Friday, January 22, 2016

My Amazing Husband

My husband and I have been married over 34 but not quite 35 years and we have had very low lows and amazing and awesome highs and we have clung to each other and God to get through. I am blessed!

My husband was the one who encouraged me to make quilts for 911 dispatchers in need after Hurricane Katrina, though I believe if he knew it would lead to where it has, if he could go back he would never have suggested it. LOL!

Over the years he has told me how tiring it gets to NOT have a living room and find scraps all over the house. So, he converted a closet in our old house to a sewing space for me.

How I need to think more about the house being cleaned or cooking or appointments and get my priorities straight. Yet, he is the one on a day off to tell me, 'don't worry about dinner, finish your quilt.'

While he says things that many people would take as a negative, when I open a gift and find a Rotary Cutter, new cutting mat, quilting scissors, sewing box. I know how very proud he is of what I do.

Right before Christmas I was trying to finish my sons Seahawks/Cowboy quilt when nothing I was using would work. I had to finish it using scissors. Hubby asked if he could help, but I said: 'No, probably time for a new rotary cutter.' He looked at my cutting mat which is about 5 years old and said,'looks like this thing has seen better days as well.'

Little did I know, he had not gone Christmas shopping for me at that time because he told me later, he just had no idea what to get me. At our ages if we want or need something we just go out and get it.  

However, he said later that he knew right then and there what he was going to get me. He went to Joann's and not knowing anything about rotary cutters or cutting mats, he was talking to a clerk when a quilting customer overheard him and told him about the app he could put on his phone.

The result was he purchased me a three piece cutting mat set that makes into one long mat and a new rotary cutter. Last night, he helped me put it on my table.

 It is a bit to long, so he took the old mat and cut it to fit at the end and I still have another mat we are putting up. 

As you can see, my space is a mess. I have an area set up in my living room and right now, I am in the process of organizing, but cutting the binding for a quilt someone sent me awhile back was priority for me last night.

My husband is amazing. I am blessed. He comes home many evenings and tells me he had a customer who is a quilter and how he told her about Layers of Hope and his wife.

He went with me to Warm Company prior to Thanksgiving and took a tour of the plant and watching batting being made and was impressed.

He drove with me to Chelan and Okanogan Counties where we delivered quilts to the fire victims and he was able to see first hand how much the quilts I make and those I receive are received with smiles, tears and thankfulness.

I keep telling him one of these days, when he retires, I will make a quilter out of him yet. He laughs and tells me that will never happen.  

Then again, I am very blessed having such an amazing man that loves me and supports this mission of love to help others!

Monday, January 18, 2016

Crocheted Blessings

My grandmother was an amazing seamstress and I am pretty sure she could create amazing things with her eyes closed when given yarn and a crochet needle.

However, I did not receive those blessings, but I know she would be proud of me for teaching myself to make scarves and hats and she would love my quilts.

I was so excited at Christmas when my son's girlfriend picked out an amazing gift for me and that was a yarn/needle/scissor holder that fits neatly next to the couch and keeps all my little projects in one place.

The yarn she purchased for me was this wonderful soft and very expensive varigated yarn that I made a scarf with.

I have made 3 Dallas Cowboy beanies for my son and 2 of his children and they love them and a beanie for my youngest granddaughter and she wears it to school everyday.

I do not think I will ever be able to make afghans like grammy did, but yesterday at church I learned we are working with a group at the end of this month that will be handing things like this out to the homeless in our area.

I know since my son is homeless these people will appreciate anything they can get to keep them warmer when they are having to brave the elements.
Christmas Yarn Scarf

Purple Scarf

Shoulder Shawl
 I am still quilting and accepting quilts for our 911 'unseen heroes,' but this allows me to keep my hands busy at night while watching television with the grands and give back to those that don't have as much!

Sunday, January 10, 2016

A Humbling Thank You

I just opened my blog and my Email to find this sweet and amazing note from a young lady named Tiff who lost her mom and her family home in the landslide of Oso.

I cried, it  always makes me cry when someone reaches out to me in their own pain and tells me how much a quilt meant.

I made 4 trips to Oso and the surrounding area after the slide. I volunteered with an auction to raise money for the community and my granddaughter and I met so many people, I cannot honestly say if I met Tiff.

But I can say the people of Oso are Oso strong and never fail to amaze me!

God Bless you Tiff!!! I cannot respond back to you since you posted anonymously.

