Archive for the ‘Spreading the word’ Category

Quilts for Japan

March 20, 2011

There’s a link here, that might be of interest to some of you.

Quilters Newsletter has long enjoyed a friendship with Patchwork Tsushin, a leading Japanese quilt magazine. So when Editor in Chief Naomi Ichikawa emailed to say her magazine is collecting comfort quilts for those impacted by the recent earthquake in Japan, we wanted to join the effort. QN will gather quilts from U.S. quiltmakers then forward them to Naomi and her staff, who will deliver them to those in need.


Let’s review the bidding: IB♥L3D

February 10, 2011

I’m seeing some people wander in to the site these days — some of you are blogging about IB♥L3D, and some of you are mentioning it on forums and other hidden places.

Thank you.  Thank you for spreading the world.  IB♥L has and always will be a grass roots effort.  Word of mouth, and personal testimony, are what has made it the success it is.

So, for all of you who just wandered in here, hello.  I’m IBOL Guy, and I’ll be your cruise director.

IBOL started in 2009, on my last little adventure here in Iraq.  It was timed to coincide with Ramadan, and was intended to facilitate linking security forces to people — Iraqi security forces, that is, with Iraqi people.  Great folks form around the world made and sent bundles to me at my home-away-from-home in Northern Iraq, and I assembled and moved them about so that they could be distributed across the region.

It was kinda successful — 3445 bundles, totally about 30,000 lbs of sewing, quilting and knitting stuff.

And, it was totally unsanctioned by the military.  With the help of volunteers, in Iraq and here and there, the whole thing was done without being a burden on the units, and without involving money (free website, free this, free that).

It seemed like a good idea, so much so that in 2010, the Provincial Reconstruction Team for the Salah ad Din Province (where I had been) asked to do a smaller version — IBOL II.  That was about 900 bundles.

I am in Iraqi again, for my 4th tour (do I get a prize?), and we’ve started IB♥L3D a little early.  A unit here has asked for a surge of 500 bundles, for a special project, so that’s underway right now.  We’re leaning forward for Ramadan again this year (around August), and plan to do a bigger push then.

Have I caught your interest?  Leave a comment and I will send you all kinds of details.

2010 in review

January 2, 2011

The stats helper monkeys at mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Wow.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

About 3 million people visit the Taj Mahal every year. This blog was viewed about 34,000 times in 2010. If it were the Taj Mahal, it would take about 4 days for that many people to see it.


In 2010, there were 32 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 110 posts. There were 152 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 10mb. That’s about 3 pictures per week.

The busiest day of the year was October 1st with 2,481 views. The most popular post that day was 01 October — ish.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were,,,, and

Some visitors came searching, mostly for ibol, iraqi bundles of love, kitteh, funny rumors to spread, and ibol guy.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.


01 October — ish October 2010


IB♥L II: Give A Little August 2010


Building a bundle August 2009


What to send August 2009


FAQ August 2009


Pretty cool, huh?  Here’s to 2010!

Our favorite places

November 21, 2010

Some of you have heard me talk about how I seemingly spent my entire youth, playing under the bins at Joann’s Fabrics while my mom shopping for just the right fabric.  I don’t think I’m going out on a limb to far when I say that I think a lot of people who sew, knit and quilt have favorite places for buying their supplies.   (Insert joke about drug users and their favorite drug dealer).

But one thing of which I was reminded while at the International Quilt festival in Houston is that there are some truly awesome vendors out there.  Super awesome people, just as nice as can be, who also happen to make their living selling the things that keep the sewing, knitting and quilting communities humming along.

For some, it’s the place in town.  That certainly was the case when I was growing up.  But today, that can also include online vendors, like my own super-mega-bestest-friends at Sew, Mama, Sew! I suspect that sometimes it’s the people, but sometimes it’s the products or the prices or something else.  But I’d be willing to bet that, more often than not, it’s the people that separate a mere store or business from the places you’d return to again and again.

So, I was thinking.  IBOL3D — let’s invite them in as well.  IBOL I and II had truly awesome support from Sew, Mama, Sew!, but I bet the crew at Love of Quilting in Winterset, Iowa, and the crew at The Quilter’s Garden in Fenton, MI would probably think IBOL is pretty cool and be interested, in some way, in helping out.  It might not be hundreds of bundles that they sell online, but even some local support and activities would be very in line with what IBOL is all about.

With that in mind, I wrote up a page for our friends and heroes who sell all of the great things that you all love to buy.  The page is here.  I hope it’s complete enough that you can pass it to someone, and it’ll give them ideas and spark their interest.  If you’re willing to bring up IBOL when you’re shopping for goodies, the least I can do is empower you when you say, “Let me email you a link.”  So, this is me, helping you to spread the word, and this is us, thinking big.

Laying the groundwork

November 13, 2010

One of the things I did this week, to start to lay the groundwork for an IBOL3D, was to actually reach out to the media. Well, sort of.

I contacted my alma mater, specifically the alumni folks who publish the nice, polished, glossy magazine. It’s very nice, very slick. I sent them a short note, told them that there may be an IBOL3D in the works, and that if they take a look, they might find that the project reflects a lot of the things that the school holds in high regards. Their initial feedback from both positive and enthusiastic.

I also reached out to the national office of my fraternity. Same deal — alumni, polished magazine, etc. I said that IBOL3D might actually happen, but I also pointed out links between the Army values and the fraternity values (yes, the fraternity as well-defined values). They were positive and enthusiastic, and have asked questions, asked for photos, etc. I am confident that they’ll publish something in the next couple of months.

But that’s it so far. I think these are good things — laying the groundwork now for an effort in the spring or summer. Should I draft something generic, for people to use in their guild newsletters? Should there be a deliberate once-a-month type update thing about IBOL3D, where it stands, what’s coming up, so that people can blatantly copy and paste it and send it around?