby play mats and some bibs.

Last night I was reading in the latest Quilting Arts magazine about using photographs as a jumping off point for abstract art quilts. Using a photo of something very simple and then rearranging those elements resonated with me and I got pretty excited to try a piece of my own. Examples of simple photos in the article included a wooden chair composition and a cat among others. I chose my sewing table and chair.


I picked fabric based on a color scheme I particularly like…


I free hand cut shapes to resemble the sewing room photo and glued them to a background…


Then I cut it up…


And I cut some more…


Here’s where the abstract begins! I rearranged those tiles about 50 times…


I joined the tiles with a zig zag stitch, layered, basted and free motion quilted it…


And then I pulled out my Inktense Coloring Blocks and I painted it.


So this is my first true abstract piece and I’m quite happy with it. It made for a fun afternoon and I was able to practice free motion skills as well as create a piece of art that I never would have thought of making before today.


New Three Jacks Mug Rug Pattern Now Available!

Celebrate fall with this fun and easy fusible applique mug rug! This whimsical design is sure to put a smile on your face while you enjoy your coffee or tea!

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Available on Craftsy and Etsy for a limited time for $2.00

Three Jacks Mug Rug on Craftsy

Three Jacks Mug Rug on Etsy


An Update, A Bunny & More Aloha

Happy Wednesday!

This has been an interesting week for our family as we added a new furry family member! Meet Nala, our new Lionhead bunny!!


If you asked me on Friday if we would own a bunny on by Sunday, I would have told you no way. So are you wondering how this happened? Amanda and I attended a 4H Fair on Saturday mainly to see her boyfriend perform with his Beatles tribute band called Four In A Row. Amanda was so excited to go to the fair and see the animals as she is planning on studying Biology and Animal Sciences next year in college. We headed out to the fair at 10am and stayed until about 4pm during which that time, she begged me a thousand times for a bunny. Let’s just say we spent a lot of time in the bunny tent and the poultry tent!


Long story short, I resisted the begging but couldn’t stop thinking about the adorable Lionhead bunnies all night. Sunday morning came and led into afternoon and I started thinking that if I was serious about getting the kids a bunny, I only had a few hours until the fair closed and also to get to Pet Smart where I would have to run to gather up some supplies. Leah and I were the only ones home and after a couple of text messages to Greg that sort of went like, ‘hey, I’m going to get a bunny, is that cool?’ and a reply of ‘sure that’s cool’, I grabbed Leah and we went to the fair! Poor Leah was in shock and had no idea what was going on and then was ecstatic that she was going to get to choose the bunny! Here she is at the fair trying the bunny on for size! LOL!!!


So we paid for the bunny and headed to PetSmart with her in a cardboard box!! Oh Leah and I giggled the whole way there saying a million times, “We just bought a bunny!” Everyone in the store wanted to know what was in our box! Lol!

The girls named her Nala after the female lion in the Lion King movie since she is a Lionhead bunny. She is two years old and we have a lot to learn about owning a bunny. So far she seems to like us as much as we like her! She is a cutie for sure.


Ok, on to the quilty stuff. This week I am finishing up a fall mug rug pattern that will be available on Craftsy by the end of the week. I just have to bind it and draft the pattern.

I ordered some charm packs to make a few baby play mats for my Etsy store.

I need to start my next 100 Blocks submission due 10/1.

I have many totes, toiletry bags and pillow cases to make for the comic shows.

I talk to my podcast audience often but only in my head and not in the recorder….one day soon, I will record another episode.

For a little aloha today, here are some pictures from Vicki’s Quilt Shop in Kapaa, Kauai and Kapaia Stitchery in Lihue…


This was a nice quilt shop and I loved all the samples hanging on the walls. I almost bought the sashiko and applique kit hanging on the left side of the photo but decided I didn’t need another sashiko project just yet as I’m currently working on the turtle one on the right.





Kapaia Stitchery really just blew me away. It not only had beautiful fabrics and samples but a huge selection of cross stitch items as well.


