Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013 a year in pictures

In January I debuted my "American Patchwork" quilt. Still an all time favorite of ones I've made.

I also attended Alt. Summit with Christine and Kathy from Michael Miller. It was awesome!

In February I hosted my very first retreat- Cabin Fever. It was fabulous and a good time was had by all.

Sometime during the year I managed to add to my fabric collecting (hoarding?) with a rainbow of fabric goodness.

In April I sewed with Batiks for the first time. I continued with the rainbow theme and designed "Stars" for Michael Miller Fabrics. 

In May I traveled to Oregon for the first time with the Hubs and my parents.

We were in Portland for spring International Quilt Market.

I debuted my fourth fabric collection, Technicolor

My booth won 2nd place for best single booth!

In May I also started my Tula Pink Modern blocks quilt, quilting along the City Sampler sew-along with 

In June I became the mother of a teenager when my oldest turned 13! To celebrate I made an attempt at a Minecraft cake. He loved it. 

In July the Hubs and I celebrated 14 years of marriage. Love that guy!

August brought a fun trip to California to visit my family. 

We took a boat tour around the bay and under the Golden Gate bridge. 

And visited Discovery Kingdom for some roller coasters. 

We squeezed in a camping trip right before school started and had a great time in spite of having car troubles. 

We did some fishing and marshmallow roasting at Gates Lake.

In September the kids went back to school. 
(I accidentally saved the pic with his eyes closed. Oh well)

These two were stylin' on the first day back.

In October I traveled to Houston for fall International Quilt Market and showed off a couple quilts I'd made for Michael Miller Fabrics.

When I returned we celebrated Halloween

And to wrap up the year I was asked to be part of Aurifil's 2014 Design Team! 

It's been a fabulous year. I can't wait to see what 2014 brings!


Monday, December 30, 2013

Wrapping up the year

I seriously can't believe I haven't posted in almost 2 weeks. I apologize now for my unannounced holiday hiatus. I was hit with a nasty cold that dropped me for a good week. Then it was time for Christmas prep with the fam and eating way too many sweets. Now here it is , the second to the last day of 2013 and I'm wondering where the year went.

I hope you all had a joyous Holiday with your family and friends. Ours was nice and relaxing, very low key. Lots of pajama wearing, basketball watching, video game playing laziness going on. It was perfect!

I have so many things to wrap up by the end of the year! Do you do that too? Set unrealistic goals for a Wednesday knowing full well you won't accomplish over half of them? So much for the stack of WIP's!
One of my "to do's" is to clear out some space to make room for all the good things to come in 2014. So I've added a few little goodies to my Etsy shop.

and several sample quilts!

I'm offering a coupon code for 20% off to try and clear out this inventory.
Use code NEWYEAR for your discount.

Happy Sewing!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Holiday Slacker

 I've been a serious slacker lately here on the blog. I was going to blame it on the Holiday season, but I'm not sure that's entirely true. Mostly it's because I've been bit by the genealogy bug and have spent countless hours on the computer researching dead relatives. It is so addicting!

Since it's already Tuesday and I was supposed to pick last weeks winner on Friday I figure I better get to it. But first, take a peek at some lovely sample quilts that I just listed in my Etsy shop. Click on each picture to see the listing.

And now for the moment you've all been waiting for, 
last weeks winner of a Crazy Old Ladies quilt pattern is:

Michele T

Now get back to work, there's still lots of sewing to do! ;o)

Thursday, December 12, 2013


I am so excited that I get to be part of this amazing group of designers as part of Aurifil's 2014 design team! 

Just look at this fabulous crew!

There are so many people on this list that I love and admire, I'm honored to be a part of it.

We sure like to have fun, you can tell that from our photo taken in Houston at Quilt Market. You can bet that each block is going to be so much fun. And just wait until you see the fabric.

Each designer will be using pieces from Sweetwater's Wishes collection. Um, you know how much I love Sweetwater, right!?  LOVE! You might see a little Emily Herrick orginal mixed in there too. ;o)  If you want to play along with us using Sweetwater's collection you can order the complete FQ bundle at Fat Quarter Shop (dot) com

I hope you'll join us with this fabulous Block of the Month all year long! I can't wait to get started. 


Monday, December 9, 2013

Baby it's cold outside!

The days are growing shorter which means I have even less time to get all the things on my list done each day. At at this time of year it seems my "to- do" list is extra long. Today I'm spending some time quilting this gorgeous quilt using Helen's Garden. I told you I love this fabric!

