Second best…

But it’s a really, really close second.

I think I’ve told you that my brother Mark reads this blog.  He likes to check my spelling and grammar – and he is my unofficial fact-checker.  Meaning that he’s welcome to tell me that I’m wrong in my recollection of some childhood event but I’m not going to change it – that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

Mark made me a quilt frame for Christmas – it really is a frame, like you’d hang on the wall, except it has a rod at the top for hanging a quilt.


Please forgive the pictures – it’s big, the lighting was bad, it wasn’t hanging and it’s shiny!  I think that’s my reflection in the bottom of it.

The sides measure 1 1/2″ wide and the half-square triangles in the corners measure 3″ on their short sides.  The finished frame measures 36 1/2″ x 52 1/2″ –  the proportions are based on the Golden Rectangle.

(The Golden Rectangle is well-known ratio-proportion in architecture, art and math-geometry because of it’s structure and balance.)  (Yes, I had to look it up.)

He’s very proud of incorporating the Churn Dash element into the frame – he knows it’s one of my favorite quilt blocks.  Of course, as his older-wiser – brattier – sister, I had to tell him that with the proportion of the sides on the frame he’d built, it’s actually more of a Monkey Wrench.


It’s made out of stainless steel and it can be hung on the wall – there are hooks on the back at the top.  The rod has a bolt-nut-thing on each end, one of which unscrews easily so a quilt with a sleeve can be hung on the rod.  It’s been ground-polished twice and given a few more days, Mark would have given it at least one more pass.  No matter how many times I told him that I loved it exactly as it was, he’s a perfectionist.  (I have no idea where he gets that.)

Mark got the idea for the frame last September after reading a Cutting Table blog post.  It was to be his contribution to my Christmas present – what he likes to call the “second best gift I’ve ever gotten”.


I’ve often called Rosie my “best gift ever”, she was a birthday-Christmas present from my Dad.

So when Mark read about Luke Haynes and saw pictures of some of Luke’s quilts, he got an idea.  He contacted Luke and actually met with him in Houston during Quilt Market to discuss the possibility of a commission.  (Rather sneaky, don’t you think?)

Golden Retriever – Golden Rectangle.  Mark likes that kind of synchronicity.


It’s perfect.  I love the quilt – and I especially love the frame.

It might be my “second best gift ever” but it comes from the Best. Brother. Ever.

If you doubt me… when I went to Spring Quilt Market in Pittsburgh in 2014 and didn’t want to put Rosie in a kennel, Mark flew from Houston to Phoenix and stayed the week.  With my dog.

Best. Brother. Ever.

Hands down.

(Thank you, Mark!  If you see a comment from “aka Golden Child”, that’s him.)

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116 thoughts on “Second best…

  1. What a wonderful, thoughtful brother you have. I loved seeing Rosie, she was always a star in your old blog 🙂

  2. That is just the best gift. What a thoughtful brother you have! I wish you all the best in 2016. Love reading about your adventures at Moda.

  3. Best brother ever I would say.
    The frame idea with the rod is brilliant…comissioning with
    Luke for the Rosie quilt…WOW. He’s the kind of brother weall want.
    Blessings to you both.

  4. And your best ever brother is creative, love the frame! Stunning workmanship:) Rosie’s face is lovely!

  5. Love the quilt frame. Love how your brother commissioned such a lovely quilt. Love seeing that sweet photo of Rosie again. Thanks for sharing all the special things your brother has done for you. He is the best brother outside of my family.

  6. Perfect present! hands down perfect present! He did good! What would we do without our siblings.


  7. I cried with this one Carrie. I know how much Miss Rosie and your brother mean to you. Family love at its finest. Your parents are so proud of the both of you that the heavens shine their stars upon us all. Wishing you and Matk a fabulous 2016. Hugs filled with love to you both.

  8. The commissioned piece captured Miss Rosie’s persona!!! I went out to your car to meet her at Painted Pony and Quilts where I worked. You were coming from Houston International Quilt market.

