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Tuesday, April 15, 2014


There's a new magazine out in the world, and it's all about PDF patterns and running a business. The creative ladies behind Create Kids Couture have started on a new adventure. Their new magazine, I Love PDF Patterns, is now available and even has a feature on Lilac Lane!
There are quite a few great articles in this magazine, but even better, there are 5 free patterns! Also included are some ideas for planning a party and recipes. It is only $8.99 and you can purchase it here in their Etsy shop.

Enjoy and happy sewing!


Friday, April 11, 2014

How Does Your Garden Grow Quilt Pattern

Audrielle here, Melissa's assistant. Just thought I would drop a note telling you about one of four new patterns Lilac Lane has introduced in the past few weeks
The How Does Your Garden Grow Quilt Pattern is one of my favorite Quilt patterns Melissa has made. It is so interesting looking and fun but still manages some how to be a beginners quilt. Every quilt in my opinion has a little bit of it's creators sweat and tears in it but this one I think has a few less of each. :) 

The sizing on this quilt is: 84 1/2" X 84 1/2"
Bring your garden indoors with this easy, modified 9-patch quilt.
All you need is nine of your favorite florals or other prints. 
Your garden will be blooming inside all year long!

Available for purchase at the Lilac Lane Patterns Etsy shop  

"My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials,  knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing." James 1:2-4


Happy Sewing,


Friday, April 4, 2014


I've had lots and lots of questions about water colors since showing you my art. While I'm not professionally trained, I'll show you here how I do what I do. This is mostly through photos.
 I start with my finished sketch. I first paint areas that will be white or very light with masking fluid. This is essentially masking tape that you paint on. When it's time to remove it, you simply rub it off with your finger or an eraser. Using art erasers (gum and otherwise), I carefully erase one section of my pencil drawing at a time so that it won't show through the paint.
 My next step in this picture was the water. I knew that in order to make the painting believable, the water needed to be right.
 Then I added the girls' shadows. Just lightly here and darker later on. You can see that I continue here to add color and depth to the water.
 Sometimes I get to painting and forget to stop and take photos. Here is a nearly finished Anna.
 And Emilie with just her skin done. She looks like a little sprite with no color in her hair.
 Here's a close-up of the water splash. I left it nearly completely white with just a shadow here and there.

 I paint flat, so when I'm done, I always hang it on my wall to make sure everything looks right. This photo is interesting because you can see my original photo hanging below that I reference while painting. I also put a color photo on my Kindle to watch while painting.

When all is approved, it's time for framing. In this case, I ended up not wanting the top little bit of background included.
 And framed. I hope this is helpful to you aspiring artists.


Friday, March 7, 2014

Spring Break Capris

My friends Kara and Cosette have been sewing with me. Our latest project? The Spring Break capris! These girls are beginning sewers. Our projects so far have been the Learning to Sew Bag, a jelly roll race quilt and now these capris. So is this a project suitable for beginners? Yes! It's fast and with a little help, quite easy for beginners. (The matching tunic is harder.)

Great job girls! Ready for our next project?


Monday, February 10, 2014


During the kids' Christmas break, I found a new hobby. My girls are always wanting to do a craft, and as you know, I love art. I have taught it for grade school kids and, of course, you all know that at one time I designed fabric. However, I have not picked up watercolors since high school. What started as some fun afternoons, quickly became a passion. This sunflower is for my sister Christy.
This painting of Anna in her Christmas dress is the first bit of art I did.
The hot air balloons are probably my favorite painting. I did this one for my assistant Audrielle. She just had a baby. Something about painting is so relaxing and I can pray for the person while I am painting. The time for one painting takes me anywhere from a few hours to a few weeks.
My mom loves roses. I painted this one for her. It's now framed and hanging on her kitchen wall.

This is my sister Julie with her new baby.

I forgot to scan these tulips before I framed them.
Here is a picture of our farm before a storm. I painted this for my husband's birthday this past weekend. It's big! 16 x 20, and won't fit on my scanner.

And in case you need a quick recipe for a yummy ice cream cake, try this one.

I hope you enjoyed my paintings. There are a few more, including the banner on this blog.

If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.
1 Corinthians 13:1-3


Thursday, February 6, 2014

Nancy Zieman's Seams Unlikely Blog Tour

I had a very unique and cool opportunity. You see, Nancy Zieman, aka Sewing with Nancy and Nancy's Notions, has written an autobiography. It was my privilege to get a preview copy and share a little bit about it with you. My husband didn't understand why I was so excited to review anyone's autobiography. He's a lawyer. I told him it would be the same as the attorney general asking him to review his book! Nancy has been such a huge ground breaker in the sewing industry!

Nancy is very candid and straight forward in her book. She talks about the illness that affected her face for life. My favorite part is how she talks about growing up in Wisconsin. Nancy grew up on a dairy farm and worked really hard with chores. It reminds me so much of the life my kids have. We aren't a dairy farm here, but we have lots of animals and lots of farm chores. Having responsibilities makes really great kids who grow up into productive adults (in my opinion.) She also talks about all the really rich food they ate, and that reminds me of western Kansas as well. 

I loved reading about Nancy's love of flower gardening, 4-H, sewing, cooking, and so much more that reminds me of myself. I love that her foundation is her faith.

The book is all about how an introverted young lady started a business (first in her basement and then in a chicken coop, no less), reached out of her comfort zone, and followed her dreams.

I doubt that Nancy knows the opportunities that she has given me, but Nancy's Notions catalog carried three of my first patterns. In an industry where name is often everything, she took a chance on me. And that has led to other doors opening as well. If you're reading this, thank you so much Nancy! You have no idea how much that meant to me.

If you would like to preview a chapter of the book, you can click here to go to the book and then click "The Book"!

To read Nancy's own blog about the book, click here to go to her website.

Best of all, wouldn't you LOVE to win the book? To do that, go to Nancy's blog post about Seams Unlikely and leave her a comment.

Here's the tour schedule so that you can follow along:

And what does the Lord require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
    and to walk humbly with your God.

Micah 6:8


Tuesday, January 14, 2014


Mommy, Dolly, and Me Aprons
How about some Pinterest inspiration for everyone today?
Sunny Days Shorts Set
Spring Break Outfit
Easter Bunny pattern (free!)
Mommy, Dolly, and Me Aprons
the Friendship Dress
 All of these are available through my website Lilac Lane Patterns. Happy sewing!

For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen. And he has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister. 1 John 4:20-21

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