Wednesday, May 30, 2012

What's Cookin' At The Sweatshop? Lots on the Menu...

Hi, all!

Wednesday is here again, which means it's time for an update on the quilt ministry!!  And I'm actually early this week - which means I'm not writing this at 9:00 pm on Wednesday night!  Woohoo!

Lots of quilts to show this week, so I'll jump right in...  Joy-filled quilts first, these will be going to three soon-to-be-born babies at our church...

Don't you love that backing?
This cute little boy's quilt was piece by Cindy from orphan blocks we received from a donor (if you recognize them, let me know! I'll give credit where credit is due!) and backed with a great Alexander Henry flannel that someone found at a yard sale!

Detail of quilting - yeah Jolene!
And this sweet little girl's quilt is made using a Lil Twister UFO that was sent to us by Mina, I believe, that we enlarged with a cotton candy pink blender.  It has some fun quilting in the large pink areas.  

This very patriotic little quilt came to us as a donation, needing only binding to finish it off.  Cindy saw it, decided it would make a great baby quilt, and put some binding on!   This baby will be born into a military family, so we think it's a great quilt for this new arrival!

Nice pieced back - enlarge to see the stars
I quilted in!!
Another patriotic quilt, pieced by Emilie - this one is going to a fundraiser for a cancer patient that's being held in July.  We thought the patriotic theme would be perfect!!

This beautiful quilt was also pieced by Emilie, and is going to a woman who is battling cancer.  Aren't those colors just beautiful?  (The red is a little brighter than life in the picture because of the sun behind it...)

This beauty was pieced by Debora, a quilt ministry member.  It is going to a young mother who was in a very bad car accident, and is facing several months of recuperation.

And this wonderful apple core quilt, donated by an anonymous quilter, will be going to a couple who just suffered a devastating loss.  Our prayer is that this quilt will bring them some comfort in a very difficult time, and remind them that people are praying for them....

And I am so-o-o-o glad to see this last quilt finished!  You might recognize the blocks - they are from Amy's Simple Sampler quilt along that happened sometime back in 2010.  Well, I'm ashamed to say they've been sitting in my UFO stack since then.... but not any more!  Thanks to master-piecer Kathy, now they are part of a quilt that is going to a young single mother in Arkansas.  She is going through chemo for breast cancer, in addition to working and taking care of her duties at home.  Being a single mom is hard enough - I can't imagine dealing with breast cancer on top of that!  Many prayers and good wishes go along with this quilt; we even quilted one of our wishes in the top!

So that's what we've been working on this week in The Sweatshop!!  Whew!  We've been busier than I thought!  But it's so nice to have our new space, and I think it helps us get stuff done faster!  

Many thanks to all of you whose donations helped create the quilts shown above!!  We couldn't do it without you!!



Oh - and one more thing - jump over and check out my friend Beth's blog, Plum and June!  She's doing lots of fun things over there and there's a giveaway going on right now!!  Don't miss it!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Oh Wow! Our Quilt Got Nominated Over At Amy's!

Hi, all!

Oh, wow, wow, wow!!!  I am totally stunned, humbled, and thankful to all of you - our quilt from the Blogger's Quilt Festival was nominated in the category of Favorite Group/Bee Quilt!!  You can read the wonderful story behind this quilt here if you haven't seen it already.  Please go over to Amy's Creative Side and check out all the fabulous nominated quilts - and vote!  Anyone can vote - you don't have to have a quilt entered to participate.  And you don't have to vote for our quilt, although I'd love it if you did!!

Ashley with her quilt, showing off the back!

Also, if you haven't already seen the great quilts that have been made for the Hands2Help Charity Quilt Challenge, you might want to check out this blogpost - there are 50+ quilts already, and participants will be adding more all week (I hope!)  There are some amazing, generous quilters out there!!

Great Big Hugs!


Make-A-List Monday - Happy Memorial Day!!

Hi, all!

I hope you have all been enjoying a safe and happy holiday weekend - we've been out on the boat once this weekend and are getting ready to go out again this morning as soon as the coffee (and other assorted caffeines) kick in!  But keep in mind while you're partying the real reason for the holiday, and say a word of thanks for all the military folks who have protected our country, past and present!

