Saturday, November 4, 2017

Three Quilts for Las Vegas, Such Sad News

Honestly, writing this post today, I do not even know if anyone at all still checks in on this blog since I no longer quilt, but I am still active in trying to get quilts out to the 911 unseen and unsung heroes, the telecommunications operators a.k.a. dispatchers.

I just received news that Las Vegas Metro PD has only received three quilts and that truly breaks my heart because I know by the pictures I am posting below and the over 600 quilts I delivered alone to first responders when the mountain slid in Oso, WA that we as a quilting community can do better!

I can't deliver personally to Las Vegas, but trust me, if I could, I would be out collecting and delivering, it is just my life circumstances have changed so drastically, that all I can do is reach out to you who quilt and ask that you ask others that quilt to send quilts.

Las Vegas Metro Communications 911
400 S. Martin Luther King Blvd
Las Vegas, NV 89106-4372 **Please Note, the original zip code I was given, was incorrect!**

Las Vegas Fire Communications Division
500 North Casino Center Blvd
Las Vegas, NV 89101-2944

Please send large lap sized that will cover an adult or any other size you wish to send to these communications operators. There were 16 on duty for LVFCD the night of the shooting and 40 on duty for LVMC911 so right now, we are 53 short just to cover those that were there that night, that dealt with the panic and chaos.

In totality, we need 204 to cover both departments and I know we can do this.  Please look at all you did for Oso and the huge fires in Okanogan County Washington and the quilts came from all over. I even had one personally hand carried to me from the Carolina's.

Lets work together and get this quilting bee started! I know I have amazing quilters out there who still check in on this blog once in awhile!

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Las Vegas 911 Needs Quilts for Comfort

Calling all quilters who have lap sized quilts and can step up right now to get quilts out to Las Vegas Communications, please people, these quilts show we care, we are thinking of them and they DO make a difference to those who receive them.

During the landslide that occurred in Oso, WA we delivered many quilts to the 911 Center and as fate would have it, I had left a box at home the first trip and would need to stop back by.  Let me tell you, when you have someone tell you that they used to be a center divided and then, the quilts were delivered and something changed over night.  

No longer were they divided by shifts, but they had become a team, they would see a quilt and instinctively know someone who would love it and they would put it back for them because they were on a day off. They smiled more, they spent more time being a team and not just shifts and I cried.

I am only one person. I could not do this on my own, it took hundreds of people coming together to get these quilts out, people not only from Washington and Oregon state, but all over this beautiful country of ours and one that I will never forget...a knock on my door one day and a woman handed me a quilt she had made and brought out on her flight from the east coast and personally delivered it to me.

Please, read the following information, send a quilt and then send me a quick note via email to let me know it was sent out.

LAS VEGAS ADDRESS UPDATE! Please share this on your page or with friends. Also , there is one agency that has decided to buy each Center a Keurig machine so if you are looking for something to send them send them a box of the most current version of Keurig cups for coffee, tea or hot chocolate. Other than that gift cards for Starbucks or fast food places are other ideas along with anything from your region of the country that might be fun. Okay here is a comprehensive list of the two primary agencies within Las Vegas that handled the shooting Sunday Night. Las Vegas Metro Communications 911 Center had 40 dispatchers on duty. Their total amount of dispatchers is 150. The address to send cards, letters and Gifts of support is 400 South Martin Luther King Boulevard. Las Vegas, Nevada 89002. Make sure that you attention it to the Bureau of communications or 911 Center.
Las Vegas fire handles fire and emergency medical dispatching. They had 11 dispatchers on when the event happened but called in additional help so they worked with a total of 16 people that night. They're total complement of dispatchers is 54. You may send support Cards & Gifts too Las Vegas fire Communications division 500 North Casino Center Boulevard Las Vegas, Nevada 89101. We know there are additional communication centers like private ambulance companies, North Las Vegas, Henderson Police and the highway patrol. We have asked Metro and the fire department to share with them rather than Post 6 or 7 different addresses. Thank you for your support both Las Vegas Metro and Fire have asked us to share their appreciation for all of the love and out reach they have received.

