The Quilted Beauty of 116 Quilts

I stepped into our church yesterday to view the fruits of the labor of the wonderful church ladies who made 116 quilts for Lutheran World Relief.  You may remember how excited they were when I delivered a boatload of fabric to them.  I cannot tell how many quilts were made from the fabrics that were donated by the quilters I know…but, there is pure quilted beauty in the display of their efforts before they ship the quilts off.  Behold…

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    Quilting Love

    As you may recall, I recently made a baby quilt for a local friend.  You can read about it here and here.  The quilt was a challenge, to say the least – since most of the fabric from my quilt friend was basically a couple of shirts, some khaki pants and a load of golf towels.  It took me a few days of laying out the parts and pieces before I settled on a design that would work as well as keep the memory of the recipient’s father alive.

    Some quilters choose to make show quilts in hopes of collecting ribbons (and prize money) from all over.  Other quilters quilt mainly for charity – giving their quilted gifts to those in need.  There are also others who quilt for a purpose, particularly those groups associated with a church, and the quilts are sent off to the needy in other countries.

    Me?  I have a passion for quilting and quilt for the recipient.

    After making that baby quilt I spoke of above, I wanted reassurances from both the friend I made the quilt for as well as the mother of the recipient.  The mother is a life-long quilter (creating most every quilt by hand – start to finish)…hence my desire to do right by her husband’s memory as well as to do right by my quilt friend.  After a neck hug, she assured me I’d done good.

    Then, the friend I made the quilt for, shared some info about the quilt from the recipient’s point of view:

    At the shower, Ray’s quilt was the first one opened. Mandy and others loved the “look” and complemented the longhorn fabric and designs. But then I mentioned that Linda had given us permission to use Ray’s things and they began to see the details. I think Mandy tried to keep composed, so she moved on to the next gifts. There happened to be about five quilts in a row, so I kind of felt bad that there were so many of the same thing. But after all the gifts were opened, Mandy and Callie bee-lined for Rays quilt and spent a lot of time admiring the details and reminiscing about the clothes and golf towels. It was pretty special!!

    THIS is the reason I quilt.  THIS is what makes me enjoy making special quilts for folks.  THIS is quilted love at its finest.

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      Smiles and Love for a Gifted Quilt

      The baby quilt I spoke about here was lovingly received by the mother-to-be this past weekend.  I am always worried when being commissioned to make a lasting quilt legacy that it is or is not well received.  I am super happy to report that I was told that everyone LOVED the quilt I made.  And in making this quilt so much more special was that everything that was put into the quilt were either from the recipients dearly departed father or fabric the recipient held near and dear to her heart.  This was definitely a quilt made of love.

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      And I was just one cog in the wheel.  A local friend commissioned me to make the quilt, the mother-to-be’s mother gave me her husband’s fabrics, I purchased the fabric for sashing and backing, the quilter quilted it and I finished it by putting on the binding.  A true labor of love from all who put their hands on this beautiful quilt.

      Thank you D.Z. for allowing me to be a part of this tangible legacy of the life of one man, to his daughter and to his soon-to-be first grandson.

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        Another Fabric Shipment from AbbiMays.com! (and coupon code!)

        Oh wow.  WOW.  WOWSER!  I received another shipment of fabric from AbbiMays.com and gee, it’s tough to be me 🙂

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        The blue and grey (with squiggles is a bit hard to see in this photo) will be used for the commissioned t-shirt quilt I am making.  I will also use the blue and red for a special quilt project I’ve submitted to The Quilt Pattern Magazine.  Oh my oh my, whatever shall I do with so much fabric at my fingertips?!!  I am excited about the possibilities of both projects – and the fabric that goes with it!  Thank you AbbiMays.com!

        You can get 10% off all of your purchases at AbbiMays.com by using the coupon code “tammy10” (without the quotes).  Happy shopping!

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          The Best Online Quilt Shop: AbbiMays.com

          Way back about eight years ago, I virtually met up with a lady who would change my quilting world.  The lady is Linda and she is the owner of my favorite online quilt shop, AbbiMays.com.

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          Have you ever virtually met someone or even talked to them on the phone and you just click with them?  That’s how it was with Linda and I.  At the onset of our meeting, she was in need of my business and website services.  I helped take her business from eBay to her own website with a shopping cart.  If I’m not mistaken, within a couple of years of having her own website, she at least doubled (if not more than that) her reach and sales.  We spent long hours setting everything up, talking about the work I was doing and just learning about each other.  I would loosely consider myself to be her online mentor in the beginning – though I have had to cut back on my work since I was declared disabled and now just offer advice or answer questions when she needs me.

          After our hard work of getting her website set up, I asked her if I could design quilt patterns for her – to be given away on my BOMQuilts.com website with kits to be ordered through her AbbiMays.com website…all she had to do was supply the fabric and I did the rest!  We virtually shook hands on the arrangement and away we went!

          Over the years, she has supplied me with more fabric, batting, backing – and, most important of all, friendship and motivation – than anyone else has ever extended to me in the quilting world.  I have met her at Fall Quilt Market in Houston or I have gone in her place if she couldn’t get away from her home and business and one time, she even made reservations in one of the host hotels and told my husband and I to enjoy Market on her dime!  Ooh Laa Laa did we feel swanky!

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          Linda, owner of AbbiMays.com – Houston Quilt Market 2007

          Without a doubt, 90% of my stash was from Linda and AbbiMays.com.  I rarely have to purchase fabric, as once I pitch a design idea to Linda, she tells me to go for it.  We have continued working together through the years – almost like a marriage (though her husband and mine may disagree on that statement :-).

          And if you look at my BOMQuilts.com website, nearly all of the patterns that I have designed and made are done so with Linda and AbbiMays.com sponsorship.

          I mention this because I have seen quilt pals come and go.  Some go on to bigger and better and leave the little people (such as myself) behind.  Some may still visit with you but you are not as important in their world as you once were and you get the hint really quickly that you are no longer in their league or worthy of their time.  Some are even so totally driven and committed to THEIR agenda that they have no concept of what cultivating a business relationship takes (and not burning bridges is a big one).  Nor do they have the ability to continue with their relationship with you if you do not fit in their future plans.

          Linda has NEVER been about that.  She’s been about making her online quilt shop a success and enjoying everything life has to offer her.  She is about generosity, true caring and working at all of her relationships – old and new, business or personal.  She is exactly who and what she says she is – and that sure is a breath of fresh air to me and those who know and love her!

          Let me be just a bit more specific.  I designed an original baby quilt design to submit to an online magazine for publishing consideration.  Without batting an eye, Linda told me to go online shopping at AbbiMays.com and pick out whatever fabrics I needed.  Whoa.  What?  You heard that right – she will be recognized when the quilt and pattern are released but that will happen next year and not tomorrow…so, her decision to do that cannot be solely because of what the additional marketing will do for her down the road.

          This week, I submitted six more designs for the same online magazine and they accepted all six and asked me to get started on one of them immediately.  Once again, I emailed Linda and the words in her email response to me nearly stopped me in my tracks:

          Pick out what ever fabrics you want to use.  Make a beautiful quilt that makes you shine. And….pick out a fun backing, too.

          Granny get your gun!  Can you believe how much love and encouragement her little sentence meant to me?  I felt like I needed to Skype her and give her a virtual hug and mooch!  Six quilt and quilt pattern designs and I get to go shopping for most of them (some are scrappy).  I am stunned, anxious and excited to move forward with my quilting adventures because Linda has my quilted heart right in the palms of her hands.

          Does it get any better than this?  Not in my quilting world it doesn’t!

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