Saturday, November 3, 2012

My first presentation!!

I am so happy to report that I had my first quilt presentation today. My husband and I went to Cartersville to present to a Viet Nam vet. It went very well and he loved the quilt. His sister had nominated him, and wanted to be there, but she was unable to attend. I can't wait to send her the pictures.

Thank you John for letting us welcome you home.

This is what it is all about!
~ Renee

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Retreat at Toccoa

What's better than getting to quilt all weekend? Quilting with 38 of your closest friends!
I was at a Quilts of Valor retreat the first weekend in October. We stayed at the Baptist Conference Center right on Lake Louise! This view of the lake is from our window where our sewing machines were set up - beautiful!

Once we had everything setup, the sewing machines were humming away. Here is part of the room with a few dedicated quilters, working away on many of the quilts that finished.

We were in the purple room and I made friends with everyone - we are calling ourselves the Purple Peeps!

Here we are - all 9 of us. We laughed so much I think some of the others (not in our room) thought we crazy. HA! They were right!

What retreat isn't complete without the driving force of chocolate? There was plenty of that along with ton's of other stuff. Someone brought apples from their orchard, very cool.

I had decided to take along the Bear Paw I told you I was going to make for the upcoming presentation. is a sampling of the half square triangles I worked on.

and worked on...
and worked on...

So after many hours of cutting, pressing and squaring I needed to see some real progress, so I put one block together.

Ain't it purdy?

On the upside, I was able to get some blocks together - 6 total. On the down side I need 35 to make the top. I decided to group the 1/2 squares together and trim as I make the block, that way I will reward myself, after all the tedious trimming with a block. Smart huh? I brought home a project box full of stacks. I have been putting off the trimming on those 1/2 squares, but then something really cool happened. I went to the Quilt Expo in Duluth this past weekend and one of the vendor there was Bloc Loc. If you have never seen or heard of these ruler, you MUST check them out. They have a groove in the center that fits over your seam, making the trimming super easy. I timed myself tonight, and I could do 1 a minute. Here is the link to their website
Check them out. I am super happy I bought them and now don't fear the 1/2 squares anymore!

There is so much more to fill you in on, but I will make that in another post. 
For now, just a reminder that we are meeting this Saturday, October 27th at Cottontail Quilts - 9:30. I will bring some stuff to work on, so I hope you can make it.

Remember - freedom is never free

Thursday, October 4, 2012

A Letter from the Front Lines

I wanted to share this note - if came to the Region 8 coordinator, Susan Gordon and I thought you would like to see how QOV is making a difference in the soldiers lives.

Dear QOV Quilters: I have been receiving quite a few notes from the front lines recently in response to the quilts we have sent from this region. Today I received a handwritten note that I would like to share with all of you. These are Col. Young’s exact words:

13 July 2012
Dear Susan & Quilters,
This past Monday, 9 July, I was working at Bagram’s Craig Joint Theatre Hospital. I was examining a 44 y.o. National Guardsman who was in the ICU. 
He was in his skivvies and cold. A nurse brought him a beautiful red, white, and blue quilt and your card was attached. I pulled the quilt over him and took the card so I could write a Thank you in his behalf. He left that evening for Landstuhl Regional Med Ctr, but your quilt will be with him until he reaches home. 
I know the many hours it takes for you to make these quilts and I want to thank all of you for your generosity and patriotism. 
Col Richard You

We may never know just which quilt this young (young to me) National Guardsman received, but every day the quilts you are making are covering our wounded warriors and giving them both comfort and warmth at possibly the most difficult time in their lives. Thank you for your devotion to our most worthy cause. Every day when I count my blessings I think of all of you and your talented hands and generous hearts.
Susan Gordon

Thank you for all you do
Remember - freedom is not free!
~ Renee

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Getting super excited!!

Starting on Friday and going through Sunday I will be attending a QOV retreat in Tocca, GA!! I am looking forward to spending some time sewing away on the presentation quilt. I am also looking forward to getting some more ideas on things we can do with our own group.

