As was perhaps inevitable, I've been haunting the quilty blogs and inching my way into saying hello to the long-timers in that crowd: and also routinely being amazed and a little shamed by the volume of output these folks whip through. I can't conceive, at this point in my life, of having so much time to devote to quilting but I now know what I'm aspiring to for retirement. Long after I have made quilts for all of my friends and family, and have started in on Round 2, I hope to be retired. OH but also contributing regularly to the many quilt-providing drives and organizations: whether for refugees or foster kids; cancer suffers or those displaced by fire or flood; women's shelters or veteran's outreach; homeless centers or centers for the elderly - anywhere someone needs a hand or a hug, some big-hearted sewists are on the case, making sure the quilty community's love of the craft (and the fabric) is being translated into a truly staggering outpouring of goodwill.
Which is where Hands2Help comes in. This mind-bending effort by Sarah of Confessions of a Fabric Addict has drawn a bigger response each year over year since she started in 2011; this popularity adds days if not weeks to her administrative load, I'm sure, but also adds literally hundreds of quilts every year to the general quilt population worldwide. More importantly, of course, these offerings arrive with the humanitarian impulse sewn right in. They say: "I see you, I think I understand a little of what you're experiencing, and I hope this helps you through. How about a hug?"
Sarah picked 3 organizations for H2H to contribute to this year:
- Little Lambs of Utah - comfort kits for kids going into foster care, emergency shelter or who have been hospitalized.
- Quilty Hugs for Happy Chemo! - I guess that's pretty self-explanatory. Another blogger, Em of Em's Scrapbag, collects these quilts to distribute to folks going through chemo.
- Victoria's Quilts Canada - for folks living with cancer in Canada, Linda (and friends, I hope) turn your quilt tops into full-blown quilts.
...but Sarah also made it clear that if you had an organization close to your heart (or your physical self) you could always make quilts for them instead, and it would still add to the overall bounty of H2H. Very cool! Being home for work for a change, and having access to my fabric and scrap pile (albeit tucked away in storage), I wanted to add a little bit of love to the pile. So:
This one is going to Little Lambs (and hopefully it's not too big for a backpack, per instructions). I was trying to come up with something that maybe an older kid/teen would dig, because I feel like sometimes that age group gets short shrift, so hopefully this isn't too precious or young. My sis-in-law gave me a brief glimpse into the life of a foster kid through her volunteer work and... it's brutal. Hats off to these folks for giving a shit about these youngsters, whom the System seems to routinely forget.
|I call it Ups and Downs, for obvious reasons. Seems apt. I followed a pattern by Angela Walters, w/Kona Beige and scraps.|
|Excuse my thumb over there. Some spots, some crosses, and some swirly waves on the back.|
|Ugh, my first attempt at machine binding. I'm..... sure I'll get better eventually.|
And this Half-and-Half quilt, a pattern by Missouri Star Quilt Company, is off to Em for Quilty Hugs. Er. It will be. As soon as I'm doing quilting it and bind it. Which I'll do as soon as my replacement thread shows up in the mail, because I thought I had several spools of this Green Linen thread but turns out I had ONE of those, and a whole lotta Ecru I didn't want to use. I mean, from a distance, it was *very* close. Ecrulinen. Linecru. Like that close. And my local Joann's utterly failed me by not having it in stock when I made an emergency run.
|Made from some Kona... Old Green? maybe? yardage, and like 18 ten inch scraps squares of various sunny brights.|
|A strip of hot pink among some other springy greens. They don't exactly go with the front green, but they are at least different enough that it is evident I wasn't *TRYING* to match anything.|
|The stalled quilting effort. Ha! Didn't get too far. As I learned in B-school, if you fail to plan, you plan to fail. Stupid Ecru.|
|This weather has been crap. I took these in late afternoon after like 5 consecutive days of downpour, so the shadows are long, and the patience was short.|
But I vow to get this done this week - I've taken Friday off for this expressed purpose, and I shall not be diverted from my task: nor rain, nor Joann's, nor Ecru, nor dark of night, shall stay this courier from the swift completion of my appointed rounds. That is to say: check's in the mail!
I regret not getting something together for Victoria's Quilts too, but I can always send it along later, I guess, and at minimum I can make them something for next year. I just ran out of days (and yet, retirement seems to be receding on the horizon, so I guess ol' Albert was right about that whole time being relative thing.)
To Sarah, and Em, and Linda; to all the quilters who have linked up this week, or sent quilts over the last 8 years: hell yeah and well done, you all! (or "youse", as we say in Chicago.) I hope that in my future - my near future, even before retirement - I am able to keep up with your generous spirit, dedication, and time management chops. Or if I can't keep up, at least I can keep trying.