Saturday, October 18, 2008

Saturday afternoon stitching.........

I am terribly remiss at getting the photos posted of our Saturday afternoon "Sew and Share" efforts. I posted the photos from the morning and then totally forgot that I needed to post the afternoon shots. Oh, boy, please forgive me! So here they are ....................

This is the big room called the "Community Room" at City Hall. It's a great room to work in with lots of light and a big kitchen at the back. As you can see, there are projects in progress all around the room.

Here are two of the happiest gals I know - Joanie and Dorothy. They are tying one of the quilts made by Adella's neighbor lady. When they were done tying, Barb took over and trimmed the edges and added the binding.

In July, Anita brought this finished patchwork quilt top and then several of the gals did the tying. It is huge! I bound the edges and it was another finished quilt that will head off to Iowa.

This photo below shows some of the fleece scarves that we made. We got fourteen scarves finished and two pair of gloves and one hat. I had purchased some mittens but will go out and do a little shopping so that each scarf has a matching pair of mittens and perhaps a hat, too!

The last activity of the day was putting the stitches and loops for hanging on the Christmas stockings that Anita and Pastor Kathy had stitched together. I showed the gals to just take large running stitches with the yarn and it gave it kind of a decorative look. They were giving me a hard time because they said I made it look easier than it actually was when they started doing it. But they did it and when they are filled with some goodies, there will be some smiling faces for some boys and girls this Christmas!
Stitching on the stockings are from the left - Dorothy, then Darlene, and Joanie.

As the day progressed, we stacked the items made or collected around the piano in the corner of the community room. It was fun to see the piano disappear under such a volume of quilts, scarves, totebags and more. All of the quilts will go off to Iowa. We had talked that a couple of them might go over to Sibley County Services but the need is so great in the Cedar Rapids/Iowa City area that they will head south. All of the totebags and the pillowcases will also go to Iowa but about half of the scarves and stockings will go to Iowa and the other half will go to our own county, Sibley Services for those in need in our own area. In the future, almost all of our items will go to Sibley County unless some special cause arises that we decide to do some stitching for. In the meantime, I have received items from the Eastern Long Island Quilt Guild that will be added to our donations to Iowa, plus a few other items. I'll be posting those photos in the next few days - really, I promise I will not forget this time. As of this writing, about one third of the quilts have been delivered to Judy Heilers, our contact in Cedar Rapids and I am preparing today to deliver all the rest of them to my son's girlfriend's sister who is visiting in Minneapolis and she will take the rest of them to Judy. How's that for a convoluted sentence and an interesting path to get the quilts to where they are needed?
Thanks so much to everyone who donated time, talents, materials, food, etc. This has been a great adventure and there's still more good works and good fun to come!!!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Saturday "Sew and Share" - Morning

Saturday morning dawned bright and beautiful! We were all in a good mood because it was just such a beautiful day, plus we were a group of gals who were gathering to help others but we knew we were going to have a great time in the process! And we sure did!!

Barb (left) and Kate (right) were all smiles as they prepared to stitch up stockings and bind quilts. Barb brought some scrumptious peanut butter banana muffins for all of us so that we would not go hungry til lunch. :-)

Carolyn came to help and while diminished vision keeps her from sewing as she used to many years ago, she rolled the scarves to smooth the seams on the fleece scarves that were stitched up the night before.

Dorothy (right) and Joanie (left) took the scarves and snipped the ends to tie up fringed edges like those done on the popular fleece blankets. That's Pastor Kathy in the background selecting thread for stitching up Christmas stockings.

There were a few tied quilts from our last workday in July so Sharon took one that Cathy had almost finished and prepared to trim it and then add a binding.

This is Lane. She joined us after reading the poster that I had on display at the library quilt show. She's mom to two little twin boys and wanted a chance to get out and share some stitching time with friends and she did just that!!

And this is me, Sandi. I am adding some decorative stitches to the scarf that I made on Friday. Behind me you can see the stacks of fabric, stockings ready to stitch and yarn for tying the quilts.

