Monday, April 30, 2012

Seven Years

Dear Grandma,
It's been seven years since your life on earth was robbed from you.  Seven years since we all said good bye and stood in your presence as your soul flew from this world.  Those are difficult memories to hold on to. I would rather cherish memories of Sunday pot roasts, card games, broken cameras, and recycling deliveries to my mom's house.  Yes, those memories bring a happy smile to my face and a lump to my throat.

Mom and I wanted to bring new and better memories to the day that marks your death.  Praise God that  through Margaret's Hope Chest we are able to do that.  Seven quilts will find their way to new homes today-like Christina's.  Her house is filled with 3 small children and some fear about what a diagnosis of breast cancer will mean to her family. Three year old Micah has spinal muscular atrophy and is confined to a purple wheelchair because her leg muscles won't let her walk. She loves pretty things--don't you want to see her face when she sees her new RAINBOW quilt?!  9 year old James lost his mom to cancer at Christmas--he is adjusting to a new school and a new life with his dad--we pray that a new quilt given to him by a new friend at school will be a concrete reminder of God's love. When Rick receives his quilt I hope that he remembers that there are others who care about him and his daughter--and they miss his wife too.  Will a quilt help to comfort Dominique and her family after a failed adoption? I hope so. And by God's grace two quilts that are going home to Liz and Denise-and maybe they will also travel with them to the hospital as they get treatment for cancer.
In your name and honor Grandma, seven people will get a little reminder of you--a gift of HOPE and comfort and a celebration of a life lived to it's fullest and a tribute from those left behind who love and miss you.

Give Grandpa a kiss for me--I miss him too.


Friday, April 20, 2012

Three Sets of 'Twins'

This week, in another episode of 'How Many Quilts Can You Make Out of Donated HST's?' I have three sets of 'twin' quilts to show.  I am short on words today (and long on unfinished housework!) so I will just post pictures and again say THANK YOU to those who send HST's--I have been working non-stop for 5 weeks and I still haven't reached the end of the pile! 

I am linking up to Amanda Jean's 'Finish it Up Friday' and going to clean some bathrooms! Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Emergency Quilter Needed

Hi everyone! We have need for an emergency quilter for Tre who will turn 13 on May 5.  His original quilter was in a car accident last week and can't finish his quilt.
Here are some of Tre's favorite things:
Dogs, Cats, Football, Blue, Black and White
Sounds like a fun one to make or maybe you already have something made that would fit this description.  Please e-mail me if you can help. Thanks!! 

God is so good--he provided a quilter for Tre in just a few short hours!  Amazing--thank you Julianne!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Fifth Anniversary Quilt Giveaway!

Almost Thirty-seven Years Ago... 

*my mom (I am assuming) took this picture of my grandma holding me. I was her 3rd grandchild (out of a total of 17!.

Seven Years ago....

*my 81 year old grandma, Margaret Herrema was pushed to the ground during a purse-snatching in a grocery store parking lot.  She suffered a fatal head injury and died on April 30, 2005.

 Five Years ago....

*my mom and I started Margaret's Hope Chest on the two year anniversary of my grandma    Margaret's death.
*we had zero volunteers.
*I lived in Armenia and had 3 small children.
*we had no fabric except our own personal stash.
*we have given away zero quilts.
*we had no idea what an amazing journey God had planned out for us!


*my mom and I are still co-directing Margaret's Hope Chest--she runs the 'home-front' operations-sending quilts, collecting quilts, attending quilt guild meetings, speaking to local groups in our home town. I handle the internet operations-blog posts, e-mail communications with volunteers and recipients, and planning projects.  We both make quilts.  
*we have somewhere around 100 volunteers--although close to 400 ladies have helped us over the past 5 years.
* I live in Bermuda and have 4 small/not so small children.
*we have an amazing collection of donated fabric!
*we have given away 1378 quilts!
*as we look over our shoulders at the past 5 years we are amazed at the path that God has led us on.  It is amazing.

 We Are Celebrating Five Years by Having a Giveaway!

We are giving away 5 quilts to celebrate 5 years!
Do you know someone who could use a gift of HOPE and comfort?
Look around at those in your neighborhood, school, church, workplace and family.
Does the name of a man, woman, or child come to your mind?
Quilts don't take away death, sickness, sadness, or loss but they do bring comfort and HOPE-and a sense that someone else cares. 
   You have a chance to nominate someone to receive one of the following quilts:

#1-A quilt for a man or older boy.
 #2--a quilt for a younger boy (cowboy themed)
 #3- A quilt for a younger/middle ages girl.
 #4- A quilt for a young child (boy or girl-farm themed)
 #5-A quilt for an older girl (teens) or a woman.

Here is how to nominate a person you know:
1. Leave a comment or send an e-mail with the first name of the person you are nominating, why you are nominating them and the number of the quilt (1-5) you wish for them to receive.
2. Please include your e-mail address so I can contact you.
3. BE SURE YOU HAVE THEIR MAILING ADDRESS or a way to get it if you 'win' the quilt for them.
4. Check back here on April 27 and see who the quilts are going to--I will also e-mail the 'winners'(we will choose recipients through a random draw).
5. The quilts will be mailed on April 28 and they will arrive at their destination on April 30th--the 7th anniversary of my grandma's death.  On that day, even though our family will grieve, it is our desire that these quilts will bring HOPE and comfort in Margaret's honor.

