Quilts of Valor

A while back, Codi and I were in Craft Warehouse when we spotted a display in the fabric department with red, white and blue fabrics and a sign that said “Quilts of Valor Pack.”  We were intrigued, so we took some time to read the sign explaining what was going on.

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Quilts of Valor is a foundation that was set up to provide quilts to veterans and currently serving service men and women.  According to their website, they’ve awarded about 95,600 quilts in their 10-year history.  Holy smokes!  This organization is staffed completely by volunteers and relies on quilters to donate their time and talents to make all those quilts happen.

But back to the fabric store.  We each bought a Quilts of Valor Pack and took them home to see what was inside and what we could make with them.

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The bag contained three pieces of fabric, each 9 by 22”.  I don’t know if you can see it in the photo below, but at least the red stripe was a fabric made specifically for Quilts of Valor.

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I have a couple of books full of quilt blocks and I remembered a fantastic website I used when I was making more quilts called Quilters Cache, so between the two I was able to choose some designs I liked.  I was hoping to make at least two blocks, but was able to squeeze in a third.

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Sorry for the awful photo, but I was in a hurry to get the blocks back to Craft Warehouse so they could send them in!

Quilts of Valor is sponsoring a National Sew Day on February 1st.  If you’re interested in donating your time, fabric and sewing skills, this would be a great day to join in.  Not only is it a worthy cause, but if you register, you will be eligible for the prize drawings throughout the day, including a quilting machine.  I might have to locate that other bag of fabric that’s still in this house somewhere and make more blocks!

A Big Thank You

May ended this week, and with it my April/May fundraiser for Officer Kellogg’s family through my Etsy store.  So many of you have been very supportive through spreading the word and placing orders.  I’ve heard from lots of you, both publicly and privately, and I’m thankful, inspired and amazed.

I’m happy to report I was able to write a check to the Mike and Holly Kellogg Fund for $600!  Well, technically it was $595.42, but there was no way I could write it for that weird amount.  My goal was $500, so I’m thrilled!

While my Etsy fundraiser may be over, the effort for the Kelloggs continues.  If you’d like to make a donation, please visit the fund’s website here.

From the bottom of my heart…

Thank You

Just a quick update…

I wrote about Officer Mike Kellogg’s battle with cancer last week and the urgent need for financial assistance for his family.  For those of you who were wondering about it, the donation page for the Mike and Holly Kellogg Fund is up and running.  There’s also a Facebook page, if you’d like to send Mike and Holly a message.  I’m also donating all of the proceeds from my Etsy store for the next couple of months to the fund.  Thank you so much to everyone who has been so supportive!

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Mike and Holly Kellogg

This is the most important, and definitely the hardest post I’ve ever written.  I’d appreciate a little of your time to read it through. I haven’t talked about this much here, but my husband is a police sergeant.  He attended the academy many years ago, when our kids were small.  One of his classmates was Mike Kellogg.  Mike worked for a neighboring department for a couple of years, then transferred to the same town as my husband.  He’s not only a co-worker, but a friend.  You can read more about Mike’s history of service here.

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A few years ago, Mike was diagnosed with leukemia.  He received a bone marrow transplant and finally went into remission.  He was healthy and able to work until last year, when the cancer returned.  After much fighting on his part and the doctors’, he recently learned it had progressed beyond the ability of modern medicine.  Mike was just told he has a few months left. 

One of the things I’ve always loved about my husband’s job is the sense of family among their small department.  They are brothers and sisters who have each other’s back and those of the families that support them.  When one of them goes down, everyone else works to pick him back up.  Priority one right now is making sure Mike and his family are taken care of.  The police chief, command staff and community volunteers are organizing several fundraising events.  Many people have stepped up with generosity that has brought us to tears already.  Now I’m asking for a little help from all of you. 

For the months of April and May, 100% of the profits from my Etsy store will be donated to the Mike and Holly Kellogg Fund.  If you’ve ever considered purchasing any of my items, this would be a great time to do it.  If you know anyone who might be interested in what I do, I’d appreciate it if you’d spread the word - Twitter, Facebook, StumbleUpon, anywhere you hang out.  Custom orders are included, so if you don’t see exactly what you’re looking for, contact me. 

