If you had come to Goodwin’s Custom Crafts in the last couple weeks, looking for some updates or galleries, looking to connect or get in touch, you would have been very disappointed to find that we were not here!! Between Bluehost miscommunication and the kids going back to school, renewing my web hosting was the last thing on my mind. For a few days I contemplated letting the website go, but as with most things, the decision to continue with it came down to commitment. Or as is sometimes the case, a lack thereof. This website…is it for blogging? Sharing galleries? Linking customers who come looking for one thing to the possibility of sharing new products with them? Is it simply an effort to validate my “brand” (whatever that really means I am not sure I have one!!) or what? The answer came eventually to me, in a sort of small sadness that a connection had been lost. Whoever you are and where ever you are, I have a desire to connect with you. Here…Instagram…real life…And this is one way that I feel comfortable doing that. An invisible audience that can be, at least in my imagination, as kind and receptive as any loving audience could be! And I missed you. Whoever you are and where ever you come from, I confess I did. I am going to offer a weekly COUPON special to all of my blog subscribers, starting with free shipping on ALL orders from Kari Goodwin Quilts (formerly the quilt and baby shop of Goodwin’s Custom Crafts…But that is a blog post for another day.) Enter the coupon code FREESHIPPING during checkout at Kari Goodwin Quilts or Folks Linen. No minimum or maximum purchase rules, just simple and free shipping. Check back next week to see what the new coupon code might be and until then, happy shopping! ALSO…IF YOU WANTED TO CHECK OUT MY BRAND SPANKING NEW WEBSITE CALLED www.karigoodwinquilts.com YOU CAN USE THE COUPON CODE THERE TOO! (Can you tell I’m excited?!) Thanks and love ya’ll!
I was a big fan of Judy Collins when I was a kid. I liked to sing along to her music because I could mimic her voice. My favorite of her songs (or was it really hers, I don’t know) was Everything Must Change…Nothing stays the same…everyone will change, nothing, no-one goes unchanged, or something like that. You get the idea. True words for sure. We’ve had some changes here as well, as Josh has moved on from the woodworking business and is now gainfully employed again. I have restructured by business to bring my Sister and Momma into the fold, and my Sister now runs The Tree House Kid, and my Mom runs Folks Linen, leaving me with one shop…Goodwin’s Custom Crafts.
I have changed the name of my shop to Kari Goodwin Quilts after MONTHS of mentally seeking the shelter of a new shop name. Goodwin’s Custom Crafts was, after all, Josh’s name that he picked for his business forever ago and I just wanted to evolved from that and start fresh. I wanted a name that was cool and funky and defined my shop, but nothing came, so I just chose the simple, straightforward approach, as that pretty much defines me as a person anyway. I am at least straightforward if not simple. So Kari Goodwin Quilts it is. I already like how seeing that name on the top of my Etsy shop makes me think about my work, if it is living up to the name, if I am in fact actually quilting. I just renewed my membership for the Modern Quilt Guild and have signed up as a Super Volunteer for the show in Savannah, so I am super excited to be attending my first ever QuiltCon in 2017. My point is, I’m changing. I am trying to shed old skin and wriggle out the kinks in this new skin. It’s a skin I’ve wanted to wear for a while now, focusing more on my true passion of quilting. I can say right now, at this moment,I have six quilts in some, WAIT, no SEVEN quilts in some stage of the process. I am a little rusty and my work is still smaller than I would like for it to be, but I am moving in the right direction at least. Here just a few pictures of my Works In Progress or #wip, just in case you are an old Judy Collins fan like I was and maybe didn’t know what #wip meant! 🙂
This picture of my Chattahoochee Reflections quilt (sold in 2014) popped up in my “Facebook memories” today. I really did enjoy making this quilt…it’s the kind of thing I get a little sentimental about because it was a break through project for me and the first time in years that I tried “freestyle” or improv quilting. Funny how we circle back around…I started as an improv quilter a decade ago, and went through many phases in discovering my creative style, which is definitely still a work in progress, but hadn’t done anything freestyle like this for years at the time when I made it. It is the sort of quilt that I would like to think defines me as a quilter, but is that true if you only do it once or twice and the majority of your work pales in comparison? I have this plan for my future which includes a lot more time for quilting, as that is what I really love doing, and what has fallen to the wayside the most as I have helped to support our family financially as much as I possibly could. This has involved several big rearrangements of my life, including passing the torch for The Tree House Kid to my sister, Kaysen! She now runs the shop from Las Vegas and has inherited all my patterns and has done a great job running the shop since February. Also passing the torch for my other shop Folks Linen to my Mom who now helps make all the napkins and aprons, leaving me with just the one shop, Goodwin’s Custom Crafts. Some small changes have been made as well, including attaching my design wall TO the wall in my house and give it a permanent home, instead of pushing it from one empty space to another, and to rearrange my work space to help put the focus on my own fabric designs to be used for quilts, in a way that sort of “showcases” what I have available to use at any give time, and setting up my cutting mats and sewing machines in a very user-friendly and inviting sort of way. I have Folks Linen and Goodwin’s Custom Crafts (both on Etsy) on “vacation” and closed to new online orders for a while so we can get through these last couple weeks of school and I can focus on some cool local stuff going on. We will be at the Farm to Table dinner at Jenny Jack Farms next Saturday, May 14th, (excited!!!!) and after that, I plan on having a sort of Renaissance period for my business, which may include a name change and a refocusing on my talents and what I would like most to spend my time doing. I’m pretty excited about it, and my biggest goal is to make more time for quilting.
