Category: Celebrate!

Quilt Bucket List 7 ~ The 7 Year Stitch

Today is Worldwide Quilting Day. As is my annual tradition here at Whimzie Quiltz, today I look back on the quilts I’ve finished in the last year and look forward to the quilts I’m going to make before I “kick the bucket”. Business-related quilts don’t count; these are just quilts for me.

I started writing this post over a week ago, and it was going to have a completely different tone. I was so excited about a lot of work I’d done over the past year and had really big plans for the year ahead.

But so much has happened in just the last 7 days that it feels like 7 years of work is completely upended. I know/hope that this disruption won’t last forever, but it is what it is right now, so bear with me…


As my online custom quilt orders slowed last year (thanks for killing net neutrality, Ajit Pai!) I turned to making more smaller quilted items for my Etsy store and found some free time to make several of the quilts on my quilt bucket list.

My 15th Anniversary Quilt, 15 Years and Counting, was a year-long adventure, while Star Trek: Deep Space Mine came together super fast (plus I learned some new techniques for it. Never too late to teach an old quilter new tricks.) Sew Geeky was a tour de force of appliqué, a quilt that took more than 3 years from idea to completion because of the amount of detail in the blocks. Totally worth it in the end though.

All in all, I feel like last year was a very successful year in terms of finishing items on my quilt bucket list, and I had such high hopes for the upcoming 12 months that I originally wrote 

I have the 7-year itch to stitch a bunch of quilts!

My attitude was I’ll use this year to really focus on quilts I’ve been wanting to make for myself; I even created a fun UFO (unfinished object) challenge to keep me motivated. Then the coronavirus hit.

We self-quarantined early because of health issues and even then, I was like “No problem! I use my stash! It’ll be an adventure!”

When my plans for a 50th birthday weekend were curtailed early in March, I poured all my creativity into this quilt top –

IMG_5449

Now, three weeks in, I’m so tired of bad news and even worse news. I’m tired of my small sewing space. I’m tired of not being able to fabric shop. I’m tired of not being able to grocery shop.

I’m tired of being tired.

As I said, I know/hope this is just a phase and I’ll adjust. When that time comes, I do have some quilts I plan to work on, including the Make Epic Ship quilt top (there’s enough fabric in my stash to back it, fingers crossed, but not enough to bind it. Here’s hoping I’ll be able to get out to a fabric shop eventually.)

I also have a half-finished top called Votes for Women that I hope to finish before the election in November. Assuming there is an election in November.

My Steven Tyler memorial quilt – for my rock star kitty cat, not the actual rock star – is still in the mix, too. Honestly, there are plenty of other quilts that I have the fabrics on hand to make, too, so I’m actually really lucky. And at least I’m having a birthday; there’s a lot of people who won’t see another one.

I’m not normally this real when writing blog posts, but the world isn’t normal right now. This retrospective comes at a pretty low time for me and I didn’t feel like ignoring what’s going on and I don’t have it in me to fake being happy right now, either.

Stay safe everyone.

Sew Spicy!

Thank you gifts for custom Whimzie Quiltz orders in 2019 went out earlier this week:

2019_ThankYou_Gifts

This year’s gift is a custom blended spice mix, created by San Diego-based The Invisible Chef. Called Sew Spicy, the mix is a warm and whimzical patchwork of gourmet seasonings, including pink peppercorns, Himalayan pink salt, garlic, cumin and oregano. It’s a little hard to read in the photo, but here’s the thank you in all it’s pun-filled glory ~

I had the thyme of my life working on your quilted project last year! You’re one of my zest customers, and I hope this thank you gift makes you un-bayleaf-ably happy.

If you want to spice up 2020 with another custom quilt, you’ll find a discount coupon inside to sweeten the dill… or, if you have a friend who’s feeling chili and needs my help, there’s a coupon for them, too!

( Begging your parsley for the terrible puns; just curry on as if I’m as funny as I think I am 🙂 )

As I’ve mentioned many times in the past, this annual tradition of a thank you gift for each Whimzie Quiltz customer was inspired by, of all things, Amazon.

As an avid reader, I was one of the first customers when Bezos started his original online bookstore. The first couple of years, I received an Amazon-emblazoned travel mug* as a thank you for my book purchases the year before. Naturally, once Amazon started taking off, this practice was dropped, but the idea seemed as such a nice example of customer service that I adopted it for my business. The puns, though, are all mine 😀


*No, I don’t have the mugs any more! I sure wish I did, as I’m sure they’ll be worth something someday. But I don’t drink coffee and, at the time, they took up too much space in my small apartment (needed more room for books.) I did keep 5 of the bookmarks Amazon originally included with each purchase; they’re now framed.

