Thursday, February 28, 2013

Thelma and Louise

To tell the truth I've never seen this movie. But each time my new-quilter-graphic-artist friend and I take a road trip, this is how my hubby refers to us.
What I do know is that at the end of the movie they drive off a cliff instead of getting caught by the cops. Trust me, we won't be doing anything nearly that wild. What we are doing though? We are on our way tomorrow to The Quilt Fest of New Jersey IX. We went to this show last year (see my posts here, here and here) and it was where she caught the quilting bug. This is the 1st non-local guild show I had ever attended and while we really enjoyed it, we got there so late that we had to practically run through it to see it. This year we are getting there much earlier so that we can enjoy it more and we can thoroughly check out what the vendors have to offer.

Are you going to be there too? If you see me, come up and say Hi! Meeting bloggy friend in real life is so wonderful.  I can't promise that I'll keep my wallet closed and not spend any money but I do hope not to go overboard. There are some bigger things on my wish list and if I want to see those things become a reality sooner rather than later I'll have to exert some constraints on my smaller indulgences. Rest assured that I will definitely share lots of pictures of all the great creations that we see. Stay tuned! 

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Answer me this...Should I or shouldn't I?

I've been wrestling with something on and off for months now and I've decided to ask your opinion.

You see, my oldest sister Tina has recently started quilting. She had only hand quilted before, taught to her by our paternal grandmother, and that was 12 years ago. So obviously I've been teaching her tons over the past 6 months.

But here's the thing.....I haven't told her about this blog yet!

And I mean?

When she 1st called me and asked whether or not she should have her machine serviced before she got started, it didn't even occur to me to mention it. At some point in the fall she got into Pinterest, saw a picture of a jelly roll race quilt and that got her interested in learning to quilt (at least the tops) with a machine instead of by hand.

Needless to say, there have been a LOT of really long phone calls every since that 1st one. I've been edumacating her all about the "new" things like jelly rolls and layer cakes and charm packs, she's learning the meanings of such phrases as Wonky and Fussy Cutting, and she is quickly growing her stash, no thanks of course to all the great deals and sales that I find and I send her the links to. It totally figures that the instant she saw my Ghastlies fabric stash and projects, she fell in love and had to get some for herself. Me? An enabler? Sure, what are sisters for. LOL!

You can just imagine what the phone call was like when I had to explained how to attach the two end of her binding strips together so that they look like a normally joined strip. And how to cut certain things...again very comical phone conversations. Finding words to convey images and techniques so that she gets it is certainly challenging.

Up until a month or so ago, she didn't even have any quilt stores near her. She came up one weekend in October and we hit a few of my local ones and we are planning on getting to some of the rest the next time she is here. And it will be great to have another person to join me on shop hops and at quilt shows.

So why haven't I told her yet about this blog? Well....my original idea was to wait for her to figure it out. That shouldn't have taken too long knowing her and her curious nature. I send her links to great blogs that I follow all the time and I just assumed that while she was reading the comments left on posts, she'd see my name (though it is only my 1st name) and figure it out by the comments I leave. But guess what? She still hasn't any clue. I keep waiting for the phone call saying "why didn't you tell me sooner" but it hasn't come yet? Whether she'll laugh when I tell her my original plan or if she'll be a tad bit angry at me is totally up in the air at this point.

A couple of times recently I've almost said "by the way..." but I've held off. So that is what I am asking today of you. Should I tell her or should I continue to wait to see if she finds it herself? Once I get enough opinions from all of you, I'll do whatever the majority votes. I'm really curious to see what all of you think about this little quandry I'm in.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Hubby's current project

This is what my hubby has been working on these past 2 weekends. We almost have the mudroom the way we've always planned it to be.

He built the benches first and then added the bead board and trim. Each section will get a double coat hook and the dividing boards between will get another hook down lower for things such as backpacks, my purse and the like. I'm hunting for wire baskets that fit to corral the shoes to go under the bench.
 It wraps around 2 sides of the room and this is with only 1 coat of paint on it. There will be 2-3 more coats of paint added and then possibly some coats of poly on the seat. Or I'm considering making cushions for them. I've even found a tutorial online that looks pretty easy. But then I'd have to hunt for just the right fabric. Oh the "hard work" that would entail. LOL
We have 9 foot walls on the 1st floor so we have tons of space above. We are going to add cabinets and/or shelves to the upper area which will equate to loads of storage.
 Hubs is thinking putting cabinets on one side and shelves on the other. I'm not so sure of that plan. I think it would look weird, out of balance. There is 36" of wall there so I am considering an 18" high cabinets with an 18" high open shelves underneath. What do you think?

