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Friday, June 15, 2018

Facebook OUT...Website IN

After more than five years Facebook informed us that our We Quilt Page was not authorized. It appears someone has sued the begeezus out of them for something. There making policy changes faster than diaper changes on a three month old.They said we couldn't have We Quilt because We Quilt is not a real person. DUH! They would gladly allow us to continue if we could provide a valid ID in We Quilt's name. took them over five years to figure this out. I don't know about you but I feel much more secure now on Facebook knowing they are asking for a valid ID of everyone to prove they are in fact who they say they are on FB. Like that's gonna happen.

So not letting the door strike our rear ends on the way out we headed over to GoDaddy and registered a domain name. We were going to go with but it appears there is a group in CA that uses that domain name. Which we found kind of funny considering they have absolutely nothing to do with quilting. It does have to do with a membership program for women to congregate in each others homes. I'm assuming that's the connection. Also assuming they aren't aware that men quilt and that a women's only membership group seems a little 20th Century now. They have been around since far so good.

With the .com being used we went with, it was available so that is where you will find us on the web.

Home of thee Leatherneck Kilted Quilter
Not Forgotten QOV

Check us out and we are open to all suggestions and comments. Until I gain some more website type knowledge and web building skills you'll have to settle for the "scroll down" concept to view all of the items being posted.

If you are one of our Quilts of Valor® quilters you might see your quilt in the Photo Gallery. If you've used us to longarm one of your personal quilts or you've contributed a quilt that we have utilized in a raffle event you may view it under "We are more than just QOV." I will continue to post photos until I max out...then I'll start rotating them with newer quilts and award photos. Enjoy.

If you have been keeping up you are well aware that Elaine has a new toy. As a result of her Brother Entrepreneur 1050X Ten Needle Machine we have embroidered towels, bags, hats, shirts, jackets, pants and well, name it. I'm gonna admit it's kind of neat. I don't ride a Harley Davidson and finding anything Suzuki motorcycle related is next to impossible. That is until Elaine embroidered a baseball cap for me. I wear it with pride. Not long after she gave me the hat I was on a motor ride that mustered at a Harley dealer. I went inside to look around and one of the salesmen approached me and asked "Where did you get that hat." I can be pretty quick when someone opens a door this wide. I pointed over to the section where they had all their hats and said, "Right over there." I aged while he pondered that and then ventured on. When I looked back he was headed for "hats."

You know she wanted a convertible...So I named her machine "Rag Top." Hey it's on wheels and doesn't have a top...don't be so picky.

So if you need to get a hold of Elaine or I...we have more avenues leading to We Quilt than ever before. (She is a real person so she is still on FB) and

Nothing like being accessible.

There is also a calendar on and I am going to make every effort to post anything and everything regarding our Quilt of Valor Awards, our events,Tidewater Quilters' Guild events and other events in our area that pertain to our quilting, longarming and embroidery adventures. So when you get a chance stop by. Until then...later...

Quilt till you wilt...we do.

Saturday, April 28, 2018

A Conglomeration & Cliches'

Well for the few that do follow the blog...yes it has been awhile...quite awhile as blogs go. But we are approaching the fifth month of 2018 and this morning Elaine made me aware of a site that conducted a nationwide survey that involves what we do...Volunteer. Let's just say sharing it was the inspiration to sit down and type out a few words. As well I'll do a little catch up on Quilts of Valor, longarming, and pass on my thoughts are some cliches and what I've been hearing and reading on social medias.

The Value of Volunteer Time / State and Historical Data was published on April 19, 2018 by Independent Sector out of Washington D.C. They state:

"Volunteers in the United States are 63 million strong and hold up the foundation of civil society. They help their neighbors, serve their communities, and provide their expertise. No matter what kind of volunteer work they do, they are contributing in invaluable ways.
Despite major economic and political changes since 2012, the contributions of volunteers has grown with each year. Dig into the historical national data and the state-by-state appreciate the value of volunteers' contributions time, talent, and effort in our communities."
I'll get back to this I promise.

