Wednesday, July 17, 2013

WIP Wednesday

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Well, hello there everyone!  I think I fell off the face of blogland!  I've been very busy with shop orders, getting quilts made.  I hit a road block when I ran out of basting spray and my local stores were out of stock!  I ordered more online and now that I have it in my possession, I can finish off the last of the current quilts.  In the meantime, I've been working on swap projects and {gulp} packing!

Yes, we are in the middle of finding a new place. Not what I anticipated I'd be doing this summer.  So, on top of all my orders, swaps, finishing paperwork for last school year and prepping this year's, reviews, and everyday life, I did not want to add this!  But, add it I must.  We still have no clue as to where we're going but, thankfully, the Lord does!

Here are some pictures of what I've been working on:

A fabric basket as an angel package for a swap. Now I just need to fill with goodies.

Mug Rug for another swap. It is finished now, but I can't reveal the entire piece in fear of revealing who my partner is!

Started my Made to Measure Quilt for our bed using Pure by Sweetwater.  Thanks to Angela for her destash I was able to grab this to go with what I had left!

A Triple Zip Pouch for a swap.  I used a Swoon block pattern and shrunk it down.  The block measured just under 7 inches when I finished.  (For those who don't know, this block is originally 24 inches!)
 Halfway basted quilt.  I can now finish this as my spray is in my hands!  Woohoo!

I've done a few other odds and ends throughout along with the packing, but this is all I have decent pictures of!

Linking up with Lee over at Freshly Pieced!

Friday, June 28, 2013

Camp Stitch-a-lot Bag

I pattern tested another wonderful bag pattern for Sara of SewSweetness.  I had a lot of fun making this bag as I used some yummy fabric from my stash.  This bag is huge!  It was made for the purpose of holding a lot of project pieces for retreats and it didn't disappoint!  I already put one of my larger cross-stitching projects inside and there is plenty more room to fill with stuff!  I plan on stuffing it with projects to take with me to our family's annual Cousin's Camp on the off-chance I have down time at night to stitch.  We shall see if I have energy at the end of the day to pull it out!  

Head on over to Sara's blog to see more lovely bags! (or to purchase the pattern for yourself!)

A Lovely Year of Finishes: End of the Month Finishes

It's that time again!  Remember how I said that I was going to finish all of my quilts this month?  Well, I got really close!

I bit the bullet and talked with one of my customers and we decided to send this bad boy to my friend who professionally long-arms! The quilt is 104" square and I was afraid of messing up the quilting as I've never done anything bigger than a twin!  I have no pictures of the finished top, so this picture will have to suffice until I get it back!

I finished two other quilts:

I have a third almost basted and ready to quilt.  I ran out of my basting spray!  Boohoo!

I have numbers 5, 6, and 7 cut and interfaced.  They are crib-sized and should go rather quickly.

All in all, I didn't get the entire list finished but I cut it in half!  I am linking up with Shanna over at Fiber of all Sorts for the month.  

Thursday, June 20, 2013

When life gets crazy!

I am still here!  Really!  I've just been very busy trying to finish up many quilts these last few weeks!  Throw in an unexpected one day round trip (14 hours of driving) to Long Island for my Great-grandmother's memorial and you can understand why I've been absent!  The quilts are nearing completion and, once they're finished, I promise to take pictures of them all for you to see.

School just ended yesterday for my oldest, her first year in public school, and she's already spending the day at a friend's house!  :)  My other kids are also finished, yay!  We're just doing reviews for the summer and they're spending lots of time outdoors!

Well, there is a quick recap of what's been happening.  I hope to write more soon! And with pictures of quilts!

Just so there is a picture in this post, here is one of the beach at the Marina where we held my G.G.'s memorial:

It was a beautiful day!

