Friday, October 4, 2013

A Project like the Angel Quilt Project is only as good......... the people who participate!

Nothing could be truer!

If it weren't for the wonderful stitchers and finishers the AQP has, then there wouldn't be an AQP or even the blanket we give to the hospital NICUs/SCBUs here in the US, Canada and the UK.

I just got two blankets from Jen Winborn, in Texas.  Jen has only been with the AQP for only a couple of months and her work is just BEAUTIFUL!

I honestly wish ya'll could see her work personally.  I'm telling you, SHE'S GOOD!!!!!

Everyone who has, or is still cotinuing to do work for the AQP is a Godsend to the project.  Each and every one of you does something that's vitally important to the project and without you all nothing would be accomplished here.

Each and every stitcher or machine embroiderer makes contributions with each piece donated to us.  The same goes for the finishers who turn those beautiful stitched pieces into our hand-made blankets.

I've got 2 events this month in which I'll be showcasing our blankets and taking up donations and I'll be sure to post pics once the events are done so everyone can see them.

In the meantime, please keep up with the stitching, machine embroidery and the finishing.

You're all greatly appreciated and I can never thank you all enough.


Sunday, September 22, 2013

A New Design is coming to the AQP......

Hello everyone:

I have some great news for everyone involved with the AQP.

Earlier this past week I got an e-mail from someone wanting a Kitten Quilt for a child battling Cancer.  I had nothing on hand and didn't really know what to tell her, so I did some searching around my 'cluttered' (and that's a UNDERSTANDMENT!!!) and found some old charts that I'd printed out about 5 or 6 years ago.

The series is the Millennium Cats from Pam Kellogg.  I looked for her web-site and quickly realized it was no longer available!  OUCH!  I did find a way to contact her though through Etsy!  She's no long doing the cross stitch designs, instead concentrating on other sewing related items, but nonetheless I got in touch with her to seek permission to use her Cats on the quilt.

I got a quick resonse from her and she agreed to let us use the charts and so I'm currently working on them.  It's a series of 13 Cats, one for each month and one for a Birthday piece.  They're smallish in size, measuring perhaps 3" x 3" in stitched size.  I've finished the first 2 and am about half-way through the 3rd and they do work up fast.  I'll post pics of them once I get finished and before sending them to the finisher.

I got back in touch with Pam and asked her if she'd consider doing a piece for the AQP, even though she no longer does the cross stitch and she's agreed to!

Apparently it will be a cat and I probably won't get it until around Christmas of this year or perhaps the first of next year, but we will be getting a new AQP design to stitch!

Pam has also agreed to give the copyrights to the AQP as well!  That's more great news!

Anyway, I just wanted to share this with all of you.

Thank you all for what you do for the AQP and, once again, I can never thank you all enough!


Tuesday, September 3, 2013

It's been a while......

Hello there...............

I know.

It's been a while since I last posted but a lot has happened and it really upset me at that particular time.

Just as things were starting to get straightened out and the AQP was getting re-established once again on the WWW, a mini-crisis occured that I had to handle.  Not that I truly wanted to!

It got to the point where I was seriously contemplating closing down the whole AQP but thankfully saner heads 'arrived' and the closing was avoided.

I've never really wanted to close the AQP, becasue we do help a lot of families in difficult times and I'm extremely proud of what the whole project has done over the course of 14 years.  I truly believe that the AQP does make a difference in the lives of families with premature babies, as well as for children in Children's Cancer Clinics and Regional Burn Centers.

I enjoy taking the blankets to NICUs in Mississippi and seeing the faces of the families and the nursing staffs when the precious pieces are delivered and when a family gets one (or more, in the case of twins or triplets) and it brings joy to my heart and an occasional tear as well.

There have been changes though.

Kim is no longer heading the AQP, Canada Division.  It is once more under Lorrie Ramsay and her mother Dodie.  I wish nothing but the best for Kim and whatever she does from here, and the same go to Lorrie and Dodie.

The UK Division is going on and Sue and Caroline are doing a wonderful job there as well.

