Happy birthday, Abiah!!



abi_birthdayAbiah — 21 and awesome!!

Here I go again, but I have to tell y’all what a wonderful, Godly young lady my Abiah is.

She’s firm, but she’s a peacemaker.  She’s loyal and devoted.  She’s witty and very loving.  And did I mention the way she can belt out a song?

I love this 4th born daughter of mine — with her long red hair and big blue eyes.  She’s amazing and I’m overwhelmed with the blessing of being her mom.

Abiah, you are the cats and my love will always pour over you.

Forever, Mommy





abibday3Dearest Bug,

We couldn’t have said it better ourselves!  We love you to pieces, and think the world of you.  You’re one of our very favorites, and we are forever grateful to God for making you our baby sister.

We love you!

xoxo Apphia, Achaia, & Abigail

PS  Did we forget to mention that we love your killer red hair and killer fashion sense??!

And, of course, we can’t help but mention our wonderfully awesome Nanny, who Abiah gets to share a birthday with!  Nan, you are one of our very favorites too, and we love you to the moon and back!  Wish we could have celebrated your birthday in person.  Hugs and kisses!

Happy Birthday to our Apphia!!




Well, it’s time for another of my gushing birthday posts and I have to quote a favorite movie, “It ain’t bragging if it’s true.”.

Apphia Jade – my first born daughter – a daughter I’ve prayed for and praised The Lord for – How can I possibly describe how very much this girl means to me?  She’s responsible and fun loving all at the same time.  She is loyal beyond belief and she has always been the best big sister anyone could ever ask for.

My girls and I have been through very tough times together and The Lord has used these trials to bring us closer and closer.  No Mom could ask for more.  I am blessed indeed!

Happiest of birthdays to my beloved Apphia!     xoxo Mommy

PS  I will be missing you and praying for you every day that you’re away.  May The Lord work in your life in an awesome way!


Happy birthday, Phi!  You know we love you to pieces and can’t imagine life without you!  We pray that this year will be filled with beautiful things for you.

Love, hugs, and kisses from your sisters!!

xoxo Achaia, Abigail, & Abiah

Say it with red and pink.



redandpinkWe girls recently had the happy opportunity to host a Valentine’s Day luncheon for the ladies at our Church!  Our Church is small on the people side, but big on the love side.



It was so fun to plan our menu.  The main course was manicotti, French bread, and salad, with three different yummy desserts — homemade Chocolate Chip Cookie, Cream Wafers, and Creamy Strawberry Dessert.

Our pastor’s wife supplied the drinks (raspberry lemonade and water).  We decorated each place with a special party favor bag, complete with candy hearts, red & pink Hershey kisses, and York peppermint patties, all tied up with red and white twine.



We dipped into our Mom’s vast (and gorgeous) collection of vintage tablecloths for all the tables, and borrowed her ruby red vase collection for all the flowers.

We had mood music on (of course).  How is it that music softly playing in the background can make such a difference??


It was such a wonderful experience for us, and a great time was had by all!  It’s amazing how taking just a couple hours out of one Saturday to spend time with others can be so refreshing.  We are already planning our next luncheon (picnic theme!), and can’t wait.

xoxo Apphia, Achaia, Abigail, & Abiah

Merry Christmas!



"And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.  And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them; and they were sore afraid.  And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.  For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord." Luke 2: 8-11

Many blessings to you this Christmas, from our home to yours!

With love,

Kristie, Apphia, Achaia, Abigail, & Abiah

hello, again

Happy Summer!  Wow.  Since this spring/summer started we felt like we have caught ourselves coming and going.  Some good stuff.  Some tough stuff.  But, always promising to never be dull.  Just to give you a quick overview….

-We've had a relative staying with us for the past 5-6 weeks, while he's waiting for a job.  Which definitely makes things interesting.

-Including giving him the use of one of our bathrooms, which leaves the other 7 of us to ONE bathroom.  Things get kind of exciting getting ready for Church on Sunday morning….

-Wednesday we went swimming for the first time this year, which was wonderful!  It was a much-needed relaxing time. 

