cApRi’S LeMoNaDe StAnD

I have to admit that we don’t get to do too many ‘special’ things with our girls during the fall.  They help us with our work and we see them for meals and things but we don’t get out much, watch movies or even snuggle all that much during these three months.  Luckily they have amazing grandparents, aunts, uncles, friends, and baby sitters that help make the fall special for them at times too.

When Capri came home from school a few weeks ago so excited about the ‘green lemonade’ that she made in school I knew that somehow we’d have to have a lemonade stand for her.  I emailed her scheduled sitter for Saturday morning to see if she would be okay running the stand with them.  Luckily, I’m pretty sure she was as excited as the girls!  P9290102So…when Pip went down for her morning nap this Saturday morning, the girls set up ‘Capri’s Lemonade Stand.  P9290104

Since Capri is in 4K right now – she doesn’t have school on Friday’s so she hangs out with us in the store while we work.  Yesterday she spent the majority of her day working on her Lemonade sign.  I honestly don’t know where she gets the concentration or dedication to a particular project that she’s working on but it really is truly amazing for a 4 year old.  AND – isn’t her sign pretty cool?   P9290106 I was only able to visit for a moment but I was loving what I saw when I was out there.  P9290108At the point that I went for my 50-cent cup of lemonade, it was Capri’s turn to spoon out the ice cube for the lemonade – blue of course – remember, we’re selling ‘green’ lemonade here.  It turns out the girls agreed to serve three people and then switch jobs.  It’s seriously awesome when they get along…I just wish it happened all the time…P9290107 They also decided that girls would get the heart shaped ice cubes and the boys would get just regularly shaped ice cubes.  I guess they almost ‘sold out’ of the heart cubes.   P9290109Once the cube was in it was Cedi’s job to fill the cup with the yellow lemonade.   P9290110

As the ice melted – the lemonade turned to a lovely green color.  What fun!

Thanks to all the customers who came out and helped make my girls’ morning special!  And thanks to Josie for helping them man their station – I so appreciate it!

Christmas in July Block-a-thon Quilt Complete

Yeah!  I’m so excited to report that I have finished another amazing quilt!  I’ll admit – this is probably going to be the last decent sized quilt I’ll have to share with you all for awhile but don’t worry it definitely won’t be the last.  I have a few in the works right now just no time to get very far with them.

This quilt has been ‘in the works’ since about March when I asked to be one of the block designers for the quilt.  I was so excited when they said ‘yes’!  The actual quilt along started at the beginning of July.  I put my last stitch in the binding sometime last week so this quilt was only about a 3 month project.  I would say that’s a pretty quick turn around for a quilt along.

Christmas In July Block-A-Thon And here it is!  I’m so loving how the grey/white/black ‘back ground’ fabrics create such a cool combination with the A Stitch in Color by Malka Dubrawsky for Moda fabric line that I chose as my prints.  I also have to say that I LOVE the ‘cheater’ patchwork fabric print that makes it look like I worked a lot harder on my borders than I did!Christmas In July Block-A-Thon Here’s just one close up picture of the amazing design quilting that Barb Raisbeck of Quilts by Barb did on this quilt.  I am so so so in love with the pattern she chose and the heavier florescent orange thread couldn’t go any better!  Perfect choices by Barb and extremely well made!  LOVE it!Christmas In July Block-A-Thon

And I had to show off just one more picture of the overall quilt.  I have been making too many quilts that aren’t for sale yet – I really should probably put this one up.
I would love your opinion on a name for this quilt!

I don’t think ‘Christmas in July – Block-a-thon’ quite fits it…

If you’re sad that you missed this amazing quilt along – no worries!  Free Spirit has put together a ‘Flip Book’ so you can easily see all the blocks and how to make them!  I definitely need to do some ‘Flip Book’ research so I can make one up for the ‘Home Sweet Home’ Quilt Along. …

Check out this Flickr Gallery to see all the other quilts finished as the result of this quilt along – I love seeing how different everyone’s turned out!

please don’t squeeze my apples

When I first started to work in the apple business one of the most important lessons I was taught by the Lapacek’s was to be extremely gentle when handling the apples.  If you handle an apple too harshly it will bruise – even if you just squeeze it – a bruise will form.  Maybe not right away, but it won’t take long and it will be there and we all know that a bruised apple is not good.

So, I would be at the farmer’s markets and people would come by, give my apples a squeeze and say “Are these apples bruised?”.  If they weren’t before…they are now… Instead of trying to explain this each time I figured it might be better said on a shirt.

So…I created my signature shirt ‘please don’t squeeze my apples’.

Recently I’ve had a lot of compliments on my shirt and hoodies so I thought I’d post how you can get your very own.  Head over to my Zazzle shop and you can customize your very own ‘please don’t squeeze my apples’ t-shirt, hoodie, or whatever you want.  Professional Photo's of Lapacek's Orchard

photo by Friends in Photography

Zazzle’s a great way to share your design without investing too much on actual shirts that you won’t know what size and style will sell.

Professional Photo's of Lapacek's Orchard
photo by Friends in Photography

And of course – the back of your shirt will do a little promoting for our orchard too!