Either way we go, we are excited to almost have this project complete and this room a lot more functional.


Monday, February 25, 2013

All it takes...

...is 1 charm pack, 1 half yard of Bella Bleached White and a couple of hours and a baby quilt top is started and almost finished. Here is a sneak peak.
The package with the border and backing fabrics hasn't arrived yet so I can't finish the top and share it with you. Hopefully the box will get delivered in the next few days and then I will really have a finished top to show. How I love actually getting some things accomplished lately.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

New arrivals and a Giveaway

I did quite a bit of fabric shopping last week and it has now all arrived. It is one big stack of fabric goodness.
The fabric lines are: Flora by Lauren & Jessie Jung, Coming Home by Deb Strain, Little Black Dress by BasicGrey and Grande Finale by Sandy Gervais.

Do you want to offer a guess as to what all of this might be for? Obviously it is for quilts but perhaps you might know who the quilts will be for. Or at least, you might think you know. Do you want to find out for sure?

For all of those who guess correctly, I'll put your name in the hat for a chance to win this bundle.
Three half yard cuts of Saltbox Harvest by Deb Strain.

To enter for your chance to win:

1) Leave me one (1) comment only per person with your guess as to who you think these quilts will be for.
2) You must be a follower to enter.

Remember...if you are a No Reply Blogger make sure you put your email address in your comment so that I can reply back to you. Maybe you don't even know that you are a No Reply Blogger? If you don't receive a reply to your comment from me, that could very well be the reason. Help yourself potentially win future giveaways and correct the problem speedy quick. My post here tells you how.

Your chance to offer up your best guess will end at Midnight, February 28th and I'll pick the winner on March 1st. 

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Crimson Diamonds

Thursday night I finally finished my latest WIP. All of the HSTs and the layout were actually completed two weeks earlier and I had thought I would get all the rows sewn together last weekend but then I became under the weather and just wasn't up to it. With two different antibiotics now in my system, I'm finally feeling more like my usual self and felt up to getting this done. I'm calling it:

Crimson Diamonds
I used the charm packs of Moda Love Letters that I won from Sharon at Vrooman's Quilts last May and a pattern that I found over at Samelia's Mum. I wanted something quick and easy and this pattern was just the ticket.

For the solid I wanted to add a color that would really make it pop and that would coordinate well with the Colonial colors of the line. The Crimson Red in the prints was the perfect choice.
I'm actually going to quilt this one myself with either straight line quilting or Amanda Jean's Honeycomb Quilting (love this idea; need to test it out first). Once completed the quilt is going to be donated to my kids school annual silent auction fundraiser. The event is the independent school's biggest fundraising event of the year and every dollar raised goes to help keep tuition costs down for everyone. The auction items coordinator is anxious to see what this quilt looks like and I'm anxious to see just how much it goes for. The event is at the end of April so it will be a while before I can report that back to you.

I'm glad to have the top done and can't wait to get the quilting completed and the binding attached. I have a big bunch of other projects on the deadline list that I want to get started on. This is going to be one very busy spring in my studio.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Barbara's Whirling Star

Barbara lived across the street from my Mom on Court Avenue. From the day my mom moved in, she was almost an instant member of our extended family. Her two kids were already grown and moved away. Mom used to make extra and take dinner over more days than not and she was just like another grandma in our family. She really enjoyed attending the special family events. Here she is at my baby shower before we traveled to Vietnam to bring Jammer home in 2007.
Barbara was born in 1922 and she and her husband bought the house across from Mom in 1950 (mom didn't live there then). She lived in that house the rest of her life. She passed away in the spring of 2009 at the age of 87. Mom helped her kids and grand kids sort through all the accumulation of her life and the 59 years in that house. There was a lot of stuff. Knowing that one day we'd be bringing a baby girl home, they offered to us the dresser that used to be her son's when he was young. This is what it looked like when we acquired it.
It was painted and the knobs that I purchased that matched her bedding set were added and today it looks like this.
I'm sure you are all wondering just why I am telling you all of this. Well when we went to view and pick up the dresser, I saw a couple of great handmade quilts on one of the upstairs beds. I didn't get a chance to get a really good look at them but I knew instantly they were wonderful. I told her family that they were true heirlooms to be kept in the family but if after all is said and done, if no one in her family wanted them that I definitely would. Not everyone would be able to appreciate them and I certainly didn't want them to just be given away to someone that wouldn't understand. I was truly surprised when I got the call that they were mine. Mom picked them up and eventually she brought one to me. Why only one? Well she kept the other quilt for herself! Sneak. Oh well, it too will be mine one day.

