Quilting gone viral and more talk on inspiration.

Close your eyes with me and imagine the picture I'm painting for you. No wait, don't close your eyes because you won't be able to read this.

Imagine a day where everything that can go wrong, is going wrong. You woke up late on a work day, feverishly scrambling to put on clothes in the dark, and mistakenly put on two different shoes, but didn't   realize it till you were halfway to work.

Work hits you like a ton of bricks, of course, because you felt rushed the entire day playing catch-up from your crazy morning. When the clock finally strikes and it's time to go home, you are stuck in traffic. Everyone is honking. Your head is pounding. I just want to go home and forget today ever happened!, you may be thinking to yourself.

But you are a quilter, so when you go home to relax, you want to quilt.

You dig thru your stash and find a suitable group for piecing your top. All different sized pieces of fabric, you are wondering how many pieces you can get from each group.

Your brain is still fried from the busy day at work.

This is where your Robert Kaufman Quilting Calculator saves the day. It lets your weathered head rest and does all of the thinking and calculating for you. If you have an iPhone or smartphone, this is a FREE app that you can keep handy when you are too fuzzy to calculate the numbers you need for your borders, binding, etc.

Look at all the different functions this lovely app has. I can't even tell you how many times I have wanted to know how many strips I needed to cut to prepare my binding, or wanted to know how many charm squares I can cut out of this scrap.

This is an example of the Pieces-to-Yardage section of the app. How cool is this?

I use this app in some respect every single day to execute difficult mathematical quilting decisions. I highly suggest that you download it too! It will save you a lot of time and heartache- no more miscalculations! No more mistakes (maybe)!

If you use an iPhone, simply go to your app store and search for "Quilting Calculator". 

We're still talking about what we are inspired by here at the store. 

Today, and every day after August 12, 2008, my best friend Mark's mom, Christie, has been my inspiration.

When her son was tragically murdered on that fateful day, it changed her life forever. All of her life's plans were turned upside down. Although she was stricken with grief, she faced and continues to face the world with a sense of quiet grace that can only be explained by a strong faith and a belief that life indeed does go on. Her son's murderer was caught the day after he committed the crime. Since his arrest, his trial has been postponed three times. The latest trial was set to begin August 26th. It was postponed yet again for April 24, 2013; almost 5 years after he was murdered. 

Here is a link to my hometown newspaper and Christie's plea for justice. 

I am inspired by my friend, whose story is being told again. His never-ending jokes, cleverest of quips....his ability to use humor to cope with his obstacles. More than anything, he inspired me to live life to the fullest-to take risks, to experience the what-if's and the why-nots. 

Mark was always the most generous of friends- I was 19 and had just quit the quilt shop to work for an insurance agency. I was walking to work because I didn't have a car, and was running late that particular morning. Mark was running late as well to one of his classes, but turned around on the freeway and headed in the opposite direction he was going to give me a ride to work. I still ended up losing my job shortly after (because I was meant to be a quilter!), but the fact that he sacrificed what was good for him to help me....I never forgot that. 

Want to know something weird? Remember my Basquiat blog? Basquiat and Mark died on the same day, 20 years apart. Life is weird. We are all connected.

The Amy Butler Cameo Fat Pack Giveaway is still in full effect. If you are new to the blog, the previous entry talked about the debut of Amy Butler's newest collection, Cameo. You can win a 6 fat quarter pack featuring some of my favorites from Cameo. Simply leave a comment on that entry (not this one! the one titled "Soiree, Basquiat, and Why I Love Quilter Men") sharing with us who your (current) inspiration is and why. Depending on the volume of comments, there may be more than 1 bundle to give away! The contest will run thru August 12, 2012. 

I love quilting because of its tremendous sense of community. Thank you for letting me share not only the happenings in my store, but the inner workings of my brain and my heart!

In my next entry I will let you know about the upcoming events that are happening IN STORE that are really exciting. Lots of great classes, lectures, and QuiltCon events! YES! QUILTCON IS UPON US!

Keep calm, and stitch on...