to my readers

This blog is now all about my personal life, including updates concerning Jerry's health. For quilt and pattern related posts please visit

Monday, November 29, 2010

Quilt Ministry -- Part 3 -- Prayer Quilts

The next kind of quilt that I want to make for the Quilt Ministry
is called a "Prayer Quilt". 

I first read about them on a couple of other blogs,
then started doing research,
and found the website.

While that organization is a good one,
it's not for me. 
Some of the rules just don't work for my situation.

What is a Prayer Quilt?
Here is how I will be making them:

First the quilt top is sewn. 
Often finished quilt tops are donated by quilters
who have extras just laying around.
(Yes...this happens alot. UFO's!!!)

After the quilt top is made,
the three layers of the quilt sandwich 
will be hand tied together.
(Like you used to see in the 'old days').
As I work on the quilt,
with each knot that I tie,
I will say a prayer for the recipient.
I can pray for their situation,
their family, their faith, 
their strength. 
So many things!!
(here is an example of a hand tied quilt)

Then, when finished, 
I will enclose a note telling them
about their prayer quilt,
and surprise them with the knowledge
that all this time they have been 
(get it?)

I am so excited to get started.
Well, actually I have already started. 
Here's the beginning of one for the first request
that I received:

( I will show more when the quilt top is completed.)

Often prayer quilts are made for childrens hospitals,
and cancer patients.

I'll make them for anyone that asks,
but I have a 'target' group 
that I feel led to make quilts for.
I would like to make them for people that
 CARE FOR terminal loved ones.
Often the caretakers are overlooked,
and they really give and give of themselves.
How blessed they would be
 if they could know someone is praying for them!!

How can you help?
If you are a quilter:
Unwanted, lonely, unfinished
Quilt tops would be awesome!!

Also I need large pieces of fabric for borders and backing,
and I need batting. 

I will put specific needs up under the Quilt Ministry Tab.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Quilt Ministry -- Part 2-- Prison Pooch Blankies

Thanks so much for everyone's kind comments
 about my desire to 'cover' San Francisco!

I even have offers to help and of fabric scraps. 
By the end of the week, 
we will get the ball rolling on that!

If you didn't read that post, 
Also, I would read at least the first comment from Marilyn. 
It's quite sad that churches aren't willing to help!

Since I have my hands a bit tied about San Francisco,
I prayed about things, and thought through some things,
and have decided to spread out in other areas.
I will explain them this week.

The first might shock you:

My husband works at a prison that has a prison pooch program.
Dogs that need rehabilitation before they can be adopted,
are sent to live at the prison,
while an inmate (on good behavior)
cares for them and trains them.
(above image was found on google search of public domain)

I have already begun the process of making the dogs
'blankies' that they can have with them in the prison,
then take home with them when they are adopted.
When a dog has a 'blankie' to take to their new home,
it serves as a bit of a stress reliever because they can smell 
their old home/master on the 'blankie'. 

The above Prison Pooch Blankie has been sent to the prison for approval.
It has to pass inspection to make sure drugs aren't hidden in it,
and they have to check the construction to make sure it's not too easy to hide things in..

I just did a simple design with denim and scraps.
There is no batting, (not allowed~too fluffy)
so I backed it with fleece.

If you would like to help the Prison Pooches,
the following items will always be needed:

* Used Jeans
* 7" squares of fabric (or larger)
* Fleece. Lots and Lots of fleece.
The above fleece was a used baby blanket from a garage sale. 
I could use flannel for backing as well. 
That means used baby receiving blankets would work!!

A list of needs will always be posted at the top of the blog under the quilt ministry tab.
(Although it won't be set up until after the last quilt ministry intro post 
in a few days.)

Oh...and I will be making quilts for people too.
I'll tell you more in a day or two. 

EDITED To ADD: The quilts were approved and I am currently making 5 prison pooch blankies to be delivered by Christmas. I am making them as above; except each in a different color and each with the dog's names appliqued on. 

I am linking this up with 100 quilts for Christmas. Not sure if they expected prison dog blankets..but it is a non-profit organization, after all, and a good one at that!!

to see the other quilts that are linked up!

