It's funny how your memory can be triggered by something small and unimportant.  Last weekend Abiah was trying to get her boot box off our closet shelf (Abigail, Abiah, and I share a room) when a container of old hair things came falling down — no surprise there.  I started going through it real quick to see if I could grab another scrunchie for my bedtime hair, and I kept coming across scrunchies that were made out of fabric I recognized……

A 9 year old Abigail's dress

Apphia's flannel pajama pants

My first sewing project (a little elastic waistband skirt)

Another Abigail dress and another pj pants flannel

A cute little outfit of Abiah's

The dress Mom made me to wear when I sang at a Church program

Plaid seersucker that was leftover from a top for Mom and matching outfits for all of us girls

Whenever we were younger almost every homemade outfit had to have a matching scrunchie.  We wore them all the time on our ponytails, or to connect our french braids.  It seems that they were the big thing in the '90s (at least they were at our house).  It was amazing how I'd forgotten most of them, and how just seeing a pile of scrunchies made me remember so many different outfits, and so many good times.  xoxAchaia

Apphia Jade


Dear sweet Apphia,

Happy Birthday, Merry Sunshine!  Sending this special greeting to you, my first born child, my longed for and prayed for baby, brings tears to my eyes.  I don't deserve your precious love and devotion, but I am so very thankful for it!  Not a day goes by that I don't praise The Lord for creating you and making me your mommy mumee.  We've been through so much together and I trust that this next year will be even better than the last.

Thank you for being so dependable and responsible, Apphia.  I trust you with my life.

Happiest of birthdays to you.  I love you, Mommy


Dearest Sis, Happy birthday with tons of love!  We're so thankful for you and all the many ways our lives are enriched by being with you.  Through thick and thin we have always counted on you.  Our deepest, most heartfelt prayer is that you will be abundantly blessed with the desires of your heart this coming year.

Love forever,

Achaia, Abigail, & Abiah xxxxx

The Winner!


So sorry we didn't announce our winner yesterday!  We've had a pretty hectic and stressful week, so we are feeling a little bit behind on everything.  Now, onto the winner….

Congratulations, Helen!  You are now the happy owner of Nancy Zieman's Sew Knits with Confidence book + 4 awesome especially-designed-for-knit sewing patterns!  Please drop us an email with your mailing address and we'll get everything headed your way.  We're sad we can't give a copy to each and every one of you!  The book and patterns are really a wonderful addition to any lady's sewing library, and we'd heartily recommend picking up your own copy here on Nancy's website.  Your knit clothes will thank you, trust us.

Thanks so much for the enthusiasm about our rendering of the Santa Fe Dress!  It was wonderful to hear what everything thought.  Did we mention the comfort level?  As most knit items, it's a dream to wear!

Happy Thursday, all! xoxo Kristie, Apphia, Achaia, Abigail, and Abiah

Nancy Zieman’s Sew With Knits Blog Tour + Giveaway!

Hello everyone!  We had so much fun last summer when we participated in Nancy's 30-minute Doll Clothes blog tour, that we were absolutely thrilled when she invited us to be a part of Sewing With Knits.  To be perfectly honest with you, knits have always scared (some of) us just a tiny bit.  It's funny that the thing we love wearing most is also the most intimidating to sew!  But Nancy has officially changed that.  Her book, Sew Knits With Confidence, is a must-have for every seamstress!  (Stick with us, we'll be giving away a copy in a little bit…)

So without further ado, here is our own interpretation of the Santa Fe Dress!


We opted to make dress view 1, but added 16" to the length in order to get a good maxi. 

Screen Shot 2013-01-10 at 5.06.18 PM

We LOVE this pattern.  The clever neckline facing makes wearing a camisole unnecessary, and the bodice goes together in a flash.  Best of all, it really looks store-bought when finished!  We chose a novelty red pique knit from JoAnn's to make our Santa Fe dress.  And then we got the idea to draw up one side in a big rose-like knot to add a fun touch!

