Some Fun Fabric Blizzard Dyeing!

We survived the Blizzard of 2015 with two feet of snow! I’m hoping to get outside and get some pretty snow pics later today. But here’s a taste of what we got…we can’t find the patio set today! LOL!

photo (11)

The kids had yesterday off and today as well. I got the hankering to pull out my fabric dyes which I haven’t done in many, many months. I decided to do 3 fat quarters with low immersion dyeing. I didn’t have anything in particular in mind other than just wanting to play around with my dyes.

photo (10)

Here are the results which I’m very happy with. I like the look of low immersion dyeing and all the facets that appear from crinkling up the fabric. Each of these fabrics sat in the dye bath for several hours.

The one on the left was a dye bath of Sky Blue. It came out like this…I am always looking for sky type fabric and this will add to my stash.

photo 2 (26)

The middle bath was Turquoise and Fuchsia for a nice purple effect…

photo 1 (21)

The one on the right was Lemon Yellow and Fuchsia. I’m always only so-so happy with the orangy colors made from Fuchsia. I think the Fuchsia just takes over everything. I need to learn to use way less of that dye when I’m trying for light orange. I think the Bubble Gum Pink Dye might have worked better but hey, who doesn’t need vibrant red-orange in their stash?

photo 3 (7)

I’m receiving some gentle Twilter messages to get some snow dye going today. LOL! You know how subtle those Twilters can be!!! Stay tuned, you might see at least one fat quarter of snow dye on the blog later today/tomorrow.

Due to weather and kids being home, I am behind on my Keep It Shut series of blog posts this week. I will be catching that up tomorrow.



Baby Play Mat Finish

I finished up the quilting on the baby play mat I was working on over the last few weeks. I really love those soft colors from the Riley Blake Girl Crazy collection.


I enjoy working on these little baby quilts so much. I’m sure it’s because it reminds me of my own girls when they were babies…


Since I’m taking the Jackie Gering Craftsy class on quilting with your walking foot, I decided to use what I’ve learned in the borders of this quilt. I used the serpentine stitch on my machine and the walking foot to get a beautiful border design.




I listed this item in my Etsy store this morning.

Tomorrow I’ll be teaching two back to back workshops on fusible mini quilts at my guild’s Winter Free Workshop day. I’m super excited to share what I know on the topic and for everyone to go home with 2 cute projects! Keeping my fingers crossed that the weather isn’t as bad as they are saying it might be in that area. It’s an hour plus drive for me. Wish me luck!


What’s That You Say? Keep It Shut Ch. 5 & 6

KeepItShut5[1] copy

Welcome back to the blog miniseries on Karen Ehman’s book, Keep It Shut.

If you missed the post on chapters 3 & 4, you can find it here. You can find links to weeks 1 & 2 on that post as well.

Chapter 5 has everything to do with Motives and Manners. Ah yes, we are learning to speak the truth but warned to watch our delivery of those words.

“Do you see someone who speaks in haste? There is more hope for a fool than for them.” (Proverbs 29:20).


Have you ever said something that was completely true but the reason why you said it was really just to hurt the person you were speaking with? Maybe just a little? A tiny jab or mention of something they did but maybe could have done better? When you think back on that experience, were those words, delivered in that way, truly helpful or necessary?

In this chapter Karen urges us to examine our motives realizing that we can fool ourselves into thinking those words were helpful but we can’t really fool God.

In addition to examining our motives, we also need to think about our sly tongues and how speaking in vague or misleading terms is dishonest. Instead we should be letting God’s words shape our hearts. It goes back to spending time with God’s word and filling our hearts and mouths with righteous words and thoughts. Often when we replay past conversations in our minds, we see the hurt that we may or may not have intended. Have these moments been preceded in spending ample time with God?

Karen’s suggestions for finding more time for scripture include investing in a pocket Bible, listening to the Bible on cd in the car and getting a Bible app for your smartphone.

Now flip these ideas we have been talking about…what about when we are the target of someone else’s hurtful words? What do we do? The only thing to do as Karen suggests is to be tough skinned and tenderhearted. When I saw this paragraph in the book, I highlighted it and wrote RIGHT????? next to it…I’m a person who allows my feelings to be hurt very easily, I felt she wrote this just for me…

“When we harden our hearts and let every little offense poke a hole in our happiness, we only hurt ourselves. We are slurping on a smoothie of poison, and don’t even know it. But when we soften our hearts with love for others, and toughen our skins against their barbs, we are better equipped to show the compassionate love of Jesus to a watching world.”

