Saturday, December 31, 2011


As my 94 year old grandfather used to say to me when I was a young girl, "There are as many days left in the year as there are noses on your face!"

As soon as I press "Publish Post" the little ticker on the left next to 2011 will say 365 and I will have completed one of my biggest goals ever!

I hope you have enjoyed the journey with me. I have had a love/hate relationship with it - I love it when I have something interesting to post about, but then I hate it when I don't have anything interesting to say and have had to still post! Thank you for reading, thank you for sticking in there, and thank you for all the encouraging comments - they have meant SO much to me! I tried to reply to everyone when they commented, but I know some days I missed doing that, so for that I'm sorry, but please know I read every single comment and they made me smile!

For my last post of the year I want to write about the kindness of quilters/sewing folk. (It's rather long, but hang in there!)

Back on October 2nd I entered a trivia contest on the Z&S fabrics Facebook page, and lo and behold I won! The prize was a $50 gift certificate to their store. I was so excited as I had bought from them before and knew they had the most amazing prices on quilt fabrics around. Well the certificate didn't come and didn't come, even after repeated nice friendly emails from myself. I knew the son of the business owner had taken over the business and was, shall we say nicely, a little "out there"?! His posts on Facebook were something else! Hugely entertaining though!

A couple of weeks ago a mass email went out from him saying that the business was closed. Done deal, goodbye. It wasn't really shocking - I was surprised that anyone was still buying from him - he seemed so crazy! However, I was left wondering, what about my $50?!!

He had said in his email that the other company's stores, Sauders fabrics and Zooks, both in Pennsylvania were staying open and honoring outstanding orders.

I emailed them and explained the situation. They said that yes they were honoring the obligations and if I could just send them emails exchanged proving I had won, then that would be great.

I searched and searched and found a couple of emails but neither of them specifically mentioned me winning. One was the email I sent with my answer to the trivia question, but nothing saying congratulations, you won! I still forwarded them, not expecting anything at this stage. I received an email back saying they would take my word on winning and to come to the store anytime to claim my prize! Great! Except....I live about 8 hours away and they don't have an online store!

I did however know that they carry Kona cotton solids, a staple at their stores, so I said I'd love it if they just sent me a random selection of Konas and to take the price of shipping out of the $50.

Just 2 days after I sent that email, a box arrived via Fedex, with 1 yard each of 9 colors of Kona.

Kona retails for $6.99/yard, so that was $63 worth of fabrics, plus the Fedex shipping. I can't describe how that made me feel. First that they trusted a complete stranger, and second, that they were so completely generous. Who does that now days?

If I'm ever in Pennsylvania, I'll definitely be stopping in!

Which brings me to my new goals. Following the example given by Sauders, I will be showing more trust and generosity to strangers. But that isn't my main goal - the word I want to live by in 2012 is....wait for it....


I want to minimize my life, as in minimize the amount of 'stuff' we own. I'm going to cut it by at least half. My hubby would be happy if we each owned just 100 items. A shoe counts as 1 item. A pen counts as 1 item. Yeah not going to happen (have you seen all my fabric?!) but he is going to LOVE how much stuff disappears from this house!

I'm also going to minimize the amount of things I do outside of my family. I tend to say yes to almost everything asked of me, but it's time to minimize that! We decided to minimize the amount of TV watching in our home, and 3 days ago the cable was cut off. We have zero television going on! OK so we have a ton of DVD's, but no more cable. Which leads to the next thing...I'm going to minimize money spent. Cutting off cable is a great start!

So that's the plan!

I started off 2011 with two goals I posted about on here. One was to blog every day, and the other was to stitch something every day. I succeeded at the blogging, but failed at the stitching. I was doing really well until October when we had that freak snowstorm and lost power for 5 days! Stitching just went out the window and has been quite sporadic since, so I'm not going to make that goal again!

I am still going to blog, just not every day. Look for posts from me 2-3 times per week. I'm looking forward to not feeling the pressure to say something even if I have nothing to say! Hopefully they'll be more in depth too.

My big quilting related goal for 2012 is to finally publish some patterns I've been working on. I have the drawing software all figured out (finally!) and need to get moving on that. So watch out for that at some point, along with a new name and new blog location! But for now, things are staying the same.

Once again, thank you SOOOO much for your support this year. See you next year!


Friday, December 30, 2011

1 More Day...

...and the drama never stops!

We went to a birthday party this afternoon at a roller skating rink. Halfway through the party, my boy Coleman fell and his ankle blew up to unnatural proportions.

After 3 hours of waiting and xrays in an urgent care, we found out he has a possible fracture, an air cast and crutches. More will be revealed next week after seeing an orthopedist, but for now it's couch city for Coleman!

In thinking about which of my favorite past posts to post tonight, I thought about my kids and how I've tried to sprinkle family posts here and there among the quilting ones. So tonight, a post from August 30th, with the obligatory first day of school pics!


Today was a wonderful day - can you guess why? Huh huh? For the first time ever, all three of my kids are in school allllll day! No more half day kindergarten - I have a 1st grader, 3rd grader and 5th grader!

Sofia spent months planning what she would wear on the first day. It's very important to a 10 year old girl you know! She had some fancy outfit all picked out, then came out of her room this morning in her old shorts and a t-shirt! Go figure.

