Learn to Foundation Paper Piece

If you’ve heard of Foundation Paper Piecing and want to know what the fuss is all about, or if you’ve never heard of Foundation Paper Piecing and now you’re curious, I can’t wait to tell you all about this really cool quilting technique! And, I created a free quilt block – the North Star Quilt Block – that you can download to practice your Foundation Paper Piecing skills. You can watch the video below where I show you how it all works.

North Star Quilt Block - Free Foundation Paper Piecing Pattern

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What is Foundation Paper Piecing?

Foundation Paper Piecing is a quilting technique. You print or draw a pattern onto paper, which becomes the foundation for your block. You then add fabric, using the lines on your paper as the guide. When you’re done, you remove the paper, and leave just the fabric and stitching.

When do you use Foundation Paper Piecing?

Foundation paper piecing can be used for many different kinds of blocks. Almost any pattern can be converted to foundation paper piecing – though some are better suited for it than others. Blocks that have points on them (such as an American Beauty Quilt Block) are often done with Foundation Paper Piecing. Also, quilt blocks with odd-shaped pieces are great for Foundation Paper piecing.

What is the difference between Foundation Piecing and English Paper Piecing?

Foundation Paper Piecing (also known as “paper piecing” or “foundation piecing”) is a much different technique than English Paper Piecing (also known as EPP). Foundation Piecing uses a pattern printed onto the back of lightweight papers, which are then stitched using a sewing machine. And it is great for irregular patchwork. EPP is hand sewing that is basted to heavy cardstock paper. Pieces are often very regular (hexagons and diamonds are the most common), although irregular shapes can be used with EPP.

What paper is best for Foundation Paper Piecing?

Foundation paper piecing can be done with regular copy paper, though it is not recommended. When foundation paper piecing, you reduce your stitch length to help perforate the paper more, and to provide more stability when you rip out the papers after finishing your piecing. Regular copy paper is more robust than what is preferred for paper piecing. There are several different types of papers specifically designed for foundation piecing. I like the Thermoweb Stitch n Sew papers. The June Tailor Perfect Piecing papers are very similar. The Carol Doak foundation papers are also very popular – they are a little harder to see through, but are the easiest to tear away when finished.

What supplies do I need for Foundation Paper Piecing?

For foundation piecing, the most important supply is the paper that you print the pattern on. You can see my recommendations above. All of these papers will print on your home printer. You’ll also need regular quilting supplies such as your sewing machine, rotary cutter and mat. I also recommend the add-a-quarter ruler, and a good quality iron.

How does Foundation Paper Piecing Work?

I filmed a video where I show you step-by-step how to foundation paper piece. Below you’ll find instructions to download the free North Star Quilt Block pattern. This is the pattern I show in the video.

To get your North Star Quilt Block pattern (both the 6″ and 12″ versions of the block), fill out the form below. I’ll send you a link to download the pattern. If you don’t see the email in your inbox within 5 minutes, please check your spam and junk folders. If you’re still having issues, you can email me at carolina@carolinamoore.com. I’m not on my email constantly, but when I see your message, I’ll make sure the pattern gets sent to you.

 

Free Pattern!

Sign up below to get the free North Star Quilt Block Pattern. You’ll also be added to my weekly e-mail list of awesomeness. You can unsubscribe anytime.

Yay! The link to your download is on its way to your inbox! If you have any problems, please email carolina@carolinamoore.com.

I hope you enjoy learning how to foundation paper piece. This is a fabulous technique to have in your quilty toolbox. While foundation piecing isn’t the best approach for every quilt block, it is an essential skill for some of the more advanced quilt blocks.

Best Gifts for Quilters

If you’ve got a quilter in your life, and you’re looking for a gift to give them for a holiday, birthday, or just because … I’ve got you covered! I’ve sorted these gifts into different categories to help you out, and if I’ve been able to find the gift in multiple places, I’m giving you multiple links so that you can compare price and shipping options.

This post contains affiliate links which provide a small commission to this site when you purchase through these links.

If you’re more of a home-shopping-network type shopper, I’ve shared many of these gift ideas in this video, in which I give you a more detailed look at many of these items.

Let’s get started on all the links!

