Wednesday, July 31, 2013


1. Carefree, 2. Kid's Travel Bags, 3. Patchwork Wristlets 2, 4. LJ Quilt, 5. Chevron Doll Quilt, 6. Nanny Bee Pouches

July was just plain crazy. We lead a pretty hectic life in our house, but it's been a while since we've had a month as busy as this past one. I think we fit about three months worth of activities, vacationing, and medical appointments into the last four weeks. The projects above were mostly gifts for some of the wonderful people in my life, the only exception being my Carefree quilt which was a little gift for me.

By the way, I can't recommend those travel bags I made for the girls highly enough. If you have kids or know kids or are thinking of giving birth to a kid some time in the near future, make one of these for them -- the parents will love you forever. Not only did these little wonder bags keep my girls busy during the eight hour car trip, they also entertained them in restaurants, during church, at the house, absolutely everywhere we went. I knew they were going to be helpful, but I had no idea they were going to be miraculous. If these bags had feet, I would kiss them. Seriously...I love them that much.

Linking up to Fresh Sewing Day at Lily's Quilts.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Nanny Bee Pouches

I wanted to make a quick little gift for the two amazing ladies who put together our church's Vacation Bible School program this week. What could be more perfect, I thought, than little pouches made out of these darling Nanny Bee prints from Heather Ross's amazing new Briar Rose collection?

These pouches are about as basic as it gets, but I love them. The twill tape loop can double as a key ring, and the size (about 6 x 7.5") is large enough to hold any number of items while still fitting in a purse. I tucked a Starbucks card into each one to get them started.

Both pouches are lined with calico prints from the same collection. If you're on the fence at all about ordering this line, don't give it another thought. You need this fabric. Trust me.

Linking up to Finish It Up Friday.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Chevron Doll Quilt Tutorial

Today you'll find me over at Amanda's wonderful blog Jedi Craft Girl sharing a tutorial for this little doll quilt featuring my favorite chevron block. Hop on over and have a look!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Catching Up

It's been a week of catching up on life and coming down from the exhausting high that is vacation. Believe it or not, there's been lots of sewing going on here. Unfortunately, I can show you none of it, and yes, it's killing me. So instead, I'm sharing a few pictures (the last of the cell phone photos for a while, I promise!) from last week in hopes that you'll bear with me a little longer before I can once again bring you the latest from my sewing room.

If you're ever in Southern Arizona, you must stop by the Santa Cruz Chili & Spice Company. This little roadside shop is packed to the rafters with incredible spice mixes and locally made salsas. My father and husband are positively addicted to their Hot Picante Sauce, and I love to pick up bags of ancho chili powder to use in my cooking. The girls mostly love walking around the store and testing all the spices. We didn't let them anywhere near the Trinidad Scorpion chili powder, though my husband insisted on giving it a try.

My sweet mother-in-law insisted on treating me to a shopping spree at the local quilt shop. Quilter's Desert Patch is an incredibly unique shopping experience. Imagine a trailer home where every crevice in every room is stuffed with bolts of fabric and sewing notions, and you've pretty much got the idea. Melanie was a wonderful hostess while we were there, and even let me take her picture for the blog.

Though she mostly carries traditional fabrics, I was able to spot some modern prints in there. I brought home this stack of goodies which I can't wait to use in some upcoming projects. And for those of you who missed it on Instagram, I'll leave you with one of the few light moments in the eight hour drive to Arizona -- my favorite road sign:

It gives me a laugh every time...

Thursday, July 11, 2013


It has been a lovely, lovely week of vacation here with my in-laws in Southern Arizona. Normally I'm not a desert vacation kind of girl. Broiling temperatures? Sharp plants? No, thank you. But there's something about the little retirement community of Green Valley that gets to me. The summer months are far more quiet than usual since half the population heads off for cooler climates, and there's a peacefulness here that speaks to my soul. The light is incredible in the evenings at dusk, softening the edges of the landscape and making everything beautiful. Since it's monsoon season in this part of the world, we've also been having nightly thunderstorms. I love to stand at the patio window and watch the lightning flash over the mountains.

My parents-in-law live in a complex that is surrounded by small stretches of desert wilderness which are full of little creatures: rabbits, quail, ground squirrels, and the occasional lizard. I do my best to catch them in motion, but they're quick. I'm afraid all these vacation photos are taken with my phone -- I just didn't feel like packing the fancy camera this year -- but at least you get a feel for the area this way. You can follow me on Instagram to see more.

Every night before bed, my daughters love to go exploring with us -- "bunny hunting" they call it -- hoping to catch a glimpse of those soft brown-grey rabbits playing games among the cacti.

With all the playtime, I've not done a stitch of sewing yet, though I brought some projects along with me just in case. Maybe tomorrow. For today, I'll share a few projects that I brought along as gifts for family members.

