Monday, January 7, 2013

All kinds of Awesome

First of all, thank you so much to all of you who left comments and suggestions on the last post. There are some great suggestions and I am grateful for you taking the time to do that for me! It's so nice to know what kinds of things you as a quilting/blogging/cool-people community are most interested in.

Next, are you familiar with the Scrappy Trip-along (#scrappytripalong)? It's an informal quilt-a-long that went viral over Instagram right after Christmas. There's a huge following on the Flickr group as well. (Over 600 members!) It's also kind of awesome to use the words "quilt" and "viral" in the same sentence. The method is so fast - you can see the tutorial on Quiltville here. Plus it's such a fun way to bust through some stash.

I have loved all the pretty inspiration. I fought desperately to avoid the temptation to start one of my own because I have so many projects and deadlines at the moment, but I caved and turned into a total sheep. I had to try it just for a minute. I went with a primary color scheme, but I'm thinking it needs a little more jazz. So I may add some turquoise and possibly a little orange and brown. Thoughts? I want this to look like an old quilt you would find in your grandparents' vintage camper. Only without the weird smells and polyester. We'll see if I get there. It'll probably go into the pile of WIP's for a while, but I may keep adding blocks here and there when my resistance is low.

Are you scrappytrippingalong?
Another little project I wanted to share. This quilt isn't my creation, but it has a special story and I got to help contribute a little at the end, so I wanted to share it anyway. We have some neighbors who just adopted a second daughter with Down Syndrome. They have children of their own, but a couple of years ago decided to adopt a child with Down Syndrome. They found the daughter they were meant to have in their family in Russia. After a long legal process, they brought 4-yr-old A home from an orphanage. We have got the biggest kick out of watching A blossom and become part of this new family and neighborhood.

Last summer this family felt like there was one more little person out there waiting to become part of their family. Again, after a long process of professionals evaluating their family and legal proceedings, they brought home a second daughter with Down Syndrome on Christmas Eve- this time 3-yr-old H. Talk about a little angel. She is adorable. It is so sweet to watch her response to being part of a family.
Right before my friend made the trip to Russia for the final time, she called asking if I knew of anyone who could help her finish a quilt for the girls' bed. She had a quilt top that her sister-in-law out of state had pieced but my friend didn't know where to start with getting it finished. I told her she'd called the right person. :) (I don't think most of my neighbors have any idea what a weirdo I am about this hobby, let alone know that I have piles of fabric in my basement or that on top of that, I write a blog about all this craziness.) I told her to leave it with me.

The adorable fabric is Little Kukla by Robert Kaufman. It's very important to this family to commemorate their adopted daughters' Russian heritage. The quilting was done by awesome Melissa Kelly of Sew Shabby Quilting. All I really did was put on the binding, but I felt so excited to contribute in some small way. (Plus it gave me the excuse to finally sit down and watch Elf.)
Our friends' story hits close to home for us. My husband has two brothers (both biological) with Down Syndrome. They teach us so much about acceptance, patience, and unconditional love - three attributes that come so naturally to them. We're all trying to catch up. We also know the realities of children with special needs. It's not always sunshine and rainbows - it can be taxing too.

But, they have such an awesome impact on our family. Not the least of which is cool hand-chosen Christmas presents. This year my husband was the recipient of his very own She Devil's sun visor. Possibly the most awesome Christmas present ever. Maybe I'll get to borrow it sometimes. Don't be jealous.

25 comments:

  1. Hi Amy. Your post tugs at my heart. :o) What a dear family. Very close friends of ours has a little one with DS. I remember holding him right after he was born. He is such a doll!
    I am scrap tripping along too. I posted one of my blocks just today. :o)

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  2. You're friends with that family? They totally tugged my heartstrings when I saw their story on the news. I have prayed almost non-stop since that story that the Russian government will continue to allow American's to adopt their special needs children.

    And I'm off to look at the scrappy trips tutorial. Because I need more UFO's in my life.

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  3. I agree,they give pattience and unconditional love.

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  4. Great story, my niece just lost her 16 years old DS boy on January 6. DS children leave a very special place in your heart. Thanks for sharing

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  5. What a great Christmas present for the family and the child who got adopted, a new family! That was sweet of you to finish the quilt for them!

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  6. I am Big Bossy Sister for my brother who is on Social Security Disability. He swallowed a penny when he was very young; it cut off the air to his brain and caused brain damage. Without family to watch over him, he would be one of those sad guys living under a bridge somewhere getting beat up for his money. So it comes to me.

    We have our moments, but I have learned to pick my battles and he has learned that he absolutely positively has to change the sheets on his bed every week and clean the toilet every week and mop the kitchen floor every week if he wants his allowance. He lives in my rental house right next door and is a good neighbor.

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  7. I love the She Devil hat - totally cool! It is an amazing story - I helped a friend here to adopt a little D.S. baby that was an amazing experience. These people with special needs enrich our lives in so many ways - my youngest is Autistic and each day brings something new - good and not so good but he was sent to me or rather chose me for a reason...I'm thankful that he is healthy and I'm thankful that he's mine.

