Friday, December 27, 2013

Goodbye 2013 - Hello 2014

As 2013 comes to an end, I would like to take a minute to reflect on our successes over the past year.

Total quilts delivered in 2013 was 372!  This is a new record.  In 2012 we delivered 320.  I was excited to get over 300 but in 2014 I am pushing for over 400!  I know we can do it!!!

Our total quilts delivered since Quilts from the Bluffs was formed in October, 2006 is 1955.  Next year we will break the 2000 mark and then some!  That is such a great accomplishment.  Many hands make quick and abundant work!

 So, what's up for 2014?

Charmed for Charity (C4C)

We are going to expand our efforts by starting two once-a-month sessions at Cut Up & Quilt quilt shop in Council Bluffs.    We are calling these groups "Charmed for Charity" as we will be focusing our quilts around charms (5" squares).  The intent is that the quilts will be fast and easy to make and we can use up some of our enormous supply of scraps.

The day group meets on the third Wednesday from 1:00-3:00.
The evening group meets on the first Thursday from 6:00-8:00 (beginning on February 6.)

Email if you would like additional information about either the Quilts from the Bluffs monthly quilt day (2nd Saturday at First Christian Church) or the Charmed for Charity groups.

Longarmers Needed

Are you a longarm quilter that would like to give back to the community?  We are in need of quilters that can help finish the backlog of tops we are accumulating.  This is a great way to practice a new design or technique while doing something that will be valued by someone else as well.  If you can help, please let me know (

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Collecting Orders for Quilt Like U Mean It! Shirts

Once again we are collecting orders for group shirts.  I would like to place the order by December 20 so let me know as soon as you can.

To order:
Send an email to with your name, shirt style, size, and color.

Styles Available:

  • Short Sleeve T-Shirt  ($15)
  • Long Sleeve T-Shirt  ($25)
  • Sweatshirt (NEW!)  ($25)
  • Hoodie  ($32)

Click here to see the colors available in each style.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

December 2013 Quilt Day

This Saturday Quilts from the Bluffs will be meeting for our monthly quilt day at First Christian Church, Council Bluffs.  We meet from 10:00-3:00 in Room C1 (lower level).  We will be working on scrap quilts and finishing up quilts in progress.  

As is our tradition, we will be breaking at noon to have a meal together. The main dish will be BBQ Beef sandwiches.  We are asking everyone to bring a side dish or dessert to add to our feast.  We have invited the church staff and our set-up guys as well so bring plenty of food to share.  We will also have a raffle for door prizes including two $10 gift cards to Cut Up and Quilt!  Don't miss it.

UFO Challenge
The deadline is fast approaching to submit your UFO Challenge 2014 list to me by the end of the month.  If you would like to participate, send a list of project names to that you will attempt to complete next year.  I am looking forward to watching everyone's progress next year as we <TRY> to catch up on our unfinished projects.  For more information, click here.

Quilt Deliveries
We have delivered 50 quilts in November...10 to Gabrielle's Corner, 20 to Mercy Hospital, and 20 to Project Linus.  Total 372 so far for the year. WAY TO GO!!

Charmed for Charity
We are beginning a new venture in 2014 called Charmed for Charity.  The sessions will consist of cutting scrap fabric (provided) into 5” squares (charms), sewing the squares into quilt tops, and/or putting squares into quilt kits that can then be distributed to other quilters.  Bring rotary cutter/ruler/mat or sewing machine.  Quilts will be given to Project Linus (juvenile) or Mercy Hospital (adult).  

A daytime group will meet the third Wednesday from 1:00-3:00 beginning on January 15 led by Sondra Michaels and Karen Burns.

An evening group meets on the 1st Thursday from 6:00-8:00 beginning on February 6 led by Jeanine Williams and Rachel Summy.

Shirt Order
I will be collecting orders for group shirts.  We have added sweatshirts to the list of styles to choose from.  If you would like one, email the style, size and color you would like.

Short Sleeve T-Shirt ($15):

Long Sleeve T-Shirt ($25):

Sweatshirt ($25):

Hoodie ($32):

Looking forward to celebrating our year with you on Saturday!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

New Charity Group Starting at CUAQ

Charmed for Charity

How about a little Charity Therapy? 

We've partnered with Cut Up and Quilt (CUAQ), our local quilt shop, to extend our reach a bit into the community.

In addition to our 2nd Saturday of the month quilt day at First Christian Church, we've added two more monthly meetings at Cut Up & Quilt!  

A daytime group will meet the third Wednesday from 1:00-3:00 beginning on January 15.  This group will be led by Karen Burns and Sondra Michaels.

An evening group will meet on the 1st Thursday from 6:00-8:00 beginning on February 6.  This group will be led by Jeanine Williams and Rachel Summy.

