Sunday, October 19, 2014

Size Matters, When Quilting for Charity

I am always so amazed and humbled at the generosity of quilters and the hard work they do on their quilts and turn around and donate them to those who are suffering from catastrophic illnesses or reeling from disasters.

Anonymous quilter donated for Carlton Complex Fire First Responders

Another Beautiful Anonymously Donated Quilt for eastern WA Fire Victims

One of 41 Quilts Picked Up for eastern WA

 The three quilts above are only a very small sampling of the 41 quilts I picked up yesterday to add to the stack of quilts we will be taking to eastern WA the first week in November to distribute to the first responders that fought the Carlton Complex Fire.  Many of these also lost their homes and farms while fighting to save friends and families homes and farms.

As with any quilt charity, we need quilts that range from the gamut of newborns, infants and children to grown men and women and that means quilts that are of a certain size.  I usually ask for twin sized or larger for adults and many of you anonymously donate quilts that will fit a queen and even king sized bed. 

I know from personally talked to or receiving thank you notes from those who have received these quilts what a blessing it is to have something brand new, lovingly donated for them.  When you are living in a borrowed room and sleeping on a borrowed bed, you can imagine what getting something like a quilt means to those who receive.

Every charity I have ever donated to such as Quilts of Valor, Project Linus and others have size requirements that fit their ministry and organization so I am not being greedy here or keeping any of the beautiful quilts I receive for my own self.

However, from time to time, I have received quilts that are torn, have blood on them, smell badly and those cannot be donated. Sadly, neither can the miniature quilts I receive anonymously be donated to families as they have no place to keep them while they are in transition.

Those quilts are very precious to this organization because I will be putting them in my Etsy shop or on Ebay and using the proceeds from these quilts towards the ongoing need to keep this organization moving forward.

There are costs involved with any organization and this one is no different as we have costs that range from postage for mailing quilts, to thank you notes, stamps, gas on delivery dates, fabric, thread, etc.. Almost 100% of our operating costs come out of my husbands and my pocket and we do it because we are dedicated to those unseen heroes who struggle in need.

This is a mission of love and I want to continue it for a very long time and with your continued support, I know we can do it! I don't ever want any of you to think I am not being honest and that is why I am saying if we receive quilts we cannot donate due to size, we will use them in other ways to raise funding.

I hope you all understand I do NOT nor will I EVER keep any quilt that is donated. Each one will find a home, one quilt at a time!

Friday, October 17, 2014

Two Finishes

Huge request for quilts for eastern Washington, where we are being asked for 478 quilts of which I believe or am hoping I have around 100 still in stock.

As I was going through my bins this week after finishing up my granddaughters quilt, I discovered I had two quilts completed and all I needed to do was add binding, so in two days, I finished those.

These are two that Marilyn L. and her binky patrol put together in CA and sent to me and now I have them done. I also just found one that needs back and batting and binding, so I will be busy this week.

Plans for a trip over the mountain pass is for November right before the holidays, so hopefully, we have at least half of the quilts collected and then the next trip would have to wait until after Christmas as one can get stuck when the snow hits.  But that depends solely on the number of quilts I receive!

Bless you all!!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Okanogan Quilts Needed is 478

I just received a call from a 911 supervisor in Okanogan County Washington. As God plans it, she was the operator who received a quilt when her and her husband lost their home.

The need they have is 478 to cover 911 operators and first responders and others who lost their homes.  I know I cannot ever expect any of you to get these sent off before the holidays set in, however I am more than willing to brave the elements and snow over the passes this winter to get quilts to those who need them.

I am picking around 30 up this week-end in the Seattle area and will do a count on Sunday to let you know how many total we need. 

You are amazing, I know I rely on many of you to help, but all of us know quilters who may be willing to make one or two for these families who have lost everything.

Spread the word via your blog, twitter, instagram, Facebook, emails, etc. If we all reached out I know we could get this done.  Also, if you know those who knit or crochet, we take those as well.

Please this year has been fraught with tragedies and I have an over abundance at this time of infant quilts, I need twin sized minimum for adults and unisex would be amazing.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Ready for Eatern Washington, A Finish

The Back

The Front

The Girls      

This has been an incredibly busy and painful week, so anytime I get to sit down and quilt is time to relax and take my mind off my own pain and think about those that are suffering from the loss of their homes in eastern Washington.

The kids all had school conferences and I am so proud of them, because in comparison to last year they brought all of their grades up and are working so hard to keep them up.

In between conferences were physical therapy for me and Diva Girl and she enjoys it while it is painful for me and causes me to hit the ice and heat pad.

Still, I was determined to finish this strip quilt and I love the way it came out and the back is camo backing because I wanted to make it for a male as I have so many female quilts and I wanted it to be a larger size than normal.

So, next week, I am heading to Burien for a sewing class to just relax and have fun and I will be picking up around 30 quilts from the Town Square Fabric and Yarn shop and making a date to go to Okanogan County before the snow hits that area.

