A Nudge From GOD

Last week at our monthly S.O.S. (Sisters of Sewing) meeting at the church we had speakers from Congo Restoration talking about the Congo and the sewing school that they have opened for young women.. Two of the speakers were born, raised in the Congo and now living here in Texas. The third, a spokesperson and advocate for Congo Restoration and helping girls and young women in the Congo to raise their standard of living by learning to sew.  The nine month program takes the young women out of poverty, teaches them a skill and upon graduation hopefully open their own sewing business.

A few days later one of my favorite bloggers, Amy Smart of Diary of a Quilter, posted her monthly Sew Goodness - Charity Sewing and this got me thinking about what I was doing to give back  My focus since the mid 90's has been charity support with my infant quilts, crochet hats, scarves, and Prayer Shawls.  I felt the need to do something new.  I didn't have the same enthusiasm for quilting as I once had and my hands hurt after crocheting for any length of time.  I needed a new challenge!

About that same time someone posted on Facebook about a woman from Iowa, Lillian Weber, that wanted to sew1,000 Little Dresses for Africa by the time she was 100 years old, she exceeded that number and made over 1,200 dresses before she passed away just one day before her 101st birthday. What an amazing woman with a generous heart and using her time and talent to serve God.   1Peter 4:10

Then came my nudge from God and the idea of making pillowcase dresses for girls.  I had made a few dresses for my former church and was familiar with the simple pattern and realized this was something I could do. The next day, excited about my new project, I ventured into Joann Fabric.  Not a fan of their fabric for quilting, but it would be fine for my dresses and they were having a 50% off sale.  Next thing I knew I had purchased twelve yards of fabric, bias tape, and rickrack, enough for 12 dresses.

My first dress was O.K, but by the second and third try I had made changes that I was satisfied with.  Changes like using 1/2" elastic instead of the 1/4", a narrow 3/4" hem at the bottom instead of a 2" hem, and a little gathering at the front and back to give a little extra detail. These first dresses have a simple rickrack or lace trim, maybe as I feel more confident I'll add more detailed trim.

No way will I ever have the dedication that Miss Lillian had but if I made 5 or 10 or maybe 25 dresses, that would be great.  Each one would represent another little girl that had a new dress, maybe the first new dress she ever had and quite possibly would replace the rags she has been wearing.  I pray for each little girl as I sew and let them know that they are not forgotten, that others love them, and most of all that they are a child of God.

I don't know where I will send my dresses as I have contacted a couple of resources and not heard back but one thing I do know is that God has directed me to make my dresses and He will find the best home for them.

I'll be sharing more of my dresses with you along the way.

Hugs and stitches

Villa Rosa Designs Gypsy

For the month of January, Villa Rosa Designs pattern and fabric company was giving away some of their samples quilts and the daily winner was to donate her prize to charity or someone in need. Most of you will recognize Villa Rosa patterns as the company that gives you complete quilt directions on a post card, their patterns are available in quilt shops, internet, and by mail. Many of their patterns are for small and lap size quilts and great for charity and baby quilts.  Villa Rosa patterns are easy, quick, and use mostly pre-cuts.

I won this little quilt made with Villa Rosa's Gypsy pattern with a collection of farm fabrics.  You can see the pigs, eggs, bacon, and even some milk bottle print in the quilt. Surely a small boy would love this little quilt.  I will be donating it to the Keller Methodist Comfort Coverings, I know they will find that special little boy.

Villa Rosa also sent along ten of their newest patterns as a gift for the winner. Looks like I am going to be busy for a long time.

You can find the Villa Rosa web site here.

Hugs and stitches
Betty Lou

No More Burnt Fingers


With everyone raving how the Soup Bowl Cozies were the best thing since slice bread, I finially gave in and made a couple.  Using the pattern by Happy Hour Stitches, I made the first one knowing it would not fit my wide rimed Mikasa soup bowls but I wanted to see what this pattern was all about. You can find the pattern here.

As the directions say, I used 100% cotton fabric, 100% cotton batting, and 100% cotton thread, anything with polyester might start a fire in the microwave.  I must say it is cute and would protect your fingers when removing a bowl of hot soup.

For the second one, I cut my square 11" and shortened my side darts it seemed to fit my wide rimmed bowls quite well.

Will I make anymore, I don't think so.  When I asked my sons if they would use them, the answer was  a resounding no, but Jeff added "maybe you should use them for dip."

Hugs and stitches
Betty Lou

Maybe I'll have had a change of mind.  For a simple dinner tonight, I microwaved  a frozen package Asian Noodles and Vegetables, I went to lift it from the microwave------ouch!  Quick to the rescue was my small soup cozy.  Maybe I better make a couple more.

