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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, …

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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 …

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Winter Wonderland Mystery Sew-A-Long – Block 1

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, …

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Are you a Halloween fanatic?

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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

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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!

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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!

Enjoy!

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2020 Color Challenge – May

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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

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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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2020 Color Challenge – March

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Do you ever have one of those days where you realize you probably just shouldn’t be sewing? Well, that was me doing the March block. It wasn’t that it was difficult, it was just me. I re-sewed the center five times. Five. Times…and it’s still not perfect but I can live with it! Granted it was late at night and I probably just should have set it aside and tried again the next day but it’s done now.

This month’s color was orange. I used my two different backgrounds and added an orangey-gold for the center pinwheel.

The instructions have you make what I call the Heart Flying Geese method, one of my favorites!

Do you ever have this happen? You pin at the points that need to match and the in-between parts aren’t the same size? Want an easy fix? Simply place the longer side (in the photo that would be the top layer) against the feed dogs. Your machine will take care of the rest.

See…all better! No ripples, tucks or wrinkles. Works every time.

Here are my first three blocks. I’m really liking how this is turning out! Next months color is purple and it’s my official turn to be a blogger (I smell prizes…)

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

Catherine of Ali & CC
Kathryn of Dragonfly’s Quilting Design Studio
Pamela of Pamela Quilts
Carolyn of Sweet Boater Chick
Anja of Anja Quilts

#2020monthlycolorchallenge #cherrywoodfabrics #purplemoosedesigns

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2020 Color Challenge – February

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The February block for the 2020 Color Challenge is up. This months color is Aqua. Just like last month that is a color that is lacking in my Cherrywood stash…sigh…the rest of the months I should be fine. Nothing like starting off a challenge and making it more challenging! Here is my version of the block. I did use two different blues for some added interest…and to stretch my blues!

This block has a lot of half-square triangles that come together. They can be a little tricky to sew together sometimes.

When you have two squares like those shown above you have a lot of bulk where the diagonals come together which can throw off your machine. Here’s a couple of tips:

*Use a walking foot. This will help feed the top and bottom layers at the same speed.

*Start at the two-layer end first. I don’t usually do this with my go-to machine but one of my other machines doesn’t mind going from few layers to more layers. It detests going from much bulk to less. If I’m using that machine then I will sew opposite of what’s shown in the above photo.

*Use a fine point stiletto. Be forewarned…once you start using a stiletto you can never go back!

You can stick that stiletto point right up near the needle. It will help to hold the fabric layers in place and keep any flaps from flipping. Better to run over the stiletto than your finger (spoken from experience) Hmm…I see my machine needs a good cleaning…

Next month’s color is orange. I have lots of that color!

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

Kathy – Penny For My Thoughts

Joanne – Everyone Deserves a Quilt

Claudia – Create with Claudia

Carolyn – Sweet Boater Chick

Sheila – So This is Kentucky

#2020monthlycolorchallenge #cherrywoodfabrics #purplemoosedesigns


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Checking out the Asian Market!

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When we lived in California I was a frequent visitor to the Japanese markets. I missed them very much during my time in rural New England. Not sure why it has taken us so long to check out the markets here in Colorado but today we took a field trip. First thing we spot after entering the door? Yup, duck…the whole duck. This market must be the real deal!

Then it was off to the housewares section. Found a couple of dishes I couldn’t live without. Not sure how I feel about the traps available there though…

Lost the kids in the ramen aisle. Yup, an entire aisle devoted to the staple of poor youth everywhere!

Lots of interesting items. Durian seemed to be the product of the day. Every aisle had some kind of durian product. Lots of stinky choices. I’ll pass…

I regret not getting the watermelon seeds. Guess I’ll be heading back!

Then it was off to the meat counter…so many choices…pork uterus, beef penis, pork stomach (loved the marbling on this one!)…uh, no…

The seafood counter was impressive! The Parrot fish looks too pretty to eat.

The produce aisle offered lots of interesting finds. Wonder how you make chocolate from scratch? What do you do with banana flowers?

There were a few items that didn’t quite seem to belong…

Asian products always have the cutest packaging. A little sweet for the way home. Have you ever seen a hybrid drink container? Plastic on the bottom but metal on the top!

There were lots and lots of balls made from all manner of ingredients. The tempura balls seemed popular. And what would you need a ginormous sheet of bean curd for? It was folded several times in the package!

And just when we thought we had seen everything…

So…what did we have for dinner? Soup with dumplings and BBQ bow and leek bow. Yum. I also brought home some spices and condiments for future foodie adventures!

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2020 Color Challenge – January

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The instructions for the January block of the 2020 Monthly Color Challenge are up. This month’s color is yellow. There is not a whole lot of yellow in my Cherrywood stash so it was a little touch and go whether I would have to break my “no buy” rule in the first month! I did manage to squeak out just enough…hope I don’t need any yellow in the coming months! Here’s my block:

You may notice a difference in the background fabrics. I did not have enough of any one color that I liked for the background. I chose to use two different ones. One with green tones and one with blue tones.

At first I thought I would do some blocks with one and some with the other. Then I decided to mix it up and use both in each block. I think it’s going to add some extra zing. What do you think?

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

Kathy – Kathy’s Kwilts and More

Kathy – Penny For My Thoughts

Joanne – Everyone Deserves A Quilt

Sarah – The Quilted Diary

Willow – Bear Paw Stitch and Design

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2020 Monthly Color Challenge

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Guess what I’ll be doing in the new year? I’m excited to be one of the bloggers for this color challenge. I’m only required to make a couple of blocks during the year but I’m planning on doing them all. This challenge is put on by Patterns By Jen. Each month you will receive instructions for a block done in one color way or one color and a black or white background. It’s totally free to participate. You can get all the details on Jen’s blog.

I’ve decided to dive into the stash of my beloved Cherrywood fabrics. I’m thinking I will use a couple of the darker fabrics for the background…we’ll see. I have made a vow to not buy anything new. Everything for this challenge must come from this bag. Nothing like adding a challenge on top of a challenge…

Sure hope you’ll join in the fun. I’ve had a peek at the blocks for the year (one of the perks for being one of the bloggers!) and there is nothing fancy or difficult. You can do this…grab your scrap bin and let’s get to it! First block goes out New Year’s Eve.

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