Sunday, December 1, 2013

Delayed Nov Meeting was productive

How nice to be able to get together and get some things accomplished... After diligently working over the past 10 months on this one (creativity takes time as no pattern was used), it's nice to get this pin-basted and partially machine-quilted at the meeting. I'll finish it at home and the binding is all pieced (scrappy blues), so trimming and sewing it one will be done by the end of Thanksgiving weekend. Hope to hand sew the binding (second edge) during my favorite show on Sundays (The Amazing Race).

Ready to be pin-basted.

 As usual, two of my most ardent sewers, brought in some finished quilts (just need a label). Mary Ellen named this at the meeting and we got it blessed at the Sunday service the following weekend.
Mary Ellen's "How Green is my Valley"

Backing is like the wine country
Not sure what to name this one, but it seems like it should have something to do with 4-patches, baby blue blocks, etc... something. I think it will be "4-Patch Hopscotch"
Kathy's baby quilt

This was an easy one of Kathy's to name...lots of lovely 9-patch blocks surrounding a cute hummingbird couple.
Kathy's "Hummingbird 9-Patch"

Center block of the quilt above

This was brought is as a top, so we'll add it to the pile that we'll sandwich in January. I needed to have someone count the quilts that need to be sandwiched for the "Sandwich Style" meeting, but I've since forgotten how many... I'm sure it's close to 12. (This one may have 'wrinkles in the borders', but I'll check it out later. Will probably name it, "Vintage Purple Diamonds"
Kathy's quilt made from Marilyn's fabric blocks.
I have a number of our 'excess quilts' that will be going to Janice Grimes who is heading the Quilts for Compassion group and they will go to comfort those affected by the recent Tornadoes in IL and the midwest. I'll be posting which of our quilts get sent in the next post.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Rest in Peace, Darryl....

One of our quilt recipients, Darryl Lotz passed away yesterday (Nov 7th) after having been diagnosed with a brain tumor three years ago. Our heartfelt sympathies go to his wife Deanna, and his children, Dalton & Delaney.

Our next meeting (on Nov 11th) will be postponed so his wake can be attended.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Reprint of my recent speech....

I was asked to talk to the congregation at our church about our group and it's ministry. I wasn't sure that would be an easy thing to do, since I'm very passionate about it (and I might cry). So, after numerous requests to print this, here it is.

Ministry Minute – Peace by Piece Quilters

 Sometimes you never know what God wants you to do… I’d thought that for a long time, tried to fit myself in to various places at St Mary’s; Sunday school teacher, Vestry, May fair… I tried to think of the gifts that God had given me, and while I knew I had some, to be honest, I wasn’t sure what they were or how He wanted me to use them. Not until I saw an announcement from the ‘knitters’, did He speak to me. While I didn’t know God would use me to provide comfort to those in need, it was HE who created Peace by Piece Quilters, even if I think I did that. 

I quilt. I quilt, because I love the process of picking the fabrics and having them speak to me to make something to snuggle in. I thought I’d be able to use up some of my fabrics in this group, and I wouldn’t feel ‘guilty’ spending money on new fabrics for a project. But I now believe God spoke many times when I wasn’t listening. In the hands of those who help me create the quilts, those who put in a request for someone that’s ill, and in the face of those receiving the quilts they didn’t expect to get. That’s really the best. And nothing needs to be said. Nothing. 

It’s what God wants me to do… We comfort those who are sometimes consumed with dealing with things we can’t imagine. Because we can. Nothing needs to be repaid, but all of us involved with the group know it’s repaid in volumes! I now know this is what God wants me to do. To give. And LOVE doing it!

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Where is God's Voice?

Sometimes you really think nothing is affecting what you do. And then sometimes God speaks with a soft voice. Sometimes so soft that you don't realize it's His voice until later. That's what happened yesterday.

I had heard a very dear friend of mine (second family) was going in for surgery to have a hysterectomy (and removal of a 'mass'). She couldn't wait because she thought it would end the stomach issues she was having. I offered her one of our quilts (was He speaking then?) and she gently refused it saying she wasn't sick enough for THAT. (Did she think they only go for the dying?) I really insisted that they go for people EVEN just having surgery, after all, it's made to 'comfort' you when you need it. Reluctantly she said that if it would make ME feel better, I could give her one.

