Thursday, December 29, 2011

Scraps, Memories, Inspiration

This Christmas my quilting Mother-in-law gave me the book "Cut the Scraps!" by Joan Ford as well as other great quilting related toys. At the Empire Quilt Festival in October 2011, we heard Joan speak and show all the quilts she made from her scraps. The technique of the book begins with the task of cutting up your stash into the following size squares: 2 inches, 3 1/2 inches and 5 inches respectfully. It also involves throwing away smaller sized pieces.

This would be a challenge for me.

Here is what my scraps looked like this morning.
What a mess!  Unfortunately, I'd love to say that this was the only box of such scraps, but that would be a huge lie.

So, I began and what a fascinating trip. As I ironed, cut and sorted the memories off all those quilted projects flew back into my head. I could see the baby's mother as she opened the baby quilt, share the excitement of the siblings with their new I-Spy quilt, enjoy my quilting student's first attempt at machine quilting, and best of all I could experience that same feeling I get when I give away a quilted project today. It was a lovely morning!

Here is what I was able to cut up:
Did I get to the bottom of the bin? Not exactly, but I am well on my way.

Adding the 2 inch squares to my previous attempt at organizing, I now have this collection organized by "Kids/ Novelty" and "Christmas" prints. What you don't see are all the other non-specific squares and a myriad of floral prints from my "Watercolor" quilting days.

Finally, the big bin also produced some larger pieces and a few random blocks which I'm sure will become future wonders for the Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative (which has ended) or other projects.

Happy New Year and may you consider this wonderful little book as a resource in the name of that "get organized" new year's resolution which we all make...................and I might actually keep this coming year!!

Link to Joan Ford's website:     Scrap Therapy

Friday, December 9, 2011

Christmas Quilting Give-Away

chosen by Random.Org
Who commented, "I've never really done any Christmas quilting until this year."
 I hope this extra bit of fabric helps your future Christmas quilting, Lisa.
Thank you too all who visited my blog and all my new followers.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!

The Quilting Gallery is celebrating it's 4th Birthday with a Blog Hop Party. From today, until December 17th, 2011 please comment below on what your favorite type of "Christmas Quilting" is AND WHY then you will be entered into a random drawing to win 6 fat quarters from my Christmas Stash.  
Blog Hop Party Link

Meanwhile, enjoy the few pieces I picked out to share from my past Christmas quilting endeavors.
As a toddler, my daughter carried around one particular doll at all times.
She slept with it, fed it, bathed it, etc. She was quite a good "mother" to this doll.
That Christmas I made all her friends baby doll blankets from the scraps of other Christmas projects.
They were quick and fun as I strip pieced and simply quilted on the diagonals.

"Silent Night," seen above, was made as a thank you for dear friends who watched my daughter at church so that I could lead the children's music.
The "Stars" tree skirt also seen above was made for dear friends who live far away but are always near in our hearts.

Finally, "Santa" was a donation to The Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative, AAQI.  It was created from a preprinted cotton panel from Diane Knott framed with purple star fabric to bring out the purple tinted snow on the chimney and the twinkle in Santa’s eyes. Free motion quilting added texture and helped me practice this valuable skill. The purchase of "Santa" earned $45 for Alzheimer's research.

So, after much debate, here is a photo of the 6 fat quarters you will receive if you are my lucky winner. They are very, VERY bright Christmas fabrics, except for the green with gold flecks.

Good luck and Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Christmas & AAQI

*Merry Christmas, Feliz Navidad, Joyeux Noel,Vrolijk Kerstfeest, Jwaye Nowel, Mele Kalikimaka, Buone Feste Natalizie, Srozhdestvom Kristovym, Pozdrevlyayu s prazdnikom Rozhdestva is Novim Godom

Holiday greetings, however you say it, and may the season be joyous and bright for you and your family.
With all my best, 
This Quilting Mama

If only Christmas were that simple. A nice greeting on a beautiful blog or greeting card, a smile or virtual hug and a wish for the new year ahead.

