Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Hope Squared Quilt Giving





Yesterday I had the immense pleasure of delivering 75 of the Hope Squared quilts to the Salvation Army in Grand Rapids. These pictures are of the teen moms who live there. They are ages 13-17 and are either pregnant or a mom to a little one or two. Can you imagine the amount of support, love and hope they need to keep trying everyday? It is my prayer that these quilts will be a concrete symbol of hope and determination. They loved their quilts and rumor has it (from a Salvation Army employee) that this morning some of the girls were still wrapped in thier quilts!


 
 
 
Posted by Picasa

Friday, December 18, 2009

Personal Quilting

Just in case you thought I only did quilting for Margaret's Hope Chest....
here is a little proof.
 
I was snooping around the internet last night and I visited Jennifer Chiaverini's website. Do any of you enjoy her books as much I do? I just love reading about quilters (actually, I went to the website to snoop around and see if Elm Creek Quilts really exsists-because I want to be a camper :)Sorry, it doesn't really exsist). Anyway, I came across this project and decided to make a block and add Margaret's Hope Chest to the charity list. Maybe you want to join too! It was fun to play around with "adult" fabric again.

I also saw that Sew, Mama, Sew has this "contest" going on. Do you know someone who might be nominated? I have enjoyed reading about others that have been nominated like Crazy Mom Quilt's Amanda Jean and Jade Sim's Craft Hope!! If they win I would be happy!
Posted by Picasa

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Another Finished Top

 
 
 
I continue to plug away at tops that we recieved for the HOPE SQUARED project. I finish one about every 3 days or so. At this rate I should be done with them around this time next year!!!! Seriously, we got 150 quilt tops!! Yikes! I am NOT complaining--I am thankful for the opportunity to get really good at machine quilting :)

The quilt giveaway on Tuesday went very well. Here is a comment from one of the ladies who works at this particular shelter;

"Cannot thank you all enough for the beautiful gift of quilts for our guests last night. It couldn't have happened to a nicer group of kids. I am still in awe of the joy on the children's faces when receiving the quilts. Priceless!

Thank you for making it such a special evening with the books, music and treats."

Pictures are still coming-when I get them I will post and describe the mission of this particular shelter in Grand Rapids.
Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Emotional Oxymoron

I am not sure there is a word that describes what I am feeling today. It is a cross between hope/excitement and disappointment/sadness.
I am excited and hopeful because this evening in Grand Rapids, a group of volunteers will be distributing quilts to 10 wonderful children! This will be the first giving of HOPE SQUARED quilts! My friend Jen has gathered 6 people to play games, read books and share yummy treats with these kids. I so wish I could be there but ya know I live 6 hours away....but I did ask a professional photographer to go along and capture some great shots of both kids and quilts. Can't wait to see the pics!! Pray for these volunteers as they share HOPE with the kids and their parents.

I am disappointed because I spent all weekend working on a quilt for Peyton, and he died this morning before he was able to be wrapped up in it. That sounds really selfish.
I am sad for his family, for his mom and dad. I am sad because I have 4 beautiful healthy children and I KNOW that life is so very fragile and everything could change at any moment.
My hope now is that this quilt will bring comfort and hope to his family--he has 3 brothers and a sister.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

 

Another beautiful top finished. Can you tell that I picked all the best tops to finish off myself? I guess that is one of the perks of being the boss-first dibs :)
Look at the detail on this top. Each of the pieced blocks is it's own masterpiece! Another great contribution by a talented quilter! I happened to have the coordinating yellow fish print for the backing-love it when that happens!
 
 
 


With all of the quilt collecting chaos going on over the past two months I haven't had to a chance to talk about the quilts we have given to other families and individuals.

*A quilt was given to a family from Kalamazoo, MI who lost their house in a fire last month.

*The Perez family of Grand Rapids received a quilt to comfort them as the one year anniversary of their daughter's untimely death approached. My mom was able to hand deliver it and offer them some encouragement and hope.

*A young girl requested a quilt for her friend who has cancer. We were happy to give her a special quilt to share with Raegan.

