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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 LOVE the colors/fabrics you used Erin!!! It will make the perfect hot pad :)
Toggle Commented yesterday 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 6 days ago 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 7 days ago 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
For winning the Benartex Manly quilt kit bundle! I mailed it off to you today! And thank you so much to everyone who commented on the Manly Quilt post, I wish I could have picked more than one winner! Here's a little eyecandy, a saucepan from my book. Happy Monday to you! Penny Continue reading
Posted Jan 5, 2015 at sewtakeahike
I am most definitely a child of the 70's. I love the clothing styles from then, and the quilts from that time frame were so charming! Thick, lofty(polyester) batting and acrylic ties were the thing. Or if the quilt wasn't tied, it was loosely quilted so the quilt was still mega puffy. And heck, even the quilt top might have been polyester or a poly blend. Do you remember those double knit polys?! I have a pillow made from some squares of it my dad sent me several years ago! For the Manly quilt, I am paying tribute to the 70's, giving it a modern day twist, using natural fibre. The batting is a lofty wool, and the ties are spun wool. The quilt is approximately 63"X71". I used fabric from three different Benartex lines: The sashiko prints from Bellissimo in the lower right corner (for the center of the patchwork and the binding), plaid taupe from Paintbox/Shadows (for the backing) and all 24 colors available of Burlap (for the outside edges of the patchwork). You will also need wool batting, wool yarn, and a tapestry needle. For the main patchwork, I used my Go! cutter and 5" die to cut 224 5" squares. The Go! cutter made light work of this step which I was pleased with since cutting is my least favorite part. Here is a diagram of my layout: Blues on the left, tans on the bottom, purples/reds on the right, greens on the top, and blacks/dark grays in the center. Once the you have the top assembled to your liking, make a quilt sandwich with your top, batting and backing and baste it with pins in every other center of each square to prep it for tying. To tie your quilt, use your tapestry needle and wool yarn to stitch a running stitch through all layers of your sandwich, diagonally through the center of each unpinned square. Once all the unpinned squares are stitched, cut the yarn where the four squares come to a point (half way between each stitch) and then use a sewer's knot to tie each piece of yarn. Trim the knotted yarn to the length of your liking. Now remove the pins and stitch and tie the remaining squares. Tying your quilt in this manner will give a clean finish to the backing. All the stitches will be straight and the stitch... Continue reading
Posted Dec 29, 2014 at sewtakeahike
Today I'd like to introduce you all to Gene Black (make sure and check out his blog, he is an incredibly talented artist!). He was the winner of the P&B textiles fq set a few weeks ago and he chose Island Breeze to make his project with. I love how Gene explains his process in this post, and the result is a vibrant, happy quilt! Nice work on the quilt Gene, and the quilting you did on it is fabulous! Here's Gene! The first thing that drew me to the Island Breeze collection was the vibrant colors. I almost immediately saw butterfly wings flitting in the sunlight. Penny had asked for a the comment of which collection you would choose and " if you already have an idea, what you might make with them?" I thought, "These would be so fun to make a wall quilt for our church youth room." I had heard that the Youth Director was looking for something to put on the walls. She had looked at one of my quilt wall hangings a year ago but it sold to someone else. When I won, I realized that I needed to make a plan. So I did a mockup in Electric Quilt. Of course I had to use the embellishment butterflies that were in the program unless I wanted to create them from scratch for the mockup. After I had a basic plan, I thought about how I would use the fabric to make the butterflies. I decided to do fusible applique and die cut the shapes. I used some heart shapes and some "feather" shapes to create the wings. For the bodies I cut some single daisy petals. Some of these I modified by free cutting with scissors for the final quilt. Of course I applied the fusible to the fabric before cutting the shapes. That required choosing the fabrics to be the butterflies. I chose these. I also had to make the background blocks and I chose to use black along with a couple of the other fabrics from the line. I got the quilt all sewn and free motion quilted. It all went quickly since it was so inspiring to me. I love the quilting on the back which is all black. I am glad this quilt is going to be where I can visit it again. As you can see, it really... Continue reading
Posted Dec 9, 2014 at sewtakeahike
