As I mentioned, I am going to be spending several weeks in Vermont. My DIL is away for a 4 week seminar and I have the privilege of hanging out with H for a bit. Of course, I had to plan for some sewing time. This girl is a good napper so I should have two hours in the afternoon to sew. Luckily my DIL has a machine she loans me while I am here!
I brought supplies with me – most of which are duplicates so I plan to just leave them here. That way I know I will have the basics when I come to visit. (Thanks Wendy for the great idea! Up to now, I have been carting them back and forth with each trip.) I think I may have been a bit over-zealous when planning projects but I wanted to have choices!
I plan to make this cute turtle for H. I thought she would enjoy helping me stuff it when I get the body made. The (free) pattern is by Purl Soho and can be found here. I think the Denyse Schmidt print will be so cute for the shell and I have some Andover linen blend for the hands, feet, head and tail. Wool felt will be used for the tummy.
I also brought a stack of blocks I made last year during the Squared Away BOM hosted by Mari (Academic Quilter). I started this but didn’t finish it. I do have thirteen blocks though and Mari suggested I just alternate them with a neutral fabric to make a quilt. I think this looks great! I need to square the blocks and then will stitch the quilt top together. It will need some borders but that can wait until I get home.
This pile of scraps is the leftovers from my Twisted quilt. Some of them are already stitched together and need to be squared but many (MANY) of them need to be stitched and squared. I am excited to get this done because I think it will be fun to use these somehow. Maybe a baby quilt or a springy floral mini? The majority of the fabrics are Kaffe Fassett and it will be fun to have these to play with. First I need to get through the tedium of squaring them all up though. Have to pay to play, right?
Other than Myrtle the Turtle, this is probably my top priority. I posted this picture on Instagram two weeks ago. My friend Susie lost her husband to lung cancer in September 2018. She is ready to deal with his clothes now and asked if I would make a memory quilt. Of course I am happy (honored actually) to do this for her. I have cut the shirts into four inch squares. Some of the shirts were kind of thin but she loved them and wanted to include them. I reinforced them with a very light weight interfacing and I think they will work fine. We looked at patterns and she chose a simple patchwork. I am doing four patch blocks and sashing them with a neutral, low volume fabric in a creamy off-white. She also gave me two photos she had printed on fabric of the two of them. Those will be incorporated as well. I am hoping to get the four patch blocks stitched up during the trip.
I know, this is sort of ridiculous but I have one more project. A while ago, Sarah of Sarah Goer Quilts sent me these sweet fat quarters during a book share I hosted. I love them and thought they might make a cute purse for H to have. There is a tutorial here, created by Pat Bravo. I think it will be perfect though I plan to reduce the size a bit.
What do you think? How much of this will happen during nap time over the next three weeks? It’s anybody’s guess! But I look forward to sewing when not playing with H. She is such a cutie pie and we have lots of plans. There are tea parties to enjoy, the children’s museum to visit, and maybe a trip or two to the library. Such is life while visiting in Vermont!
Happy Friday everyone! It has been really busy here between the shop, the usual migraine nonsense and… wait for it…. getting ready to leave for Vermont! I am going to be watching my grand daughter for three weeks. Her mama has to go to Washington DC for a month long training session and asked if I would come and help out while my son is with H. He commutes a fair bit to work and back which makes H’s daycare time much longer if he is on his own with her. Between that and snow days and the usual illnesses she is always coming down with, it will be good to have another person there. I am looking forward to it as much as my DIL is NOT looking forward to it. You know? I feel terrible for her to have to leave for so long. She is a medical resident in Radiology at the University of Burlington and has known this was coming for the last several years but now that it is actually time to go, ugh! She is such a trooper and is trying to make the best of a lousy situation.
