This past year has been hard...to say the least. Business has been rough, my mind has been lost and all of my creativity has felt incomplete. This has rubbed off into my personal life as well. I won't go into details, because I'm sure it's happened to all of you in one way or another. I didn't know what to do. I would walk circles in my studio not knowing where to start, or if any of it was even worth it. Especially when comparing myself to other designers, I felt like I couldn't make the cut (BTW, don't EVER do that!).
Last year I had thought a lot about attending Lula, but I didn't. Because it cost money. I felt like that was selfish. Then again, this year I thought the same thing. But my husband (the good man that he is) said, "You should go!" And I said, "OK!"
I packed my bags and headed to Park City. I knew a few of the people from Quilt Market, but not very well and I was mortified. You know, like first day of high school mortified. What if everyone thinks I'm a loser and doesn't talk to me? What if I have to eat by myself? What if I don't catch on in class and they all roll their eyes at me? What if Pink Fig thinks my business is lame or what if the shop owners stop buying my patterns because I'm so crazy? SELFISH THOUGHTS!
So about 15 minutes into the retreat I realized that this just wasn't going to be scary at all. This was a very safe place, where we could express our emotions and our struggles and everyone pitched in to lift us up. Everyone had stories JUST LIKE MINE! They had fears and struggles just like I did and we together as a team were there for each other. We built each other up and at the same time we had teachers who were so incredibly SELFLESS with their skills and taught us so many secrets and talents that we really need for our careers. We had cooks and staff there to make sure we were eating so well and keeping our minds and bodies alert and happy! There were designers, authors, a magazine owner, and Amanda Herring who were there to lead us and guide us! They helped us find a new beginning for our paths and now via the internet we are all able to keep in touch and continue to feel inspired and be supportive!
I have to blog about this, not just to tell you all about it, but to remind myself next year, to go again! THIS WAS SO WORTH IT! Don't just go for the amazing gifts/swag (because OH MY WORD...THE SWAG!!!) or the fancy dining or the great classes, go for the lifetime of new friendships, the support, love, and inspiration from others just like YOU! Just go to find yourself all over again.
This past week I spent a few days at an event called Find Your Lula. I attended this event in hopes of learning a few skills. Never could I have possibly have imagined all the greatness that I gained in such a short amount of time. I established life long friendships, a new found confidence in myself, a love for creativity and people, as well as many other things which I will touch on in another post.
One of the courses taught at Lula was photography. I learned so much in just a few short days with Kristen. I still have a ways to go, but I am so grateful for all she taught me.
Does my shadow make me look tall? ;)
If you are looking for a life changing experience or maybe even just a reboot, check out Lula! You won't be disappointed!
I have had a few requests (and by few, I mean like 3) to show Remi's room with the Petals décor. I don't have a complete photo of the room because it's not all finished and in fact these photos actually show it more "along the way" to completion because I'm not sure when I will actually finish it. I started the flower about 2 years ago and have modified it several times. But now I feel like it is perfect and my best critic (Remi) loves it hanging in her bedroom! We actually have a few now, but these photos are only showing the one.
At one point, I made a quilt to match as well...it's a lot of fun with the petals and ruffles in the middle, but I didn't include it in the pattern because I ran out of time. So...maybe next year? ;)
One thing that I love so much about Remi, is that I never have to bribe her to smile for the camera. She is so willing all the time. She's bit younger in these photos. Her hair is a lot longer now, but her eyes and smile are still the same!
Once I finally decided on where to put the crib, I was able to finalize some decorations. I used all THREE templates in my pattern to make various sizes of baskets and wall petals for her. She just thinks this is the best thing ever and loves looking at her flower every night.
We were very careful with hanging the flower and made sure it was SUPER secure! I like that it's simple and enchanting all in one. Not over the top like a lot of little girl rooms. That's really how we like things around here. I was even able to find all of the polka dot fabric for super cheap (with coupon) at Hobby Lobby! The other fabrics are of course Lila Tuller by Riley Blake Designs.
We still have a lot to do with the rest of the room but I think this is a pretty good start! :)
I've learned that showing my new patterns only gets more and more intimidating every season! I don't know why, but it really does. I would hope it would get easier, but I suppose easy is just wimps right? ;) Without realizing it, I noticed that many of my patterns came together as inspiration from the interests of my children. While it may not appear so, these patterns are completely inspiration from the world around me. So with that said here they are...
