Interview with Ashley Gries of Casa & Co–a Martha Stewart

I was so excite dto see that a good friend of mine, Ashley Gries of Casa & Co, whom I met through the crafty world is a 2014 Finalist in the Martha Stewart American Made contest! 


I’ve talked about Ashley to you all before – she makes my most favorite pillow ever – “But Seriously, Let’s Make Out” and then my second favorite pillow ever – “Maybe Later”.  I’m just so excited for her and love seeing amazing things happen to amazing people!

To help her make it to the top – head over to HERE and place your vote for her!  And now – let’s find out a little more about her in a mini interview I did with her … (PS – you get 6 votes/day and quilter, Heather Jones, is also a finalist!  Yeah Heather!!!)

How did you initially get started selling on Martha Stewart?

I initially got started selling with Martha Stewart online by sheer luck and being in the right place at the right time. I was contacted by one of their editors out of the blue! When I asked how they had come across my products, they said 'one of our editors saw them at a show in NYC'. Well, I hadn't done any shows in NYC, and the only place that had featured my pillows in the city was STORY - a pop-up shop in Chelsea. STORY had also contacted me out of the blue because they had seen my products at a feature that BRIKA had done in Manhattan, and BRIKA found me through Etsy. Etsy has really been amazing for me!

How did it feel to find out you were nominated?  How did making it into the finals make you feel?

Being nominated and becoming a finalist has been exhilarating. I am so proud, and honored, and thrilled to have been chosen as a finalist - and it's still sinking in! The level of talent out there in the world is continually inspiring and I am constantly in awe of what people are doing. To be chosen as a finalist alongside some of my professional role-models is ridiculously flattering.

What is your top selling pillow phrase?

let her sleepThe current top-selling pillow phrase is "Let Her Sleep, For When She Wakes She Will Move Mountains" - I think a lot of people are buying it as a gift for baby girls - it was also featured in a recent Martha Stewart Email about great gifts for new parents, so I think that has been driving it more too. (Our other most popular quote is "But seriously, let's make out" - for obvious reasons!)

What is your personal favorite pillow phrase?

start where

My personal favorite pillow phrase is "Start where you are, use what you have, do what you can" because I constantly am putting up mental road-blocks, but this phrase reminds me that anything can be accomplished with what's on-hand. (That's actually how Casa & Co. started too!)

Check out all of Ashley’s pillows on her etsy site here and don’t forget to place for your vote(s) HERE! Congrats Ashley!

Pine Trees Crossroads Block Tutorial

I’m back with another tutorial for the 52 Twisted Tradition Blocks Quilt Along

Pine Tree Crossroads Block Tutorial for

52 Twisted Traditional Block Quilt Along

Finished Block Size – 16” x 16”

By twisting the traditional block ‘Kentucky Crossroads’ we can create a pine tree forest!

Cutting Instructions

  Nine Patch Squares (brown and green)

Color 1 (brown): 5 – 2.5” squares
Color 2 (green): 4 – 2.5” squares

Tree Trunks (brown)
4 – 2.5” x 6.5”

Tree Branches (greens)
4 sets of 4 – 3” squares (they could be 12 of the same fabrics or a mixture of fabrics)

Background (Blue)
12 – 3” squares
2 – 7” squares, cut in half diagonally
8 – 2” x 6.5” rectangles



Layout the four 2.5” green squares and the five 2.5” brown squares in the placement shown above.


Sew them together into a 9 patch. Place it on the diagonal on your design wall.


Draw a diagonal line on the wrong side of your 3” background square.


Place the 3” background square right sides together with one of the 3” tree fabric squares (green). Stitch a quarter inch seam on both sides of the line you drew.


Cut along the line. Press toward the darker fabric.


Line up two squares so they ‘kiss at the seam.


Square the half square triangles down to 2.5” squares. Repeat this with the remaining 3” background fabrics with the 3” tree fabric. You will have 24 HSTs when you are finished.


Lay them out as shown above with the trunk fabric.


Sew each tree section together.


Cut your 7” background squares in half diagonally.