I have been cooking meals and freezing them so Ray and Julia don’t have to cook quite as much while I am gone. They both have long days and it will be nice to have a few things they can just pull out of the freezer and heat up. Also, my friend Sophia has been coming over and learning to run my shop for me. She is such a good friend and I am incredibly grateful she is able to do this for me. She will cut orders and ship them for the next few weeks. I have known her for a long while and we are both into quilting and sewing. She will have everything under control while I am away!
I did play a bit in the sewing room this week, though not as much as I would have liked (is there ever enough hours in the day?). I had four custom orders, two are finished and the other two are prepped to be completed today.
Inspired by watching Marie Kondo on Netflix the other day, I thought I would clear out some old fabric that just wasn’t ‘sparking joy’ for me any longer and give it away. But as soon as I sat down and started going through things, I found this panel I had picked up at a garage sale last fall. That was the end of the Konmari cleaning effort!
I just love this panel. I did several reverse image searches to try and find it on-line and see what line it was from. One person on Facebook or Instagram (?) commented that she made pillow cases with it in the 1980’s for her children. So it is an older fabric. I wasn’t sure what to do with it but finally decided to make a doll quilt with it for A Doll Like Me. It is so pretty and, at 22″ x 26″, just the right size for this.
I found a batting scrap and some backing fabric and quickly put it all together.
I love the pig and unicorn both!
The quilting is basic since it really doesn’t show up and the animals are the star of the show here.
Lions, tigers and bears, oh my!
I free motioned around most of the animals and some of the vines to hold everything together. Around the outer border I FMQ’d flowers. That was good practice as I am really rusty these days.
The backing and binding were also a thrift store find – I believe it was an older RJR print. Great colors thought, right??
Don’t you love making something start to finish with bits of fabric you already have. The stack of fabric in my closet holds so much potential. I will keep this little quilt and mail it to Amy when I have a few more things to add to it.
Time to go finish up those two orders. Also need to make meatballs for the freezer. Yesterday I had a roast in the crockpot for shredded BBQ Beef sandwiches. I am filling our freezer!!
Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend. Ours will be gray and rainy out, as it has been all week. The wet weather inspired me to cut a few gray and white fat quarter bundles for the shop. Aren’t these pieces wonderful? Included are flowers, stripes and text prints by Carrie Bloomston, Alison Glass and Sarah Fielke! Click the link if you want to add them to your stash. 🙂
Linking to my usual sites. Check them out at the top of the page under link ups!
This week hasn’t been one of the best. Lots of migraine kept me down most of the week. Such is life. There isn’t much to be done about it except take naps and wait for it to be finished.
Once I was feeling a bit better, I decided to make a few hospital gowns for Amy. Remember last week I posted an update on A Doll Like Me? I mentioned Amy is running low on these sweet gowns she provides to children who are facing a hospital visit.
Each of these gowns take about one fat quarter or similar size scrap. You also need a bit of narrow, double fold bias tape. Check out this tutorial for instructions and a template to cut the pieces. The fun of this project (other than the satisfaction of making something to create a smile for a child) is picking fun fabrics to use.
I had a bit of this Disney princess fabric in a scrap bag given to me by a friend. I was just able to squeak a gown out of it. It is a 1/2″ shorter than the others but I don’t think that will be an issue. Luckily I was able to center Cinderella on the front of the gown. I hope there is a princess-loving girl out there who needs this gown for her doll.
I also used a bit of this vintage red print. Last year, after Valentine’s Day, I saw several rolls of ribbon in a clearance bin at Michaels and snapped them up. It was fun to use some to create the ties on the back of the gown.
Also, thinking it would be fun to play with those decorative stitches on my machine again, I used a heart motif to finish the edges of the back side of the gown. The hearts aren’t the best, but it was fun.
I packed these up and hope to take them to the post office. I have heard from a number of you who are making gowns for A Doll Like Me. This is awesome and I really appreciate your time and creativity! If you want to give it a try and feel unsure or have questions, I am happy to help!!
Linking up with several fun link parties, including the DrEAMI event over at Sandra’s blog!
