Monday, August 6, 2018

August Desire to Inspire Challenger get Chills 'n Thrills

Miriam's Chills 'N Thrills Fabric Arrives

The package was delivered while I was in town having lunch with Mom and talking over her new little quilt.  It was on the bench on the porch when I returned.

I would like to give a shout out to my husband and give him credit for the bench.  He cut down the cedar (tree) from the timber in back of the farm, milled it here, and constructed the bench.  The back of the bench is a ’49 or ’50 Chevrolet pick up tail gate from an old truck abandoned in the hedge row by the former owners of the farm.  I hope you think the bench is as cool as I do.

Friday, August 3, 2018

Welcome to August - Meet the Challenger Miriam Saye


Meet Miriam Saye from Kansas! 

My husband and I have approximately 200 acres of pasture, hay meadow and timber out here in rural Kansas.  The timber has trails for riding ATVs and we have ponds for fishing.  We have cows, calves and 3 rescue dogs. 

I'm a retired university secretary.  After years of sewing garments for myself and my daughter, including her bridal gown, I found the quilting bug and never looked back.

I raised this orphan bucket calf, who is now 12 years old. She is my big baby.

Miriam in her non-quilting hours feeding stalks to her favorite cow.

Miriam with her mom, who is inspiration for quilting and who is 99 and still quilts! 

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Desire to Inspire July Challenger - Meet Amanda Wallace, talented teen.

Amanda Wallace

This month's challenger is a sewing newbie! She had such an earnest desire that of course we wanted her to be inspired!  Please comment below on her projects for this month's challenge to encourage her sewing journey! 

Meet Amanda Wallace

Hi! My name is Amanda Wallace and I am so excited to take part in this challenge! I have been sewing for a year now and I love it. I started sewing because I wanted to learn something new and sewing is a very useful skill to have. For the short time I have been sewing I have made a few projects that I am very proud of. I made a Yankees themed quilt for my dad, a cat themed quilt for myself, embroidered T-shirts for my two young cousins, and pull-string bags, that I loaded with goodies, for each of my teachers as a 'thank you' gift. I highly encourage other teens to join me in learning the art of sewing and also experienced sewists to teach the younger generation. It is extremely useful and a great experience. 

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Looking for an August Challenger for our Desire to Inspire contest - It's Chilling!

Get sewing and glowing! This beautiful (and creepy) fabric line glows in the dark, and owns up to its name "Chills & Thrills" designed by Shelly Comiskey. You can make up something spooky this month and have it ready for goblin season in our Desire to Inspire Challenge. 

We are looking for you! 

It is a super easy contest. Just toss your hat into the email pool by sending an email to to be considered. 

We will select someone on Thursday, August 2, so act fast! 
We will send you fabrics from this collection, and you will have a whole month to sew something spooky! 
We will post your pictures and bio at the end of the month. 

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

A Free Project from our friend Kim Diehl! A Little Kid Drawstring Backpack featuring Bumble Garden Flannels

Drawstring Backpack Project from Kim Diehl

Finished size: approximately 12” square, excluding straps and drawstrings.
Sew all pieces with right sides together and a 1/4” seam allowance unless otherwise noted.

Just in time for soothing away those mid-summer, "I'm bored" blues... a project for packing up the fun found in summer! 

Kim Diehl, has generously put together a little tote bag project for us using Bumble Garden flannels, a new collection that will be shipping into quilt shops in September!

1. For this project you’ll need standard sewing supplies, including a water-soluble marker, and: 
♦  1 rectangle, 12 1/2” x 30 1/2”, of lining print
♦  2 rectangles, 3 1/2” x 12 1/2”, of casing print
♦  1 rectangle, 12 1/2” x 20 1/2”, of base print

  2 strips, 3” x width of fabric, of coordinating drawstring/strap print, with selvages removed. (I used Bumble Garden flannel prints because they’re sturdy and soft, but cotton prints will also work.) 

2. Join a casing print rectangle to each short end of the base print rectangle. Press the seams toward the casing print.

Making the tube...

3. Join one short end of the lining print to one casing print rectangle. Repeat with the remaining end of the lining print and the second casing print rectangle to make a large stitched tube. Press the seams toward the casing print.

Press the seams toward the casing print. 

4. Using an acrylic ruler, measure 1” out from the casing print seam where it joins the lining; use a rotary cutter to cut the fabric at this point. Repeat with the remaining rectangle of casing print, again cutting through the lining print. You’ll now have one long rectangle of lining unit, and one long pieced outer unit. 

5. Fold each step 4 unit in half, right sides together, with the short raw ends aligned. Lay the pieced and folded outer unit only flat on a table top; measure 2” down from the top raw edge and use a water-soluble marker to mark this position at each side edge. Measure 1 1/2” down from each of these marks, and repeat (this is to show where the casing openings will be). Pin the long side edges of the outer and lining units. Beginning and ending with several backstitches, sew the long side edges only of each unit to form a bag shape with an open top, leaving the areas between the marked positions of the outer unit unstitched. Press the side seams of each stitched unit open.