Happy day after Thanksgiving everyone! To say thank you for your support this last year, Kerry and I have put our Sew-Ichigo patterns on sale 25% off from black Friday through cyber Monday. Our Craftsy and Etsy patterns already have the discount applied, so no need for a discount code there. If you purchase from our Sew-Ichigo shop, use the code: blackfriday at checkout for the 25% discount. Also, here are two other shops that are having some great sales: FabricCadabra is offering 10% off everything in their store when you use the coupon code BLACKFRIDAY10!! AND The Fat Quarter Shop Happy shopping! xo, Penny Continue reading
Posted Nov 28, 2014 at sewtakeahike
Until this morning, I had never heard of VAT (Value-Added Tax). Maybe you hadn't either until just now. From what I have gathered, VAT is a European tax that until the end of 2014, has only affected Europe. But as of 2015, the new VAT laws have been rewritten and in effect will affect anyone with online PDF sales (as many crafters do!) to European countries that have a VAT. So if you fall into that category, you might want to give these links a read: Rachel Andrew's The horrible implications of the EU/VAT "Place of Supply" change and Words that Change the World's New EU VAT rules change the game for digital business If you've been prepping for VAT in your business, please do leave a comment and tell me what you've been doing! To be quite honest, I'm not quite sure how this will affect the (European) sales of sewtakeahike and sew-ichigo pdf patterns short term and long term.... Continue reading
Posted Nov 24, 2014 at sewtakeahike
is Hayley who said, " I love mustang!!" I've sent you an email for your address Hayley! Congratulations, and thank you again for your generosity FabricCadabra! xo, Penny Continue reading
Posted Nov 20, 2014 at sewtakeahike
I often wonder when I do a giveaway here on sewtakeahike what actually happens to the things that were given. Does it get used right away? Or sit on a shelf for a rainy day? Or get regifted to a friend that is over the moon about it? When Diane, the winner of the Fat Quarter Style book giveaway (thanks to the Fat Quarter Shop!) contacted me to show me what she had made, my heart was so happy! ("Native Soleil" by Diane Beavers. Photo by Diane Beavers.) When Diane received the Fat Quarter Style book, she got to work right away making her Native Soleil quilt, utilizing the Mosaic pattern from the book. Here's what Diane has to say, giving us some insight into her inspiration and her journey making "Native Soleil". I love desert decorum, rock art , petroglyphs, cactus, and warm weather. One of my first inspirations in quilting with south west fabrics came along in the Spring of 2014 during the April Rhodes Blog Tour for her Arizona Collection. Instantly I was infatuated with the arrowheads, triangle tokens and desert blanket. Managed to find those three prints on a road trip to a quilt shop and made myself a blouse. There will be a quilt adorning my home one day w/the Arizona collection. As I followed the reveal each day on the blog, one in particular was just mesmerizing! It's called "Arizona Sunshine: by Penny Layman of Sewtakeahike, in Colorado. Since that time I've been a regular follower of Sewtakeahike. Have I tried paper piecing yet? Well it scares me so I'll stick to piecing quilt tops, pillows for now. ("Native Soleil" by Diane Beavers. Photo by Diane Beavers.) While reading some blog posts, I came across "Bear Creek Quilting Co" and discovered a beautiful Moda collection called "Native Sun". Immediately I was hooked and ordered the 20 Fat Quarter bundle. Truly, my most favorite prints:), cactus blossoms, sundials, Navajo stripe. I wasn't crazy about the black prints within and I'm a novice quilter, but I needed a not so bright color to balance the bright orange, turquoise, golden yellow and purple. Bright colors are definitely me and I'm still learning about balance. ("Native Soleil" by Diane Beavers. Photo by Diane Beavers.) In August I began following the Fat Quarter Shop Blog about the release of the Fat Quarter Style It's Sew Emma Pattern book. Now... Continue reading
Posted Nov 17, 2014 at sewtakeahike
Is Gene Black, who chose the Island Breeze fat quarter set. I can't wait to see your creation Gene! xo, Penny Continue reading
Posted Nov 16, 2014 at sewtakeahike
