For quite some time...(about 20 or so years...) I have dreaded the day that the news would announce that Billy Graham had died.
That day happened on Wednesday (February 21) this past week.
While my heart soared with joy in knowing he was in the presence of the Lord (... & what a rejoicing & welcoming that must have been!!) - I was & am still so saddened that we are now without his presence here on earth.
You see, Billy Graham is one of those incredibly rare people who always pointed to God's love & the saving grace through Jesus Christ. Even though he was acquainted with world leaders, presidents, kings, he was incredibly humble & never wanted attention to be placed on himself. It was always about God's love & how through Jesus Christ, we can know we will spend eternity with Him in heaven.
He did it so clearly, so directly, but with such love & humility.
He didn't preach 'religion', he preached the good news of the Gospel.
God chose this farm boy from North Carolina for a worldwide ministry, (...don't you love how God so often chooses ones who the world would probably never choose?) & Billy simply chose to follow wherever God led.
...and what an incredible, amazing way the world was changed because of Billy's dedication.
As I have grown in my faith, I take that to heart, & admire, the example that Rev. Graham's life & ministry & simple humility, in my own life.
In this present day, & the ordeals we see our nation & world living though, it pains me to think that we are now without this precious man to keep us pointed to what really matters... the message of the Gospel & of God's love & the way he has provided a way to save us through His Son, Jesus Christ, to fill the void we each have in our own soul. It can only be filled with the love that Christ gives.
So while I am sad for this world without Billy Graham, at the same time I am so happy for his arrival in heaven, where I am certain He was welcomed in the presence of God with the words, "Well done good & faithful servant..." (Matt. 25:21)
One of Billy's statements in his later years that had helped my heart smile this week is this one...
"Someday you will read or hear that Billy Graham is dead.
Don't believe a word of it.
I shall be more alive than I am now.
I will just have changed my address.
I will have gone into the presence of God"
Thank you God for Billy Graham.
(If you would like more information you can find it here,
or at www.billygraham.org)
'For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him, shall not perish, but have everlasting life." - John 3:16
Congratulations to... cpentzer!! You have won the eBook of 'All in a Row Again'!!!
Thank you to everyone who played along with our giveaway... it was such a blessing to read all the things you are grateful for. (I wanted for each of you to win!!!)
Don't forget to visit the other designers in the blog hop (listed in the previous post) - & the 'All in a Row' Facebook page ( https://www.facebook.com/allinarowquiltalong/ ) where they are also hosting several giveaways plus three grand prizes from Martingale & Moda!
Thanks so much to Martingale & Moda for asking me to be a part of this fun & wonderful book!
Once again, I have the privilege of being a part of the second of the 'All in a Row' books that the Martingale publishers & Moda have partnered to create. And once again... it's a wonderful book filled with rows & rows of ideas & inspiration for quilts, table-runners, & projects of all kinds. And, while the 'Moda All Stars: All in a Row Again' is wonderful all on it's own... if you add it to the first 'All in a Row' book, you'll have a treasure-trove of ideas for almost countless projects for so many occasions - or for the 'just because' fun of it all!
My Row is called 'Treetop Neighborhood' as we have a lot of birdie families that make their homes in the oak trees & a Texas Ebony tree in our front & back yards. I thought how fun it would be if they had a little neighborhood of their own, & although for now they seem to be happy with their nests in the trees... this are my dream houses for them.
One of the things I love most about being a part of the 'Moda All Star: All in a Row' books is that each book supports a charity & the 'Moda All-Stars: All in a Row Again' book is supporting Give Kids the World Village. Give Kids the World Village helps children with life-threatening illnesses enjoy weeklong, cost free vacations with their families.
The Moda All Stars: All in a Row Again blog hop started Monday, November 13 - & below you'll find the full blog-hop schedule so, just in case you missed some folks..., you can visit them now! Be sure to visit all the designers' blog because there are fun ideas, inspiration, & prizes!!!