Last year I had the immense pleasure to start a friendship with Amy Jandrisevits, owner and creator at A Doll Like Me.
You might remember the Share the Love Campaign hosted here. Many, many quilters joined in to make special doll quilts to be sent with the lovely dolls Amy makes for children with physical differences.
So many sweet doll quilts were donated!
The campaign resulted in well over 300 doll quilts and I still receive emails now and then from quilters who want to send one to Amy.
I wanted to provide a brief update for readers as it has been nearly a year since the campaign. Of course the need for these amazing dolls is on-going and Amy continues to sew constantly in an effort to keep up with the demand. The amazing thing is Amy’s work has been noticed! Not just by us and the families she works with. Lately, she has experienced a surge of interest by the media as they are made aware of the important work she does.
Media exposure is a wonderful thing as it helps to spread the idea that all children want/need/deserve representation. They need to see themselves as ‘normal’, to know that their differences are not to be hidden or embarrassed by. Receiving a doll that reflects them and looks like them helps them to do this. Having the media spread the word as they have been doing over the past weeks is going to teach a huge lesson in acceptance for readers who haven’t necessarily thought in these terms or been exposed to this idea.
One of the ways this media excitement started was due to an honor bestowed upon A Doll Like Me by the Go Fund Me organization. Amy has had a campaign running on Go Fund Me for quite some time. Last December the organization really took notice of Amy by giving her the Hero of the Month award in December. Each month Go Fund Me does a story on a campaign they feel is worthy in the hopes of spreading the word even further. When they gave this award to A Doll Like Me in December Amy’s campaign spread like crazy and donations in excess of $20,000 poured in. The donations continue as does the exposure for this cause.
Largely due to the Go Fund Me award, many media outlets became aware of the work Amy does. The story was picked up by the local CBS station in Wisconsin, providing great publicity for this important work. Click through to see the five minute video segment – it is fantastic!
Photo from an article in Highlights Magazine’s blog.
Amy’s work was also featured in a blog post for Highlights Magazine – remember that magazine from when we were young?
I am so happy to see the increase in exposure for A Doll Like Me and the fantastic financial support Amy is garnering with the Go Fund Me campaign. She will be able to continue to work on these special dolls and with the funding, provide them to families who might not be able to afford them.
Three of the quilts I made for Amy last year.
I chatted on-line with Amy this morning to check in. She has sent out in excess of 200 quilts since last year!! She still has a supply to work with but it makes her so happy to have shared so many. The quilts are such a special addition to the dolls and both child and family seem to value them greatly.
Doll clothes and hospital gowns donated to A Doll Like Me.
In addition to the doll quilts, several of us made tiny hospital gowns for Amy. She requested these because many of the children experience a high number of hospitalizations. The gowns make the experience even more relatable as they can dress their doll in one when they are going to have another stay. Pretend play and working through the anxiety of each hospital stay is made a bit more relevant with these gowns. When Amy sends one to a child she knows needs it, she gets marvelous feedback. The parents have told her it makes the doll a complete ‘mini-me’ for the child. Some moms have told Amy the hospital gown brought tears to their eyes (and to one father’s eyes as well). These tiny gestures are incredibly valuable.
It turns out Amy is just about out of the gowns. She has asked me to let you know this in the hope some of you would like to spend an hour and make one or two for her. They are so simple to make. See this post for details! It only takes a fat quarter, some bias tape and about an hour of your time to make one. If you could, please do spend a little time on this! I am happy to provide the mailing info for A Doll Like Me. Just email me – I don’t want to post the mailing information publicly on this post. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org. There is no time limit on this – she would love to receive them whenever someone is inclined to make one. Questions about this can be left in the comments and I will get back to you.
That’s it for now. I am so happy to see the word spread about A Doll Like Me. Thank you so much for taking part in this earlier and for helping out as time goes forward. Amy is humbled by and grateful for your support.
Linking up with a few favorites. See the list at the top of the page, under Link Ups.
