Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Big Bertha

Anybody that knows me knows that each and every sewing machine and pet that I own was named after a  TV character from my youth.

My kitties are Mork and Mindy.  Mork is a spaz and Mindy is a lady.

Hawkeye is named after the Mash character, although most people thought it was for the university.  Don't know why????  Oh yeah look at the previous post....that could be it.  With his sense of hearing, Radar might of been a better choice.

I have domestic sewing machines, their names are Lavern and Shirley...one is a little more dainty and therefore my traveling machine.  The other stays at home...and is really durable (read hefty).

Then there is the long arm....that is Lenni, Squiggy and the Fonz.

Side note; perhaps all this TV time did me no favors later in life.

As most of you know we have a pillow case challenge going on.  I was working on some pillowcases that Sue D. donated.  Wonderful, colorful, soft flannel pillowcases.  I was sewing along on Shirley, and when I got to the flange (six layers of flannel) Shirley threw a hissy fit.  She actually refused to sew for me any longer and demanded a spa day.  THE NERVE OF HER!

I was commenting to my dear hubby how I had so many, many more flannel pillowcases to put together.  He had a solution for me.

Now try as I could, I could not come up with a name for her.....except Big Bertha.  She is a work horse and is making quick work of all the pillow cases I need to sew in the next several weeks.

Here is some fabric, from Tony's donation that I knew I could get a few pillow cases out of.  I spent a night kitting them up and had them ready in case anyone volunteered.

Within a couple of days, Dian W offered to sew a few together for me.  Here they are all put together.  We have cats, peacocks, dragon flies and barnyard animals.  All very unique and colorful.  These might be used as book bags later at the center.  I think they have way to much personality to actually be a pillow case.

Lonnie was checking out the fabric on the sale rack at Adel Quilting and Dry Goods.  She decided to sew up a couple more for the cause.  I have lost track of how much fabric/ finished cases that she has donated this year.

These are the cases that led to Big Bertha living in my house.  I know she was meant to live in my sewing room, and I am so glad to have her.  I can get these sewn up in half the time it use to take.

With these donations we are officially at 358 pillow cases donated so far this year.  Well over half of our goal, before half of the year is up.

Thank you to Dian, Lonnie and Sue for the donations of fabric, finished pillowcases and your time and talents.

I have a couple of small quilts to bind this week, and I hope to get one bed size quilt on the machine also.  

Hope you all have a wonderful week!

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

You can teach a new trick to an old dog....

This past weekend I celebrated my 58th birthday.  So the old dog that I am referring to in the post title is me.  The great news is that even though I am a year older, I am so much healthier and grateful for it.

I am also glad that I still have the capacity to retain new information.  Several weeks ago, maybe even a couple of months ago, Nancy J. shared a tip with me.  She had been to a quilting function and they were using their scraps to make doggy beds.  Nancy thought that the information would be helpful to me and passed it my way.  I am so thankful that she did. 

The doggy beds were made out of old t-shirts.  And as luck would have it, I have old t-shirts that I can no longer wear.

First thing you do is turn the t-shirt inside out and sew the arms and bottom together.

Turn the shirt right side out and you now have your bed ready to be stuffed.  Just put your scraps in the neck hole.

Once you have stuffed the bed about 85% full.  Take the bed to the sewing machine and finish sewing up that neck line.  Wallah you have yourself a doggy bed! Easy peasy!

Now I like the beds that I donate to be functional for A Heinz 57.  So I take some fleece and make an outside cover for the beds so they can easily wash just the cover instead of the whole bed.

I was struggling on how to close them up, and finally realized I could just sew a little fleece and make a tie to do the trick.  I do believe thou in the future I will use 4 tie's vs just the two.

In addition to all of the beds, I also delivered these 5 doggy blankets to them.  My guess is that they will be used for the puppies when they have them in the kiddy pools to keep them corralled. Long before they are potty trained.  These were made of fabric that was not 100% cotton and could not be used in quilts....but they will be perfect, and wash well, for this purpose.

