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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
I fell hard for Melissa's pieced face quilt as I watched her progress on it on Instagram. Then when she posted that it was going to be on display at QuiltCon and she was going to be there as well, I had high hopes of meeting her! Although our paths didn't cross at QuiltCon, fast forward a couple of months, and after a bit of back and forth, Melissa agreed to come to my house in Colorado for a weekend of teaching and a slumber party with a wonderful group of women I had in mind (she wrote a bit about that process here). Melissa (and her teaching methods) are brilliantly mindful and thoughtful. I really had no idea what to expect, although I had a few preconceived ideas based on the supply sheet. The class started with a lesson on face drawing. If you take a look at my before the lesson drawing compared to my after lesson drawing, you will see that her methods are very effective. By the time we had practiced our face drawings for a bit, we were all restless to get to work with some fabric. Melissa encouraged us to work on a couple of faces at a time and not get too attached as we worked. I love how this method kept my personal need for perfection in check. Here is a partial of the progression of one of my faces I'm still working on redhead, and I'm fortunate that Fozzy hasn't discovered all those pieces on my designboard are not yet tacked down! Here's the other face I started. I've started grid stitching her and will keep you updated as I get further along. I love this photo, it's really uncanny how much everyone's faces resemble the maker in features or personality. And then the proud (as she should be) teacher in the front. Thank you so much Melissa for investing in us, we are so grateful to you and I'm so excited to see where the Making Faces journey takes you! You're an absolute treasure! xo, Penny Continue reading
Posted Sep 30, 2015 at sewtakeahike
Amy is hosting her second round of Texting While Sewing and this round includes a zipper! She has tons of fabulous prizes lined up and guess who is the guest judge?!!! You can find all the contest details here! Good luck!! Continue reading
Posted Sep 25, 2015 at sewtakeahike
This last weekend was amazing, with a visit from Melissa Averinos! I have so much to tell you all, but that will have to wait until later this week. Until then, the winner of the Good Neighbors charm pack is Beth T. that said, "What a cute idea, to crochet the backing. No matter how many people do the same thing--make a pin cushion, for example--there are still so many ways to make it one's own, and darling." Beth, email me with your address and I'll pass it along to Connecting Threads! Continue reading
Posted Sep 23, 2015 at sewtakeahike
Amanda Jean has done it again! Not only does she make the coolest things, but now she has a line of fabric to make all those fabulous things with! Her line of fabric with Connecting Threads is called Good Neighbors and for those of you who have spent any amount of time with Amanda, know that is the perfect name for her fabric. In celebration of her fabric line, the folks at Connecting Threads are throwing a pincushion blog party! Once again, very fitting for Amanda who must have hundreds of pincushions! For my Good Neighbors pincushion, I used the Ann block from The Farmer's Wife 1930's Sampler Quilt book, reduced the block to 3" (!!) and paper pieced it. I always color in my paper piecing patterns so I don't get the fabrics confused! For the back, I crocheted a little 3" single crochet patch to sew onto the block, and stuffed it with wool scraps. Here are the Good Neighbors pincushion party participants for you all to check out! There are lots of great pincushions featuring Good Neighbors (like this one by Krista! and this one by Faith!, and these by Anna!, so inspiring! 9/1/2015 Amanda Jean 9/2/2015 Anna 9/3/2015 Mary 9/4/2015 Svetlana 9/5/2015 Debbie 9/6/2015 Holly 9/7/2015 Carla 9/8/2015 Faith 9/9/2015 Vanessa 9/10/2015 Anna 9/11/2015 Krista 9/12/2015 Erin 9/13/2015 Lee 9/14/2015 Alex 9/15/2015 Cheryl 9/16/2015 Penny 9/17/2015 Amy 9/18/2015 Debbie 9/19/2015 Anne 9/20/2015 Melissa Corry 9/21/2015 Amber 9/22/2015 Nettie 9/23/2015 Adrianne 9/24/2015 Cindy 9/25/2015 Amy 9/26/2015 Chase 9/27/2015 Rene 9/28/2015 Erin 9/29/2015 Nicole 9/30/2015 Teri One last bit of exciting news, Connecting Threads is offering up a charm pack of Good Neighbors to one of you (Canadian or US residents only please!). Leave a comment on this post to enter, and I'll choose a winner in a week. Continue reading
Posted Sep 16, 2015 at sewtakeahike