I have to tell you – those folks at the market tend to still squeeze my apples but there companion is usually laughing at my shirt.

Karmen Linder Photography Orchard Photoshoot

One of the awesome benefits of living on a gorgeous apple orchard is that photographer’s love to use it for their ‘back drop’ during photo shoots.  About a month back I was contacted by a ‘new to me’ photographer, a miss Karmen Linder of Karmen Linder Photography.  She came out to the orchard, we chatted, I showed her around and she met my girls.  The same day we set up a photo shoot of my girls so she could promote mini sessions at my orchard.

“Can I take pictures of your kids?”  Of course! I love having my kids photographed and they’ve been exposed to enough that they’re usually pretty good and listen to the photographer.  I just wanted to show off a few of the AMAZING shots that Karmen got of my girls!


karmen linder pipThe adorable Persimoni sporting one of my hand-dyed bubble rompers that I have for sale at my apple orchard.  Pip is at that difficult age for photo’s (16 months) but let me tell you – Karmen was excellent with her – apples on her head, shoes on her head, crazy noises and she got some amazing shots of my little doll!karmen linderCedi and Capri – Cedi’s (left) wearing an Empire Waisted Hand Dyed Dress and Capri (right) is wearing a Tie Shoulder Hand – Dyed Dress with Caplet sleeves.  I have some of the dyed dresses listed in my etsy shop but I have more to list so if you’re looking for something in particular just let me know!karmen linder amazing  Now this is my FAVORITE set up of the girls that Karmen took!  I was putting Pip down for a nap when I came back and saw this set up!  I just LOVE it!  In this shot Capri (left) is wearing a spaghetti strap empire waisted hand-dyed dress and Cedi (right) is wearing a Ruched Top Hand Dyed Sundress with Spaghetti Straps.

Thank you thank you thank you Karmen for sharing these amazing photos’ with me!

Strips and Mosaic Sashing Tutorial – Home Sweet Home Quilt Along

This sashing tutorial for the Home Sweet Home Quilt Along Quilt  is very similar to one I showed previously – Mosaic Tree Sashing.  I switched things up just a bit and lessoned the numbers of teeny tiny pieces you have to sew together.  A bit less complicated with still a great effect.  032


Cutting Instructions:

6– 1.5” x 3.5” different green rectangles

6 – 1.5-inch different brown squares

12 – 1.5-inch background squares

Piecing Instructions

Layout five of your green rectangles in the upper portion of the sashing.  Sew these five strips together.

Lay out your six brown squares between two background squares and patch this together.

Put your last green rectangle strip to the bottom of this mosaic and the five strips you sewed together earlier to the top.  You will create a strippy-mosaiced tree effect on this sashing!033 When you’re done you should have a sashing that looks like the one above – a scrappy fun tree!  This is a really fun look that goes together a bit faster than mosaicing the entire sashing.


Shown between block ‘My Home’ and block ‘Under the Moreton Bay Fig’.

Fall Is Apple Picking Time

Most of my readers know that my family owns and operates an apple orchard in Wisconsin every fall.  For those that didn’t – definitely check out my orchard blog to find out more about us!  Posts have been sporadic lately since we’re getting into major apple season right now.  We don’t have near the number of apples to pick but we still seem to have plenty to keep us busy and our store customers happy.  Tomorrow is a big event at the orchard – the Apple-Azing Race.  It’s a scavenger hunt type race based off the TV Show ‘The Amazing Race’ but ours will just take place in rural Poynette.  It seems like things have been going pretty well getting ready for it.  We have 17 teams/39 people signed up to race.  With this race we’re raising money for our local library to expand their children’s section.  I’ll be sure to post next week and let you all know how the actual event went!  P8110022 Earlier in the season I snapped some pictures of my girls picking apples.  We’re not a pick your own apple orchard – but since they’re my kids – they get to help us pick a few apples.  :)  Even Pip joined in the fun!  P8110027


Her favorite part of course was eating the apples.  It drives her crazy when she’s in the shop and people are buying bags of apples – those are her apples and she wants to eat them!  She doesn’t quite understand just how many apples we have and we have more than enough to go around and still have a few for her to eat.

P8110025  Cedi got very into the picking.  She’s been out helping her dad and Grandpa too when she’s not in school.  P8110030P8110036 P8110031  And if Capri is in the mood she’s a great picker as well! P8110039 If you look close at this picture you can see Pip toddling behind catching up with the pickers.

Happy Apple Season everyone!

Branches Wild Sashing Tutorial for The Home Sweet Home Quilt Along

I was completely caught when I sent my email update last time – I haven’t finished posting all of my sashing tutorials for the Home Sweet Home Quilt Along even though my quilt top is finished!  Oops!

So – here’s another one –

18. Branches Wild


1 – 12.5” x 3.5” rectangle

4 – 1.25” x 6” strips of contrasting fabric to the rectangle

1 – 1.5” x 15” strip

020 Start with a fabric rectangle 12.5” x 3.5”.  021 Make 4 random diagonal slashes through the 3.5” portion of the fabric.  022 Sew the 1.25” strips into the diagonal slashes.  023 Try to keep the rectangle as square as possible while you’re doing this.  024 Square up your rectangle025 Cut a slash through the middle of your rectangle the long way.026 Flip one side of your long rectangles so the strips are wonked a bit.027

Sew the longer strip into the middle of the sashing.

