It’s the 10th day of the #31dayblogchallenge and #throwbackthursday too. So I’ll send you guys to a guest post from February 2015. It was written by my teenage brother Jim. Here are his thoughts on love and loss, in his own words, “I Was Never Alone.”
Come see me this weekend at the Purrs and Paws Holiday Boutique! I will be shutting down the etsy shop and opening an in-person booth on Saturday, November 7th 2015 from 8:30am to 3:00pm. Admission and parking are free at the middle school location in Ventura, CA. Bring cash or check to buy handmade art from me. Boutique benefits the local no-kill animal shelter.
Here’s the details for the Purrs and Paws Holiday Boutique.
- November 7th, 2015. 8:30am-3:00pm
- Balboa Middle School – 247 S. Hill Rd., Ventura, CA 93003
- Benefits the Humane Society of Ventura County, a no-kill shelter
- Meet Megan. Buy stuff with cash or check. Hugs included! 🙂
- Over 30 other vendors.
This is sure to be a fun event. I’ve been busy the past few weeks making some new things. Here are some of them. (For sale in the shop until Friday, then whatever doesn’t sell will be relisted after this weekend.) More are available at my booth that have yet to be photographed.
I hope to see you there!
My husband and I are working hard to renovate this house. The newest finish is a big scratching post tree for our cats. It’s made out of pantry shelves covered in leftover carpet with 24’s, rope, and staples. Sweet, huh?! I love it when projects reuse things that were headed to the trash. Our kitties seem to like it even though most of them won’t cooperate for photographs.
Here’s the kitchen those pantry shelves came from. Some of the top cabinets we removed will be mounted in the garage for storage. The refrigerator’s been moved to the other side of the room and we’re leaving the stove, sink, and dishwasher hooked up as long as we can. New cabinets arrive on Tuesday! We’ll install the top ones, demo the rest of the kitchen, put flooring tiles in, install the bottom cabinets, then start tiling the countertop. We might be washing dishes in the bathtub for a while. Throw back to our motel-living days! So grateful to be here. When I’m not in DIY home renovations mode I’m working on this sweet baby quilt. The done so I’m quilting it all together from the back. This is an eye-spy quilt where each novelty print fabric (ladders, owls, pumpkins, etc) is used in two different blocks. So it’s great for a baby quilt and as the child grows becomes a look-and-find game to match the fabrics up. This one is big enough to snuggle under on the couch too.
With my new computer I’m now on Instagram. Are you? Let’s follow each other! I’m quiltartbymegan on there.
I went to the park today to photograph some baby quilts. I talked about using appropriate props in this post and aimed to do that. Things don’t always work out the way you think they will. The playground was crowded and I wasn’t going to ask all the kids having fun to get out of my frame. So I took the quilts back home and looked around my yard for other options.
My fence is actually a pretty good backdrop. I pinned a string of fabric on the back of each quilt for hanging. The strings loop around two nails on top of the fence where we hung Christmas lights last year. I like the natural look of the wood and the contrast it adds.
Here’s the front side of the above quilt. How cool is it that this crumb-pieced baby quilt is double sided?! The front has crumb blocks pieced into black, white, and red fabrics. The back has crumb blocks appliqued onto a green, red, and white floral.
Here’s a Raggedy Ann and Overall Andy quilt. I paired this sweet fabric with a solid red to merge modern and traditional. The chevron zig-zag looks a bit like a crown too.
This one is a simple floral patchwork.
I’m working on two more baby quilts. (And I have several more in mind that haven’t yet been started!) One is for this week’s Project Quilting challenge. It uses only 5″ charm squares of fabric. I’ll be cutting them up and piecing ’em back together. Here’s the first cut. I have one week to finish and enter it.
Quilts and more are for sale in my etsy shop! Here’s a sampling of other baby-sized ones that are ready today. Want something specific you don’t see here? I specialize in custom orders. Let’s talk.
Linking up to Oh Scrap!
My friend Katie posted photos of a gender reveal party today. Look at their sweet happy faces.
The baker was given a piece of paper with the baby’s gender written on it. Parents didn’t find out until the moment this photo was snapped. Pink cake = baby girl! (Check out Katie’s blog for her chocolate covered oreos recipe. )
Baby girl might need something special from Aunt Megan! Let’s look at some cute baby quilts. These designs can all be altered to be for boys or girls. I haven’t yet made any of these. Click on ’em for more information including designers and makers. Which are your favorites?
Check out my quilting Pinterest board for more inspiration.
Linking up with Weekly Inspiration.
My for-sale quilts (mostly) are for two kinds of customers: lovers of heirlooms and fine art; and those shopping for baby. I also have arm warmers and table runners but I’m mostly in those two categories. I’m working hard on learning marketing and merchandising and came across this great article.
