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Reverse Tweezers

One of my favorite “unsung hero tools” are the reverse tweezers. What are they you ask??? Well, regular tweezers you squeeze to close them. Reverse tweezers you squeeze to open them so they are closed when resting. So when does this come in handy? Just about anytime you need an extra hand or finger. Today […]

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Quilt Block Mania – June 2023

The theme for this months blocks is “Places”. What better place than our blue pearl floating along in the universe? I immediately thought of a family of aliens coming to visit Earth. The kids were whining “Are we there yet?” to which Mom excitedly responds “Only 2.5 million miles to go…almost there!” Ha! Pattern includes […]

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Quilt Block Mania – April 2023

I’m excited to be participating in Quilt Block Mania. The theme this month is “Neighborhood”. When I first saw this I thought of a street sign. I know, I’m just a little odd… It could be the sign for your street or perhaps a dream vacation spot or maybe a memory of a fun time […]

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Broken Glass


I shared a sneak peek earlier of this yummy fabric. I can finally reveal what I did with it! We’ll have a free pattern for everyone and one lucky person will be able to win my project. Details are below.

Broken Glass from Island Batik, designed for Kathy Engle for Swan Amity Sheridan of Swan Amity Studios is landing in stores this month!  To help launch this happy line of fabric, I have joined a group of innovative designers to bring you an exciting list of ideas for smaller projects that make use of this beautiful batik. Swan asked several designers to re-do one of their quilt patterns with the new fabrics and also create something Home-Dec. It was so much fun to play around with the fabric line. All of the designers posted their re-do’s last week on Instagram. You can head here to see mine. This week we reveal our home-dec project. Here is a full list of the designers with links to their projects. Swan will also be giving away a fabric stack of this beautiful fabric so be sure and visit her blog to enter for your chance to win!

Swan Sheridan       Swan Amity Studios

Amy Lollis               Happy Hippie Studio

Elisabeth DeMoo    Brown Bird Designs

Brianna Roberts      Sew Cute and Quirky

Kate Starcher          Katie May Quilts    

Bunnie Cleland        Triangle Frenzy      

Kathy Bruckman      Kathy’s kwilts and more

Marlene Oddie         KiSSed Quilts

Sue Pelland             Sue Pelland Designs

Kate Colleran           Kate Colleran Designs, LLC

Tammy Silvers         Tamarinis

Megan McGuire       Meg’s Choice Patterns

Cinzia White            cinziawhitedesigns

Broken Glass

It was a really tough choice but I decided on these three fabrics from the line and made pillowcases with them. Aren’t they cute in my guest room?

I had tossed the pillows on the chair while I fixed the bed. They look adorable there too!

These pillowcases are so easy to make. You can find the free download pattern here…yes, free! Normally it’s $5 but it will be free until 2-28-23. The pattern includes instructions for standard, king and travel size.

This pattern uses a 1/2″ seam allowance. Here’s a little tip if your machine, like mine, doesn’t have 1/2″ markings near the feed dogs.

Place a ruler with the 1/2″ mark at the needle. Then put some painters tape along the edge of the ruler. You now know where 1/2″ is!

This pattern is super easy to do. It took me about 45 minutes to make these two pillowcases. That included the time it took to clear off the cutting mat and the extra time to go find a band aid when I pinned my finger…yes, even quilting pros prick their fingers with pins…and have messy studios…

As cute as these pillowcases are in my guest room I had promised Swan that I would give them away. If you would like to win them simply leave a comment on this post. We’ll choose a random winner on 2-28-23 and send them right out to you. If you want to make your own simply download the pattern and you’ll be sewing some up today. Sometimes technology is pretty cool!










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Lunch with Larry


Larry is our purple moose mascot. Actually, I have several Larrys! I purchased the original and all the others have been gifted to me over the years by friends and customers. They are all precious to me. Can you guess which is the original?

I figured it was high time for all these Larrys to stop loafing around and start earning their room and board. Every Wednesday at lunchtime Larry will post a special to our Facebook page. The special will only be good for that Wednesday or until we run out. What will we put on special? It could be fabric, notions, patterns…all kinds of things!

Are you the type of person who likes to know about things before they happen? Then you really should be a part of our Purple Moose Herd! It’s a private Facebook group made just for you. Whenever we have something fun going on, the Moose Herd will hear about it first. Their Lunch with Larry is on Tuesdays so they could buy out everything before you even get a chance at it! Wanna join in? All you have to do is ask…just click here.

