Wednesday, February 27, 2013

What's Cookin' at the Sweatshop?

Hi, all!

It's so much fun to see all the ladies coming to The Sweatshop each Wednesday night - we had about fifteen sewers in the room tonight, working on sewing new quilts, putting kits together, using blocks on the design wall to pull together some new quilts - it's an exciting place to be on Wednesday nights!  Lots of creative energy and cheering each other on, too!

We've given away several quilts this week, too....

This quilt was made with bento blocks donated by Georgia.  When we received these, I thought they would make a gorgeous quilt, but we had no immediate plans for them.  Then we received a request for a quilt for a couple who just lost their baby which was born prematurely in December.  The young woman who requested the quilt asked, if possible, that it be black and white - and we had just received the perfect blocks!  She also asked that it have an anchor on it.... I worked one into the pieced back.  This back makes me happy - it uses a piece of houndstooth fabric I've had in my stash for years and years and haven't ever found a great use for. It's soft and cuddle and just perfect for this quilt.

This quilt, made from a donated top, is now covering the bed of an older, very traditional Southern lady who was just re-diagnosed with cancer. She had surgery Monday and this quilt was delivered to her in the hospital.  It's such a lovely top, very traditional and with such beautiful applique - I wish I could remember who donated this top but I can't.  If you donated this top, please speak up and leave a comment - I'd love to give credit where credit is due!

This pretty top is another great story.  Two weeks ago we received a request for a quilt to be given to a 19 year old girl with stage 4 ovarian cancer that has spread to her kidneys.  As I thought about what we had available up at church that was ready to be quilted, the doorbell rang.  I opened up and found a box from Barbara, who sent us a large pile of beautiful tops.  On the very top of the pile was this brightly colored star quilt.  Immediately I knew that this would be just the thing for this need.  I emailed Barbara to let her know that the box had arrived, and where one of the quilts would be going.  She emailed back, saying that the colors in this top were definitely out of her comfort zone and she had hoped that it would go to a teenage girl while she was working on it!  

And this pretty little quilt is going to a 12-year old girl who was in a bad car accident this week.  She broke two vertebra in her back and will have to be in a brace for six to eight weeks.  

This last quilt has an interesting story, too.  Back in November, a friend of mine requested two quilts for parents of children at the school where she works.  One of the quilts she was able to deliver, but she never did connect up with the other parent, and the quilt was still sitting in her car.  Last week, a young man was killed in a car accident, and his mother worked at the same school as my friend.  She went to visit her, and when she got in her car after the visit, she says God told her that the quilt in her car should be given to the mom of the young man who died.  There are birdhouses on the back of the quilt, and it turns out the woman collects birdhouses!  This top was also donated to us, and I do not recall who donated it - so if you did, please speak up!!


We also received a very nice donation last week that I forgot to show you...

KatieQ sent this beautiful quilt kit - a huge stack of gorgeous fabrics and a great pattern too!  This is going to be a great quilt someday...

And Pam J. is the first of our local quilt ministry members to make her hand block - isn't it great?  Once again, if you've ever donated to the ministry, please make a hand block for the "Helping Hands" quilt that I plan to make to commemorate our 500th quilt - only 46 quilts away!!

Thanks again to all of you who help to make this ministry possible!!



Monday, February 25, 2013

Make-A-List Monday - Having Fun, Making Progress!

Hi, all!

Are you ready for spring?  I see all the reports of massive snow storms across the country and spend a few moments thinking how nice it would be to be snowed in - and then I come to my senses and realize that it's much better for me not to be!  But knowing that you can't go out and can have the freedom to take a sewing day must be fun.  Kind of a stolen pleasure!

Well, back to reality.  I did work on my list this week, so let's see how it went...

1.  Mail the messenger bag to my niece!
Mailed and received!  She was very happy - although I think the chocolate might have had something to do with that, too!

2.  Finish the binding on two ministry quilts.

3.  Piece together a black and white ministry quilt.
Done!  I'm really happy with how this one has turned out...

Here's a sneak peek - I'll show more on Wednesday!

4.  Sew together the quilt top that's on the design wall.
Done!  But I don't have a photo of the finished top yet...

5.  Quilt the three tops for the shop.
I didn't get to this one - too many ministry needs this week!

6.  Put together some pin cushion kits for quick pick-up work.
I didn't make any kits, but I did order some paper piecing templates and made up a few more pin cushions...