Hurray for the first finish of 2019!! My goal was to link this up as a finished quilt during the Fireburst celebration over the New Year’s weekend. Alas, that didn’t happen.
However I happened to have a bit of sewing time this week and I finished it up. I started the spiral quilting which is always a bit difficult and wonky for me at first. I was following along at the width of the walking foot but after several full spirals, it started to look a little too tight.
The beginning of the spiral quilting.
I decided to stop quilting and I set it aside. My main concern was whether the quilt would be stiff if I continued to quilt it with this density. I am not a huge fan of dense quilting unless it is a quilt hanging on a wall.
After waiting a bit and asking for input on Instagram and Facebook, I started working on it again. I did a somewhat gradual widening of the spirals such that by the outermost edge, the stitching lines were two full inches apart. I like this so much better. If I could have, I would have started to widen the spirals earlier but I think this looks really nice.
Sewing the binding on. Isn’t the plaid binding so cute?
The quilting took very little time. After the spirals were finished, I used a fun, decorative stitch on my machine for the orange border. I really like the way it looks. There are so many cute stitches available on the machine and I rarely remember to use them. Anyway, that was a lot of fun.
For the backing and binding, I shopped downstairs, where I keep the Needle & Foot bolts. It didn’t take long to choose Folk Fleur and Homespun from the Meriwether line by Amy Gibson. I think these fabrics are so sweet. Plus, a bias plaid binding??? Any sort of bias cut binding is the best. When a fabric is a plaid that is already on the bias, so much the better. What do you think? This quilt looks great from the front or the back.
I am really happy with this sweet baby quilt. I am unsure where it is destined to live as of yet. But I am sure it will go to the perfect place. That usually seems to just make itself known. Thank you to Tish for hosting the Fireburst mystery QAL. I enjoyed the whole thing! This was also my January “One Monthly Goal” for the event held over at Elm Street Quilts so I will happily link up there when the linky opens!!
Finally, want to see another cute finish from this week? You might remember I spent some time in Vermont over the holidays. One of my favorite ways to spend time was having a tea party with H. When I posted this picture on Facebook, my friend Karen, Kaholly.com, suggested I make some little tea bags for her to pretend with. What a great idea!!
Tiny teabags for a tiny tea party.
I came home and made these. Using little scraps, I stitched up these squares with a bit of batting inside. To make the strings, I braided three strands of Perle cotton thread. Aren’t these fun! Lemon team, strawberry tea, pineapple tea, and…… kitty cats??? I don’t know why I made that one – I think I will tell her it is so she can make kitty tea for Jenny and Polly (their two cats). Clearly I didn’t think this through but it should work out. Maybe her cats want a spot of tea? Those poor cats – I can just see H following them around with a cup and this tea bag hoping they will want a sip. These were so fun to make. I hope she has as much fun using them.
Wishing all of you a great weekend. I know there are some huge storms threatening the Northeast. Stay safe and warm in your sewing room. we are expecting a lot of rain here so I will be doing the same thing!
I have had a sale running in the shop all week. It ends tomorrow which means there is still time!! Save 25% off on all Michael Miller fabrics. So many pretty prints and cozy flannels to choose from! Come take a peek. Remember shipping anywhere in the US is always $6.99 no matter the size of the order. Quite a deal
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Remember the movie Planes, Trains and Automobiles? Starring John Candy and Steve Martin, it was a comedy about their trials and tribulations during a trip home for the Thanksgiving Holidays. It was quite popular in the mid-1980’s. It turns out Julia and I had the opportunity to re-enact the movie on our last trip home from Vermont. Well, that might be an exaggeration but our day of travel certainly reminded me of the movie.
The day before we were scheduled to fly home, I was checking in for our flights from Vermont to California. A screen popped up explaining the flight was over-booked (a very common occurrence with many airlines) and asking whether we would like to volunteer to be bumped. United Airlines asked how much money we would bid to accept in return for taking a later flight. The choices were $800, $1,000, or $1,200. Hmmm….. the bargain hunter in me thought – this could mean an ‘almost’ free trip back to Vermont to see my adorable grand daughter. We were supposed to leave on a Friday – would it really make any difference to us if we left on Saturday???