6. Turn the stitched outer unit only right side out; insert it into the lining unit as shown, aligning theside seams. (The units should now be resting with right sides together.) Pin the top raw edges. Beginning and ending with several back stitches, sew the top pinned edges, leaving an unstitched 3” opening at the center of one unit side for turning. 

7. Turn the stitched unit right side out, using the 3” opening. Smooth the lining unit into the outer unit, with the sewn seam positioned at the top. Press the unit’s top edge, turning the unstitched lining print to the inside; pin the top edge to anchor the layers and prevent shifting. Stitch the unit a scant 1/8” in from the top pinned edge.

8.  Lay the unit flat on your work surface. Measuring down 1 3/4” from the top stitched edge, use a water-soluble marker and an acrylic ruler to draw a horizontal sewing line across the casing print. Measure down 1 1/2” from the first drawn line, and repeat. In the same manner, mark the back of the unit. (These drawn horizontal lines should coincide with the side openings from step 5.) Pin the unit through the casing print layers to prevent shifting. Beginning at a side seam, stitch the layers together along each drawn line to form the casing. Blot the marked lines with a damp cloth or white paper towel to remove them.

9. Fold the long outer edges of one 3”-wide drawstring print strip to the center as shown. Press. Fold one end of the strip over approximately 1/4”. Press. Next, fold the strip in half at the end to encase the raw ends (the remaining raw end of the strip will later be enclosed within the back pack seams.). Press and pin the folded end. Continue pressing and pinning the long side of the strip to anchor the folded edges together. Stitch the pinned end and long side of the strip a scant 1/8” in from the edges to form the drawstring. Repeat with the remaining strip to make two stitched drawstrings.

 10. Use a sturdy safety pin at the raw end of one stitched drawstring to thread it through the sewn casing, beginning and ending at one side opening. (After threading, both strip ends will be extending out from the same side opening.) Repeat with the second strip, beginning and ending at the remaining opposite side opening. Knot the stitched end of each drawstring; it’s not necessary to knot the raw ends.

 11. Turn the unit inside out. With the sewn side seam of the unit centered from side to side, smooth it flat and lay it onto a cutting mat as shown. Measure 1” out from the folded bottom corner of the unit; trim away the tip. Pin the layers at each side of the trimmed opening, leaving the center area unpinned. Repeat with the remaining bottom corner of the unit.

12. From the inside of the unit, insert the unknotted end of one drawstring into the corner opening on the same side (this will form the strap); pin. Repeat with the remaining corner of the unit. Stitch each pinned corner through all layers to encase the raw strap ends. (For the sake of sturdiness, I stitched across these openings three or four times each.) If desired, apply liquid seam sealant (such as Fray Check) to the raw corner ends, or finish them with an overcast or zigzag stitch. 

 13. Turn the finished back pack right side out. Press. Adjust the straps to the needed lengths using the drawstrings, and slip it onto your favorite little kid!

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Let's Get Quilting - Modern Melody Giveaway! A 12 pc bundle to build your stash by Color Principle

This sweet summertime giveaway is to build your stash! Modern Melody is the perfect amount of fun to add rest to fun quilts, or to use for accents. Look at this super awesome palette of color! There will be two winners this week, each will get a 12 pc bundle with some of these colors. Enter below to win! Leave a comment with what kinds of fabric you pick for your stash. Click on this lovely batch of swatches below to go to the page and see them all AND pick up a FREE project while you are there. 

Monday, July 9, 2018

Let's Get Quilting - It's a Sweater Weather Giveaway!

It's Sweater Weather! Right? Wrong? Well if you would like to enter this week's giveaway for a chance to win this adorable fabric by Shelly Comiskey from the Sweater Weather collection, then you are in the right spot, at the right time. 

Just comment on the blog and enter to win this week's giveaway of Sweater Weather, now shipping into a quilt shop near you. 

Let's Get Quilting - Sweater Weather

Meet our July Desire to Inspire Challenger! 15 year old Amanda Wallace


Amanda Wallace is 15 and the youngest challenger ever for Desire to Inspire. She totally scored with this fantastic Holiday Wishes collection by Jan Shade Beach. You can sew along this month if you wish, as this fun and festive collection is in quilt shops now!  

Friday, June 29, 2018

Looking for a July Challenger for Desire to Inspire! Are you ready to take it on?

It's July! That means Christmas fabrics are now shipping into your favorite quilt shop!!
Including this one, Holiday Wishes, designed by the Henry Glass designer who "loves" snow: Jan Shade Beach. This collection is the one with the super cute vintage red truck that has become an icon in much of the Christmas lore we see everywhere!  