-We went at an earlier hour in the day then we are used to (about 1:30 to 4:00) and we all came home with amazing (is that the word?) sunburns.  Thankfully, we're almost all recovered.

-We said good-bye to our brother Joe for the next five weeks, while he's off interning for a North Carolina farrier.  We're going to miss him!  

-Our Church is having a cantata for Independence Day, and we are involved, so that means practice, practice, practice!  Especially since Achaia, Abigail, and Abiah all have solo parts.

-We are just now getting somewhat caught-up on all of the custom sewing we had to do for the Bundle Event!  Whew. 

-Some of us went with people from Church last night to Lendonwood Gardens for the first time!  So beautiful.  Sadly, we only have about 30 minutes to go through it all.  We could have stayed so much longer.

-We think that must be the reason that we are itching like crazy.  Mosquitos apparantly like us.

-How has your summer been so far?




In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulcher.  And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven and rolled back the stone from the door and sat upon it.


And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified.  He is not here: for he is risen, as he said.  Come, see the place where the Lord lay. {Matthew 28}


Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and to your God.


Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you.  And when he had so said, he showed unto them his hands and his side.  Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the Lord……


Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed. {John 20}


Happy Resurrection weekend!


A dash of reality (+ a sale!)



We came home to lots of sewing, Easter choir practices, three happy dogs, and warmer weather.  We've been trying to catch up with all of them.  When we are in the midst of filling custom orders, reorganizing the fabric shelves, inventory-ing fabrics, and getting new fabrics in our studio looks something like the picture above (uh-huh.  Some days it's worse.)

Easter will be here before you know it, and we have spent the last two nights practicing for our program.  We have one program already planned for Sunday night to perform at a local retirement home, and we'll do it again at our home Church on Easter Sunday.  We've had such a great time practicing! 


Working on our fabrics means that there's loads of new fabrics in the $6-a-yard section on our website so go check it out!  We are also having a 25% off sale on ALL Tanya Whelan fabrics — Valentine Rose, Sunshine Rose, Rosey, and the brand spanking new Slipper Roses!  Sale ends April 19th, so grab anything you want while you can.

Back again soon,


Seams Unlikely Blog Tour!!


Everyone in the sewing industry has heard of Nancy Zieman, right?  Of course.  Maybe you've seen her on TV, ordered from her website, or perhaps just seen her picture. Nancy Zieman just released her autobiography, Seams Unlikely.  And, she's hosting a blog tour to celebrate!

All five of us read the book from cover to cover in a matter of days.  We couldn't put it down!  We all wanted to take a moment to give you a glimpse into what we came away with….

