Wednesday, December 12, 2012

{WiP} Wednesday ~ 49/52

After I finally finished all the little niggley bits of the quilt, I had to take a break from the sewing machine. You understand, I'm sure. :-)

I forgot to show you the label last week:

Hope Takes Flight ~ the label

(Hope Takes Flight ~ the label)

I took that picture last night as it was about to get bundled up into a Christmas stocking. Restore Innocence and the Human Trafficking Task Force had a "stuff the stocking" night, and I joined about 50 volunteers from the community, from various churches, some law enforcement, and even an FBI agent to take 205 blankets and stockings and fill them up with candy and nail polish and socks and mittens and stuffed animals.

205 Christmas Stockings for Restore Innocence and victims of human trafficking.

(205 Christmas Stockings)

It was a sight to behold. About 110 of the blankets were tied fleece blankets, and my church made a large portion of those, and the other 95(ish) were purchased for this event.

We heard on the news yesterday that police busted a sex trafficking ring in Colorado Springs, and that teenage girls (15-17 years old) had been recruited and forced into this for the past couple of years. The thing that really got me was that they arrested a few WOMEN, too!! Like, I can see men doing this to girls, but WOMEN?????? Oh, that made me mad!

Anyway, it just brings home the reality and the depravity even more.

These will be shared all across the country, so it's quite possible that a young lady in YOUR town will receive one of these bundled blessings. :-)

One of the board members for Restore Innocence mentioned a girl she was working with who had never had a Christmas. She'd never opened a stocking stuffed with sweets and socks and treats for her. She'd never received a gift from someone she didn't know. She'd never known simple joy on Christmas morning, but this year was going to be different for her because of these.

Hoppy and Hope

(Hoppy and Hope)

I don't know who will receive our quilt, but all along I've trusted that God will get it into the hands of a young girl who needs the love and the warmth and the HOPE most of all.

Other than that, I've been making more Infinity Scarves and bee blocks. And I've got to make some coffee cup cozies for Mookie's teachers, and the girls are making Christmas ornaments out of Crayola Model Magic (which are TOO CUTE, by the way!)...

Making Christmas ornaments
(Every tree needs a polka dotted butterfly on their Christmas tree!)

No rest for the weary!

I'm linking up with Lee at Freshly Pieced for this week's WiP Wednesday party.
WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Congratulations to My SMS Winner!

There you have it folks, Erin won my little giveaway of a charm pack of Sweetwater's Mama Said Sew, a membership into the Sugar Block Club, and some yummies from Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory! Congrats, Erin!

I've already heard back from her, and even though she said she likes sewing for her daughters, in her reply to me, she said she had been wanting to get into quilting, and this'll get her jump started! Perfect! AND, get this...she's in Colorado!! How fitting is THAT!!  :)  I'm gonna tell her that I'm not mailing it to her, that she has to come to our Front Range MQG meeting to pick it up. Hee hee...

And I know everyone says it, but I seriously, rilly rilly wish I could give something to EACH of you!

And thank you SO VERY MUCH for all your kind words about the quilt, and about Restore Innocence. I wanted to write a post to bring awareness about human trafficking, and I think I accomplished that. :) If one girl is rescued and takes advantage of her second chance, then I think it's all worth it, right? Obviously, I hope more will be completely rescued, but I know it's not always that easy.  The devil you know is better than the devil you don't, right? :)

So, anyways, thanks again! I hope you'll stop by again! I promise I don't usually write such long, and meaningful posts. They are usually much more light-hearted. :)

Congrats again, Erin!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

{WiP} Wednesday ~ 48/52

I haven't WiP'd in a while because I've been so busy working on the in-progress projects. :)

But first, if you are visiting because of the Sew, Mama, Sew Giveaway Day, WELCOME!! I'm glad you're here! ;) If you're a regular, be sure to enter the giveaway on my previous post.

I'm giving the Hope Takes Flight quilt to the church on Friday, so I want to take some more artistic shots before I hand it over. Here's a quickie that I took today when I was on my way home and not prepared:

Hope Takes Flight (Faith circle ~ Sept 2012)

I like the juxtaposition of the modern, bright quilt against the backdrop of the dingy, antique farm house.