Best Splurge Gifts for Quilters

If you have an extra special quilter in your life, or you’re feeling super generous this year, these spurge gifts are always appreciated! Quilters are known for our generosity in giving away quilts, and we often feel guilty for spending big dollars on ourselves. Treat your quilter with something from this list!

Sewing Machine – I love Baby Lock machines. They are easy to care for, and high quality. For a beginner, or a quilter who wants a machine for travel, the Baby Lock Jubilant is a great choice. You may want to check out Baby Lock’s Embroidery Machines for a quilter who wants to step up their game. I’ve added the Baby Lock Sashiko machine to my wishlist this year – it is a specialty machine just for quilting, but gives a hand-quilted look for a lot less work!

Accuquilt Go! Cutter. Accuquilt is a cutting machine designed specifically for quilters. They have so many different specialty quilting dies designed to make cutting fabric easier and more accurate. So that quilters can get to their favorite part – the sewing! The Accuquilt Go! Me is great for someone starting out. However, if you have a serious quilter on your hands, the Ready Set Go! Cutting System is an awesome splurge. Accuquilt does an amazing job of offering free patterns that compliment their dies, so this is really an investment that pays off in the long run.

Oliso Iron. Oliso is a well known brand in the quilting world. While the price point of an Oliso iron makes it a splurge, it is a high-quality iron that will last your quilter for years and years! It gets beautifully hot and makes great steam – though it can be used without steam for a steam-less quilter. Pair it with a wool pressing mat and a hot iron rest for a very thoughtful gift.

Creative Grids Stripology XL Ruler. Splurge on the big one! This ruler cuts strips, squares, squares up blocks, and more. It is a huge time saver and such a fun ruler! And yes – I absolutely own one of these!

Gifts Every Quilter will Love

These gifts won’t be as big of a splurge as the items on the list above, but any of these would absolutely be appreciated by a quilter.

Gift Card to their local Quilt shop
Oliso Mini Iron – available in four colors!
Wool Pressing Mat (also available here) (and available here)
Spot on Dot (also available here)
Creative Grids Specialty Rulers – Creative Grids has tons of specialty rulers! My favorites are the Strippy Star, Curvy Log Cabin, and Kitty Cornered rulers.
Plan to Quilt – this great book will help a quilter track their projects – use code MOORE for 10% off!

Best Gifts for a New Quilter

For someone just starting out, these gifts will be appreciated!

Gift Card to their local Quilt shop
Cutting Mat
Rotary Cutter – the Olfa Splash is my favorite (also available here) (find it here in pink)
Replacement 45mm Rotary Blades (also available here) (also available here)
Good Scissors (also available for left-handed quilters)
Replacement Sewing Machine Needles (these are also a good option)
Good Thread – Madiera is what I’ve been using.
Good Quality fabric – if you don’t know their favorite fabric designer, you can’t go wrong with AGF Elements in their favorite colors.
Good Rulers – this Creative Grids Quilting Ruler and Creative Grids Square are great for beginners.
Machine cleaning set

Best Stocking Stuffers for Quilters

If you’re looking to fill a quilter’s stocking, or you’re looking for a great gift to give a friend, these small gifts go a long way! And, if you’re a quilter yourself, make sure to add one to your cart for you as well! For a fun surprise, you can tuck the gift into a locked stocking made with my locked stocking pattern!

Mini Wool Pressing Mat
Spot on Dot (also available here)
(or the Spot on Dot Single Dot)

Mini Creative Grids Ruler
Creative Grids Seam Guide
Alphabitties
Seam Roller
Pin Points enamel pins for Quilters and Fiber Artists
“Handmade” hardware
Thread cutter caddy (also available here)

Hot Iron Rest (also available here)
Dritz Number pins (also available here)
Clover Wonder Clips
Scissors Mug
Perfect Pincushion
Purple Thang (also available here) (and here too)
Madiera Thread
Stash and Store (also available here)
Olfa Splash rotary cutter (also available here) (find it here in pink)
Machine cleaning set
Mini Scissors – there are so many awesome mini scissors, and one can never have enough! I have a small collection going, and always want more! Here are some fun options:
* Covered Scissors
* Wood Handled Mini Scissors
* Mini Heirloom Scissors
* Gold Unicorn Scissors
* Rainbow Unicorn Scissors
* Cat Embroidery Scissors
* Bronze Warm Crochet Scissors
* Pink Flamingo Scissors
* Christmas Themed Scissors

