Little Quilts Blog Tour!


It’s time for a little party for little quilts and Little Quilts! We are gleeful over the wonderful reception for our little (am I overusing that??) book so far, and we want the celebration to continue! Sarah and I have devised a blog tour and swap with some of our favorite people. Indeed, in the spirit of Little Quilts, we’ll make and swap wee (see, I didn’t say little) quilts and talk about our progress in blog posts. Our swappers don’t know from whom they’ll receive a quilt, so there will be mystery reveals when the mail arrives. Ooooh, tricksy, it was almost more than my summer brain could handle figuring that out (I know, it’s really not that difficult…).

I’ve already been pondering options for my swap partner. Hmm…


Which of these lovelies shall it be? Should I make one of mine?



Or should it be one of Sarah’s?


Who doesn’t love the Honeycomb quilt? Surely I can manage the embroidery, yes?!

As we all ponder and make, we’ll be checking in, so keep an eye out for our fabulous friends who have joined us. Here’s the Little Quilts visiting schedule for the next six weeks.

September 1: Amy and Sarah

September 8: Pam Vieira-McGinnis

September 15: Nedra Sorenson

September 22: Lynne Goldsworthy and Krista Hennebury

September 29: John Adams

October 6: Katy Jones

Should you care to join us in the making (or make and then send a small quilt to a friend!) and don’t (yet) own Little Quilts, you will find the pattern for Sarah’s Little Red Riding Hood quilt on the Ryland Peters blog.

Little Red


And befitting such a celebration, each stop will have a drawing for a copy of Little Quilts, courtesy of our spectacular publisher, Cico Books! So, if you’d like a chance to win a copy (what? you don’t already own one?) from this stop on the blog tour, leave a comment (making sure I can contact you via email behind the scenes) by the end of the day on September 7 — just before the tour stops off with the ever delightful Miss Pamkittymorning.

We hope you’ll join us in our continuing excitement about our book and have a visit with our lovely bloggers at each stop! I’ll check in regularly too to make sure you don’t miss any of the fun!

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So, what’s new?

Well, hello! How goes it? What’s new? I have a little something new to show you. A fun little book that Sarah and I did. It just came out, and we’re pretty pleased.

little quilts book

One makes the quilts and writes and finishes such a thing well before it is actually printed and distributed, so when I got a copy in my hands, it was brand new to me again. What a treat! It is such a sweet little book to look at. I really do smile when I flip through the pages. But then again, I may be a little biased.

paper dolls book


We hope you enjoy it! If your friendly neighborhood Amazon is sold out, I do have copies to sell for anyone stateside. I am happy to sign it. Unfortunately, logistics prevent my getting Sarah’s signature too for you, but you never know, you might run into her one day. Feel free to leave a comment if you would like to buy a copy.

The other day with the help of modern technology, Sarah and I talked about Little Quilts with Stephanie Kendron of Modern Sewciety. You can listen to the podcast over at Stephanie’s lovely site.



I gave myself a pep talk beforehand. It was morning so I drank a little coffee but not too much coffee so as to induce aimless babbling. I haven’t listened to it yet myself, but I will.

Sarah and I are planning a blog tour for the book toward the end of the summer. I promise to tell you all about it when we have it ready to go.

Other than this wonderful book excitement, I — like you, I’m sure — have been busy busy with life. My now 14 year old seems to be the center of the busy universe.

I hope this finds you all well! I promised to keep you apprised of goings on around here!


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Hand Quilted with Love blog tour

My dear friend Sarah has written another book. Maybe you’ve heard of it — Hand Quilted with Love. I’ve horned in on her book blog tour to celebrate her talent and creativity, among her many other fine attributes.

I admit that I squeal every time I get to take a sneak peek into her latest work. Yes, I am lucky that way. So, she may have showed me some of the quilts from the book in advance. And I squealed like a little girl and once again decided that I wanted to make every quilt in the upcoming book. Seeing as I am still working on quilts from the last book….ahem…why not dive in and start a quilt from the new book too?! Frankly though, I see nothing wrong with that because, as the book’s subtitle says, “Patchwork projects inspired by a passion for quilting.” And who doesn’t get a little carried away by the passion for quilting? And I can feel Sarah’s passion for quilts in each of the designs in Hand Quilted with Love. And so I get carried away and squeal a little and decide that every one of the quilts speaks to me (and says “make me….”).