Today I am so excited to introduce you all to FabricCadabra! They are a fabric loving sister duo (Lastenia and Mayka) who exude love for their (rather large!) families. Here's a bit about them! We are two sisters who love fabric and love to sew. Lastenia is the oldest and wisest of our family of 7 children and I (Mayka) am the 5th. Combined, we have 13 children who are rambunctious, rowdy, and amazing. Lastenia started sewing as a young girl making all our Cabbage Patch doll clothes thanks to 4H, eventually making all our wedding dresses. While she was honing her mad dress-making skills, I was running around in wheat fields pretending to be an Indian princess. Eventually I learned how to sew enough to where I could decorate my room. Since then we’ve become level 37 sewing ninjas turning out everything from doll clothes, dresses, even bow ties, pillows, and curtains. When we’re not running around to 5 different soccer teams or 12 music lessons between our two families, we create things with our handy-dandy sewing machines. Fabric makes us happy, so it seemed only natural to open a fabric shop. Our goal is to make something out of every fabric we sell in our shop, which won’t be hard since we create with each other, and love it. Here are a few of their joint ventures: Now for some really exciting news! FabricCadabra is generously offering you 15% off all the bundles in their shop from today through next Friday Nov 21. Use the code BONANZA15 when checking out for your discount! Also, they are giving away this beautiful Melody Miller "Mustang" bundle! Leave a comment on this post to enter. I'll choose a winner on Wednesday Nov 19! Make sure you keep in touch with FabricCadabra by following them: facebook: Instagram: Web Page/Blog: Pinterest: Thank you so much FabricCadabra!!! xo, Penny Continue reading
Posted Nov 14, 2014 at sewtakeahike
Let's have a bit of fun with some fabric today, shall we? The folks over at P&B textiles are offering up a fat quarter set of your choice (see choices below) and in return, they are asking for you to make something pretty from it and send pics to me so I can do a shout out of your lovely creation. Super easy, huh? Are you in? If so, leave a comment with your choice of the pretty fabrics you'd like to work with, and if you already have an idea, what you might make with them. I'll choose a winner on Sunday and P&B will mail the fabrics directly to you to get started! So here we go. The jawdropping collections you have to choose from! (Make sure and click through on the link to see the entire collection, the pics I've posted are only a sample of the line) *First up is Island Breeze: (I love the bright cheery colors of this line!) *Second, there is Luxury Essentials (these prints have gold metallics in them!!!) *Third, we have Fontaine for you low volume lovers: *Fourth, there is the romantic Blissful Moments *And lastly, some luxurious blenders called Bella Suede I cannot wait to see what you'd choose and what you might make! xo, Penny Continue reading
Posted Nov 12, 2014 at sewtakeahike
I'm excited that a fellow Coloradoan is the winner this time around, Anne! Make sure and check out her blog, her take on modern quilting is breathtaking! xo, Penny Continue reading
Posted Nov 8, 2014 at sewtakeahike
Have you all heard that Allegory is hosting a QAL for 318 Patchwork Patterns? She is making 4 mini blocks from the book each week until Dec 1 and posting tips for making the blocks each week. There are a few of us that chose a block for her to make each week, and the block I chose is the chicken. The original chicken pattern in the book has a total of 5 y-seams. I made one change to the pattern to cut out two of the y-seams and two sections. It doesn't change the look of the chicken, it just made it easier to piece! Here's what I did: The pattern was originally broken into two sections (indicated by the green areas inside the pink lines). Instead, I crossed out the green sections and made the pink lined area all one area, which could be part of the chicken head section. This reduced the pattern by 2 y-seams, indicated by the red arrows. Because this book is so full of y-seams in the pieced patterns, I hope this helps you all to be creative and make the piecing a bit easier when you can! And make sure and check out Allegory's posts for more tips! xo, Penny Continue reading
Posted Nov 6, 2014 at sewtakeahike
The folks at Kansas City Star Quilts and the My Stars blog have come out with a serious winner in the book Optical Illusions. The photography is urban and so very inspired. My quilt, Blurred Vision (quilted by Susan Santisteven) is no where close to the coolest quilts in this book! I mean, just look at 3D Diamonds by Jenifer Dick And Aura by Jaime David And there are many many more. If you're liking what you're seeing in these pics, make sure and leave a comment on this post for a chance to win a copy of the book Optical Illusions, courtesy of the My Stars Blog. I'll choose a winner on Friday. Here's a list of the designers and blog hop participants! Check out their posts (and giveaways!) and be inspired! Nov. 3 My Stars – Kick Off Deb Rowden Nov. 4 Angela Walters Nov. 5 Penny Layman Nov. 6 Melissa Corry Lily’s Quilts Fat Quarter Shop Nov. 7 My Stars on behalf of Mary Kay Fosnacht/Karen Hansen Nov. 10 Jamie David Nov. 11 Tia Curtis Elizabeth Timmons Tammie Schaffer Nov. 12 Katie Larson Nov. 13 Jenifer Dick Trisch Price Nov. 14 Jessica Toye Jacquie Gering Shea Henderson Continue reading
Posted Nov 5, 2014 at sewtakeahike
Erin! Thank you everyone for entering the 318 Patchwork Patterns book giveaway World Book Media hosted here on sewtakeahike! Continue reading
Posted Nov 2, 2014 at sewtakeahike