We, Elaine and I, and those that volunteer for Quilts of Valor, via Not Forgotten QOV participate in several events here in our area and others to help raise funds so that we can support our Quilt of Valor habit in the manner we have become accustomed to. One of the huge differences between the Quilts of Valor Foundation and many other charitable 501 (c) (3) organizations is that we have access to all of the funds that we raise. Any and all administrative costs are funded through donations made to the national organization and through the membership fees for those volunteers that choose to join. No one is required to join but the benefits of being a member and a Registered Group like Not Forgotten are significant when weighed against the $5 annual fee for membership in a group.

Those events we participate in usually involve the selling of Raffle Tickets to raise funds, often for a quilt and at one major event annually a sewing machine. We also set out a Donation Container and yes we will just take your money...with a very heartfelt Thank You. Next to the Donation Container is a framed synopsis of "Destination of Your Donations." It was compiled from numerous sources that evolve around the market value of quilts, material costs and estimated labor. It is a very conservative estimate but a fair example of what goes into a Quilt of Valor.

So our first cliche is. "If you have to ask how much it can't afford it." Which in the case of a Quilt of Valor is not relevant because to the recipient, the requester and anyone in between...there is no cost. 
Now...back to the national survey. 
The results of the survey really hit home when what was published is applied to the above estimate of Volunteer Hours...again let me stress, a conservative estimate. It was found that a Volunteer's Time is valued on average at $24.69 per hour. I did not stutter. The survey was broken down by state. The range was from less than $20 per hour to greater than $26 per hour. Fourteen states topped the charts at $26+ an hour. Washington, California, Alaska, Colorado, Minnesota, Illinois, New York, Georgia, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Jersey and Virginia. Several of those over $30 an hour. So if we figure the average, $24.69 per hour times the conservative estimate per quilt...$1,592.50 labor on top of the $151.50 for material...if it were for sale you can't afford it. 

So the next time you are volunteering keep this in mind. Your time is valuable. Way more so than you thought; I'd bet. 

"Volunteers are the only human beings on the face of the earth who reflect this nation's compassion, unselfish caring, patience, and just plain loving one another." Erma Bombeck. 


Since my last entry we have been very busy...busy beyond our expectations with Sew Days, Events, longarming and awards. We have awarded to WWII Veterans, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, Panama, Somalia. From Nurses to Navy Seals, Air Force Pilots and Crews, Army Special Forces, Coast Guard, and Marines. As is always the case we are humbled by their service, their admonitions that they were nothing special and only doing their duty and with a tear an appreciating hand shake or hug. There is no survey that can put a price tag on what they have done nor the reward that we get from being just a small part of thanking them for standing in Harm's Way so that we can rejoice in the freedoms and safety their service brings to our nation. 

Oh the stories I hear. And each one solidifies my honor to have served this nation in their shadow.

Seven more of the Greatest Generation.

The awards have been many. Those pictured and more. The one directly above is a Marine that served in Vietnam at the same time I was there. We could have easily stepped in the same dirt. 

Number two: "If it is too good to be true, it probably is." I quilt T-Shirt Quilts for several that make T-Shirt Quilts for others. It is with interest that I see on social medias and sites like Etsy TQ's for sale and custom made in the vicinity of $100. I'm assuming, based on the "+" sign following the $100 figure this is a crib quilt. Elaine and I, as well, make to order, custom TQ's. Be assured if you're talking about a TQ that will actually cover more that the lower half of your legs it's going to cost more than $100. Please be cautious when selecting a quilter to take on the task of producing a quality product that will last for years to come to preserve yours and their memories in T's. If you are looking for a TQ to commemorate a child's evolution to college, their competition in sports or 4H, or academic achievements start thinking in the $300+ range for a twin size quilt of quality and craftsmanship. 

In the Longarm Room. 