I talked to Julia, my son and my daughter-in-law and we all decided it would be good to volunteer. The pop-up screen explained that the lowest bids would be accepted first. Not taking any chances, I selected the $800 bid. Thinking this would be split between Julia and me, that would basically cover another flight out to the East coast. Rules were, we still had to show up at the airport and check in for our flight. They would then determine whether the flight was indeed overbooked (in case people with tickets for the flight failed to show up). If it was indeed overbooked, they would start calling from the list of people who had volunteered to be bumped. Well we had quite the early flight scheduled but my wonderful son had us to the airport by 5:30 am.
OK, The airport has grown a bit since this vintage postcard was made
We had to check our bags – they were too big to be considered carry-ons. We got to the United area and we were shocked to see the line. Have you ever flown out of the airport in Burlington, Vermont? It is so tiny. Normally there are one or two people in front of us. When we got there early that morning there were people everywhere. Lots of skis and snowboards being checked in at United. Vermont has excellent skiing and clearly vacations were ending and travelers were returning home. We waited in line and checked our bags. The security area in this airport is very small with one line walking through a small room. After going through security we checked with the attendant at the gate and asked if we would be bumped. She said it was too early to tell. We were asked to wait until the plane had completely boarded so she could figure it out.
All the while, my patient son waited in the hallway outside the gate. In this airport that means he was on the other side of a window watching us. He and Julia played ‘rock, paper, scissors’ and we all texted back and forth as we waited. Finally there were about one or two people left in line to board. The gate attendant told us ‘it looks like you are flying out this morning’. So we waved to Andrew, he walked off and we waited to board. Seriously, within two minutes, she looks up with a little panic and says, ‘we are over by two.’ (Why she didn’t know that two minutes earlier, I have no idea.). I texted Andrew and said “waitttttt!!!!!” He came right back and was laughing – we were all laughing at this point. It was early, we hadn’t had coffee yet and this was a long process!
They try to retrieve our bags but the plane takes off with Julia’s bag and mine is waiting somewhere in an office. The gate attendants were so nice and thanked us for volunteering. I told her it was worth it for $800. She looks up and tells me, well I have been approved to give you $1,000′. I was surprised and said, ‘yikes, $500 each? That’s great.’ She looks sort of perplexed and said, ‘no, $1,000 for each of you.’ Julia and I look at each other with a big smile.
The attendant starts looking for a flight to book us on. She seems to be having trouble and keeps muttering under her breath. It appeared that there wasn’t a route available for both of us to fly home together. She could find a single seat here or there but not two seats. Remember now, this is a very small airport and doesn’t have a lot of traffic in and out. She looks for about 40 minutes – trying all combinations of Delta, United and American but doesn’t find anything. By now Andrew and I are desperate for coffee and Julia is practically falling asleep in a chair. The attendant, clearly frustrated and not knowing what to do with these two people who need to get to California, calls her supervisor for help. The supervisor comes up and starts looking. She is rather incredulous as she realizes there really isn’t anything for the next two days. Julia was supposed to go back to school that Monday so we weren’t willing to stay longer than a day or so. Finally, after about an hour of this, I asked if it made sense to get us to another airport to leave from. I asked if there wasn’t some bus or train we could take? The women both looked up in total disbelief and said, ‘you would do that’?? Well, if it means we can go home, yes – of course we would. The supervisor looks at me and says ‘we will bump you up to $1,500 each if you will do this’. I looked and Julia and we just grinned.
Two Happy Travelers
They decide to send us home out of the Logan airport in Boston. It is a three hour drive to Boston and they book a taxi. I thought this was nuts as the cost was $500 dollars for the round trip to take us out there. The United attendants felt awful for this hassle. She kept offering things to us. ‘Here is a voucher for breakfast while you wait for the cab.’ Then, ‘let me refund your bag check fees’. It was crazy.
