Tricks to Being Productive While Hauling Your Kids Around–Back to School Blog Hop 2017

Everyone tells you when you start having children that you’re going to lose all the time you once had.  And you never believe them until they get older and you can’t say no or make them choose just one extracurricular activity … and then you realize they were all right! This post isn’t just for people with kids but really for anyone that is out and about but still want to accomplish at least some sewing activities. 

BTS 9 Kim Lapacek

When Sam Hunter asked if I wanted to join in the 2017 Back to School Blog Hop I knew I wanted to share with you all the tips and tricks I’ve found to being productive while always on the run.


I have three beautiful girls ages 10, 9 and 6.  They participate in gymnastics, dance, softball and gymnastics.  My family also owns and operates an apple orchard.  As most are these days, we are busy.  I really don’t mind being busy and my kids are thriving in school as well as their activities.

When I go to guilds to give my talk, “Wildly Careening Into Quilts: What I learned by not knowing what I didn’t know” one of the most often questions I get is, “Do you ever sleep?”  My answer is a resounding “YES!  I just don’t clean my house.”  But really it’s more than that.  I work efficiently.  I am always prepared with a project I can work on when I know I will just be sitting somewhere.  snail trail quilt by kim lapacek

Luckily, the gymnastics club the girls are at has Wi-Fi.  I get a lot of computer work done while I sit and watch them at practice.  Unfortunately that doesn’t work quite so well at a basketball game or softball tournament.  For those events you’ll often see me with a needle, thread, and thimble on my finger, working on a project.  Did I mention I’m the super cool mom that never embarrasses her kids? 

Below I’m going to share with you a few projects you can prep to work on while you’re on the go and will make the time you do have at your machine more efficient. 

First and foremost – binding.  I know there are ways to bind by machine and folks that do it very well; I’m not one of those folks.  I’m just not comfortable with it. 

binding at a basketball gameI find binding at basketball games works really well.  It’s actually usually pretty cool in the gym so it’s not bad to have a quilt over your lap.  In a jam, I will bind at a softball game but prefer to bind smaller projects since it’s usually too hot to have a quilt over my lap.  orange slice hot pad by kim lapacekI have a huge fat quarter bag that I fill with projects and my needle, thread, thimble and scissors that I haul along with me whenever there is even potential to sew. binding at a softball gameI find that hand sewing while the girls are playing also helps keep me more calm.  I realize they’re young still but it’s absolutely ridiculous just how stressful games can get! 

I don’t always have quilts and projects ready for hand binding when I need them so I have to plan other projects too.  An easy thing to carry around is a bunch of pre-cut circles that I can sew into yo-yo’s.  I dream of making another big and crazy yoyo quilt so whenever the mood hits me and I’m out and about I sew a few here and there.

english paper piecing prep

English paper piecing is also a great take along project.  It’s easy to put some fabric scraps, paper templates, a glue stick and your hand sewing kit in the bag and sew some hexagons together.

But some projects you may not think about …

Pinning curved pieces.  Yes!  I recently started playing with Color Girl Quilts new ruler – the Classic Curve Ruler.  One of the reasons I’m not a fan of curved piecing is the pinning that is involved.


Turns out – it’s not so bad pinning curves while you’re watching a softball game! That way, I’m not in my sewing room pinning when I could be sewing.  I prepped a bunch of fabric pairs, packed the pincushion and got all of my curves pinned and ready for the next time I was back in the sewing room.


(The #sewsampler box from the Fat Quarter Shop’s monthly subscription club works great to bring along on the go projects.”

If you’re like me and love using your fabric strips to make #scrappytripalong blocks, you have another great take along project.  Ripping the seams you need to rip before you sew the second set of blocks together is a perfect on the go project!  Here is a link to Quiltville’s tutorial on how to make scrappy trip along blocks in case you’re completely lost at the moment.  There is a point in the block where you have six tubes that need to have a seam ripped about before the next step. 


I cut up these strip set tubes, pin them together and bring them along for ripping.  It’s easy to rip a seam, place the strip in my lap and rip the correct seams after that.  Once I have all six strips ready, I pin it back together in a group and it’s all ready for me to sew together once I’m back at the sewing machine.


As I find less and less time at the machine and more and more time at the field or gym I’m sure I’ll come up with more on the go projects but for now – this is keeping me busy and efficient!  As an added bonus, I have all the girls’ friends at least interested in quilting and loving watching the progress I make from the start of the game to the end.

Do you have a favorite on the go project?  I’d love it if you shared it with me!

Thanks for stopping by!  Be sure to check out all the other amazing tips and tricks shared on this years Back to School Blog Hop. 

The full schedule is HERE and Yvonne Fuchs: Circuitboard quilting on Domestic and Longarm Machines – is up tomorrow!

