Blogiversary Giveaway-palooza

IMG_2627 I decided to have a party. Seven years ago today I decided to finally gird up my loins, throw caution to the wind, (plus a bunch of other cliches)…

…and start a blog.

Here’s what a wrote lo those many years ago:

This summer I discovered the… mom-blog world. Or at least a fun little fraction of it. And it was amazing to discover other people like me!! Other moms who are home with busy little kids who still find time to quilt and sew! It was like when Dorothy walks out of her little black and white Kansas cabin into the technicolor land of Oz. I was so inspired by so many other women! When my husband came home, I told him I felt like I’d found a ton of new friends.  So I’m taking the plunge and starting my own…”

I still remember saying that to my husband about feeling like I’d found a bunch of new friends, and he looked at me, a little worried about my mental health. And my “imaginary” friends. lol.

IMG_2761And as I look back at what has happened and evolved over those 7 years, I’m a little blown away. (Not only by how much my life has changed since then – we live in a different house, my kids are a lot bigger and I now have a lot less hair and step on a lot fewer toy cars. And, embarrassingly, I probably have a lot more fabric. *cringe* But I’m working on that!)

IMG_2698-001I am also blown away by how many opportunities and connections have come into my life that never would have happened if I hadn’t just jumped in. As I look back at those early blog posts, it was all SO far from perfect, a little scattered and random, my photography was pretty pathetic, and I was still trying to find my voice.


The best part of this whole adventure is the real-life connections and friends I’ve made along the way – that I never would have met if I hadn’t tried something scary. Those imaginary friends have become real-life friends!


(Here are a few images from when I was working on some of those earliest tutorials…)

So a few great lessons here:

  • When facing something outside your comfort zone: Just jump in. Do it. Plug your nose and close your eyes if you have to, but jump!
  • Done is better than perfect. Don’t wait until you’ve got it all figured out. Give yourself room to grow along the way.

And most of all, I wouldn’t be here without you nice people who stop by to visit. I’m especially thankful to those who leave such kind and encouraging comments when you have a minute. (I know life is busy!)

So to celebrate, I thought would be fun to giveaway a whole bunch of stuff, including giveaways of some of my very favorite things from generous sponsors and 7 curated bundles and goodies from me. A huge thank you to my generous sponsors for making this happen!! Here are the goods:


From Riley Blake/Penny Rose Fabrics – a fat Quarter Bundle of brand new upcoming collection, Church Ladies’ Aprons – a fun colorful, 50’s inspired collection.

Martingale books

An Ebook of your choice from Martingale/That Patchwork Place.

From Aurifil this collection of Pat Sloan’s Perfect Box of Neutrals – 12 spools of 50 wt thread. My favorite kind!

Olfa folding cutting mat

From Olfa a Splash rotary cutter and a brand new 12″ x 17″ fold-in-half cutting mat – easy to store and perfect to fold up and take with you to your next sewing retreat. So nifty!!


Fabricworm, online fabric retailer, is giving away a fat quarter bundle of Homestead by Emily Isabella.


Westwood Acres fabrics, purveyor of amazing fabric bundles, is giving away two of their custom curated Low Volume bundles.quilty box collage

From Quilty Box – a September gift box full of goodies including Erin Cox’s Sweet Tweets book, a Cotton+Steel Picnic charm pack, two spools of Konfetti Wonderfil Threads, and a Sugar’n Cream yarn in Robin’s Egg.

Fat Quarter Shop prizes

From the Fat Quarter Shop 7 Prizes (how fun is that?) including a Fat Quarter Style book, a Precut Primer book, a Quilted Living Book, Macarron Patchwork Set/Aurfil thread collection, Biscotti Finishing Set/Aurfil floss collection, Alphabitties, and a Jolly Bar precut collection.

blogiversary palooza

I’ll also be putting together 7 packages of goodies from this pile of loot.

To enter to win these prizes, leave a comment on this post. And if you like, tell me something you’d love to see on this blog in the future. Winners will be selected randomly from comments on this post, as well as blog posts over the previous month. Giveaway ends Tuesday, October 13 at midnight MST.

Diary of a Quilter collage 1

Finally, one more thank you for the support and encouragement you’ve generously shown me over the past 7 years. For visiting this blog, or buying a pattern, or supporting my sponsors, I truly thank you. (or for voting for me in the Bloglovin’ awards earlier last month.  I did not win, but the kind support from so many of you, meant so much. Heck, just to be nominated in the first place, was pretty cool!)

