Thursday, June 18, 2020

More Ocracoke Quilts Underway!

I thought it was about time I posted another update to the blog about the Quilts for Ocracoke project. Since our trip in February, the state entered a pandemic stay at home order (like the rest of the world), so I have been safe at home, running my longarm business as a drop off/pick up from my front porch with no contact with my friends and clients. It's been very strange. I have dealt with all the isolation issues with bouts of anxiety, sleeplessness, nightmares, and an excess of baking fresh bread--after eight months of eating Keto. GRIN! Thankfully, I haven't seen a complication of weight gain, but now that my mood seems to be lifted, it's probably time to refocus on fresh veggies again. I'm glad it's summer in the south, where fresh veggies are abundant!

Right up front, I want to apologize for how out-of-order my pictures are likely to be. The combination of this platform and my slooooooow Internet speed means that uploading pictures is like pulling teeth for me. I finally managed to do it last night on my phone by sending the pictures and then going to sleep (LOL) and letting the magic happen overnight. If you want to see tons of pictures, visit the #quiltsforocracoke hashtag on Instagram!

During the months of March, April, and May, I took a break from actively sewing Ocracoke tops, although I did make a few more blocks between other projects, and I might have finished one or two quilts. I was able to participate in Bonnie Hunter's Unity Quilt Along, and finished my version of the Unity quilt. I also finished a couple of small quilts from a block of the month I have done with my guild this year, and found a random kit in my stash to make yet another quilt for my guest room. (It's like princess-and-the-pea in there already!)

Dennis and I made a day trip over to the island last week (for shrimp tacos) and it was our first trip to fly over since Dorian. 
Whenever we visit, a walk past the lighthouse is on my plan. 

But I have finally found my sewing mojo and have returned to the Ocracoke project and am busy catching up on what I have on hand. The good news is that ALL OF YOU kept sending me blocks during my slowdown, and so when I kitted up the blocks I had on hand this week, I managed to make 25 more sets of blocks! If you sent blocks, I probably posted and thanked you on Instagram as they arrived. I certainly tried to do that! I find IG a much easier daily platform than Blogger.

I also found this "Ocracoke-ish" quilt kit that a friend in New Bern had cut and donated, so I pieced that this week.  Setting the strip-sets on point is a much faster top assembly than making 42 blocks from scratch with triangles and trimming. 

I had fun piecing this one on my Singer 185J, right in the middle of my living room. 

This fantastic backing was donated and was just long enough for the extra long  Ocracoke-ish top.

Since I had a piece of wide backing in my studio handy, I quilted two in a row,
which freed me up to piece while the robot ran.

I love piecing these tops from the blocks you send! The scrappy variety is what makes this project shine.

A friend had also donated a set of strips but they needed the triangles sewn on, so I made another 50 blocks this week.

Even quilts that look so similar have a variety at closer inspection.

I bought a bolt of the Pirate flannel, and I just love it on Ocracoke quilts.

This group of ladies sent three finished quilts, already bagged in gift bags, ready to donate!

I snapped a picture of the accumulating pile in my foyer a couple of weeks ago. I have also received some gorgeous bed sized quilts as donations.

We walked from the airport to the end of the island (by the ferry terminal and the museum) and sat for a while on our favorite bench. I swear my heart rate slows down and my stress is relieved whenever we are on Ocracoke.

We'll be back soon!

Finally, I'd be remiss if I didn't mention the continuing support of Alamance Piecemakers Guild in western NC. They have a dynamic guild that decided to participate in the Ocracoke Quilt Project early on in the epitome of "Love Your Neighbors." I have received 2 quilts per month from their guild, already quilted and bound, and extra blocks in abundance.

All of the support has been so encouraging to me personally, and I want to encourage you that Ocracoke is not "recovered" and our quilts will absolutely reach hurting people who need the hug and love that only a quilt can bring. When Dennis and I were there last week, several businesses are still working to repair their facilities. Ocracoke Coffee was open (so I got my caffeine fix!), and we hit Books to be Red for a new book, socks, and a couple of zipper bags, and I managed to find my shrimp tacos at  Suazo's (since Eduardo's is closed on Mondays). As I look at my calendar to schedule our return to the island to deliver quilts, it's probably going to be toward the end of July or early August, and I expect even more businesses will have used the summer longer-days to get their work done.

Please remember that I have a goal of 200 quilts by May of 2021. As of today, June 18, 2020, I have delivered 44 quilts, and have on-hand 51 finished quilts ready to deliver (although I have to print and get labels on them--LOL). I hope I can take at least 56 quilts when I go on the next trip, so we'd be "halfway" on our delivery goal. Recovery from a hurricane is a long, tedious journey. Your love and prayers for the people of Ocracoke are needed. Thank you for all you have done and are doing to love Ocracoke!

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