Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Hopes & Dreams Featured in Australian Quilt Magazine

The postage on the package reads $28.90.  But Melissa Tahu of Adelaide, Australia would have paid three times the postage to send the contents of this package to the Hopes & Dreams Quilt Challenge for ALS.

Her special delivery contained the quilt photographed below titled "Dino Boy Quilt."  Melissa was going to sell this quilt on her own online shop called "Dainty Jane Quilts," but decided she wanted to help raise money for ALS Research and asked if we would place this quilt on the Hopes & Dreams Storenvy shop instead.  She wrote, "I know it is only a cot quilt, do you think you would be able to auction if off to help raise money for ALS Research?"

Melissa, like Quilters Dream Batting owner Kathy Thompson and many other family members of loved ones living with ALS, is on a mission to raise awareness and help fund research for a cure after watching her Mother suffer with this 100-year old devastating disease.

Melissa shared with us that she is an avid quilter and was lucky to have inherited some of her quilting skills from her 'mum.'  Unfortunately, Melissa's Mum passed away in July of this year.  Not only did she share her little dynamo quilt with Hopes & Dreams, she shared the mission of Hopes & Dreams with one of Australia's Quilt Magazines.

Down Under Quilts Editor Linda Robertus explained that Melissa had sent a photo of one of her other quilts for their "Show and Tell" pages, which they published in an earlier issue.  After seeing her quilt in publication, Linda said Melissa asked if they would like to write something about the Hopes & Dreams Quilt Challenge for ALS. "We were happy to do it!" exclaimed Linda.

Here are two more pages Linda sent of the magazine that we can share with you.

The photo and write up on Hopes & Dreams immediately caught the attention of Australian Hazel Overfield who lost her husband to ALS just over a month ago.  Hazel wrote, "Just read about this wonderful idea in Down Under Quilts magazine, which I love.  Having lost my husband to this horrible disease just a month ago this seems to be yet another way of using my interest in quilting to promote awarness of MND/ALS...Sewing was my Sanity Saver this year and if I had known of this could have been making quilts for this cause!  Congratulations on this venture and hope to see it reach Aussie shores!"

Melissa, Linda, Hazel - and YOU - are proof that quilters will reach from all parts of the world to touch the life and heart of others and give Hope to Our Dreams of a Cure!

Happy Thanksgiving to All!

Your Grateful Hopes & Dreams Coordinator

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

The Warmth of Fall

The trees outside of Quilters Dream Batting are just now starting to show signs that a new season is approaching.

The beautiful red, orange and yellow leaves signal a time of cooler temperatures and the approaching Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year holidays.  And as the holidays approach the mailbox is beginning to fill with greeting cards and well wishes for peaceful, merry and safe days ahead.  And tucked in between the greetings are very special notes addressed to Hopes & Dreams filled with heartfelt words of thanks and gratitude.

Like this note we received from Roger and Renee Siervogel of Yellow Springs, Ohio.  Roger wanted to let us know that his fall will be especially warm thanks to the Hopes & Dreams quilt he received.  Roger writes, "Thank you for your special dedication to the Hopes and Dreams of a cure for ALS!  I have been living with ALS for 10+ years (diagnosed 6/08/03) and I am no longer able to walk, so my lap blanket will be keeping we warm as the cooler season is upon us...

  ...I have included some pictures of my walk Team from September...
... and of course the beautiful quilt that I received at our ALS Dayton, Ohio Support Group!  Thank you so much for your generosity, support and care for PALS! (people living with ALS)  May God Bless Each of You, Roger."
In the United States there are approximately 50,000 PALS - people living with ALS - and hundreds, if not thousands more living with ALS in other countries.  The quilts we receive give Hope to the Dream of a Cure for ALS and help warm the laps and hearts of PALS, like Roger.  So far more than 2,600 quilts have been gifted to PALS and with your help thousands more will receive the gift of a guilt.  To learn more about donating a quilt to Hopes & Dreams visit our website here.
And while you are making that list and checking it twice, consider purchasing a Hopes & Dreams Quilt that will warm the heart of your loved one while helping fund much needed ALS research.
100% of the purchase of each Hopes & Dreams Quilt on Storenvy goes to fund ALS Research.  Enjoy the changing seasons and know your gift of a quilt is bringing warmth to many people this fall.
Your Grateful Hopes & Dreams Coordinator

Friday, November 8, 2013

"Oatmeal and Brown Sugar"

We officially kicked off the 2014 Hopes and Dreams Quilt Challenge for ALS this week and it has been a very special week.  When we receive your boxes we truly do get excited to see what treasures are inside.  This week, like many before, has been an extremely touching one. 

