Thursday, December 12, 2013

A Gift for You!

Can you believe that Christmas is less than two weeks away?  I finished up my shopping yesterday, and while it will be a lean giving season for us, we are making the best of it.  I plan to wrap up every little thing so that there is still that excitement from a certain tween girl that says, "yep, I'm still a kid!"  And we'll have a decadent baking session going on this weekend...Yum!

In the spirit of giving, I am including a beautiful handmade fabric gift bag with every purchase of $10 or more (excluding shipping and epatterns) from my shop.  This offer is good from today through December 21st.  I've been making these fabric gift bags for my craft shows for years now, and sometimes I just get lost in creating something beautiful surrounding a gorgeous applique, and embellishing with festive trim.  

I hope you'll come on over and check out my shop and take advantage of my gift to you!  Happy Holidays!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Stitchin' to Celebrate!

It's time for a Winter Celebration with the Old Farmhouse Gathering team on Etsy!  I've been having fun creating several new items for you as well as adding some more favorites in my shop.

This little Santa ornament came together so beautifully, that I'm actually creating several to offer this time.  Such a great little gift for that coworker or hostess this season!

And this happy Snowman doll has lots of details and features that every collector would love!

There's much more to see in this wonderful celebration, so I hope you check out all of these 100% handmade items!

Have a great day!

Friday, September 27, 2013

No Waist Line Worries with my newest ePattern!

It's that special time of year when candy corns are plentiful and a scoopful here and there will make your dentist smile and your weigh scale moan! Did you know that if you grow them, they'll produce the most bountiful crop ever, AND they are also diet friendly?  Have some fun with my latest primitive epattern release...a Candy Corn Tree! 

This is a fun and quick project that can be stitched up in an afternoon. This pattern has lots of step by step photos to guide you through the completion of a great decor piece that can be enjoyed all during the fall season.  Pattern includes full size templates as well as detailed instructions and size variations for a stunning visual effect in this three dimensional centerpiece display. 

Find my latest epattern on my blog for a special low price, or in my Etsy and Patternmart shops as instant downloads!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Fall Frolic Fun!

It's time for a celebration on the Old Farmhouse Gathering team!  Our team never ceases to amaze with all new, never seen handmade items for the season!  This year, I spent some time in my wool cabinet and created these beautiful pieces for you!

  I hope you'll stop in here and check out all of the new items!

Monday, August 19, 2013

Meet I.C. Flakes...My latest epattern!!!

 Meet I.C. Flakes, a cute little primitive snowman ornament pattern that you can whip up in quick time!  I've had this little guy in my head for quite a while now and think he turned out so well!  This ornament epattern has detailed instructions with lots of photo illustrations and full sized patterns.  He sports some fun features like a grubbyed up carrot nose for you to create and is mostly hand stitched, which makes for a great portable stitchin' project.  Plus, he's such an easy and fast ornament to make for gifts or those upcoming holiday craft shows!  Yep, they'll be here before you know it! 

He's now available as an instant download in my Etsy shop and also in my shop at  And, of course, you may purchase him here on my blog for a special low price.  Check out all of my other epatterns here on my blog for even more savings!  If purchasing epatterns from my blog, I'll be emailing those to your Paypal email address within 24 hours.  Happy stitchin'!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Christmas In July Sale!

Tick, tock...that handmade project rocks, so why not plan ahead AND save some bread!  That's right, Happy Valley Primitives is having a Christmas in July sale for all of my Christmas themed instant downloadable patterns available on Patternmart:

Looking for something already finished for you?  I'm also having a sale on any purchase over $50.00 in my Etsy shop!  But hurry...these prices are only available through July 31st!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

The Red Poppy

Sometimes the most difficult thing to do is to stand alone in the crowd.  This red poppy rose up through the pale pink cohorts of it's new home to showcase a stunning brilliance of difference.  I feel that way sometimes...not the brilliant part, but the aspect of standing up and being different.

It's not easy to be the one that says "I will no longer be a part of this."   To stand up and be unlike the rest.  To allow the experience and all that encompasses it to leave my life.

And then to move on.  To love those who are with me; who connect and relate together and want to be there.  To live life with more happiness and less walking on eggshells.  With heartfelt commitment to those spoken promises to one another.  To try with all of my heart to move on.  It's hard, but has to be done.

