Thursday, September 17, 2015

An End and a Beginning

Heartfelt thanks to everyone who voted for my quilt on the Quilter's Dream Hopes and Dreams Quilt Challenge.  As I write this on Thursday evening, it looks like I will finish in 6th place.   No prizes, but I am so happy to have one of my quilts in the finals, anyway.   I could look at this as 6th out of the 12 finalists, or (my preference) 6th out of 913 (total number of quilts donated in the year).  Congratulations to the three winners! Someone won a beautiful new sewing machine!

But that is old news now.  I am finishing up my quilts to donate to the 2015-2016 Hopes and Dreams Challenge for ALS.  The Virginia Beach Modern Quilt Guild has had a very festive meeting for several years now where we present our quilt donations for all the members to see. We have been fortunate to have representatives of Quilter's Dream attend these meetings.  Not only do we show our quilts,  but there are prizes, too.  Last year, the chairperson in charge of charity rounded up a staggering wealth of gifts donated by some of the biggest names in quilting.  It was like Quilting Christmas.  Fabric, patterns, books, batting, thread, tools and more.  So exciting!

I thought I would show you two of the quilts that I will be donating this year.

A few years age, I participated in a fabric swap and sew in for bright fabrics to use in making these tulip blocks.  They were lonely in their little storage box, so I liberated them, added some fabric from my stash and here is the result.  

I took a second photo to get a close-up so you could see how happy these fabrics are.

This next one was made from some leftover blocks from another Hopes and Dreams quilt from last year.

Close-up of the details.  Again, all made from stash.  Maybe that sounds like some kind of feat to you, but the truth is that I could probably make fifty more and have supplies left over.   Sad thing is that my children have all the quilts they want. There are no babies on the way.  Every bed in my house is covered with at least two nice quilts.  I can't stop making them!  I am thrilled to have a charity that will happily take as many as I can supply.

There are more, and I will share them as I finish the binding. 
Again, thanks so much for voting!  It was two very exciting weeks watching the votes roll in!

I am linking up to Crazy Mom Quilts

Thursday, September 10, 2015

We're Halfway There!

Quilter's Dream Batting is still running their Hopes and Dreams ALS Quilt Challenge.  Out of the 913 quilts donated for use by ALS patients, twelve were chosen to be voted on by the public in their Sew Popular category.  I showed you my quilt that was chosen for this competition last week.  There is still another week for voting, and I am hoping (and dreaming?) that I will place in the top three.  That won't happen without your help.

I'm sorry about the tiny photo, but I was in such a hurry to get my quilts ready to send, that I failed to get good pictures of them before bundling them off for their new owners. 

But that is old news.  Today, I want to show the other quilts that I made and donated to this great cause.

This first one was going to be for my niece's first baby, but she changed her color preferences for the nursery and I made a pink monkey quilt for her instead. I had made way too many blocks for a baby quilt anyway, so this was probably meant to be.

When Moda came out with this Funky Monkey fabric, I was just crazy to have it. Didn't know what to do with it, but I had to have it. The pattern is Crazy Eights. I hope this fun fabric puts a smile on someone's face. 

Next up is a birdhouse quilt that I made using stash and a Moda Bakeshop pattern, modified slightly, 'cause that's how I do things.

Omigoodness, another Funky Monkey quilt! And there is lots more crazy fabric where that came from!

I had a matching set of charm squares and mini charm squares, so I whipped up this lap quilt. Bright, fun and fast.  Another smile maker, no?

A friend made this quilt top from a jelly roll quilt she made and didn't like it. I LOVED it! She gave it to me with the understanding that I would finish it and donate it to a good cause. No problem! Here it is all finished and bound, ready for a new home.

Still with me?  Good! I made another quilt, but I can't remember what it was and apparently forgot to take a picture of it. No matter! It, too, is going to a new owner.

I wish you could see the quilting in these quilts. There are so many wonderful patterns for quilting, and I have bought most of them!  I love being able to do my own quilting.  I feel that the quilts are totally my creation when I do the quilting myself.  I will try to remember to take beauty shots of my quilts from now on.  