Now that summer is starting to wind down, I'm working my way back into sewing, and taking part in Lori's Farm Girl Vintage blog hop is the perfect primer. I made the Scrappy Maple Leaf block using a kona solid and some brown scraps from my stash. As we all know, paper piecing is my first love, and though, Lori's rotary cutting instructions in all three of her books are helping to make me a fan of rotary cutting. Lori's instructions are in written and diagram form which I am a huge fan of. I won't *even* pretend however, that I didn't have to square this block up a bit after I sewed it all together! Farm Girl Vintage is chock full of fabulous blocks that depending on your fabric choices you could make into shabby chick, modern, cutesy, or more traditional looking blocks. Her book is fun and inspiring. You can get your copy at The Fat Quarter Shop here. To check out all the blocks in Lori's book as well as the other sew along participants, click here! Seeing all the blocks together is inspiring and really worth a look! xo, Penny Continue reading
Posted Aug 28, 2015 at sewtakeahike
I have always loved watersports and am willing to try most anything if it has to do with fun on the water. When I was a kid, my cousin Brenny would take us out on the lake with real jet skis that you could stand up on. We loved when she would call and whisk us away to the lake for a day or two on the weekends. And if we weren't with Brenny, we were lake camping/swimming as my dad was an avid camper/fisherman. L-man and I have recently picked up a new water activity and we are having so much fun with it. Paddleboarding! We are so excited to travel with them and explore. If you paddleboard and have any tips for us, we would love to hear! Thank you for all the comments on the Noodlehead style giveaway post! I have chosen a winner and it is Linda M, who said: "I am always a fan of blue and this one here is nice, but I like the blue with white flowers the best! Tumble!" I will send an email to you shortly Linda! Happy Monday! xo, Penny Continue reading
Posted Jul 27, 2015 at sewtakeahike
Well hello there! I hope you're all having an active and fun summer like we have been! So far it's been all about being outdoors, family, and a few home improvements. Now that the end of July is rolling around, I'm starting to feel ok about being indoors a bit and doing some sewing. I have quite a few projects I want and need to work on, and I'm always happy to check something fabulous off my list and this pencil case from Anna's book Handmade Style has been just the ticket. Have you seen the projects in her book yet? So many fun things to make. I love Anna's asthetic and construction techniques! And then, she has also recently come out with a fabulous fabric line called Rain Walk. Oh Anna.... These are a few of the prints I asked for and they are so lovely! I used the top three prints for the pencil case And the bottom print, Sprinkle in gray, I'm going to make a shirt with. Stay tuned for that! Now, for a giveaway! Anna has graciously offered up a signed copy of her book as well as a hard copy of her Runaround bag pattern up to one of you! Leave one comment telling me your favorite print from Anna's line to enter the giveaway. I'll choose a winner this Friday the 25th. Good luck! Continue reading
Posted Jul 20, 2015 at sewtakeahike
And the winner is Angiesue who said: We moved 2 years ago to a beautiful area surrounded by mountains -- and I have yet to hike any of them. This summer, I plan to stat hiking! Posted by: angiesue | 28 April 2015 at 10:03 AM Continue reading
Posted May 11, 2015 at sewtakeahike
You guys won't want to miss this! FabricCadabra is having a sale to move out their sale items. So they have taken 25% off the sale prices in the sale section! Also, they are giving away a fq set of Amy Butler's Violette line to one of you! Just leave a comment and tell me what your summer plans are! I'll choose a winner on Friday! Thank you FabricCadabra for the awesome sale and giveaway!! xo, Penny Continue reading
Posted Apr 28, 2015 at sewtakeahike
Today at 11 am Mountain time, I'm presenting a webinar on paper piecing! The webinar will go over basic technique and will give several tips on making paper piecing fun and easy. Included with the webinar is the flag pattern set you see above for you to practice with. So please come and join me! But don't worry, if 11 today doesn't fit in your schedule, a link to the webinar will be sent to you for download within a week of today's live event, along with the flag patterns. You can sign up here, here and here! xo, Penny Continue reading
Posted Apr 24, 2015 at sewtakeahike
(Isn't this little cloud zip pouch pattern adorable?! The pattern was a freebie in my QuiltCon bag from Cloud9 fabrics. Contact Cloud9 for the pattern.) Congratulations Anita who said "I love scrappy projects too! I just love digging into my scrap bins, it brings back happy fabric memories." You will be receiving your ebook shortly! xo, Penny Continue reading
Posted Apr 23, 2015 at sewtakeahike
