Sunday, July 31, 2011

Hands2Help Charity Quilt Challenge - The Finale!!!!

Hi, all!!

Who would have thought, way back in early April, that we would end this challenge in July with 47 active participants? If my count is correct, those 47 participants have sent in 60 quilts - amazing!!  

And this is their week to shine - I'm asking each to link up their finished quilts below so that you can see the beautiful work that they have done!  They have worked hard to create special works of art and love that will bless the lives of orphans in Romania, taken there and distributed by Judi and Clint Madsen of Green Fairy Quilts.  This is an annual trip for Clint and Judi, and I know we are all honored to be a part of it this year.  


And now, although I know at least for me the good
feeling I get when I give away a quilt is 
reward in itself, we have some generous
sponsors who have provided giveaway items
for our wonderful participants!
The following is a list of the sponsors and 
the prize they are providing....

Sharon Vrooman of Vrooman's Quilts
is donating a Robert Kaufman "brights" solid roll-up!

She's also donating a $25 Gift Certificate to
Green Fairy Quilts' on-line shop!

Pam Nagle of Auntie Pami's Quilting Adventure
is donating a Verna Kit by Kate Spain!

KatieQ of Katie's Salt Marsh Path is donating two charm packs of Benartex Heritage Prints to one lucky participant!

Rebecca of Chasing Cottons is donating six of her patterns to one lucky participant!

Cathy of Wondrous Woven Fabrics is donating a jelly roll of Warm Memories by Kansas Troubles!

Peg and Becca of Sew Fresh Fabrics are donating a  Blooming Brown and Blue Stash Builder Bundle! It contains one fat quarter each of Amy Butler Daisy Chain Happy Stripe, Desert Bloom Cactus Toss in Brown, Honey Vine in Chocolate, Paintbrush Summer Leaves and Lattice in Chocolate from Anthology Fabrics. 1.25 yards total.  

Leah of Burgundy Buttons is donating a $15 gift certificate to her fabulous on-line shop!

Julie at The Intrepid Thread is donating a fat quarter bundle of Joel Dewberry's Heirloom in the winner's choice of colorway!

Anna Luna at Crafty Girls Workshop is donating a $25 gift certificate to her awesome shop!!

Kate of Kate Conklin Designs is donating five sets of two each of her great quilt designs!!

Shannon of Fabrics 'N Quilts is donating a $25 gift certificate to her on-line shop!!

Melanie of Above All Fabric is donating a Make Life Jelly Roll from her shop!

Kathy Mack of Pink Chalk Quilts is donating a $20 gift certificate to her shop!

Judi from Green Fairy Quilts is donating a Meadow Friends Jelly Roll from her shop!

And then, in a special giveaway for participants who sent in more than one quilt, Judi from Green Fairy Quilts is offering a bundle of five of her quilt designs, winner's choice!!

So, those of you who participated in the 
Hands2Help Charity Quilt Challenge, 
link up your quilts below!  
It can be a new post, an old post, or a flickr picture. 
Be sure to get your quilt mailed to Judi no later than 
August 5th, 2011 - everyone whose quilt arrives by 
August 14th will get an extra entry in the 
giveaway drawings.  I'll be drawing on August 15th 
and will post the winners on my Monday post that day; 
you'll also be notified by e-mail!

And those of you who are visiting tonight, check out the links and leave these ladies some bloggy love - they've worked hard!  And consider joining us next year - it's fun!!



Friday, July 29, 2011

Can I get a Whoop-Whoop??

Hi, all!

It's Friday - are you ready to get your Whoop Whoop on?  I hope so - and I hope you've done better than me in getting something ready to show off!  

My sewing time this week has been limited - a three-year old who is determined not to take a nap really takes a toll on sewing time!  But I did manage to get my two bee blocks done....

Oh boy that's boring isn't it?  oh well, you all need to link up lots of pretties below 
to make this blog post worth reading!!

On the non-sewing front, I've been working hard on finishing up the Hands2Help Charity Quilt Challenge - lots of stuff that has to get done before Sunday's final link-up!  I hope you will stop by and take a look at the beautiful quilts created by the ladies who participated - it looks like there will be around sixty quilts going to Romanian orphans with Judi of Green Fairy Quilts as a result of the challenge!  So stop by on Sunday and give all those ladies a big whoop whoop!!

