Sunday, December 22, 2013

Spring Auction Preview #2

The twenty-fifth time's the charm, my friends!  This is my twenty-fifth quilt, and I think it is positively lovely.  It turned out just as I had hoped and imagined.

I'm just going to give you a sneak peek right now. I'm still putting the binding on it, and after that I plan to admire it and admire it and work up the courage to auction it. (Okay, okay... I promise I will; but I can't promise it will be easy.)


It's my first churn dash, which is a bit of branching out from my usual patchwork.  My husband is getting tired of patchwork.  "Bah!" I say. "Good fabric doesn't need much more," I think.  Even so, I must admit that I very much enjoyed piecing these blocks.  I see many more churn dashes in my happy future.


And just look at Anne's quilting!  My, oh, my!  She is cranking out some wonderful things these days.  More on this quilt later...

For now, I've put it on hold.  It's time to finish up the Briar Rose quilt for my oldest daughter's sixth birthday.  Maybe I'll show a picture of that one next?  It's a beauty, too, if I may say so myself, patchwork and all.

Monday, December 16, 2013

SMS Giveaway Winner + Sneak Peek!

Last week, I held a giveaway in conjunction with Sew Mama Sew's Giveaway Day.  The winner of the fat-eighth bundle of Heather Ross fabrics is Susan from Patchwork n Play.  I'm so excited to ship this bundle off to her.  Thanks to Anne who generously donated these lovely fabrics, and thanks to all who entered.

I especially appreciate all the kind words, thoughts, and prayers for Charlotte and for our family.  And thank you to everyone who became a new follower!  I'm so excited to have you visiting this little space.

The quilt auction will be here before we know it... are you as excited as I am?  It is seeming more and more real.  My older two children are at the grandparents' home this week, so in between taking care of Charlotte and Marian (which is no small feat, I assure you!), I am busy stitching up a storm!

I have one baby quilt finished and am putting the binding on a second.  I think we will have about a dozen quilts to auction this year (baby quilts and adult, lap size), all in support of brain tumor research.  Can you imagine my excitement when this arrived in the mail last week (or was it the week before that?):


Oh my!  Goldfish!  I just adore this fabric!  This is a crib quilt for our auction, graciously donated by Cindy from California.  I can't wait to show you more pictures - it is superb! - but for now, you'll just have to wait...

We kick off the auction on Monday, March 31, 2014.  Mark your calendars and save that Christmas cash.   :)  

More sneak peeks to come...

(P.S. In the comments last week, a few people offered help with the auction, or wanted to know more details, but they were no-reply bloggers.  If you have not yet heard from me via email, and you'd like to help, please email me at charlottesgraceforacure[at]gmail[dot]com.)

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Sew Mama Sew Giveaway: Heather Ross Prints

It's time for Giveaway Week over at Sew Mama Sew.  If you are visiting from over there, Welcome!

Charlotte is one of my daughters and the namesake of this blog.  The short story is: she has brain cancer, so I've combined my love of quilting with fundraising for brain tumor research.  This April, we'll kick off our second annual quilt auction to benefit brain tumor research.

In the meantime, my friend, Anne, has offered up this highly sought after bundle of out-of-print Heather Ross fabrics.  If you follow this little blog, you know that Anne does a lot of my quilting, sweet friend that she is.  What you don't know, is that visiting her fabric stash is better than walking into my Local Quilt Shop.  For real.


Sorry the photo is not better.  It's been nothing but dreary here for at least a week.  Oh.  Where you live, too?  Then we understand each other.

But really, this bundle has it all: the mermaids, the fish, the octopus, the seahorses.  There are six, fat-eighth cuts (measuring about 9 by 21 inches each).  If you are into fabric, I trust you know exactly what this is.  You know you want it.  Shoot.  Even I  want it.


The Rules:

1. Just leave a comment on this post.  Maybe tell me what your current project is?  (I just finished piecing a Briar Rose quilt top.  It was my first time working with Heather Ross prints.  Ooooh... it's nice!)