Monday, June 10, 2013

Memoria Press:Geography I: A TOS Review

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I was recently asked to review Geography Workbooks from Memoria Press for the crew.  We reviewed Geography I, which covers the Middle East, North Africa, and Europe.  Also included is a review text for the United States, the material you would have covered the previous year in their curriculum line-up.  This set is their fourth grade unit and my son, who will be entering fourth grade this fall, was the lucky recipient.  I see a pattern here!  He gets to try out a ton of new material through this!  

The complete set, as pictured above, includes the student text, workbook, teacher's guide, review worktext, and review test book for $48.00.  I found this to be a great value as the review text alone was more than a review in the general sense.  To me, I found it to be more like a complete unit study.  The maps were well done, easy to navigate and very thorough.  

The actual text to review, the Geography I, was excellent!  You learned of 2-3 countries per week.  The student text is well written.  With each new area you learn, say Lebanon, it'll have it's ancient name, Phoenicia, associated with it.  It has a list of "fast facts" listing the more important details: major cities, language, population, climate, etc.  It gives a history lesson with each country as well as 'tour' of it as it looks today.  The worktext is nice in that it causes the student to learn how to use an atlas.  They learn how to read a map in order to find cities, bodies of water, land masses and the like.  I love how it doesn't just give them everything, that they have to search it out for themselves.  

I also like the price, it costs just under $10 per book, not bad for all that you receive.  And with only two of the five being consumable, you recoup your cost over time.  

Another thing that I liked was that Thomas could do it, for the most part, independently.  Searching out cities on the map or figuring out whether boarders were land/man made we'd work out together.  It's fun seeing how independent he is getting with his schooling and curriculum such as this helps spur it further!

I'm still debating on my school curriculum for the fall, but I will say that this is on the 'maybe list' as one my choices.  It's a great curriculum and they have a great array to choose from!  This is only the geography portion to their full curriculum for fourth grade.  All in all, I really liked this material.  

Click here to check out more reviews.

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Motherboard Books: A TOS Review

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I was recently asked to review Let's Make a Web Page by Phyllis Wheeler of  This is a little e-book aimed at 8-12 year old children who are interested in developing their own web page.  It's features, as listed on the site, include:
"- It's a 60-page e-book intended as a short-term homeschool project for kids 8 and up.
- Kids younger than 10 will need an adult alongside. No expertise required.
- Parents download a free trial version of CoffeeCup software.
- Software is compatible with Windows XP, Vista, and later (not Mac).
- Instructions for the parent include Internet safety and uploading to the Internet.
- Tone encourages experimenting and creativity.
Price: $19.95"

My son was the lucky reviewer in this case as he is 9.  He had a lot of fun playing around with the Visual Site Designer that we had to download from CoffeeCup.  He is having so much fun designing his background and fonts and such that he hasn't finished his actual page at this point.  Personally, I don't think he'll finish as he is enjoying the process more than the finished product.

Personally, I didn't really care for the process as once he would try to advance to the next step, he'd have difficulty reopening the work he'd done.  I'm not sure if that is because of the software we downloaded or the programs on the computer, but the e-book unfortunately isn't a manual for those of us who aren't quite computer savvy (Me that is!)  I will agree with them and state that it's easier for the kids to navigate and figure things out than us who are slightly older, me, and have difficulty understanding tech terms.

The e-book itself is well written.  It lays out every step very well for the child to create the page by showing screen shots so they know they're in the right place in the directions.  That was really helpful when he was working through his page.

Disadvantages to me is that the software we need to download to use is only a free trial and once the time limit is up, you can't go and make changes to your web page, unless you purchase it.  The other is that I feel $19.95 for an e-book is on the high end for what it offers.

Now, just because I had difficulty navigating, don't let that put you off from trying it out for yourself!  Click here for other reviews to make a well-rounded and informed decision as I'm only one voice!  
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Thursday, June 6, 2013

Math Mammoth: A TOS Review

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We were recently asked to review Math Mammoth's Light Blue Series.  For the review, we received a digital download of the product to use.  My son, Thomas, was the recipient for the review and we went through the grade 3 book.  