In the sewing room, you will find my copy of Hand Quilted with Love duly page marked on All That and the Hatter.


You will find a stack of light Kaffe Fassett shot cotton fat quarters and a stack of Liberty Lifestyle Stile fat quarters.


You will find me puttering around with background stripe combinations and cup and saucer combinations and teapot combinations.




You might also find me squealing like a little girl over the fun I’m having with Sarah’s lovely design. This one is VERY, VERY satisfying to undertake as well — put the thinking cap on on occasion, it’s a good thing.

Sarah’s new book also includes an incredibly special design. You might have seen it. Or been a part of it. Along with squealing, there was crying. Which is to be expected. Seeing it in print took my breath away. Not in a bad way. Just in the way that it is.


The version in the book is Anabel’s quilt.


At fall quilt market, I picked up my quilt. I have slept under it every night since Sarah presented it to me. In fact, she had it on the bed at the hotel. I am still overwhelmed by your kindness and generosity and caring for us. I thank you all from the bottom of my heart. Please know that not a day goes by when I don’t look at this quilt in amazement and appreciation. It is a great comfort to read your names and admire your fabric choices. Thank you.


In the future, I hope you will also find me making more of the quilts from Sarah’s wonderful new book. Congratulations, miss! I’m thrilled for you, I admire your talents and hard work and I’m so happy to call you a friend!

Be sure to visit the other stops on the blog tour:

SewTake a Hike – 4th May

Belinda Stitches – 5th May

True Up - 6th May

LilysQuilts (UK) – 7th May

Creative Dabbling (Australia) 8th May

Mrs Schmenkman Quilts (USA) 9th May  (you are here)

I’m A Ginger Monkey (UK) – 10th May

Petits Elefants -(Australia) 10th May

Prints Charming (Australia) – 11th May

RedPepper Quilts (Australia) – 12th May

HandMade by Alissa (USA) – 13th May

Meet Me at Mikes (Australia) – 14th May

Sew Mama Sew (USA) – 15th May

Since I have been away away away for so long, I’ll include some updates. I came back from quilt market in the fall to news of another serious health concern in my immediate family. It was jarring and once again scary and it set me back somewhat. But all is now well and we’ve been lucky to have had the best outcomes all the way along.

I have also been keeping up with the kid. Here are some recent action shots because it seems that she is all action and I am her personal assistant making sure she is where she needs to be and she is fed and garbed.




Good kid.

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:: Totally random ::

Very random Saturday morning stuff. Mental meanderings allowed by a still-sleeping 12-year-old. I’m still not used to this sleeping in business. Very recent tween development. I’ll have to make some very quiet plans for this “free” time.

I’m trying to learn how to use the household DSLR. Please bear with me.

I hope to get the hang of it before I go to Quilt Market. (See you there??)

And I’ve added these because the outdoors at the front of my house approximates the convention center lighting conditions?

Have to start somewhere, I guess.

I believe I captured Pepper’s earnestness.

I may not get the hang of it but I do know my camera will have a stylish camera strap. After I make it one.

I’m taking along my old point and shoot camera just in case. Does that mean I have to take two pictures of everything with two different cameras just in case??

Speaking of travel. I miss Dan. I miss Dan’s silver Delta frequent flyer status. The free checked bag, the getting on the plane right before the general cattle call. It’s the little things sometimes. I’m sure I will survive.

What are your weekend plans? No soccer game for us this weekend. Which works out because it’s supposed to rain the whole time. Which also means we can’t do anything fun outdoors with our free weekend. Because I would surely melt. Or freeze. But we are going to see Regina Spektor tonight. I’m sure it will be warm and cozy. Strangely enough, when I was going through the DSLR camera case this week, I found a bag of ear plugs. These would have been from a music festival Dan took the kiddo to. How handy!  Taking them along to the concert tonight.

I do find it strange that in the last year, I have found things like the ear plugs just when I’ve needed them. They wouldn’t have been things — various paperwork, for example — on my radar at any point before and weren’t part of my household job description previously.  I just think it’s goodly strange.

Here’s a couple of quilt photos just to randomly round things out.

Oh, and the Bleachers quilt which now just needs the binding sewn down.

I have been calling this quilt Dear Stella, Wear Your Grungy Little Black Dress on the Bleachers.

Good, still sleeping. If she sleeps much longer, I can get away with brunch and will only have to feed her twice today. She got lucky too, I just found this recipe for caramel and sea salt pear pancakes.