Here is what I decided to make: a red, white and blue bear paw. These 2 gals inspired me with this picture they posted on the QOV Facebook page. Just so happens they are from Michigan and live near where I grew up!
I designed my version of this quilt in EQ7 and have all the 1/2 square triangles sewn together. I just need to square them up. I will post once I get something done that is worth looking at! LOL

Due to scheduling conflicts at Cottontail Quilt our meeting this month has been moved to the 27th starting at 9:30. I sure hope you can make it.
We are going to be making some changes with the schedule starting at the beginning of the year, so stay tuned.

Come and sew with us - it's always a good time for a great cause!

~Remember - freedom is never free

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

We have a presentation to do!!

Well ladies - seeing as the Taste of Kennesaw is going on this weekend, Cottontail Quilts has decided to close. The amount of people and traffic on the downtown event days makes it almost impossible for anyone to get quilting done! LOL So, I am afraid to say, no meeting again.

I do have some great news though - I was contacted by the Region 8 coordinator asking me to do a Quilts of Valor presentation!! 
Seems there has been a sister nominate her brother - a Viet Nam veteran. He lives in Cartersville. The sister has asked to be present (she lives out of town) and we will be working out a time and location for the presentation once she is scheduled to come into town!! WHOO HOOO!!! 
So...we need a quilt to present to him. I have some military themed fabric that I bought, and thought to design around that - some of it is panels. 
If anyone would like to get together, before Octobers meeting, let me know. 

In the mean time - keep those machines stitching.
Thanks for all you do!
Until later,

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

This just in from national...

I received this urgent request from QOVF National so I thought it best to pass it on. This is copied right from Marcella's email:

Just a heads up that the fighting in Afghanistan is very fierce right now leading to a substantial increase in the number of wounded. As such, the number of quilts requested by the standing weekly destinations has increased from 65 to 105 EVERY WEEK in just the last month. The increase by 40 quilts a week includes the addition of the ICU unit at Landstahl in Germany (15 quilts a week), the addition of the medical unit at FOB Shank-East in Afghanistan (20 quilts a week) and doubling the number of quilts going to the multinational medical unit at Kandahar Air Field in Afghanistan (to 10 a week). These quilts all go to front line wounded service members. There is no concern about whether they have already received a QOV or not.

Sadly, we will fall far short of meeting this need since the 65 quilts a week wasn't even being fulfilled. These destinations request patriotic/RWB only. I'm not asking for a debate here about RWB vs generic/branch specific/feminine. I'm just telling you what the Points of Contact have requested.

If you would like to help meet this need, please request a destination at

Marcella Pirner-Cormier
Destination Coordinator
Quilts of Valor Foundation

I know this can sound overwhelming, but as another QOV quilter said - it is like eating an elephant - one bite at a time. Come to the July meeting if you have time, we can use the help.

Thanks for all you do!
Remember - freedom is not free
~ Renee

Sunday, June 10, 2012

My little red wagon

Last month was a bit of a struggle to bring all the "stuff" up to the meeting room for for QOV (Robin was generous to lend me her rolling cart). Just as we were wrapping things up, I saw another quilter come in, and she was pulling a little red wagon - that collapes. GENIUS!! I HAD to have one. Certainly Robin is OK with lending me her cart, but what if I should go some place else with all my "stuff"? So, it was my mission to get one of these - Aldi has them. Now I feel better. I love to be organized and all my QOV "stuff" fits in the wagon. 
The great thing with the "stuff" in this wagon - it is meant to share with all of you. Can you guess what is in the big box? Come and join us on the 16th and see for yourself! I can guarantee you won't be disappointed.

Remember - Freedom is not Free
~ Renee

What Should I Bring?

We have had more quilters inquire about the sew-in's and I am excitedly hoping that the group will be growing.
The main question I am getting is: "what should I bring with me?" Here is a list:
  1. Your sewing machine.
  2. Rotary cutter and ruler(s).
  3. Basic sewing supplies: scissors, thread, machine needles, pins, etc.
  4. Fabric and or batting donations: if you feel you can part with some stash, we will gladly put in the "community" stash for upcoming projects. Please refer to the fabric standards for the QOV - 100% cotton, quilt shop quality fabric only. No poly batting.
  5. A lunch or snack - we do sew until 1:30, and there is a small restaurant nearby should you want to order from them.
  6. Suggestions and ideas for fundraisers and quilt patterns.
Here is what the group is furnishing:
  1. Iron/ironing board.
  2. Some muslin squares for string blocks.
  3. Some stash for the string blocks.
  4. Lots of fun!

