Be Free Bees: addition for Ann

Oh my goodness! I found this in the depths and wanted to share it. It has been YEARS since I have done this project. Really, years. It was a “free form” quilt bee called Around the Bend and Across the Pond and started through the Old Red Barn Co. group on Flickr.

It works like this: each person in the group send out a starter piece to the next person in the group. Since this is a free form bee, we were to add whatever we wanted to and then pass it on to the next person. Ann’s quilt looked like this when it came to me:

I added a section to the bottom with an assortment of wonky stars in various sizes and colors.

I felt there was already a lot of color saturation in the quilt, so I kept a good portion of the background white, but switched it up with a couple of the stars to break up the white.

At this particular time, I actually ended up with three of the quilts at my house. Ann’s was ready to mail out, as was the one in the bottom of this photo. One of our members had to leave for personal reasons, so I kept the previous quilt and did a second addition. The third one is the one I had just received and would add to next. Fun to see the three of them together like this!

Sierra’s moustache shirt

It’s time to clear out the saved posts in my drafts and show them up here. I hope to get back to posting a little more regularly after a long hiatus. Even though I made this shirt last spring, now is the perfect time to revisit it. Sierra had mustache day in school last week, but insisted that she didn’t want to wear a mustache. No problem, child, you have a mustache shirt!

The shirt is store bought, and I made it using a freezer paper stencil. I found an image that I liked and printed it off. I transferred the image to freezer paper and cut it out. I ironed the freezer paper onto the shirt where I wanted the image to be.

moustache shirt

With the image in place, I used a stiff brush to apply fabric paint inside my stencil. In this case, I went for an ombre effect, so with each mustache, I added a little more white to my black fabric paint.

moustache shirt

When the fabric paint had dried, I went over with a layer of glitter because … glitter!

moustache shirt

The shirt turned out well, and the girl is happy with it!

moustache shirt moustache shirt

Caramel mug rug

I continue to be amazed by the kindness and friendship I find in the online quilting community.

This winter, a friend posted a photo on Instagram of some caramels she was making. I left a comment about sharing with me, and then she messaged me and asked for my address. A few days later, I got a package in the mail filled with homemade caramels. They were delicious!

In return, I made this caramel candy mug rug. It was a quick little project, and a good chance for me to practice a little bit of free motion quilting as well. I did a little lava flow quilting in the background (my 3-year-old saw it and said “worms!”) with some pebbles in the candy.

Caramel candy mug rug

The back is just a bright bit of happy flower fabric. I like that you can see the candy shape from the quilting.

Caramel candy mug rug

I did a quick machine sewn binding with the edge plate on my walking foot.

Caramel candy mug rug

And then it was off in the mail. I really should make a mug rug for myself. I’ve sent plenty to others, but they are a great little project to have a fun bit of handmade goodness in your life everyday.

Caramel candy mug rug

Road Trip Quilt Along 2013

Road Trip Quilt Along 2013 will begin Friday June 7th.

Postponed until our cross country move is complete. Stay tuned … 

Click here for the plan of state quilt blocks we will create this coming summer!

Road Trip Quilt Along sampler quilt 2013

Road Trip Quilt Along 2012


1-Virginia, 2-Maryland, 3-Pennsylvania Parade, 4-Ohio Star

5-Indiana Puzzle, 6-Illinois, 7-Iowa, 8-Minnesota 

9-South Dakota, 10-Wyoming, 11-Montana, 12-Colorado Pass

13-Rocky Road to Kansas,  14-Missouri Star,  15-Kentucky Chain,  16-West Virginia

Here’s a sample of my creations.


Hello! I’m so happy you stopped by. My name is Em. I have three little girls and they are my full time job by day. After they are snuggly tucked in bed for the night, then it’s time for “me time.” With a cup of tea and the purr of Tori, my sewing machine, I’m a happy lady.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m also a happy lady during the day, but raising three very busy, small children is no easy task and I appreciate those quiet moments to myself after they are asleep just as much as I appreciate the laughter and the mess and the general ruckus that defines my days.

My mother taught me to sew when I was a child; I can’t remember the exact age.  I do remember a specific time when I saw a dress I loved in a store: red, with a black peter pan collar and black cuffs at the sleeves.  I was shocked at how expensive it was and my mom said, “Why don’t you make one?”  The next think I knew, we were in the fabric store, choosing fabric and searching for a pattern similar to the dress I loved.

From that time forward, I mostly just dabbled in sewing.  The first Christmas after I was married, my mother and my mother-in-law bought me a basic sewing machine, which I used mostly for home decor (throw pillows, curtains, other things that involved straight lines) and the occasional mending or hemming job.  When my oldest daughter was born, I fell in love with babywearing and soon discovered the DIY Forum on  I made a mei tai.  Then I made another one.  Then I started making them for friends and have now made over 50 mei tais.

Making baby carriers ignited my passion for sewing, and it is now my creative outlet and my escape.  My interests have grown far beyond sewing baby carriers to clothing, bags, and I’ve recently been dabbling in quilting.  At least several times a week, I tuck the girls into bed, make myself a cup of tea, and retreat to my sewing room, where I unwind with fabric and thread.