December 11, 2013

And on the 13th Day of Christmas...Finally, Fabric!

Franny, Lou, and the orphan-kitty-who-we-found-last-week-and-who-appears-to-be-spending-the-holidays-with-us-and-might-even-end-up-living-here just asked us: 

So what's a giveaway without fabric?? They're right (as usual). So, here we are to announce the 13th day of our 12 Days of Giveaways.

Enter using Rafflecopter (below) by 11:59 AM Eastern time on Wed. Dec 18th for one of these prizes:

Moda Fabrics jelly roll of Sunnyside
photo courtesy of Missouri Star Quilt Co.
Or…for a peek into the distant Christmas future, you might win either a jelly roll or layer cake of Solstice…my next wintery collection for Moda to be released in 2014!
More photos of Solstice to come soon…i was just too excited when these precuts arrived yesterday and wanted to share them with YOU!

And as a last-minute shopping special, we're having a sale on all holiday aprons, dishtowels, and our felt table runner at Through this Sunday (Dec 15th), receive 20% off all. Use code joy20 at checkout.

Good luck on the giveaway!

December 10, 2013

Day 12 Giveaway (Last One!)

Colorful Stationery Mix

• Fandango fine journal and notecards
• Central Park ring-bound journal w/ assortment of notecards and notebooks
• Andrews McMeel "posh" puzzle books

Share the Joy! Install the Rafflecopter widget on your site

Good luck!

December 9, 2013

Day 11 Giveaway

Country Kitchen!

• Vineyard apron w/ matching potholder and dishtowel
• Pear half apron and dishtowel
• Rooster apron w/ matching potholder and dishtowel

Share the Joy! Install the Rafflecopter widget on your site

Good luck!

December 8, 2013

Day 10 Giveaway

Luau Party!

• Invitations
• Paper tableware
• Plastic table cover
• Andrews McMeel "posh" puzzle book

Share the Joy! Install the Rafflecopter widget on your site

Good luck!

December 7, 2013

Day 9 Giveaway

Oh, Baby!

• Photo/document keeper for baby featuring pink stroller design
• Coordinating "brag" booklet in Kate florals
• Coordinating photo album
• Assortment of gift bags and stationery

Share the Joy! Install the Rafflecopter widget on your site

Good luck!

December 6, 2013

Day 8 Giveaway

Floral kitchen textiles

• Aprons
• Coordinating potholders
• Oven mitt
• Assortment of colorful coordinating dishtowels

Share the Joy! Install the Rafflecopter widget on your site

Good luck!

December 5, 2013

Day 7 Giveaway


• "Deluxe Scrapbooking" book featuring designs from Fandango  
• Assortment of rubber stamps featuring designs from Central Park
• Alphabet stickers
• Paper flowers and chipboard flowers
• Painted clothespins

Share the Joy! Install the Rafflecopter widget on your site

Good luck!

December 4, 2013

Day 6 Giveaway

$25 Gift Card to our online shop!

Share the Joy! Install the Rafflecopter widget on your site

Good luck!

December 3, 2013

Day 5 Giveaway

Now We're Cooking!

• Recipe binder
• Recipe box and recipe cards
• Cupcake wrappers
• Dry-erase board
• List pads and sticky notes

Share the Joy! Install the Rafflecopter widget on your site

Good luck!

December 2, 2013

Day 4 Giveaway

Poinsettia Party!

• Poinsettia paper plates and coordinating napkins 
•  Large potholder with dishtowels
• Poinsettia potholder
• Dishtowels and apron 

Share the Joy! Embed the Rafflecopter widget on your site

Good luck!

December 1, 2013

Day 3 Giveaway

Seaside Kitchen Set

• Full-size butcher apron 
• Half apron 
• Potholders
• Matching dishtowels

Never entered a "Rafflecopter" giveaway and want to know more? Click here for a 52-second video on how to enter a giveaway via Rafflecopter.

Share the Joy! Embed the Rafflecopter widget on your site

Good luck!

November 30, 2013

Day 2 Giveaway

Get Organized!

• Fandango fold-open contacts/calendar/planner
• Dry-erase board
• Andrews McMeel "posh" puzzlebook
• Spring-floral file folders, notebooks, stickies, notes
• Emery boards

Never entered a "Rafflecopter" giveaway and want to know more? Click here for a 52-second video on how to enter a giveaway via Rafflecopter.

Share the Joy! Embed the Rafflecopter widget on your site

Good luck!

November 29, 2013

Day 1 Giveaway

Stocking Stuffers and Holiday Plates for Santa and 5 Reindeer

• Melamine plates
• Andrews McMeel "posh" puzzle books for the season
• Seasonal notecards, stationery, and pen

Never entered a "Rafflecopter" giveaway and want to know more? Click here for a 52-second video on how to enter a giveaway via Rafflecopter.

