Monday, May 28, 2012

Looking for KIDS QUILTS!

 It's that time of year again--time to go on a prison visit--yeah!!  This summer my mom and I will travel to Cooper Street Correctional Facility in Jackson, Michigan on July 27 and 28.  
On Saturday July 28th, about 50 boys and girls will be spending a precious day with their dad.
Margaret's Hope Chest has the pleasure of providing the dads an opportunity to give their child the gift of a quilt.  
But we need help (as always!).
We need more quilts!
Currently we have about 10 boy quilts and
15 girl quilts.  We like to bring between 60-70 quilts so that there is a selection (we never know the exact ages of the children that will attend but the range is from 4-17).

Can you help?  
Do you have a boy or girl themed quilt just waiting around for a good home?
Do you have some time to finish off a quilt top 
or start a new quilt?
Here is what I hope to be an encouragement for those who aren't sure if they have the time or energy to make a quilt for this program.

A couple of weeks ago, my mom shared the story of Margaret's Hope Chest with a group of quilters at an area church.  I wasn't there but I heard that she did an awesome job :).
During the question and answer period after her talk a woman raised her hand and said something like this:
" I have a real problem with your program and how it makes these dads look like heroes to their kids."
Well, as you can imagine I was a bit bothered by this comment and I couldn't stop thinking it. Finally, last week while I was making a special gift for my own daughter I realized why it bothered me so much.

This is the pillow I made my daughter for her 11th birthday last week-it says: 
"I am the best ME there is"
Look at that beaming face-she loved it! And guess what?
My mom made me a pillow for my 8th birthday with those exact same words on it and I loved it. I read those words over and over as a child. That pillow decorated my bed, it absorbed my tears after a bad day, it reminded me of my mom's love. It was an encouragement and a comfort. I still have it and it is one of my most treasured possessions.

Why are we giving these dads an opportunity to give quilts to their kids? The purpose of these quilts is not to make the dad, or Margaret's Hope Chest or anyone else look like a hero.  The purpose of the quilts that we make for this program is to show each of these children that they are the BEST ME THERE IS.  That they are SPECIAL and LOVED by their father.  

Margaret's Hope Chest also believes that each child is loved by their heavenly Father and He is the one who has given us this program and these families to serve.

And so, I know that there are 40 or more quilts out there that God will lead people to send because...

"You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit--fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name." John 15:16

Please help us show a child that he or she is special and loved.

We are looking for:
- kid themed quilts boys and girls but we always need more BOY quilts
-approx. 40 inches by 60 inches
-can be quilted or tied
-Deadline is July 25th
You can mail quilts to:
Margaret's Hope Chest
630 Griswold SE
Grand Rapids, MI 49507
If you have any questions feel free to e-mail me!
Here is a boy themed quilt I made a few weeks ago.  You can never go wrong with sports and race cars!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Bermuda Blues-Blogger's Quilt Festival

Amy's Creative Side

This is Bermuda Blues.  This quilt has been percolating in my mind since I moved to Bermuda six months ago.  If you have ever visited Bermuda you know how breathtaking the water colors are.  My creative mind needed to try and capture those colors.  I think the variations of water color around the reef that surrounds the island are what intriqued me the most. 
720 two inch half square triangles later this is what I came up with. 
It is a child sized lap quilt-measuring 40 inches by 60 inches.
There are 20 different blue hued fabrics.
I think it has fulfilled it's purpose
but with that being said I am working on a few more (I have left over fabric that has to be used!).
Thanks for taking a look at my quilt and if you ever have a chance to get to Bermuda-take it!. You just might fall in love with the water too!

Monday, May 14, 2012

What's New

 So, what is new?

1. I finished up ALL of the HST tops!  In total I was able to make 14 boy tops for Honduras, and 15 baby quilts for Haiti.  I would call that a success!  Here are the 8 that I made two weeks ago.  I will finish them off in Michigan because I don't want the extra weight in my suitcases!

2. With the HST project finally done I allowed myself to do something fun--I had been dreaming about trying to create a quilt that looked like the ocean water here in Bermuda. You would think that after working with 100's of HST blocks for a month I would be sick of them--but apparently I have a higher than normal tolerance because I created a quilt with 720 two inch HST's. Phew.  The top came together easily but everything after that was quite frustrating.  I used a variegated thread and stitching in the ditch on this quilt was nearly impossible because of the amount of seams.  But-it is finished and I really do like it-imperfect quilting and all.

3. I am currently working on a boy's quilt which I will come back and talk about later this week.  Having trouble quilting that one now I am going to tear out what I did last night.  Have a wonderful Monday!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

May/ June Project Hope--Ragged Squares

Happy May 1st!  I am very excited to reveal our next Project HOPE block--Ragged Squares--designed and tutorialized (made up that word and I like it) by a special friend of Margaret's Hope Chest- Amanda Jean from Crazy Mom Quilts. Hopefully, this summer Amanda Jean and I can pull together some local (West Michigan) quilters to put these squares into some fun rainbow quilts for kids! I will let you know when and where that might be happening--until then......we need some squares to work with!!
Please choose a color--any color--please keep in mind that these blocks are meant to be monochromatic.  You can take this survey below and let us know what color block(s) you are making.

After you have finished your blocks please send them to:
***Notice the new address for this project***
Margaret's Hope Chest
630 Griswold SE
Grand Rapids, MI

Project Deadline is June 30!!  Hope you can join us!

How to make a ragged square quilt block:

Choose 3 fabrics using a monochromatic color scheme. Pay attention to the value of your fabrics. Make sure that the fabrics read clearly when layered on top of each other. Play around until you find a combination that you like.

Cut 3 squares. The largest block is cut 9.5" square, the middle block is cut 6.5" square and the smallest block is cut 3.5" square.

Layer 6.5" square onto the 9.5" square. Center the block and pin into place. Eyeballing the position of the block is fine, no measuring necessary.

Sew 1/4" in from the edge of the center block. Backstitch a few stitches where you start/stop. The edges will be left raw.

Flip the block over. Use a very sharp scissors to CAREFULLY cut out the back layer of fabric, leaving approximately 1/4" of fabric from the seam line. Throw the cut away layer into your scrap bin.

Flip the block right side up and center the 3.5" square into the center of the block. Pin in place.

Sew the around the center square using a 1/4" seam allowance.

Once again, flip the block right side facing down, and carefully trim the center square 1/4" in from the seam allowance. Set aside the cut away layer as a scrap.

Flip the block right side up, give it a good press and the block is complete! Repeat as many times as you feel necessary and then mail the blocks to Carin. :)