If you would like to win a free eBook copy of 'The Moda All Stars: All in a Row Again', I will be drawing a name on November 24. And, as we are celebrating Thanksgiving here in the US, all you will need to do is to leave a comment on this post mentioning what you are grateful for.
You'll also want to be sure to visit the All in a Row Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/allinarowquiltalong), where they will be hosting several giveaways during the blog-hop (assorted giveaways plus three grand prizes from Martingale and Moda are up for grabs!)
So... grab yourself a cup of coffee or tea & have some visiting all the other blogs & the All in a Row Facebook page!... & don't forget to leave a comment here to be in the drawing win the e-book!
...a quilt just grabs ahold of your heart & decides to live there...
This is one of those quilts!!
I didn't go to Quilt Market this past week, (God has an amazing way of knowing way ahead of me - when I will need to be home… & this was one of them.) - but, I was watching as often as I could on Instagram to see what was new. I first saw Moda's new 'Color Cuts' pre-cuts... I liked them right away. But then... when I saw the'Color Cuts Quilt' they have designed - using the Color Cuts... I was smitten! (literally... I gasped when I first saw it!)
… & the best part?… Moda is kitting the quilt design!
So... because I want to share this beautiful quilt kit with you... I wanted to let you know that you can pre-order the quilt kit on my website!
Because the kit will be shipping in April 2018 - you will only need to register for the kit now... & the rest of the balance will be billed when the kits are ready to ship. This way you will reserve your kit & know that we will have one just for you! Also... when you pre-order a kit - you get it at a discounted price!
The quilt is approx. 70” x 78” - a perfect snuggle quilt size! But… I’m also thinking of carrying more of the Color Cuts (link to Modas page) - which will come in layer cake 10” x 10” squares, fat quarters (18” x 21”), and ‘dessert’ rolls (5” x 42”). I’m thinking that there may be some who might want to make the quilt bigger (for a bed size… queen?) & with extra fabrics - either layer cakes, fat quarters, or dessert rolls…. you could do that. So, if you are interested in the Color Cuts as well… shoot me an email of what you would want & I’l be happy to special order it for you.
Also, I’m thinking of playing around with making the quilt bigger with a couple of borders mostly made of a background fabric with a little set in pieced border… Again - if you think you might be interested in that option - email me & let me know.
For more info about the pre-order registration for the quilt kit - click here to go to the pre-order page.
... that when I end up deciding to skip a Quilt Market... (& just when I might want to feel a little sorry for myself)... I always end up glad that I was at home....
This time - it's no different.
Market is going on in Houston this weekend (along with the World Series right down the block!...) & I'm home. And, while I miss getting to see everybody & all the hubbub of Market... I'm glad I'm home this time.
Glad because, I've had more time to work on my quilt designs for a holiday fabric collection that will debut in a couple of months - as well as sorting though the strike-offs for my spring collection... (& trying to keep them all straight!) But mostly because I get to spend some quality time with this little guy.
Bailey has had some tough days weeks lately, & so I'm glad that after all the vet visits (where he has been such a trooper!) that I get to spend some extra time with my little old pup. I'd been thinking that in Bailey's 11½ years - it was pretty normal that he seems to be a little more distant than he used to be... I know that can happen when dogs get older... a little turn of a corner in his senior years... But, then for a few days it seemed like things had taken a bigger turn than expected. He seemed to be having some sort of seizure (I was at first afraid that he might have been bitten by a snake) ... but then it got better... & then about a week later - it came back.
This time - we went back to the vet & he discovered that he had an ear infection in his right ear, & when he checked his left ear... there was no eardrum at all. Nothing. That explained why Bailey was often not responding to his name being called... he couldn't hear as well as he used to. So, we got the treatments needed for his right ear & a lesson on how to do the ear wash & drops.
Then, just to be thorough (thankfully), the vet checked everything - heart, lungs, all his little 'old man bumps (as I call them)... & then his eyes...