Here’s your giggle for the day: When my hubby saw the photo of all the Larrys he wanted to guess which one was the original. He guessed correctly! I guess he’s gotten to know me after decades together. He wanted me to be sure you all knew he guessed correctly. If you should see him, please give him a pat on the back for a job well done!

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My Week With Rob Appell


As a sales rep for Michael Miller Fabrics I must occasionally meet with my sales manager. In my case, my manager is Rob Appell, also the spokesperson for the company and a well known face. Rob decided to shadow me for a week in Utah. His goal was to listen to any concerns/ideas from shops, evaluate how well Michael Miller was meeting the shops needs and, of course, evaluate me. Rob also wanted to film short videos of the shops for the company’s YouTube channel. It was decided that none of the shops we would visit would be warned ahead of time. Rob wanted to catch them in their “natural state”. My job during filming was to make sure Rob didn’t fall down steps (he walks backwards a lot!) or run into objects/people. It was my personal goal to stay away from the front of the camera as much as possible. Of course I also had orders to take care of at each shop!

We did take a little jaunt over to Wyoming to visit with Common Threads Quilting. Somehow the owners managed to get ahold of my phone and left me with a photo of themselves. I love my shops!

Rob and I made a stop on the way back to Utah. We played tourist in Echo Canyon which is near the border of Utah and Wyoming. Such a beautiful spot, even with all the smoke from the California fires. Can’t you just imagine the settlers coming through here?

When I travel I do most of my cooking in my hotel. I’ve become quite the microwave chef! I decided that I would cook for Rob as well. My little fridge was packed! Lots of veggies from my garden at home too.

Lunch for two travelers!
Fresh corn on the cob…yum

One of the shops we visited, Cornwagon Quilt Co. actually started out as a roadside corn seller. It’s quite the complex now (quilt shop, retreat center, merchantile…) but they still sell their farm’s corn across the road from the shop. Of course we had to make a dinner adjustment and have fresh corn on the cob.

One of my favorite stops is My Girlfriend’s Quilt Shoppe. Not only is the ride out there stunningly beautiful but the employees in the warehouse are just the nicest folks. The owner of MGQS is Kris, her twin sister Kim is the owner of Kimberbell. Kris asked if we would like to tour the Kimberbell operations…well, twist my arm!

We had a guided tour, got to see a new design coming out in the future (sorry…no photos) and Rob and I were the first recipients of their new “I toured Kimberbell” pins.

Their new fabric cutter
being installed
A room filled with every brand of machine so all the designs can be tested. Every thread color as well.

All those DVD’s and kits waiting to head to your house!

Rob and I covered a lot of territory during our week and solved most of the world’s problems while traveling between appointments. The videos that Rob shot will be aired on the Michael Miller YouTube channel in the coming months. I’m anxious to see how well I did staying away from the front of the camera…

And in case anyone was wondering…I think I passed my evaluation…it may have been the fresh corn that pushed me over the edge…

Michael Miller Fabrics YouTube channel:

Common Threads Quilting:

Cornwagon Quilt Co.:

My Girlfriends Quilt Shoppe:


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Civilized Eatin’


I have just released my latest pattern, Civilized Eatin’. You can create a custom travel kit (mess kit if you’re a former scout) for all the fisherman, boaters, hunters or anyone who travels. It truly is the eco-friendly eat-on-the-go solution. The best part? You can whip these up in no time!

So, how did this come about you ask? I travel for business…a lot! I try not to eat out too often as that can get rather pricey. I also have some dietary issues that are easier to take care of my myself.

One night while gnawing on my chicken as it was perched on the one remaining time of my plastic fork, like a lollipop, I thought…there has to be a more civilized way of eating while traveling. I thought of the mess kit from my youth and decided to create a modern adult version of that.

You can customize the kit to meet your needs. You can serve a meal for one intrepid travel, snacks for four boating buddies or full meals for four perfect picnickers. No throw away plastic and everyone gets to enjoy real plates and silverware! Each kit folds all up so everything stays put during transport. The “container” can also double as a placemat or small tablecloth.

Order your pattern today! We have both download and print versions available. Same pattern, different delivery methods!

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Winter Wonderland Mystery Sew-A-Long – Block 1

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Have you been waiting to start the Winter Wonderland Mystery Sew-A-Long? Well, wait no more! I’m happy to say that I am the designer for block #1, Winter Selfie, and here it is:

Meet Snowball Adams, second cousin twice removed on his father’s side to the well known photographer, Ansel Adams. Unlike his famous cousin, who was rarely in front of the camera, this guy is ALWAYS in front of the camera! His antics are well documented on his social media accounts.

