Wife, Chicken Mommy, eBay Seller and Walking DIY Disaster

#BindingSwap update: Jungle Rot edition

I’ve been sidetracked with *ahem* a little problem stemming from a wrong turn on a road trip. If you’ve been following along the Instagram saga, you’re all caught up. If not, you probably don’t want to hear all my TMI anyway. SO.

Back to binding! (Original post here if you need a refresher)

The swap is still happening if everyone still wants to play. We didn’t have many sign up, so at this point, I don’t think it matters if we do bias binding or straight binding. Just make whatever is easiest for you. The hashtag on IG is #bindingswap I will make updates using the hashtag, and I hope to see some awesome binding pictures too!


  • Mailing deadline is October 20 for International swappers and Nov 1 for domestic swappers. Shoot me an email when you’re ready to mail and I will send my mailing address. windylou at gmail dot com
  • 5 yards of print binding. Scrappy is fine.  (According to the tutorials I’m reading, you should be able to get that much bias binding out of a half yard)
  • You’ll mail the bindings to me and then I will redistribute.
  • Make sure to include a SASE and any other information you think is vital for me to know. (Like if you despise pink or something like that) If you really can’t stand bias binding or vice versa, let me know and I will do my best to get everyone what they like.
  • If ANYONE has suggestions or requests, please ask! This is the first time I’ve hosted a swap. I have no idea what I’m doing.

Refer back to the original post for links to tutorials or email me if you have any further questions that aren’t addressed there.

Here’s my final list of swappers. I only have a few of you that commented on the last post, but I know there were several more on IG that mentioned interest. If you don’t see your name, let me know! We still have plenty of time until the mailing deadline:

LeeAnn Howard @froggylegs IG

Kristi McDonough


Rhonda Laws @gapquilter IG

Shanna @Fiberofallsorts

Fran @Fcarden IG



Kritta22  @kritta22 IG

If you aren’t on the list and can get something in to me by the postmark deadline, go for it. Our numbers are small, so the more the merrier! Just please let me know if you are joining.



*photo by Maureen Cracknell, from her blog

Skirt a Day Sewing: blog hop!

I have to confess, I’m no fashion designer. It’s sort of intimidating to look at the construction of the clothing in my closet and think I could replicate it. Sewing for myself isn’t something I do often, because I rarely find patterns that I fall for. Enter Skirt -A- Day Sewing by Nicole Smith!


This nifty book takes you step-by-step through making your own patterns. Now, this might be old hat for an expert seamstress. For a relative newby, it’s wonderfully written instruction. Aside from detailed instructions on how to take your own measurements, there are useful refreshers on types of fabric and how fabric is “built.”  Once you get past the step of making a slope especially with your own measurements, there are instructions for 28 skirts. I love that there  are variations of the basic skirt shapes and encouragement to mix and match the details. For a person who doesn’t like to follow all the rules (me!) having a book with so many possibilities is exciting. Normally when sewing for myself, I don’t use a pattern. I just wing it. Often, that doesn’t turn out so well. Now, I can make my own patterns.


I really enjoyed thinking of all the ways to tweak the skirts to suit my own preferences and body. I think Skirt-A-Day Sewing is a great tool for anyone who wants to add fun pieces to their wardrobe. My 14 year old stepdaughter was also intrigued, so the appeal is quite wide! Undoubtedly this would be a great gift for a budding clothing designer.


I had great fun with this chevron print by V & Co. My skirt was immediately put in to action the same night when my band played a show!


My sewing skills aren’t quite ready for detailed photos, but I am very happy with my first attempt at pattern making. I would never have tried making my own pattern if it hadn’t been for Skirt-A-Day, so I’m calling this a win.

Over the next several days, you can follow along with the blog hop to see all the other awesome skirts:

Enter below to win a copy of this cool book!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Disclosure: I was provided a copy of this book from the publisher for review purposes. All opinions and crappy sewing skills are my own.

Swapping fun

I saw a picture on instagram the other day of some really cute binding. In fact, I see lots of pictures of cute binding and having just finished a swap of fabric polaroids, it struck me that someone should do a binding swap. As I tried to think of who to ask I decided that would be a silly idea and that I would just host it myself!

Now, I’ve never hosted a swap before. You make a hashtag for instagram, post all the details, and wait for the packages to start rolling in. How hard can it be, right? (Those 5 little words get me in trouble a lot) If any of y’all experienced swappers notice something I’ve forgotten or missed, please let me know. Here goes nothing.

