Made By You!

Welcome to a regular feature here on the blog called “Made by You!”  We have free patterns listed on the right sidebar of the blog, we have a book Country Girl Modern, we have patterns in our online shop and we have patterns often featured in magazines.  We have so many of you taking those patterns and making them in your own way and your own style.  The blog series features YOUR quilts made with our designs. We love the series as there is no higher compliment to a designer than to know you like our design well enough to spend your time and money to make it.

I recently got an email from Amy.  She writes:
Hi Jo
I wanted to send along a picture of my Moment of Zen quilt.  When I saw your quilt in the magazine I just knew I had to make it for a friend’s wedding gift.  I had been looking at the Cider fabric for a while and just knew I had to use that too.  You and Kelli did a great job on this pattern.  I used 42 fat quarters to make mine a 6×7 layout.  It will hopefully find a home on the back of their couch and be a cuddle quilt.  I will be blogging about it after I deliver it.

Also, I have included a selfie I took (not good at them) wearing my new shirt from Kalissa.  I can’t find an email address for her anywhere on her blog.  Could you please pass it along?  And please tell Carver, thank you for the wonderful note.”

Oh, how FUN…both the quilt and the shirt.  Amy blogs HERE.  Please go over and check her out.  I had not been to Amy’s blog before and found it very nice…dogs, quilts, house fixing up.  All of those things are exactly what I love reading about.

About the quilt.  This was out Moment of Zen quilt.  (No we didn’t name the quilt but honestly, we stink at quilt names so likely couldn’t have come up with anything better.)  It was featured in this issue of American Patchwork and Quilting… Continue reading

In My Mail…

OH, MY WORD…Mail has been flooding in.  I have much to share and this isn’t all of it.  More came in as I was prepping this post.  I think that will wait for the next post.

The first bunch of goodies came from Nelle in OK.  It was a big box and there were goodies galore.

Just look at all of this…

There was a mixture of everything from super cute quilt tops…

to fabrics.  I tried to keep the similar fabric with the tops so the fabric could be used for binding. 

When I saw these tops I set them aside for Janet.  Janet is a volunteer quilt finisher.  Through the years Janet has been on the volunteer quilters list but I haven’t sent anything her way.  She recently contacted me and I learned she only lives a half hour from me.  The group she quilts for is Royal Family Kids Camp.  They give quilts to foster children each year.  Janet along with helpers try to have 24 quilts done each year.  That’s a lot of quilts!!  Janet took many of these and they will be finished and loved on by foster children.

You can find out more information about Janet by checking out the Fabric Donation Page.  Janet is #5.

Check out the pineapple quilt.  Pretty!!

Janet took a couple with the intention of adding a border to them to make them a bit larger.

This one is cowboy-themed…so cute.

I think the quilt block was perfect for cowboy prints.  The block reminds me of spurs or tumbleweeds.  Both cowboy friendly.

Nelle included some bigger cuts of fabric.  I passed many of these to Janet too.  They will make great backings…or part of backings.

There were leftover blocks…

Super cute novelty prints…

So much of the fabric was kid-friendly.

This was mostly panels which I’ll pass to the Cresco ladies.  They love making panel quilts.

…more leftovers that the Cresco ladies will make into quilts.

I loved this group of leftovers.  If I was finishing quilts, I’d have grabbed this bunch and made it into a charity quilt.

Yep, more fabric!!

This was lightweight T-shirt fabric but I don’t think the pieces were wide enough for Carolyn.  There was other fabric too.

These scraps added with others will make fun quilts.

Wow..what a lot all in one box!  Thanks, Nelle.

The next package came from Darlynn.  She read my blog post about my friend that puts together baby care kits for Lutheran World Relief.  On my list of needed items to put the kits together were diapers.  Lana often uses gently used flannel sheets to make the diapers.  Getting these will be a treat!!  Each kit needs 4 diapers.  Lana has a goal to put together 100 kits so that means 400 diapers!!

Darlynn found these on Amazon.  Then she had them shipped directly to me.  Great idea Darlynn!!  Thanks so much!

Lana also uses the burp cloths that look like diapers so if anyone sees them cheap at a garage sale, feel free to send some my way.

I got this beautiful quilt all packaged up so nicely.  It was from Patti.  She was worried that her work wasn’t good enough.  Oh my, it’s perfect and her color selection was great!

I am certain this will be loved.  Thanks so much Patti.  Your hard work is appreciated.

This bunch of patriotic goodies came from Arkansas.  These will be passed on for a Quilt of Valor quilt.  THANKS!!

My deciphering is awful.  I’m not sure of the name in the signature on this.  I believe it’s Dolly…but I’m not positive.  I do know that the gift of fabric is so appreciated!!  (I’ve been told this is from Sally.  Thanks for the help)

Here it is all unrolled and able to be seen.

There were quilting books in the mix too.

Plus, more panels.  The Cresco Ladies are going to have to plan a panel day.  They will all get together and everyone takes a panel and finishes it into a top.

Joan sent the next box.  I had to laugh.  One box came from her and I got it on a Friday.  I wrote the blog post with the goodies she had sent…then at the beginning of the next week this box came.  I don’t know if she sent them at the same time…but it had to have been close.

Check out the cute Thomas the Tank Engine fabric.

There were some odds and ends…

And there were some great smaller cuts of fabric.  I pulled all of the kid-friendly prints and will be sending them out soon.

Check out this precious quilt top.

Look a the work that was done to fussy cut the pieces in the center.

Jennifer sent the next box.  I was so excited to get this box.  Remember I had contacted Janet to come and get tops for the Royal Family Kids Camp? Well, she was scheduled to come and this box came in between the time we set up to get together and the actual date.