Share the Joy! Embed the Rafflecopter widget on your site

Good luck!

November 28, 2013

12 Days of Giveaways!

Happy Thanksgiving!

I love this holiday for many reasons, but mostly for gathering friends and family together to enjoy the spirit-lifting nourishment of each other's company. It doesn't happen often enough that we manage to slow down and just "be"…to savor all the moments as they unfold throughout each day. I often think ahead too much and i know that sometimes i miss things that are right in front of me because of it. But i continue to practice coming back to "now" — to the most important moment there is because we are living it. The "now" is abundant with reasons to give thanks, and each day i realize how much i have to be grateful for. I hope you do, too.

My thanks to you for staying connected and sharing your creative spirits with me. Your beautiful handmade creations and kind words have brought so much happiness to my life and if i could hug each one of you, i would!

As a token of my gratitude, i thought it'd be fun to do a "12 Days of Giveaways" tribute to you ... starting this Friday, November 29 through December 10th. We'll be giving away all of these colorful goodies, one day at a time!
Eleven of the prizes will be themed collections of products featuring my designs — aprons, dishtowels, journals, notecards, party sets and more. And one prize will be a gift certificate to our shop — with free shipping to wherever you live.

We'll post one giveaway every day and announce winners the following day. You can enter every day and there are lots of ways to enter multiple times, thanks to Rafflecopter. Should be fun and i hope you'll join us!

But today, just "be" and have a very Happy Thanksgiving from me, Pete and these two:
(i couldn't resist)
All our best to you and your loved ones.

November 18, 2013

Layer Cake Lemonade Quilt

Today i'm sharing a really fast, fun and free quilt pattern from my favorite Kimberly at Fat Quarter Shop. It's called Layer Cake Lemonade, and i'm not even kidding you can make this cute quilt top in about an hour. It uses one Moda Layer Cake with a little leftover that you could use as part of the backing. Here's an instructional video from Kimberly and the crew!

I decided to make mine using a layer cake of Sunnyside.
Though this quilt is so simple, there are lots of possibilities for how to arrange fabrics. In the video, Kimberly shows one variation in which she separates the prints into lights and darks and uses the darks for the large squares and the lights for the small rectangles. Here are some other variations in which you can see how Kimberly reversed the arrangement of lights and darks to create a different effect:
When i made my quilt, i decided to switch things up a bit and separated the fabrics into cool and warm colors. My hope was that it would look like dappled sunshine. Here's how it turned out: 
And here it is outside in the morning light. With long-arm shadows from my expert helper ;) 
I definitely plan on finishing this up and making a few more for Christmas gifts! If you'd like to make one too (beware, they're addictive), you can download the free pattern. And then guess what? Kimberly is generously offering a sale on all Layer Cakes this week!

**UPDATE** Have a look at Amy's version of this same pattern and in Sunnyside too — i like her arrangement much more than mine!**
photo used with permission

Happy Monday!

November 14, 2013

New Love

I finally got my hands on Issue One of the UK-published Love Patchwork and Quilting magazine. Have you heard the buzz about it already? Well, it's all true! I couldn't stop myself from flipping through the entire issue from cover-to-cover the moment it arrived.

photo © Future plc.
 The fun started right away with a simple, cute and free "Festive Bauble" kit that's attached right there on the cover. How smart is that? It's complete with fabric, felt, ribbon and even a button!

This first issue includes more than 25 inspiring projects including:

The talented Lynne Goldsworthy's striking and beautiful Block of the Month quilt design.
photo © Future plc.
I was totally surprised and tickled to see that she used Daydream, my upcoming fabric line for Moda, in her design. Thank you, Lynne!

There's also a bright and bold stash-busting quilt called Cotton Reels designed by my favorite monkey, Katy Jones, of I'm a Ginger Monkey.
photo © Future plc.
And, i was delighted to read a terrific interview with the industrious and savvy Kathy Mack of Pink Chalk Fabrics ... whose advice for a new quilter is, "Be fearless and enjoy the journey!" What a wonderful message from a wonderful person.
photo © Future plc.
There's lots more from Tula, Jenean, Jeni, Maureen and many others. So be sure to check out LPQ on Pinterest, Facebook or you can download the app from iTunes. Can't wait for Issue 2.

Have a beautiful day!