So now it's your chance to shine - show us what you've been working on this week!!  And remember, you've got until Saturday night to link up!!



Tuesday, July 26, 2011

What's Cookin' at The Sweatshop, Week #2

Hi, all!

Well, since I started a new feature for Tuesdays last week, I kind of felt like it needed a name.  As I sat up here sweating (it's REALLY hot here in middle Tennessee right now), I fondly recalled what we call it when we get together to work on ministry quilts - The Sweatshop! Thanks to Google and, we've got that great image above to spur us on to greater heights!

So - - - what's happened in The Sweatshop this week?  

Blue Beauty - the front...
...and the back.
This beautiful quilt, pieced and quilted by Diane Wingo, who blogs at DEW Quilting and comes to sew with our quilt ministry ladies, went to a gentleman in the final stages of cancer.  He is courageously living life on his own terms and we hope that this brings him comfort!

Flower Garden
This beautiful quilt top was paper pieced by Sharon of Vrooman's Quilts before she donated it to our quilt ministry.  I added borders and backing and quilted it up.  This week it went to a member of the team working to distribute the upcoming Christian movie "Courageous" who was recently diagnosed with breast cancer.  If you haven't heard about this movie, you really should check out the website.  It is being produced by the same group that did "Fireproof" last year, and is absolutely excellent!  Please go visit the website and be sure to go see the movie opening weekend, September 30th!  You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll walk away changed......  Here's one of my favorite scenes from the movie...

Last Friday, my friend Kathy came over to quilt a very large quilt on my Juki, and brought with her this enormous stack of quilt flimsies for the quilt ministry....

Added to the seven flimsies I already have ready to quilt, we've got quite a stash going of quilts to fill needs we don't even know about yet.  These are all Great American Jelly Roll Race quilt tops - four of them made by our kids' group at Summer Camp, and three made by the ladies in the ministry group.  I think there are three or four more out there that haven't made it here for quilting, too!

And then today, I got to meet with two local quilt bloggers - Vicki of Dotty Jane Designs and Kari of High Pitched Barking - to gather up the last of the middle Tennessee quilts for Hands2Help Charity Quilt Challenge.  Their quilts have joined mine and those of Diane of DEW Quilting to form this glorious stack....

Aren't they just amazing?
These will go in the mail tomorrow, making their way to Utah and Judi of Green Fairy Quilts. In early September, she and her husband Clint will be winging their way to Romania to distribute quilts, food and school supplies to orphans there.  You can see the video of last year's distributions if you click on the Hands2Help tab at the top of my page.

It's also been a really good week for donations - take a look at my entry hall!

And this is just the stuff I haven't processed yet!  Fortunately, I've got a couple of friends who live to organize - and they're hopefully going to come over next week when I start empty-nesting again and help me get it all organized...

So that's what's going on in The Sweatshop this week!  Hope you're staying cool where you are.....

And be sure to come back on Sunday, July 31st for the final linkup for the Hands2Help Charity Quilt Challenge.  Check out all the beautiful quilts made by the wonderful ladies who have participate in this challenge, and maybe get inspired to join in next year!!



Monday, July 25, 2011

Make-A-List Monday #57! Where did the week go?????

Hi, all!

How did it get to be Monday so soon already?  Time just flew this week, but unfortunately not because I was doing much sewing.....  Let's see how I did on last week's list...

1.  Put the border on Lilli's quilt.
I didn't get to this - although I have high hopes
of working on it today during naptime...

2.  Piece a back for Lilli's quilt.
Another fail - didn't get to this either!

On a separate front though, I did put a border on sudoku quilt top pieced by my friend Kathy...

3.  Bind the fourth quilted ministry quilt.
Hooray!  I did get the binding done on this quilt...

4.  Quilt at least one more flimsy!
...and I quilted this pretty top, pieced by Sharon Vrooman!

5.  Make my bee blocks for Nicole....
Unfortunately, something else I hope I'll get to during
today's nap time.  I think I've finally figured out what
block to make, that will work with the fabric she sent.
(Apparently, I don't do so well with "whatever" blocks!)

I wasn't completely lazy during the week, though - 
I did pick up donationsfrom two different local donors - 
four or five big bags each of fabric and notions - 
and about half of that is sorted into the quilt ministry stash! 
 And I did a bunch of administrative work for the end of the 
Hands2Help Charity Quilt Challenge.