7.  Work on altering a hand-pieced quilt top for a friend.
I didn't get to this one either...

8.  Deal with any other ministry needs that arise.
Done!   But I've still got a couple more to do...

9.  Finish getting the Etsy shop set up.
Nope!  I've still got some quilting to do before I can open shop...

Okay, it appears that I was delusional when I wrote last week's list!  Let's see if I can do better with this week's list...

1.  Quilt a man's quilt for the ministry.

2.  Quilt a baby quilt for the ministry.

3.  Quilt the three quilts for the shop.

4.  Design and make some iPhone sleeves for the shop.

5.  Make some ebook sleeves for the shop.

6.  Keep up with the ministry needs for the week.

7.  Photograph the shop items and write listings for them.

8.  Try to get the shop open!

I'm going to stop there - and try really hard to get to all of that!  My week will be kind of crazy here, because I have the little girls for two full days, as usual, and also a 24-hour (more or less) overnight visit that will take up parts of two other days.  But my husband is going out of town for a few days so I'll have evenings and all day Saturday with no other obligations, so I might be able to get all this done! Now all I need to do is pray for sunshine so I can get good pictures.  It's definitely going to take prayer, though - they are predicting rain until Saturday!

By the way, thanks so much for putting up with my ramblings about what I've done and what I need to do each week - it really does help me finish projects to know that I have to "fess up" when I don't do what I say I will do.  I used to be a chronic starter, but I seldom finished anything.  I'd say that's changed now!

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



Friday, February 22, 2013

Can I Get A Whoop Whoop? A Productive Week...

Hi, all!

It's Friday again - are you ready to get your whoop whoop on?  I sure am!!

I've managed to work on a variety of projects this week, which are in various stages of completion...

Finally finished...

...and sent off loaded with chocolate!



  I put together three baby quilt flimsies for the Etsy shop, too.  Can't wait to quilt these, but ministry needs take precedence....

I got some funky new shoes this week...

...and had a whole lot of fun with these two!

I also finished two quilts for the ministry and made a new flimsy for another one, using some great bento blocks someone sent in a donation.  Friday I'll be working on several quilts for the ministry...

So that's what I'm whooping about!!


And now it's your turn!

What are you whooping about this week?

What's made you dance a happy dance?

Do tell - we want to join in the fun!!

The linky party will stay open until Sunday night,

so there's plenty of time to join in!

Be there or be square!!



Wednesday, February 20, 2013

What's Cookin' At The Sweatshop?

Hi, all!

It's been a big week at The Sweatshop - lots of quilts going out and donations coming in!  Here's what was given away...

This beautiful quilt, made by A.D., went to an older woman in Arkansas who went through surgery for uterine cancer...

And this quilt, made by Pam J., went all the way to Singapore, to comfort a young woman who has been diagnosed with inoperable pancreatic and liver cancer...

This quilt, also made by A.D., is now covering a man in Indiana who was in a bad car accident and will be in extensive rehab for many months to come.

This beauty, pieced from thrifted shirts by the fabulous P., is now warming a gentleman suffering from advanced Alzheimer's.  We were told that he is frequently cold, so this one is backed in a beautiful, warm flannel.  It's very warm and cozy now!

This lovely bright quilt, pieced by Debora, will be going to a woman who lives in Rogersville, TN, where our middle-schoolers go twice a year to do mission work.  She suffers from lupus and is bed-ridden.  Hopefully this lovely quilt will brighten her days...

And this quilt will be going to a gentleman who is dealing with stage 4 colon cancer.  It is a second quilt Pam S. created from a much larger top that was donated to us by Carol C.  


And donations this week were amazing!  First of all, we received these pretty quilt tops from Barbara...

...and this amazing pile of fabric came today, from Ginny!  This box was so big and heavy I had to get someone to carry it in to church for me - and it was like Christmas opening it all.

This picture doesn't really do it justice - the box was probably 24" cubed, and stuffed full!  Lots of fabric remnants, pinwheel blocks, fat quarters - beautiful stuff!

(Isn't that panorama feature on the new iPhones neat?)


So that's what's been going on at The Sweatshop this week!  We're up to our 27th quilt for the year, and our 449th quilt since we began.  So if you've made a donation to the quilt ministry, or participated in the Hands2Help Charity Quilt Challenge, please consider making a hand block for the Helping Hands Project.  (If you don't know what I'm talking about, you can click on the pages tab at the top of my blog and read more about it!)

Thanks again to all of you who help out with the ministry - we could not possibly do what we do without you!  



Monday, February 18, 2013

Make-A-List Monday - Whole Lotta Quiltin' Goin' On!

Hi, all!

Oh, it's been a good week!  I hope yours has been just as good.  Lots of accomplishments, lots of ideas rolling around my head - feels like everything's clicking!