Below is the quilt that is in the contest.  You can vote for it here.  Please?  I would love to win some of those great prizes, so I can make more quilts for next year's Challenge.  Either way, I'm a winner.  Even twelfth place means I beat out 901 other quilts! 

If you would like to donate a quilt to the Hopes and Dreams Challenge for 2015-2016, click here for more information. It's the least we can do to help and to spread awareness for a terrible and deadly disease.

The broken record continues.... Please VOTE.

I'm linking up to Crazy Mom Quilts for Finish It Up Friday

Thursday, September 3, 2015

A Little Excitement

I have been making quilts for various charities for over 10 years, always looking for a cause where my labor will be enjoyed and perhaps even appreciated. Two years ago, the Virginia Beach Modern Quilt Guild decided to support the Hopes and Dreams Quilt Challenge sponsored by Quilters Dream Batting.

I made and donated one quilt the first year. Actually, I was pretty proud of it. It's the multi-colored one in the middle.

I'm not too good at remembering to take pictures of my quilts, so this picture came from Facebook.

The next year, I was really on a roll and donated 8 quilts. I knew that there would be a prize for the guild that donated the most quilts, so I put some muscle into it. Tuesday, I received a call to say that one of my quilts was in the twelve quilts selected for a popular vote. The three quilts that receive the most votes would win very nice prizes for their donors.  I nearly passed out from joy! Just to have my quilt selected was such an honor!

More stolen pictures here.

Why am I telling you this? I would love to win one of the prizes!  Imagine a shiny new sewing machine, patterns, books, notions or a pile of fabric!

Here's where you come in: If you were to go to this site and vote for this quilt, I might just have a chance of winning.

While you are there, look around for information on how you can help patients with ALS, too.

Don't forget to vote!

I have ten more quilts in the queue for donation in October.  Lots of binding to finish up. I hope my quilts are blessings to their new owners. They have been blessings to me.

Linking up to TGIFF,  Crazy Mom Quilts and My Quilt Infatuation

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

One is Silver, the Other Gold

Last week, my friend Glory had her old friend from England visit here in SE Virginia. Suzie brought her lovely daughter, Alexandra with her. I am always so excited to hear that Suzie is coming. She has lived an exciting life, traveling to ALL parts of the world. Her stories are mesmerizing and always with a wry twist (she is English, afterall). Even with all her worldly advantages, I feel so comfortable being around her. She knows the world of servants, royalty and lets just say it, money. She came to my house for dinner when she visited last year and My Sweetie and I enjoyed every minute. She is a delightful guest. I will never know if she enjoyed the meal or was horrified to eat on the back porch with sleeping dogs near the table. She is just that gracious. Now I have the acquaintance of her daughter. So my friend's old friend is now my new friend. I love sharing, don't you?

Speaking of old friends, I have an old friend coming to visit on Wednesday. We have known each other since second grade, but I have not seen her since her wedding in 1976. Carolyn lived across the street from my family when I was in grade school. She had no siblings, but plenty of friends. Her mother was so loving and kind, always including every girl in the class for an afternoon play date some time during the year. I was always around. My mother worked, and back then you just let yourself in after school. Carolyn's mom often took me places after school with her as if I belonged there. Daycare? Sitters? My sister came home an hour or so later and was supposed to watch me, but it was more the other way around.

Anyway, we moved away after the 6th grade and like any childhood relationship, I cherished what was, but was unable to continue our friendship. I attended Carolyn's wedding, and talked to her a time or two after and just lost touch.

Several months ago, I came across Carolyn's e-mail address while looking for something else on the web. I wrote her a note, joined Facebook and was able to find several other old friends as well. Now I am in the midst of cleaning and cooking in preparation for her visit. I hope to post a few old pictures soon, as well as some current ones. I bet you will be able to tell who is who. Check back Friday for updates.

See that thingy over to the right? It tells where my visitors to the blog come from. I really wish they would leave a message so I could visit back. That's a hint.....

