Featured Item of the Week! Indigo Bonus Quilt

Yesterday, instead of doing a “Featured Item of the Week” post, I had this big idea about putting together a blog post that was a compilation of all of my favorite purchases from Etsy.  It is a great idea, a fun story to tell, and a lot of love to share for fellow Etsy sellers!…So why, instead am I sharing my own newest quilt addition?  Because I am not organized dsc_0243-1enough to put something like that together on the fly.  Apparently, there is this big wide world called the “blogosphere” that I have yet to break into where people do things like that all the time, but for this old gal, it is still a new trick.  The key word(s) being “on the fly”, meaning I will work on putting this post of mine together, but until then, I am going to have to stick to what I know.  SO, on that note, take a look at my pretty new quilt!  I have been working on this one for a while, meaning I spent time on it, got it ready to quilt, then let it sit there while I was distracted with what felt like an dsc_0257-1infinite number of other things while it sat patiently, calling my name ever so softly.  Then one day, it got impatient with me and I could no longer put off the inevitable or ignore its beakoning call.  I am glad it came together in its own time, though, and wasn’t one of those projects I was inclined to rush through.  It feels like one of those special pieces that I will never really forget, and will always (to a small extent) regret dsc_0284-1selling.  It is an improvisational plus sign design, made from old blue jeans that
were too ripped up to pass on, and some red vintage linen that I inherited from my Grandmother’s fabric stash.  Other than the vintage and recycled fabric, it is 100% organic.  The back is my Navy Constellation Map print on GOTS organic cotton sateen, which is also the binding.  It is quilted in a free motion herringbone design with unbleached cotton thread.  I had fun with this one.  See the full listing on Etsy by clicking this link.  dsc_0248-2

Featured Item of the Day (And this week’s special deal too!)

DSC_0644 (1)You get two for the price of one this week!  Today’s message will share the Featured Item of the Day as well as the special deal of the week.  As predicted, I slipped from my goal to do two posts a week.  Anyone who knows me even a little bit would not be surprised at all by this, especially since I always bring up what a challenge it is for me to be consistent in almost every post.  Just consider it a growing pain of a very awkward blogger and we will all get along just fine!  Back to the Featured Item of the Day!  DSC_0563 (2)This quilt.  Just take a long look at this quilt.   This is the organic cotton equivalent of cloud gazing.  You could look at this and see all sorts of fun illusions.  For instance, I see the reflection of a dragon flying over a lake, insects, and a bony pelvis…Ok, you get the idea.  There is a lot to see!  These are hand dyed from organic cotton, including the coordinating backing material.  I have a goal to do more of these soon, in larger sizes up to a twin sized quilt, so keep an eye out for those.  The rusty-red color was made from spontaneously combining two different dyes, so it is unique and one of a kind.

NOW, for the coupon code you’ve ALL been waiting for!  This week’s deal is extended through NEXT Friday, September 9th.  It is a free organic cotton bunting (also known as the triangle flag banners…) with any $100 purchase.  Pretty sweet, right?!  They make any room feel like the occupants might just break out into dance, or singing, or other party-related behaviors.  All you have to do to take full advantage of this offer is choose the triangle bunting you want from the Clearance Section (<— Live link) of my shop and add it to your cart with the rest of your purchase.  As long as your total before shipping is $100 or more, you can get a $19 discount during checkout absolutely free.  This is the cost of the bunting, so it will discount your entire order for that amount.  Easy peasy, lemon squeezy!  The coupon code to enter during checkout is FREEBUNTING19 .   See you next time!

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Only Two More Days of Free Shipping!

We made it to Thursday!  Celebrate with some free shipping from Kari Goodwin Quilts, either on Etsy or the new Pattern stand alone website.  This platform is something new I am trying, which is offered from Etsy as a solution to folks like me who are testing the waters of having an independent website from which to sell.  I like the website, but I would love to know what you think!  Connect with me and let me know how you like to look, the listings, and don’t forget to enter FREESHIPPING for free shipping on any and all orders!   Here is the link to the new website karigoodwinquilts.com or on Etsy karigoodwinquilts.etsy.com

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We are Back!

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. DSC_0882  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!

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A Moving Target…The story of how a quilt taught me a lesson.

 

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!”  IMG_9275I 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.   IMG_9280I 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!

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Today’s Featured Item – Lush Cozy Cactus Quilt

IMG_2258Hey howdy hey!  Look who’s back!   Today I will share with you a fresh and brand new quilt that I JUST finished sewing this morning.  Actually, I finished it yesterday, but I just finished sewing on the little flowers today.  I have to give the credit for that sweet little embellishment, IMG_2261which in my opinion just MAKES this quilt, to Josh!  He mentioned it in passing when I was designing this quilt a few days ago and trying to find a good match for the cactus top.  I wanted to pair it with this rich sunshine golden-colored cotton for the backing, and it just wasn’t working.  He said that it would have worked great if I had drawn some little flowers on the cactus tips, which gave me the idea of adding them as embellishments to the quilt itself.  That got me to thinking about a IMG_2264whole range of fabrics that I could design that would be intended for little embellishments like that.  That is still a very new idea I am hatching, but an exciting one!  So here she is, the Lush Cozy Cactus and Red Desert Bird quilt.  I am the WORST when it comes to getting creative with names and such.  Unless it’s totally random, like this quilt *would* be named The Darla if I were so inclined to give it a name just for the sake of it.  Have a GREAT Friday and a wonderful weekend to all from me and Darla!! 🙂 IMG_2270