I immediately fell in love with this Hawaiian ukulele quilt sample…oh just love this…


I didn’t purchase the kit or pattern though because hanging right near it was this pineapple quilt and I already own this pattern and haven’t started it yet…


I could have spent hours just gazing at the samples…


And there’s the turtle quilt I made for Leah after our Maui trip!


I would love to return to this store someday.

That’s it for now. Have a good day!!!


Aloha Part 3 & First Day

Do you hear that??? Me either. It’silence. It’s the first day of school! LOL!!! Ahhh, so bittersweet. I love when the girls are home but I’m ready for some sense of order and schedule. They go today and tomorrow and have Friday and Monday off so it’s short lived this week but that’s ok.

Let’s start with the quilty…I made another pillowcase…an Avenger one for the comic show.


Now, I’ll take you to Smith’s Tropical Paradise and the Fern Grotto in Kauai. We noticed that there weren’t as many flowers on the island of Kauai as there were on Maui. Everything on Kauai is lush and green which is beautiful but the girls and I were craving some flowers. We decided to head to Smith’s Tropical Paradise which is a tropical garden and popular wedding spot. We were in for a huge surprise when we realized there were a million chickens, pigeons and peacocks! I can’t tell you how happy the girls were walking around that place with their army of birds and pheasants traveling behind them and eating out of their hands.



I was taken in by the beautiful scenery…




Leah had been talking a lot about a Rainbow Eucalyptus Tree. She wanted to see one in the worst way. We found one! I wish it didn’t have a speaker attached to it but Leah didn’t care! This tree sheds bark and as it matures the color of the tree gets darker and more colorful.




We also boarded a river boat there to take a short trip up to the Fern Grotto. The Fern Grotto is home to a cave where people used to get married! They would actually get married inside the cave. After some severe weather and a hurricane, it’s no longer safe to go in there. Instead they built a platform where people can safely get married in the grotto.


They put on a hula show for everyone and sing the Hawaiian wedding song. The band and hula dancers board the boat afterwards and teach the hula to the passengers on the way back. SO. MUCH. FUN.


We had a blast at Smith’s Tropical Paradise. I think it was one of our favorite days on Kauai.


Aloha 2!

Aloha! Here is part 2 of my Kauai trip photos and some quilty stuff, of course!

Let’s start with the quilty…I visited my mom over the weekend and was able to deliver her much anticipated fat quarters! Here are the colorful fat quarters she is using to make boxed bags and some 7″ squares of Hawaiian fabric. There are about 60 squares there, 30 of each of the two prints. I can’t wait to see how pretty her bags are with these!



In the way of progress this week, I’m not making much. The girls go back to school on Wednesday and I’ll start the task of reorganizing Quilt Cabana Patterns and setting some work hours to stick by. I did make this Avengers pillow case though for an upcoming comic show in September.


Today I’ll show you some pictures from the beautiful town of Hanalei. This is the Hanalei bridge that you take turns with oncoming cars to get across. Local courtesy is to let 5-7 cars go across the bridge and then it is your side’s turn. I only saw one instance where more cars went across than should have. It’s a cute bridge with a stunning view of the mountain ridge and taro fields.


This photo one side of the road in Hanalei where we spent time shopping and eating. Hanalei is a charming town and we really enjoyed it. I love the mountain ridge and how you can see all the waterfalls that cascade down from it.


One day we took the 2 hour ride to Waimea Canyon. This is called the Grand Canyon of the Pacific. Kauai like the other Hawaiian islands are the tops of volcanoes that have formed in the ocean. While Kauai was being formed, part of the island collapsed and left a deep impression which is the Waimea Canyon. It is beautiful to look at but you better watch your step near some of the look out spots as you could easily go tumbling down into the canyon.



I love that there is waterfall in there too…


Here are the girls living the life…lol!


Have a great day, everyone.



