Sunday, June 16, 2013

June 2013 Prayer Quilt Dedication

 Today was not only Father's Day but also Prayer Quilt Dedication day.

 Our Victory Quilters group was formed in 2007 as a ministry of our church in order to provide prayer quilts to people who were diagnosed with cancer.  A short while later we realized that many members and friends of our church were dealing with diagnoses which were just as life-altering, and we expanded our ministry to include them.

 Because we pray for the recipients while we are making the quilts, each quilt carries hours of prayer from those who make them as well as the prayers of the congregation as we lay hands on the quilts during the dedication.

We dedicated about 50 quilts today, although I did not get photos of all of them. While I managed to photograph only a few of the quilts, I'm hopeful others were able to get more.  We had about five finished quilts come in with barely enough time to document them and attach the letters to recipients before the service began.  (I see that as a good thing.)

 I even failed to get good photos of what it looks like when one enters on prayer quilt dedication day.  It is always breathtaking--both from a visual standpoint and from the knowledge of all the hours of prayer those quilts represent.

 In addition to covering the railings surrounding the altar and podium, the sound booth was covered.

 These quilts are made by four to six women of our church, although sometimes we are blessed with gifts of blocks and fabric. At first we each made quilts from start to finish; as time went on, I've been able to quilt the quilts made by others, sometimes just adding more quilting after they layer them or do the stabilizing stitching.  Of course, the quilting part is still my favorite part.

A couple of things we noted as we were talking about the quilts after the service is that not only are we as blessed as the recipients, but also we've stretched our skills and tried things we would have been unlikely to attempt if it were not for the need to create these quilts for others.

I am sure there are countless prayer quilt groups across the country, and that many have varying criteria for who receives the quilts.  Our quilts go to members and friends of our church and to our members' friends, families, and colleagues. Our challenge is to create enough quilts to meet the needs of those among us and to do it with such a small group.  Yesterday a "new" person came to our meeting, so we hope our numbers will grow.  We were also blessed today with a sewing machine we will be able to keep at church; I have been blessed with another machine to donate.  That should make it easier for some people to come and quilt with us without having to transport a machine from home.  (None of us are as young as we used to be.)

One of the things weighing on my heart is that we need to make some prayer quilts for older members of our congregation who are not facing health challenges--just because they have so blessed us for so many years/decades [and we certainly don't want them to have to face a health crisis in order to be blessed by a quilt].

Sweet Teen played for offertory today, and then after church she took off to visit a friend's grandfather for Father's Day.

We captured this picture of her and one of her best friends in front of the fountain at New Mexico Tech in Socorro following the concert they gave at the end of their 3.5 days at New Mexico Youth Harmony Camp.

Happy quiltmaking.....

Thursday, June 13, 2013

What's Finished, Today, For Future

 This post features two of the prayer quilts I finished this week (quilt dedication this coming Sunday).  This is the star quilt I picked up from Judy after Sweet Teen's recital.
 I quilted feathery almost-hearts in each of the star points.
 each a different color...and feathery sprigs in the center.
 but the most fun was getting to quilt feathers in all that green space.

 Judy also entrusted her kitty-quilt to me.  Ten different cat fabrics (eleven counting the binding).
 I quilted each set of four blocks differently.

 Judy's cat died a few months ago, and she told me she thinks she'll be ready to get a new cat by July.  I'm wondering if making the cat quilt helped.

Today [since Sweet Teen is at a four-day singing workshop at NM Tech] a friend and I took off for Santa Fe.  Frankly, the reason the pictures of those two quilts weren't so great was that I forgot to photograph them earlier and was hurriedly doing so in bright morning sun, albeit filtered through forest fire smoke.

We also made a stop at Santa Fe Quilting, where I picked up these ducks for a man-quilt.
 I am so drawn toward flowerdee fabrics that I don't make as many quilts for men as I should.  I'm looking forward to putting these geese with some more blue fabrics.

 Sweet Teen has been after me for several years to buy fabrics with food because, she insists, men always respond to food!  I think all these fat quarters are by Timeless Treasures.