This is the first year I've seen this poppy in bloom.  A new beginning to it's home, showcasing a chance to stand alone.  The outsider was always in there amongst the pale toned crowd, waiting for the right moment to be an original.  It just took a new day to discover just how colorfully individual it would be.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

You know it's hot when...

A friend sent me these pictures and I had to share.  We're seeing a scorching 75-80 degrees here today.  Ha!

Remember, this is where most folks come to year round to baste in the cool rain 'til we rust.  Now that's a Northwest tan!

I'm working on some new raggedy dolls and should have them listed this week.  Little ones that are just perfect for an accent shelf or small space to decorate.  Oh, and we're preparing for our garage sale this weekend as well.  Time to purge a whole lot of 'stuff'!

Monday, May 20, 2013

Celebrate! Celebrate! Dance to the Music!

That song is stuck in my head as we see yet ANOTHER gorgeous day here in the northwest!  Time to join in the fun at the Old Farmhouse Gathering!  Come celebrate summer with us as we launch over 120 new handmade creations for you!  We have a lot of new artists showcasing their best primitive talents!  So turn on some music, kick up some new moves, and then come check out all of the summer fun!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Summer's Delights...and a Sneak Peek!

With the beautiful summer-like weather we've been having, it's no surprise that spirits are up here at home.  It can be a bit fickle though.  Matt's love for fishing had him out prepping the boat for it's first seasonal launch last night, only to see the rain clouds commence before he could peel out of the driveway.  "Sweetness" melts in the rain ya know...

The garden is planted, and our solar fence is keeping the deer away for now.  Little plastic teepees carefully covet those precious tomatoes, as the nights can still get chilly here.  The flower beds are getting trimmed and weeded, one by one.  I'm even planning for an upcoming garage sale in just a few weeks.  And, oh yes...BBQ season is here! Yum!

The Old Farmhouse Gathering Team on Etsy is about to launch a new summer celebration.  Here's a sneak peek at one of my latest creations, which will be featured in the celebration that will start Monday, May 20th.  I have one project left to get finished up by tomorrow, so I'm off to stitch!  Have a great day!

Monday, May 6, 2013

Scrapping some more frayed edges!

Happy Monday!  It's certainly showing signs of summer here.  Temps are in the low 70's, and even the house doesn't feel so cold!  I thought I'd share my latest completed frayed edge project...a scrap busting pillow cover.  If you need to use up some flannel scraps and have a LOT of time, this is a fun project!  I used up nearly all of the scraps left over from my rectangle quilt to make just one pillow cover!

The finished cover fits a 16" pillow form.  For this project, I cut 2 1/2" squares of the patterned and solid flannel fabrics, a total of 484 squares to cut!  Each doubled up square was stitched into rows of 11 squares across, and then 11 rows in height were stiched to make up the front.  This means you will use up 242 squares to make one side.  Remember, the seams are 1/2" and are on the right side as you sew.  No batting is needed for this project, so, there is no quilting of the squares to do either!

I did exactly the same to the back, except that I only stitched 5 rows together and then made a separate piece that was 6 rows stitched together.  Between these two pieces, I sewed in a hidden zipper, which, after that was completed, made the two back sections into one piece.  Then I stitched the two large squares together around the perimeter, clipped the exposed seams at about 1/4" intervals, washed and dried the piece and it was FINALLY done!

Since flannel can be such a 'shifty' material when sewn, these frayed edge projects are just so wonderful to make up.  If your sewing isn't the straightest, or maybe you're just starting to quilt, a project like this produces a great result, hiding away any imperfections in those fluffed up ragged seams.  Have fun creating!

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Too much of a good thing!

If I could only stitch up every little idea, project and pattern that I have in my vast collection...

I'm destashing again, and have lots of older primitive patterns, sewing/crafting books, garment patterns and yes, even some more cross stitch items!  So much has gone to other wonderfully creative souls with more energy and time than I will ever have!  However, I keep adding more and more and...well, you get the picture!

If you'd like to check out my auctions, you can find primitive patterns here:

I have lots of books and clothing patterns here:

And what's left of my cross stitching stash is here:

Have a wonderful day!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Frayed Edge Fun! - A Quilting Tutorial

At last, I'm back to posting after a long hiatus.  Thought I'd show off my latest completed project, this raggedy frayed edge flannel quilt.  These are really pretty easy to make up; however it does take a bit of time with this one having so many pieces.  And the great thing is just how much of my flannel stash I used up!

