Monday, January 31, 2011

No photos but have to share!

This past weekend I was honored to be a facilitator at a Navy Returning Warrior Workshop.  The purpose of these weekends is to help sailors and their families reconnect.  There are lots of valuable workshops and speakers presenting thoughtful, useful coping skills and strong support that will help to help the sailor and significant others make the transition back into a well functioning unit.  The events are for reservists and active duty who have recently returned from deployment whether they are single or married.  One of the events is a Banquet of Honor where the transition team makes a big show of truly honoring the service of the sailor AND the spouse or other significant person.  There were certificates of heartfelt thanks for both the sailors and their guest, and then each returning warrior was wrapped in a Quilt of Valor either by their spouse/significant other or a caring member of this support team.  There were many tears and lots of smiles.  Being part of handing over those healing quilts was so uplifting!  Many that I talked to the next morning said it was the most wonderful recognition of their service to country they had received.    Lots of hugs followed.
For all that make the quilts - kudos!  To all those who receive them - know that we support you and celebrate you for the service and sacrifice you have given as a sailor in our all volunteer service.

Friday, January 28, 2011


After months of snow in Minnesota, I was almost shocked to see absolutely no snow in Nashville today.  Intellectually,  I know that snow is not covering the whole world but am still surprised to see the reality of it all.  When we got off the plane we had winter coats and snow boots on.  No need for any of that.  Sure hope I have the right clothes to be in the warm weather.  It is 48 degrees.  Can't remember that temp in MN in the last few months.

Don't get me wrong, though.  Love all the seasons and don't ever plan to have back down south.  Also, hope all snow will mean that my pontoon boat will float easier this summer.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Chistmas Top Completed - Comfort Quilt Binding Finished

 My FIL and I worked on these blocks a year ago at Christmas time, but then I put it away.  I am trying hard to deal with the UFOs before we move in July, so yesterday this one got two borders and will fit on my queen-size bed.  (Ignore the brown and blue edges because that is another quilt.)  The back is going to be snowmen on a blue background, so we can use it until Feb.  I am just going to use meander on it because it is busy enough as it is.

The comfort quilt I made for my sister-in-law is finished and will be mailed tomorrow.  Despite the photo, I think it is a calming quilt.  She is going through chemo treatments for ovarian cancer, and I just wanted to let her know that she is loved.  I quilted it with meandering hearts.

I also quilted another wheelchair quilt that will be going to a nursing home in the next couple of days.  Binding is being stitched down tonight.  I love being productive.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

A Comfort Quilt

My SIL has ovarian cancer.  Her prognosis is good, but she is going through chemo and radiation.  Most people talk about being so cold whenever this happens so I try to make a take-along quilt for them to use as a hug and for warmth.  Teal/aqua is the color of the ovarian cancer ribbon.  This one contains lots of the same fabrics I used for my MIL's quilt and hope that will bring a little extra comfort to my SIL.  I am going to loosely quilt it using a high loft batting.  That will keep it lightweight yet provide warmth.  My goal is to finish the binding by the end of the week.  I will post a pix when it is done.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Another Quilt of Valor

 This Quilt of Valor was made from leftover backing and several other scraps.  Although not every red or white are from the same prints, it was hard for my husband and FIL to spot the difference.  This one is also a little longer and wider than the Heart Strings ones, but I am sure it will be perfect for someone to sleep under while healing.  I love doing freehand swirls.  I am sure that they are not perfect enough for some, but I think it just feels like I really enjoyed doing it.  As I was binding this one, I had a couple cozy little naps of my own.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Well, Winter does that to us!

My husband has not been home much, but he has been frustrated by the cold in his wood shop.  He builds furniture and turns bowls, wine stoppers, etc to relaxed when he is home, but since we moved north he has not been able to do much during Dec. through Feb. so he actually turns his thinking to quilts as an alternative.  When he travels he reads and works with different programs on his computer to design furniture.  We will have some new pieces come spring.  He is the type that likes to keep busy.
With his dad here, we are not on the go much when he is home, so today we played on the EQ and created a quilt for friends.  It will have 12 embroidered blocks and lots of charm squares.  The embroidered blocks are done.  He is helping me use up my stash, and keeping busy at the same time.  That being said, it is not something that was planned on my lists of quilts for the year, so he will be doing lots of the sewing and has also agreed to quilt it with meandering.  He does not do binding!
It feels good to know that even if quilting is not high on his list of favorites, he still appreciates them and knows the lingo, so when he is in need of something to do, quilting comes to mind.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Aches and Pains, but so much done!

I just attached a binding and will work on it tonight and tomorrow.  However, I have spent most of the last two days cutting donated fabric into strips.  Lots of this fabric is actually donated from my own stash, but I consider it to be for a great cause - Heart Strings quilts.  My husband and FIL have been assembling bags for Quilts of Valor, juvenile, and other ones.  They are a blessing.  All this being said, my back aches and my muscles know I have been busy!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Heart Strings / Quilts of Valor

These three Quilts of Valor were finished this week.  I put together the kits for each one.  I pieced the first one and did a few of the blocks on each other the others.  The others were pieced by other guild members and my FIL.  Then I quilted each of them and did the binding on the first one.  After I attached the bindings, the other two were bound by guild members.  What I like best about these is that although they are all random, the center strip makes them all look so different. 
Tomorrow I am going to attach binding to another Quilt of Valor that is not a Heart String.  I made it from the leftover pieces of backing on several of the other quilts.  Once I finish that I have another set of Heart Strings blocks to put together for Women's Advocacy.  Love doing these because each one takes on its only personality.  Of course, I do have a few of my own UFOs and other quilts to work on, as well, so I have quilting planned for the remainder of the year!  Doesn't that just make you smile!!  (Probably don't even need to purchase much fabric to make all of them a reality.)

