Received So Far – 186 FQs

Received So Far by Plum Patchwork
Received So Far, a photo by Plum Patchwork on Flickr.

Here is the basket of the fat quarters I’ve received so far for the swap. That’s 186 fat quarters, weighing in at 17.4 lbs of fabric.Oh, and that’s only about 20% of the fabric I’m expecting to arrive in the next two weeks.Ya’ll, this is going to be FUN!

More fabrics added to the Text Swap

Text Fabrics for SwapText FQ swapText swap - domestic diva recipe cardsSweetwater Hometown, Town Square Mist FabricStudio E, Christy Tomlinson, Belle's Dream, Tiny Words FabricSweetwater Reunion, Dates on Cream Fabric
Text FQ Swap choicesIs this a text print?  Timeless TreasuresPolka Dot Stitches by Lori Holt for Riley BlakePenmanshipMichael Miller Italian AlfabetoNews
PostcardsFrench TextModa: ReunionMMF - MemoirMake Do and MendHometown
seed catalog_text print swapMama Said Sew Sewing Guide in ConcreteTypographyHappy ThoughtsSewing Guideabcprimerchalkboard

Fabric is starting to arrive at my door for the Text Me Fat Quarter Swap. Every day I get excited to see what’s in the mailbox. So excited, in fact, that I’m already thinking about starting an Animal Print FQ Swap. You know, with AMH Field Study and Moda Zanzibar, etc… someone should stop me.But if they don’t, are you in? PS, there’s still plenty of time to sign up for the text swap as long as you can ship by February 15th. Just click on over to the Flickr group to see how it works!

Text Me Fat Quarter Swap Update

seed catalog_text print swapMama Said Sew Sewing Guide in ConcreteTypographyHappy ThoughtsSewing Guideabcprimerchalkboard
Word Play black and white for Text Me swapWord Play cream for Text Me swapWritten Notes - BlackWritten Notes - CharcoalWritten Notes - NavyFabric 4
Fabric 2Fabric 3Fabric 1You Had Me at Merlot Words Allover GreySnow White QuotesFabric for Text FQ Swap
Fabric for Text FQ SwapSweetwater Hometown Town SquareHow To Make A PillowcaseMichael Miller Accountsmsssunkissed text prints

We now have 35 people signed up to swap and more are joining every day! If you want to join us we’d love to have you – fabric needs to be sent out by the 15th of February so there’s plenty of time.Here are some of the photos from the Flickr pool – we’re going to have some gorgeous fabrics coming our way!

Announcing: Text Me – {A Text Fat Quarter Swap}

First, a quick word to thank everyone for their comments on my last post.  I know I haven’t responded to most of you, and that’s prety rude and all, but I will.  When I feel up to it.  I’m starting to heal.  I’m also trying to keep quite busy, which probably explains this post entirely.

The other day, I had what can only be described as an impulse to organize a fabric swap.  A text fabric swap, to be more specific.  There are so many amazing text prints available right now:

Fabric with words or text

And there are so many people doing amazing, incredible things with them:
farmer's wife sampler, block 18

Thank you @thebluechair for saving Christmas! I'll get a new pillow after all thanks to your go! :)

Not much progress on this quilt in two weeks.

I just really felt like I had to have an assortment of text fabric of my own.  And since I need more stuff to keep me busy, I figured I’d organize a Text Fat Quarter Swap, so that other people could get in on the texty action.

The Flickr group for the swap is here, but here is the basic idea of how the swap will work.  More details are on Flickr.

1.  This is a centralized swap, meaning everyone will send their fabric to me, and I’ll sort, distribute, and mail back to the swappers.

2.  Swappers have until February 15th to mail their packages to me

3.  Mailing will be done by Flat Rate Envelope or Box only, and I’m requesting PayPal funds to make the shipping easier (international swappers are welcome, check out the group for details on how we can handle that).

4.  You can send in as many FQ’s as you like.  You’ll get the same number back that you sent in!

I hope you’ll stop by and consider participating.  I think this swap is going to be lots of fun!  I’ve already been scouring the internet for the best text prints!

2013 {My Word}

 

I’m heartbroken to share with you that on December 23, I lost my beloved baby Kona.  He was attacked by a German Shepherd belonging to my middle brother and his wife.  He died before we were able to get him to the emergency department at the Cornell University Vet School.  They did everything they could to save him, but it was too late.

