Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Happy (almost) New Year!

I'm writing this post today back in San Francisco, having spent the Christmas holiday at home in Omaha with my parents, cats and brother. It was a loooong drive back (two 15 hour days in order to get my car and cats out to California!) It's been a hard couple of months for me on a personal level, so it was really great to spend some time with the family and just relax. We watched a lot of movies, played a lot of board games and Mom and I had plenty of time to talk about Prairie Sewn Studios and where we want it to go in 2014! We also worked on pulling fabric and prepping some materials for more containers to use to help promote our book in the upcoming year.

We're so excited about the book coming out in January (exact date is TBD) and are anxiously awaiting the proof from our amazing editor. Once we have that it'll be a quick turnaround to get the final edits in, the final proof reviewed, and the manuscript to go to press!

Here's to a wonderful start to 2014!

Saturday, December 28, 2013


Welcome to Caturday. Where we bring you ridiculous pictures of cats "helping" their humans quilt, sew and craft. 

In today's Caturday, I'd like to draw your attention not to Friday the Cat, but to what is sitting just behind him to the left. Why yes, that would be a dedicated cat stand. Dedicated to Friday and CatCat as their very own place to sit. And yet, he insists on sitting on the cutting table. I'm pretty sure he does this on purpose to make sure we don't forget how cute (and helpful!) he is. 

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Jelly Roll Bag from Missouri Star Quilt Company

Next week we'll share some of the exciting quilty and crafty gifts that Mom and I received for Christmas, but first we wanted to show you a project she finished just before Christmas; an easy jelly roll bag made using directions on a You Tube video from the Missouri Star Quilt Company!

The Missouri Star Quilt Company is an online quilt store based out of Missouri, and one of the things they have in their store is lots of precuts, including Jelly Rolls! Mom subscribes to their emails, and when this video came through in a weekly email she knew she wanted to try it. She didn't have any pre-made Jelly Roll cuts, but just followed their video using the size of strips she had on hand! It turned out pretty cute! 

Have you ever made a project using an online tutorial? 

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas!

Mom and I, along with the helper cats of Prairie Sewn Studios, wish a very Merry Christmas to everyone celebrating today! Santa brought us lots of quilty and crafty gifts that we can't wait to put to use!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Christmas Eve.

Happy Christmas Eve! No pictures today, as we're running around finishing up projects, decorating Christmas cookies, and completing the most important family Christmas tradition watching Christmas Eve on Sesame Street! Don't worry, we'll have plenty of festiveness to share tomorrow!

Do you have any Christmas Eve traditions? 

Monday, December 23, 2013

Momcat Monday-Candy Boxes

This week I'm taking a little break from sewing and quilting to show you something else I've really enjoyed playing with lately-making paper candy boxes!

I found this Candy Box punchboard from We R Memory Keepers at Archivers and have spent some time in my crafting area just experimenting with it. What's fun about this product is that you can use it to make a variety of box shapes including triangles, rectangles, pentagons and hexagons!

Ideas I have for using these boxes is for small gifts, or as a homemade Advent calendar! You can tie the ends with twine or ribbons and each one is large enough to hold something small, and would be easy to package up and ship if you wanted to send a fun advent calendar to someone. I could also see them as favors at a celebratory meal, such as Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner, or even a birthday party!

Saturday, December 21, 2013


Welcome to Caturday. Where we bring you ridiculous pictures of cats "helping" their humans quilt, sew and craft.

This week we bring you another picture of CatCat, this time perched on one of Mom's sewing chairs. In this picture we can tell that CatCat has indeed been victorious and gotten her own way in Mom's sewing room as a clean towel has been laid out specifically for her to lie on. Mom says it's to help keep the cat hair off the chair, but we all know it really means CatCat has won this turf war. 

Friday, December 20, 2013

Festive for Friday

1. This adorable crafty tree from All People Quilt. I'm really not a fan of Yo-Yos, but this is just so adorable I might need to make some just for this!

2. WestJet Christmas Miracle. Because it just makes me smile.

3. I won a giveaway! I actually won it back in November, but it got put in a box as I moved apartments and was just unearthed again this week. The book is Quilting on the Go: English Paper Piecing Projects You Can Take with You Anywhere by Jessica Alexandrakis who blogs over at Life Under Quilts.