I have for years been leery of the pricing of extras that can so quickly run into hundreds and thousands of dollars. Some, like Lightning Stitch are worth every penny. Then there is the light bar. Coming in at almost $900 I've never been able to justify that expense. Nor have I considered a light that is mounted over the machine and table area that causes a shadow to be cast on the quilts work area. To solve that, in the case of Innova they came out with an LED light source that mounts to the head of the machine. Pushing $200 it was just an option I wasn't willing to pay for. So to enhance the lighting in my work surface area I've done several things...some worked, some didn't. But recently I found what did work, really well, at a very reasonable cost, $51, and based on the lighting sources I've seen on other machines, from numerous manufacturers, a system that provides better lighting at a lower, in some cases much lower cost. 

Like I said some worked, some didn't. I had this monster clamp on one of the handles and directed to the work area. Plenty of light at 600 Lumens per bulb...but just a tad bulky and somewhat gaudy/gawdy (you choose). 

Now I have mounted two of on the left and one on the right. The picture really doesn't do the amount of light illuminating the work space justice. But rest assured I've found my work area lighting alternative. Via Amazon. 

They mount easily  to the machine housing via a very strong magnet and if you choose to mount differently they come with a 3M Double Sided Adhesive Disc. I Still have the standard light fixture that came with the machine attached but how often it ever gets turned on is yet to be determined. 

Quilts since the last blog entry. Too many to count but here are a few. 

This is a "rescue" from a garage sale. Completely disassembled by the piecer. 

We added new backing and batting and I quilted it with a Baptist Fan pattern. 

This is an old Navy Flag, with a new back, batting and some Stars and Loops. Lap Quilt anyone? 

What is it about baby quilts that just make your day. 

All I could think of was Bonnie Raitt and "Have a Heart."

You are looking at one very happy piecer...not to mention kind of pretty too. This is, in fact a Quilt of Valor, that was made for our Brother in law...Elaine's sister's husband. Served in the Navy and now is very active in the Coast Guard Auxiliary in Long Beach, CA. Elaine and my old stomping grounds and where we met on our first day of high school...just the other day. It was awarded in CA. 

This is the backing. Hard to see but the pattern is the signal flags for the alphabet. Across the top of the back Elaine embroidered our brother in laws name in signal flags. 

With what you ask. Would you believe her new 

Entrepreneur Pro X PR1050X

Ten Needles of shear joy as she calls it.

She wanted a I named it. "RAG TOP" now it's a convertible. 

Okay...I'm running out of waking hours...time to move to the overstuffed chair and catch up on Jessica Jones. Much more to talk about so I'm gonna have to get to the next blog entry in less than four months. Until then...

Quilt till you wilt...we do. 

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

"Ready or not here I come."

You may or may not remember counting to ten while your friends sought the most elusive and well disguised places to hide. And they did it while you counted to "10." It didn't make any difference, two or three players or a the time you got to ten they were gone. It was the longest 10 count you've ever experienced...It wasn't that you were counting that slowly...back then it just took what seemed like forever to get to 10. 

I can remember being a half a block away by the time 10 rolled around. Well that was then and this is now. Not only has "10" passed by the wayside but in a few days we will have spent another: 

31,536,00 seconds, 
525,600 minutes, 
8760 hours, 
365 days 
and yes in the time it took to count to ten...another year has passed. Honest, I wasn't counting fast, cross my heart hope to die stick a needle in my eye. If you are going to use a needle please make sure it is a Groz-Beckert FFG point #16 (MR 3.5) Titanium Coated Needle...Superior Threads has them for $27.95 for the 100 count package. 

Hopefully, for you, it was as rewarding, eventful and time well spent like it has been for Elaine and I. We reached what many consider a milestone, our Fiftieth Wedding Anniversary. Elaine gave me a lovely sign to commemorate this special day.

We worked on a lot of quilts. I've gotten my longarming total up to 708 completed as of yesterday, completing 134 so far this year. We've shared in the joy of watching our son and daughter-in-law purchase their first home after a career in the Marine Corps, base housing and some off base housing that actually only skirts on the edge of 'housing.' They did really good, it's a beautiful house. They will make it into a loving and gracious home. 

We also shared in the joy of seeing our granddaughter get her license. 

Believe me when I say I know exactly what my son is going through.