As an added thank you, all of my PDF patterns in my pattern shop are 50% off for the next 7 days with code 7YEARS at check out.

Thank you, thank you. Sending love and well-wishes and happy quilting vibes to all of you. xoxoxo

Giveaway from Bobbie Lou Fabrics

Glitz Front Page

One of my favorite online fabric shops is Bobbie Lou’s Fabric Factory because I love their well curated, colorful selection of unique modern and contemporary fabrics.

Bobbie Lou’s is so well organized and easy to navigate as well. A huge asset, if you ask me. You can order fabric in increments of 1/4 yards, including fat quarters. In addition to searching fabric by Manufacturer, Design, Color and Style, you can break down the style option into a lot of categories like Feather, Floral, Dia De Los Muertos, as well as motifs like PolkaDots, Cross/Plus, or Faux Bois (or woodgrain).
Bearly There Front

Bobbie Lou’s really specializes in unique, whimsical fabrics that aren’t available everywhere – like these Teepee’s and Bears from the fun Monkey’s Bizness collection from Alexander Henry (including some adorable lions, grasshoppers, and Vikings!)

Bound Home Page

Some of my favorite collections in stock include:  Bound by April Rhodes for Art Gallery Fabrics,

Succulence Collageand Succulence by Bonnie Christine for Art Gallery Fabrics. (I always love Bonnie’s collections.)

Eden Collage

Also new in stock is Tula Pink’s latest collection, Eden.

Little Lion FP

Bobbie Lou Fabrics is giving away a $50 gift certificate to one of you! You know the drill: To enter take a quick trip to Bobbie Lou’s Fabric Factory and leave a comment here sharing something that you love. Giveaway open until Wednesday, October 7 at midnight, MST. Good luck!

You can also keep up to date with all the latest happenings at Bobbie Lou’s on Instagram.

Fall and Halloween Quilt Inspiration

Fall and Halloween quilt projects

I love fall. Love every part of it. It’s time to start pulling out my fall decorations and quilts. Now that it’s October 1st, I thought I’d share some Fall and Halloween inspiration with links to some of my favorites,  including re-visiting some oldies from the past.

halloween pumpkin patchwork pillow-001

One of my favorite – and most popular – recent projects is this super simple, scrappy Patchwork Pumpkin quilt block. I made mine from all scraps. You can find the tutorial here.


The tutorial contains an added variation for making a whole pumpkin-patch table runner.

halloween Boo to you! quilt-001

This simple Halloween quilt is perfect for showing off cute novelty Halloween prints. This quilt was the prototype for this free Moda Bake Shop tutorial if you want to make something similar.

Halloween modern quilt

This is our Halloween quilt I made a few years ago. I wanted to do something modern in Halloween colors that would use up lots of scraps as well as the assortment of novelty prints I’d collected over the years.  This is a fun style if you’re not as into novelty prints, but want to make something just in fall or Halloween colors, like this one by Allison Harris, which very much inspired my own quilt.


Another quilt using Halloween colors, but not overtly Halloween-y is this Disappearing nine-patch tutorial from Jedi Craft Girl.

cat quilt

This chevron quilt tutorial by The Little Fabric Shop is one of the best chevron tutorials I’ve come across. I’ve got it pinned to use sometime soon. And I love it in the fall-ish/Halloween-y fabrics.Halloween quilts collageSome other fun Halloween-inspired blocks and quilts include (many on my to-make list) include the Large Hexagon Quilt by Polkadot Chair,  Ghost mug rug by Patchwork Posse, these Barn Bats by Elizabeth Hartman, Candy Corn Bunting by Modern Handcraft,  and of course a good spider web quilt. The Moda Bake Shop has this great Spiders and Webs quilt tutorial by Heidi Grohs.


If Halloween is not your thing, here are some fall/autumn-themed projects to inspire you. This is my version of a Modern Maples quilt – taking a traditional maple leaf block and blowing it up. You can find a free tutorial for the Modern Maples block here.

fall table runner

Some years (most) I haven’t had time to make a big fall-themed project, but the colors are in my head and begging to be played with. So I get that out of my system by making small projects like Table Runners. Here is a simple tutorial for a quilt-as-you-go table runner.


