Hi! My name is Lani, short for Leilani.
I was born and raised in “The City by the Bay” … San Francisco … more specifically in the heart of the Mission District in San Francisco. “The Mission” was a thriving, multi-ethnic, colorful, artsy, eclectic and exciting place. Still is! My mom firmly believed that “idle hands are the devils playground” so she made sure that my hands were always busy. I was too young to remember when I started, but as a young girl every Saturday was spent going to piano lessons, then boarding the bus to go “downtown” to the Singer store for sewing lessons. After sewing lessons we’d walk over to The Emporium for lunch, and then head upstairs to the yarn department for crocheting and knitting classes. Of course, these weren’t only Saturday activities. They all required practice … lots and lots of practice!
Over the years I never lost my love for sewing. As a teenager it was all about making my own clothes. When I got married, it became all about making curtains and home decor. Once the kids started coming along, I was back to making clothes … and horror of all horrors … matching clothes for me and my daughter!
I married young at 19 and we had our first child four years later. My perfect plan was two children, two-and-a-half years apart, then wait until No. 1 was in Kindergarten and have two more, two-and-a-half years apart. It didn’t quite work out that way, but almost! First two were, indeed, 2-1/2 years apart, boy, then girl. But there was a 10 year span between No. 1 and No. 3, another boy. Girl No. 2 arrived three years after No. 3, and surprise of all surprise, boy No. 3 arrived three years after Girls No. 2.
Are you lost yet? It’s okay. I often feel that way too.
The short version: Hubby and I have been married for 33 years and we have five children, three boys and two girls. In 2010 we were blessed to add a son-in-law to the family, and in 2012, our daughter and son-in-law adopted a precious little boy. Grandbaby No. 2 is on his way and will be making his appearance late November 2014.
Our first home was a whopping 950 square feet … an adorable cottage in the South Bay. It was this house that inspired our love for DIY. This house needed a lot of work. We were young and in love. What could possible go wrong? Just rip out some wallpaper here and there, tear down a few plaster walls in the kitchen to open it up (and hope the ceiling doesn’t cave in,) paint, paint, paint … you get the idea. We had heard even way back then, that if you and your spouse could wallpaper a small bathroom together and survive, you would have a great marriage. Well, for us it was de-wallpapering, but we did, indeed, survive!
In 1989, we moved into a brand new home in Sacramento … all 2400 feet of it. Since the house was brand spanking new, it didn’t need any DIY, but it definitely needed some decorating. From drapes to pillows, repainting the stark white contractor walls, and yes, we even added some wallpaper here and there. Over time, as the house began to wear, and as decor styles changed, we found ourselves remodeling bathrooms, replacing carpet with tile, tearing out the drop-ceiling in the kitchen and installing can lights, repainting the kitchen and bathroom cabinets, installing granite countertops, replacing plumbing fixtures, etc. We are definitely not strangers to DIY!
It was while we lived here that I found my love for quilting. I saw a picture somewhere of a quilt hanging on a wall from a dowel going through a decorative shelf. I fell instantly in love. I had to have a quilted wall-hanging. It was a simple patchwork, but I thought it was the best thing since sliced pie. I was hooked on quilting! How easy could this be! I went on to make a quilt for my son, then my daughter, then one for the family room, then another, and so on, and so on.
In 2007 I opened an online fabric store called “The Quilt Shoppe.” In the four years that I had the store, I think I only made two quilts. I knew going into the business that my quilting days would be minimal, but I was okay with that. I loved seeing all the new fabric, but more importantly I loved being able to help others give the gift of love through the art of quilting. In 2011 we felt the Lord leading us in a totally different direction.We packed up the house, loaded it all in a truck, boarded an airplane, and headed East to the state of Virginia. When we decided to make our move to Virginia, we knew that it was time to bid adieu to The Quilt Shoppe.
Now that we are in another new home I have time to quilt again, and decorate, and start a whole new season of DIY. I’m so blessed to have this platform to share our new adventures with you. I hope you enjoy the ride!