Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Blown Away

Oh my goodnes...I am exhausted. Really. I have been going non-stop since the article ran in the Winnipeg Free Press last week. I have gotten about 30-40 e-mails from people wanting to help with the Quilting for Babes project.

Last fall, my sweet husband bought me a brand new Pfaff Expression 2.0 from Carellan Sewing Centre, on Academy Road, here in the Peg. Barb is the owner and it has been a real treat to get to know her better. She has been wonderful to take time with me to get to know my new machine (which is a dream btw...but is, as of now, still un-named). I had spoken with her a few weeks ago about QFB, and she was very supportive. When I called her on Friday to tell her about the article, she had already read it, and graciously invited me down to tell the ladies of her "Sew We Care" sewing group a little more about the project.

Barb has offered her store to us to meet and combine efforts to cut, piece, quilt, finish, etc...what ever needs to be done. When there is a date set, I will post it and any locals are invited to help out. Thank you Barb, in addition to loving my new machine, I love the care that you've taken with me...and the generous spirit in which you have extended your hospitality.

There have been several ladies who have so generously given me loads of fabric for these quilts. In fact, Maybel learned to sew over Spring Break and has been anxiously waiting for me to help her make her own quilt for QFB...so tonight she did. She used some of the fabric that had been donated to make her very first quilt top. She had so much fun, and in fact looked at me sincerely and said, "Mom, you are the best mom in the whole wide world." Seeing as she is my step-daughter, and her mom and I get along really well, I'll take that to mean that I am the SECOND best mom in the whole wide world...LOL! At any rate, it was some quality time spent and I am so proud of the giving spirit that she has.
A couple of people have given me a cash donation to offset the costs of finishing all of these quilts myself, and I would like to say thank you. With that, I went to Fabricland today and picked up some batting...the manager there has given me a discount for this project, that really helps. So thank you Joann, I appreciate that very much.
I finished up the quilt to be sent to my friend's wife and kids tonight, but I am too tired to take a picture. I will tomorrow before I pack it up and ship it. Shane's wife, DeAnn has told me that they have already picked out a little boy to whom they want to donate the quilt to. I would like to get his story and share it eventually.
For now, I. am. tired. And I am going to bed.

Friday, April 23, 2010

In The Press

Quilting for Babes is getting some local attention today. As I mentioned in my post yesterday, Lindor Reynolds, columnist at the Winnipeg Free Press wrote this piece to bring more attention to our not-so-little project. I am honored, but at the same time humbled.

I have learned so much in this process. I have learned new techniques for quilting (never done a tumbler or a pinwheel before). More importantly, I have learned that there is more good in the world than bad. We often hear of all the terrible things and people, but not nearly often enough do we here of everyday people, giving of themselves to help out with another's passionate projects.

Not only have sooo many of you quilting blogger pitched in and donated not just blocks, but whole quilted baby quilts. And yes, I know that a giveaway adds some spice, but when it comes down to it, I'm sure that wasn't a primary motivation for many of you. I bet if there were no hope of winning something, you would have done it anyway.

It isn't too late...if you would still like to donate, please do. If you don't have time to sew, we have a need for fabric for backs and binding (my stash is not nearly as big as most of yours...LOL...but I'm working of that to the shagrin of my husband!) or for batting. If you don't want to mail that, you could send a small monitary donation and I can pick some stuff up. Also we are collecting sleepers in 0-3 month sizes...whatever you feel led to do is a great help.

I can't speak highly enough of the wonderful women (and men) who have put their love into this project. Thank you. So very much.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Extra, Extra

You can read all about it in the Winnipeg Free Press soon. Lindor Reynolds, a lovely columnist from the Winnipeg Free Press, came to our home today, along with a staff photographer, to interview me in regards to the Quilting for Babes Project. It was a wonderful feeling to know that the interest and enthusiasm that I have for this project will be shared with many alike. This is not a self-serving project. Don't get me wrong, I have gained a great deal from this project through the blessings I have received...that is inherent in the whole process of giving, I believe. But as I was reminded this morning, it has taken countless hours of my time. From blogging about it, to looking at the blogs of the women who have pledged and donated, to commenting to make sure I properly thank everyone, to the actual sewing (and that part has only yet begun)... It is a labor of love, to be certain. But apart from being with my family, it has been the most rewarding endeavor I have undertaken.

Thank you very much Lindor, it was delightful to meet you and share this journey with you. And while I am thanking people, let me again thank you, Amber, for taking this project on and loving it as much as I do. It wouldn't be nearly as successful if you hadn't! Thank you for all the hours you have put in as well!

My sweet little man was so happy this morning. He was all ready and spiffy for his 5 minutes of fame!

And of course Nalley had to be in on the action, in all her cuteness and curls...man those things are wild (but gorgeous...)!

A HUGE shout out to Carly of Citric Sugar, for these THREE beautiful quilt tops (+ 2 blocks) that she sent us for QFB. She just went all out...these pics are from her blog, I didn't take any pictures of the tops all sewn up as she sent them to me. Thanks so much Carly!