Another example would be a quick mini quilt. This one is made with the 2 1/2″ charm squares (Quilter’s Candy by Moda). I supplemented with more prints from my stash. Tutorial here.

fall applique pillow

Other fun projects include this applique tree from Cluck Cluck Sew

Lori Holt Apple blocks

Lori Holt’s adorable apple blocks. I need to make some of these one of these days…

Gratitude quilt words

Probably my all-time favorite fall-themed quilt is my Gratitude quilt I made for Thanksgiving a few years ago. This is one that had been on my bucket-list for a long time. It’s a record of the things I am most thankful for.

Gratitude quilt fenceI wrote this as a pattern for the book Sweet Celebrations with Moda Bake Shop. You could also use any traditional signature block to create your own similar result.

If you’re interested, you can see more Fall and Halloween sewing and quilting ideas on this pinboard

Follow Amy Smart’s board fall sewing projects on Pinterest.

Finished Modern Baby Quilt


Quick Column Quilt

I’ve been trying to systematically get more projects out of my UFO (UnFinishedObjects)/WIP (WorksInProgress) pile. I was on a roll for a while at the beginning of the year, but have since slacked a little. Until last week.

I pieced this modern baby quilt top a year ago as part of a book review for Nancy Zieman’s Quick Column Quilts tour.

straight line quilting

It is such a fun, FAST quilt to piece. I liked having this pattern to just play with colors and fabrics. And then it sat in that dreaded WIP pile for a year.

Easy Baby Quilt pattern

I had found the perfect backing fabric (a Kate Spain print from her Daydream collection.) It’s like this print was made for this quilt! I even had this quilt spray-basted ad folded up ready to quilt. Well, two weeks ago, I decided this quilt needed to finally just see the light of day!


I went with simple straight-line-quilting. Partly because I wanted to accentuate the linear nature of the quilt. But mainly because I’m still only comfortable  with straight-line quilting. I like how it turned out. I especially like how the quilting gives that added texture to a quilt that is made of mostly solid fabrics.binding

I decided to bind the quilt with a subtle print to give a little bit of contrast to the solids, but also blend comfortably with the quilt colors. This is a DS Quilts print I picked up at JoAnn Fabrics a couple of years ago.

column baby quilt

This quilt is pure stash – even the batting was pieced from my stash – which is always a good thing. Nice to get another poor quilt off the never-ending WIP list! Not sure yet where this quilt is going to live, but I’m not too worried about it waiting long. You can find the pattern for this quilt in Nancy Zieman’s Quick Column Quilts.

*affiliate link included

Good Neighbors Fabric Pin Cushion Party

Good Neighbors pin cushion party

If you like to read quilting blogs, you may have seen a slew of adorable pincushions over the past month. If you like to read quilting blogs, you have also, no doubt, heard of Amanda Jean aka the wonderful Crazy Mom Quilts.

Good Neighbors quilting fabric

I still remember when I discovered blogs in general about 8 years ago. And then I discovered there were quilting blogs and I felt like I’d found a bunch of new best friends! One of my favorites from the very beginning was Crazy Mom Quilts. And that hasn’t changed! Not only am I always inspired by her cheerful, scrappy, happy quilts, but I just love Amanda Jean’s voice. She has a gift for being so real and upbeat and encouraging and funny – she really makes you feel like you’re one of her good friends – and she’s just as genuine in person.

Good Neighbors Charm Squares

So who doesn’t want to celebrate Amanda Jean’s release of her very own fabric collection! It’s called Good Neighbors (such a perfect name) and full of lots of clear, cheerful colors that coordinate already with almost anything you pair them with. Good Neighbors is sold solely through Connecting Threads.

Good Neighbors blue

The prints are great blenders and cute, subtle prints that work well in lots of settings. Here’s a close up of some of the prints in the turquoise color way.

paper-pieced pin cushion

To celebrate the arrival of Good Neighbors, Amanda Jean has organized a parade of pincushions all made from a Good Neighbors charm pack. Which is so perfect because I have been inspired by Amanda Jean’s cute collection of pincushions forever. I was so excited to finally have the motivation to make some myself. So I didn’t stop at just one.