We also had some candid moments...

Then we finally got to school and they met up with their old friends...

It was a great day (especially for me!) and I have a feeling it's going to be a great school year!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Countdown...2 Days To Go

The post I'm reposting tonight is from July 28th. We were in vacation in Utah and as I do every time we go back to Utah, I went to quilt shops with my fabulous mother-in-law! So this isn't one of my favorite posts because of the content, but because of the memories it brings.

What quilter doesn't like new fabric?! Here are yesterday's purchases laid out for your viewing pleasure!

New Joel Dewberry and cute new BIG buttons (they are each about 2 inches across - so good for bags or cushions!)...

Clearance fat quarters, clearance yardage, and new Westminster fabrics...

I can't wait to get home and create with them!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Countdown...3 Days To Go...

3 more days of daily blogging until my big goal for the year is complete! I'm posting some of my favorite posts from the year this week. Today is one from April 22nd in which I finished up a set of 6 placemats. I love the way they look all together!

Yippee! I have my set of 6 placemats finished!

Today I made a hot pink/black & white one...

However I'm not ready to stop making them. I think I definitely need at least another 2 for a set of 8. After all, we do occasionally have visitors and I can't have them go placemat-less!

Looking at them in the photo I definitely see a lack of blue and green, so that will be the theme of the next 2.

As an aside, I'm sure most of you know today was Earth Day. We celebrated it by planting a ton of seeds which will hopefully turn into seedlings that we can transplant in a few weeks.

The kids had a blast filling the little pots with soil, then making holes with the end of a pencil and planting the seeds. Roll on warm weather!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

2011 Goal

On January 1st this year one of my big goals for the year was to blog every day. I am pleased to say, that with just 4 days left, I have kept up with my goal! Sure, some were rushed, some were on the road from my phone, some were even late, but I have blogged every single day before I went to bed for the night.

This week I'm going to revisit some of my favorite posts and repost them here. Unless something really amazing happens!

Here we go... from January 31st, a post about pillows...

Monday, December 26, 2011

J Is For...

Joanna! Yes that's me :) And A is for Anna, my wonderful amazing talented friend that I met online about 7 years ago now. We have met in real life - the kids and I went and stayed with her for a week a couple of years back...

She has taught me a TON of things about applique, and through her I have learned to be freer with my work, and no longer have the need to follow a pattern and do everything the same in a pattern down to the fabric selection!

She texted me last week asking for my address and on Saturday a package arrived in the mail. Do you know how hard it was to not open it and leave it until Christmas? It made me understand exactly how my kids feel at Christmas!

I finally got to open it yesterday and I gasped - it was just so completely perfect for me! She hand appliqued the dresden plate to the background and added my initial to the middle.

The colors and fabrics are perfect, and you better believe it will have pride of place in my living room. Or bedroom. Or quilt studio. How am I meant to decide?! Best of all, I'll be able to think of her every time I look at it, and be touched by the hours she spent making it just for me. When you're a quilter, nobody makes you things like this. They presume that you could just make it yourself, or they're scared that it wouldn't be good enough, when in reality, it touches me more than any expensive gift could. Anna is a master quilter herself, so she gets it :)

So thank you Anna! I love it, and you KNOW I love you!

Sunday, December 25, 2011


It's done and over...hooray! Santa came last night and even took a photo of himself in our kitchen with the bacon the kids left out for him, just to prove that he's real. Pity he's so bad at self portraits...

Kids are in bed and I'm having an early night! Christmas was lovely - very low key and relaxing. I was mean and made the kids wait until we got home from church at 1 to open presents! They were great sports about that though. I was spoiled by my hubby and friend Anna - I'll have to show you the amazing quilted pillow she made me tomorrow. LOVE her!!

Until then, I'm off to bed before 8 which never ever happens, and will leave you with some fun pics from today...

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Twas The Night Before Christmas...

The kids are in bed, the presents are out, the letter from Santa has been written, and my work here is almost done! This was the first year we let our oldest who is 11 help us when the boys went to bed. She wrote the letter from Santa on the computer (because the 8 year old is trying to figure out if Santa is real or not and said he's going to compare handwriting from last year to this year! Smart kid haha!) and put carrots on the driveway.

Their letters to Santa are hilarious. First, Sofia's -
what a suck up! She's a sweetie though :)

And my 8 year old Coleman's...

He's trying really hard this year to figure out if Santa is real or not. He's not getting a remote control helicopter - it's a remote control airplane, so he will still have the not quite knowing dilemma!

All of them...
They're so excited!

I've been sitting here reflecting on Christmas and why we have it, and watched a beautiful video I'd love to share. It's 9 minutes long and shows the timeline from Mary being told she would have the baby Jesus, to him being born and visited by shepherds and later the Wise Men. It makes you feel like you are there! Well worth the 9 minutes of reflection at this crazy busy time.

You can watch it HERE.

I hope you all have (or have already had!) a wonderful Christmas.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Not Quilting But Baking

I've been taking a break from quilting today and getting some Christmas baking done. See if you can guess what's first up on the list...

Gotta have something yummy to take to my fantastic new workmates in the morning since they've been so welcoming to me!