Just One Charm Pack – Blog Hop!

Finally! Today is my day on the blog hop celebrating the release of Cheryl Brickey’s second quilt book, Just One Charm Pack. I have been waiting to play with this book for quite some time. I loved her first book Modern Plus Sign Quilts and knew this book would be at least as creative. Cheryl’s patterns are not new to me. I have made three so far (Postage Plus, Pike’s Peak and Flock of Geese.) Additionally, I have carried her patterns in my shop for a long while and they are very popular. (Note – all quilt patterns, including Cheryl’s, are currently 25% off and have free shipping in the US. Take a peek!)

Just in case you are new to Needle and Foot via Cheryl’s book celebration, welcome! I have been quilting on and off since 1978. Well, I made several quilts in 1978 and 1979 and then didn’t begin again until 2011. But as with most quilters, once the bug bit, I started quilting with a passion! Please take a minute to poke around my blog and visit. I have also had an on-line fabric shop for the last (almost) five years. I am in the process of retiring so all fabric there is on sale. If you’d like to check it out, click here!

Some time ago, Cheryl invited a group of quilt bloggers to make a quilt from the new book and share it upon the release of the book. We were able to choose which quilt we wanted to make and I chose the Ninja pattern which is based on a variation of the Friendship Star block.

My version of the Ninja quilt was made with 1/2 of a Kaffe Fassett charm pack that I had left from an earlier project. I was thrilled to see I could complete a quilt with just that small stack! I had both the white and the lavender solid fabric in my stash so it was a breeze to pull fabrics for this quilt. The lavender background is actually a solid cotton voile. I hadn’t made a quilt with cotton voile and have to say, I love the extra soft feel it has.

Piecing the quilt was very simple and because of Cheryl’s clear, concise instructions, there were no issues when putting the top together. By off-setting the placement of the Friendship Star blocks, there is nice movement to the design. I played around with ideas for quilting it until I took a closer look at the sample quilt in the book. It was quilted with concentric circles. The curved lines looked so perfect with the angular design. Not willing to free motion quilt that many circles, I chose to use my walking foot and do a pattern similar to a Baptist Fan. It was so simple to just begin in a corner and work to the center. Once I hit the center (or close to it), I just started another corner. Filling in between all four sections was the last step.

The quilt is backed with a dark purple flannel and the quilting shows nicely from the back side.

This cute little quilt (about 36″ x 50″) will be sent to a friend of the family. They just had their first baby, a girl named Natalie. I hope they will enjoy it and use it to pieces!

By the way, the patterns in this book are all traditionally pieced which means no paper piecing. For me, that is a big win! Another win, in my opinion, is that the quilt designs appear to be quite easy to enlarge. It would be no issue to just make more of these blocks and add to the width of the top and bottom border to make this a larger, lap size quilt.

Now that I have shared the quilt I made, I wanted to also show you a peek at some of the other patterns. Honestly, Cheryl designed some really fun, easy patterns.

Pieced by Cheryl Brickey, quilted by Carol Alperin

This quilt is named Fishies, rightfully so, don’t you think? I love the look of the school of fish all traveling together. So sweet.

Pieced and quilted by Myra at Busy Hands Quilt

This pattern is called Ships Ahoy. It was made by Myra of Busy Hands Quilts. Her colors are perfect for a bright addition to a nursery and that quilting is gorgeous. You can read more about her process here

Pieced and quilted by Liz, Savor Every Stitch

Finally, I have to share this version of Cat’s Eye. It was pieced and quilted by Liz at Savor Every Stitch. Just spend a minute adoring the quilting. Liz has such talent. To see more photos and read about Liz’s process, click here.

No doubt there is a quilt for everyone in this book. I encourage you to take a further look by following along with the blog hop. It began on July 15th and goes through July 29th. Cheryl will be posting the newest quilts on her site daily so you can read along.

ABOUT THE BOOK

Each pattern in the book uses a single charm pack, an additional fabric (called fabric A in the pattern) and a background fabric).  The book is the Hamburger Helper for charm packs, stretching one into a full quilt 🙂

You can grab a copy of Just One Charm Pack Quilts on Amazon or get a signed copy in Cheryl’s shop.  

