31 July 2015

Grand Finale: Babylock Sewing Machine! (Birthday Giveaway #8)

I am getting butterflies in my stomach about this giveaway, just typing this!  Many of you have noticed in my instagram feed that I have a new baby.  Not that kind.  Not the furry kind, either, although we have added one of those.  I'm talking about the sewing kind!  Last year when I taught a class at SNAP! conference, I was so impressed with the Babylock sewing machines that were in the sewing room.  Fast forward a few months and I have some fun, new things to share with you, both machines and projects.  But right now, I want to introduce the Rachel! Rachel (MSRP $799) is the perfect machine for those of you who know the basics, and want a little more jazz in your sewing machine, with an automatic buttonhole foot, a drop in bobbin, 50 stitches, and, my favorite feature, an automatic threader!!  I feel so spoiled. 

Why a Babylock?  Let me tell you a story first.  I like to shop at a certain grocery store.  I don't shop there for the cheapest price.  I don't shop there because it's the closest and most convenient.  I shop there because I like to be treated like an intelligent human being who knows things about food, who can carry on a decent conversation, and I like quality grocery items.  That's exactly why I like Babylock.  They make quality, they stand behind their products and they treat you like a person.  

differential feedfree arm sergingcolor-coded threading

So, let's get this Grand Finale Giveaway Going!
  • Leave a comment here for one entry.  What's your favorite thing to sew?  For a second entry, follow me on instagram (@nobigdillkaty) and tag a fellow sewing lover or two ;)
  • Please include your email address in your comment here.  Write it nobigdillblog {at} gmail {dot} come if you're more comfortable with that.
  • Only open to US residents, please.
  • Giveaway winners will be announced Monday, August 3rd.
  • Hooray for sewing!  Hooray for birthdays! Good Luck!

30 July 2015

Reliable Iron! (Birthday Giveaway #7)

Remember many moons ago when I found an ORANGE iron (for my NEO-Never Enough Orange-Sewing Studio)?!?!  I am continuously in love my orange-y goodness.  She's so hot and steamy.  Seriously, though, it's been 4 years and she is still steaming up a storm.  I don't think I've ever owned an iron this long.  I don't believe my mom ever did, either, come to think of it.  Maybe I'm just really hard on irons, but my Reliable is just that, reliable! ;)
Sadly, they don't have any Velocitys in stock right now, but my Reliable lady, Kimberly, said they have one of these two beauties for a giveaway!!  I am in love with the Maven's ($199 MSRP) cork handle and cloth cord!!  Such a sleek thing, isn't she?


The other option is this bad boy.  The Senza ($299 MRSP).  Sounds sultry.  What do you think.  Can you handle this much iron?
They both come with a water tank (I know! So fancy!) with an option for continuous steam!  I don't know, I'd probably have to actually read the user's manual to learn all the fanciness capacity.  Are you getting as excited about an iron as I am?
  • Leave a comment to be entered into the drawing.  What kind of relationship do you have with ironing?
  • Please include your email address in your comment.  Write it nobigdillblog {at} gmail {dot} com if you're more comfortable that way.
  • Giveaway winners will be announced Monday, August 3rd.
  • Good Luck!
  • PS I have one more giveaway tomorrow.  You definitely don't want to miss it!! ;)

Mom's Stuff Salve! (Birthday Giveaway #6)

I know, I know, I just posted about Mom's Stuff not very long ago, but when I was brainstorming what I wanted to share with you for my birthday giveaway, Mom's Stuff was one of the first things on my list!  We all want to be able to pronounce the ingredients of the food we put in our body, and it just makes sense that we can pronounce and know what the ingredients are that we put on our body, ingredients that actually do something and aren't added as just fluff and filler.  In fact, you can read about each and every ingredient here.  I get a lot of satisfaction sharing this with people (can you tell?)  Just last week, while I was at girl's camp, I met a woman who has come here with her family from England for her daughter's cancer treatment at a proton facility (I've heard it's the latest and greatest).  I told her about Mom's Stuff, wishing I had a jar to give her on the spot for her daughter.  All of nature's finest in one little jar!  It's just solid goodness.  Okay.  You know how I feel about it. ;) 
On to the giveaway!
  • Leave a comment to be entered.  What is your favorite medicine cabinet product?
  • Please leave your email address.  Write it in the form nobigdillblog {at} gmail {dot} com if you're more comfortable with that.
  • Giveaway winners will be announced Monday, August 3rd.
  • Good luck!