Gifts that are Sewing Themed

Bee in my Bonnet Puzzle
Thimble Blossoms Puzzle
Festival of Quilts Puzzle
Pin Points enamel pins for Quilters and Fiber Artists
Password Keeper (also available here)
Smartphone Lounger
Scissors Mug
“Quilt” Popsockets
Quilt Calendar

The Knit Quilt

When I saw the AGF Hooked Fabric collection, I knew I wanted to make a quilt that made reference to fiber crafts beyond quilting. Which is how I came up with the knit quilt. Yes, I know that “hooked” refers to crochet, and that crochet and knitting are two different things. So, this is an imperfect reference. I apologize in advance to any knitters or crocheters who may think that I don’t know the difference. I do. My mom tried to teach me. And while I don’t have any yarn skills, she was able to teach me that there is a difference between knit and crochet.

This post contains affiliate links which provide a small commission to this site at no additional cost to you when purchases are made through these links.

This quilt is incredibly easy to make. Only marginally more work than stitching squares together to make a quilt, and so much more impact! This pattern will become your go-to pattern for making baby quilts and comfort quilts. It uses half yard cuts of fabric, and has very little waste. It is quick to cut, and quick to piece. You can make a quilt from start to finish in a day using this pattern. It is that simple!

The Knit Quilt uses the Creative Grids 60 Degree Diamond Mini. You can get yours at your local quilt shop. If you don’t have a local shop, you can buy yours at the Fat Quarter Shop or get your 60 Degree Diamond Mini on Amazon.

In this video, I show you how easy it is to create so many different shapes using this ruler. For a small piece of plexiglass, it sure has a lot of ways to use it!!

The Knit Quilt is a Ruler of the Month Quilt. That means that for right now, the pattern is FREE! But once I create next month’s pattern, this one will get moved to the shop. Be sure to download your pattern today! You can get the download link by subscribing to my email newsletter:

 

Yay Rulers!

Sign up below to get the free Ruler of the Month pattern, The Knit Quilt! You’ll also be added to my weekly e-mail list of awesomeness. You can unsubscribe anytime.

Your pattern is in your inbox! If you have any problems contact me at carolina@carolinamoore.com

Make sure to check out all the other Ruler of the Month Quilts.

English Paper Piecing with Accuquilt

I’m so excited to share with you the newest Accuquilt Qube, which was designed specifically for English Paper Piecing. I got early access to these dies as I worked with Accuquilt to create patterns for the launch, and can’t wait to share all that I have been up to! If you’ve been around a while, you know that I love English Paper Piecing … so this project was an absolute joy for me to work on!

Throughout this post I’ll share links to products and projects. Most of these are affiliate links, so if you make a purchase after clicking one of these links I will get a small commission from the sale.

This EPP Qube is a set of dies designed for English Paper Piecing that are incredibly well thought out. The set includes 8 dies – four for cutting the papers, and four for cutting the the fabric. The four shapes are a triangle, diamond, half-hexagon, and (of course) a hexagon. All the pieces have 1″ finished sides (except for the half-hexagon which has a long side that is 2″), and all the fabric is cut with a 1/4″ seam allowance. Because all of the units have a 1″ finished size, they all fit together perfectly!

I did a full unboxing video to show you all about the Accuquilt GO! EPP Qube:

How the Accuquilt Works

If you’re not familiar with the Accuquilt system, it is designed for quilters to help us with cutting fabric quickly and accurately. Accuquilt has lots of different quilting shapes – from traditional shapes like squares and half square triangles, to applique shapes like hearts and umbrellas, to specialty shapes like the double wedding ring.

To use the dies, you need an Accuquilt GO! cutting machine. There are different sizes of the machine, to accommodate the different sizes of dies. You can use the smaller dies in the larger machines, but you can’t fit the larger dies in the smaller machines. The EPP Qubes are just 6 inches, so you can use any of the Accuquilt GO! machines with the EPP dies.

