Monday, November 28, 2011

Bippity Boppity BIBS!

It's shameless commerce Tuesday.  Today I am featuring reversible boutique baby bibs.  That's like getting TWO cute bibs for the price of one! 


Cute. Cute. Cute.  You'll notice my favorite little piggy fabric is back, paired with pretty pink and white Carolina Gingham.

And no one will mistake a slightly bald baby girl for a boy if she is wearing one of the pretty pink floral bibs.  Any LSU fans in the crowd?  Check out the purple and gold fleur de lis bib.  Don't worry, I haven't forgotten the boys!  How could I, with 6 grandsons?  More little boy bibs are in production.  See?  All cut out.  New items will be added.  Soon, I hope.  So check back often.


These precious but practical bibs are made from high quality designer cottons and Carolina Gingham, with a thin layer of preshrunk white cotton flannel as batting to add softness and shaping.  The bibs have a covered metal snap closure.    Perfect for a baby gift, shower gift, or Christmas gift for a special baby.  And I offer FREE domestic shipping on all orders. 


To see more boutique baby bibs, visit this section of my Etsy shop:    Or view the slide show shop widget in the border of this blog.


The Christmas rush is on!  I feel like Dory from Finding Nemo (my granddaughter Madeline's favorite movie).  But instead of , "Keep swimming.  Just keep swimming. "  I'm humming, "Keep sewing.  Just keep sewing."  



LeAnn aka pasqueflower


Saturday, November 26, 2011

Light At the End of the Tunnel?

Many of my Etsy friends will relate to the "I Quit My Day Job" success stories that occasionally appear on the Etsy blog. 


Well, I didn't quit my day job.  My day job quit me.  I will be furloughed without pay for at least 30 days beginning December 2, 2011. I have already survived a loss of benefits and reduced hours and pay.


I am more fortunate than some of my coworkers who have also been furloughed.  I have a seasonal tax job that will keep me employed nearly full-time evenings and weekends from January through mid-April, and I will be able to pick up a few (very few) preseason paid hours at the tax office in December.   I also have my little Etsy shop, which will keep me busy and provide some extra income.


I am trying to think of this as an unpaid Christmas vacation – my first since 1976.  I will have some precious time to spend with the grandkids while they are on Christmas break before tax season.  And I will have a windfall of free time which I can easily fill with projects.My lists are always longer than my days.  I will add more items to my Etsy shop and complete some handmade gifts. 


When I went to our Thanksgiving Eve church service last Wednesday night, the gospel lesson was from Matthew 6:25-33.  The timing was perfect.  It is just what I needed to hear this week.  I kept the program insert, and it is tucked in my wallet as a gentle reminder.  Here is an excerpt:


Jesus said, "I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, or about your body, what you will wear.  Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? …. Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these." 

Perhaps there still is a light at the end of the tunnel after all.



LeAnn aka pasqueflower

Lily of the Valley photo by Jeff on Scripture Zealot Blog

Light at the End of the Tunnel was re-pinned from a Pinterest post.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thanksgiving Eve: Planes, Trains & Automobiles

One of my favorite old (1987) movies is Planes, Trains & Automobiles, written and directed by John Hughes and starring Steve Martin and John Candy.    It is a funny yet touching saga of two men who encounter incredible transportation obstacles trying to get home for Thanksgiving.  I think most of us have a homing instinct that is especially strong as we approach the holidays. 


I'm an empty nester.  Only one of our five children will be home for Thanksgiving, and that makes me a little sad.  Yet I totally understand the demands of the modern workplace and the expense and aggravation of travel.    


We will eat the traditional meal, and I will enjoy a 4-day weekend.  The grandsons will watch the Thanksgiving Day parade on TV. The guys will watch football.  Lots and lots of football.  And I will thank God for my many blessings:




Good health


A warm home

Food in the frig

A reliable computer



Whether  you're feasting or watching football (or both), I wish you and yours safe travels and a very Happy Thanksgiving. 


I'll close with this quote from the late great Erma Bombeck:


Thanksgiving dinners take eighteen hours to prepare.  They are consumed in twelve minutes.  Half-times take twelve minutes.  This is not coincidence.  ~Erma Bombeck


LeAnn aka pasqueflower


Monday, November 21, 2011

Oven Mitts for Holiday Baking or Gifting

It's shameless commerce Tuesday.   Oven mitts have become a "hot" item in my little Etsy shop lately.  The little piggy oven mitts sold last night, but I am ordering more of that cute, cute fabric designed by Maria Kalinowsky for the Timeless Treasures Green Acres collection.   I'll be posting several more fun oven mitt pairs in the next two weeks in several fabric options – from pretty to cute to retro-inspired to funky.