Mon Petit Shoes! (Birthday Giveaway #5)

If you couldn't tell yet, I am a big fan of the small businesses.  I like to know the people behind the product, and maybe it's psychological, but it makes the product even better knowing there are real people behind the scenes making and following their dreams and passions.  

Today I have the most adorable little leather shoes, Mon Petit Shoes.  I know that not everyone has a pair of little feet running (or crawling) around their house, but you'd be the hit of the next baby shower you go to, showing up with a pair of these babies!  Julie started out making these for her own girls, and like most good ideas, it caught on and she's created a business to share her amazing product with everyone, and at a very reasonable price. She even made a custom pair of orange lace-ups for Drummer!  I love when you can start to see their little footprint on the bottom of the soul. :)
To enter to win a pair of your favorite little leather shoes:
  • Leave a comment on this post.
  • Please include your email address. Write it in the form nobigdillblog {at} gmail {dot} com if you're more comfortable with that
  • Giveaway winners will be announced Monday, August 3rd.
  • Tell all your expecting mother friends! ;)

29 July 2015

$50 of Stars! (Birthday Giveaway #4)

This giveaway is not so random, because you probably know by now that my parents make these stained glass stars, and you probably know by now that I loved them and would like a whole rainbow of them in my windows. They've really got something for everyone, and if you can't find a single thing (highly doubtful), they'll make you something custom.
Star Baby - 3 inch stained glass star
They can satisfy your craving for teeny tiny stars
Honey Bee ornament, stained glass, bee sun catcher, golden bee,
your very own hive of bees,
Katy Star- Juicy Orange Star-- 9 inch lacquered and stained glass star
stars named after me! ;)
Stars and Stripes- 8.5 inch lacquered glass star in red white and blue
FREE SHIPPING- 33 Colors Obsessive-Compulsive Bakers Twine Assortment - 15 yards of each
And, did you know that you can also get your favorite color baker's twine, too? Or one of each! ;)  They're offering a $50 gift certificate to anything in their shop!  
  • Leave a comment to be entered.  What would you get?
  • Please leave your email address in your comment, in the form of nobigdilblog {at} gmail {dot} com if you're more comfortable with that.
  • Winners will be announced Monday, August 3rd.
  • Get your husband to enter for you, too ;) Good Luck!

Sharp AND Cute (Birthday Giveaway #3)

Sometimes I'm random.  Like right now.  Pocket knives, Katy?  Fabric is expected, but pocketknives?  I've always loved pocketknives.  When I was little, my dad had a pocket knife he carried with him everywhere, the kind that opened up to reveal a pair of needle nose pliers.  And they were highly utilized.  That was how our loose teeth were pulled out.  No strings attached to doors, no biting into apples, it was always dad's pocketknife pliers.  Surprisingly, we weren't afraid of this method, either, and haven't required therapy.    
When I went to spend a summer with my sister in Nantucket after high school to clean rooms at a bed & breakfast, I met a woman who was an aspiring bed & breakfast owner.  She had gone to culinary school and I wanted to follow in her footsteps.  She was from New England and had a thick accent to go with her heritage.  When I left to spend a semester in Paris, she gave me a going-away gift of a pocket knife.  She told me every good chef should have one.  I still have it and love it.  I almost lost it through airport security once and had to mail it home to myself, which took weeks, but we were finally reunited. ;)
Recently, Ryan gave me a keychain pocketknife, and boy, that thing has come in handy, from opening packages to slicing up a snack on-the-go, it's been a handy thing to have with me at all times (except don't forget to take it off your keychain when you travel!)  My brother, Jacob, sells knives online, and I texted him to ask if he had any "girly" knives.  He sent me the link to these beauties.  Aren't they adorable?  I told him I was a bit disappointed there is no orange ;), but there are certainly plenty of options to appease the desire for cuteness and functionality on your keychain.  
So, that brings us to Birthday Giveaway #3!  They're only $15.99, so you could hop over there and just grab one if you're like me who "never wins anything." ;)  But I'm still having a giveaway, because someone has to win, right?
  • Leave a comment on this post to be entered into the drawing. Which one would you get?
  • Please leave your email address, written in a form like nobigdillblog {at} gmail {com}, if you're more comfortable with that.
  • Giveaway winners will be announced Monday, August 3rd.
  • Hooray for randomness and good luck!