15th Anniversary Whimzie Quiltz BOM ~ December

To celebrate 15 years in business, I’m making a quilt ~ and setting aside the 15th day of each month to work on the 15th Anniversary Whimzie Quiltz BOM commemorative project.

It’s December 15, the last 15th of the year, and time to reveal the final block in my 15th Anniversary quilt…

December15

Yeah, it’s probably not a surprise 😀 I mean, a “15” needed to be in there somewhere.

There’s still more to go, of course; I have to sew the blocks together and then quilt the top. My hope is to actually get all that done before the end of 2019, but, wow, is December 31st coming up fast!

I honestly wasn’t sure when I started that I’d manage to keep with this project all year long. For one thing, I’m the kind of person who wants to finish something fast when I start it (yes, I can hear the snickers. I said I WANT to, not that I actually DO.)

And, second, things come up! Who knows when you are planning something in January what December is going to look like? But I lucked out in 2019 ~ no major health scares, no natural disasters. I mean, it wasn’t a perfect year by any means, but it could have been a lot worse.

I really appreciate everyone who has followed along with this project over the last 12 months AND everyone who has supported and encouraged me during the last 15 years. It still kind of blows my mind that, since 2004, I’ve gotten to make so many warm and wonderful quilts and quilted items for others to enjoy. Can’t begin to tell you all how grateful I am. You are the best customers – and friends – a quilter could ever want.

THANK YOU ALL!

I really hope you’re enjoying taking the 15th Anniversary Whimzie Quilt journey with me. And remember, there’s still plenty of days each month when I can be working on a super special quilt for you, too! What do you want to celebrate in 2019?

Celebrating the Quilt Holidays ~ Pins and Needles Day

Did you know that all year long there are special days set aside on the calendar to commemorate  quilts, quilting, quilters and quilt-related activities? The are known as the Quilt Holidays and here at Whimzie Quiltz we celebrate each one… Let’s party!

Sure, tomorrow is Thanksgiving and you’re probably getting the turkey and stuffing all ready. But let’s not forget the REAL start to the holiday season for quilters ~ Pins and Needles Day!

pinsandneedlesday

Have a happy one 😀

15th Anniversary Whimzie Quiltz BOM ~ November

To celebrate 15 years in business, I’m making a quilt ~ and setting aside the 15th day of each month to work on the 15th Anniversary Whimzie Quiltz BOM commemorative project.

Check it out ~ the penultimate 15th anniversary quilt block! (Okay, I’m going to be honest, I actually finished this block yesterday, November 14th. But I thought it was the 15th. It’s just been one of those weeks…)

15Anniversary_NovBlock.jpg

Overall, I’m not sure I’m in love the design of block #11, the pincushion looks a little weird. I tried it without the “stitches”, though, and it looked even weirder, so it is what it is.

And those pins! So if you don’t sew or quilt, you might not get this, but trust me, it’s pretty amusing… I unwittingly chose a pink and orange floral fabric for the tops of the pins. Yep, I created flower head pins without even realizing it!

I really hope you’re enjoying taking the 15th Anniversary Whimzie Quilt journey with me. And remember, there’s still plenty of days each month when I can be working on a super special quilt for you, too! What do you want to celebrate in 2019?

Team Work Makes the Halloween Nightmare Work

Halloween is my husband’s favorite holiday, so every year I try to add at least one crafty item to our decorations for him. Since he’s home more now, this year we were able to work together, and the result was three spooky cool projects…

Spider Web Halloween Countdown Calendar

While we have several candy holding countdown calendars around here (including this Count Von Count one I posted about earlier this year,) as we get older and, well, rounder, I’ve started looking for non-food options 😀 Which is why we decided to recreate a countdown calendar I originally saw on Pinterest ~ each day you add a toy spider to the web. No additional calories at all!

We scoured thrift stores for the perfect gothic frame, which he cleaned and painted while I sourced and attached the numbers, web and spiders.

halloweencountdown_spider

I’m showing a picture from earlier this month with just a few spiders, but as October goes on the weight of those cheap plastic arachnids is really stretching the web! We’ll need to solve that problem for next year.

Haunted Dollhouse Mansion

IMG_4386This is project that took the longest – we’d actually been biking to garage sales for over a year, hoping to find a dollhouse available for cheap. (Once, after seeing a dollhouse stored in an open garage during a ride, I almost knocked on the door to see if they’d sell it! I couldn’t go through with it, but that I even thought about doing something so brazen should tell you how determined I was to create a haunted dollhouse this year.)

