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Penny@sewtakeahike
contact me: sewtakeahike[at]gmail[dot]com
Interests: Hi! I'm Penny. I'm a backpacker, crocheter, knitter (well, kind of), quilter, papermaker, papercrafter, wife, sewer, lover of jesus and the outdoors. Thanks for stopping by!
Recent Activity
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This weekend was a productive one! Besides some painting in our downstairs, I managed to hand bind a pretty large quilt and sew a couple of quilt tops together. For this top, I used scraps and orphan blocks. It was completely liberating to make! And then this one is a goofy quilt made out of repros and vintage painted blocks. I'll tell you more about it in a few weeks! Then to top it all off, L-man and I spent some time yesterday with friends. We tried new food and ended our time with ataya tea. A new favorite of mine! I hope your weekend was filled with memorable moments! xo, Penny Continue reading
Posted Mar 17, 2014 at sewtakeahike
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I am super excited to see some undies projects show up on the web! Lauri made a travel pouch for her undies, and a few others on Instagram posted some undie minis. Here are a few pics of Katy's undie mini, starting with my favorite pair! And here is the entire undie mini in all it's glory! Absolutely adorable Katy! Thank you for shaing your pics with us! Happy Saturday to you, Penny Continue reading
Posted Mar 15, 2014 at sewtakeahike
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There's a fun little interview with me on the Liberty Fabrics blog, Liberty Lifestyle today! Continue reading
Posted Mar 10, 2014 at sewtakeahike
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I signed up for the I Yarn, You Stitch swap on Instagram as a crochet/knitter. The premise of the swap is to partner a crochet/knitter with someone that sews (and doesn't do yarn) so they can have something handmade with yarn, and possibly visa versa. I found this awesome granny cowl pattern on ravelry and got to work making a test version. I'm super excited with how it turned out and will get started with my partners cowl in her favorite colors. I have a couple more things I'm going to make, including this really cool hotpad. I hope you have a fab Sunday! xo, Penny Continue reading
Posted Mar 9, 2014 at sewtakeahike
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Last weekend I got together with a couple of friends and we each sewed up one of Anna's Cargo Duffles. The fabrics I used are Robert Kaufman essex linen for the handle, RK kona in peridot for the pockets, a happysewlucky text print from spoonflower for the handles, and from Mama Said Sew, the green Kei geo stripe and the gray fabric is Garden by Ellen Baker. (Also, did you know Mama offers free US shipping on all orders over $50?!!). If you're at all interested in making a duffle, you're in luck! There's a sew-along going on and Anna has recently revised the pattern to give more details. And what? The pattern is a free download? Um yep! It's rare that I make something that I love soooo much that I'm afraid to use it and soil it, but I'm having that problem with this bag. I just need to get over it already! Happy Hump day to you! xo, Penny Continue reading
Posted Mar 5, 2014 at sewtakeahike
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Do you all remember when I made this undie and t-shirt block? Well today, I'm revisiting the process of making the undies and sharing the template and tutorial so you can make a pair or two or three of your own. (for those of you who adore the t-shirt, keep your eyes peeled for the pattern in my upcoming book with Interweave later this fall/winter!) The undies pattern is a mix of a template and improv-ish sewing, and you can whip up a pair in about 10 minutes. Here's what you'll need: printed Undie template (I traced mine onto cardstock) background fabric awesome scrap of main undie fabric scraps of undie accent fabric Steps: 1. Trace your undie template onto your main undie fabric and cut out using a rotary cutter. 2. Lay your main undie fabric right side up on the accent fabric and and use your rotary cutter to cut a piece of accent fabric that fits perfectly in each leg hole. Make sure you give yourself an extra 1/2'' or more to work with at the beginning and end. 3. Cut a 3/4'' strip of accent fabric and sew it to the top edge of the undies. 