Wednesday, August 26, 2015

No Words... words.

But I wanted to share the slide show that was put together by the kids...I know it's long...and yet in some ways it doesn't quite seem long enough.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Milwaukee Irish Fest - Quilts of Valor Presentation

After spending the weekend sharing our Irish quilt exhibits from National Quilting Week of Ireland at the Milwaukee Irish Fest, we found a special way to say thank you for allowing us to be a part of this amazing Irish celebration.

I approached Brian Witt, the Director of the  Cultural Exhibit area about the possibility of presenting a few Quilts of Valor to veterans who are also volunteers at Irish Fest and he was quick to say yes!  We surprised three gentlemen with red, white and blue quilts at the end of the festival.  One of the quilts was made from star blocks that were collected by Carol Cricenti from quilters across the country.  The other two quilt tops were made by Carol and all three quilts were machine quilted by me. The Quilts of Valor program was started back in 2003 and had awarded over 100,000 quilts to our very deserving veterans since that time.

I'll be the first to admit that I was quite na├»ve about the sacrifices our soldiers make until 2004 when my own  18 year old son, Josh,  joined the Air Force, and the word "deployment" became a regular part of our vocabulary.  Finding a way to give back and support our military has become something very important to me. Carol, a long time supporter of our military, has "adopted" hundreds of soldiers over the years in the Soldier's Angel program (including Josh) and is now a quilter (thanks to my influence) and leads a Facebook group of over 400 quilters in creating quilts for veterans.

We were able to present Ed, a 90 year old WWII veteran, and Mike, a Viet Nam War veteran with their own Quilts of Valor on Sunday night as a part of the Scattering,  the finale event of Irish Fest.  On Monday before leaving Milwaukee, we also presented Bruce, another veteran of the Viet Nam War, with his own Quilt of Valor as well. 

What an amazing opportunity ...honor...and privilege to say Thank You to these three gentlemen!


Monday, August 10, 2015

My Soldier's Angel

May to October of 2009, during my son Josh's second deployment to Iraq, we signed him up for the Soldier's Angel program.  He was "adopted" by a gal, Carol, who worked for the organization and who had adopted many soldiers.   She was diligent in her role and sent lots of letters and packages to deployed soldiers, including  Josh, who was deployed as a K9 specialist at the time and she even sent goodies for his dog.

Josh and Carol also chatted often via Facebook as well and one day he told her "I have someone you just have to meet. I think you and my Mom would be great friends."

He "introduced" her and I on Facebook and one amazing friendship began. Carol and I chatted often as well. As a mom of a deployed soldier, the fact that she was sending my soldier "love" during his deployments  touched my heart in a way that is difficult to describe.

Carol and I havesince  traveled to Ireland together on three occasions. She's been to Iowa to visit me and I've been to New Hampshire to visit her. I've even gotten her hooked on quilting and its no surprise now that she's making Quilts of Valor to present to veterans.

Funny thing is...she and Josh have never actually met...until today. I had the pleasure of surprising him with Carol's arrival.   This Momma's heart is so happy to for us to have this time to share together.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

New Martingale Release - A Bit of Applique

I've just downloaded a copy of A Bit of Applique by Amy Struckmeyer, a new Martingale publishing release, and I have to say I'm really enjoying this book.  Applique is not my first fact...I've been know to avoid it.  I'm on this kick of forcing myself to try new things.  Amy's book has several small projects that don't seem too intimidating so I chose the Retro Flower Tote  to make and it's turning out really adorable.  The instructions are easy to follow with plenty of pictorial shots to help along the way.
A Bit of Applique by Amy Struckmeyer

Amy's Retro Flower Tote
I dug through my scrap bin and found a few leftover layer cake pieces from one of Vanessa Christenson's Moda lines (Simply Colors by V&Co) which worked perfectly for the flower petals.  I found a bright golden yellow for the center and now I'm just getting to  the point of creating the lining.   The "hard part" (for me..applique) turned out to not be so hard at all and went quite quickly.  I'm thinking I might just have to make another Retro Tote Bag!  There are also instructions for turning flower into a pillow.  Really cute.