Here is a recent comment from a happy buyer, Megan, who bought a pair of Amy Butler floral mitts with red and pink polka dot lining.  You can visit Megan's adorable shop, Lilac Saloon, at  But I digress.  Here's what she said (in two separate Convos):


So, I really want to buy these (and am about to!) but I just had to send you a message first. I have this old nasy oven mitt (only one!) that was in a box of kitchen stuff from one of my parents. They gave it to me when I graduated from college, I think. I've been using it forever (5 years maybe?) without even thinking "this is gross and ugly (xmas fabric!!) and I should just buy a new one" until a couple of days ago. The inside feels all torn and gross and I just can't stick my hand in there any longer!!

I have an Etsy shop as well, and so always look on Etsy first when I want to buy something. I just spent 45 minutes looking through ALL the oven mitts on Etsy. I actually sorted them by Highest Price because I want really cute and quality ones (but don't want it to come with an apron, etc, like some of the pricey ones do!). I started to get down into the $20 range and got worried I wouldn't find anything! Then I found YOURS!!!! They are exactly what I had in my mind that I wanted. Normal shape, two mitts that match, a bit girly but not tacky. 

And you seriously ship them for free?! I'm only in the next state over so that's good :)

Ok anyway, just wanted to say thanks for being awesome. And saving my hands from the NASTY mitt I have been mindlessly using for so long.


. . .


Just got the mitts today! They are beautiful and sooo well made. I love them so much and can't wait to use them!
I attached a photo of my yucky OLD MITT next to the beautiful new ones! What an upgrade :) Thanks again so much.


Megan's photo is shown above.  These mitts are perfect for holiday baking or everyday kitchen patrol.  I use high quality cotton fabrics with heat resistant Insulbrite batting and an extra layer of flannel for softness.  The mitts are fully lined and SO comfortable -- no scratchy exposed seams.  Looking for an affordable Christmas gift, hostess gift, shower gift or housewarming gift?   Just sayin' … .


Happy Thanksgiving!  Wishing you safe travel and happy times with your loved ones.


LeAnn aka pasqueflower


Thursday, November 17, 2011

Strip "Tease"

My local quilt guild has a monthly block exchange.  It's sort of like a quilt block lottery and the price of entry is one quilt block.  The November exchange block was  a diagonal strip-pieced 8.5" square block.  The only guidelines were: 1) No strips wider than two inches; 2) Use Fall colors; and 3)  Block should measure 8.5".


And I won 12 blocks!  Now I need to decide what to do with them.  Table topper? Table runner? Pot holders?  Scrappy mini wallets or coin purses?


I'm open to any suggestions from my creative blogging buddies!

Now, if I could only win the REAL lottery!



LeAnn aka pasqueflower


Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Tree Skirts and a Sewing Tip

I'm sewing Christmas tree skirts for my two youngest adult children by special request. They picked the Starflake pattern designed by Linda Johnson of Calico Cat Patterns & Designs:   The pattern includes three sizes:  36", 48" and 60" in diameter.  I opted for 48".  Both Jeff and Allison wanted traditional reds and greens.

The Starflake pattern looks deceptively simple.  But there are a LOT of bias edges in those diamonds, parallelograms and pie-shaped edge pieces!!  I used dark green batik to help stabilize the star point units, and the straight-of-grain red strips on the outer border of the center star also helped anchor the adjacent stretchy edges.

After taming the bias, the next challenge was to achieve nice crisp points where the light-colored diamond shapes intersect with reds and greens at odd angles.   I love to sew.  But unsewing?  Not so much!  So I devised a method to minimize wear and tear on my seam ripper and my nerves while joining those tricky fabric intersections.

Here's the tip:  When trying to achieve perfect points at angled fabric intersections, I machine baste the challenging intersection using a long stitch.  I stitch only about one inch, and then check to see if I have a nice point before stitching the entire seam.  That way, if I need to unsew, I only have one inch of large stitches to rip out instead of 16 or more inches of regular length stitches.  It took two or three machine basted attempts on my first star point unit, but by the third unit, my basting was pretty much right on target.  Once a basted intersection passes my inspection, I change my stitch length back to normal, and sew the long seam, sewing over the basting stitches. 

