Sunday, May 3, 2020

Hands2Help 2020 - Just Do It!

Hi, all!

May is finally here!  Did you think (like me) that April was going to last f-o-r-e-v-e-r?  But it was certainly a productive (if long) month, and I know many of you have been working on your H2H quilts diligently.  But now it's time to sit back and enjoy the story of another of your fellow quilters!  I'm pleased to welcome Lorraine, who has been a part of Hands2Help for several years now.  She's not a blogger, but she generously agreed to do a guest post for us because she has an important message to share, especially for those of you who read the blog but haven't felt "accomplished" enough to join in the Challenge each year.  So now I'm going to turn this over to her!


*&*&*&*&*&*&*



My first sewing machine was a 99 cent Presidents' Day Special at the local Singer Sewing Center in 1972. My husband and I got up at 3:00 in the morning to be the first in the door and the used machine was mine for less than a dollar! That was the beginning of a lifetime of sewing. I started quilting about 20 years ago and fell in love with the process. My Granny was a quilter and I always loved her scrappy quilts, which are still my favorites, absolutely!


I have made many quilts over the years but I had never tried quilting on my own machine. I have hand-quilted a number of small quilts for wall hangings and finally did finish two large quilts on my quilt frame by hand...spending months in the process!


Even though I had quilted for some time, I was always a little hesitant to do anything without a pattern because I didn't trust my skill. There were quilts I always wanted to make but just hesitated to start because I was concerned: 1) did I have the skill? 2) how much would all the fabric cost? 3) how would I get it quilted and what would be the cost? This was especially true once I felt that I had covered my home and my daughter's home with enough quilts (can there ever be enough quilts?!) 


I have always been very conservative and never felt comfortable just buying fabric, stashing it and quilting for no good reason except the love of quilting. It just felt wasteful to me. I have ALWAYS wanted to do charity quilts but didn't know how to get started and didn't trust my skill.



I found Sarah at Confessions of a Fabric Addict and began following her wonderful blog. I love that much of her skill is used to benefit others! That is what drew me to her blog along with her love of scrap quilts! When I first saw her Hands 2 Help challenge, I knew I wanted to be involved. I actually pieced a couple small quilts the first time around but they languished in my sewing room, needing to be quilted. And then. . . I read a guest blogger's encouragement on Amy Smart's “Diary of a Quilter” site. The guest blogger was Samantha of Aqua Paisley Studio. It was titled, “Sparking your Creativity” but she essentially said: “Stop talking about quilting and just do it!” What she said applied to so many areas of life. We talk a good game and never just get into the game!


And so. . . I decided then and there that I was going to get going on charity quilts, just as I had always told myself I really, really wanted to do. I would Just Do It! By the time that Hands2Help came around again, I was geared up. I save every quilt tutorial that Sarah shares with us and have found so much inspiration in them. I started cutting up my scraps as Sarah does, started organizing scraps as she does by color/size. . . and . . . Voila! By the time I needed to send off my quilts for H2H I was ready. This is my 3rd year to be involved in H2H.


I will encourage anyone who thinks that they'd like to jump in, as I did, but don't think they can quilt the top themselves. My beloved Bernina 930 which I discovered several years ago is now “vintage” has a sewing space of only about 6”. I started quilting some small things on my machine, just to get the hang of it and with the need to get the H2H quilts finished without spending hundreds of dollars, I just started quilting on a little larger quilt, then a little larger still. I mostly stitch in the ditch, to keep it simple.
I've made several simple four-patch baby quilts, the Easy Stacked Coins quilt in a 55” x 70”, I've done two HST quilts, and one baby quilt that I just designed myself around a stash of cute fabric that I'd had for a few years. As I said, I am conservative and I do my best to only buy thread! I have enough stash to make plenty more fun quilts to share with others. . . as long as I Just Do It!



H2H has been the prod to get me going! I am finally using what I've had for years to bring comfort to others! One quilt that is in the works for H2H 2020 is one that was started umpteen years ago. This year is the year to Just Do It! Thanks, Sarah, for pushing me to increase my confidence & skill in something I love and to bring such comfort to others in the process!


*&*&*&*&*&*&*

Thanks, Lorraine, for the reminder to Just Do It!  Sometimes we forget that, while we see all the mistakes in our quilts and quilting, the recipients only see the love.  And what better way to send a hug these days, when we can't give the real thing, than a quilt?

Stay in, stay busy, stay safe!

Hugs!

