Life Lately...

Thursday, November 6, 2014
I have been pretty busy the last few weeks with lots of things. There has running, fall decorating, machine quilting practice, enjoying the outdoors with my family, charity quilts and customer quilts. Yup, just life in general. 

I rarely seem to have the time to write full blog posts. I am however really, really liking Instagram. Feel free to follow me on Instagram for little snippets of my life and projects I'm working on. You can also see a few of the latest pictures from my feed on the right hand side of my blog.

I love autumn in the south when it is so much more enjoyable to be outdoors. I hope you are enjoying the changing of the seasons as much as I am!

~ Norma

Penny Meander Sale

Wednesday, October 15, 2014
I just wanted to let you know that I am running a Penny Meander sale through the end of October.

Click here to read the details of this sale.

~ Norma

Spiritual Feast

Friday, October 3, 2014
Twice a year I get the wonderful opportunity to partake in a wonderfully uplifting spiritual feast. Ever wonder what we "crazy" Mormons believe? (Of course we aren't "Mormons," we are members of "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.") Here's your chance to find out.

Our leaders broadcast worldwide twice a year. You can watch those broadcasts on your computer. It is truly an uplifting experience, and it's free. Go to and choose your favorite method to watch. They will broadcast live on Oct 4th and 5th. Don't worry if you miss it you can always go back and watch at a later time because they are always recorded!

In fact the Women's session aired on September 27th and it was magnificent! Here is a snippet from my favorite talk of the night by one of my all time favorite speakers:

~ Norma

A Guild Home

Tuesday, September 30, 2014
It's been a little over two years since I was able to go to a quilt guild meeting. Things have finally aligned and I have joined my local quilt guild. I now have a guild to call home and I'm looking forward to getting to know all the other ladies.

 I had been wanting to check it out but was unable to do so because they meet on a weekday during the day. Now that my youngest is going to a Mother's Day Out program I get to have a little fun time.
During last week's meeting we were able to participate in a class that was taught by Wanda of Old South Fabrics. We made a good start on the "Favorite Things" pattern from the "Holly Jolly" by Sheri Falls. Isn't Wanda's sample adorable? I think she may still have a few kits available if you are interested (just send her an email through her site.)

I was able to complete my row of presents which was the only thing I was able to get cut out before the class. I decided to just use the fabrics I have on hand rather than buying more fabric. I son't have a lot of Christmas fabrics so mine is based on the cute Riley Blake print that has been in  my stash for a while called "Colorful Christmas." 

Yesterday I was able to complete the row of mugs. The cutting of fabrics is a little tedious but I am enjoying working on one element at a time.
What have you been working on lately?
~ Norma

Blog Face Lift

Friday, September 26, 2014
I have been working hard the last week or so to give my blog a fresh new update.

I really like the cohesive look. Please hop on over if you are in a reader and tell me what you think and if everything looks ok from your end (links, pictures in the right spot etc.) I would really appreciate any feedback!

~ Norma

Rainbow Quilt

I finally got around to breaking in the new set up. I loaded up this colorful baby quilt that I pieced a few months ago. I pieced it entirely out of my scrap bin. Each block is 4"x4".

It took me a while to get started because I was trying to figure out a way to do pantographs from the front of the machine. I picked my husband's brain and we finally got it worked out. I'll have to take a better picture of the set up for you to see.

I used an aqua blue thread for the quilting. I was surprised that this was the color that blended the best with all the colors. I thought I would be using white but it was too stark.

I used a pretty green swiss dot on the back. It really shows off the quilting. The quilting is "AM's Turbulance."

~ Norma

Ready to Make a Mess

Wednesday, September 3, 2014
I finally got around to finding a place for everything that belongs in my new (temporary) sewing room.
There is *just* enough room in here for the basics, barely. In fact I have to crawl under the machine to get to the back side if I want to do any pantos. Good thing I'm in such good shape right now!
The custom shelf set up under the machine is perfect for storage. My husband put that together for me when I first bought the machine.

On the opposite wall I have my Brother 1300 which is my preferred machine for piecing and sometimes I quilt on it. The other desk is for my laptop where I will, hopefully, spend lots of time designing and writing patterns.