I have the Accuquilt GO! fabric cutter, but the Accuquilt GO! me is great for a beginner, and can be used with all of the 6″ dies that Accuquilt makes. In fact, Accuquilt put together a GO! me EPP Starter Set that includes everything you need!

To cut your pieces, layer your fabric on the die, place a cutting pad on top. This makes your “sandwich.” All you have to do then is run the die through the machine. The machine compresses the sandwich so that the blades in the die are exposed, and cut through the fabric. In the video below, I show you how easy it is to use. I also show you how to cut the English Paper Piecing papers, which you can cut out of cardstock, or using postcard promotional mailers that come in your mailbox.

Now you’ll want to save all of those promotional mailers that come in your inbox so you can use them for English Paper Piecing!

How to Sew English Paper Piecing

Once you’ve cut your pieces, you’ll need to baste your papers to your fabric, and then you sew them together. This video shows you how to baste and sew your English Paper Piecing shapes. I also go over how to baste the different shapes – not just the hexagons.

One of my favorite projects I made for this launch was the Butterfly Tote Bag. The butterfly uses all 4 shapes in the EPP Qube, and the tote is made using the 2 1/2″ strip die. The butterfly tote pattern is free on the Accuquilt website and is also included in the booklet that comes with the EPP Qube. All the fabrics used in this tote are Art Gallery Fabrics Pure Solids.

Another project I created for the launch was this zippered pouch pattern. Great for storing all of your little pieces, these pouches are fun to make. And all the dies used to make them will fit through your 6″ EPP Qube!

One of my favorite things about this set is how easy it is to cut up my scraps to use for English Paper Piecing! I wanted to create a design that was simple to piece into units that I can turn into a scrap quilt. That is how I came up with the Radiant Block. I wrote up a full pattern for this block that you can use to start making a planned scrappy quilt, which is available in my pattern shop. And if you just want to try your hand at EPP without investing in the Accuquilt GO! dies yet, I do include printable paper template pieces in the pattern.

I also stitched up a fun Halloween pillow. This Jack O’ Lantern has a great grin, and is perfect out of scrappy fabrics or your favorite orange print. The Hexie Halloween Pillow pattern was designed to use the Accuquilt GO! Qube, but includes printable templates as well. You can get the Halloween Hexie Pillow Pattern in my pattern shop.

English Paper Piecing Books

To go along with the launch of the new EPP Qube, Accuquilt launched a new EPP book! I share a peek into that book as well as my own English Paper Piecing book, and some of my other favorite books for EPP inspiration in this video.

Here are the affiliate links to the books in the video:
English Paper Piecing Made Easy
Learn How to English Paper Piece
All Points Patchwork Book
The New Hexagon
The New Hexagon 2 Book
The New Hexagon Calendar
Hexa Go Go

You can purchase your Accuquilt GO! EPP Qube on Accuquilt’s website.

Quilt Block Masks

Ever since I learned that it was not only going to be socially acceptable to put fabric on my face, it was actually going to be mandatory, I have been wanting to make some quilt block masks. Because if people can’t see my smiling face, then at least they can see some happy quilt blocks! Which isn’t quite the same, but for now we’ll just pretend that it is fine. Because that’s kind of what 2020 is all about … pretending that things are fine. And also wearing quilt blocks on our faces. I’m going to make that a thing.

Making a quilt block mask is pretty easy if you have some small-ish orphan blocks lying around (which I do). I grabbed a 3″ finished star that I made with the Strippy Stars Tool when I was working on the Patriot Ruler of the Month (I have a video on how the tool works if you click over to the Patriot Ruler of the Month quilt). I made the second mask using a pineapple block I had leftover from the Who Wore it Better Ruler of the Month. You can go check that one out as well for details on how to use the pineapple trim tool.

So, grab your orphan block (or make a block using the instructions linked above) and a Fat Quarter of fabric.

You’ll also need a mask pattern. This technique works with lots of different styles of masks, so if you already have a favorite pattern, you can use that one. If you don’t have a favorite mask pattern (those are words I never thought I’d be typing out and yet here we are…), I used the Craft Passion Mask for mine.

Add fabric to all four sides of the block to make sure it is big enough for the pattern. Add more than you think you’ll need. You won’t regret it.

