Friday, January 31, 2014

Collaboration Quilt for Colorado Dispatcher Flood Victim

 This is the beautiful top and matching back that Sara over at My Sewing Room sent to me awhile back to be used for on the Colorado dispatchers.  I have been working on the quilting portion for a few weeks now a bit at a time as my shoulder and hands hurt if I do to much.

So it has been a joy to me to work on it, because the colors just brightened up my day each time I sat down to work on it.

It is nice to be able to sit and get up when I need to, take a few days off from quilting if I need to and not feel the pressure and I am so blessed to have all of you to trust me that you know I am slow, but I will get it done...just like that tortoise!
This is the back. I just use a running stipple type of stitch on my little Singer machine and away we go!

If you get a chance stop by and say hello to Sara, she is such an amazing quilter and so sweet!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

We Are Official

Today I received my registration number from the state of WA stating we are now registered as a Charity and are exempt from reporting our financials because we do not make enough at this time to be a non-profit, we don't raise over $50K per year, pay officers or employees or contract with any commercial fundraisers.

This is a huge step in showing the world that we are serious about what we do and that we are legitimate.

In a few days I expect our new background to be up and running, I expect to have this blog transition to a website and I expect to one day make this where I can travel and deliver quilts to those in need in times of disasters or tragedies.

Thank you all for without you, I would not have had the encouragement to move forward with this!



Looking for February's Featured Charity Quilter

In January we have met Marilyn from California that makes many quilts for a variety of charities, from her Binky Patrol they make quilts for children, children of prisoners, Layers of Hope and so much more.  

If you have not taken the time to read the interview with Marilyn, I encourage you to check it out here.

With only 2 more days left in January, I am fast looking for a charity quilter, crocheter, knitter, etc. to be interviewed for the month of February.

It is really very painless. I send you a list of questions, you answer them and send them back to me with a photo or two of some of your projects.

I don't pry into personal lives, but I want everyone to meet the wonderful people that make up this amazing team!

Just send me a message if you would like to be featured!

Cards of Warmth Needed and A New Quilt Might Be Sweet As Well

An Overton/Pickett 9-1-1 in Tennessee and Albany Kentucky 9-1-1 dispatchers has lost her husband after his long battle with cancer on January 25, 2014. Melissa "Missy" Richardt's husband, George Richardt, was only 54 years old when cancer took his life. He leaves behind his loving wife and son Aaron. Melissa has had to travel between home, work, and the hosptal. I know that there is nothing we can do to replace her husband, but I am hoping that we can ease some of the pain by showing her we care. Anyone wishing to send cards, notes, or kind words can send them to- Melissa Richardt 255 Industrial Park Dr.
Livingston, Tn 38570 - Any and all encouragement is greatly appreciated. Thank you!

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Another Finish waiting to Mail

Quilt For David Warneke

This is an amazing quilt that was entirely quilted by Joanne H. and she sent it to me to finish. She also send the batting which I wasn't going to add but changed my mind so it would give it some loft and David wouldn't feel the seams from the denim.

I hand tied it, did a squiggle stitch around the inner border and put a Patriotic binding around it as David is in the military, his brother Billy Warneke who was a Granite Mountain Hotshot who passed away in 2013 in the Yarnell fire and he was a Marine.

I just need someone to adopt the postage for this one so I can get it mailed off.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Beautiful Quilts

I just received these pictures tonight from Michele in Oregon who made these beautiful quilts for family members of the Granite Mountain Hotshots.


Sunday, January 19, 2014

Finally, Finished, Waiting To Mail

This quilt is for Aaron, the son of one of the Colorado Dispatchers whose home was affected by flooding in 2013.  Last report I received was they were staying with friends, unknown the status of their home and the boys dad was in ICU in grave condition following an appendectomy.

Lots of stuff for adults to process, let alone 3 young children having their entire lives tossed upside down so quickly.  This took me forever and even though I was meticulous about using 1/4" foot and seams, I couldn't get a few of them to match up not matter what I tried.

Aaron loves the color black and I truly hope there is enough black in his quilt to make him smile. I added the orange as a color to helpfully make him smile and brighten up his nights or whenever he uses this quilt!