And...I've got huge piles of bee blocks to make since I spent a large part of November quilting that quilt!  I was definitely in too many bees this year! One of them is ending in January, though, so that's good.

We got the fabric for the Modern Quilt Guild's Madrona Road challenge. It's VERY lovely. I am really quite tempted to say it never arrived. Think anyone will notice? ;-)

MQG Madrona Road Challenge Fabric

Does anyone else feel like they have a sewing disorder? A little binge, a little purge where you sew, sew, sew, sew, and then can't even begin to go into the room once you've finished a major project? That's kinda me right now. :)  No rest for the weary, though, that's for sure! :)

And then there are Christmas presents for the important ladies in my girls' lives. I'm planning on making coffee cozies.

And, of course, sewing the other butterflies into the second quilt...

OH...and I've got a little idea up my sleeve involving a charm pack, but I don't know much about new fabric lines coming out, so I need some suggestions. Can you please recommend a charm pack or fabric collection that has a great variety of bright colors in it? Because we all know that I'm all about variety of bright colors!  Something similar to Notting Hill by Free Spirit or Oh Deer by MoMo.  Thanks! :)

I'm linking up with Lee at Freshly Pieced (for the first time in a long time!) for her WiP Wednesday post. Hop on over there and see what everyone else is working on!
WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Monday, December 3, 2012

Hope Takes Flight (and a giveaway)

(alternative title: Quilting Insanity)

This is a long post, but it's a good story, so I do hope you'll read it. It's not about me -- it's about a quilt and a young girl.

As a quilter in the {Faith} circle of very popular do.Good Stitches bee, I have the opportunity, 2-3 times a year, to ask for blocks from my bee mates, and make the quilt I have designed. So back in August, I asked the associate pastor at our church if he knew of any needs within the church. He said "No, but Restore Innocence is doing a blanket drive for Christmas. Maybe you could make one for them?"  I'd heard of Restore Innocence, but didn't know much, so I went to their website. And commenced to having my heart broken, over and over again.

I want to just paste every word from their website here so you'll really see for yourselves!! I won't do that, but I will post a few tidbits:

There's this one:

“In the United States, children are subjected to human trafficking in many different sectors. Examples include prostitution on the streets or in a private residence, club, hotel, spa, or massage parlor; online commercial sexual exploitation; exotic dancing/stripping; agricultural, factory, or meatpacking work; construction; domestic labor in a home; restaurant/bar work; illegal drug trade; door-to-door sales, street peddling, or begging; or hair, nail, and beauty salons. Family members, acquaintances, pimps, employers, smugglers, and strangers traffic children
.”  -U.S. Department of Health and Human Services  {emphasis by Melissa}
 Or this:

An estimated 2.5 million children worldwide, the majority of them girls, are sexually exploited in the multibillion dollar commercial sex industry – UNICEF
 Or this:

Investigators and researchers estimate the average predator in the U.S. can make more than $200,000 a year off one young girl. – NBC Report by Teri William
It. Is. Disgusting.

I honestly can't believe this is happening right under our noses. I mean, we think sex trafficking, and sex slavery happens in places like Thailand. Or Amsterdam. Not here in America! But, it is. And actually, I can believe it. There are some seriously sick people out there. And those are just the ones using the girls...the ones doing the abusing? I hope there's a special hot place in Hell for them.

I copied this from someone on Instagram, but the details were provided by the National Human Trafficking Resource Center 2011.

(I'm gonna let those figures sink in for a sec)

These poor, poor, innocent little girls and young women.

So back to Restore Innocence. They are based in Colorado Springs because human trafficking happens here, but they work with Police and FBI Victims Assistance teams all around the US. So when there is a sting, and a young girl is rescued from the sex trade (read: slavery), they often have very little more than the clothes on their backs. And their clothes are often confiscated as evidence against the sicko pimp. Restore Innocence send Restoration Bags to the VA teams, who are then equipped to offer something to these girls. Something of their own.

Often, the girls that are taken into human trafficking didn't have much of a home to run away from, so it's not like they've got anywhere to go back to...and I highly doubt it would be a supportive and encouraging environment committed to helping the girl heal, physically and emotionally! (Can you imagine?)

