Tuesday, December 11, 2018

:: Tis the Season

Living in the southwest, there are often years when I'm still wearing summer clothes (t-shirt & shorts) into the Christmas season - but this year we've actually needed sweaters for many of the days starting just before Thanksgiving...! I love that - as I really like having at least a little bit of a feeling of difference in the seasons. I've also noticed the leaves on our crepe myrtles are various colors of red, orange, & light green... so pretty & while so many of our trees stay green all year long - it's so nice to have a hint of a seasonal change.

Indoors, I've done a little decorating for the Christmas season. For several years, my Dad hasn't been to excited about having a lot of decorations up - so I've only done some boughs & some poinsettias. But this year - when I asked if he would like to have a tree up - Dad said he would really like that. (!)

So, I got out a little 4 ft. tree I have, but I didn't want to go overboard on the ornaments (some might be to sentimental for him...). I decided to use some of the more 'nature' inspired pieces I had... some floral picks & some with nests & pinecones, & berries... I also had one that had a little birdhouse - so I used it as the tree-topper. I finished it off with some gingham ribbon I've had for 'ages'... & some swans & of course, acorns!

I added a very special hand-carved nativity set that I got when I was on a missions trip to Guatemala. We were in a small mountain town called Barillas - & I purchased them from the man who carved them. I've had other sets - but this one is my favorite.

I've put the tree up on the large dining room table (that we don't use that often) - but it can be seen from so many places in the house, (& Dad walks by it every time he comes out of his bedroom...!). It sits in front of one of my Christmas quilts, & Dad has thanked me several times for putting up the tree & that makes it even more special. I've missed having a tree up... & this has been the perfect little touch for our simple Christmas decor this year. 

As this season gets busier & busier, I hope you also enjoy the simple & peaceful moments. 
For me, those are some of the best moments of the season.


Monday, November 19, 2018

:: Counting My Blessings

This has been quite a year... life has definitely been interesting!
Days have been filled with changes, beginnings (& endings), & being reminded of how fleeting life can be. It's also been a year where I have been surrounded by the support & encouragement of friends, & family, & for that I am so thankful.

I'm also so grateful that I get to be a part of such a wonderful group of people... & that would be quilters & stitchers... & the fact that I get to design & be a part of these groups is daily such a blessing to me.

And... while I'm counting my blessings... I'm counting you! I want to thank you so much for visiting my little blog... especially as I haven't been the best at keeping up with you (something I'm working on!).  And, if you've followed me for very long - you know that this time of year - I like to celebrate & show my gratitude with a 'Counting My Blessings' sale on my website... & it's starting today!

I've been a busy little bee for the past few days, cutting & cutting & folding & pressing & making over 550 fat quarters (whew!) that have been grouped into fun bundles that can't be found anywhere else! Also, all the patterns, notions, fabrics (yes, there's some yardage added to the website!), & even the sample quilts are on sale for 15% - 30%!

If you would like - I'd love for you to check it out... & find a wonderful gift for yourself or one of your wonderful quilter/stitcher kind of friends that we all love so!

So, before all the flurry of this holiday season takes off this week, I hope you find the time to also look around you & find all those blessings that surround you too!


Friday, October 26, 2018

:: Fall on Me - Andrea & Matteo Bocelli

I have always liked Andrea Bocelli & this video of a new song that he is doing with his son Matteo is so good - I just had to share.

Hope you enjoy!

(Once you click on the start button - if you click on the YouTube logo - it will take you to the YouTube page where you can see the full screen version. For some reason, Blogger won't let me choose the width of the video...)


Wednesday, October 24, 2018

:: Kits, Kits... we're making new kits!

While I'm (slowly) working on the 'Dessert Sampler - Color Cuts' kit that Moda created (I'm making two at one time!... I love it that much!!) - I have come to realize how much I really like having a kit when making a new quilt... Everything you need - all put together for you. It takes a lot of pressure off of having to scout around gathering everything needed. 

So with my new fabric collection for Moda - 'Amberley' - getting ready to ship next month, I decided to put together some kits for some of the designs I made with Amberley. You can see three of them here in my booth from Spring Quilt Market. To the left is Betsy's Closet & to the right of that is the appliqué version of Floye's Garden. Then on the lower right is the embroidery version of Floye's Garden. (Which will also be coming to the website soon!) Amberley ships in mid-November & because I've had to order the fabrics months ago... quantities will be limited(!).

The other kit that I'm putting together is with the upcoming 3 Sister's collection for Moda called 'Porcelain'. I have to admit... once again, I've fallen for a 3 Sister's collection. 

