Bread Basics

I’ve always enjoyed baking, from cookies as a child to cakes and breads as an adult. Lately with all of this new found free time I decided to branch out into sourdough.

The start of a starter

And thus, Startzilla was born. Daily feedings have finally really gotten her going, and despite her not being ready to leaven bread, she is very useful for other things.

Cinnamon sourdough coffee cake

Like coffee cake from scratch, an excellent use of discarded starter. It’s beautifully moist and tangy, with that lovely cinnamon crumble top. Not the easiest recipe to put together but it’s well worth the effort.

Today was a more bread like attempt, sourdough English muffins. I got 10 from my dough recipe but 4 of them burned horribly during cooking (underestimated the heat of the pan). Now I know next time to go with my gut and not just blindly follow the recipe. Can’t wait to have one of these for breakfast tomorrow. A labor of love, but I have a feeling they’ll be worth it, and really not that hard. Just need to plan ahead because they ferment overnight.

Baby mine sweater

And fear not that I’ve turned to the dark side and away from the sewing and knitting. Here’s a baby mine sweater by Stephanie Pearl McPhee that I’ve recently finished. Yeah it might have originally been slated for a niece (who is now 3) but it’s finally done and ready for blocking and buttons.

I’ve also been sewing masks like a crazy person. I’ve lost count, but I’m in the hundreds for sure with a huge pile still to go. I wish I could say I saw the end of the need, but alas it seems we will need them for a while yet. So I carry on, at least I’ve got a pretty decent system going now.

Jack Jack atop his throne

The cats are just ready for their people to go back about their business as usual so they can start having cat parties again. Soon guys, soon.

So that’s it for now, hopefully my sourdough starter will be active enough for bread soon, and in the meantime, waffles are my next starter experiment.

Back In The Saddle

After finishing Christmas presents I lost my sewjo, not quite sure where it disappeared to. Today I seem to have found it again, for it has been a rather productive day so far.

I cut out my border strips, with help of course.

Attached them to my quilt (sensing a theme with my helper yet?)

And voila! Finished front of quilt at long last.

Pattern is Jellyroll Race, fabric is a Sweet Tea jelly roll by Moda. Border fabric is from a cool fabric store in Missouri.

Next week it’ll go off to the quilters and I’ll be waiting for it anxiously to come home. So I can procrastinate on binding it for forever, like I did on bordering it.

This is the next one to finish, was going to leave it plain but its sibling looks so nice. My gut said it needs a border, and my quilting guru (aka mom) agreed. So off to find a nice coordinate I go.

New Year

Ok, so it’s not the new year yet, but I figure it’s close enough at this point. My goal for next year is to remember my blog and try to post more (even though I’m not actually sure I have readers). It’s been pretty crazy the past couple of months, a quick pictorial overview;

As you can see, it’s been a busy few months, I got a new bread maker, gained a new cousin in law, got to visit my family in MO (where it snowed, reminding me of how little I miss snow). Sewed 3 scrub tops, 7 paladin pouches, 4 Bellevue pouches, 2 jelly roll race quilt tops, a Bellamy nightie, Alice in wonderland costume, 2 t shirts, and tested a dress for peek a boo patterns. This week alone my husband and I rocked the Christmas cookie, making 7 kinds of cookies for friends and family, from the classics of gingerbread and chocolate chip to chocolate m&ms and peanut butter thumbprint. I partook in a bag swap that was so much fun I can’t wait for the next one.

So here’s to the end of 2019, may 2020 be a happy and productive year for all.


Level: Master. I’m supposed to be sewing for our upcoming Disney trip, I’m also supposed to be working on a htv shirt for hubby. So what am I doing?

Mom found a great little yarn shop in her travels, the price of her finds is a pair of socks in her favorite pattern. Shapely Secret Socks, I found a hard copy of it many years ago and she fell in love. Recently she asked for another pair, but I didn’t remember which pattern I had used. Ravelry came to the rescue luckily and even more luckily it’s a digital download now.

So what am I so actively avoiding you ask?

Meet my own personal disaster project, also known as the Sea Breeze Top by max and meena. Nothing to do with the actual pattern, which is lovely and no issue whatsoever. My machine doesn’t seem to love this fabric (which is a shame because I do), and is either trying to eat it or reject it every chance it gets. I’m actually super close to being finished, but my machine is being such a booger about this fabric that I’m gun-shy to keep going. It’s been in time out since last night, maybe it’s long enough?

Luckily the leggings that go with the shirt are finished and went without a hitch.