So here is the one that I have now and want to share with you today. I found the block listed in Jenny Beyer's The Quilter's Album of Patchwork Patterns. It is called Whirling Star and it was published in the Detroit Free Press in February 1936.
Mom and I have been trying to date this quilt. Barbara was just 14 when the pattern was published and while she certainly could have started this quilt then we don't think it is likely. She and her husband did live in the Detroit area in the early years but that is all we know at the moment. I hope to be able to find out more some day from her son or her daughter. Each block was hand pieced from a great collection of 1930s prints and some that look a tad bit older to me.
They certainly aren't perfect and that makes it all the more special to me...thinking about her stitching each piece by hand.
The background is muslin I believe.
The sashing is actually one strip but her hand quilting makes it look like two strips. The blocks were all outlined but there isn't any quilting on the backgrounds.
Here is a view from the back. Again muslin was used for the backing and whatever she used for batting is very thin.
It is cool the way you can see the shadows of the front blocks through the back.
I just love the way the quilting shows on the back and the crinkly from it being washed and loved.
I've been using this quilt on my side of the bed recently during the really downright brutally cold nights we've been having lately. I can't stand to be cold while I sleep and hubs always runs warmer than I do. I blame my thyroid. I cherish this antique quilt and all the hours and hours of work that went into it. No matter what the age, it is in perfect condition. Rest assured that it will remain in my family forever, to enjoy as a quilt should be and to always remember a very special lady that I am glad to have known, if only for a while.

Monday, February 18, 2013

I've had it!

I need to find a new blog reader. Now!
I'm fed up with Google Reader. It it again up to it's usual BS.
Many of my subscriptions/follows aren't even showing this morning on my list including Free Motion Quilt Project and SewCalGal and who knows how many others that I can't think of at the moment.

Please, please if you use a different reader and have had good luck with it, let me know. At this point my loyalty with Google Reader has flown right out the window.

Dream Again-a new book coming

Have you heard about this?
 
The fabulous Madame Samm put a call out for someone that needs our help and I was more than happy to lend my opinion. Plus there are prizes being offered.
 
What I'm really excited about is finding about his artwork in the first place. I hadn't heard of him and didn't know about his gorgeous creations before now. Why you ask? Because I still have a lot of empty walls in this house that need filling and I've been searching here and there for some terrific prints or other goodies to help make this house more of our home. And one of Dennis' prints would be perfect. I know right where I'd put it.
 
I've already picked my favorite and while I'll wait to see if I am lucky enough to win in the giveaway, if I learn that I wasn't (potentially a future sad sob), I will purchase it and will get to enjoy it anyway.
 
So head on over and check it out. You won't be sorry.


Sunday, February 17, 2013

It depends on my mood

What happens when you don't get near your computer to do some blog reading for a couple of days?
You check back in with your Google Reader (or other reader site) and you have literally hundreds of unread blog posts to catch up on!
That is what happened to me again this week.
So what do I do? Why start working my way through them of course.

But that is where exactly how I do this that differs...depending on my mood at that moment.

Sometimes I start at the top of the list.

Sometimes I start at the bottom of the list.

There are days where the numbers geek in me takes over and I start with those with just one unread post, then proceed on to those with 2 posts, and then those with 3 posts...you get the idea.

Other times I start with those with the most posts and work my way down numerically.

Then there are those days when all of the "order" is thrown out the window and I just scroll through the list and see what blog name catches my attention next.

I can get a bit obsessive with this. If I am working in a numerical order, no matter which one that is, I refuse to allow myself to deviate from that course of action until I am all caught up. Weird? I know but I sometimes I just can't help myself.

