Dinner Rolls- in just over an hour


I’ve shared this recipe before- but wanted to re-share it as I’ve changed a few things.  This is the updated recipe, all ready for your holiday baking.  These really are light, fluffy and so good with butter!  Every time I bake these I get asked for the recipe.


Moment’s Notice Rolls
1 1/4c WARM water
1/3c oil
1/4c. white sugar
1 package rapid rise yeast (1/4 ounce)
1 teaspoon of salt
1 egg
3 1/4c white flour

**this recipe can be doubled** The printable pdf version of this recipe is HERE.


Mix warm water, oil, sugar and yeast together and let sit for 15 min. This
should be long enough for the yeast to activate.  FYI if you keep
your yeast in the freezer, bring it to room temperature before you use it in
this recipe.  Yeast should be bubbly after the 15min.


With a wooden spoon mix in salt, egg, and flour.  This dough will not be
soft and smooth like bread dough, it will be sticky.  You may add a
Tablespoon or two of extra flour to make it easier to handle.  It should
stick to the spoon but not be runny.  Let rise in a warm place for 10min.

step3 this is how your dough will look after mixing in the flour

Lay dough on a floured surface and roll into a circle , dough should be 1/2?


Using a pizza cutter slice your dough into 16 slices.


Roll each slice up starting at the “crust” end of your slice.




Place rolls on parchment paper on a cookie sheet. Create a proofer in your own oven.  Preheat your oven to 170, when the oven reaches 170 turn it off.  Place a bowl of hot steamy water (be sure to remove the bowl before baking) on the bottom rack of your oven and place the rolls on the top rack.  Close the oven door and let them rise for 20 min.


After they have risen preheat oven to 400.  I leave the rolls in during the preheat process and check them at 10 min, how long they cook will depend on how fast your oven heats up.  After the 10min mark (10 min from when I set the oven to preheat) I check them again at 2min intervals.  They are done when the tops are light brown.


If you are feeling fancy you can brush the tops with butter after rising, but before baking.

I hope you family enjoys them as much a mine!

When the Well Runs Dry

I’ve been working on some sweet Holiday Gift Tags to list in the shop….I had such a good time making them, I fully admit that I listened to Christmas music as I stitched(!!!)  I knew I wanted to offer a personalized gift tag- made to order but I just couldn’t come up with a design that I liked.  I felt like I hit a creative wall, like I was trying too hard.  So I cleaned up the massive Christmas mess in my sewing room and walked away.


I visited a local antique mall looking for some inspiration, and some inexpensive treasures.  I bought a few items (vintage bias tape, a cookie cutter and a box of shiny brites), and photographed a few more that I liked but wasn’t going to buy.



I just adored this pillow…I could build my whole living room around this pillow and those colors.


I loved this color scheme too….I’m starting to collect random oil paintings that I find at second hand stores. One day I’d like to have a gallery wall of small floral oil paintings.  I kinda wish I had bought this..stupid family budget!


This 1976 wall calendar was so gaudy and over the top, but I am a sucker for sequins!  Nothing says vintage christmas to me like sequins. I think they were the embellishment of choice in the late 1950’s (apparently they had a revival in the 70’s too).

I still haven’t come up with a design for a personalized tag, but I know if I don’t obsess over it, it will come. In the meantime I have a few projects that I’m itching to start on.  The holiday tags pictured above are listed in the shop right now, and I will be adding more each week as we approach the holidays.

Time Out


10:30 Friday night I got a text from a friend saying they had an extra ticket for the Saturday Session of TOFW and did I want to come?  My husband looked at me and said “you should go”- which means with very little warning he was agreeing to watch all of our kids, all day on a Saturday.  He’s a good man.

There were so many great speakers, but I really liked the message of Jennifer Brinkerhoff Platt.  The notion that everything we do, should be done through the lens of disciples of Christ. I also felt a strong pull to the message of Emily Freeman, when she said we need to be very careful what we bring into our lives and how it can disrupt our ability to hear the spirit.  Most importantly, I came home with a clear plan of how I was going to close the gaps between the spiritual highs of Sunday and the rest of the week….and if it takes me awhile to get the plan off the ground, and if I fall short sometimes its going to be ok, because Rome wasn’t built in a day.

I paid the price today of taking time for myself yesterday though!  We’ve all been fighting some upper respiratory junk to varying degrees this week…and I hit the wall today of not having rested yesterday.  I left mid way through the first hour of church to take a nap as my head was breaking in two. I came back in time to teach my woefully under prepared lesson to the YW.  I even apologized to them about how scattered it was today.

On ward and up ward…tomorrow starts a brand new week!