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  8. What a great story all-around... it was so kind of you to offer to do the quilt, and how wonderful that this family has actually chosen to adopt what others find "less than desirable". I'm sure they are rewarded everyday by the unconditional love they receive from those children!! A truly great story of unselfishness and compassion! Thanks for sharing something so personal and uplifting! :)

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  9. I'm holding off on the scrappy time sucker right now as I try and finish my dad's Indie Star for his birthday on the 16th. I might have earmarked a bundle of fabric for it though. Possibly. Maybe. *ahem*

    Loving the wee Russian inspired quilt, and *everybody* needs a flaming sun visor!

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  10. Thank you so much for sharing this story with us. It has really made an impact on my day. As a teacher I have had children with ds come in and out of my life and just yesterday I was thinking of a special few and how much I missed them. I am in awe of this wonderful family and will be keeping them in my prayers.
    IN other news. I love the blocks! I think orange and/or brown would look a bit more vintage though my personal choice would be turquoise as that is always my choice. :) I can't wait to visit the scrap-a-long post and read more!

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  11. I do have plans for the Scrappy Trip Along. It looks like fun and a great way to use scraps.

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  12. Wow !! What an amazing post in so many ways!! What wonderful people your neighbors are.....Love how the squares look!!!

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  13. What a neat story. As for your scrappy tripalong I would use 30s fabrics to make it look vintage and maybe some flower sugar or American Jane fabric. I love what you have so far and think it will look great!

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  14. Thanks for sharing that wonderful story, Amy! I'm sure that quilt will be treasured forever... And yes, I'm jumping on the scrappy trips bandwagon, because I think it will make a great and easy king-sized quilt for my own bed! Can't wait to start my first blocks tomorrow!

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  15. Thank you for a wonderful post, Amy. You have the best eye for color, too. Those blocks are gorgeous!

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  16. Our 18 yr old granddaughter has DS. She brings us such joy and love and has taught the whole family about unconditional love. This year she graduates from HS, we couldn't be prouder. And right now I have a pile of tee shirts marking everything from cheer leading, basketball, National Charity League, Church Baking, summer camp and a myriad of other activities waiting for me to make them into her Graduation quilt, so I know how much you have enjoyed helping a neighbor and how much you love your bils!

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  17. Beautiful post Amy, thank you so much for sharing. What a blessing you've been to your neighbour, and your neighbours in turn to their gorgeous girls from Russia.

    My brother and his wife waited 6 years (years!!) to adopt their little girl H from Ethiopia - and that was after a 2 year governmental-assessment process - so, 8 years all up. Adopting internationally from Australia is such a prolonged process. It breaks my heart, as there are so many children waiting to become a part of someone's family, who in turn are desperately waiting for them. Thanks so much for sharing your neighbour's story.

    That's a fab pic of your husband and one of his brothers too. His new visor will get lots of jealous looks!! Cat x

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  18. Thank you so much for this beautiful post. You know that adoption is very close to my heart since my own two darlings are adopted and I believe that every single child should have a forever family. Many happy blessings to your newest neighbor.

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  19. What a neat post Amy! That little quilt is so sweet. And you're trippy! I'm SOOOO tempted -- just trying to decide if I should abandon my UFO goals so soon into the new year LOL!

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  20. You're awesome Amy! I love that quilt top you finished...looks so great. And what a sweet story :)

    And we totally avoid the twitter scene, is that so bad?? You may need to show us the ropes sometime! Love your start!

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  21. Love this post. First off the Russian quilt is very sweet. Binding it was probably fun. I don't mind binding at all. I enjoy it. And as for the viral project, I've succumbed myself. Sadly last night I worked on it. Sew fun! I'm glad. But seriously I have SO many projects going on. I get what you're talking about. I should be working on a pattern for a quilt that came back from the quilter. Anyway, loved seeing the photo of your brother-in-laws too. Your MIL is an example to me and I'm so grateful to have met her and know of the positive experiences in your family. Lizzy is a wonderful baby and we love her so much. Thanks for being you.

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  22. Once one of my neighbors saw my sewing room in my basement and asked me if I ran a store out of my home. Talk about embarrassing... I think she seriously thought I was a crazy hoarder.... :)

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  23. Great post! I love the visor. As a biological parent of a son with Down Syndrome and an adoptive mother of a typical child--thank you for writing a lovely post regarding both topics. Congratulations to your neighbors on their newest addition to their family. What a blessing for all of them.

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  24. Wow, Amy, you really are a great writer. Thanks for sharing this lovely story and for being a part of this amazingly helpful quilting/blog community.
    People who take care of special needs children are angels for sure.
    I am one of the #scrappytripalong sheep too. Mine is waiting to be quilted as soon as my backing fabric arrives.
    xoxo

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  25. Love your color combo! I have two tops to complete before I can try the scrappy trip along and the anticipation is driving me crazy! :)

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