This shot was to commemorate the first snow of the winter season. He donned his dapper hat and headed out to get the perfect shot. He even caught a snowflake on his nose! His first Winter Selfie of the year.

Our free download pattern includes full color instructions to make the block (including the 3-D scarf) as well as templates for all the pieces. There are also various words to create your own custom overlay for your Winter Selfie! For those that prefer a printed pattern we have that as well, along with wool/fabric kits, thread kits and embellishment kits. You can find all the goodies on our website.…/mystery-sew-a-long/Have fun!

Be sure and check out the other designers as well. Pleased as punch to be a part of this talented group!

Mary Jane Carey, Holly Hill Quilt Designs
Wendy Wilson, Triple R Mercantile
Reets Carl, Reets Rags to Stitches
Maria Tamaoka, PinwheelsNY
Teri Young/Kara Mason, Through The Needle’s Eye
Kaye Moore
Glenda Sha, Liberty Homestead
Pearl Krush, Pearl Louise Designs
Linda Hale/Teri Dougherty, Back Door Quilts
Tracy Trevethan, Tracy Trevethan Designs
Traci Suzanne Marvel, Woolin Rouge

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Are you a Halloween fanatic?


I’m very excited to have been chosen as one of twelve designers for the upcoming Spellbound Mystery Sew-A-Long. Each designer will create a 9″ (finished) block with a Halloween theme and there will also be finishing instructions to put them all together. The block patterns will be FREE until 11-25-20. Each designer will also have fabric and/or embellishment packs available for purchase.

We have created a private Facebook group for anyone that would like to play along with us. You can join that here

My block will have a choice of backgrounds (if you choose to purchase fabrics). Above are the yummy wools I have chosen to do the applique with. I’ll also be doing a sample in batiks as inspiration for anyone who would rather not work with wool.

So…what do you think I’ll be making with all those colors?

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2020 Color Challenge – June


The color for June is blue. As I work my way through my scrap bag of Cherrywood fabrics it’s becoming a tad more challenging with certain colors. Here’s my block for this month:

Here’s my tip for this month…you don’t always have to follow the directions of the pattern. As a designer myself I may be kicked out of the private club for saying that out loud. Don’t get me wrong, there are times when following the pattern is a good thing. The designer may be steering you away from disaster by having you do something in a certain way. Or perhaps the pattern was designed to show you some new technique.

Sometimes though it’s okay to veer from the path. This month’s block, for instance, has you cut strips, sew them together and then subcut them to get the nine-patch portion. My scraps did not accommodate that at all. Actually all the blues are supposed to be the same. I have four different blue fabrics in this one block. Can you spot them all? I still love my block and I think my blocks look amazing together so far.

You can get the free instructions for the June block here…but only for the month of June! Did I mention that there are awesome prizes too? Thanks for putting this all together Patterns by Jen! You can check out the other June bloggers too:

Quilty Creations by Fawn

Patterns by Jen

Katie Mae Quilts

Everyone Deserves A Quilt

We would love to have you visit our website where you can sign up for our newsletter, Moose Droppings. You can also follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and YouTube. Happy stitches to you!

The June prize sponsors are:

Cherrywood Fabrics

Patterns By Jen

Island Batik

Quilters Dream Batting

For The Love Of Geese

Quilter Chic

Said With Love

The Warm Company

#2020monthlycolorchallenge #cherrywoodfabrics #purplemoosedesigns

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Cooking Hack – Onions!


I love to cook with onions and my go-to is sweet onions. When Vidalias are in season I can’t get enough! By the time I got around to buying onions a few months ago, the hoarders had already scooped them all up. Couldn’t even find a raggedy looking red onion anywhere. Then at Costco I spot a huge bag of sweet onions, Costco sized. I knew that half the bag would rot before I used them all but I had none so I bought it anyway.

When I got home I decided to check my trusty preserving cookbook and found out you can freeze onions. I never knew. Moosette and I had a marathon chopping session and put a single onions worth, chopped, into sandwich bags. Labeled them and tossed them into the freezer. To use I would pull out a bag and use as much as I needed (1/2 onion=1/2 bag). No thawing, just pop the onion into the dish. Freezing does change the texture a tad so I would not use these for certain dishes. For soups, casseroles, stir frys and things like that it works perfect. Almost finished up the last batch. Guess what Costco had…a huge bag of Vidalias!