4. Sew the accent fabric onto each leg hole then press. I use my 1/4'' foot as a guide when doing this. As you can see from the photos, I don't pin, but scissor the fabric together as I sew. If you're more comfortable using pins, go for it! 5. Trim each leghole accent fabric to 3/8''. I use my hemguide to help mark the fabric then trim with a rotary cutter. 6. Lay your undies right side up on top of your background fabric and repeat step 2 for each leghole and sew each piece in place. 7. Square up your block so it is 2 3/4''X 4 5/8''. 8. Add 1'' strips of background fabric to each side then to the top and bottom of the block. 9. Then make more! If you make a pair or two of undies, I'd love to see them! Tag me on instagram, my username is Sewtakeahike! Also, if you'd like a chace to win a copy of Lori Holt's latest book leave a comment on my giveaway post on Instagram for your chance to win! And the biggest thank you to the Fat Quarter Shop for sending the book to me!... Continue reading
Posted Mar 2, 2014 at sewtakeahike
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I knew I would love Lori Holt's book Quilty Fun from the moment I started seeing her sneak peeks on Instagram. Correct me if I'm wrong, but it's the Fat Quarter Shops debut into publishing with their publishing company, "It's Sew Emma"! Super exciting! I decided to participate by making a couple of the tulip blocks. It took me a few minutes to switch my brain over from paper piecing to the rotary cutter directions/pattern, but once I made the switch, the blocks went pretty fast. I love that they are simple and very effective! Here are the cutting instructions for two of the tulip blocks, but keep in mind you'll need a copy of the book as well for the sewing instructions and dimensions. A couple more things. Here is the Quilty Fun blog tour page so you can check out the other participants and the blocks they've made! Make sure and enter the giveaway for two spools of Aurifil thread (two winners each) and a package of Alphabitties (one winner) by putting your Quilty Fun pics in the Quilty Fun Flickr group! The winners will be chosen and posted next Monday on the Jolly Jabber blog! xo, Penny Continue reading
Posted Feb 3, 2014 at sewtakeahike
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I am so excited to be a part of the Vintage Quilt Revival blog hop today! Katie, Lee and Faith have put together a charming, bright and happy resource for some stunning blocks and projects. They have asked 20 of us to choose a block from the book to make, send to them and they are completing some charity quilts with the blocks we made. What a super great idea! The block I chose to make is the Classic Crosspatch block And this is the project from the book using this block: (photo from Vintage Quilt Revival) Isn't it gorgeous?? If you'd like to take a look at the blocks made by the other blog hop participants, here are their links! January 13th (Monday): Crazy Mom Quilts - Amanda Jean Don’t Call Me Betsy - Elizabeth Film in the Fridge - Ashley Happy Quilting - Melissa Noodlehead - Anna January 14th (Tuesday): I’m A Ginger Monkey - Katy Quilting Is My Therapy - Angela A Quilting Life - Sherri Sew Mama Sew - Kristin Tall Grass Prairie Studio - Jacquie January 15th (Wednesday): Christa Quilts - Christa Diary of a Quilter - Amy Quilting Gallery - Michele Sew Take a Hike - Penny V and Co. - Vanessa West Coast Crafty - Susan January 16th (Thursday): Bijou Lovely - Holly Don’t You Know Who I Am - Sukie Lily’s Quilts - Lynne One Shabby Chick - Amber And make sure and check out Faith, Lee and Katie's blogs on Friday where they will reveal the quilts made with the blocks we all put together! January 17th (Friday): Swim, Bike, Quilt - Katie Freshly Pieced - Lee Fresh Lemons Quilts - Faith Continue reading
Posted Jan 15, 2014 at sewtakeahike
