Category Archives: Kindness & Community

Owning Our Imperfections

Not sure if you read my previous blog post but I want to remind everyone that on April 1st (next week) I am hosting an event inviting everyone to share their mistakes, goofs, boo-boos and misunderstandings about quilting (or sewing in general)! It is often disconcerting to look at the world of perfection that is usually shared on social media. There are some who generously share their errors along with their gorgeous quilts. But it isn’t often enough. At times, this leads to a feeling of discouragement. Surely I am not the only one who has scrolled Instagram and come away feeling like everyone’s quilts are so much better than mine. Quilting isn’t done to one-up the next person but it is hard to avoid this feeling. Maybe it just depends on my state of mind on any given day but it happens.

Let’s build each other up by taking a view of quilting in real life! Share a mistake you made, chuckle at yourself, explain how it taught you something or maybe how you fixed it. (If you threw it out, explain why you decided to). This will be so much fun!

From our very generous sponsor, Art Gallery Fabric

Plus prizes… who doesn’t like prizes??? We have a very generous gift from Art Gallery Fabric. They have donated a fat quarter bundle of Matchmade, a gorgeous new line of blenders featuring deliciously saturated tones. Designed by Pat Bravo, this bundle has 20 different pieces which means this bundle is a gift of five yards of fabric from AGF to one lucky winner!

More prizes!!!

Look, more prizes! Kirsty at Bonjour Quilts has provided three PDF patterns! Have you seen her work? So many wonderful patterns to choose from! Leanne at Devoted Quilter has given a PDF pattern too! Another talented designer, Leanne has an assortment of striking patterns in her shop. She also has several free ones that are tempting me as I write this! Linda of My Sew-Called Quilts has provided two mini charm packs of Grunge. There isn’t one of us that wouldn’t love these cute bits of Grunge!! (Please note – I am limiting the fat quarter bundle prize to the US only. Shipping is so darn expensive and the size of the bundle makes it prohibitive for me to ship outside of the US. If you have a US address I can ship to, go ahead and let me know that so I can include you!)

As for Needle & Foot, one gift certificate for $30 is also in the mix. This makes six fun prizes – awarded by a random drawing of those who link up! Yay! Event begins on April 1st (very appropriate way to celebrate April Fool’s Day!) and closes Friday, April 5th. Winners drawn and announced on Saturday, April 6th.

OK – think about learning to quilt…. remember all of those mistakes and frustrations. Share your experiences so we can all share a laugh and realize no one, NO ONE, was born with a magical ability to create award winning quilts. We all learned, we all began somewhere. That’s real life quilting.

Guest Posting at Confessions Of a Fabric Addict Today

Good morning! Just popping in to let you know I am guest posting over at Confessions of a Fabric Addict today. I am thrilled to tell you that Mercyful Quilts is one of the recipients of the quilts made for the 2019 Hands2Help event hosted each year by Sarah!!

Each day this week on Sarah’s blog, a representative for the charitable organizations receiving quilts this year is posting about their group or charity. I have a post about Mercyful Quilts on her blog today. I hope you will hop over to read more about the event and if you choose to, it would be great to sign up and participate! Check back each day this week and learn more about the other wonderful groups you might want to make a quilt for.

Thanks to Sarah for hosting this amazing annual event. This is the ninth year of Hands2Help!! Amazing, right? Thus far, over 1,450 quilts have been made and donated to a variety of groups. I have participated a couple of times and it is very rewarding!

Have a great day everyone!

January One Monthly Goal

This year I have decided to participate in the monthly goal setting link up hosted by Patty over at Elm Street Quilts. Each month Patty has a fun link up for quilters to share what they plan to finish during the month.  Doing this should encourage me to actually look at what I want to get done and set some priorities.  So, now that you are just dying to know….. here is the goal for this month!

I completed the Fireburst Mystery QAL top in October.  But with holiday sewing I never got it finished up.  However I am trying to stay on top of things.  So, this one will be finished and bound in January. Of course there are another five billion things I want to finish or make this month but darn it, this one is at the top of the list.

If you are a planner/list maker like me, check out the link up at Elm Street Quilts.  I think today is the last day to link up.  Patty has great sponsors though – so if prizes motivate you, that is another good reason to think about what you need to finish up this month.