2. My followers get a second entry; leave a second comment telling me how you follow.  New followers are always welcome!  :)

3. Want to spread the word?  Okay, leave another comment telling me that you pinned this to Pinterest, or spread the word on Facebook, etc., for a third entry.

The giveaway closes at 5 p.m. PST on December 13.  I will choose a winner via at that point.  Please leave an email address if you are a no-reply blogger.

*Edit: Comments and giveaway are closed.

          The winner is Susan from Patchwork and Play!  I've contacted her by email, and she is anxiously awaiting this lovely bundle.  So across the ocean they'll go... all the way to their new home in Australia!*

I'm willing to ship internationally, so this giveaway is open to anyone, anywhere.

Giveaway Day

Good luck!  And in the meantime, head back over to Sew Mama Sew to enter more giveaways.  I sure will!

Monday, December 2, 2013

A Chemo Quilt

I made this quilt for a woman who was recently diagnosed with cancer.  With four kids ages 5 and under, you might imagine that the time I can devote to quilting is limited.  So I try to refrain from making unsolicited quilts.

But sometimes a person's story hits me just so.  I think I can finally admit that I sometimes obsessively quilt as a coping mechanism.  I wish that I could make all the sickness and all the sadness go away.  I cannot.

But I can make a quilt: a tangible piece of comfort and hope.


I don't feel at liberty to share the story, so I'll just tell you about my "creative process" instead.  First, I don't know this woman.  It's hard enough to sew for someone whom I do know, let alone for someone I don't.  So I set about to dig through my (meager) stash to find fabrics that I thought would appeal to a variety of aesthetic tastes.

I have plenty of novelty prints: girls playing with dollies, girls playing with chickens, a few rocket ships, etc.  I also have a lot of bright and potentially obnoxious prints.  But no, those would not do.


Instead, I grabbed these Denyse Schmidt prints (and a few others to match) and was once again reminded of the genius of Denyse.  I would say that I have been slow to become a fan.  (But is one year really "slow?"  Probably not.)  I find this quilt to be both very lovely and broadly appealing.  Some prints are traditional and vintage-y, while others are modern... oh, they're all just so wonderful!

I didn't really like the navy print as a stand-alone piece, but I cut it up, stitched it into this quilt, and now I really think it makes the quilt, you know?  And like I said in this post, I firmly believe that one can never go wrong with half-square triangles and plenty of Kona White.


Also, I wish I could say that I planned this (I did not), but as I was sewing I was thinking of how these colors are so soothing.  It was therapeutic for me to stitch the fabric together.  I realized that, "Of course! They are 'cool' on the color wheel!"  So I hope that the quilt is calming for the recipient as she undergoes treatment.

This is a "chemo quilt" because it only measures approximately 25 x 50 inches.  So it's small enough to stuff into an oversized bag for a trip to a chemo treatment, and still big enough to keep a person warm during the infusion.


I stitched the word "HOPE" on the back for two reasons.  First, many cancer centers, including Duke where Charlotte is treated, have a line about hope.  For example, "At Duke... there is HOPE."  We have certainly found this to be true.

Second, Christianity has much to say on the topic of HOPE.  Speaking from experience, having complete strangers preach at a person with a brand-new cancer diagnosis is pretty much the pits.  But one word of encouragement from someone who shares your faith?  I think that is appropriate.

Charlotte is just one of the faces of hope, but dare I say she's the cutest one?  

My sweet Charlotte knows all about hope.  She wasn't expected to live past her six-month birthday.

It's hard to believe that was over two years ago now - what grace!  

P.S. Please chime in... do you sew quilts for people you don't know? Or for someone who has not requested a quilt?  How do you choose the fabric and pattern?

(Linking up to Quilt Story, NTT, Confessions of a Fabric Addict, and Crazy Mom Quilts.)