Friday, March 22, 2019

Can I Get A Whoop Whoop? A BIG Finish!!!

Hi, all!

Wow!  It's already Friday!  And since our whoop whoop party was pre-empted last week, I bet I'm not the only one with a lot to whoop about this week!  So let's get started...

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Maybe you remember this picture - taken the day I finished my Long Time Gone quilt top.  Notice the date on the top?  That's right - July 10, 2017.  That. is. pitiful.  I had every intention of hand quilting this top, and it's been sandwiched for more than a year.  I did a little bit of hand quilting, but nowhere near as much as I should have.  I finally realized that if I continued hand quilting it, this quilt would never make it to the binding stage.

So I bit the dust, pulled out the bits of hand quilting I had done, and took the top and back off the batting.  I had a wool batting on hand that I had bought for a quilt for my niece, only to find out that "washable" doesn't really mean easy care/appropriate for a college student.  But that wool batting was perfect for this quilt! I wanted something with a lot of loft that would show off the quilting I wanted to do, plus be warm, light and drape-able.


Lots and lots of quilting went into this baby - it was on the frame for three days!  I had a hard time getting good pics up in my studio, but one day when I turned off the lights to quit for the day, I noticed that the light from the back window made the quilting stand out nicely, and took this picture.  


I didn't think I'd ever get through with it, but finally I reached the bottom of the quilt.  I used both free-motion quilting and ruler-work on this quilt, and don't think I wasn't nervous about it!  But I decided that since it was for me, I was going to do what I wanted and look on it as a learning experience, embracing the mistakes and imperfections.


Because wool batting can't be dried in the dryer, I hung this quilt on the clothesline to catch some sun and breeze.  Once the sun set, I pulled it off and laid it on the guest bed to finish drying.  It was a good place to lay it out flat, and with the ceiling fan, it dried pretty quickly.


And another advantage?  When I came in to check on it in the morning, the light coming in the bedroom window was perfect for showing off the quilting!


Every block was quilted differently!  As I said, I did a lot of ruler work, and also a good bit of tiny stippling or matchstick quilting to make some parts "pop out".


There was some pretty straight line quilting too - I really love the way the background fabric turned out on the block in the lower left corner of this picture!  Those tiny diamond crosshatches really set off the Trip Around The World block, which was mostly ditch-stitched.


Here you can see some of the matchstick quilting I used to make parts of blocks stand out.  Man, that stuff is tiny!  


It was so much fun deciding how to quilt each block!  I really stretched myself, and had a pile of quilting books stacked on my worktable to refer to each time I moved on to another space to quilt.


The back really tells the tale of how much quilting is in this quilt - you can just see all the texture it created!



And isn't this fun?  Jen Kingwell herself signed my quilt at a trunk show and lecture she gave in 2017!  

So here's the skinny about this quilt:

Pattern is Long Time Gone, designed by Jen Kingwell.

Fabrics are scraps of various Kate Spain designs, Good Neighbors by Amanda Jean Nyburg, a line from Connecting Threads called (I think) Nana's Kitchen, maybe? and various other assorted bright scraps.  The sashing between the blocks is the very last of my grandmother's vintage Irish linen that she ordered directly from Ireland during the 60's and 70's to make her suits.

Batting is Hobbs Tuscany Collection Washable Wool Batting.

Quilting is completely hand-guided free motion and ruler work.


And yes, I'm keeping this one!

Oh, and one more thing to whoop about - we currently have 242 people signed up for Hands2Help 2019!  It's not too late to join in the fun if you haven't signed up already - click here and scroll down to the signup area!

So - - - can I get a whoop whoop???

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And now it's your turn!  

What's making you whoop it up this week?

See what you find when you google "funky chicken"?
What's making you do a little happy dance?

Share!  We want to dance right along with you,

And it's always more fun to dance with friends!

The party will stay open until Sunday midnight.

Hope to see you there!

Hugs!

Sarah

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

I May Have A Scrap Problem... Using Your Scraps for Good!

Hi, all!

I really missed doing a scrappy post on Wednesday last week, and I've got TONS of scrappy sewing that I've been doing, but today I want to challenge you with something special.


There is a group in New Zealand called Angels in Gumboots that has set a goal of making 100 quilts using these blocks to be given to the families of the victims of the horrible mass shooting in Christchurch this past weekend.

