Monthly Archives: April 2014

Lovey Beanbags for Mary’s First Birthday

My niece, Mary Constance, is a year old this month. I remember waiting by the phone on the day she was born, and being so excited to meet her in November. I even got to give her a quilt in person during that trip. I wasn’t able to be at her first birthday party, but several of her extended family members were so I’m grateful for that. Everyone should be surrounded by people they love on their birthday.

Of course, photographs were taken of the cake-eating. I love how Mary is focused on sharing her cake. It’s a serious job.

Mary sharing cake

 

She allowed others to feed cake to her, too. It became a big ‘ole finger-food experience.

Mary having cake

My Dad, brother, and I wanted to give her something special. I’ve been dubbed the artist of the group, though my Dad’s a great writer and my brother’s a musician. Plus I used to work as a nanny, so I know a lot about age-appropriate toys. So here’s what I came up with.

Mary Beanbags

The beanbags, sewn by Mary’s favorite Aunt Megan (me!) are developmentally appropriate for a toddler. They’re good to squish and throw. As she grows, I’m sure she’ll learn her colors in English and Spanish and these’ll be good tools for that too as they’re primary and secondary colors.
Beanbag Qualities

Can you see the qualities embroidered on the front of each beanbag? My dad, brother, and I each chose two things we see in Mary Constance. On the back of them is the name of the person who chose that word for her. Now they’re customized specifically for her and – BONUS – they’re super gushy mushy lovey.
Beanbag Names

 

I do custom orders! These were invented for Mary’s birthday, but if you like ’em I can give you a quote and make some for your special occasion. Just email me and we’ll make it happen.  mrs.megan.null@gmail.com

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Head of Marketing and The Rainbow Bridge

I’m not unemployed, I’m self-employed. I’m the owner and artist-in-residence for QUILTArtbymegan. There. I said it. And I’m terrified. Why? Because, even with all the resources and cheerleaders I have, it’s really up to me. I’m the CEO, CFO, and head of marketing.

Marketing, ho boy. This means I not only need to promote my work, but myself. That gets difficult sometimes when I fear I’m made up entirely of unrealized potential locked away in self-doubts. This week’s blog post by Les Kertay addresses this problem head-on. It’s good to be scared… and to take the leap anyway. Oh crap, I’m human. Go read the blog post. Really. It’s intensely vulnerable and inspiring all at once.

I had a chance to talk with an amazing business woman in last November. She took her art from painting in her home studio to being wildly successful internationally. She spent some time to mentor me, tell me some things that helped her get where she is. As a shy artist who preferred to work alone, as so many of us introverted emotional artistic types are, she has a trick for marketing her work. She pretends that she’s selling someone else’s awesome stuff. I’ve been thinking about that a lot recently and think it’s a great tool to get out of my own way. So, in that spirit, here’s some of the cool stuff that’s available to you from QUILTArtbymegan and its amazing artist-in-residence.

Portrait quilts are unique, beautiful, fiber heirlooms. They’re great to celebrate any occasion, including memorializing the death of a loved one. This piece was a gift to someone who had recently lost her companion. Anyone who has ever loved a pet can understand the effect that their passing can have… especially since they were a part of your daily life for so long. This is a great way to honor that connection. Here’s the photograph that inspired the piece.

dog photo for PaulaHere’s the 12×12 art inspired by the above photograph. My customer asked for a top only, not a quilted piece so she could make this into a pillow.
Final Dog Sample

 

Here’s the final product, after it was given to the woman in the photograph, who’s mourning her friend. I’m so honored to be a part of this memory piece. The embroidery around the edges is from the book “The Little Prince”  by Antoine de Saint-Exupery and reads, “But if you tame me then we shall need each other… to me, you will be unique in all the world,.. to you, I shall be unique in all the world.” My customer also did the beautiful quilting before making the piece into a pillow.

Paula5

 

I am working out the details for another memory piece. This time, it’s a T-shirt quilt. The shirts are team shirts from college, which will be turned into a bed quilt. I enjoy every project but these memory pieces are extra-special to me.

ZK Wedding Pillow

ZackandKaceeWedding

My cousin Zack got married this weekend to his high school sweetheart. Doesn’t he look dapper?! Of course the bride is gorgeous. Welcome to our family, Kacee. I love you both. I wasn’t able to attend the wedding, but wanted to make something special for the couple. So here’s what I came up with. It’s a joint present with my Dad.  He paid for the materials.

ZK Pillow It’s a crumb pillow! This one measures 12×20 and has a few embroidered details as well as their initials. On the bottom is their wedding date, and before the “Z” you’ll find their first names. See?ZK Pillow1 ZK Pillow2

 

Congratulations Zack and Kacee. Happy honeymoon!

And The Walls Came a Tumbling Down

My husband and I have been looking forward to this for a long time: the day we take down two walls and turn the living room into a great room. He’s been hard at work running electrical, working in the attic, and doing all the other small tasks that have to happen before you can do the major tear-down.

Then, this weekend we did it! Those walls came down, one side at a time. There are spots in the photos because this sure did kick up a lot of dust. Okay, first photo. By this time Jeff had scraped the popcorn ceiling down and gotten most of the inside-the-bedroom insulation ripped off. We put the chunks of insulation straight into the rolling garbage bin and hit them with hammers to break them into smaller pieces. Most of the inside drywall fit into the trash that way. You can also see the plastic sheeting covering the doorway on the left in this photo. We did as much as we could with that up to keep the dust contained.

inside drywall down

Jeff cut the drywall next to each wooden stud, and then cut the stud from the ceiling and floor. That way we had nice, long, pieces to remove. This was helpful in reducing the mess. Plus, we’d already filled the trash cans. These sections are in the backyard waiting for next week’s pickup. half drywall
Do you see the sections? One of the walls is gone. Now you can see the door to the garage, which we also installed.

Short Wall goneAnd from that door, you can see what used to be a long hallway and hall bathroom. The bathroom isn’t in the hall so much anymore. 🙂
No more hallway
Here’s the view from my desk. I’m blogging, facebooking, Pinteresting, and sewing from the living room great room. Both of those walls are down, modernizing this house and giving lots more living space. I’ll give you some shots of the whole large room later. Right now we still have all the furniture squished into what used to be all of our living room. We have some drywall patching to do, painting, flooring, etc still. But look at all this S P A C E! walls gone

 

Of course, it’s not officially a Great Room until the quilts are hung. 🙂

Secret Projects and One I Can Show

A secret’s worth depends on the people from whom it must be kept. – Carlos Ruiz Zafón, The Shadow of the Wind

Most of the quilting and sewing projects I’m working on are secret. One’s crumby, another’s silly, and then there’s the waiting piece but I can’t talk about any of them just yet. And yes, they’re secret because they’re special and for people whom I care deeply about. When I can show you I will.

Still, I thought you guys might enjoy hearing from me so here’s a photo of a quilt that’s not a secret. It’s another crumbs quilt, a baby or lap sized, which is in the machine being quilted. It’s super-cute with the bubbles fabric and bordered in orange and red dots. It’ll be up for sale in my etsy shop once completed.

quilting bubbles

 

Expect a reveal on each of those secret projects this month!