*A beautiful quilt was sent to Amber in Michigan--her mother asked us to send her a quilt for comfort as the year anniversary of her partner's death comes closer.

*A family in Maryland recieved a quilt after the baby they were carrying was born too early and died.

* 5 quilts were given as Christmas gifts to the spouses of 5 Alzhiemers patients.

*This year, Jane from Massachusetts will be celebrating her first Christmas without her husband-who died quite suddenly this summer. We sent her a quilt for comfort and strength.
Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Finished Tops

As we continue to finish the quilt tops that we have received, I will post pictures of them here on the blog and add them to the photo gallery.
 
 
 
To say I fell in love with this black/lavendar quilt would be an understatement. I enjoyed every minute we had getting to know one another. Kudos to the quilter who pieced this quilt!
 
I loved this top too--someone will be sure to like North Carolina basketball! I backed it with a piece of fleece to make it nice and warm!
Posted by Picasa

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Labels

I have had two comments from people who don't see their quilt amongst the 436 we posted in the Picasa album--there was some confusion last week at "quilt central" (aka my mom's house) whether or not there was a bag of quilts being labeled by a volunteer and therefore would not be photographed by myself (remember that I live 6 hours from quilt central). These two comments from loving quilt-makers confirm in my mind that indeed, there was a bag of quilts that were not photographed. I apologize for this--managing 500 quilts is a huge job and we have learned a few lessons from this project in organization :). If you are worried about whether we received your quilt, please send me an email or leave a comment with your name and a brief description of your quilt. We will confirm with you the status of your quilt. I have faith that they have all arrived but there is a possibility that one or two were misplaced :(

Speaking of labels.....did you know that each quilt will be labeled before it is given to a homeless child? Sounds like a lot of work doesn't it? Not when you have help!

 


A big thank-you to a special group of family and friends who, over the past several weeks, have been hand-sewing labels on more than 300 quilts - Aunt Bea, Jan, Connie, Hermie, Jean, Sue, June, Helen, Ruth, Nancy, and Aunt Ruth. We couldn't have done it without them!
Posted by Picasa

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Hope Squared Quilt Gallery

Do you have a few extra minutes today? Click HERE to view the quilts we received for the HOPE SQUARED project. While you are there please add a comment or two and encourage the women who sent us these amazing creations! If you sent a finished quilt to us and you see it (which everyone should) please add your first name and where you are from under the picture!
If you sent us a top--we are still finishing those and they are not included in this web album. Once again, blessings to those who shared their time and talents with the children of the Grand Rapids Public Schools!!

My Cat

Frequently, as I browse other quilters blogs, I run across photos of their cats. It seems cats have a fondness for quilts-especially when the quilter is trying to take a picture. Well, I have my own cat. His name is Josiah and he is jealous of my affection towards quilts. This weekend, I was trying to photograph 500 quilts as quickly as possible and he was right there in the middle. Finally, I decided to postpone my picture-taking until the "cat" was napping!
 
Posted by Picasa

A Few of My Favorites

 
 
 
 
Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

It's In the Details

I just got back from spending 6 glorious days with 500 of the most beautiful quilts I have ever seen! I photographed each one of them and can't wait to share them with you. They are UNBELIEVEABLE. Really.
Just look at some of these details...

 
 
 
 

Such care was taken on so many of the quilts. Details like this say to a child "You are special" and "You deserve my time and attention". I love it when strangers affirm a child's worth-that brings HOPE.

I have so much more to share so please come back everyday this week for more neat DETAILS!!
Posted by Picasa

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thanksgiving

I would remiss if I didn't stop for a few minutes this Thanksgiving and thank God for all of the wonderful quilters who made the HOPE SQUARED project a success. Our quilt count will hit 500 this weekend as the few "late entries" arrive!
I am so thankful that my mom and I are up to our eyeballs (literally) in quilts.
I am thankful that we are able to GIVE to others.
I am thankful for each person reading this blog.
I am thankful for each person who made a quilt and sent it to us over the last 2 months.
I am thankful that good has triumphed over evil.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Look What I Got Done Today!

