Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Personal Challenge

   About two years ago, I became involved with an established charity group making quilts for chemo patients. I identified with their cause and mission, and thought it was a perfect match for what I wanted to do with quilting. They were trying to establish a new chapter north of the city, where I live, and some other people and I, tried to establish a chapter at my church. I was frustrated with the lack of support and consistency from people to get this off the ground. Despite a lot of effort and time, after a year, the chapter was not able to be sustainable to the group. On my own, I have continued to make quilts for cancer patients, putting the quilt in a tote bag, complete with a book, When God and Cancer Meet, and handmade card. Some of these are shown on past blog posts. I have been able to cover the costs of doing a few quilts at a time. My mother has even jumped in sewing straight seams for strips and squares that I cut and resew into blocks and quilts. Some people have generously given me fabric, fabric scraps, and money towards the bags and books, so I will continue on, one quilt at a time. When I hear of someone who needs one, off it goes.
   One woman that I have learned a lot from is  Victoria Findlay Wolfe, who taught me through her sites how to make fabric from scraps which comes in handy for doing these quilts. She has even personally answered me when I had a question about a quilt she had posted and answered me again when I did not understand her explanation. That goes beyond the call I think. Recently, she posted that she was in need of some blocks for quilts she makes for cancer patients. She already coordinates quilts for the homeless. She showed the block, Anvil, and the tutorial, and asked for even one block if possible. At first, I dismissed the thought because:
1. I am triangle challenged
2. If I repeat blocks over and over, I glaze over and lose consciousness
3. I have my own cancer quilts to do
4. My blocks probably won't fit, they won't be perfect like hers
  Finally, I thought, I am just like what I was frustrated with. I needed to challenge myself and make these blocks because:
1. It is the same cause I believe in
2. Victoria has freely given help on her sites and email
3. I have to focus and make repeat blocks. I don't have to make them forever. Just six- enough to get the hang of it.
4. I cannot complain about anybody else, but do what is in front of me, even one block at a time.
So, thank you, everyone who has shared with me- resources, tutorials, blogs, scraps, time, I am grateful for your pieces in my life that make me the quilter that I am. Thank you to my guild who has shown me so much. Thank you to all the workshop teachers who traveled and prepped to teach me something. Thank you to all the authors and photographers of books that teach me even one small things. Thank you for reading this and I hope I have given you something you can use.
My two Favorites, made fabric from scraps

All six blocks ready to be mailed and I am humbled by it
All sewing done on my Singer 15 treadle and Singer 301.

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