I’m still haunted by the scream he let out as the dog attacked him, and by the way he looked on the way to the veterinary hospital.  I’ve been going through photos of him from our two years together, trying to forget, but some things just can’t be unseen.

Many of those who are closest to me, myself included, thought that I wouldn’t make it through this.  Kona carried me through some of the darkest days of my life – days when there was no way I could make it on my own.  In many ways, he saved my life.  He was the reason I got out of bed in the morning and the reason I couldn’t wait to get home from work in the evening.  He was a faithful companion and a source of hope.

After I lost him, if I could have just laid down and died I’m pretty sure that I would have.

My parents and my youngest brother were by my side the whole way.  At one point on Christmas Eve, I managed to drink three glasses of homebrewed hard cider on an empty stomach and ended up screaming at my mother.  I’m sure the family members who were there to witness it thought it was the alcohol talking, but it wasn’t.  It was me, completely incapable of dealing with the bleeding chest wound where my heart had been ripped out.  I cracked.

I’m sorry, Mom.  I love you.

My friends back home and scattered across the country rushed to my aid from every direction.  One offered to get a ride up to NY and drive my car back to NC so I wouldn’t have to.  Another friend, a girl who hates entertaining, scheduled a breakfast for dinner at her house.  She wanted me to have a place to go where I didn’t have to change out of my pajamas.  I was so touched, but the kindness only made me cry harder.

One particular friend sent me a text message saying “This is probably one of the hardest things you will go through in your life.  But you can’t lose your will to live, Kona wouldn’t want that.”  It was a message I’d recieved dozens of times from my friends and family.  I’m not sure why that particular time it registered, but I think it had to do with the source.  If anyone knew about grief and sudden loss and the Godawful unfairness of life it was Danielle.  And I carried that text with me for the next several days.

On Christmas Day, I knew I had to go to the Sheriff’s department to file a report on the attack.  My brother and his wife weren’t willing to do the right thing and put the dog down or give it up to be rehabbed, and because the dog had shown a pattern of agression, this needed to be on record for the next time it attacks (God willing, next time it won’t be a child).

I didn’t want to shower or even change out of the pajamas I’d been wearing for two straight days.  I forced myself to clean up though, knowing that looking like a basket case wouldn’t help me be taken seriously by the police.  I dragged myself into the shower and was surprised to discover that I was able to shower.  I guess I expected I’d melt like sugar and disappear down the drain.  I promised myself (or rather, promised Kona) that I’d do that one thing, every day.

That afternoon, we opened Christmas presents.  It wasn’t a particularly joyful time, it just seemed like a way to keep our hands busy and maybe have some new things to play with and keep our minds off things.  I got a Kindle and immediately started to chase away the ghosts by reading.  I’m not sure how exactly I ended up downloading My Mother was Nuts by Penny Marshall (of Laverne & Shirley fame).  I’ve never even seen the show and didn’t know who Penny was.

There’s a part in the book where she talks about “giving somebody a life.” Those of us not in the TV industry might call it giving them their big break.  It was a chance to offer someone who was struggling a job that would forever change their life.

Later, she talks about her volunteer work in post-9/11 New York…

My brother had opened my eyes years earlier when he told me that I could give someone a life.  It was true – and it didn’t require much effort.  If you can’t always provide a new life, why not do little things that help simply improve someone’s life?

The passage hit me hard.  Kona had given me a life.  And before that, when he was a six week old puppy, I had given him one.  I got him from a place where he’d have been fed, but kept outside with twenty other puppies in a wire kennel.  He wouldn’t have gotten medical care.  If he hadn’t died from exposure to the cold that winter, he would have died of heartworm or something similar when the ground thawed.  I took him home and loved him and gave him a full but short life.

In his two years, he went to the mountains and the ocean, to the lake and the farm.  He walked the streets of historic Charleston and romped off leash in beautiful Upstate NY.  He had treats and toys and clothes and love.  He slept curled up beside me and got belly rubs every morning before we got out of bed.  He rode around in Target in a little tote bag.  He played at the dog park and at doggy daycare.  I did the best I could for him, to give him a life.