Angels in Gumboots are collecting 6.5" blocks with green hearts on a white background.  Currently they have all the info in a Facebook post on their page (click here to be taken to that post) but this is the pattern they are using for these blocks:


I know that's tiny, but if you will click on the picture and save it to your drive, you should be able to print it out on a full page.  This is such an easy block, I made six of them in about an hour, including scouting for fabric, cutting and sewing them.  


A few scraps of white fabric, some 5" green squares, and you could make some too!  (There are some print/color combo restrictions, so please check out the info from Angels in Gumboots before making any.)  It's a great way to bust down some of your scraps and do good at the same time.

And as of the time I am writing this, an Instagram friend, @sewing_is_my_therapy (who lives in Arizona) is collecting blocks from the US to send to New Zealand, if you don't want to incur the international postage.  It would be nice if you threw in a buck or two to help her with the postage, but she's not asking for anything to help out.  Message her directly on Instagram (follow her first so she'll get your message!) and ask her for her mailing address.

I hope you'll join me in trying to bring some comfort to a grieving country.  It's wonderful to see people from all over the world working together on a project like this!  Kind of gives you all the feels, as my daughter would say.

Hugs!

Sarah

Monday, March 18, 2019

Make-A-List Monday - Back to Business As Usual!

Hi, all!

Well, last week was an interesting change of pace!  If you didn't catch them, I invited guest bloggers to highlight each of this year's five Hands2Help charities, one each day of last week.  Which meant that I didn't have a Make-A-List Monday post last week.  So let's take a look at how my list from two weeks ago went, then I'll show you what I did last week...

1.  Finish quilting the customer quilt (without mistakes this time!)
Done, thankfully!  And with no further problems!


2.  Keep working on the vintage quilt repair job.
Done!  Well, at least, still in progress.  It's going to be a slow job, because there's a lot of repair needed, but it is a fun one!

3.  Start preparing next week's blog posts for Hands2Help.
Done!  And there was a lot of great feedback - people liked learning more about the charities!

4.  Keep working on the mindless sewing project.
Done!  I couldn't locate a finished pic of my own top, but here's a pic of the wall full of more blocks we made at church on our monthly sewing day!


5.  Bind four ministry quilts.
Done!  And I even remembered to take a picture!


6.  Keep up with any quilt ministry needs that come up.
We gave away quite a few this week...


This quilt went to a woman whose mother passed away this week...


...and this one went to a woman in hospice care.

Another woman died unexpectedly this week, and we provided several quilts to family members...


This quilt went to her 4 year old granddaughter...


This quilt went to her daughter...


...and this quilt went to the woman's mother.


This quilt went to a church member's new grandbaby...


And this quilt went to a young woman in our community just diagnosed with leukemia.


This beauty went to a woman who just had surgery for breast cancer. 


And finally, this quilt went to a woman who lost her adult child to a brain tumor recently.

In addition to all of that, I also said that I was hoping to PLAY - and PLAY I did!  I had been wanting to make a solids version of the On-Line quilt, and I made a 36" square version that will be donated to Jack's Basket once it's finished.


But wait, that's not all....


I finished my Long Time Gone quilt!  Don't worry, I'll be sharing more about this, probably on Friday - I've taken lots and LOTS of pictures!

And then....


And then I finished my Gypsy Wife top!  It may be a little while before I can get this one on the frame, but I love that it's all put together.  And I love it!  

OK, so that's enough about last week.  Here's my plan for this week...

1.  Finish a ministry quilt for a special request.

2.  Make heart blocks for the drive for the Christchurch victims (more about this on Wednesday's blogpost.)

3.  Work on the vintage quilt.

4.  Quilt the solids On-Line quilt.

5.  H2H administrative stuff - lots of emails!

6.  Sort out H2H prizes.

7.  Taxes. (UGH)

8.  Keep up with any quilt ministry needs that come up.

I also got a new toy last week - a tiny little camera, like a Go Pro (but cheaper!) and I need to learn how to use it so I can start doing video tutorials!  So I think I will spend some time playing with it, too.

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

Hugs!

Sarah

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Hands2Help 2019 - The Sign-up Winners, and Answers to Some FAQs!

Hi, all!

Oh my gosh, you guys rock!!!  As of the time I'm writing this post, 228 people have already signed up for the Challenge!!!  That is AMAZING!  Now, if you're just now seeing this, it's not too late to sign up, and there's still lots of giveaway goodies to be had at the end of the Challenge - so in the theory of "better late than never", hop over here, read about the Challenge, then if it appeals to you, sign up and join in the fun!

For those of you who have already signed up, as promised, we have prizes for two of you...




...so without any further waiting, let's pick a winner!  I've enlisted Little Miss Random to help out...


