Friday, May 31, 2013

Can I Get A Whoop Whoop? Kids Helping Kids...

Hi, all!

It's Friday again, and time to get your whoop whoop on!!  And here's a reminder for you long-time whoopers, and maybe some new info for you newbies - it doesn't have to be a finish for you to link up!  It can just be making progress on a project if that's what made your heart sing this week.  So be sure to join in, even if you don't have a finish!


In the process of working on the Hands2Help Challenge, I was asked by our children's pastor if I could help him with a project.  The grade-school children were learning about and praying for the country of Ethiopia, and he wanted to do something tangible that would give the children a sense of mission and connection with the children of Ethiopia.  Of course, my first thought is quilts!  So we worked together to provide the kids with an opportunity to help make quilts for orphans in Ethiopia, that will be delivered through Quilts Beyond Borders.  Here's the result!

I hope you'll click on the picture so you can see all those smiling faces even better!  They were so proud of the twelve quilts that will go to orphans in Ethiopia.  The solid colored strips in each quilt contain handwritten notes and drawings from the kids.  Prayers for the orphans, reminders that God loves them, even drawings of kids playing football!

It was a great project and now the children know that there will be something tangible in Ethiopia that shows those children that there are people praying for them here in America.

Whoop Whoop!!


And now it's your turn!  

What has made you smile this week?


What's made you dance the happy dance?

Share!  We want to dance along with you!!

The party will remain open until Sunday at midnight -

Be there or be square!!



PS - Remember that Sunday starts the linkup party for this year's Hands2Help Charity Challenge quilts!  Even if you didn't participate, be sure to check back and see what everyone has made - there are some really neat quilts this year!!  And hopefully it will inspire you to join in the fun next spring.....

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

What's Cookin' At The Sweatshop?

Hi, all!

Well, it's been a very busy couple of weeks since I last did a Sweatshop update - lots of quilts have been made and given away! So let's get right to it....

First of all, this quilt was mentioned in the last Sweatshop update, but I didn't have a picture of it.  It went to a woman who has just been diagnosed with breast cancer.  Rita pieced this beautiful quilt, and Debbie H. (our new long-armer) quilted it.

These two quilts went to two sisters whose mother recently died in a car accident.  We did a quilt for the oldest sister, then found out about these two, so we couldn't leave them out!  Cindy and Kathy bordered up the two tops to get them ready for quilting....

This quilt was given to an older woman in her final days of life.  Made back in our days of learning the Disappearing 9-Patch pattern, I'm not sure which ministry member pieced this quilt!

This quilt went to a woman who has been diagnosed with multiple myeloma and is going through treatment.  I believe Deborah C. pieced this softly colored quilt.

This quilt was given to a woman who was just diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and given a short time to live.  This quilt was actually pieced by our summer camp kids two years ago!

This quilt went to a woman with serious heart issues.  She had a pacemaker installed and then immediately started having unexpected issues with her heart.  Pam S. took some donated blocks and pulled this beautiful quilt together.

This quilt went to a young man who was in a four-wheeler accident and sustained a serious head injury.  He is making an amazing recovery, but will be in rehab for quite a while.  This top was donated to us by Judi, a new member.  She actually made it over twenty years ago, by hand!

This quilt went to the grandmother who raised her grandson.  He recently tried to commit suicide, and we wanted to send her a comfort quilt.  This is another top made by Judi, by hand, over 20 years ago!

This quilt was given to the sister of one of our members.  She broke her leg very badly and will be in rehab for several months.  Rita pieced this top, her second in this pattern.  I love the colors she chose - so calm and yet vibrant!

This quilt is being given to a woman who just went through surgery for liver cancer.  She will be undergoing chemo as soon as she recovers from her surgery.  This is another of Judi's hand pieced UFOs - amazing!

This quilt is going to the sister of a young man who recently died from self-inflicted injuries.  Kathy pieced this top - I love the colors in it!

And this quilt, the last of this week's bunch, is being given to a young father who has just gone through surgery for testicular cancer.  Kathy also pieced this one, which is very similar to one she made for her dad.  She loved the texted blocks so much she wanted to make another one.