Friday, January 17, 2014

Meet Marilyn Our Guest Charity Quilter

I thought it would be nice to showcase a charity quilter that has reached out to Layers of Hope - Quilting 911 and find out a little bit more about our amazing quilters.

While I know some of you like to stay hidden in shadows, I want to showcase the love and compassion you have for others as well as to let others get to know you better.

I asked for quilters to step forward for January and Marilyn was the first quilter to do so. So without further ado, let me introduce you to Marilyn at North Hills Quilter .

Marilyn and I first met on line when I put out the call for quilts for the dispatchers in Aurora, Colorado after the theater shooting and she has remained a huge supporter and quilter for Layers of Hope when there is a need.

So grab your favorite snack or cupa and comfy chair and sit down and read all about our quilter of January.  My questions are of course in purple, her answers are in black!

You and I met through our love for making charity quilts and while we have not met face to face I know we share a passion for quilting for others. Can you tell us, how long you have been quilting and how you got started in quilting? 

I have only been quilting for about 6 years.  I started because I was crocheting afghans for others and just couldn't make them fast enough so I started making quilts.  I had done some quilting about 25 years ago, but those were made by hand and were mostly pillows or wall hangings.  My mom is an avid quilter and really encouraged me to get started.  My mom and dad gave me my first quilting machine. 

My grandmother was an amazing seamstress and made beautiful crocheted blankets and yet she never once made a quilt out of scraps. However, she made the most beautiful wedding dresses without a pattern, I use a pattern for everything.  Do you use patterns for piecing your quilts or do you just make them up as you go? 

I do both.  I love simple patterns that make up quickly.  If something takes more than 3 hours to finish, I lose interest and it will sit forever before it gets finished.  I recently got EQ7 and have started designing my own quilts. 

You have an amazing Binky Patrol that can whip out quilts quickly and beautifully. Tell me about the Binky Patrol. How long has it been in existence?  How did it come about? How many members do you have? Does each member do a different part of the quilts you make? Is it set up for one particular charity or many? How does the team decide which charities get quilts?  

Binky Patrol is a national nonprofit organization that has been around for 15 years.  My mom started with the organization when it first started in Southern California. The group's motto is comforting covers for kids.  

When I first started making crochet afghans faster than I could give them away to friends and family members, I tried giving them away to the local hospital.  They looked at me like I was crazy.  They told me they didn't want my blankets.  So, my mom told me to find a local Binky Patrol group.  

Problem was, the closest was 2 hours away, so she encouraged me to start a chapter in my city.  It was really easy to start a chapter and the leader of the group is super nice and really helpful.  We meet every other month and have about a dozen regular members since we started ten years ago.  

We've had more than 100 total members over the years who have contributed blankets and quilts and we've given away thousands of blankets.  We donate locally first to the hospital, homeless shelters, foster care programs and school kids and we also give to national disasters like Hurricane Katrina and the earthquake and tsunami in Japan.  That was our biggest collection where we collected and sent 1144 quilts with the help of Fed Ex who came to my house, picked up the quilts and shipped them for free.  **This was an amazing thing for Fed Ex to do!**
We have many members who work on blankets at home and then just drop them off at the quilt shop where we meet.  We also have quilt days where lots of people come together to cut the fabric, sew it together into the quilt tops and then my friend Carla and I who have long arm machines do the quilting.  
We have four ladies now who put the binding on all the quilts.  Each person has a specialty and that makes the quilting go much faster. **Boy can they!  I have seen how quickly they get together so many where there is a large need!**
You have a new long arm quilter and you have an embroidery machine. Tell me a bit about these and do you prefer to use one over the other and why?

