Sunday, August 31, 2014

A Few of My Favorite Things

   I have been busy designing and creating new things for Fall Quilt Market, but I've had requests from followers who want to know more about me. Most everyone I meet at market, shows, or classes see me in a professional setting, so let's stir things up a bit and I'll tell you 10 things that make me happy! Of course, Turning Twenty makes me very happy but let's get more personal :)

1) Babies
This is our sweet Lily Grace. There is just something about babies that make me smile more than anything! They are so sweet, innocent, and loving. My great grand babies don't worry about finances, stress, or relationships. All they have to worry about is being happy and giving big kisses! When I hold a baby, I am just like a sponge. I soak up all their happiness, carefree ways, and love. That refreshes me! Babies are truly a miracle sent straight from Heaven, that's why I think they smell so good (have you ever sniffed the top of a babies head? Heavenly!) We are allowed to mold our babies and help them to become amazing grown ups. What a gift!

2) Falling Rain
"Rain, rain, go away.." That's not something you'll hear me say. Just look at our precious baby Jude, how he loves to splash in the puddles! I love rain and savor when we are blessed with showers! Rain is God's way of cleansing the earth and bringing new life. It's rejuvenating and brings so much peace. The smell of a thunderstorm that is just about to break from the clouds, the sound of rain hitting the roof (which is also romantic), and how the world looks green and new just after it rains. It's truly beautiful.

3) Chickens
Just a pleasant preschool memory from my childhood that always makes me giggle.
When I was a little girl, we had a chicken pen in the backyard. I loved going in the pen and talking to the chickens, but so scared of our mean old rooster. Not crazy about roosters, but chickens make pretty great friends when you are three years old! 

4) Real Hugs
This picture of our lovely Michelle and her baby boy, Kyle is a perfect example a "real hug." A real hug involves both arms lovingly wrapped around someone and being squeezed in a loving way :) It's not a one armed little squeeze from the side, a handshake, or a pat on the back. Real hugs are warm and full of love, they make you feel all happy inside. Real hugs come from people who truly love and care about you. When you receive a real hug, you just know it! 

5) Belly Laughs 
Speaking of belly laughs! This is our silly little Hailey. She's always good for a belly laugh! She tried  "no heat" curls by rolling her wet hair up and tying it with yarn. Kinda like in the good ol' days when there was no such thing as a curling iron ;) But look how it turned out the next morning! Hehe :) I doubt her husband was impressed!
The Bible says laughter is good like a medicine. I've also heard it burns calories, what a great added bonus! A really good belly laugh just makes my day and our granddaughter sure knows how to do that! 

6) Traveling
I haven't traveled in a long time and honestly, I really would love to have more time to travel. When Gary was in the Army, we were stationed in Germany. We visited France, Austria, Switzerland, Spain, and Luxembourg! Flying to Germany was actually my first time to fly. I turned 18 on May 23rd, graduated high school May 25th, married my high school sweetheart May 26th, and was in Germany on May 30th!! Talk about a CRAZY week in our lives! But it was worth it, and I am looking forward to when Gary and I can travel more of the world together.

7) Good Food

Food... I try so hard to eat healthy, watch my calories, and drink a lot of water, but sometimes you just need some GOOD food! I have always loved cooking. I love sitting down with my family with a big dinner, enjoying each others company, and eating. Food always seems to bring people together, which is another reason I love to cook for my family. It warms my soul when my whole brood is together at the same time. Food is good, especially when it's Hailey's German Chocolate Coconut Pecan glazed cake! Everyone needs comfort food sometimes, right? ;) 

8) Christmas
Christmas is my favorite holiday. It's the time to remember the birth of Christ, putting up the Christmas Tree and decorating with lights and ornaments! I love the beautiful Christmas hymns and special time spent with those we love. I love that so many people are talking about the most historic event in the world when they say, "Merry Christmas!" They may not realize it, but by even saying that, they are bringing Him glory! Christmas just puts the right amount of love and joy into the air, and I can't get enough of it :)
Wish I could scoop it up in a baggie and take a whiff every now and then!

