Recently in Blog of the Month Category

Blog of the Month: Anna Maria Horner

April 4, 2014

I have long been a fan this this month's blog, Anna Maria Horner, for several reasons. The first is she just does so stinking much in a day, I honestly can't work out the math. Of course, she has a few extra hands around the house to help out: her seven children. She also shares my love of bright colors and creatively employing those colors all across her life. Her house is filled with love and tons of fabric, yarn and thread. I have watched Anna Maria on Martha Stewart, recreated her free projects/tutorials and eagerly bought her fabric. Her blog is like looking through a window in her house but without all the weirdo, creepy vibes and you are welcome to pull up a brightly colored chair with a hand worked needlepoint cushion and enjoy a cup of coffee (though she strikes me as more of a tea gal).

If you are a fan of Anna Maria's fabric collections with Free Spirit you will definitely love her blog which is full of her fabric worked into colorful and creative projects. It will get the ideas rolling through your head. You can also get a sneak peek at her upcoming projects, cute kid pictures (like shooting fish in a barrel) and many how-tos on manipulating fabric. Look for her category cloud on the left sidebar for more specific searches. I love her tutorials because they are well done but also they are just fun. Her tutorials are heavily weighted towards quilting but since I am gaining interest in quilting and most of our customers are interested in quilting than this should be right up you alley.

I also really love Anna Maria's fashion posts. The mixed media that Anna Maria includes plus her color combos and embellishments really make my fingers itch. Her home posts are another favorite. It is like a beautiful family reunion, filled with cookies, song and nice smells (sans fighting and not enough bathrooms). I love the glimpses of kid crafts, hundreds of quilts and cozy blankets, and lots of smiles.


Blog of the Month: Behind the Hedgerow

March 14, 2014

I love stumbling across new blogs every month. I go about it in a haphazard way with the usual being typing random projects that I want to make into Google blog search and clinking on the most interesting (i.e. kids book bag, leggings, sheath dress, etc.). I can't even remember which search words connected me with this month's Blog of the Month (BotM) because it was a longer than normal search. Nothing was really catching my eye and I was not really into it until I found Behind the Hedgerow. This blog really made me sit up and take notice. It was a diamond in the rough. I loved the look of it right off: bright, soft photos, lots of kids and mom projects, interesting subjects and mostly pretty pictures. I love a good fabric shot! I remember thinking to myself: I would really like to sit down over coffee and talk shop with this chic. That's when I knew it would be this month's BotM.

So let's see what we have here. There are tutorials, fun projects that I can see myself making. Lots of good gift ideas; I love making gifts. The Bias Trimmed Circle Scarf is so beautiful and super easy and Mother's day is coming up. This kids' utility belt is just awesome! I know my daughter would love it and I bet all her friends would too. Such a great idea.

She also has her projects categorized for easy searching: Girls Clothing, Boys Clothing, Grown-ups, Toys, etc. It makes is simple if you have a general idea but need specific inspiration or if you know exactly what you want. This kids' PJs are what hooked me. I could see myself making this for both my girls but in short sleeves for the spring/summer season. I love how much she uses Liberty Fabric

Finally, if you are looking for inspiration, keep up on new, hip patterns or just love Top 10 lists, then check out the Top 10 for Tuesday link at the top of the page for all the Top 10 lists that cover summer patterns to sewing for boys. It is a great resource.

Thanks, Laura for such a wonderful blog and look me up for coffee if you ever come to Georgia!

See! Pretty pictures...sigh. 

All pictures are from

Blog of the month: Crafty Gemini

February 12, 2014

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I am pleased to introduce this month's blog of the month: Crafty Gemini. This amazing mom is well known for her YouTube videos that cover crafting, quilting, sewing, cooking and family fun in general. This wonderful blog covers it all from teaching kids to sew to any and every tutorial you could want. I was delighted to find this blog but even more so when I discovered all the different creative topics Vanessa, the blog mistress, covers. She runs the gamut from crafting to cooking to homeschooling kidlets. Vanessa includes natural farming on her 5 acre homestead (definition of homestead is a family residence that consists of home, land and outbuildings). There are also tons of posts on cooking with recipes and videos. Yum! All cooking posts, videos and recipes work with natural ingredients and look delicious. I am a HUGE Sofrito fan but I dislike buying it in the store because my favorite brand uses MSG as a flavoring, so when I discovered Vanessa's post on making and storing your own sofrito I almost jumped over the moon with joy.

Vanessa is also an avid quilter and instructor of quilting. While she is not currently offering any classes you can look through all her tutorials and videos on quilting. She also offers patterns and many free tutorials. Check out the gallery of pictures off all the quilts she has crafted for friends and family.  There is a great collection of sewing tutorials as well with projects ranging from baby gear, home décor and general "how-to". It is a one stop shop for your next project.