Friday, November 26, 2010

The Blues

So....we thought my machine was fixed.


I am so frustrated!!!!

Walmart had a $50 Brother on sale today.

Sure was tempting just to get by.


Time to ponder what to do now.

Again, I say, do NOT buy a Singer CG-500.
It is not professional grade like the salesman said.
I've had 3 other dealers (all different locations)
tell me what a bad machine it is. I now agree.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Quilt Ministry -- Part 1--San Francisco Quilts

I have been hinting for a couple of weeks now about the quilt ministry that I want to start. I actually began the whole process about 3 months ago when I contacted several churches in San Francisco. 

Then discouragement set in.
Not a single church contacted me back.
 Nope. Not one. Hmmm. 
I hope our church never does something like that!!

Why did I contact churches in San Francisco anyway?

There are homeless people in every big city in America.

But after spending quite some time in San Fran,
I grew a place in my heart for the homeless of that city. 
The above photo is from Haight Street. 
It is common for the homeless to own dogs.
The dogs keep their masters warm.

What really got to me is that the homeless are
EVERYWHERE in San Francisco.
Way more than in Kansas City where I am from,
or even in Chicago, Nashville, or D.C.
(I've been those places as well).
As people walk down the sidewalk,
they just step over the homeless...without a second thought.
San Francisco is just different
 than other places that I've been in so many ways.
In the early morning it comes alive
 with the hustle and bustle of business men and women.
It actually is very low crime, 
as long as you stay in the business districts.
Then, when it gets dark..
just go inside and stay there.
The night life is the complete opposite of the day life.
This town is the epitome of the saying,
"It's like Night and Day"

 I'll refrain from placing a night life photo here

Every morning, the street cleaners come along
and clean every street and hose down every sidewalk.
It is quite necessary due to the urine and the feces.

When you go eat fast food in San Fran.
and don't finish your meal, you don't throw it away.
Just sit it on the sidewalk. 
It will be consumed shortly.

Even though it is in California,
San Francisco is not a warm and sunny place.
It is usually overcast and drippy.
There are few trees, no grass;
Unless you can go to the park or something.
To me, it is about as desolate as the desert!

It is my dream someday
to go out on a Christmas morning,
and just hand out quilts. 
Spread a bit of sunshine...

But, I guess that isn't going to happen right now.
And that is ok. 
I have other doors opening for the quilt ministry.
(More about that later this week)
Though, I will be making some quilts,
laying them aside,
 for someday when I can get other quilters to join forces with me,
and go cover San Francisco 
on Christmas morning!
That will make my heart happy!

( photos were all taken from the net, supposedly public domain)

Friday, November 19, 2010

Hillbilly Light Box

I have a HUGE light box for my sewing.

It is so huge that I can't sit it up on a table.

So...for my paper piecing projects,
I needed something a bit smaller that would fit on my table.

I have been waiting for the Christmas decor to show up at W-world.
(Usually it makes me mad when it shows up too early).
I bought a box of these:

And put them to work:

I think I need another 100 lights,
and I am going to try to get them to all face upwards.
But, you get the idea!

An itty bitty bit of light shining through.
Another 100 light set should do the trick!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

You're too late...but I'll give you the next 48!

A quick post here...

If you are involved in the GREAT HOLIDAY ORNAMENT EXCHANGE...time to email me your info!

Name, address, how many ornament pen pals that you want for sure, and if you DON"T want them from another country other than your own.

After I hear from everyone, I will send you each a list of your penpals.

What am I making? sewing machine is still not behaving exactly I have a back up plan. I think they will be pretty...and I'm off to buy supplies this weekend!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Yabba Dabba Doo!

I know my daughter more than anyone.

I love my daughter more than anyone 
here on earth.

My daughter is having a very tough time right now,
and, at this point, feels hopeless. 

Of, course, you and I know there is always hope. 
And deep down she does too. 

But for now...she needs a hug and 
a visit from mom.

So, that is where I am going today.
Just me, her, Stephen, and a box of this:

Because when I saw it at the store,
I knew that this cereal was another one of those 
"SOOO AMY" things. 
She'll love it. 