28 July 2015

$50 in Fabric!! (Birthday Giveaway #2)

Speaking of fabric, it's my favorite, so we're going to do another fabric giveaway!!  Haha!  I love that I have friends who have fabric shops.  I must be living my life right, or something.  Rachael is the shop owner of Imagine Gnats, and I love that she is just as excited about getting new fabrics in her shop as I am about getting new fabric to sew with.  I went through her almost 200 fabrics and picked out what'd I'd take home with me if it happened to be shopping-spree-with-no-limit-on-my-budget time.  Hey, a girl can dream, right?
imagine gnats

Artisan Cotton!  I want to meet those artists, because they've got a mighty fine thing going. 
Crepe de chine in black and white.  Because, hello.  Black and white and French all over.
480_KOF-03_Y heathered double gauze in yellow
Then there's this heathered double gauze.  She had me at double gauze.  Love.
480_KOF-03_P heathered double gauze in pink


nani iro pocho JG-13000-I
Throw Nani Iro in front of double gauze and I just go weak in the knees.  Kryptonite right there, baby.
Just when you thought you'd sewn with everything, you discover quilted jersey
13728 cotton jersey blue lime stripe
This sweet, tiny stripe knit in blue and lime!
SRK-15201-1 rebecca embroideries
SRK-15577-2 swiss dot chambray black
And you can never go wrong with the classic Swiss dot chambray.

  • Leave a comment on this post to be entered to win a $50 gift certificate for anything you little sewing heart desires.
  • Please include your email address, written out like nobigdillblog {at} gmail {dot} com if you're more comfortable with that.
  • Giveaway winner will be announced Monday, August 3rd.
  • Have another friend enter (especially if she doesn't sew ;)
  • Good luck!

Ruffle Fabric (Birthday Giveaway #1)

It's no secret that I like to sew fancy things.  Sometimes they're super labor intensive, and sometimes I just use ruffle fabric!! (Tutorial HERE.)  This might be one of my most worn items of clothing because: (yes, I'm going to number them) 1-it is so comfortable, 2-it requires very little care (read: no ironing), and 3-it makes. a. statement.  There hasn't been a single time I've worn it when someone doesn't ask where I got it.  Then I get to tell them I actually made it.  Then their jaw drops and I get to float away in my magical skirt. We all need a magical skirt. Remember how you all were going to help me name this skirt?  Right.  We will get to that soon.  Somebody dropped that ruffle ball.  Sheesh.  

The BOHO ruffle fabric comes in grey, white, pale pink, and red, but I have secret, inside information that my ruffle girls are getting it in yellow, blue, and purple very soon!! I'll let you know when orange finally makes the scene. ;)  

SO. For Birthday Giveaway #1, I have a kit to make your very own skirt.  You get to choose the color you'd like. 
  • Leave a comment to be entered into the drawing.
  • Please include your email address.
  • Giveaway winners will be announce Monday, August 3rd.
  • Tell a friend (to enter for you if she doesn't sew! ;)
  • Good luck!

27 July 2015

Happy Birthday to....US!

Raise your hand if you celebrate your birthday all week long!  My birthday was yesterday, but Ryan took today off to hang out with me.  We didn't have any whining, messes to clean, little toy trucks running every which way, car seats to fumble about, just the two of us.  We held hands a lot.  We giggled.  We made plans for the future.  We talked about goals.  We might have snuck in a couple of kisses.  We got a few things for myself, and picked up a couple of things for Ryan along the way.  It was delightful.  Sometime in the middle of it all, probably when I was admiring my shopping bags (what?! I never have shopping bags just for me!) I told Ryan I really like my birthday.  And not just because of the things.  Sometimes, especially as moms, we need a bit of attention on just us, right?  

I plan on continuing to celebrate all week long...but here's the fun part.  I'm sharing some of my favorite things with YOU!  I'm always planning posts in my head of what I want to share, but then I forget because, life.  I brainstormed a bit and made a list of some things that just make me happy and I will be doing giveaways all week long of exactly those things.  I'm so excited.  So, check back with me throughout the week to enter one (or ALL) of the presents I have for me er, I mean you. ;)

05 July 2015

Sew What Club!!