Line up your pattern over the quilt block. You can make some choices – do you want the block more towards the front or the back? Remember you have a seam allowance on all sides.

Cut out the block according to your pattern.

Cut out the other side of the mask, then the lining pieces, and sew up as indicated on the pattern for the mask style that you chose. No other changes need to be made … and now you get to wear a quilt block on your face!!

As long as we’ll be wearing masks … they might as well be cute, right?

Introducing the Spot on Dot

Several months ago, I had an idea. Why can’t we magnify right on our quilting rulers? I don’t know about you, but my eyesight certainly hasn’t gotten any better the older I’ve gotten, and my eye doctor say I should expect it to continue to get worse.

Since more accurate cuts lead to more precise piecing and perfect points, I wanted to find a way to get the most accurate cuts possible. Which is how the Spot on Dot was born!

Watch the video here to get all the details on how the Spot on Dot makes accurate cutting so much easier!

I’m so excited to be able to share this product with you! It is currently available for order by retailers – so let your local quilt shop know they need to put in their orders for the Spot on Dot! We’re expecting it will be on your store’s shelves by February 1st of 2020.

The Spot on Dot comes with its own case, and the adhesive rings are easy to clean with mild soap and water. A gentle cleaning will remove any lint that has built up on the adhesive, and your Spot on Dot will start sticking like it was new again!

You’re going to wonder how you managed quilting without your Spot on Dot!

Quilting Made Easy with Riley Blake and Cricut

As an avid quilter, I love it when quilting can be made easier. There are so many steps and parts to quilting, so when some of those can be taken out for us, it makes quilting easier (and more enjoyable)! Quilt kits are a great option when looking to make a quilt. You know that all the fabric you need is in the kit (yay for no quilt math!), and you know that all the fabrics will work together wonderfully. That is why I was super excited when Cricut asked me to share a bit about their new Riley Blake Quilt kits with all of you.

Quilting Made Easy with Riley Blake and Cricut - Part 1 of 3

This post contains affiliate links. Income from these links helps to support this site at no additional cost to you.

I did a quick YouTube Live where I went over all the details of picking out the fabric (I went with the Comfort and Joy quilt kit) and picking out the pattern. The Log Cabin is a great beginner block, which is why I chose this fun Half Log Cabin.

And for those of you curious – yes, this is a project that you do need your Cricut Maker for. You need the functionality of the rotary blade in order to cut the fabric.

 

The back of the quilt kit shows you a couple of the different patterns you can make with this throw-sized quilt kit. But the great news is that you can make any of the throw sized quilts with this kit! While I love the options that they show, I also love that I have the flexibility to choose from any of the throw sized patterns.

quilt options with the comfort and joy quilt kit

You do have to buy the quilt pattern in Cricut Design Space. But once you buy it, you own the pattern. And the price really is comparable to quilt pattern prices everywhere else – with the bonus that this pattern has already been digitized to do all the cutting!

Riley Blake Half Log Cabin Quilt Pattern

The pattern includes all the Design Space files to cut the pattern, and a PDF with the step-by-step instructions to make the quilt. I’ll be going through the cutting and piecing in parts 2 and 3 of this series!

cutting the throw quilt

All those mats might be a little intimidating at first, but don’t worry! They really are broken down to make the whole process as simple as possible. This is quilting made EASY, right? And easy for us also means that it will be more fun!

cricut quilting tools

If you’re planning to make this quilt along with me, you might want to check out these great Cricut tools. I’ll be talking more about these in part 2!

wuilt kit and pattern option

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Cricut. The opinions and text are all mine.

Cricut Maker Block of the Week Quilt: Week 12 – Quilting the Mini Quilt

Getting your quilt top finished doesn’t mean you’re done with your quilt! In the quilting world, we call a finished quilt top a “flimsy.” Which isn’t derogatory at all… it just means the quilt doesn’t have the batting and backing attached to it yet… and it is still, well, flimsy! So, this week I’m going to show you how to quilt your mini quilt. Which is really one of the first times you have options in making this quilt… and you have a lot of them! There are a couple different ways you can baste your layers. I’m going to show you the two most popular ways – spray basting and pin basting. And there are lots of different ways to quilt your quilt. I’m going to show you two different techniques – Walking Foot Quilting and Free Motion Quilting.