If anyone reading this would like to learn more on the AQP, please go to our web-site at to learn more and hopefully you'll want to help us as well. 

We are always looking for new stitchers and finishers to help us stitch the center-pieces, make the blankets, and distribute them as well.  If you would like to help us, please contact me at and I'll get with you as soon as I can.


Saturday, August 24, 2013

Back to Stitching..................

I have done more stitching in the past 8 weeks then I've probably done in the last 2 years!

I don't know what's bitten me, but I hope it stay around for a while.

I didn't know how much I missed it until I started doing it again.

It began with sending off the 9 pieces of Charlie's Ark to the finisher for our bigger blanket, then I got to where I wanted to do some stitching myself so I pulled out my Charlie's Ark pieces and decided it would be nice to do both a Boys and a Girls blanket, using Charlie's Ark pieces.  So I did Charlie first and 4 of his animals, then I did his sister and 4 more animals.  With Charlie I even did the Charlie's Ark Logo, a rainbow with the Charlie's Ark name underneath it.  I thought about doing the same for the girls blanket but then decided not to, just to give it that 'different' look.

I sent off the boys pieces to a finisher in Montana and then started on the Girls pieces and just sent them to the finisher in Texas, so I'm hoping to have them all back in time for the craft show I'll be attending in October, here in Greenville, Mississippi.

I also did 3 Hello Kitty Pieces and am currently working on one for Lorrie and the Canadian Division of the AQP as well as one of Tinker Bell.  This stitching thing has really settled in and I am enjoying the hell outta it, too!


Sunday, August 18, 2013

Craft Show Update.....

Well, I got some good news earlier this week.

The Angel Quilt Project will be setting up at the Hot Tamale Festival here in Greenville, MS in the middle of October 2013!

This is the second year for the festival and I'm looking forward to it, too.  Last year I was sick and didn't get to attend, and besides that I was rained out half-way through the day!  That Mississippi Delta weather can be fickle at times!  LOL!

Anywho, the space I'll have this year will be DOUBLE what I usually get at craft shows and with Ann getting a tent for her brithday this year (Yes, it's what she asked for!) that means more space to showcase the blankets the AQP does as well as more hanging space for the larger pieces!  YEAH!!!

Jennifer Winborn sent me the newest large blanket, a Charlie's Ark piece with a center-piece I did and with 8 pieces from other members of the AQP.  I also have two of the Roly Poly Cherished Teddies blankets to hang and display as well.  I've got almost double the number of blankets to take this year and most of them are new and never shown at crafts shows in the past, so I'm hoping more donations will be made.

I'll take pics of the set-up, as I always do, and will post them to both the Facebook and Yahoo Groups sites for all to see.

Just thought you'd like to know........


Monday, August 12, 2013

New Web-Site.....

Well, our web-master has done it once again!

Besides our main web-site at we now have............. and....................!!!

Each division of the Angel Quilt Project now has it's own web-site!  YEAH!!!

Now everyone within their division has a showcase for their works, along with web-sites for cross stitch charts (freebies of course), and each site is geared towards that division, at least the UK and Canadian Divisions are.  The main site,, will still incorporate from each site as well and, naturally, is open to anyone who wants to post there.

One of the things I particularly love with the UK site is the memorial to Belle Collingwood.  Belle was a very important part of the UK Division and her early passing left, and still leaves, a hole in our hearts.  She's dearly missed.  She put her heart and soul into the UK Division and the Division grew under here directions.  Sadly she never got to see her newest great grandchild but a blanket was done in her honor for the child and I understand the family loves it.  I'm so glad.

I do hope you'll check out all three sites and do hope you're inspired by what you see there, because we all have a blast doing this.


Thursday, August 8, 2013

We do make a difference..................

Yeah, yeah.  I know.  It's been a while since I posted here, but things happen and I wasn't able to keep up the weekly (?) postings and for that I do apologize.  What can I say?  Life happens!  LOL!

Anywho, I'm back..............