I have lots of projects I'd like to finish before the end of the year, how about you? There's something about the end of the year coming up that makes me what to wrap up a bunch of WIP's. There are two special ones at the top of my list but many, many more than that. If I can get one done by the 31st I'll count it as a success.

Saturday I sat and watched "The Day After Tomorrow". Have you seen it? It's fitting for all this chilly weather we're having in most of the US. The sun is shining outside today but it's in single digits. Brrr! I hope you can find lots of cozy projects to do indoors today so you don't have to venture out in the cold. 

And before I forget, LynCC is the winner for last week! Don't forget, all you have to do is leave a comment on any post during the week to be entered to win a Crazy Old Ladies pattern of your choice.


Thursday, December 5, 2013

Pretty in Purple

You've probably heard by now that Pantone has announced RADIANT ORCHID as the color of the year for 2014.

Picture from TODAY.com
 There's already been comments on social media by people in this industry saying they're not a fan of this choice. Most wishing we could go back to 2012 when Tangerine Tango was the pick. I have to say, I like me some orange but I'm not unhappy with this new choice. In fact, I'm quite excited.

 I've been playing the last few weeks with Tamara Kate's new collection Helen's Garden for Michael Miller fabrics and I LOVE the purples in this collection, especially the lighter orchid color. It's such a gorgeous color and her prints are whimsical yet sophisticated, a perfect combination. And who can resist that geometric print!?

 Another reason why I'm on board with this new color has to do with my own love for the shade. In fact, you might be seeing some orchid from me in the not so distant future *hint, hint*. Sorry I can't show any sneak peeks yet but I promise, you won't be disappointed. ;o)

 I am curious though, what this means in the quilting industry. We already know that fashion and home decor trends translate in their own way to quilting. We see these trends in color and design (chevron anyone?). Will this continue to follow suit for Radiant Orchid? Purple hues have long been the "Loc Ness Monster" of quilting. Quilters beg to see them, but no one wants to take them home. Shop owners complain that they just don't sell and it's apparent in some collections. As a whole the collection is fabulous but often times its the shades of purples that are left on the quilt shop shelves long after the other bolts are gone. It seems quilters reserve this hue for Halloween only and generally leave it out of every day design. 

I have to say my stash has evolved quite a bit. There was a day when my purple pile left little to be desired, but in the last two years it's been growing constantly. I've developed a love for this shade ever since I designed made Sew Solid version of my Best Friends pattern. Now I gather up pretty purples whenever I can find them.

Just look at all those gorgeous colors playing together so nicely. If you're still in doubt, pair orchid with mint and let the dazzling begin.

Maybe Radiant Orchid will pave the way for all shades of purple fabric and we'll see a comeback. Here's to hoping that Pantone's new pick will result in more orphaned fabrics finding a new home in quilting throughout the new year and year's to follow.

 So what are your thoughts on Radiant Orchid? Are you pleased with this choice? And what does it mean to you in quilting? Will you be adding a little more purple to your stash this year? I can't wait to hear your thoughts!


Monday, December 2, 2013

Thanksgiving Recipe- Pumpkin Trifle

My baking style is what one might call Semi-Homemade. I make things at home, but I cut corners wherever I can. This Thanksgiving the vote was for no pumpkin pie. But how can you have Thanksgiving without pumpkin pie!? My thoughts exactly. And so I whipped up this delicious Pumpkin Trifle. (We received a trifle bowl as a wedding present. I kept it around for that 'perfect' dessert until I-don't-know-when. All I know is that when I went to make this trifle the bowl could not be found. Oh well, a glass bowl works just fine :)

2 dozen Pumpkin Chocolate Chip cookies (I don't like the homemade spice cake mix ones for this recipe and opt instead for Walmart bakery. You can use pumpkin bread [2 small loaves] if you like)
1 cup caramel sauce (I almost made this from scratch and then said "Nah, better not")
1 cup Toffee pieces (I buy Heath bits you can get by the chocolate chips in the grocery store)
1 1/2 tubs (8oz) Whipped Topping (You over achievers can whip this yourself if you want)

Dice the cookies and spread a layer on the bottom of your trifle bowl (or glass bowl, like me).
Sprinkle a quarter to third of the toffee bits on the cookie pieces. Drizzle a quarter to a third of the caramel sauce on top. Spread a layer of whipped topping. Repeat 3 to 4 times ending with a layer of whipped topping. Refrigerate for about 1 hour for serving. (Honestly I didn't think it would, but it tasted better the next day)

Just so you know, I don't make this all the time. There's some serious sugar content going on here. But it is a tasty treat for a special occasion...you know, like Tuesday.  :o)


Friday, November 29, 2013

Friday's Winner!

