31. May 2015 · Comments Off on Sunday Stash – Swarming the Trailer · Categories: Sunday Stash · Tags: ,

Edited to Add:

Give me a minute before we get to my regularly scheduled blog post to complain a bit.  It’s about fabric so bear with me.  Okay, so after multiple chats with my mom about blender fabric (lower volume, not quite as interesting to look at and matches with more things) I decided I needed to work on adding more blenders to my stash.  I’m fairly new to sewing and a SAHM (read: no more excess cash floating around) which means I need to be extra selective about what I spend my money on.  I decided to go with Cotton & Steel since I l love the vibe of most of their fabric (not Cookie Book though, yikes) and a have quite a lot of their more interesting, high intensity prints.  I have charm squares of all the Basics they carry so I sat down one afternoon to determine which fabrics would be most useful to add to my stash.  I came up with 15.  A few prints I knew I wanted to order full yards of since they would match the most fabrics in my stash, but most would be half yards.  I have two go-to online fabric sources: Hawthorne Threads and Fabric.com.  I tend to start off with Fabric.com simply because they offer free shipping on orders over $35 and if it’s the end of the bolt they send you the extra.  So I started off with Fabric.com.  Here’s what I found when I got there:

Fabric Dot Com

Say what????  Are you kidding me????  Almost $8 for a half yard????  Unless I really love a print or have specific plans for it, I tend to buy half yards.  It works for me and my bank account.  When did Fabric.com start charging extra for half yards?  Hey Fabric.com, I’ll be spending most of my money at Hawthorne Threads from now on.  Which is what I did.  I still had to buy a few things there simply because Hawthorne Threads didn’t have the stock but fortunately it worked out they were the pieces I wanted full yards in.  They still lost out on a decent sized order though and from now on will be my backup only plan and not my go-to.  Just thought I’d share in case any of you shop there and hadn’t noticed the change yet. 

Rant over.

Aaaaaaaand back to regularly scheduled programming:

This little blog of mine has been quite varied over the years.  Food.  Food Satire.  Photography.  Chickens.  Ducks.  DIY.  Sewing.  At my core I march to the beat of my own drum and a simple Sunday Stash report highlighting new fabrics I picked up that week is no different.

My first stash report I hung fabric on an electric fence (it was off – I checked first.)

Next up was Tula Pink on the woodpile (and the grass when the boy dropped the fabric.)

Today?  Today is more Tula Pink hanging off the side of the trailer.

Swarm Full RW

We have five acres here at the ol’ homestead and my goal is never to photograph my stash in the same location.  I think that’s doable.  It’ll make things more interesting for both of us.

Swarm Tall Skinny Enhanced RW

My husband randomly handed my a ten dollar bill and told me to buy some fabric.

Swarm Side to Side Enhanced RW

So I did.  A half yard of Tula Pink’s Swarm in Fern.  Plus a half yard of Lizzy House but I’m saving that for later.

Swarm from Above RW

I’m planning on picking up all four colorways in Swarm over the next month and I already have a plan for a simple yet potentially shocking mini art quilt.

Ok, it’s not that shocking (Mollie Sparkles, now he’s shocking), but I do think it will remind us all to think outside the box.

And one last shot of Swarm . . . and my pooch The Snoops coming over to check it out.  She says it’s yummy.

Swarm and the Dog RW

If you’re new here and want to read a few funny posts about The Snoops (who wouldn’t really) then check these out:

How The Snoops got her name.

Why The Snoops might really be a human and NOT, in fact, a dog.

The Snoops and her pets . . . yup, my pet had her own real live pets.

The Snoops and her stuffed pets.

How The Snoops actually takes a walk.

How The Snoops learned to steal (she’s quite the little thief).

The Snoops wearing hats.  Yeah.  I regret some of those.

The Snoops and her really really really bad hair accessory.

Excuse some of the cartoonized pictures.  That was my schtichk back in the day for a while.  Even so, you may guffah once or twice.

 As is my new norm, comments are closed.  Here’s why.  Thanks for understanding.  Really it just gives you more time to read Sunday Stash reports over at Mollie Sparkles.

– Joanna

Linking up with Mollie Sparkles for Sunday Stash.


29. May 2015 · Comments Off on Beginner Paper Pieced BOM – Month 4 Block 2 · Categories: Paper Piecing, Quilting, Sewing · Tags: , , ,

Still working through the Beginner Paper Pieced Block of the Month at Quilt Art Designs.  Still working on Month 4 (April).  We were supposed to make four blocks and I now have two done.