Janet took many of these tops as they were perfect for her project.

Check out the soft colors of this one.

The colors of this one were wonderful too…just in a different way.

Janet was excited to see this one.  She doesn’t get enough “boy” quilts.  I would say that 80% of the quilts that come here are more “girly”.  That leaves so many boys with quilts that aren’t boyish.  If you’re thinking about making quilt tops to donate, please consider tops that are a little more bly/male-oriented.  We love any tops but there is a real need for masculine tops.

I love the pops of red.  So cute.

This was an easy yet interesting design for a donation quilt.

This one was too small for Janet…

I’m not sure what happened with this one but it is either wonky or needs a good ironing.  Whatever it is, we’ll get it figured out and finished.

WOW…what a lot of mail, right??  I have enough mail for another post.  I’ve really had a lot in recently.  Most of this is already out and delivered to finishers.  I try as hard as I can to get things shipped out as soon as I can.

If you make charity quilts and are in need of supplies, feel free to contact me.  I’ll work to try to help if I can…or find someone who can help.

Thanks to all who donated goodies.  I so appreciate it.

I Should Have Known

I should have known.  I should have been ready.  I wasn’t.

It’s been over two years since Kramer passed away.  Monday the 26th was my second wedding anniversary without him here.

I’ve been doing so good lately.  Really, really good, so I didn’t think much about it.  I planned about going about my business like any old other day.  He was gone…there was no anniversary to celebrate.

I seriously have been doing so well.  I haven’t had a bout of tears sneak up on me.  I haven’t randomly started crying when I was alone for a long time.  I hadn’t had the talks with myself telling myself that I was going to be okay.  I just was okay and didn’t need the self-talks.

I didn’t build any buffers.  I didn’t visit the cemetery days before my anniversary.  I didn’t talk about it in advance with the kids.   I didn’t write a blog post to work through it all.  I didn’t do any of the things I usually do in advance to help get past the bigger days. It was going to be just another day.  I’ve been doing this grief thing for a while.  This was just going to be another day.

It was a good plan…or at least I thought it was.

It turns out, it wasn’t.  It was a bad plan.

Somehow, without me knowing, grief snuck up on me and caught me.

All I could think to say was…Hello, big-time grief.  It’s been a while since you were here.  I was hoping you were gone for good.  You weren’t.  You really fooled me, but here you are.

I thought I wasn’t a rookie anymore.  I thought I was getting to be an old pro at grief.  I thought I had it in control.  I thought I had tamped it all down.  This time around, I was reminded I am still a rookie.  It is not all tamped down.  It is not all under control.

I have no idea what did it to me.  I have no idea where it came from.

Some of you might remember Kalissa’s blog post about the ball and the box and how grief works.  If you missed it.  You can find it HERE.  It’s an excellent post.  It accurately describes how grief works.

Monday my ball was BIG.

People who crossed my path that day didn’t know or remember it was our anniversary.  It was sad.  No one said anything.  I didn’t want to say anything as I knew it was one of those days I was on the edge.  Those are days when I just know if someone says the right or wrong thing, I might just lose it.

I was working so I didn’t want to lose it in the middle of work.

Then the why’s flooded in.  Why him?  Why me?  Why us?  UGH.  There is no answer to that.  I know that.  Why did I let my mind go there.  It’s never good when it does.

I knew I had to pull myself out of that.  Then came the…why not me?  Why not him?  Why not us?  Also, not good.

I knew I had to pull myself out of that too.

So I planned a little intervention with myself.  I’d go to the cemetery. I’d water the flowers there.  I’d stitch on a cross-stitch sampler to commemorate our anniversary.  Once everyone was gone, I’d allow myself to grieve.

But life happened.  It didn’t work out like I hoped…like I wanted…like I needed.

It would be so easy to slide down a slippery slope and get stuck there.   It would be so easy to curl up and cry for a day, a week, maybe more.  But I know that’s not me.  That’s not what I do.  I can’t let myself slide.  It would be too hard to get out.

There are people here to love.  There are things here that need to get done.  I still have work to do.

So…a good cry in the shower.
Some stitches into the sampler.
A few looks at our wedding pictures…

This is a favorite of mine.

A few words with Kalissa…a few with Kelli.
A little extra sleep and I’m back on the path.

A little self-talk reminder that for 32 years I was loved and cared for by one of the best…yes, our time was cut short, but I had 32 great years.  That is many more than some people get so I’m going to embrace what I had and not get lost in what I don’t have.

My ball is still a little bigger than I’d like.  (Read Kalissa’s blog to understand that), but I’m back in motion.  I’m moving forward.  I’m not letting myself get stuck where I was.

Thankfully I’m not a newbie.  I know bad times come.  I know grief can sneak in.  I know I can deal with this and shrink that ball in the box.  I also know it takes a little time and I know to give myself the grace I need.

I’m okay.  Don’t worry about me.  If you’ve dealt with this yourself, you know this is completely normal…and if you haven’t dealt with grief like this before, when it’s your turn, know grief has an ebb and flow.  Know you’ll have a good year and then a bad day or two can slip in.

Also know that like me…you can do this too.

Community Quilts from Ronda

I have community quilts from Ronda to share with you…These are some fun ones so I’m super excited to share them.

Ronda writes:
I have a few more quilts to share with you today.  The first top was made by Evie H. of Los Angeles, California.  She made the top starting with some 4 1/2″ blocks that she received with a bunch of scraps from another quilter.  She then sewed those blocks together to make 8 1/2″ blocks.  She did a terrific job as it’s always more difficult to make a top out of what someone else has started.  Evie also sent the backing and made the binding up for me as well.  This quilt measures up at 54″ X 63″ and was donated to Opportunities Unlimited.

The next top… Continue reading