Since Mom and I love English Paper Piecing enough to write a whole book about making containers using the EPP style I'm super excited to delve into this book just as soon as I get the rest of my sewing studio unpacked! She even included a couple of packs of pieces from Paper Pieces, so I'll be good to go!

4. Reading Mary Fons' blog, Paper Girl. She's the creator and editor of Quilty and also co-hosts Love of Quilting with her mom, Marianne Fons. Her blog is funny, sarcastic, real and just all around awesome. I (obviously) don't know her at all, but I feel like I relate to her on so many different levels (life, quilting, randomness).

5. Holiday cheer at work. We had a White Elephant gift exchange with another office, and it was hilarious. I was pleased as punch when the gift I brought because the most fought over as part of it included this stuffed dragon I got at Ikea last weekend:

Poor little dragon spent the the rest of the afternoon being kidnapped and taken from office to office by jealous coworkers, including a stint looking through a glass wall with a post-it note reading "help!" stuck to his tongue. 

What made your week festive? 

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Longarm Quilting

Last year for Christmas, Dad (at my suggestion!) purchased a Longarm Quilting class for Mom at A Quilting Place in Omaha. We'd both tried Longarm machines at various American Quilter's Society shows, but had never actually tried it outside of a show.

This class covered set-up, threading, quilting and tear down on an APQS Millennium machine. Taking the class was great for Mom, as now she can rent time on the machines to go in and work on some of those Works in Progress that just need quilting. If she has any questions or problems , the store owner Jackie is there to help! 

Up close and personal with Mom's quilting! 
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Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Work in Progress Wednesday #9.

Another flimsy from Mom's Work in Progress "collection" this week. She calls this one "Home Sweet Home." This was her first venture into miniature quilts and she says "I wasn't ready to start this small type of piecing, but now that has changed."  

The whole top measures 13"x13" and was a class she took from Cindy Erickson at her local Bernina store

On a side note, the black fabric with the cherries on it? That's fabric from the very first quilt I made. It's fabric that makes me smile every time I see it.

What have you been working on lately?

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Storage Solution-Interfacing

So last year in my Christmas stocking I found a handful of the old-school slap bracelets. As a child of the 80's I have fond memories of these bracelets and thought it was super cute that Mom got them for me.

It wasn't until I'd put several of them on, lining my forearm, that she said "oh no, I got those for your sewing room!" It turns out that the slap bracelets she'd found in the dollar section at Target were perfect for wrangling rolls of interfacing!

Just roll up your interfacing into a fairly tight cylinder and slap a bracelet on to hold it in shape. 

Although Mom uses these mostly for interfacing, they can really be used with any pliable material you want to keep rolled up, such as batting, fleece, or even yardage of fabric.

I also may have encouraged her to go out and buy more when it became obvious I fully intended to WEAR the bracelets from my stocking instead of just using them to store interfacing!

Monday, December 16, 2013

Momcat Monday-Echo Quilting

Hi everyone! This week I want to share with you a piece of fabric from the stash. It's a little hard to tell the scale of the print in this photo, but the flowers are quite large. I took the photo up on my design wall, and you can see a small stack of fabric on my cutting table in the lower right hand corner. 

I'm not entirely sure WHAT I'll make this with yet (although I'm leaning towards two table runners), but I DO know that I'm going to use it to practice my echo quilting! Since the flowers and their leaves are so big and it's a repeating pattern, it's the perfect print to really get a feel for echo quilting.

Now to just do something with it! Maybe next time you see this fabric it will be part of a Work in Progress Wednesday post! 

Saturday, December 14, 2013


Welcome to Caturday. Where we bring you ridiculous pictures of cats "helping" their humans quilt, sew and craft. 

Friday the cat has worn himself out with helping, and has resorted to guarding the fabric by sleeping soundly on top of it. Probably on top of the EXACT piece of fabric that Mom needed, too! 

Friday, December 13, 2013

Festive for Friday-Our Book Cover!

