Thursday, February 27, 2014

More Quilts to 'A Mother's Hope'

 Look at these BRILLIANT quilts which were delivered to the Mother/Baby program this week!!  Again, I will gush over how each is so unique and special, just like the moms who will choose one to become a symbol of hope in their lives.
Please notice this quilt:

It is the first (of many) made from the log cabin blocks we collected earlier this year!  Isn't it cheerful?!  

A big thank you to those who donated these quilts of the last month.  You make our mission a joy!

We always need more quilts for this program.  This is an ongoing need.  Please see the details HERE and consider helping out!














Saturday, February 8, 2014

A Few Answers About Hearts of Hope

Here are the answers to some questions that have been raised concerning the Hearts of Hope project: 1.) The pixelated heart can be any size--it just depends on how big you make your squares.
2.) Finished tops/quilts can also be any size but our suggested size in 40X60.
3.) If you have a favorite heart pattern feel free to use it!
4.) If you want to make a rag quilt that is fine too.
5.) Marilyn, who has a long-arm quilting machine, has volunteered to finish off your quilts for you--you just have to send the quilts to her. Here is her address:  
Marilyn Lewis
425 Kirby Ct
Vacaville, Ca

95687


And here is a picture of the boy-themed heart block I made last night ;)

Friday, February 7, 2014

A New Project--Hearts Of HOPE

As promised, we have a new project that we would love you to get involved with.  This program we are calling 'Hearts of HOPE' and hopefully, it will benefit many, many KIDS!!!
The quilts that we make from this collection will go to three separate programs:
1. Kids of prisoners.  This summer and fall we will travel to THREE prison camps and give quilts to approx. 150 boys and girls who have a parent in prison.  If you have been reading here for awhile you know that I love these camps and these families.  This is a HUGE commitment but one we are confident that we can handle. Currently, we have about 5 boy quilts and 25 girl quilts.

2.  Village of Hope in Guatemala.  We sent them a group of 20 quilts last year when they opened their new facility.  They have now started constructing more buildings to house more precious orphan children who are HIV+.  My daughter Anne and I will be traveling to Village of Hope in November for a service project.  We would love to give them an additional 20 quilts for these new children.

3. Mitchell's Journey--In July of 2005 Mitchell was diagnosed with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, a catastrophic muscle wasting disease which results in progressive muscle deterioration and is fatal by late teens/early twenties. By the age of 10 it was that discovered Mitchell's heart function had deteriorated much sooner than expected. In less than a year he passed away from acute heart failure.
Mitchell's family has asked for quilts to distribute to other children who are in the hospital with heart conditions.  We are happy to help this family on their journey to healing and understanding. Here is something Mitchell's mom wrote about their quilt giving on Dec. 24, 2013:
SWALLOWED UP IN SERVICE
On December 24th, just as we were about to spend time at home as a family we delivered some gifts and quilts to Primary Children’s Hospital CICU (the same place that cared for our little boy). Nobody has cardiac failure on their schedule so you almost always end up unprepared to stay there. With that in mind we took some quilts that were donated to Mitchell's Journey and other gifts we gathered along with messages of hope to give to some of the families that found themselves there Christmas Eve.

We would like to involve as many Mitchell’s Journey followers as are interested next year and try to bless as many lives as humanly possible.

These quilts were donated by loving hands and hearts from Pipestone Minnesota. A follower of Mitchell’s Journey, Nichole Rieck, who has since become a dear friend to our family mobilized people in her community to help Mitchell’s Journey last spring and the echo of that effort continued on this day as these quilts found a home and tender hearts to comfort. A few of these quilts were made by Mavis Holt, an 87 year old woman, who hand sewed the most intricate works of warmth and art. Karla Whipple, also from Pipestone, Nichole, and others generously made beautiful quilts and donated them in hopes that it might help.

Our greatest desire was that those who found themselves away from the comfort of home and the flickering light of a fireplace but instead lay under the flashing lights of monitors and endless beeps found a little comfort that night.

As we parked the car and walked to the hospital I found myself struggling to breathe. For a moment it was hard to go back there. Part of me wanted to run down the hall in desperate search of my son. My knees were weak and my heart was racing as my eyes began to swell. Even though it has been almost a year, it felt like we were just there a few days ago. But as we walked toward the building and I saw my wife and kids cheerful and anxious to help others, my tears turned from sorrow to love and appreciation. Suddenly my heart, which moments ago, was heavy as lead became light as snow.

I don’t know many things, but what I do know is our sorrows can be swallowed up in the service of others. The moment we set aside our own hurts to lift someone else, who also hurts, both burdens are made light.



Isn't that beautiful??   We too discovered that our sorrows can be swallowed up in service to others.

