handmade holidays show

Here is a sneak peek of some of the fun things Olliekate will be selling at our 2nd annual craft show. Along with many other talented women and crafters we will be hosting a handmade holidays show for our friends and community. I am really excited and looking forward to the start of the holiday season. Lots to do, lots to do! (can you see all the packing boxes in the background? We are moving right before the show!)
The monster hat is made by my olliekate partner Rebecca. This one is Kate's but you can get one for your little monster at the show and the key fobs were whipped up by me so you may never lose your keys again!


oh halloween, you're here again

It is not a real secret that Halloween is not my favorite holiday. Just was never into it, but I fake it for my kids because of course they love it. But I had to share these pumpkins with you because they typify my children to a tee. First up (going left to right) we have the 3 year old's. She drew this big happy face and I carved it. Perfect for a happy little girl. Then we move on to the middle child, 7 years old. Could I help him? No. Could I give advice on that mouth? No. Had to do it all himself and that pumpkin has a little mischievous side, just like him! And now the prize on the right: this is my oldests' pumpkin. Who decided that carving was "boring" and that he didn't want to carve his at all. In his language this only means, it is messy and if he doesn't do one he doesn't have to help clean it up. This concept applies to many things in his life. I am serious about this, he really thinks this way. Ugh. So we are saving it for dad to make something awesome.
Hope your Halloween is filled with personality , a little mischief and lots of happiness!


time is flying by

I'm still here, I swear and time is moving as quickly as the leaves are falling around here! The blog has taken a back seat as we are preparing to move in a couple weeks and busy with all that entails. A reminder though if you are in Asheville and interested in coming to our fall craft show~ send me an email and I will get the info out to you. It will be Nov. 15th.
Here are some shots for my sewing friends of a pillow I just finished out of the Anna Maria Horner good folks line for another flickr swap. Because I like a lot on my plate I guess! And our recent trip to the corn maze too. Hope your fall is off to a beautiful start...



Recently I got an email from a sweet woman named Tasha who invited me to join a flickr group for embroidery. I wrote her back to say, that I didn't know how to embroider and had never really tried, so I didn't think I would be a good person for a hand stitched theme. Ever since I have been sewing, I have always said: I don't sew by hand. Truth is, I never really tried. When I put the binding on my first quilt, it felt so wonderful! Well anyway, Tasha was sweet enough to take my response as a chance to open me up to embroidery. She has the cutest little shop over at etsy that sells embroidery patterns. She sent me a pattern for a cute little dress along with some pointers and directions to get started. I like a good challenge and agreed to give it a go!And you know what? I really liked sewing by hand! It was relaxing and rewarding and a nice change from being on my machine. Now, I included my example below and I know it is full of mistakes: like stitch length for one! But remember I am a beginner but now I want to give her other patterns a try to make this cute dress series for my little girl's room!

So thank you Tasha for introducing me to a new hobby and your wonderful shop and blog. If you would like to check it out you can follow the links below. Here's to trying something new!

A Little Sweetness: find lots of sweet patterns and more
Tasha's Blog : for more embroidery inspiration



Look how adorable this little burlap bucket is! I am loving it. Wondering what those initials stand for? Work In Progress, to hold all your unfinished projects and bring them along to work on. It is from this etsy seller: Maya*Made. And she sells her patterns here. May just have to be a little birthday present for myself coming up soon! So clever, love to see what others create, don't you? And that certainly reminds me of all the works in progress I have accumulating around here! Hope your week is off to a creative start!