Cricut Maker Block of the Week - Walking Foot Quilting

This post contains affiliate links which help support this site at no extra cost to you.

Basting the Quilt

First let’s talk about basting the quilt. “Basting” is a sewing term that basically means to temporarily secure layers together. I have used three different kinds of basting – Pin Basting, Spray Basting, and Thread Basting. I’m going to go over the first two here.

With Pin Basting, you use safety pins to secure the layers together. This is a fairly quick way to baste. Pins are placed at intervals (every 6″ or so is a great number) to hold the layers together. As you quilt through the layers, securing them permanently, you remove any pins that are in your way. Once you’ve finished quilting you remove any pins that have been left behind. The pros of pin basting are that it is inexpensive – safety pins are inexpensive to purchase, and reusable. Once you have a stash of pins for basting, you won’t need to buy them again. Also, pin basting is preferred over spray basting for people who are sensitive to chemicals. However, it can be tedious to pin across a large quilt. And, the quilt is only secured in the pinned spots. It could potentially shift in the spots between the pins. You’ll see me go over Pin Basting in the Walking Foot Quilting video below.

Spray Basting is my go-to method, because it is fast. I can spray baste even a large quilt in less than 30 minutes, and have it ready to quilt. It can be expensive – the cans are more expensive than safety pins, and when they run out you have to buy more. I have used all of the following basting sprays, and they have all worked well: Thermoweb Basting Spray, Dritz Spray Adhesive, 505 Temporary Spray Adhesive, and Sulky KK2000. If you are sensitive to chemicals, you might want to look at the label before using one of these sprays. They should always be used in a well-ventilated area. If I’m gifting the quilt to a baby or small child, I like to pre-wash the quilt before gifting to remove any spray residue.

Walking Foot Quilting

Now that we’ve talked about basting, let’s talk walking foot quilting. If you’ve never quilted a quilt before, this is a great option. You need a different foot for your machine. This foot is called a “walking foot.” With a standard sewing machine foot, the feed dogs on the bottom pull the fabric through the machine. When you have several layers, you want the whole thing (we call this a “quilt sandwich”) to feed through evenly. The walking foot essentially adds a set of feed dogs to the top that pair up with the feed dogs on the bottom. This pulls the whole quilt through evenly and prevents puckers or shifting.

Check out this video which shows you how to pin baste, and shows you how to use a walking foot to quilt your quilt:

 

Cricut Maker Block of the Week Free Motion Quilting

Free Motion Quilting

For Free Motion Quilting, you don’t use the feed dogs at all. You move the fabric around under the needle. To do this, you engage the lever that lowers the feed dogs. Also, you use a sewing machine foot that has less drag on the top of the fabric (and more visibility around the needle) like a free motion foot or embroidery foot. It can take a little practice to get even stitches while free motion quilting. You want to sync the speed at which you move the fabric under the needle to the speed at which the needle is moving (which is controlled by how hard you press on the presser foot). I liken this to turning a corner in a car. You want to turn the steering wheel at a speed that is in sync with how fast the car is going – once your foot, hands, and brain are all on the same page, turning corners is no problem!

Check out this video which shows you how to spray baste, and shows you the basics for free motion quilting your quilt:


 

That was a big week! We basted our layers together and quilted them! Next week we will get the quilt trimmed up and bound – which is the final step!

 

If you’d rather not bind the quilt, you can skip to Week 14. This is a bonus video that shows you how to turn the quilt top into a lovely large pillow, instead of a mini quilt!

A Birthday gift to me

Friday was my birthday. My 36th birthday. Which meant three things. The first was that I got notifications all day long from Facebook, people wishing me a happy birthday. Lots of people that I love and care about… and some people that I can’t remember why their on my friends list at all! Each Facebook message – and each phone call from family – was a precious reminder that I’m loved.

The second thing that happens is that I make a call to schedule my mammogram. I’m 36, and my two closest female relatives have battled breast cancer. For those of us with a family history, we start making our annual dates with this pretty machine when we turn 35.