One of the things I love about the AQP is the diversity of the membership.  With 3 different Divisions you can be sure of differences in just about everything involved.

I guess that's one of the things I love about this project. 

In the US Division it seems like more and more people are wanting to join and contribute to our efforts and I'm always happy to approve their requests and get them pointed in the 'right direction' for the project.  The finished works of everyone constantly amazes me with their beauty and depth.

In the Canadian Division Kim, Dodie and Lorrie (Not to mention ALL the members there) have come up with ideas for an AQP Canadian Division Web-site and it's coming along very nicely and their input for Julie has helped to shape that new site.  I'm very impressed with with has appeared on there, as well as the participation of everyone to make the Canadian AQP web-site a great place.

With the UK Division the same is being done, and hopefully a UK AQP web-site will soon be ready for the UK stitchers to use and to call 'their own'.  Sue and Caroline are working with Julia to get their new site ready and what we really need now is the input from the UK members themselves so that this site can be shaped and molded into something uniquely UKish!

During the first 10 years of the Angel Quilt Project we managed to get out something like over 50,000 of our hand-made blankets to families with premature babies and those with seriously ill children and that's something I'm quite proud of.  Of course back then we had a 4th Division, in Australia and they did a wonderful job down there as well.

Well, the Australian Division folded after only 3 years due to the death of the head of that division and no one wanting to take over down there, which was a shame.  During those 3 years the Australian members distributed over 5,000 blankets!!!  Yes! 5,000 blankets in just 3 years!  I am very proud of that achievement!  Just shows what can be done when you've got people truly interested in what the AQP was doing down there.  Hopefully one of these days I can get it started again, and Yes, I have been in touch with several of the older members down there who are expressing an interest in getting started once again.  I'll let everyone know what happens.

In the past 4+ years the distribution has slipped somewhat, with the combined total of blankets donated to NICUs and SCBUs coming in at just under 6,000 pieces.  But hey, I'm not complaining!  That's still 6,000 families who got our blankets for their babies and I'm still very proud of that, as well.

As a group, the AQP is making a difference and it's something each and every member of the AQP should be proud of.  I'm proud of all of you!  You continue to do what I started the AQP to do, give something to families who find themselves in situations they had never planned for.  We've given then a ray of sunshine during a difficult time and the letters we still get from those families still prove that, so please, keep up the great work.

I can never thank you enough but I will continue to try, so THANK YOU ALL for your efforts here and I look forward to sending our more of our blankets.


Tuesday, July 30, 2013

A Huge welcome to!!!

Well, the Angel Quilt Project now has a new sister web-site: and I encourage everyone to pay a visit there.

With a Canadian Division web-site now available the Canadian members now have a place they can call their own and do things there that would fit in better with Canada and those who actually live there.

While primarily an AQP site it will also showcase the country itself and what's happening up there, as well as reflect what the Canadians are doing differently from the other groups, like the and the future UK web-site that is currently in the works.

It is nice to be able to now say we will have 3 different sites to choose from.  What you might find on one site will not necessarily be on all three.  We want each site to reflect the customs and styles we've come to associate with each country.  After all Canada isn't the US and neither is the UK, and the UK isn't Canada, etc..................

I now wonder why someone didn't think of this long ago, but then again we were without our resident web-master, Julie, to come up with things like this, along with our new Face Book page.  Julie does know what she's doing and I really think we'd be lost without her able assistance, so a huge THANK YOU TO JULIE, Please!  She rightfully deserves it.

James Farmer, Founder
The Angel Quilt Project

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Things are looking up...................

I've seen more people wanting to join the AQP since the advent of the Face Book page and that's great!  I've always stated that the more the merrier here and that seems to be true. 

Not only are people here in the US asking to join but so are others from different parts of the world.  This means more global exposure for the AQP and I'm always happy with that.

I've beem pleased to see more pics on the FB page, as well.  Linda has done some very beautiful pieces and believe me, the pictures don't do them the right justice.  You absolutely have to truly see them to appreciate the time and effort she puts into each one. 