Sometimes a quilt sits around FOREVER and I simply can’t decide on a pattern to actually quilt it. When that happens I usually do one of two things…I either go very simple and quilt straight (somewhat…mostly straight) lines running down the quilt, or I go to this website and browse the really cool assortment of designs until something strikes me. Sometimes I am really focused on a project and have the quilt design and fabrics coordinate with the quilting design, as with this quilt called “Birds of a Feather”. Because the backing fabric of this quilt featured our Birds In Flight pattern, I chose a quilting design that (to me at least!) represented the close up detail of a bunch of soft, downy feathers. Not all quilts get this special treatment, but sometimes the inspiration just hits that way.
As of right now…No, as of the last two weeks, I have had the same quilt sitting on my table and I can not decide how to quilt it, so I’m going for lines. Simple, straightforward, back and forth. Sounds refreshing, actually. Click this link to be directed to my Etsy shop and take a closer look at Birds of a Feather.
I came across this really cool idea from an artsy parent website. I am really sorry that I can’t find it again and share the original link. (I will have to get better about that.) For those of you who follow me on Instagram (www.instagram.com/goodwinscustomcrafts) or Facebook (www.facebook.com/goodwinscustomcrafts) you “may” have already seen some of these images. >insert heavy dose of sarcasm here<
Actually, you would have seen them over and over across the last couple of months as the project went from the initial phase to the complete one. I had so much fun with this project and the unlimited potential for creativity and was so pleased with the outcome that I was a little obnoxious about it. The kids each got a piece of fabric to do themselves, then my oldest and I worked on the large one together. I debated about keeping the final product for myself, but I put a nice asking price on it, and honestly, I struggled to find a place to hang it in my tiny house. I am reassured by the fact that there will be more of these in the future!!
I don’t really know how to do a tutorial other than list the steps and share pictures. ( I would love to do some development in this area of my life!!) So anyway, this was so easy! Here is how we did it:
squeeze bottles with small holes (I found some reusable ketchup and mustard bottles at the dollar store but you could also reuse actual mustard bottles…ketchup bottles have a little too large a hole); water and whole wheat flour in equal parts; organic sateen cotton fabric (works best because the weave is tight and it keeps the flour glue from soaking through as much); newspaper (to layer underneath to catch the moisture), 5 gallon buckets or large soup pot for dying, some sort of dye of your choice (I get mine at www.dharmatrading.com ), rubber gloves
Now, if you are asking yourself if whole wheat flour is really necessary, I have no idea. It is what I read about and what I used, so I don’t know how this changes if you use regular white flour or regular cotton, but I suspect the process is flexible and would accommodate those variations with little trouble. I get my organic cotton sateen from www.organiccottonplus.com .
- Mix the water and flour together until there are no clumps, as they will get stuck in the squeeze bottles. I suggest a kid who likes to whisk things! 🙂 You are basically making a flour glue or paste that is thin enough to squeeze out of bottles without running.
- Fill squeeze bottles, enough for everyone to have their own if you can, or you can share. We aren’t good at sharing when it’s something really fun like this!
- Lay your newspaper down on the floor, a table, or whatever surface you are using. The thicker the better. I think I also opened up some cardboard boxes to lay down. It gets VERY wet, so protect your surfaces!