Layout the triangles on your design wall as shown above. Sew this all together by sewing into three diagonal strips first and then sewing the three strips together.
Okay – the first time I made this block I made it completely like the Kentucky Crossroads block would look like.  Here’s what happened:
IMG_3455Those pine trees really needed a top.  I was going to be lazy and just leave it but my friend Trish said I should really add the tops for this block.  So … here they are!


Let’s make our corners! Take your remaining 3” tree square and sew a 2” x 6.5” strip onto one side.


Sew the other 2” x 6.5” background strip to the other corner.


With your ruler, line up the two corners of the squares.


Trim off the excess fabrics.


Find the center of the trunks and place a pin there.


Find the center of the triangles and match it to the center of the trunk – pin these right sides together.


Sew the triangle onto your tree block.


Trim off the excess fabric and square up the block. Repeat with all four corners. Square entire block up to 16.5” by 16.5”.


And with that…your ‘Pine Tree Crossroads’ block is finished!

Get your FREE printable PDF of this block by heading to my craftsy store.  Don’t wait too long…after a month (10/17), the PDF will be $1.

I can’t wait to see what all your blocks look like!  Be sure to share you blocks and any projects you make using your blocks onto our flickr group: 52 Blocks Quilt Along
Hashtag: #52bTT


Sewing with Nancy and a Giveway sponsored by Fabrics N Quilts

EEEEEEK!!!!! I’m so excited!  The episode I taped with Nancy Zieman earlier this year (yes – Sewing with Nancy, Nancy Zieman) has been released to PBS Stations near you – oh and the internet!
That’s right – Quick Column Quilts, Part 3 is the show that my ‘Nancy’s Corner’ episode where I talk with Nancy about Project Quilting!1056824_10202617928305796_1896662735_n
You can also now go and buy the dvd/book of Quick Column Quilts!  They sent me a dvd about a month back so that’s been the new ‘movie night’ video – “Let’s watch mommy on ’Sewing with Nancy’”!

Check your local PBS station to find out when ‘2806, Quick Column Quilts’ airs by you!
If you want to join in some ‘off season’ Project QUILTING fun don’t miss out on this months challenge – Make it a Mini.


To celebrate this – Shannon from Fabrics N Quilts offered to host a giveaway on my blog! 
nancy bag
Fabrics N Quilts is giving a $25 gift certificate to her shop – Fabrics N Quilts AND a Trace n Create Bag Template from Nancy Zieman. 
In order to win just leave a comment below answering one simple question.
Do you watch Sewing with Nancy?  If yes – do you have any great memories from her show?  If no – do you watch any shows about sewing/quilting?
BONUS Entries  Leave a separate comment for each to gain extra entries (7 more chances).
Seriously – if you don’t leave your email address, I won’t be able to get ahold of you and you won’t get the prize…this is very important!
Giveaway closes on Tuesday 9/23/14. 
Fabrics N Quilts is hosting the fourth annual Scrap Quilt Challenge!  You have a month left to finish your quilt!  Don’t miss out!

Paper Chains Spoonflower Fabric

I love tweaking photographs into great fabrics that I can use in my quilts and projects!  Today I’m going to share with you two new fabrics available at my spoonflower shop for you all to enjoy too!


Earlier in the year, Karmen Lindner Photography had a Matilda Jane (order clothes with trunk keeper #450) release party at her studio.  Not only did the girls get to try on all the new clothes – they had a photo shoot too and I got some great pictures of my girls in the MJ clothing!  Anyway – take a close look at the background of the picture and see if anything looks familiar in my new fabrics …

Paper Chain Magic

Paper Chain Magic

paper chains

Paper Chains

I LOVED all the images she captured of my girls using this backdrop but I couldn’t help but see some fabulous fabric using the paper chain images.  I asked Karmen permission to crop out some bits of her photo’s to make some fabric designs which she granted me.  I can’t wait to use these great pastel, geometric, chevron-esque printed fabric in a project!


photos by Karmen Lindner Photography

North Star: Fresh Mini Quilt Club

I’m addicted to mini quilts!  I wanted to share my latest mini quilt top finish with you all tonight. 