Friday, August 25, 2017

The Last Quilt To Granite Mountain Hotshots

Blowing in the Wind
On June 30, 2013, nineteen of the twenty Prescott, Arizona Granite Mountain Hotshots lost their lives fighting the Yarnell Hill Fire.

Those of you who are still following this blog and our Facebook page know as quickly as we could gather information, an all call went out to quilters all over the world to help make quilts for the families.

Without hesitation, quilters from all over began 'adopting,' family members, (parents, spouses, siblings and children) were sent quilts to comfort and let the families know in our own quiet way, that we were thinking of them.

After everyone was covered that we were aware of, I began to think about the survivor Brendan and what I could do for him, how much pain and sadness he must feel.

Once again, you answered the call and these amazing quilt blocks began coming in from New Mexico, Iowa, Washington and several from Australia and I knew then, Brendan had a quilt...let me rephrase that, Brendan would one day have a quilt.

Life happens in many different ways and my family is not immune to having issues, my husband and I downsized and moved, the quilt squares got put away in a safe place.

Once I found them, with the amazing quilting talent of Michelle M. in Oregon, I was able to send them to her and she said she would put them together and WOW!! 

After the quilt was made, Michelle began to look for a border and back and it had to in some way represent what these men represented and loved and that was the outdoors.

Michelle picked the gold border and it reminds me of autumn and the dry straw that is growing in my area. Sadly, as I write this, we have dozens upon dozens of firefighters and hotshot teams in our area from two fires that started earlier this week and they are waiting for all the fires, embers to be out before they leave.

Then Michelle picked the beautiful pine green backing and worked her magic.

On June 6, 2016 just prior to the 3rd anniversary of Yarnell Hill, Michelle mailed the quilt back to me alone with postage, the quilt label and I was to finish the binding and did and then, I wrapped the two together and put it away in a safe place.

So safe, that I forgot where I put it but eventually located it in our storage safely tucked in with other quilts.

I brought it home and all I wanted to do was get the perfect picture with a nature background, perhaps snow covered trees, Mt. Rainer, a river, but alas, we had the rainiest season last year and I could not get the picture taken.

My husband and I purchased a Harley and on the maiden voyage, I took the quilt and found the place to take the picture, Mayfield Lake in Washington, I loved the fact that a gentle breeze blew up and ruffled the quilt. I felt the 19 were gently blowing it and saying, 'this is the place!'
This October there is a movie coming out about these amazing 19 men, I have not decided if I will watch it or not, having almost been hired by Prescott as a dispatcher and then being a dispatcher for both fire and police in another city and having met the sister and mother of one of those that were lost, I am not sure I would be able to get through it.

However, if you would like to see the movie and watch the trailer, please click this link: 

Thank you all for trusting me and may you all and Brendan forgive me for the delay in mailing this beautiful love filled quilt out a bit late.


Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Our Family Needs Help

The above pictures are of my son and his three amazing kids!

My son got out of prison just over two years ago and has done everything in his power to stay out, get off parole and raise his kids. He is a single dad.

In spite of his desire and willingness to work, he has been unable to find permanent employment or housing due to being a felon and due to having health issues.

When he was released, he had a huge tumor on his stomach and after months of pain, it was discovered he had a hiatel hernia and that put him out of work for over 6 weeks. 

He was working at a local mill when one day a friend stopped by and asked if he wanted to go out riding around on his quads and on the way, the friends girlfriend rolled the vehicle with my son in it. The hospital said he was fine and released him.

A few weeks later while at work, his back began to hurt him and after testings and Xrays and CT scan, a fracture of his T10-T11 was discovered. Since this was not the result of an 'on the job,' injury he could not earn unemployment or workman's comp. The girl who was driving the car, had no insurance and left the area so he couldn't get accident insurance either.

For over a year, he wore a brace and used a special bone growth machine and finally when it was determined he could have physical therapy, he developed an inguinal hernia that was strangulated and had to have another surgery. This surgery kept him down for a long time and eventually he was able to begin physical therapy.

However, it was determined by the PT and his surgeon that he cannot return to being a laborer any longer, the constant lifting of heavy items would damage his back beyond repair.

The course of action was to have him apply for training through the local vocational rehabilitation department and put him through re-training so he could return to being a productive dad.