Now they’re all chopped up and ready for the freezer. This time I chopped some into a fine dice and some into chunks for soups. I am so loving this trick. Sad that I didn’t know it earlier…I think there’s a little something in my eye…must be the onions!


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2020 Color Challenge – May


May’s color is green. I really wanted to use the lime green in my Cherrywood stash but there wasn’t enough of it for this block. I’ll have to save that for another month! Here is my block all finished:

I’m still using the two background colors in each block. I also went with two different greens (trust me the center is really a light green!)

This block has a lot of opportunities for nesting seams…which means there are a lot of opportunities to mess up your pressing if you’re not paying attention! If you’re not sure what nesting seams are, when you have two pieces come together it sometimes makes it easier to get them to line up correctly if the seam on one piece is to the left and on the other to the right.

In the photo above the seam on the upper pair is pressed to the left, the lower pair is pressed to the right. When you bring those two pieces together the seams will nest together to give you a nice junction.

You can also press your seams open as shown in the lighter block in the above photo. Pressing open will give you a flatter look, especially when you have lots of seams coming together.

So, how do you make sure you press the seam to the correct side? Simply by chanting “TO on top”! Whatever side you want your seam pressed TO, place that on top on your ironing board. Peal back the top layer and press away.

As long as we’re on the subject of pressing…you do practice setting your seams, right? I did a video awhile back that shows how you can experiment at home to discover that setting your seams really does make a difference. You can check it out here on our YouTube channel. It was awhile ago so please don’t judge me…

You can get the free instructions here…but only for the month of May! Did I mention that there are awesome prizes too? Thanks for putting this all together Patterns by Jen! You can check out the May bloggers too:

Stephanie – Quilt’n Party
Kris – Scrap Dash
Tammy – Tamarinis
Kathryn – Dragonfly’s Quilting Design Studio
Joanne – Everyone Deserves A Quilt

#2020monthlycolorchallenge #cherrywoodfabrics #purplemoosedesigns

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2020 Color Challenge – April


Welcome to my little corner of the interwebs! Be sure to check out my giveaway at the bottom of this post! April is my first official posting month of the 2020 Color Challenge but I have been doing the block each month. For those of you who are first time visitors here, I have further challenged myself by only using my stash of Cherrywood fabrics. You can read my past posts and see the challenges I’ve endured and tips that I’ve offered here. Since April’s color is purple it only seemed natural that it would be my month…luving it!! Here’s my block all done:

Wanna see my first four months of blocks?

Looking good…don’t you agree? My tip for this month? Marking the centers for the square in a square (SIS) block. Oh sure, you could use your fingernail but that’s not good for your nails. Especially if you’ll be doing a lot of marking! I like to use my wood iron.

Several years ago a friend was looking for a good wood iron and couldn’t find any she liked. Her hubby is a woodworker so she set him on the task of making the perfect wood iron. Once they perfected it she gifted one to me. I instantly loved it. It is so comfortable to hold and works like a dream. I asked him if he wanted to make several dozen more for me to sell. He thought it would take forever for me to get rid of them. I sold out in a couple of weeks! Over the years I’ve probably sold hundreds of them. I have some in stock in various woods and you can find them here.

For your SIS block simply fold each piece in half and press a little on the edge. Try not to press so hard that you distort the pieces. Then simply line up your pressed marks and sew away. Easy peasy!

You can get the free instructions for the April block here…but only for the month of April! Did I mention that there are awesome prizes too? Thanks for putting this all together Patterns by Jen! You can check out the other April bloggers too:

Patterns By Jen

Ky Whittaker Creations

Kathy’s Kwilts and More

Faith and Fabric

Home Sewn By Us

Everyone Deserves A Quilt

To reward you for making it to the end of this post I’ll give you a chance to get your very own wood iron. Simply comment on this post by 4/10/20 and I’ll randomly choose a winner of a wood iron made of cherry wood. Seems appropriate since I’m using Cherrywood fabrics! You may comment about anything you like. If you need a prompt you can start with…Purple Moose is so awesome because…

We would love to have you visit our website where you can sign up for our newsletter, Moose Droppings. You can also follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and YouTube. Happy stitches to you!

#2020monthlycolorchallenge #cherrywoodfabrics #purplemoosedesigns

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