So what do I hope to get done this week?

1.  Finish those bee blocks!

2.  Put a border on Lilli's quilt.

3.  Make a back for Lilli's quilt.

4.  Get the local Hands2Help quilts in the mail!

5. Finish all the admin work for the Hands2Help challenge!

6.  Quilt at least one more ministry quilt.

Since this is Lilli's last week with me before she starts preschool, I may not get to everything on this list - I'd rather spend my time playing with her!  

See what we're working on today?

But I'll definitely work on completing #1, #4, #5, and #6, since those are obligations! 

What are you working on this week?



Sunday, July 24, 2011

Surfin' Sunday - featuring Pickle Dish!!

Hi, all!

This Sunday I'm very pleased to introduce you to another lovely quilt blogger - Lesly from Pickle Dish!

Now, I found Lesly's blog very early in my blogging days - she used to have an amazing close-up of a quilt on her header, which showed me that stippling didn't have to be teeny-tiny.  So when I was getting ready to do my first free-motion quilting just about a year ago - and I was terrified, because I'd never done it before and didn't have anyone to ask about it - I e-mailed her to ask her if she could give me any tips about how to proceed.  We passed several e-mails back and forth, and with lots of encouragement from her, I FMQed my first quilt!  Having done many many more now, I think she can take lots of credit for getting me well started!

Here are a few examples of the beautiful quilts you can see on her blog....

This is her new header photo - after she
inadvertantly threw away the first one I saw!

She was judged the overall winner of The Naked Bed Challenge
with this beauty!!

And look at this spectacular English-paper-piecing!

I love the color in this one - calm and peaceful,
but never boring!

And just to show that her talents aren't limited
to making quilts, check out this bag!

She wrote a lovely blog post on her typical day here that will give you an idea of her life.  It's also got some really cute pics of her family and doggies!  I hope you'll check out her blog and spend some time there - Lesly is a talented, generous, friendly quilt blogger and well worth getting to know!!


And just a reminder - next Sunday is the end of the Hands2Help Charity Quilt Challenge!  

Be sure to come back and see the beautiful quilts 
created by the 49 participants in this challenge - 
they've worked hard for a great cause!!



Friday, July 22, 2011

Can I get a Whoop-Whoop?? Busy Week With Not Much To Show....

Hi, all!

Well, it's Friday again - I hope you are all surviving this epic heat wave (at least in the States) well - maybe it means you've been able to stay inside and sew!  I've had a busy week, but haven't been able to sew too much - just finished the binding on these two beautiful quilts that were pieced by Sharon over at Vrooman's Quilts!

The Newspaper Quilt
(it's black and white and red all over!)

A paper-pieced beauty -
"Flower Garden"

Detail of one of the paper pieced blocks...
Sharon does such beautiful work, it's a pleasure to finish off one of her flimsies!!   These will find homes with people in need of comfort through our quilt ministry - you'll see them again when they are gifted.

On other fronts, I've been working on the final admin stuff related to the Hands2Help Charity Quilt Challenge - 

I suddenly realized the final due date is in just 10 days, with giveaways to be confirmed, etc.  These ladies have worked so hard on their quilts - they deserve to be recognized on time!!  You can see some of their beautiful quilts on the Flickr group now, but I hope you'll come back on Sunday, July 31st to see all the quilts linked in!

So that's my whoop whoop (albeit small) entry for the week.  What have you been working on?  Big, small, finished or not, link up and go visit the other links and leave some encouragement for your fellow crafters!  It'll make both of you feel great!!!  And remember, you can link up through Saturday at midnight......



Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Some Changes in the Air....

Hi, all!

Tuesdays are going to change around the blog a little bit - - 

Lilli, who is entirely too smart for her own good, will be starting a 5-day a week preschool on August 1st, so my whole week will be toddlerless, except for the days that I go eat lunch with her or pick her up early.  I'll miss her, but it will be so good for her to be around other kids and learning even more things!  She can already count in both english and spanish, told me the other day that when she got bigger and bigger, she wanted to be a teacher who taught about scientific experiments (where did she get that one??? who knows!) and keeps up a running commentary about everything she can think of non-stop until she passes out in sleep!  We've been cooking together, even tried a little sewing on "Nana's Big Machine" (the Juki!) and had a lot of fun this summer.  We've got two more weeks to fill up with lots more fun, so who know's what else we'll get done!  

