Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Forever In Stitches LLC / Raggedy Ruth Designs supports the Hopes & Dreams Quilt Challenge for ALS

Forever In Stitches, LLC 

 Home of Raggedy Ruth Designs™
            &The Perfect Corner Ruler

Why Us?
Hopes & Dreams Quilt Challenge For ALS
We are participating in the 2016-2017 ALS Hopes & Dreams Challenge that was founded by Qu ilters Dream Batting. Forever In Stitches/Raggedy Ruth Designs has been a Grand Sponsor since we first heard of it.

We choose to support Hopes & Dreams because ALS [Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, better known as Lou Gehrig's disease] has hit home with me and also with friends.

We have gotten involved with several "crusades" involving quilts over the years and every time the crusade took on a life of its own, leaving the reason behind. But, that is not the case with Hopes & Dreams.

Hopes & Dreams has been unique in that they have stayed true to their cause and the donations go directly as quilts to ALS patients or to ALS research. The money raised by their activities goes directly, 100% to ALS research. However, some have chosen specifically to donate to support the administration [shipping, etc.].

Why You?

There are several ways you can get involved:

  • Submit a quilt to the challenge;
  • Submit prizes, as we do for the challenge winners; and,
  • Donate money to the Hopes & Dreams challenge.  This will go 100% to research unless you specify that it can be used for other purposes (such as administration).

You can Click Here  to find more information about ALS Hopes & Dreams from their web-site.

Submit A Quilt
Submit a quilt to the challenge by July 31, 2017. Submitted quilts will be given to ALS patients or used to raise awareness and research money for ALS by being photographed, displayed, auctioned, or raffled. Click Here for more information on submission. 

The Challenge
The staff will choose according to their judgement the best quilts by July 31. These are then shown on their web-site to be judged by the quilters-at-large who visit their site and vote.
Prizes are then awarded at the end of September to those shown on the web-site for judging.Click Here for more information on the challenge, size limitations, and other requirements. Click Here for information regarding prizes. 

Submit Prizes
You can also provide prizes for the quilters that have been elected for the challenge. These can be sent to 888.268.8664 

Donate Money
If you would like to donate money for research or for the event, please send checks to  Hopes & Dreams, Inc.,589 Central Drive, Virginia Beach, VA or call 888.268.8664. The organization is a 501(c) and the donation is tax deductible. 

Why Me?
But why is ALS important to me? Because it has stricken one of my best friends and the brother of another of my friends. Both of these stories I will share here.
Both stories are unusual in a very particular way: the friends and family, not just the "caregivers" end up in positions of helping others in ways they had never envisioned. It seems strange to think that there may be a "good" side effect from such a horrible disease, but I think that learning to go beyond what you thought you would be willing to do is one of the basic lessons in this life. A friend once said "The reason you are here when there are so many other people in the world is that you are the one, right here, right now, in this situation: so act!"

Dave Alderman
Twenty-four years ago I was talking to Dave, one of my best friends and president of my company, Executive Insights. Dave Alderman asked me to raise my hands above my head. He wanted to see how difficult it was for me, which it was not. It turned out that he could not raise his left arm higher than his shoulder. Being a stout, strong man, the situation troubled him.
Shortly thereafter he was diagnosed with ALS [Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis - Lou Gehrig's disease]. He rapidly deteriorated physically to using a wheelchair. He resigned his position to seek ways to make his mark on the world before he died.
As Dave moved from one level to the next, always lower, his cheerful, gregarious nature remained. Dave was fortunate that his wife, Helen, was a nurse.
When you have a friend with ALS, you do things you did not think you would normally do. This is because ALS "disconnects" all of the nerves from the muscles. This makes it almost impossible to function in a normal fashion.
These disconnects also include the muscles needed for breathing. One basically suffocates.
Fortunately for Helen, David died in his sleep, even though he was using a breathing machine.