And these adorable examples of what you can do with the pattern found over on flickr!


sewing in good company

Can you stand yet another picture of a quilted pillow! But, yes here they are. I had the fun opportunity to spend the weekend with my closest girlfriends...sewing! I made another round of pillows for our Olliekate November Handmade Holidays show. We had so much fun sharing all of our sewing ideas, I am always inspired by these women. I took my first real try at a string quilt method using this tutorial. It was pretty labor intensive but the effect is cool and once quilted I think it will make a neat pillow. I can't imagine making a whole quilt like it at this point though! Too bad the weekend couldn't last longer. Thanks for the fun time girls!


heather ross quilt

My Heather Ross mini quilt is all done, even bound! I love how it turned out and had this idea floating in my head for some time and happy to see it completed. Too many unfinished sewing ideas are swimming around up there! I decided to just quilt it randomly all over and like how it contrasts with all the straight lines. This quilt is for a swap that I am involved with and will be sent off to my partner. I wasn't sure how I would like to do a swap, but it was pretty fun! Just hope she likes it. You can check out some of the other quilts over here, or if you are feeling adventurous you can sign up for the next quilt swap. We also added a little something extra and I made this pin cushion in my favorite flower print from Heather Ross and one of my key fobs to go along too! Hope you are having a good day!


weekend sewing

I somehow managed to get a bit of sewing done this weekend. That is in between putting our house on the market, cleaning, and feeling kind of nuts..oh and 2 soccer games as well. I guess the motivation got to me or the stress and I escaped to my machine for a little while!
We are gearing up for our 2nd annual Handmade Holidays craft fair in November. I am planning on making several of these quilted pillows and here is number 1! I am really happy how it turned out and would love to keep it, but I guess I better try to sell it first! It measures 18"x18" and features lots of my favorite and several out of print fabrics in pinks and greens. I used the softest bamboo batting for the quilting. So I am started now on a boy version and will see what comes next. Hope your weekend was productive or ultimately lazy...whatever you needed!


In my heart I am a mountain girl, but the beach sure was relaxing. I love it there in September; still warm but not hot and not a lot of people. Just as things are gearing up with school, sports, life... we took a mini break to put it all on the back burner for a few days. Ahh, nice!

My boys are on there learning to sail.


clothesline quilt

Having to trudge to our basement to do the laundry inspired this little mini quilt for me! I hung it on the door and it makes me just a wee bit less grumpy towards the piles of laundry waiting below. This was so fun to make and at just 10" x 15", it was pretty fast too!

Hope your laundry isn't piling up as well! Have a good day!


swap group Etsy treasury

Look who made it into an etsy Treasury! It's Oscar with some fun creations from other etsy sellers and fabric swappers! Yay for Oscar!


work in progress

I am working on this little mini quilt for my very first swap. I am part of this really fun online group of crafty, fabric loving souls that love to swap fabric. It has been pretty fun to get some of the lines that are long out of print and be able to trade for fabric I have to spare. Everyone is so nice , but warning...it certainly feeds my fabric addiction! If you are interested in joining just folow the link
So one of the ladies came up with the idea to do a mini (20"x20") quilt swap with the theme being Heather Ross fabrics. Since she is one of my favorite designers, I signed up. I knew what I wanted to do pretty right off the bat. I am still finishing up and not sure if my partner will see this, but sneak peaks are fun too! Should be done soon and on it's way to her home. Then she will also make one for me, yay! I love surprises, how often do we get them really??


take the long way home

We were driving home today from my in-laws house after a weekend visit. Along the way my husband turns to me and says, "want to take a detour?" "Let's go visit Blowing Rock (about 45 minutes North of where we were at that exact moment) and take the kids to the park and get ice cream." Well uhmm..ok, I guess! So we trekked up the mountain and landed in the quaint little town of Blowing Rock. Mind you it is almost 5:00 on a Sunday and it started raining the second we got there. No worries, we are on an adventure we all kept saying. And secretly I think we are always trying to prove that we can still function and be spontaneous with 3 young kids! And an adventure we had! It was such a blast to spend some unplanned, and kinda wet time together. We walked around, played on that wet playground, had some pizza and ice cream too. It was a fun way to squeeze one last bit of summer and anything goes time in right before school is set to start in 2 short days. It makes me kind of sad. The schedules and the have to's are just around the corner waiting to start. But at least for today they could all wait!


