Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Toddlerless Tuesday #27! The Calm Before The Storm...

Hi, all!

We had rain this morning here in Middle Tennessee - but nothing compared to what's expected here in the next 36 hours.  They're expecting the most severe weather of the year to hit during that time.  So today has been very much "the calm before the storm" - and I worked hard to get some things done in case we lose power!

First up was to get these two flimsies turned into quilts.  Thankfully, with the quilt frame and the tons of practice I've had on it lately, I was able to get both of these done by a little after noon.  They're not fancy - just a random meander - but they're quilted and ready for binding.  These will be delivered to our pastor to be available if he wants to give them out at our monthly prayer service (a time when he does very individualized prayer with people who choose to come.)

I also picked out these fabrics for a quilt for a woman undergoing chemo for breast cancer.  They told me she is really into pink these days, so I hope these will tickle her fancy and cheer her up!  That's tomorrow's project...

And look what I got in the mail - my second set of Hands2Help fabrics, this time from my partner Robyn!  

Aren't they pretty?  I can't wait to figure out what to make with them.  Cheerful fabrics are so much fun to sew with!!

So that's what I did with my toddlerless time this Tuesday.  

But one other thing I came across today, while looking at blogs, was the ongoing conversation about being "real" on your blog.  I don't know if you've seen Rebecca's post, or Deborah's post, or Rachel's post - all offshoots of a post recently about the dumbing down of quilting.  (I'm not going to link to that post here - I did not find it to be very constructive, just argumentative.)  One of the things I noticed in the comments, particularly on Rachel's posts, was that people feel intimidated by bloggers who constantly show lots of quilts they have finished, without telling about all the trauma they went through to get there.  So I wanted to clarify a few things about my blog and my quilting...

1.  I make a lot of quilts in a hurry because (a) I make quilts for a quilt ministry and can't bear to think that someone who needs a quilt is without one because I don't feel like quilting that day and (b) because I have help - lots of ladies who put together blocks that we incorporate into the quilts, and others who donate their UFOs for us to finish.  I post them on the blog because it's a way to keep a record of what we've done in the quilt ministry.

2.  It's a rare day when I don't make a total blooper on something I'm sewing - whether it's sewing the pieces together wrong side to right side, or just totally missing the seam matching, or put together fabrics that just look awful! Stuff like that happens to everyone!  And just like everyone else, sometimes I'm "frog-stitching" (rip-it, rip-it) or embracing the error and turning it into something else!  But usually by the time I've gotten around to blogging about it, the bloopers have disappeared in the joy of the finished quilt.

3.  I love making simple quilts because I can create more of them in a hurry - and I love designing my own, or making variations on others that I've seen out there on other blogs.  Sometimes we make the same quilt repeatedly because we can make them quickly.  That's a pitfall of making ministry quilts. But we try to add to our design pool and use new patterns as they are learned!  Sometimes I'd like to make more difficult designs  - and someday I might have time. But for now, I'm doing what I'm supposed to be doing!

I hope my blog doesn't intimidate any of you.  That's not my intent at all.  Please, if you have a question about anything I've done or shown on my blog, feel free to e-mail me and ask - I love to help others enjoy quilting as much as I do!  However you choose to quilt - traditional or modern, by hand or machine, fast or slow - you should enjoy it!!

Quilt on!



  1. I have not followed your blog for very long but already I like it. I love your quilts. Because you are doing them for a great cause and you make so many it is ok to be doing easy patterns. I love the Soduko pattern. I have made a quilt with that pattern and it is very quick. Your doing great!

  2. We are having a rash of severe storms here in NY too. Emergency kit ready if needed. I won't participate in the line of 'argumentative conversation' either. We all have our purpose. I love what you are doing as well as what I am doing and that is all there is too it. Continue on your journey.

  3. Be safe tomorrow! Maybe you'll be able to get a lot of binding or cutting done if the power goes out. I wouldn't worry too much about upsetting other people with your productivity - you're always quick to give credit where it's due and acknowledge that other quilters in your group are involved in the process. Keep on keepin' on!!

  4. Really people? Sarah you give credit where credit is due, you are a blessing to so many. Keep it up as I know you will!

    I heard about that storm,be safe and I will be praying for you. I think we are supposed to get some more heavy rains as far as I know.

