Monday, March 30, 2015

Back To Our Roots!

Our mission has always been to bless 911 dispatchers and their families during the difficult times in life whether it be a terminally ill dispatcher, family member, loss of a home from a fire, hurricane or tornado, a sick child or any other immediate need of a warm quilt to let our unseen heroes know we are thinking about them.

However, last year (2014), due to living in the state of Washington when the Oso landslide hit, people began asking me what they could do, how could they help, would I be willing to deliver quilts and without hesitation, I said YES!!

Word quickly got out with wonderful organizations such as Martingale Press. They not only got the word out I was taking in quilts, they made and drove many quilts to the area for delivery themselves.

Then there was the amazing Town Square Fabric and Yarn in Burien who volunteered to be a collection point for us and the quilts poured into them. If you live in the Seattle area or are visiting you must stop in and say hello to Cynthia, Christina and Shirley and tell them I sent you.

Jody of Sister Fabric in Chehalis volunteered to collect as well as Quilters Junction in Centralia stop by these amazing shops as well and say thank you for what they do and spend some time saying hello!

There were churches, quilting guilds, individuals and friends who stepped up to help and the quilts poured in allowing us to make four trips to the area to not only distribute quilts, but to volunteer to help those that asked us.

Then the Carlton Complex Fire hit Okanogan County here as well and I collected for those and made 1 trip, 18 hours and we are still around thirty quilts short but when I give my word, I do not let people down and these will get delivered as soon as I have enough to get them out.

We were mentioned in Woman's Day magazine and I met a 911 dispatcher through that small article and a retired sheriff's deputy and filled their needs.

The issue at hand is that we need to get back to our original mission and that, 'is to enhance the lives of 911 Telecommunications Operators (911 Dispatchers) and their families during times of illness, disaster, loss and tragedy by inspiring hope, faith and optimism with a quilt of warmth and comfort in order to make a positive influence in the lives of those who make a difference everyday, one quilt and one stitch at a time.'

I have to keep focused on that mission and that is the 911 Dispatcher. If I lose sight of that focus, I find myself reaching out to ALL first responders and while that is NOT a bad thing, this is a small organization that last year took in $715 and still found us $1037 in the red or out of our families budget.

While we have always flown by the skin of our teeth so to speak and last year was just not normal, but being exhausted all the time has made me realize, I am one person. I am only one person and while I am so grateful to each and everyone of you who read this blog, follow this blog, send quilts to continue this mission, I know that I must get back to the mission and that is 911 dispatchers.

Quilts of Valor doesn't stray off their path of quilts for soldiers and say, this month we will give quilts to this group of people or that organization because they have a need. No, they remain doing what they do, making quilts for our military personnel.

Habitat for Humanity doesn't say, instead of building houses this month, lets concentrate on planting trees or mowing lawns, no, they are committed to building homes for people who otherwise couldn't afford them.

I have prayed and thought long and hard about what to do. I have looked into a non-profit status for us, but that takes time, money, attorneys, accountants, bylaws, etc.

So, with all humility and thanks to each of you, I am not stopping the mission here at Layers of Hope - Quilting 911, I will continue to make quilts for those in need, our unseen heroes and their families as I have since Hurricane Katrina hit years ago.

I hope all of you will continue to reach out and send quilts, I still would love to fill shelves with larger quilts so when there is a need, I can just pick them out and box them up. 

Currently we are still in need of larger quilts, they go quickly and still have an over abundance of baby quilts.

I hope you understand why I cannot (after the 30 are delivered) commit to taking on larger projects and must remain dedicated to 911 dispatchers.

If there is a catastrophe in our area or Oregon this year, I will once again step up and be a collection point, but I cannot promise quilts to everyone in law enforcement and first response as the need is just to great and the quilts do not come in as quickly as they do during a disaster.

I hope you all understand and I am open to suggestions always! 

Give Your Cutting Mat a Bath

Most of us that quilt or sew frequently know to take care of our quilting/sewing machines and many long time quilters know when to change the blade on their rotary cutters, take your scissors to be sharpened, etc..

However, very few of us probably recognize the need to give our cutting mats a warm bath once in awhile. That is correct, I said to give our cutting mats a bath, as in place it into the bath tub.

If you are new to quilting or think I am a bit off my rocker, check this link out and it shows you how to do it!

http://www.keepnuinstitchesquilting.com/need-a-drink-so-does-your-cutting-mat-2-videos-short-tutorial-for-your-cutting-mat-care-feeding/

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Time To Share Hands 2 Help

I am a part of this years Hands 2 Help on line quilting charity not only as a recipient for Layers of Hope - Quilting 911 but as a quilter who will donate 2 quilts to a charity in Canada this year.

Why you might ask am I donating to Canada? Simply because when we have had large needs, our wonderful quilting neighbors from the north have stepped up and sent quilts to us and I feel it is now time to give back to them.

This week we are to share a quilting tip, tutorial, recipe to help someone else. Hmmmm, lets see what I will do since our lovely hostess Sarah at Confessions of a Fabric Addict posted that wonderful one pot easy to make dinner my family loves and I love to give to others. I will have to think about this for a moment!