But of all the topics covered on Crafty Gemini I am most intrigued by the farming. I can't seem to get enough of it. On the one hand I want to follow in her footsteps but on the other hand grabbing all my groceries at the store it so convenient. It is so interesting and great to learn how easy farming can be. You can start with just a small garden and grow from there. If you are interested in growing your own food at any level, this is a great blog to reference.

In conclusion, Vanessa is an amazing woman whose passion for life and sharing all the goodness that can be had from it with all of us makes me love reading her blog. Learning tips on teaching kids new skills and crafts is very inspiring. Taking a gander through her quilt gallery makes for a great idle few hours. The recipes and farming could make anyone want to take a greater part in their diet. I love this blog and love the feeling it gives me just reading it. 

Blog of the Month: Four Generations One Roof

January 15, 2014

We recently moved closer to my parents (umm... right next door) so I have been doing my research on multi-generational living for tips on keeping the peace. Imagine my excitement when I found a blog that covered all my bases: multi-generations and crafting! Four Generations One Roof is a well done blog that is heavy on the DIY with some very classic decorating applications. Jessica, the blog mistress, has a mellow, classic and chic vibe going on but she can throw down some holiday spice. I really appriciate her neutral palattes that she uses in her rooms. It really allows her to change a few little things (pillows, frames, accessories) to change the room for seasons and holidays.

Now, I know all of your reading this know your way around a sewing machine but should you need a quick curtain, a lazy day sans sewing machine or have non-sewing friends be sure and check out Jessica's posts on non-sewing fabric projects. They are great. Most of Jessica's projects are home based but there are plenty of small projects, kid projects and fun crafts to fill an idle day, help inspire you or keep crazy kids entertained.  This blog is also filled with wood projects. Fabric projects are all well and good but custom curtains, pillows and throws can only make an old fireplace, windows or closet look so good. 

Be sure and check out the home tours to get a sneak peek inside the home that houses 4 generations.

Blog of the Month: Burda Style Blog

November 13, 2013

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If you sew and you have not heard of Burda Style then it must be because you are new (then you would have discovered  Burda shortly), live under a rock (in this case you probably don't read this blog either) or don't own a computer (see previous). It is, quite simply, an awesome resource for sewing. And when I use the word "awesome" I mean it literally- it inspires awe. I have not written about it before because I have been referencing Burda Style for so long that I guess I have taken it for granted. It is my go-to resource for techniques, fashion/project inspiration and general time-filling while I have an idle minute.

 I recommend checking out all the sections of the Burda Style blog which are listed below. I have a few favorites myself which are the Fashion & Trends and Guest Columns. 


If you don't use Burda for the sewing resourses, tutorials, videos or inside tips then use it for the Fashion & Trends. Oh, the fashion! There are many free and purchase patterns available through Burda Style's blog but there are also tons of pictures, modifications and fabric ideas to be had. This is especially true around fashion week when you can expect a slurry of posts referencing your favorite designers and some Burda Pattern recomendations. I love this and always have it open along with a window so I can match fabric as well.

Another of my frenquented spots on Burda Style blog is definitely the Guest Column section. It is like a fresh take on Burda Style. Not that Burda Style is stale but it is all the style you expect from Burda but in a different voice and with a different spin. I liken it to discovering that your favorite author's best friend is also an author in the same genre. Double Jackpot! I enjoy the different voices and viewpoints and love the modifications on my favorite patterns. 

Blog of the Month: The Craft Mom

October 11, 2013

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I have stumbled upon a great site: the Craft Mom. It is a mix of Coupon Mom meets Martha Stewart. It has everything a crafty person could need: daily craft coupon, sale and discount alerts, product reviews and crafty project tutorials. It is awesome. The Craft Mom was created by two ladies Lorrie and Julia. It is great sewing and knitting resource. 

Everyday there are several posts on fresh craft/fabric/yarn store sales, discount codes and coupons. This is my favorite post because I love saving a buck and usually when I do score a coupon or a code I am able to convinve myself that it means I can put a little more in my cart because I'm saving. You can also find upcoming craft shows, events, charities and parties. 

On the projects and tutorial page you can find pictures and links to some great, fun projects from around the web. The Craft Mom doesn't have any in-house projects but provides an avenue to find good projects and introduce you to new blogs, crafters, and materials. 

The project reviews are in-house and usually result in a give-a-way (Hooray). Each items that is sent to the Craft Mom or used in a review is carefully considered and written about genuinely. I have already adding a few things to my wish list and my christmas gift list. 

Finally, you can find a page dedicated to Kids' crafts; it is called the Craft Mom after all. This is, again, a collection of various fun and colorful kids friendly projects from around the web. This is a great resource for the upcoming holidays to give your kids something to do, allow them to contribute to holiday decortations and to have fun activites for the days off of school. 