Kristie says-

I just LOVED Nancy’s book about her life. I think that even more than her business side, I enjoyed getting to know the little girl Nancy and the young lady Nancy. Even though some of my daughters have met Nancy I have not had that pleasure, but I did feel like I “met” her while reading this book.
Most of all I loved how Nancy weaves her faith and family into every part of her business and her life. The love she has for her family is just wonderful! You just have to read Seams Unlikely…especially the part about “Gotcha” Day!!
Apphia says-
All I can say is… I LOVED Nancy’s book!! I couldn’t bring myself to put it down, as a matter of fact. Reading about Nancy’s life was so inspiring. Seams Unlikely is an all-around great book. I laughed, I cried, and I now have a nice number of lines from Nancy that I like to insert into everyday conversation with my sisters! What stuck out most to me about Nancy was Nancy herself. She is a woman with remarkable abilities, strong faith in God, and true humbleness. She is just the kind of person you want to have as a friend. Reading about her struggles with health issues, balancing family and business, and staying true to herself was really an encouragement to me. As soon as I finished Nancy’s book, I mailed it to my best sewing friend so she could enjoy it too! (And she read it as fast as I did!)
Achaia says-
We were happy to hear about Nancy Zieman’s autobiography, and were even more excited at the opportunity to get a copy. But, really, I was blown away by it as soon as I started reading…. I couldn’t put the thing down. I loved reading about Nancy’s trials and triumphs, because they are such a part of our lives. It made Nancy all the more real to me. Not just as a fabulous, incredibly talented sewing icon, but also as a normal person who has had a normal life in so many ways. There were so many times I just wanted to jump into the pages and hug her! Mom and us girls talked and talked about what we’d been reading (there was a scream of “don’t tell me!” if someone talked about a part someone else hadn’t gotten to yet…), and decided that every sewist we know needs a copy!
Abigail says-
What a fascinating read! I couldn’t put it down. I laughed, I cried, I felt like a close friend. What an inspiring story about a lady who puts God and family first, and knows how to work hard. At the end, I loved Nancy more. Not just for her fabulous business of notions and more that I’ve been able to enjoy, but for who she is as a person. You have to read it too!  She's beautiful inside and out!
Abiah says-
What an awesome book! My sisters couldn’t believe how I carried it around with me wherever I went! Anytime I had a few spare minutes, I’d pick it up to read a few more lines. What an amazing lady! Nancy really came alive for me in the pages of this, her autobiography. I’ve heard of her for years, and even seen her picture, but I never really knew her. Reading about her life was truly inspirational to me. She’s had so many struggles, yet trusted in God to bring her through. Nancy is sweet, kind, humble, and so funny, too!! I can’t imagine not being inspired by her life story…not just for a seamstress, but for anyone.
Nancy (she has officially just become "Nancy" after reading her book!) has some peeks into why she wrote Seams Unlikely on her blog (plus, some adorable pictures!).  And, be sure to stop by all the other wonderful blogs that are joining in the tour!

February 5 Eileen Roche http://dzgns.com/blog/

February 5 Pat Sloan http://patsloan.typepad.com/

February 6 Melissa Stramel http://melissaslilaclane.blogspot.com

February 6 The Long Ladies http://www.mariemadelinestudio.typepad.com/

February 6 Tori Thompson http://totallystitchin.net

February 7 Amy Barickman http://www.indygojunction.com/blog/

February 7 Melissa Mora http://mellysews.com

February 8 Shari Butler http://www.doohikeydesignstudio.com/blog/

February 8 Vicki Christensen http://www.sewinspiredblog.com/

February 9 Carolina Moore http://alwaysexpectmoore.com

February 9 Kate Mclvor https://theconfidentstitch.squarespace.com

February 10 Amy Ellis http://amyscreativeside.com/

February 10 Melissa Mortenson http://www.polkadotchair.com

February 11 Ilene Miller http://happyvalleyprimitives.blogspot.com/

February 11 Liz Hicks http://blogerisms.blogspot.com/

February 11 Rachael Pannepacker http://www.jaybirdquilts.com/

February 12 Bill Gardner http://www.quiltersnewsletter.com/blogs/insideqn/

February 12 Elizabeth Evans http://www.simplesimonandco.com

February 13 Amy Webb http://www.amylouwhosews.com/

February 13 Lindsay Wilkes http://thecottagehome.blogspot.com

February 14 Gertie Hirsch http://www.blogforbettersewing.com

February 14 Veronica Philips http://cloverusa.wordpress.com/

February 15 Jenny Gabriel http://www.sewvacoutletblog.com

February 15 Laura Wasilowski http://artfabrik.com

February 16 Frieda Anderson http://www.friestyle.com

February 16 Rita Farro http://ritassewfun.blogspot.com

February 17 Cindy Cloward http://www.rileyblakedesigns.com/blog/

February 17 Joan Hawley http://www.lazygirldesigns.com/blog/

February 17 Patty Young http://modkidboutique.blogspot.com

February 18 Nancy Zieman http://www.nancyzieman.com/blog/

You all want a copy, right??!  Well, we are happy to announce that we have one copy to give away here at marie-madeline!  Just leave us a comment on this post and you'll be entered!  Be sure to go over to Nancy's blog and comment for more winning opportunities (they are giving away 20 books total!).  Of course, Seams Unlikely is also available for purchase on Nancy's website.
We want to leave off with a quote we just love from Nancy.  It reminds us of how WE should look at life's difficulties.
"Each of us faces challenges.  Some are larger than others.  But what happens to us does not define us, unless we let it." ~Nancy Zieman
We love you, Nancy, and are inspired by your story!
xox Kristie, Apphia, Achaia, Abigail, and Abiah