So Restore Innocence has been working towards opening The Cinderella House - a place where rescued girls can come and live for a while, and get them the counseling and the assistance they need until they are able to move into a stable environment...whatever that may be. They have the house, and are in the final stages of opening it. :)


Back to do.Good Stitches. :)

When it was my turn, I decided to have the bee make butterfly blocks like we did last March, using Mrs Schmenkman's tutorial.  I asked for 8 blocks, one of each "rainbow" color, with white background and a black "body". My plan was to make one quilt, with all the butterflies pieced together. Like this:

Butterflies and Rainbows

To me, the butterflies represent being made into a new creation, a second chance, a chance these girls need. The rainbow represents God's covenant with Man after The Flood that He will never leave us. The black body represents the the black ribbon that Restore Innocence uses as their logo. The binding is black satin ribbon, for that same reason. They use the black ribbon because a ribbon represents innocence and youth, something these girls have been robbed of. And the color of the ribbon, black, represents what a dark, dark world human trafficking is.  All along, my plan was to quilt with swirls, to symbolize wind currents of the butterflies taking flight.

So when the blocks started coming in, and I threw them up on my design wall, a new plan emerged. Not only did I have a new, fun, modern design, I also would have enough butterflies for 2 quilts!  Because, really, why make one when you can make 2? (Or 5?) Right? :)

Faith do.Good Stitches ~ Butterflies and Rainbows

Even though I've rearranged some blocks, this design stuck. All the way to the bitter, bitter end.

While I can now say that I am finished, I can not say that this has been easy. This quilt has been fraught with challenges. Oy.

For those of you who follow me on Instagram and Facebook, thank you for walking this journey with me. I am sooooooo glad I had that support when things were difficult, and the next difficult thing happened, and the next difficult thing happened, and the next difficult thing happened. Hah!

The piecing went along fine. (the craft room is still a wreck, so I moved Sewing Ops to the dining room...and the entry to the living room became my design wall...) :)

t was once I started quilting that things got ugly. I always spray baste, but I used Dritz spray baste for the first time, and I'm pretty sure it will be the last. I know some people LOVE Dritz, and that's all they use, and maybe I got a bad can, but it literally took me 2 weeks to quilt this simple quilt.

immediately had problems with the thread shredding. I changed thread. 3 (expensive) brands. I changed needles. 3 brands. I changed the bobbin 4 times. I moved my sewing machine. I flipped the quilt around.

I don't know if you can see it up there, but somehow, the thread shredded and half of it came out of the eye of the needle. Only half...the other half was still threaded and still making stitches. Very weak stitches.

And then I thought I had it all sorted, but MAN was I tired (this was Day 2 of what became a never-ending saga!)

Then, on Day 3 (and by "day" I really mean "night), not only was the thread shredding, but it started skipping stitches, too!! Grrrr!  So I took it into the shop. They tried EVERYthing. And they couldn't get it to happen again on anything other than my quilt.  So I determined to simply sew till it shredded or skipped, stop, and start over again. There wasn't anything else I could do!

LOOK at that shredding! Ugh.

And then my needle bent and broke. I've broken needles before, but never bent it like that! It's like I was trying to sew through Teflon, or something!

But eventually I finished the free-motion quilted swirls in the middle, and it was time to quilt the white. I had originally planned to swirl the whole thing, but since it took me a full week to quilt 1/3 of the quilt, I figured I needed to put away the free motion foot, and just get it finished!!

Wow. Straight-line quilting is deceptively time-consuming! And very physically challenging!  So, that took me another 3 nights.  And when I was finally done with the quilting...

I had over 100 thread tails to bury. Yes, I know there are easier ways to stop and start than to pull out the threads and tie a knot, but because of the skipping and shredding, I had to be able to rip out the stitches, and you can't do that if you stitch a bunch in one place before you start quilting.
That took me another tiring evening. But the hard part was DONE!! Now to bind it with the black satin blanket binding, and call it DONE! :)

This is a close-up of the quilting.

 And here is the finished quilt!! Hallelujah!!  I named it Hope Takes Flight.

This is, of course, my sweet little Rocket Man, photobombing the picture in his slow, I'm-gonna-roll-till-I-get-there way. :)

Honestly. Two WEEKS!!! To quilt this thing!! Working on it for 3-4 hours a day/night!  Thankfully, I have very tame children and I could sew some during the day, too, but most of it was done at night.