happy birthday little girl

My littlest turned 3 yesterday. Of course we always say that we can't believe it! It has been so fun to have her here, to watch her grow and add such joy to our lives!! And I just love, love having a little girl! The sewing alone is a blast!
Here's to many more happy memories!!


reading group

Well, first off my camera has died or at least the lens has. So I have mailed it back to Nikon in hopes they can fix it quickly. So I have no crafty projects to show you right now. But another thing that makes me sane, apart from creating is reading. Lately I have rolled through several new books. I am part of a book club with a fun group of women. We meet once a month to chat about the book or wherever our discussion can lead us. I found with summer I was having a hard time keeping up. But in the past few weeks (and a trip to the beach) I have read these books:

Out Stealing Horses by Per Petterson

Life of Pi by Yann Martel

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society

Stepping out of what I ordinarily may read is always fun. I did enjoy each of these books for different reasons. I am always looking for new books to read. Do you read too? If you have one you loved, please send it my way. I will give it a try for sure!

Happy Reading!


and the winner is...

Thank you all for entering my 1 year blogging giveaway! I loved reading all your comments and hope you will stay in touch and visit again.

The winner of the 3 fat quarter set is:

Nicole from Frontier Dreams
and be sure to check out her lovely blog here, it is beautiful!

So Nicole send me your info and I will get your prize right out to you.

And this must have been a bit of karma because in my inbox yesterday I received this sale notice from Quilting As You Wish. And they have the pink and aqua birds on sale right now for $6/yd so if you are still wanting some hop over there quick!

Hope your week gets off to a great start!


quilt show

Yesterday I made it over to the Quilt Show with my good friend Heather. It was so amazing to see the quilts that were there. You could hardly believe that some of them were made by human hands. I loved to think about each woman that created them and the process from the first dreams of what her quilt would be to the final finished product. All the mental hours alone are astounding. The talent in that building was just awesome. We enjoyed seeing the art quilts full of bold designs and ingenious use of color. The traditional quilts I can picture being handed down for generations to come. Each one holding its' own story. I was really inspired. Heather and I talked about how one day when we are old ladies, still walking around the show. Could we ever dream of having one of our own works there? I think she could, she is really talented already!

Also we visited a great vendor from Thimble Pleasures and picked up some yummy half yard cuts from the Katie Jump Rope line and one from Anna Maria Horner. Certainly an added bonus to the day's activities!

Hope your weekend is full of creativity and inspiration too! And remember to join my giveaway which ends tomorrow night!


let's do a giveaway

Let's do a giveaway, what do you say? Want to? It has been a year since I started this blog. At first it was an idea for the etsy business Olliekate that I run with my friend Rebecca. But I strayed from just etsy stuff and it became a family blog, a sewing blog, a creative outlet and connection to the online world of other women just like myself who are trying to mother and lead their lives the best they know how. I have truly enjoyed posting here and exploring my life through these pages as well. I love the comments I receive and always check back with people who have taken the time to reach out through the blog world. So thank you for making me comfortable, for stopping by and saying hello. I am always inspired!
As a big thanks I want to do a year anniversary giveaway. Since I love fabric so very much, I thought it would be a great thing to share with you. And if you don't sew, well you may just be inspired to start with this great design. It is the birdseed fabric by Alexander Henry. Comes in these great colors, very vibrant and fun. I will be giving away a fat quarter (18"x22") of each color to the lucky winner.
Leave me a comment be sure your contact info is there too and I will randomly pick a winner. You can leave any kind of comment but I would love to hear about what you like to sew or what you would use these birdies for. We can inspire each other that way.
I will leave the giveaway open until Sunday night at 9:00 pm. August 9th, and announce the winner on Monday morning. Thanks for stopping by!

