Shop closing sale!

I’m closing my Etsy shop, Sunshine & Mud.  Turns out homeschooling 5 kids and taking care of various pets added with general housework doesn’t leave me much time for an Etsy shop…especially if I want a least a little bit of downtime!

So if you’d like some awesome fabric for 40% off, use the coupon code CLOSE13 at checkout for your discount!


Is it still time for a resolution?

January is coming to a close, and I’m not usually one to make New Year resolutions.  But this year I’d like to change that.  It took me almost the whole month of January to figure one out.  Are you ready?  I’m going to finish up all the projects I have going and *gasp* only work on one at a time after that, with the exception of knitting afghans of course since they take so darn long.

What a great idea!
What a great idea!

Why a light fixture?  That is one of the projects.  I updated almost all of the fixtures downstairs, but there is one that is still sitting in my garage in its box, waiting.  Waiting for either me to give it a go or to call and electrician.  Perhaps I’ll call this week…perhaps.

quilt sandwich
quilt sandwich

So here’s the tally of what I have going: 3 quilts in various stages (the one above is almost done; all quilted up waiting for binding), a knitted baby sweater, a knitted afghan that will take forever but be awesome, a wooden table and chair set for the kids that is built but needs to be painted, reupholster a couple of chairs, hang chandelier above breakfast table, refinish an end table, plant a garden, and build two sets of bunk beds.  OK, that last one is for the husband to do, but I may help him.

I firmly resolve to complete these all within the year!  Yes, I have to give myself a loooong time.  Remember I have 5 kids that I homeschool, so give me a break!  My “carrot” for finishing all of this?  Why, painting the Kitchen cabinets of course!  It’s ok if you don’t think I’m normal.  Neither does my husband.

**Quilt above is Anna Maria Horner’s Birdcage on a Chain pattern using Joel Dewberry’s Aviary 2 fabric.  The light fixture is the Star Ceiling Mount from Ballard Design.

On the Making of a Quilt

I often question whether I should make quilts, or anything for that matter, any more.  Yes, I like creating, but what purpose does it serve?  I can easily buy blankets and clothes.  That would give me more time to do things that really need to get done around the house like laundry and cleaning, to name a few.

Then a few weeks ago I got an email from my friend, Katrina.  Here is part of it:

Ed and I are very happy to be expecting baby #5 sometime around the 4th of July. On the Monday before Christmas, we received the sad news that our baby has a neural tube defect called acrania, which is very similar to the condition that our second child, Lucy, was born with. This condition is always fatal – our baby will be fine in utero, but will not be able to survive after birth. We are doing well and know that we can do this, especially since we have walked this road before. We are sad, but we trust in God’s plan for our family and are very grateful for this child. We would love your prayers, especially for our children’s emotional well-being, and for our peace and patience.

I was immediately moved to make a quilt for this family.  I’m not really sure why it had to be a quilt, but I just had a strong desire to make one no matter how much time it took.

I carefully picked out a pattern and beautiful fabric to make the quilt.  In the center is one big heart to represent their family, and I added 5 smaller hearts onto the quilt to represent each of their children; the ones here and the one in Heaven.

Every afternoon for a few weeks, I worked on this quilt.  Where ever I happened to be sitting while I was quilting, the kids would find me.  They used this time to tell me all of their made up “Once upon a time” stories that would always start in the forest (and end with potty humor and fits of giggles of course).  Matilda would help me with the stitches while being very careful not to poke Matthew with the needle because he was hiding under the blanket.

With every stitch I thought of Katrina’s baby cozy in the womb, then of my own little baby kicking in my belly.  I even thought of Anna Maria Horner, the designer of the fabric I was using, who lost her seventh last year.  All these sweet babies giving so much love.

It wasn’t until I was binding the quilt did I realize that the making of a quilt is just as important as the final product.  My kids will forever have those memories of spending uninterrupted time with Mommy while she quilts.  I will forever be grateful of the time with each stitch that I got to pray for so many sweet babies and learn so much from just a needle, thread and my thoughts.  It wasn’t until the binding of the quilt did I even realize the correlation between my making the quilt and letting it go and Katrina and Ed growing a baby only to let it go.

I believe the true beauty and dignity lies within a person’s choices.  The choice that Katrina and Ed have made to let this baby grow, despite the sadness they are sure to feel in the end, shows true, selfless beauty and dignity.  They are choosing to make a soul; stitch together a tiny, perfect little soul for nine months so that baby will be ready when the time comes for him or her to go to Heaven.