Back to School Blog Hop 2017

It’s not what you’re thinking … this has nothing to do with getting the kids ready for classes to start … this Back to School Blog Hop is all about sewing!

back to school blog hop

The hop started today with the lovely Sam Hunter owner of Hunter’s Design Studio and the brains behind this whole thing!  She’s sharing with you tips on how to spray baste a BIG quilt!  I definitely need to read about it.

I’ll be joining in on the fun on August 23rd with tips on how to be productive when your life is busy. 

It’s going to be an epic 32 days with so much great information shared by some really talented people in the sewing and quilting industry!

Month 7–Half Square Triangle and Quarter Square Triangle–Bella Skill Builder Quilt Along

This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.


Happy August 1st everyone!  August 1st means it’s just 14 days until my families apple orchard opens AND that the next block of the Fat Quarter Shop “Bella Skill Builder” is revealed today!

This month you will be using half square triangles and quarter square triangles to build featured blocks in this sample quilt.The Creative Grids Half Square 4-in-1 Triangle Ruler and the Creative Grids 4 1/2″ Quilting Square Ruler are both useful in this block but not necessary. 
Block 7A.

Once again, I used a mixture of the light and darker bella solids from the random bella solid bundles I started this project with.  I love the scrappy feel it creates and the uniqueness of each block. 
Block 7B.

Look at what a huge impact the quarter square triangles make!  It’s crazy how different scales of the same shape can have such an impact.


Here all my blocks so far.  This image is NOT TO SCALE – juts a collage of pictures I’ve been taking over the last few months.  I’m digging where this is heading!

Now head on over to the Jolly Jabber to see what other bloggers and quilters are doing with their Bella Sampler Quilts!  It’s so fun to see all the different versions!

There’s a Facebook Group now too that you can share your work in!


sew sampler blox

Have you signed up for the “Sew Sampler” box from the Fat Quarter Shop?  I’ve been a member for about 9 months now and it’s something I look forward to each month!  Also a great gift idea for the quilter in your life!

Do Over–August Off Season Project QUILTING Challenge

August!?  Already!?  I can’t believe it’s already August – this summer is flying by!  Actually I don’t know why I’m surprised – this is exactly what happens every summer – time flies.  I have a confession … last month was the very first Project QUILTING Challenge I didn’t manage to finish.  I just had too much on my plate.  I do think I’ll still make something but first I have some actual deadlines I have to finish up.  Be sure to head over to the Summer Sizzle post though and click on the quilts that WERE made … they are quite fabulous!  And if you didn’t finish – like me – you can link up at any time you make something that “Summer Sizzle” inspired you to make.

Galaxies Converge - by Kim Lapacek
Galaxies Converge for the Stars Over America Challenge

Do Over

1.  The challenge for August is “Do Over.”  Either be inspired by the phrase “Do Over” or do something you missed out on, something you did that was fun, something you tried but didn’t quite work the way you were hoping.  All the photos in this post are of projects I’ve done for previous Project QUILTING Challenges – feel free to look through if you want some inspiration and a chance to “do over” a challenge you didn’t do.

2. Incomplete or unfinished does not qualify. Every challenge piece must be a FINISHED project seen through from INCEPTION to COMPLETION during the challenge timeline (August 1st, 2017 through August 31st, 2017). Each piece must stand alone as DONE to count toward prizes. 
3. Please remember that these projects need to be created during the week of the challenge (started on or after August 1st, finished by August 31st)

Rows of Circles Quilt by Kim Lapacek

Rows of Circles for the Office Supply Store Challenge

4. Your project does not need to be a traditional quilt, but must meet at least one of these requirements:

  • Include patchwork.
  • Include appliqué.
  • Have 3 layers stitched together by hand or machine.

Barn Bones Quilt by Kim Lapacek

Barn Bones for the Architectural Element Challenge

5. Link up a blog post, flickr image, instagram post, or public facebook post to the linky at the bottom of THIS PAGE by Monday, August 31st, at 11:55pm CDT. Alternately, you may email the picture and description to {lapaceksorchard at gmail dot com} with PROJECT QUILTING in the subject line by Noon on Monday, August 31st. Yes - that deadline is earlier because it requires more work for Kim (which she is FINE with) and she isn’t staying up until Midnight on the due date of the challenge.
When you create your PQ entry's blog post or instagram or flickr image, please include:

  • a description of your creative process,
  • the overall size of your project (it's so hard to tell in a picture!)
  • where you are (ie, I create in Lodi WI)

If you decide to just directly upload your image to the link up party please email Kim {lapaceksorchard at gmail dot com} this information so she can share it with everyone else.