NOW before you all start thinking you should donate your t-shirts to me.... get that thought right out of your head!  I have plenty to work with, between my husbands and my old wardrobe.  But I would encourage you to make a few of the beds up from your own scraps.  IF you want to donate a stuffed bed, I will make the outer casing and get it donated to Amy.

Thank you Nancy for sharing the tip.  It really did make it so much easier for me, and as you can see a lot of puppies are going to be up off the floor because you shared.

Hope everyone has a great week!

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Some times you just need supplies.....

Every once in a while you just need to replenish supplies.

I was working on this quilt for the Adel Library auction that Jacque is hosting at Adel Quilting and Dry Goods.

The top was pieced really well, but I did not have my air conditioner on yet, and the humidity was messing with my quilting. As you can see when I got to the end the border kept curling up.... and I was feeling lazy.


So it gave me a great excuse to head over to the quilt shop to purchase this handy dandy tool.  It is my favorite go to spray.

Couple of quick sprays and that border is lying flat as can be and there isn't anything that the humidity can do about it.

I was able to finish quilting the quilt in no time at all.  This top had been donated to the auction by Nancy.  I donated the quilting on it.

I think it was really pretty prior to the quilting, and the quilting made it pop even more if I do say so myself.

Since the top had butterflies in it.  I decided to quilt some pretty butterflies on it, in a pretty green.

The backing was bright and has butterflies on it also.

This quilt will be available for purchase this coming Saturday at Adel Quilting and Dry Goods.  Many other things will be available in this auction also.  All proceeds from the sale of these items will be donated to the Adel library. So please come and check out the quilt show, and the auction.

So how many of you are wondering about the title of this post?

I have taken the long way around to this donation.  When I went into the quilt shop to pick up that can of Sulky that is pictured above.  I had a gift certificate waiting for me from Lonnie.  She told me that she hadn't been able to do as much for Iowa Comfort as she would have liked, but wanted to donate.

I knew I needed that can of spray....but I was set for pretty much everything else.  SOOOOOOOO guess what we did with the balance of the gift certificate????  Give you three guesses, first two don't count....
Yep you got it.  We kitted some pillow case kits from the sale rack.  I took the fabric home and whipped up these 6 pillow cases.  Alright to be perfectly honest, I did dip into a yard of fabric from here at home.  Don't know how I thought I was going to make 6 cases from 5 yards of fabric....but we got it done.

Officially these are pillow cases 336-341.

It was really nice to play with quilt shop quality fabric for a little bit.  I have been working with some vintage fabric...but we will save the rest of that story.

Thanks Lonnie for the donation!  You have been very generous to Iowa Comfort and I really appreciate it.

Don't forget to stop by the quilt shop this Saturday and pick up an item from the auction.  The library will appreciate it!

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Fund raiser for Crisis Intervention & Advocacy Center

Every year the center throws a large fund raising event.  

On June-20 the center is having its 4th annual garage sale.  This year it will be held at the Dallas County Fairgrounds in Adel.

The center is asking for donations of gently used items including housewares, furniture, appliances and more.  They are also asking for people to donate baked goods to be sold at the event.

Here is a scan of the flyer that they sent me.  If you are thinking about donating baked goods.  They ask that you please package all items in a container ready for selling.  Baked goods can be delivered to the Dallas County Fairgrounds in Adel on Wednesday June 17 or the morning of June 18th or 19th.  The sale will run from June 18th through the 20th.

Please consider donating either household items or baked goods, and make sure to stop out and shop the sale.

Adel Quilting and Dry Goods will have an outdoor quilt show on June 20th.  The local quilt circle has been busy stitching up some crafts that will be for sale.  All proceeds from those sales will be donated to the Adel Library.

So mark you calendars and shop Adel on the 20th.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015


I have been really busy with customer quilts, and pillowcases over the last month.  As I was preparing to get our donations in order for delivery, I realized that I didn't have any quilts this time.  And I felt bad.... of course as it always happens about that time I got a call from Adel Quilting that we had a donation drop off there. 

I also got a email from Nancy K.  telling me that she had left us some cute quilts.   And cute they are!  These quilts came to me completely finished and ready for donation.  All I had to do was try to find the right beanie to go with the quilt.

