Author Archives: Kayla Pins

Jasper’s Advent

A guest post from Kayla…

We video chatted with Grandma “Go” on Sunday and she said she wasn’t feeling great and was considering a nap. Readers for any length of time know that Mom doesn’t complain and she doesn’t nap, and I felt helpless to be of any use from two hours away. So I’m here with a few guest posts to give Mom some time to relax.

I thought I’d take you on a little tour of Jasper’s first memorable Christmas. He turns two in two weeks so he was a lot of fun and fed into the excitement of the season. He loves Christmas lights, the Polar Express (or anything to do with bells, trains, or dancing), and opening gifts.

Christmas has been tricky for me because I am not a fan of the Santa tradition but my husband’s family treasures it. Here’s what worked for us: We distinguish Advent and Christmas as two separate holidays. Advent is getting excited for a new baby to come. That’s my specialty. Then, on Christmas morning, we find out that the baby came overnight and Santa brought gifts for everyone to celebrate. Lots of people like to give gifts on Christmas to celebrate the special birthday.

Throughout Advent Jasper opened a few gifts. Honestly, we didn’t keep up with the countdown. I found some Christmas books at the thrift store and ordered a few more. On the first day he opened a bigger gift, a piggy bank.It is so cute. It is rubber so hard to break. At first Jasper wanted to carry it around like a pet but he quickly caught on that he could put coins in it. He loved it until he found out he couldn’t get the coins out. That made him mad for a little while, but helped us explain that money is for saving. My intention was to plan the Advent days with the books I found and fill in the extra days with a few coins, but, as I said, we didn’t stick to the countdown. 

I thought we would light an Advent candle and read a book each night, but he has recently been hit-or-miss for his ability to sit still. It became that I would have him open a book-shaped gift on nights that I thought he seemed like he would be willing to sit for it.

Besides the books I found at thrift stores, these ones were hits:

The Story of Christmas by Helen Dardik has adorable midcentury-style illustrations that I loved. A Very Merry Christmas Prayer is a nice book about different aspects of the season to be thankful for. I will get the Easter version too, as I foresee myself struggling with the Easter bunny.
I tried to stick to Christian books for Advent, but I love this one. It is the song Here Comes Santa Claus but I love the illustrations. The family has quilts and a Nativity set. Lines in the song say that “Santa knows we’re all God’s children” so it helps with my message that Santa is celebrating the baby.Jasper already loves these books, so we got Christmas versions of Little Blue Truck, Pout-Pout Fish, and Good Night, Good Night, Construction Site.

Last year I got myself and my siblings a Star from Afar nativity set. It comes with a book that very basically tells the Christmas story. Then, throughout Advent, you hide the star around the house. The child finds the star and brings the wise men to find it. Jasper loved this. We didn’t remember it every day but I think he honestly forgot. Whenever we did move the star and remind him about it, he got excited like it was the first time. 
I’ll be back soon to share how the Christmas holiday went.

Support for Mom

A guest post from Kayla…

Good morning! We interrupt your regular schedule of morning and evening blog posts for this important message!

I (Kayla) am mom’s technical help for the blog which gives me the login information for hacking. (Wink!)

Mom has been battling thyroid cancer since 2015. She has recently learned that the thyroid cancer has metastasized and is now growing in her lung (Read her latest update here). She will spend most of January going through treatments, driving to Mayo clinic in Rochester, and having to take lots of time off of work. 

Mom has met so many amazing people through blogging for the last decade and folks have been reaching out asking how to support her during her upcoming treatment. 

We invite you to send her a card of encouragement. It was so amazing when Dad was sick to see those physical reminders of love and prayers from people around the world. Blogging is weird in that you share connections with people you’ve never met. A card would mean so much and helps her readers “come to life.”

Here is her address:

Jo Kramer
111 2nd Ave NE
Waucoma, IA 52171

If you are considering sending a gift card for gas, she has access to Casey’s and Kwik Star/Kwik Trip here in Iowa and Minnesota.

Folks have asked about a Go Fund Me page to support expenses related to treatment. Fortunately, Mom has tools related to her blogging that allow her to easily accept donations without those high fees. You can donate through PayPal here or Venmo @Jeanne-Kramer-11

Thank you so much for your continued support of Mom and our family. We feel so loved by you all.

Sewing with Students

A guest post from Kayla…

I’ve been very busy with the end of the term (my high school runs on trimesters), but I had to drop by Mom’s blog and brag on my students who did so well with their sewing projects this term!

Two years ago while I was home on maternity leave with my son, Jasper, I made the choice to move from teaching Family and Consumer Sciences at the small school in the district to teaching Health at the larger school in the district. The school is only a few miles from Spencer’s family and the new position meant prepping for only one or two classes instead of 14, and no more grocery shopping.

I love teaching all of the freshmen in the building, but I found myself missing the hands-on courses with my students. Last year I proposed a new exploratory class and my (amazing!) district approved it, including the purchase of a dozen sewing machines and loads of supplies!

This was my first term teaching sewing again and it was such a blessing. It has been a very hard term with my family being sick with Covid and having a Covid spike in our district, but for two hours every day I got to “hang out” with my “kids” and have fun.

Notice that my videos and photos are embedding from my social media pages. You can follow us @wdhs.fcs on TikTok, Instagram, and Facebook.