I think I did pretty well on my list last week - well, me and Jolene did!  Let's see how it went...

1.  Make my H2H quilt!
Done!  It came out well, and I had fun with the quilting...

2.  Quilt three H2H quilts for international participants.
Actually, when I pulled them out, there were only two - but they're Done!

3.  Make a quilt for a 12-year old boy with leukemia.
Done!  As Sharon says, hopefully this quilt will make him feel as brave as lions!

4.  Make a quilt for a woman with cancer.
Done!  You'll read more about this quilt on Wednesday's Sweatshop update...

5.  Make kits for the quilt ministry.
Done - sort of!  I made one, but it got snatched right up, and one other lady made one, then decided to take it home and make it!  Oh well, a kit-maker's work is never done!

6.  Begin working out - walking or exercise - at least 30 minutes per day, five days a week!
Also done, sort of!  I did eat much better this week - and got in a good bit more exercise than I usually do!

OK, so that's how I did last week!  Let's see what's on the schedule for this week...

1.  Quilt and bind a top for a cancer fund raiser.

2.  Re-assemble a 1600 quilt top that had some issues.

3.  Clean out my junk room (now that I have storage space on my fabric shelves!)

4.  Make up kits for the quilt ministry on Tuesday and Thursday.

5.  If no new needs come in, quilt two ministry quilts to get ahead.

6.  Decide on a quilting design for my Jacob's Ladder quilt.

7.  Start keeping little Miss Emmalyn on Friday!

I can tell you I'm a little excited about that last one - I get to start keeping my newest granddaughter during the day when my daughter returns to work - woohoo!!  It will be interesting to see how she does with Jolene - I'm hoping the sound of the quilting will lull her to sleep!!

So that's my week ahead - should be interesting to see how much of it I can get done!  

Oh and by the way - if you haven't already seen all the beautiful quilts that have been created for the Hands2Help Charity Quilt Challenge, you ought to check them out - lots of wonderful quilters have really come through this year with some fabulous quilts!  And there's still time to join in if you're fast or if you've got a quilt just looking for a good home, so go check it out!   The linky party closes Saturday 6/2 at midnight, and then there will be some awesome giveaway items given out on Sunday!!  Every quilt gets you an entry for the giveaways....

And now the question is - - - what are you working on this week?



Sunday, May 27, 2012

Hands2Help - Show Off Your Quilts!!

Hi, all!

Wow - it's finally here!  The last week of the Hands2Help Charity Quilt Challenge!!  First of all, let me tell you all that I am so appreciative of your response to the Challenge this year - we had 57 people sign up, and I've already received thirteen quilts for the NOLA Project, and I believe Emily has already received close to a dozen for Happy Chemo!  And that's before the challenge has officially ended.....  You ladies are amazing!!!!

And a reminder - the linky for the end of challenge link-up will remain open until next Saturday night (June 2nd) at midnight, so if you meant to participate, but never got around to it, there's still time if you work fast!  Maybe you've got a quilt nearly finished, sitting in that UFO stack that makes you feel guilty.......  ;-)   You can read the details of the challenge here, or you can e-mail me directly at for more info.

Next Sunday I'll announce the winners of the giveaways, drawn from the people who link up to this week's linky party.  You get one entry for each quilt you send in for the challenge, so be sure to show them all!  You only have to do one blog post, though - I'll check your post to see how many entries you get if you don't want to link up each quilt separately.  (You can link up several times if you choose to do so!)  If you have trouble linking up, or if you don't have a blog, send me a picture of your quilt or a link to your blog and I'll link up for you.  We don't want anyone missing out on the party!


And now, even though I don't get to participate in the giveaways, I want to show you the quilt I created for the Challenge.  This quilt will be going to Emily for her Happy Chemo collection...

Bright colors and a simple design hopefully will make someone feel much more cheerful about their chemo experience...

Here's a full picture of the front of the quilt...

...and one of the back - don't you just love those flamingos?

So Emily, be watching for a package coming your way, this one along with Laurel's quilt and Sandra's quilt!