I have two quilting machines, one is robotic and the other manual.  I got the manual one five years ago and have quilted over 1,000 quilts on it.  It is a Janome 1600P DB on an original Handi Quilter frame.  I modified the machine so the foot pedal doesn't control the machine, there is a button you push that turns it on and off.  It sews really quickly (1600 stitches per minute) and I can quilt a kid size quilt in 15 minutes.
My new machine my husband got me for our 25th wedding anniversary this summer.  It is robotic and is much slower than the manual machine, but the great thing about it is you push a button and it works by itself.  You don't have to stand there and make it go.  You just have to roll the quilt at the end of each row.  I found it on Craigs list, so if you are looking for a quilting machine, check that out because I paid less than 1/3 the original price and it had only been used about 50 hours.
The plan was to be able to quilt on both machines at the same time, but I find I'm not really using the manual machine much these days. I usually sew while the quilt machine is working away.
I got the embroidery machine used as well.  It is a Brother pe770 and I love it because it has the bigger hoop (5x7).  I would recommend getting an embroidery machine with the larger hoop because you can do so many other things.
I use it a lot for making patches for my husband's tennis team and for labeling quilts.  I know you are supposed to label every quilt, but then I would never give any quilts away because making labels does take time.  So, I only label the very special quilts.  I also use it for fun things like making tote bags or hats.  I can't say I like one better, I just like them for different things.
You are married, have a daughter in college and a son still at home, are any of them involved in your quilting at all?  Do they help choose patterns, colors, charities, cut fabric, etc.? 

I have four kids,(and here I thought she only had 2) my oldest is in grad school and she is becoming quite the avid crocheter.  She designs crochet clothes for herself and doesn't use a pattern most of the time. 

My second daughter has helped me the most with my charity work.  She has a real eye for color and when she was home would sit for hours and help me pick out fabrics that went together and help me put together quilt kits.  She is a freshman in college now.  

It's just me and the two boys at home now (with hubby) and my older son has helped a lot with the heavy lifting.  He has loaded boxes and helped deliver quilts. (seriously need to share this with my grands who do all my boxing, taping and carrying to the car and post office!)

He's also done a lot of cutting fabric and sewing things. He's not afraid to use a sewing machine or rip out a stitch.  He learned to sew through 4H and started when he was about   He's sewn Christmas stockings for our troops for many years (What a great young man!) and sews all of the bumper pads for his robotics team.  He designs them every year too and comes up with the patterns they use. 

My youngest (9) tries to stay away from the sewing room as much as possible.  :)  He does like using the Accuquilt Go! and Studio fabric cutter but would rather play video games than pretty much anything else on the planet.  

He has come with me to more of my Binky Patrol meetings than any other kid because he was born into the group so I really can't blame him for trying to get away from it now that he can.

You are involved with a charity that makes quilts for children of prisoners and you know with raising my three grandchildren and being a part of Angel Tree, this to me is an amazing act of love especially when I saw how this organization evolved.  Tell us a bit about this and how you got involved.

I teach high school and deal with kids whose parents are in prison.  They are being punished for a crime they didn't commit. (This has always broken my heart. Why punish the children when they didn't do anything wrong?)

If their friends find out their parent is in prison, they get teased.  My heart breaks for these kids.  They are usually under performing for many reasons.  When I read about Margaret's Hope Chest, I knew I had to get involved by sending them quilts to give to the kids. **If you are NOT aware of this amazing organization, I encourage you to read about it, the story will make you weep!**

My husband grew up and attended school in the same area you live in and has been away for many years. If any of us were going to be passing through the Vacaville (California) area, tell me what one thing we should not miss seeing and what quilt shops should we all visit?

Vacaville is known for our outlet stores.  If you like to shop at the outlets, stop there.  I love the Opportunity House Thrift Shop.  They have a 40% off sale on the 3rd Sunday of the month.  Our quilt shop is A Quilted Heart and of course, you can always find me at JoAnn's :) 

How does your husband support your quilting habit?  Does he feel his home is being taken over by quilting machines and fabric as many other husbands do?

My husband doesn't complain too much anymore about my quilting/crafting habits.  I am an over-doer of most everything I do.(I used to be, now just quilting)  I go through phases.  

I had a phase where I raised birds.  I turned our living room into an aviary.  I have over 200 birds in the living room.  Yep, 200.  I had finch, parakeets, quail, lovebirds and it was noisy and messy.  That lasted about 5 years. (Not sure my hubby would have been so understanding)  I gave them all away when we moved. 

I also had over 60 guinea pigs when the kids did 4H.  I had tubs and tubs of yarn when I was in my crochet craze, so he's pretty used to my hobbies taking over the house.  I let him have his one corner of the bedroom for his desk and computer :)  And I still feed him dinner every night, so he's a pretty happy guy. 