Here is the first quilt:  

So adorable.  Reads little girl to me... in fact my grand daughter was here this last weekend and I caught her eyeing this quilt.  Her room is decorated in black and white with hot pink.  I may have to make her a new quilt for her bed.

I decided to send an angel bear along with this quilt.  Her wings have just a tint of pink in them.  Much like the body of this quilt.  Did you catch that one pink square in the picture above? I love it.  I don't know if it was by design or a make do...either way I think it makes the quilt, don't you? 

Here is quilt # 2 from Nancy.  This quilt belongs to a little boy.  I can already see his smile and how much joy it will bring him.  Now I knew that I was going to send a long a puppy with this quilt.  So I went searching through that tub of beanies for the perfect puppy. (see post from 5-19-15 to see that tub)

I was so hoping that I would find a Dalmatian in that tub. I was not that fortunate.  But I did find this little guy that will be accompanying the quilt to the center.  I am sure that the little guy that gets this will love the quilt and the puppy!

Here is quilt # 3.  This one could belong to a boy or a girl.  It is farm themed... and adorable.

Mr. Red Bull, jumped out of that tub, and told me that he belonged with this quilt.  I had originally picked out a cute pink pig.  But he quickly explained that the pig would make it a girl quilt...so it could not be.

And just to prove his point he then had me look a the back of the quilt.  He flashed those big black eyes at me and said " I also match the color of the backing....it was meant to be".  And so it was.

I may be a little punchy....having conversations with the beanie babies.

Here is what I do know for sure.  All of these quilts are adorable, they will be loved, and they will bring a smile to a little person in the very near future.  I plan to make a delivery of these quilts and pillow cases this coming week.

I am going to try to work on getting a couple of quilt tops quilted this week.  I think I will set the goal of one bed size and two Hope quilts.  I will worry about binding them after I actually get them quilted.  I am also cutting pillow case kits, this week.

Thank you again Nancy for your generous donation.  The quilts are wonderful, the quilting was precious and finished projects always make me smile!  Thanks again to Adel Quilting for their on going support of Iowa Comfort.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Joyce is a MACHINE!

I mean that is the only way I can describe her.  Or she may be bionic.....maybe part serger or sewing machine.  At the very least she must have superpowers.  oh a vision of Joyce in her super hero costume just flashed into my head.  he he ( I am easily amused).

Joyce helped out at the community sew day.  Those quilts are going to be beautiful, but they are big (double sized) quilts and really can't be finished in a day.  So she took the one she was working on home to finish up.  In less than a week I got a call from her that she had a couple of lap size quilts that needed quilting....and she had the quilt top done for Iowa comfort... oh and the pillow cases that she took home to complete also.

Take a look at this beautiful quilt;

 This picture does not do it justice at all.  It is just too cold and windy for me to take it outside to take a pic.  Believe me it is gorgeous  and scrappy.

Here are the pillow cases that she sewed up for our challenge.  She went home with 11.  She has a thing about odd numbers so she had to whip up another one to make it an even dozen.  Isn't that cute!

Officially these are pillowcases 300-311.

When Joyce came by to pick up her quilts.... she spotted this on my desk.

I had been working on that donation of fabric from Tony, and I had taken all that cat fabric and made some pillow case kits.  So Joyce offered to take them home and sew them up for me.

Last week at Circle of Friends she returned them to me ready for donation. Again I say she must be bionic!

So these aren't cats fabric, but the fabric was unique.

Here is the cat fabric.  Well all but the two in the lower left picture.

Officially these are pillow cases 312-327

You would think that would be enough.  I certainly would.  But Joyce explained that she was out and about and found a yard sale that had some fabric.  SOOOOOOOOO

She whipped up another 8 cases for donation.

Officially these are 328-335.  Oh no it is an odd number!  Nobody tell JOYCE!  (wink wink)

Joyce thank you just does not even begin to cover all of your help and donations to Iowa Comfort... but I will say it again THANK YOU!

Tony thank you again for the donation of fabric.  We are already putting it to good use!