The pricing for the download version is as follows:

Full set grade 3: $34.00
(part A and B worktexts, answer keys, tests, cumulative reviews, a worksheet maker, and Soft-Pak)

Full set for 3-A: $17.50
(part A worktext, part A answer key, tests, cumulative reviews, a worksheet maker, and Soft-Pak)

Full set for 3-B: $17.50
(part B worktext, part B answer key, tests, cumulative reviews, a worksheet maker, and Soft-Pak)

Supportive materials $8.95
(Answer keys, tests, cumulative reviews, worksheet maker, and Soft-Pak. NO worktexts. Not needed when you purchase the full set.)
**The 7 programs in Soft-Pak (4 math, 1 language arts, 2 testing) offer both on-screen and printable activities in a low-graphic, high content format
You receive the Soft-pak for free when you purchase through the Korgi site.  More info is listed on the main page.
You can also choose to purchase a CD version or the printed version as well.

The main areas that are covered in the Third Grade material are:
* an understanding of multiplication and division
* understanding of fractions
* concepts of area and perimeter
* to fluently add and subtract within 1,000
* to use addition and subtraction in problem solving
From the site:
"Some main features of Math Mammoth complete curriculum (Light Blue series) are:
focuses on understanding of mathematical concepts
uses clear explanations, lots of visual exercises and pattern exercises
mastery oriented: concentrates fairly long on a topic, with fairly few topics per grade
emphasizes mental math and developing number sense
very little teacher preparation needed"

I really like the mastery oriented part of the book as he is better able to grasp a concept before moving on rather than jumping around as he had done in previous studies.
The mental math development was great as I would watch him figure problems out through talking it out rather than the writing down of everything, though there were parts where writing down was more useful for him.
I also really like the 'very little teacher preparation needed' part as with other kids needing more hands on help in other areas, this frees me up to better help them and gives Thomas the freedom he loves with his schoolwork.  During this review period, he'd have his math work done before I even came out of my bedroom in the morning!
Here is a screen shot(a poor one at that off of my phone!) of just one of the many colorful pages!

 To say that I,and my son, liked it is accurate!  It is student lead, meaning that there is no teacher's manual!  He reads exactly what he is to do and then does it!  If he has questions, he comes to me to ask and that's it!  He loved the colorful pages vivid descriptions.  His other favorite thing was the 'puzzle corner' located at the end of each lesson.  He was able to apply critical thinking skills to solve many types of problems.

My only negative about the downloaded version is that he can't work out the problems on the page, unless you want to print out the pages!  To me, I'd rather buy the printed book version and not use up all my ink on printing out near to three hundred pages for the two books.  :)
That being said, I think that this curriculum will be seeing itself into our schoolroom this fall for Thomas as he really liked the ease at which he was able to learn and how it isn't 'dry'.  Also, it's very cost effective for my house!

To see other reviews on this product and others that they offer, go here!

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Wednesday, June 5, 2013

A Lovely Year of Finishes: June Goal Edition!

Okay, now I guess you all were right to laugh at me for last month's goals as I didn't finish them.  I did, however, gain a lot of ground on them!  So, this month I am finishing said quilts-one is sandwiched and ready to quilt, the other is ready to be basted.  I need to head to my church to do that as I need a space big enough to spread it out!

I also have three other customer orders which need to be finished so my goals are rather huge!  Thankfully, my eldest daughter is almost finished with school and can occupy the kiddos if needed.  :)

So, my official goal for this month is to finish ALL of my customer orders!  That is it.  Yep.  I've gone crazy. If you don't hear from me, that is why.  (Though I have some reviews to post, so you'll hear about those.)

I'm posting the same picture as before as the quilts are not in great positions to be photographed.  :)

So, head on over and see all the other goals being set!

Friday, May 24, 2013

Memorial Day Sale at


This Memorial Day weekend, join Craftsy in honoring the brave men and women who have served in the US Armed Forces. For every class sold this weekend, Craftsy will donate a portion of the proceeds to benefit a veterans' organization. Select classes will be on sale up to 60% off! This is an extremely awesome deal!  Go!  Grab up those classes! Have all the classes you want? Consider gifting a class to your favorite service member!

