Sunday, October 31, 2010

Wrapped in Hope 2011!!!!

Today is November 1st--and that may mean many things to many people but here at MHC it means that I get to unveil the 2011 Wrapped in Hope list!! I am sure none of you are as excited about this as I am and that's cool--but maybe I can get you a little more excited about it by telling you a few things:
1. When I started the program in January of 2010--I had NO idea where we would go with this or if it would even work. I only knew that I wanted MHC to get involved in prison ministry in some way or other.
2.  We started with a goal of giving 80 birthday quilts to girls and boys who have at least one parent in prison.  We (by we, I mean people like you!) have sent 125 quilts to kids enrolled in this program in 2010!  In April of 2010, I had to stop adding names to the 2010 list and instead I began the 2011 list!
3.  The parents/guardians of the children who received quilts this year have been so thankful that this program exists.  Likewise, the kids have loved their quilts.  I have enjoyed reading e-mails describing children who won't go anywhere without their quilt from dad!!
4.  Many of the volunteer quilters who have joined us this year have expressed how much they have enjoyed this work--if you quilted for this program this year and want to encourage others to join--leave a comment on this post :)!
5. I will admit we have had a handful of troubles along the way--missing quilters, missing parents, mixed up addresses etc. but overall, I think it pretty much ran itself and we had a great first year.  I have made a few changes in order to avoid some of the same errors as last year and ease my workload a bit :)

So, are you a little more excited and curious about what we are doing?  Might you be interested in joining us in bringing HOPE and comfort to the children who are affected by the crimes of their parents?

  This year I have created a blog where I have listed all of the available children, their birth dates, and what their interests are.  Volunteer quilters can go to the blog, choose a child, e-mail me or leave a comment with their selection.  I will e-mail them back with a more detailed description of the whole process and the address of the child.  We will maintain the Flickr site where quilters can upload a picture of the quilt they have made.  
Currently, there are 88 children on the list--and many children with January birthdays so please head on over to the blog and check it out!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Quarterly Quilt Giving Update

It has been a few months since I have shared where our quilts are going.  If you watch the Quilt Ticker on the side bar you will see the number slowly climbing higher and higher--that can only mean one thing--we are continuing to give quilts to people in our community and across the country.
Here is what has been given from July-October:

~a quilt was sent to the Brown family in Kentucky.  Their son was murdered in 2007. Here is a bit from a thank-you note we received, "His parents came to see me with the quilt and a picture of Roy. Their hearts are still so broken but you lifted them up and the thought of a total stranger feeling their pain made it seem not quite so bad." 

~a quilt was sent to the family of an Indonesian women who was  killed in a tragic accident when she was hit by a car in Michigan.  A second  quilt was sent to the driver who accidentally hit the woman.  

~a quilt was sent to a mother and wife in Chicago.  Her husband stands accused of killing their son.

~a quilt was sent a young girl in Texas who was sexually abused by a teacher.

~ a quilt was sent to Beth in Mississippi who has experienced numerous health problems lately.

~ 4 quilts were given to family members of murder victims in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

~ a quilt was given to an elderly woman who was having a hard time adjusting to a new living situation.

~a quilt was given to a woman who is going through cancer treatments in Michigan.

~a quilt was sent to a woman in Kentucky who is in the late stages of breast cancer.

~a quilt was sent to Utah for a little girl with brain cancer.

~36 'Wrapped in Hope' birthday quilts were given to children all over the country with at least one parent in prison.

~91 quilts were given to children attending 'A Day with Mom/Dad' camp.

We thank our very generous quilt donors for making all of these givings possible.  We also thank God for leading us to each and every one of these people--it is our pleasure to serve them.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Polka Dot Obsession

Imagine my surprise when I realized just yesterday that I have a polka dot obsession.
I had decided to join the Goddess in Progress Triangle Madness Quilt-along.  Originally, I thought I would do a scrappy quilt because heaven (and my husband) knows I have enough scraps.  But as I poured over 3 buckets of 'scrappy' fabric I started to see a pattern; floral, polka-dot, solid, polka-dot, kid-themed, polka-dot.  Yes, I have a serious collection of polka-dot fabric. 
Why not embrace the obsession and make a scrappy polka-dot quilt?    
Will 100 different polka-dot fabrics look attractive together (with a little Kona charcoal mixed in)?
The world will soon know....

 Stay tuned for more updates on the progress of this beauty!
Just a small pile of polka-dots......