So today's question is.....how do you read? How is your followed blog list orientated? This curious mind would like to know.


Saturday, February 16, 2013

What I'm working on

Last May I was lucky enough to win 2 charm packs of Moda's Love Letters from Sharon at Vrooman's Quilts. At the time I was buried deep in completing the teacher quilts so I didn't have time to make something with them. I had an idea but they got put away until now.

Last Friday night I started with this....the 2 charm packs and a pile of 5" squares in Rich Red.
I managed to do a ton of quick chain piecing.
Then it was onto cutting them apart.
I managed to iron about 2/3 of the stack before I decided I'd had enough and went to bed.
On Saturday I finished the pressing and sorted the piles so I could start laying it all out.
Here you can see the start of the quilt's pattern.
I did manage to finish laying it out last weekend but came up a few blocks short. Then because of the kids' Chinese New Year/TET parties at school and work this week, I didn't get back to this until yesterday. Having some ME time finally was really nice. I stitched up the few remaining blocks needed, completed the layout (a bit tricky to get them all orientated the right way to complete the lines) and then stacked them all up to start sewing them into pairs and then into rows.

Thank goodness that once I pressed the first row of blocks I put them back up on the design wall to check that I had sewn them together right. Guess what? Of course....I screwed a couple of them up. No surprise there. Good thing I checked before I had sewn them all into rows and then the rows together. The seam ripper got a little work out, I resewed the 3 pairs together correctly and completed that row. By then I had enough for the day and again called it quilts. I had been up since 5 am and I was bushed. My plan this weekend, since we have nothing else on our schedule at all (hallelujah) is to finish sewing this top together and have it ready to be quilted by next weekend. I'm going to do this one myself on my Lucy. It will be my first real quilt completed on my machine and my machine only.

So what are you working on at the moment?


Thursday, February 14, 2013

My Quilt U Be Mine Mini Mystery Quilt

Love, oh the sweet quilters love that has been traveling all around. There isn't much that is better in this world.
This was another great round robin event idea that flew into my brain up last fall, right about the time the Halloween See Saw Swap and the Modern Mini Mystery Round Robin 2012 were winding down.  I'm really glad that the thought came to me as the awesome Valentine's Day themed quilts that have resulted are simply stunning. Overall I declare that the Quilt U Be Mine Mini Mystery Round Robin has been a huge success.

My quilt started with my very first attempt at a Dresden plate, specifically this version is called Empress Fan. It was far from perfect but I was happy enough with it to send it off on its journey.
My mini quilt first traveled to Utah, then on to sunny California it ventured (I'm jealous that it probably got to visit the beach and I didn't) and lastly it hung out in Pennsylvania for a short stay (oh how I miss the cheese steaks from Jimmy's in Philadelphia) before finally coming home to me. When the envelope arrived, this is the beautiful quilt that unfolded to my huge delight.
Sorry for the crappy picture. I forgot to get a shot of it during the day and it is pretty late and dark out now.

I love, love, love this quilt!!!!! It is gorgeous and beyond anything I would have imagined. Thank you so very much goes out to Rachell, Rachel and Ann. You have added amazing additions and I will treasure this quilt forever. And did I tell you that I LOVE IT!
Finishing this quilt for the reveal day was truly my original plan but between a sick kiddo not once but twice and a bunch of other things that required my attention that had to take precedence, it just didn't happen. But trust me, it will get quilted and bound very soon when I get up to the local long arm rental place. This mini quilt is just too wonderful to let it linger folded up in a pile waiting for long.

Each year as I hang this quilt on the wall to decorate for the Valentine's Day season, I will think of and remember all my quilty friends who made this mini mystery round robin such a pleasure to host.
A very Happy Valentine's Day to each of you.


Quilt U be Mine Mini Mystery Round Robin reveal day

This is it! The day all of us and you have been waiting for. The day we all finally get to solve the mysteries and see what fabulous mini quilts were created by the members of the 6 groups these past 4 months.
Hosting this event has been so much fun (again) and you can be sure that there will be more themed events hosted here in the future. I really enjoyed seeing what arrived in my mailbox each month and putting my own little spin on it before sending it on to the next contributor.
I hope you enjoy hopping around to all the great ladies who participated and who have their mini quilts to share with you. Now on to the reveals!









Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Reveal day is almost here!

The Quilt U Be Mine Mini Mystery Round Robin reveal day is tomorrow, February 14th which of course just happens to be Valentine's Day and the absolutely perfect day to reveal all the quilty love that has gone into these mini quilts! (Hmmmm, you think I sort of planned it that way? Maybe, just maybe.)
 
You won't want to miss all the excitement and your chance to see all the terrific creations that have resulted from the around the country and around the world adventures of these Valentine's Day beauties.

So make sure you check back in tomorrow for the Linky Party and all the wonderful quilty love that we have had the fun to share with each other over these past four months. It promises to be a really great time.


Sunday, February 10, 2013

Privacy

A few weeks back one of my readers commented on a post that she has always wondered about my kids' history and I replied that I keep their stories private. Ever since I posted that reply I've worried that perhaps I sounded a bit harsh so I decided that I want to explain a bit further.

I have a personal/family/adoption blog that I started back in 2006 while we were waiting to bring our children home. I had never blogged before but it became a great way to connect with other adoptive parents, those who had already brought their child (ren) home and those still waiting. It was a place for me to get things out during the long months and years and through other adoptive parent bloggers, I learned so, so much. And while I wrote about a lot of things there, one thing I always kept the same was referring to my kids by their nicknames only and never revealing exactly where we live. Some parents are fine with revealing those thing; I never was.

Once Jammer was in our arms, I really enjoyed posting about his adventures. Back then it was still a world of just other adoptive families and since so many others shared with me I wanted to do the same and share back. That blog reveals (to a point) a lot of raw emotions, from the moment Jammer was placed in my arms to the intense struggles we had with our original agency near the end that almost cost us our China adoption to the joy of Sunshine finally being our daughter, our first couple of years with her home and us a family of four.

Honestly I haven't posted there in a long time, almost a year now. I took that blog private a while back when I started to get really involved with the quilt blog community. For a reason that I can't explain, I started becoming uncomfortable with having that blog public and so much of my family life available for anyone and everyone to see. I have no idea where my quilting journey will lead me in the future and I felt the need to not have that blog accessible to the entire world. Besides vast majority of those in the adoption community that I shared my blog with no longer blog themselves. Everyone is over on Facebook and I'm not really a FB fan. Will I ever post there again? I really don't know. I haven't even looked at that blog for a long time. The one thing I do know is that at some point I will print it out into a book for each of my kids to have forever.

The biggest reason for changing my view and practice regarding my personal blog is the fact that while the journey to bring my children home is my story, the details about their beginnings before they became my children are their stories and it should be their decision, not mine, what they choose to share with others. Since they are still very young, it is my job right now to protect their stories and thus the need to take that blog private and be very selective about what I share with the online world.

Every adoptive child has a unique story about their beginnings, before they came to their forever families. As they get older, it is up to them to figure out for themselves how to deal with that information. No one can do that for them. Some of the details can be harsh and difficult and each adoptee has to work through it in a way that works for them. The connected world gets more and more intense and invasive every day and since no one knows what will happen in the future with the information that is posted online, I felt the need to protect their stories and keep the entire world from knowing every minute detail of their lives before we met.

So I hope that you all understand and will forgive me for not being more forthcoming about my kids. Those that don't, oh well. I will always shout from the rooftops that adoption is a wonderful way to build and grow a family. I will never stop believing that every single child deserves a forever family. If someone wants to learn more about adoption and how to go about it, I would be more than happy to share what I know and what I have learned over the years. Will I always be looking to make connections with other adoptive families and especially those with kids from Vietnam and/or China? Absolutely. But will I ever reveal here intimate details about my children, where they come from and how they came to be adopted in the first place? Nope. As I said, those are their stories, for them to tell or not, when they are ready. Until then, it is my job to protect them and to guide them as they travel their own journeys through life.