- Spread out your fabric and GO. TO. TOWN. I suggest doing a little research first on the history of batik fabrics because it is AMAZING and will totally inspire you to get creative and give your kiddos an appreciation for this age-old process.
- Now for the hard part…Waiting for the flour glue to dry. The longer you can leave it to dry, the better your batik will be. The flour should be mostly solid to the touch, but still slightly flexible. If it gets TOO dry, it will crack and fall off in the dye bath.
- After fabric design has dried to the touch, fix your dye. I use five gallon buckets in the bath tub or kitchen floor, but you could do it outside too. You might want some rubber gloves for handling the fabric while it’s IN the dye bath. I gently dunked the fabric in the dye bath and didn’t agitate it too much, in order to keep the flour in place. Stir it, but don’t WHIP it, if you know what I mean…
- I am not going to go into how to dye fabric because that is way too complicated and you can learn it on your own from whatever dye company you dye from…So yeah, you are on your own from here. The take-away is that NOW you dye it.
- When the dye bath is finished, you will need to rinse out the remaining flour mixture.
- Open up your creation and ENJOY! It will be beautiful! Share you pictures in the comments, share on Instagram or Facebook and tag me because I would love to see it!!!
- Oh yeah…You have to wash it throughly, but that also has to do with the dye instructions, depending on the dye you used. Fabric should be washed a couple of times just to be sure the dye is all out. I wouldn’t recommend washing with other items. Wash alone, dry alone, at least the first time.
That’s it. I was very torn about what to do with my fabric pieces. I thought about making a prayer flag banner, scarves, placemats, but ultimately, I made a quilt because that is what I love. You could even frame them if you used small bits of fabric.
Thanks for reading and I really do hope you enjoy the process. I know I did and the kids too.
Life is a process of constant edits. Like my Grandmother always says, (who is in her 90’s and I talked to for over 30 minutes on the phone about her blooming flowers this morning!) “Just when you start to make ends meet, somebody moves the other end!” I am constantly trying to reinvent myself, my life, my process, to be more like the pictures I see in my head. Sometimes, that is a very messy and inconvenient thing, but I don’t think I’ve ever thought to myself after such a decision, “Man, I wish I had just left well enough alone and not done that!” I like that process of reinvention because it moves me closer to my dreams. Eventually, you have to accept where you are and what you’ve accomplished, of course, but it’s the little corrections along the way that caught my attention with this project. I thought I was finished with this quilt yesterday. I pulled it off the stack of projects needing attention and found a backing for it that I liked…Indigo because that is my favorite color these days, and I proceeded to put it together, pinning here and there, and thinking of how it would be quilted. I finished pinning it and put it on my desk to begin and I thought to myself, “Wait!! THIS IS NOT FINISHED.” I groaned inwardly to myself, because of course I wait until after I am finished with the basting it to have a stroke of inspiration. I had already cut the batting to size, found the perfect backing, and spent almost two hours getting it to this point. But still, something felt like it was missing. I unpinned everything and decided that adding a big, chunky ol’ indigo border to the quilt was just what it needed. I had told myself this year I wanted to make bigger quilts, and not limit myself to just crib and toddler sizes, so adding the borders was the extra step I told myself I needed to start taking more this year. It would have been easier to just proceed with the quilt as it was, because pinning is not my favorite part of the process and it was already done, but I have learned that I am never happy with myself when I ignore those little voices. So I unpinned, added borders, and picked a new backing material, which luckily, is the perfect fit. So it was an edit…an erase and do-over, but I’m usually glad when I can make that happen, and now, the quilt feels finished! Happy Saturday y’all, and always remember to go with your intuition…You will be glad you did!
The featured item of the day is the gruesome, terrifying, no-just-kidding, he’s really sweet, Tiger mask! Handmade, hand cut, machine stitched and embellished using only high quality, durable, and machine washable eco felt. I love eco felt because it is made from post consumer plastic bottles, right there in the USA! Score and score. I am getting back into my groove this year, post Halloween, post-Christmas, post New Year, post getting back into a routine, so I thought I would cut myself a little slack and share a simple, fun product just to make you smile this beautiful Friday afternoon. These are also available in pure merino wool felt if you have a little more $$ to spend. The wool felt version is not machine washable, but is so super nice and naturally flame retardant. It’s great play either way. Find them, the tails, and the handmade tiger fleece vests to round off the adventure in my shop, The Tree House Kid! Have fun and be safe this weekend! Cheers from all of us at Goodwin’s Custom Crafts!
