Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Big Surprise . . . BIG MISTAKE!!!

Hi everyone!

I had a big surprise to show you, but I was the one who got the BIG surprise because of a BIG mistake I made!  (I'm now hanging my head down in shame . . . )

I've been working for quite some time on changing the name "Phoenix Quilts" to something else, so that the name would fit all the people that we are giving quilts to.  The new name and blog were all part of a big surprise.  Well the BIG mistake I made, after the blog was created, is that the new name I chose is already being used!!  I AM SO EMBARRASSED!!!!  I thought for sure I thoroughly checked the Internet to make sure the name wasn't being used!!!  I must have seen that the name was being used, but blocked it out of my mind because I liked the name so much!  I feel like such an idiot!!!  Ugh!!!

So, instead of my big surprise, I'm coming to you for help in choosing a new name.  You have all helped in such BIG ways in the past, that I decided you ought to have a say in what we call ourselves!  I've got a few ideas, and this time I really can't see anywhere else they're being used, but I wanted to see what you come up with.

Why am I wanting to change the name?  Here are a couple of reasons:  Many people ask if I'm in Phoenix, Arizona.  I've been asked if I have a quilt store in Phoenix and if quilts could be dropped off there.  I live in Utah, so this was a little confusing to people.  Some just didn't understand the name.  The biggest reason why I want to change the name is because we've increased the types of families and individuals we're donating quilts to.  We aren't only dealing with people who have been affected by wildfires (although we did some AMAZING things with that), we are also reaching out to those who have been affected by man-made tragedies or natural disasters, like we did with Hurricane Sandy in New York.  I'd like to change the name to something that includes everyone that receives one of our quilts. 

So what do you think?  What should we name our group?  Once this is all finalized, I'm going to apply to become a non-profit agency (surprise!).  Therefore, the name needs to be available with a .ORG extension for a future website, as well as a blog name.  I REALLY want to help others through these quilts, and being a non-profit agency will help us help even more people in need of a quilted hug!

By the way, if you want to see the "new" blog, you can go to it by clicking HERE.

I can't wait to read your suggestions!


Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Sandy Hook First Responder Quilts

Happy New Year, Everyone!

I hope that everyone had a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!  Now that the holidays are behind us, it's time to get busy making quilts!  :)  The response I've received from those wanting to donate quilts has been AMAZING, but we still need a LOT more!  This blog post will give you all the details about these special quilts.
  • The quilts should be approximately 60" x 72" since they are going to adults.
  • The quilts need to be pieced, quilted, and bound.  Not tied and not rag quilts.  ***(See more details at the bottom)
  • If you would like to do a quilt for a particular first responder, e-mail me at julie@cut.net, and I will give you a name of a man or woman who responded that day.  If you get a name from me, please either embroider or applique their name on their quilt.  If you don't want to embroider or applique a name, then just send in a quilt without getting a name from me - preferably one that is specifically for a man or woman.
  • If you would like to include a letter or note with your quilt, I will attach it to your quilt so the recipient will get it, too.
  • If you would like to make a quilt with novelty fabric (i.e., fireman, police, etc.) I will make sure it gets to the appropriate person. 
The names I've been getting of the policemen, EMTs, firemen, etc., who responded to the school shooting that day, have been put into a spreadsheet so they can be kept organized.  If you ask me for a person's name, I'll add your name by theirs in the spreadsheet, so I know what quilt is going where.

There are some first responders who don't want their names given out (I TOTALLY understand!) because people in the media are hounding them!  I will make sure they are also given a beautiful quilt.  There were approximately 200 men and women who were involved that day, so we need a lot of quilts!

My husband and I are EMTs and my heart is aching knowing a little of what these men and women are going through, and what they'll have to deal with for the rest of their lives.  Thank you so much for being willing to share your time and talents with those who put their lives on the line every day they go to work!


***  If you would like to send in a quilt for something other than this school shooting, PLEASE DO SO!!!  I am now collecting donated quilts to be distributed to people who are affected by future natural disasters and human-caused tragedies.  These quilts can be any size quilt, and can be quilted, tied or a rag quilt.  PLEASE HAVE THEM COMPLETED!  Unfortunately, because we are going to be donating so many more quilts, I don't have the time or resources to complete unfinished quilts that are sent in.

*** If you would like to send in a small, tied quilt for a child at a neighboring school to Sandy Hook Elementary, Michelle at https://securityblankets.wordpress.com/ is accepting them now!


Monday, December 24, 2012

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Sandy Hook Elementary School Shooting Quilts

I've decided with a lot of thought and research, that we will be donating our quilts to the first responders, police, firemen, etc., of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.  Being an EMT myself, I am saddened by what these men and women are going through now, and will be dealing with for the rest of their lives!  I am in the process of gathering the 200+ names of the men and women who played a part that day, so you can embroidered or applique their name onto their personal quilt. 

We've already donated quilts to people who lost their home to the wildfires in the Western United States this past summer, and helped bring quilts to 325 families who lost their home to Hurricane Sandy.  Because there are so many things being donated to the children (as there should be!!!), I decided to focus on those who risked their lives running into the school that day, not knowing what awaited them.  They are truly heroes!!!

Thank you so much for everything you're doing to help!  I would appreciate your help in spreading the word about what we're doing!


Saturday, December 15, 2012

Quilts for Connecticut

Like everyone else, my heart was torn in half upon hearing the news of the school shooting at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newton, Connecticut.  I have five children and three grandchildren and I just can't wrap my mind around this whole thing.  Of course, my mind immediately turned to quilts and how I would love to give one to each family who lost a child or loved one in this unbelievable tragedy.  Then I thought of all the children who were affected, just because they went to school.  So I did some research . . .