 
Did you know that you can machine sew your bindings down and still have the same crisp look of a hand sewn binding?
I finished FOUR quilt bindings in about 2 hours today and it's all thanks to Red Pepper Quilt's lovely binding tutorial that was posted today. This tutorial shares how to eliminate the final time-sucking step of hand sewing the binding down. I needed this tutorial like a car needs gasoline--I have about 13 more quilts to finish in about, oh, 3 days. Anything that can save me dozens of hours in a lifesaver! Check it out!
Posted by Picasa

Thursday, November 19, 2009

International Day @ Margaret's Hope Chest

Today I wanted to focus on the quilts we have received from International locations. Pictured below are the finished quilts that came from Canada-I also have two tops that I have finished off except for the bindings (which I always mean to do in my "spare time" after the kids are in bed...hmmm..I wonder why they aren't done yet) and I will post pictures of them when I am done because they are great.

Just today we recieved quilts from Switzerland, England, and the Netherlands!

In the past few weeks quilts from Scotland and Uraguay have arrived. I know there is a package somewhere in the world's mail system from Turkey.

Not a bad turn-out for a couple of gals from West Michigan!


 
 
 
 
Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

400!!!!!!

8 quilts arrived in the mail today which raises our total to 400!!! God is faithful folks and I will take a few sentences here to testify to it. In late July I walked away from the Grand Rapids Public Schools Administration Building knowing that there had to be a way for Margaret's Hope Chest to provide a quilt for EVERY homeless child in the district. I had no idea what that way was going to be.

N.O. I.D.E.A.

You see, we are a small operation. V.E.R.Y. S.M.A.L.L. Like me and my mom and 10 volunteers kinda small.

But God knew.

He knew that Jade from Craft Hope would choose us to be their 5th project.
He knew that Amanda Jean from Crazy Mom Quilts received a special quilt when she was a child and would have a soft heart for our project.
He knew that Jennifer Ackerman-Haywood from Craft Sanity and the Grand Rapids Press would take so much time and care in telling our story.
He knew that many of you would add our button to your blog-spreading the word further.
He knew that each and every person who sent us a quilt would invest the time and money needed to serve the children of Grand Rapids.
He knew it all and that's why today I can rejoice with you over 400 beautiful handmade quilts and quilt tops ready to be shared with those needing a bit of extra HOPE.

Monday, November 16, 2009

So Close

We are sooo... close to our goal of 400!! Let's hope at least 8 ladies were a bit beind in their quilt making and sent them in late :)!!! Come back tomorrow and we'll celebrate!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

For Your Viewing Pleasure

This is a video of a news story about Margaret's Hope Chest from Friday afternoon. The woman interviewed in my Aunt Marcia. She is a Kindergarten teacher in Kalamazoo (about 45 min. south of Grand Rapids) and she organized a quilt top making party at her school for our HOPE SQUARED project. Thanks to all of the students and volunteers who made this happen! 30 children will be blessed through their work!

***You have to use the fast forward tool on the bottom of the video player to minute 5:15 to watch the story--sorry, I couldn't find a video of just this story***


Friday, November 13, 2009

A Few More Days Like Today.....

and we will reach our goal!!! 45 quilts today!!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

The Motherload

AFTER:

24 boxes arrived in the mail today. The mail carrier expressed some curiosity over the number of packages my parent's have been receiving :)...so my dad gave her a copy of the newspaper article describing the Hope Squared Project and suggested she read it when she had a few minutes. We'll see what she says tomorrow.
In total there were 42 quilts added to the lot today...400 still looks a far way off but I have faith that God knows exactly how many we need to serve the children!


BEFORE:

Monday, November 9, 2009

Wait a Minute Mr. Postman

Come rain, snow, or sleet the United States Postal Service (and FedEx, UPS, and Canada Post!) are delivering quilts every hour of the day!! Our total now is up to 225-and I don't think that number will stay for very long. Oh how beautiful these quilts are. We are completely humbled by the generosity of the quilters of the world. Some of you are spending close to $20 to send these quilts and fabric to us....add that to the cost of the quilts and the time spent constructing them--wow! Will we ever be able to say thanks enough?


 
 
 
 
Posted by Picasa