...and the winners are Karrin Hurd and Kim Pace!


Congratulations, you two!  I'll get your packages out in the mail to you this week!!

Many, many thanks to all of you who helped promote the Challenge - spreading the word has definitely contributed to the record number of people who have already signed up!  Let's keep spreading the word on social media by using the hashtags #h2h2019 and/or #hands2help2019 and also by tagging your quilt with the charity you will be sending it to - @jacksbasket, #quiltyhugs, #mercyfulquilts, #carolinahurricanequiltproject or #victoriaquiltscanada.  I'd appreciate it if you'd tag me too (@fabricaddictquilts) so I don't miss any of your posts!

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And now, I thought I'd answer some Frequently Asked Questions!  It seems like every year we get the same batch of questions so this seemed like a natural fit.  Of course, you should never hesitate to ask a question if you have one, as I learn more with each one!  So here goes!

This looks like fun - but I'm not experienced (or good) enough to make a quilt...
Honestly - what better way to get experience than to make charity quilts?  There is no greater joy in the world than to see the look on someone's face when they receive a quilt of their very own - and I can testify that they aren't looking at the quality of the piecing or quilting, but they are looking at the love and warmth contained in that quilt.  Don't pass up a chance for that feeling by downplaying your skills!  And since practice makes perfect, the more quilts you make, the better you get....



I don't have a blog of my own.  Can I still participate?
Absolutely!  The only time you need a way to link up is for the progress check-ins (4/14 and 5/5) and the final link-up on 5/19, and that can be done from Instagram or Flickr.  If you're not on either of those social media platforms, you can email me pictures of your quilts and I will link them up for you!  So see, no excuses!

What size quilts are needed?
I try to find charities each year that request a variety of sizes, so that there's a little bit of something for everyone.  This year, you can find the specific requests on the Hands2Help 2019 page at the top of my blog, listed under each charity's information.  



I like to piece tops, but don't quilt. Is there anything for me?
This year, we are featuring a charity that is requesting tops ONLY - Victoria's Quilts Canada.  They are looking for 50" x 70" quilt tops made of 100% cotton.  The postage to Canada is a bit more than in the US, but tops weigh less and think of what you're saving on backing, binding and batting!

Can I donate more than one quilt, or to more than one charity?
Oh my, yes!  The more the merrier!  Many of our participants over the years have chosen to donate one quilt to each of the charities, or multiple quilts to just one.  It's completely up to you!  We keep track of the number of quilts donated (just for fun) so be sure to list a total count of the number you donated in the final link-up post on May 19th.



Does the quilt have to be made by just one person, or can a group make and send a quilt?
I think this is such a fun way to make a quilt - with friends!  In 2017, Staci over at The Confused Quilter did a "cross-country" bee quilt with some of her quilting buddies and donated their creation to International Institute St. Louis.  You can read more about it here.  And say, you like to piece but can't quilt - pair up with a friend to complete a quilt!  Julie from Pink Doxies did a guest post in 2016 about working with friends to make quilts for the Challenge that's well worth reading - she also talks about challenging yourself even if you don't think your work is "good enough" for charity quilting.  

I'm ready to mail my quilts. Where do I find the addresses for the charities?
Due to privacy reasons, I don't post the addresses on the blog.  I will be sending them out in a group email in the next week or so - as soon as I get all the email addresses into the computer - but because it is a large group, your email provider may bump the email into the spam folder.  Be sure to check your spam folder for my email address (salliesue57 (at) gmail (dot) com) and mark it as "not spam" so you receive any emails I send!  And you can always request the addresses at any time, directly from me at that address.



I love that other H2H participants are donating prizes for the event. How can I help?
We have always been blessed by H2H participants who want to help give all our participants a small "thank you" for joining in.  And it's been wonderful that because of those folks and our generous corporate sponsors, we've been able to give a little "thank you" to each of the participants every year since the first year!  If you want to help out too, you can email me at salliesue57 (at) gmail (dot) com.  After all, happy mail is the best, right?

I know about a great small charity - would you consider them for an upcoming H2H Challenge?
Absolutely!  I'm always looking for lesser-known charities, both to help them collect more quilts, and to give them some publicity so that more people become aware of them.  It also inspires others to start their own charity quilting groups, which is a GOOD thing!!  We usually have two to three (or five!) charities each year to choose from, so it's helpful to have assistance locating those that are in need of what we can offer.  Just email me with your recommendation and any contact info you have!