Happy Day describes itself in the title. This sweet novelty has become a close favorite to my some of my others. This was sketched on one of the brighter days here in our cold, winter town and on that day I felt such bliss and happiness! April Showers by Bonnie and Camille really gives it a fun look! AND it only uses 2 fat quarters per square!
Baby Mine began as just a quick project. I was certain that it's simplicity wouldn't be attractive to others, but on a whim I introduced it on my IG account (@tinyseamstress) and realized it was more than I gave it credit for and I was super excited to finally get some Madhuri by Quilted Fish in my hands to whip one up! That sweet quilt is coming home with mama after market!
Savvy is pretty snazzy don't you think? I was soooo intimidated to take on this project, but was so thrilled when it finally turned out SIX bags later! I know what you're thinking...holy crap! The zippers are my favorite part, because when they unzip your bag extends THREE inches on each side! And there are so many options with this bag...lots of pocket choices and various handle lengths, etc. And DO NOT be intimidated by those zippers. I am not a zipper person and I can safely say that these are pretty simple to install! I call these bags the Amy & Amanda bags because the fabrics are designed by 2 of my very favorite designers in the whole world. The top bag is Sweet Harmony by Amy Hamberlin and the bottom bag is Lula Magnolia by Amanda Herring.
Frozen is one that came straight from the kiddos! I left that darn theater seeing snowflakes for the next 3 weeks and then on top of that I live in ice central and so this fun design was created. A few of my sweet testers used fabrics with various prints on them and they are super adorable as well! I'll have to share some of those later to give you some other perspectives. This quilt is a perfect twin size. These fabrics are just a mix of Moda solids. And I won't lie, it's fun one to make!
Petals is my favorite design this season. I feel like it's a great way to celebrate the little girl in my life. Initially I designed the flowers to hang on the ceiling in Remi's room (photos to come), but then the idea went a little further with the basket and garlands. I don't know about you, but I think this would be a really cute "enchanted" birthday party theme for a little girl!
And just as a bonus, that basket has been used as her Easter basket for the last 2 years and she just loves it. She carries it for weeks after, until I sneak it away for the next year. This pattern is SUPER simple and pretty quick to make, so don't be intimidated at all! It's made with fusible fleece, fabric, and a little bit of cardboard...crazy right? I've worked on it for 2 years to get it as simple as possible and I think you're just going to love it! Most of the fabrics are Sweet Harmony by Amy Hamberlin.
Planes is another "child obsessed" inspired quilt. My boys love planes! Also a very simple design and quick to put together. No sashing or borders, just blocks and a few of your favorite fabrics! It's a little bigger than a baby quilt and is perfect for that little man in your life to drag around the house. :)
Fabrics are Speedster by Riley Blake Designs.
Patterns will be listed in my shop sometime this week after all of my printing and folding and stuffing is complete! I'll keep you posted! But for now...thanks for your patience. I am just returning from market and can hardly keep my eyes open! :)
About a week ago I was visiting with some friends and our children were running around all crazy. A little girl walked up to me and said, "Why are you little?" I looked at her and smiled and before I answered, her sweet Grandma said, "Remember what Tiffany told you last time you asked that?" I couldn't help but just giggle at her tender spirit and those big eyes staring back at me. I replied, "I'm little because Heavenly Father made me that way! Just the way he made you. We're all different aren't we?"
She smiled and said, "yes" and then she was off doing something else. I went home smiling thinking about her and I was so proud that she had the courage to ask such an intriguing question and even more proud that she was satisfied with the answer. Over the years people (old and young) have always asked me why I'm little. I used to say stuff about mutated genes, or "my dad was over 40" or "I was just the leftovers in my super tall family!" But then one day, my nephew asked my brother why I was so much smaller than him and he said, "Because that's the way Heavenly Father made her!"
"That's it!" I thought. That's my answer and it's 100% the truth.
Several weeks ago my sweet Sawyer came home from school and said, "I don't like it when people call me little!" I thought to myself, "Ok...don't screw this up! This is your mommy moment!"
I asked him, "What do you tell them?"
He said, "I don't say anything. I just don't answer."
I explained to him that maybe he could just say, "That's the way Heavenly Father made me."
He said what he always says, "That's a good idea."
He hasn't brought it up since, but he does walk up to the table, hold his chin up high and say, "Look mom!"