'Hello, I received a quilt from you in 2014, when donations were sent to to Oso, Washington following the mudslide. I wanted to thank you and everyone involved in your organization for such a lovely gift. My Mom , Brandy, was killed in that mudslide. My father was rescued, but the home and all belongings were lost. My Mom was a beginning quilter and had a real appreciation for the craft. We even took a class together. My Mom would have loved the Mary Engelbreit -themed quilt we received :)'

Thursday, January 7, 2016

2015 Financials

It is well known that most non-profits shut down after only three years because they lack funding and sponsors. I wish at times, I was that smart, because each year for the past 2 years I have been keeping close tabs on the financial aspect, we wind up in the red.

This year, we have more adult quilts on the shelves at the close out of the year and still after generous donations to those in need, have lots of baby quilts.

I have been doing this since 2005. I have looked into becoming a non-profit, but sadly, even my own accountant says she won't touch the books on that one, it is to complicated.

The other issue is once I start a non-profit, I am pretty much under the rule and control of the IRS on what we can do, how we do it and that isn't what I want to do.

I just want to make, receive and deliver quilts to those in need and the past two years with the disasters in my state, I have been blessed to be able to do so.

I am also blessed to have some very amazing people support this ministry in Lynn R. who blessed us with quilts, postage and stamps, Marilyn L. who blessed us with things to sell in our Etsy shop and quilts, fabric, etc.. Sue B. who has stepped up out of her own illness and made and sent quilts directly to those in need, Kathie P. for always supporting us after the tragic loss of her own son.

I cannot forget the amazing quilts shops that have been our collection points and if you ever get a chance to visit them in person or even on line to stop by and thank them, please do so:
1-The Needle and I in Everett and Seattle 
2-Town Square Fabric and Yarn in Burien 
3-Bayside Quilting in Olympia

Each time I tell my husband I cannot do this any longer, a blessing arrives in the mail as if God is telling me, 'you can do this, just a little longer.'

Sadly, 2015 did not bring much relief to the family budget. We spent $504.21 out of our own budget to continue to support this ministry and in two years, that total is $1541.74. That is a lot of shoes for my grands who are in sports, specialists for my medical issues, but since it goes in bites, we don't really miss it, we adjust.

Sadly, I still have 2 boxes from last year waiting to be mailed and am in the process of boxing up 6 for a 911 operator in MS who lost their home recently to a tornado.

Without further ado from me, here is 2015's annual report!

Layers of Hope Financial Report 2015

Monetary Donations 2015                                           167.00

Gift Card Donation 2015                                                 40.00

Quilt Sales 2015 -                                                            104.00

Total Receivables                                                            $270.40


Postage                                                                                  344.97

Office Supplies                                                                    103.97

Gas For Distribution Trips                                                          121.61

Meals For Distribution Trips                                            42.69

Fabric & Batting                                                                  115.35

Thread                                                                                      22.60

Ebay/Etsy/Paypal Fee’s                                                     23.42

Total Expenses 2015                                                       $774.61

Total Monetary Donations/Sales 2015                     -270.40
Total Unpaid Expenses                                                  $504.21*                            

End of Year Balance  Forward   2014                     -$1037.53*

Two year total budget                                                  -$1541.74*                                                                          
**Negative Balance Came Out of Personal Budget to Continue This Mission of Love**

Non-Monetary Donations 2015

Bolt of Batting                                                       2
Total Bolts Received                                            2

Quilts  Received                
Handmade Blankets                                                330
Quilts Carried Over                                                    70*

Total Quilts 2015                                                       400

Quilts/Blankets Distributed

Quilts To Chelan/Okanogan                                    155
(Included 76 quilts/2 boxes of hats to Chelan Valley of Hope, 3 Rivers Hospital 20 baby quilts/hats, Room One Twisp, 3 Quilts & 1 box hats, 60 Room One in Pateros)

Quilts 911 Dispatchers/First Responders               174

Lewis County Gospel Mission                                         15

Destroyed*                                                                              5                

Total Distributed 2015                                                349

Quilts & Blankets                                                                51                   
On Hand, 1/7/2015                                                       
*30 of these are baby/infant quilts

Miscellaneous Received 
Knitted Baby Hats                             20
Knitted Hats (Med Box full)              3                                      

Direct Quilt Mailings 2015 *

*Quilts from Quilter to Recipient                    13

Vehicle Mileage 2015 for Layers of Hope                                                     Chelan/Okanogan Miles

Delivery and Pick up Miles                           805.80

Postal Miles                                                    100.20

Total Vehicle Miles LOH-Q911                     906


*Quilts that get destroyed are quilts that have blood stains in them, are NOT new or close to new, have rips, tears, stains and cannot be repaired or donated to another organization.



Sunday, January 3, 2016

End of Year Stats Coming Soon

Usually by this time, I have my end of year accounting completed.

However, I have been hit with a double whammy, the flu and a major tooth problem all during a time when everything is closed.

Please be patient, I will be posting soon as well as updating our goals for 2016.