Saturday, October 31, 2009

Two Questions

1. What does a quilter do on Halloween evening??

She quilts her creepiest, crawliest, scariest quilt for Hope Squared!

2. What does a quilter do with her one extra hour tonight???
She catches up on quilting projects!
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Wednesday, October 28, 2009


Look what came in the mail today?? I love Spoonflower and I love these labels-they will be a great addition to all of our Hope Squared quilts. A quilt arrived from Scotland today and it only took 6 days to get here-wow!
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Tuesday, October 27, 2009

More than 100 quilts!

After today's mail was delivered our Hope Squared quilt total rose over 100!! We are one-fourth of the way to our goal. People have been asking if I think we will reach our goal of 400 quilts-well, if everyone who has committed to help does then we should reach or possibly surpass the 400 mark. Wouldn't that be wonderful?? Until then, we are waiting for our custom made labels to arrive from Spoonflower, finishing off dozens of quilt tops, ordering bolts of batting, and answering phone calls and e-mails. Exciting times.
By the way, CRAFT HOPE was hacked this morning and so their site will not be available until it all gets figured out. If you have a comment or question about the project you can leave a comment here and I can answer them. Praying that all of Jade's wonderful work over there wasn't lost....why do people do that?

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Happy Birthday Grandma!

Today would have been my grandma's 86th birthday...well, OK officially her birthday is tomorrow. Seems things are a little different now then they were 86 years ago. Birthdays didn't carry the same weight back then, especially when you were baby number 9. So, when baby Margaret's first birthday rolled around, my great-grandma Bertha did her best to remember what day that was. She remembered Oct.21st and so that became my grandma's birthday for 64 years....until a few months before her 65th birthday when she had to obtain a copy of her birth certificate. Low and behold, she was actually born on Oct. 22nd! I love that little story from my grandma's life...makes me laugh!
Sometimes when a loved one is taken from this earth you allow yourself to imagine them still here. I indulged recently at a family dinner celebrating my mom and dad's birthdays. I imagined my grandpa and grandma arriving together and sitting side by side at the table. I imagined that my grandma ordered a beer (which she was known to do sometimes). I imagined my parents opening their birthday cards signed by my grandma. I realized it's the small things that I miss the most.
Today, I imagine my grandma would still be alive if two girls
hadn't made a really terrible choice 4.5 years ago. I imagine there would be no Margaret's Hope Chest. Not sure how I feel about all of this imagining....Happy Birthday Grandma!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Rule Breaker

It started off innocently. I had these two stinkin' cute charm packs that were patiently waiting their turn to be transformed into a stinkin' cute quilt. Then I just happened to be nosing around Moda Bake Shop for cute patterns that use charm packs....and before I knew it I had done this...



and then it was all over and now I feel guilty. You see, I was under strict orders (from myself)that I wasn't to start any new projects until I had finished off my 13 quilt tops for the Hope Squared Project. The pressure got to me and in a weak moment I caved. I'm guilty-I'm weak.
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Monday, October 19, 2009

Would you Put This on Your Car???

You can help us spread hope while you sit in traffic-now that's easy! Leave a comment if you are interested in one (or at least make me feel good by saying it is cool :))

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Thursday, October 15, 2009

Off to be Finished

I'm sending three of these tops off to Ohio tomorrow-someone there has offered to finish quilts for us. I thought that was a most generous offer so I took her up on it!
If you are following the blog at all you may have noticed that we are keeping track of the number of finished quilts on the side bar-20 so far. Today a quilt from Beth arrived-thanks!
Off to pick up my kids from school!
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Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Here They Come.....

The quilts have started to arrive! And my are they beautiful and diverse!


I know many of you are still creating your beauties and that is fantastic-you have until the 15th
of November to send them in.

We welcome the help of CRAFT HOPE who has launched us as their 5th project today! Hop over there and check them out-bookmark the site and consider helping out in future projects as well. A new project is introduced every couple of months and they all benefit some sort of charity.
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I received this quilt top on Sunday. I can't wait to finish it off and show you this beauty but I wanted to share a short story behind it-the woman who designed and sewed this top received a quilt from Margaret's Hope Chest back in February. Now, she is turning around and helping others. HOPE has come full circle-I love that!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

In Review

**I am reposting this because we have a whole new wave of visitors to our site who want to help with our Hope Squared quilt collection.**

I am literally bursting with excitement over MHC's fall project-HOPE SQUARED. We are partnering with Craft Hope to get the quilts made. Not familiar with Craft Hope? Click on their button on the side bar to see what they have been up to for the past few months and then take a few minutes and read what we are doing and consider helping us.

