Monday, July 23, 2012

An Amazing Weekend and a Big Huge Thank You

When I first read about Operation Wood Hollow, I thought, wow, that's a neat project, I hope she gets the help she needs.  A few days later I realized that I had a good friend in Colorado Springs, who was safe from the fire there, but still affected by it.  The more I thought about it I wanted to help.  Julie changed the name of Operation Wood Hollow to Phoenix Quilts, and has been receiving so much support it is amazing.  I'm not sure how many finished quilts she has received, but she also got many unfinished quilt tops.  I had two thoughts about this: what is she going to do for fabric for backs for these quilts, and who is going to quilt them?  Ideas I had were Riley Blake, which is here in Utah, and The Salt Lake/Ogden Longarm Guild, that I've been planning to join.  I emailed Julie and suggested these, and she asked if I'd contact them to see if they could help.  

I was able to contact the Longarm Guild, and they said that Julie could come to the meeting and talk to the members to see if they could help finish the quilts.  The webmaster I talked with said to bring "half a dozen or so" quilts to the meeting, which was scheduled for July 21st.

I had a hard time connecting with Riley Blake at first, but it turned out that they have been in the middle of doing inventory.  Go figure, I can't imagine having to inventory a huge warehouse! Well, it started getting close to the deadline of the Guild Meeting, and I still hadn't heard anything, so I tried again.  Friday afternoon I was told that while Riley Blake would love to donate, they didn't have time to pull anything together in time for the meeting, but that I could pick it up next week.  Even though it would be later than the  meeting, I was still really grateful for their willingness to help.

A couple of hours later at about 5:10  I was on my way to go camping for the evening, and my phone rang.  It was Brian from Riley Blake.  He told me that they had some fabric that wasn't being included in the inventory, and someone would be in the warehouse until 6:00 if I could come pick it up.  I was in Ogden, and no where near Sandy, where the warehouse is, and knew I couldn't make it.  I called my husband's sisters who were down that direction, and they went to pick it up.  Yay!!!!

I got a text an hour later from one of them: "Picked it all up.  Its so much.  There is tons. Make sure there is a lot of room in your car you will definitely need it!"  Needless to say I was thrilled.  Then I got a follow-up text: "Like take the car seats out."  

She wasn't kidding.  The next morning I drove to my sister-in-law's house to pick it all up.  It filled my back seat and my trunk.  

There was a roll of Winline Batting (also donated, by Winline Batting) in the trunk, but HOLY COW that is a lot of fabric.  Some of it was some of the older fabric (which is still really cute!) but there were two bolts of chevrons, and 6 15 yard bolts of Peak Hour.  So adorable.  There was even a fat quarter bundle of Apple of My Eye and a box with 6 or 8 rolls of jumbo rick rack.

I don't know exactly how much there was, but it was several hundred yards.  It's more than what was needed for the backings and bindings, but it will be put to good use!

Next I drove up to North Salt Lake where the Longarm Guild meeting was, and finally got to meet Julie in person.  I was so excited to share all of this wonderful fabric with her!  Here she is after we moved all of the fabric into her car.  We were both kind of stunned and very excited about all of this.

At the guild meeting, Julie was very well received.  She had several boxes filled with quilt tops, some with backs, some not.  Every. single. quilt. was taken by a guild member to finish.  Much more than the "half dozen" we'd been told she could bring.  

I'm still kind of in shock/awe about the all of this.  No matter what bad things may happen in the world, there is so much generosity to go around.  

I'd like to publicly thank Riley Blake Designs for their generous fabric donation.  So many quilts will be made and given to families who have lost everything.  I've been told before that Riley Blake is great and donates fabric all the time.  I had NO IDEA how amazing they really are.  If you wouldn't mind, maybe you could take a minute and write on their Facebook page to give them an extra thank-you.  I feel like I can't possibly thank them enough.

Thanks also to LuAnn Farr of Winline Batting for your generous batting donation.  

And thanks to the members of the Salt Lake/Ogden Longarm Guild who will be putting so much time into finishing so many quilts.  You totally rock.  

I'm so glad I was in the right place at the right time to help make all of this happen.  If you'd like to help, please check out Phoenix Quilts.  


  1. Wonderful news and a huge Thank You to all the Salt Lake/Odgen Longarm Guild for helping out! My quilt will be in the mail tomorrow. You are awesome....Judith, Texas

  2. Barbie, you are totally AWESOME!!! It was so good to finally meet you in person!!! You are even better in real life than you are on your blog . . . and I thought nothing could be better than the "blog Barbie"!!! :) Here I am, a complete stranger until Saturday, and you are out doing all these FABULOUS things for Phoenix Quilts!!! Arranging for me to speak at the Salt Lake/Ogden Longarm Quilt Guild, arranging for a great donation from Winline batting, and now, arranging for an incredible donation from Riley Blake! You have no idea how much this all means to me!!! You are such a good person with a heart of gold to help out so much!!! THANK YOU!!! I can't wait until we can meet again! Next time I promise not to be so rushed and we'll go out to lunch . . . my treat!!! :) Hugs!!!

  3. Wow...I've been following Phoenix Quilts for awhile...amazing what you, Julie, Riley Blake, and the quilters are doing. Wonderful...congrats for getting so much accomplished in such a short time.

  4. Congrats to everyone and a job well done....I'll be watching progress for phoenix Quilts Again way to go

  5. WOW! That is so awesome, go Riley Blake! And of course for your willingness to help out, how wonderful.


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