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Meet Our Newest Facebook Fan of the Week - Sandie Oravec

I hope you will help me welcome our newest Facebook Fan of the Week - Sandie Oravec - She is one neat lady!

Tomorrow we will be featuring a different kind of quilting method that I think you will enjoy and the tutorial comes from Mrs. Sandie herself :)

Without further ado... I introduce you all to Mrs. Sandie Oravec!!

Do you have a blog? Url?

No I haven't taken the time to do it yet. I read through your blog, but have been do busy sewing that I haven't done it yet. I do have a Facebook group called Welcome Little One Ministry for the ministry I am starting this fall.

Tell us a little bit about yourself? 
I am originally from Oshkosh, WI. I moved 12 years ago to Neenah, WI which is about 15 minutes north of Oshkosh. I will be celebrating my 25th anniversary with my husband, Mike, this September.

I met my husband when I was only 14, but didn't actually date him until I was 19. He is so wonderful. He loves to go to quilt and fabric stores with me and helps me pick out and match fabrics.

I have two wonderful kids. Brea is 23 and just graduated college with a French major. She will be starting a new job Aug 1st. Cory will be 19 next month and is in his second year of college. He plans to become a minister.

As a family we did newborn foster care for 6 1/2 years and took in 49 pre-adoptive newborns. I miss it greatly, but had to quit due to health problems. I have a lot of other kids and young adults who call me Mom.

Our house is always open to anyone and they all know it. Besides quilting, I love to bake and play the guitar. I love to sing and write music, as well.

When did you start sewing?
My grandma started to teach me to sew when I was 5 years old. I now own the machine that I learned on, and taught my daughter to sew on the same machine. By the time I was 12, I could make three piece suits. I made all of my daughters formals throughout high school and altered most of her friends.

When did you start quilting?
I started quilting the year we got married. I decided to make everyone a quilt for Christmas. They were very basic quilts that were tied. I gradually started trying harder and more complicated patterns.

When you are about to make a quilt, do you prefer starting with a Jelly Roll, Layer Cake, Charm Packs, Fat Quarters, or Yardage?
I usually use yardage and scraps from my stash. I have used fat quarters. In fact, when we take any trips, I like to collect fat quarters from the different shops we stop at and then make them into something to remember the trip.

Do you mostly quilt from patterns/books or do you try to create your own styles?
I like to start with patterns and give them a tweak to make them unique.

Which fabric manufacturer is your favorite? Moda, Free Spirit, Michael Miller, etc
Moda, Free Spirit, Michael Miller, etc I don't really have a favorite. I just love most all fabrics.

What style of fabrics is your favorite? Traditional, Modern, etc
 I guess I am more of a traditional gal, but the Modern can make projects fun. I do like some of the older looking fabrics. I love greens and purples, so I always seem to find more of them than any others :)

When it comes to quilting, what challenges do you face?
I wish I owned a long-arm machine to do larger quilts, but I have come up with a way to do larger quilts on my regular machine. I don't like working with curves, although I have done it. One of my biggest challenges is my Multiple Sclerosis. It affects my vision and stamina, which makes quilting a challenge at times.

What would you like to learn more about?
I would love to learn more about long-arm quilting. I did rent a long-arm to quilt a quilt for both of my kids and I had a blast. I have actually never taken a class in quilting. I have taught myself everything from books or from watching quilting shows on TV.

What is your favorite part of quilting?
I love to see how fabrics interplay with each other. It is so fun to see how a fabric can change when you put it with different colors, patterns, etc.. My favorite part of quilting though is seeing the person's face when I give it to them. There is such a warm satisfaction is seeing their joy. One of the biggest blessings to me is making memory quilts for people who have lost a loved one, especially kids. To be able to give them something tangible to cuddle with that is made of the clothes of their loved one is priceless.

Is there anything else you want to tell us?
My passion in life is to serve Jesus Christ in whatever I do. It has been difficult to have to give up so much in my life because of my health (working, foster care, driving, ministry work). For over a year, I wasn't able to sew at all because of double vision, vertigo, and severe headaches. When I was able to start sewing again, I vowed that even more than before I would use it to honor and serve God.

When I was just starting to sew again, I cut my right arm on some glass and severed seven tendons, a nerve and an artery. They didn't know how much use of my hand I was regain. I learned to use my rotary cutter with my left hand and it has only been recently that I could actually hand sew again.

It has made me really thankful for the ability to sew.

I used to take it for granted, but I don't think I ever will again. It has been a year now, and I have most of the function back in my right hand. This is a huge praise for what God is capable of, because my doctors are constantly being amazed at my progress. 

I have spent the past year making quilts to donate to benefits, domestic abuse shelters, etc.. This fall I will be birthing a new ministry called Welcome Little One Ministry. We are making diaper bags and filling them with basic needs of a newborn for the first 3-4 days of life. I am VERY excited that God has given me another opportunity to serve newborns and their families. I am having a blast teaching others to sew burp cloths, diaper bags, blankets, quilts,  etc.. I am SO blessed to have people sending me fabric, volunteering to sew, crochet and knit for the ministry, as well as, donate their gently used baby clothes.

Every time I start to doubt or worry about the ministry, another blessing comes through the door.

What a wonderful story Sandie and I am so glad we got to catch up with you :) You are amazing! - Shawna

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