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Tick, Tock My Eyes on the Clock

Within the last few months, I have had several people ask me how long it takes me to make a quilt.  
Good question.
Of course there are many types and sizes of quilts--also, many levels of difficulty but I tend to make quilts that are kid-sized with a fairly simple pattern.
I have never kept track of how long it takes for me to make a kid-sized quilt but before this week my guess would have been about 10 hours.
Let's see how close my estimate was.

I needed to make a quilt for Dillyn who is 7 and loves University of Michigan, Star Wars, hockey, baseball, race cars, trains, and dogs.  
The first shocker was that I had material in my stash for all of his interests. Yikes!

Step One: Choosing fabrics--Wednesday 8:30-9:00 pm  
Time for this step ~ .5 hours
Total time for quilt ~ .5 hours

Step Two: Designing pattern--Wednesday 9:00-9:30 pm  
Time for this step ~ .5 hours
Total time for quilt ~ 1.0 hours

Step Three: Cutting Fabric 
                                       Wednesday 9:30-10:30pm  
                                        Thursday 2:00-3:30pm 
                                        Thursday 5:00-5:30 pm
                                        Thursday 8:00-8:30 pm 
Time for this step ~ 3.5 hours
Total time for quilt ~ 4.5 hours

Step Four: Piecing blocks--Thursday 9:00pm-10:30pm
Time for this step ~ 1.5 hours
Total time for quilt ~ 6 hours

Step Five: Ironing Blocks--10:30pm-11:00pm
Time for this step ~ .5 hours
Total time for quilt ~ 6.5 hours

Step Six: Trimming blocks--Friday 9:30am-10:00am
Time for this step ~ .5 hours
Total time for quilt ~ 7 hours

Step Seven: Piecing Top--Friday 1:30pm-3:30pm
Time for this step ~ 2 hours
Total time for quilt ~ 9 hours

Step Eight: Baste and Pin Quilt Top -- Monday 8:30pm-9:30pm
Time for this step ~ 1 hour
Total time for quilt ~ 10 hours

Step Nine: Marking the Quilt for Quilting--Monday 9:30pm -10:00pm
Time for this step ~ .5 hours
Total time for quilt ~ 10.5 hours

Step Ten: Quilting the quilt--Monday 10:00pm-11:00pm
Tuesday 12:30pm-3:30pm
Time for this step ~ 4 hours
Total time for quilt ~ 14.5 hours

Step Eleven: Cutting the binding-- Tuesday 8:30pm -9:00pm
Time for this step ~ .5 hours
Total time for quilt ~ 15 hours

Step Twelve: Sewing the Binding onto the quilt--Tuesday 9:00pm - 9:30pm
Time for this step ~ .5 hours
Total time for quilt ~ 15.5 hours

Step Thirteen: Pinning and finishing the binding-Wednesday 2:00pm-3:00pm
Time for this step ~ 1.0 hours
 Total time so far  16.5 hours

Step Fourteen: Trimming up the loose threads and taking pictures--Wednesday 4:00pm- 4:30pm
Time for this step ~ .5 hours
Total time for quilt
17 hours

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

A Divinely Appointed Quilt

It was Saturday evening three weeks ago.  The kids had been put in bed and my husband and I were sitting down to watch a movie--"Precious" Here is a bit of a summary from Wikipedia:

 "In 1987, obese, illiterate, 16-year-old Claireece P. "Precious" Jones lives in the ghetto of Harlem with her dysfunctional and abusive mother, Mary. She has been impregnated twice by her father, Carl, and suffers long-term physical, sexual, and mental abuse from her unemployed mother. The family resides in a Section 8 tenement and subsists on welfare. Her first child, is being cared for by Precious' grandmother, though Mary forces the family to pretend the child lives with her and Precious so she can receive extra money from the government.
Following the discovery of Precious' second pregnancy, she is expelled from school. Her junior high school principal arranges to have her attend an alternative school, which she hopes can help Precious change her life's direction. Precious finds a way out of her traumatic daily existence through imagination and fantasy. In her mind, there is another world where she is loved and appreciated."
If you have ever seen this movie, you know how difficult it was for me to watch.  At one point, about 20 minutes into the movie, I turned to my husband and said, "I can't watch this anymore".  The language was terrible and the abuse was disturbing. 
As I was watching the movie I had a dialogue going on in my head. 
'No one can possibly be that mean towards a child--this is an exaggeration.'
'No, it's not. Children are living like this every day.'
'A mother couldn't treat a child like that'
'Yes, a mother could'
'It's just a movie Carin'
'Is it?'