Anita (left) and Kathy (below right) were the "Christmas Stocking Stitchers" and completed more than two dozen stockings from a variety of red and green knit fabrics. The stockings were already cut as they were left-overs from a project I did several years ago when I worked for a computer company. At that time, co-workers signed up to take one or more stockings and fill them for boys and girls, then they were donated to a local agency for a Christmas toy drive.

We had worked really hard and at noon we were ready for a break for lunch. We are pictured below after enjoying a delicious meal of chicken salad, a hamburger-rice-cashews hot dish, fresh tomatoes, spinach dip and bread, baked beans, a banana meringue dessert and much more. Recipes will be posted later for the hot dish and the banana dessert. :-) With lunch over, it was time to get back to work................... afternoon photos posted tomorrow!

Pictured above from left to right - Sharon, Kate, Carolyn, Anita, Pastor Kathy, Barb, Dorothy, and Joanie and next to her was Lane who ate quickly and had to leave so she could get home to care for her boys so her husband could leave for work!! What a committed, sharing group of gals they all are!!!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Friday "Sew and Share"

Finally, I am getting to the posting of the pics from last weekend's "Sew and Share" event. Sorry to be so slow but I really had to catch up on some laundry, cleaning and just stuff! We had a fabulous weekend and really got a lot of things done!

I tried something a little different this time, two days of sewing instead of one and one day starting in the afternoon and the next in the morning. This worked well as it allowed stitchers who could come at different times/day be able to participate. I think I'll do that when we meet again next Spring to stitch up a Spring storm of quilts, bags and such!!

Spring is a long way off, though, and fall arrived this past week so the quilts that were finished and the scarves that were made or donated will certainly be welcome to those affected by losses from the Iowa flooding. And then there were Christmas stockings to stitch as no one wants a child to miss the wonder of seeing what is in his or her stocking on Christmas morn.

Here are a few photos from last Friday. I'll post the photos from last Saturday this Saturday. I do hope that makes sense. :-)

Jane, Carol and Adella were the first to arrive just before 1:00 p.m. I was unloading bags full of fabric, fleece, sewing machine, etc. Takes a lot of stuff to sew for a village. Sorry, I couldn't resist.
It didn't take us long to settle in and get going on projects. I set up a table with lots of fabric for quilts, fleece for scarves and hats, and a pile of pre-cut knit Christmas stockings. We were ready to go..............

Here is Jane putting the binding on a quilt top that Kate made at our meeting in July. Another one done!

Adella brought two giant, I mean GIANT, bags of tied quilts made by her neighbor. She's preparing to bind one of the smaller ones. Another one done. She also brought three finished tied quilts that she had made.

Carol is trimming the batting from one of the tied quilts and getting it ready to bind. Another one done.

I brought three plastic bags filled with fleece remnants that I picked up on clearance at JoAnn's and spread them on the table. Here's Darlene choosing colors to coordinate into warm scarves for winter.

While Darlene selected colors, Nancy would measure, mark, and cut two coordinating pieces that could be stitched and tied into cute scarves for kids or adults. They got 14 scarves cut and ready to stitch before they had to leave later Friday afternoon!!

Gretchen was "zipping" (yes that's a pun) right along as she sewed up lots of little humbug (or teepee) bags that will hold personal care items. She picked cheery Mary Englebreit fabrics for the bags and bought colorful zippers to match. Her machine was really humming! Gretchen also knitted several scarves that were added to our collection of items to share.

We took a break for a quick supper of sloppy joes (provided by the Women's Tourist Club-GFW-of Henderson), plus chips, sodas and pumpkin bars. Adella and Carol had to leave to get home to the farms but Gretchen, Joyce and I just kept sewing.
I had started a scarf set from some of the fleece fabrics piled on the table and Gretchen snapped this picture when I finally finished it. I hope someone else looks better in this ensemble than I do! I was pretending to shiver with cold but I think I look more like I am wringing my hands with worry. That's not the case for we were having too much fun talking and laughing while we sewed.
Joyce was also stitching scarves and making her machine hum, too! By the time we "closed up shop" at 8:00 p.m. over a dozen scarves had been stitched and another half a dozen quilts had been finished!! Not bad for a day's work!!