3 guesses where I’ll be for the 4th, and the first 2 don’t count. It’s the last year for patriotic illuminations, so we’re going to Epcot to spend the 4th. It’s going to be a fun couple of days, and obviously I have to have some awesome new makes. I was going to try for another park sling bag, but I don’t know if I’m going to have time. Guess we’ll find out.

Socks looks about as motivated as I feel, but I’m gonna have to get moving or I’m going to miss my chance to be cute and comfy at Disney.


So it’s happened again, I was lucky enough to be chosen to help with testing for a new pattern. I love being able to help designers work out the kinks in their new patterns. As a bonus it’s one of my favorite styles, the handkerchief hem. So enough talking, let’s introduce you to:

Priscilla by Mama Can Do It (affiliate link). A handkerchief hem style shirt that comes in a range of sizes, from infant all the way to plus. It’s a quick, easy sew and has all of the sleeve options from tank to long sleeved. And for an added bonus, it’s basically one piece pattern wise. Cut out the back, then just trim out the neckline according to the directions and voila! You now have a front piece, no extra paper required. Save that piece and tape it in place to reassemble for the next one (you’re gonna want more than 1).

From start to finish (including printing and cutting) I don’t think the entire thing took me over an hour. And I foresee many more of these (maybe a sleeved one next time) for me, my mom, and my nieces in the future.

Wish us luck

So today is a big step for my husband and I, today we go to Disney accompanied by a 2 year old for the first time. Obviously we’ve been with the kids many times, but their parents have always been with us. This time we are unaccompanied, our first attempt at maintaining a toddler by ourselves. Call it parenting lite.

In preparation for the big day I’ve been sewing like a fiend.

All of this for 3 days and 2 nights away. Poor hubby only got the 1 shirt, but little miss scored big time with 3 rompers.

I started with a faux family set of figment themed items. Figured if hubs and I were going to coordinate it was wrong to not include little madam.

And once I started with the rompers I just couldn’t stop, I had to make use of my backstitch box prints for one.

And then I figured that since she had one for 2 of the days, she might as well have one for all 3. So deep into the stash I dug to find the perfect fabric;

And Moana won hands down. Pattern is the Recess Romper by petite stitchery and was super easy to put together (once I actually paid attention to the way things were supposed to be sewn and ripped the seams that sewed the legs shut 🙄). Bestie doesn’t know about these outfits so it’ll be a fun surprise to send her pics of little miss in outfits she’s pretty sure she didn’t pack.

Here’s a closer shot of the imagination romper by itself. I’m so in love with this fabric, it physically hurt to cut into it. I saved enough to make myself a backpack out of it, and if I’d had more time I would’ve tried to get it done for this trip. But I was cutting it close as it was, but it’ll be ready for next time.

I also threw together 2 reverse canvases for a couple of my moms coworkers who are retiring. Originally I was going to design something, but time was running short and I found something great online.

They turned out great, and I have to give a shoutout to hubs for pulling all of the staples while I was at work. And for helping with the stapling when I was finished. Hoping the 2 ladies loved them and enjoy their new free time.

Last but not least, I leave you with some random pictures from the last month (or so).

Bad Blogger

I’ve been very negligent, I can’t even remember the last time I posted anything. I have at least been sewing, and knitting (and maybe debating dipping my toe into the custom tumbler pool, shh).

We went on a cruise, 11 days, 7 stops, all fun.

And I’m pretty darn proud of myself that I made a fair few of my outfits for this trip, including my bathing suits (no pictures, you’re welcome).

Once we got home I made yet another pair of leggings (that I need to fix the waistband on) and another raglan.

And hubby got a shirt out of the deal too, not home sewn but still technically made by me.

Cute shirt for Abby, of course her 2 year old reaction was “No!” I don’t take it personally, she liked it a few minutes later (I think).

Then the great bag experiment began, I’ll do a more in depth exploration later, this is the Summit Pack by cloudsplitter bags. In my beloved silhouettes by BackStitchFabrics that I got in a mystery pack.

This is the Park Sling by Sew Sweetness, in a fabric I found in a buy/sell/trade on Facebook.

Ok, that’s about as caught up as we’re gonna get in 1 post. I’ll try to not wait 3 months to post again so the next one won’t be the novel this post is.

Happy New Year!

I can’t believe it’s 2019 already, where does the time go? I work on an adult unit and it has been so weird seeing birthdays in this millennium. Weren’t they just born a few years ago??

Anyway, enough of feeling old, back to crafting. I’m rather proud to say that today I accomplished 2 new things. I successfully cut fabric with my cricut maker, and then I successfully put a buttonhole in that fabric in order to complete a hanging towel.

From this:

To this:

In (probably) way longer than it should’ve taken. But it’s done! Nowhere near perfect but still done. I wanted to practice on something for me, so I can make one for a dear family friend.

