Friday, January 24, 2014

Grow Your Blog!!!

2 Bags Full

Hello and welcome to my blog, Sew Much and More! My name is Gina, I'm very happy to have you as a visitor! I'm excited to participate in the Grow Your Blog meet and greet blog party! I'd like to send a thank you to Vicki at 2 Bags Full, for putting the blog hop together and WOW at the participants! Also a thank you to Karen Valentine at My Desert Cottage for creating the beautiful party badge!

When you visit my blog you will see post about sewing, from potholders to, pillows, purses and totes.

Recently, my Mom and sisters got together for a sewing retreat! It was sew much fun! We're going to try to make it an annual event. You can read about it here and here. To make it happen, there was traveling from the Atlanta area, to Louisiana, to Texas, to Arkansas. We managed to get in a quilt shopping day, high school football game, and a goat auction - yes a goat auction! Despite the extra activity we still got a lot of sewing done and of course we laughed a lot too!

I'd like to introduce you to my family. In the photo below from left to right is my Atlanta sister, my Louisiana Mom, in the middle is my Texas sister, me in red - the Arkansas sister/daughter and my Louisiana sister to the far right. We have a Louisiana brother too, he didn't make it to the retreat.

When you visit my blog, you will see post about quilting, and prayer quilts. I feel led by God to use my sewing talents to sew to serve. Though I don't think I'm that talented I do try my best and God must think I'm good enough! I am the lead of the prayer quilt ministry at my church. This turtle quilt was made for a little boy with a heart condition. I love how it turned out!

This snowball quilt was a bitter-sweet prayer quilt made for my Dad. He passed in 2012. Everyone in my family had a hand in making it. My Dad had so many interest, we decided to use novelty fabric that represented his interest. He loved western movies, so we used western / cowboy fabric. He liked to boat on the rivers of Louisiana, and he rode a Harley, so there is boating and motor cycle fabric in his quilt. You will also find Louisiana related fabric, LSU, coffee and dancing fabric. The quilt lives with my Mom, when I go home, I love snuggling under this quilt!

You will see an occasional blog hop. I try to enter when I can.

You might also see post about family, gardening, church and maybe a recipe (that's the '...and More' part of my blog name)! Gardening post from building my keyhole garden ........

to the fruits (or veggies) of my labor!

My husband and I, and our 2 sons are involved in our church, therefore you may see a post about church activities. The teens host an annual Valentine Banquet (with a lot of adults helping behind the scenes). Last year the theme was a sock-hop (there was no dancing in the church building... just sayin'). It's dinner and entertainment put on by the teens. The banquet room was decorated like a diner and you could come dressed in sock-up attire. I made a poodle skirt but I customized the 'poodle' to look like our Basset/Lab named Marley. Below is a photo of me at the sock-hop.

And here is a photo of Marley. How did I do?


My Atlanta sister DeAnna, blogs over at Georgia-Girl Quilter, you will most definitely see references to her blog. She is also participating in the Grow Your Blog meet and greet blog party, so be sure to visit her too!  

The sewing, quilting and craft inspiration is fantastic from the talented community that sew, quilt and craft! I enjoy all the ideas, there's so much I want to make and not enough time in the day or week!! I'm very excited to visit your blog and get to know you better! 

Yes! There is a giveaway!

On February 15, 2014, I'll select a winner of these 4 fat quarters! The rules are: 1. Leave a nice comment. 2. Please make sure I can reach you by email. 3. Anyone can enter, I will ship internationally. Easy!

Thank you so much for visiting! We all have a lot of blogs to visit and I hope you will decide to be a follower! I'm off to visit and follow blogs! It's time to grow some blogs! To see a list of participants, visit Vicki at 2 Bags Full.


Rag Quilt - A Prayer Quilt UFO - Finished!

A Prayer Quilt UFO is done! I am the lead of our Prayer Quilt Ministry at my church. Fabric is donated to our ministry and a few jeans too. This red, white and blue fabric was from the donated stash, when I saw it I thought it would look great paired with denim fabric.  