We ended up lucking on this Calico Critters Cloverleaf Mansion at a thrift store one afternoon back in July – lots of missing pieces as you can see! I tried eBay for doors and porch, but they either weren’t available or people wanted exorbitant prices. So we made the missing parts ourselves…

hauntedhouse_done

Here it is glowing at night –

hauntedhouse_full

and a close up so the purple of the lights shows a bit better –

hauntedhouse_closeup

A LOT of work went into finishing this project, but I thought I’d just call out a few things if you are thinking about making one yourself.

One, Blick Art Materials (used to be called Dick Blick) has an AMAZING supply of spray paint in shades you just can’t find at the local hardware store. The main gray for the body of the dollhouse came from there – 3 cans! (This is a really big dollhouse :D)

Two, we tried several different ways to get the silhouettes in the windows, but what worked best was transparent overhead projector sheets. Given the ubiquity of PowerPoint these days, I hadn’t thought about overhead projectors in years, but going old school did the trick. (The silhouettes themselves are free printables created by Dave Lowe. He’s an illustrator as well as a set and prop designer and I’m combing the archive on his blog for other amazing Halloween decor ideas. Stay tuned!)

Three, there’s black foam core on the backside, trimmed to fit. Partly to clean it up, but also because the purple lights in the windows shine brighter with it there.  The lights are just mini LEDs you can get almost anywhere, but ours came with remotes which makes turning the lights on and off so much easier than removing the foam core back ever day.

Cat Eye Chair Covers

Since these were sewing/embroidery, this was a project I did alone ~ but my husband did make it easier by being gone on a solo bike ride while I was working 😀

I was particularly excited to reuse the cat eye embroidery design I purchased for the “Got My Eyes on You” Halloween countdown calendar in my Etsy store.

cateye_chaircovers

(The TRICK / TREAT quilted pillows are from 2013! Sometimes when I look up stuff like this to post, I can’t believe how long ago I made them; feels like just yesterday.)

 


 

Doing these Halloween projects together was a lot of fun and there’s plans for a (my favorite holiday) Christmas craft or two that take advantage of both our skill sets, as well. But time’s sure passing quickly ~ maybe we should add working together to build a time machine to our to-do list!

Celebrating the Quilt Holidays ~ Count Your Buttons Day

Did you know that all year long there are special days set aside on the calendar to commemorate  quilts, quilting, quilters and quilt-related activities? The are known as the Quilt Holidays and here at Whimzie Quiltz we celebrate each one… Let’s party!

As October 21st got closer and closer, I was thinking Count Your Buttons Day sure seems like a fun quilt holiday to celebrate. Then I realized you actually have to count those silly little things! And when you have as many as I do, it can take quite a while.

Still, since I did take the time to count them, I thought I’d do a little contest over on Facebook to see in anyone can guess how many pink and orange buttons I own.

The person who guesses closest (or a random winner if more than one person gets it right) will receive this sarcastic “Buttons are the only thing keeping shit together around here” wine wrap! (Bottle of Rosé not included 😦 unfortunately)

And as a thank you for reading my blog, here’s a hint ~

there’s more than 1200, but less than 1300. 

buttons_count

The winner will be announced in a Facebook post on the morning of October 22, 2019. Good luck guessing!

 

15th Anniversary Whimzie Quiltz BOM ~ October

To celebrate 15 years in business, I’m making a quilt ~ and setting aside the 15th day of each month to work on the 15th Anniversary Whimzie Quiltz BOM commemorative project.

It’s getting to be the busiest part of the year for me (so many new holiday items for my Etsy store plus a custom quilt order for Christmas!) but I still took today to finish a block for my 15th Anniversary quilt. Fittingly for the pumpkin month of October, it’s a giant ORANGE sewing machine ~

15Anniversary_OctBlock

Don’t have a lot of time for this write-up either, but suffice it to say this wasn’t one of the simpler blocks. 😀 Glad to have another block finished, though ~ only 2 to go!

I really hope you’re enjoying taking the 15th Anniversary Whimzie Quilt journey with me. And remember, there’s still plenty of days each month when I can be working on a super special quilt for you, too! What do you want to celebrate in 2019?

Counting Down to Halloween “vith” Count von Count ~ Ah! Ah! Ah!

Happy October 1st! It seems like the perfect day to share that, in addition to all the Halloween Advent calendars I made for sale, I snuck in a Sesame Street-themed one for myself ~

CountHalloweenCalendar

Today’s blog post has been brought to you by the letters W and Q and the number 31.

😀