The giveaway is closed and I will announce the winner on Monday morning, thanks!!


at night with my girl

Every night it goes the same way. She comes and finds me, usually only a few feet away, and says "I'm ready for bed" in her little voice. She gives her round of good nights to the boys and hops in bed. She lays on "my pillow" and laughs when I tell her to make room for me. We lay in bed always in the same spots, always the same way. She turns to me and says " let's talk about our day" and we name the activities of every. single. thing we did that day. Today's events: Daddy's birthday, the pool, the first ride down the big slide, the pizza place, ice cream and home.
She says how fun it all was and gives me hugs. Then she rolls away from me toward the wall and says " Night Mommy, see you in the a.m." (same thing I always say to my kids each night). She is out like a light switch. No in between, no tossing and turning. There is wake , then instant sleep. I always lay there and listen to her little snores and soft breathing. Slowly and quietly I creep out , and I smile for the sweet routine of it all.


home again

Hello! We are home from our week at the beach with the best of friends. Six kids, four adults, lots of laughter and sun, sun sun! It was fabulous and left me with feeling thankful for friendships that fill us up and time to enjoy the kids and each other. We arrived home last night and awoke to 2 phone calls on our house which is for sale. We had 2 showings today which is a great remedy to get those bags unpacked and the house picked up! House still for sale but it is clean!
On the sewing front, I had a lovely email from The Fabric Shopper who asked to include my Far Far Away dress on her blog. She covers all things fabric, so of course I love her blog! Check it out!
My friend Heather over at Brown Robin reminded me that we have both been blogging now for 1 year. I have really enjoyed the community of people I have met through blogging and online. I am always inspired by such talent and kind spirits to share our love of life, parenting, sewing, creating or whatever may bring us together! So it is high time for a giveaway! I will be posting about it this week so check back and enter to win :)
Hope you had a fabulous weekend!


scrappy pillows

I recently made these 2 pillows for my boys to go with those quilts that I am going to finish one day, I swear. My son asked me where is that big blanket thing with all the pictures on it!?
But I had such a pile of cute scraps from their quilts, I made one in a wonky log cabin block that is 18" square and got some more practice with my walking foot making a grid pattern on it. The second pillow is 12x16" and is simply irregular strips pieced together. Then I free motion quilted that one.

I also got a sweet note today on flickr from Dee over on her blog: Creative Perch. She featured my Heather Ross smocked sundress on her blog for her flickr Fridays post. I love that idea as I have become enamoured with flickr over the last few months. Amazing talent. I may have to copy the Flickr Friday idea!
We are wrapping a week of nature camp today. My oldest went to his first camp out without us. I hardly slept last night, worrying and missing him too much. I am off to pick them up soon and then pack, pack, pack for a fun week at the beach!
See you when I get back! Hope you have a great week!


ahh, beautiful quilts

1. finished quilt, 2. patchwork for Ian's room, 3. Muddy Waters, 4. Carrie's B-day Quilt, 5. dqs6 from cathy gaubert, mushroom girls, 6. pillows, 7. Block Party - Quilted, 8. Half Square Triangle Quilt, 9. Stripes in frames lap quilt, 10. Boy Baby Quilt, 11. Stacked scrap quilt for a baby boy, 12. Front of quilt after stippling, 13. Far Far Away Squared, 14. Far Far Away quilt, 15. pillow in progress, 16. IMG_FFAdone0001

Created with fd's Flickr Toys.

We have been super busy around here and not much time for blogging or sewing for that matter. But here is some eye candy of beautiful quilts posted over on flickr. I love all the color and design. Inspiring... Now that I got the 2 quilt tops for the boys done, I have to motivate to finish them. I love that I have found a new sewing hobby and reason to admire fabric even more.
We spent this past weekend on the lake with friends. Lots of boating, swimming, fishing, some water fall action and my 2 boys jumped off a 20 foot rock into the lake (NOT my idea and I was petrified but boy did they love it) Sorry Mom, this is true!
Got them all to bed at 7:00 tonight, the water can really wear you out!
Hope your weekend was fun and the week kicks off to a good start. My dad is getting a new knee in the morning so I will be keeping him in my thoughts and prayers tomorrow. Off to bed to rest up from all the excitement.


my weekend in pictures

2 quilt tops for my boys and 1 little dress for my girl in 2 solid days of sewing with no interruptions! I thought I was dreaming!