It arrived…my prize from the Amy Butler Midwest Modern contest. The fabric is super fun, but I have NO CLUE how to read patterns! So I guess I am going to be learning. The patterns I received look beautiful and the software looks amazing. The software has lots of patterns that you can customize and change digitally…oh to figure that out one day. I am stoked (to use one of my husband’s favorite words) to learn….I hope my mom is as excited to teach me:)

I originally thought I would use the fabric I won for my Craft Hope quilt, but it hadn’t arrived yet and I really needed to get started (seeing how I have never made a quilt before). I rummaged through my fabric piles and choose some that coordinated. I didn’t use all these, but they gave me a place to start. I will say I was intentional on the fabric I chose. I always thought my first quilt would be for my daughter, but I think one day she will be happier to know that my first quilt went to a child that really needed it. I didn’t want to just use fabric I had around and didn’t like so I picked specific fabrics for specific reasons. (I think about things way too much!). I chose the fabric that was used as curtains in my oldest son’s nursery, fabric from my daughter’s quilt, fabric given to me as a gift and fabric I had bought for myself because I liked it so much.1009quilt-07

I will say it is much easier to work when kids are asleep and though I do take advantage of that time, I also try to be intentional about making certain things when they are awake. I wanted my boys to be a part of making this quilt so I included them in whatever way they wanted to help. Big Brother wanted to help lay out fabric then he wanted to test it to see if it would work good for Hop Scotch – since he knew the kid getting it would want to play Hop Scotch!1009quilt-08

Littlest Brother doesn’t understand all of it, but he loves his blankets and he knows we are making a blanket as a present for another kid to keep warm.1009quilt-09

The finished top part. Obviously I am not a quilter so I chose to do a VERY simple block pattern that I made up as I went.

I really like it…I want to keep it…I can’t wait to give it away!1009quilt-10

I attempted to get some pictures of Baby Sister on it. Her brothers tried to help me get her to look at the camera. Big Brother is blowing a kazoo while pointing to the camera. It didn’t work.1009quilt-12

He kept blowing it at her and she just closed her eyes ignoring him…cracked me up, frustrated him.

I wish you could hear the loud annoying sound to appreciate how funny her response is!1009quilt-13

Turns out I had to wait until the boys took naps to get a good shot or two.


Again here I go thinking too much, but thought went into these pictures as well. My grandmother (you have to click on that link to see how cute my grandparents are) snuck me this dress a while back. It was my grandpa’s as a newborn…in 1926!!! I’ve had it for a while trying to figure out what kind of picture to do with it for him. My grandma is a tremendous quilter…she is non-stop quilting and giving those quilts away. Since this is my first quilt and one that will be given away I thought it was a perfect backdrop to use my grandpa’s dress (not sure what to call it for baby boys). I love that this picture of her has pieces of two of her great-grandparents in it. Today is also my grandma’s birthday…Happy Birthday Grandma!

Surprise Grandpa…hope you like these! Prints are coming your way.1009quilt-20

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  • Valerie - Love this post! Too cool that you won all the Amy Butler goodness, and I can’t wait to see eventually what you make with all of it. Your quilt top looks great — what a good reminder that I need to get on the ball and finish mine. And the beautiful shot of your baby made me smile, especially seeing the full-body shot that your grandpa will especially approve of. ;)

  • christina larsen - Wow. I love the fabric for the quilt and the pictures of your kiddos with the quilt. Good luck on completing it. I also love the patterns you won, congrats. It sounds like you mom will be helping you interpret them, but if you need help; I do know how to read a pattern.

  • Jeannette Swan - I don’t even know what to say. How amazing and touching!! I love the pictures and the process, you are simply amazing!!

  • Emily Beaty - I love that last one of Baby Sister in the dress, on the quilt. So special!!

  • Jenny Lynn - the last picture is precious.
    i love the quilt and i definitely think all the thought that you put into it is awesome.

  • Tess S - what a beautiful quilt! it’s so lovely. i’m looking into some fabrics to make a quilt for my daughter, and you’ve inspired me to get moving on it!
    I adore your sentiment.

  • carrie - Her patterns are pretty easy to follow. My mom has a quilt ministry here in town. She says they come together fast! Can’t wait to see them!

  • ashlee - your quilt is beautiful!!! and Amy’s patterns are fantastic! i love the new shirt/jacket/dress one…i just saw that one on her website:)

  • patti - what a beautiful first quilt! well done.

  • sheridan - such a thoughtful post and process to hear you go through! thank you for sharing and i LOVED the one of sister closing her eyes through the craziness of her brothers.

  • PamperingBeki - That fabric is YUMMY!
    But baby girl is even yummier.

    I’m a complete fabric ho and I can’t even sew. It’s pathetic!
    Doesn’t stop me from buying it though. :)

  • amber - WOW gorgeous patterns! Greta prize win! Congrats!

  • Catherine - I love that second last photo so much. Love the story behind it too – just beautiful.

  • bopha - love the quilt, another talent to add to your reportoire (sp?).

  • christi - i love this post! your quilt is beautiful. i love all the headbands you put on your daughter … do you make them or buy them?

  • Meagan - Ashley, that is so special! I’m sure your grandparents are going to LOVE those pictures! Breese looks so beautiful against that quilt (which is looking awesome BTW!)! I have picked out some of the fabric for mine, but I really need to get going on it since it’s my first too…I’m going really simple also…

  • Jaimie - I so love that quilt! I wish I could do that or sew. At all. The kids are precious.

  • Ashlee Archibald - these are gorgeous pictures! :) And I clicked to see how cute your grandparents are and I started tearing up at the second picture. Best. picture. ever.