An hour later we were off to Boston in a taxi. By this time, we were so tired both of us slept and the ride passed quickly. From Boston, we flew to Chicago. Had a bit of a wait there and finally, late that afternoon, we took off for California. The flights were great and all was relatively smooth but it was a long, 22 hour, day. We arrived in California at 11pm which of course felt like 2 am. We still had to go get the car and drive home which is just over an hour away.
Hmmm…. where should we go next??
What a long day but really, it was worth it. For one thing, neither Julia nor I are what would be described as spontaneous. We tend to follow schedules and get rattled at times if there is a lot of change. But we had a really fun day together. We spent our layovers looking on line (thank goodness for wifi everywhere we went) at places we might travel with our $3,000 jackpot. We took naps on the flight and listened to music. All in all, not a terrible experience. (This is saying a lot from someone who truly dislikes flying.)
After some family discussion, we bought three flights to Maui in July. What a fun way to celebrate Julia’s high school graduation and have a great vacation before she leaves for college! Even with this trip, there is still about $900 on these vouchers left to spend. Well worth a 22 hour travel day home. Hmmm…. I wonder if we can get bumped from our flight home from Hawaii??
Have a great day. I did manage to get some sewing done over the weekend. I will get my thoughts organized and post an update this week! Have a wonderful Monday everyone.
Just want to let you know of a sale over in the shop this week! All Michael Miller fabrics are 25% off through Saturday, January 19th!! Lots of gorgeous pieces to choose from – florals, feathers, stripes and bikes!! Also, there are some cozy flannels on sale too. Come take a look!!
This year I have decided to participate in the monthly goal setting link up hosted by Patty over at Elm Street Quilts. Each month Patty has a fun link up for quilters to share what they plan to finish during the month. Doing this should encourage me to actually look at what I want to get done and set some priorities. So, now that you are just dying to know….. here is the goal for this month!
I completed the Fireburst Mystery QAL top in October. But with holiday sewing I never got it finished up. However I am trying to stay on top of things. So, this one will be finished and bound in January. Of course there are another five billion things I want to finish or make this month but darn it, this one is at the top of the list.
If you are a planner/list maker like me, check out the link up at Elm Street Quilts. I think today is the last day to link up. Patty has great sponsors though – so if prizes motivate you, that is another good reason to think about what you need to finish up this month.
While we are chatting, I want to let you know (or maybe remind you?) about the quilt drive happening for the victims of the recent Hurricane Florence in North Carolina. I am sure you are aware of the devastation that resulted from this disaster. As always, quilters from all over are helping families by making quilts for them. Carole, of From My Carolina Home, is the organizer of this drive. She has been working diligently to collect bed size quilts for families as they rebuild their homes and replace belongings that were destroyed. Over 4500 quilts are needed but, not to worry – the drive will continue into summer of 2019. Carole is kindly facilitating long armers with quilters who want to donate quilt tops. As long as they are bed size, she would love to have them. For more information, read her posts here. She plans to keep updated information available for quilters wanting to help with this drive.
OK – that’s it for today. Hope all of you have a wonderful week!
I saw a funny graphic on Facebook the other day. It isn’t something I made up and I don’t know to whom I would credit this but it resonated with me.
Of course, it is even worse now. It isn’t a couple of years out. Next year is 2020 so, 30 years ago will be 1990. How can that be? Thirty years ago seems such a long while back. However 1990 doesn’t seem that long ago. Ah, I am such the philosopher. These are the deep thoughts I have been having as we move into 2019 – 😉
I have had the pleasure of spending the New Year’s holiday with my oldest son and DIL in Vermont. It has been a wonderful week of family time – my middle son and his wife drove here from Toronto for the holiday. My grand daughter has been charming – I gave her a little plastic tea set for Christmas and we have had a number of tea parties with her stuffed animals.. I am surprised to see how quickly she fell into this pretend routine of pouring tea (she calls it ‘pepper tea’ as she can’t quite say peppermint tea). She adds a spoonful of sugar, stirs the tea and then blows on it to cool it off for her hedge hog and her Elmo doll. I love it!