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As soon as I saw the cover of Lucie Summers book Quilt Improv, I was hooked. I knew it was a book I wanted to own and pour over. Lucie's use of color, solids, prints and her bold designs speak to the very heart of me. I was immediately impressed with her explanations on how to piece in an improv fashion. I love that there is a decided omission of exact measurements (she gives suggestions or approx measurements) for the most part. Which in turns frees up to the reader to be creative. The arrangement of the book is genius, techniques and blocks listed in the front and then loads of quilt ideas/diagrams towards the back. So let's get on with it. Here are a few questions I asked Lucie and then a quick project I made using one of the techniques she describes and teaches in her book. Q:what sorts of things catch your eye as far as color and design? A:absolutely anything and everything! whenever we go somewhere as a family, i'm always being left behind because i'm taking photos of interesting things like old tiles and doors and graffiti and weeds and gutters! if i lost my phone and someone scrolled through my photos, they'd think i was awfully strange! Q:what is your sewing process like? for example if you're sewing a block and you don't like the fabrics you used, do you go with it or start over? A:oh yes, if i don't like something it goes on a pile and i start again. i'm often experimenting, so if things don't go right, i don't mind because the 'mistake' has taught me something. and sometimes when i haven't seen a 'failed' block for a while, i've forgotten why i didn't like it and end up using it anyway. i reckon it has something to do with mood. lately, i've wanted to work in much calmer, quieter colours because that's the mood i'm in - perhaps linked to seasons? come the late spring/summer, i'll want to break out all the crazy colours and prints again! (photo from Quilt Improv) Q:who taught you to quilt? A:my mum, unsurprisingly! Q:do you have any formal design training? A:i did textiles at school, then a two year course around 20 years (ago) called 'design crafts' at norwich school of art and design (as it was then, i think it's changed since... Continue reading
Posted Jan 9, 2014 at sewtakeahike
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First. I cannot tell you how much I love Ayumi's log cabin slipper pattern (you can get the slipper pattern here). I mean I really really really love it! I made this set using my Espresso cup pattern (available in the Parisienne Cafe Set). Then this mini I'm calling 'all the steeples'. I haven't decided yet if I'll keep it mini sized, or make it the focal point of a larger quilt. And lastly, a pincushion using some reverse appliqué. I just wanted to try a new to me technique! It didn't turn out exactly how I imagined, but I'm happy to have tried a new technique anyways. I hope your weekend has been fab and happy Sunday to you all! xo, Penny Continue reading
Posted Jan 5, 2014 at sewtakeahike
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For Christmas this year, L-man and I camped at Crystal Cove State Park for a week. The campground is terraced, so everyone has the perfect view. On one of the days, we took our tandem over to Balboa via the (short) ferry and rode along the coastline from Newport to Seal Beach. It was my favorite by far! It was a treat to drive up to Ventura and see Kelly and her Superbuzzy store, then driving back to Laguna beach via Malibu. I have to say, Malibu felt a lot like "the old" Las Vegas if you know what I mean! Our early morning beach walk on Christmas morning was such a treat. And Newport Pier was fabulous I can vividly imagine a trip to this area becoming a Christmas tradition! I hope your Christmas was filled with wonder and your 2014 is filled with joy! xo, Penny Continue reading
Posted Jan 3, 2014 at sewtakeahike
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I use my iPad a lot. And I finally decided to make a holder for it to sit in my lap because my hands get so fatigued from holding it up. The outside flap of the cover slips behind the sleeve on the left. And the wedge shape holds it at the perfect angle. It's perfect. And doubles as a pillow for your head. The book pattern on the flap is from Ayumi's Patchwork Please book and the holder design is by me! If you need me, I'll be on the couch with my iPad. xo, Penny Continue reading
Posted Dec 22, 2013 at sewtakeahike