Here’s the newest addition:

Beginner BOM Month 4 Block 2 RW

All together now:

Beginner BOM Month 4 Blocks 1 and 2 RW

I’ll try to get a few new posts out highlighting the previous months’ blocks soon.  Well, soon-ish.

In the meantime, here are past posts related to this project:

Beginner Paper Pieced BOM Month 4 Pieces Cut

As is my new norm, comments are closed.  Here’s why.  Thanks for understanding.

– Joanna

Linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts for Finish It Up Friday and Quilt Art Designs for her Friday Paper Piecing Party.


27. May 2015 · Comments Off on WIP – Rainbow Bed Runner Take 2 · Categories: Quilting, Sewing, Work In Progress · Tags: , ,

I’ve made decent progress on the Rainbow Bed Runner.  Not so decent progress on painting my kitchen though.  Oh well.

First up, I fixed the snag with a little Heat ‘n Bond and a scrap of Moda Grunge fabric.

Snag Repair RW

I roughly trimmed up the top.

Then I laid out the backing fabric.  So pretty.  Cut it down to size.

Backing RW

Cut a piece of batting.

Cutting Down RW

Here’s what I used.

Batting RW

Ironed the top and the back and the batting (yeah, I iron the batting).  This is my least favorite part. I hate ironing.  And it’s the worst in quilting because you aren’t even supposed to iron, you’re supposed to “press” . . . ironing is torture enough, but then you can’t even move the iron side to side to speed things up?  Ugh.  Double ugh.

Iron RW

Basted.  On the carpet.  Then had to take it all apart and baste again on the dining room table.  I know you need a hard surface or you get puckers, but I was lazy.  So I had to do it twice.  Lesson learned, self.  Lesson learned.

I used 505 Spray and Fix and then a few pins.

Basting RW


Quilting RW

Quilted some more.  I used a variegated thread from Superior Threads.  It was a thicker weight than I’m used to.  I’ll try to get a better shot of the thread when it’s all done and I take this puppy out on a proper photo shoot.

Quilting 2 RW

Trimmed everything down to 21 x 78.5 inches.  Towards the ends the top had more of a bow to it than I had originally noticed.  Not terrible for the second top I ever pieced together though.

Bowed RW

Pretty, pretty back.  This fabric was the right choice.  For sure.

Quilting Back RW

The next time you see this bed runner in a post, it’ll be bound and photographed.  Probably up in a tree.

But will my kitchen be painted?  Probably not.

As is my new norm, comments are closed.  Here’s why.  Thanks for understanding.

– Joanna

Linking up to Freshly Pieced for WIP Wednesday and Sew Fresh Quilts for Let’s Bee Social.

WIP Wednesday


25. May 2015 · Comments Off on Random Picture of the Day – Moth · Categories: Photography, Random Picture of the Day · Tags: ,

This, my friends, is why I LOVE my macro lens.

Moth RW

As is my new norm, comments are closed.  Here’s why.  Thanks for understanding.

– Joanna

P.S.  The Rainbow Bed Runner is coming along nicely.  Progress report coming up and hopefully a finish soon.

24. May 2015 · Comments Off on Sunday Stash – Pink · Categories: Sunday Stash · Tags: , , , ,

This week’s addition to the fabric stash is rather modest.  I’m still attempting to respect the budget.

Pink on the Pile RW

I not only love photographing things in trees,

I also love photographing things on the woodpile.



I could go on but I’ll stop.

A half yard of Tula Pink’s Swarm in Jam from the Moon Shine collection and a pink solid from the remnant cart at the local quilt shop.  My LQS has the best clearance section.  I paid less than two bucks for the solid and it’s probably around 3/4 yard.

Butterflies on the Pile RW

Sweetey Petey decided it was a cape.

Pink Cape RW

Then he dropped it on the ground.

Pink on the Grass RW

Then the dog stepped on it (I didn’t get a picture of that – I was too busy rubbing off the paw print.)

I usually nab any large solid pieces off the remnant cart and it was a happy accident it matched so well with the Tula Pink print.  For my non-sewing readers, Tula Pink fabric has some weird sort of cult following in the quilting world.  People hoard it, stalk it, buy it in ridiculous yardages and then never cut into it because they are scared they will run out since once a print has been discontinued it sells for $80 a yard on Etsy.

I may be embellishing a little  . . . but not about the $80 a yard.  Yeesh, people.

I have to admit, I don’t fully get the hype.  I love some of her prints (like Swarm – I plan on buying all four colorways.)  But I have never loved an entire collection.  At least half the prints just don’t speak to me.  I have about six yards of Tula Pink fabric now in seven prints.  Oh hey that’s like $500 in a few years amiright?  So I’m giving her a chance.  I’m even considering buying a fat quarter bundle of an entire collection and sewing one quilt up with it just to see what the deal is and why everybody says it’s magic when it comes together.  Someday.  Maybe.  This Sunday Stash from Work-In-Progress Girl I read really made me give Tula Pink fabric another look.