I hope everyone had a great 4th of July!  We got together with lots of friends and watched fireworks over the ocean.  For some reason we've made it a tradition to make Vietnamese pulled pork sandwiches (Bánh Mì).  They are a hit and leftovers are a plus.  
If you hoard fabric like I do, you most likely hoard patterns...because you never know when you'll need that perfect pattern.  I was looking at my patterns the other day, thinking I ought to go through and get rid of the ones I don't use.  But I couldn't.  I might need them one day.  That bodice, or those sleeves or the way that placket is just the right size.  But at the same time, I find myself getting bored with what I've used before and wanting something new and exciting.  My clothing tastes have changed.  My sewing tastes have changed.  My kids have gotten older and bigger (along with their opinions ;).  Enter: Sew What Club.  Kelly of Sewing In No Man's Land has put together some of my very favorite bloggers for an amazing pattern collecting opportunity.  

Sew What Club is a fun new way to get the newest patterns from your favorite designers right in your in box every month, patterns that you can't get anywhere else. It is a fantastic group of designers, some of which have been designing patterns for years and others are great bloggers who have never shared their patterns before!
There are 2 options, women's patterns or children's patterns or you can do both! First there is the super affordable low monthly price or a discounted annual price. Every month with the children's patterns option you will be sent two downloadable PDF patterns, one on the first of the month and one on the fifteenth. They will be from Kelly Crawford of Sewing In No Mans Land and from a featured guest designer (like myself or one of the fantastic women at the websites above). If you decide you want to focus on sewing for yourself this year and choose the women's subscription, each month you will be sent an exclusive women's pattern created by either Kelly or one of the guest designers (sizing information is available on the website).
Along with the monthly patterns, members will receive additional sewing project patterns in their monthly member newsletter. You will also be able to participate in the monthly social media events with really great prizes from fabric, pattern and crafting companies, all just for sewing up that months pattern and sharing your creation on your favorite media site (blog, IG, FB, Twitter etc). You can find all the detailed information on the Sew What Club website. To celebrate the launch of the club through the first week membership rates will be on special discount, whoot whoot!
A new pattern that shows up in your inbox every month?!  It's like Christmas every single month!  You'll see a 10% discount when you check out, no code needed!  I don't know about you, but I am excited to start sewing these up. You'll see one of my very own patterns up there, too, one of these months! (ps Isn't Kelly's red hair amazing!?)

29 June 2015

Mom's Stuff

I always have plans of posting more frequently, but then maybe the silence means I'm getting lots finished and ready to share? ;)  I did want to have a little show and tell, though.  Remember how those were always the best days at school?  We'd bring our favorite little treasure to share with (and brag a little) to our friends and beloved teacher.
When Ryan and I were first married, we were at my parent's house when my sister's friend, Zina, was sharing with us something she called "Mom's Stuff".  Her mom wasn't an apothecary by trade.  "Mom", or Lee, is an artist, married to a potter, both occupations requiring lots of hands-on and hand-washing.  Lee came up with Mom's Stuff because the purchased lotions and salves just weren't cutting it for their cracked hands.  They were too watered down and full of too many artificial chemicals.
This is our container that has lasted us for a few years.  (Seriously, it's like a bottomless container.) My kid's have come to know when they have any mystery rash, bumps, or general skin complaint, I will tell them to put on Mom's Stuff.  It's a heal-all type of salve.  I ran into Lee last year when she was selling Mom's Stuff at a local bizarre in Utah and she told me that a woman approached her about using Mom's Stuff after her breast cancer treatments.  The prescribed lotion/salve wasn't helping and she was in a lot of pain.  She began using it regularly and when she went in for another treatment, the technician couldn't believe what she saw.  Her skin was still very pink, but it looked so much better than the blackened or dark red skin she was used to seeing on patients.
Cracked heels from the summer sandal wearing?  Extra dry elbows in need of TLC?  Eczema that won't respond to anything?  Pesky diaper rash?  Give Mom's Stuff a try.  What's in Mom's Stuff that makes it work so well?!  The very best nature has to offer: Beeswax (hooray!), Olive Oil, Piñon Pine Pitch, Sweet Almond Oil, Apricot Kernel Oil, Jojoba Oil, Lanolin, Comfrey, Tea Tree Oil, Rosemary Oil, Neem Oil, and Lavender Oil.  11 found-in-nature-all-natural ingredients that you can pronounce, naturally antibacterial and antifungal.  For now they just offer Mom's Stuff Salve, but I have it on good authority that they are going to be adding some new products to their line soon!
There's the regular plastic 4 oz container, the glass 4 oz container, and the 1.5 travel size that should go everywhere with you.  
 Are they paying me to write this? 
I just like to share a good thing with friends.  Bragging just a bit that I know these good people.  Plus the black and white bee packaging.  Couldn't get any better.  ;) Oh!  And they're offering my favorite No Big Dill readers a discount good through Friday!  Use code: NOBIGDILL20 to get 20% off your order of Mom's Stuff. Happy Monday!