This is the first quilt that was sent to us for the 2014 Challenge year and it comes from a wife who lost her husband to ALS.  H.J. Martin of Concord, California donated this quilt in memory of her husband Jimmie who passed away in 2002 with ALS.
J.H. writes, "I hope and pray for anyone that has ALS and someday a cure for this."  And then we
opened the second quilt of the new challenge year...
...another wife who lost a husband to ALS.  Irene Norton of Vacaville, California made this quilt in memory and honor of her first husband Richard who passed away in 2000.  Irene writes, "I have made everyone in the family a quilt except him.  So this is his."  We realized this year, the 5th Anniversary of the Hopes & Dreams Quilt Challenge for ALS, is going to be different when we open the third quilt of the 2014 Challenge Year. 

The package came from Australia and when we opened it we all just took a deep breath.  This time the quilt was made and donated by a daughter who lost her Mom to ALS.   Melissa Tahu reflected on how her mother used to quilt and made she and her siblings quilts - which they continue to use today.  Her mom passed away of ALS on July 1st of this year and Melissa writes, "I feel closest to my Mum when I'm wrapped up in one of her quilts, and I hope that you find the same love and comfort under this quilt, this gift from me to you."

We confess.  These stories have moistened our eyes and tugged our hearts.

And then came "Oatmeal and Brown Sugar."

Trying to describe the overwhelming love that accompanies these quilts is nearly impossible.  The above taupe and brown and ivory quilt was sent to us by Edith Huffman in West Columbia, Texas.  It's best that we let Edith explain this quilt:

"When I joined the local quilt guild I right away noticed a funny lady that always sat in the front row and lit up the room with her participation. Celeste and I soon became friends and then neighbors!

We shared quilting and gardening ideas. I have a thriving shrub out my window, one she suggested. As roommates at quilt retreats, we'd lay awake at night and tell stories about our children and grandchildren. We watched mine being born and hers growing into young adults.

Then she had a "back injury" that lead to foot drop, then the diagnosis of ALS. I remember her coming home from the doctor visit trying to be brave and keeping smiling. "It's time to clean out this house," she said. First the attic, then the closets, labeling and distributing her memories to family members.

She finished quilts then started cleaning out "The Stitchery." She signed books over to me and had me divide fabric between quilting friends. Then she gave me a quilt top. The quilt became 'Oatmeal and Brown Sugar'. Oatmeal, because as her husband said, "She was so conservative with color." The brown sugar, because I will remember her as warm and sweet.


Celeste never saw the quilt completed, but she had consented for it to be donated to ALS, from Celeste and her friend Edith.  God Bless, enjoy the quilt, and try to be brave."

American Science Fiction Writer Robert Heinlein wrote, "Love is the condition in which the happiness of another person is essential to your own."  What boxes of love we have opened and are so blessed to be able to open in the coming weeks and months ahead.

Your Grateful Hopes & Dreams Coordinator


Friday, November 1, 2013

Hopes & Dreams at 2013 Houston Quilt Festival

Between last weekends 2013 Houston Quilt Market, where hundreds of fabric companies, batting companies, pattern designers and notion makers come together to introduce their new products to Quilt Shops and professional Longarmers across the country, and this weekends 2013 Houston Quilt Festival that is open to the public to purchase quilting related products, there will be over 50,000 people passing through the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston, Texas.

The Hopes & Dreams Quilt Challenge for ALS was gifted with seven booth spaces - 70 feet - of display space to share with everyone the purpose of Hopes & Dreams and the talent and artistry of the many gifted quilters that have so graciously donated their works of art to raise awareness and funds for ALS Research.
These ladies have the art of hanging a quilt show down to a science.  They are called the "Piece Corps" and painstakingly document the condition of each quilt that is sent to be displayed.

To them each quilt is a piece of rare fine art.  They look at the quilt hanging sleeves, the backing...

...each label and then open each quilt to observe the quilt top.

Once each quilt is reviewed and documented, they are placed on sheets on the floor prior to hanging the exhibit.

Hanging each quilt is just as elaborate because these ladies care.  They know how hard each quilter works on their finished quilt and they take the extra time to make sure that each quilt is handled with love.

We were unable to stay for the entire setup as we had to catch our flight back to Virginia Beach, Virginia.  If anyone reading this is in Texas and is planning on a visit to Quilt Festival this weekend – we would love it if you could snap a quick picture of the final setup and send back to us at Quilters Dream Batting.

Each quilt on exhibit is for sale.  If you see one here in this blog post that you are interested in purchasing, call us toll-free at (888) 268-8664 and we will be glad to work out details.  100% of the purchase of all Hopes & Dreams Quilts goes to ALS Research.

Remember when you are shopping for the holidays that a Hopes & Dreams Quilt makes the perfect gift.  We are adding quilts to our Hopes & Dreams Storenvy site and if you purchase a quilt as a gift we will gift wrap the quilt, sign a card from you with a special message inside, and ship to the recipient!   

Have a wonderful weekend and thank you for your time, talents and treasures in warming the lap and life of an ALS patient and for helping us find a cure for ALS – one quilt at a time!
Your Grateful Hopes & Dreams Coordinator