  9. I don’t think I’ve ever read a more heartfelt, touching blog post. Thank you for sharing all of it with us.

  10. I have tears in my eyes. What a great group of people coming together to be even more awesome. And your brother is obviously a part of this group. Love, love this story and love the frame and quilt!!!!!

  11. You certainly do have the Best. Brother. Ever! I wish I had one 🙁 And I am so excited about your frame. My hubby is in metal fabrication, and I would LOVE, I said LOVE to have a frame like that 😀 The quilt is so beautiful! What a thoughtful and loving gift.

  12. Awe, that is amazing! Her sweet face is perfect. You do have the best brother and best gift ever! How stinkin thoughtful was that?! Aren’t you glad you put up with him being your mom’s favorite all these years? ha

  13. P.E.R.F.E.C.T.I.O.N. (& I hope I spelled everything correctly, because I’m looking at this through tears.) Love in a frame… in so many ways. Well done Mark & Luke!

  14. Holy smokes! That is an amazingly thoughtful gift. You are so lucky to have such a sweet brother, and I know he’s lucky to have you, too!

  15. WOW … that is an amazing gift! Your brother really thought this all out and knocked it out of the park. The quilt totally captures your sweet dog and the frame gives it the punch. What a winning combo. Carrie, you are one lucky girl. Happy New Year!

  16. There’s nothing like a great brother and you sure have one! That’s a beautiful story and a great frame and quilt!

  17. What a wonderful brother!! The quilt absolutely captures Rosie’s spirit and the frame is stunning. Happy New Year!

  18. Misty eyed here for sure. What a stupendously wonderful gift this is from your baby brother! I always think of your Rosie whenever I read your Moda column. So glad you made yourself at home here in the Metroplex and wishing you a fabulous 2016!

  19. Frame – awesome! Commissioned quilt – stunning!! A brother who isn’t a great guy just at Christmas – priceless, and it sounds like you know it :-). A wonderful story about a great sibling relationship.

  20. OMG! I think I would have started crying! What an amazing gift! Kudos to your brother and thanks for sharing it with us. The quilt is just breathtaking. Our “Sam” is the twin to your’s. She’s up in heaven too! Think she has a new friend named “Rosie”

  21. This Is so wonderful in so many ways. It’s also great that you acknowledge it too. Well done golden child.

    1. Thank you EVERYONE! I sincerely appreciate all your comments – I am also humbled by everyone’s comments on the frame and my thoughtfulness (THANKS!).

      Honestly, I was reading Carrie’s September’s blog post about Luke and, after checking Luke’s website, the idea of commissioning a Rosie quilt just came to me. The ‘quilty’ frame idea came a few weeks later when I was thinking how to involve myself (beyond sending Luke some $$) knowing that gifts the gifter actually makes with their own hands/knowledge/experience are always better than simply buying a gift (a mindset that I am sure is shared by y’all making quilts).

      And you are welcome Carrie – the best sister ever too!


  22. I’m crying new tears over Rosie. She was captured perfectly and will live forever in many of our hearts. You are a very fortunate woman to be loved in so many ways. I agree – best brother ever!

    1. I agree. Tears. I wish I had had the kind of relationship with my (late) brother as you do with yours. I so wish that but it wasn’t to be (on his part). VERY happy for both you and Mark … what a truly, truly beautiful gift. Miss Rosie so much!

  23. Precious is the first word that came to mind. That gift is absolutely wonderful, and Golden Child is the BEST brother ever, but his sister is pretty darn amazing too. Your parents must be so proud. It looks like Rosie is going to step out of that frame. Makes my heart feel so warm and tender, Bless both you and Mark. Cherish all of your special moments. They are so precious. Thank you for sharing, oh my!!!!! Happy, Happy New Year to both of you.

  24. Pretty awesome! I’ll bet you were speechless when you opened that gift! What could have been more perfect? You are indeed blessed in the brother department.

  25. Ohh, I love this story! I was admiring the frame and was thinking to myself, ” I wonder what Carrie will display in this special frame someday?” When I scrolled down to see the quilt I gasped. It is all so gorgeous. What a wonderful gift and tribute to Miss Rosie. I miss her.