That also goes for the other finishers for the project, not to mention the stitchers.  Their works are stunning at times and it always makes me happy to see what each and every one of you do here.  The work is truly stunning and lovely at the same time and I'm pleased that so much love and effort goes into each piece of art.


Yes, each piece is a work of art and the time and effort that goes into each piece is priceless and I'm sure that the families who eventually get our blankets would agree.

Keep up the good work everyone and believe me when I tell you that I can't thank you enough for all you've done - and continue to do - for the Angel Quilt Project.

Many times I've said this, the AQP isn't about me, it's not about you, but it's about the love and care we each put into our work to bring a little bit of joy to the parent's who are struggling each and every day that their child(ren) are in a NICU or a SCBU.  If we can accomplish bring a little bit of light into their lives during these trying times, then our 'mission' is complete.

Once more, thank you all for all that you do.


Saturday, July 13, 2013

A busy week.....

Well this has been one busy week.

My grandson, Tyler Montgomery, plays Coach Pitch baseball and his team recently finished 2nd in the district here in Greenville, MS.  With that achievement his team has gone on to the State Finals and right now that team is still in the hunt for the title.

Over the weekend they lost their first round of the playoffs but came back in the Loser's Braket and won the last two games, including a come-from-behind victory in their last game tonight. Tomorrow they'll play again, this time with a team from Pascagoula, MS.  We're hoping they'll continue to win and go further.

As for the AQP, not much going on right now to report, other than I got a pic of one of the Charlie's Ark quilts and from what I've seen it's going to be great!  Once the piece is finished and I have it here I'll take pics and post for all to see.

Oh yes, lest I forget, our newest grandson, Gentry Wyatt Wicker was born on this past Tuesday, weighting in at 11.2 lbs and 21 inches long!!!  Mom is doing well.


Saturday, July 6, 2013

Have you ever wondered...............................

.........what life would be like if you'd made different decisions at one time or another?

I know I have.

Many times over the life of the AQP I've considered closing the whole thing down.

I stopped the Australian Division when the head of the project, Melanie, passed away from a combination of Lupus and Breast Cancer.  The Australian Division was just getting into the swing of things and it was looking good.  No one wanted the responsibility of taking over Down Under and I really had no choice.  Now, I wonder.........................

I actually make an announcement on the UK Yahoo Group site for the AQP that a closing was near.  I even mentioned a date for it to happen.   Some of the UK members got in touch with me personally and asked that I reconsider.  I did.  Obviously the UK Division is still going and is getting stronger and Julie (Our Web-Mistress) has even opened a web-site dedicated to them.  I wonder......................

The Canadian Division has always done a good job.  Lorrie and her mother , Dodie, were some of the first Canadians to join the AQP way back when and I've always treasured their friendships and what they've meant to the AQP over the years.  Never in my mind had I even considered closing down that group, cause everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves and were doing a wonderful job up there.  I wonder.................................

I've even come close to closing down the US Division at one or two different occasions.  Dale 'talked' me out of it, and I'm glad she did.  I wonder...............................

A lot of wondering to be done, but in truth I don't regret any of my decisions regarding the Angel Quilt Project.

Just as I was giving serious thoughts to shutting IT ALL DOWN, Julie got back in touch with me.  Only now she was no longer in Texas.  She was MARRIED!!!  And LIVING IN FINLAND!!!!  Whoa there................

Anyway, I'm glad she's returned to help us, as the AQP web-site was in serious dissaray and way too outta date!  She's revamped the site, added a Face Book page for us, opened web-sites for Canada AND the UK, and even got this blog opened so I can 'talk' about things AQP related. 

Ain't life weird?? 

Ain't life funny??

I had begun to doubt myself here and what I was contributing to the AQP.  I hadn't done any stitching, SERIOUS stitching in years and to tell the truth my heart just wasn't in it anymore.  I'd stitched a whole lot back in '06 and '07, when I was recovering from my by-pass surgery and then my brain surgery after the brain aneurysm.  Heck, for two years I was in recovery from one or both of those surgeries and at one time I could actually do nothing but sit, watch TV and stitch.  I think I did something like 150 pieces then.  LOL.  I actually enjoyed it again.

