kid project

Peppermint Bark with My Kids!

This is a project that I do with my daughter for winter break... not even necessarily Christmas but any time in the winter. It is the most simple idea and any age kids can do it! We break ours up and put them in mason jars for teacher and neighbor gifts. So simple and so fun to make!

2 packages semisweet or dark chocolate chips
2 packages white chocolate chips
2 tsp. peppermint extract- 1 tsp. for each chocolate [more or less if you want it more or less minty]
a handful of candy canes or peppermint candies crushed [put candy in a ziploc bag and crush with mallet. Don't turn it into dust... you want some nicer chunks]


  1. Line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil or parchment paper.
  2. Melt the semisweet chocolate in the microwave in 30-second intervals, stirring as you go for 1 to 5 minutes, depending on your microwave. Don't overheat! Stir in the peppermint extract [taste it to see if you want more mint flavor]. Spread the chocolate evenly on the sheet.
  3. Chill until the chocolate has set, about 30 minutes. You can do this in the fridge... or depending on where you live, just set it outside!
  4. Meanwhile, melt the white chocolate in 30-second intervals, stirring as you go for 1 to 5 minutes (depending on your microwave). Don't overheat! Stir in the peppermint extract [taste it to see if you want more mint flavor]. Spread the white chocolate mixture evenly over the dark chocolate. Sprinkle the crushed candy cane pieces over the top. If you want you can press slightly into the chocolate with the palm of your hand. Chill for about an hour. Break into small pieces and package up! We package ours into mason jars and tie up with tags and ribbon.



Hope you join us in this annual tradition,

Joanna and Ella

Pattern Showcase #4

Given the "breezy" and a bit more "nautical" feel of the upcoming AVALON collection, we thought we would branch out and have a bit of fun with some sailboats.

Oh my gosh were these fun to make! Often due to deadlines we have to send quilts out to be finished to a group of our dedicated sewers and piecers and we sure couldn't do it all without those guys. This time however, we thought we would tackle this one in the studio and diveed up the pieces between a few of us and pieced away. I assembled most of the blocks myself and had so much fun making them. I sure wish we had done this pattern when my boys were smaller... they would have LOVED it.

I am also dieing to make this pattern out of all reds and creams with maybe just a bit of blue here and there for a totally classic feel. We'll see if I ever get that chance :-).


... I love the waves on this quilt and how the quilting really makes them move



... this block might be one of my favorites or maybe its just one of my favorites. You know.





... I know, a lot of pictures of the same thing. Couldn't resist.



... the all over quilting that Diana did, just feels like the sea to me. Or maybe clouds. Or both. I guess its open to interpretation!





... this is the flat shot of the above sample. We called this version "At Sea"



... this is a more classic version with a cream background and aqua waves. We called it "In Port".



... this is more like the one that I would still like to make. Maybe with just a cream border of another prints. I don't know yet. Something very Americana that feels like it belongs in a beach cottage. I will let you know when I make it.


... and here is the same quilt but with only 9 blocks, more for a boy's room wall perhaps. Also the waves are just solid cream instead of scrappy.



This pattern is still getting finished up and edited and will be available by the end of the month if not a bit sooner. We will let you know as soon as it exists!

NAME: Sail Away

SIZE:  78" x 78" or 62" x 62" for child size version

FABRIC: for all of the samples shown we used our AVALON collection. The main samples can be made with a Layer Cake or any kind of fat 1/8 or fat 1/4 bundle. 

AVAILABLE: By the end of November, 2012.


A Quick Do-Over

Last week we had a little crisis after bath time as my daughter's favorite hooded robe, that she has had since she was 2 years old, would no longer fit over her head!  It was time for another one. Perhaps a bit over time. but time nonetheless.


And just so you know, sometimes that is the only way anything ever gets done around here. It has to have a deadline or generate a personal crisis LOL otherwise it gets put on the bottom of the list! What is it that they say about the cobbler's children and shoes :-).....


But I digress.


The process that followed was so simple and so quick that I thought I'd share it with you.

1. Go to Target. Buy a bath towel and a hand towel in the same color. Total cost about $10.00.


2. Take the hand towel and cut 3" off one of the short sides. Turn the cut edge under 1/2" and then under 1/2" again. Pin it in place and sew it down to create a finished edge.

3. Cut 3" off one long sides of the hand towel. Zigzag the entire edge to prevent it from fraying.

Note: You can of course trim more off of either side. We made our hood fairly large on purpose.


4. Find the center of bath towel on one of the long sides and mark with a pin. Find the center of the uncut/finished long side of the hand towel and mark with a pin. Line up the two centers and pin the hand towel to the bath towel.

5. Sew the hand towel to the bath towel. Be sure to backstitch on both ends very well as this is where it will get most of the pull.

6. Fold the hand towel in half [you are folding the whole robe at this point], "right sides" together- this means you need to make sure that you are folding it in half so that the sides that you want to be the finished side of the robe is placed together. Pin the top together and sew closed along the top [this should be the section that you cut and zigzagged in Step 3].



7.From the corner of the hood, measure over 4 1/2" in both directions - over and down- and mark with a pin. Draw a line from 4 1/2" mark to 4 1/2" mark at a 45 degree angle across the tip of the hood. Sew on that line and then trim off the excess corner fabric. Zigzag that trim line so that it does not fray.

You have just trimmed the top off the hood so that it fits better on your child's head and so it doesn't look quite so much like a gnome!

8. Turn the hood right side out. Applique anything you like to the outside of the robe such as their name, a flower, a sailboat, an animal.... anything they like! We did a little daisy that consisted of a petal and a circle.



That's it. The whole project can be easily done in 2 hrs- and that's including your trip to Target!

Have fun!