The closet is pretty full. I'm thinking we could probably add another shelf in there. As you can see I did not paint the closet. The paint was actually in perfect condition. I didn't have any aqua left anyway. I really like it with the blue though, it looks very cottagey.

For now if I want to cut and press I can set up a folding table in front of the closet or do that in another room. I guess it will depend on the project and whether my 3 year old is home at the time.
Well now it's ready to be broken in and made into a mess! First up on my list is that cute and colorful baby quilt hang in on the right side of the frame.

~ Norma

Baby Cuteness

Tuesday, September 2, 2014
I made some cute baby shower gifts for a friend's brand new baby boy. 

These necktie onesies are my go to gifts for baby boys. They are quick, inexpensive, always please the new mommy and the baby always looks so adorable in them. I love these for dressing up little ones because they are so much softer and comfortable than stiff, dressy clothes made for babies.

Do you have any go to hand made baby gifts you like to give?


Tuesday, August 19, 2014
I had to put my quilting on hold for a few days for an exciting home project. I was chatting with my husband the other day and one conversation led to another which resulted in a game of musical rooms and musical furniture!

This game really isn't nearly as fun as it sounds. It involves several days of messiness and general chaos. You may have noticed a trend around here and that is that I really do NOT know how to work on only one project at a time. In case you are wondering no, I have not finished the slipcover for the couch, no we have not finished the board and batten in the kitchen and no, we have not finished canning because the garden keeps producing!

As if that wasn't enough to keep me busy for weeks we decided to play the aforementioned game. We moved our 3 kids into one bedroom. This is a temporary 3-4 month arrangement while hubby gets busy and builds the office/sewing room upstairs (our home has an unfinished second story.)
So in the meantime the now empty bedroom will be my sewing space. Once I move upstairs it will become my daughter's bedroom. It just so happened that my long arm will only fit in one of the kid's bedrooms and it happened to be the boy's room. I'm glad it worked out that way because that was the room that really needed a new paint job.

I finally finished painting yesterday, trim and all! It feels airy and fresh in there. I picked a very light barely there aqua which also happens to be one of my daughter's favorite colors. It is a hard color to photograph since it tends to read as white in pictures but it is slightly more minty than I had anticipated but I think furniture and accessories will help with that.

I have to take a minute and love on my family. Each family member, including my hubby, was asked their opinion before making the switch. Each one of them not only gave me their full support to start focusing on my business but they also demonstrated excitement! The kids were excited to share a room, my hubby was excited for me to get back into quilting and my littlest one is excited to be with his siblings but is even more excited to be starting "school."

He's not really going to school but he is so cute and super excited to be a big kid. Here in the south a lot of churches do part time preschools called "Mother's Day Out" programs. It is usually twice a week and is commonly 3-5 hours. I really had no intention of him going anywhere this year but the thought was put into our minds as parents recently (nothing to do with the musical rooms but with his general well being, namely being bored to death at home with mom.) I was really surprised when I found him a spot in such a program yesterday. Most of the programs start registration in May and were already full. I was surprised when I got a call yesterday and was told they had one spot left and that the program starts today!

I'm not going to lie, I'm probably going to cry when I drop him off. I almost started crying in the school supply section of Target last night when he was so adorably and excitedly trying on backpacks and picking out a lunch box!

Have any of you figured out how to stop time yet?
~ Norma


Friday, August 8, 2014
I was able to get a few blocks made for the Christmas quilt I started the other day. There were a few steps that were rather confusing. I ruined two arcs and will have to remake a few others. I will write a post soon to clarify a few steps that I think could be modified to yield better results.

There wasn't enough fabric left over from the jelly roll to make more arcs. I had to order another one but that is fine by me because I actually wanted to make a queen size quilt. I should have plenty of fabric for that now.

~ Norma

Comfort Zone

Wednesday, August 6, 2014
I'm slowly forcing Athena out of her comfort zone. She won't venture out of the workshop unless I physically carry her out.

She likes to poke her head out of the doggy door when I call her though. This poor city slicker kitty doesn't know what to make of the rather large and loud birds strutting around the yard. The chickens are not the least bit afraid of her and are rather unsettling to her when they all stampede as soon as they see the scrap bucket!