I try not to talk about my Etsy store too much on this blog, but these are extenuating circumstances and I’d like to be able to contribute to helping Mike and his family through what I love to do.  Thank you so much for taking the time to read this.  If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask me.  Please help me to support one of Oregon’s finest.

How You Can Help Japan and Pacific Tsunami Victims

I hadn’t watched the news at all the day the earthquake hit Japan and had no idea it had even happened.  But late that night, my son and I happened to turn on the news and ended up watching live footage from a helicopter flying over as the tsunami wiped out everything in its path.  It was heart-wrenching to know it was happening right then and all we could do was watch.

If, like me, you’re trying to figure out how you can help, experts say donating money is always the best route.  Aid organizations like the Red Cross can determine where and how it can best be used.  The Red Cross website also has a very long list of companies, both online and brick-and-mortar, that are officially accepting donations to the Red Cross.

If you type “Japan Relief” in the search box at Etsy right now, you’ll get back 8159 results.  And that’s just ONE of the various search terms that would probably lead you somewhere that’s donating all or a portion of their sales to help in the relief efforts.

Many crafters tend to want to make something to donate, because the process of creating can be healing.  eQuilter is working with Mission of Love to provide quilts to survivors.  If you’re interested in donating a quilt, please read the posts at the eQuilter blog thoroughly before doing so, as there are several things you’ll need to be aware of.  eQuilter has suggested you contact them rather than Mission of Love, as they are a small group and are currently busy working with an Air Force base to get these quilts in the air.  However, the quilts need to be shipped directly to Mission of Love.

When something terrible happens it’s not a matter of trying to find a way to help, it’s deciding which path to take to do it, because there’s always one available.  When it comes down to it, we’re there for each other, and that makes me proud to be a human.

Wednesday Whirlwind

My intentions were good.  I planned to post a tutorial today – a new spin on something I did previously that’s been very popular.  Here’s a hint:  it involves coffee cup sleeves and Valentine’s Day.  However, life kinda got in the way and I’m going to have to postpone it a little.

However, I do have a little news.  I donated two of my lens cap pockets to the Australian Flood Appeal Etsy store.  One of them sold immediately, but the other was still there last time I looked.  Here’s your chance to get free shipping and help a great cause!

My other news is that my super-sweet hubby installed all new shelving in my sewing room yesterday.  Oh, it’s beautiful.  I just want to sit and stare at it.  I’ll share some before and after pics once I’ve finished putting everything in it’s new home.

I’m off to the dentist.  I hope you’re doing something more fun and crafty!

Flooding in Australia–How You Can Help

I live in a little place called Boring in Oregon.  I haven’t visited much of the world yet, although I hope to one day.  But through this blog, I feel like I’ve connected with the world in a way I never imagined.  I have followers from all over, and I’ve found links on other blogs to my projects in languages I couldn’t even identify without help.  I’ve sent a few lens cap pockets from my Etsy store overseas to places that make me want to stuff myself in the package.  Last week, one of those places was Australia.

I won’t get in to the devastation they’ve suffered and the massive rebuilding project they have ahead.  You know what’s going on.  What I do want to talk about is how you can help.  Crafters tend to be generous people, we just need to know which direction to point our efforts.

I first came across the Queensland Flood Auctions list last week.  It’s massive.  Crafters and suppliers from all over the world are offering their items for auction or raffle, with all of the proceeds going toward flood relief.  I noticed most of these end TONIGHT, so don’t wait to check it out.

The official Queensland Government donation site is located here.

Here you’ll find an Etsy shop called Australian Flood Appeal.  The proceeds from all sales of everything in the shop will be donated and the sellers have donated the cost of the shipping as well.  This shop has a great cause, but is also full of really beautiful things.  I’m sorry to have to tell you, the brooch below is no longer available, but it will look lovely on the lapel of my coat!

Brooch

The Australian Salvation Army has a website here.

Sew Many Quilts, So Little Time is accepting donations of quilt-as-you-go blocks, which will be made into quilts and donated to those in need.  Be sure to read this post about what a quilt-as-you-go square is.

The Australian Red Cross website is here.

Queensland Quilters Inc. is requesting donations of quilts, unquilted tops, cotton quilting fabric, cotton batting, quilting books and magazines or financial donations.

My thoughts and prayers are with our friends in Australia, and here’s hoping we can all find a way to help.