And now it's your turn!!  Please show us the quilt or quilts you created for the Hands2Help Charity Quilt Challenge, and be sure to tell where it's going - Happy Chemo or the NOLA Project!!  Remember, you have until next Saturday, June 2nd, 
at midnight to link up!!

And again, thank you all for participating and being such kind and generous quilters!!  And sponsors, thanks again to you for providing a wonderful way to way thank you!

I can't wait to see all your quilts!



Friday, May 25, 2012

Can I Get A Whoop Whoop? Hands2Help Challenge Is Nearing The End...

Hi, all!!

Here it is, Friday again!!  Are you ready to get your whoop whoop on??  We're having our first real "summery" week here - the temperature has been on the rise and we're hoping to get the boat out on the lake this weekend.  Do you have big plans for the summer?

This week I really got acquainted with Jolene (my new long arm quilting machine) and cranked out a bunch of quilts.  Like this one...

...and this one...

...this one...

...and two more I haven't put binding on yet!

But my favorite quilt for this week is one that I quilted for a blog friend. I "met" Laurel back last summer when I found out I had cancer.  She sent me a chemo cap and the pattern to make it, telling me that it was one she had made when she had gone through her bout with cancer.  This year she signed up for the Hands2Help Charity Quilt Challenge, made her quilt top, and then found out that her cancer had returned.  She sent me her top to be finished, and look how beautiful it is!

I love the colors in this quilt - it's so warm and welcoming, it looks like a comforting hug even before you put it around you!  So here's a big whoop whoop for Laurel - it was a pleasure to quilt your top for you and I love this quilt!!  It will be sent to Emily over at Em's Scrap Bag to be donated to Happy Chemo.

And if you haven't been a part of the Hands2Help Charity Quilt Challenge this year, be sure to come back on Sunday and check out the links as the participants show off the quilts they've created for the challenge!!  Maybe you'll be inspired to join in next year!


So that's my whoop  whoop for the week!

What have you been working on this week?

What has made your heart happy?

Share with us and let us whoop with you!!

The linky party will stay open until Sunday night..

Be there or be square!!



Wednesday, May 23, 2012

What's Cookin' At The Sweatshop?

Hi, all!

Time for another update on what we've been doing in The Sweatshop recently!  I ran out of time to do a post last week - it's been crazy around here - but I'm making time to do one this week so we don't get too far behind.  

Several of us spent time at The Sweatshop's new location (church!) today putting the final touches on the new room.  I got the new quilt frame set up and ready to load up with a quilt top, we worked out the electricity to all of the worktables so that there aren't cords running across the aisles, and we hung the mirror and the clock!  It's looking good in there....

And here are the quilts we've finished and sent out this week...

This pretty quilt was made from fabrics donated by the Music City Modern Quilt Guild, pieced by Debora, and quilted by Cindy...

... as Jolene's (my new long arm) first quilt of many!!  This quilt went to Cindy's father, who had major surgery earlier this week.  He called today to let us know that he was resting very comfortably under his new quilt!

This neat and adventurous quilt was pieced by Sharon and quilted by me (on Jolene!).  I love the African Safari fabric on the front, and we just got a bolt of gorgeous flannel that matched it perfectly for the back!  This quilt is going to a 12-year old boy in Nebraska who has had a return of his leukemia following a remission.  


...and back!

This bright, cheerful quilt was pieced by Lynn and went to a 7-year old girl who was diagnosed with Rocky Mount Spotted Fever after several days of being sick and then being hospitalized.  I'm very happy to say she is now home recuperating!!

And this beautiful batik postage stamp quilt, my second because I loved the way the first turned out so much, is now living with a gentleman who is dealing with cancer.  He's going through radiation and chemo and I hope this quilt helps him through a difficult time!

So that's what we've been working on this week!  We've still got a bunch of quilts to catch up on, so be prepared for more quilts next week....  Thanks again to all of you who help make this ministry possible!!



Monday, May 21, 2012

Make-A-List Monday - I Feel Like An Empty-Nester!

Hi, all!

Well, here it is Monday again - time to get back on the straight and narrow!  I had a wonderful weekend with DH in Little Rock just playing around, but there's lots to do this week - my last full week before starting to take care of little Emmie every day!  Oh, but that's going to be so much fun......

So here's the skinny on what happened with last week's list....

