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