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Jan 16 / Jamie

Paying It Forward

I am currently filled with gratitude.  As many of you know, it has been a relatively difficult couple of months for us.  We had two major weather events hit our neck of the woods this fall (Irene and the Halloween snow storm).  Luckily, the worst that happened to us was some power losses and major inconveniences for a few weeks.  I had my first ever health “scare”, finding a lump in my breast that thankfully turned out to be benign.  And then, while traveling to see our relatives over Christmas, our car broke down on the interstate in the middle of the night.  After a tow, a hotel, and a mad dash by Mike to several car rental agencies, we made it on time to our family, a little more frazzled than normal, but at least we were together.  And, while I know there are so many families in this country and the world who are far less fortunate than we are, and I am eternally grateful for all that we have (most notably, three vibrant children, family that love and support us, and the best friends that anyone could ever hope for) sometimes you just feel worn down.

So, in light of this, the random acts of luck and kindness that I have received over the past few months have been ESPECIALLY and ENTHUSIASTICALLY appreciated.  It feels so amazing to be given something just because.  It feels lucky to win a giveaway.  And the connections you can develop from these chance occurrences are sometimes, most times(!) even better than the “stuff”.

A brief interlude, if I may.  I am a huge giver.  Anyone who has come to my house knows that you can’t leave without something. Eggs, meat, veggies, soap, flowers.  We often have more than we need and love sharing.  Now that I am sewing, I have been giving tons of handmade gifts to friends.  New baby bundles, quilts, pouches, bags.  I have done several giveaways on this blog.  If I am being totally honest, I am kind of addicted to the feeling I get when giving something to someone else.  It just feels so darn good.  But, I am not a great “receiver”.  I always felt very awkward opening gifts that I was given in front of other people.  Birthdays, showers, they all made me so anxious when it came time to open the gifts.  I don’t really know why.  But, I know how good it feels to see the look of delight and gratitude on someone else’s face, and so I want to do the same.  It is hard for me to do this without feeling like I am bragging or showing off, but I desperately want to acknowledge the wonderful gifts that have found their way to me recently.  Additionally, in the spirit of paying it forward, I will be sending handmade items to the first three people who comment on this blog post.  International commenters are welcome.  Not yet sure what I will send, but I hope it will be as well received as what I have gotten lately!

First is this adorable handmade notebook from Suzanne who blogs at Girl For All Seasons:


 She had done one of these Pay It Forward post on her blog and I was lucky enough to have one of the first three comments.  Aren’t these amazing?  You should check out her blog, she has recently taken up print making and her work is very graphically striking.  So, thanks, Suzanne, for paying it forward, and now it is my turn to do the same!!!

I had SUCH a blast taking part in the most recent SMS Giveaway Day event.  It is honestly more fun for me to host a giveaway than win one.  But, I had the good fortune of winning not one, not two, but THREE different giveaways.

The first was this bundle of fabric from the talented Mo Bedell, fabric designer and blogger at Lime Gardenias.  Her most recent line is called Mechanical Genius and it is perfect!  Bright, vibrant colors, and great geometric prints.  Totally my style.  I can’t wait to set sewing with these. I can think of about a million projects to make for my boys!

Mechanical Genius

 AND, when she heard I have a little girl and loved the tiny piece of her Party Dress line I got in a swap a while back, she was generous enough to send me a stack of these lovelies as well.  So. Amazing.

Party Dress

The second giveaway prize I won was from Joanna who blogs at Applique Today.  I won this lovely little kit that I can use and make a lovely little appliquéd tea towel!  I think her fabric choices were fantastic and I can’t wait to make this and use it next year at Christmas.  Joanna has a fabulous blog with tons of great tutorials, a must see!

SMS Giveaway Dat

 AND THEN, just when I thought it couldn’t get any better, I got an email from PAT SLOAN.  If you don’t know who Pat Sloan is, or listen to her radio show, you must not be a quilter ;).  She is great, has such a fantastic point of view, and has the best interviews, hand down.  I got this bundle of goodies from her, including an autographed copy of her book, some cool ear buds, a charm pack of Bella solids, and some Aurifil thread.  AMAZING.

SMS Giveaway Prize

So then, totally out of the blue, my good friend Miriam sent me some fabrics from her stash.  She knows I love geometric prints and I have already put some of these into use lining an iPad sleeve and boxed pouch that I sent to a good friend.  Thanks Miriam, this trip down the rabbit hole gets better and better 😉

Fabric from a friend

And finally, I was at work the other day and one of the grad students who has been to my house to sew had a surprise for me.  She had spent some time living and working in Ghana.  She had gotten a ton of fabric while she was there.  Theses were extras from a completed project.  There are a few yards of each print.  They are stunning and I can’t wait to use them.  I am thinking bags or pillows (or both!).

African fabric

Seriously.  My cup is running over and the love and gratitude I am feeling is enough to make my heart burst.  And so, I must pass some of this good energy one to three lucky people.  Just leave a comment, any old thing you want to say.  And I will make something to send to you.  And maybe it will come on a day when you REALLY need it. Just like these goodies all came to me at a time when I needed to feel loved and lucky.