Welcome to my #bindingswap <<<<< That’s the official hashtag to use on instagram!

Here are the details:

  • Open to beginners
  • International swappers welcome. (I would love some tips on handling SASE for Int’l)
  • Entries must be postmarked Oct 20 for International and Nov 1 for domestic.
  • We will swap handmade binding made from prints for quilt-y projects
  • Binding should be bias cut and have a final length of 5 yards and left flat for recipients to choose single or double fold.
  • Maximum of 5 per person.
  • When packaging your swap entries, please secure the binding in some way
  • Entry packages should include: swap entries, return SASE, and a note of any favorite colors (if you care).
  • When you are ready to mail, shoot me a message windylou at gmail for the mailing address.

Leave a comment on this post to enter! Feel free to message any questions you may have, or tips if you see that I am glaringly leaving out a major step. I think this will be a fun, quick swap and am excited to see what y’all come up with. This will be an IG only swap – meaning I haven’t navigated Flickr enough to jump into hosting a group there. Tag all photos related to the swap with #bindingswap – I’m sure everyone will enjoy seeing the progress. Afterwards, we can all show our happy mail.

Let’s get binding! @wwwindylou on IG


Stitch By Stitch

Jennifer Lauren

Connecting Threads

Coletterie (continuous bias – this method is easiest for me)


*Photo by Leanne of Make It Perfect

I blinked and summer was over: I have to cook dinner again

The kids are back in school. I don’t know why the quiet house always surprises me, and each year at the start of school I find myself missing the kids when they aren’t here. I will never miss the talking back or ugly looks when they are in a “mood,”  but something about not seeing them during the day is a little sad.

With back to school has come regular hours and meal times. I’m bracing for the hectic flurry surrounding sports and student council, the darkness that starts at what seems like the minute school lets out. And i’m getting back into the swing of meals that don’t take forever to produce.

Enter the rotisserie chicken: 4 meals in one bird!

1) Eat the chicken like animals while it’s still warm. Picking and pulling with fingers is allowed.

2) Scrape off any good size chunks to use in a casserole or in quesadillas

3) On low heat simmer for however long it takes you to remember you left a chicken carcass simmering on the stove. After pulling out all the bones, collect any bits of meat left and add to chicken chili or sandwiches.

4) strain all the leftover chunks and keep the water from the simmered all day chicken. Homemade broth is the BEST. Freeze in ice cube trays or muffin tins and use throughout the year in recipes that call for broth or water.

Here’s how the last chicken ended up:


I sent the kids to Sewing School! Sewing School 2 blog tour & giveaway

The summer days are long enough without facing the task of entertaining a 12 and 14 year old when it is raining. Since I have been working on a quilt for my husband as an anniversary gift, the kids were naturally curious about what I was doing. To my delight my sweet friend Andria Lisle and her co-author Amie Petronis Plumley released a follow-up to their first book (Sewing School) not long ago and I knew a review project would be just the thing to keep the kids occupied on a rainy day.


Now, if you know me, you know I am the meanest stepmother on the planet. I expect the kids to do daily chores and read for an hour each day in the summer. Sometimes I even make them WRITE! Usually my reminders for the learning part of the day are met with grumbles and discussions. Any educational pursuit that doesn’t elicit a negative response is awesome, and since the kids think Andria is so cool, they didn’t even complain about trying projects from her books!


We were graciously provided a copy of each book. If you aren’t familiar with them, Sewing School came out of a sewing class for kids that Andria and Amie taught in Memphis, TN. Kids were taught hand sewing skills and completed a number of projects utilizing their skills. In Sewing School 2, machine sewing is explored. In combination with the hand sewing skills, kids are prepared with a solid foundation for future projects on their own.

Since Michael has not used a sewing machine before and Emily has some machine time under her belt, Michael chose a project from Sewing School and Emily picked a project from Sewing School 2. Amazingly we only had one meltdown out of frustration (needle threading can be a bear!) Having read both books, I was confident that the kids could manage on their own for the most part. Not only are the instructions easy to follow, the corresponding photos are spot on! I loved that kids are photographed demonstrating each project. Somehow I think that seeing other kids completing each step builds confidence. While Michael became frustrated with certain aspects of getting started, Emily simply slowly but surely worked her way through her own questions and before I realized it, she was just about finished!  Once Michael got settled in and focused, he was able to utilize the tips and other helping points of the book to finish with no further issues. The dictionary was a great reference for both kids, but especially for Michael who was able to double check that he really did know what the terms meant. For me, it was valuable to be able to refer the kids to the index or dictionary while still working on my own project. (For parents with younger children, more supervision will be necessary)

Michael chose to save a special t-shirt by turning it into a pillow. (Sewing School, p. 120)

He loves his STAX shirt!