Now are you ready to hear about the giveaway?  One winner will receive a copy of Nancy's book, Sew Knits with Confidence, along with the four beautiful patterns we showed you earlier this week!!!  Just leave a comment on this post that includes your name and email address, and tell us how you feel about knit.  We will choose our winner on Wednesday (April 24th) and ship out your box of goodies the next day!

Have fun!


P.S. Don't forget to take a look at the rest of the tour!

April 21, 2013 Stitchin' Jenny's

April 22, 2013 Amy Lou Who Sews 

April 23, 2013 Sew News

April 24, 2013 Designs in Machine Embroidery  

April 25, 2013 Riley Blake Designs 

April 26, 2013 The Sewing Loft Blog 

April 27, 2013 Nancy Zieman the Blog 

A Fabulous Friday

{apphia's picks}


1. these fabulous loafers from Anthropologie

2. I want to throw an outdoor party that looks like this!

3. missing Texas and wishing for another tour of the capitol building

4. love me some big sunnies

{abiah's picks}



1. adorable summer dresses like this one…

2. I love old patterns, like this jumpsuit one from 1977

3. time spent with awesome friends… we always have such a blast and laugh til our sides ache

4. I can't resist cotton candy!

{kristie's picks}


Mom's pick1

1. this lovely raspberry button brooch

2. I can't say no to beautiful Japanese fabrics!

3. a Cosmo embroidery floss chart is so handy

4. the pillow I just finished making and stitching

{abigail's picks}



1. one of my favorite Richard Widmark movies!  It's so great.

2. long, healthy hair.  This picture reminds me of Abiah and all the fun things we do together.

3. the colors. the art.

4. the mud fight in McLintock!  No matter how many times we watch it, I always think it looks like so much fun.

{achaia's picks}



1. I love the all-over embroidery on this top… it's amazing!  The peplum is great too.

2. the bookshelves all through the hallway.  I also love the color scheme.

3. a Jaguar

4. I'm on the look out for a great summery floppy hat

And, we couldn't pass up throwing in a collective favorite….


Lawrence of Arabia

What are you especially enjoying this week??  We'll plan on being back tomorrow!

Happy Friday, xox

Sew Knits with Confidence blog tour is here!

Screen Shot 2013-01-10 at 5.03.16 PM
Screen Shot 2013-01-10 at 5.02.48 PM
Screen Shot 2013-01-10 at 5.06.36 PM
Screen Shot 2013-01-10 at 5.06.18 PM

Did you catch our hint from yesterday?  We are thrilled to be joining in Nancy Zieman's Sew Knits with Confidence Blog Tour (we'll be showing off ours on April 20th)!  Here's the schedule, so you can keep up with all the happy-sewy-knit goodness all the way through….

April 16, 2013 Nancy Zieman the Blog

April 17, 2013 Gertie’s New Blog for Better Sewing

April 18, 2013 Totally Stitchin 

April 19, 2013 Sew Beautiful Magazine 

April 20, 2013 Marie Madeline Studio 

April 21, 2013 Stitchin Jenny’s

April 22, 2013 Amy Lou Who Sews 

April 23, 2013 Sew News

April 24, 2013 Designs in Machine Embroidery  

April 25, 2013 Riley Blake Designs 

April 26, 2013 The Sewing Loft Blog 

April 27, 2013 Nancy Zieman the Blog 

We're looking forward to gabbing more about sewing with knits and Nancy's patterns and knits book (and a giveaway!) on Saturday!  Hope you can all join us…..

xox Kristie, Apphia, Achaia, Abigail, and Abiah

spring and everything in between.


The first half of April sure has come and gone quickly for us.  If you aren't a newsletter subscriber we wanted to let you in on a happy little sale we're running over on the website!  Through April 20th spend $60 on the marie-madeline studio site and receive a free pattern!!  Every $30 spent earns another free pattern too ($60 = 1 pattern, $90 = 2 patterns, etc.).  Of course, the free pattern is your choice, so be sure and leave a note to us on your order, giving us your choice!

