Share Goodness

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Today, I want to share some goodness. Two women who have blessed my lives with their generosity.

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First of all, I’ve mentioned my sweet neighbor Lee Xiong before. She is a Hmong woman who escaped Laos with her young family with literal bullets flying over their heads in the 1970’s and emigrated to America as a refugees. When she went to get her American citizenship, it was held up because she had no fingerprints they could document because she’d worn them off working so hard with her hands for so many years. She had to get special permission and clearance through her US Senator’s office to be approved for citizenship.

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She is in her 80’s now and lives with her daughter’s family nearby, is in my church congregation, and we have become good friends. She recently brought me a birthday gift that she had made and it blew me away. Look carefully at this applique – all of the white applique design is one piece of fabric!! She cut it and appliqued it down to make this maze motif. I should have put something in for size-reference, but the whole thing is only 6 1/2″ x 6 1/2″ and the width of the applique itself is only 1/8th of an inch.

hmong-reverse-appliqueI’ve since researched and read a little more about the tradition of Hmong Needlework. It’s just mind-blowing to me. This reverse applique work is called “Pa nDau”. Lee Xiong’s English is still limited, but she explained that she uses very small scissors and needles to do it.

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So Friday I went to thank her and visit her. I told her that I am a sew-er as well and how impressed I was with her gift. While there I asked if I could see some of her other sewing. She was so pleased to show me some of her creations. I was blown away by her work. So amazing and beautiful and requiring so much skill!

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I fell in love with this piece and asked if I could buy it from her. This one is mostly hand-embroidered. The curly-motif’s are chain-stitched and called ‘snails’. And then there are the little tiny appliqued blocks.

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Here’s a more detailed shot. I also love the appliqued triangles in the border.

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I hung this on my wall so that it can inspire me every day. Not just the amazing skill involved, but the story of this amazing, brave woman who has sacrificed so much in her life for her family. Her two daughters who are my neighbors learned a lot of hard work as teenagers as they had to help support their family (their Father died not long after they arrived in America) and Lee Xiong’s grandchildren are some of the best teenagers I know. Just good, respectful, funny, and kind kids. What a legacy.

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Now one other story to give you some warm fuzzies for the week. This is Marsha. She owns the Corn Wagon Quilt Shop in Springville, Utah. (If you’re local, a bunch of my quilts from Fabulously Fast Quilts and others are currently displayed at the Corn Wagon.)

Marsha was at the retreat I attended a couple of weeks ago. Seeing her there and getting re-acquainted, jogged a memory I hadn’t thought about for a few years.

About 12-13 years ago, I was really getting into quilting. As you know, quilting is not a cheap hobby. Money was not a luxury and we were so careful with our budget at that time. My fun-spending money was $14 a month (I kid you not) and every few months or so, I would visit the Corn Wagon, which was the nearest quilt shop to me at the time, and carefully peruse their remnants bin or buy a couple fat quarters.

One day, I gathered up a little stash of discount remnant bundles to buy with my meager funds and went to pay for them. Marsha saw what I had, smiled and said, “Oh, you can just take them.” For a moment I wasn’t sure I heard her right, and then left SO excited with my pretty treasures. I’m sure it wasn’t a big thing to Marsha, but it was HUGE to me at the time.

Seeing her again last week, I told her that story. She had no recollection of it at all – which tells me she probably did that kind of thing more than once – but it was a good reminder to me that you never know what people’s circumstances are and small acts of generosity can mean a lot.

Kindness is a good thing. Pass it on.

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And one more picture for the road. Just because I like it. Blossoms are out everywhere here and I can’t get enough of them. Happy Easter week.

Fabric Basket and Fabric Eggs Tutorials

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I mentioned in my last post that I’ve been playing with some new fabric from Riley Blake called Wiltshire Daisy by Carina Gardner.

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It’s such a pretty palette for spring, I decided that I would make some spring-time accessories and decorations.

Fabric Basket and Eggs Tutorials

I’m sharing a tutorial for this patchwork fabric basket over at the Riley Blake Designs blog today.

CLICK HERE FOR BASKET TUTORIAL

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This collection comes with three really great patchwork “cheater” prints, so I used them for the baskets to give them the look of a pieced patchwork basket, with out any of the work. (I’m so smitten with the colors in this one!)