Hope you have a photogenic weekend!

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Bloggers’ Bar Hop Quiltalong – Block 10 Cross Bar

I was thrilled when Scott Hansen asked – despite my absence around here – if I would like to participate in his latest quiltalong, the Bloggers’ Bar Hop Quiltalong. Thrilled.

Then I received the fabrics kindly supplied by Clothworks from their European Taupe VIII collection by Kinkame. You had me at taupe, Scott. Then I began to worry that someone had been snooping in my stash and would therefore know that I have been known to have a Japanese taupe addiction (NO, this is not a situation of what fabric am I NOT addicted to…stop it).

These are the fabrics I received:

A longtime admirer of the low-contrast combinations of these fabrics, I decided to be subtle and add only a cool solid grey to make my 12″ Cross Bar block.

For this block, you will need five fabrics. The block finishes to 12″. All seams are 1/4″.

Fabric 1, solid grey, cut 4 – 2 7/8″ squares and cut in half once on the diagonal:

Fabric 2, brown woven check, cut 4 – 3 3/8″ x 4 3/4″ rectangles:

Fabric 3, burgundy tonal, cut 4 – 2 1/2″ x 3 1/2″ rectangles AND 1 – 2 1/2″ square:

Fabric 4, brown floral check, cut 4 – 3 7/8″ squares and cut in half once on the diagonal:

Fabric 5, grey rose print, cut 4 – 2  1/2″ squares:

1. Begin by sewing 2 brown floral check triangles to both long sides of the brown plaid rectangle. Repeat with remaining three brown plaid rectangles.

2. Sew solid grey triangles to the short sides of the brown plaid rectangle. Repeat with remaining three brown plaid rectangles.

3. Sew burgundy tonal rectangle to grey rose square. Repeat with remaining three burgundy tonal rectangles.

4. Arrange burgundy tonal/grey rose units as shown in the photo below. Sew burgundy tonal square between the burgundy tonal/grey rose units.

5. Sew brown plaid units to both sides of burgundy tonal/grey rose units as shown in the photo below. Repeat for bottom row of block.

6. Sew block units together as shown.

There  you go. I think this would make a wonderful subtle scrappy quilt. Yes, imagine it scrappy.

Here’s the line-up for the remaining blocks on the Bloggers’ Bar Hop Quiltalong:

October 1 Amy Ellis

October 2 Lynn Harris   

October 3   Heather Jones    

October 4   Jackie Kunkel    

October 5 Ashley Jones

October 6  Emily Cier 

October 7 Scott Hansen

October 8 Jan Peoples

October 9 April Rosenthal

October 10 Amy Lobsiger (you are here)

October 11  Cara Quilts

October 12   Konda Luckau

October 13  Alethea Ballard

October 14 Charlie Scott

You can see blocks going up at the quiltalong Flickr group page too.

Thanks for visiting and thanks, Scott, for inviting me to join in the fun!

Comments (11)

Testing, testing

Is this thing on?




Edited to add: quilt pattern is called Bleachers, an Angela Walters design for Empty Bobbin Sewing Studio.

I also recently finished Empty Bobbin’s Zigzagged. Fun stuff!



Comments (18)

This time last year

This time last year, we were just about to the top of the highest roller coaster hill. The many months preceding had been the long drag to the top. Crazy outpatient surgery, major surgery, brief grace period, followed by monthly trips to Philadelphia for treatments, weekly blood tests, bad news, bad news, bad news. Click, click, click, click. Endured, adjusted to because to do otherwise would have seemed pessimistic.

Something of a last-ditch new treatment would start just after July 4. That was the very tippy-top of the hill. Who knew?

Who knew how fast the trip to the bottom would be? This time last year is vivid and a blur. Everything stands out. I don’t like to wear the clothes I wore last summer because they remind me of the hospital days.

We nursed optimism then to keep disbelief and panic at bay.  We were surrounded by love and support.

At some point realism surfaced and I had to imagine some part of the future just to somehow prepare myself. I am somewhere in the middle of how I thought this would be. It’s kind of a badness scale. I made a good run at all of it early on. I had some momentum.

The kiddo had a good and calm school year, active and engaged. We did it.

Only in the last few months have I kind of lost my creative energy and sense of direction, feeling that important part of me grinding to a halt.

I think that going through some creative motions will help.

It can’t hurt.

Comments (34)

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