Wednesday, April 28, 2010

One Million Pillowcase Challenge

We did it! Somebody showed! Actually, lots of somebodies showed!

From the instant I saw American Patchwork and Quilting's site about sewing pillowcases for local charities, I was excited. Their goal is to donate 1 million pillowcases to various charities. I love their description:

"A pillowcase can provide comfort for a cancer patient, hope for a foster child, encouragement for a battered woman, or beauty for a nursing home resident."

So I organized a night of sewing for anyone. Newbies, not-so-newbies, anyone who wanted to come and learn. Sewing machines were donated by my friendly churchladies which was a huge blessing. Many women showed up who have never sewn before and do not even have a machine at home. How cool is that!

We were able to donate over 20 pillowcases to a local charity (Our Ronald McDonald house). What a rush to have women of all ages and stages of sewing skills come together to help, learn, and sew. Everyone encouraging one another and sharing a laugh over sewing machines. I definetly recommend you organizing a night of sewing too. It was so good for the soul in many ways. My dream is to meet regularly, making new charitable projects and teaching new skills, encouraging mothers and daughters to come together....
I can't wait for our next go at it!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Quilt as you go

The LOVE quilt is about to be the victim of a new (to me) quilting method.

After reading Penny's blog and her Quilt-as-you-go (QAYG) tutorial, I've decided to give it a try. I have enough pieces for the quilt top now. The final size being a standard double, most of these "pieces" are about 2' x 3'.

I've read up on a lot of different methods for QAYG. Some recommend sashing between blocks which I will not be doing on this crazy quilt. Some also give instructions for quilting the backing with the top and batting. That would be great for another quilt, but it won't work for the backing we have planned for this one. Mostly because the fabric design does not lend itself to being pieced:

Penny's tutorial described quilting the top and batting first - actually piecing the quilt onto the batting. Well, since my piecing is done, I think I'm going to take all of these wonderful methods and make my own!

I love that about quilting. I can try new things, get tips from others, and even if I fail miserably... the seam ripper is always close by.

Friday, April 16, 2010

This Moment

Another special moment.

I went outside during the girls' nap/quiet time to cut some fabric. Looking back at the house, I see a little face looking back at me in her window. (She's graduated from nap time to quiet time. Please don't think I abandon my children in the house while I go out to enjoy the sun!) So I motioned for her to come out with me and we sipped some lemonade on the blanket.

She just turned 4. She's getting too big to carry. I'm not ready for that.

I am, however ready for a new picnic blanket. Must...quilt...soon...

Also, "this moment" and many, many moments before and after are being dedicated to a new quilt to match some pillows you may remember...

I must admit when this line (Love, by Amy Butler) came out, I wasn't sure how I felt about it. Now after a couple months with it, I'm still not sick of seeing it, so I guess I really like it. Especially in this form - all jumbled up and crazy together. It's so busy, loud, and cheerful, one must smile looking at it.

It's eventually going to end up a double size (78" x 87") and I"m only half-way there, so we have many more moments together.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Pastel Schmastel

I LOVE making custom quilts. It's my favorite sewing activity. Quilting is super fun for me, but when it's for someone I know (even just a little), a whole new piece of my heart gets involved. It is such a laborious project, often taking weeks or months or yes... even years if you are a good procrastinator like me.

So I received a custom quilt project a few months ago that involved only pastels. Ugh. I hate pastels. I know God made all colors and all creation quite beautifully. But really... I see pastels serving the same purpose as decaffinated coffee. Why bother?

And when I finally came to terms with this pastel thing, I learned only two were going to be used - green and yellow. OH MAN! First I have to limit myself to sad washed-out lifeless pastels only to realize that it will be even more colorless (yes, that's right - MORE COLORLESS, that's for all you pessimists out there) with just two.

The crazy soft minky backing was my favorite part of this quilt. The client wanted free-motion-quilting on the front, which minky doesn't work well with. So I quilted just the front and batting together. Then quilted "in the ditch" with the backing so everything was secure. It worked well, I recommend this process for all your free-motion but minky-backed projects.

I had to dig deep on this one; I won't lie. There was a lot of stress in this house over such a little project. But it got done and the recipient loved it and...

her friend requested an identical green and yellow pastel quilt.


Thursday, April 1, 2010

R is for...


The angel said to the women, "Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; He has risen, just as He said." Matthew 28:5-6

Red Cross quilt by Susie Swan

He's Alive! We're forgiven and Heaven's doors are open wide. I don't know about you but all I can say to that is Hallelujah!!!!

Vineyard Quilt by Batikart

In His awesome timeliness, this is our 'R' week here at Pretend Homeschool. (BTW, 'J' week just happened to be the week of Christmas!) Hoping your Easter is blessed by knowing Christ died for you. You can't go to heaven for simply being a good person.

photo from knitalatte

When you trust in what Christ has done on the cross, and in no works of your own (since they aren't good enough anyway), then the righteousness of Christ is given to you -- even as your sins were "given" to Jesus. It's like a trade. He gets your sin. You get His righteousness.
Once you have trusted in what Christ has done, then you possess eternal life and you will never face the judgment of God.

Quilt by the empty bobbin