These patchwork wristlets were made using Ayumi's tutorial. To speed things up, I left out the inside pocket and used precut mini charm squares from the Posy and Baby Jane lines.

I love these pouches -- such a fun, personal gift and so useful.

I also made a throw quilt for my brother-in-law and his wife out of charm squares from Glimma and Bella by Lotta Jansdotter. It's a very simple design in layout and quilting, but that seems to suit these prints somehow.

I backed the quilt in that wonderful IKEA print I bought last month. I really need to get some more of that soon.

As I sit here typing, my little bunny hunters have finally fallen asleep after another big day, tired from the night's activities and excited about tomorrow's trip to the Tuscon Zoo. I'm tired too...and so very happy.

Linking up to Finish It Up Friday.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Just a Little Crazy

(Scene opens with wife sewing madly at her machine. Husband approaches and places one hand on her shoulder.)

Husband: What are you making? Is this another gift?

Wife: No, I thought I'd make travel bags for the girls. I remembered this darling tutorial by Ayumi, and I thought these would be perfect for their snacks and toys to keep them busy on the drive.

Husband: (Moment of stunned silence) I'm sorry...we leave for Arizona the day after tomorrow, you have a million things to pack, company coming over the night before we leave, your sister's family coming over to house sit, everyone has to have a hand sewn gift, and now you're making travel bags for the girls?

Wife looks up at her husband with a sheepish smile.

Husband: Sweetheart...please don't take this the wrong way, but you're insane.

Okay, so maybe he's right. But the bags are done, they hold even more than I'd hoped, and they're so adorable that I can't wait to make more when I get home. So I'm not insane really...just a little crazy.

And to prove it, I'll be spending eight hours driving through the desert in a minivan tomorrow with three little girls under the age of seven. Pray for me...

Linking up with the Let's Get Acquainted Monday Linkup -- and don't forget to visit this week's new bloggers!

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Fabric Audition: Patriotic Picnic

It seemed like Independence Day deserved its own fabric audition. This little stack reminds me of the Fourth of July festivities we had every year in the small town where I grew up: a parade down main street, picnic concerts in the park, and flags everywhere.

Happy Fourth!

Monday, July 1, 2013


I'm going to be perfectly honest here and say that sometimes quilts are my least favorite project to sew. Don't get me wrong -- I love quilts. But trying to piece together something so large and feed it through my little home machine, all while keeping the kids and dogs from trampling it to bits, can be rather stressful. And you know those awesome bloggers who can show you closeups and even the reverse side of their quilting because every single bit of piecing is a thing of beauty? Nope...not me. But when I worked on my chevron baby quilt last month, this quilt block quickly won my heart. It's quick to cut, easy to piece correctly, and perfect for simple quilting.

For the fabrics, I used my California Road Trip blogger bundle for Tactile Fabrics along with some special prints from my own collection. I can't tell you how delighted I am with the way this turned out. As I was sewing this quilt top together, I couldn't stop thinking of the quiet vacations my sister and I used to spend together at Huntington Beach every spring back when we were both single teachers. Mornings on the beach, afternoons at the pool, and sunsets on the pier -- it was absolutely heaven, and the memories led me to name this quilt "Carefree."

The back of the quilt is a large scale text print from IKEA which I picked up a few weeks ago for just ninety-nine cents a yard. Now, of course, I wish I'd gotten ten yards instead of just three. It's bound in a pale orange floral print from Denyse Schmidt's latest Blossom Reel line.

From this angle you can also see the small vineyard we have growing over our arbor in the backyard. Fresh grapes at the table for every meal have been a lovely thing this summer. Since they have a habit of adopting my projects before they're even finished, I've already let the girls know that this one is going to be Mommy's special quilt. It's taking a spin in the dryer as I type, and I'm looking forward to snuggling with it -- yes, even in the 106 degree heat we've been having here in Southern California.

After spending a few weeks on the drawing board, my new blog header is finally in place. I had so much fun drawing an updated version of our little Naomi for the blog, and there's even a new blog button there on the side to grab if you like. Enjoy!

Linking up with Sew Cute Tuesday & Fabric Tuesday.


1. Patchwork Pouch, 2. Mr. Bear Kit 2, 3. Zakka Bell Pepper Hot Pads, 4. Plain & Fancy Mini Quilt, 5. Scrappy Kaleidoscope Pillow, 6. Chevron Baby Quilt, 7. Zakka Tea Cozy Set, 8. Happy Go Lucky Pouch 2, 9. Zakka Apron

I always love Fresh Sewing Day. It's great to look back on the month and celebrate everything that we've made. June was full of Zakka, gifts, and fun little quilts. It's always best to enjoy summer while you have it, I say...

Linking up to Fresh Sewing Day at Lily's Quilts.
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