Halloween 2014

After all the praise and attention my youngest got last year as a ballerina, my oldest daughter decided she wanted to be a ballerina this year!  Of course no new modern pattern would do for me…I scoured ebay and etsy for vintage ballerina patterns. I’ll tell ya what, those things are NOT cheap (take this one for example)!  I finally found a pattern that was affordable and in my daughters size!

(isn’t it adorable?! How could I not want to sew it?)

heatherhalesdesigns-halloween 2014

I let her choose the color, and of course she went for shiny satin in bubble-gum pink!  The littlest asked to wear the ballerina outfit from last year again (who am I to say no, one less costume to worry about!)  My son, who usually doesn’t dress up, agreed that an old-time-y cartoon bank robber was cool.

The ballerina pattern was made in 1965…when leotards weren’t a thing?? The bodice and skirt are all attached, underneath is a pair of tap pants, complete with darts and a zipper!  I had expected it to be all one piece but nope, I suppose it will make going to the bathroom easier.

heatherhalesdesigns.com-ballerina costume

I learned that all tulle is not created equal.  The most common and easy to find tulle is soft, almost netting like with medium to small “holes” in the weave.  After making and attaching the first layer (there are THREE!) of tulle, I knew it wasn’t going to work. She had specifically requested that I make the tutu stick out, not fall flat. Back I went to the store where I found stiff large holed tulle- the stuff that sticks out!  Each layer of the tutu has 216″ inches of tulle….lots and lots of tulle.

I love sewing with vintage patterns…I love seeing they way things used to be constructed (before some of the modern tricks and gadgets we have today).  Have a favorite vintage pattern yourself?  Seen something that you’d like to see sewn?  Leave me a note in the comments and let me know- I’m game to give it a go for you!

Strawberry Hot Pad

Through Instagram I joined a hot pad swap.  I was given a partner and was told what colors and styles she liked. It was a blind swap so she didn’t know I had her, and I have no idea who has my name!  After making a trial run hot pad and hemming and hawing and researching I finally came up with this sweet strawberry number.


I used Amy’s Pretty Little Pot Holder Tutorial for the pocket and basic shape, but drew my own pattern for the bowl of strawberries.  I’ve loaded the pdf pattern for the fruit and bowls right HERE, if you’d like to give it a go!

Lace Trim

I used Tanya Whelan’s Rosey- Paisley for my backing, linen and various scraps for the applique,  The striped binding is a Lake House Goods print.  Apply the applique to the linen piece before stitching it to the batting and back piece. Instead of adding a ruffle like Amy’s pattern calls for, I used a sweet piece of cotton lace and like the soft look it brings.

All the Goodies

I finished off my swap package by making some bias binding from a Lecien print I’ve been hoarding, some Tasha Noel FQ’s and a few of my Holiday Thank You cards.  I hope my partner is happy with it.

Hand Embroidery With Heather


If you live in the PHX area and want to learn hand embroidery this is your chance!!  I’ll be teaching a 4 week course in October.  If I get a good response I’ll be doing it in November too!  Please share this image/blog post and help me spread the word.

For more information and for sign-ups click the image or visit HERE.


Summer Stitching


A few months ago a friend of mine showed me a watercolor she had done- it was beautiful!  I asked her where she got the quote and flower design, she told me she found it on pinterest and just repainted it.  A little light bulb went off in my head!!  I am queen of not-reinventing the wheel and loved the idea of finding something you liked and then making it for yourself!

In May I pinned this


I thought it was just beautiful and decided to take a cue from my friend and stitch it up.  It took me ALL summer long to finish it.  I made myself start with the lettering (my least favorite part) and only when that was done was I allowed to work on the gorgeous flowers.

heatherhalesdesigns- embroidered pillow


I got all fancy pants and used stitches I don’t regularly use for the flowers.  The round flowers are button-hole stitches sewn in round, plus a french knot or two in the center.  The leaves are a herringbone stitch, which is such a quick and pretty alternative to a satin stitch.

The whole number is backed in a fun orange/yellow/pink vintage pillow case and I added a subtle pink and white striped Lecien print as piping.



I wish I knew who the original illustrator is, I would love to give credit where it is due, all I know is that the design was released by the LDS Church. If anyone knows- please share!

If you are at all interested in learning to do some of those fancy (and even the less fancy) embroidery stitches and you live here in the Phoenix area I’m in the planning stages of putting together a class for Tuesday evenings in October.  Email me (or leave a comment) if you are interested and I’ll email you when I secure the location.

P.S. I started another PUBLIC instagram account this weekend- I’d love it if you wanted to follow along!