Thanks to all of you who sewed and for the items you brought with you that were finished at home!! I'll post more photos on Saturday and then next week, I'll go out and hang the quilts on the line for individual pictures. Plus, I'll share how the quilts we make here will be part of 2000 quilts that are being collected for the Cedar Rapids/Iowa City flood victims.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

"Sew and Share" this Saturday!

Wow, I cannot believe how time flies! My last post was the day before we left for my husband's high school class reunion and then August was filled with more activities that ended with my trip to Iowa for my mother's 80th birthday. Then it was time to prepare for the quilt show in the Henderson Library and wow, time just flies by!!!
I have posted fliers and had info cards available at the library quilt show, then sent out e-mails about this coming weekend. We will have sewers and once again, we'll be busy as bees helping others.
Here's the info for this weekend. Please join us if you would like to help out!!

“Sew and Share”
in the Community Room at City Hall, Henderson, MN
Friday, September 19th from 1:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Saturday, September 20th from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
We will be making scarves and hats, Christmas stockings, quilts, and more! Most of the items will go to Families affected by flooding in southeast Iowa but some items will be donated to families in need in Sibley County. If you can sew, cut fabric, yarn tie knots in quilts or add fringe to scarves, etc. etc. please come and help.
Questions? E-mail me at

“Sloppy Joes”, chips and pop will be provided on Friday evening for a 6:00 supper. Feel free to bring other goodies if you wish.

Noon Potluck on Saturday. Please bring something to share- salad, hotdish, dessert, bread, etc. Coffee, tea and cider provided.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Quilts from New York......

These lovely quilts were donated by Jackie Kaspersin of New York. When I asked her how she learned of our project she replied that she was searching the web for "Quilts for flood victims" and found our "Sew and Share" information! Jackie included a note with each quilt. Sending quilts our way is not the only charity that Jackie donates quilts to. She makes quilts, afghans, and many other items for more than a dozen charities!!

This is a child's quilt and while my photography may make you think that it is the same size as the pink and green quilt below - it is not. It's called "Wild Flowers on the Yellow Brick Road."

This quilt is called "Pink Bows Like Green" and it's a larger quilt that Jackie hopes an older girl might enjoy. She also made a small quilt for a doll or teddy bear or when I hung it on the line, I thought it would make a great piece to put on a nightstand.
Some lucky someone's will get these quilts. Thank you so much for sharing your time and talents, Jackie!!
I'll have a little news to share tomorrow and then things will be quiet for a week or so. I am expecting a package from out east, though, so when that arrives I'll post the contents.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

A white linen day!

The sun is definitely out here in Minnesota. Yesterday it was warm when I took these pictures. Today it is hot and tomorrow and the next three days are to be even hotter!!!
The lovely linens hung on the line are made by Bronwyn Hughes, sister to friend Gretchen. She loves to cross stitch and someone is going to love receiving these pieces. Thank you, Bronwyn!!

Check in tomorrow and I will post pictures of the two quilts that arrived from New York last week. Plus we received a donation that will help us with our projects at the September "Sew and Share" day. More on that next week. Have to give you something to look forward to!!!! :-)

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Photos postponed until the sun shines......

I was going to take pictures today so I could post Bronwyn's cross stitch and two quilts I received from New York. It has stayed cloudy all day, though, and no sun has peeked through. If it was going to be cloudy, I was hoping there would at least be a shower or two to help green up the grass. So the picture taking is postponed until the sun comes out.
In the meantime, some of you had asked about the pattern for the little "Teepee" bags made and donated by Cheryl from Anchorage, Alaska. I googled it and found the pattern on this site. Scroll down and look for "Cute Teepee Coin Purse with Zipper " at
In addition to that little bag, you will find oodles of patterns for free bags, totes, purses, etc. Plus, the site features patterns for purchase by a wide variety of designers. Have fun with it!!!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

A little thank you!

I have been away for a few days, home to a family reunion and visiting my mom. Had a great time but a little behind (I am always a "little behind") in replying to e-mails, posting, laundry, etc. etc. Just wanted to share this note I received from Kourtney Maroney from United Way of Johnson County after I let her know the amount of the check we would be sending to their office.