I absolutely love sewing with scraps! So I am happy to be participating in Kim's blog hop for her book Scrap Happy Sewing. Here's the complete blog hop participant list for you: APRIL: Thu 2nd - Retro Mama Tue 7th - SCC Wed 8th - S.O.T.A.K Handmade Thu 9th - Fabricworm Fri 10th - Clover & Violet Mon 13th - Robot Mom Sews Tue 14th - Vivid Felicity Wed 15th - Cut To Pieces Thu 16th - Straight Grain Fri 17th - Sew Take A Hike Mon 20th - Vintage Grey Tue 21st - Miss Print Wed 22nd - Pink Penguin Thu 23rd - Sew Creative Blog Fri 24th - Follow the White Bunny Mon 27th - A Bright Corner Tue 28th - Sew Justine Sew Wed 29th - LRstitched Thu 30th - Pieced Brain This book has 18 fantastic projects, and it was pretty easy to pick a project since I've been doing a bit more hand sewing lately. I needed a new needlebook , because we all need a needlebook in every single project pouch we have, right?! This little guy was a snap to put together thanks to the clear and easy to follow instructions Kim gives. I took a few minor liberties with the pattern, but kept it the same as the instructions for the most part. This is a book worth having! And now for the exciting news! F&W has graciously offered to give away one eBook copy of Scrap Happy Sewing to one of you! Just leave a comment on this post and you'll be entered! I'll choose a winner on Monday April 20. Also, F&W is giving away a hard copy of the book and some fabric, so you might want to click over and enter here! Good luck! xo,Penny Continue reading
Posted Apr 17, 2015 at sewtakeahike
I'll be doing a podcast interview with Pat Sloan on American Patchwork and Quilting Radio on Monday April 6 at 4pm Eastern, 3pm Central, 2pm Mountain and 1pm Pacific time! You can either listen live or listen later, it's up to you! Either way, I hope you'll join us! Continue reading
Posted Apr 2, 2015 at sewtakeahike
Simply Sewn: Clothes for Every Season By Michiyo Ito Interweave/F+W; $24.99 I love the look of simple, easy clothing and when I opened up Simply Sewn by Michiyo Ito, I was immediately connected to her easy going style. The book contains 31 patterns ranging from shirts to dresses to outerwear, skirts and pants. (At the time I wrote this, the link above has the book on sale for $19.07, bonus!) The book begins with beautiful photography of each piece of clothing and then moves on to the basics for sewing clothing, including how to prewash your fabric, prep your pattern and cut your fabric. I have yet to make any of the pieces from the book, however, the gingham button down on the cover is at the top of my list. Each pattern has individual instruction for laying out the pattern and sewing instruction, complete with either detail photos or beautifully clear diagrams. Three pattern sheets are included in an envelope in the back of the book, with all the patterns ready for tracing. Amidst the many pros of this book, the only con I found is tucked inside the book on page 45, which is that the seam allowances are not included in the pattern pieces. So although the patterns seem simple, there is a bit of fussiness added on the front end by having to add your own seam allowances. That's not a deal breaker for me though, especially when I look at pieces like this. - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Stitch, Wear, Play By Michiyo Ito Interweave/F+W; $24.99 If I had children, Stitch, Wear, Play would be dog-eared and worn out. This book contains 20 simple and oh so charming patterns for boys and girls. The book is divided into Spring-Summer and Fall-Winter collections with instruction for each pattern then moves on to sewing techniques you will need to know for the patterns in the book such as binding an armhole, making box pleats and how to make a patch pocket. The instructions are well illustrated and seem simple enough and I love that any special sewing techniques needed for a pattern are referenced in the instructions along with the page number to find illustrations and text with step by step instructions for each technique. The pattern instruction is logical... Continue reading
Posted Mar 30, 2015 at sewtakeahike
I LOVE the colors/fabrics you used Erin!!! It will make the perfect hot pad :)
Toggle Commented Mar 28, 2015 on The Paper-Pieced Home at house on hill road
1 reply
I've had the opportunity to review four really great new books recently, Quilt Lovely, Dear Quilty, Stitch Wear Play, and Simply Sewn. So I'm going to take today and next Monday and split them into two posts. Today I'll be reviewing and doing a short author interview for the two books, Quilt Lovely by Jen Kingwell and Dear Quilty by Mary Fons and Team Quilty. Quilt Lovely: 15 Vibrant Projects Using Piecing and Appliqué By Jen Kingwell Fons & Porter/F+W; $26.99 Quilt Lovely is just that. Lovely. The pages are filled with inspiring quilt and pillow designs. And true to Jen's style, the book is very eclectic on many levels from her designs and fabric use to the techniques she utilizes. Her self professed love is to hand sew, however, due to time constraints she says she machine sews as well. The appendices at the end of the book are chock full of info and tips ranging from hand piecing, applique and quilting to machine piecing using templates and one of her patterns even uses foundation piecing. My favorite pillow in the book is this one called Home Run. It's simple and effective. And in sharp contrast, the Glitter quilt is seizure worthy, full of so much information and