Athena is a sweet heart and I like to think she has picked me as her favorite (so far.) She even allows my 3 year old to pick her up. He calls her "Kitty Cat Hello" which is his version of "Hello Kitty."

~ Norma

Christmas Project

Tuesday, August 5, 2014
I'm working on a Christmas theme project, but only because it was the only Jelly Roll that was currently in my stash.

It is a "Joy" jelly roll by Kate Spain. I actually won it on her blog a year ago. I recently purchased the "Quick Curve Ruler" from Connecting Threads (best price after shipping while on sale.) The pattern calls for a jelly roll so I thought this would be perfect to try it out with and end up with a nice Christmas quilt. The pattern I'm making is "Metro Rings" by Jenny of "Sew Kind of Wonderful." It is a nice take on the classic Double Wedding Ring quilt.

I got a good start while I was waiting for my ruler by piecing the strips together. However once I had everything pressed and ready to cut, I realized the ruler was broken!

I quickly called customer service and they were awesome, they are sending me out a new one right away to replace the broken one. I have ordered from Connecting Threads for years, this is the first time I have had an issue with an order. Their awesome customer service is going to assure I keep coming back! I like their polyester long arm thread. I wish it came in a billion colors.

Have you made any of Jenny's patterns, or have one on your bucket list?
~ Norma


Sunday, August 3, 2014
We have added a gorgeous Korat cat to our little urban farmstead. My kids will be beyond thrilled when they get back from spending time with the grandparents later in the week. They have begged for years for a cat. I never thought we would have a cat because my husband is super allergic to them.

They say to "never say never." I don't really know who "they" is, but they said it! Our need for a barn cat has allowed my hubby to soften his stance. As soon as the "I guess we could get one" was out of his mouth I was busy perusing Craigslist for the perfect cat.

My hubby already has a dislike for cats (I can't blame him since severe allergies suck) so I wanted to make sure we would end up with the perfect cat. One that would change his dislike of cats into a love of cats. Ha! I kid, I'll be happy if it ends up in a tolerance for cats.

I was picky and waited weeks for the perfect cat. My criteria was this:
- I didn't want to drive over 30 min for the cat.
- It had to be free ( no way hubby was going to let me spend a dime on a cat.)
- It had to be fixed (again the no spending $ part)
- It would be a plus if it was up to date on shots. (She isn't but we'll take care of that)
- It had to be an outdoor cat.
- It had to have a history of hunting.
- It had to have a tolerance for kids.
- It had to have a tolerance for dogs.
- It had to be under 5 years old but not a kitten unless mom had taught it to hunt.
Apparently this was too much to ask for because it took several weeks for me to find Athena. In fact I had another cat lined up but that fell through when the lady realized how attached she had gotten to the "stray." I stumbled upon Athena's listing towards the "about to expire listings." I think it was meant to be because she fit all of the requirements.

She'll be much happier here as an outdoor cat than in the crowded city neighborhood she was in. Once she has acclimated to her new environment I will let her out to explore. We're hoping she will hunt the mice and rats that are showing up near the chicken run, hunt the starlings that are devouring the chicken food, keep mice out of the workshop and keep the bunnies out of the garden. We may end up with a fat cat!

I love cats so I am in heaven! Do you like cats as much as I do?

New Logo

Thursday, July 31, 2014
I spent the last two days working on a logo for all my future sewing and quilting patterns. Of course I had to include a silhouette in my logo!
I have yet to decide if I will go back and refresh my previous patterns and templates. The design geek in me is screaming, "YES." She keeps telling me stuff about branding and being cohesive. The very busy "I don't have enough time to do everything I want to do" mom in me is saying "go take a nap!"

What do you think?

Eating from the Garden

Tuesday, July 29, 2014
Lately we've been forced to be a little creative in using up our zucchini and croockneck squash from our prolific plants. One of my favorite places for delicious healthy recipes is

Last night we tried out these zucchini pizza bites. Paired with watermelon, it made a delicious light summer meal.
~ Norma

Reaping the Harvest

Monday, July 28, 2014
This is the wonderful result of last night's canning session: 4 pints of pickles, 5 half pints of jalapeƱos, 4 pints of dilly beans and 4 pints of "dilly beans of death."
You're probably wondering how you go about making "dilly beans of death." Its very simple actually, you have too many cooks in the kitchen and then through miscommunication you end up with 1 tsp of Cayenne pepper per jar instead of 1/4 tsp per jar!!!!