$750 - That is FANTASTIC! Please thank any and all participants in the “Sew and Share” project. I hope this project turns out to be a successful venture in helping your friends and neighbors, too!
Again, thank you so very much for your donation, your support means everything to our organization and the people needing a helping hand in our community.
Kourtney Maroney
United Way of Johnson County
Give. Advocate. Volunteer.

When I arrived home there was a package on my doorstep that contained two more quilts. Today I delivered three boxes of personal care items to Stacia who will deliver them to the Crisis Center in Iowa City this weekend. I thought there would be four boxes but repacked it all and got it into three boxes. She will take quilts on her next trip.

News of our "Sew and Share" event made the local paper so perhaps more stitchers will join us in September when we gather again to sew for those in need.

I had promised to post a few pictures of cross stitch items but haven't had time to take the pictures since I got home. Plus I need to photograph the new quilts that arrived and tell you who sent them. In the meantime, here's a photo and a little story that goes with it.

That's my quilting friend, Gretchen on the right. She's pictured with her sister, Bronwyn, (the cross stitcher) and their dad, Bill. The three of them stopped by during the afternoon of the "Sew and Share Day" to drop off lots of items. As Bill watched the women busily stitching, he started talking to me about how Gretchen had been a teacher for so many years and then when she retired she took up quilting and it became almost an obsession (hmm, imagine that? huh, quilters?). He observed, though, that it was about more than just quilting. He could see that we were all working together and that there was a camaraderie among the women so it's about so much more than just making quilts. While we were basically doing something for others, we were also enjoying friendships and learning how to quilt at the same time. Just a little observation from a gent in his late 80's! I was thrilled that he could see that as that is exactly what happens! When you step outside of yourself and start helping others, you actually end up helping yourself and have a great time in the process!!

Tomorrow I will get those photos taken of Bronwyn's cross stitch and the new quilts that arrived. Til then, hope the man in the moon is shining down on you as you sleep tight tonight..........

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Sleep tight..............

I thought I'd post a few more pictures before I toddle off to bed. When I put my head down on the pillow at night, I love nothing better than a soft, clean pillow case. So here are few that were stitched so that others can do the same.
A dainty floral case that Kate made from fabrics in my stash. So soft and pretty that I wouldn't mind sleeping on it myself.
Had to take another picture of the polka dot pillow case that Pat made. Click on the photo to enlarge so you can see the cute barn print that trims the blue pillowcases. Someone will really like those.

Margaret (from Prior Lake) made and sent the pillowcases pictured above and in the photo below. The jungle print one is great and somewhere there is a cat lover who will really enjoy the blue cat print pillowcases.

There are only a few photos left to show you and I am going to post those on Monday. Planning to take a break for a few days and tend to some family things and such. I've kept up with things these last few days but I am way behind on some stitching projects that have deadlines!
Need to share one more nice little thing that happened with the "Sew and Share" day.
"Toody's Sweets and Treats" is located on Main Street in Henderson. Prior to the sewing day, I had made arrangements with Toody to honor coupons that I would give participants who sewed or donated. I had made name tag buttons and everyone got a coupon that said -
"Thank you for participating in "Sew and Share"
Present this coupon at Toody's Sweets and Treats for one free Kiddie size ice cream cone, flavor of your choice."
And by the way, a Kiddie size cone at Toody's is not what you get when you order one at certain fast food places. This is a cone that would be a medium or more at most places. Anyway, at the end of the day, I went in to settle up and pay Toody for the cones. And she said "no charge, you guys sewed for a good cause-treat is on me!" How cool!!! Thank you, Toody, sewwww much!!!
It's time to say "Good-night" and what better way to close out the blog tonight than with the picture below. These pillow cases were cross-stitched by Bronwyn Hughes, sister of my friend, Gretchen Hughes. When I opened them up and saw the ice cream cones and the "Sweet Dream" it reminded me of that old rhyme my kids used to chant - "Ice cream, you scream, we all scream for Ice Cream." Memories are such a delight. A few night's ago, I was reading Heidi Kaisand's blog "Hen and Chicks" and she closed with "Sleep Tight, Don't let the bedbugs bite". I was immediately reminded of my dad. I hope all of you are able to sleep tight tonight wherever you are, and that, of course, you have "Sweet Dreams".

