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CHRISTMAS GIFT REVEAL!
Wednesday, 22 January 2014 09:16

It's January you say?  Christmas is over, the decorations are packed up and put away already!

Good Grief...I had to wait to upload some of my Handmade Christmas Gifts for 2013 until AFTER the actual Holiday...there are website and facebook stalkers out there hoping I would reveal a special gift or two ahead of time.

Silly Rabbit...tricks are for kids!

I am certain I have mentioned before that I started a "Sister Christmas Drawing" for my family years ago...I think its getting close to 20 years now!  I know Nicole was little when we began this fun tradition.

Actually...I cannot take all the credit for coming up with this little idea...

I seen it on a "Golden Girls" rerun and thought...lets do that!  There is really only a few rules to the Drawing...

-You must MAKE the gift for the name you draw...you have plenty of time...a whole YEAR to be exact!

-You must be ONE of the 6 sisters, 2 sister in laws, daughters or daughter in laws (that must be 18 years old).

-If your gift has not reached it's recipient by January 31 of the year AFTER the drawing year (do the math...it gives you a one years time to get it done...since we draw names on February 1st) you CANNOT be in the drawing for the following year or years to come until you are completely caught up.

-You can MAKE anything your little heart desires...cross stitch, crochet, quilting, stitchery, crafts, purses (wallets) and/or card making.  The ideas are really endless!

This year...like EVERY year...my Gift was done on time.  OK...before you give me a pat on the back I must confess I have an unfair advantage!

I'm a Quilter.

I'm a Pattern Designer.

I'm a Professional Quilt Instructor.

and last but not least...

I sew just about EVERY...SINGLE...DAY!

~Chime in the music for "the OCD Queen"!

The name I was given just so happened to be my Little Miss Pink and Lime Green...aka...Nicole!  What else could I possibly do but make a Pink and Lime Green Quilt, complete with a soft Flannel Back!

Here she is opening her Present on Christmas Morning and the first thing out of her mouth is...

"OH!  I LOVE the Flannel Backing"!

Yeah...I'm smart that way!

PS...I will try to get a FULL picture of the quilt when I can pry it from her little hands long enough to take a few snapshots!

PSS...who's name is next?

Kathleen

 
BUBBLE GUM BUTTONS!
Sunday, 19 January 2014 20:14

I'm taking a well deserved break from my little Hexagon Insanity Project and hopefully that little break will allow me to "do better" with the whole dang thing when I open that adorable little Lime Green case once again!

That day won't be today...and it won't be tomorrow either!

I thought I would share with you all my FAVORITE Christmas Present that I received last month!  What else would one do with an Old Worn out Vintage Bubble Gum Machine...except what my Houston did...

This little Gem used to be a nasty combination of Rust and Peeling Red Paint...including a really gross Center Cylinder where Gumballs use to be housed.  I am married to a Handy Man!

I actually saw a Gumball Machine similar to this on Pinterest and showed it to my Houston and this is what he did to that ugly looking thing I previously described above! I am so glad I did not see this in it's work in progress as I may have been sick to my stomach...

YEAH...that's the OCD rearing her Ugly Head there!

I am filling the (new replacement) cylinder with Cream and White Buttons...and a few a little very light Tan ones too!  This is what it looked like when I dumped all of the appropriate colored buttons I actually had in my stash of buttons here in The Quilted Story Studio!

Adorableness at it's finest!

Thank You Houston...I absolutely LOVE this Christmas Present!

Kathleen

 
A NEW BATCH OF HEXIES!
Saturday, 18 January 2014 14:55

My frustration level has evened out...after I threw out my FIRST attempt to the "center" of my Hexagon Insanity Project...I went ahead an continued to make the little Hexie's and added them to the piles!  This part is so mindless to me...I can even do it in the car and it keeps me from having a panic attack in traffic as the Semi's fly by...

No...I am not the driver...I can only do this as a passenger!  Silly people...

I'm not THAT talented!

Before I knew it I had a ton of these adorable little guys made and I felt compelled to kick my OCD into overdrive and...

Compulsively organize these little gems into a compartmentalized container!  Now...say that Five times REAL FAST!

If I can only figure out a better way to sew these little things  together I will be well on my way...

I know...

It's a dilemma of epic proportions!

Good Grief!

Kathleen

 
HEXAGON MESS!
Friday, 17 January 2014 09:03

Let's revisit my progress on the infamous Hexagon Insanity Project...or H.I.P for short!  As you glance at this picture I am certain you are thinking...That looks pretty good...hmmm?

Not so much.

As you can see I have a pretty group of Hexagons all made up and in a nice, neat little pile...right?  Well...

