I guess the best way to get started doing stitching for the Angel Quilt Project (AQP) is to first get in touch with me! LOL!
My name is James Farmer and I am the founder of the AQP. You can reach me at my e-mail address: Eprise01@aol.com.
If you have any questions then by all means, please ask them. I will get back to you as soon as I can. In the meantime, let's start with some basics here.
- What is the Angel Quilt Project?
We are a World-Wide group of cross stitchers, machine embroiderers, quilters and finishers who make hand-made blankets that are then freely given to hospitals around the world for families with premature babies. We also donate larger hand-made blankets to children under the age of 16 who are in Children's Cancer Clinics and Regional Burn Centers.
- Are there any 'General Rules' for the AQP?
First, and foremost, is the fact that there ARE NEVER ANY DEADLINES! You're able to stitch as you're able to, at your own pace, and you never have to worry about meeting a deadline, cause there aren't any! Never will be! I want you to feel that you can do what you do best at your own pace and that you'll enjoy it as you stitch. I hate being on a deadline and when that does happen I find that I have to put other important things on the back burners to get it finished. You will never be pressured to finish a piece for the AQP. We get it when you send it and then we'll put it on a blanket and ship it out to a hospital on our mailing list.
- What about personal information? Is it ever released to anyone?
Your personal information is just that, YOUR PERSONAL INFORMATION! I request mailing addresses and phone numbers for my Master Files but no one else has access to it AND NEVER WILL. I will always ask your permission before releasing that info, and then only when a family requests that so they can send out a thank you card or letter. I will contact you first, for your permission, and you can say yes or no and I will take it from there. If you say yes, I send it to them. If you say no I tell them to please send it to me and I will then forward it to you.
- What kind of material can we stitch on?
You stitch on what you prefer to stitch on, be that Aida, Evenweave, or Linen. Work with what is comfortable to you.
- What colors of materials can we or can't we use?
With the exception of Orange or Black, any color material is ok to use. We prefer to use the Pastel colors but anything will work, again it's up to you. We will not accept pieces on Orange or Black though. This isn't an organization for Halloween and to me that's what those colors represent. We want colors that are 'child friendly' and colorful.
- What stitch count on the charts should I look for? (Webmistress' Addition)
Though you can stitch larger or smaller, charts with between 60x60 up to 110x110 on 14 count fabric seem to work the best for most projects. Judy's Angel is 75x110, for example. This isn't a hard rule, but it may help you decide which chart to do next.
- How do I get my finished pieces to a finisher?
Once you have finished a couple of pieces you can get in touch with me and I will get you in touch with a finisher. I will put you in contact with someone as close to you as possible and then will provide you will that person's e-mail address. It will then be up to that finisher to provide you with a mailing address. This is once again one of my ways towards your privacy in not giving out mailing information to anyone. The finisher will provide that to you.
- Will I get to see the finished blankets?
Some of our finishers do provide e-mails to the 'membership' after the blankets have been finished and they also have either their own pages for the pictures or provide them on Facebook.
- How do I keep up with news on the AQP?
We do have a group site on Yahoo Groups. If you will send a request to joining that site at www.groups.yahoo.com/group/angelafghanproject then I will approve your 'membership' there and you can reading postings as they are made. While not as active as it once was, we still get postings on it each and every month. We now have a page on Facebook too.
(On a side note here, while I'm thinking about it. LOL. When I started the project in 2000 we were originally called The Angel Afghan Project. When the UK Group went to a craft show and set up they were practically ignored by those attending, thinking that the group was in some way affiliated with Afghanistan. Once an announcement was made that day the booths at the show were swamped with people wanting information. It was shortly after that event that the name was changed to The Angel Quilt Project.)
- What size should my fabric be?
We do not use anything smaller then 12" x 12", and certainly larger pieces are welcome. I personally did a piece that was stitched on 36" x 36", so you can see that we are flexible.
- Do we initial our pieces?
What I ask everyone is to please sign YOUR FULL NAME no more then 1" below the stitching and to abbreviate your state. Also place the date you worked on the piece (IE: 2-13-13). Please make it readable as well. I've had people stitch on a cream aida and then sign it with Ecru floss! It HAS TO BE READABLE. Please!
- How much space do we leave around the stitching?
Please make sure you have at least 3 to 4 inches all around your finished piece so that the finishers have enough material to work with when fastening them to the blankets. This assures that there is enough stitching to hold the pieces to the blankets and that they will not come undone.
- Can we use metallic threads and beads on our pieces?
Yes, you can. The outside (the stitched side) of the blankets never touch the child(ren) who get the finished pieces, so no harm is done. Many of the finished pieces are used as wall-hangings once the child is home and they are very decorative and nice to look at with metallics and beads used.
- What designs can we use?
We use anything that is 'childish in nature' and that can include toys, teddy bears, angels, fairies, butterflies, etc. Pat Carson, Owner of Designs by Gloria and Pat, has graciously allowed us to us the Precious Moments pieces as well as Cherished Teddies. We don't use lettering that is not part of the design itself and we can leave off the Sam B signature. For example, many of the Precious Moments designs include a religious text. Unless the text is part of the design itself (like Honey on a honey jar), please leave it off or ask James for clarification. We do not want to offend someone!
- What do I do after I finish my stitching?
Wash your piece in cold water but do not put it in the dryer. Instead you need to set an iron on low heat and, after placing a fluffy towel on your ironing board or other hard top, iron it FROM THE BACK SIDE until the piece is completely dry.
I recommend that you wait until you have at least 3 or 4 pieces before sending to your finisher. If you have gallon-sized zip-loc bags, place your pieces in them and then mail to your finisher.
If there are other questions not covered here, and I feel they need to be here, I will add them, so watch this space for newer additions.