Phil Kingsley
Phil Kingsley assisted with the Fall Festival, where I came to know him. He was the brother of my friend Mitch Kingsley and a professor at Bluffton University.
According to Mitch, when Phil could no longer type or speak he was provided with a communication device by a foundation that works to meet the needs of persons with ALS. With his "WinSlate" (as it was called) Phil could type words, sentences and entire paragraphs through blinking his left eye. In this way he communicated with his caregivers and visitors, followed email, searched the Internet, and turned on his TV and radio through the "wink of an eye."

The WinSlate support had named Phil "Fast Talker Kingsley". Those of you with whom he exchanged email messages may have seen this description of Phil pop up on your own computer screens. Some read his series of "Adventures in ALS" - some humorous, others more serious - all written on his eye gaze machine.

I would like to share a few excerpts from one of Phil's longer and more serious reflections, "Adventures in ALS: Losses and Gains."

"I am entering a new phase of my progression with ALS, a phase marked by almost total dependency on others for my physical well-being. I have been wheelchair bound for over four months, for about two months incapable of standing even with help. My right hand has been of very little use for most tasks for two or three months. But I always had my left hand for grasping and holding things, pointing, scratching, rubbing, lifting, poking, pecking out words on the iPad. Now my left hand is not much better than my right and I have largely lost those capabilities. ...

"It's interesting to reflect on which losses hit hardest. For example, I adjusted rather easily to no longer eating; I smell food cooking, sit at the dinner table with others who are eating, and watch food ads and cooking shows on TV all without much sense of loss. (Of course, by the time I got the feeding tube, eating had become a joyless, time-consuming chore, so getting my nutrition without eating has really been a relief.) ...
"[Personal] ... grooming ... is pretty much out of my hands. If I look disheveled, my glasses are cocked at a crazy angle, my beard is uncombed or dripping saliva, it's generally not because of something I did or failed to do. This means I often don't look just the way I intend (sometimes I probably look better!), but I worry less about how I look since I can't do a whole lot about it and since my caretakers do a great job of making me look presentable considering what they have to work with. ...
"... loss of the ability to speak intelligibly... is by far the most devastating loss I've experienced. I don't think I have ever felt as alone and desperate as ... when I had my feeding tube put in. The staff were competent and provided good medical care. But most did not seem to understand my condition or the reason for the unintelligibility of my speech. ...

"I have also discovered the limitations of machine-based face-to-face communication. I am certainly extremely grateful for a machine that will generate audible and intelligible speech based on my selecting letters on a keyboard with blinks of my left eye. I use it quite a lot to "speak" words, phrases, sentences, and even paragraphs in dealing with concrete day-to-day problems of living. But when it comes to conversations and other social situations with much give and take, it is an unwieldy medium. ... What my speech machine offers me that I value really highly is access to a writing and long distance communication tool. It is only through email or other writing that I can express complex and subtle meanings, information, thoughts, feelings, and ideas. And I usually won't have the time to do that in face-to-face communication situations. ...
"On a more general note, with ALS there is a profound sense of loss of the future. I probably won't see my grandchildren grow up. How will the lives of my sons, Dan and Mike, and Judy my wife, and my seven siblings and their families unfold? How will things go on the farm I invested so much time and effort in developing organically? How will our natural environment fare over the longer haul? ... What will happen nationally and internationally; I won't see how things play out on a large number of fronts that I have taken a strong interest in - will we ever as a human race take strong enough action on global warming that we will have avoided the worst of the disaster for our children and grandchildren? Will the death penalty ever be abolished in this country? For me (and probably most people) a significant amount of thinking time was devoted to anticipating the future, and now I no longer have that luxury except on a much reduced scale.

"When I was first diagnosed with ALS I knew in the abstract about the losses I would experience. Now I am experiencing them in a concrete, day-to-day way. Despite the losses, I still feel I have a pretty good life. Two of the biggest factors in this are the wonderful people I have surrounding and helping me, and the assistive communication device/computer that I can use to express myself through both long distance communication and for face-to-face communication.