19 June 2015


It's rather embarrassing to go back through to the beginning of my blog.  I was shooting with a little point-and-shoot camera and wasn't knowledgeable on aperture or shutter speed.  I had never written instructions for sewing something.  I didn't even know what html was.  I still don't, really.  But I've learned by trial and error, how to share with you, my friends, what I have pictured in my head.  Jess of The Sewing Rabbit has put together a post of firsts.  13 sewing bloggers share their first project post, and Jess kindly included what we've been doing more recently.  Remember this skirt?  I still wear it, despite the poor photography skills. Go see a bunch of blogger firsts here! And happy weekend. Do something that makes you smile.

12 June 2015

Summertime Chores

Every single summer I wonder how we're going to keep from going crazy being home together all day, yet we manage to do it.  I have these idealistic expectations that we are going to sit around, making things together, playing games, and spending hours at the beach and pool without any arguments and button pushing.  It never seems to play out that way.
I'm the kind of person who likes to be home.  I like to have projects to do and to get things done around the house.  Many of my kids are that way, but that doesn't mean there isn't contention and messes while we do it.  Growing up, we had "hour jobs" during the summer.  Sometimes they would be outside (usually doled out by my dad), sometimes they would be in the house (I preferred these ones: less sweat and dirt).  We've carried on the tradition, much to the dismay of my six little Dills, but they are also learning how to work and to Get.  Things.  Done.
They have to be out of bed by 8 and breakfast ends at 9, so the kitchen isn't a mess all morning long. I wanted more structure than just one job per day (this is in addition to their kitchen jobs).  So, on day one, I told them they were expected to do several things each day: 1-hour job, 1/2 hour exercise, 1/2 hour training Scout (did you know we got a dog?!), 1/2 hour reading scriptures.  They are required to do an hour job for 4 of the days and the fifth day they make lunch, which includes planning what they want to make, and letting me know so I can buy the ingredients.  We did this last year and I got tired of eating macaroni and cheese every lunch, so I told them they couldn't repeat any meals this summer.  We will see what that entails. ;)
I also made a chart this year so we can keep track of who has done what.  I trust them to be honest when putting stickers on, but they also help each other stay honest. ;)

Ideas for hour jobs:

Younger Kids

  • Clean front of cupboards
  • Wipe down doorknobs and light switch plates
  • Scrub baseboards
  • Scrub grout
  • Tidy toys
  • Weed
Older Kids

  • Clean out fridge
  • Organize cupboards and closets
  • Touch-up paint 
  • Sweep/mop rooms
  • Do laundry
  • Clean out garage
  • Vacuum/clean car
  • Wash windows
If they don't complain all week about their assigned chore, I let them choose what they want to do for their last hour job of the week.  They will usually get everything completed in the morning and have the rest of the day to do whatever they like.
On Friday, once they've completed their hour job, we go to the library, out to lunch (for those with their stickers filled up), and to the pool or beach.  Sometimes we get a movie for those post-swim cuddle times, too.  After lunch we have one hour of "quiet time".  I let them take turns spending their quiet time with me so they have some undivided attention from me, even if it's just one hour.  I told my mom that I though, if I can get them to do all this, I wonder what else I should put on that chart! ;)

Recently, Divine and Pearl went with their church leader to help clean the house of a woman who had lost her husband.  I received this text from their leader: I love, love, love your girls.  To the moon and back.  Seriously.  Pearl and I were in the presence of the dirtiest bathtub I've ever seen--I gasped when I pulled back the curtain! Pearl's first response to my gasp was to ask if I was okay! Anyway, she looked at the tub and matter-of-factly said she had Lemi Shine at home that could clean it.  It wasn't strong enough, but she just assessed the situation in search of a solution.  No judgment.  It was very impressive!  They worked hard and did a good job.  It was more fun because we did it together.  Just thought you should know.

Every once in a while you get a glimpse of doing something right as a mother and you think, okay, I can do another day of this parenting thing. What do you do for summertime chores?