Yesterday, I went to her house with a few choices. And some pocket prayers, in case she really insisted that she didn't need one. When she answered the door she didn't look good (did I disturb her sleep?)... I told her I could come back if that would be better, but she opened the door and said 'now is fine', then blurted out, "I have ovarian cancer." I quickly said "I know" (although I hadn't been told and don't know why I said it- was HE speaking again for me?). She corrected me and said, "No, I haven't told you that yet". "Oh yeah, you said it was a mass..."

Then I realized what she'd told me... she had cancer. Definitely. They WEREN'T gonna do surgery because of the lymph nodes that could be compromised. Apparently another panel of doctors read the report and rediagnosed it....

As I sat there for the hour I spent with her, we cried, spoke of being scared, angry, afraid of losing friends, control, faith. I hopefully, reassured her that her friends ARE her friends and the ones that don't stick by her may not know how to handle her illness. That, while she's afraid to be back at her church because people will 'pity' her, she needs their love, and prayers and hugs...Then I gave her a quilt and told her when she starts her chemo, she needs to bring that with her, because until she feels God is with her, that quilt will be there (as is God) warming and comforting the chaos in her life. Be honest with other people. Tell them you're afraid they will pity you. They'll figure out how to react to this by what you say and do. If you're angry, and you SHOULD be, throw a nerf ball at the wall. If it doesn't work, throw something else. Kick a wall. Yell. Scream. SWEAR!! I would! I also tried to make her laugh. I told her to hang on to anything she can control, because she won't know what she can control and how the treatment would affect her. I told her I'd help her cut her hair when she thought it was time (my sister is a hairdresser and can do it out of the relm of the salon where she was worried others would 'see' her). I reaasured her we'd keep her husband busy (her concern after she's gone)....I also reigned in her panic when she cried out that she was DYIING, by saying yes, I know. we ALL ARE. ("But I'm dying before you are..." "Unless I get hit by a bus when I leave here", then I looked to the heavens and said "Not yet, Lord, I have things to take care of." ....

I left when she felt a little tired. Somehow, I know I heard God's voice....

This is the quilt she picked out.... "Where's First Base?" is the name of it.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

First Meeting is rather productive

First meeting of the year (after our summer break) proved to be good. We got some decisions made on designs and talked about what is up and coming.
 This is the Motorcycle quilt (Cycling in VT), that we needed to figure out what to fill in on those corners. Decided to go with HST with white on one side and selvedge strips on the other side of the triangle, to kind of 'box' it in. Center four squares that surround the middle block will be orange (not white). Also will put corners with motorcycle fabric.
This is a cutie made by Enid... Makes me think of a baseball diamond, missing 1st base. "Where's First Base?" is my choice of names. What do you think?

 More Pocket prayers.... yeah! We haven't run out yet. That's good.

 This is one of the last of the Blue Belly quilts... made by Kathy S. (I think it's #5).  Will make a good guy quilt.
Kathy made this Mountain Majesties quilt top, but said it would be her last (of this pattern). These are smaller than the blue/purple/gold one shown in an earlier post. We decided to add a border and dark green binding with a green /pink floral backing. "Green Mountain Majesties"...
 Sent off some pillowcases and tops (below) to Alycia Carmin in CO who does wonderful work with a long arm finishing these quilts and delivering them to our veterans. Thanks Alycia.
 This is Kathy's "The Last Hurrah", as she is out of RWB fabrics (as she says "No more QOV quilts for me!" What she doesn't know is that QOV quilts can be any color at all, so it won't be the last from us, LOL)
" Navy Men"...
 Close up
" A Military Thank you"
 close up
"Service Salute"

 Here is the pile of blocks for the cycling in VT  quilt top. Hope to have it put together by the end of the weekend.
 Cut the borders (rust), and the binding (dark green) and the small square of fabric poking out is the backing.
 This quilt, made by Kathy S. I'm calling "Just Ducky" was sent to a 5 yr old girl dealing with kidney issues. Just had a 'port' taken out while in the hospital. Glo (my co-worker) says she thought she had HPV, but I think she may have the initials mixed up.
Well, can't wait to see what gets done for the next meeting!

