Tuesday, April 15, 2014

A Reminder That God Holds Us When We're Frightened...

Hi, all!

Today I want to tell you about the quilt shown above.  It is one of the first quilts made by Marie, a new member of our group this year.  She's doing great work and has taken to quilting like the proverbial duck to water!

This quilt was sent to a mother whose son has been deployed to Afghanistan for the past seven months.  His unit has already lost several members, and in addition to all that worry, her younger son is awaiting enlistment in the Marines.  Our church's military ministry requested a quilt, and of course we sent one to her. This week we received the following note…

Dearest Ladies,

You can't imagine how you have blessed me! The deployment of my eldest son has been so difficult.  Made even more so as a single mother.  I know God is my husband, and holds me when I'm worried and afraid for my son's life.  Your beautiful quilt makes that feel just a little more real.  How very precious!

We have heard this from so many quilt recipients, but this lovely woman said it so well.  And this is why we quilt, and give the results away - so others can know the feeling that God is holding them in His arms.



Monday, March 10, 2014

Quilts From January and February

Hi, all!  

Just a quick post to show a montage of the quilts we gave away 
in January and February of this year

These are most of the quilts we gave away in January - I missed taking pictures of a few of them

And here are the quilts from February - also missing a few.

I made the grand statement in January that one of my goals was for our ministry to give away our 1000th quilt sometime this year.  Foolishly, I didn't think about the fact that we were 340 quilts away from that mark - almost a quilt per day.

God apparently listened to me.

We have given away 58 quilts in 68 days so far this year. 
Right on track for 340 quilts in a year!
Looks like it's going to be a busy year…



Sunday, March 9, 2014

A Beautiful Quilt For A Beautiful Lady….

Today I want to tell you a story about two lovely ladies.  The lady in red is Pam, a long-time member of our quilt ministry, and the lady on the left is her mom, Dovie.  Unfortunately, Dovie was diagnosed with cancer last October, and went home to be with God  last week.  During her illness she lived with Pam and her family.  Even through this stressful time, Pam remained strong - but we could see that it was so hard on her.  When it became clear that Dovie wasn't going to be with us much longer, we decided that we needed to make a comfort quilt for Pam.

I love the sun shining through a flimsy!

Having seen the Good Night Irene pattern all over the internet, we realized that this would be a great collaboration quilt.  Raiding our supply of 2" pieces, each member made a 16-patch block.  

Assembling the quilt was a bit challenging since everyone's block was slightly different in size, but it all worked out.  That was my job.  Then Debbie, our other long-arm quilter, did the quilting - beautifully!

Look at that fabulous texture!

We gave Pam her quilt this past Wednesday night, during our regular weekly meeting.  She was so touched to know that everyone had made a part of the quilt!  Hopefully when she's missing her mom, she can wrap up in this quilt and feel not only God's love, but her mom's too..



Sunday, February 9, 2014

A Glimpse into the Past….

Hi, all!

Today I've got something a bit different to share.  As you may know, we receive quite a few donations from quilters that help us keep our ministry going.  But the most recent donation we received has a very unusual story that I want to tell you about.

A few days ago we received a package containing two beautiful hand-pieced quilt tops.  One is made of thrifted fabric pieces.  Here is a close-up of one of the blocks - you can see the poverty blocks in the piecing.

The second top is a beautifully appliqu├ęd SunBonnet Sue, seen here in its full glory...

… and here's a close-up shot of one of those lovely little ladies.

Inside the package was a note, which read

To Gladeville Baptist Church

These 2 quilt tops have been donated to Gladeville Baptist Church on behalf of Judy D. who lived in Mt. Juliet, TN.  Judy was diagnosed with a very rare cancer in the spring of 2012. In the fall of 2013 Judy brought these two quilt tops to me and asked me to give them to Gladeville Church.  She explained to me that she had  been going through her cedar chest and saw the unfinished quilts that her grandmother had given to her many years ago. These quilts were hand-stitched and were very precious to her.  She wanted Gladeville Church to have them because back in 1974 her house had suffered a devastating fire and some women from Gladeville Church showed up at their house and gave her and her husband a quilt and told them that God loved them.  She said that gift meant so much to her that she never forgot it.  Judy passed away November 17, 2013.