This should be your new first stop in the morning when checking on your facebook page and email. If you are going to craft then you need to read the Craft Mom. 

Blog of the Month: Somewhat Simple

September 18, 2013

Every month I try to feature an up & coming individual blogger but this month I threw out all guidelines to find something different and to find new projects for the up-coming holiday season (we need all the help we can get when it comes to churning out those handmade gifts). I found Somewhat Simple: a collaborative blog written, photographed and produced by a team of talented ladies. This crafty blog is dedicated to projects of all kinds, especially food. Oh the Food! The food section is divided up by meals or purpose: appetizers, breakfast, cakes and drinks. I was drooling at the watermelon coolers and that is only the top post. There are also tips on spicing up instand hot cocoa, sangria and strawberry julius. Now I must tell you about the cupcakes. I love a good cupcake espcially with buttercream. You will find plenty here, like the neopolitan or the homemade hostess cupcakes

Now none-food related crafts. You will find projects from fabric, yarn, paper and more at Somewhat Simple. The collection of pillow tutorials is fun. The section on kids' crafts is awesome, chalk full of great rainy day, summer time and play date activities. This is my first time visiting a blog that featured wood as a medium and I must say I am all about the wooden bunting. What a great addition to a kids room. Finally if you have been looking for a good yarn wrapped letter tutorial, look no further. I am crazy for these fun letters and very much want to add them to one or both of my girls' rooms. I can also see them in my studio over my yarn shelves proclaiming "Yarn". I adore stating the obvious. 

Please check out Somewhat Simple. Come for the cupcakes, stay for the cupcakes and read up on many other great projects when you get tired of cupcake recipes. 

All pictures are from Somewhat Simple and are their property. 

Blog of the Month: Sew Sweetness

August 7, 2013

August's Blog of the Month is Sew Sweetness, a great blog for quilters and beginning sewists alike. This blog got my attention from the stunning clutch that graced the cover of Sew News. The blog mistress is Sara and she loves sewing and it loves her back. I adore her projects especially her quilting projects which seem to have leaked into every nook of her home (see Diamond Lattice Pillow). For the beginners there is Sara's 30 days of Helpful Guests Posts which includes everything a beginner could need to know or possibily ask about: fabric pairing, zippers, and grain, etc. Sara also packs her blog with plenty of tutorials that look like a lot of fun. Plus, all the patterns that she has whipped up by other designers you can find here with her notes and handy tidbits. 

I honestly can't tell if Sara shines more with apparel or quilts. I am usually drawn to blogs because of the clothing ideas, inspiration or tutorials but I acutally fell for Sew Sweetness for the quilting. I really love the Shape Workout quilt top she made for a book reivew. But then again,  I really love her version of the Collette Taffy Blouse. Decisions, decisions.

Sara also has a line of bag patterns that are beyond gorgous, cute and fun. I am a fan of her fabric choices and how bold and fun they are. I have found quite a few that definitely need to be on my "to do" list pronto. #1 will be the Petrillo bag (Gorgeous!!!). Thank you for blogging, Sara.

Blog of the Month: Young House Love

July 10, 2013

I have found over the years of working on this blog that many things inspire me to get to work sewing and knitting. All of you out there make so many wonderful projects that I want to recreate for myself and it is one reason I love getting up in the morning. I love you all. That being said, never before have I so deserately (I mean desperately) wanted to buy an ugly house and turn it into a treasure. But after reading this month's blog of the month, Young House Love,  I can feel that churning excitement in my belly: I need to buy an ugly house just so I can recreate all the projects found on this blog. 

*Side note- Please Santa if you are reading this, please find me an ugly house to buy, preferably with a front porch, basement and fenced in backyard. You know, for my dogs*

Continue reading Blog of the Month: Young House Love.

Blog of the Month: Sew Maris

June 19, 2013

I am unsure how I ever missed this month's gold mine that is the Blog of the Month: Sew Maris. This lovely blog is chock-full of tutorials and sewing lessons that any sewer could use. The first post I discovered was "3 ways to Gather Fabric". This post in itself pays for the time spent googling to find this month's blog. I had just heard of the second method Maris outlines and was going to try it this weekend on a new skirt pattern but now that I have seen her third version, I'm not even going to bother with #2 any more. Then, I found her sure-fire method of perfectly positioning a zipper. I am hooked. 

Maris is a self described "sewing nerd" and even has a collection of Japanese sewing notions. She learned to sew from her mother and in turn loves to pass on her gift to others in her in-home studio which hosts private and semi private classes as well as kids camps. You can read Maris' testimonials here and learn about all the fun her classes bring. You can find all of Maris' tutorials/lessons here on her tutorial page or you might be better off finding what you want on the rightside of the page under categories, of which there are many. My personal favorites are: Heirloom sewing and Pattern adjusting & drafting

Continue reading Blog of the Month: Sew Maris.

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