I kept going back and reading that passage.  Over and over, until I understood:  My resolution was right there in front of me.  In order to honor Kona, and in celebration of the lives we gave each other, I want to spend this year doing good.  Giving people a life, or touching lives in some small way, like my sweet buddy did for me.  I’d like to say I’ll do something every single day, but I don’t want to commit to that.  I’m afraid that on those days where I just don’t have the chance to do something, getting on the web and making a donation will feel like cheating, like letting Kona down.  So I’ll just say that I’m going to do the best I can this year.

I’d already signed up, months ago, to be involved with Do. Good Stitches, a charity quilting bee.  Earlier this month, I was notified that there was a space open for me in the TRUST circle.  I’ll be starting in January, 2013.  Something tells me this is not an accident, that God knew I would need to be part of it this year.  A reminder, I guess, that there is a plan.

I wanted to thank all of you who have sent messages of sympathy or lifted my family up in your prayers.  This has been a very difficult time for me as well as for my family.  Your continued prayers would be so very appreciated as I grieve my beloved best friend and try to adjust to the new “normal.”   This has been so very hard.

Jessica

Better Homes and Gardens Feature (I’m Freaking Out Here!)

Oh my gosh, ya’ll.  I am freaking out.

Back in June, someone from BH&G contacted me about the possiblity of using photos from my Christmas Mantel post on one of their online features.  I was, of course, totally thrilled to be contacted and I filled out the release form and sent it back.  I didn’t give it a lot of thought, because I never thought I’d actually be included in the feature.  As they say, it was an honor just be nominated (or considered).

So you can imagine the shrieking that took place in front of my computer when, just for fun, I hopped on over to the BHG website and saw their new feature on Real Home Christmas Mantels.  And I scrolled through the slideshow.  And I saw MY mantel!

I’m still freaking out, this is so cool!  And to top it off, I’m right in there amidst the likes of Kate from Centsational Girl, Layla from the Lettered Cottage, and Beth from Home Stories A to Z!  I could not possibly be more giddy right now.

And honestly?  I’m kinda freaking out because now I feel like I need to take my summer mantelscape down and replace it with a fall one stat!

Huge thanks go out to all the ladies who hosted linky parties, as one of these was where BH&G found my photo – ya’ll are the best!

Pinwheel Sampler Top is Finally Finished!

I can’t believe the top is finally finished!

I spent my whole weekend doing nothing but sewing and going to the dog park. I got several bee blocks finished (more on those later) and I *finally* got my Pinwheel Sampler Quilt Along top finished!

Hopefully next weekend I’ll get this lovely basted and start the quilting. But now, if you don’t mind, I’m just going to stare at it for a while.

Linked up at:
Fabric Tuesday @ Quilt Story
WIP Wednesday @ Freshly Pieced

Garden Party Blog Hop – Topiary Heart Block

When Jennifer over at Sew Hooked  put out a call for designers for her Garden Party Blog Hop, I immediately thought of those fabulous topiaries you see lining the paths of elegant gardens.  With that in mind, I set about designing a topiary block that I thought reflected my personality.

Now, I have to tell you this is the *very first* paper pieced block I’ve ever designed, so I’ve kept it simple.  There’s lots of ways to get creative and mix it up with the heart portion – there’s some great ideas here.

I had lots of fun designing this block, and I think it came out pretty cute for my first try!

You can get the pattern here.

Huge thanks to Jennifer for hosting the blog hop!  There are so many amazing blocks and designers being featured this month.  I’m honored that I got to join in the fun!

 

Jessica

Garden Party Blog Hop Starts Today!

Just a quick post to say that the Garden Party Blog Hop over at Sewhooked starts today!  Today’s block is super-cute and perfect for the music lover.  Hop on over to check it out!

 

 

Giveaway Winner

I wanted to say a big thanks to everyone who entered the Not-So-Fugly fabric giveaway.  I fully intended to respond to each and every comment, but when they started coming in like crazy, I realized it just wasn’t going to be possible.  I will definitely be stopping by everyone’s blog to say hello over the next few weeks!

On to the good stuff!

The winner of the Lost & Found Fat Quarter bundle is:

Mom C!

She said:

Mom C, I’ve sent you an email!

I also wanted to say thank you to Lucy for organizing this – it has been so much fun and I’ve got TONS of new blogs to check out now.  Thanks Lucy!

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