Mason Jar Pin Cushions

posted in: Quilting and sewing | 2

My daughter, Elizabeth, and I are heading out of town this weekend where I am going to teach a class on free motion quilting on a domestic sewing machine. Many quilters want to learn this art, and videos don’t seem to be enough. My classes are very hands on. In that way, we can also address problems that arise.  It’s going to be a super fun time of learning! I am really looking forward to it. It will be the second class I have put together, and I have several more slated n the following months, before haying season begins. Anyway, back to the gifts for the students…


In the middle of all the hustle and bustle in preparation to teach this class, my youngest (Miss Elle, age 10) and I found some time to put together some mason jar pin cushions. These are for the students of my class.


With a little research, and a lot of hot glue I figured out how to put the top together. Momtastic gave me ideas for the top. Elle chose the fabric tops coordinating ribbons, and filled the jars.


Embellishments included buttons from our button jar and some vintage metal bobbins that do not fit any of our sewing machines. I love the burlap/lace



Inside each, I included some items the students will need for the class such as the ring, a rubber band, a quilting needle, and free motion quilting sewing machine foot. The extra goodies include a fat quarter (fabric), retractable tape measure, flat sewing pins, and chocolate truffles! You can’t go wrong with chocolate. Right?


I think they turned out pretty cute. I don’t consider myself a very “craft” person. Consequently, this was a bit out of my comfort zone. If I can do this, I know you could, also.



Find Me For A Class

If you are in the Montana area and would be interested in learning how to free motion quilt, feel free to hit the contact link on the menu and let me know where you are. I have a few dates I could accommodate before June. If you are near me (South Central Montana), you might be able to catch one of my slated classes.



I Feel The Change!

posted in: GAPS Diet | 0

Yes! I’m feel’n it and it’s good!



It’s time for an update while I am working the introduction portion of the GAPS diet, a unique and effective plan to heal the gut. I have to say, the rumors I heard about this being the most difficult eating plan to follow, are for real. One cannot simply make a day trip into the city and pick up a quick meal somewhere. I had to purchase a decent thermos to carry my broth. I ended up finding something that looked like a 1970’s model, but really wanted to purchase a much nicer one that would hold more. I needed a better quality to keep the broth warm for hours, and not leak.



So, it’s my second week. I am on the GAPS intro. In simple terms, it means I don’t have a lot of food choices…. yet.

I have three autoimmune diseases: Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, Lichen Planus (this affects my tongue. I have white patches that I can literally feel when they are growing, moving, or changing and it prevents me from eating even slightly spicy foods), and autoimmune hives. I am noticing the affected area on my tongue is now half the size it has been and I am interested to see if it disappears, altogether!

Normally, when I am off my thyroid medication, or if I get periods of time that I am more not well, the glands in my neck swell. These glands have not swelled this entire time of being off my medication (the longest ever) and I look thinner in my neck, just under my chin. While I haven’t taken my prescription antihistamine on a regular basis since starting Low Dose Naltrexone some time ago, I find now that I haven’t take it at all!

Overall, I am feeling better, physically. I find that going out is difficult to deal with my eating, so I tend to not eat much at all. I prefer to remain at home so I can just get through this with as few difficulties as possible, since it is limiting. I am on stage 3 of 6 now.



GAPS, A Journey

posted in: Healthy Living | 0

On Tuesday, August 15th, 2016 I began the  GAPS diet. I want to share this healing journey with you, in hopes it will be an encouragement. Be sure to subscribe to receive updates to my newest posts.



I chose to cease all my medications about a month before going on the plan, except one, which would be difficult to go off and go back on. After checking with my pharmacist, I could get the prescription adjusted so it would no longer contain fillers or milk products. I do not necessarily recommend that you stop your medications: Please consult your physician.



I have experienced a LOT of detoxification in various forms. It has been causing a lot of stress on my system. Beside that, the other day we thought I was experiencing a mini stroke. I was dizzy, foggy in my brain, my speech was slurred, my blood pressure sky rocketed at the time and I nearly passed out, I had anxiety, turned red, and yet felt tired and my whole body tingled, which I had felt on and off for several days, so I thought it was a detoxing side effect.