So let's see how I did on last week's list...

1.  Write a tutorial for the foster kids bag.
Done!  And if you asked for a copy and didn't receive it, that means you are a "no-reply blogger" and I didn't have a way to email it to you.  BUT - you can pick up a copy from the right side bar - I discovered how to put my tutorials on there!!  Woohoo!

2.  Finish the messenger bag.
Woohoo and Hallelujah!!!!  It's finally done!!!

A very late gift for my youngest niece...

Do you think she'll like the inside of the bag?

3.  Finish the computer sleeve, and make one for the shop, too!
Done!  Here's the one I made for a friend...

4.  Finish getting the Etsy shop set up.
I'm still working on this one...

5.  Do two quilt book reviews and write a blogpost.
Done!  You can read the reviews here...

6.  Take care of any quilt ministry needs that come up.
Done!  I don't have pictures of them yet, but I've quilted four quilts for the ministry this week.  Pictures on Wednesday!

7.  Put together two more storage cubbies for The Sweatshop.
Done!  Now we've got more room to organize our fabrics...

8.  Make some pin cushions for the shop.
I didn't get to any pin cushions, but I did put together two quilt tops for the shop and have another one on the design wall.  Woohoo!

So what's the plan for this week?  Here goes...

1.  Mail the messenger bag to my niece!

2.  Finish the binding on two ministry quilts.

3.  Piece together a black and white ministry quilt.

4.  Sew together the quilt top that's on the design wall.

5.  Quilt the three tops for the shop.

6.  Put together some pin cushion kits for quick pick-up work.

7.  Work on altering a hand-pieced quilt top for a friend.

8.  Deal with any other ministry needs that arise.

9.  Finish getting the Etsy shop set up.

Oh my - what have I gotten myself into?  Oh well, I'll do the best I can to see how much of that I can get to!

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



Saturday, February 16, 2013

Freebie Books Reviewed for You!!

Hi, all!

Do you love books as much as I do?  My stack of quilting books looks a lot like that one above - all marked up with post-it notes on the pages of quilts I want to make!  

But lately I've discovered the joy of e-books - all saved on my computer and easily accessible!  I miss the feel of the book sometimes, but the space saving is enormous... and that's a big help, because it means more room for fabric!  

Recently I was asked to review two new e-books, and I want to share those with you today.

The first book, a wonderful blending of old and new, talks about the history of log cabin quilts and provides several new log cabin designs.  Based on three styles of log cabin blocks, the traditional, courthouse steps, and chevron, the book offers multiple settings for each style, cutting charts, and several more modern variations of each.  

I also loved the sewing tips that were provided, and there are directions for a piped binding that I'm dying to try!  You can get your own copy of this e-book by clicking here - go for it, it's free!!

The second book is a quick and simple rendition of three modern quilt patterns - a simple yet effective teenager's quilt, a rainbow HST quilt, and an interesting quilt-as-you-go diagonal strip quilt that I'm dying to try!  There's not as much meat in this e-book, but the patterns are nice and would be a great addition to your library.  And once again, it's free - so click here and check it out!


And now, just so you could see what my world would look like if I indulged in every paper book I wanted...



PS - If you're looking for the Whoop Whoop Friday linkups, click here!

Friday, February 15, 2013

Can I Get A Whoop Whoop? Finally....

Hi, all!

Howtheheck did Friday get here so fast?  Winter is supposed to be the slow time of year - but it just seems to be flying by!  Oh well - I hope you're ready to get your whoop whoop on!  I'm close, but my whoop whoop will have to be for progress, not a finish!

First of all, though, here's why I don't have much to show this week...  Lilli and I did a lot of this..

  ...which resulted in this...

(over and over again!)

And Emmy spent a lot of her time doing this...

  ...and this...

...and crawling EVERYWHERE!  Usually somewhere that she wasn't supposed to be, so I spent a lot of time chasing her down, picking her up, moving her to another part of the room, and being blessed out for taking her from where she wanted to be!

But in between all of that, I did manage to make this computer sleeve for a friend...

... and I FINALLY got most of the way finished with the messenger bag for my niece!!

No pics of the inside because I haven't quite finished it yet!

(That was supposed to be today's project during naptime,
but SOMEONE (very short) didn't think she needed a nap today....)

So that's what I'm whooping about this week!


And now it's your turn!

What have you been working on this week?

What's made you dance a happy dance?

Share!  We want to dance with you!!

Remember - it doesn't have to be a finish...

And the party will stay open until Sunday midnight.

Be there or be square!