Featured Item of the Day! Hand Dyed, Organic Cotton Blankets

This is my new favorite color!  It is so rich and has so much depth.  The first yellow dyed I purchased was a dusty sort of muted yellow, which was fine until they discontinued it.  At first, I thought this wouldn’t work because it was so bright, but I have come to really love this color!  I make the blanket first from unbleached, all natural, GOTS certified organic cotton, then dye it in five gallon buckets outside in my front yard.  Each batch is different, and I don’t even try to get it perfectly, evenly dyed because I like it that way.  It makes for a very unique and one of a kind hand dyed fabric.  dsc_0234-1I only use organic cotton, as you might already know, because regular cotton that is not grown organically has SO many pesticides and chemicals used in the growing and production phases;  chemicals which are known carcinogens.  From the standpoint of the Earth and what we are pumping into it, as well as the endless amount of dust created from using fabrics in my home ALL the time, I do not want the exposure to these chemicals for myself and my family.  Working with any kind of cotton releases a lot of dust into the air, whether you are opening it for the first time, washing and drying it, ironing it, cutting it, sewing it, it is a very dusty process when you do it every day.  As we all live in the space where I work, I feel like it’s an important choice for my family.  Offering it to my customers is really a secondary bonus!!  That is why, even though it might be cheaper to use regular cotton, I dsc_0451-1choose not to, and adhere to a pretty strict “organic only” rule when it comes to the materials I use for work.  This can be limiting, but with limitations comes creativity and the push to break through those limits.  That is why I started hand dying cotton in the first place.  I was very unsatisfied with the kinds of colors available in organic cotton.  This was a few years ago, and I am sure you can find much more nowadays than you could when I first started, but I still find the selection to be very limited.  I love the depth and variety I get from dying my own fabrics, and I love that it is done only using organic cottons.  Most of the fabric I buy is also milled and/or grown in the USA as well, which I find to be another layer of investment that is well worth the price, as it supports local farmers here in the US.  So Happy Monday Folks!  I am off to quilt a luscious organic quilt, which should be making its debut this week!  In the meantime, enjoy a look around my Etsy shop, Kari Goodwin Quilts!

Deal of the Week at Kari Goodwin Quilts!

Short, sweet, and to the point!  This week’s special is an extra 25% off all Ready to Ship Clearance Items at Kari Goodwin Quilts, either on Etsy or the new stand alone website!  Cut and paste this coupon code during checkout for 25% off!  >>>>>>HPATSS25 <<<<<<  If you’d like me to make it super easy for you, here is a link to the Clearance Section of the website!   The Clearance Section has all of the banners, bunting, burpies, bandana bibs, and some minky quilts as well that are already marked down really super low!  This deal will be available for the whole week, today through next Saturday.  Now, I am off to sip my coffee and just wait for the sales to flow in!  No, just kidding.  I will be sipping coffee, but the rest is yet to be determined. IMG_8721

Everything Must Change…

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 CuIMG_3565stom 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 IMG_3062on 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 IMG_3349be 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! 🙂

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Quilting Pattern Inspirations…

 

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 IMG_7835designs 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.  IMG_7826

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 do love a good epiphany…

Three cheers for epiphanies and self discovery!! (AKA – talking to yourself! )

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

Crickets and Daydreams…

SO, the crickets are chirping in my head this week.  The busy, buzzy hmm of Halloween business is over and this should be the week to get the creative juices flowing again!  It *should* be, but as I said, the crickets are chirping up there and I don’t really know where to start.  I have some projects to make for Goodwin’s Custom Crafts, baby bedding, nursing pillow covers, but I am waiting for the fabric I ordered to arrive so they can be made.  I am caught up with most other things (SHH – Like saying Macbeth in the theater!) and I should be excitedly plotting my next quilt or set of projects, designing new fabric, or creating some cute Christmas il_fullxfull.614197662_cf9kbanners for my Etsy shops and making the absolute most out of these few days of relative creative freedom between the busy seasons.  Instead, I am sitting here, staring at my to-do list, contemplating a nap.  I always do this…go through a lull between the seasons.  I could be chasing that creative high and pushing through to get some new things listed, or getting ready for our big holiday show, but really, I just want to rest…To take a moment with my rock collection, stare out the window and daydream, watch some mindless TV and fold laundry, or wallow in bed with the kids.  The pressure to “Act fast or this moment will pass!” is there, yelling in the back of my head for me to pull it together and seize the day!  But the more tempting, subtle little message rolling around in my head is to walk away and enjoy the slow moment.  Let it wash over me and give into it.  The creativity will come back.  It always does!  But not if you are pushing and forcing it and being a brute with yourself.  So today, I surrender.  I give in to the laziest version of myself, and will wait quietly for the ideas, passion, drive, desire to create to come back to me.  We will reunite again.  Perhaps after some daydreaming.