Wednesday, July 29, 2015


Thanks to all who checked out my previous post on the new Sixxiz fabric storage dies and entered the giveaway for the fabric storage box, fat quarters, and embellished spool cards.

I always wish I had more prizes to give away but alas, I have only the one for this particular giveaway. I do enjoy sharing what I have and will continue to do so in the future! Congrats go to Linda who wrote the following comment. By random number generator, she was the winner. Linda, you have until noon central time this Friday (July 29th) to email me your mailing address and I will ship your prize out early next week. You can find my email address by clicking the "Email Me" button under my profile details in the right sidebar of my blog.


Friday, July 24, 2015



If you've been reading my latest posts, you know I'm on an organizing kick, and I'm always looking for storage solutions. I've run out of open storage space for my fat quarters and needed a more efficient way to store them. When I was at Quilt Market this May, I saw some new dies from Sizzix that I thought would help me get more organized in the sewing room. They cut a handy fat quarter wrap, photo box folder, and spool card to help store your fabric.

I used some colorful mat board from my local crafts store and my Sizzix Fabi Cutter to create them.

Here's what they look like once they're cut...

For the fat quarter wrap, you simply wrap the fabric around the mat board, starting with the back side.

Of course you could also fold the fabric a little wider to make more efficient use of the wrap like they did in the Sizzix booth (shown below) but I left mine just the way it came folded. 

The fat quarter wraps fit neatly in a typical photo storage box that you can get at crafts stores. 

You can use the photo box folder die to cut dividers for your fat quarter wraps. I used a green accent color for my dividers, which I plan to label once I fill my box with goodies. I used a gold mat board for the fat quarter wraps since it goes with many colors. The featured fabrics in the photo below are from Riley Blake's recent line, Little Joys. They're the perfect festive prints for the holidays.

The spool die came in handy for storing my many bits of ribbon, twine, trim, and even my vintage buttons. In the Sizzix booth photo, above, you can see how they cleverly grouped these cards by punching holes in the top and gathering them on a metal ring. I think these cards would make a pretty presentation for gifts to give your sewing friends. I have several in the works for mine.

The thread cards even feature a handy notch to secure the start and end of your embellishments. I love that I can create as many of these handy helpers as I need. Now I'm on the lookout for mat board in fun colors! If any of you know of good sources, please email me. My local store didn't have a lot to choose from. The spools die retails for $15.99, the fat quarter wrap for $29.99, and the photo box folder for $29.99.

At Spring Quilt Market, Sizzix also debuted dies designed by Kid Giddy to create this darling hedgehog and owl. I quickly snapped them up at Sample Spree. Both dies retail for $29.99 each.

For more details on these clever dies, check out the Sizzix website here or to locate a store that carries Sizzix dies, visit this link. To help you get started organizing your own fabric and to enhance your fabric stash a little, I'm giving away a pretty photo storage box, four fat quarters from Riley Blake's new fabric collection, Vintage Market, and the three spool cards adorned in embellishments that you see in the photo below.

Anyone is welcome to enter the giveaway (including international visitors). To enter, just leave a comment on this post telling me which of the featured dies you like best and why. I'm always interested to hear your thoughts and find out what things are of most use to you. If you are an official follower who shows up in Google Followers, you can have an extra entry by leaving an additional comment as my thank you for your support (You need to leave a separate comment as I will select winners via Random Generator). You have until Wed., July 29th, at noon central time to enter. I'll draw a winner via Random Generator and announce him or her by 6 p.m. on the 29th. The winner will have until Friday, July 31st at noon central time to contact me with his or her mailing address. Good luck to all who chose to enter!

Tuesday, July 14, 2015


The summer cleaning chronicles continue here at Ashton House. So far we've culled 10 truckloads of donations and are nearly finished with the main level. I decided to commandeer half of an underused parlor for an impromptu sewing nook (The below photo shows only part of it—I'll share the part with my little pink Featherweight in a future post). I thought that would be a better use of space than the rare times we need an extra parlor to entertain guests—most of the time we end up gathering in the main parlor anyway. This was the perfect opportunity to bring this handy table out of storage. I'd been saving it for the perfect spot and last week, I happened to realize this was it!