 

While we are chatting, I want to let you know (or maybe remind you?) about the quilt drive happening for the victims of the recent Hurricane Florence in North Carolina. I am sure you are aware of the devastation that resulted from this disaster.  As always, quilters from all over are helping families by making quilts for them. Carole, of From My Carolina Home, is the organizer of this drive.  She has been working diligently to collect bed size quilts for families as they rebuild their homes and replace belongings that were destroyed.  Over 4500 quilts are needed but, not to worry – the drive will continue into summer of 2019. Carole is kindly facilitating long armers with quilters who want to donate quilt tops.  As long as they are bed size, she would love to have them.  For more information, read her posts here. She plans to keep updated information available for quilters wanting to help with this drive.

OK – that’s it for today.  Hope all of you have a wonderful week!

Linking to Elm Street Quilts, One Monthly Goal.

Dress A Girl Around the World – Finish

I have a quick, cute, feel-good finish to share today.  I know I am a bit late to the party but I (finally) made a little dress to donate to the Dress a Girl Around the World program. I have read lots of posts over the years about others making these sweet dresses. I am happy to finally have joined in and made one too!

Dress a Girl Around the World is a campaign under the non-profit called Hope 4 Women International. They hope to bring dignity to girls and women throughout the world.  It is such a simple thing – wanting a girl to have a dress to wear.  They are sent to many different third world countries. While this organization has many goals they are trying to fulfill with the program, it is their basic mission to make girls and women of all ages feel worthy that moves me the most. In so many of these countries, females are undervalued or even not valued at all.  While one dress isn’t going to correct the problem, it will bring a smile to the sweet face of a girl who has never had her own dress. Also, many of the people working in these countries and delivering the dresses have said that dressing a girl in a clean dress with the Dress a Girl label attached on the outside, shows this child is being cared for.  Sometimes this is enough to ward of predators (criminals involved in human trafficking.) If these little dresses can have this sort of impact even a couple of times over, that is enough reason for me to make one.

Finished seams are a requirement for making these dresses.

There are lots of guidelines for making these dresses. While they originally began by making the dressed with pillow cases, this is no longer the method.  Quality cotton fabric is longer lasting and this is what they ask be used in the dresses. If you are interested, you can read about this requirement and others here. The biggest thing is coordinating with an ambassador in your area.  There are many available and their contact info can be found here.

This label is sewn to the outside of each dress.

As for me, our local Soroptomist club held a drive to have dresses made by locals who enjoy sewing. I was referred to them and happily made a dress. It was a very simple project and took maybe a couple of hours at most. The little dress looks to be about a size three so for a little one. I hope she loves the fun pink and purple colors and the little heart on the pocket. As you likely already know, I love these sorts of projects – they just have satisfaction and purpose written all over them.

Linking up for the last time with Finish it Up Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts.  Sniff, sniff.  I will surely miss reading Amanda Jean’s blog posts and wish her well in her next adventure. Other links ups are found at the top of the page under Link Ups.

Did you happen to read about the series of Quilting Cozy mystery novels in yesterday’s post?  If not, go and take a peek.  You can enter to win the books in a giveaway too!

Newsletter!

Have you signed up for my newsletter?  It is published every month or so and contains information about my shop, new arrivals, sales, and events.  Click here to sign up!

 

Mercyful Quilts

The quilts are arriving and I am overjoyed!!!  I want to share the stack that have accumulated thus far.  They will be picked up by my friend Patty in a few days to bring to Mercy Hospital and I want to journal this event on the blog before the quilts are gone.  So far I have received thirteen quilts!!  Amazing, right?  Patty has been sharing the progress of this quilt drive with her co-workers at the hospital and they are stunned by the generosity of our community.  It is very satisfying to call myself a part of this on-line quilting tribe. I couldn’t ask for a sweeter group of people to inspire me to be a kinder person and better quilter!

Axel’s Quilt, Pieced & Quilted by Preeti Harris

The quilt above was the very first quilt to arrive.  This is Axel’s Quilt from Preeti who blogs at Sew Preeti Quilts and lives in Washington DC.  Thank you Preeti!! Fantastic color, I love the combination of gray and yellow.  This is a gorgeous quilt.

Three beauties, pieced and quilted by Shirley Bruner.