Some new fabrics popped in here last week, and we are completely taken with them.  As you can guess they are Lecien AND their newest Old New 30s line!  You can shop them all here, but we want to give a little warning… quantities are very limited so don't wait.  Once it's gone, it's gone!

In other news, Apphia is hard at work on some new patterns for this summer (yay!) which we can't wait to show to you all.  The other night we stayed up til 2am watching Lawrence of Arabia.  It's 3 1/2 hours long, though there is an intermission (which we promptly used up by leaning over the counter and chewing on marshmallow bars and cherry chip cupcakes).  We all found it fascinatingly good and are looking forward to watching it again.  

We plan to be back tomorrow with some fun happenings that we're happy to be involved with!  (Look on the sidebar for a hint….)


The Grass is Greener…

I love green. This skirt that you saw last spring, was one of my favorites. Until some of the zipper teeth melted, and I could no longer get it on. *sad face* We soon fixed that, however, by using this solid green pique, and making a new one. Hooray! I must confess that I'm not exactly a speedy seamstress…but this skirt took no time at all to whip up. That calls for a double hooray. 


Oh, and it IS beginning to look (and feel) more like spring around here. Yesterday, I went outside in a short sleeved tee. Ahhh…no huge jacket to lug around.

I hope you're enjoying warmer weather, too, wherever you are!


Our friend’s so cute.


Our friend is so grown up now, and she's still adorable.  When Faith and some of her family came over for a fun day she also went fabric shopping.  Faith has become quite the seamstress, and we were so excited when she sent us these pictures modeling her latest sewing project!!

Faith used the tropical island print for this dress and also took home a piece of this dot fabric for a shirtdress.  We can't wait to see how it turns out!

xo Kristie, Apphia, Achaia, Abigail, and Abiah

PS… Our computer's planning to go to the shop tomorrow, so if you don't hear from us right away that's why.  Hopefully we'll be up and running again soon! xx

a letter to open {a pillow tutorial}


I got carried away when I saw Achaia embroidering (and Nan, and Abiah, and Mommy….).  I had to do it too.  I decided to use osnaberg as my pillow base, stitching on it to my hearts content. Now, for a fun tutorial for my all-time-favorite way to make pillows and my first-ever-to-make-kind of pillow. Lovingly called (by us anyway) the envelope pillow.

A Quick Tutorial for the Envelope Pillow

What you'll need:

-fabric for the front of your pillow, but don't forget to add seam allowance. (Whatever size you like. I decided to go with a size that would fit a pillow form that we had in our closet, just because I couldn't wait.)

-fabric for the back x 2.  I needed two 17 1/2'' pieces of 45'' fabric. (I couldn't resist using one of my favorite pieces from our friend, Jennifer Paganelli's collection, Girls World Vibe. It looks amazing with my favorite Va Va Bloom Vera Bradley blanket too. Yay!)

-pillow form to fit your size of pillow top … Don't look any further than these fantastic pillow forms from PillowCubes (by the way – how cute is that name?!) Run go check out their site and feel free to use the coupon code MarieMadeline10 to get 10% off your order!

And the usual items: sewing machine, thread, and scissors.

Let's get started!

1. Choose your fabric. (Probably my favorite part.)

2. When you lay the pillow top on your backing, you should have at least 1'' extra on each side. Don't forget to x 2 your backing.

3. With the folds in, overlap about 6".

4. Lay your pillow front face down onto your over-lapped pillow back.

5. Sew around all four sides of your pillow front using 1/4'' seam allowance. Once you're back where you started, make sure your pillow back is not caught in any places.  If everything is perfect, cut off the excess backing, using your pillow front as your guide.


IMG_6186 IMG_6187

6. Turn your pillow right side out. Open up your "envelope" and stuff your pillow form inside. Adjust till it looks just right. Oh joy!!!




Your pillow is finished!

Oh. My Goodness. My embroidery skills??? After seeing Kay and Nanny at work, I think mine must look a little bit silly. But I love it anyway. Probably one of my favorite letters I've ever sent.

xoxoxo Abi