November 8, 2013

Honor and Support Our Veterans, the Furry Way

Take a look at this amazing photo:
Look really closely at how small the people are to absorb the enormity of this flag. It's 36 x 29 feet! It's the same flag that flew over Fort McHenry in 1814 during its bombardment by the British, which was witnessed by Francis Scott Key who soon after composed the "Star-Spangled Banner". The largest U.S. battle flag at the time, this enduring piece of U.S. history (now on view at the Smithsonian) was hand sewn by Mrs. Mary Young Pickersgill and her two nieces. Truly a Star-Spangled (and battered) Banner.

One of my favorite charity organizations, the Newman's Own Foundation, has organized a challenge called Honoring Those Who Serve to bring attention and support to a "select group of military service nonprofits ... that help those who serve." These groups are all doing meaningful work for our amazing vets, right in our own communities.

Here are two organizations that caught Franny and Lou's eye.
 The first is called HERO DOGS.
HERO DOGS works with veterans who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces and provides exceptionally trained service dogs to meet the special needs of the veterans due to injuries or other disabilities. As citizens of a grateful nation, we have an obligation to try to restore the former independence and ability of those veterans who have sacrified so much for the good of others and to protect our freedom. Here's a moving video about this organization and the work they do.


We will be donating 50% of all profits from sales made in our shop today through Veterans Day to one or more of the Newman's Challenge participating organizations. It's the least we can do to give thanks and to honor and support these exceptional men and women and their families.

What Veterans Day activities are going on near you? Check out the Veterans Affairs Office site.

Have a beautiful weekend.

November 1, 2013

Furry Friday ... and a Fun Photo Contest (our first)

I had such a lovely time at the International Quilt Market in Houston! 

Thanks so much to Moda Fabrics for everything they do, every day. Going to market is such a special time because i have a chance to thank everyone in person for all their hard work throughout the year. It also affords me the chance to have some fun reuniting with Moda friends and fellows designers...and catching up with many passionate and creative quilters, quilt designers, and shop owners (market photos to come). I'd have to say that's my favorite part...connecting with YOU! I was so happy to see your projects using Sunnyside, In From the Cold, and even Daydream. Thanks to everyone who stopped by to say hello. It meant the world to me.
*Keep reading for a chance to win a jelly roll of In From the Cold *

As fun as it was to be away, i was also really excited to get home to Pete and these two:
They were a little miffed at me for leaving them for 4 days, after all two cats need two servants, right? For a couple days, Franny told me to "talk to the paw"...
...and Lou pretended to be asleep whenever i sat next to him!
That smile gave him away, though. And it wasn't too long (and too many cat treats) before we were back to normal and ready to hand out treats on Halloween!

Speaking of Halloween, we're running a little photo contest on Facebook. It's just for fun, and it's still open to entries if you'd like to join in. Just click here and upload a fun, creative photo (or more than one) of Halloween and/or Dia de los Muertos ... from wherever you are. Could be of parades, pumpkins, trick-or-treaters anything -- from this year or the past.

Entries are accepted until midnight on Saturday, Nov 2 eastern time. 

The winner can pick his/her prize — either a jelly roll of In From the Cold fabric or $30 gift certificate and free shipping from our online shop! It's open to U.S. and International. 

Have a great weekend! 

October 11, 2013

Furry Friday, Finally

Ok, so here's a "keeping it real" moment. I took this photo a couple weeks ago for the Moda Blog Hop, and to be totally honest, nothing has changed much...
...well that's not entirely true. There are actually more fabric scraps on the floor. But that's ok, because someone loves scraps:
Most of the time, Lou likes to "help" me.
And despite that, i managed to get all these squares cut for the quilt i'm working on.
Franny is more of a planner, so she helped me pick the strike offs for Daydream (way back in April):
Chin rubs help her think better:
Lou also likes to supervise my sewing from above to make sure all those seams are lining up:
And if they aren't, you know what that means...
If you don't have one of these in your sewing box, you might want to think about getting one! It's a seam ripper made by Tacony, and like none other. That little rubberized beehive thingie at the end is used like an eraser to grab and pull out all the small threads in a ripped seam (see it in action). No more picking them out by hand! Which means Lou can spend less time supervising and more time napping.
More soon. This quilt isn't going to sew itself! Hope you have a beautiful weekend.

October 8, 2013


Sometime over the summer, i posted a photo of our little bathroom cabinet on Instagram/Facebook. I asked everyone if they thought i should paint it or leave it as is and really wasn't expecting anyone to care to chime in. But i was wrong! If you were one of the people who shared your opinion and even suggested techniques and paint applications i had never even heard of, thank you.