  5. I'm with Sara. Let's not worry about what others think...let's make some quilts....and more importantly...Let's give them away!!!!

  6. Sara, you and your family please stay safe. Being with the Red Cross I am on constant watch of the weather out there. I may actually go on deployment in the next couple weeks. I was in your neck if the wood last May at Dyersburg, TN.

    Again please be safe my prayer are with everyone in the storm areas.

  7. It's makes me sad that you felt that you had to justify or explain all that you do. Keep up the good work, it's amazing.

  8. Stay Safe Sarah. Embrace the bloopers. I call them design elements! We are all put on this earth to serve others and were given our unique creative talents for a reason. As Vroomans' Quilts previously stated, "I love what you are doing and I love what I am doing." You are an inspiration to me and I have only "known" you for a couple of weeks. Now, if I pass that on and it multiplies, knowing you has benefited an exponential amount of people. God Bless.

  9. I'm with Mari, I hope you don't feel self conscious now. You are not any sort of problem. You share with us your goals, and whether you meet them or not. You show the quilts you make without trying to turn a buck off it. You share stories and inspire good in others. You are a blessing to us!

  10. May God bless you... I love what you do, you are an inspiration to me. I love reading your goals and they make me set my own, in my quilting world.. so thank you for sharing...
    I love your last fabric bundle... would you believe it I have just finished making a quilt for a lovely lady who has cancer using the very same fabrics... small world really... even if we live of the other side of the real world of each other... Stay safe...

  11. I've heard that a quilt isn't a quilt if it doesn't have a mistake made with LOVE! Whether we choose to make a easy or hard quilt, small or big, to each their own. It would be a sad world if everyone liked the exact same pattern/style/color and what you do is amazing. Thanks!

  12. Oh Girl! You don't intimidate, you INSPIRE! And personally, I love the fact that you are doing God's work and blessing both the people who receive quilts through the ministry and people like me. My favorite quilts are the ones that are made with love and bring joy to the recipients. That sums up your quilts to a T. May you continue to be blessed and be a blessing and stay safe during the incliment weather.

  13. I'm with you. I don't feel the quilting world is dumbing down. I feel it is making a change that reflects our culture. Modern quilts are more simplified, but not any less a quilt. So what if we want to be inspired by a designer and make her quilt? We all are different, that's what makes the world go round. Most of us work, either as mothers, wives, etc., time is precious and sometimes we just need to sew/quilt for our quiet time or our creative outlet. Ok, off the soap box. I love precuts, tools, and any shortcuts that make my craft easier. I think it is fun to try new things. This challenge is great and I'm having a blast! Making new friends and those families smiles are worth it all. Now to weather. It's still winter here (constant rain). Hope the power stays on, you and yours are safe.

  14. You seem to always keep it real here, which is so wonderful! I'm very new to quilting - one top completed (still working on a back for it), but millions of ideas! I appreciate seeing the quilts you turn out for the ministry. You're always encouraging in your posts, so thank you for that! It's been awhile since I've clicked over to your blog (I usually look at it in a reader). I love the blog header!

    We're supposed to get some of that horrible weather here in central Georgia tonight. While I'm supposed to be sleeping. Great. Stay safe!

  15. I LOVE your blog and all the pictures of your quilts.

    I think people need to worry about their own selves and what makes them happy in quilting and not worry about everyone else. Everyone is at a different place in regards to skill level and they need to remember that quilting is an art form and art is subjective. No two people will look at the same piece of art and see the same thing nor will two people make the same quilt pattern in the same way. Everyone just needs to remember that quilting is an expression of the quilter and nothing more or less.

  16. I hope the storm isn't as bad as they say it is. I was watching the weather channel this morning thinking of you. I hope that you, your family and your homes stay safe. I am sending some extra prayers your way. With regards to the dumbing down of quilting - I have done my best to ignore that conversation & have only posted comments on a few blogs regarding it. You know me from my blog & I keep it as real as it can get. I love your blog for that very reason - you are very real on your blog. Keep up the amazing work you do!!!!! Hugs!!!!