The top of Jeff's tree skirt is pictured above, along with a photo of my machine basting trick (the seam ripper is my pointer in that photo).   This project was back-burnered while I caught up on custom orders the past two weeks.   I still need to machine quilt both tree skirts and bind them.  I hope to get them in the mail and on the way to D.C. and Brooklyn before Thanksgiving.  Wish me luck!


LeAnn aka pasqueflower


"Check" Out These Bibs

It's shameless commerce Tuesday.  Today's post features gingham check baby bibs.  I discovered Carolina Gingham by Robert Kaufman while shopping for fabrics for this custom order: at Angela's Fabric and Trim:   You have to feel it to believe it!  It's a 100% cotton, and a bit weightier than regular gingham without being coarse or scratchy or stiff.  Wonderful fabric!  

I used covered metal snap fasteners for the back closure, and added a layer of preshrunk white flannel as a light batting between the bib front and back.  The bibs were made using ModTods Baby Bib pattern:

Custom orders have been the mainstay of my Etsy business for the past two months.  So today, rather than promoting a particular product, I'm promoting the fact that I do custom orders.  

LeAnn aka pasqueflower

Monday, November 14, 2011

Talkin' Turkey

Here is one of my weekend projects – 22 treat bags made of brown and white gingham with turkey appliqués.  I'll finish gluing all those tiny googly eyes today.    I made my sample for this custom order with natural muslin.  I personally prefer that version.


I used our GO! Baby cutter (small leaf die) to make the 154 turkey feathers.  I applied fusible interfacing to the back of my feather fabrics, then removed the paper backing and cut them into

1.5" x 2" rectangles to feed through the cutter three at a time.  I love that they are all so uniform, and I didn't have to trace and cut them all by hand.

Hard to believe that Thanksgiving is next week already! Our in town daughter-in-law is cooking the turkey this Thanksgiving, and I'm bringing veggies, salad and pies.  Big grocery run this Thursday!  Are you ready for Thanksgiving? 


I hope amid the gluttony and football games I will remember to take the time to be truly grateful and count my many blessings.   That's what the holiday is really about, right?


Gobble. Gobble.



LeAnn aka  pasqueflower


Saturday, November 12, 2011

This Little Piggy Went to Plattsmouth

My little quilt group, Friendship Stars, took a road trip on Saturday to Plattsmouth, Nebraska, a small town about an hour's drive from Lincoln.  While hundreds of thousands of diehard Husker football fans sat glued to their TV sets watching Nebraska defeat Penn State, we had ourselves a little day trip adventure.

Our first stop was the Seams To Be Quilt Shoppe.  We've appreciated their sponsorship of Saturday morning quilting and sewing shows on Nebraska Public TV (no quilt shows this past Saturday due to state football tourneys).  And we'd heard they stock over 6,000 bolts of fabric and 12,000 fat quarters.  So we decided to check it out!   Yup.  All true.  LOTS of fabric!

I found a couple of great bargains in the skinny bolt section, and then got distracted by farm fabric.  Yes, they had two shelves full of cows, pigs, chickens, green pastures and big red barns.   I kid you not.  But I guess it makes sense.  We'd driven past 50 miles of cornfields (now corn stubble – most of it has been harvested).  I'm sure there are quilters and 4-H'ers living in some of those farm houses.   And some of us city quilters have deep rural roots.

I couldn't resist.  I bought myself some pig fabric with cute little pink piggies on a black background, and some coordinating pink and black and white polka dot fabric.  I plan to make a set of oven mitts and play with the scraps.   My quilting buddies, Jan and Leola, left with even bigger sacks of fun new fabrics – batiks, quilt backs, bike fabric, dill pickle fabric—and more.  Much more.

As we exited the quilt shop on a fabric high, Jan noticed a used book store, Aaron James Booksellers, a block away. We're all book lovers as well as quilters, so we did some serious browsing and a little buying there, with Joan Baez music playing in the background.  Gotta love it.

We had planned to eat lunch at the Chocolate Moose Cafe –billed as a quaint little café in a quaint little town.  It had earned rave reviews from fellow quilters who had made their own pilgrimages to Plattsmouth.  But when we arrived there, a handwritten sign on the door read: Closed Due to Illness (Swollen Ankle).   I guess the owner wanted to reassure us by letting us know she wasn't stricken with E Coli or food poisoning or anything food-related or contagious??  So—Plan B.  We ate at Mom's Café  a couple of blocks down the street– specializing in good "home cooked" food.  They even had hot dish on the menu (that's the Midwestern term for a casserole) made with homemade German noodles.   

