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!  


Planes, Trains, and Automobiles Play Mat Quilt


Planes, Trains and Automobiles Play Quilt

So, my friend Clint has cancer.  He’s been fighting so long, and has so much support from an amazing group of friends (even Lance Armstrong!) … but his wife Angela says he’s sleeping a lot more now, that maybe something is progressing or his body may be shutting down.  I hope it’s just a bump in the road, but realistically, no matter how much we pray or how hard he fights, the odds are against him.  I hate even saying that, it brings me to tears, but if his wife can be that strong, so can his friends, right?  I’m trying.  What I’m going to concentrate on is that we all love him, and that gives us a feeling of responsibility and a desire to help his family.  Love doesn’t quit.  I’m focusing on what I can do.

Planes, Trains and Automobiles Play Quilt

I’m not wealthy but I’m crafty, so my contributions will often involve things I’ve made.  Clint and I actually had a discussion about this.  Earlier I asked him if I could make a purse for Angela, something he could give her, because it might be nice for him to be able to surprise her.  He told me about what colors she liked and what her other bags were like, so he had a good influence on the design.  It was made just for her, from him.  We talked about ideas for this play mat/quilt for their boys, too.  I thought about making a simple play mat from felt, but then realized how much better a quilt would be in the long run.  We’ll get to that in just a minute.

Planes, Trains and Automobiles Play Quilt

Let me quickly get the details out of the way: The front is a printed fabric panel, On The Go Playmat Panel by Jill Webster.  (I bought mine here.)  The back is Michael Miller’s Ta Dot in Moss and the binding is Michael Miller’s Toot Toot Cars in Lime.  I did random straight line quilting — well, mostly random.  I did notice an usually high concentration of lines through the Sweet Shop.  Lead me not into temptation, for I can find it myself.

I’m sure the boys have lots of cars already, but just in case I’m going to send a few more, including a little train and a couple planes so they can make full use of the mat.  (I tried to find a school bus with no luck.  I might have to keep looking and send that along later.)

Planes, Trains and Automobiles Play Quilt

I love that this is a play mat, but it’s also a true quit.  The boys can pull it up on the couch as a lap quilt when they watch a movie, read a book or play a video game.  They can throw it over a chair to make a little fort or play Hide the Dog.  Montana has cold winters, so I hope this little quilt will get lots of cuddling as well as play.  It should be tough enough to stand up to whatever they can dish out, and their Mom can throw it in the washer and dryer whenever she feels the need.  It will just get softer and better the more it’s used.

That’s the thing I love best about this little quilt — it is a quilt.  I hope when the boys outgrow playing with cars, it will get tucked in a closet somewhere, almost forgotten.  Then before we know it, these little boys will grow up, get married and hopefully have little ones of their own.  Then it will be remembered, pulled off a shelf and used all over again.

From Clint to his boys to his grandkids.  Because we never really leave someone we love.

So there.  That’s the best way I have to pray.

In the words of his wife, Angela:
Cancer is a terrible thief. Clint Aaron Miller 03.08.1971 – 12.11.2011

52 Reasons I Love Him


52 Reasons I Love YouToday’s my husband’s birthday — Happy Birthday, Jay!  :)  He’s already wearing his main present (a tattoo), but I wanted him to have something to open on the actual day.  It was just too sad to think he wouldn’t have anything to unwrap, and I needed to keep costs way down as we’re about to go on vacation.

I saw this idea on Pinterest and loved it!  Papervine had done a deck of cards for Valentine’s Day, but I thought it would work just as well for a birthday.  After all, who doesn’t want to hear why you love them?

I used a new deck of cards, scuffed them up with sandpaper and gave them a rub with a pigment ink stamp pad, concentrating on the edges.  I thought the ink might slide a bit and get all over my hands, but it held fast right from the start.   One of the extra cards made a nice template to keep punched holes even,and a couple binder rings keeps everything together.  (I may replace them with black ones later, we just happened to have these on hand.)

There are great free labels from Cathe at Just Something I Made.  (She has them in red, green, black and brown if you want a different look.)  Trimmed an eighth of an inch all the way around, I think they were just right.

LabelsThese also got aged with the stamp pad, then I just wrote out my list one by one.

52 Reasons I Love YouSome are private jokes.

52 Reasons I Love YouOther crafters may relate to some of them.

52 Reasons I Love YouBut I hope they all show him why he is just right for me.

52 Reasons I Love You(Mojo is our dog, who loves to be the first one to greet his Daddy when he gets home from work.)

52 Things I Love About YouHappy birthday, Baby!  Wishing you many, many more!