I had more than a few people ask why I kept at it. Why I didn't just put it aside, buy some fleece and tie a quilt for Restore Innocence's blanket drive.  But I couldn't.

I couldn't give up on a quilt that we were making specifically for a young, precious, girl whose innocence has been stolen from her. I couldn't give up on a quilt that will bring her warmth. I couldn't give up on a quilt that will comfort her. I couldn't give up on a quilt that we have prayed over. I couldn't give up on a quilt that will remind her that God has not forgotten her. A quilt that will remind her that she has been rescued and has been given a second chance. A quilt that will scream to her heart that God loves her. A quilt that will whisper in her ear that God is with her. A quilt that will sing in her soul that she matters.

I couldn't give up making a quilt for someone who everyone else has given up on.

And now...for those of you who waded through all of that... :)  I'm linking up with Sew, Mama, Sew for their biannual Giveaway Day, and one lucky person will win a charm pack of Mama Said Sew from Sweetwater, a lovely Colorado family,

AND one generously donated membership to Amy Gibson's Sugar Block Club! Another Colorado beauty. 

2013 Sugar Block Club

Heck, I might even throw in some Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory scrumptiousness.

I'm sticking with the natives over here! :)

The giveaway is now closed. I will announce the winner on the blog on Sunday (or sooner) December 9th. Thanks to everyone for the comments! :)

So about the giveaway...Please leave me one comment telling me what kinds of things you like to sew. And if you don't sew, tell me what your favorite creative outlet is. I will close the contest on Friday, December 7th at 5pm PST, and will do a random drawing. Then I will email the winner and announce it on my blog on Sunday the 9th. (By the way, I'm definitely willing to send internationally!)

If you want to win, you better be sure your blogger profile is not a "no-reply blogger"!! I can't find you otherwise. :) 

Good luck...and please visit Restore Innocence's page...I think our eyes need to be opened to this. Seriously -- thank you for reading this. Seriously. :)

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

W.W.G.D. 2012

On the morning after one of the most heated, and most watched, elections in our nation's history, rather than think about this side or that, I'm trying to think "W.W.G.D."

What would Grandma do?

See, my grandma was The BEST. Ever. You might think your grandma was, but that's just not possible. Mine was. Unless you're my cousin, in which case "Hi!" :-).

But what would Grandma do the day after this election when so many issues passed that she wouldn't have approved of?

Grandma would have carried on loving everyone in her sweet, gentle, non-judging way. For instance, Colorado legalized marijuana. Grandma would not have approved of that. But she would still love others - whether or not they chose to smoke it. And so will I.

Grandma would not have approved of some of national issues that have come into being recently, but she would have loved and supported those who chose to support them. And so will I.

Grandma would definitely not have approved of all the hate-slinging during the campaign! Ugh! (I don't really think any of us "approved" of it!). But Grandma would still love others regardless of their political affiliation. And so will I.

Grandma would have carried on with the business (and busy-ness) of life. Loving her family, and being a true, and tremendous, blessing to all of us.

And Grandma would have sewed. :-)

And so will I.

Sew will I.

Late last night, I (finally) started and finished my Mod Mosaic blocks for Susan. Such a pretty color combination with the Kona coal grout and green, blue and violet tiles.

Susan's Mod Mosaic blocks ~ done
The lighting is poor, but I assure you, that square up there is green. :)

I spent an inordinate amount if time this weekend trying to make order out of the chaos that is my crap craft room. Here's a series of photos from the epic event.


During 1.0...
During... #imamess #craftroom

During 2.0...
During 2.0

I lost track, but I think I threw out 3 large boxes of trash, took one large box to the charity shop, took 7 pillowcases filled with scraps to become kitty beds at Happy Cat Rescue, and...

I can't take all the credit, though. Dave's dad and his other half were in town, and Nancy was the wind beneath my tired wings. She even pulled out an old thrifted cabinet I'd been wanting to redo and redid! Moss don't grow on that rolling stone! She left it to me to do the touch-ups. I now know that I do not have a future in furniture renovation. :-). But let me tell you what! I am LOVING this black cabinet!! No one will even notice the imperfections because my fabric will just glow inside. :-)

New to me

I am sad to report that Craft Room Declutterification 2012 is incomplete. There is quite a bit of work left to do...