Then I got 'out' of it and I don't really know why.

I have to be in a certain mood to do things, like which book I'll read, what piece I'll stitch, you know, stuff like that.  I wasn't in the mood to stitch any more, so I let it sit and collect dust.

Then I bought a UK Stitching magazine and found Charlie's Ark!  That's what really got me into stitching again.  Thanks UK!!!!  LOL!

I've always love their charts and how the finished pieces look.  I've even learned to love stitching more on Evenweave then on Aida.  So much more can be done on Evenweave and the usage of 1/2 and 3/4 stitches is so much easier.

Well, to the present day........

I'm stitching almost full-time again!  I've completed 8 Charlie's Ark pieces, sent off about 7 of them (Some of them not mine! LOL!) to one of the finishers for a large blanket and 6 of another Charlie's Ark pieces for a large boys blanket.  I'm about to finish the second of 6 Charlie's Ark pieces for another large blanket, this time for a girl.

I've even done 2 Hello Kitty pieces for another large blanket and have another one planned as soon as I finish my Charlie's Ark girls pieces and another piece for the Canadian Division.  I promised Lorrie I'd do one for them.  Still.........................

.............................I wonder............................

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Some random thoughts.........

I just realized something earlier this week.  I've been posting that we've been doing this group now for 13+ years, but in reality it's been 14+ years!!!  How stupid of me!  I can't even remember how old this group is!  Oh well, I guess it's my age showing!

Anywho, I've been sitting here and doing a whole lot of stitching lately, much more then I've done in the past couple of years and I've realized just how much I actually missed doing it again. 

I've been working on a series of Charlie's Ark pieces and over this past week I've finished 6 new pieces and gotten them sent to a finisher in Montana.  Those 6 pieces will be for a boys blanket and I'm really looking forward to seeing how it turns out.

Right now I've finished the first of another 6 Charlie's Ark pieces, this series to be for a girl this time around.  While the boys blanket features Charlie and 4 of his animals and the Charlie's Ark logo, this one will feature his sister, Susie and another 4 of the animals and the Charlie's Ark logo again.

I guess the thing I like the most about all of these charts is that they use the same colors over and over and you don't have to go searching for a new color, unless you've run out of one of the flosses you're using, so it's much easier to work with. 

The down side is that there are a lot of half and 3/4 stitches but I've gotten around them and gotten quite use to them by now.  They are fun though, but sometimes a reat PITA!  LOL!

Once I finish this piece I've promised Lorrie I'd do a piece for Canada and I'm looking forward to that.  I've not done much stitching for the Canadian Division so this one will be fun.  I'm looking forward to sending her a piece.  Next I'll have to do something to send to Dale so that she won't think I've forgotten about here up there in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  Like I could do that!  LOL!

I have found another Hello Kitty piece that looks interesting and I might just add that to my list and send that one to Dale to finish and send back to me.  I can use it as a fundraiser for the AQP.

Speaking of fund-raisers......

I've sent off 8 or 9 pieces to Jennifer in Texas for a larger Charlie's Ark blanket and I hope that one turns out well and I am looking forward to seeing it, too.  I'm taking requests for the 2014 Special Project for the AQP until the first of the year and an announcement will be made in January of 2014 as to what that Special Project will be, so keep an eye open for that.  Right now Sponge Bob, Hello Kitty (again!), and the AQP angels I designed are in the running, so keep those requests coming in to me at

Tomorrow is the 4th of July and I do hope each and everyone of you here in the USA had a wonderful holiday.  Be safe!  Enjoy the time with your families!  Keep everyone in our Armed Forces in your prayers, as well as their families!  Enjoy the Fireworks and HAE A GOOD TIME!


Saturday, June 29, 2013

Well, the end of June is almost here.

