|Hopes & Dreams Quilt Challenge Coordinator Jennifer Griffin|
This picture was taken a little over a year-and-a-half ago at a quilt shop in Virginia Beach, Virginia that I worked at and managed for a short time. Just looking at the quilt in the background, which was the sample for the "Women of Courage" block-of-the-month quilt, brings back such fond memories. That quilt was pieced together by a wonderful, feisty, 84-year old master quilter named Jerri. Jerri has since moved to Florida but before she left she took me under her wing, teaching me quite a bit about quilting. I blame Jerri for my ever growing 'stash' of batiks and overflowing bags of scraps (but hey, I hear I am in good company)!
During my time at the quilt shop I was introduced to Quilters Dream Batting and the Hopes & Dreams Quilt Challenge for ALS. While the batting is fabulous (my favorite being the Dream Fusion Natural Cotton Select) it is the Hopes & Dreams Quilt Challenge for ALS that captured my heart.
It's not inexpensive to make a quilt. It's not a quick process either. Having thousands of them donated so that they can be given to ALS patients or used to help raise ALS research funds is amazing. I remember speaking to a friend over dinner last summer marveling over the generosity of so many that donate quilts, wanting to be a part of helping spread the word about Hopes & Dreams.
Today, my blessing is the opportunity to do just that. The bonus to this blessing - each of you.
|Wonderful boxes addressed to Hopes & Dreams|
I am both encouraged and humbled when a box marked "Hopes & Dreams" arrives at Quilters Dream Batting. Opening each package is something we all enjoy.
|Quilters Dream Batting Customer Service Queen Neva Bacle unveiling quilts in a Hopes & Dreams box.|
And we tear up at times and find ourselves whispering, "Awe!". You send in quilts in memory of a spouse, child, parent, sibling, relative or a friend. You write such encouraging and heartfelt notes of love, and you do it - making and donating quilts - over and over and over again.
As encouragement and as a little way of saying thank you, we are going to start designing some patterns and share them with you. They may be full size quilt blocks to make a throw or larger quilt, and then they may be little 'happy' quilts that could hang in a small space on your wall or lie on a table next to a table or lamp.
In fact, last weekend I took a quilt class and had some fabric scraps leftover that I decided I would turn into a little quilt pattern for you. Here's a sneak peak:
|Vase and flowers mini quilt (pattern) in progress.|
It's all finished but the quilting and we'll get that done this weekend! Once completed I'll write up the directions, include a printable pattern and hopefully you will enjoy. As for this finished mini-quilt, I'm going to donate it to Hopes & Dreams in the "Sew Creative" category. Fabric postcards, handbags and accessories, tablerunners, table toppers, wall quilts, watercolors and more - like this mini quilt - will be sold to raise funds for ALS Research. All entries will be entered into a drawing to win a $250 gift card and other great prizes.
I look forward to seeing the UPS man walk in the door. He may not know the extent of the creativity and love he's walking in with, but we do.
Have a safe, and hopefully warmer, weekend!