Each year at Christmas my dad’s side of the family does a Secret Santa gift exchange. The idea is to do something creative and hand make a thoughtful gift for one person. Another person gets you and this counts as your gift from the whole family.
The gift I made this year didn’t make it there on time before my person went away for the holidays. It should be waiting when he returns so I’ll blog about it then. No need to ruin the surprise!
Kacee was my Santa. She made me cupcakes! Sorta. They’re pieces of fabric folded and set in cupcake wrappers to look like sweets. How cool is that! The colors she chose are from the state flag of Colorado, which we’re moving to soon. Creative, thoughtful, fun, and useful. It’s the start of my next quilt! Thank you Kacee I love it.
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.
Expect a reveal on each of those secret projects this month!
My sewing machine and iron are getting a mini-break so I can write this post. I’ve been sewing at all hours of the day… on all kinds of projects. I’m in one of those moods where I don’t want to work on one thing for very long. So I end up doing a little bit on a dozen different projects.
One of those projects last week was for an online quilting challenge. It’s called Project Quilting and here’s how it works. A challenge is posted and you have one week to make a finished quilt fitting the challenge. Here’s what I made for the string quilt challenge:
I’m not in love with it. It’s a completed project (yay) that was done in time to enter into this contest (yay) but it isn’t anything special. I played with pinked edges and batik scraps but kind of shrugged and wondered where to put this thing when I finished. I think it’ll be donated as a doll quilt.
There are lots of prizes with this contest. First, there’s a vote. Whichever project is the favorite wins first prize. After that, there are random drawings. Guess what?!?!?! I won one of those prizes! I’m that upside-down name under number 5. What did I win? Money towards long-arm quilting. Ho boy am I excited!
It’s lucky to win, but impossible to win if you don’t enter in the first place. Not everything you do has to be spectacular but it’s good practice to just keep making stuff. Make, make, make!
It is so very important to listen to customers and really hear what they’re saying. I made a portrait quilt top (not quilted, so it could be hung in a frame) for a customer who wanted to give it to her husband for Christmas. She described it as he’s in the military and she wanted something beautiful and unique featuring this photograph of his squadron.
I heard her… until I saw the picture. Dude! That’s the mountain from Close Encounters of the Third Kind! The one the kids were drawing and the guy made sculptures of because the aliens would land there. How cool that this is an actual real-life landmark! I’m such a sci-fi geek. And my first pattern draft focused on how awesome the mountain is… until I realized that I wasn’t focusing on what’s really important to the customer.
It doesn’t matter what I think is important (or cool!) in a photograph. It matters what the customer wants to feature. So I scrapped my drawing of the mountain in all its glory, which hides the planes quite well… and swapped that for a plain stripped fabric which brings the focus back to her husband’s squadron. I think it’s well done.