Okay, one more shot from the woodpile.  These pictures make me love this color more than I did at the quilt shop!  I may have bought a whole yard if I had it to do over again.  Which technically I do, since I go all the time.  They know me.  They know the kids names.  They worry if I don’t show up on my designated day.

Wood and the Pink RW

I really think this pink is striking next to the natural grain of the wood and super green grass.  Something to think about before sewing this puppy up.

As is my new norm, comments are closed.  Here’s why.  Thanks for understanding.

– Joanna

Linking up with Mollie Sparkles for Sunday Stash.  New blog posts to read on a Sunday.  It’s a beautiful thing.


22. May 2015 · Comments Off on Beginner Paper Pieced BOM – Month 4 Pieces Cut · Categories: Paper Piecing, Quilting, Sewing · Tags: , , ,

I’ve been working through the Beginner Paper Pieced Block of the Month at Quilt Art Designs.  Here’s Month 4 (April).  We were supposed to make four blocks, but so far I’ve only completed one.

Beginner BOM Month 4 Block 1 RW

See those weeds there?

Bane of my existence!

I did come across a great chemical free weed killer recipe though.

All natural.  Totally awesome.

It’s been helping.

But ya still gotta pull ’em. Even when they are dead.

I’ll share sometime.

I did, however, get the pieces cut for the other three blocks.

Beginner BOM Month 4 Block 2 pieces RW


Beginner BOM Month 4 Block 3 pieces RW


Beginner BOM Month 4 Block 4 pieces RW

I’m using a layer cake of Botanics by Carolyn Friedlander for this project and crossing my fingers I have enough fabric!  Paper piecing is great and all but a total fabric hog.  This month I was trying to use up scraps from previous blocks so some of the pieces juuuuuust barely fit.

I most likely won’t sew these up until I get my bed runner finished.

As is my new norm, comments are closed.  Here’s why.  Thanks for understanding.

– Joanna

Linking up with Quilt Art Designs for her Friday Paper Piecing Party.




20. May 2015 · Comments Off on WIP – Rainbow Bed Runner · Categories: Flimsy Finish, Quilting, Sewing, Work In Progress · Tags: , , , , , ,

It’s interesting to me that in the quilting world a “finish” can mean many things.  I finished cutting up fabric.  I finished piecing the top.  I finished quilting but I still need to bind.  I actually finished the whole quilt and caboodle.

A pieced top is called a flimsy.  So technically today’s share is not only a WIP (work in progress) but also a flimsy finish.  That does present a problem for me as to where to link up this post.  Do I link it up with a work in progress link?  Or a finish link?  Not both, because I am just not that much of a risk taker.  Go ahead and insert laughter here.  Or at least a chuckle.  A harrumpf maybe?

Since I pieced this top a gazillion years ago (okay maybe one and a half . . . two tops) I’m going with work in progress.  Because it has suddenly bugged me that it’s not actually finished.

Bench RW

Also my husband recently commented that for all the fabric I buy, I don’t have much to show for it.  That’s the problem with quilters – one, they tend to give things away and two, they tend to have a bazillion works in progress.  And when you’ve been focused on quilting for a mere six months like me (plus have two small kids in tow) . . . well, you don’t have much around the house to stare at.

So I’m working on this so we have something stare at.  Because it’s a bed runner.  And they really aren’t useful other than to stare at.  Unfortunately I have this bed runner ear marked for the guest room.  A room in which my husband never ever enters.  So really, he still isn’t going to have anything to stare at when I’m done.

This fabric was purchased as a jelly roll strip from JoAnn’s (back before I became a total designer fabric snob.)  My intent simply was to learn to sew in a straight line.  It was the second top I’ve ever sewn together.  I had no clue I was supposed to be sewing a quarter inch seam allowance or that maybe I should have cut the selvage edge off first (meh, I can do that later so no bigs really.)

Back RW

There’s also a snag, which I knew about before sewing, but as this was a precut roll and I had a color pattern in mind I decided to leave it be and deal with it later.  I’ll just iron some sort of stabilizer to the back and it’ll be fine, especially with the amount of use it’ll be getting.

Snag RW

It’s cheap fabric.  And rainbows are a bit overdone in the quilt world.  But I think it’s pretty.  And the lines really are pretty straight.  Well before I discovered the quarter inch seam presser foot too.

In a Tree RW

If you are new here I should warn you I put things in trees to photograph.