I have known that Bailey's eyes were getting a little cloudy... & with his 11+ years - it didn't surprise me... & they have been checked several times this past year... but this time there had been a change.
A big change.
It seems that the iris in both of his eyes have iris atrophy. The vet had me look into the scope & showed me how the edges of his iris has a reverse scallop edge... & as gently as he could he let me know that if a human - he would be considered legally blind. He can see light & dark forms & shapes - but no details. The vet showed me how Bailey didn't even realize when he flicked his fingers in a very quick motion in Bailey's face - that should have made Bailey finch... & he had no response... not even aware of it. So, I could truly tell that he wasn't seeing much at all.
It explained so much of what I had been noticing in the little changes in Bailey's behavior. But, he is so familiar with his surroundings... that he is able to compensate amazingly well. (I was thinking of moving around the furniture in a couple rooms... but that won't be happening now.)
I've been reminded that for now... it's good to be home. Changes are happening... changes that I knew would come someday... & so I'm just celebrating this sweet season for as long as I can.
As I was on my way home from Quilt Market, I realized that I feel that I never take enough photos... but I do carry home a lot of memories. This was a Quilt Market like many other Quilt Markets, but this time it was held in
St. Louis, Missouri. From what I understand, St. Louis was one of the first locations for a Spring Quilt Market, but it hasn't been held there for about 20 years. So, it was fun to find new restaurants to tryout & I do believe there was quite a lot of site seeing, with the beautiful Arch, & with the St. Louis Cardinals having baseball games every evening, & so many new things to experience.
The Americas Convention Center - St. Louis, MO
For me, this was a Market where I did a lot of reflecting - about the journey the Lord has led me on, as a designer, & how thankful I am for the people I get to work with & the amazing team at Moda & the great bunch of designers that I have the privilege to be part of. In an odd way, I think that's why I didn't get a lot of photos taken, because I was absorbed in the moments of catching up with, & listening to other around me. I don't want to take any of this for granted. I consider it a great blessing. I truly do.
The Moda Designers - Spring Market 2017
One of the very best parts of this Quilt Market for me, was that my Dad, Aaron, came to visit for the last day! After Quilt Market last fall, he let me know that he, "would like to see Quilt Market." He sees all that I do getting ready for it, hears the stories, & after all these years, he really wanted to see some of what his daughter had been a part of.
Family members with Moda designers - there's Dad in the back row(!) - second from right.
Lissa Alexander even had a very special photo take with all us designers - that includes any of the family members that happened to be there for the photo too… This will always be a very special photo for me. (Thanks again Lissa! )
Needless to say, he was a bit overwhelmed with the size of Market (even Spring Market... & it's always smaller than Fall Market!) & he thoroughly enjoyed getting to meet the folks at Moda & was full of stories for everyone he met. I will always treasure this time we got to share.
Dad & I in my booth space in the Moda Designer area.
So, now that I'm back home & pretty much recovered from the post Market stupor that overcomes us... I've been busy getting things organized in the studio (...the office is next!). I've also made the decision to take pre-orders for bundles of Caroline as well as pre-orders for some of the new quilt designs (but for a limited time!). If you'd like to see more - check out the latest e-newsletter, or you can see it all on the website - under 'New Items'.
Next time, I want to share with you the very special side trip my Dad & I took after Market...
One of the games I loved to play in grade school was hopscotch.
I loved all the parts of it... getting a 'marker' (the item you tossed into a square)... my favorite was a little ball chain with a charm attached (to give it just the right amount of weight so it wouldn't go too far!), collecting colored chalk so that the hopscotch drawing on the sidewalk would look 'pretty'... & even the little rhyme we used to say. (Although for the life of me - I can't remember it now!) We even would play in the garage or on the covered porch when the weather didn't allow us to go out on the driveway or sidewalk.
So when it came to naming one of my quilts that I made featuring my 'Fleurs' fabric collection - I was coming up blank for a name. The design was a classic one & the pattern gave a lot of options & it involved squares & the fun patterns they make... I went to my handy-dandy list of words that I keep... words & names that I like - or that evoke a good memory... & when I came across the word 'hopscotch' I knew that was it!