Margaret’s Hope Chest was born out of tragedy. Margaret Herrema was my spunky 81-year-old grandmother. She was also a wife, mother, great-grandmother, and volunteer quilter who was murdered in the parking lot of a grocery store in April of 2005. What prepared her family to walk the long and painful road of violent crime? Nothing. What guided them through the days and months of grieving and confusion? HOPE. Hope that there were people who cared. Hope that good would triumph of evil. Hope that her death was not an end but a beginning.
Margaret’s Hope Chest is a quilting non-profit organization that serves other people in seemingly hopeless situations. We strive to share with people around the world the HOPE that we have been given.
Over the past two years we have given over 100 quilts to children, adults, families, and organizations. Each quilt has joined a journey- a journey of sickness, death, abuse, fire, disease, disability, or new beginning.
This summer we stepped out in faith when we agreed to provide a quilt for each child in the Grand Rapids (Michigan) Public School system who is homeless during the Christmas season. The exact number will not be clear until November but considering the economic climate in Michigan it will more than likely be high (200+). Consider the journey of a homeless child. No house to walk into at the end of a long day, no couch to cuddle on and read books with mom or dad. No kitchen to walk into and help themselves to a snack. No bedroom to sleep in- nothing to give that child the security that a home brings.
What might a handmade quilt mean to a homeless child? It might bring warmth to a 5-year-old boy in a drafty room. It might give hope to a 12-year-boy who never had a handmade gift before. It might give comfort to an 8-year-old girl who wants something pretty to snuggle under.
This project is easy. We are calling this quilt pattern HOPE SQUARED. Make a quilt out of squares. Any size, any number, any color. Use up some scraps. Dig out your kid-themed fabrics and pair them with some bright solids. Please consider that all ages of children will be receiving these quilts-boys and girls. Base the size of your quilt on the size of the child you have in your mind as you create it. **If you are new to quilting and don’t know how to finish and bind a quilt or if you have limited time, you can construct the top of the quilt (the squares) and send that to us and we will gladly finish the rest for you.
The word excitement doesn’t even come close to describing how I feel about being this month’s project. I am hopeful that many of you read this and feel led to join Margaret’s Hope Chest as we bring hope to children, one quilt at a time.

We are collecting kid-themed quilts for students ages 5-17, boys and girls. The size should be dependent on who the quilt is geared toward-approximate size is 42x60.

You may send us quilt tops if you are unable to finish them-we will be happy to finish them off for you!
Quilts should be sent to:
Margaret's Hope Chest
630 Griswold SE
Grand Rapids, MI 49507

Deadline for this project is November 15, 2009

We have had an amazing response so far and I want to say thank you to those of you who have been spreading the word! My grandma would be SHOCKED that this many people from around the world were collecting quilts in her name!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

A Few Examples

Here are a couple of examples of Hope Squared quilts that I have finished (or am close to finishing). The dog and baseball quilts were fun to make-and easy! The four patches are made from 4 inch squares and the larger square is 7.5 inches.

Thanks for all of the opinions on the quilt mentioned in the previous post. I am leaving it alone for another day but what I ended up doing was going back to the quilt shop and buying the rest of bolt of the green fabric and I will do two quilts-the one I started and a second using some of the ideas that were suggested!

Can you believe I received a phone call today from a woman named Rose who is donating 20 quilts?! Oh, and by the way, we received our first donation in the mail yesterday from Cathy-thanks Cathy!

It's not too late to join us! The deadline for quilts is NOVEMBER 15!

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Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Are There a Few Opinions Out There?

I started this quilt last night when I should have been folding laundry :). Before I began it, I thought it would be nice for a teenage girl. Now that I have these 12 blocks made I am not so sure. The green print has Chinese good luck sayings on them-that's why I thought an older girl would appreciate it-maybe it is the primary colors that are bothering me...
So, I need a few opinions before I either continue or change. Do you like it how it is? Should I change the colors of the smaller blocks? Would a teenage girl like this concept?

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Monday, October 5, 2009

Phone Calls

Jennifer Ackerman-Haywood wrote a supurb article about MHC in the Grand Rapids Press yesterday. So good in fact, my phone has been ringing all day with offers of help. Fabric, a quilting frame, notions, quilt tops....and the best phone call was from a mother who read the article and asked if we might have a quilt for her daughter who is coming up on the 1 year anniversary of her partner's death. I believe we have just the quilt for her.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

A Few Thoughts

*After church today I was chatting with a kindred quilter about the Hope Squared project. She asked me why quilting always makes her feel so good and I remembered a quote by Pablo Picasso, “Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.” Do you feel that way? Does the intensity of your family arguments, whining kids, and burned dinners fade a bit when you sit down to quilt? It does for me and I think that is why I crave at least a few minutes (or hours!) of quilting each day.

*Speaking of family arguments, I had one this week with a family member about Christmas plans. I was pretty riled up by the middle of the week and then, then I had a thought that drew me out of myself and into the world of a homeless family.
WHAT DOES A HOMELESS FAMILY DO FOR CHRISTMAS? All the things that I worry and fuss about for the month leading up to Christmas focus around my HOUSE or an event in my HOUSE or in a family member's HOUSE. What does a homeless child worry about around Christmas.....Just thinking about that this weekend.

I will leave you with a picture of 6 quilt tops numbered, stacked, and awaiting their time to become whole. Maybe today.

Thursday, October 1, 2009


A huge hello to those who followed the link from Crazy Mom Quilts! Amanda Jean is like the GOOGLE of online quilters and I'm like BING-the wannabe-so this is HUGE! We need a hideous amount of quilts to fulfill this need so please leave a comment letting us know you are IN!
***EDIT*** I have had these questions a few times now so I will address them here.
1. Do the quilts need to be made of squares? No, we will accept any quilts and share them with the kids-the square thing is a general theme for those who haven't started a quilt yet but I understand that many of you have quilts started or finished that you would like to donate.
2. Please send completed quilts to
Margaret's Hope Chest
630 Griswold SE
Grand Rapids, MI

if you are Canadian you can send the quilts to
Margaret's Hope Chest
150A Finch Ave East
Toronto, Ontario CANADA
M2N 4R7
3. We will accept quilt tops if you are unable to finish them!

Some Hope Squared Tops

I love winning souls for quilting! I started working on my friend Jen last year when she stayed at my house for a few days. I knew she had an addictive personality so I figured she would be an easy convert-I was right. What I didn't expect was that she would turn around and instantly begin converting others.....she has her own Margaret's Hope Chest quilting group that has been meeting for about a year. They are about as excited about this project as I am and even though they are all beginner quilters they have completed these 3 tops in the past two weeks! They have a goal of 20 tops for Hope Squared! Awesome.