Chapter 6 talks about Behind The Screen, Controlling Your Digital Tongue

This chapter will only become more and more important as time goes on and newer social media outlets pop up in addition to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram as well as email. What could be easier than social media for saying every thought that enters our heads without using a mental filter first? How much trouble can we get into with this? LOTS, that’s how much. It is so easy to throw something snarky out there and not have to say it face to face with the person whom it’s directed to. And email…oh my goodness. Email can not convey our tone of voice or level of sarcasm so it’s easy to misinterpret words being sent back and forth. It’s a breeding ground for discontent and not only for the youth of our world but for the adults as well.

It amazes me to see the wealth of nasty comments left on the blog posts of folks just trying to share something in their lives as simple as a recipe or funny story. I can’t get over how people think it is possibly ok to say such nasty things online. So what can we do to break this cycle?

Karen has some great rules for what she calls The Cyberspace Playground. Her rules include praying before you post, imagine the recipient sitting next to you, remember that being online is like being on stage, ask yourself if your opinion is even warranted and most importantly, when you do speak, let your speech be laced with grace!

This chapter also includes a lesson on salty speech. Salt is a wonderful flavor enhancer used all over the world. Could we use our words to enhance the lives of those around us? Salt is also a preservative. Could we use our words to be the salt of the earth and preserve God’s truth both in person and online? Salt can do a lot of other things that Karen explores in depth including how too much salt can ruin a dish!

I want to share a story with you about an experience I had on social media a few years back. I was sitting in the waiting area of my doctor’s office to have a yearly exam. There was a young, pregnant woman also waiting for an appointment. When this young woman was called to have her glucose sugar test, she asked the nurse if she could step outside to have a cigarette first. I was fairly new to Facebook and I immediately whipped out my phone to post something like, “Please tell me this pregnant person didn’t just…” and you can figure out the rest. Of course several people replied to my post of how terrible that person must be and how ignorant. Later that day, I saw a Facebook notification come through on my phone from a long ago friend that read something like this: Maybe that mother is trying to quit smoking and she’s finding it very hard and that was her only cigarette of the day.

Huh. I was stopped in my tracks. I went online to Facebook to reply to her comment and the comment was gone. She had posted her comment and deleted it believing I would never see it except that it came through on my cell phone as a notification. A few days later, that friend passed away. I believe with all my heart that I was supposed to receive that notification. I never responded to her regarding the post before she died. I hope she knows what a valuable lesson she taught me in her final days.

The challenge for the week ahead is to practice thinking about your digital words before you type them. Are those words encouraging or cutting? Are those words called for from you? Are you the best person to advise another on a particular topic? If the answer is no, then perhaps you should Keep It Shut.


A Finish!

I had a finish yesterday! I completed my six redwork embroidery mitten ornaments!!

photo (9)


I received this kit for Christmas and I was so looking forward to having a new hand project to work on over the vacation. I spent each night working on the stitching while I watched tv or chatted away with my family as they worked on their own projects (mostly Lego!).

I knew I didn’t want my first redwork project to be something huge. These little mitten ornaments seemed like just the ticket and they were! The kit is by Rachel Pellman of Rachel’s of Greenfield. The instructions were great and I only had one issue with the kit. The kit provided just enough and I mean just enough of the cream felt to cut out 12 mittens (6 fronts and 6 backs). The instructions warned to be careful laying them out so that you could get 12 mittens out of the piece. I was VERY careful about it and almost didn’t have enough for the last mitten. The same goes for the embroidery floss. I am not a thread waster and I finished with about a half piece left over. Instead of gleefully crossing the finish line with this project, I was nervous the whole time that I would run out.

As a pattern designer, I understand not having people waste money on extra fabric and supplies but I am a firm believer in giving people enough leeway with material amounts to make a mistake or cut something wrong.

That being said, I enjoyed working on these red work mittens so much! I can’t wait to tackle another red work project!

Don’t forget the Seasonal Trio patterns are on sale until midnight in the online store.


Finally Friday

It’s Friday again! Yahoo!!!

This week I put together  a baby play-mat top that will go in my Etsy store. I’ll finish it up over the weekend or early next week. I love the cheery colors and those yellow polka dots are insanely cute. This is the window pane charm quilt tutorial from Missouri Star Quilt Co. The charm squares are from Riley Blake’s Girl Crazy collection. I love Riley Blake fabric so much but I do wish that their charm packs came with 42 charms and not 21. And here it is….

photo (8)

I also spent time this week preparing for a workshop I’m teaching on mini quilts next Saturday. I still have more demos to prep and things to go over but I’m making progress.