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving yesterday. We sure did. With all the prep I didn't post as much as I had planned this week but a promise is a promise.

WENDY (gracerose172) is the winner for this week!

Remember, I'm picking one random comment from the posts of the week to receive a Crazy Old Ladies patterns. So don't forget to comment. You could be next weeks winner!

I'm not a coffee drinker but I love my Hot Cocoa. Toast some marshmallows for a delicious twist on an old favorite. It was so tasty but now I need to go get some more marshmallows and there's no way I'm setting foot anywhere near any stores today. 
Are you a Black Friday shopper?

I prefer to stay home and sew!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Drum roll please

Let me just say WOW!!!  You quilters really come out when goodies are being given away. :o)  It literally read through every comment and wish I could send something to everyone. But after adding up the 151 comments to the blog post, 40 comments on Instagram and another 46 comments on facebook I have randomly chosen a winner.......

SPARTANBABE from AnnieOak Designs!

Congrats to SpartanBabe for being a faithful follower. A bundle of goodies is headed your way.

I really love giving stuff away, that spirit of giving and brightening someone's day really does being joy to my soul. So I think I'm going to continue on giving things away. Every Friday I will choose a follower from comments left on the weeks posts to recieve a Crazy Old Ladies quilt pattern. Now you'll have a chance to win every week!

For those of you who recieve the QuiltHome.com newletter you'll see a little something special this weekend :o)  They're stocked up with awesome Fabric and Crazy Old Ladies patterns. 
Don't forget to use that coupon, it has an expiration date!!!

Have a wonderful weekend and we'll see you on Monday ;o)


Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Give it away!

In an effort to not repeat yesterday's experience (read: here) I have decided to try in every way to make today a happy day. I'm starting with threatening my children with..... just kidding. I woke with a smile and gosh darn it I'm going to keep that smile on my face all day long even if I have to grit my teeth. No, I'm starting with a GIVEAWAY!!!

I haven't had a giveaway in a looooong time and I have all these goodies from market that I just have to share with someone. Do you want them?  :o)

This whole bundle can be yours. Let me break it down for you. 

Three fabulous magazines: Modern Quilts Unlimited, Quilting Quickly from Fons and Porter, and Stitch, Craft, Create Gifts. All three of these magazines are packed full of ideas and inspiration and tons of patterns!

Individual quilt patterns from Swirly Girls, V and Co., and Schlosser Designs

And of course, FABRIC!!! A bundle of 10 fat quarters from Terra Australis by Emma Jean Jansen (LOVE this collection!) with a few Oval Elements from Art Gallery Fabrics thrown in for good measure,
A delicious Chamberry charm pack from Adornit,
And two adorable mini's from Moda including Front Porch from Jan Patek and Sewing Box from Gina Martin

All of this goodness in one bundle- it feels like Christmas!!!

Leave a comment to enter (don't forget to make sure you're a member/follower). 
I'll pick a winner on Friday morning.

For more chances to win check me out on other social media outlets!

(and happy tuesday!)

Monday, November 18, 2013


Today started out as a Monday. I never really got the whole "Monday" thing until a few years ago. Today perfectly illustrates why SAHM's dread Monday's just like everyone else.

I was actually quite pleased when I didn't have to drag my kids out of bed this morning. They were all up and moving without any prompt from me and earlier than normal. I was thinking it was going to be a smooth morning. I started a load of laundry. Gasp! This is an unusual morning. 

I came downstairs to find the TV off- an unusual site. Normally there's a blaring of some idiotic cartoon adding to the morning chaos, but not today. I left the remotes alone and enjoyed the absence of extra noise. I even asked child #1 to unload the dishwasher and guess what- HE DID IT!

Things were going quite smoothly. Mondays? Not here!

I spoke too soon.

This is a picture of my kitchen table clean. I am posting it here so I can remember what it looks like. 

Upon returning from taking child #1 to school I walk in the house to find children #2 and #3 eating breakfast at the table. The TV is still off! It feels as if a miracle is occurring but the thought enters my mind just a moment too soon.

Before I know it #2 and #3 are spitting cereal at each other. REALLY!??  Let's get something straight here: These are not preschool age children, they are 8 and 11 years old for pete's sake!!! I holler their names in an attempt to get someone's attention hoping a lull in their antics will distract them long enough to stop the nonsense.