And last, but not least, this is a bag I made last night with a super cute (but really CRAZY) pattern. It is made by the same person that made the pattern for the clutches that Amber made here. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE how it came out...BUT I have several things to say about the pattern... First, it is a computer generated pattern but doesn't include seam allowances! WHAT? How can you draw a pattern on the computer, but not include seam allowances? It isn't that hard to throw in a 1/4" SA after you've done all the hard work of drawing the pattern. She tells you to tape 2 pencils together and trace around the pattern with one, and the other pencil will give you a 1/4" allowance... OKAY, maybe so, if you are drafting your own pattern at home. Maybe. But really...? Secondly, the wording of the pattern and it's clarity, are muddy, at best. I bought it as a pattern for "experienced sewers". Okay, I get it, pay less for a pattern if you are experienced and don't need all the explainations of common procedures...but some continuity and clarity are just fundamental.

And lastly, which was VERY frustrating to me, was that the PDF pattern, printed as specified with "no margins" did not fit together. I had to e-mail the pattern maker to ask her to send me the original "whole" pattern, which I had my hubby print at work. In the end, I couldn't be happier with the final result. I made the bag with some fabric that I liked, but not my Amy Butler cherry full moon polka dots and slate morning glory that I purchased for it. I wanted to make it first to see how complicated it was. Not complicated at all, just frustrating that I couldn't just print it out, and do it...there was a LOT of unneccesary work involved. So, I am seeing an Amy Butler version coming in the near future!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

PreTTy, PreTTy Pinwheels

I have had so much fun getting packages in the mail for the Quilting for Babes Project...it's like Christmas! Michelle from Periwinkle Quilting and Beyond, in Saskatoon, SK sent these great fabrics for the quilt backs and binding...thanks Michelle, that was so generous!

My friend Christina, of The Sometimes Crafter, some how got some time in the midst of creating her beautiful new quilt pattern (and quilts) to make these blocks...so cute! Thanks Christina! You should all go check out her pattern and get a copy, it is gorgeous, especially in the Nicey Jane fabric!

Thanks Monika, of Miss Monny Quilts, for sending these adorable blocks all the way from Australia, it was really fun to open your package! I would love to get down to the land of Oz someday, that would be fantastic!

These are my quilt tops, I had lots of fun with them, a first time for pinwheels and also a first for tumblers, both were so much fun...and a good learning experience...LOL!!!

I have more pictures to post of some other contributions, just don't have any more computer time right now...kids are wrangy and need my attention!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Traveling by Car

IMG_5475, originally uploaded by magnolia designs.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I am going to donate a quilt for the Quilting for Babes project on behalf of my friend's children, to honor their daddy.

Shane's dad was my driver's ed teacher, and in fact probably taught half of my hometown how to drive. I thought it fitting to make this quilt with an appliqued car theme. I made Lawson's baby quilt out of Katie Jump Rope, and I intentionally made the last quilt that he and I donated out of the scraps from that project. I having been saving the rest for something special, and I thought this quilt was very special indeed...

I Loves Me Some Mushrooms

Seriously, how stinkin' cute is this quilt? Who's day wouldn't be brighter and happier looking at this? It is was made by Debbie of One Stitch Off for the Quilting for Babes project. She has got some mad skillz and the quilting on it is so fun!

There are so many talented women (over 50 who have pledged, I believe) that are making either whole quilts, or quilt blocks for this project. I have tried to get to everyone's blog to check them out, but with little ones under foot and trying to get my own sewing done, I haven't made it to them all just yet. Thank you again to all who are participating...I just can't say enough how much it is appreciated!

Sunday, April 4, 2010


I am truly heartbroken as I sit and write this post. We had a fantastic Easter with our family...the kids had a blast. But I found out this afternoon that a friend from HS lost his battle with cancer yesterday. My hometown in Calhoun, Georgia is small. His mother was my kindergarten teacher at First Baptist Church, his father was my driving instructor at Calhoun HS. Although I did not know him as the godly man he had become, his family holds a very dear place in my heart.

I have never met his precious wife, or his 3 sweet children. I have no pictures to post. I just have a broken heart for 3 little ones who didn't get to wake up on Easter Sunday with their daddy.

He was 38. They found out he had lung cancer in October, after a cough just wouldn't go away. After several chemo treatments, they found out in March that the tumor had not gone away, it had in fact gotten larger and the cancer had spread to the small intestines. They were told that it was now only a matter of time and their focus should be on quality of life. Since I found out last week that Shane's time on earth would be short, I have spent hours thinking of his family, and what things need to change in my life.

I need to spend more of that QUALITY time with my kids and my husband. I need to let go of the things that are not important...like the clutter of toys and the crumbs and laundry that plague my existence. They will not go away...if I focus on those things, I am not focused on what matters. I am sure that Shane never once wished he'd cleaned up the crumbs more frequently. I'm sure he spent plenty of time in his last days, making sure he was doing things with his kids that they would remember forever. Teaching them all of the things in life that carry weight and are of eternal importance.

I will be donating one of the baby quilts from the Quilting for Babes project on behalf of Shane's children, to honor their father. I hope it will in some way help to lessen their pain.