*This post contains affiliate links.*

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Schoolhouse Library from The Old Schoolhouse!

The Old Schoolhouse Magazine has just released a new resource for homeschool families!  Whether you're a first-time or seasoned homeschool family, there is something for everyone!  With over 175+ e-books or audio books in over 25 available topics such as: Arts & Crafts, Bible, Geography, Organization, and Special Needs, I'm sure you'd be able to find something for your family!

Here is just a partial list of available books straight from the website:

2 Study Guides from YWAM
Draw Write Now Sampler E-Book by Barker Creek
Heroines of the Past-Victorian unit study from Amy Puetz
Map Trek: Atlas and Outline Maps of World History from Knowledge Quest
Teaching Writing E-Book from WriteShop
15 audio E-Books from My Audio School in history and literature
A Glimpse at Carnivorous Plants Lapbook from In the Hands of a Child
Video from Jessica Hulcy on  “Learning as a Family”
From Frazzled to Focused: 7 Planning Tools for Busy Moms from Mary Jo Tate

Want to know the best part?  It is all available to you for a ONE-time purchase of $25!  How awesome is that?  You can't find a better deal for that many books for this low cost!

*This site contains affiliate links*

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Saturday, May 18, 2013

Blogger Quilt Festival: My Entry #2

This quilt is my second entry.  I'll be entering this in the group or bee quilt category. It was made by my bee mates in the Comfort Quilts Bee for a little guy, Blake, who was diagnosed with Leukemia.  The colors were meant to be bright and boyish as he is only 2 years old. 

Size: Roughly 48" x 48"
Pieced and Quilted by Me with each individual block pieced by individual bee mates

Blogger Quilt Festival: My Entry

Well, I decided to throw my hat in the ring and enter this quilt into the contest under the baby quilt category.  I made this quilt for a friend of mine.  You can read more on that in this post.  This quilt was a first for me in that I'd never done as much intense machine quilting before!  The lines are about 1/2" apart.  It took me a lot longer than I expected to quilt it, to say the least!

Quilt measurement: 40 " x 40"
Special Techniques: All those lines I machine quilted on my home machine
Quilted by: Me!

Friday, May 17, 2013

Blogger's Quilt Festival Opens Today!

It's that time of year again!  Over at Amy's Creative Side, we are having the semi-annual blogger quilt festival!  What exactly is it you may ask?  It's bloggers from all over submitting quilts that they've made into one of many categories for others to vote on!

Here is a quote from Amy's site to explain how it works:

"As the Festival continues to grow, the organization of the Festival continues to evolve. To simplify the nomination and voting processes, and keep everyone from being overwhelmed by the volume of links, there will be a linky for each category, each with it’s own post.  I have conceded that each quilter may enter up to two quilts, each with it’s own post, in separate categories. Scroll down for links to each category.

Schedule of Events :

May 17 – 24 – Linky’s Open & Nominate for Viewer’s Choice on this post

May 24 – 30 – Vote for favorites in each of the categories

May 31 – Winners announced

With each category having it’s own linky, the need to nominate a favorite quilt in each category is eliminated.  Once the linky is done collecting your posts, everyone will be able to vote for a favorite in each category."

This time around, I'm sponsoring the prize for the winner in the Wall Hanging category.  I'll be giving away a copy of Tula Pink's City Sampler as well as some FQs from my stash.