Can I donate locally?  
Yes!  I get this question frequently, for various reasons. Some folks can't afford the postage to mail quilts, but still want to participate.  Others know of a great need in their local area, or have a very specific charity they want to support.  The biggest idea behind Hands2Help is the "help" part - using our skills to benefit others!  Of course, I love it if we can use those skills to benefit this year's charities, but if you need or prefer to donate locally, that's fine.

I don't quilt - but really want to help.  Is there any way I can join in and help out?
This year we have a unique opportunity in working with Jack's Basket.  This is a group that collects items to go in "welcome" baskets for babies born with Down syndrome, including newborn toys/rattles, burp cloths, small board books, newborn pacifiers, handmade booties, hats and blankets, and other similar items.  Their website has more information on what they need.  And if you're already sending quilts and want to add in some other needed items, I'm sure they won't object!  



Can I take my quilt donation off my taxes?
If the charity you are donating to is a 501(c)(3) non profit corporation in the US, then you can request a charitable donation letter from them for tax purposes.  This year, Jack's Basket fits that description.  The letter will simply state that you made a non-cash donation to their non-profit.  It will be up to you to assign a value to that donation for tax purposes.  You should enclose a note with your quilt requesting a tax letter and providing (very legibly) your name and mailing address.  A self-addressed stamped envelope would probably win you brownie points!

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I think I've hit on the most commonly asked questions from the past years, but if you've got another one, list it in the comments and I'll add it to the list and answer it there!  

I'm so excited about this year's Challenge - and I have a feeling you all are too!  I've already had some people requesting the mailing addresses for the charities (but don't let that put you off - many folks start their quilts right after the previous year's Challenge ends!)   Be sure to check in next Sunday to share and read tips, tutorials and tasty things, and the following Sunday to see the great array of giveaways for this year's Challenge - there's some wonderful things that have been donated, and I'm finding out about more all the time!

Hugs!

Sarah

Friday, March 15, 2019

Hands2Help - Learn More About the Carolina Hurricane Quilt Project

Hi, all!

Well, Friday has come, and today we will learn more about our final Hands2Help 2019 charity.  Already this week, we've been educated about Jack's Basket, Mercyful Quilts, Victoria Quilts Canada, and Quilty Hugs.  Today, Carole will be sharing with us about the Carolina Hurricane Quilt Project, a massive undertaking that she is coordinating.   Let's see what she has to say!

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Thank you Sarah, for allowing this project to be a part of Hands2Help.  I am so grateful for the opportunity to reach more quilters.  The scope of the need is immense, so let me tell you about our efforts.



On September 12, 2018, Hurricane Florence slammed into the North Carolina coast bringing 100+ miles per hour winds and historic rainfall causing catastrophic flooding that lasted for days.  Florence moved inland and stalled for three days, continuing to dump rain on the disaster area of up to 30 inches.  Three days after that, on the 18th, the Cape Fear river crested at 62 feet above flood stage, contributing to more rising water downstream in already flooded areas.  It took weeks for the flooded areas to recede.  Then just about the time that things were finally drying out, on October 10, a second hurricane, Michael, made it to the NC coast, devastating those same areas again with water and wind damage, massive power outages and more destruction.  The latest reports are that over 4500 homes have been totally destroyed and more than 700,000 homes have sustained damage mainly by flooding.  Much of the damage is in areas where people had no flood insurance.



The Carolina Hurricane Quilt Project was born from the reports of all the damage, and a desire to do something meaningful for my home state.  The project is focusing on larger size quilts because each household can only receive one.  The need is so great that I fear most of the households will not get a quilt at all.  So, if you already have a completed new oversized throw you want to donate, please do.  But if you are making one new specifically for this project, please go for a larger size of twin, full or queen.

Quilts Donated at Cary Quilting Co

I know it is difficult to quilt the larger sizes for some, so I have arranged some help, in the hope that you will choose this charity event to help.  If you are working on a bed size quilt top that you cannot finish, I am compiling a list of longarm quilters all over the United States willing to quilt, bind and ship finished quilts to Wilmington.  Quilters willing to provide sewn tops in any design, twin size or larger and a backing 8-inches longer and wider will be matched with a longarm quilter.  Longarm quilters need to be willing to provide batting, quilting and binding, then ship to Wilmington.  Donations of money are accepted to assist with batting and shipping costs, as many longarmers are doing multiple quilts.  See my page Carolina Hurricane Quilt Project on my blog for forms, shipping addresses, drop off points for North Carolina residents, and more details.