9) Family
My sweet, sweet family. Here is a picture of Gary and our 2 babies, Michelle and Scotty, back in 1976. Family means everything to me. God blessed me with such an amazing husband, who is also my best friend. He makes me feel like I'm his one and only! I was also blessed with 2 amazing children that I couldn't possibly love any more! My children are the best things I have ever done and I am so proud of them. They have both turned into amazing adults! Even though they are both married and Michelle has made me a grandmother twice, they are still my babies! I am also a great grandmother to 4 great grand babies! I love my family <3

10) Worship
I lived the first 29 years of my life not knowing God. That all changed in 1979 and my life has never been the same. I worship because there is nothing that compares to the goodness of God.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Our first Q&A!

Lately, I have really been wanted to connect more with my followers on FaceBook, and couldn't think of a better way than to open up a questions and answer post! I allowed any and all questions, even if it had nothing to do with Turning Twenty. I believe when we connect with other people, even through social media, we begin to have more positive emotions which lead to a greater happiness. Who doesn't want to be happier?! Connecting with people begins an "upward spiral" of well-being and happiness, which is what we all want.
  I only received a few questions, but I believe this will pick up. Here are the questions and my responses!

Julie- I'm new to quilting and purchased the book to do the stained glass quilt (Book # 5) I also purchased a TON of different colored material..but the instructions state to use fat now IDK how to do this. Do you have any video tutorials?

A- Julie, video tutorials are something I've felt awkward about doing, however looks like I will be doing video tutorials in the near future. To help you with your dilemma right now though, let me explain.  My Turning Twenty book series are patterns written specifically for fat quarters. If you can cut 18" x 21" rectangles from your assorted fabrics, you can then cut according to the pattern for Stained Glass.  Hope this helps. By the way, welcome to the wonderful world of quilting!

Kim- I would like to know what you do with your fabric scraps. When is a scrap small enough to throw away? I get so overwhelmed with my box of scraps. Sometimes I think I should just donate it. I somehow feel that could be a freeing experience. 

A- Scraps, scraps, scraps! How they pile up.  Kim, two or three times a year I box up scraps and yardage and donate these to be used for charity quilts.  However, as you might guess, I have a huge, gigantic, massive scrap stash. If it's 2 inches wide I keep it, regardless what length it is. I've purged so many times throughout the years, but doubt I'll ever be without a hefty scrap stash. Donating fabrics is very rewarding. I guess what happens when we give it comes back to us a hundredfold!  :)

Leslee- Can't help but wonder if you remember my mama, Bo Burkett. I think of her and you every time I see one of the quilts she pieced and you quilted. Such treasures!

A- Leslee, not only do I remember your sweet mama, but I remember you!  Your mama talked about you and Dana all the time! God truly used Bo in my life to help instill the confidence I needed to do what I'm doing today. Seriously, from the very first time I quilted for your mama, she became my own personal cheerleader. Hiring me to quilt for her, helped tremendously toward paying off my first quilting machine, she was a very prolific quilt top maker!  The last time Gary and I visited with your mama was at her big birthday party!  I think of her so often and love her still. Thank you for writing. I hope all is well in your life.

Peggy- I have heard that writing a pattern is tough because you don't know of the reader's skill level. Did you find this true for your patterns? (which I love)

A- Peggy, here comes the truth....I despise writing pattern instructions! I love every aspect of quilting except for that. Writing an accurate pattern requires discipline, mental focus, good math skills and ability to communicate. I CAN communicate, although sometimes my grammar isn't quite correct. My math skills are fair. Mental focus and discipline are not my strong suits.  I try to write as if the person following my instructions has minimal sewing/quilting experience.  I've been told that I write 'too much' instruction. I've also been told the detailed instruction, with photos and diagrams, have helped many succeed in making a quilt when they didn't think they could!  That's what makes me happy.  Now, here's my secret....I have skilled family and friends who can take my writing, make sure it's accurate and make me look like I know what I'm doing!  Thanks for loving 'my' patterns. :)

Thank you SO much for the interaction. I really enjoyed hearing from everyone and can't wait to do this again. Let me know if you enjoyed this as much as I did! Hoping to doing it again soon :)