Falling Off RW

Then they tend to fall off.

This is less annoying with fabric than cookies though.

But really annoying in the snow.


Rail RW

I’m hoping to work on quilting this soon.  I’ve already picked up the backing fabric – a super cool large scale print called Big City that’s going to be perfect!  I might even like the back better so I may be flipping the bed runner over on occasion to mix things up.

Rebel.  Me.

I’m working on prepping and painting my kitchen and dining room right now, but hopefully I can get this project quilted and bound in the next few weeks.  Then I’d like to focus on a paper pieced block of the month wall hanging that I’m a month and three quarters behind on.  Oh and I have a half square triangle baby quilt to finish up as well and a toddler bed plus quilt and a modern disappearing nine patch.  But what do I mean by finish?  You’ll just have to wait and find out on that one.

Oh, the drama here at Midwestern Bite.

As is my new norm, comments are closed.  Here’s why.  Thanks for understanding.

– Joanna

Linking up to Freshly Pieced for WIP Wednesday and Sew Fresh Quilts for Let’s Bee Social.

WIP Wednesday



17. May 2015 · Comments Off on Sunday Stash – Alexander Henry’s Big City · Categories: Quilting, Sewing, Sunday Stash · Tags: , ,

Thanks to a $600 car repair and a $300 riding mower repair I’m not actually supposed to be buying fabric right now.  So here’s hoping The Husband doesn’t read this.  In my defense I used my cash stash.  In my other defense I didn’t just buy fabrics on a whim with no purpose other than to fold them up all pretty and stare at them.  Which is what I normally do.

I’m hoping, amid some house painting projects, to start working through my WIP pile (that’s Work In Progress for all you layfolk out there) so I feel justified in this weeks purchase.

At least that’s what I keep telling myself.

Anyway, this week’s stash addition is a whopping 2.5 yards!  In the same print!  I’ve bought more than 2.5 yards at a time before but really, for some reason, it’s way more satisfying when it’s all in a row.  And not a solid.  Because solids are boring.

I picked up this fun Alexander Henry print called Big City.

big city in mint

Screen shot borrowed from Hawthorne Threads.

My plan for this print is the back of a bed runner I started many moons ago.  Back when I was still sewing on a borrowed 30 year old machine from my mother.  Back when my 14 month old daughter was still in my belly (or maybe before that even.)  Back when I still got excited to shop at JoAnn’s (gah – I’m a total fabric snob these days.)  Back when I had no idea a quarter inch seam allowance wasn’t actually a quarter inch.

The bed runner was made from chopping the pieces of a jelly roll (that’s 2.5 inch by 44 inch fabric strips in a collection for you layfolk out there) in half and sewing them together.  So it’s long.  And skinny.  The best part of Big City (besides the awesome large scale repeating pattern) is the mint green top and the magenta bottom.

Big City 2 RW

Big City 1 RW

Yes, these pictures are meant to be dark.

It was an artistic choice.

Plus it was 6:00 in the morning when I took them.  So…… yeah.

I made this text magenta.  To match.  Does that count for something?

I’m hoping to squeak out enough material for the binding from the mint and magenta.  So really I’ve saved The Husband money since I was planning on buying another 3/4 yards of a binding fabric.  And now I don’t have to.

You’re welcome honey.

Stop back in later for pictures of the WIP bed runner top.

Linking up with Mollie Sparkles.  Whose real name isn’t Mollie.  Don’t ask me how long it took for me to figure that out.  Well, you can’t actually because, as is my new norm, comments are closed.  Thanks for understanding.


– Joanna

16. May 2015 · Comments Off on Paper Piecing for Charity – Origami Boat · Categories: Blog Love, Charity Blocks, Paper Piecing, Quilting, Sewing · Tags: , , , , ,

Charity Boat

This is a boat I made a few months ago for Yvonne at Quilting Jet Girl when she made a call for charity blocks.  I LOVE this boat.  I’ve made several now, even turning one into a baby quilt.  Here’s a sneak peek:

Boat baby quilt sneak

Oh hello Muscovy duck.

This little boat is by far my favorite paper pieced pattern I’ve sewn up.


Linking up with Quilt Art Designs for her Friday Paper Piecing Party.  It’s cool, even though there’s no cake.


As is my new norm, comments are closed.  Thanks for understanding.

– Joanna

P.S.  Yvonne shared a compilation picture of the charity blocks she received and one commenter on her post said they loved the origami boat.  What did I do with this information? Called my mom and told her of course!  It’s the little things.

15. May 2015 · Comments Off on Mindfulness · Categories: Chickens, Midwestern Life · Tags: , , ,

Regular readers here may have noticed a change this past six plus months . . . as in this blog didn’t exist.  