I also brought her a little dress that I made a couple of days before flying out. This is the first time I have sewn anything with a Burda pattern. The directions were clearly explained though so I didn’t have any issues. When I was making this, my DIL’s mother was visiting in Vermont so I was able to ask her to take a few measurements for me. I made a size 2 and, for the most part, it fits nicely
The fabric is a soft and cozy fleece from Jo-Ann Fabrics. It is a deep navy with little hearts outlined in silver. H called them stars, maybe because they are sort of sparkly?
The neckline is finished with a strip of the same fabric. I am STILL having issues with my serger so I finished the seams with a small zig zag stitch and then trimmed the seams. It worked just fine.
Here is a cute picture of H wearing her new dress. Is she not absolutley adorable??
Earlier that same day, she asked Grammy to put ‘pretty-pretties’ in her hair which means a pony tail. She has so little hair, but I did the best I could! She makes me smile.
This morning we woke to a little bit of snow. Perfect timing – we get to have just a bit of wintry weather before heading back to California tomorrow to the real world. School starts next week for Julia and I have orders to ship. We had such a great visit though – Vermont life is pretty wonderful!
Being the list maker I am, it is a strong part of my nature to plan. Of course plans don’t always go the way I hope but still, I try! Last year I set a list of a few goals I wanted to achieve with my business and I think it is helpful to take a look at those to see what was achieved before creating a plan for 2019. Here goes! I set five goals for 2018.
Continue to grow both of my shops.
Work on my free motion and long arm quilting skills.
I have three quilts in process right now and I want to finish them.
I want to set a goal to send birthday cards to my family and friends.
Most importantly, I need to work on acceptance of the limitations I experience due to my health.
Looking at these I think I did well for the most part. First one was so rewarding! I worked very hard to expand both my fabric and my pattern shops. I am very happy to see the growth that has happened this year. I achieved 33% growth in sales for the fabric shop. Also, the average order value increased from $21 to $27. Looking at the increase in average order value is pleasing – it doesn’t look like a huge increase but considering the number of $10-$12 orders I ship, it really is. There have been many more large orders which is great for the health of my shop. The pattern shop did well too. However I only have 6 months of numbers from 2017 to compare to 2018 so I didn’t get exact numbers. But I feel like I have a solid base of customers for that shop and the orders are quite steady.
The second goal was not achieved. Not even close!! I did almost no free motion quilting and didn’t get to the long arm shop more than a couple of times. So, that one still needs work!!
Goal number 3 – I finished two of the three quilts I had on the list. Both my Twisted and my Scrappy HST quilt are done. However, I didn’t touch the Ring Me project. I do love this pattern and hope to finish it this year.
Number 4 seemed so easy. But it fell off the radar by summer time. I have such a huge family and really hoped to stay in touch more by doing this. I will try again. I sent off a card just yesterday. Sending and receiving ‘real’ mail is becoming less and less common so I want to try this one again!
Number 5 – by far the most important goal of all. I think I knocked this one out of the park. I really tried to stay in the moment and not sink into that dark misery that chronic illness often causes. My neurologist and I worked diligently together and adjusted meds a few times. The migraines are still constant (2-3 each week) but they are far less intense and I am able to deal with them better. I am also much better about working within the limitations my health sets for me. I missed a quilt show that I was supposed to vend at (huge expense there but I just couldn’t do it). Also missed my sister’s 60th birthday party and was incredibly sad about that. However, this is life. And so many people out there have it much worse than I. Keeping things in perspective has been really helpful. So, yes – I rocked this one!
OK – Now to look forward!