To the right of the pile is the beginning of what I thought was going to be a great start to "joining the little hexagons"!

Once again...Not so much!

As I began to add the red pieces around the lime green ones I realized that it was getting "wonky"...not matching up, and simply a bit off kilter!

Good Grief...the frustration level was high...what was I doing wrong?

I picked at it...I ripped a couple hexagons out of the line up and I tried a couple different joining methods to see what might work best.

Ugh...I have literally made a huge mess of this little bit of progress and it was beginning to look extremely tattered...so...

In the garbage can it goes...

Let's start fresh!

Whew!  I got that off my chest!

Kathleen

 
IT'S MY BIRTHDAY!
Thursday, 16 January 2014 08:29

Happy Birthday to ME...

I'm 29...AGAIN!

Really...I ask you...just how many times can you be 29 without any one noticing?

I digress!

With today being a celebration of sorts...you know...cause it's MY BIRTHDAY...let's take a look at some of my Life's PROUDEST Moments...

 

Let's start off with my absolute Favorite "Proud Moment" in my life...this quilt is called "Tomorrow's Hope" and it was originally made for my Spectrum of Color Series...Playing with Paper.  However, it was several months or so after I had completed this beauty that the Perfect recipient walked into my life...literally...unannounced and and completely unplanned!  Her name is Loni and you can read the original post HERE!

I love this particular Proud Moment in my Life...because it was so completely Random and unforeseen.  The whole thing played out like it was written in a script somewhere...it was more than memorable.  Can it get any better than that?

Over the years of my Philanthropy work there has been so many more wonderful stories...they tug at your heart strings and make me proud that I was able to be a huge part of someones hope and recovery.

You can read more of my Proudest Moments in life...HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE, and HERE.

Yay...a little light reading for ya there!

There is one more little Random Act of Kindness story that I would like to share...on this Proud Moment Day...

I have NO picture to upload...this particular quilt was made over 10 years ago for a Man in Aiken, SC.  I guess you will just have to visualize how pretty it was.  The story goes like this...

Houston and I had just moved across town in Aiken, SC to the outskirts of the city in a little housing development called Beaver Creek.  We Loved it there and actually ended up living in that particular home for 9 years before making our move to the Upstate of South Carolina.  We lived in the back of the neighborhood on a dead end cul-de-sac and I would have to pass lots of houses before arriving to mine.  One could describe me as an over observant person...that's where the OCD comes in to play!  Lol!  Any way...I happened to notice on my way into the neighborhood that one of the homes, where I knew a young couple lived with their young children, had a new wheelchair ramp installed at the front entrance.  My first thought was...they must have an elderly parent who has come to live with them.  But, this was not the case...as I soon learned from another neighbor that the young father had brain cancer and Hospice had "stepped in".  My heart sank.

After I had collected my thoughts, I went right to my sewing room and began pulling fabrics from my shelves...A "Comfort Quilt" was in order!  I worked quickly...hoping to get it finished within the week...the quilt was half done...

when the news came from the other neighbor...The Young Man had lost his battle and passed on.

I was devastated...in all the years I had been making "Comfort Quilts", this had never happened.  My thoughts were cluttered...what should I do?

I finished the quilt...it turned out Beautiful, and I decided that the Young Mans Family should have it...as it was made for HIM.  I contacted my neighbor and asked her if she knew anyone in our neighborhood who "knew the family" that would serve as a third party to deliver the quilt.  I didn't know the family, they certainly did not know me and I didn't want them to think I was a lunatic!  She knew exactly who to ask...phew...the hard part was done.  I wrote a simple note explaining about this Special Quilt that was made for their Loved One and how important it was for me that they have it in his honor.  I wrapped it up, dropped it off to my neighbor and I moved on to the next quilt on my list.

Fast forward a couple months...my son...Mr. Computer Engineer, was home visiting from College...

The doorbell rang...

I went to the door and I could see a young woman standing on my front porch from the side window in my foyer...and as I opened the door it hit me just WHO she was.  I had never met this woman, her husband or her family...but I knew instantly who she was.  She immediately introduced herself...my mind went blank as the tears began to well up in my eyes, I realized it was HER...the wife of my quilt recipient.  She asked if my name was Kathleen...Kathleen Bowen...the quilt lady.  I trembled...YES...that's me, I replied...my voice cracked.

Well...she said...you are one hard woman to find...and I simply HAD to come here today and meet the lady who made that beautiful Quilt for my husband and our family, and give you a hug and a Big Thank You!  I cried like a baby...it was the saddest moment, but the happiest moment all rolled into one.

My son came to the door and said...Mom...are you OK?

Yes...it's a Beautiful Day!

Kathleen

 
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