Carolina Hurricane Quilt Project at FromMyCarolinaHome.com

Whether you are making a quilt specifically for this drive, or you have one finished and sitting on a shelf in your home, all quilts welcome, in any design, quilted or tied, preferably twin size or larger up to king.  Partnering with the Catholic Charities organization for distribution ensures our quilts get to the people who need them most.   Do you have a bed size quilt just sitting in a closet that you could part with for someone who lost everything?  Can you help with the Carolina Hurricane Quilt Project?


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As a Carolina girl myself, this one tugs at my heartstrings.  My summers growing up were spent all over the state of North Carolina, visiting the coastal areas with my grandparents from their home in central NC, and visiting the mountains with my parents.  It is a place with such natural beauty, it hurt my heart to see all the damage from these two hurricanes.  But I can only imagine the devastation of those most personally affected by the storm's ravages.  I hope those of you who feel similarly will consider making a quilt or top for this worthy project!

And if you want to know how to sign up for this year's Challenge, go to this post - the sign-up is about halfway down the post!  We've already got a massive number of people signed up - about fifty more than last year this time (WOW!!!) but there's plenty of room for more!

Hugs!

Sarah

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Hands2Help - Learn More About Quilty Hugs!

Hi, all!

I hope you're enjoying the change of pace this week as much as I am!  I have been fascinated to learn more about each of this year's Hands2Help charities. So far we've heard from Jack's Basket, Mercyful Quilts, and Victoria Quilts Canada.  Today, it's Emily's turn to tell us about her charity, Quilty Hugs!  Emily has been a part of the Challenge from the beginning, first as a participant and then additionally as one of our charities.  But she's got a lot to share - so let's give her a listen!

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I can't tell you how grateful I am every year to Sarah and all the quilters of H2H.  Because of all of you, Quilty Hugs is able to comfort so many more battling cancer.  Sarah has given me the opportunity to tell you a little about Quilty Hugs. 


Quilty Hugs, like so many things in my life, fell into place miraculously.  I had filled out a survey at the Utah Quilt Guild Annual Meeting.  On the survey they had asked for ideas on charities the guild could help.  Because of events in my life that had landed me in the infusion lab, and consequently led me to meet the amazing Ginger.  I put down her charity, Happy Chemo.  I thought nothing more of it.  Fast forward a few months, and I got a call from the guild president.  She was interested in helping Happy Chemo and would I be willing to be in charge?  Well, I couldn't very well say no.  And I figured it was just for a year.  When my year was up, I couldn't believe how many quilts had been donated.  So much comfort given.  I just couldn't stop. 


So though the Utah Quilt Guild would pick a new charity for the new year,  I continued to collect quilts for Ginger and Happy Chemo.  I collected scraps and started sew-ins.  Sarah found out about what I was doing through my blog and offered her help though H2H.  Now just over a decade later Quilty Hugs is still giving comfort to those battling cancer.  


A few years back Ginger's cancer came back with a vengeance.  She had to let a few things go while she fought her battle.  With her many connections, she was able to help me find new homes for the Quilty Hugs that were then coming in through H2H. 

My front porch during H2H

Now Quilty Hugs get loaded up and are delivered to three primary places.  All children's quilts go to Primary Children's

  

Others go to the Rack Pack, where they are put in bags with other heart felt gifts and given to women battling breast cancer.



The rest head up to Huntsmen Cancer Foundation where they are freely handed out to patients.  Sadly, the demand is more than I can meet on my own.  So I am so grateful to all of you who help me.  Quilty Hugs are throw size quilts for men, women and children.  Sadly cancer does not discriminate who it ravishes.  These quilts are so appreciated.  Tears are often shed as they are received.  Thank you notes poor in.  If I'm able, I pass those on to the person who made the quilt.  A label on your quilt really helps with this, but is not necessary.  Thanks in advance for all those who give so generously.  Your time and talents are appreciated and make such a difference.

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When I first started following Emily's blog, she had a thermometer in the side-bar showing how many quilts had been donated through her to (what was then) Happy Chemo.  It has been my great honor and privilege to help her reach her goal, which I think is to give everyone possible a quilty hug!  Quilty Hugs has been a perennial favorite with this group, as it seems everyone knows someone who has been touched by cancer.  I know I can count on you to continue supporting Emily's mission!

And if you want to know how to sign up for this year's Challenge, go to this post - the sign-up is about halfway down the post!  We've already got 188 people signed up (WOW!!!) but there's plenty of room for more!

Hugs!

Sarah

PS  Happy Pi Day!  What's your favorite?