Thursday, July 7, 2016

Meet a Quilter #15 and a Give Away


I know I’m a few days early this month…..

Let me introduce you to Jessica Caldwell. Jessica is a blogger, quilter, designer, and an  Island Batik Ambassdor.

Thank you Carol for having me as a guest on your blog. I look forward to introducing myself, and getting to know more quilters, because let’s face it, quilters are the best people to meet! Today is a milestone for me as a blogger. It is my first ever guest post on another blog.

My Quilting Background

A little over a year ago I started Desert Bloom Quilting to blog about my quilting. So far it has been a wonderful experience that has expanded my world in ways I never imagined. While I am new to blogging, quilting is quite the opposite. As a generational quilter, it has been a part of my life for as long as I remember. There have been five generations to come before me.

Bear made by my grandmother from a quilt made by my great grandmother.

Growing up we always did a lot of small sewing projects, but didn’t I make my first quilt until the age of 16. My grandparents would regularly come and stay in Arizona for the winter, and it was during this visit that my grandmother helped me make my first quilt. The pattern was picked out from Peddler’s Wagon in Parkville, MO, while visiting family. At the time I had no idea how much quilting would expand my world.

My first quilt.

After that quilt was made I was hooked and proceeded to make another quilt, with the same pattern, for a friend that was graduating that year. Over the next few years I made a few simple quilts here and there. Mostly gifts for family and friends. Although they were simple I was always itching to tweak patterns, and designs.

A sampling of quilts made between 2001-2010.

In 2010 I stumbled into The Quilter’s Market and ask for a job. This proved to be a turning point in my quilting. The skills I learned, and the connections I made proved to be invaluable in my growth as a quilter, teacher, and designer. Summer of 2011 I designed my first 2 quilts, Talavera Tile and Cactus Bloom with the hope of teaching both. Cactus Bloom was also the first, and only, quilt I’ve entered in a quilt show. It was shown in the 2012 Quilt Fiesta, in Tucson, AZ, where it won first place in the pieced category.

Talavera Tile, in 2 color ways, and Cactus Bloom Hanging in the 2012 Quilt Fiesta.

In 2015 I started my site, Desert Bloom Quilting, as place to run a Mystery Quilt Along. Blogging was an afterthought, but I found I quite enjoyed sharing, and exercising my writing skills. As the result of a chance meeting (I won a giveaway from and Island Batik Ambassador), I was introduced to the program. For 2016 I applied, and was accepted!!! So far it has been a wonderful experience.

April Challenge on the left, and the start of my May Challenge on the right.

I am also excited to say that I will be having my first quilt at market with Island Batik this fall. While I can’t show you the full design, here is work in progress picture!

Frequency Sneak Peak.

More About Me

A little about me that is not quilting related. Growing up I was in to quite a few activities, most notably was tap dancing and orchestra, where I played a variety of instruments. Of all the instruments I play Cello is by far my love.

After high school I joined the Marine Corps where my job was supposed to be fixing AC units for communication trucks. At my first unit I managed the maintenance logistics for my department, and after a year there I volunteered to guard Embassies and was selected. The next 3 years were spent split between Pretoria, South Africa, and Bratislava, Slovak Republic.

On the left, doing Toys for Tots in South Africa, and on the Right, Toys for Tots in the Slovak Republic.

After getting out of the Marine Corps at the end of 2005, I drifted around for a bit. I met my husband playing World of Warcraft, and we are now married with a spunky, and lively 2 year old, and 3 furry minions (cats). Currently I work for a technology company creating automated reports, technical documents, and learning some project management skills. Life is full and wonderful.

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Thank you for taking the time to read my post and get to know me.

♥THANK YOU♥ Jessica for sharing your quilting story and congratulations on your first guest post. Your little quilted bear is such a special treasure.

Be sure to hop over to Desert Bloom Quilting and see what’s new.

Sweepstakes Give Away

Open to residents of the USA only. One winner will receive a copy of Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks vol. 13 and a pack of Bali Pops.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Guidelines and Rules for FunThreads Designs give away.

  • No purchase necessary. Open to residents of the USA only.
  • You must be 18 or older to enter.
  • While we hope you will leave a comment on the post of the day because we love comments, we want no reply bloggers to have a chance at winning also. Rafflecopter will collect your name, state, and email.
  • One winner will receive a copy of Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks vol.13 and a pack of Bali Pops.
  • Winner picked at random via Rafflecopter at the end of the day on April 17th. Winner will receive notification via email. Winner will have approximately 5 days to claim their gift, if 5 days passes, the gift will be offered to another eligible entrant. Winner who will receive a shipped item will need to provide name, address, city, state. All prizes will be awarded.
  • Winner will be announced on this blog and in the Rafflecopter window here on this page.Winner agrees to allow their name, city, state to be publicized.
  • Odds of Winning a prize are based on total number of rafflecopter entries.
  • You are responsible for claiming and paying any tax owed on the value of any gift that you win where applicable.Some restrictions on gifts will apply based on shipping policies.This sweepstakes is void where prohibited by law.


Linda said...


teachpany said...

Great interview! Thanks for serving, and I love the photos.

beaquilter said...

how neat and I had to giggle about how they met! that's great. and what a full life!! GREAT- I did enter the giveaway, more for the magazine, so if I'd get picked pick another winner for maybe the fabrics? if that's ok.
Fun post carol

barbara woods said...

thanks for the new blog to follow

Connie said...

Jessica is a delight to follow. I have done a couple of her patterns. They were wonderful, easy to follow and I have received numerous compliments on them.

Kathy E. said...

Just so nice to get to know Jessica...what an interesting life she's lead. Lucky for us that she took that job at the quilt shop! She is a quilting master creating such beautiful things!

Vicki H said...

Jessica, it is nice to learn about you. You have accomplished a lot in your life.

GranChris said...

Jessica you have had a busy, life for someone so young. I can't imagine what your future has in store for you. Keep moving forward.

Rebecca said...

Wow Jessica is one busy person. Don't know how she fits in quilting and sewing, LOL but its a good way to escape the daily happenings! Thanks for the chance at a GREAT give away.....

RosieGma said...

Thank you for again introducing us to a new blogger. I like that she started her blog to share her quilts along...what a way to find new friends....thank you for the giveaway....

OhioLori said...

Awesome Post! Love the pictures...and she is a Special lady!! :) Thank you for chance to win your Give-a-way too! :D

Barb said...

It was certainly wonderful to learn more about our fellow Island Batik Ambassador Jessica, what an amazing life of learning and legacy from her grandmother. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the intro! It was fun learning more about you!