Above you see three gorgeous quilts.  Each one was sent to me by my friend Shirley Bruner from Missouri. Her blog is called The World According to Me and she pieced and quilted each of these.   The blue and green quilt in the middle is flannel backed making it extra cozy.

A few things of note – I love the outlined hummingbirds, they appear to be in flight and did you notice she constructed the flower baskets with selvages? Very creative!! Thank you so much Shirley!

Two colorful quilts, pieced and quilted by Adele, @bayougirlquilts

These two quilts came all the way from Metairie, Louisiana!  Adele D. sent them to me.  I don’t know Adele very well (yet!) but I did peek at her Flickr account, @bayougirlquilts and she is very talented!! There is so much color and lots of fun patterns to be seen on her page!! Both of these color combinations are wonderful.  I love red with aqua and the green with cheddar yellow is so pretty!

Black, White & Brights, Pieced & Quilted by Sophia Day.

This bright, cheerful quilt was made by my friend Sophia.  She used a black, white and brights combination to make this wonky triangle quilt.  I love that she echo quilted some straight lines within each of the triangles.  Sophia and I have been friends for over twenty years and belong to the same guild, of which she is president this year.  Thank you Sophia!!

Jelly Roll Quilt Top, Pieced by Jill M.

Here is a quilt top that arrived from Jill M, a blog reader who splits her year between Canada and Arizona each year.  She was about to leave on a month long trip and wanted to contribute so I told her I would finish the quilt for her.  I will keep you posted on this one.  It is a lovely jelly roll race quilt using stunning fabrics in jewel tones.  I look forward to working on it!  She even made a scrappy binding for it which is wonderful.

Blue Rain, Fletched, and You & Me; designed, pieced and quilted by Yvonne Fuch.

Finally, there are six quilts donated by Yvonne of Quilting Jetgirl  This clean, modern style is uniquely her own.  I posted a video yesterday on Facebook taken of me while I unboxed these beauties.  If you missed it, click here!  I was thrilled to see these in person after having read about many of them on her blog.

Pulsing Plus, Layered Diamonds; designed, pieced and quilted by Yvonne Fuch.

One of the quilts above was made by another quilter.  Yvonne won it at a silent auction in support of a fundraiser that happened on Instagram last summer. This is the quilt is on the far right. (If one of Yvonne’s quilts intrigues you, I just want to let you know that the patterns for several of them are available in her shop.)

All of these quilts are spectacular and I know the nurses and patients at Mercy Hospital will be comforted by these gifts. These quilts will be taken to the hospital on Monday.  Thank you so much for all who donated or are in the process of making a Mercyful Quilt.  You are bringing comfort to a family when they need it most. When I talked with my friend Patty she estimated that they use 8 – 10 quilts each month.  At this time, I have about 35 quilts promised for this drive so that means we are fulfilling the need for three to four months.  Amazing!!!  There are a few quilters who have said they would like to contribute more over time which is awesome.

I will share more of the Mercyful Quilts as they arrive.  There is quite a bit of sharing going on over on Instagram.  If you share your donations or your work in process for Mercy, please tag it #mercyfulquilts and tag me @needleandfoot so I can find it!  Thanks everyone!  Have a wonderful day and be sure to find time to enjoy a bit of stitching.

Last but not least, have you entered the giveaway that is happening for the November Blogger Bundle?  If you are in the US, please click here to enter.  For international readers, head on over to Sandra’s blog to enter!

 

Newsletter!

Have you signed up for my newsletter?  It is published every month or so and is full of information about my shop, new arrivals, sales, and events.  Click here to sign up!

Creating Mercyful Quilts

About a week ago, I received a note from my friend Patty.  She is a nurse at Mercy Hospital in Sacramento, CA.  She is also the mother of a sweet girl that Julia has been friends with since middle school.  Patty told me about the quilts they use at Mercy to comfort dying patients.  They ask the family of the patient if they would like to wrap their loved one in a quilt to bring comfort and security as the person goes through the dying process.  After the person passes away, the family keeps the quilt along with memories of comforting their loved one until the end.  Unfortunately the community service group that was providing quilts for Mercy has become unable to do so. She wondered if I might know of quilters who would want to make quilts for the hospital. There are several organizations who do this sort of project; Covered in Love being a very popular one.  I have contributed blocks once or twice for CIL and think their work is amazing.   Becoming aware of a similar need right in my backyard was eye-opening.