*Note to self: do not give "dilly beans of death" as housewarming or "welcome to the neighborhood" gifts.
~ Norma

New Goodies

I Have a Notion recently had a sale I just couldn't pass up. I was able to order the EQ7 upgrade. I have installed it and can't wait to find some time to sit down and play with the new features.

A few books were marked down to $4 so they made their way into my cart. The bag on the cover of the Kath Kidston book caught my eye.

I never did get around to purchasing a copy of the "Rose of Sharon" book. It literally jumped into my shopping cart! My contribution is block #68 and can be seem on pg. 59 and 31. 

When will I find the time to make such a beautiful and time consuming quilt? The "must make" list keeps growing!

Have you ever made a Rose of Sharon quilt? I would love to see it.
Blog.petitdesignco. com

Gingham Binding

Sunday, July 27, 2014
Is there anything cuter than gingham binding? Except maybe bias gingham binding!
I made this binding for the quilt I quilted up a few days ago. You can see a peek of the lovely fabric I used for the backing. It is a fabric I bought on a whim years ago because I thought it was adorable and vintage looking. I don't remember where I bought it and there was no information on the selvages.

It took me longer to make the bias binding than it did to apply it to the quilt. I love adding my binding by machine. The method I use can be found here.
What's your favorite method for applying binding?

Sunday Afternoon

My husband and I spent the afternoon processing some of our garden bounty. It was so much easier having help. We made more dilly beans, made our first batch of pickles and jalapeƱos.

My sweet husband even made cookies to keep our energy up. Canning is hot messy work!

Have you done any food preservation this year?
~ Norma


Thursday, July 24, 2014
Yesterday I bit the bullet and finished of a quilt that has been on my frame for over a month. I had to "make" myself work on this because I had to rip out some stitching where the tension was less than perfect. The main reason though is that my machine resides in the garage. It has been hot and muggy for the last few months here in middle Tennessee. I have two ceiling fans plus a powerful box fan I use while quilting. I also drink lots of ice water. Despite these measures it is still pretty warm out there! Oh well, you gotta do what you gotta do to do what you love!


Wednesday, July 23, 2014
I haven't made any more progress on my slipcover as per my plan. We got sidetracked last Sunday. We woke up refreshed from an afternoon nap and decided to start on a little kitchen update. We are adding board and batten to our kitchen walls. We've had the material sitting on the kitchen floor and it seemed like a good time to get things started.

Success... so far

Saturday, July 19, 2014
Last night I only got as far as washing and ironing about 9 yards of canvas. I figured that was enough to at least get the main part of the slip cover done. I got up this morning and got right to work. It took most of the morning to get to this point of pin fitted and excess fabric trimmed:

It was actually kind of fun and not too difficult to get to this point. I did make one mistake, I must have been distracted by the kids because I trimmed the front way too high. It's OK though because I'll just make it more of a waterfall skirt. I had intended to only raise the skirt about 3" ... whoops!

After a couple more hours of setting up my sewing machine, trying to keep the almost 3 year old from touching anything and general distractions, I was able to get it sewn together. By golly it actually fit quite nicely:
 I am pleased as punch with the results. I did end up with 2 little tucks on one arm but it's not something I feel I need to re-do. Tomorrow after church I will tackle the skirt. Once that is done I will serge all the seams and then I plan on top-stitching for that nice crisp look. I probably won't be able to tackle any of the 8 cushions until next weekend.

~ Norma

Date Night

Friday, July 18, 2014

I've got a date with my not-so-white-anymore couch tonight. I'm prepping yards and yards of natural colored canvas so that I can get started on that slipcover I mentioned. The canvas is more off white/almond colored than I had hoped but it will do for now, especially since I don't really know what I'm doing! Ha!

I often dive into projects without really knowing what I am doing but I'm usually pretty confident going in because I tend to research things to death. I plan on making a basic slip cover with a box pleat skirt. The cushions will be individually slip-covered as well. I am forgoing the piping because I don't feel like making it and because I'm not 100% in love with the color of the fabric.

How about you, do you have any weekend sewing plans?
~ Norma
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