This week we were finally cleared by the American Quilter's Society to share the title and cover of our book! We are SO excited! I also discovered it was already listed on Amazon! Eek! It's like it's really happening!

What made your week festive?

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Fun at Jo-Ann Fabric!

A few weeks ago, I checked my email and found this photo from my dad with the subject line "Having fun at Jo-Ann Fabric" and just had to laugh.

Dad has this fabric and crafting store thing down to a science. He carries a paperback book or his Kindle in his jacket pocket at all times when he and Mom go out to run any kind of errands together. If Mom detours into a fabric store, Dad makes a beeline for the pattern section where he KNOWS he will find chairs and a table. And then he makes himself at home and let's Mom do her thing while he reads and waits more or less patiently.

Although there have been a few occasions where he's been tempted to go and drag Mom away from the cutting counter (my understanding is that this only happens when she's several HOURS in), he's generally a good sport. 

The best part; he then gets to carry everything out to the car for her! 

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Work in Progress Wednesday #8.

This week we're sharing another quilt from Mom's Work in Progress pile called "Alli's Braid." This is a rather nifty scrap quilt that uses strips sewn and "woven" together to make a braid. 

It's fun to see how all of the different colors tie in together with the sashing and cornerstone fabric. Interesting note-Mom says the sashing and cornerstone fabrics were chosen AFTER the braid blocks were made! 

Here's what she has picked out for binding and backing. Now to just get it prepped, quilted and bound!

68" x 81". Designed by Dawn Brixey, Stashbuster Series, and class taken at Country Sampler in Omaha, NE.

What have you been working on lately? 

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Grammy's Flying Geese

On our "About Us" page we mention that Mom first began quilting under the tutelage of her mother-in-law (my Grammy), Mary Chaney, in 1986. Although I learned basic sewing skills from Mom, it was Grammy who really got me started on quilting when I was in college. Everyone in the family has beautiful quilts made for us individually by Grammy that we'll hopefully feature here in the coming months. 

This is a small Flying Geese wall-hanging that Grammy hand pieced and hand quilted that was passed on to us when Grammy passed away in 2007. 

All it needs is the binding and a hanging sleeve and it's finished. Since hand-sewing the binding is one of my favorite parts of quilt making, I'm hoping to do this when I'm back in Omaha for Christmas and thus one more quilt of Grammy's legacy complete. 

Monday, December 9, 2013

Momcat Monday-Power and Light District

Hi again! Another week, another Momcat Monday. This week I want to share a picture I took a while back when we were in Kansas City to see a hockey tournament (you knew I had to get a hockey reference in SOMEHOW).

This is a shot of the Power and Light District in downtown Kansas City. I think it would make an amazing modern quilt. Someday, maybe.

Saturday, December 7, 2013


Welcome to Caturday. Where we bring you ridiculous pictures of cats "helping" their humans quilt, sew, and craft. 

Friday the Cat is back again this week. This is a Bethany Reynolds' Stack-n-Whack that I started in a class at the American Quilter Society 2009 Paducah Quilt Show and just have the machine quilting to finish up. Technically, it's still a WIP so it might show up again on Work in Progress Wednesday. My favorite part of this picture is Friday's look of disdain. It says "Excuse me, human, you're interrupting my nap." 

Friday, December 6, 2013

Festive for Friday

1. The return of the Elf on the Shelf.
While I don't have any kids yet, I love that so many of my friends with kids post their Elf on the Shelf antics on Facebook each day.

2. Running a 5k race outside, in a santa hat, tank top and shorts on DECEMBER FIRST. And along the bay right by the Golden Gate Bridge, at that. So far, I'm not missing the snow and ice one bit!

3. Living in the same city as my brother, Bill. He came to cheer me on at the 5k race and was rewarded with brunch. It's great being able to spend time with him now that we're both grown-ups.

4. These sheets from Target. Grandma's Flower Garden is my favorite quilt block right now, so hexagons in pink and orange? Yes, please!

5. Dad's new-found love for emailing me selfies. Mom was out at a quilting class and Dad snuck into her sewing room to use her iron to mend a hole in a pocket. The iron isn't quite as sacrilege as her scissors, but still a risky move!

What's made your week festive?