I am getting excited about my tour about town tomorrow, seeking out all of my favorite local businesses to support on Small Business Saturday! I support small year round, but I do understand how exciting it can be for a small business to have a banging start to the holiday season, so I am going to do my best to hit up all of my favorites. Speaking of hitting up your favorites (wink-wink!) I would like to share our own small business specials and events coming up. Josh and I both are offering a sale in our Etsy shops through Cyber Monday for 10% off $100 purchase, 15% off $200 purchase, and 20% off $300 purchase! That’s a pretty big sale for us, so if you wanted to do any holiday shopping with us, it will not get better than this! UNLESS you are within driving distance and would like to come shop with us in person this upcoming weekend, December 5th and 6th. We will be at our annual Big Oaks Winter Sale out on the lovely 300+ acre farm of our friend Carey and Brant Slay from 10am-5pm both days, and you can get directions if you plug this address into Google Maps: 10747 UNION PLEASANT GROVE OMAHA, GA 31821 In addition to all of our work, Carey will be selling all of her wonderful wood fired pottery. We will have a friendly, open buffet of snacks and tea to eat while you browse, chat, and take a break from the holiday chaos under the mighty boughs of the Big Oak trees. We offer great in-person discounts and will have a variety of items from all four of the Etsy shops on display. I love to “clean house” at the end of the year to make room for new products, so a lot of things will be greatly discounted. This is a great opportunity to shop small and get lots of beautifully made gifts for your friends and family. These pictures from last year’s show speak for themselves and we hope to see you there! If you would like to see links to all of our Etsy shops in one place and start shopping early, click here.
We are going to be kicking it at Barnes and Nobles today for the Makers’ Fair, and thought it would be really awesome to have some pictures representing Josh’s woodworking process. If you are local to the area and want to come “Meet the Makers”, swing by today!
Many of you who know me know that I go through a “thing” this time of year. A lot of you who don’t know me probably know this as well, as I keep bringing it up, stumbling over it in an attempt to wrap my head around it and move forward! It is the post-Halloween funk that creeps in every year. BUT I just had an epiphany. The kind that as soon as you think it, realize that it is true because of the pure simplicity of it. Finally, I can navigate through the turmoil because I have identified it! I have been seeing things all wrong. I have always thought that my struggle this time of year is because I go from being SO SUPER BUSY to having nothing to do…I stumble over my ideas, my creativity, don’t know where to start or how to get anything done. I always thought this was because after a long period of hard work, I am free to chill but just can’t figure out how to relax, BUT THAT’S BACKWARDS!! I was talking to myself (of course), considering sending a message to a very dear friend who does a lot of energy healing and in my mind, I was trying to figure out what I would ask her if I could…If I was willing to call her up and say “Hey lady! Help me out here!” what exactly would I be asking for help for? Then I heard it clear as a bell in my mind. How to focus my energy… You see, it isn’t that I am suffering from a lack of this or that, but it is actually too much to handle all at once! I go from having my days laid out very simply, like a train on the tracks, one order after another, from start to finish every day. There isn’t a lot of wiggle room, so I adapt and get used to not having to think about any of it. I make my to-do list, and just get to work shipping them out as soon as I am able. When it is over, I am left not with too much time on my hands, aimless and drifting with no direction, but am actually suffering from an overload of choices! It’s like being on a diet of greens and nuts, then going to a rich, succulent Indian buffet! It’s everything you’ve been missing and it hits you all at once that you could eat it all!! But wait, you can’t….You have to pick and choose, and in a way, it is almost like you have forgotten how to exercise that muscle of choice. How to go carefully and thoughtfully forward in a present state of mind, without a road map to guide you. I always stumble this time of year, so now that I know why, I have a plan. If my “choice” muscle is out of practice, I need to start small, with simple choices every day, and build up to the bigger ones. I have 20 minutes before the kids get home from school, how do I want to spend it? Do I want to photograph some new items for the shop, or start stitching this new quilt I’ve had on hold forever, or just meditate on my new discovery? I know one thing is for sure: I love having choices and I plan to take full advantage of it while I can so that when the path is laid out and simple again, I can appreciate a break this more complicated matrix of creating and building things from scratch! I love a good epiphany. <3