So I give you my quilt design called 'Hopscotch'. And, to celebrate a fun memory - I have put together some kits for it! The pattern gives you the directions for four options - & we have kits for each of them! They are all so fun to make & use either a Layer Cake or a Charm Pack (& some additional yardage). There are a limited amount of kits - (& they're a part of the 'Grateful' sale too!) - so don't delay!
... Now to the 'falling down part of the title for this post.
It was a hard fall... but at least I didn't break my wrist again. I did break a couple of toes (no photos... too ugly) & I did a number on my knees & hands, but I'm so thankful that my wrist was spared! That was my first thought when I righted myself (on a sidewalk... right out front of my local Market) - was to check my left wrist!! (whew!) So, I've been hobbling around for the past few days... keeping my right foot up as much as possible. (... & loving the person who came up with ibuprofen!)
But, here's the weird thing... I fell & broke my wrist on November 12... & I this time I fell on November 12 too! Strange... So, I've decided that from now on - I'm taking Nov. 12 off & staying home & having a 'pajama day'... hoping that it keeps me out of trouble!
This 'keeping-up' thing is really testing me... & I do believe I'm pretty much failing, but I'm ready to throw in the towel yet on blogging. I know that there are some of you (bless you) who do still read my blog & don't really do Instagram (which is my main form of posting these days) - so I'm going to keep trying to keep things going here.
Thanks for hanging in there with me.
To catch up - my fabric line, Fleurs, is now in shops (or arriving soon for international shops) & I just got back from Fall Quilt Market, where my next fabric collection with Moda - called Guernsey debuted. (I'll share more about Guernsey soon... this one has a fun back story..)
With a new fabric collection - are new quilts. I had a lot of fun with these. One design which has been in my head for several years - is called Morning Star. I have wanted to do a gingham star design, & when I designed the scrappy version of Morning Star - I realized that I could do my gingham version as well! The best part about this star design is that it is made all from half-square triangle units & triangles (& there are no Y-seams!)
The other design (which has also been playing around in my head for awhile) is called Quilt Baskets. The full size is based on a classic basket block with fun quilt block/emblems in each one. You can pick & choose the blocks you like best & make this quilt unique to you. There's also a mini size that is well... just cute & fun!
Next is Nottingham. Some of you might remember Nottingham from many years back. I had 'retired' it, but kept having requests for it, & since the design is perfect to use with the main floral in my Guernsey collection - it is back - in both a classic black version & a soft version as well. (I just couldn't help myself!) The fun part of this is that Moda chose the soft version to kit & so it will be available (with one of those wonderful Moda kit boxes!) in April. (I will be carrying them in the web shop - so if you would like to pre-order one - send me an email (email@example.com) & I will get back to you with the details.)
The forth new pattern is called Puddin' Pie. It's just a fun - one block design that has so much flexibility. I can see this in all sorts of color ways & fabric styles & it works wonderfully with all of them. I ended up putting my Puddin' Pie quilt on my tabletop in my booth at Market & was a bit worried it might get overlook... but I'm happy to say that even down on the table it garnered plenty of attention!
The final quilt I made with my Guernsey collection is my Betsy's Closet - In Stitches. That little girl has continued to be a continuous best seller & so I thought is would be nice to give her little wardrobe a color update. So, using the colors of Guernsey - Betsy's Closet got a little sprucing-up, with a little French & English influence! The fun part about this is that there will be a Cosmo Embroidery Floss Collection that works perfectly with Betsy's Closet - In Stitches! It will contain all twelve colors used & we will be kitting the little quilt as soon as they are available. (Keep checking back!)
All the patterns are available on the website as paper patterns & PDFs... & the best part is they are also on sale as part of my 'Gratitude' sale!
I'm so thankful for you... & want you to know that when I count my blessings... I count you!