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And what is a basket without eggs this time of year? So I used more of the prints from the collection to make a variety of fabric eggs. For these eggs I used this great fabric egg tutorial and pattern by Retro Mama. I have looked at this pattern and idea for year and finally got around to giving it a try. It’s kind of addicting!

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It’s hard to believe that March is nearly over and Easter is almost here. It’s one of my favorite holidays, so no complaints here!

Wiltshire Daisy also comes with a CUTE printed panel doll outfit for your favorite 18″ (American Girl-type) doll. Look at this cute tutorial by Girl Inspired! Wiltshire Daisy is arriving in shops now. Online it is available from the Fabricworm, and precuts available from Southern Fabrics.

Playing catch-up and Maker’s T-Shirt

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It’s been a busy week around these parts. Lots going on behind the scenes – including a new project with this pile o’ fun (Wiltshire Daisy from Riley Blake Designs) that I’ve been working with this weekend.

IMG_6545It was also school play week last week. There is this amazing couple who volunteer every year to produce a play at my kid’s elementary school. Each year they coordinate over 100 kids who want to participate and put on a fantastic production. This year it was the Adventures of Tom Sawyer. My 10-year-old was one of these adorable school boys. (Seeing them always made me want to start singing Newsies songs.)

Needless to say, it was a lot of fun but a lot of work – as a lot more parents get to help make it all happen. After a week of dress-rehearsals and performances making for later nights than usual, we’re all a little pooped. And a few things got done more ‘creatively’ than usual (like using duct-tape to hang a quilt for a blog post when you only had a few minutes of daylight left to take pictures between piano lessons and getting to the play that night *ahem*) or just tossed-aside altogether. But it’s all worth it. Such a great experience for those kids. This is the 6th year one or more of my kids have participated.

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This also means that your husband get’s to go to JoAnn Fabrics as part of your Saturday-night-date so you can use that 60% off coupon before it expired. Very proud of him for putting aside all of his childhood-fabric-store-post-traumatic-stress to accompany me. (I’m pretty sure I’ve given the same thing to all of my children.) While we were there we also came across this delightful book. *wink, wink*

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Last of all, my friend Amber is selling this awesome Maker t-shirt as a fundraiser for her 4-yr-old neighbor with Leukemia. I just ordered one for myself. They’re only available until the end of this week. If you want to know more, read all about it on Amber’s blog.

Finally a huge thank you again, since I can’t respond to all comments individually, for the kind words said about the new site. It means so much that you all continue to visit. Thank you! There are still a few things to fix – like my email address hasn’t been working – and I’m trying to figure out all the ins and outs of a new platform, but we’re getting there one step at a time. Continue to let me know if something isn’t working for you. I appreciate every heads up!

Thanks again and happy Monday!

Marmalade Fabrics Around the Color Wheel Bundles

Modern fabric for quilters & artists
Are you familiar with Marmalade Fabrics and their Around the Color Wheel program? This is a a great way to build your stash a little bit at a time with a bundle of fabrics in a different color on the color wheel available each month – including both a solids bundle and a prints bundle.
Marmalade Fabrics Color Wheel bundles
You can subscribe to the monthly club in either the Fat Quarter option of Half Yard option with no obligation and can cancel any time. Or bundles are available a la carte in certain colors, if you are looking to beef up your stash in a particular hue.
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The prints included in each bundle are always a variety great modern blenders in that month’s particular shade or hue. Here’s what February’s Yellow bundle looks like. Click here to check out all of the bundles available in a wide variety of colors. A great way to plug the color holes in your fabric stash.
Other new collections in stock at Marmalade include Carolyn Friedlander’s Doe, Melody Miller’s Playful, and Cotton+Steel basics.
Tammy from Marmalade Fabrics is also giving away this cheerful yellow Around the Color Wheel FQ bundle to one of you. If you’d like to enter, just leave a comment on this post. (Remember, for right now the COMMENTS section for this post is at the TOP of the post. We’re working on putting it back at the bottom.)
You can also keep up on the latest happenings, sales, etc. at Marmalade Fabrics through owner Tammy’s blog, Facebook, and Twitter.