 I'm not spending a bunch of money on things as most of the fabric is donated, but every once in a while, he will ask how I'm ever going to use up all of the 'stuff' that is around here. **I think most husbands wonder the same thing!**

 I've told him about my plan for when I die.  My friend Carla will organize my funeral to be a quilting day.  Everyone who comes to my funeral will have to make a quilt before they can leave.  I have enough sewing machines and fabric that they should be able to to get quite a lot done. 

Plus, hopefully I've touched enough high school kids with a lot of energy that they can work all day.  Those kids can sure get a lot done!  He knows that he won't have to clean up all the mess when I'm gone so he's pretty happy about all of that. 

Of course, if my friend Carla goes first, I'm taking all of her stuff and doing the same thing.  Whatever is leftover, comes home with me :) **Out of the heart of a quilter!**

One thing I love is that you have gotten your students involved in the quilting process.  Tell us how you were able to do this and get the schools approval for this amazing project?

I'm a teacher at the high school, so I can basically do whatever I want.  If you are an outside person and wanting to get high school or Jr. high kids involved in a charity quilting project, the best way is to get a teacher involved. 

Talk to the counseling office and ask them if there is a teacher who still teaches home ec., or who they know who quilts.  Most of the people in my group are teachers or former teachers.  You'd be surprised how many teachers quilt.  I think it is our sanity/therapy tool.  It's much cheaper than getting weekly therapy sessions. **And safer than spending our time in a bar! HaHa!**

But seriously, call the school, ask for the counseling office and talk to the secretaries.  They know everything.  Secretaries run the school (shh, don't tell the principal!).  If there isn't a teacher of home ec., ask for the teacher who runs the National Honor Society or Key Club. 
Maybe they have an S club (Soroptomist).

Any of those clubs are service clubs.  They are all looking for community service projects to do.  You do NOT need to get permission from the principal to get help from the students.

Organize a work day at the local library, your church or if you want to work at the high school, then you do have to get permission from the principal. You have to fill out all these forms and have proof that you have insurance and it's a real pain.  

That's where you need a teacher to be the sponsor.  They don't have to do any of that stuff.  They just have to say they want to use the facilities.  They are covered.  But, if you can get the advisor for one of the clubs to work with you (usually, they will be happy to get the facility for you on a weekend or evening and sometimes they will even come and help out) then you just organize the kids.

Have lots of stuff for the kids to do.  Many want to help, but don't know what to do.  Many don't know how to sew, but are willing to try.  Ask volunteers to bring sewing machines and teach the kids.

Be patient, they mess up a lot, but keep trying.  I pick up older sewing machines at the thrift stores for about $25 all the time.  I think I have about 6 now.  I love the Kenmore ones because having all of the same kind makes it easier to thread and show the kids.  They are from the 70's and are heavy and don't break like the new plastic ones they sell.

Apply for grants from Walmart (when they open a new store, they give away money to local charities), I got one from Fresh and Easy for $1,000 and spent it on an Accuquilt Studio.

Best purchase ever.  The kids use it to cut the fabric into shapes that can be then sewn together to make quilts. 

No worry about cutting off a finger with a rotary cutter.  I had one student using a rotary cutter.  He says, this thing doesn't look sharp, then tries it on his hand.  Sure enough, it cuts right through his hand.  Really?  Kids!  Ugh. **I know that pain, cut right through my finger one day when it slipped off my ruler**

I know it is your dream to publish a book this year on quilting. Can you tell us a bit about that?

Yep, I'm working on the book.  It will be about how to start up charity quilting.  How to get others involved, will have some patterns that are simple so you can make lots of quilts quickly.

It will talk about where to donate and have lots of stories of where I've donated and who has received quilts.  Stories about the lives I've touched through quilts.  That's the goal, Lord willing. **Keep your fingers crossed lady, maybe she will give me a few copies to have a giveaway for all of you...hint, hint!**

Quilting has really blessed me as much as I've been able to bless others.  I've found that the more I've given away the quilts, the more I've received in friends, fabric, and blessings.

Sometimes I feel like I can't do enough, but for that one child who receives the warm comforting hug in the form of a quilt, the little bit I'm doing if just enough for them.
So, the 15 minutes at a time added up really is making a difference.  I encourage everyone to work together so we can all make a bigger impact. 

