Friday, October 29, 2010

Blogger's Quilt Festival Entry


I decided to share something a little different for the fall 2010 Blogger's Quilt Festival.  This quilt never truly fulfilled its purpose.  Originally, I had planned to give it to my sister, Katie, as her birthday gift.  I ended up loving it, and so I decided to keep it for myself.  Until now.  Now it's slated for auction.  Read on.


My littlest sister, Gloria, needs your help.  She's part of an aid organization called Student Partnership for International Medical Aid.  The group travels to Ho, Ghana each year to provide medical care and supplies for people in rural villages.  Gloria returned from Ghana this year with many exciting stories, and an even greater desire to help than she had when she left.  The clinic only runs for a week each year and can't possibly meet the needs of everyone.


Student Partnership for International Medical Aid (SPIMA) is a nonprofit, medical service trip organization run by students and alumni of the College of William and Mary.  The organization works alongside local doctors and nurses in Ho, Ghana to provide free medical care to community members of nearby villages.  The group sets up and runs various temporary clinics and hands out prescribed medicine at absolutely no cost. 


SPIMA hopes to become a greater player in the access of medicine within the next decade.  Currently, the organization is a one-week-a-year medical resource for the poor farmers and residents.  These Ghanaians often experience no other medical assistance during the rest of the year.  By working with the Life for Living Medical Center in Ghana and with the guidance of a William and Mary professor, the group strives to research and understand the weaknesses of Ghana’s current medical system.  


In order to raise money for this year's trip, the SPIMA volunteers are holding a community-wide auction at the William and Mary Alumni House.  Their goal is $25,000!  Gloria asked me to donate one of my precious quilts to be sold at the auction, and I agreed.  If I can do it, so can you!  Please consider donating a crafty project of any kind to be sold at the auction on November 11, 2010. 

 If you'd like to donate, please email me at  I will pass along the mailing address and information that you need.  Donations must be received by November 8, 2010.  

Sunday, October 10, 2010


No, 13.8 is not the distance I ran this weekend.  It's the number of pounds I have lost since July 26, 2010.  Not bad, right?  In the interest of full disclosure, I have to admit that I have lost this weight by following the Weight Watchers program.  Don't stop reading-- I'm not here to tell you to join.  I really did make a craft.


Part of what ensures consistent weight loss is vigilance about portion control and points tracking.  Points are based on nutritional values, and WW gives each member a handy book chock full of nutritional information, including a scale used to determine the points values of any given food.


It's all about making good choices; that's why I have been known to pull out my WW book at the grocery store.  I gotta admit-- I feel a little self-conscious when I pull the book out in front of all God's creation.  For some reason, I think everyone is going to automatically realize what I've got in my hands and know all about my fat-girl problems.  They might even start pointing and whispering.


Since Lesly sent me a fat quarter recently to celebrate one of my losses, I decided to use that fabric to make a book cover for my WW book.  It turned out so cute!  I even made a slip through pocket so that I can easily access the points slider.  Now it's not so recognizable as a WW book; it looks just like a day planner or notebook.


Saturday, October 9, 2010

Quilt Top Sweat Shop

Today's session of Quilt Top Sweat Shop was very successful.  I finished the Opulence quilt top today!  It looks pretty good, if I do say so myself.  Though I am usually against pinning, I was vigilant about it this time.  All my corners and rows are perfectly matched!


I laid the finished top over my bed to see how big 98" x 89" really is.  Well.  It's big.  This quilt will be a very generous queen making it perfect for use as a bedcover.


Unfortunately, the pictures are kind of terrible.  I'm not sure how Cherri does it.  Houston must be a much prettier city than Richmond, because I can never manage pictures as beautiful as Cherri's.


Sunday, October 3, 2010

Opulence, I has it

You know this commercial?  It goes right along with my current quilting project-- both the concept and the person!

The colors for this project were supposed to be "rich"  and "royal"-- the types of colors preferred by the recipient.  I chose the Carolina Chambrays by Robert Kaufman because they have such a rich quality to them. The iridescent shimmer created by the cross-woven fibers, the silky-smooth texture, and the jewel-toned colors all scream expensive without actually being that expensive.  ("Opulence, I has it.  But I also like savings the money...")


Here are some sneak peek photos of one of the first blocks I've made for the completed quilt.  My layout inspiration for this project comes from Cherri House's quilt City Green.  The pattern is published in Cherri House's new book, City Quilts.


In order to keep track of which squares belong where, I have devised an ingenious labeling system.  Because my layout is 18x18 squares, I decided to sew my patches together into blocks of 9 squares-- how easy!  Each row on the y-axis was labeled with a number 1-18.  The x-axis was a bit more complicated.  I lettered the patches in threes-- the first three were "A," the next "B," and so on.  This way, when I stacked my squares, I knew that row A1 was to be the first three blocks on the first row of the quilt.  Row B1 would be the next three blocks in the first row.  A2 and B2 would be the three blocks directly below A1 and B1.  To get my first block, I would have to sew A1-3 together-- 9 patches in all.  Make sense?


Anyway, it's coming together nicely, and I better get off blogger and onto the machine.  I have to drop everything off for the quilter to pick it up Oct 8-- that's Friday, in case you were wondering.  Quilt top sweat shop here I come!