As soon as I saw it - I knew that I wanted to make my 'Star of Wonder' quilt with it... & if you like - so can you! I will be ordering the fabrics for the kits very (very) soon - so if you want to secure your kit - please be sure to use the pre-order option. (This is the hard part... but I know that once the orders for fabrics are placed - it's pretty much impossible to guarantee that you can get more.)

I wanted to give you the 'heads-up' that I've added three of the new kits the the website.
You can secure your kit with a pre-order registration for all three upcoming kits.
(You can click on the quilt image to go the website page...)

Oh!... I almost forgot to mention - I've also ordered fabrics for backing for Betsy's Closet & Floye's Garden... If you preorder a kit - you can also order the fabric backing of you wish!

I'm winding down things at my part-time job... & I only have a couple of days next week that I'll be going in & basically saying goodbye. I will mis the great people I've worked alongside for the past years, but I have to admit that I'm so excited to be able to pour myself into so many new ideas I have for Brenda Riddle Designs  |  Acorn Quilt & Gift Company... (one, I will be announcing in December!)

Well... I'm off to get a in little more sewing time. I won't be going to Fall Market this year - so I'm keeping myself busy with some new designs & putting together lots of fun things for the web-shop.

Hope you have a wonderful week!!!  🍃🍂🍁🌿


Tuesday, September 18, 2018

:: Changes

It’s been awhile... I know.

A few posts ago (when there had been quite a spell between my postings), I apologized & promised that I would be posting more, & more often.

But then, ... Life.

Life has become increasingly more complicated over the last few years - & so recently, with one more life event coming into play, I decided to make some changes. Changes that I think are for the best overall.

To play a little ‘catch up’..., my father, who turned 90 last January, lives with me. While he has been doing great for a man of his age, this past June he had to have emergency surgery, & it has taken a toll. He’s working hard to regain strength, but there is a marked difference. He’s now using a walker, & was told by the doctor that he didn’t want him driving, & that has been a hard pill for my Dad to take. But, I’m just so thankful that he's here at home & I can check on him easily.

I don’t know if I ever mentioned it - but about 4 1/2 years ago - when health insurance (especially for us here in Arizona) went sky-high, I decided to get a little outside the home - part time job. I was blessed to get a job with a company that provided full benefits to employees that worked 20 or more hours. It truly has been great, it was the kind of a job that didn’t use a creative bone in my body - & I could even take some design work with me to do when it got slow. (Truly a blessing of a job - right?!!!) 

It’s been a great chapter - but with the changes at home, I know that it’s time to leave the part-time job. While I love the folks I’ve worked with, I know I want to be home. Available for my Dad. Also, I started the part-time job just before my first fabric collection, Ambleside, came out with Moda, & I’ve always felt that I’ve had to put so many things that relate to developing my own business on the back burner. So, It will be so wonderful to get to focus more on designing more, & building up my little website shop. I’ve got so many things that have been floating around in my head for the past few years - that I haven’t had the time to develop & follow up with... so I’m looking forward to working on some of those projects.

I also have really missed the interaction with all of you. If there is one place I have kept up with things - social media-wise, it’s been over on Instagram. While I’m not the biggest fan of some if the changes that have happened (new algorithms) - it still is the easiest way for me to communicate quickly. So, I encourage you - if you haven’t created an account (which, by-the-way, you don’t ever have to post anything... you can just follow the folks you want...) to go ahead a check it out. My IG account is @brengr. (... & if you do decide to join up - leave me a comment to let me know!)

The other thing that I will be having more time to do - is to post here. To be honest, for a little bit, I did consider closing the blog. But, I’ve decided that really what it needs is just some attention & a little tender-loving-care. So, I’ll be working on that. For me, because of the fact that Instagram has adopted some of the Facebook algorithms, (which too often means to ‘now you see it - now you don’t’), I want to keep this platform open to communicate with my friends & customers. (... and, as this post demonstrates... sometimes ‘talk’ your ‘ear’ off!)

So, there are some changes in the wind. And, while I know some changes can take some time, I’m hoping that this change - of me being more present here on the blog - will be a good one... one that you will enjoy.

Thanks for being here.

With all my - Bren

Saturday, July 7, 2018

:: Great way to start the day!

This morning, this video was in my email... & it was the best way to start the day!...(or any time really!) So, I wanted to share it with you!

(click on the 'YouTube' logo to see it even better!)


Monday, February 26, 2018

:: Thank you Billy Graham

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