There's nothing really ground-breaking here, but i thought some of you might also be curious to know what became of my cabinet makeover. Like many of you, i had been leaning toward leaving it as is, but wanted it to be functional enough so that when you pulled a washcloth off one of the shelves, you wouldn't get paint chips in your eyeball. That's not too much to ask for, right? Some of the inside shelves were watermarked and discolored too, so i got out the ol' Minwax® White Wash Pickling Stain and gave it a very light coat on the interior only:
Then finished the inside (only) with a satin polyurethane. I took some of your other suggestions too and lightly sanded the outside to even the wood color a bit ...then gave it a couple shiny new brass hinges...
...and replaced the knob with this cute mercury glass one from Anthrolopologie...
...and voila! Finito!
Oh yeah, and then i painted the whole bathroom!

October 7, 2013

Sewing, sewing

Happy Monday! Already off to a fun-filled week of sewing here in my studio. The International Quilt Market  is coming up in a couple weeks and i've been working away on a quilt to bring. This one will feature my upcoming fabric line for Moda called, Daydream. Here's a peek:
It's a good thing i don't have to use this kind of sewing machine:
Copyright American Society of Mechanical Engineers 
That's a drawing of the first U.S. lockstitch sewing machine that was patented by this man (or rather, a statue of him) in our hometown, Bridgeport, Connecticut.
Photo from CT
"Elias Howe, Jr., (1819 – 1867) obtained a patent for the first practical sewing machine in 1845. In 1865, Howe opened a sewing machine factory on the Pequonnock River in eastern Bridgeport, where as many as 400 machines were manufactured a day." -Excerpt from Images of America: Bridgeport on the Sound by Bruce Williams and Mary K. Witkowski, Arcadia Publishing.

Though Elias Howe, Jr. was not the first to invent the sewing machine, he refined the machinery significantly. He was the one who put the eye of the needle at the point (instead of at the back like on hand sewing needles). And i'd have to say my favorite part of his contribution is the automatic feed. Without that, i'd never get this quilt done in time for quilt market!
An aside ... three cheers for our neighbor Bruce Williams. Bruce recently gave us signed copies of two terrific books: his Images of America: Bridgeport on the Sound book and another on his father, Man of the Waterfront: The Story of Kaye Williams and Captain’s Cove by Ralph Harvey (self-published). In addition to being an author, historian, and nature painter, Bruce continues to manage Captain’s Cove Seaport in the Black Rock section of Bridgeport. It’s a marvelously unique place that Bruce’s dad, Kaye Williams, envisioned, while he was a lobsterman out of Black Rock Harbor, and then built piece by piece. A good chunk of the Story of Kaye Williams book is about this. Some other funny stories on Kaye and his adventures were in a Connecticut Post article from last year, just a couple days before Hurricane Sandy hit in October: Captain's Cove founder no stranger to storms.

Back to Elias Howe, Jr.. Here’s how the Howe “Sewing Machine Manufactory” appeared:
This page came from a circa 1870 history of the State of Connecticut. My parents happened to give us a few already-separated pages from the old book last December. And, from the same book, a close-up of a map of Bridgeport showing the multi-block “E. Howe” plant and facilities around Noble St. and Howe St.
Today, the locale is...a parking lot. Sad! But you'll notice in the lower right corner that Howe St. is still there.
Photo from Google Maps
For more on Elias Howe, Jr., check out:
• Alex I. Askeroff’s history of Howe . Points out a funny fact that at end of the Beatles film, Help, there is a dedication to Elias Howe, Jr.
• The American Society of Mechanical Engineers’ brief bio of Howe

Ok, back to sewing. Thank you, Mr. Howe! And thanks to my assistant too:

September 16, 2013

Blog Hop Winners and a Sneak Peek

Thanks to everyone for joining us for the Moda Size Matters blog hop. Hope you came away with lots of great ideas that you can incorporate into your own quilt designs. It's not so much that you have to be a "designer" but rather think of yourself as an "explorer" and it's only a matter of time before you stumble upon something new. Enjoy the journey, too!

Today, Tammy at Moda has posted a few extra quilt blocks as well as a beautiful setting design for all the blocks you collected along the hop. Please visit the Moda Cutting Table to meet Tammy and to download the instructions.
Congratulations to Sharon Zisos who is the winner of the Sunnyside fat quarter bundle! I know i said there would be only one winner, but i couldn't help but send some more sunshine to a couple other people Alison and Debra will each be getting a mini charm pack of Sunnyside. Why is it that the smaller things get, the cuter they are?? Love those mini charms. Anyway, Sharon, Alison and Debra, please email me your mailing addresses and we'll get your prizes off to you!

Annnd, maybe you already know this, but...when it's raining...
...and the sun comes out...
it's possible to see a rainbow if you look in the direction opposite from the sun.

OR...just look right here to see a rainbow-ie sneak peek of my next fabric collection for Moda called Daydream.
This will be showing at the International Quilt Market next month and will be available in February 2014. Can't wait!
Have a wonderful day.