T-Bud Co. Quilts Ohio: July Ohio Star

July’s Ohio Star quilt block represents the dense, verdant environment of the Cincinnati, Ohio area.

July’s Ohio Star Quilt Block

In late April of 2011, my fiancé and I moved into our house, which has woods at the back-property line. In June, we flew to Alaska to marry. When I left Ohio for our 2-week trip, I thought summer had bloomed, that the trees were at their peak—the world was lush. We returned to woods that were a dense, dark green. I’ve never forgotten the difference that a couple of weeks made.

Woods in early June.

July is summer settling in. The bright green of spring doesn’t dull because the novelty has worn off, but rather the leaves darken with the progression of the season. I love it. I love looking for signs of the seasons. I love the surprise of the differences.

Woods in early July.

I find it curious that I relish in the nature of southwestern Ohio so much. I grew up in Alaska, a state that for sure has vistas far more extreme and striking. I figure that I either tune into nature because Alaska taught me to or because I am filling a void created when I left the Last Frontier. You can take the girl out of Alaska, but you can’t take Alaska out of the girl: she’s going to find nature no matter what? Perhaps.

The Cincinnati area is a great place to get regular doses of nature. Cincinnatians value parks. There are many, many green spaces. When I lived in Hyde Park and Oakley, I often visited Ault Park. Now, in a northern suburb, Sharon Woods is our go-to. Not to mention Loveland has a river running right through it and boasts an extensive bike trail along with abundant parks. Neighboring Symmes Township also has a couple of parks we patronize. So, if I don’t notice the shift in color in the woods behind my house, then surely, I’ll take note elsewhere.

Detail of summer-themed Ohio Star quilt block.

So, for July, I made my Ohio Star in three hues of green with a center of brown. It may not match the colors found in the woods behind my house, but the layering of color is reminiscent.

July’s Ohio Star Quilt Block

T-Bud Co. Quilts Ohio: June Ohio Star

June’s Ohio Star symbolizes the tri-state geography of the Cincinnati metropolitan area, which includes part of Kentucky and Indiana in addition to Ohio.

June’s Ohio Star Quilt Block

If you fly into Cincinnati, you’ll know that you don’t actually arrive in Ohio. Instead, you land across the river in Kentucky. If you drive the I-275 loop that defines the Greater Cincinnati area, you’ll travel through three states: Ohio, of course, Kentucky, and a smidge of Indiana. Cincinnati belongs to a tri-state area and it doesn’t go unnoticed. For my June Ohio Star, I decided to pay tribute to this geographic quirk.

Detail of tri-state-themed Ohio Star quilt block.

I spent four and a half years working in Kentucky. That is, I drove approximately 40 miles one way, crossing the Ohio River, to a job only a few miles across the border. There, I worked with people from all three states. I tend to think of the part of Kentucky that lands in the Greater Cincinnati area as “Kentucky-Light” or maybe even “Ohio-Light.” I crossed state lines to get to work, but it didn’t feel like I was in a different state.

Detail of tri-state-themed Ohio Star quilt block.

For the duration of my job in Kentucky, the consensus was that Kentuckians didn’t want to live in Ohio and Ohioans didn’t want to live in Kentucky. (A lot of people had river-hopped in one direction or another and had made their final choice. My 80-mile round-trip commute was hard on me and a few times my husband mused that maybe we should move to Kentucky to be closer. I always said no. Because the job would never last that long (I was right), and because I moved here to live in Ohio, not Kentucky. No offense, Kentucky. Although, I feel that way about other parts of Ohio and even Indiana. Presented with two job layoffs in my short career, and thus going through extensive job searches, nearby cities always seem to hold dream jobs: Columbus, Dayton, Indianapolis. But, when push comes to shove, I moved here to live in Cincinnati, not another city. And, if I’m going to move 2 hours away, I might as well move back to Alaska.

Detail of tri-state-themed Ohio Star quilt block.

My block is subtle this month. I broke the 9-patch into three sections and gave each one a color. Purple for Ohio. Blue for Kentucky. Green for Indiana. I like to think of the center white block as Cincinnati itself. The points of the star are Cincinnati’s influence extending beyond the city limits and into different states and counties, beyond the I-275 loop. All of the fabrics are from my stash, and I have to say, I love the colors!

June’s Ohio Star Quilt Block

40 Before Forty Update: No. 07

7. Make myself and daughter matching outfits.

I did it! I made a dress for my daughter and a shirt for me out of the same fabric! I’ve been wanting to do this since March of last year, when I added it to my 40 Before Forty list. I’ve been doing a lot of sewing lately, like the Reds shirt I made from a baby bodysuit, and Grainline Studio’s Scout Tee recently caught my eye, so I decided I was ready to jump in!