"So I have experienced gains as well as losses. At Frieda House, where the guiding philosophy is to create a family-like setting for the 10 residents, giving them as much independence and as little regimentation as possible, I have met some really wonderful people, who not only take care of me medically but also take the trouble to get to know me as a person and understand my habits and preferences. Without ALS I probably would never have got acquainted with some really good people.

"Another type of gain I've experienced is the learning about my disease and lots of medical information surrounding it. I've learned from many courageous PALS who participate in ALS forums online with information from their own experience of living with ALS.   So I have gained considerable new knowledge even though it is not the knowledge that I would have chosen to acquire a year and a half ago.

"Finally I have gained a new sense of closeness with my seven siblings. We have always been close, but my disease and their response have, for me, brought an even stronger feeling of closeness. They have been with me a lot and in many different ways, and it is born in upon me how fortunate I am to have as siblings each of the seven and their spouses."  

Phil Kingsley


120 N. Main St., Suite B, Bluffton OH 45817  
{Entrance at the rear of the building} 

Telephone: 419.358.0656

Retail ~ Wholesale ~ Distribution
Hours Eastern Time: Monday-Friday: 10-5:30 [Lunch Closure 1-2] ~ Saturday: 10-1

Monday, February 27, 2017

Shannon Fabrics Supports the Hopes & Dreams Quilt Challenge for ALS

Greetings from Shannon Fabrics! Can we just say how much we love Quilters Dream® Batting?  In fact, almost all of the quilts that are made by our Cuddle® Specialists are made with Quilters Dream Batting. It’s easy to work with, soft, fluffy, warm, and it makes our applique quilts especially fluffy! We made this cute elephant quilt with Dream Puff. Shannon Fabrics is also so proud to be a sponsor of the Quilters Dream Hopes and Dreams Quilt Challenge forALS which raises awareness of ALS-Lou Gehrig’s Disease, provides quilts to ALS patients and raises funds for the cause. 

Quilters Dream® Batting is amazing. We especially love the Dream Puff for Cuddle®. It is light and lofty. It doesn’t add weight. And it is 1.5 times warmer than down. We used Quilters Dream Puff for our Elephant Quilt and it turned out great.

Since the majority of our quilts use a “quilt as you go” method, using batting like Quilters Dream Puff makes our quilts look extra fluffy and plush, and here at Shannon Fabrics, we are all about the extra softness and yummy goodness! Here is an example of one of our applique quilts…pattern will be available from the Shannon Fabrics website soon!

You can find Shannon Fabrics at many local quilt shops and fabric stores, and online at fabric.comtheminkyboutique.com, and fabricdepot.com. You can also view our Store Locator to find online shops and shops near you.

Stay up-to-date on what’s happening! Join our mailing list. Subscribe to our blog, Sewciety. Connect with us on social media too on the following: FacebookPinterestTwitterYouTubeInstagram, Google +, and Flickr.

Thanks for letting us visit with you today. If you’d like to find out more about the Hopes and Dreams Quilt Challenge for ALS, click here.

Making The World a Softer Place™

Hugs from your friends at Shannon Fabrics

Monday, September 19, 2016

Sew Popular 2015-2016 TIME TO VOTE!


The "Sew Popular" category is one of the most exciting parts of our Challenge!  Out of all the beautiful quilts we received, twelve quilts were chosen to be entered in the Sew Popular category.  Pictures of the quilts have been posted on the Hopes & Dreams website, so it is time for you to cast your vote!  

Just follow this link, and vote on your favorite quilt by Friday, September 30, and our talented winners will be announced on October 3.