 I had searched unsuccessfully both land-based and cyber-based shops for lime green batiks with paisleys--and now I can add this to the quilt for baby Paisley.

The avowed purpose of our trip to Santa Fe was to see the Amish quilts in the Neutrogena wing of the Museum of American Folk Art.  My souvenir of this trip is Rachel and Kenneth Pellman/s 1990-98 book A Treasury of Amish Quilts.  I purchased their earlier book (the one with the fuchsia cover) when I lived in TN, but this one wasn't published until after I moved to NM, and I'd never seen it before.  It's not all that different from their earlier book; it's just full of more quilts to drool over.
Amish quilts inspired quite a few of the quilts and wallhangings I made in earlier years [decades, actually] when I was doing a lot of hand piecing and all my quilting was by hand.  I'm not sure if I've seen an Amish quilt out here in the Southwest, but I continue to love them.  In fact, I have an Amish inspired quilt from the 1980's that I'm hoping to finish this summer.

I encourage anyone travelling I-40 through New Mexico to take a little detour to Santa Fe to see this fantastic collection of quilts.  It's not a large show, but the quilts in the show (excepting a couple) are incredibly fine examples in design and workmanship--with the kind of quilting that inspired me to be a better handquilter early in my quilting life.

We're still having forest fires and smoke out here--but not the devastation causing so many evacuations in CO although we've lost thousands of acres [many square miles] of forests.  The winds have been rough but we haven't had a repeat of the 58 mph winds that hit our little town on Monday.

Happy quiltmaking...

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Quilting Progress, Dress Sewing Day, Winds and Tumbleweeds

Tuesday we had a sewing day to make pretty dresses for a couple of people to take to two orphanages in Africa.  I had lots of fun making pretty pockets for the dresses (after making one dress).

 I think the total of the dresses was close to two dozen, but I had to leave a little early.

 I did buy some yardage for bindings for prayer quilts, and my friend bought several more.

 I bought these for another prayer quilt.  I have to admit that I do love how soothing blue and white are.

Then Connie wanted to see some tumbleweeds.  We've had a lot of high winds.  Just .01 inch of rain in the last two months, however.  Not enough to even make puddles.
I'm linking to Connie's Blog for her LinkyTuesday.
 Normally by this time of year I've trimmed the "lawn" at least once.  This year it's still brown and we are amassing a platoon of tumble weeds along our houses and/or the edges of our properties.

 Sometimes they congregate in bigger groups.  Obviously, it's too windy to cook anything outside!

 Those two wildfires are still growing, and we pray for the firefighters, the area residents, and fire containment daily.

Judy sent this wonderful quilt home for me to quilt.  It's finished.  She has the binding at her house.
I'm linking this quilt to Quilt Story's Fabric Tuesday.

The azure blue Fil-Tec Glide thread I used on this quilt was perfect--although a bit hard to see in places.

 Judy pieced the back--it is gorgeous--not these somewhat washed out colors.

 I quilted two other quilts--but forgot to take more pictures.
 The lesson from this quilt and the other one that I forgot to photograph is that if you choose to use up some fashion fabric on the back, and if that fabric is not the same weight as quilting cottons, please let the quilter know.
 I kept getting thread messes on the back of both of these quilts.  When I had to go to town, I bought Schmetz Jeans Needles in size 16 and 18.  I had to use size 18 on this quilt, but it did eliminate the thread problems.

Sweet Teen returned from the state FFA Convention with a couple of awards and immediately plunged back into activities.  She does need to get in a few hours of practice as her flute recital is late Sunday afternoon--and we haven't even begun baking for the reception afterwards.

In other good news, the rehab specialist approved an old generic medication for me to try for the vertigo from my head injury.  It WORKS!  It makes me sleepy, but I have none of the nausea or dizziness that has been challenging me for 15 months.  I just don't understand why I couldn't have tried this medication over a year ago.  Much higher quality of life now!

I'm headed back to the machines to work on more prayer quilts!

Happy quiltmaking....
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