But, like Grandma, I'm going to choose to sew. :-) the way! Thanks for all your wonderful comments about bullies in blogging and social media. It turns my stomach, but it's definitely made me think about my actions, and reactions, to others. It's also made me think about another thought-provoking post that'll take us back to high school again. :-/

(linking up with Lee and Svetlana at Freshly Pieced. )
WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

{WiP} and Bullies ~ Week 43/52

(Could that title be right?? Only 9 more weeks in 2012?? Holy cow!!)

I'm really hoping November isn't as busy as October has been. This has just been crazy!

Quickly, about my {WiP}s. They're plentiful (bee blocks, galore!). I think I mentioned the TumblerPartyToo swap last week. It's a Flickr swap inspired by sweet Yolanda, hosted by Leona. We'll send Leona 12 fat quarters in aqua and orange (Yolanda's favorite color combo), and she'll use an Accuquilt Studio cutter to cut them into 6 1/2" tumblers, shuffle them around do we all get a good variety, and send them back to us.

This is my stack. I bought most of them from Sew, Mama, Sew because they had a great sale. :) The only one I'm disappointed with is a new Kona called Alegria. It's way more blue that what it looked like on my computer screen (which is precisely why I needed the new Kona solid insert...which Kristen sent with my order, thankyouverymuch.)

Ready for the Tumbler Party Too, in memory of ~Yolanda. #tumblerpartytoo #accuquilt

I also drafted my pattern, and I am RIDICULOUSLY excited about it. I can't share it, but when you see it, you'll be like "Yup, that's Melissa, alright." :o) I just wish I could (a) speed time up and get my tumblers rightnow, and (b) stop time so I could get my quilt made to submit to the modern quilt show next spring. The good news is, I'm sure there will be more opportunities to enter it. :o)

I was going to sew last night (bee blocks, anyone?), even turned on the light in the sewing room. :o) But I went into the other room to do something very quick on the computer and spent the rest of the evening supporting a quilty friend who was being bullied via her blog.

Can we camp out here for a bit?

Online bullying. Have you seen this? Have you been a victim of this? I've definitely seen online bullying outside of the quilt circle, but have been really surprised to see it among modern quilters.

We're QUILTERS, for Pete's sake! Can't we just be nice? Polite? Respectful??? Is that too much to ask?

I've actually been on both sides of this - bullied and accused of bullying. By quilters YOU KNOW and think are super sweet! Which, to be fair, they probably are super sweet, but their actions were very NOT sweet.

I'm going to tell you a story, but, like Law and Order, this is inspired by a true incident, the following story is fictional and does not depict any actual person or event. :o)

It's 2011, the Infinity Scarf is wildly popular, in part, due to the scrumptious voiles by Anna Maria Horner. Not wanting to shell out $25 at the LQS for one, I decide to make one for me, but can NOT, for the life of me, find a tutorial I can understand. There were some out there, but they just don't make sense to me, and they don't make the scarf like I want. So I grab my camera and set about writing a tutorial for how to make a true infinity scarf where it twists, AND the seams are hidden. I hit "publish" on my blog, and immediately the positive comments start flooding in.

All is happy in HappyLand until SewSnide* leaves a snarky comment. You all recognize the name. She's got a following, but she's not THAT famous. She hasn't written any books, she doesn't design fabric (yet) and is just hoping to get the call from Moda that will change her life.

(*"SewSnide" is a pretend person. If there IS someone out there named SewSnide, I've never heard of her, and I apologize to her!)

SewSnide's comment says "Hey. Love ❤ your new tute. Looks a lot like the one for a voile scarf I posted 3 months ago. Here's the link. So happy I could inspire you! You know, it doesn't hurt to link back to the person who inspired you. :)"

And with that, SewSnide has simultaneously punched me in the gut AND told everyone that I stole her idea and couldn't even be courteous enough to link to her blog.

Not only that, but SewSnide hops on over to Facebook and Twitter to broadcast to all her faithful followers that I stole her idea.

Except that her tutorial isn't for an infinity scarf at all! It's for a circle scarf, and the seams aren't hidden. Sure, it's a good tutorial that I know took her time to write up, but it's NOT identical, and the only way it "inspired" me was to show me what I DIDN'T want to do!!

