MAKERS HOME fabrics by Natalie Barnes from WINDHAM FABRICS

Monday, July 16, 2018

The Next Big Thing

The Next Big Thing....

lessons from A Quilter's Affair in Sisters, Oregon
Jenny Doan

I had the pleasure of speaking with Jenny Doan
while I was teaching at A Quilter's Affair

What a pleasure, a privilege it is to just "chat"

And then.
Then she asked me.

"What's the next big thing you're doing?"

I froze.
What to say, what to say.
Told her about my upcoming fabric line with Windham Fabrics.
And we chatted about the upcoming event at Missouri Star,
The Birthday Bash.

As I was walking through the Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show,
it hit me.

What my next big thing is for me, when I return home.

It is a visit with my neighbor and friend, Roger, 
who is turning a spry 90 years old this year.

is my next big thing.
We'll go for sour cabbage soup 
"it's only served on Tuesdays and Saturdays", he will remind me.

And then we'll take our weekly walk through Sam's Club
or Costco
We'll laugh and cry as we both tell stories about our pasts.
And we'll share wisdom of the ages.
He'll be polite and kind with my "energy".
He'll tell me to settle down a little bit
in the kindest way.
We'll joke about how much food we're both getting
and talk about the "best orange juice ever" 
from Sam's Club
(they squeeze it fresh for him)

And when I returned home
I realized also, what Jenny was telling me,
not asking me.

"What is the next big thing you're doing?"
She didn't want to know at all where I would be teaching
or if I was attending a show.
She didn't need to know where my travels would take me
or when my next fabric line was releasing.

She was coaching me, in the kindest of ways.
Same as my 90 year old friend.
Offering me some space to think about where my boat is pointed.
Where I'm headed.
The big picture.

Thank you, Jenny.
Thank you, Roger.

Thank you for taking time with me.
For asking.
And for gently guiding me along the way.

So, today, on this blog that is long overdue, I will ask you - 

What is your next big thing?


Sunday, March 18, 2018

On your "not to do" list

On your "not to do" list...

shorten your list

it was a goal I made at the beginning of the year
to post something "thoughtful" every Sunday
it seemed like it was "do-able"
just one small post a week
on a quiet day
just one.

(did you see how cool that was?  how the words made a flying geese?)

and in the course of two months, I have found a way to miss two weeks
of posts!

some times our to do list
becomes a big big thing
something we wake up to
and fall asleep thinking about
a big big thing

but tonight, yes, Sunday, yes, I'm writing to all of you
I am giving you permission
to shorten your list

to make a "not to do" list

to be a little kinder and more gentle with yourselves
to wake up excited for the day, and to fall asleep with a smile on your face
knowing you did everything you could
that day
to make it the very best day you could possibly have
(without measuring it by your to do list)

because we only get one - one day - every day
and then it is gone

so forgive me a post here and there throughout the year
and please....forgive yourself

if there are still dishes in the sink
because you read three books to your grandkids this afternoon
because you planted spring bulbs
because you cleared the snow from your neighbors walkway
because you (gasp) took a nap with a book on your chest

it's all a matter of perspective
(did you see what I did there with the dump truck photos?)

there are lots and lots of books published right now
on simplifying

let's start with our to do list

and move some of those critical items to our 
'not to do'

please leave us a comment below - what will you put on your
'not to do'


ps - you do know there's a 20% off coupon
in honor of National Quilting Day
that's good until tomorrow morning.....

just sayin'..... 

Monday, February 12, 2018

STITCH! and QuiltCon2018


(I love how his shadow in the water looks like a seahorse)

Please stop by the booth at QuiltCon2018
to have your picture taken with


ps - will you be attending?
please leave us a note in the comments to let us know....

Sunday, February 4, 2018

I am thankful.