Hopefully by the end of next week I'll be a grandfather once again as Ann's youngest daughter, Rebecca, is expecting her first child on July 4th.  A boy!  We need more girls around here but will gladly accept Gentry Wyatt Wicker once he's here.  Please keep all of us in your prayers.

Now, to the AQP.

I am so happy to see the Canadian and UK groups growing and getting more involved with the project.  With the coming of Canadian and UK AQP Web-Sites I am hoping for more growth and more members as well as more NICUs and SCBUs joining our group.

Julie has done a wonderful job getting all this organized and started and she has my many, many thanks for all the hard work she's done here.  It definitely helps and it is showing.

We have a couple of Special Projects going right now, with a Charlie's Ark blanket, a boy's Charlie's Ark blanket with a girl's Charlie's Ark blanket also in the works.  A Hello Kitty blanket is already underway with one of our finishers in Texas and I hope to have pics of how it's coming along within a couple of weeks.  The finisher will be gone from home all of next week for the 4th holiday and I hope her and her family have a wonderful time.  I've sent off the Charlie's Ark boy's blanket pieces to a new finisher in Montana and she should have them around the first of the week and hopefully pics of how she's laying it out will be available soon.

I hope everyone has a wonderful 4th of July and want everyone to be safe, both at home and in whatever travels you take.

Thank you all for your wonderful work here, as always.


Wednesday, June 26, 2013

What I really love about doing this blog is that I can 'be myself'!  LOL!!!!

I don't have to 'pretend' about anything, but then again I don't 'pretend' about things anyway.  That's not the way I 'operate'.  I tend to speak my mind, sometimes later I might wish that I hadn't, but hey, that's life!

When I started the AQP 13+ years ago I never imagined it would grow to become what it's become today.  I remember telling Ann (my wife of 17+ years now) that I thought I'd be lucky to have about 300 people signed up for the project by the end of 2000.

Boy was I wrong!

In December of 200 there were almost 1,500 people intersted in working with us and doing something for our blankets.  At the 'Height' of the AQP, back in around 2005 or 2006, we actually had over 5,000 people representing something like 35 countries around the world.  To say I was amazed would be an understatement.

When I started this thing it was me and Dale here in the US and Ali, Belle, Julia, and Pat in the UK.  Yes, we started with only 5 people at that time but look at what we've grown into..................

We had only 1 NICU ( Arnold Palmer's Children's Hospital, in Florida ) and were actively looking to add more to our list ( today we have over 1,500 NICUs in the US, including Washington, DC ) and in the UK that grew to something like 50 SCBUs, so we were underway.

Then Lorrie and Dodie joined in Canada and the Canadian Division was 'born' and those did a masterful job while leading that group.  Kim took over for a while and the 'leadership' of the Canadian Division has shifted now and again, but it is still going strong and soon we well have separate web-sites for both the UK and Canadian Groups, and they've definitely earned them.  Good luck ladies.  I'm always behind you and will continue to support your efforts.

At one time we even had an Australian Division, but it was on a much smaller scale and had several leaders down there for a while.  The last leader of that Division passed away a number of years ago and interest began to dwindle so much that I finally had to close it down.  It was a shame, but the interest down there never seemed to be on the scale of the three remaining Divisions.

Anyway, we're still going strong here and I have truly been blessed to have a bunch of ladies ( And Dave in the UK!  The only other male in this group!!! ) who have remained 'faithful' to our cause and continue to do their best to see that the AQP survives the times.

No one could have been as blessed with such a group and could have turned it into what it's become today without such love and interest.  I owe ALL THE SUCCESS of the AQP to those members who have remainded true to the cause and I can never thank them all enough.

On a personal note:  Two years ago we lost what I consider to have been the 'heart and soul' of the AQP, UK Division.  Belle passed away in April of 2011 and she was a staunch supporter of the AQP in the UK and she did all she could to assure the success of that Division.  She remains to be missed here and I can never forget all that she did for the AQP.  We still love you Belle, and miss you dearly.

Till next time,

James Farmer, Founder
The Angel Quilt Project

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

What makes the Angel Quilt Project (AQP) unique?