I'll be back on Monday with more photos and another cool story from the "Sew and Share" day.
P.S. That's the beagle king, Kaiser under the pillowcases. He was intent on watching the birds flitting about in the woods. I am sure he was thinking "why do I have to be on this leash?!!!"

Just a month ago ..........

Can it be just a month ago that the flooding was engulfing so much of southeast Iowa? I am sure that many who live there find it hard to believe what has happened to them this summer. As I've already mentioned, my sister lives in Iowa City but she was fortunate for her home suffered no flooding nor did their veterinary clinic. Their church, however, was virtually destroyed. Time will tell how they will recover and rebuild. It was a question posed to my sister that led me to set up the "Sew and Share" project. I asked if there was anything we could do to help? At the time there was nothing one could do because water was still rising. But I felt I needed to do something, so I asked my friends if they would sew some quilts or whatever was needed. You can see some of their responses in the sidebar. Then I asked my Bible Study friends if they would provide lunch for those who sewed (I've only lived here a year and a half but it didn't take long to discover they are very good cooks especially baked goods!). There are seven ladies in the group. First I met Arline and Doris when I began attending St. Paul's United Church of Christ (pictured below) in the fall of 2006 (we hadn't yet moved here but I wanted to find the right church and I did). Then I met Dorothy, Joan, and Carolyn in the winter of 2007. When spring came, I met Marian and Diane. They are a most wonderful group of ladies who encircled me with their friendship and have made me feel as if I have known them forever!

So we began making plans for the sewing day, and even before it took place Kate sent a little quilt, pillowcases came from Pandora and then Janet in S.C. sent some, too, and also tote bags. Then Quilter John (from an on-line quilt group that I am in) sent a check for $20 and said "use it for whatever is needed" so we bought quilt batting and with a 40% off coupon at JoAnn's we spent the money wisely. It was enough to do one large quilt, and four baby quilts. There was more money that came in and it became obvious we needed to set up an account at the bank. Tomorrow, I will mail a check to Johnson County United Way (in Iowa City) for $750! All of the funds they receive go to those in need, no administrative costs have to be taken from the donation. Thanks go to several who donated cash but especially to members of Redeemer Lutheran Church as they were extremely generous. As I mentioned before the purpose of the "Sew and Share" project wasn't necessarily to raise funds but it was nice that it happened!!

With the money on it's way, there are personal care and quilt related items to distribute. I've posted pictures of almost all of the various items that have been made or donated and want to extend a big thank to everyone who shared!! Next week, Stacia, my son's girlfriend, will take several boxes to the Crisis Center in Iowa City that are filled with the tote bags and little "teepee" bags that hold personal care items, plus lots more. The distribution of the quilts will come later in August. Kourtney at the Crisis Center in IC and Mindy at the Salvation Army in Cedar Rapids have given me names of several places collecting items for flood victims.

And here is a little challenge for any of you who are checking into this blog. Let me share my thoughts. As we gathered on Saturday morning to begin sewing, I briefed everyone on what we would be doing and why, talked a bit about the flooding and it's long-term effects. Some of the ladies have sewn with me before and were a part of a project that we did for Southern Valley Alliance for Battered Women. It was a very simple project but a huge gift to the women who used the shelter. I asked each of them to fill a purse with essentials that could go to a woman in need. I recalled watching the coverage of Hurricane Katrina and I was spellbound by the images of people who waded through water and barely escaped with their lives. I remember one young couple walking through waist-high water, holding hands and around her neck was her purse. I thought "what a smart woman she was and how fortunate that she had the foresight to grab her purse." That isn't always the case. I asked my friends to picture what it would be like if they had to leave their home in such a hurry that they couldn't grab their purse. Almost every woman carries half her life in her purse!! So the ladies rose to the challenge and from just a little over a dozen women we collected 43 purses that we donated for Christmas gifts that year. I threw out the same challenge last Saturday morning to all the ladies present (about 24). When we meet in September to sew again, bring a purse and fill it with necessities. The ladies who donated to the women's shelter were so generous with what they put in the purses from nail care to wallets to phone cards to pens and paper, etc. So I challenge you out there, to buy a purse (or two) and fill it with some necessities and then take it to the nearest shelter and donate it to someone who really needs it. It will be appreciated!
This morning I took a few more pics. Here are the tote bags that were made by Joan - the black and white checked ones - and the floral tapestry ones sent by Janet.