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Sunday Report

I do not think that I have much new to report.  I already wrote about all the binding and piecing that I have done this week.  I did pull out a few of my UFOs, but I did not get to them because I got involved with trying to clear the piles of strings.  I will be working on the strings for several days for several reasons.  One is that I have a sore index finger on my sewing hand - a cut and some swelling.  The other is that I am facilitating another guild workshop for Heart Strings in Feb and I want to have all the strings bagged and ready to go.  These are the last strings I am going to cut while I live in this area.  Sure hope someone else is willing to take in the scraps, but I have to draw the line and this seems like the perfect time.  (I love doing charity work, but I don't know that I will have the space in my new location.)

Friday, January 7, 2011

Friday Efforts

I quilted 2 lap size quilts.  One was a HeartStrings, the other was a Quilt of Valor.  I put the binding on one but decided I have had enough fun for today.  Think I will watch a movie with my husband and finish the hand sewing on another binding.  Tomorrow is committed to making pillow cases with other guild members.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Ta-Da!  It is finished on my FIL's bed.  It is a beautiful quilt and Kevin should be very proud of his efforts.  This is only his second quilt.   If you read my other posts you would understand why there is such a long area above the embroidery designs.  It really is slick for covering the pillows.

I included several shots so that you can seen the top better.  By the way, Kevin built the headboard, dresser and quilt rack.  He is definitely multi-talented.

Mary Always Seems to Do More, but.............

I got the Quilt of Valor quilted and attached the binding.  I also loaded  another HeartStrings after supper tonight.  I will finish up the hand sewing of the QOV tonight and then get the other two quilts quilted tomorrow.  Saturday is all about making pillow cases.  I am just going to keep plugging away for the next week or two and see how many of the UFOs I have, personal ones, that I can finish at least to the binding stage.  I think there are 3 or 4 that are manageable before the end of the month.

Blessings to Those Who Care

I went to FabricTown to meet with a group of ladies that make Quilts of Valor.  My own guild has been making HeartString QOV with a few others thrown in to round out our current request, but I was in need of a few more to complete the numbers for an upcoming Returning Warrior Workshop.  This group of caring women have made many QOV over the last few years - I have even quilted some from them.  Helen also gathers quilts from other areas of Minnesota, as well, so a few of these are from other groups.  For all that these ladies do, I am grateful!  Thank you!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011


I finished the binding so it is ready for my husband's birthday.  He designed, pieced, and quilted this quilt.  He also embroidered the 7 wildlife blocks (see the pheasant).  It is his second one.  I did the binding as part of his birthday present.  Thought I would share just a bit of it.  It is going to go on the bed where my FIL sleeps when he visits.  It is pretty warm,but light weight so it will not bother his legs like many of the other heavier quilts I have made.  We decided that it would be very loosely quilted for that reason.  (Shhhh! my FIL does not know he gets to use it.)  The quilt also has extra length at the pillow end because my husband really likes to tuck and cover any and all pillows on the bed.  He did a great job on this one. 

I will unveil the whole thing when Kevin gets back to town.  I know he is anxious to see his quilt finished.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011


Quilt of Valor top - almost ready to quilt
  After my FIL's cataract surgery, he napped and chilled so I quilted.  The first QOV top is made up of leftover backing, almost did not have enough, but I managed to pull it off.  I am going to quilt it with free-hand swirls.

Quilt of Valor ready for quilting
The second QOV is one I made the last couple of days of 2010.  I am going to use a simple meander because the strips are really busy on this one.  I will post a shot of each once they are quilted.  I had planned to quilt it on New Year's but let my husband work on his. 

I love being productive!

Monday, January 3, 2011


Loading the Quilt
This is my husband's second quilt.  He not only did all the sewing, he designed it, embroidered some wildlife blocks, and quilted it.  His dad made him a label.  Currently, I am binding it as part of his birthday present, but he helped to maneuver the quilt while I attached it. 
Beginning to Quilt
I know that quilting is not his first love or even his 10th or 12th, but he does not like to just sit, so when it is too cold to be out in his shop building furniture, or traveling for work, he sometimes plays nicely with fabric.  Once I finish the binding, I will post.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Sunday Report #1 for 2011

Several of the blogs I read have had weekly and/or mid-week reports of progress.  I am going to attempt to do a rundown each Sunday after church.  Since there has only been one day this year, this week's report will be easy to do.

65 pillowcase kits:
Saturday involved cutting the last pieces of fabric for our guild's pillowcase sewing day.  I volunteered to be in charge, but I did have help with some of the cutting.  I had already sewn 29 cases for Quilts of Valor and will be counting them in the final total, but yesterday I finished matching up bodies and cuffs.  We have a total of 304 to be sewn together next weekend.  No more cases will be cut by me since I will be moving on in July.

48 Heart Strings blocks:Trimmed blocks made by another guild member.  Plan is to put it together today.

Embroidered designs from Forest Friends
from Amazing Designs
Finished sewing down the binding on one of my FILs projects.