So, after pigging out on pig fabric, I pigged out on meatloaf almost as good as my mom used to make.  Oink!  But I didn't cry wee, wee, wee all the way home.


LeAnn aka pasqueflower


Friday, November 11, 2011

Grandpa's War - A Veteran's Day Post

Today is Veteran's Day in the United States, when we pause for a moment to say "Thank You" to all the men and women who have served our country in the Armed Forces.


An old friend from South Dakota, Dave Volk, a decorated Viet Nam veteran, just published his third children's book, My Grandpa's War.  The book is a retrospective on Viet Nam as seen through the eyes of a curious 9-year-old girl who visits with her grandpa, a veteran, as he reminisces about the Viet Nam War.   It's a serious read, but with a positive message.  Jason Folkerts, the illustrator, did an outstanding job.  The cover artwork is shown above.  Read more on


My own grandpa's war was World War I.  He always bought me crepe paper poppies on Poppy Day and told me poppies grow in Flanders Field.

My parents' war was World War II.  They didn't want to talk about it.   My high school history teachers didn't want to teach about it.  I am thankful to Tom Brokaw and Ken Burns for helping me understand "The Greatest Generation" and the human side of WWII.

My uncle's war was the Korean conflict.  Most of what I know about that conflict I learned from f watching  the original movie version of M*A*S*H, and years of TV show reruns.


I am a Baby Boomer, and my generation's war was Viet Nam.   Every night on the evening news Walter Cronkite recited the body counts:  Killed, Wounded, and Missing in Action.   When I was a senior in high school, the boys in my class were part of a birth date draft lottery.  We watched protests and race riots on TV news, but they were all far away.   There were no anti-war protests in my little prairie home town, but we did listen to the protest songs of the 60s and early 70s, and wondered if the war would ever end. 


My children's generation felt the shock of 9-11.  They all have friends who have served in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, many on multiple deployments.


I pray that my grandchildren's generation may be the first in decades not to be directly touched by war.  With that in mind, here is a link to Pete Seeger singing one of my favorite Viet Nam era songs, Where Have All the Flowers Gone?:  The chords were simple enough I could play it on my cheap acoustic guitar back in the day.   Caution: The slide show that accompanies the music may bring a tear to my eye.




LeAnn aka pasqueflower


Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Einstein Got That Right!

This image showed up in my Facebook news feed yesterday, and I thought it was worth sharing.


Thanks to Howard Gardner and others, we now know that there are multiple intelligences.  Gardner's book, Intelligence Reframed: Multiple Intelligences for the 21st Century, New York:  Basic Books (1999) identified  Spatial, Linguistic, Logical-Mathematical, Bodily-Kinesthetic, Musical, Interpersonal, Intrapersonal and Naturalistic intelligences.  And most of those intelligences are not measured on the standardized tests mandated by No Child Left Behind, or ACT, SAT and GRE exams.  


I also believe we each have innate or God-given gifts beyond the realm of intelligences, which might include, but are not limited to St. Paul's lists of spiritual gifts in Romans 12:6-8 and I Corinthians 12:8-28.    


One of my greatest challenges as a parent, grandparent, and mentor has been to help children discover and value their unique gifts and to help them explore and develop their talents.    I remember when my son Jeff was very little (probably 3), he would sometimes start talking about things, and I would say, "Jeffrey, how did you know that?"  And he would reply, very matter-of-factly, "I thunk it up in my own brain!"  He's now an economic analyst at the Congressional Budget Office, where his grown up brain gets to do quite a lot of thinking.


Imagine what a wonderful home, workplace, or community we could build if each person was allowed to play to his or her strengths.



LeAnn aka pasqueflower


The ABC's of Me

The talented Edi of Memories for Life Scrapbooks blog created an ABC's of Me post and challenged her followers to do the same and then share a link to our posts on her blog:

Edi has the cutest scrapbooks in her Etsy shop:

So---here is my ABC's of Me list:

A –Art lover

B-  Bibliophile

C- Curious

D- Danish-American

E- Episcopalian

F- Fabric  Fanatic

G- Grandma  (9 grandkids)

H- Home Ec Major (once upon a time)

I- Independent

J- Jurist (administrative law judge/lawyer)

K- Klutz

L- List Maker

M-Mom and Step-mom

N- Nebraskan


P- Prompt and Punctual

Q- Quilter

R- Rural Roots (SD farm kid)

S- Seamstress

T- Tax Advisor for H&R Block (seasonal)

V- Valedictorian (a LONG time ago)

W-Wordsmith Wannabe


Y- Young at heart

Z- Zoo Member


Want to play along?  I'd love to read the ABC's of You!