I want to thank Marilyn for taking the time to answer my questions and for letting us know a bit more about her and for making the difference she does the lives of those who receive one of the quilts!

This my quilting friends is what Layers of Hope - Quilting 911 is all about. Making a difference one stitch and one quilt at a time!
Quilts From Marilyn and Her Binky Patrol. As Quickly As I Recieved Them.  They Were Sent Out!
Stop by Marilyn's blog and introduce yourself and let her know you read about her here!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

I Know You Want A Teeny Peek

Just a Peek
You know you are on pins and needles just dying to get the smallest peek at our new logo here at Layers of Hope - Quilting 911 and are as anxious as a kid at Christmas, so I thought I would just let you have the smallest of peeks!

Well, okay, maybe it's not our logo behind that door, but it is about as much of a peek as I am going to let you have right now because I want you to be as surprised as that kid at Christmas time.

I can tell you that yesterday I was treated to the preview logo's and true to self, I just couldn't choose, I liked them all. However after asking the two artsy people in the house, my granddaughters, a design was quickly picked which is surprising because many times they can't agree on if it is hot or cold out!
They quickly picked the logo, the font they liked and we send our choices to our designer with some personal changes I wanted to see and late last night I got the almost finished logo back.

I say almost because the girls are going to have the final say in this as I want them to feel as much a part of this as I am and since they do much of the tagging, boxing, carrying boxes to the car and out of the car to the post office, I think it makes them realize this is important.

So, all you can do is peek through a door and soon we will reveal the logo!

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Looking For Quilters, Knitters, Crocheters for Stories About You!

As we launch into our first year of Layers of Hope - Quilting 911 but over ten years of my quilting for 911 operators, I am looking for quilters not afraid to tell a bit about themselves, how they got into quilting/knitting/crocheting and how it came about they donate their time and projects to those in need.

I can always tell MY story, but I want to share your stories on the Layers of Hope - Quilting 911 blog site at this time and it is a simple process.

You agree to do so, I will send you a short questions form to complete and send back to me, you include a few of your projects and pic of yourself and I will post it.

You DO NOT have to be a contributor to Layers of Hope - Quilting 911 (I would like you to be but it isn't a requirement), as many of us make quilts for others and I just want to share with the world what great things we are all doing to reach out to others.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Two Little Girls & Their Mom

Another quilting request for a mom injured in a severe accident, the girls are with their aunt a 911 operator who was going to retire prior to this happening and has put that on hold to take care of family.

Perhaps we can get 4 out...2 to the girls, 1 to mom and another to that so deserving aunt!

My niece Kelsa, (adopted by Bev), is still in the
hospital at this time getting rehabilitation. I think she would love it if you wanted to make her a quilt. She has 2 daughters Kayla 7, and Julie 4. They all are big fans of pink and purple. 

**Kelsa has been adopted, we now need 2 quilts for the girls!**

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Please Consider Donating

By far my largest cost is postage and right now I just don't understand how my friend sent me 4 quilts in a box from California for less than $12 and I sent the same box out with one quilt to California and spent over $15.  Am I missing something?  Is there actually discounted postage I could be using?

As you know, I am NOT at this time non-profit, though I truly am a non-profit with every quilt, every penny, every spool of thread donated going right back into the quilts for our heroes and their families in need.

We are raising 3 grandchildren ages 10, 11 & 12 years old and I know every time I turn around, I am being asked for $5 here, $20 there and I can't seem to wait for summer so I can save a few dollars. I am sure those of you with junior high children know what I am talking about.

The difference is, we have already raised our family and now in our 'senior moment,' years are raising a second family and this time around, I am unable to work so I must seriously limit the amount of money I spend each month on postage.

A few days ago, I had six boxes in my living room ready to go out. I am now down to three left and while I think I can sweet talk my wonderful hubby into paying for one of them, I know we will need to get to my van repaired this month as well.

If anyone can find it within their heart to donate a few dollars for postage I would truly be blessed and appreciate it.  If you can, there is a paypal button on the right side of this blog you can donate that way or contact me for my address.

All checks must be made out currently to me and not Layers of Hope until the approval of my business license and name go through the state and I can open a bank account!


Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Do We Have Quilters in Maine?

Lincoln County Public Safety Leader in Need of Support
The reason I am writing to you is to see if we can help one of our own? Kathy Blagdon has been instrumental in many aspects of the 911 environment. She has played and served in many capacities and is a true leader within our center. Recently, she has come forward with news to us they have found two tumors on her spine, which are cancerous. She has already begun various treatments and will be undergoing a stem cell implant during the month of January. Kathy has been involved in 911 for over 29 years! She has also been a reserve officer for the Lincoln County Sheriff's Department, and the Damariscotta Police Department. She is a past president of NENA, has been a volunteer for many years on numerous committees, and currently serves as the liaison with Maine EMS overseeing the Emergency Medical Dispatch training within our center. She also was most recently proud of her accomplishments of completing and becoming a Registered Public Safety Leader!

She is truly a great leader within the industry. I hope there is some way we can help her during this difficult time, as she is so very deserving of it. We are planning a benefit dinner and auction within our community on Saturday, January 11, 2014.

**If anyone can step up and make a quilt for Kathy, that would be wonderful. Please let me know**

California Quilter Needed for California Dispatcher

California Highway Patrol Dispatcher in Need of Cancer Support **Adopted by Stephanie S. of PA**

Attached is a request from the California Highway Patrol’s Orange County Commmunications Center. Thank you for considering our request.
Mike Ritchie is a 42 year old Public Safety Dispatch Supervisor I with the California Highway Patrol. Formerly an officer and dispatcher with El Cajon Police Department, Mike joined the CHP in 2007. In July 2012, Mike experienced abdominal pain and had several tests performed. He was diagnosed with Stage 4 colon cancer, which had metastasized to his liver. He has been off work since his diagnosis. Although Mike has been given a terminal diagnosis, he is determined to fight the cancer through aggressive chemotherapy and a healthy diet. His wife Christine and their son Kaleb are his motivations to continue his fight. Kaleb, a leukemia survivor, already suffered the loss of his birth father years earlier, and Mike is determined to do everything within his power to fulfill his role as father and husband. Mike has exhausted his leave credits and they are getting by on Christine’s salary with the school district. Although she hasn’t been at that job for very long, her supervisors and peers have been supportive in her need for time off.
What is most striking about Mike’s response to his illness is his positive attitude. Mike refuses to feel sorry for himself and repeatedly expresses gratitude for the support shown by his family, friends, and the CHP. His coworkers have organized a raffle and bake sale to benefit his family, and hope to present his family with a gift card to help with Christmas expenses.

If you would like to help this CHP dispatcher, please let me know and it might be pretty awesome if you could make a matching blanket/quilt for his son who has already endured so much!

Please Help This 911 Operator in Texas

Hurst PD (TX) Dispatcher in Need of Support (Adopted by Julianne)

My name is Misty George, I am a dispatcher with the Hurst Police Dept in Hurst TX. I am sending this email to request support for one of our dispatchers that has recently been diagnosed with Acute Leukemia. Christy Shidal has been a dispatcher off and on for over a decade and is currently employed with Hurst Police Department. Christy has been here for a little over a year and is an integral member of our dispatch family.
In October, Christy began to feel ill and went to the Dr several times with no relief. On Friday October 18th, Christy received an emergency call from her Dr that she needed to immediately go to the emergency room because they found that her white blood cell count was so high that she was in danger of dying from a stroke. Christy was immediately placed in ICU and they worked for several days to get her white blood cell count down out of the danger zone for a stroke. Once her levels came down from the danger zone, they immediately began daily chemo for the Leukemia. She has been in the hospital for about a month now and at this point there is no end in sight for her hospital stay. Christy is getting close to the end of her vacation/sick time and may have to go out on FMLA with no pay.
Christy is the first person to step up and help anyone in need, and in return is the last person to say she is in need. In fact she will tell you that she doesn't want to ask for anything because that would take away from someone in need. Christy is a dedicated member of our team, and is always one of the first people to step up when anyone else needs assistance, whether work related or personal.
Cards or other support can be sent to:
This was the initial request for help for this young lady. 

