Have you ever had an eyelash come out and someone tell you to blow it away and make a wish? Or wished upon a star or your birthday candles? Sometimes it is hard to tell whether or not those wishes will come true, but there are those wishes you CAN be sure about- those made by critically ill children through the Make A Wish Foundation. Make A Wish grants special wishes for children battling serious illnesses everyday with the help of thousands of volunteers just like you and me.
I bring this up because right now there is a special way quilters can support the Make A Wish Foundation. My favorite online quilt shop, The Fat Quarter Shop is sponsoring an effort, supported by Moda Fabrics/ United Notions to raise money for the foundation by having a quilt along.
What is a quilt along ( QAL)? It can take different forms. Sometimes it is a group of people working from the same book or pattern with predetermined timelines using their own fabrics, such The Farmer’s Wife book, The City Sampler by Tula Pink, or Dear Jane. Some QALs offer a special kit for everyone to make the same thing similar to what Fat Quarter Shop did in the summer of 2013 with their Deck-ade The Halls QAL to celebrate ten years in business ( a deck-ade, get it?!). In the QALs I have followed, the group is usually connected by the Internet through Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, a blog, or other technological means of sharing their progress through pictures and posts.
In this QAL, Fat Quarter Shop offers a kit to make a sampler quilt from fabric designed by the Sweetwater girls called “Wishes” and a kit for a special pieced backing. The pattern for each block is available at the beginning of the month starting in January 2014 and going through December 2014. Participants can download each pattern by logging onto the website. While there is no charge for each pattern, quilters can opt to donate money through the website each month, quarterly, once, twice, or whatever is comfortable and it can be any amount. Kimberly Jolly, owner of the Fat Quarter Shop has set a goal of raising $5,000 and Mark Dunn, owner of Moda Fabrics has eagerly agreed to match donations up to $5,000 for a total of $10,000 or more!
One thing I love about the quilt is that the blocks are 14″ and it has a beautiful pieced border. The quilt kit colors are bold and cheery, but I can see this pattern working with batiks or Civil War fabrics. I love a sampler quilt because you make one block of a pattern and learn or practice certain skills, then move on to another pattern and skills. This would be a great experience for beginners as the blocks are not complicated. There is a supply list to get started and more information at The Fat Quarter Shop website and blog. Go to http://www.fatquartershop.com and help make some wishes come true!
As it happens, Rita Fishel of Creations Sew Clever is starting a block of the week in her entertaining emails beginning Monday. If you have never met Rita or been to her shop in Chillicothe, you have missed out! She is one of the busiest people I know, but she always has time to lend a hand, or an ear, or a shoulder to other quilters. Her newsletters are always poetic and newsy and, of course, there is a recipe or two you will want to try out! The block patterns she will be including in her newsletter, from what I understand, will be accompanied by a Bible verse and a story making this a special undertaking. If your sewing group or church circle is looking for an activity this would be a great one. In order to receive the patterns, you must be on her mailing list and she will not be resending any, so get signed up! Go to her website http://www.creationssewclever.com and click on “Contact Us”. Once there, sign up for the newsletter and get ready for a treat! Even if you are not a quilter, you may find the weekly recipes, Bible verse, and block interesting. Did I mention this will run for 73 weeks?! Rita is quite the woman!
I know this has been a long post, but I wanted to share with you the opportunity to meet a New York Times best-selling author. On January 17, Jennifer Chiaverini will be at The Book Loft in German Village signing books at noon. She is well known for her quilt related books about quilters and their visits to a special bed and breakfast, Elm Creek, but it is her historical novels that are gaining her much acclaim. Mrs. Lincoln’s Dressmaker is about the remarkable relationship between Mary Todd Lincoln and Elizabeth Keckley, a freed slave, who became her confidante and shares a look inside the private lives of the Lincoln family during their tumultuous life in the White House. Her latest novel, Mrs.Lincoln’s Rival, chronicles life in politics and high society in Washington, D.C. in the 1860’s. As it turns out, her rival is the daughter of the renowned Chase family of Ohio, Kate Chase Sprague. Though I have read the quilting novels I have not read either of these books. They are high on my reading list and judging from critical acclaim and economic success, they will not be disappointing!
In looking forward to my next post in a week, I would like to add something ongoing to the blog. Should it be something like a website of the week, a book review, a particular quilting skill, or a pattern? It is difficult to decide what people would be interested in reading about. Feedback and suggestions are highly encouraged! What do you think?