Celebrate Annie's by Kim Lapacek

“Celebrate Annie” for the Annie’s Vision Challenge


  • Please use the hashtag #pqoffseason when posting on social networking sites to help spread the word about this fabulous quilting challenge!
  • Share progress pictures on Facebook, Instagram, and your blog - seeing your process and how you get to the final project is part of the fun!
  • If you can, post your project to the Project QUILTING Flickr Group because that's how I make mosaics and it's fun to see them grouped together there.
  • Make sure you like Project QUILTING on Facebook.
  • We have created a ‘Challenge Quilts’ Facebook Group for you to share your thoughts, questions, and friendship on PQ and other quilting challenges. Just ask to join.

With that – good luck and have fun!


logo_crafty_sewing_150x150Marcia of Marcia’s Crafty Sewing and Quilting has generously offered to give each participant  a PDF Downloadable Pattern from her Craftsy Pattern Store!  How cool is that?  When you finish the challenge and link up to the post just email Marcia {marcia (at) craftysewing (dot) com} to redeem your prize!

Be sure to LINK UP your finished projects by 11:55pm on August 31st!

Two for Teal Mini Swap

Hey everybody - this is Trish Frankland (aka QUILTchicken) and it's time again to talk about a project close to my heart: the Two for Teal Mini Swap fundraiser for the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund.

This is a fun annual event coordinated by Beth Helfter of EvaPaige Quilt Design. It's $15 to sign up ($18 for Canadians), you receive a piece of inspiration fabric to include in your project, and you're paired with another quilter. Then, it's swap away!

This is a cause close to my heart because I'm a 12-year ovarian cancer survivor. I was lucky - mine was caught early - but many others don't get that same advantage. And so I work to offer HOPE, I work to raise awareness, and I work to raise money for research.

Ribbons? I'd Rather Have Thread

Last year over 400 quilters came together to raise more than $4,000 for Ovarian Cancer Research Fund Alliance. It's a great cause, it's a great time, and you get a really cool little gift from some other awesome quilter who may be your new best friend. YES!


Do you know the signs of ovarian cancer? Most frequently, the symptoms include 1) bloating, 2) pelvic or abdominal pain, 3) trouble eating, 4) urinary symptoms. These same symptoms can result from other, benign causes. But a persistence or severity of symptoms OR a change in your own personal "normal" are always reasons to see professional examination.

Two for Teal Mug Rug Swap registration is open now and will be open until 8/29/17 or until the cap of 650 registrants is reached. 

Be a part of the community chatter by joining the Teal Mini Swap facebook page.  It's a great group of like-minded people who are supportive and encouraging. When the swaps start happening, the Facebook group is also where people post pictures, so you get to see all the awesome creativity.

The donation to OCRF will be made in September, and the final amount raised will be announced on the Two for Teal Facebook page.

Click HERE to register for this swap.

Fiesta de Azucar week #4

Just a reminder that the blog hop for Fiesta de Azucar is going on right now. Nine talented designers each created a custom sugar skull design. Buy the patterns for $3 and complete a project using one or more to be eligible for great prizes! Join the Facebook group to read more
Here on Persimon Dreams we're hosting week #9 with a design made by Trish Frankland (aka QUILTchicken) and that will go live Saturday, August 26th. Trust me - you don't want to miss this inspired design!18839169_1714485218564818_4469998152105482409_n

But in the meantime, check out the other four blocks that have been published - especially this week's entry by my friend Cheryl Sleboda over at Her design is a variation of her logo, and of course it's got eyebrows that are ON FLEEK.

cheryl sleboda

Designs are released each Saturday morning, and we'll see you back here August 26 for Trish's design.


This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

Spelling Bee Book by Lori Holt

Fabulous Giveaway at the Fat Quarter Shop

This is such a fabulous giveaway that it deserved a blog pot about it.fqs-giveaway-pinktext

The Fat Quarter Shop is teaming up with Bernina to giveaway a special edition Cotton + Steel Hello Lovely B350 sewing machine!  Seriously!?  How amazing is this!!!!?!fqs-giveaway1

Watch this video to see a little bit more about this wonderful machine that is being GIVEN AWAY.Fat Quarter Shop Quilting Fabric and Supplies

Click through to The Fat Quarter Shop’s blog to enter through Rafflecopter. Each task will give you one entry, for a total maximum of 7 entries. This giveaway will end on Tuesday, July 25, 2017 at midnight CST, and the winner will be drawn at random and announced on July 26, 2017.

Good luck!

*some posts on this blog contain affiliate links to vendors such as Amazon - at no additional cost to you. The small amount of affiliate income I earn allows me to bring you free patterns and DIY tutorials, as well as pay for domain fees. For more information, please visit my Disclosure Statement and Advertising Policies page.