She's insisting that I put a link to her post on my blog, her friends are commenting on her tweet and facebook post about how much better her tutorial is, and all the while I'm just spinning.

What the heck just happened here??? I posted a tutorial on my teensy blog about making a scarf! I'm not selling anything, nor have I copied anything published or sold! People have been making and wearing scarves for centuries! And the concept of infinity was invented by the Greeks in about 490BC, and the symbol (\infty) was invented by John Wallis in 1655!! Scarf + infinity = nothing new under the sun.

I understand feeling like someone stole my idea. Y'all know that!! ((wink)), but the REAL problem here is that SewSnide didn't send me a polite, and private email. She broadcast my alleged theft all over this little modern quiltiverse! She isn't shoving me into a filthy corner in the girl's bathroom, she just gave me a big ol' shove via the internets. She is trying to force me to do something that isn't right by telling all her friends how wrong/rude/impolite/callous I am. But the truth is, she's the one who is wrong/rude/impolite/callous.

In the real world, if SewSnide HAD TO make her comments to my face, I highly doubt she would have the courage to say anything, much less say it the way she did. But because she simply left a comment on my blog, she feels safe. And by posting on Facebook and Twitter, she feels bolstered by her faithful followers, who, no doubt, would be disappointed if they really thought about her actions.

Bullies are cowards.

Now, back to last night. My friend had to deal with pretty much that exact scenario, and it was really frustrating to think that this is happening in the really sweet, really wonderful, really small modern quilt world. But SewSnide forgot something. There is a real person behind the blog she just smeared.

It's easy to forget that there is a person behind every blog. She has a name. She has feelings. She has an email address, which is a significantly more appropriate place to address her "theft" than by posting a comment on her blog, and then following up with a tweet or a Facebook post.

My friend responded in a very polite, very professional, very unemotional way, and didn't back down. She didn't link to the tutorial, and all evidence of the bullying conversation has been deleted. My friend took the high road, and I'm proud of her for not responding in kind.

But let's not be rude, folks. Let's behave in a manner that is above what we're seeing on the commercials and in politics. Good manners go a long, long way.

Now, I'm off to dress my little candy-mongers and go trick-or-treating.
Annual kids-in-the-candy photoshoot.

(Linking up with Lee at Freshly Pieced for her weekly WiP Wednesday party.)

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

It Is Finished (WiP Wednesday 42/52)

I haven't really done much sewing the last week. Well, no. I haven't done ANY sewing this last week! :)

The Front Range MQG made about 50 "Angel Baby Wraps" (a.k.a. Fetal Demise Pouches...but we detested the term!) as our outreach project. Alex at Teaginny Designs wrote up the tutorial, and we had a little assembly line set-up so we could really maximize our sewing time. We had at least 10 members involved in the cutting, ironing and sewing of these, and they turned out really cute.

Angel Baby Wraps getting made

One of our members, Kelly, is a Labor and Delivery nurse at a hospital in Colorado Springs, so she'll be taking these to give to parents whose babies were born in heaven, those "angel babies" that don't ever breathe air on this Earth, the babies who didn't get to stay in their mommy's womb long enough to be born alive and healthy. (I just can't say it, but you all know the babies I'm talking about, right? And you can understand why we changed the name from "fetal demise pouches"...)

Angel Baby Wraps

Anyway, they sewed up really quickly, and Kelly said they sometimes need larger ones for babies who died closer to term, so we modified the tutorial to make medium and large wraps. A few of us took some of the supplies home to make more, and this time we'll give them to Amy of Stitchery Dickory Dock to give to the hospital in Denver where her sweet, and perfectly healthy, twin boys were born.

And then I got all ready to have my bible study group over so we could square, trim, and then tie fleece blankets for Restore Innocence. We are part of a group of people making 100 blankets for the charity, and our little group was charged with making 16 of them. I got out my rotary cutter, and my large cutting mat so I could square them up, and then my group got to work snipping and tying.This picture only shows 4 that were trimmed and ready for members to take and tie at home, but just imagine this times 25!

Bow-tie Blankets - Ready to Tie

100 fleece blankets are going to take up a HUGE amount of space on the stage at church! :)  By the way, this is the organization that the {Faith} Circle of do.Good Stitches is making the Butterflies and Rainbows quilt(s) for.

