I found Rikki Little on the Saturday before Christmas by using Etsy's "Shop Local" feature. I put in the zip code for Lexington and waited to see what goodies popped up. Immediately, I fell in love with this:
From the thumbnail picture, I thought it was a Marine Christmas ornament and my first thought was, "If she makes them for Marines, I bet she can make one for the Army, too! Hooah!" But when I clicked on the thumbnail, I understood that it wasn't made with ACU fabric, but actually a very lovely tan and black fabric with a subtle pattern. I emailed her anyway.
Through a series of messages (all of which were returned within 24 hours or less), we had a working design of a truly custom piece. A week later, she sent me these photos:
When I originally requested that she use the ACU pattern, I asked her if I needed to send an old uniform for her to use. She said that she wanted to check around first. Although ACU fabric is, apparently, available in craft stores (and frequently purchased to make those adorable ACU purses and diaper bags that abound on Etsy), she used the uniform jacket of a friend who had just returned from Afghanistan. He donated his uniform so that we could have this Christmas ornament to hang every November. It's a tiny detail that made a huge difference.
This quilted ornament is extremely sturdy and the fabric is wrapped and bound tightly. I am not at all worried about storing it or moving it every time we are stationed somewhere new. And when you move every 3 years, you need sturdy stuff. I'm already thinking about next Christmas and doing something with a flag pattern. Rikki is easy to work with, very accommodating, and her prices are absolutely reasonable. There's a chance that before it's all said and done, we will end up with an entire collection of her quilted ornaments.
The Bottom Line:
Etsy Shop: The Lighter Side
Owner: Rikki Little
Feedback: 11 with 100% positive
Open since: January 25, 2010
Price: $15.00 plus $3.50 shipping
Shipping: Arrived in GA from KY within 4 days of her finishing the piece