It appears my grandson has my eyes...he got his first pair of glasses. 
He appears to be sporting a little Buddy Holly look. 

He has also ventured in to the field of Martial Arts...sorry for the one that comes up with a "four eyes" comment. Here he is receiving his Certificate and his "yellow" belt. I have a close friend who is one of few who has earned his Ninth Degree Black Belt. Need to get him and Zane together so Zane can gets some pointers. 

We had a very productive year with Quilts of Valor, Sew Days, longarming, fund raising events and numerous awards. Making the awards is naturally the icing on the cake and would not be possible without a long list of people that so unselfishly give of their time and crafting skills. We are grateful to each and everyone of you. Thanks to all from New York, Maryland, Delaware, Virginia, and North Carolina that make Not Forgotten QOV so productive and helping us recognize our active service members and veterans with this well deserved and earned award. QOV will always have a place in my heart and as long as I can I will be longarming Quilts of Valor. 

Here are a few of this years awards:

Lots have been rolled off the longarm for family and friends. 

This is a 'rescue' quilt. The back and old batting were removed, all in poor shape. The quilt, all hand sewn was in good shape. New batting and back and a little Baptist Fan and it will last another 50+ years. 

The quilter loves Cardinals and Christmas. I must admit a good combo. 

Yep, it's blue. It was fun to the movement the pattern put into the quilt.

As I recall I didn't have to change thread color.

For a friend of the quilters...can you guess their hobby?

This was unique..almost a whole cloth. Two fabrics sewn into three panels. The picture really didn't do this one justice. Simple but I can assure you the recipient will be thrilled.

I really like longarming and these are two more reasons why.

This was outside my comfort zone. Not to mention it came with some pressure. For those that don't know the longarm is named "Mother Teresa." No not Saint Teresa of Calcutta. Elaine's Mom, Teresa. We lost her just before we purchased the longarm...she was a crafting artist. I remember a Christmas Tree that decorated her house...she had turned a cactus into a beautifully decorated tree. Yes we all laughed...but it has never been forgotten, neither has she. So anyway it only seemed appropriate to name our Innova Mother Teresa. Well, Elaine has been carrying this piece of material her mom gave her around for decades. She hands it to me with a back and says she wants to make it into a lap quilt. "Just do some longarming around the floral prints using matching colors and just leave the leaves as they are." 

HELLO!!! I'm a hand guided, edge to edge pattern longarmer. This is just a little bit too much like, OMG..."free-motion." Well it was either do as I'm told or get real comfortable in the Man Cave for a couple of nights. Yes I can fall asleep in my chair...but I can't sleep in my chair. It really is two different things. Well it turned our pretty good for my first effort. I don't think it will be a steady diet though. I really like my Panto Vision. 

We'll call this "A Soft Breeze." Well I would anyway.

This was a monster...118" X 122" It was only on the rack for two days...but it seemed like an eternity. I had to take the 10' Leaders off and put the 12' Leaders on to load this one. I took them off once I finished. It was the only quilt I had to change leaders for all year. Well that was until a week later when I got a 110"x 118." 

As I recall I put this one on Facebook. I was thirsty the whole time and wanted to go to a ball game.

Yes there were Quilts of Valor...

I could go on...but you get the point. We do a lot of Quilts of Valor. Along with our 50th this year we also did some Quilts of Valor anniversaries. Elaine has been a Volunteer for 10 years and I have been longarming for 5. I've never been one to stay with anyone job or career for long. Oh with the fire department, the California Highway Patrol and Marine Corps enlistment I put in what I would call public service, just shy of 30 years. I've got my fingers crossed I get to longarm QOV's for a good piece of 30. 

We were even able to sneak in a little Christmas.

So from the Longarm Room, which as you can see has had a few changes...

All I can say is...One Mississippi, two Mississippi, three Mississippi, four Mississippi, five Mississippi, six Mississippi, seven Mississippi, eight Mississippi, nine Mississippi, ten Mississippi, READY OR NOT HERE I COME. I'm 2018 and you're it. 

Quilt till you wilt...we do.