Thursday, December 18, 2014

5 Years, 800 Posts, 1000 Quilts - Giveaway Time!!!

Hi, all!

Can you believe it?  Five years ago I started writing a blog, simply to chronicle my efforts to deal with a fabric stash that was becoming a (little) bit out of hand.  I had just begun quilting as a hobby, with no intention of doing anything with it other than that.  My first blogposts are so funny to go back and read - terrible pictures, usually only commented on by my niece (thanks, Heather!) but I kept at it.  

One of my very first quilts...

And one of our first ministry quilts!

We've watched my granddaughter Lilli grow up on the blog.  Here's her first appearance…

and here's a picture from yesterday, her seventh birthday!

We also met Emmalyn on the day she was born

and look how much she has grown!  (Isn't it funny how kids love to have their pictures made with the Old Navy mannequins?)

Five years and eight hundred and five posts later, I am seriously into quilting, working with a fabulous group of women and men and together we have made and given away more than one thousand quilts to people dealing with serious illness, emotional or spiritual trauma, new babies, and victims of natural disasters.  More than three quarters of the quilts we have given away have gone to people outside our church family, requested by the members of our church to show others God's love.  

I have come to know so many of you, who have joined in our work by donating your UFOs, blocks, fabric, and scraps. You have no idea how big a part of the quilt ministry you are - we are overwhelmed and encouraged every time we receive a box of donations!  

This quilt was made to commemorate giving away our 500th quilt last June.  It is made of hand blocks representing each of the people who have quilted, donated, or in any way participated in creating the quilts we had made.

I've also been honored to host the Hands2Help Charity Quilt Challenge for four years now - and so many of you have joined with me in creating beautiful quilts to help brighten the lives of people in need.  I look forward to this event every year, and am humbled that so many of you do too!

Anyway - thank you so much for reading my humble little blog and encouraging me so much for all these years!  I appreciate each of you more than I can possibly say… and so I have a little something to give away to one lucky reader! (Please excuse the quality of the pictures - we haven't had sunshine here in about two weeks, I think!  With rain in the forecast for Thursday, I took the best light I could get!)

I'm calling this pretty little quilt "Peppermint Candy" - isn't it sweet?  It's backed with a great Christmas text print, too.  

So many of you have mentioned that you regret not having time to make a Christmas quilt, I thought it would make a nice little giveaway item!  

It measures about 45" x 54", and is made from all 100% cotton fabrics and Warm and White batting.  The quilting is lots of swirls and it's been washed, so it's all lovely soft and crinkly!

So how can you enter the giveaway?  Simple!  

Get one entry by simply leaving a comment on this post.  Let's make it fun - since the quilt is called "Peppermint Candy", tell me your all-time favorite candy in your comment!

Leave a second comment if you are an old or new follower for an additional entry!

That's it - no hoops to jump through!  You can enter the giveaway until about 5:00 PM CST on Wednesday, December 24th, and I'll draw a winner and announce it on Christmas morning!

Once again, thanks so much for being on this journey with me - it's been a fun, wild ride and I can't wait to see the next five years!!



Monday, December 15, 2014

Make-A-List Monday - The End Is In Sight!

Hi, all!

Is it Monday already?  Seems to me that the weeks go by a lot faster the closer you get to Christmas - how about you?  But I made good progress this week, so let's see how last week's list went.

1.  Put borders on the girls' quilts for Christmas.
2.  Make backs for those quilts.
3.  Quilt the girls' quilts.
Done! And here's my task for tonight - sewing on the label! I'll do the big reveal on these this coming Friday….

4.  Quilt at least two more quilts for the quilt ministry.
I didn't get to do these, unfortunately! 

5.  Start wrapping Christmas presents, and decide what else I need to shop for.
Oops!  Didn't get to this either!

6.  Keep up with all quilt ministry needs that arise.
We did manage to keep on top of all the quilt needs this week - here's what was given away since last week...

This quilt went to a woman who had heart surgery recently...

This quilt went to a gentleman who had back surgery...

This quilt went to an elderly woman who received some unsettling health news this week.

This one went to a woman who had shoulder surgery...

This adorable I-Spy went to a new baby boy!

This pretty charm quilt went to a new baby girl!

This quilt went to a man going through treatment for esophageal cancer...

And this quilt went to a lady in hospice.

We also gave away one more quilt - a beautiful batik top that was donated to us - but I packaged it up to mail before I took a picture and unfortunately it's winging its way to the North Pole right now - that's right - North Pole, Alaska!  It is going to a young woman who lost a baby and we hope it brightens up her long winter nights with its beautiful colors.

So, I guess I didn't do so well on my list - but since I finished the girls' quilts (except for the labels) that I'm counting it as a win!!  

And what's on the agenda for this week?  

1.  Hand-stitch the labels on the girls' Christmas quilts.

2.  Take great pictures of those quilts for Friday's blogpost!

3.  Work on a special surprise.

4.  Wrap Christmas presents and decide what else I need to get.

5.  Prepare lots of good food for a family get-together this Saturday morning!

6.  Keep up with any quilt ministry needs that arise.

And that's enough for this week, I think!  I'm also planning a very special blogpost coming up soon - you won't want to miss it, so stay tuned!  

And now the question is - - - what are you working on this week?



Friday, December 12, 2014

Can I Get A Whoop Whoop? I Love Happy Endings….

Hi, all!

It's Friday again, and you know what that means - it's time for

I'm really excited about what I have to share with you today - but the story starts more than four years ago..

In October of 2010, a very young woman in our church named Katt was diagnosed for the second time with cancer.  A member of my Bible study group, she shared with us her fears and concerns for the future.  I wanted to make a quilt for her, something that fit her personality.  This girl was so modern and fun - she even had eyelashes on her Volkswagen Bug - that I wanted to try something really out of the box.  Thus was born "Not Your Grandmother's Flower Garden".

This quilt was my first attempt at appliqué.  The flowers are stitched onto a piece of 70" wide antique linen that my grandmother brought back from a trip to Ireland.

It was also my first major free motion quilting project.  There is a LOT of quilting on this one - echo quilting around the flowers, some detail work within them, fiddlehead ferns coming up from the ground, curls of breeze in the air, and sunshine from above.  It was a beast to quilt - at the time, I was using a domestic Singer with a very small throat!  

I love looking back at these pictures, made with the help of my then-nearly-three photography assistant, Lilli.  She's grown up so much since then!

But now, as they say, the rest of the story!

Last Saturday morning, December 6th, while the quilt ministry ladies were all celebrating Christmas at my house, the Mount Juliet Christmas parade was taking place just down the road.

The marchers in the parade were carrying a sign.

Katt's boyfriend had a special question for her!

And she said yes!

Don't you just love a happy ending?

So let's give Katt a big whoop whoop!!  


And now it's your turn!

Have you had a "happy ending" this week?

What's got you dancing the happy dance?

Share - we want to dance right along with you!

Remember - it doesn't have to be a finish - 
Just something you're happy about!

The party will stay open until Sunday midnight - 

Hope to see you there!!