So I think I'll use Tuesdays for quilt ministry updates - since so many of the ladies in our group are finishing quilts on their own now, with minimal help from me, it seems that they deserve their own day to shine!  Here are a few of the quilts they have finished recently...

Diane Wingo, who is a local quilt blogger who has been joining us for sewing made this beautiful quilt with her own scraps of Kate Spain's Central Park (oh how I love this line!)...

This quilt has already found a home with a woman diagnosed with breast cancer.  We hope it brings her lots of joy with its cheerful colors, and peace, knowing that people she doesn't even know are praying for her!

Diane also made this blue beauty, from fabric donated to us by Sarah Reames, who I met through my involvement with the Bee Splendid group.  (Sarah sent an enormous box of fabric I could barely lift, so you'll be seeing lots of things made with fabric she sent!!)

The front of the quilt...

... and the back.

Through careful planning, Diane worked it out so we've still got enough of these beautiful blues to make another quilt from it.  This quilt doesn't have a home yet, but I'm sure there's a plan for it!!  You'll see it again when it is gifted....

Pam, one of my church sewing sisters, made this cheerful quilt from fabric donated by Diane, who blogs over at Life Scraps.

The front of the quilt...

...and the back.

This quilt has the most adorable goldfish on it, and lots of bubbly dot fabrics - I've named it Goldfish Bowl!  It was delivered yesterday to an 11-year old girl who was in a serious car accident - possible brain damage and two broken legs.  It was wonderful to have a quilt on hand that we could get in her hands right away - a goal we've been working on for a while now!  

And now I have a very special quilt to share with you.

My sewing sisters made this beautiful quilt for me.

You can see just a few of them in this picture - lots more worked on the quilt, but weren't able to be there when
they gave it to me.  (That's me in the bright pink shirt right next to the quilt...)

You see, about a month ago, I was diagnosed with breast cancer.  I wasn't going to mention it on my blog,
because I always want this to be an up-beat,
positive place, plus it was going to be my 
"cancer-free" zone - where I didn't have to have cancer.

Miss Lilli couldn't miss being in this picture!!

But then the ladies gave me this beautiful quilt,
and I couldn't possibly go without sharing it with all of you.
They put so much work and thought into it---
Each lady chose a block pattern and made their own block. 

One even chose a pattern called "Sarah's Choice"!
There's some machine embroidery on it, too -
One block says "Hope"
Another has the name of our ministry - 
(my hubby came up with that - isn't it smart?)
Diane Wingo, who blogs at DEW Quiltingquilted it.

See the back?  There are blocks signed by 
the ladies in the sewing group,
by the ladies in my bunco group,
by staff members at the church,
and by people that we've made quilts for through the 
quilt ministry.

They did this all in a week!

And I love it.....

So - this won't be turning into a cancer blog - 
I'd rather it stays a quilting blog.  But at least you'll 
understand if I don't get as much done in a week
as I usually do!  I'll be doing chemo for about 18 weeks, 
then surgery and radiation.  So hopefully things will
stay pretty normal for a long time.  I had my 
first chemo treatment Monday, and so far, so good! 
Positive attitude and all that, you know?

It's strange to be on the receiving end of our quilt ministry, but I can definitely testify how much it means now!  It feels good to know that we are able to do something that can mean so much to others.  And I'm going to meet with the clinical psychologist at my oncologist's office to ask her if she will let me know if there are people she treats who really need a quilt from us - people with no family support, or who are going through a really bad time.  I figure there must be a reason I'm going through this - maybe that's it!  

When I was there for my first treatment yesterday, one of the gentlemen we made a quilt for came in and immediately said, "There's my quilt ladies!"  (One of my quilting friends went with me to keep me company...)  I didn't know he went there, too, and it was nice to see him and know that's how he thought about us!  Ann of Renegade Quilter donated the quilt that went to this gentleman.  He loves it, and says he sleeps under it every night!

So - enough about that!  From now on, Tuesdays will be ministry quilt updates (although I'm sure you'll see many others on other days...) and while we won't be seeing Lilli quite as often, I'll make sure she shows up sometimes!



PS - Be sure to check out Qubee Quilts on Wednesday (7/20/11) - Charlie's going to be featuring my blog!!  I'm so honored and excited!!