the jelly bean quilt

A friend of mine is having her third baby in just a couple months and I am so excited for her. They will be welcoming their third girl into the world and I knew right away that I wanted to make her a quilt. I have never actually gifted any of my quilts though and was a little nervous about quality control for a gift. I chose a rainbow design, heavy on the pinks and bound in that great seed fabric from the Flea Market Fancy line by Denyse Schmidt. The back is all grey solid.

The quilt is only about 40"x50" so it came together in just a few short hours. The next day I got it all ready to quilt and totally forgot to tape the back down when I pinned it! Didn't even cross my mind for some reason. Probably because I quilt pillows a lot and I don't have to worry about that. So as could be expected there was some shifting, not a ton but some on the back where the fabric just didn't lay perfectly flat as I was quilting. I turned it over to check about 1/2 way through and was not happy!! It was too far along to rip all those stitches out, I don't have the patience for that. I finished the quilt anyway to see how it would turn out and threw it in the wash so it could get nice and soft and fluffy. That really hid a lot of the mistakes thankfully. I decided it was gift worthy. The funny part is that when I was wrapping the quilt, my 4 year old was with me and I said, "Well, it's not perfect but I think it looks nice and hope she will like it. Besides nothing in life is perfect anyway." She looks at me and replied, "that's true Mom, except for jelly beans because they are pretty much perfect!"

So this is the jelly bean quilt for a sweet little baby soon to greet us all :)


my first 1/2

This weekend I ran my first 1/2 marathon. It was amazing. It was hard. It was hot. It was hilly. It was such an accomplishment. My friend Heather and I , who run together weekly, both signed up to do this race. She had signed up earlier than me and I hesitated and finally commited several weeks later. I thought I was signing up to support my friend on this big day and to do something together. But as life often does, I got so much more than I had planned for. Bare with me while I recap:

We met early in the morning and drove out to the race. It was a trail run in a state forest not too far from home. We were chatty and excited. Ready to run! We got to the starting line, a few butterflies in my belly but smiling Heather was next to me and I felt good. The race starts and off we go. First 2 miles you hustle along with people all around you. You are caught up in a stream like a fish just moving forward as you pass some and others pull ahead. We are smiling, chatting and feeling good. Then we hit the base of a pretty long hill (maybe 1 1/2 miles) and it started to kick my butt. My mind starts to worry about the rest of the race. Can I do this? Will I slow Heather down? All the what ifs send me in a panic. It was something I have never felt. I went from feeling great to falling apart in my head about my abilities. But we get to the top. I ditch my annoying fuel belt and decide to depend on the water stations to get me through. Feeling lighter and better we run flat for a few miles and I run past my Physical Therapist I used to see last year. She motivates me to keep going. The power of positive words charging my run. The middle of the race goes OK, but I am just not myself, something is off. In all of our training runs, I never had such a bad run as I did on race day. But all along there is Heather, a constant support who stayed with me because we had agreed before the race that we would finish together.

By mile 10, I was toast. The hills seemed steeper, the miles longer and the sun hotter. I was holding Heather back but she stayed with me and I was so thankful, even as I kept saying "go ahead." Heather's constant words of encouragement were pulling me along. Her smile and determination were what I wish I could have mustered for her as well. She gave me the last sips of her water without hesitation. She was having a rock star day and I am so proud of her.

As we neared the end I saw the crowds at the finish, I saw all of our kids ringing cow bells and jumping up and down. I ran to them, I ran to the finish and felt the literal last drop of energy I had in me to get there! Heather and I finished together and shared a big hug that only we both could understand what it meant. It wasn't my legs that got me to the end, it was the power of friendship. Thanks H.


oliver + s ice cream dress

I did it. I finally finished this dress! It is the Oliver+S ice cream dress. I had been looking at the pattern online since it came out, finally got to my local store to buy it and then it sat and sat and sat for a while until I could get to it. I haven't made any clothes, from a pattern at least, in quite a while. Cutting it out proved to be a challenge because the size range is 5-12 and I wanted to make sure I kept all the sizes for the future. Tracing paper nowhere in site of course , when I needed it!
I used the Modern Meadow line by Joel Dewberry for the floral and a Kona Cotton Solid in pink. About these patterns: this was my first try at an oliver+s pattern and I have to say I really like it. It came together very nicely, directions easy to follow and just a little bit of challenge without feeling like I was in the deep end of the pool. I did a double hem for the first time, and did understitching (keeps the hem from flipping up). I don't care for how heavy the bottom panel of the skirt is but that may be the crispness of my fabric and get better with washing. It seems a little too belled out right now for my taste.
The modifications I had to make for user error were that I omitted the notch in the front yoke, because I didn't like how it looked and the pockets! Oh, those pockets came out awful, so in frustration I left them off. As soon as my 4 year old put it on she says,"Does this dress have pockets? You know I really like to have pockets." Go figure.
Maybe I will add them another day!
So, I would definitely recommend the pattern and plan to sew up a couple more for this Spring. The front yoke comes together easily and the gathering is a cinch. I made the size 5 for my 4 1/2 year old and the length is good, the width is roomy. But the style is forgiving for that and works just fine. You will love the little button detail on the back. So easy and sweet! Have you made this dress already? What did you think? Or any other Oliver+Spatterns you would suggest?