So, head on over and vote for your favorite quilts!  I know I will!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

PLPS7 aka Pretty Little Purse Swap Round 7

I recently participated in a swap on flickr where you create a one of a kind pouch for someone and where you also receive one.  This group have three different levels of sewing difficulties: easy, intermediate, and advanced.  I chose advanced as I've been getting pretty confident in my pouch-making abilities.  I must say that I was not disappointed in the pouch that I received!
Here is the pouch that I sent out: I modified a pattern out of Zakka 2.0

Outside: Front and Back Panels opened up to see both sides.  It closes up with two zippers that meet in the middle.
Inside: Filled with some goodies for my partner.
Handmade Needle Case Close-up:

What I received: A gorgeous zip pouch with three internal zip pockets!  In my favorite Joel Dewberry line!  She also sent me some remnants of Aviary2, twill, bunny buttons (we both own Mini Rex Bunnies!), pins and embroidery tracing paper.  I love it so much.  As I told Mary, the only problem I have is what to fill it with!

Here is a picture she posted on flickr of the bird she made on the front:

Lovely, isn't it!

Well, I should get back to sewing those quilts since they won't quilt themselves up!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Sew Fresh Fabric's Bundle Giveaway!

Sew Fresh Fabrics Summer Contest

Sew Fresh Fabrics is having a contest where you can win some yummy fabric!  12 FQs to be exact!  How can you enter?  Well, you need to make a mosaic of 12 fabrics from their shop with the theme or inspired by SUMMER and add your mosaic to the Sew Fresh Fabrics Flickr Group.

Here's what you need to do:
1. Start off at Big Huge Labs Mosaic Maker and create a 4 x 3 mosaic to show off your 12 FQ choices.
2. Open another tab on your computer and head on over to Sew Fresh Fabrics to pick your fabric choices.
3. Pick a fabric to go into your bundle and right click on it.  Then click on "copy image URL".
4. Paste the address into the URL box.
5. When you've filled all 12 URL boxes, click on "Create" and your mosaic will be created.  This you can then directly upload to flickr.  You can also choose to save and upload manually if you prefer.
6.  Add your mosaic to the Sew Fresh Fabrics Flickr group and include a title and description if you would like.
7.  You can enter as many mosaics that you'd like.  All entries are to be added to the flickr group by the end of May and two winner will be chosen and announced shortly thereafter.

Here is my entry: I'm calling it "By the Sea Shore"

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Mother's Day!

Mother's Day is almost upon us and I wanted to share with you what my Mom is going to be receiving.  First off, I pattern tested a lovely wallet for Sara of SewSweetness that I really hope my Mom enjoys.

I made it using the extra fabric I had leftover from the tote I made her.  She helped choose the fabrics and I love the combination.

I hope she really enjoys these!  I will be shipping them out most likely today or tomorrow loaded up with goodies from the grandkids!

WIP Wednesday 5/8/13

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

It's a crazy place around here!  The kids are nearing the end of school, only a few more weeks!  I have customer quilts all over the sewing room, in boxes ready to be chopped and reassembled, as well as quilt tops that I want to finish for friends as well as my home.  I think the easiest way to show this would be to give you a small glimpse into crazy!  :)

Here are the boxes of to-be-quilts:

When all is said and done, these will end up being six different memory quilts!

Another customer quilt:  top is in process of being assembled!

Here are the quilt tops for home and shop:

I'm also participating in a fabric basket swap over on flickr and have cut out the pieces for this little project:

I don't have much going on, really!  Haha!  Linking up over at Lee's!

Monday, May 6, 2013

A Lovely Year of Finishes: May Goal Setting

A Lovely Year of Finishes
It's time to set down some goals again!  This month I have many things that just need to get done.  They are crowding my sewing space and need to make their way to their new homes!  I'm going to try to go big or go home this month.  It may just kill me, oh well!

Customer Quilt #1:

All of the blocks are now sewn.  I just have to make them into rows, then top, then sandwich, quilt and bind.  Nothing big!  (alright, ya'll can stop laughing!  I hear you!)

Customer Quilt #2:
A memory quilt.  I have all squares cut, just need to fuse on some interfacing to stiffen their backs and then repeat quilt-making process all over again.  (Again, stop laughing!)

Well, that should keep me right busy as well as all the other things I have going on daily.  :)

Linking up over at Fiber of All Sorts!  Go, check out the other ambitious quilters out there.  Who knows, there may be some a bit crazier than I!


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