A good question.

First: All those who participate in the AQP can rest assured that none of their personal information is ever given to ANYONE unless I get their permission first!  That is the NUMBER 1 RULE for the AQP.  I get personal information from everyone who participates but that is as far as it goes.  I only pass on information once someone has given me the okay to do it.  In such cases it happens only AFTER I get a letter from a family who has gotten one of our blankets and wants to get in touch with the stitcher.  I find out which hospital they got their blanket from and then ask for the name stitched on that piece.  I inform the family that I will have to contact that particular person to get permission to pass on the requested data.  I contact the stitcher and they tell me whether I can or cannot pass it on.  If I can I do so.  If I can't I let the family know that as well and ask them to send their thank you directly to me and then I will forward it, unopened, to the stitcher.  It's that simple and in the 13+ years I have never broken that rule and NEVER WILL!

Second: If you're a stitcher of some time ( it's 47 years for me ) then when you stitch you want to feel comfortable with what you're doing and what you're working on.  Right?  I thought so.  Therefore there is NEVER A DEADLINE to get a piece stitched.  NEVER!  I want everyone to do what they do best and never have to worry about being late with something. 

There is one exception to this rule though.


A couple of times a year, usually at the beginning of the year, I will post a 'Special Project' for the members who want to help express their intersts in working on.  These Fundraisers are usually larger blankets, usually twin sized, with up to 12 pieces of cross stitched or machine embroidered pieces on them.  Those finished blankets are then sold by me at local craft shows or listed on e-bay as auctions with all the proceeds going into the AQP coffers.  This year we are doing Hello Kitty Blankets.  There is a deadline on these Special Projects but they're usually not due till sometime after the end of June of that year, so that there is plenty of time to get the pieces to the finisher who will actually put the blanket together.

Third:  We are an ALL-VOLUNTEER group!  No one gets paid for what they do here, and never will.  I don't even get any monitary compensation and I don't want to.  The AQP is for the sole benefit of families with premature babies or with children in Regional Burn Centers or Children's Cancer Clinics.  All the finished blankets are freely given to the NICUs or SCBUs for the nursing staff to give to the families under their care.  Everyone associated with the AQP gives their time and talents to make this happen and I hace never had to pleasure to be associated with such a giving and caring group of people.  It is those people who deserve all the kudos and thanks, because without them there would be no AQP to make blankets for.

Fourth:  It's quite easy to join.  All someone has to do is get in touch with me at to get information and to get started.  It's that simple.  If you provide a phone number and a good time of the day to call you, I will do so and personally answer all your questions regarding the AQP.

If you are interested then please get in touch.

I look forward to hearing from you.

James Farmer, Founder
The Angel Quilt Project

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Welcome to my Blog......

I have to admit that this is the first time I've ever done anything like this, but I am looking forward to doing it.

The Angel Quilt Project (AQP) was an off-shoot of a group originally called The Cross-Wits, an on-line cross stitch group that I once belonged to.  I don't think the Cross-Wits even exists anymore, as most of the members joined the AQP right after I got it started, but I want to thank the ladies who were a part of that group, and I do apologize that I can't remember their names!  Isn't that bad?  But, in my own defense here, it has been 13 years and there has been a lot of 'water to go under that bridge'.  LOL.

I've had two major surgeries in the past 6 and 7 years that have left my memory spotty at best at times, but I'm surviving.  LOL.

Anyway, to get back to the subject at hand;  I started the AQP (Then called the Angel Afghan Project) when one of the Cross-Wits suggested we use our cross stitch to help others.  At first I had no idea what to do, but then -- like a bolt of lightning -- the idea was put into my head.  I say 'put into my head' because I honestly believe it was a revelation from God.  I knew immediately what we would go on to do, what it would be called, and where we would send our finished pieces.

I got on-line and started telling the other members what had happened and at first their reception was somewhat sceptical, to say the least.  Anyway 3 of the ladies in the group accepted the 'challenge' and The Angel Afghan Project was 'born'.

