Author Archives: Kayla Pins

Hello September Paper Pieced Door Banner Quilt

A guest post from Kayla…

Here it is, my completed “Hello September” banner on the door of my new classroom.

I had such a kind response from Mom’s blog readers after my guest post about my visit to The Quiltmaker’s Shoppe about the project I was working on. So many of you wanted to see the finished product and here it is.

This was so much fun to make. I love the design process of paper piecing. I start with a quick sketch onto graph paper and then designed each block on the computer. It is fun to translate the picture in my head into something that works with paper piecing. The design changes as I formulate it and then everything is in reverse. It is such a fun challenge!

I ended up making it into a pattern after some prodding from mom and Mary from Country Threads.  Mary said she’d wanted to post about it but unless there was a pattern, people would flood her with requests for a pattern.  Mom laughed when I told her that as she said, that is entirely true.

So, I wrote the pattern and I ended up drawing some more ideas for the upcoming months.  I want a monthly banner for my door at school.

This is part of what I’m calling my “Banner Year” series. I’m already started with October and November and look forward to having a door quilt to share for each month of the year. I hope it inspires me to have a “Banner Year” teaching. I have a lot of challenges ahead- A new building, Jasper in childcare, and all of the modifications of COVID. It will be good to have something special for me to look forward to creating each month. I can see how creative “me” time can easily disappear if I don’t make time for it!

Mom invited me to share the pattern in her shop, so here it is for download. I hope you enjoy making it as much as I did!

A Visit to The Quiltmaker’s Shoppe in Manchester, Iowa

A guest post from Kayla-

I’ve been busy editing patterns for Country Threads and I caught a quilting bug. With my Internet down from Monday’s derecho (my home is fine- just Internet was our only problem), I did all I could on pattern editing and then had nothing to do but quilt!

I designed a banner for my classroom door. We have to cover our window for lockdown drills so I thought a little quilt would be just right.

I have a lot of fabric, but it is all themed (70’s floral, 80’s calico, 30’s reproduction, pink stripe shirts) and not very useful for paper piecing. Lucky me, that meant I had to go shopping!

I am within 30 minutes of three quilt shop options and I chose to go north to Manchester. I’m so glad I did! The Quiltmaker’s Shoppe was the perfect choice for a wide selection of every color in small scale prints and tonals.

I met the new owner, Leanne Fangman, who was very kind and helpful. She has stocked a great variety of current fabrics and has a wonderful stock of solids, tonals, and small prints organized by color. It was perfect for the project I had in mind!

The shop greets you with a baby flannel and novelty print section.

In hindsight, I’m realizing I did a bad job photographing the shop. Mom always does a nice job photographing samples (this shop has a lot!) but I was too focused on the fabric.

Then there are several sections of current fabric lines. I’m always a sucker for Moda! One of my jobs in high school was to fold fat quarters at a quilt shop and I LOVED it.

A fabulous selection of 30’s prints and Lori Holt.

And, most useful for me, small prints and tonals sorted by color. You’ll notice she also has many fat quarters to choose from. This is my preferred cut.

At the checkout, I found these chain piece cutters and couldn’t resist.

Manchester makes a nice little getaway. It is a much smaller town than my other two quilt shop options (Dubuque and Cedar Rapids) but still has amenities that I could quickly run errands while on my little evening away without trudging through traffic.

Here’s what I’m working on:

I love it so far! Since taking this picture I am to the step of tearing off all of the paper. I do NOT love that part. I wish I had a little nephew “twilter” to do that part for me!





Good Times at Target

A guest post from Kayla
Recently my mom shared an opportunity to review Target’s new Cartwheel app. I’ve tried the coupon thing before and was a bit hesitant. But I’ve always had a great time shopping at Target and agreed to give it a look.  Over my lunch break I went online to learn more about the app. I found out that I could quickly log in using my Facebook information. In no time I was finding great offers to add to my shopping list.
That evening it was very slow at my part-time bartending job so I poked around on my phone. Cartwheel took just a minute to download. My offers from earlier in the day were immediately available on my smartphone app so I could browse them and add more.
I used to shop at GAP because I thought their high prices were justified with high quality. Recently, though, I have discovered Mossimo jeans.  They have a dependable fit and quality at more than half the price of the GAP jeans I used to wear. Imagine my surprise when I found a Cartwheel offer saving even more!  I’ve been looking for a pair if high-waist skinny jeans. I also added an offer for my favorite Mossimo long-and-lean tank tops. And, because a girl can never have too many accessories, I added offers for belts and scarves.


I didn’t have much time to shop when I finally got to try out my Cartwheel app. Luckily it’s so easy to use. I found the high waist skinny jeans I was looking for, chose a lace-print tank top, and couldn’t resist a black and chartreuse scarf. At the checkout I mentioned that I had Cartwheel. The bar code on my cell phone was scanned and I saved $8.40 instantly. That was enough to buy another tank top!


I’ve splurged on plenty of new clothes and accessories for awhile, but the Cartwheel app can help me save on necessities as well. This week I’ve added offers for tampons and cotton swabs.
Another feature that I like about the Cartwheel app is that I can share my deals with my friends and see what they have found. I have a very thrifty friend who is great at using coupons.I can keep an eye on what she’s adding to know where the very best deals are. Cartwheel is a great app for couponers because you can use manufacturer’s coupons, plus your Cartwheel discount, plus discounts from your Target card.


It’s worth noting that I didn’t publicize the addition of cotton swabs and tampons to my list. It is easy to modify which of your offers are shared with friends and which are nobody’s business. I had to giggle when I noticed there is an “add privately” button to baby supplies as well. Unfortunately I have no baby offers to try to hide yet.

Are you ready to give Target’s Cartwheel App a try? BlogHer is giving away a $1,000Target GiftCard® to get you started. Leave a comment telling us what Cartwheel item you would use $1,000 at Target. Would you get some cute new outfits? Or will you stretch your dollar in the grocery department?

Sweepstakes Rules:

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You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods:

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  3. Blog about this promotion, including a disclosure that you are receiving a sweepstakes entry in exchange for writing the blog post, and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post
  4. For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about an alternate form of entry.

This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older. Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. The notification email will come directly from BlogHer via the sweeps@blogher email address. You will have 72 hours to respond; otherwise a new winner will be selected.

The Official Rules are available here.

This sweepstakes runs from 1/30 – 2/28.

Be sure to visit the Target Cartwheel brand page on where you can read other bloggers’ posts!

Quick and Natural Microwave Cleaner

On a recent trip home I was telling Mom about the awesome new way I cleaned my microwave. Mom suggested I demonstrate the technique with her microwave. She’s tricky like that.

Fill a dish with one part vinegar and one part water. Place it in your microwave and cook for two minutes.


Dip a rag in the hot solution and wipe out the inside of the microwave.  Be careful, it’s hot!


Baked-on crud comes right off with no elbow grease.  See?


I’m always happy when I can clean without chemicals.  Although I prefer to not clean all.


Don’t you agree? :)