Instead, we are often burdened with obligation at this time of year. These obligations come in many forms and, at times, distract from the true meaning of the season and the celebrations which should be joyful and free from stress. I have very little advice in this area, as I too am in a constant struggle with my children's overzealous toy desires, my worries about appropriate gifts for relatives who have everything, and my genuine desire to "keep everyone happy" in my life.  

So, this year, I've turned to one of my favorite charities for help. The quilts below are among the over 500 quilts available for sale at the Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative website (  All profits from the sale of these little pieces of art go directly to fund Alzheimer's research projects.

Here is the link: AAQI.

The "Quilts for Sale" tab on the left hand column will guide you to lots of beautiful pieces which will not only surprise your loved one, but will add that extra good feeling of having been purchased for a greater cause.

Here is the story behind my last five donations to AAQI:

"Christmas Tree" was created using the  Double Diamond Ruler.
It was very fun to explore the possibilities of this new tool. The possibilities are endless!

"Number 20 for AAQI" was featured in my October 2011 blog post about the 
Empire Quilt Festival and the usage of scraps to make something of value.........
as our quilting ancestors have been doing for generations.

These two stained-glass-inspired creations were featured in my June 2011 post about 
"found fabrics."  They were literally cut from the same cloth.  

Finally, from my October 2011 post, "Hosanna!"  was inspired by another quilt 
and the Squiggles technique of  Kris Gregson Moss.

Overwhelmed with choices?  Consider getting a loved one a gift certificate to AAQI.
Link:  AAQI Gift Certificates
Then they can visit the website and pick a quilt on their own. 

It seems that I've been called to a "shopping with a purpose" Christmas. 
What will you buy that will make a difference in another person's life?


Below is more exciting news from Ami Simms and AAQI.

The Alzheimer’s Art Quilt Initiative’s Third Annual Celebrity Auction Raises $17,327.26

(Burton, Michigan) -- November 29, 2011: The Alzheimer’s Art Quilt Initiative’s (AAQI) third annual celebrity quilt auction raised a record breaking $14,025 for the nonprofit. This year’s theme was the "Stanley Cup Quilt-Off." Twelve quilters in two teams competed for bragging rights, the highest selling quilt earning its maker the MVP award. The Feed Dogs team members were Alex Anderson, Hollis Chatelain, John Flynn, Becky Goldsmith, Renae Haddadin, and Sue Nickels. The Rotary Blades members were Caryl Bryer Fallert, Pat Holly, Libby Lehman, Judy Mathieson, Mary Sorensen, and Ricky Tims.

Hollis Chatelain raised $2,570 with her quilt "Hollow," (shown above) a 16" x 16" thread-painted, machine quilted image of a woman's face which earned her the coveted MVP award. This is the third year in a row her quilt earned top dollar in the charity auction.

A Viewer's Choice component to the "Stanley Cup Quilt-Off" was also offered at International Quilt Festival in Houston and online. Each $1.00 donation was counted as one vote, raising an additional $2,277.26 overall. Profits from sales of earrings made with images of each of the 12 auction quilts brought in $1,025, bringing the total for the event to $17,327.26.

High and low resolution images of the twelve quilts are available at: 
The Alzheimer’s Art Quilt Initiative is a national, grassroots organization whose mission is to raise awareness and fund research. "Alzheimer’s Illustrated: From Heartbreak to Hope" (a nationally touring exhibit of quilts about Alzheimer's) and the Priority: Alzheimer’s Quilt project are two of its efforts. The AAQI has raised more than $679,000 for Alzheimer’s research since January 2006. Ami Simms of Flint, Michigan is the founder and executive director of AAQI, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. Her mother had Alzheimer’s.

Ami Simms
Founder and Executive Director
Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative
1200 Creekwood Trail
Burton, MI 48509
(810) 637-5586

* How Merry Christmas is said