This gift to the Church has touched my heart also. Judy could have given these heirloom quilts to anyone, but at the end of her life she wanted the Church to know how grateful that the love of Jesus Christ was shared with her at a time of tragedy and loss.

God bless you all and to God be the glory!

Our quilt ministry, Piece*Love*Quilt, has been operating since November of 2009.  We did not know that our church had given out quilts before that time and it was a revelation and a joy to find that we were following in the footsteps of others before us.  

These two quilts will be finished and hung in a place of honor somewhere in the church along with a copy of the note that accompanied them, as a reminder of the power of a simple loving gift given in Christ's name.

Thanks for letting us share this story with you!



Saturday, January 25, 2014

Grow Your Blog!

Hi, all!

How exciting! It's finally time for the Grow Your Blog blog party! If this is your first time here, thank you for coming - I hope you'll stick around and check out some of the other posts before you go.  This is a fairly new blog so it wouldn't take much time at all to get all caught up.

So, a bit about me and this blog.  My name is Sarah, and I live near Nashville, TN.  I started blogging and quilting back in January of 2010 at Confessions Of A Fabric Addict to chronicle my efforts to reduce my stash.  Of course, it didn't work, AND I ended up with a serious quilting addiction.  Our church's quilt ministry sprang up right about that time, and we shared the quilts we were making through Confessions.  

But as 2014 rolled around, I decided that it was time for the quilt ministry to have its own blog, so that we could share some of the stories that went along with the quilts.  I still talk about the ministry quilting on Confessions, but this blog is where we go into more detail about some of the quilts.

Some of our ladies working on that first quilt!

Our ministry started in November 2009 when we made a quilt for a young woman in our church diagnosed with cervical cancer.  Fifteen women who had never made a quilt before got together and in a day made a quilt that should never have worked.  From that day on, our feet were set on a path that has led to a thriving quilt ministry called Piece*Love*Quilt.  In slightly over four years, we've given away 690 quilts, and we hope to give away our 1000th quilt this year.  You can read more about how it all started here!

A quilt for a young man in Louisiana with a serious brain injury.
He is a huge LSU fan, hence the purple and gold blocks!
Our quilts are usually requested by our church members and go to people who are going through serious physical, medical, or emotional issues.  They have become a tool for our church to use to minister to the community around us.  Last year more than two thirds of the quilts we made went to people outside of our church body!  Our quilts have gone as far away as Singapore, and as close as next door.  We have also sent quilts with our middle school and high school mission teams to New Orleans, LA and a very poor rural community in Rogersville, TN to be given to residents in need.  It is so rewarding to use the talents God has given us to create quilts that will comfort people for generations!

He calls it his "smell-good" quilt!

And so many people in the blogging community have joined in our efforts!  It has been truly humbling and overwhelming to see the outpouring of support for this ministry through gifts of fabric, quilt blocks, unfinished projects, quilt tops,and finished quilts!  If you are also burdened down with too much stash, or projects that make you feel guilty because you will probably never complete them, this could be your answer!   We are very good at relieving UFO guilt and clearing shelves to make room for pretty new fabric, and you'll have the pleasure of seeing your donations become quilts that will help someone going through a difficult time.  Feel free to email me at salliesue (at) clearwire (dot) net if you want more information!

This mother of a fallen soldier wraps herself in her quilt to feel 
the comfort and love of others.
So thank you for stopping by!  I hope you'll check out some of the earlier posts so that you, too, can be amazed by what God can do when His people follow His lead.   The past four years have been an amazing journey and I can't wait to see what comes next.  Click the follow button or sign up to receive future posts by e-mail so you can find out, too!