And then......
my husband got up to get a snack and my computer dinged--signaling a new message in my email inbox. I popped over and read this comment that Susan had just left on our blog for the 'Fall into Fall Giveaway":
"I know a little girl in a hopeless home situation. She has no father; in fact, no one knows who her father is. Her mother has openly said that she only keeps the little girl because she gets welfare money for her. This little girl spends every afternoon and all day Sundays with my friend and her husband, who are showing her what a true family is all about. I'd like to win the quilt for her to use at their house to remind her that there are people in this world who love her for who she is. I can guarantee that the girl would receive the quilt and be the only one to use it!"
I just about fell out of my seat. 
God was speaking to me and showing me a child who needed HOPE. 

The parallels between Precious and this girl that Susan nominated became obvious to me-
Two young girls around the age of 13
Two young girls being used by their mother for welfare money
Two young girls looking for a different world filled with the love of a family
Two young girls needing HOPE and comfort.
The difference was--one was FICTIONAL and one was REAL.
A couple of days later, I contacted Susan and told her that I would like to make a quilt for this girl--I didn't want to wait to see if she would win because I had received a divine appointment to make a quilt of HOPE for Patricia.  Susan shared that Patricia likes bright colors, especially lime green.
So I went to work on Patricia's quilt. 
Yesterday I finished it.
Susan asked me to add a label with the following Bible verse on it:
 Psalm 139:14 . . . "I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well."

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Thanks to everyone who entered our giveaway!  Many commenters added in their comment how hard it was to read about all of the little girls around the country who could use HOPE and comfort.  I agree that it is hard to know that we cannot give a quilt to each of the nominated girls.  I do keep the list of comments for several  months and I have been known to contact old commenters and offer them a if we didn't pick your number there is still HOPE!
So without further jabbering the winners of the Fall into Fall Giveaway!

My son Isaac picked commenter 3 and 25--commenter #3 was Just JaiCi's Crafts and she said "I have a neighbor who's little girl has a brain tumor! They found it on Christmas Eve of 2009. She was my daughter's bestie friend...and she cried every day at church that her friend was missing. She went through so much...she had to re-learn to walk and talk! It's amazing. She's come so far...but still has a long way to go!
Thank you."

And commenter #25 is Cris A and she said "The timing of this giveaway is just perfect. A friend of mine has an 18 mo old daughter who was just diagnosed with stage 4 liver cancer two weeks ago, and started her chemo last week. Right now they're hoping to "fatten" her up so she can go home this week. She is on the list for a transplant. The family remains hopeful. Kids are tough little cookies and miracles happen everyday!I was hoping to make a quilt for her but it will be a while before I have the time. And this quilt will be pefect for the chilly days ahead.
Thank you for the chance to win this beautiful quilt for little Lacy!"

I will be contacting these two ladies and arranging for the quilts to be sent to these little girls as soon as possible! Congratulations!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Is it the End of the Week Yet...

...because I finished this quilt last night-a few days behind ahead of schedule!
Oh, it is yummy.  All of the blocks were made from scraps that I begged off of Kelli at the summer work party in July.  She was gracious enough to give them to me and I hope she is pleased with the outcome! Have I mentioned how adorable her scraps were???? Take a look at the close shots below of a few of the individual blocks and you will see what I am talking about.
So, this is Amanda Jean's 'Fair and Square' pattern that she created for Margaret's Hope Chest this summer.  I have started a Flickr site where you can see all of the 'Fair and Square' quilts that people have created--the pattern is so very versatile.  If you have made a 'Fair and Square' quilt for yourself or for donation add it to the pool!  If you want a copy of the pattern e-mail me and I will send it--of course, we would love for you to make a top and donate it to us but you can also use it for your own personal quilting!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Getting All of My Pins in a Row

Does anyone else love the order of a freshly pinned quilt?  I wouldn't consider myself an overly neat and orderly person but I do get pleasure in pattern--especially in the realm of quilting.  Can't wait to show this quilt off when it is done--my prediction is by the end of the week :)

Monday, October 11, 2010

A Little Special Something

I am working on a little special something for a special girl who needs so extra love, comfort and HOPE! 

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Can't Stop Playing With This Fabric

Last week I received a set of yard cuts from the 'Cat in the Hat' line
I am having so much fun!  This is a doll quilt that will be donated to the Santa Claus girls in Grand Rapids, Michigan.  I have also made a child's size quilt and I still have enough left to make one more!