I got a huge laugh out of The Quilt Show’s 10 question interview with Eleanor Burns! You can watch here if you haven’t seen it yet. Prepare to giggle A LOT!

I’m in the process of moving the online store from the website to the blog . It is going to take awhile to set up so please still use the online store at  until I have it figured out. Don’t forget the Seasonal Trio patterns are still 20% off right now.

I was very pleased to hear yesterday that my block has been selected for 100 Blocks Volume 11! More to come on that later….

I think that about does it for today. What are you working on?



What’s That You Say? Keep It Shut Ch. 3 & 4


Welcome to the Keep It Shut miniseries on chapters 3 and 4 of Karen Ehman’s new book, Keep It Shut.

Click here for week 1.
Click here for week 2.

Karen is a self professed ‘gap filler’. Do you know what that means? It means that from the time she was in grade school she had an innate ability to speak when there is a lull in the conversation. A gap. She filled it. Instead of that earning her high marks on her report card, it got her into trouble as it was pointed out that she needed to improve her listening skills! Are you a gap filler? I know I certainly am. It drives me crazy to have awkward silence in the car or at the dinner table. I gab and gab and the worst part? I know when I’m doing it. Often I end up just talking about nothing while the kids stare into their dinner plates or at some far away place out the window. It’s exhausting to be honest.

Karen has developed a few rules of thumb for this gift of gab dilemma. During her bible studies, she has decided to only raise her hand once every third question which gives others in the group a chance to participate. She also now pauses before she pipes up. This means when the person she is speaking with takes a pause, she doesn’t interrupt or interject before that person has had a chance to finish their thought. I think this is great advice. Here’s more good advice from the apostle James 1:19-20…

“My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this. Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.”

In order to stop filling the gap, we need to heed a few simple warnings – don’t speak too much, don’t speak too soon, don’t speak without first listening (boy, do I need this one) and don’t speak at all. Wait, what? Don’t speak at all is an option? Genius. Karen has a nice way of explaining these concepts in chapter 3. I love this quote she included from Publilius Syrus who was a Roman writer, “I have often regretted my speech, never my silence”.

The challenge for chapter 3 is for 24 hours to not give your opinion unless directly asked. Instead, ask the other person questions to try to really understand what they are saying and other that, keep your thoughts to yourself. Can we do it? I know we can.

Casual group of friends holding hands outdoors in a park on a beautiful day

Chapter 4 focuses on zipping our mouths and praying more. Instead of doing 19 things to process a problem in our lives, why don’t we pray first? Why don’t we make prayer a daily priority and become prayer warriors? Spending much needed time in prayer gives us a chance connect with God and usually after connecting with God, we feel better. We are little slower to anger. We are more forgiving and patient. Our words come out more smoothly and less harsh. Devoting time to pray and sticking with a prayer schedule can be difficult. Often times we start out praying and then our thoughts just lead us in another direction. That direction might be the grocery list or something pressing at work. It seems we need some help focusing on how to pray.

Karen suggests several ways in this chapter on how to be a good prayer warrior including praying over the items on our to do list, being intentional about our time with God, reading and writing our thoughts down (devotionals and journal keeping) and making a recording of scripture to play when we are driving around town. All of these items will bring us closer to God and affect our daily moods and behaviors.

Let’s try to carve out our own God time and stick to it this week!


Friday Progress

The week has been fairly productive. I finished up the quilting on this pretty angel wall hanging for my aunt’s friend. My aunt pieced it and then I basted it, stitched down all the gold leading and background quilted the whole thing. My aunt will finish it up with a binding! I’m happy to have had a chance to work on this as it is really quite stunning. I hope her friend is pleased with it.

photo 1 (12)

photo 3 (6)

photo 2 (23)

My redwork embroidered mitten ornaments are coming along. I spent an evening tracing and cutting the mitten backs and cuffs so they will be ready for the blanket stitching around them. I’ll post a picture when they are finished.

Yesterday I started making a softie fish from Abby Glassenberg’s softie book. I got about this far…

photo 4 (8)

I also purchased a Craftsy class and started it this week. I am taking Jacquie Gering’s Creative Quilting With Your Walking Foot. I’m just a little bit into it at this point but it looks like a great class.