try this...

Cooking is something I like to do, but am not always good at it. But this recipe shared by a friend, is so worth passing along. The picture is from Martha Stewart Everyday Food. I think it is kind of weird when people photograph their dinner plates, but trust me it looks just as good at home! I have used butternut squash and pumpkin and they are equally delicious. Enjoy!


Serves 4


  1. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta until al dente. Reserve 1/2 cup pasta water; drain pasta, and return to pot. Add butter, cheese, and pasta water; toss until butter has melted.
  2. Gently fold in roasted pumpkin; season with salt and pepper. Divide among serving bowls, and serve immediately.

Ingredients for roasting pumpkins, shallots & sage:

Serves 4

  • 1 medium sugar pumpkin (about 4 pounds), peeled, seeded, and cut into 2-inch chunks
  • 4 shallots, peeled and quartered lengthwise
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh sage leaves
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Divide pumpkin, shallots, oil, and sage between two large rimmed baking sheets; season with salt and pepper, and toss.
  2. Roast until pumpkin is tender, 30 to 35 minutes, tossing once and rotating sheets halfway through.


pink quilt: all done!

The pink plus quilt top is back from the long arm quilter and I have gotten the binding on! My little girl got to sleep under it for the first time the other night. No coming into my room in the middle of the night saying she is cold, so I would say that's a good start! I love the bubble pattern I chose for this quilt and once it was all washed and dried, it got so soft and just perfect!

Now everyone has a mama made quilt and I can move on to plans for a throw quilt for the couch. I have been spying this pattern from Amy Butler to try next. The backing of this quilt was made with Amy's new line Soul Blossoms.

Hope your weekend gets off to a great start. We are celebrating my oldest's birthday. Makes a mama feel old watching her boy turn 11. So proud of the young man he is becoming!


pillow month

Felt Cushions by Ferm Living at Rose & Grey
my favorites so far~love how the colored buttons just make them pop!

February is pillow month over at Sew Mama Sew blog. Each day they are highlighting a pillow of the day. They are also giving loads of tutorials on how to do things like the dreaded zipper, adding binding and applique. Look at some of the cute ones they have posted!

love the applique on this one!

this is the pillow I received in the flickr pillow swap!
It has a great quilting design (with a tutorial here) and is sitting on my couch right now!

I am looking forward to seeing what else Sew Mama Sew comes up with for pillow designs the rest of the month. I have really been wanting to make some new pillows for our family room and these are giving me the inspiration to get it done! We are having yet another snow day today (with hardly any snow) May have to take the kiddos to the fabric store with me, oh they'll be thrilled!

Olliekate pillows I have made in the past


"that's a lot of pink" quilt top

That is what my husband said when he came into the room and saw this quilt going up on the design wall- "wow, that's a lot of pink!" But it's for a 4 year old girl who only likes pink, of course it's a lot! I used 3 1/2" squares (300 of them) to make this plus quilt design. I threw in a few shades of purple and then some of my favorite prints from my stash. There is a lot of nice subtle variation that makes the crosses pop I think. And once it is quilted, it should really look better. This quilt was totally inspired by this quilt, made by Film in the Fridge that I saw online a few months back. Isn't that pretty? Love her quilts!

This is the first time I used a design wall to help me with a quilt. Simply hang a large piece of flannel on the wall ( I used a sheet) and all your blocks will stick like magic. I left it up there for several weeks while I worked on the quilt top. No more setting it all up on the floor and having to clean it up, just to put it all back down again later.

Quilt top measures 45"x60", good size for a little one. I had 20 rows of 15 squares. I have sent this off to Back Porch Quilters and should get it back soon. I knew it would take too long and it is so cold here these days, I wanted it done quick!! I will post pictures as soon as I get it back.

Happy Monday!