Leave a comment
  1. 1
    AnnaPK / Jan 16 2012

    You won the robot prints! Love that line! Also, I love the notebook, I made a few like that for Christmas gifts. They are so fun and simple!

    I found your blog on SMS giveaway day and I think it is great! I love to see what you are up to. We are beginner hobby farmers and avid crafters too. I have learned a lot about farming by reading your older posts and i look forward to following along on your adventures!

    • 1.1
      Jamie / Jan 17 2012

      Just sent you an email! Congrats and thank you for checking out our blog. I hope you continue to find it useful. If you have any suggestions for future posts, I am all ears!

  2. 2
    Amanda S. / Jan 16 2012

    You are such a generous spirit! Even your blog posts are full of inspiration and happy thoughts! Thanks for the blog – and was gorgeous items!!!

    • 2.1
      Jamie / Jan 17 2012

      Just sent you an email! Congrats and thank you for checking out our blog. Thank you for your lovely words!

  3. 3
    Sarah / Jan 16 2012

    Oh my gosh, those robot fabric prints are AWESOME! (Almost makes me want to learn how to sew. ….Almost.)

    • 3.1
      Jamie / Jan 17 2012

      Just sent you an email! Congrats and thank you for checking out our blog. Those robot prints are awesome!! Can’t wait to start sewing with them!!!

  4. 4
    Jamie / Jan 16 2012

    What great prizes! Glad you made it safely for Christmas!

    • 4.1
      Jamie / Jan 17 2012

      Thank you for posting, even if you weren’t in the first three. And thank you for checking out my blog. We were glad to have made it safely as well.

  5. 5
    Rachelle / Jan 16 2012

    Breaking down in the middle of a highway (or the middle of nowhere) has always been something I don’t want to happen. Glad it worked out ok in the end and you got to your destination safely.

    • 5.1
      Jamie / Jan 17 2012

      Thank you for posting, even if you weren’t in the first three. The whole breakdown thing for me is also on my list of “biggest fears”. The only thing that would have made it worse was if we had been on a bridge. Thank goodness we had AAA, compassionate tow-truck drivers who also had kids and had pre-warmed the tow truck cab, and kids who see everything as just “another adventure”.

  6. 6
    Suzanne / Jan 16 2012

    What a lovely post about gratitude, and congratulations on all the winnings! It is often better to give than to receive, but it also very fun to receive. Enjoy all the fabric. Thank you for the kind words about my printing. I made myself one of those little notebooks as well and use it to keep track of my daily to-do lists. I love looking at it every morning.

    • 6.1
      Jamie / Jan 17 2012

      Thank you again, so much! I think I will try making some notebooks with my kids, what a fabulous suggestion and a great way to use little bits of favorite fabrics. Anything that makes you smile is good in my book!

  7. 7
    kate C. / Jan 16 2012

    I’m glad I’m not one of the first three commenters, because I don’t do well receiving things either, but I wanted to comment to tell you that! You’re not alone in that at all! 🙂

    Glad everything worked out more or less okay after all of that – and winning all those give-a-ways! Awesome!

    • 7.1
      Jamie / Jan 17 2012


      Thank you for taking the time to comment to let me know that I am not the only person who struggles with ‘receiving’. And yes, I am also glad it all worked out in the end. Balance is restored!

  8. 8
    Amanda / Jan 16 2012

    Indeed you do give!
    My favorite housewarming gift ever: your Block Design coasters! Nerdy, functional AND gorgeous!

    • 8.1
      Jamie / Jan 17 2012


      I love those coasters! I actually have an improved version in the works. A bit bigger squares and some interfacing to help stiffen them up. BUT, glad you love them. We will have to do another sewing day very soon.

  9. 9
    beth lehman / Jan 16 2012

    I really love the idea of paying it forward…. AND surprises can humble anyone, really.

    • 9.1
      Jamie / Jan 17 2012

      Thank you for posting, even if you weren’t in the first three. And yes, surprises are very humbling. And I need to remember not to be so “selfish” in wanting to be the one who gives all the time. It is nice to let others experience the joy of giving as well 😉

  10. 10
    DebbieKL / Jan 16 2012

    You did have a lucky streak (after the not so lucky)! It’s always good to take a step back at what you have in life.

    • 10.1
      Jamie / Jan 17 2012

      Thank you for posting, even if you weren’t in the first three. Yes, for everything negative that happened, there was a positive as well. In the end it all worked out, slightly in my favor, if I had to wager a guess 😉

  11. 11
    elizabeth / Jan 18 2012

    You seem to have such a sweet spirit. Good for you to show your gratefulness by paying it forward to someone else. No need to respond to my comment, just wanted to give you a little pat on the back!

    • 11.1
      Jamie / Jan 23 2012

      Thank you for your kind words.

  12. 12
    Vanessa / Jan 20 2012

    Awesome gifts & giveaway winnings. Those robots are just awesome. Love the Pay It Forward concept. I do it on my etsy site, but I need to do a one on my blog soon-as soon as I start posting more regularly again!:)

    • 12.1
      Jamie / Jan 23 2012

      I think it is great as well! I believe so firmly in the concept of putting positive energy out into the universe as often as possible. It feels so good.

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