2014.  Wow.

2013 was a difficult year for us in lots of ways, but there were so many unexpected blessings poured out on us.  We think we grew and learned a little bit, too.  We don't want to think of the year 2013 as a wasted one, because of all the hard things, but more as a year for growing and learning.  It's always exciting to see what God has in store for us in a New Year, and we always know He will provide just what we need when we need it.  We're sitting back and waiting, and can't help but wonder what God has planned for us in 2014.

In the brand new year, we've added a brand new category to our site …. boutique.  That's where you'll find all the fancy good stuff that we've showcased in our Market booth, or made a special sample just because.  We hope you like it!

So, welcome 2014!

xox Kristie, Apphia, Achaia, Abigail, and Abiah

Merry Christmas!


Tears are falling, hearts are breaking; How we need to hear from God

You've been promised, we've been waiting; Welcome Holy Child.

Welcome Hold Child.

Hope that you don't mind our manger; How I wish we would have known

But long awaited Holy Stranger, make Yourself at home.

Please make Yourself at home.

Bring Your peace into our violence; Bid our hungry souls be filled

World now breaking Heaven's silence; Welcome to our world.

Welcome to our world.

Fragile finger sent to heal us; Tender brow prepared for thorn

Tiny heart whose blood will save us; Unto us is born.

Unto us is born.

So wrap our injured flesh around You; Breathe our air and walk our sod

Rob our sin and make us holy; Perfect Son of God.

Perfect Son of God.

Welcome to our world.


Merry Christmas to you all!  May you and yours be blessed with great peace and joy, celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ.


Kristie, Apphia, Achaia, Abigail, & Abiah

A New Year!


Happy 2013!  It seems like everyone says this, but we really truly cannot believe a year has come and gone, and we've already started in on a new one.

Nearing the end of 2012 we spent some time thinking about what had happened over the past 12 months.  It was a great year and a hard year — we were blessed with a load of wonderful things we didn't expect, but there were also plenty of times when we were ready to sit down and give up.  We laughed lots and we cried lots.  Opportunities came and went.  There were times when we wondered how everything could be turning out so beautifully, and days that we wanted to erase forever.

In all that, we think The Lord taught us lots in 2012, and we hope to use the experience to make 2013 even better.  We were struck many times with how completely we didn't deserve the many blessings we received.  We also were reminded that God expects of us complete faith and utter trust in His plans for us.

So, with mixed emotions we enter a new year.  Mostly with excitement.  We know God has great things for us this year, and we're jittery with anticipation.  Maybe we start with a twinge of sadness that another year has come and gone, but that also means a new year is here…. almost a fresh start. 

We pray that all of you had a most happy and beautiful Christmas and New Year!  Thank you so much for all of your love and support through the past years.  Here's to 2013!!

Lots of love,

Kristie, Apphia, Achaia, Abigail, and Abiah

“Reclaiming Beauty”… a giveaway!

Like most girls, we'd have to admit that beauty is something we think about a lot.  So when we first heard of the Botkin sisters' webinar, "Reclaiming Beauty", we were VERY excited.  (We'd read both of Anna & Elizabeth's books and loved them to pieces.)  Of course we signed up right away! 

Just imagine our delight when Anna & Elizabeth offered to allow us to give away a free subscription to one of you!!


{Elizabeth & Anna Sofia Botkin}

From VisionaryDaughters.com

What is beauty?

Some say beauty fits in a size 0. Some say beauty comes in all shapes
and sizes. Some say beauty is only skin deep. Some say beauty is only a
quality of the heart. Some say beauty is truth. Some say beauty is a
lie. Some say beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Some say beauty is
as beauty does. Some say Elizabeth Taylor and Grace Kelly are beautiful.
Some say everyone is beautiful. Some say beauty is divine. Some say
beauty is corrupting.