  26. Beautiful gift, beautiful thought. I’ve never met you, but of course I know of Rosie. This post made me cry

  27. Love this story! Made me cry! It takes a special person to give so much thought and planning to come up with such a special gift that will be cherished forever!.

  28. That’s so so sweet! Yes, you have the best (little) brother ever (I have an older brother and he is the best big brother … most of the time;-) and the best gift ever (after Miss Rosie)!
    Wishing you and your brother and the whole Moda family a Happy 2016!

  29. Wow! That’s phenomenal. I have a sister so I missed out on the brother/sister relationship. But I enjoy watching my children develop that relationship.

  30. Beautiful, and what a tribute to Rosie!!! So glad that you and your brother have a great relationship. My sister’s and I have that same relationship. Wouldn’t trade family for anything!

  31. As I was scrolling down this blog and admiring the beautiful frame, I never in a million thought I would see Miss Rosie. Every day, I read this blog and every day, I go to your blog and say good morning to Rosie. You are right, BEST BROTHER EVER. Definitely a keeper.

  32. Wow! What a guy. So thoughtful. I, too, had a golden named Rosie. They are the best dogs EVER! Thanks so much for sharing such a sweet, tender, thoughtful story. Your brother is really special.

  33. Such a beautiful Christmas story and the lovliest of gifts from the Golden Child! And Luke captured Rosie so well!

  34. What an amazing gift from an amazing brother!
    I have a 16 year old golden named Brandy who looks exactly like Rosie ❤️

  35. In tears… I have not read or seen something that beautiful in a long time. Thank you for sharing that. What a lovely brother you have. Best wishes for the coming New Year!

  36. Oh my. That is truly the Best. Brother. Ever! So fun to see a picture of Rosie again. Amazing quilt. Amazing frame. Amazing siblings!

  37. Best. Post. Ever. It captured love, love demonstrated, love shared. We are included in all of it. Thank you for sharing the depth of your brother’s love for you as it so tenderly captures what drives many of us to do what we do. Demonstrate love with fabric fulfilling its destiny.

  38. Just the BEST POST EVER. I love the Rosie quilt and the frame. I wonderful, and possibly the best Christmas present ever.

  39. Oh, as if the frame wasn’t enough, when I got down to the custom quilt by Luke, I started crying! BRAVO brother-of-yours, bravo!!! You nailed that Christmas present, what an amazing gift!!!!

  40. What an amazing gift and even better-what an amazingly generous and thoughtful brother!! Happy new year, Carrie!!

  41. Sweetness, total sweetness…and sneaky!!!!!! Awesome frame, amazing quilt…all of it just uber sweet! You two obviously make a great team 🙂

  42. Beautiful presents from a beautiful soul! Made me tear up a bit when I read it. Thank you for sharing this with us!

  43. Such a wonderful brother. And what a sweet looking Golden. We have had 4 and they are the best breed there is!

  44. Wow! I would like your brother to give my brother some tips! What a wonderful and thoughtful gift. Could it be any more perfect? Yep…you better keep him! But maybe you would share – please ask if he would consider adopting me as a second sister!

  45. Wow! What a wonderful brother you have! The quilt of Rosie at the end was such a breathtaking surprise. It brought tears to my eyes.

  46. As a golden retriever lover, I have tears in my eyes. If i was still menstruating, I would totally blame that!
    Love both gifts. You are a blessed woman,

  47. Both the frame and the quilt are just amazing. But I have to ask why make the quilt removable, how could you ever take Miss Rosie down? Unless to put her on your bed I guess.

  48. Ohmygosh — when that quilt scrolled across the screen, I got tears in my eyes — what an amazing gift! WOW! Definitely best. brother. ever. Beautiful!!!

  49. Seeing Rosie’s sweet face brought a tear to my eye, and then the quilt, well, that was it! What wonderful gifts and memories. Thoughtful!!! So glad you are posting so frequently here! Keep up the good work!

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