Monday, August 28, 2017

Please Don't Judge Me on the Chapter You Walked In On...

Someone recently told me "You're in a unique get to write this next chapter.  You get to decide what's next for you.  Choose wisely.  Make it awesome."

Very powerful words that I haven't taken lightly.  It's been extremely difficult over theses past few years to have any clear direction on what's next.  Where exactly do I go from here. What makes my situation unique though is loss. For the first time in my adult life, I don't have to make a decision based on anyone's wants or needs but my own.  The things that I was holding onto as a security blanket and my excuse for not making any major decisions were taken from me.  More changes. It was as if the universe was saying "The time is now, Penny.  It's time for you to focus on you and you can no longer hide behind taking care of others.  It's time for you to write this next chapter."

The one thing I think I've realized most of all is that we are all authors in our daily lives.  We might use the excuse "I can't do that because..." or "I have to do this because...". Excuses.  We excuse ourselves from doing the very things we want to do most because why?  Fear? Fear of what ...failing?  That it might be hard? That it might take us out of our comfort zone?"   Do you feel stuck...because even stuck is a choice.  Stuck is easy...there is comfort there don't have to get uncomfortable if you just get to complain...which does nothing but make you miserable.

Every thought we think is a choice, tell yourself you can't about anything and you won't......every word we speak is a choice....the way we treat we react and respond to the situations life throws at us....telling yourself this is just who I am and that is all you will ever be. ...we are the ones with the pen in our hand to write our story.  Want something different....close this chapter.  Give it a positive it closure but also an ending that makes you anticipate what comes next....eager to turn the next page...and begin again.

That's where I'm at in my life's now...trying to figure out what's next. Many of you have played an active role in my story whether in person or following my online presence and I thank you for being here and for your encouragement and support.  My goal now is for you to say  "Look at the heroine of this story ....she has survived  the trials that life has thrown at her....she's rising above....she's shared her heart and shed some light....we've laughed and cried with her." And as you read the end to this last goal is for you to turn the next page and exclaim with delight ..."I never saw this coming!"

Thursday, July 20, 2017


When Susan Emory, aka: Swirly Girls Design, reached out and asked who might be interested in creating a quilt from her new fabric line "Hello!", I just could not resist!

I love that Susan continually uses bright fun colors in her fabric designs!  I decided I wanted to create a scrappy design so I pulled out my "go to" block when I'm looking for scrappy!  This block is perfect for using up those 2 1/2" strips.  The background (I used a turquoise blue) squares are 4.5".

 Look how fun this scrappy block turns out with this fabric!  Makes me Happy!

Even better is finishing up this quilt and getting to see it in Susan's booth at Quilt Market in St Louis!

Anyway you look at's just a fun quilt with a great new fabric line!

Monday, January 23, 2017

One small thing...because...LOVE.

There are those friends in life that you meet along the way that you have that instant connection just feel the love from the get go....and that would describe my friendship with Jessica Darling. If you've met her then you know...she's beautifully intense.  That girl is on fire for quilting...and a bit of a maniac...which admittedly is what I love most about her.  We've shared joys and sorrows...laughter and tears...but most of all....our hearts.  Her love has been steadfast and her experience with her own well of grief has allowed her to guide me through my own maze after my significant loss.  

She and I are all about finding hearts in, I have to admit nothing makes me laugh so much as to open a message from her on my phone and find she's sent me a random toilet paper heart with a note that says "In the bathroom...thinking of you!" I truly believe those hearts are messages from beyond...and they have become even more prevalent in my life over the past year and a half. A reminder to me that above all else.... to LOVE.  

As painful a process as grief is....there is also beauty in the journey if you open your heart enough to  allow yourself to see and feel it.  There are lessons to be learned along the way but you must be willing to feel the experience at the deepest level and that can be incredibly scary. You have to learn to love yourself as yourself and not somebody's wife, or somebody's child...or somebody's mother.   I made it through that first year relying heavily on family and friends, like Jessica, who seemed to sense when I needed them the most and reached out to remind me "we've got you."   And because somebody cared enough to take a heart is learning that it is safe for me to love again...and I will always be grateful for that.

Recently Jessica asked me if I would consider joining forces with her on a special project...releasing a pattern...with than effort to promote love by doing one small thing.  Her pattern, a heart named Penny...after me.  <cue the tears>  The plan is simple...make a block.  Make a bunch of blocks.  Use those blocks in a quilt, Swap those blocks even...but whatever you do...let them go out into the world promote LOVE. Click on the hashtag below to watch her video explanation

Here's the pattern and info you need to get started!
 3 1/2" squares and I cut my HST's 3 7/8".

10 12x22" cuts (we call em Fresh Cuts at Villa Rosa) will do the hearts and about 3 1/4 yards will do the background, OR 10 1/3 yard cuts will make a 72x90ish quilt, if I did my math right? A 4x5 grid for 20 blocks total.

I've already started on my heart blocks...thank you to the awesome and amazing Amanda Herring (The Quilted Fish) who is a fabric designer for Riley Blake for sending me some beautiful red and pink fabrics.   

So who's ready to make some heart blocks and share some LOVE?