Sarah

26 comments:

  1. Simple quilts are just as nice as the more complicated patterns. A Four Patch is a great pattern. I still tend to see every little mistake in my work, but other people likely don't even notice, lol.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Honestly, so few people sew. . . they think a quilter is a miracle worker. I guess when we do charity quilts we are. Thanks so much for the encouragement. Now I love my simple four patch quilts! ;-)

      Delete
  2. Thanks Lorraine for sharing your story. Even those of us who have been quilting for umpteen years need the reminder to just do it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kinda fits all areas of life, huh? Thanks so much, Gretchen!

      Delete
  3. I love your story Lorraine and so glad you just jumped in and got it done! Not all quilts need to be over the top in piecing and quilting in order to be gorgeous.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much. It took a long time to get over the need to be fancy & unique! ;-)

      Delete
  4. I remember the President's Day sales, too! In 1974, my husband was stationed in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. I bought a very old but still functioning machine for 99 cents. The motor just kept working and working. When I'd gotten a belated wedding gift of a sewing machine, my husband installed the motor for turning pots as one of his hobbies. Thanks for the trip down memory lane and for the encouragement to quilt by domestic machines even when it's not our first choice.
    Connie W.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Connie, that is such a fun thing to share...99 cent machines! I recall how excited we both were to be one of the first people in the door (it was a very COLD day in Missouri!)to get that machine and it was a work horse, too.
      Yup. I have learned a thing or two and my well loved Bernina can handle it all!
      Thanks for sharing your 99 cent machine story!!

      Delete
  5. This is such a great reminder!! At times I've found myself hesitating over quilting on my domestic machine but I remind myself that I can always 'unsew' anything I don't like and that gives me the push to get going! I've only taken out quilting once and that was when I had let the backing get buckled - that was a BIG lesson learned!! :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Exactly! my biggest obstacle is (was!) myself! I just thought everything had to be perfect and that it ought to be complicated. Nope. Simple and steady. Oh, yeah....the buckled backing. Not fun!

      Delete
    2. I buckled the backing in the quilting just last week!!!

      Delete
  6. Kudos, Lorraine! Way to take that advice and jump into quilting for Hands2Help! Pour that love into quilts to comfort others.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Thanks so much! I love what you said: "pour love into quilts to comfort others!" Someone should make that a beautiful banner for Sarah's new quilting room...........hmmmm. ;-)

    ReplyDelete
  8. Great post. We do need to: Just Do It. But it would be helpful to have more hours in the day. Or not have to work. LOL

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree! and April/May are gardening months...

      Delete
  9. Wonderful to see your story how you've grown in your quilting. The ones you've shared here are just lovely. I really love the one where you've integrated animal blocks with rail blocks, fabulous! Thank you for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are very kind. It's just so fun to see what others do and I'm getting more confident to try something unknown. ;-)

      Delete
  10. Thank you so much for sharing your story, Lorraine! It makes my heart happy to know you are out there, happily sewing quilts for charities. The world needs good people like you :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. PS I love all the photos of your quilts! So much fun variety!

      Delete
    2. Quilters are the best! Thanks for your kind words.

      Delete
  11. Thank you for your story's encouraging words! Hands2Help is a very good opportunity to send quilts to those in need! Just Do It is a great reminder to not be so hard on ourselves!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, indeed! Frankly, I am always surprised when things turn out so well. Wow...I did that?! ;-)

      Delete
  12. Yay, Lorraine, for jumping right in there. I do all my quilting on my 30+ yr old Bernina 1031. And there's nothing wrong with stitch in the ditch quilting. Plenty of other quilters do it and it gets the job done. But don't write off learning simple free motion quilting on your 930. I've done quilts as big as twin size on my 1031. Thanks for sharing your story.
    Pat

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Miss Pat, I've done a teeny bit of free motion but only on small wall hangings (did a bug for my granddaughter) I just don't at all feel ready for something bigger. I need to practice. Thanks for the encouragement!!

      Delete
  13. Oh Lorraine -- you've done a great service for a lot of quilters. I learned fairly early on that there are no quilt police. Do your own thing and be happy. It's especially true these days.

    ReplyDelete
  14. I just love that! Do your own thing and be happy! Yes, indeed. Words to live by. Thanks so much, Bonnie!

    ReplyDelete

Comments make me smile!! If you want a PDF of a pattern, PLEASE leave your email address in your comment, or email me directly at salliesue57 (at) gmail (dot) com!