I Smiled Today

first day-heatherhalesdesigns.com

I woke up before 7am today. With a smile on my face. Today was the first day of school.

My kids and I, we’ve had a good run.  Our summer was full with daily trips to the pool, weekly movie dates, a venture to the California beaches with Grandma and Grandpa, seventeen hours in the car for our annual road trip to WY, fishing, hiking, biking and PLENTY of “I’m bored” time. Like I said, we had a good run, but I was ready for them to go.  I was ready for my space, some peace and quiet and a house that stays clean longer than fifteen minutes.

fishing -heatherhalesdesigns.com

I got up with my smile and made them pancakes with raspberries and whipped cream, took the obligatory back-to-school pictures in the driveway and headed to school with them. My 7th grader road off alone while the girls and I trailed behind;  my 4th grader still wanted me to walk her to the playground.  After I dropped her off I joined the group of Moms and Dads gawking from the sidelines. Recognizing some friends I commented on how the first day of school had finally come! And then I said out loud “it’s like Christmas for adults” (a phrase coined by my MIL  who attained sainthood by raising FIVE kids over a span of 30+ years). Inevitably when you say something like that someone always pipes up and says how they miss their kids and laments the seven hour school day.  In today’s case that voice was only in my head, the same voice that is constantly pointing out my faults and telling me what a good mother should do.


Later while vacuuming I pondered why we (or maybe its just me) look at those women who adore their kids and bemoan the return of school and feel guilty that we rejoice about school and the exodus of the children from our home. Who made this standard that the definition of a good and loving mother means we have to want to be with our kids all the time and enjoy it 90% of the time (let’s be realistic, no one can enjoy kids ALL the time)? Why can’t we admire and look up to the mothers who enjoy their kids some of the time (and love them 90% of the time) but have a healthy sense of self independent from their role as mom? Mothers who like time away from their children to pursue hobbies and interests that have nothing to do with parenting….even if its just surfing the web uninterrupted!

I know there are other women who feel like this, but we hide in plain view with big smiles on our faces and whisper snarky comments to our neighbors because it doesn’t seem socially appropriate to admit how much you like time away from the children you intentionally brought into the world.


Me, I’m rewriting my internal definition of a good mother. To me she is someone who loves her children (and mostly likes them too) and isn’t afraid to define herself beyond Mother. She enjoys (even relishes) time away from her brood to explore things that interest only her (good books and small coffee shops).

This Friday I will wake up early again and with a smile because my youngest will begin preschool.  I will have two and a half hours to myself three times a week and I will enjoy every minute of it.  More importantly, I won’t feel guilty about enjoying it…and maybe I won’t be afraid to share that.

Are We Done Yet???

Summer. We’ve hit the wall, I’m ready for summer to be over.  June was a whirlwind of Summer School and Swim Team, we stayed busy but still had fun.  July? July has been dragging since day one- AND IT’S NOT OVER YET!  Without Summer School to keep us in check the July days have been one long drag of boredom.  My friend Dawn has been keeping track of summer via instagram, according to her count we are on day 59.  Every time I see her dated posts I feel a bit of pride and  say to myself “You’ve made it 59 days and you haven’t lost your you-know-what yet!”

Monopoly with Papa

Only I did loose it on day 56.  I couldn’t take the children’s arguing and deliberate sabotage attempts against one another one more min.  I snapped.  Thank heavens they were rescued by Papa- who arrived in the nick of time providing an excellent diversion!  Today he whisked those older two off to Wyoming with him; where they will spend the remaining weeks of summer frolicking through the green and pleasant-ness that is a WY summer.

Say Cheese -heatherhalesdesigns.com

Which just leaves the littlest and I to endure the brown and hot that is an AZ summer for one more week before we too join in with the green pleasant-ness frolickings.


The only reason I managed to keep my crazy in check for 56 days was by spending as much time as possible in the sewing room.  This dress (that my daughter was so thrilled to model this morning) is from vintage Simplicity 8714. I’ve made dresses, skirts, a bow tie, and started a bunch of embroidery projects.  What are you doing to keep it all together this summer?

If I’m going to pay for hosting…

I may as well use this space occasionally!  Its been a busy spring with lots of stitching…

Anthropomorphic Fruit


Easter Dresses

some traveling…

Balboa Fun Zone

N. Arizona

and quite a bit of house drama. I’m holding my breath that the house drama will be over very very soon.  I crave stability they way an addict craves the next fix.

I feel like using this space for more philosophizing and less (lets face it) self promotion of my perceived talents in the sewing department.  I’m striving for more depth in my life, and more self honesty.