During this time, my son has not given up. Oh yes, he gets discouraged, but he keeps on going. Justin attends church, is a door greeter, is a youth mentor, has just been invited to be a pastor on the local jail team, is a co-leader of our men's group and when anyone asks him for help and he can, he does!  Everyone loves him and he knows no strangers.

The more Justin and his children become involved with the Lord, the more angry his girlfriend became, she wasn't coming home from work until after midnight (she gets off at 5:30 in the afternoon). Justin revealed to his mentor that the more he becomes involved with church, the worse she became and yet, he kept trying to do what was right.

Two weeks ago, his girlfriend told him, you and your kids get out of my home, you are no longer wanted. Torn apart, Justin did what she asked and with the help of our church, placed all their belongings in storage and walked away and is now living in a group home situation where they are actually happier due to less stress.

The issue is, Justin needs a car. His kids need rides from school after band and sports and he needs to get to vocational rehab to find work.

I have set up a Go Fund Me account to raise $1500 and we have in the past week, raised over half of what we need to and thus far raised $805.  We are looking for a decent reliable car for Justin and the ability to pay at least 3 to 6 months insurance for him.

Please, if you can help support this cause with a $5 or even $10 donation or more, I have posted the link at the bottom. If not, please pray we can meet our goal quickly.

It has been difficult for Justin. Justin wants to work, he enjoys work and living off assistance is not how he wants to live or raise his children. Without a vehicle he can't get a job or vocational rehab and without vocational rehab or a vehicle, he can't obtain a job.

If, I have ever reached out and helped you in some small way, I am begging you to please reach out and help us now!

Thank you

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Needed Quilters and Quilts On Disaster Stand By!

As many of you know, I am now living in a 5th wheel and do not have an inch of space available to hold onto quilts and I can't afford to store them because we already have a storage unit full to the gills that someday we hope to place into another home or at least one of our children's homes!

Hurricane Matthew is on its way to Florida. It has already left death and destruction in its path in Haiti and I am unsure about Cuba at this time.

Quilters, if it hits Florida, I am going to be in need of quilts to send to the areas hit to provide these families with fresh, clean and handmade quilts and I will need all of you to let me know you can do this.

I have a few family members and friends that are going to step up I am sure after checking on their own homes and businesses and be willing to help get these quilts passed out to those in need.

Quilts are expensive to ship, I suggest you speak with your quilt guild, church, friends and family and ask them if they would be willing to donate for the postage costs.  I have learned if you put quilts into a large garbage bag, attach your vacuum and suck all the air out, you can save a bit on postage and fit more into a box.

When sending quilts, since I cannot go through them, please, please do NOT send ratty, tatty, stinky, smelly, stained with urine, blood, food, etc. gross and nasty quilts you wouldn't put in your own home.

Last disaster I donated numerous quilts to local charities or the dump because they were so disgusting! Think of how you would feel if you had to leave your home and then came back and had nothing left. 

Your quilts are blessings!! The letters, cards, pictures I get back and post come from real people who lost everything and then they received a handmade quilt from a stranger and life became a bit brighter.  Be that LIGHT!!!

When sending out a quilt or quilts, please think about enclosing a few other things...gloves for warmth and gloves for cleaning, hats, socks, jerky, granola bars, bandages, dried fruit, head lamps or flashlights, batteries, coloring books and crayons, feminine needs supplies, hand sanitizer, baby wipes, etc.

Please pray for me. I am still praying for a miracle of the gift of a truck and garage style 5th wheel that I can hook up and go and fill the back with quilts, quilting supplies, sewing machines and head out to these disasters and begin quilting and get quilters involved.

My current 5th wheel is my home, I cannot just unhook and go, so I really need prayers to be met!

Lets be ready quilters, you are the best!

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Doing What is Right

All my life, I have done what is right.
From the time I was twelve, I began working babysitting, ironing, cleaning houses. When I was fifteen I got my first job making seventy-five cents an hour and I put some in savings and bought my own clothes. When I turned sixteen, I took another job and I was making $1.25 an hour.

I have always worked and as long as I can remember, I have always volunteered from being a Candy Striper at a local hospital, to a PTA president, parent/teacher class aide, working for an organization that helped women, volunteering at church and this quilting ministry that is my heart and soul!