This article includes photographs of booths whose displays enhance their products. Landscape paintings are on easels made of tree limbs and natural soap is in an antique washing machine.
This got me thinking my photographs in this blog and the etsy shop. A future craft booth would look different depending on the audience I’m looking to reach. How much better would it be if the products were displayed more relevantly? Art quilts like the portrait quilt above should be in a minimalist, gallery-like setting. Maybe they’re hung on a black curtain with spot-lighting. Balloons and brightly colored backdrops would not be appropriate. They could be photographed above a beautiful fireplace or fancy bed.
Baby quilts, on the other hand wouldn’t make sense in that setting. Maybe they’re draped over a crib or spilling out the drawers of a changing table. A kids’ picnic table and stuffed animals would be awesome. As for photographs, why not have a baby playing on the quilts?
I don’t have these props yet but some of them can be found cheaply at thrift stores and yard sales. We have no other use for a crib but I’ll be on the lookout for a rocking chair… and a local friend with a baby. 🙂
Linking up to Show Off Saturday.
Today’s blog post is written by my brother Jim. Our Mom died a few days after he was born and my brother, sister, and I have all had to deal with abandonment issues in one form or another. Here’s part of Jim’s story in his own words.
*** Photo captions are available below Jim’s words. I didn’t want to interrupt.***
To this day I do not remember any feelings of emotion towards my mother. For a while I had been really depressed and sad that I didn’t have a mother and I felt very alone and abandoned by God and my mother.
I feel that I’m being “abandoned” and I talk to my dad who also is very depressed about his loss of his wife (my mother). He always just says, “She was a wonderful woman” or “She would have loved you so much” and that really does not help me with the depression that I am dealing with.
So, I turn to the Science and Health by Mary Baker Eddy and turn to the definition of Mother in the “Glossary.” The definition of Mother is something like, “Help” or “Caring” which, also does not help me. So, at this time I feel the most abandoned in my life.
In addition, when I met an important person in my life, Sheri Luster, I found out what motherhood was all about and what a mother is like. As I like to say, “Sheri is the mother I never had.” Even though it is kind of supposed to be the other way around.
Anyways, Sheri was caring, loving, and helpful. Which, did remind me of the definition of Mother in the Science and Health. So, I realized what a motherly figure in my life would do and it helped me.
Lastly, I saw my mother in Sheri and other women in my life.
I even saw my mother in my dad because he was a single parent and basically had all of the weight on his shoulders.
This led to me having a healing of realizing that I was never alone and that my mother and God were there right with me the whole time, I just did not see it. Also, recently when I was out of school sick for a week I visited a doctor’s office because of my sickness and I was nervous and scared and I felt really alone, like nobody was there for me. And then I realized that God was there, Sheri was literally there, and I saw someone walk by the door outside the room at the doctor’s office that looked quite like my mom.
I suppose that could have been an angel or something but that was when my mental healing occurred for not feeling well physically and spiritually. So, that is how I overcame my feeling abandoned.
Want more? Jim has a Facebook Page. He posts daily insights and thought-provoking videos. It’s called Finding the Keys to Success.
- Here are some photos taken in the first few days after Jim (then Jimmy) was born. Mom’s looking at him with such love and appreciation.
- Mom, with a little creative consultation from teenage me, made this quilt while pregnant with Jimmy. She and Dad decided not to find out his gender until birth so most of his baby quilts have both pink and blue in them.
- Here’s another one of Jimmy’s baby quilts. This one is bright and cheerful, both of which it’s difficult to be while under the burden of depression.
- Here’s another pink and blue quilt Mom made. This one’s more simple and designed to be used, rather than displayed as wall art. There’s one more like this with kitties in the center. Maybe they’ll be used by children Jim loves someday.
- This is my favorite recent picture of Sheri and Jim. Don’t they look spiffy?!
- These two love their snuggles. Back scratches are often exchanged in church.
- Our sister Estey and Jim get the sillies when they’re together! Here they are making funny faces. She’s one of the women who mothers Jim.
- Here are Dad and Jimmy way back when he had peach fuzz for hair.
- Can you see how proud Mom is in this photo? She’s tired from the long labor too… but happiness shines through her eyes. If there’s ever a doubt that Jim was wanted all you have to do is look at this picture.
- I made this quilt for Jim’s 11th birthday.
I’m so glad I did the sales booth! It was on Thursday at the Santa Clarita Valley Quilt Guild’s meeting. Baby bibs were the biggest seller and these cute tree ornaments got some interest too. I didn’t make many dollars that day, which was a little disappointing. What was successful was the connections made. People asked about my crumb piecing. I’ll be pitching that class to guilds and shops for the new year! My November 7th class was postponed. I’ll let you guys know when it’s been rescheduled.
