Saturday, October 26, 2019

Make a Quilt -- Win a Prize!

I have a new job! I am the Fat Quarter Challenge quilt coordinator for Quilts Beyond Borders (QBB)! Anyone can join the fun!

QBB delivers quilts to children in underserved areas around the world, often orphanages or shelters. They started several years ago in Ethiopia and have branched out to many others since their beginning. Some places I am aware of that have received quilts: shelters both in the U.S. and around the world, schools in needy areas, refugees, Navajo people in the U.S., orphanage in Ethiopia, and there are many more initiatives. They are a well organized and impressive group of volunteers.

Here's how the Fat Quarter Challenge (FQC) works:

1. Use one of your own fat quarters, or I can send you a FQ, or if you happen to attend Quilt Festival in Houston, pick up a FQC kit at the QBB booth!

2. Use the FQ and other fabrics of your choice (100% cotton) and make a quilt that is approximately 40" x 60". Any pattern goes.

3. Machine quilt and machine bind the quilt. Include your name, phone number, and email address. Then send it to me! I will give you my address when you are ready to send. Let me know at my email address: merryhands(at)gmail(dot)com

4. Send in the quilt any time between November 1, 2019 and October 31, 2020. Your name goes into a drawing for a $25 gift certificate from the Fat Quarter Shop, a very nice online store that has supported QBB over the years.

5. Here's the good part -- your name STAYS in the drawing. You have a chance to win any month beginning with the month in which you submit your quilt. You could potentially win more than one month! So early submission gives you better chances of winning.

6. At the end of the year, one person wins $100 cash!

The real winners are the kids who will receive and love your beautiful quilts, but it is fun to have the possibility of a little prize for you as well, don't you think?

I made a FQC quilt this year, but as the coordinator, I am not eligible for the prize. That's OK, because some child or teen will enjoy this quilt, and I had fun making it. The pattern is (I forgot the name) by M'liss Rae Hawley. She has a lot of patterns that are FQ friendly. If you need ideas, check her out. Or just make anything you like to make: pinwheels, nine patches, your favorite star patterns, etc etc. There is also a link to free patterns on the bottom of the Fat Quarter Shop home page. Check that out.

Here is the quilt I made last year:
Here is my FQC quilt from 21017. It measured 48" x 72" which is fine for some of the teen/adult programs that come along. Quilts don't have to be exactly 40" x 60" but it's a good guide to shoot for.

You may notice that I'm not a fancy quilter. You don't have to be! I usually do straight lines or stitch-in-the-ditch quilting, and that is FINE. It doesn't have to be fancy for a kid to love it. (Of course, we do try to make them beautiful, as all people deserve some enjoyment of color and art. I'm trying to reassure you that it doesn't have to be a fancy pattern or fancy quilting in order to be loved.)

Here are some adorable kids receiving quilts:

ASK if you have questions. I would love to see a lot of you wonderful readers participate in this fun challenge.

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Book Review: The Sun Does Shine

The Sun Does Shine, How I Found Life and Freedom on Death Row by Anthony Ray Hinton

Anthony Ray Hinton was innocent but was egregiously convicted of murder and lived on death row for many years. Throughout his ordeal, he was determined to not let the experience poison his spirit and soul. He is an amazing man! This book was fascinating and upsetting and of the best I have read this year.

an unrelated picture

Monday, October 14, 2019

A Boy and His Quilt

It happened! The thing that I love! I found a picture of a kid wrapped in a quilt that I made! This is a boy in Mexico. He looks so happy to have (a) a quilt and (b) trucks on his quilt! And I am so happy that he has it wrapped tightly around himself, as if he absolutely loves it, and also he has it right side out, so I know it's one of mine! Truly the stars were aligned.

Here he is in a group.. the others have theirs folded or back-side showing, so you see how lucky I am to have found this great display of quilt love. This definitely made my day.

Tuesday, October 08, 2019

Book Review: Gate 76

Gate 76 by Andrew Diamond

I had hopes for this being captivating. It started out good; I thought I was in for an interesting story. It quickly plunged into a very boring saga of the main character driving to Town X and talking to Joe, driving to Town Y and talking to Bob, driving to Town Z and talking to Fred, e-mailing Bill, Jane and Sally, and calling back to his office to report in and keep his partner confused.

This one has not changed my mind on why I dislike mysteries.

I was in a "book and one other thing" exchange. I gave my person this book along with a bag that I made. She likes mysteries; I'm sorry I gave it to her, but I'm hopeful she might like it.

Saturday, October 05, 2019

Here I Am! Still Sewing!

I know I have not posted much lately, other than a few book reviews. Well, I have been busy sewing, and will show you below some of my projects.

In this first bunch you may recognize some duplicates. These are tops I made in the past (and may have shown here) but other people machine quilted and bound them (or I may have bound a few of them). It is so helpful to have a team of people who provide options to help start or finish our projects! It takes a village to get this volume of quilts made, finished, and sent around the world. I still have a small pile of quilted but not yet bound quilts. I plan to concentrate on bindings at our next gathering of quilting friends. (Then I will have more photos to share.)

Here are some that I have made and finished, or they are hoping to be done soon. The first one is for baptism at church; the others are for either Quilts Beyond Borders or Wrap a Smile:

These are my most recent GE Designs blocks for her Stroll in Paris mystery. If you are doing the same project, you can see how far behind I am! This is block #2, and tomorrow she will reveal block #6! I better get busy on these. If I fall hopelessly behind I will feel...hopeless.

Tomorrow is Sunday, and I love sewing on a Sunday afternoon, but tomorrow I will have Bonus Grandson visiting, so not much sewing will happen. Luckily I have six other days in the week to do whatever I want.