The photo above  is from sugarfresh on Etsy.  Visit her shop for more adorable wall art:



LeAnn aka pasqueflower


Monday, November 7, 2011

A Box Full of Boxers

It's shameless commerce Tuesday.  I've been SO busy with custom orders, that I don't have many new items to feature from my Etsy shop.

So, I decided to let you peak at my latest custom order project – 17 pairs of baby boxer shorts.  The size 0-3 month ones are so cute!  Some were made using white Hoffman cotton, and some were made using tiny black and white woven gingham checks.  All are high quality 100% cotton fabrics.  The recipient plans to add little monograms and New Orleans Saints-themed embroidered designs.

I used the Awesome Baby Shorts pattern by Tie Dye Diva. I love the little fake fly and the extra wide waistband.  Jen's PDF patterns have great instructions and are very reasonably priced and Etsy seller friendly.  

These are just so cute, I may have to make a few extra baby boxers to add to my Etsy shop.


LeAnn aka pasqueflower


Friday, November 4, 2011

Stockings for Kids - It's Done!

Last month I wrote a post about a charity project - Stockings for Kids. Lyanna Lee of Purple Panda Quilts is coordinating a drive to collect 50 handmade Christmas stockings for kids in foster care by December 1, 2011.  

Late (very late) last night, I took a break from making a big batch of baby boxer shorts  (custom order) to finish my Stockings for Kids project.
I used Christmas candy fabric with a red, white and green peppermint stripe lining, and added a fuzzy white cuff with yo-yo and button trim.
I will ship it off this morning on my way to work.  I machine quilted the top fabric to a thin later of batting using my trusty walking foot.

I have enough extra fabric to make two more similar stockings, so those may show up in my Etsy shop one of these days.

There's still time to donate.  For more information, grab the button in the bottom right column of my blog, or link to:  Or, if you are not into sewing, check out some of the other cute stockings posted in the Stockings for Kids Flickr Group:


Any big plans for the weekend?  

LeAnn aka pasqueflower

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Hey, Now! You're a Rock Star

On Sunday, October 30, 2011, I attended an artists' open house co-hosted by Glenda Dietrich Moore and Tamy Burnett.  You met Glenda on Monday.


Tamy is a talented young fiber artist, who crochets and knits, and she has an Etsy shop, RockStar Yarns.  I love her shop name.  It reminds me of the Smash Mouth song All Star.  My kids listened to it so often, I memorized the lyrics.  Here's a You Tube link with lyrics:  You can blame me if that song is running through your head all day J.


 I am in awe of fiber artists.  I took a knitting class last year at The Yarn Shop, and although I didn't flunk out, I just never quite got the knack of it.  Perhaps it has something to do with the need to be coordinated enough to work with needles in both hands simultaneously??


Tamy creates incredible textured scarves, shawls, and wraps, as well as knitted bead bracelets:   Need a little bling for those holiday parties?  These bracelets are sparkly and festive without going over the top.   


The top photo shows just a few of Tamy's scarves made with high quality yarns.  Tamy combines color, texture, and her crocheting and knitting talents to create one-of-a-kind scarves.  I purchased the gorgeous teal fuzz scarf (second from left in photo) for a special Christmas gift:  I also really, really, really liked the purple fuzz scarf.  Purple IS my favorite color.


I also fell in love with the amazing triangle fringed shawl pictured above, and modeled by Tamy.  Showing remarkable restraint, I did not purchase that shawl --although I was sorely tempted --so it is still available in her Etsy shop:  Another favorite that I let get away (for now) is a fall color scarf in chunky textured yarn—SO soft and SO colorful and SO warm!


Tamy and Glenda are coworkers at the University of Nebraska Center for Women's and Gender Studies, and Tamy's mom, Sondra, is a talented quilter (fiber artist working in another medium).   I was delighted to meet a fellow Etsian.  Her Etsy shop is now truly one of my Favorites. 



LeAnn aka pasqueflower