All of this rearranging prompted me to execute some of the organization solutions that have been on the back burner for far too long—simple things like creating a pretty yet practical ribbon holder. It only cost me $7. I found a boring black paper towel holder at a discount store and spray painted it this vibrant blue. I'm ashamed I was too lazy to do something so simple sooner! I have no excuses. 

The paper towel holder takes on a totally new life with the fresh coat of paint and some happy spools of ribbon.

Originally a letter holder, this fun find (pictured below) now corrals some of my more commonly-used Omnigrid rulers (I still keep most of them up in my sewing room on the upper level but it sure is handy to have a few of the ones I need most of the time on the main level).

To celebrate my cleaning progress, I ordered a pair of Orla Kiely shoes when I discovered they were half price! They came in the mail last week and were everything I'd hoped for and more. My hubby thought they looked like fried eggs. Hee hee! After chuckling, I quickly told him they were supposed to be flowers with a pop of pink. They look like they would be uncomfortable but I'm telling you they are as comfy as the other shoes I posted earlier. I could wear them all day, and that's the kind of shoes I like. 

I wore them with my vintage-inspired polka dot halter dress to church on Sunday. It was the perfect day to wear such as dress as the temps were sweltering with a heat index above 100 degrees.

I'm still working on some other organization solutions for my sewing nook. One of them involves a nifty set of dies by Sizzix that I found at Quilt Market in May. I'll post about them next time! 

Saturday, July 4, 2015



Anyone interested in this vintage embroidered kitty baby quilt? I am selling it and will ship for the actual cost of shipping. If interested, contact me at for pricing details and more detailed shots.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015


In a previous post, I mentioned that I was doing some summer cleaning in the library. There is also an added incentive to get things a little more organized because a magazine will be coming to the house to photograph some of my collections later this year. I'll be chronicling my summer cleaning progress on this blog from time to time, so if you come here only for quilt-related news, you might be disappointed. This blog has become a daily diary on a variety of topics and I expect that will continue. I'm relieved to report that we've now culled through all the bookshelves and donated several hundred books! It was a mammoth task but a long overdue one. Now we're dusting all the books and re-staging the shelves by mixing in some fun little accents here and there to break up the expanses of books. I've tried to do them according to the theme of the nearby books when possible. We have a curved section of shelving that makes a great display for some of my collection of reproduction holiday houses and colorful Penguin classic books. This way I can have a little bit of Christmas out year-round!

With so much space freed up from the donated books, I was able to carve out a nook for the small reproduction apothecary chest I purchased at Nell Hill eight years ago. It holds most of my button collection. On top of it, I displayed my vintage African violet books (mostly from the 1950s) and a precious vintage owl book given to me as a gift. My husband gave me the two owl figurines next to it.

This corner nook seemed a good place for my antique needlepoint rocking chair (purchased in Madison, Wisconsin, on my first trip to the Sewing and Quilt Expo several years ago). The only problem is the curtain behind the door no longer matches and I'll have to choose a different fabric. If you're wondering why I would put a chair in front of a door—we never use the door behind the chair since there is door to the foyer (just beyond that door) in the adjoining parlor. I believe in maximizing every inch of space, so I wasn't about to leave the corner bare! Just doesn't sound very inviting! For me, more is more when it comes to decorating. I like things comfortably cozy!

There are lots of memories in this room—including this vintage German cuckoo clock that my dad brought back from the Black Forest when he was stationed in Germany while serving in the Army. I've seen people paint these different colors and have pondered painting mine a different hue. What do you think? If you're wondering if those are real leaves in the wallpaper, they are! I'm not a big fan of the wallpaper, which we inherited when we moved in 10 years ago. We always planned to remove it and paint the room but as you can see, we haven't gotten to it just yet.

If you read my previous post, you might have seen a photo of me in my newest dress purchased for a song at a local thrift store. Shortly after that post, I received a note from Barb of the blog, Fun with Barb and Mary. It turns out she had the same dress—only in a lovely shade of green! She sent me this fun photo of her in the dress. Doesn't she look smashing in it? Love it, Barb! 

Hopefully I'll be back soon with more progress on my summer cleaning. I'm now working in my kitchen! It's one of my favorite places to be because its cheerful yellow always improves my disposition!