Should you want your own cutting surface, bring that. Due to the nature of this historical building, the electrical circuits will only handle a couple of irons at a time, so too many will blow the breaker, causing a temporary black out. 

I have gone through another box of "scrap" and will bring this with me, adding to the increasing variety of fabric to pick through. I think this is half the fun! I will also, bring a couple of design walls. If you know of someone that is not a sewer/quilter, bring them along. We would love to get them involved and there are plenty of ways to help.

Come and sew with us on June 16th! It is sure to be a ton-o-fun

Remember - freedom is not free
~ Renee

Friday, June 8, 2012

ACK! The last of the clues...

I have come to realize that I need to be better about following up on the blog posts! Seems I missed the last of the clues for the mystery quilt Persimmon Quilts is doing, so here they are -  6 and 7 - are posted. I should put blogging on my calendar - I have a memory like a sieve!

Hope you have all your blocks done and on the way to a completed top!

Freedom is not free...
~ Renee

Monday, May 21, 2012

Scenes From Our First Meeting...

WOW!!! I am excited to report that our very first Freedom Quilters QOV meeting was a huge success. My hat is off to all that came and pushed through with amazing progress to get us well on the way to making our first top - GREAT JOB EVERYONE!!!
To recap for those that were not able to come, we were able to move ahead with making string blocks - super easy and fun to do. There were tons of scraps to pick from and Pat Snyder made us the best brownies - thanks Pat! I can see that this group is going to do a great service to those that deserve it the most - our service men and women.

Betty is trying to choose just the right piece

Pat is making some serious progress
Eve is busy getting rid of those pesky wrinkles!
This is my mom, Sharlene - so glad that she was able to help out
WOOT WOOT - You go Pat!!
Here is some serious piecing! 

I mentioned Saturday about a thank you letter that was shared via the QOV blog, but wanted to post the link here for everyone to see just what a difference a quilt can be for those touched by war.

Remember - freedom is never free.
~ Renee

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Mystery and an update...

So sorry for the lag in posts, seems there are 2 new installments on the mystery quilt, go here and you can retrieve them.

Thanks for understanding about the postponement on the start day. My husband had to have a stent put in and when I put off the meeting, we were not sure how complicated the procedure would be. Thank God it was only a stent and one night in the hospital. Home the next day with no restrictions, other than changes to diet and exercise. So now we are back to a normal routine.

So we are on for the 19th. Cottontail is providing sewing tables, cutting mats and 2 ironing stations. Please bring your sewing machine, rulers, rotary cutter, thread and other supplies you need for sewing and cutting. If you have any material you would like to donate, bring that also. I will bring some foundations for string quilting and plenty of scraps for sewing. I am excited to meet everyone and get started with the great mission.

See you at 9:30 on May 19th - bring your friends too!!

~ Renee

Saturday, April 28, 2012

It's a Mystery...#3

Here is the #3 clue to the mystery quilt that Le Ann Weaver with Persimmon Quilts is doing.
Have fun following along!

~ Renee

Saturday, April 21, 2012

It's a Mystery...#2

Here is the #2 clue to the mystery quilt that Le Ann Weaver with Persimmon Quilts is doing.
Have fun following along!

~ Renee

Friday, April 20, 2012

Meeting Postponement

Well, it seems as life has flexed it's muscle on my family. I am afraid we will need to postpone this months meeting. I have a family medical situation that needs my attention. This does not mean anything other than a delay to our start. I will keep you posted when the next meeting will be.

In the mean time, if you wanted to keep moving with something you could think about cutting strips for string blocks. They go together in no time. I personally have boxes of material "scraps" that I plan on using for this cause, and I am sure that just cutting and organizing them will take on a life of it's own - but what a great reward at the end! For anyone that is not familiar with string blocks check this out. Bonnie Hunter is my hero when it comes to scrappy quilts. Take a look, I am sure you will agree.