Quilters asked if I’m interested in doing projects they’d been asked to do but had no interest in. Yes! I loooove custom work. I’ll gladly make a quilt out of uniforms or grandma’s linens. Right now I’m making baby quilts for two girls. Next in line is pillow shams that match the bedding in a new family’s master bedroom.
I’m still unpacking and reorganizing things. When I figure out which pile the camera is under I’ll show you guys some photographs of my booth setup.
My etsy shop was on vacation mode but is now back up and running. I’m revamping some listings and adding new items so it’ll be filling up over the next few days. Expect to see the tree ornaments, crumbs place mats, and this cute chevron quilt in the shop soon.
There’s still time to get a custom order in to be completed before the holidays! First come, first made. Let’s talk. mrs.megan.null @ gmail.com
I made some new year’s resolutions in January this year. Usually I don’t bother but mine in 2013 really helped keep me focused. It was two things: be my own advocate and focus on the good. For 2014 I had some specific things in mind for my business. One was to have a sales booth for my quilting items sometime this year. Well, it’s happening!
I’m get to have a sales table during a quilt guild meeting on Thursday night. This is for my old quilt guild where I used to live, about an hour away. Due to some kinks in the new laws about non-profits, among other factors, the guild’s a little low on funds this year. So my proposal was simple: please let me help you by running a fundraiser. I love when opportunities turn out to be win-win.
So here’s the deal. Most craft fairs run for 1-2 days at six-eight hours not including setup. Depending on the size of your spot and how popular the fair is the fees to have a table can be upwards of $100. What I worked out with the guild is that they will get 50% of the sales from my card holders. Then they’ll also get 25% of all other sales. No money up front from me. If all goes well they’ll get more than the traditional $100 booth fee. No risk on either side of a loss… and an opportunity for both the guild I love and myself to make some moneys.
Sometimes it pays to be creative! I suspect that if I just asked to have a booth flat out the answer would have been no. What’s in it for them? Now there’s plenty in it for both of us.
As you can see, I made a LOT of card holders! 108 to be exact. There’s actually another layer underneath the ones photographed. They’ll be on sale for $6 each and have been pulled from my etsy shop. I’ll get the leftovers back up on there after my sale. I’m busy organizing my inventory and adding price tags to everything. Above are two of the boxes-in-progress.
If I have time, I have five small tree skirts, 11 baby bibs, three baby quilts, two table runners, and four pincushions in various stages of sewn-up-ness. They’ll be added to the inventory as I finish them. If they’re not completed (and they can’t ALL be) by Thursday night no biggie. They’ll go up in my etsy shop for you guys just the same.
The December holidays are coming! Birthdays too. Let’s collaborate on the perfect gifts for your loved ones. I specialize in custom work. mrs.megan.null @ gmail.com Let’s talk.
Quilting-land at my house has been taken over by babies at my house. Just the way I like it. 🙂 The first baby quilt is for a little boy, newly arrived. I decided to do large disappearing nine-patch blocks. The first photo is what it looked like before the nine-patches were cut apart and rearranged.
Here it is, all together. It’s a little wrinkly, fresh from the dryer. I wash all of the baby quilts I make before mailing them out. Why? Because I spray baste, which leaves a bit of the glue residue inside the quilt until the first wash. I wouldn’t want a baby sucking on that.
Lastly, the fold-over shot. Isn’t this backing super cute? It’s a flannel, so it’s super-soft.
The second quilt is for a baby who isn’t here yet. We don’t know if this baby is a he or a she, so my customer asked for a gender-neutral animal quilt. She pictured mom and baby looking at the quilt and talking about animal sounds.
I piled up the animal fabrics and started designing. I ended up going with my third or fourth idea for this quilt. See, I could piece all these animal fabrics together and come up with a big zoo for the kiddo to explore. But I kept coming back to the customer’s vision that included animal sounds. I had 34 animals which included rabbits, hedgehogs, penguins, and crocodiles. Pared down to the ones that make recognizable, kid-friendly noises, I was left with 17 blocks.
I decided to make this quilt have a lot of negative space between the blocks. A subtle fabric, lots of space to breathe, not too busy. Rather than piecing the top, I sandwiched and quilted it whole cloth. I marked the quilting lines with a Frixion pen, which comes right out in the wash along with the spray baste.
Then I added the animals to the quilt. First I framed each in black fabric, then I sewed each down to the quilt. So instead of being appliqued to the background fabric, they are actually quilted on top of everything.
Here’s what the blocks look like all laid out and pinned in place. It’s a little bit like a photograph wall.
I bound this one in the background fabric and sent it on its way… before getting the all-important fold-over shot. Luckily, my customer sent me this picture when the quilt arrived safely at her house. Red fabric with chicks on it for the backing!
Now for a bit of hand-applique. This will be the final border on a round-robin piece for my quilt guild next week. I’m excited to show you guys what my quilt looks like! I haven’t seen it for a few months as other quilters have been passing it around and working on it.