A Simple Rhino Tale

It started as a simple craft done at the kitchen table.  The kids had been given this gingerbread man cutout that was laminated so they could bring it home and trace it, play with it, make more gingerbread men…You get the idea.  But this made them want to make other shapes that they then traced and colored, like the gingerbread man.  There came from this simple day of play, a collection of rhinos.  Large and small, bright and bold, with fierce horns, and bowed heads.  Some even had two heads…one on each side!  (Just to represent the monstrous side of things!!)  They were so precious.  The kids cut them out, colored them, and turned them into puppets with popsicle sticks.  Like many things born in this way, they were all too soon forgotten, having fallen under the table, or stuck behind a chair, and they were no longer interested in playing with them.  That is when my inspiration struck!  IMG_5970

You see, I had been experimenting with fabric design, and playing around with my own doodles for a couple of weeks, trying to get the hang of the graphic nature of online fabric design.  In a moment of brilliance, I saw these sweet, disregarded rhinos for what they were…Complete and total inspiration!   My kids might have been finished with them, but I was only getting started.  I deconstructed the popsicle stick version, and layed them out on a white surface to photograph, and the rest is history.  I now have a collection of ten or so fabric designs, all featuring the rhino stick puppet cut outs.  I love them.  When I look at them, I am instantly happy, rejuvenated, and transported back to that magical day.  I know it was a magical day because I have tried over and over to recreate the experience with no luck whatsoever.  They can tell I am onto them now, and like the tap-dancing, singing frog, they just sit there and ribbit at me when I suggest in my most cheerful voice, “Who wants to make some stick puppets with a new animal today!?”  I IMG_3911know it will come back around one day, but for now, I am utterly smitten and happy with our little rhino collection.
Each time an item sells with the fabric they helped design, I tell them about it, and give them a little cash for their piggy banks.  It has become a source of pride and joy for them to see their drawings made into something lasting and tangible.

Then one day a few months ago, I receive this letter through Etsy:

“Hey there,
I am a Zookeeper with the Toronto Zoo and I am organizing a fundraiser through our AAZK committee to help raise money for Rhino Conservation! Last year we were able to raise over $17,000!
We are currently looking for any Rhino related items that companies/ organizations would be willing to donate as auction items for our event! All funds go directly towards the facilities that support Rhino Conservation!
If you would consider donating a Rhino blanket I also have an official letter I could send you along with more information need be!
We REALLY appreciate every little donation and will definitely advertise what companies donated items for our auction in hopes that it would also help you get more business!
I hope to hear from you soon and am happy to answer any questions you may have!
Thank you!”IMG_9886

I thought that was so awesome.  Awesome in so many ways…the conservation of rhinos?  CHECK!  The pleasure of meaningful donations? CHECK!  Getting our family business all the way out to Toronto? CHECK!  And my favorite one of all…Talking to my daughter about the significance of this project?  Check.  I let her read the letter and asked her what she thought.  She does have a sense of ownership over these blankets and quilts with her drawings on them, and if I was to give one away, I wanted to know how she felt about that.  It meant I wouldn’t get paid for it, which would mean she wouldn’t get any dollars for her piggy bank either.  Did she even hesitate for one, single second?!  Of course she didn’t.  She thought it was amazing and awesome too.  We looked into the organization together and IMG_1513did some rhino research, and we became even more aware of the issue than we already were.  When I shipped the blanket off to Toronto, I made sure she knew it was on the way, and we celebrated the moment together.

I guess the moral of the story here is this…You never know where an idea will take you.  You never know what small thing will one day become a very big and important thing.  You never know when a laminated gingerbread man made from blue construction paper and sent home in your child’s school folder will change the way you do business.  You just never know, and isn’t that amazing!  Now I see rhinos everywhere.  Mostly they are sad stories about poaching, or declining populations, but I hear them.  I am aware of them, and I donate to the cause as I am able because it feels like the right thing to do…and the kids think so too!

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Today’s Featured Item: Twinkle Twinkle Little Star Quilt

il_570xN.602463201_byuyToday’s featured item is a fun and different way to expose your little ones to music.  Featuring notes from only the treble clef of the song, Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, the notes are all correctly rendered and positioned to reflect the tune.  It is a whole cloth quilt, meaning that the top of the quilt is not pieced, but consists of one entire cut of fabric.  The back is straight black, and it has black binding as well.  I wanted the quilt to reflect the simplicity of sheet music, so I chose to only use the white and black colors on this one, although I did an Amazing Grace quilt and added colorful binding, which I preferred once I saw it as a finished project. It is 100% GOTS organic cotton, with organic cotton and bamboo batting inside.  I really enjoyed making this quilt, and can see it going in so many cool directions…For example, with someone who writes their own music and wanted to give a personalized quilt as a gift…So funky and unique!!  To see the Etsy listing, click here.

Today’s Featured Item

IMG_5186This quilt is one of my new creations of 2015.  It features hand dyed organic cotton muslin and wonky, perfectly imperfect circles.  What I love about this quilt is that I had never used circles before…Never actually sewn circles, to tell the truth.  When I imagined this quilt and drew it out in my notebook, I never thought I would have so much fun with the circles.  First, I cut out my large squares and large circles.  I cut them all into quarters, and layered the quarter circle on top of the quarter square, and then traced the circle shape onto the square and cut it out.  I actually wanted the circles to be wonky and improvisational looking, and was surprised at how uniformly it all turned out, even though I didn’t use a template or anything to trace out my circles!  Raspberry Pie, make your big debut!