1.  Finish piecing a batiks quilt top for a man with cancer.
2.  Make a back and quilt the batik quilt.
Both done!  See how pretty this came out...  
I'll share more about it on Wednesday.

3.  Make quilt kits for the ministry.
I didn't get any kits made, and I really need to!

4.  Finish taking the rest of the ministry supplies to church.
I'm not sure I've got it all down there, but at least most of it is gone - which is why I feel like an empty-nester! 

5.  Decide on a quilt to enter into the Blogger's Quilt Festival!
Done!  I told the story of this lovely quilt - you can read it here!

6.  Prepare the last two posts for the 
Hands2Help Charity Quilt Challenge!
Well, I did get one done - this past Sunday's post listed all the great giveaway items that will be awarded to lucky winners on next Sunday's linky party!  There's still time to join in if you want...

7.  Pull fabrics for my H2H quilt (finally!)
Finally!  Pulled and now I can get to work on the quilt...

So what's on the list for this week?

1.  Make my H2H quilt!

2.  Quilt three H2H quilts for international participants.

3.  Make a quilt for a 12-year old boy with leukemia.

4.  Make a quilt for a woman with cancer.

5.  Make kits for the quilt ministry.

6.  Begin working out - walking or exercise - at least 30 minutes per day, five days a week!

That certainly should be enough to keep me busy this week!  Hopefully I can get it all done......  ;-)

So now the question is - - - what are you working on this week?



Sunday, May 20, 2012

Hands2Help Charity Challenge - Meet Our Sponsors!!

Hi, all!

Wow - it's hard to believe we're drawing close to the end of the 2012 Hands2Help Charity Quilt Challenge!!  Next Sunday, May 28th, is the beginning of the week to link up pictures of your finished quilts!

I've been amazed at the quilts that I've seen already, and know that there's only more amazement to come.  I can't wait to see what you all have done to help other people in need!

But this week is a very special week - the week we spotlight our sponsors!  There's a grand array of giveaway items for those who link up next week - all donated by our very generous sponsors.  So without further ado, here's a peek at what you might win!

From fellow blogger and H2Her KatieQ,
a Pom Pom de Paris layer cake!

From fellow blogger and H2Her Aunti Pami,
a 10 Little Things panel and two charm packs! 
(PS She has a great sale going on right now...)

(Just a representative photo to whet your appetite - actual FQs may differ)

From fellow blogger and H2Her Miki Willa,
16 Flea Market Fancy Fat Quarters!

From fellow blogger and H2Her Selina,
5 charm packs - Papillon, Etchings, Tend The Earth,
 Good Fortune, and Whimsy!

From fellow blogger and H2Her Annie Toy,
a five-fat quarter bundle, a copy of "Sunday Morning Quilts" by Amanda Jean Nyberg, and a copy of "The Practical Guide to Patchwork" by Elizabeth Hartman!

From fellow blogger Emily of Em's Scrap Bag,
12 Patterns!

From Shannon of Fabric N Quilts,
2 Happy Daze quilt kits in Moda Ruby fabric!

From fellow blogger and H2Her Sharon Vrooman,
A Hello Luscious jelly roll and a Love Letters jelly roll!

From fellow blogger and pattern designer Kate Conklin,
10 patterns!

A sampling to whet your appetite....

From fellow blogger and H2Her Vicki Steffe
some of her beautiful hand dyed fabrics!

three $25 gift certificates!

From Fabricworm, the online fabric shop,
 2 yards of the winner's choice of Birch Fabrics that are in stock!!

From fellow blogger and pattern designer Amy Smart,

From Judi of Green Fairy Quilts,
two layer cakes!

From fellow blogger, H2Her, and pattern designer Jamie Elfert,
her new Acappella pattern and five orange fat quarters!

From designer Kate Spain,
a Flurry Jelly Roll!

To whet your appetite...

From fellow blogger and H2Her Kris Young, 20 Kaffe Fassett fat eighths, and a charm pack of Swiss Holiday!


Thanks to all of our fabulous sponsors - the Challenge wouldn't be the same without you!!  

And to all you participants, be sure to link up next week and show off your handiwork for a chance in the giveaways!!