  • joyce & Ken - What a surprise. Had no idea that I once wore a dress. Sometimes when I view pictures of by beautiful great granddaughter, I sorta get choked up.

  • ashley - Hey Ashley! Can you tell me what the name of the yellow and gray fabric is? It is exactly what I’ve been looking for. Hope you can remember!

    P.S. My name is Ashley Ann too. Smart moms,huh?

  • kid’s craft {rainbow hearts} » - […] my quilt for the Margaret’s Hope Chest Craft Hope Project. It was my first quilt ever and I am pretty proud of it…even if it looks a bit sad and ugly in this photo among all the […]

Crazy to think this time last year I just tossing around the idea of stepping back from shooting sessions and begin doing some teaching…I also had no idea we were going to become a family of 6! Well, over the weekend I wrapped up the 6th and final SnapShop of the year. I have really enjoyed all aspects of SnapShops and look forward to more next year. I won’t be offering any more this year or early next, but watch out in the spring for new dates. I plan on doing several in the spring, summer and fall of 2010….I even have partnered with My Funky Camera for the 2010 SnapShops!
Here’s a few pics from our day. I am grateful to have a husband that truly makes it possible for me to do these. He manages all 4 kids and is our food coordinator for the day. He does an incredible job balancing it and supporting me. Thanks babe!

Since my daughter arrived, she has been put to work too. Quite a cute model

A little hands-on practice during the indoor teaching sessions.

Indoor practice shoot on ‘telling a story’ with your pictures…and some other stuff1009snapshop-1

More indoor practice on shooting in Manual1009snapshop-2

And we wrapped up the day outside with 3 great models….

50mm lens, ISO 100, 1/200, f/4.0…edited with a texture on top


Don’t they look like they belong in a magazine…great style and great looking:)

85mm lens, ISO 250, 1/160, f/5.0


85mm lens, ISO 100, 1/250, f/2.81009snapshop-5

85mm lens, ISO 100, 1/250, f/2.8

85mm lens, ISO 100, 1/400, f/2.8

85mm lens, ISO 100, 1/160, f/3.21009snapshop-6

85mm lens, ISO 125, 1/250, f/3.51009snapshop-7

85mm lens, ISO 125, 1/250, f/3.51009snapshop-8

85mm lens, ISO 125, 1/125, f/3.51009snapshop-9

50mm lens, ISO 200, 1/125, f/4.51009snapshop-10

85mm lens, ISO 200, 1/250, f/3.2

85mm lens, ISO 100, 1/250, f/3.21009snapshop-111009snapshop-12

I try to do a little bit of shooting at the first of each location, but then I try to get out of the way for the students. As a result I tend to take a lot of shoe pictures and other details simply because the models are looking elsewhere. I love both of these. The first is of the mom & daughter…1009snapshop-16

I love the kneehighs and school bus in the background…kind of rocker school girl to me1009snapshop-14

And my favorite shot of the day. She wanted to do an action shot and that sounded good to me.

5omm lens, ISO 250, 1/640, f/4.51009snapshop-15

Thanks K, B, & E – you guys did an incredible job modeling for us!

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  • Leanne - I love all these photos! Amazing job! Where in the world can I find that cute stripey-polkadot with pom-pom scarf? It’s absolutely adorable!

  • AshleyAnn - Leanne – I have no idea where they got the scarf…it is super cute!

  • bopha - very cool models. can’t wait to see what you’re going to do with the funky camera, i’m asking for a cool strap for christmas.

  • Jeannette Swan - Awesome!!!! I wish my kids were that cooperative in pics! I’m asking for the strap for my birthday. But, had forgotten the website. Thanks for the reminder.

  • Jamie - This is very random and has nothing to do with this post, but I was wondering: Are you going to post pics of your “new” kitchen? I loved the backsplash and light fixture so I’d love to see it all! Just curious… :)

  • AshleyAnn - Jamie – Yes, I am going to post pictures, but the kitchen isn’t finished yet. I bought hardware to install on the drawers and cabinets, but haven’t had time to put it up. I also have stuff to hang on the walls…probably won’t finish it until Christmas Gathering! I will post pictures when it is done though!

  • Valerie - Thanks, Ashley, for an awesome day! Not only did I have an amazing time AND accomplish my goal of being able to finally shoot manually, but you also blessed me with the gift of a kid-free day with other great moms. Your teaching style was able to finally flip that switch and give me a lightbulb moment where everything about shooting manually made sense. I’m excited to get some more practice in and see what I can come up with. :)

  • ashlee - love the picture of the feet:) i cant WAIT to take one of your snap shops!

  • kelly hopson - Ashley, Great Pics and Great Times!!!! I was going to post some of mine on my blog but….after seeing yours maybe I shouldn’t HA!! Such a helpful course!!!

  • Tabitha - Thanks so much for the great class! I can’t wait to get started practicing.

  • Rachel - Great models! They are totally stylin’!

  • meredith - Ashley, The kids had a BLAST! (amazingly, even the boys) They were so sticky from the lollipops! :) Love your pics sooo much! I know the ladies learned so much from you.

    Leanne, the scarf is by Little MissMatched. I got it at last years Christmas Gathering at The Church at BattleCreek in the Christmas store. We love it!

  • Meagan - Wow! Awesome photos!!! Beautiful models!

  • Wanda Little - I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE your pics! I have 3 beautiful granddaughters, and have been taking pictures since I was in the 4th grade! I definitely want to take your SNAPSHOP workshop in the spring—please let us know as soon as you have the dates sent. I have a great camera, but have never learned how to use the aperature, ISO, etc. I’m ready to move up a step in my camera-taking techniques–I’m excited about this!