First, students made felt magnets to learn hand sewing.


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A post shared by Pins & Walke-Pollitt (@wdhs.fcs)

Then they practiced their seam allowance by making nine-patch blocks. After they could show an accurate seam allowance they moved on to pillowcases.

I had several students who went above and beyond and even made their first quilts! Mom shared charm packs with me that blog readers sent and my students LOVE them. One charm pack and one yard of flannel make a baby quilt that my students were so proud of! I had many students start sewing at home, too, so I sent some extra fabric with them. Thank you so much for sharing!


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A post shared by Pins & Walke-Pollitt (@wdhs.fcs)

People are always asking what I need for my classroom. Truthfully, my district is awesome and gives me everything I need, but I sometimes feel shy to ask for what I want. I love having extras to share with students who get bit by the sewing bug in class. I added myself to Mom’s Charity Quilting page and I have a Classroom Donations page on my website too.

Now that the term is over, the students spoke loud and clear in their course evaluation: MORE SEWING!! I am happy to oblige.

Thanks for letting me brag! I will miss these students so much. They were a great group.

The winner of the stickers was Virginia.  HERE is the link to my Etsy Shop if you’re interested in taking a look at the stickers again.

Kayla’s Auction Post

A guest post from Kayla…

Good morning! Thank you for checking out the auction and trying the new format. In case you missed it, here is a little backstory on what we’re up to today. Hopefully this will be more organized for Mom’s charity quilt shipping auctions in the future.

Before you bid:

  • Read through the instructions on this page to understand how to bid
  • Shipping is flat rate as shown for domestic. International postage will be calculated and invoiced.
  • Be aware of when the auction closes and be accessible by email: Today’s auction is live as soon as the item is listed beneath the BID HERE comment. It soft-closes at 8 pm CST Sunday evening.
  • Bookmark the auction post

After you bid:

  • Check back on the post to see which items you had the high bid on promptly after the auction closes at approximately 8 pm on Sunday evening.
  • Fill out this form if you had any winners before Monday evening at 6 pm.
  • Keep an eye out for an email with your payment instructions and please pay by Tuesday evening at 6 pm.
  • Pay promptly so I can ship promptly on Wednesday.

I hope this works out well! If you are a winning bidder you might notice an extra question in the form. What sticker sheet would you like?

Little Red Hen and friends, vintage schoolhouse, vintage schoolhouse trims, embroidered pillowcase, or embroidered pillowcase trims?

Each order will come with a sticker sheet from my shop. The links above will take you to their Etsy listings.

Speaking of my Etsy shop, Mom’s readers get 20% off this weekend when they shop following this link or using code THANKSMOM

Now for today’s items:

Small items are photographed against a 1″ grid to show measurements.

Table runners are photographed folded in half.

The shipping price given is for domestic orders. There will be a discount for combined shipping. International shipping will be calculated.

Happy bidding!


1- Log cabin quilt + $15 shipping

64″ x 72″

I wish I knew more about dating quilts because this looks like a treasure! It is in great shape. See some closeups of the blocks to see a few pinpricks. It appears to be wool. I love the backing!

2- Strings quilt + $15 shipping

60″ x 80″

I’m not ready to call this a cutter quilt yet, but some blocks have damage as pictured. The binding (bright orange!) is a bit frayed. Again, I love the backing!


3- Gray floral wool embroidery + $4 shipping

This seems to be an incomplete throw pillow kit of wool on linen.

4- Tiny covered bridge embroidery + $2 shipping

5- Floral yellow bouquet embroidery + $4 shipping

This one also appears to be an incomplete wool on linen pillowcase.

6- Grandmother embroidery + $4 shipping

7- Bluebird embroidery + $4 shipping

The embroidery is beautiful but there are rust pin prick stains throughout.

8- Bread embroidery + $4 shipping

Mounted on cardboard and in great condition.

9- Dutch children embroidery + $10 shipping


10- Red blue strawflower doily + $4 shipping

Some spots as shown but embroidery is in great condition.

11- Small square doily + $2 shipping

Spotting as pictured.

12- White octagon doily + $4 shipping

Spotting as shown.

13- Blue/gray oval doily + $4 shipping

14- Swan doily + $4 shipping

15- Yellow edge doily + $4 shipping

Some spots as pictured.

16- Black center doily + $4 shipping

Spotting as shown.

17- Pink edge round doily + $4 shipping


Runners are photographed folded in half.

18- Blanket stitch floral runner + $4 shipping

Flowers are in great shape but white border embroidery is coming out. Large spot as pictured.

19. Green and rose runner + $4 shipping

Beautiful heavy hand with small spot as shown.

20. Lilly pad runner + $4 shipping

Thick and great condition with no noticeable flaws.

21. Purple edge blue bowl runner + $4 shipping

Embroidery is in great shape but spots as shown.

22- Fan runner + $4 shipping

Fan part is in good shape but black outline is unravelling as pictured.

23- Peacock runner + $4 shipping

ALMOST perfect with a thick hand. Spots as shown.

24- Swan runner + $4 shipping

Thick, textured fabric.

25- Bow runner

Great condition but seems like polyester.

Thank you! I will keep an eye on the comment section over the weekend if you have any questions.