Posts Tagged With: inspiration

do SOMETHING: YES! Quilts

A few months ago I realized again that I can’t fix the world. I know, it shocked me too.

And at the same time I realized again that I can influence my corner of the world. And after a conversation with a quilting teacher/lecturer/designer who held a common secret dream for influencing a specific part of our culture, we plotted and schemed about how to do SOMETHING, even though it would not be everything that needs to be done.

I had held an idea in my heart to make small cuddle sized quilts to encourage women who were experiencing the stress of unplanned pregnancy. Just something soft and beautiful to remind them that they aren’t alone – that there are resources and people to help them. My friend’s face lit up when I mentioned my secret dream and she told me she had thought the same thing — and even had a name for such quilts – YES! Quilts. You’re Each Special.

I’m SO thankful for my graphic artist friend, Gail Wilty, who worked on this logo for us to use on this first batch of quilts!

So, we sought advice and counsel from some folks who work everyday in that area of our culture – and also from Him who knows all things. And we made some preliminary plans. Then I announced this opportunity to the quilters in my guild. I was delighted at the gracious, generous response! The result (so far) is that I delivered ten small quilts this week to Safe Harbor Pregnancy Medical Center to be gifted to a select number of their clients – women who need an extra reminder that there are resources available to them and their babies. 

Let me introduce you to Dion who is the director at Safe Harbor Pregnancy Medical Center.  I also met one of the client advocates who will be distributing these quilts.

The quilts are each uniquely beautiful…

one holds words of grace – literally,

another the calm of deep blue,

the beauty of a whole cloth design with the soft touch of a wool blossom,

the sweetness of hearts and accented quilting designs,

the soft touch of pastels,

 

the happy delight of daisies,

the sparkling whimsy of flower fairies,

the fun of two quilts which started with the same happy floral and ended up very distinctly different

– this one features vintage buttons!

It may be that you, too, want to change the world and realize that you cannot. But, maybe there is SOMETHING you can do to make this world more beautiful, more caring, more safe … Take fabric in hand and make it happen. We are cheering for you!

Learn more about Safe Harbor HERE.

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Fight the Chaos Friday – March edition

SO the February Challenge list included

  • Clear out your hand sewing basket/box; replenish supplies
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So this time when I grabbed my handwork bag, I actually had what I needed when I opened it up!

  • clear out a drawer or shelf into 3 piles: keep, use or donate (see your Priority One list)
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this is BEFORE – who made this mess?

 

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I found everything from a bag of chalk to misc. leather straps and even some boxes of vintage singer attachments.

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And I found my long lost bag containing my thimble collection

 

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… and AFTER!

  • Pick a UFO to keep working on – Just 1!
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The pieces to this UFO are cut and setting right by my machine so that I stich a little every time I sit down!

  • Clean the floor, window, vents, lights in your sewing room

CHECK, CHECK, CHECK and CHECK!

Now, this is progress! Every single little step is helping me be more productive!

Even if you haven’t checked off all of your goals for February, take another shot at it this month. Just one item per week for March:

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HERE is your free printable.

 

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Fight the Chaos Friday – February edition

The Sister and I have a Challenge going this year. We are going to fight the chaos and conquer the clutter in our sewing studios. I call it “studio” because that sounds more like serious business whereas “sewing room” sounds like an option. It’s a mind game with myself. She has a bit of an advantage since she thinks and even breathes in a more orderly fashion than I do. But, I’m giving it my best shot.

So, we started the year off with a once-a-week list called Fight the Chaos Fridays and last month it focused on:

  • Put away gifts and Clean the work area
  • Clean machine, including a new needle and Put a new blade in the rotary cutter
  • Cut fabric that has accumulated on cutting table into usable sizes
  • List and post projects and due dates

Here are the BEFORE and AFTER shots of my “work area” i.e. cutting table.

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Remember I cropped out the really messy part.

 

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Amazing how this open space motivates me!

You can tell already it is a necessary challenge. And you will be more convinced as the year moves along and you see the other BEFORE pictures I will post – as often as I can stand the embarrassment.

And you’ll agree that it’s a good thing Sister was here for a visit last month to get me off to a strong start. Here’s some more of the work area AFTER we fought through the chaos.

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And an empty ironing board is actually quite handy.

While Sister2 was here we went on a hunt to find creative storage for the “useable pieces” we cut from my accumulated scraps.

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We stuck gold! What a pile of treasures!

 

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The Colorado sister’s creativity tells us that 2 1/2″ squares can be tucked away in so many places – even a little chicken feeder!

 

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My 2 1/2″ squares fit perfectly in the little drawers of the tin space cabinet. Thank you for the gift, sister!

And now, as you can see above, there is a place at the end of my vintage ammo box to hang our Spools for Tools project (get pattern HERE) which holds my favorite rulers – like the skini minis by Martelli with their wonderful non-slip backing.

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A metal vintage film reel box is just the right size for the Colorado sister’s 5″ squares!

 

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And this vintage metal filing drawer is filling up with my 5″ squares. My own “pre-cut” charm square stash!

 

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The 10″ squares (some call them layer cakes) will be tucked away in this portable school desk I just couldn’t resist.

 

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This beautiful spool cabinet, found on her Florida road trip, is just the right size for Sister 2’s 10″ squares. (and some 5″ strips she added to the equation.)

 

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For now my 2 1/2″ strips will nestle in this metal mesh lantern so that I can see them in their light, medium, and dark glory.