030 Trim the sashing down to 3.5” x 12.5” and your ‘Branches Wild Sashing is complete!028

Branches Wild shown between Block 7. Under the Moreton Bay Fig and Bonus Block. Marcia’s Crazee Patch House.

Double Rainbow

double rainbowLast weekend at my apple orchard a local restaurant came and cooked a dinner for a group of people.  It rained on us all for maybe five minutes but it was worth the double rainbow we saw!

double rainbwo 2

You can only imagine that a lot of pictures were taken of the double rainbow.  I couldn’t resist sharing a few rainbow with you – it was pretty neat.

Home Sweet Home Quilt – Quilted and Bound

It’s been just over nine months in the making but it is finally complete – and I am beyond happy with it!  Yes – that’s right, my Home Sweet Home Quilt is finished!  I just finished binding it late last week and had some beautiful weather so pictures of it went smoothly.  And here it is!!!!

Home Sweet Home Quilt - Finished

I sent it to Marcia’s Crafty Sewing and Quilting for Free Motion Quilted top.

Home Sweet Home Quilt - Finished

I love all the details that were added – the tree has leaves now and more texture to the bark.  Home Sweet Home Quilt - FinishedYou can see the details of the quilting a bit better from the back of the quilt.  Home Sweet Home Quilt - Finished

Tiles to the roofs, texture to the doors, windows and steps…Home Sweet Home Quilt - Finished  Fun little details were added to the sashing as well – swirls in the pinwheels…every time I look at this quilt I see something different in the quilting as well as the piecing.  I purposely put some of my sashings that had the same fabrics as the blocks to create a more blended piece.

I really like too that the quilting was done in a neutral thread so it adds to the quilt without taking away from the overall look of the blocks all pieced together. Home Sweet Home Quilt - FinishedI chose to piece my back for the quilt too.  I used some ‘orphan blocks’ that I had from my block design ‘trials’.  They didn’t make it into the front but I didn’t want them forgotten so I added them to the back.  Home Sweet Home Quilt - Finished

I also printed on fabric the names of the blocks and the people who designed each one.  I wanted to give them lasting credit so it will always be a part of this quilt.

I know, I knew, I haven’t quite finished with the sashing tutorials…so I guess I’m technically not done with this quilt.  But they’ll be coming…


So…what do you think?

Do you have a favorite block?


I do want to end this with a huge thank you to Aneela Hooey for posting this inspiration quilt that made me fall in love with houses and trees – enough that I just HAD to do this quilt along.

Any idea what theme you all would be interested in a quilt along next?


the Rik Rak Studio Giveaways

I am a sponsor over at the Rik Rak Studio’s blog right now and I wanted to share with you all the great giveaway’s she’s hosting right now.

The first is her 3rd annual mega birthday bash.  There are FIVE amazing prize packages and TONS of ways to win them.   collageEaIn prize pack e you have a chance to win my saddle bag purse!  So don’t wait head on over and enter for your chance – the giveaway ends on September 20th!

Along with the big birthday bash mega giveaway the The Rik Rak studio is also doing an ‘I Love My Sponsors’ Giveaway.  This one you have many opportunities to enter to win $25 to spend at any of the sponsors shops – what fun!  Enter before the end of the month!

the rikrak studio

First Day of School

I hope you are all ready for a picture show.  Today was the first day of school for TWO of my girls.  Cedi had her first day of Kindergarten and Capri had her first day in 4K.  Reports after school from first – Great!


Of course – the weather didn’t cooperate for ‘no coat’ pictures so we had to do a few in the housel

P9050361I love how backpacks are just so HUGE on little ones!  Although Cedi’s starting to fit into hers much better this year! P9050362 Capri is wearing the Cinderella Patchwork Dress with the White Petticoat from The Measure. I am so in love with this dress!P9050364 And Capri is too! “It’s a great twirler mom!”P9050366Cedi…my little model is wearing Genevieve Drop Waist Dress from The Measure. It is the perfect dress for her!  And yes – she loves to pose for me :)P9050368 She did learn today that if she’s going to wear a dress to school – she needs to wear shorts under it.  She told me she wasn’t going to play on the monkey bars…turns out that’s not possible for this little monkey and she needs to put some shorts on next time…P9050373 Here we are – waiting for the bus at the time indicated on the sheet the bus company sent to us.P9050381 So we waited…P9050391 and waited..P9050397 and waited…P9050411 and danced a little…P9050417 and finally…the bus!P9050418 about 25 minutes later than the sent home sheet said, the bus finally pulled up. P9050419 I barely got this shot in as the girls were in a hurry to get loaded and finally see their friends and start school..P9050420 and as the bus pulled away…a few proud mommy tears rolled down my cheeks…

they’re just getting so big…way too fast.

I was so happy to have Pip for some squeezes when my big girls were gone.
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