I am so happy I finished this one. Now to bind 2 more!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

On The Machine Being Quilted

So many of my amazing quilters have short arm or long arm machines and the designs on their quilts makes me drool. I even have quilters who can machine quilt amazing designs and I don't know how they do it.

I never even knew what a long arm quilt was until I began following so many of your wonderful blogs and you took my breath away. Nor did I understand what a pantograph was.  I do now and I am just amazed at all of you.

But for those of you who are like me and right now have no room or money for a larger machine, this is how I quilt using my Singer machine on a re-purposed computer table.

Right now the quilt on it is being stitched in the ditch and is a bit larger than a twin size with a top, middle and bottom is fleece.  While I know fleece is amazing, I just can't for the life of me, NOT put a middle into a quilt.  I don't know why, it is OCD on my part!

So, here is what is on my machine at this time. I used scraps I have been saving for what seems like forever as well as scraps of fabric that others have sent to me and I can tell you I have learned a lot from this quilt.

1. Know how many strips you need and cut them all at the same time. I would cut strips then piece, then cut some more and I never thought it would end.

2. Don't try to match colors, just go with whatever you this quilt I tried to make it as neutral as possible so it could be used for a male and with a few exceptions I think I did a good job!

3. Get HELP!!! If you can get help cutting, get it. I know Accuquilt has a strip cutting die, but I would love to find one that cuts longer strips or if anyone has any quick cutting instructions I might not know about...please pass them along!
Okanogan Bound
4. Clear off your sewing table. Mine has my lamp, pin cushion, scissors, etc. Every time I quilt something this size, I wind up having to ask the kids to crawl under my desk to retrieve it.

What I have learned is we are probably going to be prepping the area for my shop and with that I have some ideas of how I want my sewing space arranged, but would love to see yours if you are willing to share.

1. I would like a small row of windows between my upper and lower cabinets, so when I am quilting or sewing, I can see outside...long narrow windows. 

2. I would like a sewing table in which when I sew or quilt the quilt will slide down the back side of the table instead of bunching up, so I may need wheels because I don't want years of dust bunnies building up.

3. I need drawers or at least one on my right side to hold scissors, seam rippers, etc. so I can reach into it and get what I need instead of digging under everything to find it. The question here is not will it work, but will I use it? HAHA!!!

4. I need a slide out trash can, so when I am not using it, it is not in the way. you would not believe how many times I have tripped over the trash can I use in my quilting area.  Then, having a Home Depot bucket for a trash can may be just a bit over kill!

One thing I know is that with each trip I take to deliver quilts, I want to bring back pictures and have a picture wall to remind me on my heaviest pain days, why I must keep trying and bugging all of you to help me.

I also want to bring back something for the quilt shop that will remind me of the people.  After 4 trips to the Oso landslide area, I have many wonderful memories of amazing people and when I volunteered to help where I could with their auction,  I fell in love with a clock that I picked up for the shop.  

It will always remind me that life can change in a split second forever and how we need to love everyday the best we can and to reach out to those with a quilt to say we care.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

5 Quilts and A Trip Next Week

These 5 quilts have come in over the past week and a half from Washington state and New Jersey and I am so thankful to receive them for the first responders and unseen heroes and families of the Carlton Complex fire in eastern Washington.

Next week-end, I will head up to Burien to the Town Square Fabric and Yarn Shop and my trip will serve two purposes.  The first is to pick up the quilts that Cynthia and Christina have been collecting for us since the Oso landslide and then they began collecting for the Washington Wildfire families.

The second is to take a pillowcase making class with them. You see, I have never taken a sewing or quilting class and since they have this one being offered, I thought what an amazing time to go up, take a class, spend some time with some amazing women and who knows maybe a few men (I don't want to sound sexist and leave them out) and learn how to do this the right way.

I cannot wait!

Friday, September 19, 2014

Falling On My Face, Means Getting Back Up

When I fall, I don't just scrape a knee, I break something and that means trying to figure out how to get back up off my duff and get back into the swing of things.

Sadly, I did that here and feel a bit banged up, but think I can recover quickly, but I need your help.

In the beginning of the year, I wanted to showcase some of the amazing quilters I have been blessed to have come into my live and share their quilting and compassion of others with those 'unseen heroes,' our 911 dispatchers and their families.

I got to January and February and then ran into some medical issues and then the huge Oso landslide disaster and the eastern Washington fires and more medical issues and taking on another grandchild in July and homeschooling one this year.  Wow!!! Time Flew!

I really didn't mean to ignore my amazing quilters, it wasn't my intention to do that, but I can't showcase myself. So forgive me and lets start this again.

I would like to showcase one of you to be on my blog. I ask about 10 questions and if they seem to personal you do not need to answer or can do so with just what you want to share.

I would like a few pictures of your quilts, your quilt space, etc. to put with the interview. Really simple stuff. I send you the questions, you copy and paste and send to me and you are showcased on the blog and Facebook for a month.

You also do NOT have to have a blog to be show cased as I know many of you read others but don't have one yourself.

Lets get started for October.  I shared quilters in January and February, now lets get October started!