And this picture shows the Strawberry Shortcake bags made by mom Angela and her daughter, Allison. They will be filled with colors and coloring books for kids. Barb made the lovely quilted bags that are more like a nice purse than just a tote!

I took pictures of the pillowcases and some other items and will post those later on. I had to mail some letters this afternoon so while I was downtown, I took a picture of City Hall where we held our "Sew and Share" event. That's where we will be on September 19 and 20 - two days next time! More info on that will come in the next couple of weeks.

Henderson, Mn is a river town, too. The Minnesota River is to the east of City Hall. Earlier today, I learned that water has nearly reached City Hall during flood years in the past so Henderson is familiar with flooding. Perhaps it was that knowledge that brought so many together to "Sew and Share" and why so many want to keep doing it. We will be sewing again for Iowa flood victims in September but we will also sew for those in our own "back yard".

A month ago I asked - "How to connect us all so that we can help others? " Well, this blog and the gathering last Saturday shows that we can connect and by sharing just a little bit of our time and talents, we can make a difference!!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Oh, baby, it's hot outside!!!

As I was hanging the flannel baby quilts on the clothesline, I was thinking "it is really hot out today!! - certainly not a day when a baby would want to be wrapped up in a flannel quilt!" It won't be long, though, before summer is over (this is the Minnesota, after all) and the first frost often arrives the first week in September. But today it was in the low 90's and that's hot! In spite of the heat, I enjoyed hanging each of the little quilts and wondered what child will be wrapped up in them. I remember the blankets and quilts I made for my own kids and for my grandson and how important they were to them. Almost every kid has a favorite "blankie". Perhaps one of these will replace that lost favorite quilt or blanket.

Beatrice stitched up these three simple tied blankets from soft knits and flannels. The next three photos are flannel quilts from Sue in Mason City. I see a Christmas baby wrapped in that red, white and green flannel quilt!

I already posted pics of the next group of quilts but that was on the green sheet thrown over my couch. Taking pictures outdoors is so much more fun! These five quilts were made by members of the Women's Tourist Group of Henderson. The cloth story books pictured with some of the quilts were made by Gretchen Hughes and some were just meant to go with certain quilts.

This is the fleece blanket made by Deanna from Shakopee (MN). Lots of you have made these quilts but in case you want to try one yourself - just take two coordinating lengths of fleece, place together and pin together so pieces will not slip when cutting. Next, make even width cuts around the edge of the two pieces that looks like "fringe". The last step is to tie the fringe pieces together all around the quilt. And that's all there is to it!

And another picture of the bright yellow, red and blue fireman themed quilt by Sue. If you want to see close-ups of any of the pics posted just click on the pictures and you'll get an enlarged view of the quilts.

And the last quilt didn't arrive on Saturday. It came today. This was Tuesday so to paraphrase that old movie title "If it's Tuesday, this must be Bible Study day". It was Marian's turn and she lives in St. Peter so when we go to her apartment, her neighbor Monica always joins us. We were all discussing the quilts and food and fun that ensued on Saturday at "Sew and Share" and Monica, who couldn't be there wanted to know what kind of quilts were needed. So we told her what was collected and then she said "I'll be right back", went across the hall to her apartment and came back with this sweet baby quilt edged with eyelet. It's a preprinted panel that she hand-quilted and backed with blue flannel. She said she doesn't have any babies to quilt for anymore but she loves to handquilt. Isn't that cool?

So, I went from "hot" at the beginning of this post to "cool" at the end and, actually, all the quilts, blankets, whatever you want to call them are really cool and yet, they will warm the hearts of those who receive them!