In less than a blink of an eye, I replied to Patty telling her I am happy to help as much as I can.  Hoping to finish a few quilts quickly, I decided to pull two WIPs and focus on finishing them.  I had a box of large 10″ HST’s that I created about two years ago.  I had intended to make a twin size quilt with them for the spare bed up in our little house in Downieville. Like so many projects, it was put aside and left unfinished. But I am glad this happened because there were enough blocks to make a comfortable lap-size quilt.  I love the shades of purple, green and tan I used and feel it would be great for both male or female recipients.

I played around with the layout several times before deciding on this pattern. Once I made that decision, I spent a quick session squaring up the blocks.  They went together in no time and I had a quilt top. It is very motivating to me to make a quilt for a cause that is so near and dear to my heart.

Mercy Hospital is renowned for their cardiac care.  In 2015 my mother received incredible care at Mercy as she underwent a completely unexpected triple bypass and mitral valve replacement.  She was in CCICU for two weeks and my family was (and still is) so very grateful for the care and support she received. Actually we all received care and support as they go the extra mile at Mercy to assure the patient’s family fully understands what is going on with their loved one. We always felt we could ask questions and get help at any time. It is no surprise to me that they have this quilt gifting program.

The Merriam-Webster definition of Mercy includes ‘compassionate care of those in distress’. So many of us have provided quilts for compassionate reasons, to help those in need or distress.  I want to support this program at Mercy Hospital.  Currently I have two quilts in process for them.  The other quilt is my Twisted quilt top which is a cheerful floral quilt that looks much like lattice work in a garden. This project was already pin-basted and ready for quilting.  Since I was further along with that project, I decided to begin quilting it several days ago. I am making swift progress with that one.  I would love to have it finished and bound asap because they are out of quilts at this point in time. Once that is completed, I will baste and quilt this HST quilt.

If you feel called to support Mercy Hospital, I would love to hear from you.  Do you have a quilt top that is not yet intended for anyone?  Might you finish it up and mail it off?  I would be happy to bring it to Mercy.  California readers, local readers? Would you be able to help out? I plan to mention this at my guild meeting next week to see if there are others who might be able to contribute.  If anyone has any ideas with regard to programs like this, please leave a comment. I would really like to gather support for Mercy Hospital and provide them with quilts.

I hope you all have a beautiful weekend! Be sure to grab a few minutes with your sewing machine.  🙂

 

Linking with Crazy Mom Quilts and Confessions of a Fabric Addict! There links are at the top of the page, under Link Ups.

Quilters Meet & Greet, Hosted by Benita Skinner

Today is the beginning of a Quilt Blogger Meet & Greet event hosted by Benita Skinner of Benita Skinner’s Creative Place.  After designing quilt patterns for a number of years, Benita decided to begin a blog.  She has been posting for a couple of months now and wanted to host an event for quilt bloggers to meet each other and for readers to find new blogs to enjoy.

For those of you who are new to Needle & Foot, welcome! It is always fun to meet new readers as well as new bloggers.  I definitely plan to grab a cup of coffee and head over to Benita’s and check out the other blogger’s posts!  But first here is a little bit about me and my blog.

I started this blog in June of 2014 and it is crazy to think I have enjoyed over four years of blogging, writing and interacting with our on-line quilting community.  This post is number 458 which is a whole lot of writing!  The first post I wrote explains why I chose to call my blog Needle and Foot.  If you have a minute, you can read it by clicking here.

Five of us, circa 1965 (one more sister came along the following year.)

I grew up in the Bay Area, Northern California, with my five sisters.  My father owned a fabric store and as a teenager, I spent many Saturdays working there with him. Growing up with five sisters and one sewing machine in the house meant someone was always sewing.  With a lot of guidance from my mother, I made my first project in seventh grade, a baby doll nightgown and matching panties.

My first quilt was a queen size log cabin.

The first quilt I made was started in 1978, during my senior year of high school.  It was a log cabin and I really had no idea what I was doing.  Read the details on that project here.

My first quilt needs some careful restoration. It has been well loved over the years!

We used that quilt for many years and it is in desperate need of repairs.  I look at it all the time, thinking I should work on it, but other projects always seem more fun!

The first bed size quilt I quilted on my domestic machine. So much pebbling!