I paper-pieced these traditional Square in a Square blocks using this template I found on Pinterest. I copied the diagram and resized it to the size I wanted (in this case 4″ x 4″).  I then filled them with crushed walnut shells from my local pet shop. I love that they give the pin cushion some stability and weight. (My kids saw the receipt after school one day and got their hopes up that I had finally bought a pet. I’m such a lame mom.)


Good Neighbors is available now through Connecting Threads only and at such a GREAT price too – only $5.96 a yard! (Because Connecting Threads distributes their own designs directly, rather than acting as a wholesaler, they can produce great quality quilting cottons, but keep their prices low.)

Connecting Threads Good Neighbors

You can see Good Neighbors and other Connecting Threads originals (such as their Quilter’s Candy basics) on their website or through their catalog that comes in the mail. (You can request a copy of their catalog right on their home page.) There are some darling quilt patterns and kits made with Good Neighbors as well.


Even if you’re not in need of any fabric at the present time, be sure to check out the collection of Pincushions over the past months. There’s so much inspiration – and pincushions are a great way to use up scraps! (Which Amanda Jean would be the first to encourage you to do!)

Go here to see all of the pincushions in the Good Neighbors party, with links to each one.

Amanda Jean Nyberg fabricAs part of the party, I also have a charm pack of Good Neighbors to give away! Just leave a comment on this post to enter to win. Enjoy!

Winner: Cathy 

Love Amanda’s colors! Looks like you had fun with her fabrics too! Thanks for the op to win som more pretty fabric! Lol!

Antique Pioneer Quilts

Antique Quilts THis is the Place Heritage Park

One of our favorite places to visit in the summer is This is the Place Heritage Park in Salt Lake City. We volunteered there a few summers ago. It’s a recreation village of historical houses and businesses of the pioneering-era of the American West (mid-19th Century).

One of my favorite stops (and fortunately the kids indulge me) is the old hospital building with a floor dedicated to displaying the large collection of antique quilts from the Utah Quilt Guild. I love the space that it’s in – a big open, airy space with lots of natural light. Each year there’s something new on display as well as some perennial favorites.

Antique Applique quilt

This one might have been my new favorite. The applique and quilting was amazing. Plus, I love those colors.


Star of David, late 19th Century. I love the diamond patterns in this one – I’d love to recreate this pattern, but probably on smaller scale.

Vintage crazy quilt

Crazy Quilt, Log Cabin and Bow-Ties quilts from the late 19th-Century.

Vintage Pine Burr quilt

I loved this one! This block is called Pine Burr. I’ve seen variations of this and love how striking the pattern is! Another late 19th Century quilt. (Don’t mind the creepy-ish looking doll…)Ocean Waves vintage quilt

This was my other favorite. All those little half-square-triangles! This is a traditional Ocean Waves pattern made my a Mrs Juel in Cape Cod, Massachusetts sometime in the 1870’s.

Vintage 19th-Century Ocean Waves Quilt

Here’s a close up of those prints. Some fabric trivia for you: Did you know that the pink fabrics in this quilt (called Double Pinks because they were often tone-on-tone prints) are post-Civil-War fabrics? Pinks printed prior to the Civil War have faded to browns in antique quilts. A new dye process was introduced around that time that has helped later pink-prints stay pink. So there you go. Impress your friends. 😉

Vintage penny rug

A late 19th Century wool penny rug. In the background on the left you can see the infamous “Squirrel Pelt Quilt”. (Yes, it’s really made of squirrel pelts. Eww. I’m sure necessity was the mother of invention and if you were living on the frontier and just needed something to keep you warm at night, you used whatever was available… but I’m glad I don’t have to sleep with that one.) You can see pictures of past visits to this quilt museum here.

Brigham Young Farmhouse

In addition to quilts, there are lots of beautiful old structures. This is the Brigham Young farmhouse. I always love this old, pink house with the gingerbread trim.

Quilt on the porchAnd last, my favorite spot – this is the porch of the house that we sat on as volunteers a two summers ago. Every year the volunteers at that house piece a new quilt and hand-quilt the pieced quilt from the year before. Once a week we’d get dressed up like pioneers and my kids would roam the village and I’d get to sit on that spot and visit with guests and stitch. It was always a lot of work to get us dressed, lunches packed, and drive the 45 minutes to get there, but as you can see, it was always worth it. (Unless it was hot, lol.) Isn’t that a dreamy-looking spot?