Thursday, February 28, 2013

do. Good Stitches Wonky Star Blocks

Louise at I'm Feelin' Crafty is the quilt designer/quilter for the Nurture Circle of do. Good Stitches for our February quilt. 

She came up with a great quilt idea...wonky stars!

(Louise has a thing for stars.)

I had so much fun making these blocks and I can't wait to see the finished quilt!

If you want to make a wonky star block, check out Louise's tutorial here!

Before making this block, I'd never made a star.
Do you have a favorite star quilt block?

Happy block making!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013


I have so many doll ideas.  There is a list on the wall of my studio (yeah, dining room) with lots and lots of ideas.  Between filling doll orders,  wanting to work on things other than dolls, and life, it's not often I get around to making something new for My Gigi Dolls.

So, these days, inspiration to make something new for the dolls comes from my customers!  This dress turned out so cute!  A woman ordered a doll and asked if I could make a dress for the doll based on a dress her niece wore.  

I really hope she likes it.  I LOVE it! 

And, now it's in the My Gigi Doll Etsy shop!

In your creative endeavors, what inspires you to actually create something new?

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Why I Give...

I give because it brings me joy and freedom.

As an adult, I started out giving in a consistent way because that is what was modeled for me and  I felt like it was the right thing to do.  

The irony is that the more I give the richer I feel.

When I began making My Gigi Dolls, I was at first surprised that I loved making them.  I never would have expected that.  Truly. 

But, the real beauty came when I began giving them a little girl with Down's military hospitalized children.  

When I give a doll away, I am sending out a little bit of myself - my creativity, my time and my passion - with each doll with no strings attached.  

I love the feeling of sending a doll that has been purchased, too, but there is something a little magical in sending something out there to someone you've never met, in hopes that it will bring them a bit of joy.

In all honestly, I'm not an especially selfless person.  Remember I said giving brings me joy and freedom?  Yep.  I get something out of it.  

I explained the joy I feel in giving, but what about freedom?

Well, the more I let go of things - not because I should, but because I want to - the freer and more satisfied I am with my life.  The times I give when it is difficult for me are the times I am the most blessed.

What prompted this post is that my family and I are in the process of downsizing from an 1800 sq ft, 4 bedroom, 2 car garage home to a 1472 sq ft, 3 bedroom, carport home.  

And, I couldn't be happier.  

But, I have a LOT to get rid of!  At least a 2 car garage and full bedroom worth.  

I started out selling things.  But, yesterday, I was given an unexpected gift of $110.  I gave each of my kids $10 and when they asked me why, I told them that I wanted to bless them because I had been blessed.  It was easy for me to part with $30 I hadn't been expecting.  

This morning, I thought:  I'm going to give away all of the things I've been planning to sell.  Because I've been blessed; because giving brings me joy and freedom; because I have what I need today; I will give with no strings attached.  

And, I promise you, after I've given away what I no longer have room for, I will feel richer.

This is a more serious (and far less PRETTY) post than usual.  And, harder to write, ya know?  But, I felt like I needed to put it out there, whether anyone reads it or not.

Since you are reading it, I'd love to know:  How has being generous impacted you?

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

do. Good Stitches Charity Quilt

I've been excited to share about something new! 

Last year I stumbled upon a great blog:  Stitched In Color.  Rachel's blog is great.  She has awesome tutorials and she is just fun to "listen" to.  I noticed right away that she likes to give back - so much so that she created an online quilting bee called "do. Good Stitches".  

do. Good Stitches is a charity quilting bee that makes quilts for all kinds of people in need:  foster kids, battered women, kids in need, sick people, and more.  It is a beautiful thing to make something for someone in need.   

In December, I signed up to host a do. Good Stitches circle.  Each circle has 10 members from all over the country.  We are the Nurture Circle of do. Good Stitches.  Our quilts go to  My Very Own Blanket, a charity that gives blankets to children in foster care.  

We started in January with a herringbone quilt!  We followed Rachel's Herringbone Block Tutorial using cool colors.  The Nurture Circle members mailed me their blocks and I got to piece and quilt it.  It was so fun to see all of the blocks as they came in!  

I backed the quilt with Amy Butler Love Water Bouquet in Midnight.  

One of the things that makes me the most happy is making things for other people.   

Being a part of do. Good Stitches makes me happy.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

We're Becoming Minimalists!

The past few weeks have been a whirlwind!  We decided to move closer to Doug's work (Doug is my neat-o husband).  We found a house and are soon!

I've been in de-cultter-get-loan-docs-together-de-clutter-get-tax-paperwork-together-de-clutter mode.  

Did you see de-clutter in there? 

Yes.  It's true.  We are becoming minimalists.  Ok, that may be a stretch.  But, we are definitely SIMPLIFYING! 

When we moved into our current home over 5 years ago, I was so happy to be in an 1800 sq ft, 4 bedroom with a pool, single story home!  I vowed never to have more than 2 toilets or stairs to clean EVER AGAIN.  

So, when we found our new home, it was a bit tough to wrap my mind around 3 bedrooms in 1472 sq ft.  With....get this...a carport.  Yes, you read that right.  A carport.  A carport and a garage?  Nope.  Just a carport.  

OK!  I can do this.  We are no longer going to be keep-the-box people.  No sir.  Those boxes are all going into the recycle bin.  

3 bedrooms?  Yep.  The teenagers will be sharing a bedroom:  something they haven't done since they were youngsters.  One of them is less than thrilled with the upcoming arrangement (hint:  the clean one), but is staying positive.

I've been de-cluttering like a madwoman.  I am only keeping what I love or what I really need.  

As a sewist, getting rid of fabric and WIP (Works In Progress) can be tough.  But, I'm doing it.  

Here is the first sewing project to go.  

It is a chevron quilt top that I made and then didn't love.  But, luckily, I found someone who does love it! 

YAY!  I can't wait to see the finished product.

We are embarking on a new and simpler adventure.  I'll blog about it as I can.  I'm interested in how this will all turn out.  Hopefully you are, too.

Wish me luck!