One of those first members was Dale High, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and she's been with the project ever since. The AQP is dearly blessed with her presence, as she's constantly reminding me of things I've forgotten and helps to keep me on the 'straight and narrow'!  That's a hard job, too.  Just ask my wife!  NOT!  LOL!!!!

The original idea, and it's still going strong today, was to make small blankets with cross stitched center-pieces, and to donate them to hospitals around the country for families with premature babies.  The first hospital on our list was the Arnold Palmer Children's Hospital in Florida, and we still send blankets to them to this day.

The blankets then were quite small, as we all imagined that something for preemies would have to be that size.  Now days our blankets measure roughly 36" x 36" and are large enough to cover the isolettes in the NICUs or SCBUs and keep out the light but also keep in the heat, which is essential for the preemies.

In the beginning we only used cross stitched pieces for our blankets, as I'd never heard of machine embroidery.  Kathy Walker, who owned Treetrunk Designs, got in touch with me and machine embroidery became a well-used medium for the project and we've had a lot of ladies join the project using their machines and they all do lovely work.  Thank you Kathy for your suggestions and donations to the AQP.

Back in January of 2000 we had only one (1) hospital, the before-mentioned Arnold Palmer Children's Hospital.  Today, in 2013, we have over 1,500 NICUs and SCBUs in Canada, the UK, and the United States of America.  In the US we have NICUs in every state, as well as Washington, DC and that list continues to grow.

While starting out small, we have grown to be world-wide.  At the height of the project, back in 2005, we had over 3,000 'members', representing something like 35 countries around the world!

In the 13+ years of the AQP we, as a world-wide group, have given away -- YES!  GIVEN AWAY  --  over 55,000 of our all hand-made blankets!  I never in my wildest dreams thought we'd get so much done in such a 'short' time, but we have.

I never would have thought that a man in Greenville, Mississippi could have imagined something like this, with God's help of course, and accomplish so much.  But, we have.  We have touched so many lives in 13+ years and I've gotten so many touching letters from parents, grandparents, nursing staffs and hospital administrators that it's just unbelievable.  All are very touching and I have had tears in my eyes as I've read them.

I personally delivered our blankets to hospitals here in Mississippi.  The largest NICU in the whole Southeast part of the country is at the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson, Mississippi, with a maximum bed count of something like 275 isolettes for preemies and other children in distress.  I've met many parents and their children and I wouldn't be human if I wasn't touched by what I saw and continue to see to this day.  The nursing staff does so much work to ensure that these precious packages make it through their trials and eventually go home.

Many do not make it, and that's the sad part.

However, once a blanket is given to a family it becomes the property of that family and they take it home once they leave, hopefully with their child(ren) with them.

For multiple preemies such as twins or triplets, then we have asked the NICUs to please make sure that each child gets their own blanket, and thankfully many have agreed.  We have even give out blankets for 5 sets of sextuplets!

The AQP continues to operate today.  We are an all-volunteer group of people and we spend our own funds to make all this happen.  We once were a nonprofit group, but the IRS deemed we were no longer allowed to have that title and took it away from us in 2011.  We still operate though.  We still spend our own funds to keep this going.  We still send our blankets to the NICUs and SCBUs (That's Special Care Baby Units in the UK, for those wondering what it means).  We still communicate with each other and we still do what we love to do the most........................Cross Stitch!

I do hope others will want to help us here.  We never turn anyone down who wants to donate their time by stitching, making blankets, or making monetary donations.  We will do this for as long as we can, because premature babies are precious and they are loved not only by their families but by the nursing staffs who look after them.

We pray for preemies around the world, as well as for their families.  I ask you to say a prayer for them as well.  No one goes into a pregnancy with expectations of a premature birth and the stays at NICUs and SCBUs is sometimes quite long and very draining for the families and if we can brighten their days by just giving a simple blanket, then we have accomplished our jobs.

Thank you for reading and I will be posting something here at least once a week.


James Farmer, Founder

The Angel Quilt Project