The mammogram machine

Yup, that’s the photo I took last year, on my first date with the mammogram machine. It wasn’t so bad. There were no flowers or chocolates… but I also was told not to put on deodorant. Any date where you don’t put on deodorant as part of the getting-gussied-up process is going to have a different bar for success, don’t you think?

It isn’t a coincidence that the Cancer Treatment Centers of America and MomSelect reached out to me to share this important message in February. For me, a mammogram in February makes sense because it coincides with my birthday. For you, it might make sense because of Valentine’s Day. Valentine’s day is a great reminder to get an annual check. While you’re in the changing room trying on something lacy – make a quick phone call to the doctor to make sure that the curves that fill out that lace and trim is healthy – and stays that way! And if you’re not in a situation where you feel compelled to buy some lingerie mid-February, maybe you just need a reminder that your breasts need a little squeeze. A mechanical hug, if you will…

Love yourself - Schedule a Mammogram!

Last year I went for my mammogram, I was a little scared. It was like part of me was admitting that breast cancer could happen to me. And running away is so much easier, y’all. Thinking that everything will be fine. But getting the report back, confirming that everything is fine – that feels so much better! If you’re nervous about getting your first mammogram, check out the CTCA website and type “mammogram” in the search box. You’ll find lots of information on what mammograms are all about. Or, feel free to ask your questions in the comment section below – I’m no expert, but I’m happy to share what I know!

So, what is the third certainty that comes with having a birthday? Blowing out the candles and making a wish. A birthday isn’t a birthday without getting to make an annual wish while blowing out those dancing flames. I can’t tell you what I wished (or it might not come true!), but if you know me you’re probably guessing that I wished for something along the lines of a happy and healthy future for myself and my family. And you’d probably be right.

Yes, I received compensation for this post as part of a promotional program with CTCA and MomSelect. I am thrilled to participate because Mammograms are important.

Cranberry-Orange Scones

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #MeAndMyTea #CollectiveBias

Happy New Year! Have you made New Year’s Resolutions, decided on a word of the year, or started a new workout routine? The new year is a great excuse to make some changes in your life… like taking some time for you, and getting more organized!

Orange Cranberry Scones - and Printable Daily Schedule at Always Expect Moore

Those are two of my goals for this year – getting more organized, and stopping to take time for me. Starting off the morning right is the best way to get my whole day set up for success – and so does sitting down with a bite to eat, and a hot cup of my favorite Bigelow Tea.

I made these Orange Cranberry Scones, and a daily plan printable – both pair great with my tea as I take a few minutes to fuel myself for the day, and square away my plans. You can grab the daily plan printable here (I like printing them half-sheet size by printing two to a sheet)… and now let me share the recipe for these delicious scones!

Orange Cranberry Scones

4 cups flour
3 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup sour cream
1 cup butter
1 egg
1 cup dried cranberries
zest from one large orange

ingredients for orange cranberry scones

You can find these ingredients, and the delicious Lemon flavored Bigelow Tea, all at Walmart.

buy Bigelow tea at Walmart

Start by mixing the flour, baking powder, and salt. Mix in cubes of the room-temperature butter.

butter gets mixed in

Mix until the mixture looks like loose sand. You may need to scrape the sides of the bowl, or the mixer blade, several times.

mixed with butter

Add the sugar, milk, sour cream, and egg.

Mix in dried cranberries and orange zest until combined.

mix in cranberries

Roll out dough onto a floured surface, to about 1″ deep

cut into wedges

Cut dough into 8 rectangles, then cut each rectangle in half. Place on a tray lined with parchment paper, and bake for 350 degrees for 20 minutes.bake scones

Now it is time for some tea! Pour hot water into a mug, and allow your tea bag to steep. I like mine with sugar and honey.

I grabbed my printable, and planned out my day… and colored it in while I was at it.

coloring page daily planning sheet

It makes the day so much easier to start it out with a plan! And I love this version, because it allows me to make a list of what I’d like to get done, and then plan it out on the printable. Setting aside blocks of time to get things done in is a realistic way to plan out a schedule. And not scheduling every minute – making sure to leave some “margin” room between and around events helps give a buffer.

color in and plan page

I hope you make it a great day!

getting ready for the day

Go learn more about Bigelow Teas here, and on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.