There are almost 700 children and 39 teachers at Sandy Hook.  I began to wonder, is it possible to have that many quilts donated, when everyone is so busy with the holidays, so we could give one to everyone???  I never would have thought that giving quilts to wildfire victims and then 325 to Hurricane Sandy victims was possible, but we did it! 

What do you think???  Can we do this???  I don't know how else to bring a little bit of comfort to the friends and families involved, but I just have to do something . . .

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

325 Quilts are in New York!

It's true!  The quilts are in New York, ready to be delivered to the families that were affected by Hurricane Sandy!  It is so UNBELIEVABLE how everything came together!  I don't have room on this blog to tell you all the little details, but a LOT of "mini miracles" happened to make everything work out!

54 boxes of 325 quilts!  They weighed over 800 lbs.!
My cousin, Karen Western, works for JetBlue Airlines.  She arranged to have JetBlue fly all 325 quilts to New York for FREE!!!  There were MANY people at JetBlue who worked feverishly to get this request fulfilled in just a matter of hours!  At 3:19 p.m. on Monday, December 3, I got the text that the quilts were approved to be on the 11:30 p.m. flight that night!  I also got told that my uncle, Daniel Pugmire, bought a round-trip ticket for me so I could go to New York with the quilts!  I just cried with gratitude for everything that so many people were doing to help with this project!  :')

I got on the plane at 11:30 p.m. Monday night and arrived in New York at 5:30 a.m. on Tuesday!  I was tired because of no sleep, but was full of excitement for what lay ahead!

One of the "mini-miracles" was that Karen was in New York the same time I was because of business meetings, so most of the time I wasn't alone!  My Aunt Karol and another cousin, Kristine, went with Karen to New York for fun, so the four of us had a great time together!

Tuesday night I couldn't get a hotel room, so my Uncle Daniel arranged for me to stay with a gal that he knows who lives in an apartment in New York.  I've never met Stephanie before, but she was so sweet to let me stay with her!  She even made me breakfast the next morning!  I was scared to death nervous because while riding the subway to get to her apartment (I've never been on the subway before!), I missed my stop and a few stops later decided I better get off and ask someone where I was!  Once I got turned around and got off at the correct stop, I proceeded to get lost walking to Stephanie's apartment!  I called my husband and told him I was lost and he stayed with me on the phone until I found her place.  *Whew!*

All day Tuesday and Wednesday we walked around New York City and saw so many awesome things!  Everything is so much BIGGER in real life!  (Can you tell I've never been to New York before???)  We went to Times Square, Central Park, and the Rockefeller Center!  We walked around the Lincoln Center, Julliard, Broadway, and the garment district!

Times Square!  I can't believe how BIG it is!

Christmas tree in Rockefeller Center!
Cool statue of a Jewish immigrant sewing!

Tunnel in Central Park from the movie Home Alone 2!
Wednesday afternoon I met with President Kevin Calderwood, the mission president of the New York, New York South Mission, of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.  He is in charge of the Mormon Helping Hands, one of many organizations that has been helping with the clean-up efforts from Hurricane Sandy, even before the rain stopped falling!  There have been over 7,000 non-denominational volunteers in Mormon Helping Hands, and over 100,000 hours spent helping people clean-up their homes and neighborhoods.  They are going to invite those who have been affected by the storm to a Christmas concert, where they will hand out the quilts!  I think it will be such a lovely setting to receive their gifts from quilters all over the world!

President Calderwood and I in front of the 54 boxes of quilts!
Wednesday night we went to the LDS Temple in downtown Manhattan.  So amazing how it's built in the middle of all the skyscrapers!

LDS Manhattan Temple with the Angel Moroni statue on top!

On Thursday we went to the 9/11 Memorial.  It was really nice.  There was kind of a reverent feeling there.  This is a picture of the Freedom Tower they are building there.  It isn't finished yet, but looks like it will be soon! 

Freedom Tower at 9/11 Memorial
Around the edges of this fountain are the names of those who died on 9/11.
There were two of these - one for each tower that fell -
the same size as the footprint of the towers!
Afterwards, we did a city tour on a double-decker bus!  You can get off any of the many stops and shop or look around, and then catch the next bus when you're ready to move on!  So cool!  We did lots of window shopping and walking around.  Of course, I also had to try out a hot dog from a street corner vendor!  When in New York do as New Yorker's do!  :)

Best New York hot dog I've ever had!  :)
Toy soldier built out of Legos in FAO Schwartz!
We left New York Thursday night and got home around midnight.  It was a very fast-paced trip, with lots to see and do, but one that I will never forget every single minute of it!  I am so grateful to everyone who made this trip possible!

Thank you for all you've done to help Phoenix Quilts help families who are going through such tragic times!  I pray that you will be blessed for donating your beautiful quilts!  In all my life, I have never known such generosity!  I am truly humbled!

Merry Christmas!


Saturday, November 17, 2012

Hurricane Sandy Victims Need Our Help!

Just when you thought you were done hearing from me . . .

Hurricane Sandy Victims Need Our Help!
I have about 200 quilts that were donated to Phoenix Quilts that I was going to use for the 2013 wildfire season.  But hearing about the thousands of people who are still without power and are freezing cold, I've decided to donate the remaining quilts to the victims of Hurricane Sandy. 
I need your help, though.  I can't afford to ship all of these quilts by myself, so I'm asking . . . would you be willing to make a monetary donation to help me get these quilts out of my basement and wrapped around those who need it now?  There is a link on the right-side bar that enables you to donate easily with PayPal.  Will you please help me help those who have such a great need???
Thank you so much for your generosity!