My daughter and I went to the fabric store where we picked out Simplicity pattern #2241. It’s a “Learn to Sew” pattern, so I figured it’d be easy for me since I definitely a beginner garment maker. We also picked out some fabric—that we both liked. Obviously, I’m all about wearing a shirt that matches a 4-year-old’s dress, but I wanted it to be appropriate for both of us. Later, I ordered the Scout Tee pattern.

I made the Scout Tee first since after reading both patterns it was the simpler garment. It was so easy to put together! And, the fit is fantastic. I’m already scheming to make more.

Grainline Studio’s Scout Tee

The experience with the Scout Tee really helped me make the dress. With the tee I learned how to make gathers and use bias tape to finish the neckline. I did both of these things with the dress, which has gathers on the front and back and both the neckline and armholes are finished with bias tape. The only thing I would change is the bias tape I used for the dress. The pattern called for single-fold bias tape, which I purchased. The Scout Tee had directions for making my own. For the dress, I should have just made and used my own. I think it would have come out better.

Simplicity Pattern #2241


We actually haven’t worn our new clothes yet. I’m saving them for Mother’s Day when we’ll get together with family. I’m not sure how the dress will go over with my daughter, because 4-year-olds can be fickle. But, if I can get one decent (again, fickle) picture of us together, well, I’ll be happy!

Another thing off the 40 Before Forty list! I need to add more, because I actually only have 11 things on it. Haha! At least I have 5 years before I turn 40!

Wearing my new Grainline Studio Scout Tee

The Full 40 Before Forty List

1. Actually celebrate Valentine’s Day: DONE!

2. Finish my chicken wall hanging and get it hung in my kitchen: DONE!

3. Pitch my book idea.

4. Decorate the half bathroom.

5. Attend the Modern Quilt Guild’s Quiltcon.

6. Complete my Sarah Fielke Block of the Month 2017 quilt top…and then put it all together.

7. Make myself and daughter matching outfits. DONE!



10. Do the Little Miami Triathlon.


12. Host a brunch.


14. Hike part of the Appalachian Trail.

15. Learn to hambone.



18. Become a 2-pet household.








26. Peep at some leaves on the East Coast: DONE!


28. Learn the names of trees.













T-Bud Co. Quilts Ohio: May Ohio Star

May’s Ohio Star Quilt Block

May’s Ohio Star quilt block is a cardinal, Ohio’s state bird. I didn’t choose a cardinal because of that status, but because I love spotting these birds. I don’t recall seeing a cardinal until I moved to Ohio.

The males’ bright red color is hard to miss. Regardless of the season, seeing the vibrant flash of a male cardinal is a treat. Cardinals have distinct characteristics—head crest and bold orange-red beak—so it’s easy to identify the lady cardinals even though they are a dull brown-red color.

Detail of cardinal-themed Ohio Star quilt block.

And that’s it! I like them. They’re not even special to Ohio. Six other states have designated the cardinal as their bird.

Detail of cardinal-themed Ohio Star quilt block.

That’s what I’m learning while I reflect on my 10 years in Ohio. The things I like best about the area aren’t especially significant or symbolic or unique. In fact, a lot of them are commonplace. But, I think that’s important, because if I can enjoy every day, then I can enjoy every year.


Detail of cardinal-themed Ohio Star quilt block.

This block gave me a bit of trouble during assembly. I had a minimal amount of the solid red fabric, so I had to be careful with my cutting. (If you look closely, you might spot a sliver of selvedge.) And, I couldn’t 100% follow the Ohio Star tutorial that I’ve been using. I started there, but quickly realized I needed to break out the seam ripper. I also cut some triangles before they were stitched. It worked out, though. This will probably be my most radical Ohio Star quilt block. I relied heavily on my creative license, but the 9-patch of 4 quarter square triangle blocks and 5 solid blocks is there. The only thing I would do differently is maybe angle the left most block in the middle row. The cardinal is looking a little blocky.

May’s Ohio Star Quilt Block

Copywriting Tip: Turn an Idiom Upside Down

Playing with a common saying can get your message across with a satisfying zing! It may be seen as “low-hanging fruit” in the world of copywriting, but used thoughtfully and sparingly, it’s memorable.

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Bring on Summer 2018 Victoria Secret Mailer

I recently received the “Bring on Summer 2018” mailer from Victoria’s Secret. Check out what they did here:

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When “getting your panties in a bunch” is a good thing: 5 for $28!

The writer really didn’t change the idiom— “get (one’s) panties in a bunch.” But, when paired with a visual of 9 panties and a 5 for $28 offer, the implication is that, yes, getting your panties in a bunch is actually a good thing!

It’s fun, memorable, and on-brand for Victoria’s Secret. Try it!