worthy of spending an afternoon taking in all the fabrics and it's construction. And then check out the Flutterby quilt. It's construction is template and rotary cut. As part of the review, I wanted to ask Jen a couple of questions. Here they are along with her answers. Pen: I really love the vintage look of your quilts and the Glitter quilt in your book sent me reeling! Who in your life has been most influential of your style? Jen: Glitter is my favourite in the book also. I have three daughters and when I make a new quilt someone always says "dibs". I had to get in quickly and claim this one for myself. I don't know that any one person has influenced me any more than another. I do know that my daughters let me know if they think I'm on the wrong track! Many years ago I heard the wonderful Freddy Moran speak. She said " 10 fabrics don't work but 110 do" I thought in a room full of people, she was speaking only to me. Someone had verbalised exactly how I felt. I just love print... Continue reading
Posted Mar 23, 2015 at sewtakeahike
We keep getting glimpses of spring here in the Fort Collins area and it's a welcome change. In a short few weeks, the hummingbirds will be back at my house whizzing around looking for their feeders. In fact, last year they came back mid-April, which is their normal time to return, and a week later we had a huge snowstorm. I have no idea how they survived the 20 degree nightly temps for a few days and the feet of snow we got, but they did! They are hearty little guys! In anticipation of spring, Kerry and I have just released a new Sew-Ichigo pattern set called "Spring Fever". In the set you will find a chaffinch, a hummingbird, a swan, a tall and short tulip, and a spring chick. You can buy the patterns as singles, or as a set. Kerry has done a nice pattern background post on her blog here if you are interested! Happy Spring to you! xo, Penny Continue reading
Posted Mar 22, 2015 at sewtakeahike
Good (Mon)day to you! I hope you all had a great weekend. The weekend here was full of bike rides, sewing and I had the good fortune to take a class with Carolyn Friedlander yesterday in our very own Loveland. We even managed to have a picnic with Carolyn thanks to Joelle's forethought and organization! It was the perfect day for a picnic! It's no secret that hand sewing is not my favorite. However, after taking Carolyn's excellent class and learning a few basic hand applique techniques from her, my confidence has grown, which has made my heart grow a bit fonder. It's a miracle!! I'm also very excited to share with you all that today is the first day of a fantastic line up for a blog tour for my book The Paper Pieced Home. Thank you to the one and only Tommy at F&W who works miracles on a daily basis and set the tour up. xoxo! Before we begin, have you all seen this? THE Mark Lipinksi reviewed my book a few months ago (you have to scroll down a bit)! And he liked it!! And then make sure and check out this interview and post my friend Angela wrote up (thank you Ang!)! Make sure and hop over to her post and leave a comment now! She is giving away a copy of my book! And then have you checked out her book A Quilter's Mixology? ::Bonus! It's on sale for about $20 right now if you don't have your copy yet. I'm just sayin:: Anyway, I'll be doing a project out of it soon, it's a fab book! Ok, so on to the tour! Today, we start out at McCall's Quilting blog. They have done an excellent version of my sewing machine block! You'll want to make sure and head over there to check it out and leave a comment on their post, they have three copies of my book to give away. The Paper-Pieced Home Blog Tour Schedule 3/16 McCall’s Quilting / Sewing Machine Block 3/17 Love of Quilting / Review 3/17 Sandi Sawa Hazlewood of Crafty Planner / Watering Can Block 3/18 Quilty Pleasure (Quiltmaker blog) / Review 3/18 Imagine Gnats / Rotary Phone Block 3/20 Verykerryberry / Lion Block 3/21 Artisania / Cast-Iron Skillet Block 3/23 Where the Orchids Grow / Lamp Block 3/24 Katie Blakesley of Swim Bike Quilt / Layer... Continue reading
Posted Mar 16, 2015 at sewtakeahike
I don't even know what to say about QuiltCon except it was fantastic. I taught classes 3 days and the students were exceptional. Here's a shot from one of the classes for my sewing organizer project out of my book The Paper Pieced Home. There were at least 3 students that took this class that had never paper pieced before. I was amazed! Now that I'm home, I'm taking a bit of time to work on a couple of quilts that I want to make just because. First up, a Beachball quilt (one of my patterns out of Essential Guide to Modern Quilt Making) Since I designed this quilt almost 2 years ago, I've wanted to make it. I'm thrilled the time is now! Happy Monday to you! xo, Penny Continue reading
Posted Mar 2, 2015 at sewtakeahike
I hope to see you there! xo, Penny Continue reading
Posted Feb 6, 2015 at sewtakeahike