 The ease of the morning so far left me in an unrealistic state. I forgot that when I speak my children go deaf. It's an interesting phenomenon really. I can yell so loudly that the neighbors hear, but my children don't hear a thing. I worry at first about their hearing but my fears are put to rest when #3 cries out in utter frustration because she can hear #2 breathing and she's sure he's doing it just to annoy her. 

I manage to get a few more moments of peace a quiet before it starts up again. At this point I offer a prayer of thanks that I do not home-school and that in 20 minutes I'll drop them off at school. I've half joked before that I like my children so much more when they go to school all day. I'm not sure what the half part of the joke is. Going to school all day is a fabulous thing for them and me. 

I can enjoy peace and quiet for the next several hours and when I pick them up at 3:15 I can see their cute faces walking towards the car and marvel at how much I love them. Then the door opens and they fight over who's going to sit where in the car and it starts all over again.

Until then I will enjoy my clean kitchen table.


Friday, November 15, 2013

The day is HERE!!!

This retreat is going to be epic and I am so thrilled to be a part of it! 
I took a peek at all the classes and events and the list just goes on and on. There are so many fun things being offered it's going to be hard to choose which to do. Personally I think you should choose my HexPlus class, just sayin'  :o)
So quit poking around here and hop over to registration to claim your spot!!! 
See you in Midway!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013


Natalie is one of my favorite people EVER! (it's true) And I am so excited that she has joined me over here at "Crazy Old Ladies". I had her write up a little something so you can get to know her. 

Hi! My name is Natalie Smith, and I’m a stay-at-home-mom. Designing quilt patterns is my side gig –and it’s a dream come true! I come from a long line of homemakers that do a little of everything. My Mom raised her girls to be ladies (ankles crossed!), and to her that included teaching us to do all sorts of crafty things. I can cook and clean and play piano and crochet – and lately quilting has become my favorite way to pass the time.


I started hand quilting when I was about 6. My Mom would always include me whenever her family had a quilt on, or when the little old church ladies were quilting on the old church quilt frames, and I learned the most INTERESTING things from those ladies! They were just sewing & chatting, and my ears were wide open – I wanted to hear everything! I felt pretty grown-up to be considered one of the quilting ladies.

My first quilt as an adult was started as a way to pass the time creatively. I was a receptionist at Sento Corporation, where I met my husband, and for the first few months I was there the HR department would give me files to sort through. Due to a restructure, my job description changed, and soon I found myself with a LOT of time on my hands –and there’s only so much surfing on the internet I could do. I decided it wouldn’t be inappropriate to bring some sort of a project with me, and my cousin had just found out she was having her first baby, so I thought a baby quilt would be a nice present to give her. Since I was at the front desk of the company, though, I couldn’t do anything by machine, so I hand-pieced everything. After the first block, I decided my cousin could make do with a pillow! But I kept on working on my little quilt in hopes that someday soon I would bring home a little one.

Five little ones later, I need a creative outlet more than ever! These days, I REALLY love quilting, and my husband knows that a day that’s too busy to sew a little is usually not a great day in my world. I try to balance it all out by not “working” on Sundays – unless it’s a gift :). I love my family so much, and they are definitely first in my life – but I think it’s healthy for a Mama to do something just for her, and for me it’s quilting!

Earlier this year, I went to my first-ever quilt retreat. Since I’ve known Emily for quite a while, of course it was her “Cabin Fever” retreat! I wanted to be really productive at the retreat, so I knew I had to have a plan in mind before I went, because I didn’t want to waste all my kid-free time planning things out. For about a week beforehand, I made a plan and wrote it all down – and in the process, I realized that I was writing a pattern for myself. I’d never thought about it in those terms before, but I do it for almost every quilt I make – I just have to be able to see things on paper before I can bring myself to cut into that expensive fabric!

With that realization came the idea to market patterns. I knew Emily had done it for years – in fact, we traded piano lessons for her son with patterns a few times! So, I asked her about her company and to talk about patterns, and one thing led to another… and here I am, with published patterns as a CRAZY OLD LADY! I love seeing them in print – I hope that feeling never goes away, because I plan on designing patterns for a good long time!

For a little more information on my inspiration for these quilts, and for more about my finished projects, etc., please visit my blog at natalie-ever-after.blogspot.com or check me out on Instagram under the name smileynannn – I’d love to have you come visit!

Thanks Natalie! I'm so glad you're here.