The sessions will consist of cutting scrap fabric (provided) into 5” squares (charms), sewing the squares into quilt tops, and/or putting squares into quilt kits that can then be distributed to other quilters.  Bring rotary cutter/ruler/mat or sewing machine.  Quilts will be given to Project Linus (juvenile) or Mercy Hospital (adult).  

Put it on your calendar and help us help the community!

If you have any questions, please send an email to

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

UFO Challenge 2014

Got UFO’s?

Are you up to a challenge?

If you answered ‘YES’ to both questions, then the UFO Challenge is for you!

Quilts from the Bluffs will be facilitating this challenge during 2014.  Here is what you need to know to get started.

·         If you have not LIKEed the group’s FaceBook page, do so now.  (If you do not wish to join the FaceBook community, you can still join the challenge through email.  It is just more fun to have the community to share your progress with others.  This is absolutely up to you!)

·         We will also have a private Group on FaceBook called UFO Challenge.  This is a closed group so you will need to be approved.  Once you are approved, you will be able to post photos and posts keeping everyone current with your progress.  (More on this later.)

·         Here’s the fun part…what projects do you want to commit to finishing next year? 

Start a list of your projects.  How many you put on the list is up to you.  What do YOU want to complete during the year?  Everyone is different so don’t feel any pressure to do as many as someone else.  Go at your own pace.  The goal is to have a plan and feeling good at the end of the year when you have successfully finished all items on your list!!!

1.    The name of the project that describes it clearly (Christmas Wreath Twister wall-hanging, Turning Twenty in bright fabric, etc.)
2.    Current state of the project (Need to bind, cut out but not pieced, top done/needs to be quilted, etc.)

·         When you are done with your list, email it to with UFO Challenge in the subject line.  Lists will be due by December 31, 2013.

In December, 2014 (probably on quilt day) we will see how your year went.  We have never done this before so we will be learning as we go. 

I hope you will join us for a fun and productive year.

Email with any questions or with your list of projects.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

November 2013 Quilt Day

November is the month to really give some thought to things we are thankful for.  I would like to start this email by letting you know how  thankful I am to be a part of a great community of quilters that are so kind and generous and supportive.  My world would not be the same without you!!  

I look forward to meeting with you this Saturday, November 9, from 10:00-3:00 at First Christian Church, Council Bluffs, Room C1 on the lower level.  We will be working on several varieties of scrap quilts including the Falling Charm quilt.  Bring a lunch and/or a snack to share and spend the day with us.

Quilts of Valor
The need for Quilts of Valor has increased since the NBC news aired the story of Quilts of Valor.  If you would like to make a quilt for this great cause, you can work with the Iowa Coordinator, Cyndy Billmeyer,  to find a home for it.  

I will be sending her 5 quilt tops and 2 finished quilts this week from our group.

Honorary 4-H Member
Quilts from the Bluffs received a wonderful award from the West Pottawattamie County 4-H last Sunday at their awards dinner.  We received the award for our work with eight 4-H girls to make four Quilts of Valor that were presented to deserving veterans on September 15.  
Rachel Summy and I are working on plans to continue our relationship with these girls throughout 2014.

String Blocks for Children's Square
We have completed three more string quilts this month had have two more tops ready to quilt.  We will continue to collect string blocks (or other orphan blocks you may have laying around) to make into quilts for Children's Square.  These children really love receiving a quilt all for themselves and they really help to brighten up their rooms while they are staying at Children's Square.  Keep them coming!!

If you need directions for the string blocks, check out our tutorial on our blog.

UFO Challenge
Several members of our group have discussed having a UFO challenge to help us stay motivated to complete some of our unfinished projects sitting around the quilt room.  So we are introducing the UFO Challenge for 2014.  We haven't worked out all the details yet but wanted to get you thinking about it and to let me know if you would like to participate.  I have attached a sheet to let you know what you need to do to get started.  I think this will be a fun way to encourage each other and give us something to celebrate at the end of the year.  I hope you will join us!!

Update on quilt deliveries for the year...we have delivered 313 so far and have several more ready to go.  Last year we had 320 for the year so we are definitely going to beat that this year.  Thanks for your dedication!!

See you on Saturday!!!

Jeanine Williams

Quilts from the Bluffs
A ministry of First Christian Church, Council Bluffs

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Friday, October 18, 2013

Kim Scott Quilt of Valor

We sort of hijacked the CUAQ Therapy evening session last night to present Kim Scott with a Quilt of Valor.  I think she was surprised!  I came up as if I was doing my normal Show N Tell.  Kim was a big help by getting behind the quilt to hold it up.  We could not have planned this any better.  She was standing in front of the label sewn on the back corner.  Suddenly, we hear a screech!

Kim served in the Air Force and we thought it would be perfect to honor her with a quilt.  And knowing she is a quilter herself AND was co-owner of a quilt shop (Cut Up and Quilt), we knew she would appreciate it even more.