After several hours, my husband decided he wanted me to go to the doctor’s office. Many of my symptoms continued. The doctor sent me directly to the emergency room, thinking I might be experiencing a mini stroke. They said I did NOT have a mini stroke, but there were several things that would cause me to lose blood flow to my brain. They checked my heart and blood to figure out what was going on. It was concluded that I was experiencing low blood sugar and some of the symptoms I was experiencing were not from GAPS, but I had been teetering on low blood sugar/passing out for several days.


Knowing what the problem is, I could fix that. I am now making sure I eat more often and eat foods that are higher in carbs. The older I get, the more I can know when my body is off a little. I can “feel” more, if you will.

On the good side, I am definitely feeling much better, already. I think I am through the heaviest detoxing and my body is just working on healing now.



GAPS stands for Gut and Psychology Syndrome. I will try to touch on the link between the gut and the brain at a later date. The diet, which is really just eating real food without preservatives, coloring, or additives, is intended to heal the gut. After much reading, I found that autoimmune diseases begin in the gut and I have not one, not two, but three autoimmune diseases! It would be just amazing if I could actually cure my thyroid disease! Already, I have lost 3 pounds. I have not been able to lose weight  while putting a lot of effort and years of time into other plans. Those plans, however, were not intended to heal. Oh, and even though I am not on my thyroid medication, I am not experiencing thyroid disease symptoms. This is just amazing. I suppose it is possible that I could simply be experiencing a loss of fluids from inflammation. Either way, it is a good thing.

I will keep you updated on my journey. Be sure to subscribe to keep up to date!


Now Hold Your Horses!

posted in: Quilting and sewing | 0
Kathy's quilt
Kathy’s quilt

If you have horses, you know that horses eat a lot and, therefore, cost a lot to keep. Not so with these horses! They may be bucking, but they don’t need feed. 😉 Turning the center squared so they would be more of a diamond shape was my husband’s idea, as was the trapunto. This was a nice opportunity to learn that technique! The center squares are appliqued.

Center diamond



As I was trying to decide what pattern to make, I stumbled across Youtube video tutorials by Amanda Rolfe, a young lady, who lives in Sydney, Australia. Her Mill Wheel tutorial is what I chose, but because I have this thing about not following instructions to a T… and I like to change things up a bit, I did alter the block to my liking. I think it still came out lovely.

My friend, whose favors the color red, seemed to be pleased with her surprise quilt. I grabbed all the fabrics from my stash, and was happy to make them work.




Here is a view of one of the blocks and some border on the back.




I am really loving these leaves. They are a combination template and free motion quilted.




I have to hand it to my photographer. She went out of her way to get some of these shots! It’s been brutally cold here in Montana lately.

I haven’t decided which part of quilting I enjoy the most… deciding what to make, learning how to make it, choosing fabrics, piecing, or free motion quilting (FMQ), but I do know that binding has been the most difficult part for me to learn yet. However, with each quilt, the bindings do seem to be improving and I think I have started to pin down (pun intended ;)) a technique that is working well for me.


Coming up: Laurel’s stained glass quilt.


Until next time…





Sarah’s Quilt

posted in: Quilting and sewing | 1

After hearing that my dear friend has thyroid cancer, I wanted to stop what I was working on, which was Elizabeth’s quilt, and make her something special. I had wanted to try making a watercolor quilt since I first started my quilting adventure. On my crafting counter sat a couple books that I found at the thrift store. What a perfect opportunity to jump in and learn a new quilting concept!

Believe it or not, this quilt took me a total of 24 hours to make, including the binding and free motion quilting. That means, if I can do it, anyone can. Really.

One thing I wanted to include in this quilt were words of encouragement. As you can see from the following images, I incorporated words such as, “love, joy, peace, hope,” etc. within the inner green border. Click on the images to see them up close.