So, my friends, we have so much work to do!!!  Let's start with these fun and easy HEART projects!!
Project #1--Pixelated Heart.  This is one so easy.  All you need is lots of squares!  My squares were 3 inches but you can choose any size you have handy.  I separated the the rows so you can see the pattern in each row.  This project can be for a boy or a girl.  



Sorry I didn't trim my threads--I only have so much time each day!!
 If you choose this project you have three options--send us just the pixelated heart, add a few borders to the pixelated heart and then send the finished top to us, or finish the whole quilt and send it to us.  Of course, we would love as many finished quilts as possible but we also understand that the time, materials, and talent aren't always there so do what you can!!

Project #2- Be Good to Your Heart Block (by Amy Smart)

This block tutorial on Amy's blog Diary of a Quilter is great.  I followed it last night (and this morning) to make this block. * There are many steps and you do need to read very carefully though. *
This makes a 12.5 inch block that I think is just perfect for this project. 
These blocks can be boy themed or girl themed.  I will be working up a boy themed one tonight just for fun. 
Please make as many as you can and send them to us.  We will assemble them into tops and finish the quilts off.  What a special gift they will make to any of the children listed above. 
Share your work with others and encourage them to join in!


The Hearts of Hope project will run until March 20th. 
Please send all completed blocks and quilts to :
Margaret's Hope Chest
630 Griswold SE
Grand Rapids, MI 49507
USA


Again, we are very thankful for so many who help us to continue our work of serving others.  What joy this work brings to us and others.  THANK YOU!


Friday, January 17, 2014

A Mother's Hope--One Year of Joyful Giving!

  As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands, one for helping yourself and the other for helping others--audrey hepburn

'A Mother's Hope' is one year old!  We have given over 100 quilts to mothers who are attending the Mother/Baby program at Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services.   

This is comment that one of the mother's who received a quilt left on our blog.  I can only imagine that there are 100 other ladies who feel similar to this:
"I was in the hospital back then and I have one of the quilts. You are right about the surprise that came when we were told the quilts were not for our babies. As new moms, we were used to giving everything to our babies. I found it refreshing to keep something for myself. It was an important lesson in self-care. It also gave me permission, in a way, to take care of myself. I think not taking care of ourselves properly is what brought us there in the first place.
It is difficult to put into words what this blanket means to me. I am crying even as I type this. What slays me about my blanket is the hand stitching. The pieces are machine stitched, which takes a lot of time, but the front and the back and the batting are all stitched together by hand. This must have taken a very long time. I often think about the woman who made it and her loving hands doing the stitching. Did she do it in the evening after supper while watching t.v.? Or did she sit around a table and have tea with her seamstress friends at a weekly quilting bee? Did she bring it with her to appointments to work on it while waiting, making use of idle time? I imagine it was a combination of all three. The quilt must have taken a long time. To think that a stranger had enough love for me to cause her to invest all that time really just breaks my heart ( in a good way). Thank you.
"

I could write 1000 posts about 'A Mother's Hope' and how much I appreciate our volunteers and the time, money and love they put into their quilts, but I think this comment means more.  I love the part where she is imagining who made it. If you want to get involved please e-mail Carin and she can send you the information you will need.
Here are pictures of the many WONDERFUL quilts that have been donated over the past 3 months!!
I think you will agree that each is unique and beautiful and will catch the eye of one of these moms!
Thank you to Sunny, Kathryn, Pam, Carol, Sherry, Brenda, Lea, Ellie, Jody, and Catherine for sharing HOPE in November and December.








Thursday, December 19, 2013

Quilt Finishes 2013

Well, it has been a l-o-n-g and busy year for me personally so my quilt production was a little low but I am always happy to go back and see what my quilting year looked like.  These are all the quilts that I finished--as in quilted and bound and ready to go.  I have several tops that I finished this year that are waiting their turn but I guess they will make it into the 2014 group.

I had a few personal quilts that I finished but the majority of the quilts were for Margaret's Hope Chest and have already found their new home. 
I hope you have had a quilting year that you can look back on with a smile!


















Friday, December 13, 2013

Finish It Up Friday--A Quilt for Clara

 
I have five children.  Three of those children have completed quilts.  Two of those children have quilts that are 'in process'. This week I finished piecing Clara's quilt. I have had this fabric for well over a year but I could not decide on a pattern for the quilt.  I needed blocks that were big enough to showcase the matryoshka doll fabric.  I finally settled on this kaleidoscope block and am quite pleased with the finished product. It will be quilted by a professional :) and then it will finally be placed on her bed. 



 I am linking up to Amanda Jean's Finish it Up Friday.