I just reply, "OH my! Look how tall you are Sawyer!" He just walks away with a big grin on his face.
I remember as a child these same struggles. I remember not liking school because every. single. day. people had the same short jokes and they would say them and laugh just like they did the day before. And I would smile and walk away or I'd say something super sarcastic that probably wasn't very Christ-like. While I am a confident person, I too, like everyone else in the world am scarred from things like this and I know this will happen with my children as well, but I am going to prevent them from it as much as I can.
When Sawyer was born and we found out that he had Achondroplasia, I became depressed and suffered for a long time with an extreme amount of guilt for passing this on to my child. Which would probably explain the age gap between him and Remi. But while I was raising Sawyer, something truly miraculous happened, something that made my testimony grow immensely. For the first time, I was able to truly see my sweet babies the way our Heavenly Father sees me, and this allowed me to love myself and forgive myself for passing on this genetic disorder to all three of my children. Yep, I said all THREE.
Ruger is 8 years old and the same height as me, so no he doesn't have Achondroplasia. But he is hearing impaired (which we found out at the same time as Sawyer's diagnosis) and this hearing loss stems from me having Achondroplasia. Crazy right? You'd never ever think that, but I guess it's somewhat common in children with little mommies and daddies. This also put me in full swing post-partum. Thankfully I was able to overcome this somewhat quickly.
As my boys grew, I fell in love so deeply with both of them. They have these sweet sweet personalities. They welcome everyone with open arms, they are well behaved and they have so much fun. There was one week where my husband and I said, "hey maybe we should try for another baby!" and then the next week we said, "no it's still too much." This is a point in life where we can truly say that we were not in control of our destiny because shortly after we discovered that we were expecting a little girl.
I remember being so disappointed to discover that my doctor was no longer delivering babies and that I'd have to go to another. After seeing my new doctor a couple of times and talking with him, I remember him asking me a question (and I think I've told this story before), "Do you plan to have more kids after this?" I said, "I don't know if we're up to it. You see, I tend to pass on my physical genes to my children causing them to have struggles and I just don't know if I can handle any more of that."
He looked me in the eye and said, "Let me tell you something. I have six children. One of which is autistic, one has diabetes, and the list goes on. All of our children come with trials and I promise you that being little isn't the most difficult thing they could have to deal with!"
His words pierced me so strongly, my heart sank and awakened all at once. The reality that all of my children were going to have a trial no matter what made me sad, but his support and reassurance that it wasn't my fault brought such warmth and love to my heart. How could this doctor be so sensitive and know exactly what to say? This was a pivotal turning point in my life. And thank goodness because it was shortly after that we discovered I was having another little baby...GIRL! Perhaps this was just the Lord's way of wrapping up my little family with a bow or maybe not. But I do know that no matter what the world thinks of my family, I know and am completely able to love these children of mine, whole heartedly. Though it's been a hard road emotionally, it has been made very clear to me that I have three children that other's would give anything to have. Children that are tender and truly sweet, that love one another, get along, treat their mother with kindness, and bring home more of the neighborhood than I can handle with their good looks and charm. I am blessed beyond measure to be raising these truly OUTstanding children and I am blessed to be different and not blend in with the crowd...the Lord knows exactly what we need in this life to grow and I'm so grateful He gave me the trials I have, I wouldn't trade them for anything!
President Dieter F. Uchtdorf said in our latest General Conference, "How often do we wait to see the rainbow without thanking God for the rain?" Though my trials may not be like others, I am grateful they are my own and I am grateful my Heavenly Father is taking care of me and helping me through the rain. He is my light and makes every day possible...rain and all.
I know that there are storms that lay ahead for this family, but I also know there are rainbows yet to come. So for now, I'm going to enjoy the sunshine and stay prepared for the rain, by building my relationship with my Heavenly Father and make certain that my sweet babies know how blessed I truly feel to have them in my life. They are my light and my life and the answer to so many of my prayers!
Lately I've been sewing like mad and using my seam ripper more than ever! Oh my! I can't believe the use I've made of that little sharp tool. Perhaps it's my new distraction with watching DWTS while I sew. I am a Full House guru, so when Candace Cameron Bure came on the show, I was doomed from the start of the season. Let's just pray I can work out all my kinks before market in exactly 43 days! How is that possible? How is it so soon???