Ready For Take Off #2

I finished quilt top number two in my ongoing sewing marathon of quilts for great grands that hadn't received a quilt from Grandma Lolo.  This was a cute layer cake called Ready for Take Off by Moda, that I found last week at Must Love Fabrics.  I really like this store, visits there are so much fun.

Again, I used Missouri Star Quilts Double Slice Layer Cake pattern, a sure winner when you need a quick finish.  On to number three.

Double Slice Layer Cake

Hugs and stitches
Betty Lou

Mind Your P's and Q's quilt

 For quite a while I have talked about making quilts for the five great-grands that hadn't yet received their Grandma Lolo quilt.  Trying to decide what to do for them has been challenging and I have changed my mind several times.  Finally I decided to do all five with the same quilt pattern, Double Slice Layer Cake, it is a larger quilt and since one great-grand is three now, the patterns that I had planned are just too small.

This first one was put together with a layer cake I bought several years ago called Mind Your P's and Q's by Moda, I think it will work well for the youngest great-gramd, Peyton, five months.  Of course it is just a flimsy now but I would like to get all five tops finished before I send them to the quilter.  Hope that is not wishful thinking on my part.

On to the next one and if you need a quick quilt, this one goes together in a snap.

Double Slice Layer Cake by Missouri Star Quilts
Approx 54" x 54"

Hugs and stitches

After Christmas Retail Therapy

I'm not much for venturing out into the department stores and scoop up all the After-Christmas sales, but a visit to my favorite quilt shop, well that's a different story.

I had read on the internet about the new Quilter's Select non-slip rulers and knowing that I really needed a new set of  matching rulers and a with $50.00 gift certificate that I have been hanging on to, I ventured to Must Love Fabric in Grapevine, Texas.  The rulers are a little pricey and my $50.00 only bought two new rulers, the 6"x12" and the 6"x24" but I knew if they kept my hand from slipping they would be well worth the cost.  As I have gotten older it seems I have more trouble keeping my ruler from slipping and we quilters know, one bad cut can throw that seam off.  I also splurged and bought the 6" x6" square.  I use the very small squares a lot with my mini-quilts but I can pick those up later.

I have been piecing Double Slice Layer Cake quilts for five of my great-grandchildren and saw this wonderful boys Layer Cake, Ready for Takeoff by Wilmington Prints, and knew this would be darling.  It's difficult to find layer cakes in boys prints so knew I better snap it up.  Must Love Fabrics is having a 25%  off sale on New Year's Day but couldn't chance that I wouldn't get there or they would be all gone.

A few more items and I was well over my $50.00. This is my kind of after Christmas shopping, how about you?

Enjoy all the pieces of your life

Time for a Field Trip

Yesterday I went with four of my besties on a quilting field trip to explore three quilt shops, a yarn shop, and sprinkled with a few antiques along the way.  With Cynthia as our trusty driver we headed north to a new quilt shop, Box Car Quilts in Crossroads, Texas.  What a surprise, with owner, Laura,

there to greet us we walked in.  Laura is one of the rare people that has the "eye" for not only fabric and quilts, but antiques and innovative decorating.  Her store is open, fresh, and very inviting, filled with so many finished quilts and projects sprinkled with antiques.  Her knowledge of quilts, quilting, and antiques is a wonderful blend.  When you first walk in the store a display of shiny Featherweights catches your eye immediately.  Most of my friends are Featherweight enthusiast and had to contain ourselves to not taking another "Black Beauty" home.  After we all found our goodies we headed to shop number two.

On to Whitesboro, Texas and Kaleidoscope Quits a shop that we have visited before on our field trips and always worth the stop.  As a group of quilt enthusiasts we always separate, each looking for our own treasures.  With so many new grandchildren and great grandchildren born this year or soon to arrive, several of us were interested in baby quilts.  I had recently discovered the Double Slice Layer  Cake quilt and was looking for layer cakes. I need/want to make five new quilts for my recent great grandsons.  No boy appropriate layer cakes here but I did find a kit that would make a nice baby/child's  quilt.

We made a quick trip next door into the yarn shop and found a few more treasures.  New socks, crochet hook and cute little Dick and Jane bag for my crocheting supplies.  It was time for a rest break and lunch, so off to the nearest coffee shop.

The next stop was Lewisville, Texas and Quilt Country.  Another new to me quilt shop with a tremendous array of fabrics and excellent customer service.  I have noticed that in each of the shops we visited, they are all selling more and more precuts. I have always love precuts,  mostly fat quarters and charm squares and now I'm venturing into layer cakes.   Quilt Country didn't disappoint and they use a lot of Villa Rosa Design patterns with kits in all sizes.  Here I found a great layer cake to make the Double Slice Layer quilt and also purchased another child's Villa Rosa pattern amd fabric kit.

Time to head home and as I reviewed my purchases and with a layer cake in my stash at home I think I have enough fabric for five new boy quilts.

Time to get to the sewing machine.

Hugs and stitches
Betty Lou