And with these thirteen quilts, we have now made and given away 499 quilts since this ministry started in November 2009.   (If you've never read the story of how the ministry started, you can read it here.)  What a ride!  We've learned how amazingly generous quilters are.  We've learned that even if you've been told you can't sew, you probably can!  We've learned that God will provide what we need even before we know we need it.  I would not have traded this experience for the world - or all the friends I've made in the process!  Hopefully this is only the beginning of the ride - I can't wait to see what comes in the future!

Thanks to all of you who have been a part of this ministry, and to all of you who will be in the future!!



Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Make-A-List Monday - On Tuesday!!

Hi, all!

Well, with the holiday and everything, I completely forgot that yesterday was Monday!  But oh, I had a wonderful time - my DD and SIL wanted to take Lilli to see the movie Epic, so DH and I walked around the mall with Emmy and then went to lunch with them.  We had so much fun playing with her in the kids' area - she has no fear at all - tried to CLIMB a piano key slide!  After lunch, we went to see Star Trek for a second time, this time on the IMAX in 3D.  Wow!!  Even better than the first time!

But now it's Monday Tuesday and time to get back to work.  Let's see how I did on last week's list...

1.  Quilt the Drunkard's Path on the frame for the ministry.

2.  Bind two girls quilts for the ministry.

3.  Bind a woman's quilt for ministry.

4.  Quilt two H2H quilts.
Done!  They are for another participant, though, so I'll let her show those pics!

5.  Complete three tops for Quilts Beyond Borders.
Done!  No pictures yet, though...

6.  Quilt the three QBB quilts.
Done!  No pictures yet- I'll post some when I get them bound!

7.  Work out a response for the Oklahoma City tornado victims.
I contacted the Oklahoma City Modern Quilt Guild about tornado relief.  They have now posted a request and guidelines for help that you can read here.  The deadline for donating quilts is June 30th.  I plan to send a quilt or two and hope you will all join me in this effort!!

8.  Photograph and list new items for the Etsy shop.
Still didn't get to this one....

And here's what's in store for this week...

1.  Bind the QBB quilts.

2.  Bind two more H2H quilts.

3.  Quilt a man's ministry quilt.

4.  Quilt a woman's ministry quilt.

5.  Deal with three new requests for quilts by deciding what to make and who will make it.

6.  Get those new items in the shop!

7.  Decide on this summer's vacation quilt.

Not a horribly long list, but plenty to keep me busy.  I've got a pile of quilts on the table that are ready for binding - five QBB quilts and two H2H quilts. I think that's where I'm headed now!

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



Sunday, May 26, 2013

Hands2Help - Meet our Guest Blogger, Beulah!!!

Hi, all!  

It's Sunday again, and we're almost at the end of this year's Hands2Help Charity Quilt Challenge!  Can you believe it?  I've been so happy to see all the quilts in progress that you've linked up over the past weeks - awesome work by each and every one of you!  So this is the last week we will have a guest blogger.  I'm very happy to introduce you to Beulah, who blogs over at Sowing Stitches.  She's a relatively new blogger, so stop by her blog and show her some love!  

And now, without further ado, I give you.........  Beulah!!


 When I saw Sarah's post for the Hands2Help Charity Quilt Challenge 2013, I confess, I squealed! I signed on within minutes of reading her post. I have for as long as I can remember made quilts and blankets for children worldwide and wanted to be  a part of this wonderful effort. I chose to make quilts for Quilts Beyond Borders as this is a cause near and dear to my heart. I would happily adopt children from every nation in the world but due to limited space in our home that is not a possibility. However, I can and do make as many quilts as possible and give them to children worldwide. [I call these children my 'love children'.]
Then, Sarah extended an invitation for a visit and Sunday afternoon chat. Wow! I was humbled and honored to be able to visit with you today. And I admit, also very nervous! I just started blogging at my little blog, SowingStitches, in December 2012 and have so much to learn! Thank you Sarah for having me over! :)

I keep long hours when working on projects, which is almost every day.When an idea strikes it is difficult to stop until I see completion! Creative juices flowing like raging flood waters are hard to stop!! I'd like to say I'm organized, the house runs smoothly, always clean, meals are served on the finest china...You know, like the smoothly run homes of "Father Knows Best" or "Leave it to Beaver"...who am I kidding? :)  I live in the real world, where there is always a load of laundry, the pets to care for, meals to cook, dishes to wash, windows to wash, weeds to pull, bills to pay...