Heads up! I will be teaching two different classes at QuiltCon. The Sunday design class is sold out, however, I still have a couple of spots open in the Sewing Organizer classes, one class is Friday Feb 19 and the other is Saturday, Feb 20. (photo by Joe Hancock) So if you want to learn a some great paper piecing tips, and make a super cute wall organizer to boot, go to the QuiltCon site and sign up! Keep in mind, advanced registration ends on Feb 7 and no MQG discounts will be given if you sign up at the event. I hope to see you there! xo, Penny Continue reading
Posted Feb 4, 2015 at sewtakeahike
The winner of the Lotta Follie fq set from FabricCadabra is Amy Cavanagh! Amy I've tried emailing you and it wouldn't go through. Please contact me by Wednesday or I'll sadly have to choose a new winner. This is awesome - well done on your book!!! Posted by: amy cavanagh | 19 January 2015 at 12:59 PM Continue reading
Posted Jan 27, 2015 at sewtakeahike
I can't believe it. My book is finally out and I had my first book signing. I am still waffling between periods of disbelief and pure excitement. I mean, I never would have thought even 5 years ago that I would have authored a book. It was an honor for me, having my first signing at favorite fabric shop here in Fort Collins, Mama Said Sew/Jukebox Quilts. The Fort Collins MQG showed up in full force (including my friend Maggie from the Front Range MQG, thanks Maggie for the awesome surprise! and L-man even made an appearance!), and they were all so encouraging and genuinely excited for me. I am so grateful to have this quilting community! (Barbara, Susan, me, Maggie at the signing) Interweave did an amazing job capturing my style from the fonts they used to the page layout. I am so blessed to work with them! Which brings me to my next topic, a paper piecing interview I'm doing over at Crafty Planner. She is doing a Learn More, Sew More series on paper piecing this month and you'll want to make sure and click on over to read it and leave a comment on her post to enter a drawing for a copy of my book The Paper Pieced Home! And congratulations to Ruth, the winner of the P&B Colorweave Medley fq set! I've sent you an email! One last thing, I'm super excited to announce a Bundle Up sale FabricCadabra is having and a blog hop bundle giveaway they are hosting! First, FabricCadabra has 20% off all bundles from today through Jan 26. Secondly, they are having a bundle giveaway hop. Leave a comment on this post for a chance to win this fq set of Follie by Lotta Jansdotter. Then make sure and leave a comment on Nicole's blog Modernhandcraft for a chance to win a Priory Square bundle, and on Erica's blog Kitchentablequilting for a chance to win a specially curated Winter Warm Up bundle she put together available only at FabricCadabra! Lastenia and Mayka, the sister duo behind FabricCadabra are super fun, energetic partners. If you'd like an extra chance to win the Follie bundle, go and follow FabricCadabra on their Facebook and Instagram then come back and leave another comment for me on this post that you're following them and you'll be entered into the drawing twice! Good luck everyone and... Continue reading
Posted Jan 19, 2015 at sewtakeahike
P&B textiles loves you! They recently came out with more collections and asked me to choose one to offer up to you! My choice was Color Weave Medley. It's an eclectic collection of prints with a woven look. To enter the giveaway of a fat quarter set of Color Weave Medley, leave a comment telling me what your favorite line is of all the P&B collections I linked to in this post! I'll choose a winner on Monday the 19th. As I was scouting out P&B's website, I came across the line Fresh Pick, aren't they awesome?? The peas are adorable, and I love the monochromatic veggies and tomatos! And I'm really liking the colors in the Zenith line! How about this pigeon stoop print from the Port City line? So cool! I've used it as a bag lining here. And then this Fantasy Garden print is just so pretty! Good luck! xo, Penny Continue reading
Posted Jan 16, 2015 at sewtakeahike
This winter I have been enjoying working with wool in a few projects. From this wool blanket I made for L-man for Christmas To my April Rhodes popover poncho that I finished this weekend at our Fort Collins MQG retreat. I used boiled wool, Italian shirting, and a premade wool hem binding from Elfriede's in Boulder. It is such a pleasure to shop there as everyone is extremely helpful and friendly! Instead of traditional seams, I used flat felled seams. The pattern is easy to follow and I'll most likely make another one in lighter weight fabrics for the spring and summer. For this winter version, I lengthened the poncho by 2-3 inches so it covers my upper thigh and my hands when they are at my sides. To finish it off, I've used the hemtape as a drawstring for the cowl but I didn't add that until after I took these photos. I love it when I make something and L-man says it's the most professional looking thing I've ever made. And I love that he says that most every time, I never get tired of hearing it! Happy Monday to you! Penny Continue reading
Posted Jan 11, 2015 at sewtakeahike