Has it really been 10 months since I posted last? Goodness! Well, life has a way of getting in the middle of things and having its own way. And it hasn't been bad things in life. For the most part, I've been kept busy by my Etsy store (y'all keep those orders coming!) full time work, a very gregarious grandbaby and a Senior in High School (Lord, I'm almost there!) rounds out the insanity in the FBR household.
Sewing gives me pleasure and making things for others gives me warm fuzzies because as I'm making the item, I'm thinking about the recipient. If it's someone I know, I'm thinking of how much I love them and how much they are going to love what I've done for them. If I don't know them, I wonder what are they like, what do they dream about, are they happy?
One of my few things (okay, the only thing) I do for myself is the West Alabama Quilter's Guild. I escape to, err, go to a meeting once a month with other people who love to sew as much as I do, imagine that! My kids don't believe it, but, I suspect some of them have fabric stashes bigger than mine!
WAQG opened their doors and welcomed me in from the first moment I set foot in a meeting. Who knew there were this many people in Tuscaloosa who like to sew as much as I do! This group has a number of community service projects and it warms my heart and blesses my soul to join these causes with gusto.
We have done a silent auction to benefit Turning Point, an advocacy group for abused women; we are collecting quilts for the Central Church of Christ Disaster Response Truck; and yesterday, we collectively made and donated 150 quilts to Tuscaloosa Department of Human Resources for Foster Kids! It took two vans to cart them away. I am honored to be a part of such a caring group of quilters!
We don't realize how blessed we are. While I worked on items for each of these charities, I couldn't help but think on how, but for the Grace of God, it could be me or my loved ones in need. As I made my quilt for foster kids, my heart broke for the child who would receive it. The little boy or girl who gets my quilt is not being loved and cared for the way he/she should. They are in Foster Care, or in the system for suspected neglect or abuse.
Our challenge was to take a panel of cloth and deconstruct it and transform it into a quilt. I took three months to pick my panel. I wanted it to be unisex. I settled on Maisy because my kids LOVED "Maisy, Maisy, Maisy, Maisy Mouse." Plus, this panel was educational. I wanted the child to be warm plus be entertained by the quilt. I prayed as I made that quilt. I told the child, "You ARE loved!" I set it aside for a month because I couldn't quite figure out how to finish it (the other folks in the guild had shown some superific transformations and mine seemed weak in comparison). Then last Sunday, the quilt told me what to do, just in the nick of time. So here is the before and after. I put a pocket on the back so the quilt could be stuffed in it, as well as pajamas, books, treasures....
Little boy or girl who gets my Maisy quilt... I love you. I believe in you. You are special. You will amount to something. You are worthy. Be blessed.
I know you're thinking "The internet needs another DIY Blog like the world needs another Kardashian story." Okay, I have nothing against the Kardashian clan, my kids watch them faithfully. But there are TONS of DIY Blogs out there, what is there to set this one apart from any other blog? Honestly, I have no clue but I'm going to give it a shot.
I'm going to try to put the things here that I wish were in some the blogs I visit: honest and upfront descriptions of the time, energy, and money it will take to do projects from a real world perspective. I mean, really, if I had unlimited resources like Martha Stewart, would I really be doing DIY in the first place? Heck no! Not out of necessity, anyway. If I had an unlimited budget, I would come up with the ideas and PAY SOMEONE ELSE to do it for me. I think that is where most people in the real world are. I'd do the things that are fun and stress-free and let someone else deal with the Bride who changes her colors 3 times in 3 days and the wedding is in a week!
So what is this blog about? I'm sure it will evolve over time but I know I will be attempting things I've seen on other blogs and giving my honest opinion on the feasibility in terms of time, energy, and money spent. I'm not going to bash anyone elses methods, if they have the wherewithal to make it happen to their satisfaction and you want to do it verbatim, GO FOR IT! I'll be leaning toward making it easy for the cash challenged folks like myself. After all, everybody who wants to craft should be able to without having to choose between buying, say, the newest quilting rulers or groceries!
My first project? A quilt made from scraps using a method from the Missouri Star Quilt Company. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Jenny Doan and if I lived anywhere near Hamilton, MO, my daughter would be eating quilt sandwiches because there'd be no money for bread and bologna! Every time that woman does a new tutorial with another ruler, I'm seriously torn between buying it or putting gas in the car. Okay, not seriously, but it does cause me angst because I can't afford to spend money on sewing "stuff" like I want. I've come up with a few ways to reconcile the need to have that new gadget with my need for food and shelter. I'll be sharing those with you. I'll be giving credit where credit is due and if you look at what I've done and you want to spend the $$, more power to you (and slide a few dollars my way while you are making it rain). If, however, you want to save and my way helps you do it, my work here is done.
So, stay tuned. Can't promise I'll post frequently but I will post. There is this thing called life (work, raising a child alone, sewing to make ends meet, playing with my grandbaby, planning a wedding, etc) that might get in the way sometimes...
FULL DISCLOSURE: I am not receiving renumeration of any kind for my blog (but I am not averse to compensation in the form of items to try. Be aware that I will give my honest opinion whether I am given the product or purchase it myself).
Self-proclaimed Martha Stewart with a shoestring budget.