To make this quilt, each piece is the same size, cut at 4" x 10".  Layer the backing, wrong side up, a piece of batting (cut at 3" x 9") centered on the backing, and then the top piece.  Pin each one together and quilt these mini pieces as desired.  I simply criss-crossed the piece in my quilting to make sure that that center, smaller batting didn't move around or bunch up once this was washed.  Take a look at the back on my second picture here and you can make out my quilting.

After piecing and quilting all those rectangles, lay them out and stitch them together with the wrong sides together with a 1/2" seam allowance on the right sides of the quilt (this is the area that is cut to give the fringed look.  Piece it row by row, and then I added a gold border around the entire quilt (you can't see the top row, as it's hidden on the deck).  Keep in mind that in order to create a perfectly fitting border, your rows across need to be dividable by 3 (including the border rows).  Mine is 18 rectangles across (and each rectangle becomes 3" x 9" once it has the 1/2" seam allowance showing on the front on all four sides).  It doesn't matter how many rows tall you make your quilt (mine was 7 rows high); only the width needs to divide by 3.  Next, clip up to but not over the stitching line at about 1/4" to 3/8" intervals.  This will take a while and can get messy!

Last step is to wash/dry the quilt.  Be prepared for A LOT of threads and fabric strands in both the washer and dryer.  Clean that dryer vent several times, as this quilt will "shed" for several washes.  A good shaking outside and the birds will love all of those fabric threads for their nests!

For me, the longest part of making this was in laying out my rectangles.  I had a lot of remnant flannel that had a pattern to it; however the reverse side of the flannel was white (the printed design was only on one side).  If I would have stuck to using the flannel with a pattern on both the front and back of each rectangle, the fringe would be whitish, and that can detract from the overall tone of such a dark colored quilt.  As it was, all of my solid flannel pieces were the same color on both sides.  So I used a solid piece behind each patterned piece, and vice versa.  The white of the frayed patterned flannel fabric is not even noticeable!

I've made several frayed edge quilts over the years, and I really love the colors of this one!  I made and chenilled this frayed edge flower quilt for my daughter's bed.  The fringe on this quilt is longer, 1".

And this one is a lap quilt I made (I think this was one of my first frayed edge projects).  Notice how the frayed edges have a whitish look?  This is because the flannel's colors were only printed on one side.  Unfortunately, due to my choosing a poor quality flannel the pink fabric in the flowers is fading a lot.  It really pays to purchase good quality fabric!

A couple of other important things about making a flannel quilt.  I don't prewash my flannels, since I want that frayed effect on the finished product and I prefer to cut my flannel while it still has the factory sizing on it.  Flannel fabric creates a lot of dust to work with, and I find that my throat gets sore after working with it for too long.  So I really took my time in making this quilt and took lots of breaks from the tedious sewing, pinning and cutting process.  After having made so many of these, this one is the first one that didn't create a sore throat or any sinus pain.

Because there are so many layers to the piecing, I used a Jeans size 18 needle for the entire project (only went through 2 of them!).  Lastly, be sure to use quality thread that is strong.  I used the Signature brand cotton variegated threads in the tones of my fabrics.  I also back stitch over all seams when joining the pieces together for added durability.  I have never had a seam rip or come loose on my flannel quilts...and believe me, they get pulled and tugged a lot around here when this house gets cold!

Happy sewing!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Let's Have a Fling!

Come on, it's nearly Spring...time for a Fling, celebration, that is!  My friends on the Old Farmhouse Gathering Team are having a wonderful time creating new Spring themed items just for you.  Here's just a small sampling of the 177 new products.  Can you find my floppy eared bunny? Go to and type SFOFG in the search bar to see them all!

Monday, February 11, 2013

The Secret 'Wink Wink' Discount

Many who know me well know about my cautious spending habits and absolute intolerance for being overcharged, especially as so many goods and services are increasing their costs to customers.  It's a way of life with only one income and a continued desire to live in an expensive part of the country, Washington state.  I thought I might share a few unusual areas that I have discovered over the past year that have eliminated those increases and even reduced our overall expenses.

Now, we could certainly cancel our satellite service; that's a given, but we have no local service available out in the country without either subscribing to satellite or cable.  We can't even get a clear radio station without continual static.  And we're a family that enjoys some of the basics in being entertained.  But did you know that once your 'contract' with a satellite provider ends and you're stuck paying for the full amount that you can get another discounted monthly rate simply by calling and letting them know that you're considering cancelling their service?  I scored a $20 per month reduction this year in my service with one phone call and for 'signing' on for another year of service.  Then just call them again in a year for another discount.  I've done this one for 2 years now with success.