Earlier in the year, we had asked Kim if she knew any local veterans that we could give a Quilt of Valor to,  She recommended her neighbor, Ray Starr.  We did give Ray a quilt at our September 15 Quilts of Valor ceremony.  We also invited him and his family to come to the quilt shop as a surprise to share in Kim's presentation.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Quilts from the Bluffs October Quilt Day

We are celebrating our 7th anniversary as a group this month.  Looking back over the past seven years, it is amazing how far we have come.  Thank you for your participation!  It is amazing how much can be accomplished when we unite our passion for quilting with quilters across the community!  We have delivered 1,888 quilts since October, 2006 and 305 so far this year!

We will meet again this Saturday, October 12, from 10:00 - 3:00 at First Christian Church.  We meet on the lower level and it is easier to enter through the NorthEast door at the back of the church.  Follow the signs.  We will be working on a "Stacked Coin" scrap quilts or a 9-patch using the leftover I Spy blocks we have from last quarters quilts.  Feel free to work on any other quilts you have in progress as well.

Quilts of Valor Ceremony

On September 15, we held our first Quilts of Valor ceremony.  Ten active and veteran men were given quilts as a thank you for their service.  We had approximately 125 in attendance and each quilt was well received and appreciated.  Thanks to the eight 4-H girls that made four of the quilts and did several of the quilt presentations.  To view pictures from the event, see our blog orFaceBook page.

Inline image 1

Wanda Wonky Quilt Retreat

We had a wonderful quilt retreat this year with 26 ladies in attendance.  What a wonderful way to get to know each other better, get lots of projects done and eat like royalty!  If you haven't checked out the pictures yet, there are three albums on our FaceBook page.

Inline image 3

Next year's retreat theme will be Quilt Addiction.  That should need no explanation!  We are looking at September 25-28 and will I will let you know when this date has been verified with the camp.

Project Linus Blanket Making Day

October 5 was Project Linus's 10th anniversary celebration.  We donated 106 quilts making our total for 2013 at 135 quilts to Project Linus.  It is fun to attend this event and see all ages working to make blankets, sewing on labels, or just helping to bundle quilts and carry in items from cars.  Ginny DeBates does a great job coordinating.

I took a few pictures that you can see on our FaceBook page.

Inline image 2

You can see it has been a busy month for us.  I am looking forward to quilting with you on Saturday.  

Jeanine Williams
Coordinator, 712-828-0311

Quilts from the Bluffs
A ministry of First Christian Church, Council Bluffs

Quilts from the Bluffs Blog:

Join us on Facebook:

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Wanda Wonky Quilt Retreat

I am still recovering from our annual quilt retreat...getting back to my regular schedule.  The retreat was a blast and I wanted to share a few photos (for those that have not seen them on FaceBook yet.)

Our theme was Wanda Wonky and the Quilt Factory...(a play on Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory).  My daughter and niece came up with the theme and it was a lot of fun.

This is my daughter, Christy aka: Wanda Wonky!!
And Willy Wonka...
The "Wonky" group picture.
And our more serious side.

 We did lots of quilting...

Food, glorious food!!  Kara was an amazing cook and a gracious hostess and her family was great help (and entertainment.)
The food was amazing!
We have a tradition of doing a gift exchange.  Every one brings an item wrapped up and then each gets a number.  Number 1 chooses a gifts and opens it.  Number 2 can steal from Number 1 or choose a new gift.  This goes on until everyone has a gift.  The game ends when Number 1 gets the last chance to steal a gift.  

This year's game was much more competitive then ever before!!  No sympathy...even when the gift is "for my mother!"  For more pictures, see our FaceBook photo album.

We do a Show N Tell on Saturday night to give everyone a chance to see what we've been working on. To see all the projects, go to our FaceBook photo album.

It was a great time and we are already starting to plan next year's retreat!
Sneak preview...our theme will be Quilt Addiction.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

2013 Retreat This Week

Quilts from the Bluffs annual quilt retreat is probably the most anticipated event of the year for the group.  This will be our 6th year.  We will have 8 new quilters join us and many returning for their 6th time!  We will also miss several of our "regulars" due to medical or family conflicts and we will truly miss them!!!

We meet at the Camp of the Good Shepherd in Louisville, NE every September.  This is a church camp during the summer and is definitely on the "rustic" side but for some reason, it works for our group.  We sleep in the bunk room and decorate the beds with our quilts.  The room transforms as people start arriving.

We are pampered by great food cooked by a great cook and served in the dining hall adjacent to the dorm we sleep and sew in.  We never have to worry about starving!!!  But we do need to find some time to take a walk to help offset the calorie increase.

This is retreat week!!!
The excitement can be felt!  Look for lots of pictures and stories next week of our adventure!!  Here are a few from last year...

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Quilts of Valor Ceremony - More Pictures

 I have more pictures to share from out Quilts of Valor ceremony on September 15, 2013.  You can access these pictures HERE and share or print as you want.

Thank you, Tony Simons, for taking the pictures.

There was time after the ceremony to get some group shots.  Here are a few of them.