Free motion feather plumes are also something I have wanted to try, so I dared myself to bite the bullet and just go for it. It’s always a bit scary to start a large free motion motif without trying it previously, in fear of ruining a nice quilt. Again, click on the image to see the larger view.



I chose a meandering stippling within the flowers and used a feathered wreath for the center.


The most difficult and time-consuming part of this quilt was simply choosing what fabric to use! I am thankful for my daughter, Elizabeth, and her opinion in choosing these fabrics. I will definitely take her with me next time, as I would like to make another one of these real soon.



A sweet little table runner

posted in: Quilting and sewing | 0


This sweet little table runner is my first attempt at the Ohio Star in preparation for Emily’s quilt, which will be a whole ‘nuther post another day.


This has been my first opportunity to use some of my batiks. I thought it mixed a traditional block nicely with a modern look.


All three blocks had the same purple. I chose to vary the other fabrics.



I really wanted to fill as much of the negative space as I dared, with a consistent pattern. Click on the images to enlarge and view the detail better.


My media gallery seems to be accumulating images that need blog posts, but life is happening. Be sure to subscribe or check back for more. Thanks for stopping by!


Pre-order THM Books

posted in: This Is The Life | 0


The two books we have been waiting for are coming out September 15th!

First, Trim Healthy Mama Plan: Keep It Simple, Keep It Sane, wherein the plan is explained in simple, easy to understand (therefore easy to implement) terms.

Secondly, the Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook is full of all the recipes you will ever want. It contains everything from crock pot meals to desserts. You cannot feel deprived on this plan.

Personally, I have found this eating plan to be similar to the “thyroid diets” and has been the only plan (coupled with natural thyroid) that I have been able to lose some pounds. This plan is much more creative than the others I have read about. Pearl and Serene explain a little in this below video:

Plus, if you pre-order THM, you receive some fun bonus materials. I hope you check it out.


Carl’s Quilt

posted in: Quilting and sewing | 0

Our friend, Carl, bought himself a king size bed. It could be because he is a king size guy. He needed a king size quilt! I think I even heard him say so much under his breath.

U. Carl
My “brother”, Carl, who shares the same birth date with my deceased (and much missed) biological brother.

I happened to be pulling out some masculine fabric samples I picked up at the thrift store for $1.24 some time ago and as I considered what to make with them, Carl came to mind. My mother-in-law reminded me that Carl’s Birthday was in two weeks. TWO WEEKS! Could I do it? I was game to give it a try, anyway.quilttree

I am a little stubborn about following patterns, and prefer to put my own creative juices to work.

Close up of stippling.


The backside. Don’t mind the bits of straw.

I chose to cover the quilt with a meandering stitch, mostly because I was in a hurry and didn’t want to think about it too much. I spent a few very long days at my machine from six in the morning until 2am the following morning. ~yawn~

to the side hay

So Birthday blessings to Carl and another quilt for the books.

Who satisfies your years with good things, So that your youth is renewed like the eagle. Psalm 103:5

Elizabeth’s Quilt

posted in: Quilting and sewing | 1


I thought I would give an update as to what my current quilting projects are. As you may recall, I am making a quilt for each of my children. This helps me to learn new techniques as I am going along. Currently, I am working on a quilt for my daughter, Elizabeth. Unlike the boys, she took an active role in choosing the pattern and the fabric. Isn’t this just a beautiful quilt?

The lattice appearance, as well as the color scheme drew Elizabeth to this choice

I wish you could see the shiny gold in the orange fabric. These photos do not represent the beauty very well. She has great taste!

For the diamond blocks
For the diamond blocks


These are for the 9 patch
These are for the 9 patch


Cutting strips
Cutting strips


The blocks coming together beautifully!
The blocks coming together beautifully!

Here, we see the squares together. I have since added a 2 inch green border and have yet to add the next much wider border. There are surprises in store for the rest of this little beauty, so stay tuned!

Blocks together
Blocks together

I will update as the quilt progresses. I think it will just be so …. Bethy.

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