Today, I would like to share a secret weapon or two...time savers and tools for this creative being.

One size doesn't fit all. I use the large black pot for soups, stews, meats, barnyard special, baked potatoes...
The aqua pot for soups, sauces, baked apples, fondue...
The smallest pot I use to melt chocolate, dips, cheeses...
1. Crockpot/slowcooker.
 I have several sizes which comes in handy! I have found on the days when I know I will spend hours on end creating, I like to begin in the kitchen by loading the crockpot/slowcooker and then I have the added bonus of the delicious smells of dinner wafting up the stairs which in itself is inspiring.

A family favorite:  Barnyard Special
* I never measure anything when cooking*
Lightly butter the bottom and sides of your slow cooker, sometimes I use olive oil
Add the following in order listed.

diced onions
shredded hashbrowns or diced potato
diced ham bits   * can be omitted and add green peppers
shredded sharp cheddar cheese or favorite cheese blend
diced onions
shredded hashbrowns or diced potato
diced ham bits
shredded sharp cheddar cheese
Pour over the top the layers a mixture of 1 cup of milk,  parsley or chives, 8- 10 well beaten eggs, black pepper
Add, remaining shredded cheese
Cook on LOW Heat setting for about 6 hours

by dinner time.......good to go....goes great with fresh fruit or salad
2. Rice Cooker. 
This little gem can be used to cook many foods. A day of experimenting in the kitchen unlocked the hidden potential of my rice cooker. I now use this to obviously cook rice, but also, steam vegetables, cook grits, oatmeal and cream of wheat. Super easy clean up, no splatters all over the stove top, no sticking, yummy goodness quick and easy ready to be enjoyed.

3. Simple meal planning for Bionic Feasts or Emergency Feeding Frenzies.
When the extra lean hamburger goes on sale I buy 5 - 10 pounds and brown it all! Once cooled I place into freezer containers for 'fast food' fixes. This is great to have on hand for pizza nights, tacos, or loaded baked potatoes.  I also purchase non perishable items when they go on sale at the grocery, I'm less likely to need to stop and run to the store if I have basic ingredients and family favorites on hand...which equals...more creative time. For fun projects like this!

In my dream world, I have a magic fairy that that comes in as I create, cleans the house, prepares all the meals, and leaves bundles of new fabric for me to discover! :)

May you have a delightful day filled with joy and hours of creative fun!



Lots of great time-saving ideas there for all of us - and let me tell you, I tried the Barnyard Special and it is de-lish!!!  So if you haven't finished your quilts yet, try out some of her time-saving tips and crank 'em out - because next Sunday is the beginning of our linky party for finished quilts!  The linky will stay open until Saturday, June 8th, so you've got a bit of leeway there - but come Sunday morning, June 9th, I'll be drawing winners for the giveaway items donated by our fabulous sponsors!!!  So don't miss it!!

Hugs and a million thanks to all of you....


PS Beulah, if you find one of those magic fairies, will you please send her sister to my house???

Friday, May 24, 2013

Can I Get A Whoop Whoop? Lots of Quilting This Week!

Hi, all!

It's Friday again - and time to get your whoop whoop on!  Are you ready to do a little whooping?  I sure am!!  So let's get started...


This week I quilted this...

...and this...

...and this...

...and this!

I'm really proud of this one...

...really tight stippling in the print pieces,
with some simple template work in the background.

You can see the quilting a little better on the back,
and isn't that a great piece of IKEA fabric?
A new member donated six hand-pieced tops
that she made over 20 years ago, and this is one of them.
So glad I remembered to put Color Catchers in the wash -
they came out denim colored!!  
Fabric has come a long way in 20 years!!

I'm really whooping that the new sewing area works so well, and Jolene (my long arm machine) did a fabulous job on the quilting - not a single glitch in the whole process!!


So that's what I'm whooping about this week!

What's made you dance the happy dance?

Share, so we can dance along with you!!

The linky party will stay open until Sunday night -

Be there or be square!!



We're ready to