Friday, January 14, 2011

Angel Kits are Ready!



PITTSBURGH, PA, JANUARY 12, 2011: Last month, many were devastated by the fatal car accident which took the life of 7-year-old Lexa Cleland and left her mother, Nicole, facing numerous surgeries and months of recovery. Local quilt designer and friend of the Cleland family, Sue Cook, realized she has a unique way to help the family and inspire others to do the same.

Sue is known for the extraordinary pieced pictorial work she offers through her company, Larkspur Lane Designs, and for patterns featured in numerous quilting magazines. To help her friend and to honor the memory of Lexa, Ms. Cook has designed a pattern for a beautiful foundation-pieced block appropriately titled Lexa’s Angel. This piece displays an ethereal angel, which can be finished as a small wall quilt or pillow. Several angels could become the centerpiece of an exceptional quilt. A kit for the block, including the foundation paper and fabric similar to Sue’s original is available from Quilter’s Corner in Finleyville for a suggestion donation of $6.00. One hundred percent of the proceeds from each Angel kit sold will go directly to the Cleland Family Benefit Fund to aide the family during this difficult time. Each completed block will help preserve the memory of a special child.

Contact Quilter's Corner at 724-348-8010 to get your kit.

Friday, January 07, 2011

Update on Lexa's mom

To those of you who read my blog with any regularity you know about my friend Nicole's accident in December in which she lost her 7 year old daughter, Lexa. I received a short message from Nikki via Facebook last night in which she told me she likes my angel block, Lexa's Angel. I was able to go to her FB page and check on her progress so I thought I would update those who have asked about her condition.

Nikki had her 4th surgery earlier this week and will be moved to a nursing home soon to complete her recovery. She will probably be there for 3 to 6 months and her doctors are confident she will walk again someday.

For anyone that wants to help Nikki and her family financially there is a fund set up at the First National Bank, called The Cleland Family Fund. If you'd like to send a check their address is 2550 Brownsville Rd, South Park, PA 15129.

My favorite local quilt shop, Quilters' Corner in Finleyville PA, is also helping me with a project to benefit Nikki and her family. They are designing a small project based on my angel block and selling kits. The kits are inexpensive and all of the money raised by them will go to the fund. I will post the information here when all of the details are finalized.

Saturday, January 01, 2011

Why I Design

When Wayne Kollinger asked me to blog about why I design and to help inspire others to try their hand at designing, I was flattered...then I thought "Wouldn't that be like shooting myself in the foot?" But after a little more thought, I realized that even though I am a designer myself, I still like other peoples' designs and although I don't do it often, I still purchase patterns by other designers and I'm hoping others will do the same. So, here goes nothing!

Why I Design
The first reason I design is because I LOVE IT!
I love creating something from a thought, something that hasn't been done before or, even if it has been done before, doing it better. I have designed since I was a small child. I started out making dolls out of the wooden spoons that came with little cups of ice cream. My friends and I would draw faces on them and then make paper clothes. I sure wish I had saved some because I would love to look at them now.

I was fortunate to be chosen to take art lessons at our branch of the Carnegie Museum and did that every Saturday for about 3 or 4 years during grade school. When I went on to high school, I took only the required courses and then filled the rest of my day with art and craft classes. If I couldn't do something creative with my life I don't think it would be worth living!

Out of high school I went on to art school and earned a two year degree in graphic arts. My first job after finishing school was with a fine jeweler. After learning how to carve the waxes used in lost wax casting and to melt and pour the gold I was given the opportunity to do a little designing of my own. I worked in that industry for about 15 years before being bitten by the quilting bug.

The second reason I design is because I CAN!
Designing is the one thing for which I feel I have a talent. And I think we should all be using our talents to make other people happy and to make the world a better place.

For example, my design called LEXA'S ANGEL is my way of helping a friend deal with a recent tragedy in her life. My friend lost her 7 year old daughter Lexa in a car accident with a drunk driver December 6th, 2010. I made a small donation to a fund set up for her family and will continue to donate to that fund as I am able but my design abilities make it possible for me to help her in a bigger way and also to give others the opportunity to help her as well and get something in return.

The third reason I design is because I LIKE A CHALLENGE!
I will redraw a design as many times as necessary to make it as perfect as possible. My final version of LEXA'S ANGEL was the 11th version of that design. The original drawing was done about 4 years ago but I never did anything with it because there were other designs and deadlines that took priority. Now I'm glad I didn't use that design before because I think there was a bigger purpose for it.

The fourth reason I design is I LIKE THE ATTENTION IT GETS ME! 
The feeling I get when someone tells me how much they like my designs or how much they enjoyed making one of my designs is amazing. Every once in awhile I'll get a card in the mail or an email in which someone tells me the story behind a quilt they made from one of my patterns, such as who it was made for and why and that can totally make my day!