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Thursday, December 20, 2012

What's Coming in 2013

Giving frees us from the familiar territory of our own needs by opening our mind to the unexplained worlds occupied by the needs of others.
-- Barbara Bush
Thanks to all who left such supportive comments on my post yesterday.  Isn't it a good feeling when you realize that you aren't alone in your thoughts?  It looks like many of us are ready to start 2013 by using what we already have to make our quilts.  I can't wait! 
So now I am here to write the post I was supposed to write yesterday--Margaret's Hope Chest 2013 Projects!
We have three major projects that we are looking at for 2013:
1. Wrapped in Hope--Quilts for children with a parent in prison.  We have committed to providing quilts for three camps in Michigan in 2013.  We need about 60 quilts for each camp--so we will need about 180 kid themed quilts!!!  The dates for the camps are April 4th, July 26th and September 13th.
We will not be creating a birthday quilt list this year for two reasons--1. God hasn't given us any children to add to it (that's a pretty big reason). 2. Things in my family life are a bit up in the air and will continue to be so until the adoption of our daughter is complete. The organization of the birthday list takes time and access to my home computer--both of which I will be short of over the next 8 months. I am sure that we will get requests for specific birthday quilts this year and I will post those on the blog when they come up.
We are asking that those of you who have, in the past, made a quilt for the Wrapped in Hope birthday list, choose a quilt(s) off of this year's list and send it to our address in Michigan. The 2013 list will be ready by next week--I will post a link to it here on the blog. These quilts will go to a child with a parent in prison. 

2. Postpartum Quilts--This project is so new that I don't even have a catchy name for it yet!  Maybe someone out there has a suggestion.  We have agreed to provide quilts for new moms who have completed inpatient treatment for postpartum depression.  These quilts are not for the babies--they are for the moms.   I had postpartum depression/anxiety after my 3rd and 4th child.  It was pretty terrible to be perfectly honest-especially after my 3rd child because it seemed to come out of nowhere.  I hadn't really had anything to this degree after my 1st and 2nd so it was a total shock to be virtually useless-sitting in a chair crying all day and awake and worrying all night.  I am so glad that in my hometown, there is a place where women can go to get help.  I am so glad that God is giving us a chance to give these ladies a quilt--a little piece of HOPE from other moms who know all too well (or could imagine) what they are going through.  I am working on my first quilt for this program right now.  Can't wait to show it and give you all of the details soon (including a program name).

3.  Project Hope-- I had a great time organizing four Project Hope collections last year.  It was a fun way for many people to get involved in a small way.  I have decided to go ahead and plan 3 projects this year.  More details to come on that too.

So, as you can see--God has led us to a new project and given us more work to do in areas where we have already been able to make a big difference.  We are confident that God has given us these projects and that he will give us the volunteers we need to complete them.  Thank you to all who will say YES to one or more of this year's projects. 

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

The Real Prize

Dear Quilting Friends,

2013 is mere weeks away.  I love the energy that comes alive in people as a new year approaches.  There is HOPE for new beginnings, new STARTS where there had been failures and new IDEAS abound.  This carries over into the quilting sphere as well.  New projects, new goals, and new energy create excitement for quilters everywhere.

But can I share one thing with you? 

I have noticed over the past year that the quilting blog community has been inundated with giveaways.  I have almost written this post three times over the past 9 months. It seems *almost* every blogger has sponsors who are giving away this or that in return for this or that.  Blog Hops provide endless possibilities for winning the next greatest fabric line, book or gadget. It seems that participation in just about any quilt-related activity also had some sort of prize or giveaway associated with it.

I have tired of the giveaways and prizes. I don't even read the posts on any blog (even my super favorites) that has the word 'Prize!', 'Giveaway!' or 'Sponsor' in it.  Why?



I have enough fabric.  I have enough rulers.  I have enough thread and gadgets.  I have enough books and patterns.

These giveaways only leave me wanting more instead of using what I already have.
I believe all of this commercialization takes a bit of the joy out of quilting.  I love to read quilting blogs for ideas, inspiration and a shared sense of community.  I have seen less of these good qualities and more of the not so good qualities lately.

Where am I going with this?

I guess what I want to say is--I would like to make a new start in the quilting blog world for 2013.  Let's turn from a world of 'got to have more' towards a world where we are so busy using the 953 fat quarters we already have that we don't have time to leave a comment for a 1 in 953 chance of winning more fat quarters.
I still believe that quilters are some of the most generous people out there--what else could explain the fact that Margaret's Hope Chest has given 1600 quilts away over the past 6 years without one single sponsor, giveaway, or prize for participation?
Our world is hurting and needs HOPE.  The gift of a quilt can bring that to a life--I have seen it happen over and over.  Don't lose sight of the real prize--make 2013 the year you use what you already have to serve others!

Blessings on your final days in 2012!

By the way, if you have a blog that is mostly giveaway free (I don't have a problem with an occasional giveaway) and supports the ideas that I have shared here--leave your link in the comments and I will add it my sidebar!  It will be fun to watch our progress as we use what we have to serve others!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

A Little Bit of This, a Little Bit of That

* I think I have received the majority of the blocks for the Project Hope--'Fun in the Middle' collection.
I am thankful for the 18 ladies who sent us over 400 blocks!!!  What fun it will be to put these together into 10 quilts for girls with a parent in prison!  My mom is coming to visit us after Christmas so I think we will have to take an afternoon or two to play around!

*Some have been asking what our plans for 2013 are.   While we fully recognize that God is ultimately in control of who we serve, we have made some changes for 2013.  Stay tuned later this week for our official 2013 announcements! We hope to have something that everyone can participate in!

*Thanks to all who voted for my daughter Anne's video----SHE WON THE GRAND PRIZE!!  We can hardly believe it!  Here is a link to the official announcement

*I have been a little absent from this space over the past few months.  I must admit that I have been distracted by a personal 'project'.  I spent the months of September, October and part of November making 180 laminated cotton bibs!

Our family is adopting a little girl from China and these bibs will hopefully pull in a little extra income.  I have opened a little Etsy shop so if you are in the market for a bib or a quilt (I have a couple listed) check it out!
Here is a picture of our little Tulip (her nickname until my husband and I can agree upon a name!).  Our family blog has loads more information on her and our process. So please forgive me if there is a little less activity here than normal over the next six months--we are busy growing this baby in our hearts!