Congratulations to the finalists in the 2015-2016 Sew Popular category:

Pat McDonald of Pittsburgh, PA "Crossroads Quilt"

Gloria Guyer of Tillamook, OR "French Ribbon Embroidery"

Carolyn Richter & Kay Iverson of Greely, CO "Celtic Maze"

Dianne Gilbert of Ft. Collins, CO "Celtic Maze"

Mary Ellen Zeitz of South Windsor, CT "Akllietare"

Jackie O'Brien of Whitesboro, NY "One Block Wonder"

Terry Albers or Green Bay, WI

Janice Lonsinger of Altoona, PA "Gumballs with Stack & Whack"

Johanna Moore of Westminster, CO "Scrappy Circles"

Karen Williamson of Pensacola, FL "Oasis in the Desert"

Diane Severence of Windsor, CO "Floating Stars for Christmas"

Barbara Hutton of Carolina Shores, NC "Feathered Star Sampler"

Because of the generosity of the many wonderful sponsors of the Hopes & Dreams Quilt Challenge, we are able to award three winners this year!  First place will receive $1250 in awesome prizes, second place will receive $750  in prizes, and third place will win prizes valued at $500!

Good luck to all our finalists!  
Check our Hopes & Dreams Facebook page on October 3 to find out who won!

Monday, September 12, 2016

2015-2016 Challenge Wrap Up

We would like to thank everyone who participated in the 2015-2016 Hopes & Dreams Quilt Challenge.Through continuous support and spontaneous giving, this program has been an incredible success thanks to generous quilters & sponsors like you.   

In our seven years, Hopes & Dreams Inc. has been fortunate to receive over 9,000 quilts. Most have been distributed to patients with ALS. Not only are they filled with gratitude from the letters you send with the quilts but more importantly these patients are left with a glimmer of hope that action is being taken towards finding a cure for this awful disease.

 The Hopes & Dreams Quilt Challenge donates 100% of all proceeds from quilts being auctioned, sold or generous gifts towards ALS research! In our seven years, more than $141,000 has been raised for research towards finding a cure!

We have received many thank you notes already from patients and their families who truly appreciate the generosity of the quilting community. 

Thank you for the lovely quilt that you donated to my husband. That was truly a wonderful surprise!! My husband is only 45 years old and was diagnosed with ALS in 2014. It has been a very rough road for our family of four. Our boys are 10 & 14 years old. It has been difficult for all of us to accept how this devastating disease is impacting our lives. Your kindness & thoughtful gesture really brightened our day. Thank you for all that you do!! You are making a positive difference in the world of ALS.


Hi, I am an ALS patient and I recently received a beautiful quilt made by Lucille Holsey as part of the Hopes and Dreams Quilt Challenge for ALS. The quilt is so beautiful and I am just so touched that Ms. Hosely would go to the time and trouble to make it for someone that she's never even met...The quilt warms my heart and my body! Thank you so much for your incredible kindness!!


I want to THANK you for the quilt.  I went to the doctors at Baylor ALS Clinic and they gave me one of your quilts.  I am so happy to receive it and it is so warm. I just wanted to let you know how much I appreciate it.  God Bless ALL of you.


I was quite surprised to find this gift of a lap quilt at the support group meeting here in Wichita, KS. In April of 2015, I was diagnosed with ALS. My particular version is Bulbar ALS which primaraly affects my speech and swallowing at this time. We are trying not to let this impact our life, but we don't know what the future holds.  Thanks for creating the organization to raise funds for ALS research.


We would like to congratulate each category winner. We received some awesome prizes from our sponsors this year and we were able to stuff boxes with tons of goodies for these winners. 







Please be sure to check out the Hopes and Dreams website and vote for your favorite quilt in the Sew Popular category!

Once again, thank you! Your support of Hopes & Dreams is truly immeasurable in providing Hope to our Dream of a Cure for ALS!

Kathy Thompson & the team at Quilters Dream Batting


To see how you can get involved, please visit :

and don't forget to like our Facebook page! 

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Only 11 days left to mail your quilts!

That's right. Only 11 more days to get your donated quilts sent in! 

Remember, quilts MUST be POSTMARKED no later than  JULY 31st, 2016 in order to be eligible for the 2015-2016 challenge. 

