Thursday, August 26, 2010

First Prison Quilt Give-Away

Tomorrow morning I will be entering the Huron Valley Women's Correctional Facility with over 60 kid-themed quilts. When I leave I hope to have 45 less quilts and 20 more HOPEful moms and children. We have been collecting these quilts for the past 9 months--thanks to all who have donated fabric, quilt tops, finished quilts, or have quilted quilts for us!! I am really hoping to take pictures--we'll see. If you are reading this before Friday please pray for safe travels and a GOOD day filled with HOPE and COMFORT at the prison.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Summer Work Party With Amanda Jean From Crazy Mom Quilts!!

How Amanda Jean from Crazy Mom Quilts came to be at the MHC Summer Work Party at the end of July may very well be one of those mysteries I never figure out. Our relationship started over a random e-mail request about a year ago--it was me asking for one of her quilts for our quilt collection--she sent 3 :) and then blogged about us and BOOM! She still continues to amaze me with her generosity and willingness to help and support what we do. And so, as I planned our Summer Work Party the first person I asked to join us was Amanda. She agreed-again :) and even went as far as to design a quilt pattern called 'Fair and Square' for our use-more on that later in the post.

On Friday night we met for an evening of food, fellowship, and quilting at the Lasting Impressions Bed and Breakfast in Grand Rapids. Doesn't it look inviting?

Some ladies enjoyed the evening breezes on the front porch while sewing on labels....

...while others got busy sewing inside.

We played games...

...some required skill and others were just plain silly. This game was "See how many quilts you can pile on top of one person in a minute or until she passes out--whichever one came first. That's my mom under this pile....

...and this is Amanda Jean :) Yes, we like to torture our guests of honor!

There was a prize table FULL of treasures....

and TREASURES in the form of quilts made by Amanda Jean. This is her unveiling her quilt "Fair and Square" to the group. MHC was looking for a quilt pattern that was 'manly' looking, easy to cut and piece, could be varied, had no borders and was big enough for an older boy or man. Amanda Jean delivered!! This quilt is easy to cut and assemble, has countless variations, no borders and is the perfect size. We love it!

Saturday morning we met at my mom's church for 5 hours of quilting fun!

Amanda did a little teaching on her quilt pattern....

...and by the end of the day she was officially welcomed into the family--that's Amanda, my real sister Amy, my mom and me!
We expect her and the kids and hubby to come around at Thanksgiving and Christmas this year.

Overall, the weekend went well (in my opinion). It was a first for us, and a near first for Amanda Jean so I guess we all probably learned a few things. Personally, I learned you can never be TOO organized. I want to thank all of the ladies who came out to meet Amanda Jean and help out MHC. We came as strangers and left as friends :)
Thanks to Carol F., Kelli, Kate, Pam, Rebekah, Lorrie, Sharon, Arliss, Carrie, Nancy, Elaine, Jennifer, Pat, Marcia, Joan, Sara, Amy, and April--blessings to you all!

***If you would like a copy of the "Fair and Square" quilt pattern e-mail me your address and I will send you one--or I can send it to you over e-mail.***

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Where to Begin?

Two months ago, when I left for my summer vacation I never thought it would be this hard to be away from the blog. I missed showing off quilts and telling the stories of HOPE and comfort that our quilts can bring....I have missed some opportunities to spread the word about Margaret's Hope Chest and our mission....but, I am back now and I have so much to tell I hardly know where to begin.
Well, I will begin with sharing a picture of just a FRACTION of the fabric that we received from a generous donor! We have already started using it in our quilts....AMAZING generosity--thank you!

I was able to finish off some tops that I made this spring. I forgot to bring my free motion foot with me and so I was able to perfect the straight-line quilting technique :)

Maybe some returning readers remember me asking for help finding little custom made labels....well, though the help of one of you, I found a Joan on Etsy who made just what I was looking for. When she read our website and blog, she donated 200 labels to Margaret's Hope Chest!!! Wow, that was a surprise blessing. Thanks Joan!!! If you would like your own custom labels, visit BitsyCreations on Etsy. I used the first 30 labels to customize these pin cushions--how fun!

Monday, August 2, 2010

It's Times Like This I Miss My Computer

Hello again friends! I am at my local library here in Michigan using the free internet service. I miss my home computer right now because I really want to tell you about our fantastic summer work party this past weekend. I want to show you pictures of the fun we had and the quilt tops we created. I am excited to tell you how wonderful it was to meet Amanda Jean from Crazy Mom Quilts. But alas, I only have 9 computer minutes left here and that is not nearly enough time to tell my tales. I did want to thank all 22 ladies who spent a beautiful summer weekend quilting with us. Can't wait to be at my home computer in a couple of weeks. Please come back around August 20 and check it out!