The whole cutting process to get control of accumulated scraps has been addictive! Probably because we have been using some templates made by Martelli. The non-slip backing grips through about 8 layers of fabric and you can turn the template without the fabric slipping! If you want a set of non-slip templates to help you cut those “pre-cut” sizes, send me an email (SistersAtHeartMilesApart@gmail.com) and we’ll give you a special Stitching Sisters price. Look HERE under Template for Precuts for details.

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These non-slip templates make cutting your own “pre-cut” sizes so easy!

So, how’s the rest of my Fight the Chaos Friday list?

In the interest of full disclosure, I must tell you that I still have a little work to do as far as cleaning my machines. And my project To Do list is right on the Notes section of my calendar, although some of the due dates are a little flexible.

Remember, it’s a year-long effort so celebrate the things you check off each week and don’t worry about what is still left to do. Trust me, honey, it’ll still be there when you find it on our challenge list in a few weeks.

We’d love to hear from you if you think of things we have missed. And we’d love to see pictures of your progress!

Here’s the list for February:

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Since it’s the first Friday of the month, you can get your FREE February printable checklist HERE.

Categories: Fight the Chaos Fridays, Inspire Me! | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

12 Days of Quilting Christmas

FL Sister id tagI’ve been inspired by the clever and creative adaptations of the 12 Days of Christmas that float around in gift shops and on social media.

This is our version:

 

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Hope your Christmas celebration is filled with lots of reasons for joy!

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The Button Box: recommended therapy

FL Sister id tag

This has not been the most productive month of my quilting, stitching life due to some kind of lingering skjoxpeddlfkdjf-ITIS. And for much of the last 30 days my life has centered around this box:

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So glad to have them but so ready to see them disappear!

You can imagine how quickly that got to be ENOUGH ALREADY!!!

Since a variety of medicines and medical approaches were not bringing relief very quickly, I knew for my sanity’s sake I needed to find some kind of therapeutic distraction. Something sewing related, not too strenuous, not requiring much focus. (Even 2 Tylenol can make me fuzzy)  hmmmmmm  I needed to trade the Kleenex box in for a different kind of box!

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So much fun from such a simple thing!

The button box was in chaos! Okay, I admit – the buttons were not even in a specific box. There was a box, a couple of tins, some jars and some plastic bags.

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What treasures would I find?

The whole sorting by color and setting special ones aside goes back to the days when our great grandmother would keep us occupied with the button box.

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Grandma’s button box looked much like this. And so did our mother’s.

 

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Some of the vintage buttons were divided by color into old milk jugs

 

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The special vintage buttons still on their cards were tucked away in this special wooden box.

 

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I love the pearly sheen through this old canning jar.

I cannot explain it but I feel better already.

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Have you tried button box therapy?

What are your tips for keeping your buttons easy to access?

 

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My Favorite Things

Broken water lines, flooded floors and forced dislocation from home – these are NOT my favorite things.

But sometimes in the middle of UNfavorite things we encounter the BEST of our favorite things. And that has been the case this last month while this sister navigates through insurance forms and deconstruction deadlines to get to reconstruction. A business trip took us to South Florida where we arrived at just the right time to help Middle Daughter move.

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It was time to take a brief break from boxes and enjoy brunch on the beach.

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A Favorite Thing with a Favorite Person! Double goodness!

While the final packing was finished, this Nana’s job included Foosball contests (including a “trash talk” competition where “I’m going to sit on your pancake” won over “I’m going to eat your lunch.”), swimming pool duty, many Minion games, and Art Class.

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Sister wanted to draw “me and Momma and Nana packing boxes” while Big Brother wanted to learn how to draw the Really Big Hat Santa from the Holly Jolly collection!

We also had Music class where we listened to “My Favorite Things” 25,000 times in a row and then wrote our own version.  “Sushi and haircuts and ice cream on toesies” has a nice ring to it.

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Licking ice cream can make the tongue REALLY cold!

Leaving that spot of sunshine is never easy but at least we didn’t have to face the unfinished floors right away. We headed north to the Georgia mountains.

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Fall in the mountains !!! Definitely on the Favorite Things list!

Sisters at Heart presented an Orphan Block Trunk Show at Fabrics Galore & Quilting Store in Blairsville on one Saturday morning followed by the Misty Mountain Quilt show on the next weekend. And our booth was right next to our friends from Fabrics Galore!

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Patricia showed me these great expandable rulers! And their double binding demo was great.

The high school gym was filled with creativity.

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What a variety of quilts were hung – and then there was a boutique, too!

 

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Challenge Quilts hung around the edge of the mezzanine.

 

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The vivid colors of this dazzling quilt made it my favorite.

 

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Vintage quilts and linens have long been a Favorite Thing for both Sisters. Watch for more to come this year.

 

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Pink work featuring adorable nursery rhyme figures.

 

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This beautiful butterfly captured “Viewers Choice” and the round setting was drafted the old fashioned way – pencil and paper.

I had the joy of meeting Cathi Gainey, owner of Shakerwood Woolens who we will be partnering with on some future wool projects. Her skills with dying wool produce amazing colors! It was definitely a “right time, right place” meeting and we Sisters are excited about working with Cathi – and her wool.

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Cathi Gainey – Shakerwood Woolens

And to make the time even more Favorite, we got to have time with life-long friends (at least since college days) at their cabin where the hospitality is warm, the card games loud and the laughter goes on waaay too late.

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All of these Favorites should keep us humming as we re-enter the hard work of water disaster recovery. As we work hard to finish, I’ve added another verse to the song …..

floors that are finished

walls that are painted

a room where I stitch on my favorite things …..

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