This is ‘North Star Mini Quilt’ from Canoe Ridge Creations Fresh Mini Quilt Club.  I was in my ‘red and white’ mode from the August Project QUILTING Challenge when I made this.  I feel like there are so many color combinations that would be great with this pattern!

Now – I just have to quilt it!


Linking up to TGIFF and Finish Up Friday.

Curious Cats Block Tutorial from Guest, Nancy Myers of Patchwork Breeze

I’m thrilled to be introducing you to today’s guest blogger for the 52 Twisted Tradition Blocks Quilt Along!
Our twisted tradition block designer is Nancy A. Myers of Patchwork Breeze!  Before we see which block she ‘twisted’ for us today – let’s find out a little bit more about her.

What is your favorite thing about Quilt Alongs?
I enjoy seeing what others have created, how they interpret a block or idea, and sharing with others. The more the merrier! 
What type of quilter do you consider yourself - traditional, modern, contemporary, other...?
I would call myself eclectic. I learned to quilt by hand with cardboard templates and pencil lines and moved on to using the sewing machine almost exclusively in the past few years.  I have tried many quilting techniques and of late, am trying to combine a few  in a  project. My favorite is kaleidoscope blocks via Bethany Reynolds' Stack 'n Whack technique.  I am always amazed with the unpredictable patterns that are formed. 

What other quilt alongs are you participating in in 2014
I have participated in a few  --  EQ Photo Fun Blog Hop, Think Ruffles with Sew We Quilt. I have only begun finding quilt alongs and haven't had much time to devote to them until now.  I am a member of an on-line art quilting group, Four in Art, which I enjoy. I have participated in some of the exchanges that Bea Lee ( have hosted.

Apples or oranges? 
Well now, is this a trick question? Of course, I have to say APPLES! (I will interpret this question literally.) I like eating apples, making applesauce, and any baked good that has apples in it. They come in so many different colors, flavors and sizes. They grow on all around where I live in western Michigan. And they say, "An apple a day keeps the doctor away." 

Favorite Book: 
I discovered Diana Gabaldon's series, "Outlander" in 2000 and have read all 10 of her books. By far, these books are my favorites. They include so much--history, intrigue, romance, mystery, and more. And it is now being produced as a series! 
And without further adieu … let’s check out the 37th block!
cats name
Find out how to make your very own ‘Curious Cats’ block by heading over to Patchwork Breeze and checking out her tutorial!  The mouse fabric in the middle is just too perfect!!!  I can’t wait to get started on my block!
Thanks again Nancy for joining in the fun and sharing with us your ‘twisted’ version of a traditional block!

ooooh... and to top off this great tutorial Nancy is also having a GIVEAWAY!  Head over ASAP!

I can’t wait to see what all your blocks look like!  Be sure to share you blocks and any projects you make using your blocks onto our flickr group: 52 Blocks Quilt Along
Hashtag: #52bTT 


Apple Season In Review

Well, I’ve made it through three weeks of the 2014 apple season.  It’s been full of welcoming new customers and catching up with the regulars.


Our cats and kittens have been a HUGE hit with both the adults and children. 


They seem to like to lay out in a big pile on the couch we have just outside the shop.  IMG_3198

The little Karmen Lindner Photography Library is open for business and kids have been finding new books and treasures to take home to read!


Before the girls started back at school we did our orchard’s photo scavenger hunt.  They had fun for at least a little while. 

IMG_3024Our new honey stick station is a HUGE hit!


And many many pints of raspberries have been picked, consumed and preserved for later consumption and/or processing.

selfie contest - Eleanor

We’re having a #selfie contest for folks who wear our #pleasedontsqueezemyapples t-shirts!  Above is my adorable goddaughter Eleanor going for her chance at the win!

The honeycrisp apples are just about and ready to pick.  Once those get started things are definitely going to get a little crazy at the orchard!  I’ll keep you posted about the exciting happenings!



Bye for now!