We do the ties a different way. I saw this in a quilt shop outside of San Diego, and don't know why it hasn't taken off like wildfire! Instead of long ties, you make little bow ties. They're incredibly sweet, tie up SO fast, take up less fabric, and we thought they would really be a good choice for the girls who receive these quilts.

Bow tie blankie.

Our little group has 5 more to make, and I know other groups are doing theirs now, too. 100. That's such a blessing. :)

Not that you need it, but I hope to post a tutorial for this method soon.


I haven't been sewing much because I'm sad.

As some of you know, a good friend of mine, Yolanda, passed away last Friday. You may know Yolanda from one of the multitudinous Flickr swaps she did, or one of the many bees she participated in, or just her overall incredible creativity, or sincerely overwhelming generosity.

She started feeling poorly in February (2012), but the doctors couldn't find out much. Then in May, after continued problems, she was diagnosed with Stage 4 biliary cancer (Bile duct). There's a super long name for it, and you can read about her journey here, if you want. But that was May. It's October. 5 months. And it's not like she never went to the doctor, or anything, biliary cancer is just a fast-moving sonofabitch.

She was the president of the Orange County MQG until she resigned because she wasn't well (before her diagnosis), she was a cherished member of our Bee Happy Bee, as well as the founder of the Mod Mosaic bee. She started the Hexie Swap, the Circle Swap, and the Tumbler Swap. She participated in a number of fun quilt-alongs. And she made quilts for pretty much everyone she loved.

Here are some of my favorites of hers from Flickr:

Yes! It's done

Etchings Wovens - Floating Squares

All Quilted and Bound

(she made this for the woman who donated her kidney to Yolanda 4 years ago)

Jack Claims the Quilt!

This was her Tumbler Party quilt.

In her memory, Leona has started the TumblerPartyToo. If you're interested in joining, the details are here.

Liberty wrote a really poignant, really personal memorial about Yolanda here. Go read it.

Yolanda had the dream of making quilts for all her nieces and nephews, but early in the summer, she realized that she wasn't able to sew as much as she wanted, so Liberty promised her that the Bee Happy bee would be her hands and get these quilts made. We enlisted the help of some other ladies who loved Yolanda, and together made 14 (or more, I think!) quilts for her loved ones. Yolanda and Liberty went through her beautiful and well-apportioned stash and got the fabric into the hands of some very skilled quilters who were very glad to be able to do this for her.

You know, we all just wanted to help. To do something, anything for Yolanda, and we quilters want to quilt. So it was a great opportunity to do what we love for someone we love.

And Yolanda really didn't know what to say. She knew that we were making her dream come true, and she was always SO very thankful. She knew she couldn't repay anyone, but I think she also knew that we weren't doing it for the recognition or reimbursement. We were doing it because we loved her, and because it is what we would want done for us. And like I said, Yolanda was overwhelmingly generous with everyone, so it was nice to be generous back.

Now, to be fair, I didn't have much to do with many of these quilts. I was only able to sew a few blocks, and to donate some batting, but I did reach out to our friends who I thought might want to help, and they came through like you've never seen.

I love that her family will always have their quilts to remember her. She led an amazing life, a colorful life. One filled with challenges and successes. One filled with love and laughter and more love. She cherished her fiance, her sons and grandchildren.

She passed away one day shy of her 48th birthday.

48. It's just not fair.

But...I do know that Yolanda loved God, and that she trusted Him to be in charge of her days on Earth. She knew that God has a plan, and she asked Liberty to create a graphic with this verse from Proverbs 31:25:

Unafraid - Made for me by Liberty!

"...she laughs without fear, unafraid of the future."

I hope I can grow to be more like that. To be like Yolanda and live life unafraid. And carry her legacy with me.

God's work in Yolanda is finished. I am thankful she is no longer in pain, but I'm sure gonna miss her.

(linking up with Lee at Freshly Pieced for WiP Wednesday)

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

{WiP} Wednesday ~ 40/52

I think I'm only capable of blogging once a week. It seems like every time I participate in the Instagram Friday link-up, I can't manage to post to the WiP Wednesday link-up! Ah, well...I'm sure you're all bored enough with my posts, you don't need more in your feeder!

First up, after much ado about very little, I FINISHED the grand Fruit Stripe quilt! Hallalujah!!