And I'll love seeing her. 
See you all tomorrow!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Okay, I'm listening!

For several weeks now,
I have been wanting to start a quilt ministry.
My friend, Angie, from Lessons from Aisle 12
posted this video:

She had no idea what it meant to me when she posted it.
It was just another finger pointing in the direction 
I feel I am supposed to go.

I am starting a quilt ministry.
I have details to iron out 
and people to contact.

Stay tuned!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Our first photos

RHONDA signed up for the ornament exchange
and these are photos of her ornaments
Only one day left to sign up!
I'm having so much fun!
More info up top under the ornament tab!

It's time to BEG!

It's time to BEG!!

Yep. I'm begging.

It is almost the deadline to sign up for the Great Holiday Ornament Exchange.

Do you make Ornaments?? I bet you do. I bet you can spare a couple to share with a pen pal or two.

Read about it up top. There's a page for it.

I am BEGGING you to join us. I want an ornament from YOU on MY tree!!!

Ok, go up top and read all about it now. I'm waiting patiently for your comment on how many you want to make and share.

Friday, November 12, 2010

.Com gone

Don't you just HATE making decisions? I do!

My latest fight within (or decision to be made)
was concerning my website.

Today I made that decision.
The Hillbilly Handiworks website is NO MORE.

I will still continue this blog...I LOVE IT!

Some of my future dreams include dyeing my own fabric again
and making patterns and kits using my hand dyed fabric.
I love typing tutorials and would like to teach some classes.

I also want to start some sort of a quilt ministry.
I have quilts just sitting here.

Every time I attempt to do a craft show;
it falls through because I  don't have a display
or there is a scheduling conflict within my family.

We don't have a decorated home...
and it looks kind of stupid having quilts hang everywhere
without other decorations!

So...what to do with all these quilts?
Well, I guess, give them away!!!

More on my ideas about this another day.

For now, I say,
So long
onto better things!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Home Sweet Home--Not so much!

Our town.
Just like any other small town America.
image from Wikipedia

Population just over 9,000.
Right in the heart of America.

Quiet. Peaceful.

Well, sort of like most small towns.
Except for this.
image from airphotona

Need a closer look?

Inmates account for 1/3 of our population.
But that's not the only reason we are a bit infamous.
Remember her?

Here is the real Erin
I am not sure she is the role model I want my kids learning about.
But...she has been a bit busy in our town lately.

We have had a cluster of brain tumors over the last several years.
So, Erin came to help investigate.
With her help; a tannery in a nearby town was found to be at blame
for selling contaminated fertilizer sludge to nearby farms.
It was believed this was causing the tumors due to the levels of 
hexavalent chromium that is now in the soil.

Well, last night the federal government released it's findings.
They said the contaminant was, indeed, in the soil,
but not at high enough levels to cause any problems.

They also said that our town does not have an
excessive amount of brain tumors compared to other populations.
Of course, we need to find out whether they included the prison population in those findings, or not.
The government likes to use that population to it's advantage--including them when it's tax time, 
but saying they aren't part of the actual population when it comes to things like stimulus packages.

So, here's where it leaves my husband and I.
Move, or not to move?
Many have chosen to move. 
The town has homes upon homes upon homes for sale.

I am not the panicky type,
but I do have a baby.
On the other hand; the government says it's safe.
Do we believe them?
I'm sorry but I don't find the government a very believable source.

We have moved a lot in the last three years,
and it has hurt our family financially.
I don't even know how we'd go about moving yet again.
So, for now, we are here.

I'm kind of wishing we could move though.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Four times over

I know that every one of you has gone through moments of discouragement at one time or another. 
We all have. 
I've been doing that the last week or so. 
But, you know what? 
God knows.
Today I was really down.
God knew that too. 
Therefore, just when I needed a 'pick me up' He gave it to me. 

Four times over. 

A few days ago my dear friend Pat painted her first Christmas Card
of the season.
She giggled at her effort, but I fell in love with it.
I entered a drawing to win...and I did!

Today I open my mailbox to a complete surprise.
Inside, Blondie had sent a package with 
over 100 paper piecing quilt patterns! 
WOW! How nice was that??
And completely out of the blue too!

