Skialtadiamonddust 1024x1024 Favorite Things: Ski Utah

Last week at Alta–it was a diamond dust snow day, and just breathtaking. And a balmy 22 degrees at the base, so that was happy. 

When we decided to move to Utah, I told my husband I was going to learn to ski. I hate being cold. I don’t love snow. Utah has a lot of both. I thought if I learned to ski, then I might be excited about the snow, and therefore less miserable.

My yard has had snow in it since November 10, so I would say learning to ski was a very smart idea.

skialta 1024x1024 Favorite Things: Ski Utah

Note that my snow pants are the Kona color of the year, Highlight. My snow pants didn’t fit (thanks, baby. and chocolate), so I bought the cheapest/best quality I could find. Can’t imagine why these sweet Burton pants were on the clearance rack. Ha! My husband says it makes me easy to find.

I took two lessons at the Alta Ski School, and they were fantastic. I highly recommend their beginner adult lessons if you ever find yourself in Utah, don’t know how to ski, and want to learn.

My skis (not necessarily me) are fast, and I took my first tumble last week when my 9 year old and I went on a Saturday ski date. We decided not to take the route marked “easiest way.” I called it a tumble. He called it an epic crash. I guess sliding down a mountain 20 feet on your back might qualify as an epic crash. I was unhurt, he was behind me, and was able to grab my poles. Ha!

fairviewcanyon 1024x768 Favorite Things: Ski Utah

Fairview Canyon, New Years Day

Skiing makes me happy. Skiing is getting me in better shape. Skiing makes the snow feel magical.

I really, really, really love to ski. I might not ever make it off of the green routes (but I hear Utah greens are harder than some blues out there, just saying.). My 9 year old prefers going off the groomed path, but I think I’ll stay right here, thank you very much.

Viva winter!

Posted in Favorite Things, Great Outdoors | Tagged , , | 13 Responses

TipsforSewingwithKids 1024x1024 10 Tips for Sewing with Kids

In case you have kids in your life (your own children, neighbor kids, grandkids, nieces or nephews) etc. who want to learn to sew, especially over Winter Break, I thought I would share a few things I have learned lately. In the last six months, my 6 and 9 year old have gone from pushing the pedal while I guide the fabric, to sewing almost entirely on their own!  In June, I blogged about a new quilt bee my kids are involved in, and it has been a great starting point!  Some of these tips might be intuitive, but still helpful.

IMG 1745 10 Tips for Sewing with Kids

 Denyse Schmidt style block for Faith’s son

1. Start with small projects that can be completed in an hour. Kids don’t have a long attention span, and everyone likes to be able to finish something! We made holiday garlands  few years ago, a fun place to start!

2. If you are sewing on a deadline, start early.  Everything takes longer than you think it will, and things seems to turn up. Like book reports. Or football practice. Don’t wait until the last second to mail your bee blocks or you will be late every.single.time. (Voice of experience, here).

3. Try to teach your kids a variety of skills. In this bee so far, we have worked on paper piecing, precision piecing, and wonky blocks.

sewing with kids string block 1024x1024 10 Tips for Sewing with Kids

string blocks for Jen’s daughter

4. Be patient. Sometimes, you will need a lot of patience. Last week my six year old told me, “I just love sewing with you. Even when you get mad.”  If you have a hard time being patient with your kids, consider swapping lessons with someone else who sews, or sending them to a sewing camp, sewing lessons, etc.  No shame in that.

5. Encourage sewing *and* be ready with a redirect. Sewing with kids is rarely convenient. It *can* be rewarding.  My daughter was intent on making a Christmas dress for her doll. I suggested making a Christmas garland for her room. She agreed,  and she did it almost entirely herself. Win, win.

6.  Sometimes, a child’s enthusiasm and sense of accomplishment is more important than perfect (or even close) points. My daughter came to me one night and said, “Mom, my teacher’s birthday is tomorrow and I know she will just love it if we sew her a zipper pouch.” So many things in that sentence made me want to cringe, but I decided to go along with it.  She was soooo proud, and insisted on making it a patchwork pouch (of course.) I put in the zipper, but she sewed almost everything else. She never would have been able to do that six months ago. In the end, I was glad we sewed together. We can do hard things!

vintage bernina 1024x1024 10 Tips for Sewing with Kids

apparently we make a lot of last minute zipper pouches together

7. Two machines. If you have the space and budget, having two sewing machines is awesome. You can sew while the child sews (once they don’t need as much help). I think it’s great if kids learn to sew on a “real” machine, one that doesn’t have tension problems and sews well. Craigslist is a great place to find older machines.  Tip: Wonder clips instead of pins sometimes work really well with little fingers.


sewing with kids 16 patch 1024x1024 10 Tips for Sewing with Kids

8. Sew with one child at a time. Sewing with both of my kids is always a disaster.

9. Maybe the most important!!! Safety first. Teach your kids how to iron correctly, how to cut with scissors (or a rotary cutter when it comes to that), not to put pins in their mouth, etc. There is no reason they can’t start out just pushing the pedal while you do everything else. Follow your instincts and common sense.

ninja star 1024x1024 10 Tips for Sewing with Kids

Ninja star block made for Faith’s daughter… I should have limited color choices because it totally doesn’t go with the other blocks…but he was so excited about it. Lessons learned!

10. Limit choices. If you are making a star block, pick three star blocks you are willing to help them make and give them a choice. If your color palette is green, teal, and purple, pick fabric before hand and let them choose from that. They still get to make choices, but your color palettes aren’t jarring.

11. Bonus: Have fun. Take deep breaths. Celebrate the process.


Posted in Improv Sewing, Quilt Blocks, Sewing + Friends, Sewn | 8 Responses

Christmas Fabric Palette 1024x1024 Sewn: A Little Bit of Christmas Sewing

Every holiday, I want to dig into my fabric bins and sew, sew, sew.  Like everyone else, my time is limited, but finishing a few small projects makes me so happy!

I made the fabric swatches into little buntings. Each fabric is 3.5″ square; I measured the smallest scrap and went from there. I used Pellon Craft Fuse on the back (I have tried a few interfacings and this one seems to hold up best), and then a pre-made bias tape. I love how they turned out. I made three and sent them to friends in Virginia as a little Christmas-I-love-you gift. My daughter also made one for her room out of a mini charm pack! So easy and fun.

Hello Darling Geranium Dress 1024x1024 Sewn: A Little Bit of Christmas Sewing

I’m making the baby a Geranium Dress (it is all cut out!), and made my six-year old a Roller Skate Dress out of the same fabric yesterday (more on that next week!) I highly recommend both patterns. They are really similar, but I liked the gathered waist for my older daughter.  The fabric is a Hello Darling print by Bonnie and Camille. It just screams Christmas, don’t you think?? Bonus: It is still widely available.

IMG 1800 1024x1024 Sewn: A Little Bit of Christmas Sewing


This year’s go-to teacher gift was a key fob (Liberty Lifestyle and Blueberry Park Fabric) and a gift card. Easy. Quick. Happy.

Have a great weekend!

Posted in Sewn | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Response

Star Wars Quilt 1024x1024 Favorite Things: A Star Wars Quilt (block)

I just *had* to post this today. May the force be with you. And may the force be with me, that I can sew my little guts out and make my blocks into a (secret) quilt in the next few days!

Posted in Favorite Things, Quilt Blocks, Sewn | Tagged , , | 7 Responses
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