I'm very excited you are here to celebrate this day with me! It was two years ago that I took a huge hop of faith and decided to make The Raspberry Rabbits my full time job.
Plus, my employees are quite entertaining and melt my heart a million times a day. Animals are the best.
So many incredible things have happened to me over the past two years. First, writing my book was both exhilarating and exhausting. I learned so many things the hard way, but seeing it finished and enjoyed by so many people has brought me so much happiness and a true sense of accomplishment. I self published my book, which means my book is a true reflection of me. I have Carol Ann Waugh, author of Stupendous Stitching, to thank for encouraging me to go this route. She has been a wonderful mentor.
My journey continued when I was selected to teach at the "Make and Take" workshops and "Open Studios" at the Chicago International Quilt Festival.
This was the first time the festival had returned to Chicago in many years.
Not only was I thrilled teach there, but to meet my blog friend and loyal customer, Sharon Decker (lady on the left in the cool patchwork jacket). She's such a sweetie!
It was at this festival where I also met Pokey Bolton of Quilting Arts TV. My idol!
Of course, my block feature rabbits. I created this block called "Carrot Run." I made a pillow from my original block and donated it to a rabbit rescue for a fundraiser.
Then the biggest dream came true. I was invited by Pokey Bolton to be a guest on Quilting Arts TV. I still get goosebumps when I think about it.
I had watched the Quilting Arts TV show for over 12 years and loved every single episode. As I watched, I would imagine myself being there to share something fun with friends in the quilt world.
I can honestly say, this was one of the most amazing and fascinating things I have ever done.
It was also a HUGE honor as this would be the last season with my idol, Pokey Bolton, as the host.
But my journey continued. From there I met the incredible quilter, author and fellow bunny lover, Shannon Shirley of Once in a Rabbit Moon. Shannon and I are kindred sisters for sure!
She invited me to teach a workshop for her guild, The Cabin Branch Quilters in VA. Soooooooo much fun! It was teaching this workshop that I was reminded of my passion for teaching and sharing. I taught part time in quilt shop for over ten years until it closed in 2004 and really hadn't taught since then. The sense of joy, accomplishment and the smiles on my students faces at the end of the day, plus being around the positive energy that comes from creating, was all I needed to point me down this path once again.
I have been truly blessed to become friends with talented designers in other countries. One of those designers is Jenny Reynolds of Elefantz. It is on my dream list (I don't do bucket lists) to visit Jenny in Australia one day. There are also so many blog friends there too. I can't wait to meet them and hug their necks! It would be awesome to have an Aussie play date! :)
Of course, I can't forget my beloved, Valdani Threads.
Owners, Daniella and Dana are simply the best! They invited me to be the guest artist twice at the Houston Quilt Market. I'm not someone who can sell or recommend something I don't believe in or use. Valdani's hand dyed, colorfast, variegated threads are so beautiful and their dying methods don't hurt the environment. This is the reason I use them exclusively in my designs.
So that's a wrap of what's been happening the past two years. Is there more to come? Why of course there is! There's so much hopping around in my head that sometimes I don't know where to start first!
One thing is that I have always wanted to work on a series for an exhibit. It will be a series just for me and just for fun. I'm calling it, "A Series of Nonsense." Right now I have six pieces planned for it.
Of course, there will also be more Folk Art Fusion designs for my friends to create. In fact, starting in January, I have a little twist I'm putting on the traditional BOM quilts. I can't wait to show you!
Many people say, "You won't get rich being an artist. You should get a real job." I've finally learned to turn a deaf ear to them because my definition of rich is not what theirs is.
It's living each day following my heart, inspiring others and trusting that everything will work out. It's knowing that I will always have plenty because I'm living the life I imagined.
So...Let's celebrate!!! I giving away this fat quarter bundle plus one yard of the blue and white polka dot fabric.
To enter the giveaway, leave a comment on this post. Friends who sign up to follow my adventures with Blogger or through Blog Lovin (Both on right sidebar) will receive two chances. If you already follow through one of them, let me know in your comment. You only have to comment once.
The bunnies will use the random number generator to pick the winner next Friday, June 6. This giveaway is open to friends worldwide.
Thank you for sharing in my adventures down the rabbit hole. I am truly blessed to have you in my life.
Michelle and the Bunnies