Today I received the following:
The latest update I have is that Christy is now out of time with the city.  She is on FMLA with no pay.  She is going to Dallas 2-3 times a week for a very heavy dose of chemo.  They are trying to get her to the point of being in remission and then are looking to do a bone marrow transplant.  As of now, there is not even a tenative date for her to come back.

She could really use a warm quilt for her travels do I have a quilter who can step up and say I will do this for her?

How about another one to send her a card every now and then lifting her spirits?

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

We Have To Choose Don't We?

When it comes to quilting we have to choose don't we?  

First we must choose the pattern, then we must choose the size and fabric choices, then comes the thread choices, do I match, do I blend, do I accent?

Then comes the recipient. Or do you choose them first?

Sometimes when I am making a quilt or planning on it, I know exactly who it is for such as my hubby and grandson's quilts this year.

Sometimes I know I am making something to sell in my Zibbet or Etsy shop to help pay for all the postage I spend during the year, not to mention fabric, thread, batting, purple pens, cards, address labels, etc.

Sometimes I make a quilt simply because the pattern beckoned me to try my hand at it and these are always special because they get put up in my closet and wait until I feel I have been led by the Lord to the person in need.

Two years ago I made quilts and kept in my car to hand out to homeless in our area. I was down to the last two but oddly enough, I couldn't find anyone on the streets to pass these onto.

Then we got the news at church one of our newest members passed on leaving her 2 small children and after church I found those children and handed them the quilts, they were so happy and I knew God intended these for them.

It is the same for who we make our quilts for isn't it?  So many wonderful causes out there:
These are just a few of the more well know organizations that always need quilts and that doesn't even begin to scratch the surface of our own local needed quilts for:
  • Homeless
  • Preemie babies
  • Childrens and Women's shelters
  • Ronald McDonald houses
  • Police and Fire Departments
We have to choose don't we?  Oh how I know many of you are so amazing you seem to knock these out in record times and do a sort of round Robin where you begin in January and every month a different charity.

Then, here, I come along asking you to add me to your list. Asking you to think of the 911 dispatcher who during a tornado is at work doing her job while not knowing where her family is or how they are doing.

The 911 dispatcher who after finally landing the job of her/his lifetime gets the devastating news they have a terminal illness or their family member does.

I recently found out that two of the Colorado dispatchers who lost their homes in flooding in 2013 had even more tragedy hit their lives over the Christmas holiday...
  • One of the women lost her husband suddenly and without warning he passed on.
  • The family with three sons is now facing the possible loss of their father from complications due to surgery over the Christmas holiday, he is currently in ICU.
  • The dispatch center who is mourning the loss of one of their own who passed away suddenly.
  • The dispatcher who took a fire call and dispatched fire to the scene and remained in her chair, did the job with calm professionalism only to let others know when the call was over, it was her home that was burning!
Sometimes it feels like our quilts won't make a difference, how can they in times like these, but let me assure you, they do make a difference to those who receive them.

You may not receive a note of thanks, then again you may receive one a year later. These heroes go through all of these and then return to their job and the phones and mics and continue on while rebuilding their homes and their lives.  I am sorry if you didn't receive a thank you note, sometimes it is all they can do to get through the day but I know they are thankful!

It is okay if you can't send a quilt, money, fabric or contribute due to your own struggles or your own giving. I get that and I know sometimes, we have to make choices.

In addition to quilts, sometimes agencies are just asking us to send cards and if you would like to do that and be part of the Layers of Hope - Quilting 911 card ministry, let me know and I will put you on a list to be notified when their is a need for cards of cheering.

Our lives are filled with choices and I want you to know how much it means to mean, to the 911 dispatchers, to the families who receive our quilts, our small care packages our cards and I want to send you all the warmest, hugest hugs for making the choice to help support this ministry last year.

It is my continued prayer and hope that in 2014, we can stock the shelves in a storage unit and keep them full so when a need arises we can walk over and pick the amount need off the shelf and send it out.

So far, I have received four quilts for that purpose and they have already found homes, so please when you are quilting, if you would think of Layers of Hope - Quilting 911 and consider making a quilt for us to put up for future needs?  Consider being put on my quilters list of contacts when a need arises?  Consider making a quilt for an unseen hero.

Who knows, the recipient of one of those quilts may be the very person who answers the phone ' 911, what are you reporting?' When you have to call!