Saturday, February 9, 2013

My first pillowcase

Lookie what I whipped up yesterday...my first pillowcase! After I shipped Miss M's 100 Good Wishes Quilt to her, her mom asked if there might be enough fabric left over to make her a matching pillowcase. I checked and the answer was Yes, barely but definitely enough. My BFF had recently made some pillowcases so I asked her which tutorial she liked and she directed me to this one by Ashley at Film In the Fridge.
It was super easy and I love the way it turned out. I used the quilt's border fabric for the main body of the pillowcase and the binding fabric for the cuff.
I love that this tutorial has an accent piece between the pillowcase body and the cuff. For this I used the tiny bit of strip Yellow Fairy Frost I had leftover from the quilt's sashing.
One really speedy project done and now packed up to be mailed out. I know that I'll be making more pillowcases to go with quilts in the future. In fact, before I mail Paisley's 100 Good Wishes Quilt home I asked her mom if I should make one or two for her from the fabrics I have left over (instead of just sending them back to her) and the answer was a most definite Yes. She even requested a pair for her older daughter Piper, so that both girls would have them to match their quilts. She has some leftover fabric from Piper's quilt she is sending to me and once it arrives I'll see what coordinates with that and whip up a few more of these fun and fast pillowcases to send back to them.

If you haven't tried to make a pillowcase before, you should. It was so simple and the end product is super sweet.


Sunday, February 3, 2013

My MMMRR 2013 center block

I'm such a creature of habit sometimes.
When I came up with the idea for the 1st Modern Mini Mystery Round Robin, it was partially because I wanted some cool quilty things to adorn the walls in this new house.
For this newest MMMRR, I again wanted to decide where I'd put the finished quilt in order to figure out what sort of color scheme and design I might want to go with. The blank wall to the left of my dresser in our bedroom was an easy conclusion. The colors I would use were naturally derived from the other colors in the room.

But deciding what sort of block to start with was a bit more challenging. I looked through a ton of places for inspiration including books, magazines and websites. Just as I thought I was going to make another Windblown Square block (I do like that block so much), I saw something that caught my attention in the back of the the March/April issue of Quiltmaker.

In the column QM design studio, Carolyn Beam showcased 3 blocks she created by combining the elements of 2 other blocks. One of her new design blocks called out to me and here is my version.
It combines parts of the Double Z block and the Duck Tracks block.

I'm really curious to see what my group mates do with this but of course I have to try and be patient and wait until it comes back to me at the end of June. Just who in my group gets to be the 1st person to add to this center block? I'm certainly not telling and she'll know soon enough when my envelope arrives in her mailbox.


Saturday, February 2, 2013

Paisley's Wishes - a 100 Good Wishes Quilt

I can finally share a finish with all of you. If you remember, I got an email from a fellow adoptive mom in the late fall asking if I could make her daughter's 100 Good Wishes Quilt in time for Christmas. It was a real rush job but I was able to complete it just in time. As I prepared to send it to her, she asked me to hold onto it for a bit because at the last minute they ended up being out of town for the holidays and would give this quilt to her daughter for her birthday instead. With the weather so nasty lately it has been impossible to get pictures of this quilt but I managed to brave the cold yesterday and got a few decent shots of it.
This quilt is really wild and busy. There are a ton of unusual fabrics in it...a bunch of cool Asian ones of course, a couple to represent the college the parents attended and a lot of ones that she picked up while visiting New Zealand, where she is originally from. I actually had a rough time laying out the squares but I called my graphic artist new quilter friend and she came over and lent a hand and her expert eye. The mom didn't want any sashing between the blocks. She simply wanted them put together and two borders added so that this quilt would be similar in layout to her other daughter's quilt.
 The mom chose all the fabrics for the borders and the backing. It was certainly a bit different visually working with colors and patterns totally selected by someone else. The only choice I made was which fabrics to use for the borders from those that she sent to me. It is tough to see but the watermelon tone on tone is a paisley design which is for her daughter's name.
The mom sent a green with white dot for the backing but there wasn't enough so I added a large strip of a fun multicolored paisley from her other fabric choices.
With the light outside, it was impossible to get a good shot of the actual quilting but you can probably guess what design she requested....a paisley of course and my long arm quilter did a great job on it as usual. Since this was originally a really rushed job, I wanted to try a machine binding method and I chose the faux binding one. I'm pretty happy with the way it turned out and I'm sure I'll use it again but I'm also going to research other options.
The finished quilt measures 84" x 90" and contains 110 squares.
It is finally getting boxed up this weekend and will be shipped out on Monday. I truly hope they like it. A 100 Good Wishes Quilt is so special in the fabrics it contains and it was a pure pleasure making this one a reality for this special little girl.