Tonight, I sit down to read my blogs that needed serious catching up on.
That's when I came across this:

Melissa from Ardeas Nest is sending me this Christmas ornament.
I read the blog further; and find out that she has another in the works for me too!
My first ornaments...I am SO excited. 

I had just finished reading my blogs, 
I had well over 100 to catch up on
(sorry I didn't comment much today)
when my google reader popped up with another (1).
Meaning...another blog was posted. 
I started reading; and you aren't going to believe this. 
There it was, 
I won this!
Isn't it beautiful? It is titled,
"A Mother's Masterpiece".
Go visit 
to see her amazing work!

That did it. 
I broke down in tears.
God arranged so that everything would show up
just when I needed it.

What a blessing all you are to me! 
You have no idea how you've touched me today.

Just so this won't be all about me,
I guess I should post the winner for the Baby quilting books that I have to giveaway.
Since there were only 11 entries, 
we did it the old fashioned Hillbilly way. 

"Eenie, Meanie, Miney, Moe
Catch the tiger by his toe,
if he hollars make him pay,
$50 dollars every day.
My mother told me to pick the best one,
and you are NOT it."

We did that over and over eliminating people right and left.

Finally, LINDA, won!
She doesn't have a blog to direct you to,
but she'll be getting an email from me.
Congrats Linda!

And, thanks, Pat, Melissa, Blondie, and Peggy.
I am feeling very blessed!

Friday, November 5, 2010

My Quilting Story--Part 4

So many of you left sweet comments about
and All parts of My Quilting story.
If you haven't read About my first Photo Quilt,
please take a moment to do so.

Thanks for all the nice comments and hugs and blessings.
I have really found a wonderful group of supportive,
caring friends in blogland!

After finishing my brothers quilt,
I decided to try my hand at regular piecing. 
Some of my favorite patterns were (are!)
 designs by M'Liss Rae Hawley

I made the following two quilts from her 
first Fat Quarter book:

I love them both so much.
They hang in my Creation Station for now.

I then went through a stage of loving wild, African prints.
I sold a beautiful, wild log cabin quilt at farmers market;
I sure wish I had photos of it.
(hmmm...I might just need to make another soon)
And here is an Egyptian quilt  
that I just mailed off to 

When I met Jerry, 
I knew that my first quilt for him had to be a photo quilt.
You can read about that RIGHT HERE

I opened a store on Etsy a couple of years ago.
I was all prepared to settle in and sew sew sew for people.
God had other plans, as I found out I was expecting about a month later.
I spent a good deal of my pregnancy in bed,
but I was able to fill a few photo quilt orders.
Here are a few favorites:
This little girl was a Preemie. 
I got the photos of the net and her mom was very surprised!!

A HUGE Diamond anniversary quilt.
All the photos were black and white. 
Absolutely georgous!

An army quilt for a friend who was in the REAL
Black Hawk Down operation.

I have so many more that I could show you,
each with a story of their own!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

2, 4, 6, 8!!

Last week's Words of Me project was

At first as I thought on it, 
all I could think of was,
"2, 4, 6 ,8...who do we appreciate?"
And I wasn't even a cheerleader in high school!!

Then, I started thinking about whom I need to show appreciation to.
First and foremost, of course,
I need to show it to my Savior and Father.
I need to be better about giving Him more of my time each day!!

Next is my husband.
I KNOW I don't show him enough appreciation.
The man works two jobs,
and when he gets home what do I do?
Whine about my day, or my broken machine,
or my sore shoulder, or what I didn't get done.
Ok, you are all my witnesses and have to hold me accountable...
From this day forward, I need to show WAY more appreciation to him,
and WAY less whiney hiney!!

Finally, I thought about other people in my life.
So, I made some appreciation cards.

It sure was fun while making them to sit and reflect 
about who I should send them to.

Matching envelopes:

And, of course,
a matching ATC card for me.
I made one for Amy as well.

I thought the word this week was APPRECIATE
but, this time, closeness counts!

I even took a photo of the backs of the ATC's 
before journaling!