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Re-cycling in Vermont

Every year, my family heads to VT for some time at a family cabin. My mom always had a week there  and I usually head up at the end of her vacation, to help shut the cabin down. This is one of the quilts I had to work on..."Mountain Majesties" is the pattern, but I joined them so I could call it "Pawlet Mountain Trails" (after all, I'm on Pawlet Mountain).

 Really do love the colors on it and will use scraps of the golds/creams for a backing. Needed to just add the one last column, then straighten out a few of my seams.
 I think this will be close to what I name one of these quilts...."Cycling in Vermont". It was requested by a parishioner for a friend who is ill and they love motorcycles. She bought us the cycling fabric (and a bribe-food-, lol...never needed, but appreciated) and working with was I had on hand, I thought the deep blue was perfect. Since it was cycling' fabric, I thought I'd use my selvedge edges (the parts you all throw away!) to brighten up the quilt. (I found it hard to lay this quilt out inside the cabin...did I forget to tell you the cabin is a one-room building-unles you count the bathroom?)

Well, at least I have the deck outside (as big a floor plan as the cabin itself). I think this will be the plan far. 
 If I need to make it longer,I'll add two strips (2.5" finished) above and below.I'll fill in the muslin with more selvedge edges to carry the theme throughout the quilt.
 This is the bunkbed I slept in...bottom one. But I found a small end table from the porch for my machine, and used the dresser as my cutting table. Worked for me. You are actually looking at a quarter of the room! Oh, did I forget to tell you it's a one-room cabin? yeh......(I'm leaning against the other bunkbed to take this photo)

 Nothing like having an ironing station on the back porch. It isn't very wide, but it doesn't need to be. Can't wait until we go to the first meeting to see what else we can do for these two quilts!

A few more quilts delivered!

It's wonderful when you can deliver the quilts yourself, some people are really surprised that you thought to give them one, so it was nice to be able to have some nice big quilts for them.
This quilt, "Angel Among the Stars"  went to Pat, a parishioner who just recently had total shoulder replacement. (It matches her couch perfectly).
The quilt was made by Mary Ellen Z. with scraps from all her fabrics. She took a project I assigned with 'wonky stars' and made it really great! The quilting was done by Laura McCarrick, co-owner of Quilting by The Yard quilt shop in Vernon, CT, who quilted angel wings into it....Beautiful work, Laura!

Mary Ellen also made this "Road to Oklahoma" quilt....When you step back, you get to see the stars. This went to Alycia, a lady in town who is going through kidney dialysis, waiting for a transplant.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Something fun to try, before we meet in Sept/Oct.

The woman we send our Quilts of Valor to (in CO), is having a Big Blowout Block Drive and is offering prizes..... Anyone wanting to play with these blocks is welcome to send her some. Good luck and have fun!!! Thanks Alycia for doing this fun event.

Monday, August 12, 2013


I never talk about our funding much, but I'd like to take a moment to thank some people. The Emblem Club of Manchester #251, for their donation. Also, Shirley, a parshioner. Sometimes we have no clue as to the way we touch those who receive our quilts, but then, ...sometimes we do.

Obviously, "Someone" wants us to continue. Okay, God, we will....

Monday, August 5, 2013

Hot Pockets!!

No, not the food... These are what Kathy called her 'collection' of Pocket prayers done during the heat wave for two weeks. And what a collection she has made for us! Just enjoy the 'eye candy'.
(Try and keep count of the new ones...did we tell you that some or two-sided designs? )
Some of adorable all on their own...animals (mostly cats or dogs). 
 I think one is hiding under the bottom right one.... don't forget to count.
 Nice framing of the cat.
 There were many that were duplicates, and sometimes in photographing them I tried to vary where I placed the duplicates.

 Then I decided to have them photographed by 'themes'... the soft muted cools colors.
 The ladybug collection...
 Ladybugs and florals
 More cool collections...
 Cats playing...
 Animals in the house?
 Brights and animals... some of these are reversible.

 and the rest....
 Stacked in piles of ten...yup, totaled 110. So much so, that they didn't fit in the 'blessing basket'.
 See all the bright colors!!! No need to make anymore for quite a while. Thanks Kathy!! You are one powerhouse (and thanks for letting me see the "kingdom'-sewing room).