Make sure to come back next week.  I have finished quilt tops to show you.  Another great donation!

Tuesday, May 19, 2015


Jo Anne S. sent me an email.  She told me that she had been watching the blog and saw that my selection of beanies was getting low.

Jo Anne was the lady that donated all of those wonderful Hope Quilts that were featured in the Jan. 20th post.

According to JoAnne she has been acquiring Beanie babies just about any where she can find them.  Originally they were being purchased to be donated to children's Christmas packages through a local church.

It seems that the rules of donation are changing.  Once gently loved toys are no longer allowed for donation at many organizations.  

This is what happened to JoAnne.  She contacted a second organization to see if they could use the Beanie babies...only to be told that only new toys could be donated.

Private thought....I really don't get that.  Maybe those groups get enough donations that they can require it to be new.  But I have to think that there are plenty of kids out there that would be happy with a gently loved toy.

On the flip side.  That churches loss is Iowa Comforts windfall!

JoAnne and I tried a couple of times to meet up.  It ended up that it was just easier to drop the donation off at Adel Quilting and Dry Goods in Adel.

What a donation it was!

Now that is two large garbage bags, and three grocery sacks.  

We have Beanie Babies!  A huge tub of them.  I think JoAnne told me that there was 149 of them.  Almost all of them still have the tags on them, and I don't think they were ever used.  

I will have so much fun finding the right Beanie to go with each Hope quilt in the future.  With this selection I will be able to match color or animal to the Hope quilt.  (no more sending a dog along with a quilt made out of cat material).

The only problem I foresee with this donation is......when my grandchildren come for a visit.  Owen knows that I have Beanies and he usually plays with them..... I am going to have to find a way to hide the tub from him....or I won't be able to find the floor as he searches for the perfect buddy for his visit.  Life is tough! wink wink.

Thank you so much JoAnne for this wonderful donation!  And for your generous spirit which guided you to start collecting the beanies.

Special thanks to Jacque at Adel Quilting and Dry Goods, for her continued support of Iowa Comfort and allowing her shop to be a drop off spot for Iowa Comfort.  With out her support I don't know where I would be.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Pillow cases and fabric donations

A couple of weeks ago I got a FB message from Colleen T.  She asked if I would be home, she had a fabric donation for Iowa Comfort.  As luck would have it, my afternoon was free for a drop off. 

I know I am sounding like a broken record.... but I really am not taking any fabric donations right now.  But in this case we were talking large pieces that could be used as backing.

Colleen showed up at my back door a few minutes later with these:

 Four very heavy bags of quilt shop quality fabric.  This fabric was donated to us by Tony J.  If I remember correctly, he came into the fabric's possession by acquiring someone else's stash.  He had to cull some of the fabric.... Colleen told him about Iowa Comfort and he graciously agreed to  donate it to us.

So I have spent the last several evenings, sorting the fabric and wrapping it on to mini bolts.

As you can see there was a lot of fabric in those sacks.  Great news for Iowa comfort there was a lot of fabric that could be used as blenders.  I spent yesterday getting these bolts into the shelves under my long arm.

One of those sacks had basically all cat fabric in it.  I decided that making some pillow case kits out of that fabric would be a good use of that fabric.  I have 15 kits ready to be sewn together.  

These are pillow case kits in waiting.  9 kits that need me to find a cuff or flange to get the kit finished. I am going to work on that this week.

This fabric are all large cuts that can be used as backing material. 

 In those five prints we have 26 yards of fabric.  15 of which is of pony material.  I see lots of little boy quilts being made for that backing.

This is all I have left to sort from this donation.  These are smaller,  irregular pieces of fabric.  I will work this week to get these ironed and cut into usable precut fabrics for future quilts. 

Colleen also sewed up 12 pillow cases for our challenge.  Aren't they bright and cheerful!  

Officially these are pillow cases 288 - 299. So we have met our goal of 250, and are 3/5 of the way to reaching 500 for the year.

Thank you so much Tony for the donation of fabric.  Special thanks to Colleen for steering Tony our way and for making pillow cases for us.