Monday, December 10, 2018

CA Fires- How you helped

 What an amazing and overwhelming trip to CA my niece and I had.
I was super happy that it was sunny and the roads were clear of ice and snow, both going and coming.
We met Nichole in the mountains and gave her some items to stay warm. She grew up in Paradise and although she wasn't living there at the time she is helping others with their needs. 
 I had made another connection and stopped by a hotel with evacuees and left them quilts.
This couple was so appreciative of the quilt we gave them. Their son was diagnosed with brain cancer 2 days before the fire. He lives in Oregon and that is where they are trying to find housing. I thought it was fitting the quilt they got is called the Oregon Trail.  This woman is a nurse and was telling her story on the 60 minute episode where the bulldozer driver was the "angel" to rescue them. 
We arrived at Honey Run Quilts when this "angel" was delivering this pile of quilts that his grandmother was donating. 

The owner (Dan, I believe), Pam and Jo happy to receive our donations.

 They showed us the area they had set up for quilters to "shop" the donations.

Okay, just imagine this awesome space without the forklift! LOL
One of the lovely donated quilts.
I was able to give the employees of Honey Run some hand made soap as a thank you for their hard work to help others. So many of them were directly affected as well.

The evening we arrived we were invited to the Chico guild.

I was able to see my friend Brandie and give her the items she had requested for her co-workers and friends who had lost everything. This is Zack, he got a quilt, blanket, pillow and some new shirts. 
That is Brandie in her lovely new red sweater too! It looks fantastic on her!

Jesse requested a comforter for her teenage stepson.

Rudy got some new polo shirts.

And Joyce got info on my Madras town in case she relocates. 
We had a really good night sleep and made a plan for the following day. 
The next morning we took a little drive out on a winding road in the hopes of understanding a bit of what the residents had gone through. (and what they would be finding when they went home) 

 It was sobering and so sad.
 Were these quilt blocks newly put up? Not burned? Gosh, I don't know and have no explanation.

 We went to the Red Cross shelter to see if we could volunteer. We could but we also told we could go to the local WalMart and find people we could donate to. That sounded weird, but we did it.

This was the first couple we met. Most of the people still in the shelters are the ones with the least amount of resources. 

 We cried, we hugged and they were unbelievably grateful. The man on the left is mentally challenged and he had purchased a doll for his wife whose doll collection had been burned up with their house. He told us he didn't need any money as they were fine and to give it to someone else. (Fred was Hannah's favorite!)
Everyone told us their story. The couple on the right had a dead battery, so got a jump from their neighbor then the neighbor left and the car died. She ran up the road jammed with traffic to flag someone to help them and someone gave her cables but said sorry he wouldn't leave the road. Someone finally drove to the car and it wouldn't start so told them to get in they had to get out now.
This lovely lady was Donna and she was on the missing list for several days. When we gave her an envelope with a little money she only had tears for us. Nobody had helped her like that and she couldn't understand why complete strangers would help her. The card I gave with the cash only said, "you are loved" . She was getting ready to go sift through her home ashes to see if she could find anything worth saving.

Sherell was camping at the fairgrounds and when we talked to her she was purchasing coats for neighboring children who were also camping. We gave her a couple of little quilts and dolls to give away to little girls because we were not allowed to. We also gave her cash and a jacket that was a perfect fit that she wore right away! We could identify some of the shelter people by the orange wristband they were wearing. (see photo) 

I had a few quilts left and was introduced to Wendy, a paradise School teacher, who is donating quilts to victims.  After spending several hours at WalMart she met us and we made a transfer. She is now trying to teach high school students at the local mall. What a jewel!
And the sun set at Wal Mart on our first full day in California.
 We were told when Walmart cleared out the campers they relocated to Lowes, so that is where we went bright and early on Saturday, handing out warm jackets and whatever else was needed. It was about 40 degrees so definitely cool.
We happen to have a cute pair of boots for this gal- not very practical but it was fun anyway! We came back later with a few items they had asked about- warm socks, leggings and pants! 

We met a few more evacuees at WalMart. 

Bought a few of them food from Subway. They really did appreciate it.

 We went back to the fairgrounds (red Cross shelter area)  where the day before Hannah had met briefly a teenager she wanted to give a gift card to.
Grandma and little Sammy enjoying the sunshine.

We had 2 more dollies and little quilts to give out so we hid them in a purse and found little Ezra. 

 And her parents. The stories of escaping from the fire were unbelievable!
One more dolly and quilt to give out and we were on our way. (the momma has the little quilt) We gave both to the one pushing the stroller and she gently handed it to her little sister in the stroller. 
Then security came by and told us we were not supposed to be giving any donations. Aargh! We were leaving anyway!

We had one more stop in Red Bluff with a quilter names Tina who had met a family in the laundromat. It was a mother, son in law, daughter and 2 boys under 3. (this was why I needed kids quilts!) The son in law's father had died from injuries related to the fire so we made sure each person had a quilt of their own. 

If your quilt group wants to make quilts they will take them! If you have one quilt you'd like to donate that would be awesome! That is one person who would be comforted with your quilt and know someone loves them. 

Thank you for your generosity! And trusting me to distribute your goods and money. I feel completely humbled and honored to have been able to do this.
Continue to pray for these people as many still struggle to find housing and make sense of it all. 
Love to you all.

Friday, December 7, 2018

Handquilting BTCT

I've done a few Instagram posts lately on this quilt so I thought I was due for a blog post on my handquilting of Beyond the Cherry Tree quilt. 
This lovely quilt pattern was reproduced from a vintage quilt that Gay from Sentimental Stitches owns. The patterns are still available in her online shop. 

I started the quilt in 2010, not sure when I started hand quilting it.(probably 2013)
The quilt measures approx 100x100 so I am feeling pretty happy about having all the blocks quilted and on to the borders

 My cross hatch is 1 1/2" apart, unless I got off, then it just falls wonky. There is enough going on in this quilt for me to NOT worry about that!

 The quilt had many motifs quilted in and Gay stayed true to the pattern. I just love that part of the quilt so I had to add it as well.
I worked my way through each block (there are 25 of them!) outlining the applique, adding the motifs, then cross hatching. 

 I started hand appliqueing this quilt, but when I got to this block I wasn't having much fun appliqueing all those leaves so I switched to machine applique.
All the bias stems are still done by hand

As is the entire border stems, along with the berry embroidery. 

Now that I am getting close to the end it spurs me to keep moving!! I'm also outlining the border applique as I work one direction of the cross hatching. 
This was how Gay added the motifs to the pattern.

I made my templates old school way, but using spray baste on card stock or cereal boxes, then cutting them out. To some people's horror I used a frixion pen to outline then for quilting. I did my own testing, so feel perfectly fine using it.

Maybe, just maybe I'll finish the quilting this winter!!

Thank you all who donated quilts, supplies, visa cards and cash to the Camp Fire victims! Quilters are so generous and I feel thankful you all trust me to distribute the goods in the best manner. Love you all!

Have a fantastic weekend.



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