Friday, January 28, 2011

Getting down to business

This week we have been blanketed with snow twice.  Our backyard shed is almost covered.  It's not melting very much and we're running out of room to put it.  I've been spending a lot of time indoors and keeping busy.
In July, the online Sunshine Quilters Guild lost  Bev Bennett of Alaska, a dedicated and inspiring  quilter.  Bev, a widow, did not have children of her own so she devoted most of her retirement  to making charity quilts for children.  When Bev died, she had an amazing stash, but her step-children were not interested in obtaining it.  Linda, another Sunny, went through the stash dividing it into stacks that would fill Priority Mail boxes and sent them out to anyone in the group who agreed to pay the postage.  When the box arrived at my house in early fall, the first thing I did was to take it to the laundry room.  Bev was a smoker so as I opened the box, I immediately placed like colors into the washing machine.  There was so much fabric that just the thought of ironing it left me exhausted 
The Sunshine Quilters support 2 groups;  Wrap-Them-In-Love (WTIL), and Wrap-a-Smile (WAS). WTIL is a non-profit organization that brings together quilters to collect donated quilts and distribute them to children around the world.  Some of the quilts go to orphanages for children awaiting adoption and to areas that have suffered natural disasters.  This program also supports the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.  
Wrap-A-Smile (WAS)  supports a Rotary program called Rotoplast which sends medical teams to third world countries to perform free cleft palate and lip surgery.  When it was  found out that the children were wrapped in paper when they came out of surgery the group WAS started  to make sure each child was snuggled in a quilt they could keep.

I've spent the last few days ironing and cutting the fabric into strips and charm squares that can be used for simple children's quilts.  The timing was perfect because Kelly, over at Charming Chatter is hosting a sewing party  on Saturday.  Participants are asked to work on projects that represent the word they have chosen to guide them this year.  I posted about my word, "Calm," back on January 5th.

Knowing that a huge stack of Bev's fabric has been sitting in my sewing room for months has made me feel guilty for not getting projects done for the Sunshine Quilters.  I'll be taking my time on Saturday, sewing and remembering Bev and the way she inspired everyone who knew her to care about children who need a hug.