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I'm super excited that some of you have expressed interest in making the In the Pantry mini quilt! Totally made my day! First of all, you'll need to purchase the "In the Pantry" pattern set from Kerry and I's Sew-Ichigo shop. The pattern set is chock full of possibilities. Kerry has come up with 4 variations of the canister jar, and the set also includes my Mama's Pyrex pattern as well as the silverware. Next, using this diagram, you will sew it together. A few tips: 1. All the blocks are at 100% unless indicated by the diagram. 2. All seam allowances are 1/4''. 3. Some of the sashing pieces will be slightly bigger than the block they are being sewn to. That is ok. Just trim the sashing pieces down after you've sewn each section. And trim each section as you go. Instructions: 1. Sew one of each block: mama's pyrex, simple sweet jar, knife, spoon and fork. Sew three simple sweet jars at 75%. 2. Sew sashing A to the top of the mama's pyrex block. 3. Sew sashing B to the top of the largest simple sweet jar. 3. Sew the knife, spoon and fork blocks together as indicated in the diagram, then sew sashing C to the top of the blocks. 4. Sew two of the smaller simple sweet jars together side by side. 5. Sew a 1 1/2'' sashing strip to each side of one of the smaller simple sweet jars. 6. Sew a 1 1/2'' sashing strip to the top of the jar in step 5. 7. Sew the small jar in step 6 to the top of the small jars in step 4. 8. Sew the large jar to the left side of the utensil block. 9. Sew the small stacked jar block to the right side of the utensil block. 10. Sew a 1 1/4'' sashing strip to the bottom and then one to the right of the jar/utensil block 11. Sew the mama's pyrex block to the left of the jar/utensil block. 12. Make a quilt sandwich, quilt using sparkles with Aurifil thread, then bind. If you make this mini, I'd love to see it! You can tag me on Instagram (I'm @sewtakeahike, and please use the hashtag #sewichigo) and/or you can post it on flickr in the sew-ichigo group here! Happy Monday! xo, Penny Continue reading
Posted Dec 16, 2013 at sewtakeahike
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(image credit Sew Mama Sew) Aurifil has long been my favorite thread for piecing. The 50wt is thin and strong, and that's a huge deal when I have lots of seams when I paper piece. Thread takes up space in the seam, so I want to make sure it takes up as little space as possible. So when Kristin at Sew Mama Sew asked for submissions for an Aurifil Mini Quilt Challenge, I jumped at the chance. Here are the participants: Jennifer Waaraniemi of leo & lars Amy Gunson of Badskirt Vanessa Lynch of Punkin Patterns Kelie Copas of Craft Nurse Quilt Kristin Schwarze of And Chips Geta Gramma of Geta's Quilting Studio Lindsey Rhodes of LRstitched Penny Layman of Sew Take a Hike I have to admit, I felt extremely unworthy when I saw Geta's submission, and tossed and turned and all night before I finished my quilt, thinking it wouldn't be good enough. But in the end, I went with my original idea because it represents me so well. After all, that's one of my deepest desires, to create work that speaks of me and my style. And my style is simple and uncomplicated. Aurifil sent this thread set and the only guidelines were to use some of a few of the threads in the pack. (image credit Sew Mama Sew) All the colors in Camille's set are so pretty, I decided I wanted to use a little bit of each of them. *All the block patterns are from the Sew-Ichigo "In the Pantry set", available here, at Sew-Ichigo. And here's my little mini all quilted. Each piece is outlined with the darker teal thread and then I added some sparkles (one sparkle of each color of thread in the set) to make it retrofabulous. Thank you Sew Mama Sew for allowing me to participate and thank you to Aurifil for making and sharing such fabulous thread! xo, Penny p.s. If you'd like to purchase Aurifil, the Fat Quarter Shop has a huge selection! Also, if you'd like to make an "In the Pantry" mini like mine, leave a comment saying you'd like to make one and I'll put together an illustration with measurements for you! Continue reading
Posted Dec 10, 2013 at sewtakeahike
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I have been a little shy to try Oakshott cottons in the past, wondering about their durability and how they would be to sew with. Since this is my first time sewing with them, I'm not sure about their durability, but I now know they sew like a dream. (Do any of you have any long term experience with laundering Oakshott cottons and can give me your thoughts about how they hold up with many washings?) **update** after I posted this, Michael Oakshott emailed and said this about the durability question I had: "Washing : I'd be very surprised if anyone has any problems. We use vat dyes and they are known to give cottons the