Saturday, September 29, 2012

Mama's Quilt Shop

I discovered a quilt shop in Independence, Louisiana; Mama's Quilt Shop. Independence is a town next to my hometown, Hammond, Louisiana. Actually, my sister DeAnna found the shop months before by Googling quilt shops in the area.

The story goes in bullet points leading up to going to Mama's Quilt Shop...
  • We laid my precious father to rest, Monday, August 27th.
  • We had a day to prepare for hurricane Isaac before it made landfall. We secured items that were outside. We filled the cars with gas and got gas for the generator. We checked flashlight batteries, and lantern oil.
  • Five women, riding out the storm. It would be the first time to ride out a hurricane without our male protector (Dad). However, we knew he would be watching over us. We were in no harm of flooding. We camped in the living room, in recliners, in front of the TV watching The Weather Channel.
  • We were on the west side of Isaac which had the most rain. The wind blew and the rain came down. Finally, in the late afternoon, Wednesday, the lights went out and stayed out until Thursday afternoon, August 30th.
  • After the lights came back on and the rain and wind subsided, I told DeAnna I was in need of quilt therapy!! I suggested we go to Mama's Quilt Shop if they were open. Would they have electricity? Were they flooded? DeAnna looked up their number and called several times but no answer.
  • Saturday morning, DeAnna's phone rang and it was Mrs. Brenda, the owner of Mama's Quilt Shop. She had seen DeAnna's phone number several times on caller id and said Yes, she was open!

Finally! at the quilt shop, the therapy began as soon as we walked through the door! I enjoyed looking at everything in the shop, I never thought to take pictures! (I will next time though!) As we walked through the shop, we met Mrs. Martha! She works there on Saturday's and showed me a beautiful rag quilt she was working on! I made it over to the area where they had kits. They were on sale! I wanted to buy a couple of lap size quilt kits for my prayer quilts.

We all chatted with Mrs. Brenda and Mrs. Martha off and on while browsing through the shop. We talked about our different experiences with Isaac, about Dad being sick, about the prayer quilt we made for him. (We didn't think to bring it, but I will next time though!) Surprisingly to me, Mrs. Martha had heard of prayer quilts before. I showed her some of the pictures in my phone, of the quilts that I'd made. We also talked about blogging. Mrs. Martha maintains the blog for the quilt shop.

Mrs. Brenda and Mrs. Martha made us feel very welcome, just as quilters do! Then a wonderful thing happened but a wonderful thing was already happening, we were making new friends. Mrs. Martha pulled me aside and said she had a box of give-a-way fabric. She wanted me to have it for my prayer quilts. I was very touched! I was speachless! I was humbled! I said Thank You!

I want to show you Mrs. Martha and Mrs. Brenda's generosity.

This will make fantastic backing fabric

Various fabric... love those frogs!

More various fabric... lots of ideas dancing in my head!

Beautiful fabric panels

I love the white tiger panel and the greens are beautiful!

I bought this lap size kit for a prayer quilt.
I love the red and white! 
I think a Razorback fan will like this one!

I bought this lap size quilt kit too!
A design that should be easy!

I bought this book and fat quarters too!
 I haven't made a rag quilt yet, can't wait to try some that are in the book!

Take a moment to visit Mama's Quilt Shop website. If you have the opportunity to visit the store, in person, you will be blessed, just as I was blessed. I am blessed to have new friends! Today is Saturday, I know Mrs. Martha is in the shop, and both Mrs. Brenda and Mrs. Martha are chatting and smiling with everyone that comes in the shop. I wish I was there!

Have a Blessed Day!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

A Prayer Quilt for Dad

The last time I posted was in May, because right after that my Dad was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Right away I spoke to my sister DeAnna at Georgia-Girl Quilter, about making a prayer quilt for Dad. She agreed and was ready to be involved. I ask Dad if he would like to have a prayer quilt, and he said yes. 

DeAnna and I began brainstorming for a design idea. She had the idea of using novelty fabrics of his life interest. We started a list: boats, motorcycle's, newspaper print, dance/square dance, music, western (for his love of western movies), gun motifs, patriotic, LSU, Fluer De Lis (for Louisiana/Saints), clocks, etc. After we came up with fabric motif ideas, the search was on to find the fabric.

I suggested we use the snowball block for a couple of reasons. One; it's a good block to showcase the novelty fabric and the second reason has more meaning that I will explain. Living in south Louisiana we don't get a lot of snow. One time when we were little, it snowed but only as far south as McComb, MS, so Dad took us to the snow. We all piled in our yellow station wagon with the wood grain panels and he drove us about 45 miles north to McComb, MS, for us to play in the snow. DeAnna thought it was a great idea because of the memory we had. She said it would be like us throwing snowballs at him.

After weeks of searching for fabric with the motif's we were looking for, we finally found as many as we could find. All of my siblings were going to be at my parents house the week of July 30th thru August 4th. We planned to make the quilt that week. We would involve everyone in the making. DeAnna brought 3 of her sewing machines and I brought my machine. I brought 2 card tables to use for cutting and ironing stations, and between the 2 of us we had all the necessary supplies.

Here are pictures to help tell the story:

DeAnna (sister) cutting fabric

Simone (sister) ironing fabric

Bryan (brother) sewing

Catrinel (sister-in-law) sewing

DeAnna (sister) sewing on her antique Singer sewing machine made October 26, 1950. She got the machine from Cathy Lynn Forcino, who creates mohair Teddy Bears but also collects and sells Vintage Singer Featherweight sewing machines.

A picture of me sewing

DeAnna and Simone (sisters) checking seams

Mom sewing

I'm watching the master (Mom). I learned to sew from her!

Rhunell (sister) sewing

Simone (sister) and I pinning the quilt

I'm quilting

Simone (sister) quilting

 The reveal

Each square represents an interest in Dad's life. I know it's hard to see but here are the novelty fabrics and their meanings.
Starting at the top left: Newspaper print with car ads has two meanings. He delivered the Baton Rouge newspaper for 64 years! He owned many vehicles throughout the years due to his newspaper delivery business and he knew a lot about them. Fleur de lis for Louisiana and The Saints. Western fabric with guns for his love of western movies and guns. Boats because he enjoyed boating. Dance and record motif for his love of dancing and music.
Second row from the left: Clocks because they have many. Red, White and Blue for being patriotic. Music notes for his love of music. Sillouette cowboys for his love of western movies. Motorcycle's because he had one and enjoyed riding.
Third row from the left: Coffee because he liked drinking it. The Preamble for his love of history. LSU because he was a fan. Coffe cups to go because he liked drinking coffee. Square dance calls for his love of dancing and square dancing.
The blocks repeat in the quilt but in a different order.

Dad enjoying his prayer quilt, with prayers already tied into it.

On August 23, 2012 Jesus came and reached out his hand for Dad, and Dad took it. We will always miss you Dad, and have comfort in knowing we will be together again. We love you! You were the best Dad!

Well all find peace in being covered with Dad's prayer quilt.

Blessings to you and your family,