Well this July, we are offering the Challenger this Holiday Wishes collection to sew something great in July. Are you ready to take it on? 
If you would like to be considered, here is the way this works:
Send an email to with a couple pictures (or links) to projects you have made, and a little sweet-talking about how you really want to do this and why always helps! 

Then, we pick a winner, send you fabric, and you sew like crazy in July. By July 30, you need to send in great photos of your project(s) and your bio, to publish on this blog.  That's it. The projects are yours to keep (or giveaway) for Christmas fun. 

Who's in?

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Desire to Inspire - June Challenge Results are In!

Desire To Inspire - June edition featured "Sweater Weather" and Wendy Andreason from Arizona is the talented challenger! 


Meet Wendy Andreason, look at her beautiful projects and leave a comment for her below!  

Wendy: For me sewing has always been about family. As a child my family sewed. My mother and aunt worked together to sew dolls and doll clothes for me and my cousins. They also made stuffed rabbits, I remember picking out which eyes I wanted with which fur.  
Pillowcases and slippers
My sister made me Gunne Sax types of dresses and taught me to crochet. My other sister crocheted as well.  We all did cross stitch. I hand sewed clothes which I designed for my Breyer horses because we all know horses need more than just one outfit! I knitted with my cousin as a young adult. I left that by the wayside pretty quickly though as my dishrags were so loose a large piece of burned broccoli could easily slip through. 

Wendy has some talented models along with a wonderful quilt! 

As an undergrad I took small projects to work on in between lectures (ok, I admit, these were usually sewing badges on scout uniforms and buttons back on shirts) and soon several of us would sit in the halls on the floor working on various items for our families (my classmates were mostly newlyweds with no children so their crafty endeavors were actually much more creative and entertaining than mine) while we quizzed each other on stuff I was quick to forget after the exams were passed. Particularly MATH but biology and all the other "ology" classes were just quick memorization to pass a test and then flush the information to revert back to an comfortably ignorant state.  (The joke was on me, a lot of this stuff I was supposed to know for grad school! ACK!) Ahh, so nice to have a good education! 
These models are as cute as the quilt!

I am always sewing for my  family, and sometimes with them.  For me sewing is an expression of love and a lot of fun. It is how I nurture and take care of those around me. It is how I was raised. It is more fun and easier than cooking and turns out better every time! I have been married for 33 years and have four sons and still I can't cook! Well, I can. It just generally tastes like crap. I will stick with sewing! Thank you to all the restaurants that have kept us alive!  

Bedtime in Sweater Weather land!

I started quilting when my husband bought me a sewing machine for our anniversary about 14 years ago. I still sew on that machine today. 
I learned from books, blogs, and patterns. Thank you to all those generous designers!  I love paper piecing and intricate patterns. I like to challenge myself so some of my projects don't turn out like I intend, but my family doesn't seem to notice and are appreciative and supportive. My first quilting class was five years ago when we moved to Arizona. I love the heat and the sun!  I have a lot of wonderful friends, most of whom quilt. They have taught me so much! We have a lot of laughs while we sew and I am so happy to have these fantastic people in my life. 

My next sewing adventure I think will be clothes! I see a lot of neat things being done and I want to try! Flannel pajama bottoms here we come! (Boys beware! I will want you to wear this stuff!) 

My shout out goes to Henry Glass!
I have wanted Henry Glass flannel since the penguins came out and I was so excited to win this! The flannel washes up beautifully! No pills, nice and thick and bright! The prints are so fun I wanted to find patterns to show them off and make them stand out.  I have been wanting to try making slippers for years and this was the perfect opportunity! They are so cozy I will for sure be making another pair to wear while these are in the wash. The throws I quilted very lightly so they are extra snugly and the pillow cases are to die for! They will be so soft I can't wait for cool weather to use them! Henry Glass has always had my attention for the charitable  works they do, and their fantastic attitude. I feel like they look out for their customers and I try to support them with my business. Thank you for the opportunity to work with these fabrics, and thanks to the designer Shelly Comiskey! 

Patterns are by:

Elizabeth Hartman: New Wave
Sewcial Mama: The Perfect Slipper
Lyn Brown:  Phat Fats Fat Quarter Quilt 
The Cloth Parcel:  Make This: burrito pillowcase with one way fabric tutorial
Wendy Andreason

Monday, June 25, 2018

Let's Get Quilting - Dogs and Suds 10 pc Bundle by Shelly Comiskey of Simply Shelly Designs

Dogs and Suds is a sweet whimsical collection showing the fun times with your pet...bath time! The lively color palette of yellow, blue and red is perfect for a fun project just for your loved one, furry or otherwise. This collection of 10 pcs. is a great prize for someone lucky this week, or find the collection at your local quilt shop!