best results to light, washing and rubbing fastness. The main contra indication is of course with any chlorine based product as that strips the colour straight out of cotton. Other care instructions are wash in warm water up to 40C and iron whilst damp. Shrinkage 3-5% as is normal with cotton (the hanks are all boil washed for 8-10 hours before dyeing)". Thanks to Lynne putting me in touch with the Oakshott people, they sent me a fat eighth of the Lake bundle. I was immediately enthralled with the sheen and shimmer of the fabrics and the colors of the crossweave threads. I can definitely say I am a convert. The hand is outrageously good and the sheen/shimmer is magnificent. They lend a special touch to this scarf (pattern from Malka Dubrawsky's book Fresh Quilting) compared to normal solids, adding depth and interest. I really wish I could send a photo that shows the shimmer, but I just couldn't achieve that with a photo. If you live in the US and want to try some for yourself, Tammy at Marmalade Fabrics has a small selection here, and it looks like she will be getting more soon! Continue reading
Posted Dec 7, 2013 at sewtakeahike
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Keep your eyes peeled for a bumper kitchen set called "In the Pantry" coming out in the next week at Sew-Ichigo! It includes this pattern "Mama's Pyrex", a set of utensils (with a fussycutting option) to go with my free fork pattern here, as well as some super sweet storage jars by Kerry that have so many fun options she is including! xo, Penny Continue reading
Posted Nov 12, 2013 at sewtakeahike
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Honest to goodness, I am always honored and surprised when I find out another blog has linked or featured sewtakeahike. This morning, I was surprised to find out Stitch Craft Create, a UK based blog, has listed sewtakeahike in their top 25 US blogs. And I'm honored to be in such fine company! What a great way to start a Monday! xo, Penny Continue reading
Posted Nov 11, 2013 at sewtakeahike
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Hello my friends! Just a quick PSA to let you know Lori Holts Quilty Fun Sew-Along begins today! The book is published by the fine folks at the Fat Quarter Shop, and this is their first publication under the name "Sew Emma". I'm so excited for this new venture of theirs! The list of lovely blog tour participants is here (I'll be doing the tulips in February), along with the week to week pattern companion. Check out what everyone is creating by visiting the flickr group for all the blocks! Happy Happy Monday! xo, Penny Continue reading
Posted Nov 4, 2013 at sewtakeahike
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(photo by Joelle Lamberton) I'll confess, Monday is not my favorite day of the week. And that's mostly why I decided over a year ago that if I could not work on Mondays, I would be forever thankful. Last October, that dream of no Mondays away from home unless I choose came true. So to celebrate my last year of Mondays, I'd like to offer you all a cute little fork paper piecing pattern, born out of my good friend Joelle's need to make a pincushion for her fork pins. I don't have her pincushion pattern, but if you have any experience sewing at all, it should be pretty easy to figure out. Here's the "Put a fork in it" pattern: Fork Have fun with it, and happy, happy Mondays to you! xo, Penny Continue reading
Posted Oct 28, 2013 at sewtakeahike
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Hi everyone! Today's the day! Head on over to Sara's blog, Sew Sweetness to read my review for making this Japanese bag. And no, I don't read Japanese. But I hope after reading my post you will be encouraged to try a Japanese pattern yourself! Continue reading
Posted Oct 22, 2013 at sewtakeahike