Continue to grow my shops. I have a some fun things in store for you, my loyal customers and friends. I have some great giveaways coming your way, quilt kits that will be created and offered to you, and the occasional blogger bundle planned. I will give details to you soon but it will be such a fun year!!
Stay involved with charitable projects. These make me feel satisfied and provide the perspective I need to always appreciate the blessings I receive. Last year I loved working on my Spread the Love campaign with Amy at A Doll Like Me. Now I am working with Mercy Hospital on the #MercyfulQuilts project. Both of these are near and dear to my heart. Again, you will continue to hear about these wonderful organizations in 2019.
Finish UFO’s. I have four at the moment (hmm…. I had three at the end of last year and here I am again!). I need to quilt and bind my Postage Plus quilt top (remember the hop for the Modern Plus Quilts book? I have not yet finished my project!!). Also, I need to finish the Fireburst Mystery quilt. The top is done and basted, so just quilting and binding remain. Then I need to finish the Ring Me quilt. Finally I have a quilt top I had made for #MercyfulQuilts which I need to finish up. Also, since clearly this isn’t enough… I am adding two projects to the quilting list this year. I plan to make a whole cloth quilt for my bed and also want to make a Quilt of Valor for the #MercyfulQuilts project. I have never made a QOV so I am looking forward to that one!
Practice garment sewing. I made a number of things to wear this year. Some were successes and others, not so much!! But I have a couple of patterns lined up and will keep on sewing. I love making clothes so this is a fun one to plan!
Same as last year…. strive to accept my limitations caused by chronic illness. One big adjustment for this year is I will not be vending at quilt shows (with the exception of possibly our local quilt guild’s show in May.) I cannot reliably plan to feel well on any given day. In 2017 I had to forfeit my booth at one show and the same happened in 2018. Between the two shows there was a loss of $300. This is too much for a small shop like mine. The work involved in these shows is quite a lot. I have had to look hard at this and accept that it isn’t the right thing for me. Kind of disappointing because I enjoy the shows and talking with all the wonderful quilters but such is life. Making the decision has actually been a relief which tells me it is the right thing to do.
OK – that is it for this year. How about you? Do you have something you hope to work on or work toward? Tell me in the comments! Let’s encourage each other along the way. Happy New Year friends!
My newest daughter-in-law has a December birthday, just a few days before Christmas actually. This year I decided to make her a quilt. Some time back, I had given Ian a lap quilt for their couch but thought it would be fun to make a Christmasy quilt for Shar to use in winter months.
The cute white square is from the Pixie Noel line.
The plan was built around the need for a quick quilt and this cute package of Pixie Noel charms I won in a giveaway several years ago over at Silly Mama Quilts. It was not the complete set so I think I had about 20 or so charms.
I hunted through my holiday scraps and cut about 200 charms so I would have plenty to play with. (I have soooo many holiday scraps!). I wanted to make it a bit less traditional in color so I used a lot of blue and white.
Being a simple patchwork, the top came together quickly. Then it sat for a while because I had a flurry of holiday orders to sew for my shop.
I decided to back it with a soft flannel to make it really cozy. I think this is the first time I backed a quilt with flannel but I like how soft it is. Julia really liked it too and requested the next quilt I make for her be flannel backed too. The wintry blue color worked well with the front.
It has been a long while since I free motion quilted anything and jeez, I was so rusty. This simple stipple was so awkward. Definitely showed me the need to practice more – my hands were not at all cooperative!! Now that it is washed and crinkled, it looks better but still…. I intentionally used a very large stipple so it would stay very soft.
Given the choice, I will often opt for a bias stripe binding. I love this one!! It looks just like a candy peppermint stick.
At this point in the year, I suspect this will be my last quilt finish. There is a slim chance I will get my Fireburst quilt top finished but not for sure. We shall see! I am working on a few things for my grand daughter that I hope to bring her when we go to Vermont the last week of December. So it just depends on how much time there is…… December’s days require more than the 24 hours we are given. There is always so much to do!!