From all this confusion, one idea emerges clearly: The world knows
beauty matters. They talk a lot about it, write poetry and paint
paintings celebrating it, and spend $160 billion dollars a year on it.
But what’s equally clear is that they don’t know what it is. The
question is: Do we?

Today’s young Christian women have grown up in the most
image-obsessed generation in history, a generation that worships some of
the most twisted ideals of beauty the world has ever seen. But whether
we love them or hate them… they tend to shape our own perceptions of
what beauty is. Some of us accept its ideals, and struggle to fit into
its mold – others of us are repulsed by it, concluding that physical
beauty itself is immodest, worldly, and unspiritual, and reject the
realm of beautification completely. But when all we’ve ever seen is the
counterfeit the world offers, we can sometimes forget that the world did not create beauty – God did. And though we all know the world has a lot to say about image, we sometimes don’t realize how much God does too.

Fashion though history

It’s time to reclaim beauty. For thousands of years, believers,
pagans, Gnostics, Humanists, Neo-Platonists, iconoclasts, and creators
of culture have battled over this critical turf called “beauty.” Today,
we have only to look at who designs the fashions, markets the beauty
icons, rules the red carpet, adorns magazine covers, crowns Miss
America, and designs clothes-and-makeup advertisements, to know who is
currently holding the turf.

It’s time to take beauty back. When faced with an industry that runs
on photoshop airbrushing, plastic surgery, starvation diets, grotesque
catwalk styles, and billions of squandered dollars, our response can no
longer be, “Beauty is not for us.” It’s time for our response to be,
“Get your flag out of our ground.” It’s time for us to be a light in a
culture that uses beauty as a weapon against God. It’s time for God’s
ambassadors to make His principles – such as modesty and femininity –
look as beautiful as they really are. It’s time for us to show the
world: Ugliness is not beauty. Emaciation is not beauty. Androgyny is
not beauty. Immodesty is not beauty. Unnatural distortion is not beauty.
From Genesis to Revelation, God paints a different picture of the inner
and outer beauty of a woman, and it’s time to show the world what it
really looks like – one soul, one body, one face, one closet at a time.


The seven sessions featured in "Reclaiming Beauty"…

#1. What God Says About Beauty and Beautification
The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

#2: What Style Is Your Heart, Mind, and Soul?
Pardon Me, Ma’am, But Your True Identity is Showing

#3. Getting Your Temple in Order
The Physical Foundations of Beauty

#4. Fearfully and Wonderfully Made
How to Work with the Build, Coloring, and Natural Beauty God Gave You

#5: Putting Things Together
Composition, Style, Occasion, Accessories

#6: Acquiring New Pieces (and Revitalizing Old Ones)
How to Get What You Need with Minimum Time, Money, and Fuss

#7: The Focal Point
Being a Good Steward of Your Face and Hair


  • What it means to represent the Lord as His ambassadors to the world
  • Where true beauty starts
  • What the Bible says about beautification and adornment
  • How we should respond to the world’s idea of beauty
  • The history and philosophy behind the most popular garments
  • The proper priority-level of beauty in the Christian’s life
  • The biblical relationship between the physical and the spiritual
  • What it means to be separate from the world
  • What we can learn from the beauty industry
  • What the beauty industry has gotten wrong

Get practical tips on:

  • Clothing yourself better for a lot less money
  • Making modesty and femininity look excellent instead of frumpy
  • Making off-the-rack clothes modest
  • Putting together great outfits with what you already had in your closet
  • Using makeup tastefully
  • Giving sloppy garments new life with minimum alterations
  • Cultivating taste and style
  • Getting out of a fashion rut
  • Creating a minimum-time-and-effort plan for looking nice every day

Let's do it!

Here's how to enter our "Reclaiming Beauty" giveaway…

    -Leave us a comment with your name and email address

    -And ask one beauty-related question (if you like!)

This giveaway closes on September 22.  We would love to see as many of you attending the webinar as possible!  Please check out the Reclaiming Beauty facebook page, and browse the archives at Visionary Daugters.  We'd also highly recommend reading Anna Sofia and Elizabeth's books, So Much More and It's (Not That) Complicated.