I have a friend that serves with her husband as a pastor to the local pastors in a Third World Country. The last few years I’ve sent boxes to help them prepare Christmas gifts for the pastor families as well as area orphans. She has a very fascinating blog and HERE is the specific post about the gift boxes.
I have really enjoyed packing boxes for the Sowers’ ministry as they don’t just drop off boxes, take photos, and leave. They continually minister to these families and children all year long. They help with area physical needs (feeding centers and building huge cement bridges to replace wooden planks!) and providing training and encouragement to those around them. I know some of you are super creative in your preparing special boxes per age & gender and family boxes are also needed for the Sowers. I send a box of needed items and let them fill-in gaps or make new packages from the extras I include.
This year when I saw blankets as a need on the list and saw what a blanket costs (when did I buy a blanket last???), I figured I had fabric, I’d make quilts for part of my box. I officially took off the week of Thanksgiving from customer work and spent my quilting time make quilts for an unknown loved one in a faraway land. It was so fun to make from what I had and be able to do whatever I wanted. I ended up playing quite a bit with my quilting. Midst the work, my mind prayed for the Sower family and those that will receive my meager gifts.
Of course, that week also had time with the kiddos on Wednesday night and Thursday and extra cooking but I was pleased with all I did on the other days.
This top was started at a guild workshop many years ago. (Pat Speth author of the Nickel Square books.) The pieces were cut and two 16″ blocks were finished; like this as they were pulled from the project box.
I pieced the remaining 4 blocks, added sashing and a border. It is bright and scrappy but not my style when I added in that red/rust sashing. Is it just me? I also think the blocks needed 1/4 turns as I went and more blocks and no sashing. Hopefully someone likes the bright colors. (I’m pretty sure I could do this pattern again from my nickel squares (8 times???) so I’ll try other layouts.)
Starting quilting ~
This ended being about 50 x 75 or so… a throw or small twin size. Just right for whoever needs it, I hope!
The next quilt was a pattern I found online after searching for large block quilts. I love this pattern! Giant Star It goes together quite quickly.
I used a collection of fat quarters and some background fabric from the stash. Scrappy but sort of coordinated…. gold, brown, slight turquoise, etc.
Added a turquoise inner border and used that for the binding as well.
And then I got to quilting… lots of detail and play. This is all free-hand, hand-guided, idea and then let it go… About 30 – 45 mins per square after I had done a few and 8 1/2 bobbins (my long-arm machine bobbins are quite large)! I prayed these quilts would bless someone abundantly and bring joy to them. And prayed for my friend as they raise a family there too.
This quilt is 81″ x 81″.
The rest of my box included men’s tshirts, toiletries, crayons & coloring books. I was packing a day after the posted deadline or would have bought a few more things to fill up the box.
Currently, they’ve had some shipping issues (prayers still needed!) but have 2 shipping containers coming. I’m thrilled and hope it is easy to sort and distribute. Quite a job from what I’ve heard in past years. I think it would be fun to go see her and help in whatever way I can but the last bit of me has scary thoughts of the landing… dirt strip? or ? or? 🙂 Over our years of friendship, we’ve even learned some unusual connections we have between us… less than 6 degrees even… and that is fun to share.
I enjoy sharing in this way. I know they will deliver to hundreds of people. You know what would be cool….. a photo of someone with a quilt. 🙂 Or I’ll meet them in heaven some day. Cuz I feel sort of connected to the receiver even before they have received. And next year’s goal, desire, would be to have several done before the deadline! (If you want to donate a top and/or backing fabric, I’ll quilt it and finish it for free for the gift box next year.)
ETA: This post intent was to show you some quilting I’ve done lately and to see if any of my readers want to help in any way with a box or gift to this ministry. I’m not here to toot my own horn over what I’ve donated. It is a joy to me to give this! I’m not seeking praise.
Blog from ministry website HERE.
Giant Star posted on The Quilt Show gallery HERE.
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