I am linking to Quilt Story
Fresh Poppy Design

Friday, April 13, 2012

Fabulous Friday Finishes

**A reminder that the March/April Project Hope is still going on.  Please consider making String blocks for birthday quilts for children who have a parent in prison.  All the information is HERE.  Blocks can be sent up until April 30th (or a little later :))**
This week in addition to some more HST quilt tops, I wanted to show you some progress I have made into making my new house in Bermuda a home.  This is my bedroom-well, our bedroom.  It was the last room in the house to get a little TLC and a personal touch.  I wanted to incorporate blues into the room because it reminds me of the beautiful water colors here.

I finished these curtains last week--I love all the different blues.

Oh, and just in case you wonder what I do when I am not parenting and sewing (which is about 30 minutes from 10:45pm -11:15pm) I enjoy reading a wide variety of books.  Here is the current stack next to my bed.  I actually just finished 'Bittersweet' by Shauna Niequist and I really liked her style of writing-like a journal.  I am currently reading 'Same Lake, Different Boat' which is about learning to include people with disabilities in our lives.  Did you know that I was a Special Education major in college? Yeah, I have a huge bursting heart for people with disabilities especially those with Down's Syndrome.  As you can see 'The 100 Thing Challenge' is next in line.  I am a little nervous to read this book because I am afraid he is going to suggest that my life would be better if I got rid of some of my fabric!!! 
Anyway, back to my bedroom....
My sister, who was visiting from Chicago this week,  made me these pillows last night.  Isn't she grand?!  See, she knows how to put in an invisible zipper which makes her even grander.
The orange is a voile--ooh la la! Fancy.  Don't worry, my kids can sniff a new pillow from a mile away and soon these four beauties will be incorporated into the world's biggest and best living room fort.

That is my 'ocean-view' from my bedroom window.  (the ocean is that darker blue under the lighter blue)

I did get lots of sewing done this week--even with 11 people in the house....
Seven more HST tops.  These are all baby quilts.

And last but not least, I sandwiched and pinned the airplane quilt which is now on it's way back to Michigan where it will be hand-quilted.  I hope to see it again in June :) 

Linking up to Amanda Jean's Finish it Up Friday!!
Have a great weekend!
I'll be back on Sunday with a special GIVEAWAY in honor of our 5th anniversary and the 7th anniversary of my grandma's death.  Until then, maybe you can think of someone you know that is in need of HOPE and comfort......

Monday, April 9, 2012

Quarterly Quilt Giving Update

Our last giving update was in the beginning of November and since that time our quilts have gone to the following people/places:

*37 birthday quilts have gone to children in our "Wrapped In Hope" birthday quilt program for children who have a parent in prison.  

*We have given 10 other quilts to family members and/or children of prisoners that were requested - these were adults and children. 

*A Christmas quilt went to the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans.  

*Diane, Dale, Pati, and Ellen got quilts for their time in treatment for cancer or other medical issues, and Judy received a quilt as she mourned the death of her mother and sister. 

*Two women in Texas each received a quilt - one to a mother mourning the death of her son by a hit and run driver, and the other to the driver responsible for that teenager's death. 

* Two different families in Alabama were sent quilts as they rebuild their homes destroyed by tornadoes last fall.  

*15 quilts went to the Salvation Army Family Services organization.

*14 quilts went to the International Fellowship church as they reach out to recent refugees living in the Grand Rapids, Michigan area.

* 25 quilts went to the Father Fred Foundation in Traverse City who minister to under-served persons through a clothing and food bank. 

*One quilt traveled to Indiana as part of a fund-raiser for the VanderMeer family who are adopting a child from Haiti.

That is a total of 112 quilts given in the past 5 months.  It is always amazing for me to see the 'bigger picture'.  The big picture is this: God continues to bring us volunteers who continue to make quilts.  He continues to bring people to our attention who need HOPE and comfort. He continues to give me and my mom strength, time and resources to run Margaret's Hope Chest.  We are coming up on our 6 year anniversary and to date we have given 1,378 quilts--to God be the glory!!



Friday, April 6, 2012

Bet You Can't Guess What I Finished This Week....

 Yep, more HST tops.  I am up to 8 finished tops and I love each and every one of them.  Aren't these great bright tops?  I think they will look so amazing on the beds of 24 boys in Honduras.  I might even need to go down there are see them in person :)  
Now it is back to the designing board--I have 263 more HST's to fit together into 20 (?) more tops.
Good thing my sister arrives tonight for a week--and it looks like there is a bit of rain in the forecast :)
Have a wonderful weekend.  We are off to a Good Friday service followed by a church picnic and kite flying which is a HUGE tradition here in Bermuda.  I will share any cool pictures I get.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Adding Four New Kids to the Wrapped in Hope List

Happy Wednesday!
I am having a very busy and emotional week so far--lots of cleaning, cooking and sewing, thinking, dreaming, wondering and worrying.  I am tired.  I realized again this afternoon that Satan is very sly and clever-he delights in creating disunity so that the work of Christ might be interrupted.  Trying hard to keep that in my mind for the rest of the week.

Meanwhile, our 'Wrapped in Hope' birthday quilt program just grew by four!  Four special children need a quilter to make them a quilt--are you that quilter?  Here are the new additions!

Sonny will be 4 on July 11--He loves baseball, soccer, football.  Spiderman, Batman, and blue and red.
Bianca will be 6 on July 23--she loves Disney princesses, flowers, Strawberry Shortcake and the colors pink and purple.  Teresa

Eric will be 4 on June 18--he loves dinosaurs, cars, red and blue. Lynn

Yaleana will be 8 on April 28--She loves pink, purple, yellow, cheerleading, and puppies. Anita

E-mail me or leave a comment if you can add some HOPE and comfort to these lives!