February 27, 2013

New Beginning

I know and love someone who has a birthday in May. This same talented individual also loves Scottie Terriers. If this sounds like you...stop reading! What lies ahead is your birthday present! If you wish to proceed (which wouldn't be the end of the world) you will get a glimpse of the eye popping quilt that will be arriving upon your doorstep on, or slightly before, May 10, along with exploding happy birthday wishes and thanks for your strong and inspirational support.

I am speaking of course of my Aunt Nina. It was a tough decision because I know Nina loves Scotties, gardens and flowers, specifically. So naturally this quilt could have been floral, and it would have been stunning...but instead I listened to my gut, which I am learning to do more of and finding it is often the voice of wisdom eternal - I went Scottie! 

This is also a Value Quilt, which I am excited to try. I want my Aunt Nina to know how much I value her.

February 22, 2013

Bella Terra Quilt Complete!

 Steep some tea, get a blanket for your lap, and enjoy the pictures that follow ~

 Let me say first, I love this quilt and I'm very happy with the way it turned out. Sometimes I'm not sure how a quilt will look at completion, even though I do plenty of graph paper sketches. There is a slight gap between what I see in my mind and what materializes in reality. I suppose this element of surprise is one of the reasons why I keep making quilts.

So let's get the formalities out of the way. This quilt is a mix of 4 fabrics, the most memorable being Inspirational Words by Cosmo Cricket for Moda. The other three fabrics are very cute and from a session of retail therapy at Joannes, one random Saturday in last October. You will have to forgive me, I only know 1 designer specifically, Premium Quilt Fabric Market Stolls (the little pastel houses you see). The sashing is Kona Snow. The binding is from Moda's line Marmalade. The buttercup yellow on the back is DS Quilts Collection. I learned with this quilt to pay closer attention to fabric names and designers. Oh, and it's 561/2 inches square.

When combined, the fabrics remind me of a walk around the block. The little houses, the birds, and the bold sunflower botanical make me think of an afternoon stroll. The inspirational words however, suggest  the stroll becomes a more thoughtful and purposeful adventure. Maybe it's a break for a frazzled mom (I say this from experience), or someone looking for a new perspective, or a way to get your heart beating. I like to monitor the gardens, fruit trees, and bird activity around my block. Every walk I take is a little different. The seasons change and the world (our Bella Terra) never fails to make me feel inspired and charmed.

In a desire to be in very good company with the other quilters out there, I linked up to Finish it up Friday. Happy Quilting everyone!

February 19, 2013

In This Moment

 In this moment I am beyond excited about finishing up this guy...

 Praying the rain and cold of winter will soon be replaced with warmer, drier (dare I say sunny) days...

Enjoying the back yard again (it's been about 5 months)....

Seeking the comfort of our mantel memorial for our fathers who passed away last month.

Thinking about them a lot...

and Grateful for all of the thoughtful condolences.

February 13, 2013


Packaging a quilt that is bound for shipping is a  new territory for me. I recently discovered that when the quilt is folded, wrapped in tissue, and placed in the box, my heat is a-flutter with anticipation. I am overflowing with excitement for the individual who will eventually open the package and gasp with joy (I hope). I am filled with gratitude for said individual who has trusted my fabric talents and bought a quilt! And I am overjoyed to be doing quilting (this work I love, love), designing quilts, selling quilts, packaging quilts, addressing quilts, and using the revenue from sold quilts to dream and create new quilts. In other words, living my dream! Whew, as you can see this is pretty cathartic for me.

Yes, there are a lot of emotions swirling when I take that one final look in the package (the one with the quilt inside, bound for shipping).  Maybe it's the crisp white tissue? The cloth ribbon? The hand addressed thank you note? Maybe it's the handmade quilt inside package bound for shipping... the quilt that is headed for a new home. Oh yes, it's that, that's the anticipation that makes my heart flutter.

February 8, 2013

Loving Memory

There are two people who make it possible for me to be here, at this creative endeavor, writing this blog and sewing quilts. The first Person is Cutie, my better half, my husband. His heart is so enormously generous that he drags himself out of bed at 5:15am every work day, showers, dresses, makes an espresso (home roasted by him and bursting with deliciousness), and then he shoves off to work. He walks out the door and I stay home with the kids, everyday. He has never asked me to work and in fact, he considers it a better choice for me to stay home and raise our kids in a comfortable environment during their early years. I agree, even if some days feel like an frazzled eternity. What came out of my time here at home was the dream of quilting (as a means of staying sane) and having a little place I could sell my quilts. That dream became reality recently after I posted my quilts on ETSY and my quilting is a source of constant bliss amongst the ups and downs of raising little ones. So, Cutie, Thank you!

The other person that makes it possible for me to be here is my dad. I grew up surrounded by his love of the arts and at every turn of my young life, if I showed any interest in any artistic medium, he indulged me. When I wanted to draw, he bought me paper and markers. When I wanted to sculpt, he bought me clay. He taught me how to throw and glaze pottery when I was 12. He bought me a drum set and lessons when I fell in love with music as a teenager. He believed travel was a way to expand consciousness and he made it so (by scrimping and saving) I could stand beneath Michelangelo's Sistine Ceiling, see the Mona Lisa in real life, gaze upon the ornate gold designs in the Book of Kells, walk through the Louvre, take a train over the Swiss Alps, see windmills and wear wooden shoes, smell the fragrant floral breeze of Hawaiian air, and look up at the Redwoods (an exercise in perspective, no doubt). Now, we weren't rich by any means. But my dad believed that a rich life experience and seeing the world was essential. Above all, my dad's best gift to me was unconditional love, full support, and someone believing in me enough to give me a solid artistic foundation.

My Dad passed away on January 16th. He was 58. I notice, as I grieve him, the most healing and comforting thing I can do for myself is quilt. Quilting reconnects me to my dad's memory and a dream he had for me to be fulfilled as an artist. A dream he would have loved to live himself. When medics were trying to revive him, I ran to my sewing machine, crying, and I sewed a few seams. It was the only thing I knew to do in those few chaotic minutes and I felt like sewing was something my dad would want me do. I could feel his soul, saying, "Go and sew!" Since the 16th, I have cried buckets at my loss of him. I have cried in front of other people, in public, and silently in the middle of the night. I know my dad is free despite my grief. I know his spirit is with me always and he would want me to lean on the foundation he gave me and keep making beautiful quilts. So, Pap, Thank You, too!

Recently I sold two of my quilts through my Etsy shop. I wish I could call my dad and tell him. I wish I could hear the excitement in his voice, I know it would be audible. The dream of making quilts is mine, but now, I quilt for him too.

February 5, 2013

A Victory

It's all a dream of mine - the fantasy of making quilts full time, as a way to be fulfilled creatively, and maybe make a little extra pocket change to feed my fabric addiction. This dream is in my head, I can see it, but transferring it to reality, actually living the dream, is a different story completely.

And then I check my email to see that my 80's Atari themed quilt has SOLD! WHAT!!!

And what follows is a wave of disbelief, and - yes - feeling pretty proud of myself, and having my family see that my dream - all of this time spent sewing (and taking up a good portion of the living room) - might just be for a good cause. What makes my heart swell the most however is that art can happen. If passion and patience are there, both of which are my foundations on this journey, this dream is bound to materialize.

p.s. I am SO excited someone gets to own and love this quilt forever!