Anyway, so amongst all of this chaos in the Jenkins' home, little sparks of happiness make their way into my life! For example, our new spring release in McCall patterns! Can you believe we made page 2 in the look book! Eeeek!!!
I am so impressed with the photos and their brilliance in the layout. They never cease to amaze me. Anyway, I just wanted to drop in with our good news and say hello! I suppose I should get back to pattern writing and edits and seam ripping. Those things won't take care of themselves. Happy Sewing!
It feels like it's been SO long since I've released new patterns. I think mostly because I didn't go to market and I'm super glad I didn't because I got to see my children enjoy an entire week of Halloween to the fullest! Speaking of children...my first pattern in this collection is called, Pixie. This pattern was one of my very favorites thus far. It was inspired by my little pixie, Remi and her little fairy wings. This pattern is easy to put together, but it does entail some small piecing...I won't lie. :)
I tried really hard to keep it bright and fun, just like Remi's character. You won't see any white background in this quilt. Each square can be completed all on it's own..no sashing here! And then when all the squares are complete, you just sew them together and voila! You have an adorable quilt!
When finished this quilt measures 44" x 60" which was perfect for my little gal, but if you want it larger or smaller, you can just add more squares...It's so simple!
This next quilt is another fun design inspired by barn doors....
This pattern is fast and simple to put together! It comes with instructions for both barn doors, but would even be fun to make an entire quilt out of just one kind of barn door. Don't you think? This quilt measures 52" x 48" when finished. I was sent some fabrics from a fun new organic quilt shop to use on this quilt and I just loved the feel of it. These fabrics felt a little heavier but they were equally soft. The collection is Free Range by Monaluna Fabrics.
This final pattern is one I've had in the works for several months and finally got around to finishing it! It includes a mini version of both my Poppins bag and my Jumbo Glam bag! These bags come together so quickly and use very little fabric! I became addicted very quickly.
They are small enough to be framed in a 16 x 20 frame, but still have pretty much all of the same features as the large versions! I promise the Mini Collection won't disappoint!
I am listing these patterns in my shop as we speak! And all will be available in PDF format next week. I hope you enjoy them and hopefully they were worth the wait!
Also, many of you have been asking about when the Shore bags will be listed in the shop again...I'm hoping to get that done soon as well, but please be patient with me, I am only one little person. :) I have been so thankful for all of your continuing support with that bag though!
I woke up this morning, remembering that this was the day! This was the day my favorite little clutch was going to be debuted in the fall edition of Quilts and More. So I hopped out of bed, prepped myself just a little for the public eye, and went for a morning bike ride.
When I walked in the grocery store I couldn't help but smile, knowing just what I was heading for and when I went to pay I'm certain that cashier was thinking, "Why is the crazy lady in here all sweaty, with bed head, buying this quilt magazine?" Well had I wanted to make any more a fool of myself I would have told her that I was making my very first magazine appearance and because I had to stop and have a baby a long the way, it was a lot of effort to get this project accomplished and so I was very, very proud of myself! However, I didn't want to make a fool of my already sweaty, bed-head self, so I just paid for my magazine and walked away proud.
I rode home and showed my husband who had already dressed 3 children and drug them outside to work in the backyard. I said, "Look honey, I have a 3 page spread!"
He replied, "Oh, I didn't know it was going to be a centerfold!"
All kidding aside, he did think it was a pretty fancy spread and so did I! I couldn't be more pleased with the way it turned out and it was such an honor to work with Jill Mead and her crew. Thanks ladies for all of the fun and great work on your end.
Now stop reading my silly blog and RUN (or bike or drive) to a quilt shop or grocery store and get one for yourself, so you can make "A Simple Touch" clutch for yourself! It's super easy and can be made in 30 minutes or less. Go now, get one! It looks like this, in case you need a visual:
We love our little lake here. The really warm days have been rare and so we go whenever we can. The boys are so good to stay close and play with Remi and they love play wild crazy sea creatures. :)
Ruger has grown so much since last year and is just the best help with the younger two. I wouldn't know what to do without him! I love the lake because it wears them out and I hate going to the lake because it wears me out and makes my home a sandbox. I guess that's the price we have to pay. Right?
I took all of these photos with my iphone and so some of them aren't the best, but I still love these cheesy little grins. They make me happy!
xoxo, tiff (and my toes that weren't suppose to be in the photo)