American Made Brand West Virginia License Plate


Welcome to the West Virginia stop of the American Made Brand 50 States Blog Tour! For this tour, a quilting blogger from each state was asked to make a license plate.  Each of the finished plates will be sewn together to form one fantastic quilt. I was asked to create a license plate for my home state of West Virginia, and this is what I came up with:

American Made Brand WV License Plate Complete

I’ll post a tutorial tomorrow, although please keep in mind that I am NOT a pattern designer.  (If you are also NOT a pattern designer but wouldn’t mind creating stuff from your own ideas from time to time, you may be interested in some of the tools and techniques I used.)

When I was first asked to create a license tag for West Virginia, I knew that I wanted to represent the land somehow, and the way West Virginians feel about our home state.  (We love it here!)  I also really wanted it to look like it could be used as a license plate, if an especially “quilty” one.  I kept it simple with English paper pieced hexagons, easy applique and hand embroidery.  Also, West Virginia has had kind of a rough time of it lately (did you hear about our water crisis?), so I added a little rainbow-ish border to represent better days ahead.  When this plate is stitched into the quilt with the others, it’ll have a thin band of color all around it.

For your viewing pleasure, here are a few of my favorite things from around West Virginia.  You may recognize Fiestaware and Blenko Glass, two West Virginia companies whose products I see in my own home and from coast to coast whenever I travel.

West Virginia Collage

American Made Brand is giving away a set of eight fat quarters just to thank you for visiting this blog!  To enter, just leave a  comment by Sunday evening at midnight (Eastern), June 15.  (If you comment before I get up Monday morning, I’ll probably leave you in the running, but I do get up awfully darn early and I don’t want you to miss out.)  If you have no idea what to say, just tell me what state you’re from.  Actually, this is open to anyone around the world, but if you’re not in the USA they’ll ship to me and I’ll ship to you, so please be patient with us and allow a little time if that’s the case.  These are wonderful fabrics, so please enter and get a chance to try them for free!

I was also told that I could give away the leftover fabric once I created my license plate.  As a quilter though, I’m used to making something out of the fabric first, then giving it away.  So I made placemats (following this tutorial) and a friend of mine is going to deliver them on her regular route with Meals On Wheels.

American Made Brand Placemats

Giving the fabric away as placemats to people receiving meals seemed like an especially appropriate way to share American Made Brand fabrics.  I just picture all the Americans involved in the creation of this fabric, from the farmers to the weavers, dyers and even the truck drivers making sure it all gets where it’s going — surely they’d all be happy to know they helped put a smile on an elderly someone’s face, along with good food in their belly.  And placemats are a great way to show off more of the colors in the American Made Brand spectrum, aren’t they?

American Made Brand Fabrics Patchwork Placemats

So, be sure to comment below for a chance to win eight fat quarters of American Made Brand fabrics, and check back tomorrow if you’d like instructions to make a West Virginia plate of your own!

Update: Giveaway has now ended.

American Made Brand WV License Plate


WIP: American Made Brand Placemats


American Made Brand Placemats Three Collage

While the American Made Brand 50 states blog tour is about to start up, I’m working with my fabric leftovers to make some placemats.  I’ll tell you more about it when I’ve got them all finished, but I can share that they’ll be a charity donation meant to bring smiles to some very deserving people, and I felt it was especially appropriate for the spirit of  American Made Brand.  (They said we could give away leftovers if we liked, and this is how I interpret “giving away.”)

It’s been a joy to work with these fabrics, and I’m especially liking the way they work up in patchwork.  The somewhat crisp feel presses and stitches together wonderfully.  I can’t wait to wash the finished placemats and see that quilty crinkle!



Over the Weekend …

WVMQG Flags for Boston 2

Our tiny little quilt guild (Lisa, Mary and me) met and connected our contributions to the “To Boston with Love” exhibit that will be displayed at the Museum of Fine Arts Boston.  This project was sparked by the Vancouver Modern Quilt Guild and has spread to include quilters from all around the world.  Small kindnesses matter, especially when can we add them all together.  I can’t wait to see photos of the flags on display!

Mom's Travel Organizer Bags Collage

And then we celebrated Mother’s Day!  My Mom and Mother in law each got a set of personalized organizer travel bags.  My Mom will be taking a big trip this summer and I’m hoping her bags will get a lot of use.

Kim's Organizer Bag in Progress

I’m getting a little carried away making a set for my best friend now, with some paper piecing, inset zipper pocket and cute quotes.  Then maybe there will be a set for me.  (And then it will really, really be time to get back to quilting.)

Mother's Day Collage

My own Mother’s Day gift was a gorgeous locket, and we took new photos to go inside. I can’t even tell you how crazy I am about these people.  I am well and truly blessed!


My “To Boston with Love” Contribution


Boston Love Banners

Watching the news coverage of the bombings at the Boston Marathon left me feeling helpless, angry and sick.  But then the world responded with support, kindness and love.  THIS is the real lesson, the part that I hope we’ll keep with us.

The Vancouver Modern Quilt Guild has created a project that lets crafty minded people join together to send another message of support to the people of Boston.  “To Boston with Love” is a collaborative effort by quilters to create a display swags of happy, colorful banners in a public exhibit in Boston.  If you’d like to join in, be quick!  They need the flags by May 21, 2013 for the planned exhibit in June.  Click the button below for more details, including links to paper piecing patterns like the ones I used above and where to mail your finished flags.

To Boston With Love

Much thanks to Lisa of In the Boon Docks for motivating our tiny (but growing) group in the West Virginia Modern Quilters Guild to contribute to this project!  You rock, Lisa!  


The Path to the Cure Pink Ribbon Fund 5k

Ever so slightly off topic: my husband and I participated in a 5k this weekend!   We just walked, but we had a fabulous time and it was something fun to do together.  Our cause was the Paul Abrose Trail for Health “Path to the Cure” Pink Ribbon Fund.  We joined over 1500 people for a nice little walk/run around Huntington, WV and raised money for  the St. Mary’s Pink Ribbon Fund, which pays for mammograms for women who are uninsured or underinsured and for the completion and maintenance of the Paul Ambrose Trail for Health.  All of the money raised stays in the area and benefits local people.  I love that!

People were very creative with their team names and shirts.  I loved this little one’s “I <3 Boo Bees” shirt.

P2C I Love Boo Bees Shirt

One team wore “Cancer Didn’t Steel’ Her” shirts to celebrate the survival of a Steeler fan.

P2C Cancer Didn't Steel Her Shirt

Jay and I wore our “Beat It, Cancer” shirts.  (You can buy them here if you want one!)

P2C Beat It Cancer Shirts

The race organizers rode around in the Boobie Cart, cheering us on.

P2C Boobie Cart

Here’s a blurry shot from about a mile in.

P2C 5k On the Move

And our finishing time.  (Walking, remember!)

P2C 5k Finish Line

And if you’re still wondering what in the world this might have to do with a crafty blog, I donated my sewing skills to the cause.

Pink Ribbon

The awards were beautiful West Virginia handmade glass, hanging from pink ribbons.  Congratulations to all who won, and to all who participated — and to those wonderful organizers!  They made this so much fun!

I’ve already offered by services again for next year!