Don’t forget the Seasonal Trio patterns are all 20% off in the store until the 18th of January.

How has your progress been this week?


Seasonal Trio Patterns Sale!

Let’s celebrate getting back to reality after the holidays with a sale on the Seasonal Trio patterns!

Each pattern includes instructions and templates to make 3 different designs! Each of these patterns are on sale in my store for $7.60 (20% off) until January 18th.

First Seasonal Trio

First Seasonal Trio Hi Res For QW

Second Seasonal Trio

Second Seasonal Trio Hi Res For QW

Third Seasonal Trio

Third Seasonal Trio Hi Res For QW

Fourth Seasonal Trio

Fourth Seasonal Trio Hi Res For QW

Click Here For Quilt Cabana Patterns store.


What’s That You Say? Keep It Shut Wk 2.

KeepItShut2 copy

This is the second post of a mini series here on the blog centering around Karen Ehman’s new book, Keep It Shut. You can find PART 1 here. Today is release day for the book and you can find ordering information on Karen’s site here. You can also read a sample chapter on her site.

So chapter 2 of this book is titled Squabbles, Spats and Such. I’m thinking we all know a little something about those words. The scripture verse at the beginning of the chapter is Proverbs 10:12-13 and it reads: Hatred stirs up conflict, but love covers all wrongs. Wisdom is found on the lips of the discerning.

Oh, how I love this. Wisdom is found on the lips of the discerning. Maybe I love this so much because my word choice for 2015 is ‘wisdom’.

This chapter deals with how we are all not alike which of course leads to conflict from time to time. As a result we will feel anger, frustration and resentment towards others. This is natural. It’s how we deal with it that makes all the difference. Like Karen, I tend to deal with non family members with a bit more grace and patience than my family members. It’s easy to lash out at the ones who are stuck with us!! Why do we do that? How can we stop doing this? Chapter Two explores how Joseph was able to exhibit kindness to the brothers who betrayed him and offers us some guidance on how he did that.

Remembering to say what honors God, giving God credit where He is due, being kind and not boastful are all ways to speak from our hearts and “lace our words with grace”.

The challenge this week is to not lose our cool with family members or co-workers who drive us nuts. Will you use speech that drums up fights and squabbles or will you use kind words that heal and encourage?

How about last week’s challenge? Did you remember to think before you spoke and did you notice a difference?

My favorite part of Chapter 2 is when Karen points out that all the humans we encounter in the course of our lives are artfully placed in our pathways. I don’t believe in coincidence and this affirms my thoughts that God knows well before we do, who we will marry, befriend, be a student of or a teacher to…it’s all orchestrated intentionally and beautifully for us. I want to share a story with you that occurred this week…

Very recently an older man was at my home doing some repair work. We chatted a bit as he went about his work regarding raising children as he is father to 8 grown children. In my ever lasting quest to fill up silence, I asked more and more about his family. As he finished up his work, he spoke of how difficult life can be when you watch your loved ones battle addiction. I silently sent up a prayer asking God how to respond to this man who I fully believe was meant to be here talking with me that day. The answer was to just keep my mouth quiet and listen to him and tell him that I would be praying for his family daily. I could feel his heavy heart as if it were my own. He then spoke of his own prayers asking God to help his family as he felt he had tried everything else. I don’t know why his path crossed mine but I do know it was for a reason. Maybe he left feeling slightly less burdened having had a chance to speak of his worries out loud. I may never know and that is OK for I know it was just meant to be.

Join me next week to chat about Chapter 3.


Back To It!

It sure is quiet around here…kids are back to school and I’m back to Quilt Cabana today. I can’t wait to jump into that clean sewing room and touch fabric and thread! I’ll be working on this angel quilt for my aunt’s friend this week. The gold bias tape outlining everything has been glued down but not stitched and it needs some basting and quilting.


For Christmas I received this set of redwork embroidery mitten ornaments. It became the project I relaxed with while the kids were on school break and last night I finished stitching the 6th and last ornament. I’m thrilled to have gotten them all stitched over vacation. Now I need to cut out the mitten cuffs and mitten backs and then blanket stitch them together.

photo (7)

Tomorrow’s post will be the second in a series about Karen Ehman’s new book, Keep It Shut. I’ll be focusing on chapter two of the book.

Sweet and Salty-Karen Ehman

Pre-order 1 or more copies of Keep It Shut by midnight 1/5 (tonight!)& get tons of FREEBIES!

See you tomorrow!