  17. Hope you weather the storms okay.

    I read Rachel's post and commented (later deleted it because I'd apparently had a brain fart and forgotten whose blog I was on with my final sentence regarding on a quilt that wasn't hers...how embarrassing; I'll live, though). Anyway, it was a thought-provoking post and I've been mulling it over since then.

    Your blog is an inspiration, Sarah. I am wowed by the amount of things you get done in a week, but I also think of it as showing what's possible when you are focused and determined and have a method of organizing things such that most of the time you do what you say you are going to do. You also help other people realize they "can do" when it comes to quilting and sewing, even if they have long believed they couldn't. That's nothing short of awesome.

  18. Hope you are safe today! We're sure getting wet:)
    I read Rachel's post and commented on it. I thought it was all in great fun, actually!

    Everyone's comments sum it up very well. Keep calm and quilt on people!

  19. Actually, I am always impressed by how many quilts you finish. It provides me with much needed encouragement. And I totally agree with you, quilting is a personal journey where you do what makes you happy. Keep on quilting!

  20. Good luck with the storm - stay safe! My mother always said if you can't say something nice dont say anthing a I wish a few negative minded people would keep their opinions to themselves regarding dumbing down and "being real" in your blog. If you don't like someone's blog then don't read it. Live nad let live. Life is just too short!!! I will be back! I loke seeing what you do - it inspires me to do more to give. Happy stitching - that is what is should all be about!

  21. I hope you are ok, now the aftermath is done.

    Lovely finished flimsies!

  22. Sarah, I stay out of the arguments, too. I feel like it's more important for me to quilt and express my creativity, and then turn around and give it away, to bless someone else with the love that is in the stitches. I love seeing your finishes. I'm well aware that we all make mistakes (last night I was doing some frogging!) and it inspires me to see your completed quilts.
    I'm writing this on Thursday....hoping you are safe? My TV is on and I'm praying for those impacted by these storms.
    Jacque in SC

  23. I didn't have time to read all the comments, but I wanted to add my own.

    First of all, I pray that you are safe after those horrible storms yesterday!

    Also, I read what I suppose was the first blog post that started this "dumbing down of quilting" thing, and I was not impressed. At all. I don't know the blogger (designer, quilter, whatever she is), had never read her blog, but it seemed to me she was looking quite a long way down her nose at people who don't do it her way. I think it's wonderful that so many people can learn to make simple quilts and so many people are benefiting from those same quilts - either as personal gifts or through charitable giving like yours. Who cares if it isn't a complex pattern that takes a year to make? It discouraged me a little. All of a sudden what I thought was great fun and learning new things seemed to be not quite good enough and somehow inferior to "real quilting."

    Having said all that, I'm just always amazed at how much you get done and so inspired by how much you are able to give through the help of others. I've never once felt intimidated reading about your goals and accomplishments. You just keep doing what you're doing and let the others gripe and complain about it . . . while it takes them a year to make a quilt!

  24. I just happened onto your blog and in reading your post I think I'm a bit like your when I get the feeling I need to make a quilt--I don't think the quilt police are there to point out that the quilt wasn't quilted up to "show" quality. Sometimes I can meander through a kid's quilt in very little time and then instead of the "cloth in the cupboard" there is a warm snuggly for someone. More times than not, I do that rather than try new quilting patterns--sometimes the finish and the end quilt is more important to me than the fancy quilt designs or the complicated patterns. I try to make varieties too, as my tastes aren't always someone else's.

    Sounds like you get lots done. I'm glad I stopped by for a visit. I'll be back.

  25. hope you survived the storm . I did not see the original post ; I saw somebody's about it . I am with you ; YOU are doing what you are doing . God bless those who do hand piecing and hand quilting ; that is why I never attempted a quilt before because I knew I would not like hand doing it ! I am a machine girl . My aunt made a few hand stitched quilts and they all raveled out . sad . Machine stitching to me is more secure for those that will get lots of use ; that's just me . Too bad you can't quilt on a serger !!!! ha . keep up your good work !

  26. You make lots of pretty quilts. I tend to check others blogs to see what they are doing instead of getting something done myself. Oh well. Simple is fine with me. I'm not a quilt snob at all. I've seen all kinds of material in quilts. If it works, fine. The idea is to have fun in the process. If it isn't fun, why do it? We can't always be 'challenged'.


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