I'm sure many of you have been following along with the Purse Palooza, but if not, here's some info! I'll be back on Tues with a review of a Japanese written bag pattern. And no, I don't read Japanese! But if you've ever looked at Japanese patterns, you know that their illustrations are excellent! Announcing Purse Palooza 2013!! I am happy to be participating in Purse Palooza this year with a special purse sewing pattern review! Here's how the event works: 1. Every weekday from September 30th - October 25th, there are 2 amazing guest bloggers scheduled to share with you a purse sewing pattern review. None of the purses reviewed from the event last year are being reviewed again, so these will be fresh sewing pattern reviews! The review will contain detailed information about what I thought about the sewing pattern, modifications I made, what kind of interfacing I used, and more! Get inspired! Aeroplane Bags 2. Even more exciting...THERE WILL BE A GIVEAWAY EVERY WEEKDAY DURING THE EVENT! That's right, 20 GIVEAWAYS! 3. At the end of the event, you will get a chance to show me your purse in order to win some amazing prizes! Of course, international entries are welcome too! Dot Dot Dash Bag Pattern Review Schedule All About Bag Interfacing September 30 - Sara - Sew Sweetness (Serendipity Studio - Media Frenzy Camera Bag) Kim - My Go-Go Life (Sew Sweetness Lilium Laptop Bag) October 1 - Samantha - At Home with Mrs. H. (Chris. W. Sugar and Spice Bag) Rachael - Imagine Gnats (Bari J. Green Living Bag) October 2 - Anna - Charmed Liebling (Studio Kat Tandem Tote) Mary - Mary on Lake Pulaski (Primitive Pieces Ewe Old Bags) October 3 - Lindsay - Lindsay Sews (Diaper Bag) Joanna - Tutinella (Oliver + S Messenger Bag) October 4 - Andrea - Mouse in my Pocket (Michelle Patterns Pleated Wristlet) Elena - Hot Pink Stitches (Sewing Rabbit Tote) Angela - AngelaB (Amy Butler Sophia Bag) October 7 - Tiffany - This Crafty Fox (Two Peas Ava Bag) Lana Parks - Moments of Sanity in a Crazy World (Dog Under My Desk Two Zip Hipster) October 8 - Allegory - A Thousand Needles (Sew Sweetness Aeroplane Bag) Gina - Gina Pina (Echino Gathered Bag) October 9 - Katy - Imagingermonkey (Made By Rae Lickety Split Bag) Ali - a2w (Melly and Me Sleepover Bag)... Continue reading
Posted Oct 19, 2013 at sewtakeahike
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The change in weather recently has affected my cat tremendously with his sleeping habits. He's a typical cat, a heat seeker to the max. And since his cat house is positioned next to one of our gas stoves, that's where he can be found. I think the cat house makes him even more adorable! If you'd like to make a cat house for your furry pets, you can find my pattern here at the Interweave store. The exposed fleece interfacing inside is irresistible to him, he loves to claw at it and the skylight is perfect for dropping toys in on a string to get him riled up. Continue reading
Posted Oct 17, 2013 at sewtakeahike
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I feel so blessed to have found this featherweight (and to a have a husband that doesn't mind I have one.more.sewing machine) I had no clue how much I would love it. It has the prettiest little stitch and the seam guide (highlighted in this pic) Helps me get that perfect 1/4" seam. And then, would you look at this! Do you see that little slit in the back of the needle bar? It's a thread cutter! If you have a featherweight, I highly recommend reading the users manual. It shows all the places to oil it (LOTS!) and if I hadn't read mine, I wouldn't have known what the little doohickey of a seam guide was, and Lord knows I never would have noticed the thread cutter. One more thing, I've found a couple of great online resources for featherweight accessories and info. 221featherweight blog and this shop on ebay: Sharp Sewing Supplies. Happy Sunday to you and your family! xo, Penny Continue reading
Posted Sep 29, 2013 at sewtakeahike
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Thought I'd check in here and say hello! It's been a while but I've been super busy with lots of really good stuff so something had to give :) I wanted to share about some new linen I received this week. If you love linen, you should totally check out fabrics-store.com (they are not a sponsors of mine). I've loved this store from the moment I found it a few years ago. They have a huge selection of colors and weights and these woven linen prints are new so I had to purchase some! Aren't they beautiful?!! Here's a little tea towel I made with the orange gingham linen. My new fav tea towel. If you have any questions about their linen let me know, I have lots of it and will try to answer any questions I can! Happy Saturday! xo, Penny Continue reading
Posted Sep 14, 2013 at sewtakeahike
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A drive A hike And burgers at the trailhead. I hope you're having a great weekend! xo, Penny Continue reading
Posted Jul 27, 2013 at sewtakeahike