I needed to experience a moment of mindfulness in my life and closing up shop for a while was a large part of that.

I learned a few things this past six plus months.

One. You all are on the internet too much.  And by you, I mean me.  When I started this blog my son was six months old and I was looking for a quick social fix, a small creative outlet and a motivation for healthy living.

I made several great friends (I’m looking at you Cinnamon, Aly and Ann) and connected with pantloads of others (brownie points to anyone who knows what kids book “pantloads” comes from.)  But most of those other connections were trite and meaningless.  I’m looking at you Twitter.  Random people follow other random people just for follow backs and randomly comment on random tweets and it all means a pantsload of nothing.  Sorry if you like Twitter and I’ve just offended you.  No, wait, I’m not.  But I am kinda sorry I’m not sorry so that counts for something right?  I also learned Facebook is a giant time and energy suck but I know you all love your Facebook so I’ll refrain from commenting on that further for now.

I do miss my creative outlet and have, to this day, found myself approaching life from a blog mindset.  I’d like to share that thought.  That would be an interesting pic to share.  My chicken died and I’m sad and need to tell someone.  Yes, one of the chickens died.  Technically two of the chickens died but I’m only sad about the one.  But I’ve digressed.  I’ve also learned that I get way more done when I’m just doing and not blogging.  What a revelation, no?  Yes.  A revelation.

I no longer need a motivation for healthy living.  I can do that all by myself and honestly, the healthy living community often runs in cycles of regurgitating the same crap over and over while giving you a guilt complex over not having run enough miles that week.  Plus I just don’t think we need to tell the world every time we do a burpee or eat kale chips.  And by we, I mean you because I don’t do burpees or eat kale chips.  Just do your burpee.  Eat your kale chips.  And get some satisfaction from the doing not the telling.

Two.  I needed to get back to church.  I realize religion is one of those sticky topics like politics we are supposed to avoid at the dinner table, but it’s my neglected food satire blog and I can say what I like here.  I’ve realized denomination means nothing and faith means everything.  I listen to sermons, have joined a women’s bible study and am in general working diligently to be the very best child of God I can be.  It’s not just great for me, but for my kids and my husband as well.  It’s a win win win situation and I encourage you to seek your own connections if you feel there is something crucial missing from your life.

Three.  I like to sew.  Like, really like to sew.  It’s actually one of the reasons I dusted off the blog (well, that and a jackfruit purchase at the market the other day.)  I’ve been linking up some paper piecing work I’ve done to a blog I follow and have been emailing my husband pictures to put on his photobucket account so I could link up.  Crazy.  I can just post a picture here and link them up on my own without wasting any of his time or even much of my own if I keep the chatting to a minimum.  So you’ll be seeing some sewing here.

Four.  Well, there’s lots more but I’ll stop because no one needs to know my thoughts on Victoria’s Secret’s bras or flannel shirts right now.

So . . . . what’s the plan here?  I don’t have one specifically other than I asked my husband to turn off comments here.  Yup.  A blog you can’t comment on.  I am aware this is contrary to every rule of social media but as I kind of think social media is crap these days I’m doing it anyway.  I actually think we are both going to love it.  I can still experience mindfulness since once I’ve hit the post button my obligation ends.  No checking my email to see if anyone has commented.  No firing up the laptop to comment back to the comment because it’s rude not to.  No more thought on the subject.  I can get off my mind whatever I have to say or show and it’s gone with no more thought necessary.  And you?  Well. let’s be honest here . . . commenting is a chore.  You either have to pull out the laptop or deal with tiny @ signs on your tiny cell phone key pad and it’s just a royal pain in the butt.  And for what?  Because we are supposed to?  I have a newsflash for you . . . my blog isn’t earth shattering enough to require commentary or debate.  I’m not looking for companies to send me freebies or to launch a business or to make this a career.  It’s just a little fun here and there.  Plus internet trolls and spam stink like skunks and no one likes skunk smell.

In short, there are no obligations for either of us.  I can post as often or as little or as never again as I like.  You can read as you like or not like.  It’s quite simple and freeing.

And just because I can’t leave you without a picture . . .

Parmesan RW

No, that is not the chicken who died . . . although there is some debate over whether we should eat him or sell him.  Of the five babies we hatched last year, one had a cross beak and passed away and one was killed by the neighbors dog.  Of the three left, we ended up with two girls and a boy.  Oddly enough the above chicken is in fact Parmesan, who I named in case he turned out to be a boy and we had to eat him.  He turned out to be a boy.  We still haven’t eaten him.

Alright, I’m gonna go now because I’d rather be sewing.

– Joanna