Friday, January 24, 2014

When God Speaks, We Should Listen!

Hi, all!

Today I want to tell you a little story about how God lets us know what He wants us to do - even if we don't listen the first time!

Early this week we received request for a quilt for a woman who had surgery, but ended up on life support.  She is the young mom of two small girls, aged four and nine, and her husband is trying to cope with his wife's medical situation and everything else that day-to-day life with young children entails.  

When I read the email, the thought crossed my mind that those two little girls could really use a quilt, too.  But we were swamped with requests, so I shelved the idea and thought I'd come back to it after we got caught up.

So I drove up to church to pick up a pile of tops that were ready to be quilted. We keep a stack of them at the ready for when we have requests, and since I had about six requests at the time, I grabbed a big pile without looking and tucked them in my bag.

When I got back home, I reached in the bag for a quilt to load on the frame.  The first one that came to my hand was this pretty little pink quilt - 50"x 50", the perfect size for a little girl.  But because I was looking for adult quilts, I reached in the bag again...

and this quilt came out!  Another pink 50" x 50" top!  Well, sometimes you have to hit me over the head with a baseball bat to get something through my head, but not this time.  I realized that God wanted those two little girls to have quilts to snuggle in while their mom wasn't there to snuggle them - that they needed the comfort that the quilts would provide.  So on the frame they went!  

The quilt at the top of this post is the quilt that went to the girls' mom, along with the two pink quilts for the little girls. Hopefully their mom will be home soon, but in the meantime they can wrap up in the love and prayers of all the folks in our quilt ministry, who prayed over these quilts for the comfort of those two little girls and their mom.

Isn't God amazing?



PS For the record, these two quilt tops were pieced by Betty, a member of our quilt ministry.  She also made beautiful pieced backs for the quilts, which deserve to be shown…

… and the quilt at the top of the post was pieced and quilted by Debbie H., from fabric her daughter donated to the quilt ministry.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Just When It Was Needed...

Hi, all!

I thought you might like to see a picture of some of our quilt ministry members at work - this particular picture was taken the day we were making chair pockets for a local elementary school.  There were about fourteen of us there that day, and the room is pretty full.  We've now been averaging 26 or so on Wednesday nights, and you can imagine how much friendlier we've had to get!!  But that's a wonderful problem to have.

And now, for those of you who requested a warning….

One of the things we do each Wednesday night is pray over the quilts that will be going out that week.  We also ask if there are any prayer requests from anyone in the group, and that's where today's quilt comes in.

When it came time for prayer requests, Brooke spoke up and asked for prayer for her grandfather, who was in the hospital and not doing well.  After they finished praying, Pam remembered that we had some quilts finished that didn't have homes yet, and pulled out this one for Brooke to take to her grandfather.  She offered to take it home and wash it first, but Brooke declined, saying she was going to the hospital right then.  

Brooke went straight to her grandfather's room and placed the quilt over him on the bed.  He had been very restless and agitated during his stay in the hospital, but when the quilt was laid on him, he calmed down and slept well for the first time since he entered the hospital!  

After some improvement, he had a setback and was taken to ICU without his quilt.  Brooke took it to him and once again, he calmed down and rested.  He's still in the hospital, but covered with prayers and comfort….

It's always heartwarming to hear how a quilt has affected the recipient!  And having a quilt on hand ready to be given at the moment it was needed was priceless.  Thanks so much to the many people who have donated so much in the way of quilt blocks, tops, and fabric that has made us able to make the quilts that meet those needs!!

UPDATE:  Brooke posted this on Facebook this afternoon…

There will be a day with no more tears, no more pain, and no more fears.  There will be a day when the burdens of this place will be no more, we'll see Jesus face to face…

This afternoon my grandfather was healed of his cancer.  He is not hurting or suffering anymore.  We are so thankful for the legacy he leaves behind and all the memories.  Please keep our family in your prayers!!

I hope you'll join all of us in praying for Brooke and her family...