Though it's still early and we have more boxes to open, we can tell you that we have beat last year in quilts received! That's an excellent accomplishment from you and for us. We have been able to ship so many quilts to PALS (patients with ALS) and the feedback we get from them is amazing. Not to mention the success we've had from the sale of quilts which 100% of proceeds goes directly towards ALS research.  

We have some great prizes too. Click HERE to see what our generous sponsors have donated. 

Visit our website for more info and download your entry form. 

Keep up the good work and thank you for being a part of something so special to us and those living with ALS!

Happy Quilting.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

In need of quilts for ALS patients!

We are excited from the success of our 7th annual Hopes & Dreams Quilt Challenge for ALS, which began on August 1st 2015. We would love for you to be a part of this wonderful Challenge too!

The staff here at Quilters Dream hope that you, your guild or quilt shop will consider donating finished quilts to the Hopes & Dreams Quilt Challenge for ALS for the 2015-2016 year. 

Each year, the Hopes & Dreams Quilt Challenge for ALS collects hundreds of quilts to be given to patients living with ALS (Lou Gehrig's Disease), to raise awareness about ALS, and to raise money with 100% of the proceeds being used to fund research toward a cure for this terrible disease.  As special thanks to the wonderful quilters who donate quilts to the Hopes & Dreams Challenge, generous companies donate tax deductible prizes and awards to help bring fun, excitement, and success to the Challenge.

Our staff works with the ALS Association chapters all over the country who have joined us in our efforts to help distribute quilts to ALS patients.  

We were recently contacted by a chapter who currently has 700 patients and unfortunately receives 7 more each month! They received quilts from us earlier this year and were hoping to deliver more to their patients for the holidays. 

With your support we can provide quilts for ALS patients while raising awareness and much-needed funds for ALS research. We thank you for being a part of the generous quilting community and for considering to give back with us this holiday season! 

For more info on how you can help, please contact us! 


 Toll Free 888.268.8664


Mailing address:
 Hopes & Dreams 
C/O Quilters Dream Batting
589 Central Dr.
Virginia Beach, VA 23454

***Hopes & Dreams, Inc. is a registered 501 (C)(3) organization.
Contributions are tax deductible in accordance with IRS rules and regulations.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Shop for a cure this holiday season!

The holidays are right around the corner and that means we will be attending some craft shows! If you are in the Virginia Beach/Hampton Roads area or willing to take a road trip to our hometown, please make sure to visit us at one of these shows! 

100% of the proceeds from sales go directly towards ALS research in hopes to find a CURE! 

You can shop for fun festive items such as fabric postcards, wearables, wall hangings, table runners, tons of quilts in all sizes and so much more! All created and donated by generous quilters/crafters who have joined us in our annual Hopes and Dreams Quilt Challenge for ALS. 

Fabric Postcards
Your family and friends will love getting these unique
postcards in the mail! 

Shop for handmade shawls & other quilted wearables.

Wall hangings make the perfect
 decorations for all the seasons
Need something for a holiday gift exchange?
Look no further!

We have made $5 grab bags of upholstery fabric that was donated by one of our sponsors. 

 Hopes & Dreams Craft Show Schedule

Date: October 17, 2015 (Saturday)
Where: Military Aviation Museum 
1341 Princess Anne Rd 
Virginia Beach, VA 23457
Time: 11am - 4pm

For more info on this event, click HERE.

Date: November 7 & 8, 2015 (Saturday & Sunday)
Where: Princess Anne Recreation Center
1400 Nimmo Parkway 
Virginia Beach, VA 23456
Time: Sat. 9am- 5pm/ Sun. 10am- 4pm

For more info on this event, click HERE.

Date: February 25-28, 2016 (Thursday- Sunday)
Where: Hampton Roads Convention Center
1610 Coliseum Dr.
Hampton, VA 23666
Time: Thurs.-Sat 10am- 6pm/ Sun. 10am- 4pm

For more info on this event, click HERE.

We hope to see you at any of these shows. If you have any questions or you are interested in purchasing items, please give us a call! 888.268.8664