Emily chose to make a zipper pouch. She raided my scraps and chose a gorgeous

Kate Spain print from the Cuzco line. (Sewing School 2, p. 91)

IMG_3330  IMG_3329

Can you believe I got REAL smiles out of a 12 and 14 year old?

Great work Andria and Amie!






Find more info at the Sewing School blog


If you want to alleviate some summer boredom and teach your kids a new skill, you can find Sewing School 2 at booksellers and online at Amazon

 For other projects, check out all the stops on the Sewing School 2 blog tour:

July 7 – Our Busy Homeschool

July 8 – scrumdilly-do!

July 9 – Crafty Moms Share

July 10 – Jane of All Trades

July 11 – Windy Lou

July 12 – Adventures of a DIY Mom

July 13 – Improv Diary

July 16 – He Sewed She Sewed

July 17 – Teach Beside Me

July 18 – All Things with Purpose

July 19 – The Crafty Crow

July 20 – Family Style School

July 21 – Such Designs

July 22 – Red Bird Crafts

July 23 The Long Thread

July 25 – mayamade

Enter to win Sewing School AND Sewing School 2
One U.S. winner will receive a copy of BOTH Sewing School books

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: I was provided copies of Sewing School and Sewing School 2 for review. I was not compensated for this review.  All opinions and elicited genuine teenager smiles are my own/property of WindyLou.

Heatin’ up


Hexie, hexie, hexie

We went on a long baseball tournament. I sewed a lot of hexagons. BY HAND!



I’m busy! Here are some cute kittens and kids

It’s summer y’all. That means I’d rather be outside playing in the garden, running around just to be outside or otherwise occupied. That makes me a shittier than normal blogger!

But look! Pictures! of cats! and kids!

I went to Memphis. There were kittens.



There were nieces! and Monkey! The museum wore us out. It also was apparently not exciting enough.


IMG_2793We found the bees at the zoo


We took the requisite posed pictures at the weird holes in the walls at the zoo. Mostly though, we just played with kittens. How could we not?



Summer bloggy blahs

I haven’t been feeling very blogilicious lately. Something about warmer weather, traveling for baseball every $*%&^)@#$%^ weekend and instagram. It’s so easy to pop up photos for instant gratification that my instagram account has just about taken over. Here are a few of my recent faves.






Better yet, just come see the photos as I post them. My feed is chock full of kitties, flowers and FABRIC. The sewing bug got hold of me again, so I’m back to it, and trying my hand at quilting! Find me on Instagram as wwwindylou

Everybody needs a SpareOne: Buy one, donate one SpareOne emergency phone

I’ve been hanging on to this SpareOne emergency phone trying to figure out how to review a product that I hope I never have to use. This week with all the tragedy surrounding the Oklahoma tornado damage is a great time to think about emergency preparedness. I grew up in a household that planned for emergencies. We had backpacks under our beds with clothing, non-perishable food and water and basic first aid kits. We also stored extra food and water in case of hard times (which we ended up using during a time my dad was out of work for a year) and we gardened to have healthy foods to store.

As I think about how my life and technology have changed over the years, I am happy that I have kept the habit of preparing for the future. In my own home, I store extra supplies, water, food and keep a store of first aid supplies. Now, I also keep a SpareOne emergency phone. It’s quite a neat idea – a battery operated phone whose battery lasts for 15 years. The packaging is waterproof, floats and the phone is operable through the bag. Knowing that we are covered for emergency phone calls in the event of a disaster is a great feeling. Although we all have cell phones, having a waterproof, cold temperature proof phone offers more peace of mind.



Yesterday, I was contacted with a special offer in relation to SpareOne and the Oklahoma disaster. Right now at SpareOne.com you can buy a SpareOne emergency phone at a discount and an additional phone will be donated to people in tornado stricken areas. Anyone using the code BUYGIVE04 will receive a $20 discount on each phone purchased, a SpareOne phone will be donated and SpareOne will track buyers coming from WindyLou.com!

This is a small way to help the recent Oklahoma tornado victims and first responders, and at the same time, prepare your own family.


DISCLOSURE: I was provided with a SpareOne phone for review purposes. I was not compensated for this review/article and all opinions are my own and honest. This review is provided as part of my relationship with itsaglamthing.com

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