Child’s Play Quilts Blog Hop

Welcome to the official launch and the kickoff of the online book tour for my brand new book, Child’s Play Quilts!

It has been quite a journey from rough sketches to finished book.  40 quilts, 20 patterns, 2 years, 1 new baby, and countless hours later, I finally have a hard copy in my hands. I will fully admit to shedding tears of joy. It has been a surreal experience up until this point. I love the finished result and I know you will too! Every little bit, from the fabric choices to the designs, the batting to the quilting and binding, every element has been carefully curated with children in mind. I wanted my quilts to be fun, friendly, and colorful!

Rainbow Brights. Photo courtesy of C&T Publishing

There are 20 patterns, split between pieced and applique. I have also included a large section of sorting and organizing your scraps and stash, making it quick and easy to pull fabrics and to create a balanced collection of print and color. The color section is direct and gives my formula for successful fabric pulls. A huge thank you to Anne Sullivan of @play-crafts who took some wonderful photos to illustrate that chapter.

Pinwheel. Photo Courtesy of C&T Publishing

The next two weeks are going to be filled with fun and photos of quilts from the book, made by a wonderful group of people whom I have come to know over the years I have been quilting. Each individual volunteered to feature a quilt, and many have made their own versions. Each has been amazing and I can’t wait for you all to see them.

Starry Nights. Photo Courtesy of C&T Publishing

I am also giving away two signed copies of my book, one here on the blog and one on Instagram. Make sure to follow along each day to enter!

Here is the schedule of participants. They are a truly talented group of people, so you won’t want to miss out. Click a name to visit their website or Instagram feed on their day, and be sure to come back and leave me a comment. You can leave one comment each day, and each is an entry to win a book. Of course, if you simply cannot wait to win a book, I also have signed copied available in my Etsy shop, which you can find by clicking here.

Brett Lewis @naturalbornquilter                  April 9th

Cheryl Brickey @MeadowMistDesigns         April 9th

Karen Foster@CapitolaQuilter                       April 10th

Cathy Mackay @cathysmithmackay             April 10th

Fiona Kelly @tangledblossom                       April 11th

Jackie White @jackiesartquilts                      April 11th

Jean Jones @sew_catstudio                           April 12th

Reece Montgomery @reecemontgomery     April 12th

Carl Hentsch @3dogdesignco                       April 13th

Brooke Sellmann @sillymamaquilts             April 13th

Kaitlyn Howell @knotandthread                  April 14th

Amy Gunson @badskirt                             April 14th

Kelly Bowser @kelbysews                              April 15th

Karis Hess @themodernsewist                     April 15th

Sara Lawson @sewsweetness                        April 16th

Leslie Meltzer @lelliebunny                          April 16th

Pamela Morgan @sweetlittlestitches            April 16th

Amy Garro @13spools                                    April 17th

Stephanie Perrins @stitchandbobbin          April 17th

Chelsea @Pinkdoorfabrics                            April 18th

Michelle Wilke @ml_wilkie                          April 18th

Tiffany Sepulveda @sewtiffany                     April 19th

Rachael Riechmann @sewilearned               April 19th

Pamela Lincoln @mamaspark59                  April 20th

Kate Maryon @katydidklm                           April 20th

 

Thank you all so much for your support over the years. I am truly grateful for each and every one of you, more than words could possibly ever express. This has been an incredible journey to make it here.

With all my love and gratitude,

Happy Stitching!

New Beginnings

It all started innocently enough. A random compliment of a friends closet. How tidy and organized it was.

“You should come over and do my closet” I (half) jokingly stated.

” Sure, I love to organize things!” She replied

We continued with our play-date.

Fast forward to Monday. She was going to be free, did I want to do something? “We could go to a movie, or organize your closet. Or whatever”

I chose whatever.

” Alright, I will be there at 8!”

*knock knock*

” So where is this closet?”

*Gulp*

I didn’t take a before picture. I don’t think it would have come close to conveying just how much was stuffed into those little square shelves. While I went to grabs us a couple of drinks (no, not those kind, though by the end of the night I could have used…. like…eight) she started pulling fabric. And pulling. And PULLING. I really did not know how much I had in there! And dangnabbit woman, you were fast! There was no time to turn back. in 5 minutes a lifetime of collection was out and in my face.

I

Have

A

PROBLEM

A big, scary problem. One we probably all have, but don’t realize it until it’s staring us in the face from every flat surface in the room.

PURGE BABY PURGE! 003

That picture marks the halfway point of the night. HALFWAY!!!!

PURGE BABY PURGE! 002

It was an intervention. A cleansing of the soul. It broke my heart to see some of the beautiful pieces hidden that could have been used. Forgotten, forlorn fabrics that were never going to see the light of day because I had grown out of them. Sentimental pieces, one never even cut into, from my very quilt shop excursion with my grandmother. All stuffed into a closet and largely ignored.

This was the hardest thing I ever had to do. That includes childbirth. We sat on the floor, and she kept me focused. We talked about the fabrics, and the reasons why it needed to be done, why some never were used, and how it got to this point. For the most part, it was such a huge job that I never got around to sorting it, and it piled and accumulated until it was a scary closet monster.  I also think I did not want to face the reality of how much fabric I have actually purchased over the years.

PURGE BABY PURGE! 006

Here is the walk of shame. All the pretty, beautiful fabrics that I realistically would never use in a project. As a quilter, my tastes and vision have morphed and changed so much that many things I thought were perfect for such and such a quilt, are no longer appealing. I vividly remember the feeling of discovery, how it was a gorgeous piece with so much potential. I can still appreciate the fabrics, their potential and beauty, but the ugly truth is I can no longer see myself using some of them in a quilt.  Some people might think “gee, whats the big deal?” But I think most of you will understand. That is why I chose to share with you.

I owe a debt of gratitude to my friend. She kept me on track and strong. Hard realities with compassion and understanding. Tonight we are going through and sorting the bags further. Some of the fabric will end up in my etsy shop. The majority will be given away to a worthy organization called Victoria’s Quilts Canada. Victoria’s Quilts is a non-profit group of volunteers that take donations of fabric and quilt making supplies and turns it into quilts for people who have been diagnosed with cancer. So far this year they have given away 2223 quilts. This year. Since its inception in 1999 they have freely given almost 34,000 quilts to cancer patients.  There is Victoria’s Quilts in the States as well, which was founded in 1998.

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Here is the after picture. Organized, and a lot less full. I still need some storage solutions for my heirloom quilts as you can see across the top. UFO’s are in clear bins and clearly marked with the project name. There are still many to go through, and decisions to be made about unquilted tops, and the finished quilts languishing in the closet. Some have already found forever homes. That makes me happy, because our quilts are made to be enjoyed.

Stacey