Jumping ahead by about 40 years, I am still sewing and quilting. There was a long period of time where sewing happened infrequently as I raised four children and worked outside the home for a number of years.  When I retired from my work as a manager of a Human Resources department, I started quilting again.  Above is a quilt I made for my daughter’s bed.  She chose the pattern.  It was the first large quilt I ever free motion quilted.  It took FOREVER to do all the pebbling.  But it turned out nicely and I love looking back at this, my first attempt, to see how far I have come.

For me, sewing is very cyclical.  Sometimes I am more focused on quilts and other times on smaller projects such as clothing.  But one way or another, I spend a lot of time in the sewing room. I tend to like basic patterns that don’t require tons of piecing.  I am not a patient quilter and fussy patterns are not my thing.  I love lots of color, would not define myself as either strictly traditional or modern in style, and my projects seem to develop based on what sounds interesting at the time.

As with most of you, I have such a love of fabric. So much so that I started an on-line fabric shop in January 2017.  This adventure has been nothing but rewarding.  I love every facet of my job from researching new fabric lines, figuring out what my customers enjoy creating and what fabrics they want to use as well as planning events, promotions and sales to keep everyone entertained!

In addition to selling fabric on-line, I also have a booth at several of quilt shows for guilds in my area. I hope you will take a minute and browse the shop just a bit.  If you would like to receive an occasional newsletter about new fabrics, sales or events at the shop, sign up here.

I am really looking forward to meeting more readers as well as new bloggers!  Please leave a comment to tell me a bit about yourself so I can get to know you too.  If you’d like to follow me, there are links at the top of the page on the right for Instagram, Facebook, and Bloglovin.  Or, you can provide your email address and sign up to receive posts via email.  It’s all up to you.

Lastly, I want to be sure and let you know there is a wonderful giveaway happening over at Benita’s site.  Be sure to click over and take a look.  Good luck with the giveaway!!

Have a great day and be sure to take a few minutes to sew.

 

Hands 2 Help 2018

Hands 2 Help is a very popular on-line quilting event hosted by Sarah of Confessions of a Fabric Addict.  This event was first held in 2011 and seems to grow in popularity each year.  The “rules of the game” are simple.  Make a quilt and donate it.  Sarah always rounds up several worthy organizations who love receiving handmade quilts.  The quilter is also free to choose to donate to an organization close to her heart.  I participated in 2016 but not 2017.  This year I signed up again.  My plan was to donate the Postage Plus quilt I made for the Modern Plus Quilt blog hop a few months back.  One thing after another has gotten in the way of any attempt I made to get the quilt top finished up.  At this point, it is clearly apparent it won’t be done by the end of the week (when the event concludes.). This doesn’t mean I can’t finish it and donate it still, it just means I need another way to fulfill this particular commitment.

I thought about it and decided to donate two baby quilts I made last year.  Both of these were made as samples for fabric I carried in my shop.  I think they are adorable and will be loved by a child somewhere. Rather than send them both out of the area, I want to donate one to Little Lambs in Utah and the other to my local chapter of Project Linus.

This is the quilt I will send to Little Lambs Foundation.  It was made with a panel from a fabric line called Shine.

If you want to read more about this project, click here.  I think this one is really sweet. I had a lot of fun quilting it and used it as a display in my booth at several quilt shows. The fabric is so sweet with the cats and owls, sunshine and clouds.

The second quilt will be donated to Project Linus, Featuring bold colors in black, white and rainbow, the quilt was made with a panel from Sweet Tweets.

For more details on this quilt, click here. This line was really fun and sold out incredibly fast.  While I had it, I used the quilt as a sample in my booth.  I think the birds and critters are so much fun for children of any age.  It is a bright, cheerful quilt. This fabric is, unfortunately, not printed any longer or I would still stock it.  I just love it.

It is such a challenge to get everything done that one wants to.  I can’t kick myself for not finishing things as I had planned.  It is a constant battle fto figure out the best way to stay organized and do as much as I can.  The Postage Plus quilt will get finished and it will also go off to a good cause, just not this week!  Thank you Sarah for your wonderful work organizing this huge event.  I know it takes so much of your time and you reach many people as a result. You are such a generous soul.  There are so many gorgeous quilts being donated this year.  If you want to see some, click here and be inspired!

Linking to Confessions of a Fabric Addict.

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