Our phone/internet provider recently sold to another provider, and they attempted a mandatory increase in my internet service even though I had signed on for a 'lifetime' rate (unless I change service levels) with the former company.  A breach in their contract with me.  Most people probably wouldn't pay attention to a dollar or two difference, and even their customer service people attempted to tell me 'too bad.'  However, ask for a supervisor and insist on your rights.  One phone call to them stopped that little increase, and a permanent record in my account to not allow further increases.  Paying attention to our monthly bills for these sneaky little tricks saved me some bucks there.

We enjoy reading the local newspaper over the weekend, and they had been providing a wonderful three day weekend rate that recently increased 15%.  I had made the decision that this was an expense that I would cut back on.  So one phone call to them of my intention, and I received a "loyalty" discount that is 30% lower than my old rate!

And lastly, we have had a weekly garbage service since moving here, which this year increased by about 15% due to their lowered intake of the recycling rebate that they pass through to their customers.  Well, we haven't had a full weekly garbage can in many years since we recycle everything that is allowed.  And I'm working on an composting area, although right now, I just bury it in the garden so the critters and our dog don't get into it.  A compost bin is on the list to make someday.  Anyway, we barely have any regular trash, so I eliminated the weekly pick up service and changed it to monthly.  We're almost through out first month, and that can is about half full, so that is definitely a savings worthwhile right now.

There are certainly a multitude of ways to save money.  These are just a few that I hadn't thought of before, so I thought I'd share them with you in case they've never crossed your mind to look into as well.  It seems that secret 'wink wink' discount is out there if you just pick up the phone and ask.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

And 12...

The older I get, the faster life seems to go by.  Today is our lovely daughter's 12th birthday.  And yet, I can remember what was surely just yesterday that she blessed us with that incredible smile and those big brown eyes full of wonder.

Now, at 12, there is more emotion, more opinions, more questions, and more activity in all that matters to a 'tween.  Finding the balance to keep the family harmony can be a challenge at times, but not nearly the struggle that I've heard many parents go through.  I love the fact that she is an easy going, flows with the tide, kind of kid.  If something doesn't pan out for her, she doesn't get discouraged and give up.  And the girl has more compassion and empathy towards any living creature than can be imagined.  It's a balance that she regularly achieves in a world full of that "me first" mentality.  It's that inner wellness that will keep her strong and resilient through the coming years.  

Happy Birthday Nic.  I love you!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

It's not entirely tranquil in the country...

Living in the country is usually the most tranquil environment here at Happy Valley.  Wildlife is abundantly full with the beautiful call of an eagle to the wispy silence of a deer.  And then, sometimes it can be a bit scary, what with the types of wild animals treading into the domicile's surroundings with bad intentions.  Today was nearly one of those events.

As many of you know, we have been blessed to continue to have as a member of our family our nearly 13 year old Lhaso, Gizmo.  After last summer's surprising find of bladder stones, surgery, and one kidney failing, we are really thankful for each and every day we have with him now...never knowing if when his remaining kidney will tire from all the work it has to do.  However, his spirits remain high; he's playful, and has a healthy appetite for his special diet.  So things are positive for now.

That's why what happened today really shook me up.  As the little guy does have to go outside frequently since he's without the holding tank of one kidney, he was let out just as normal.  As I watched him from the comfort of an inside window, I witnessed a very sprite coyote leap from behind some shrubs and start running towards my little Z boy!  The coyote stopped quickly in his tracks and looked up at the window to me at which time I bolted to the front door screaming for help from others in the home.  Once the door had opened and I raced out, the coyote had disappeared from view.  The sight of me at the window must have spooked him.  And fortunately, with all of his other ailments, Gizmo's sight is very poor, AND he was facing the opposite direction of the coyote, so he never spied the intruder. Whew!

It's like those two second "what if" scenarios.  Like when you squeak through a situation by the skin of your teeth, all the while thankful for that microscopic delay or thought process that allowed the decision to be the safe way out of a very hairy situation.  We don't always get those reactionary moments to change an outcome, but, oh aren't they appreciated!  I have NO idea how I would have handled that animal violently attacking my little guy, or how to stop Gizmo from lunging toward the creature if he would have seen it as well.  All I can say is that I feel ever so lucky that it didn't come to that!