I’m back! We had 10 nights and 11 fun filled days on Kauai in the state of Hawaii. Kauai is called the Garden Island for its natural beauty. This is truly a stunning island. Our family has traveled to Hawaii twice before. The first time was in 2008. We stayed in Maui and took a day trip to Oahu to see Pearl Harbor. The second time was in 2013 and we also stayed in Maui but took a day trip to Lanai. This time we opted to try a different island and we chose Kauai. I think aside from the sheer beauty, the thing that struck us was how friendly the people on the island were. There’s a definite spirit of aloha there and it’s palpable from the moment you arrive. We saw a lot of the island and I have about 1,000 photos to prove it! I will be sharing some of the highlights here with you over the next few blog posts. You will notice that these pictures just scream to have an art quilt made from them. I am hoping to accomplish that over the next year or so. Of course, I visited two quilt shops while there. I had a wonderful time at Vicki’s Quilt Shop in the town of Kapaa and I was mesmerized at Kapaia Stitchery in Lihue. I’ll be sharing photos of that as well. Let’s start with some fun quilty stuff…

At Vicki’s Quilt Shop, I fell in love with the quilt in the window. The Hawaiian fabrics are so pretty and I really wanted to make something with them and not just hoard them in my cabinet. I figured the best way to do that was to buy a kit so I’d have everything ready to go when I want to make it.
This is the quilt in the window…


I bought the kit to make a twin size quilt…


These are the fabrics that are included…


I also wanted a Hawaiian applique kit because the Hawaiian applique project that I have started here from the last time isn’t going all that well…needed something new…


I fell in love with this cute yardage and grabbed a a fat quarter pack of more Hawaiian fabric. I also purchased several for my mom that are not pictured because she hasn’t received them from me yet.


Kapaia Stitchery had so many cross stitch patterns. I knew I was going home with at least one…ended up with 2!


I have more pictures of the inside of both shops and I’ll share those in the next post.

One morning we boarded a double hulled catamaran and headed out along the Napali Coast. The Napali Coast can only be seen by air, boat or by a treacherous hike. We opted for a boat tour which was a wonderful excursion. It left around 7:30am and returned around 11:30am. We sailed along the coastline and stopped to snorkel and have lunch. We were delighted to see a huge green sea turtle while snorkeling. The boat left from the absolutely gorgeous Hanalei Bay. Here is a picture of the pier in the bay.


We had a pod of dolphins swimming alongside the boat for awhile…


And a few pictures of the stunning coastline…



This beach with the arch was used in the filming of Pirates Of The Caribbean 4…There is one tour company that will fly a helicopter through that arch…


Stay tuned for more from the trip and the quilt shops I visited!


A Canal, A Campus, A Bridge & A Binding!

Happy Wednesday!

Another full and busy summer week has vanished into thin air! Thursday Lindsey, Leah and I had a picnic by the Cape Cod Canal. We walked along the canal up to the Sagamore Bridge. I took some photos but they are a bit dark as it was a cloudy day. It was also very hot near our house but much cooler along the water.




There were hardly any boats out that afternoon so we’ll have to go back again!

Friday was Greg’s birthday and we had a great night by the pool, Sunday we had a cook out with some of our favorite people and Monday we hit the road at 7am for a college visit at UMASS Amherst which happens to be my alma mater! UMASS by the numbers is a large university with over 20,000 undergrads and 6,000 grad students. It’s daunting but if you can get past the size, the realization of how much this school has to offer comes to light. I asked Amanda early in the tour what she thought and she replied, “I’m terrified”. At the end of the day, I asked again and she said she liked it. It’s a beautiful place but it shall remain #2 on her list as she really loves UNH as her first choice. So, we are working on the college essay, the applications and getting her test scores sent out for early action at her top 3 schools. It’s a lot to deal with but we’ll muddle through. Here is a picture of the UMASS campus from our tour day.


That huge brick building is the library! That’s a lot of books!! LOL!

Last night I snuck in a few minutes in the sewing room and made the binding strips for the Love Notes quilt. I have to baste it and quilt it next.


I also ordered 6 more yards of the aqua Paris yardage to put away for when I make Lindsey’s Paris quilt in 2 years!

Now I’m on to packing because I will soon be sitting at the beach on Kauaii!!!! I can’t wait. I’m hoping to get some pics from the trip on the blog while there but it might not happen. So if you don’t hear from me for a week or so, you’ll know where I am!