Going Faster Than Coming

A few days ago I posted how blessed we were to receive these 4 gorgeous quilts from Marilyn in California for our bare shelf and no sooner had they arrived then they were put to use and are boxed up for their final journey to dispatchers in need.

The bottom one is going to a 911 dispatcher in California who was in a terrible motorcycle accident and is in a slow recovery process.

The one with the beautiful butterflies is heading to Arizona for a 911 dispatcher who had a stroke and is going through therapy and a single mom to boot...she could really use this quilt hug!

The remaining two are the final two to be sent to 911 dispatchers who homes were destroyed during the Colorado Floods.

I am finishing up the last one for a 911 dispatcher family in Colorado and they will all be ready to head out the door tomorrow.

I would love 2014 to be the year I start filling a cabinet up with quilts so please consider making one or two for us and sending them to me for storing.  

I promise I will let you know when they find a home!

Monday, January 6, 2014

What You Did in 2013

Whoop Whoop!! Bang a drum! Do a dance, do a jig, jitterbug, etc.!  Pat yourselves on the back because all of you really rock the world of quilting and contributing to others.

Here are the stats that I could find for Layers of Hope - Quilting 911 2013.

  • You contributed to 72 quilts for the Granite Mountain Hotshot families and postage to mail all of those off.  Amazing Ladies!! I would say Ladies and Gents, but I have yet to have a quilting gent step up!
  • An unknown number of quilts were sent to the folks in Oklahoma who endured not one but two tornadoes. Not everyone who steps up lets me know how many they sent.
  • We sent several to dispatchers in West, TX after the explosion.
  • I personally received several boxes of fabric, completed quilts that needed quilting, thread, quilt blocks and even batting!
  • We raised $172 to get the logo and website up and running
  • One quilt shop owner set aside monies to help quilters with shipping costs and sent out around $60 not to mention some fabric for the quilter as well.
  • I received around $100 for shipping costs and that was a huge blessing to my husband who picks up the slack when my paycheck runs out.
  • You shared a bit of yourself with someone else going through a difficult situation and that is so awesome, I can't begin to thank you for making my job as founder so much easier to do.
  • I received several quilts to put on the shelf for future needs, but by the time they arrived, the future needs were here.
I pray that 2014 we see less tragedies, less disasters and illnesses so we can fill those shelves and be ready to send quilts at the drop of dime.

So for 2014 being fresh and new, I am asking for (you guessed it), more quilts for all sizes of people so I can fill the shelf and I am asking for prayers to be able to get into a position to purchase a used RV where I can go and hand deliver quilts or even make them on scene during a disaster.


Changes in 2014

I hope by making a few changes, it will help alleviate any issues we had in 2013 such as returned packages, unknown size requirements, donation information, etc.

1- Depending on the request a good size quilt for an adult would be one you feel comfortable making, but a nice size would be 48" x 50" I try to think if it is for an adult. If they are for smaller children any size will do!

2- All quilts should have a note with then that states your name as well as Layers of Hope - Quilting 911 and I would like to see you end it with one of two endings:
     a. 911 Cares in (your city, your state)
     b. From heart to hands, we quilt.

3- If you commit to sending a quilt, I require a picture be sent to me when it is completed (right before packing it would be good) so I can share it on Pinterest as well as our Facebook page. People love seeing the quilts you make!

4- All packages must now be sent with a tracking number so I can keep an eye on when it is delivered, if it gets delivered or returned. We had a few incidents with returned quilts last year and when I contacted the agencies, they said they didn't receive them.  This is the only way I can truly tell them, it arrived and they returned it!

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Generous California Quilters

I received these today from Marilyn in California who has an amazing quilting group that takes on different parts of the quilting process.  

These are already being boxed up and sent to 911 dispatchers in need.

If you know any quilters, guilds, quilt circles that are looking for a place to put extra quilts, it is my goal to someday have shelves full so when a need arises, I can head over to the shelf and ship the amount needed out!

Thank you Marilyn and Blessing to all! 

**3 of these are already heading to new homes!**

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Another Granite Mountain Love Story

An amazing story about the Warneke's, Billy and Roxanne and make sure you have a box of tissues with you when you read this!

Roxanne and Billy!