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.
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!