Because the red, white and blue fabric is woven, I thought it would make a good rag quilt. I cut the squares 4.5 inches and the batting slightly smaller at 4 inches.

'Xs' were drawn in the denim squares to use as a sewing guide. I might have been able to eyeball it but following a line is easier!

For some reason at that point it got set aside and became a UFO. The other day I started to work on another UFO when I could feel the stacks of squares staring at me! I got busy laying it out, finished sewing x's in the squares and it came together quickly. I have never made a rag quilt before. The process was fun! I love how it turned out! 

The back

When washing a rag quilt it's important to clean out the dryer vent often! The smaller ball of lent in the front is what I got from the bottom of the washing machine. The large ball of lent is from the dryer! I set the dryer on a 20 minute dry time because I was afraid of getting distracted or called away. I felt safe setting it at 20 minute intervals, in case that happened! I checked the vent every few minutes. It's important to hang around the dryer for the first drying.

My sister, DeAnna, that blogs at Georgia-Girl Quilter, got me the spring loaded scissors on the left, as a gift for Christmas! I love my fabric scissors, but I would not have been able to make all those snips with them. The spring loaded scissors are very sharp at their tips, and the comfort handles and spring action make it easy on your hand!

A close up of the ragging! The quilt isn't very large at 36 x 39.5 inches. As mentioned, this is a quilt for the Prayer Quilt Ministry at my church. It will fit nicely over someone's legs. I pray it will provide comfort for someone in need. It's not designated for anyone yet. When we have a need, we will stitch long #5 Pearl Cotton threads into the quilt. We will tie knots in those threads while we pray prayers for the recipient. Each knot represents a prayer and the recipient will be covered in prayers.

To learn more about prayer quilts, visit the Prayers and Squares website. There are so many ways to help others by donating your time, and quilting skills in order to give comfort to both children and adults. The church prayer quilt ministry is the way I feel God has lead me to - sew to serve. Here is a short list of organizations: Project Linus, Quilts for Kids, Quilts of Valor, HeartStrings Quilt Project, Binky Patrol. Just do a web search and you'll find a lot more!

You could start your own charity quilt group or prayer quilt ministry. Sarah at Confessions of a Fabric Addict, blogs about the prayer quilt ministry at her church. The quilts they make will blow you away! They are a very committed and productive group! Sarah recently started another blog, Piece*Love*Quilt, dedicated to the prayer quilt ministry. She tells the story of how they got started here. It's an awesome, see God at work story!

Do you sew to serve?

I'm linking up to Finish It Up Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts 
and Can I Get A Whoop Whoop at Confessions of a Fabric Addict.


Thursday, January 2, 2014

Handmade gifts, gifted to me

Happy New Year! I hope everyone had a fun, and safe New Year's Eve/Day celebration. I had my New Year's Day black eyed peas and cabbage. Do you have a traditional New Year's meal? 

I wanted to take a moment to show you what my sister DeAnna, who blogs at Georgia-Girl Quilter, made for my Mom, sisters, sister-in-law, and myself for Christmas. My dear father passed away in 2012 and DeAnna and I shared his cotton shirts to make a quilt. Since she is in Georgia and I am in Arkansas, we weren't able to split the shirts between us until our Fall sewing retreat. (You can read about our Fall sewing retreat Part 1 and Part 2.) DeAnna took the shirts and gifted everyone with pillows. It's such a special gift idea, I wanted to show you.

My Dad liked to wear hats and caps, so it seemed appropriate to take photos of the pillow and his hats together.

A close up of the front.

A close up of the back.

I took one photo with each hat because I couldn't leave any out!

My sister, DeAnna, also gifted me with this awesome sign that she designed on her embroidery machine!

Recently I moved my sewing room to the room above the garage, you can read about it here! I love the sign and have a couple of hanging options. I love receiving handmade gifts and am blessed for having received these special gifts!

Have a blessed day!