His mother had passed about a year ago, and while going through her things he found her sewing boxes. He knows I love to sew and thought I would be interested (how right he was).

These are just the coat buttons, she must’ve cut them off of all of their winter coats through the years, smart recycling really. There are 2 more bins like this with all sorts of buttons and notions.

The one that got me was this; I sent a picture of the threads to my mom. She sends back that my great-great grandparents used to work in the factory that made one of the spools in the picture.

The American Thread Company used to be based in CT, and apparently both of them worked there for years, along with a few other family members. Who knows, maybe they helped assemble that spool. Now she’s got me wanting to hunt down more of this stuff to put together a cool shadow box to put on the wall of my craft room. Luckily wooden spools aren’t really that expensive on eBay, so I’ve got my eye on a couple of lots of them.

But I haven’t just been looking for old thread spools and trying buttonholes, I also sewed 2 shirts for a friends baby. He just turned 1, which I felt meant he needed some new homemade goodies.

They’re both technically Mega Max Raglans, but I left off the mega and just made shirts. Boring I know, but I was in a hurry. The “You’re Welcome” shirt is backstitch fabric that I bought on the B/S/T Facebook page. It was actually meant for my nephew but he’s so big now that it’s too much color blocking to make it work. Star Wars was one I found at Joann, it may look familiar because nephew did get a tank out of that one. I love the max raglan (mega max, whatever) for the kids because it just seems to fit everyone. And the add on options are endless, I’m determined to make something super cute for the nieces.

I leave you with some of my Christmas creations I couldn’t share before the day.

Happy December

Wow, been a long time. Oops. A lot has been going on, it’s been super busy and I’m barely staying afloat. So buckle up, it’s gonna be a long one.

Lets start with my first hot mess canvas. I know what you’re thinking, “but Ashley, it doesn’t look messy (too messy anyway).” Maybe not when it’s finished, but underneath it looks like this:

Hot mess indeed. I went a bit rogue with my technique here, painted the whole canvas dark blue. Then I painted on my dabs of other colors, it worked very well actually.

Around this same time I got a lot of cricuting done towards Christmas, so I can’t really show much. Not that anyone reads anyway, but it would be my luck.

So instead you get the cute shirt I put together for my niece.

And her little dress, the dark around the decal fades, it’s just from pressing. That holographic vinyl near about kills me every time. Doesn’t want to stick to anything!

And of course I needed a new sign for outside, doesn’t my model just look Thrilled? I think I’m finally getting the hang of this stenciling thing. Now that I say that, the next one will be a disaster of course.

We had a last minute invite to go to the Very Merry Christmas party with a friend of ours, how do you say no to that? So I recycled last years shirt (this years wasn’t ready yet) and away we went. It was a lot of fun, kind of a dress rehearsal for our party we already had tickets for. Which needed cool shirts, of course. Red is hubbys, I found his on a site I’m a member of. Green is for our family friend that went with us. His was inspired by Pinterest but designed by moi. I’m particularly proud of the ears on the “a”, they turned out super cute. Snowflakes were on the site I found hubbys file.

And of course I had to make myself a new shirt. Luckily I had preordered this fabric (and completely forgot, if we’re being honest) because I didn’t get any other Christmas customs. Pattern is Classic Tee by Love Notions, I did the full bust version and boy was I glad I did.

Hubby benefited from scraps, new pair of Boxerwear by stitch upon a time. At last, something I can make him that he wears a lot.

I got a new pair of underwear too, Bunzies by stitch upon a time. As a bonus I used up the last of the freaky Aladdin print I got in a mystery box.

We had a blast at the party, it was a little more crowded than the first time but still fun. It was also cooler, which was a nice reminder that winter does still come here.

I think that’s about it, finally all caught up. Catch you on the flip side, I’ll post pictures of Christmas crafting once they’re safe with their recipient.

Happy Haunts

A while back I was browsing in Michael’s and found a cute three tiered sign. I knew I wanted to make a fun Halloween sign, even getting the perfect colors of paint. And then it sat, and sat, and sat. Until today, when I decided it was time, before my Halloween sign turned into a Christmas sign.

This is the best stencil attempt I’ve had yet, the last time I tried this technique it bled everywhere. The foolish board near about killed me, I had to re cut the whole word because it was too big for the board. But I’m still thrilled with how it turned out, and immediately hung it outside on my hanger thingy I got from my sister in law last Christmas.

It’s a good thing I had some success with the sign, because my other crafting attempts have gone awfully tonight. I’m trying to make my sister in laws birthday present and the piece is not going well. To the point where I’m going to have to start some of it over.

I gave up for the night, and thus leave you with my favorite sewing helper.