My husband and I have spent thousands of dollars purchasing fabrics, thread, batting, sewing machines and supplies not to mention the money spent on shipping quilts out across the country and at times the world, gas spent delivering quilts, food while on our trips, the upkeep of our vehicles and NOT once has my husband honestly complained.

Over the years he has teased me about being careful what he opens because he knows fabric will fall out, not turning on the oven because fabric would catch on fire and the best is find a frozen fabricycle in the freezer. 

My husband endured many years of coming home to a sewing machine on the dining table, pins in his feet and yes, his butt as he has sat on a few, but he has always bragged to others about this ministry and how proud he is of what I do.

In late January, our family was literally torn apart, destroyed by lies and hatefulness. During this time, my husband and I gave up our dream of owing the home we were leasing to own, he sold his boat, his workshop was left behind, all our furniture with the exception of our bedroom set and the children's bedroom furniture was sold and we were left with thirty-five years of memories either sold or packed away in a storage unit while our grandchildren moved in with their father and his girlfriend.

My van which I had just purchased the year before because the seats sat into the floor so no more moving seats to do quilt deliveries was traded in for a small SUV with lower miles and much less room. It still holds seven people but not very comfortably as the grands tell me when I pick them up for church.

My hubby and I are now living in a thirty-seven foot fifth wheel. We do our laundry once a week at a laundromat, I no longer can fruits or veggies from our garden because I no longer have one nor do I have the space to store anything. Which also means, I can no longer quilt, there is no space.

I miss quilting so much, I was thinking the other day of purchasing a Singer Featherweight and seeing if I could set it up on a tv tray to do quilting, but honestly, it just wouldn't work. I have even given a passing thought to locating an office space to rent, but that would be quite expensive. My dream of having my own studio, has dissipated into the wind.

Recently, there has been an upsurge of hits on Layers of Hope's Facebook page and I could not figure out why. My husband told me, the quilters who have supported and loved you for so long are looking to see if you are collecting quilts for the flood victims or the fire victims right now because that is what you have done for so many years.

I have thought fleetingly about collecting them, but I have no place any longer to keep them until delivery. I have thought of heading to Louisiana to make quilts, but I have no place to stay. In the past I have begged dealers with 5th wheel toy haulers to donate one so I could travel and set the back up for quilting.

As of yet, no one has stepped up and said, here is a truck and here is an RV and go out and bless the masses. I have however, been blessed in the past with sewing machine, fabric, batting, postage, stamps for thank you and Christmas cards and so many quilts to bless others with. You have all blessed me and warmed my heart.

My husband is an amazing man of love, character and honor. He works while he is sick, he works overtime, he takes care of me when I can barely move and he never complains. My husband is my rock. 

All of you, the quilters, the sponsors, the recipients of quilts are all my hope in humanity when the days become so dark I can't see the stars, because I am literally drowning in fear. I can open this blog or Pinterest and see how each one of you contributed to making this ministry amazing.

I wish I could hug you all and thank you for all the amazing years you have surprised me with your generosity and kindness. I guess right now, all I can do is know that I was doing what was right and no matter what happens, I will always do my best to do what is right and to help others.

I am praying for a blessing, a miracle that soon, I will be quilting again and that my life will once again have balance.  I know God is good, I know many people who suffer silently with anxiety and depression and I know, I am being stretched to trust in God and rest right now.

I truly thank all of you for always doing what is right and in the words of my beautiful, amazing, wonderful fourteen year old granddaughter Aly:
'Don't Let the Storms Stop You!'

Monday, May 9, 2016

Quilt Needed For Teen Male! Need Fulfilled

Most of you probably are not aware of the fact that my hubby and I have downsized to a 34' 5th Wheel and I am unable to quilt at this time.

However, there is an Alaskan 911 operator and her law enforcement husband who lost their home to a fire last week and I am down to my last few quilts.

I can send to mom&dad and the two girls, however, I no longer have an quilts for a male teen.

Does anyone out there have one completed or would you be willing to step in and make one?

Before you say yes, you will also need to be willing to pay the postage to mail it to Alaska.

Please let me know ASAP.

Thank you!

**This need has been met by Marilyn Lewis** Thank you so much my friend!