I am thankful.

admissions of a quilt show vendor

my heart swells
when I think of the friends that stand with me


with me in the beyond the reef booth

while most of the year
it's just me and it's just Stitch
when QuiltCon and Quilt Festival
so do the friends

I am thankful.
please stop by the booth in Pasadena, or in Houston
and give my team a great big hug.

they're gonna need it.

but we want you to stop by for another reason
we want to see
because you are the reason we work for weeks on end
to be ready when you walk through that door

see you February 22.


Tuesday, January 30, 2018

One block a day....

...just one quilt block a day....

"how long does it take to make a quilt?"

my apologies

I missed posting a blog this last Sunday
but.  I was posting, it was a video, tho.
how many of you have heard of the video series called
you can find it on my very own youTube channel
beyond the reef patterns
and also on
Windham Fabrics

but I did want to post a little something for you this week 
on the blog, too

so here's this week's encouraging post

I ask you
what if you just made one block a day
at the end of the year, you'd have

I don't know about you, but I think that's pretty impressive

(Natalie Barnes at Missouri Star Quilt Company birthday bash)

so I encourage you
take just a few minutes every day
and make just one block

and if you're looking for a new project


Sunday, January 21, 2018

What is that song??

(the soundtrack of your life)

how many of you remember the song that was playing
when you first met your husband
or your best friend

what song was playing when you brought your first born
home for the very first time?

it's the soundtrack of your life!

(Makers Home fabrics by Windham Fabrics)

as a quilter, we can say the same for fabric
we can go to our stash, and look at a fabric
and remember who we were with and where we were when we bought it

(Hand Maker fabrics by Windham Fabrics)

fabric is like a song
it's the "soundtrack of our life" as a quilter
you remember when you started a quilt, when you finished it
how long it took
why you left it sit, and for how long
before you finished it

and sometimes just a leftover scrap will bring the whole story back to you

let's try something....let's see how much heart you put into your projects
how much of you was stitched into your very first quilt
leave a message below
and tell us about the first quilt you ever made
when it was made
and what music you were listening to when you made it

(Stitch's heart....worn on his "sleeve")


Sunday, January 14, 2018




what makes you happy?
what are the happiest moments of your life?

my very best sister-girlfriend lives on Kauai, in Hawaii
if you've followed the news this week, you'll know what that means

she and her husband closed the windows (as advised)
and sat down to enjoy their coffee
it's her story to tell, but I'll tell you just that much

the moment I heard it was a false alarm, I called her
because, well, she is my happy place - just sitting with her makes me happy
as she picked up the phone
I couldn't get the words out fast enough
"it's a false alarm!!! it's a false alarm - it's not truuuuuuueeeeee...."
I could see her smile through the phone
'we know'

what types of moments fill your happiest days?
what is on your list?

when I examined my list, I was surprised
(my list was done in time order)

1.  that time in 1st grade when the teacher let me skip nap time and just talk with her
2.   weekends spent building a church in baja
3.  being a summer camp counselor and a part of the guitar team
4.  sunrise service, singing in the choir, side by side with my mom
5.  sitting in the garden, spending the whole day knitting with a friend
6.  time spent on the Ranch and helping to birth a cow
7.  seeing my very own fabric in other peoples' quilts
(and of course, every time I ever met my very own dog...including Stitch)
8.  Quilters Affair, Sisters Oregon, and just talking with the other teachers
walking home in the rain with my roommate

and much much more

but the one thing that I noticed
was that happiness was about the people in my life
(dogs included)

do you have a list of those life moments?
are you focusing on those happiest days or are you caught up on the "muck"

and what patterns will you discover
once you take the time to write down each happy moment
in your life

your first child - your first grandchild - your wedding
the first quilt that hung in a show
the first guild member friend you ever made
the first retreat you ever attended
a garden
a smile
a beautiful place
a moment so sweet it brought tears to your eyes

there are plenty of them
capture them
or repeat as many of them as you can
and visit your list often

please share just one quilting related happy moment with us
in the comments below