My tip? ALWAYS keep your machine clean!!! Do not skimp on this step or you will be asking for trouble.  This is how I do it:
1-Keep your sewing machine manual close by
2-Open it and read it and see what the manufacturer says to do when cleaning it
3- NEVER open areas it doesn't say to open
4- Purchase yourself some good quality sewing machine oil...cooking oil, baby oil or other oils will NOT work only use sewing machine oil on your machine
5-Purchase a pack of small different sized paint brushes with long handles such as the ones pictured as they will get into tiny narrow spaces and pull out more lint than you ever thought was possible
6-Clean your machine after each quilt and if you are quilting with fleece or flannel, clean it about half way through the project. 
*Recently I was having an issue with my bobbin and my thread kept breaking. Finally I took it apart and realized it had so much lint under the bobbin case that it had actually raised the bobbin case up so it wasn't even aligned. Won't make that mistake again.

Still trying to think of a recipe. Hmmmm!!!

Do you have issues with binding and your corners? Take a minute to watch this tutorial by amazing fabric designer Patrick lose at:
http://www.freequiltpatterns.info/video---binding-with-patrick-lose.htm 
I have used it since I received a copy of his quilting magazine a few years back! Amazingly easy!

It isn't mine, it isn't an original but I have the stuff at home to make tonight and I can't wait. I am sorry I don't have a picture, but if you follow the link, you will see it.
It is called Zesty Lime Shrimp and Avocado and since my trainer says I can have avocado and I am on a grain free diet for weight loss, this looked yummy!

Head over to the Skinny Taste blog and find it there.

Enjoy your week and I hope you will think about making a quilt for one of the three charities listed in this years Hands2Help!



Friday, March 20, 2015

Two in and Five out to Tonasket Fire

Received 2 quilts in from Minnesota and then packed up those and 3 more to send to Tonasket Fire for those that fought the Carlton Complex fire last year in WA state.






These are the 5 quilts I just boxed up for Tonasket Fire Department. Two of them came from Minnesota earlier this week anonymously.
The beautiful blue and white knitted one came from the Dakotas and has been waiting for a permanent home. The other two were sent to me to complete the binding and I did that this week.

What a blessing to be able to bless those that work so hard for all of whether in WA or any other state, those brave men and women that fight wildfires are just amazing and so deserving of these gifts you help me get out to them!
 

Monday, March 16, 2015

These Beauties Just In From Minnesota


I arrived home today to find a box sitting on my front deck with no return address other than a postal mark out of Minnesota.  

Inside were these 2 gorgeous quilts and no note at all letting me know who the wonderful quilter was that sent these to me.

So, from my heart I want to thank Anonymous from Minnesota because these will go to bless dispatchers and first responders and I know they will feel the love that is in each of these quilts!
 

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Passing of a Dispatcher

It is with deep regret that the Portland Regional Communications Center announces the passing of Emergency Telecommunicator Brittney (Ross) Brewer.
On March 1st just after 10pm, Brittney joined all of the angels in Heaven.  Brittney was an inspiration to all in her courageous fight with cancer.  Brittney will be remembered by her co-workers and friends as a beautiful, smart, strong willed women that touched many lives in her 28 too short years.
Brittney was able to marry her best friend Jared Brewer on Valentines Day and have the wedding reception that she wanted joined by almost 200 of her closest friends, family and co-workers.  Just two days after her wedding reception she lost her battle with cancer. Brittney passed away surrounded by friends and family.   Brittney's love story touched many people and was shown on the local NBC affiliate in Portland,Maine WCSH6.  Brittney's story was also shared by People Magazine.  A People update to her story is listed below.
http://www.people.com/article/brittney-brewer-dies-days-after-getting-married
Check out this story on wcsh6.comhttp://on.wcsh6.com/1ERsj6s
Check out this story on wcsh6.com:http://on.wcsh6.com/1Ayp27Y
http://www.cosmopolitan.com/health-fitness/news/a37225/bride-with-cancer-dies-days-after-her-wedding/
Brittney will be remembered at a Funeral Service on Saturday March 7th, 2015 at 1600 at the Assembly of God Church located at 1051 Roosevelt Trail Windham,Me. 04062
Just recently while bringing YOUR cards of support to Brittney she expressed how thankful she was for the support and thoughts.  She often would open cards to help pass the time while going through treatment.  She was very thankful for all of the kinds words and I am sure she would want me to thank each and every one of you.
Memorial Donations can be made to : MD Anderson Cancer Center in memory of Brittney Brewer for the Small Cell Cervical Cancer Research (under the direction of Dr. Michael Frumovitz) P.O. Box 4486 Houston, TX 77210-4486 www.mdanderson.org/gifts
Anybody that wishes to send a card to Jared can send them to:
Portland Regional Communications Center
C/O Jared Brewer
109 Middle St.
Portland,Maine 04101
Sincerely,
PRCC Dispatchers

Loss of Dispatchers Husband

Dawn “Hoodie” Davis has just experienced the loss of her husband. On Sunday morning she awoke to hearing him fall, she called 911, and started CPR. The medics worked on him also but he did not survive.
Hoodie has worked as a telecommunicator for over 26 years. They had been married for over 21 years. Hoodie is the “go team” person in our center, she trains new employees, always has us all laughing and is one of those people who would do anything for anyone here. They had no life insurance on her husband, so any donations to help with funeral expenses would be appreciated. But even more, condolence cards from other dispatchers to let her know this profession not only takes care of the responders and the public, but we take care of our own. I just want her to know how much she means to us and this profession.
Cards can be mailed to:
White County Communications/E911 Center
P.O. Box 613
Monticello, In 47960

ATTN: Dawn “Hoodie” Davis