If you should want to make a fabric donation to the group, you can drop it off at Cottontail Quilts and Robin will gladly put it aside for our meeting.

I am sorry that this delay came about, especially in this fashion, but anyone with a family surely understands that sometimes our focus needs to shift. I am most blessed with a great family, and I am praying that in the end, this just ends up being a speed bump in our trip.

Looking forward to seeing you all very soon!
~ Renee

Sunday, April 15, 2012

It's a Mystery

I belong to a QOV Yahoo chat group and it is such a joy to see what others are doing. Quilters, by nature are givers, as with Persimmon Quilts. Le Ann Weaver has been putting together mystery quilts, and she is up to #23. I thought it would be fun to follow along.
Here is clue #1. Can't wait to see them come together!!

If you want to connect with some more of the QOV community, join the Yahoo chat group here.

See you on the 28th!
~ Renee

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

A Visual Reminder

Tonight, as I was combing through my emails I came across one from another QOV group sharing. It is always touching to see what others are doing to further the QOVF cause. There are several videos from this group posted, including the introduction and presentation, but this one post really hit home for me, so I thought I would pass it along. Check it out here. I think part of what touched me is the song that plays along with the pictures. You decide for yourself.

Thank you QOVGermany for sharing this with us - it is a great reminder that our freedom is not free and there are real faces behind it.

~ Renee

Monday, March 26, 2012

Some Ground Work

I am so excited!! I met with Susan Gordon, the Region 8 coordinator this afternoon and she gave me so many great ideas, I am sure my head is going to explode before I can get them out.

This may be a good time to get the ground work laid. Check out he QOVF Bare Bones Requirements. This will give you the Do's and Don't for the QOV. It's nice that we have these guidelines to follow, making our work easy. No need to memorize this, I will have a sheet printed to hand out.

One question I had for Susan was, "do we need to make the quilts in red, white and blue?". Short answer, no. After my conversation with Susan, I believe if we stick with the patriotic theme, our quilts will be placed more quickly, but certainly they can be made from most anything that fits the Bare Bones Requirements. Freedom Quilters is about getting the quilts finished and covering our warriors.

Quilts are not the only way to help. There is a call for wheelchair bags and quilt presentation cases.

Every QOV quilt has a presentation case to go along with it. It is nothing more than a pillow case. I do have the pattern for the "magic" pillow case, which is super quick and easy. If you have never made one, now is your chance. This is one of those patterns that makes you look like a rock star.

Wheelchair bags are a great way to help our warriors keep their paperwork together when being transported in the wheelchair. I have an example of a bag that works well, but not pattern for it. If you have something that you think would work, bring it to the next meeting and we can give it a try.

There are more ideas in my book to share, but I am hoping that you will bring some ideas to the next meeting. We want to make this group flexible and fun. Quilters have so many great ideas and love to share, so please become a part of Freedom Quilters so we can cover our warriors.

So what's next? Come to our first meeting on April 28th at 9:30 am. Bring your sewing machine. Any fabric donations will be gratefully accepted.

I am excited to get going, I hope you are too!
~ Renee

Friday, March 16, 2012

I am so happy you found us. Freedom Quilters QOV is a brand new quilting group. 
We have been blessed with a quilt shop that is graciously hosting us. Cottontail Quilts in Kennesaw GA. Cottontail Quilts has recently opened and if you have not had the opportunity to stop in and visit with them, try and make some time. They are sure to become one of the premier shops in our area. Robin Jones has skillfully stocked her shop with many "must haves". Her and her staff are ready and willing to help you with all your quilting need. So, when I asked her about helping QOV, she was more than happy to open her shop for us. 
We are very happy to be working with the Quilts of Valor Foundation to help further their cause. Many of us have been personally touched by the affects of war in one way or another. Come and show your support on our first sewing day. Due to the upcoming Big Shanty event in Kennesaw, we have had to change our regular sewing day from April 21st to the 28th. Please be sure to mark your calendar and come and join us for a fun filled, no stress day of quilting for those who have and are serving us in a very personal way.
I look forward to quilting with you!
~ Renee