Thursday, October 28, 2010

A Parallel Universe

I have fallen behind in posting, but will make an effort to catch up in the next few days. Several weeks ago, my friend Isobel hosted a quilting retreat to Capon Springs and Farms. I was lucky enough to be included in the guest list. If you haven't heard of Capon Springs, you are in good company. Most folks don't know about them becaues they have never advertised. Never.
Capon Springs is a mountain resort in the West Virginia panhandle not far from Winchester VA. It is nestled between two mountain ridges and is named for the clear spring the bubbles up on the property. There are drinking fountains that run constantly on the property, but that is not the thing that really makes this resort unusual. There are no televisions or phones in the rooms. Cell phone reception is available only on the golf course. The only TV sets are in the recreation building. There are no locks on the doors. Really.
Whole families come here for a week at a time just to be together. Imagine. Just be together. Board games, card games, long walks, camp fires, reading by the fireplace and eating together. A parallel universe and it is beautiful, warm, welcoming and stress free.
This is where we stayed. That's Isobel in the red sweater.

Here is the dining room where three meals are served each day, family-style.
Since every day is a slow news day at the resort, the management asked if the other guests could come see out work. It took us about five minutes to put on the impromptu quilt show in the little auditorium. What quilter doesn't like to show off her work?

If you ever want to do nothing for a week, this is the place to go.
More pictures.....
It was such a peaceful place, that I just had to share. I didn't know that places like this still existed. Now I know, and so do you.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Like Minded People

Way back at the end of September My Sweetie and I attended the Mother Earth News Fair, a sustainable living extravaganza held at the Seven Springs Resort in Pennsylvania. I had skiied there years ago, but had never seen it without snow. It was a great choice for the fair.
We went up a day early to volunteer for Mother Earth News to help with the set-up and a sneak preview of the events for the weekend. I had the most interesting job of cutting strings and tying knots in the end for volunteer and vendor badges. Hundreds of them. This got me a pass for the two day fair. Well worth the effort.
Later in the day, we went to see Fallingwater, one of Frank Lloyd Wright's best residential designs. It was wonderful. So timelessly modern and filled with fabulous art. I would show you the pictures that we took of the house and each other there, but the guide said that all images of the property belong to the foundation and we would be shot or something if we published them anywhere (even on a blog). So you will just have to believe that we were there. Better yet, you go and see for yourself.
The Mother Earth News Fair was wonderful. There were about a dozen different seminars every hour on everything from raising chickens and garden cover crops to solar heating and organic gardening. I wished there had been three of me so I could see everything that interested me every hour.
I found this chicken tractor that was so well designed and attractive. Too bad it was sooo expensive and too big to bring home in the truck. I guess we will just have to build our own.
We took a break from the crowd and rode the ski lift up to the top of the mountain to get a better view. It was a lovely day. This was just the outdoor exhibitors. There were hundreds more inside. Isn't it amazing what can happen when like-minded people get together?
That night we returned to the campground for dinner and to see the medieval reinactment folks who were also staying on the same property. It was so much fun talking to them. I thought they would all be like Dungeons and Dragons dweebs, but it turns out that they were artists, social workers and other professionals. We even met an astrophysicist. Turns out that they are a really interesting bunch who know how to have fun.
I am so glad we bought a camper. We are going places we would never have gone otherwise.

Sunday, September 19, 2010


It seems that there is a lot of waiting going on here. Waiting for the weekend, waiting until things get organized and just waiting.

There is a new therapist moving in our office soon. That means that we need to prepare another office space for him. I hold veto power over decorating in the office. (Have you ever met a therapist who knew anything about decorating?) Anyway, My Sweetie has gone to get the new desk and file cabinet. I thought he was bringing it home........waiting.........waiting. Seems he took it to our office and is in the process of assembling the whole thing while dinner curdles over.

This is how it looks here. Waiting...

Meanwhile, the mess in the sewing room is getting better, but there are so many bags of quilts on the floor that I dare not take a picture of it to show here.

That is Buster on the left and our latest addition, Ollie on the right. I caught the only second that they held still all day.