Fruit Stripe Quilt ~ Front

Once again, it is the Travel Quilt pattern from Oliver+S, in their book "Little Things to Sew." It's a really lovely quilt when it's finished, and it's not complicated at all. I will say (again), however, that I think the instructions for cutting could have been written a little more clearly. I've made it now, twice, and instructions for sewing are pretty clear, but the cutting instructions leave a bit to be desired. It is quite probable that I'm easily confused, though, and that no one else has this problem. :)  I love the way it looks when it's finished, though!

Our friends, James and Natalie and their adorable little muffin, Baby G, are moving, and were coming through town, so I had the opportunity and impetus to get the quilt for Baby G finished. Nothing like taking it out of the dryer 45 minutes after they arrive... :)

But all three of them loved it. :)


In the picture above, you can kinda see how the quilting ended up looking. After my myriad tension and quilting issues. I finally figured it out, the last 5 inches of the quilt!! Hah! I will say, though, that most of the little "eyelashes" that I had did come out in the wash. Other than that, you really had to search for them. My greatest hope is that the quilt doesn't somehow come unquilted, but I doubt it will. :)

You saw the back (below). Thank you to all of you who encouraged me to go with this for the back. It's 800 kinds of PERFECT!!!!  And a zillion times better than a pieced back could have been!

Fruit Stipe Quilt ~ Back

You can see the quilting again here, as well as my mostest favoritest binding ever in the history of bindings. (Yes, more favorite even than the Calypso Ovals in Blue for Kelly's Travel Quilt!).  I am now out of that fantabulous rainbow fabric (bought at Joann's at least 3 years ago), but I'm SO superdy duperdy glad I still had enough for this quilt. There isn't a more better fabric out there.

Baby Feetses

You can also see Baby G's sweet little footsie and her nummy nummy knees. :) She's adorable, really.

Oh, and here's another thing to be proud of...every stitch of that quilt is made from my stash. Every solid, every scrap, the white, the batting, the binding. Even the thread! If you recall, I went out and purchased some AURIfil, but my machine did NOT want to quilt with that! Anyway, I'm still super proud that I made this quilt for "free". :) 

Now. Back to my sewing's what I need to be sewing right now!
    Natalie's Wonky OrangesFaith do.Good Stitches ~ Butterflies and Rainbows
  1. Natalie's Wonky Star ~ I've got it figured out, I just need to cut and sew. And mail.
  2. Yolanda's (can't tell you) ~ My dear, sweet friend, Yolanda (who many of you know from Flickr swaps and bees) is celebrating her birthday in a couple of weeks, and so, we in the Bee Happy bee are making something for her. I'll tell you about it later in case she reads my blog. Which I doubt she will, but one never knows! :)  **If you DO know Yolanda, I encourage you to click the link on her name and go read her blog. Prepare to spend a bit of time there. She isn't in the best of health these days, and could really use all our prayers and encouragement.
  3.  Mod Mosaic for Susan ~ Chewing through our Mod Mosaic bee, it's Susan's turn, and I need to get busy.
  4. Butterflies and Rainbows Quilt ~ I love how it looks right now!

    (Yes, I have a problem. I'm afraid someone will stage a Rainbow Quilt Intervention...but they're just SO doggone happy!)
  5. Grayson Quilt ~ Yeah. Hmmmmm...about that...I'm just not motivated right now! :) It's low priority, though. Well, lower than the Butterflies quilt, and my bee blocks, at least. 

Other than that...(ahem) is really busy around here. We went to the pumpkin patch yesterday, then played with friends, we hiked part way up a mountain on Monday, we had fabulous and dear friends over on Sunday, I celebrated a new baby on the way with more dear friends on Saturday, I went to a Tastefully Simple party on Friday, my father-in-law came for a visit, and arrived late Wednesday night, so there was a lot of baby holding and tea parties and such on Thursday. :) And the rest of this week looks to be about the same speed! TOO FAST!

I hope you have a great, and crafty, week!

Since most of this post is about my Fruit Stripe quilt, I'm linking up with Quilt Story for Fabric Tuesday.
Fresh Poppy Design

And then I'm also to link up with Lee at Freshly Pieced for her weekly WiP Wednesday party.
WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

And also to Megan's {Sew} Modern Monday's linky party. :)