Thursday, December 10, 2009

Stash Builders Final Report

Words cannot describe nor photos do justice of the abundant blessings received tonight by members of the Island Quilters Guild, Galveston Texas.

Several months ago on an online forum with fellow longarm quilters nationwide and worldwide, I posted a comment in reply to several ladies describing how they were 'taming their stash' or 'organizing their stash' (for non-quilters, a stash is in reality a collection of fabric that may or may not get used in future projects, sometimes it's just eye candy and comfort, but generally it is used for the making of quilts...) Anyway...I casually replied that if anyone needed to find a good home for their way-ward stash or their overflow stash that I knew several ladies in my guild who lost ALL their stash to Hurricane Ike last year and that I'd be more than willing to be a facilitator to collect and distribute...

Immediately I was contacted by several of the gals who asked for my address and over the past several months boxes have arrived at my humble abode. (if you want more details please check my archives to the right).


The response was indeed an overflow. Not only did several of my longarm buddies respond with boxes of fabulous fabric - fat quarters, yardage, pre-cut squares, notions, thread, patterns - but we were also recipients of generous gifts from area guilds.

The ladies who lost their homes which included their quilting room items were asked to arrive at 4 PM this evening prior to our annual Christmas party.

We told them not to be shy or to think they were taking too much - and to use the boxes that had just been emptied and placed under the table for their treasure hunt. Our only "rule" was to put your name on the outside of the box so we knew that it wasn't one that we'd forgotten to unpack (grin)

Our goal was for all of the fabric to find a good home! The members of the board who had assisted me in storing the boxes these past few months agreed that none of it was coming back to our houses!

One of the 'touching moments' that I'll share was overhearing one of the ladies gently sigh as she picked up this piece of black fabric with little teapots on it..."Oh, I had's almost like it's been given back to me." She later shared that loosing her fabric was one of the hardest things to let go of in the overwhelming reality of loosing so much of her possessions due to the hurricane.

Those of you who donated I can't tell you thank you enough for your generosity. Thank you for your trust in me to receive your unselfish donations and to facilitate it to such a loving group of giving ladies. We have a small guild, about 60 women, who on an average make over 200 charity quilts a year. The stash that you contributed to the Stash Builders project will undoubtedly continue to be unselfishly given away once again, but this time as part of a quilt that will cuddle someone in need. The blessings just continue! And that's the way it's suppose to be!

So, you ask, how did the rest of our evening go? Well, we tried something new this year....typically our tradition has been to play Quilt-O, which is a quilter's version of Bingo...couldn't tell ya' if it's because of the great door prizes that used to be given by our local quilt shop, Quilts By the Bay (which we lost due to Ike) or the fact that we always used Hershey Kisses for our markers, or should I say the wrappers from the kisses and the contents tended to disappear rapidly...Well, this year we decided we needed to do something fresh...something different...and something that sounded a little bold...

Strip Poker! Quilter's Version (grin) We antied up with 2.5 inch holiday fabric strips with the high card taking the first draw, then descending order having their pick...with a final game at each table with 'winner take all' . Oh and yes, we still had our kisses! After all, doesn't quilting and chocolate go hand in hand?!?!

Yep, it was a good night in Galveston.
Bless you my dear online friends who shared with us, and bless each of you for reading this Quilt Rambler's tale.

It's beginning to feel a lot like Christmas!


Island-Quilter said...

Karen, your Internet Quilting Friends are so gracious. We had mounds of fabric to go through - it was a little emotional at first sight. We had a wonderful time. I definately rebuilt my stash. Now I need to find a place to store it. Santa came early!!! Please share my deepest graditude with all your friends that were so nice in helping us rebuild.

American Made Quilting said...

Very Good!! This hits close to home being in South Florida and having seen 3 direct hits.. My heart goes out to the ones who lost everything.. Keep up the good work. Happily Quilting Natalie Carlton

Cut-N-Shoot Quilting Diva said...

Absolutely Fantastic! Nicely done Karen and friends. I have said it numerous times and I'll say it again Quilters are generally the most giving people I know. They are quick to help each other regardless of the distance. I was sad to see Quilts by the Bay close. Unfortunately Ike was not kind nor generous to our lovely state.

Anonymous said...

I do not know who you but I want to say thank you and anyone else who helped with this project. God chose you to be his angel here on earth. How those ladies must have felt when they entered that room. I only wished I had followed my instincts and helped in some way. May
God bless his sweet angels. Thank you for caring.,

Muddling Through said...

Oh, Karen, what a beautiful, heartwarming post! I think quilters must be some of the most generous people on earth. And how sweet that your sweet ladies plan on turning some of the bounty into more quilts to be given away to others.