As a bonus, if you purchase a signed copy from Cheryl’s shop, you can get one additional free stand alone pattern (digital or printed) by adding the book and a stand alone pattern ($12 value) and then using the coupon code HOPPATTERN (through the end of the hop 7/29) during checkout.

The Positivity QAL – Link Up Number Two

Hello Everyone! I am happy to be hosting the second link up for The Positivity Quilt Along, hosted by Preeti of Sew Preeti Quilts. As you probably know, many of the quilts made during the QAL are destined to be donated to Mercyful Quilts. We are so thankful to Preeti for hosting this event and to all of you who have made, or are making, quilts for Mercy. I realize some of you have chosen to donate your quilt to a different organization and that is also wonderful! Your creativity, time and effort are hugely appreciated!

If you haven’t yet started, don’t worry! The blocks are a breeze to make and quilts are ALWAYS needed at Mercy Hospital. You are welcome to join in and make one whenever the timing suits you. As for my quilt….. I have been making very little progress. Summer has been so busy with lots of family time. In all honesty, I have only made eighteen blocks at this point. But, like I said, the need for quilts is on-going and I will get mine done.

Obviously, I don’t have a finished flimsy (quilt top) to share with you today. However, I do have some finished quilts to show you!

This quilt was sent to me by Rachel who is from Orgeon. She was the first person to send me a finished Positivity Quilt. She was really quick!! I love the colors and the arrangement of her plus blocks!

Rachel made a pieced backing, using some extra blocks she had. I think she did a great job with balancing the pieced blocks with the large pieces of fabric.

OK – on to the second Positivity Quilt that has been received (also from Oregon)! This one was made and quilted by Cyndy of Quilting Is More Fun than Housework. We all know Cyndy is a master when it comes to scrappy quilts and this is certainly no exception. Her use of turquoise and orange with a scrappy gray background is wonderful.

The HST quilt shown above was also donated for Mercyful Quilts. This beauty was made by Jolie D. of Oregon and quilted by Cyndy. I really like the color selection Jolie chose here. These earthy tones are warm and comforting.

It has been wonderful to replenish the supply of quilts for Mercy Hospital. The staff and the recipients of the quilts are always very thankful for the donations we provide. Thank you so much to each of you who have sent, or are soon to send, quilts our way!

Let’s share the flimsies that are made. There are prizes for this link up too! On July 25th, names will be drawn to win one of five different gifts. Each of these prizes are PDF patterns donated by these very lovely quilt pattern designers.

1. One PDF pattern of your choice from Cynthia of Quilting is More Fun than Housework
2. One PDF pattern of your choice from Jayne of Twiggy and Opal
3. One PDF pattern of your choice from Denise of For the Love of Geese
4. One PDF pattern of your choice from Debby of Quilter by Design
5. One PDF pattern of your choice from Melanie of Mell Meyer

Please link up below. If you don’t have a blog, you are welcome to email me a picture of your flimsy so I can add it to this post. Your picture will count as an entry to win!! Linky will be open through Saturday, July 24, 2021.

Here is a flimsy made by Rochelle S. Love the blues and greens. Does it remind you of seaglass?

This quilt top was made by Nikki M. Notice that the pluses are basically the same tones as Rochelle’s up above. But change that background color and it is a whole new. sunshiny look!! Love them both and can’t wait to see them all quilted up. 🙂

A Bit of This and a Bit of That

Life has been fairly busy around here – lots of garden time, some visiting with friends, reading books and, of course, some sewing. Let’s see what I can share with you today!

First up, I received two incredible quilts for Mercy Hospital! These were quite unexpected and I am thrilled to have them. My friend, Stephanie, is a local long arm quilter with a passion for purples and blues and a strong love of Kaffe Fassett. When she offered these two quilts to me for Mercyful Quilts, I was over the moon. Want to see them?

Isn’t this stunning?

This quilt is so, so pretty! Love the design, the fabric and the quilting. The backing is the same fabric as the outer border. I love it and I am sure someone will be so happy to have this as a remembrance of their loved one.

Stephanie doesn’t do custom quilting. She uses edge to edge designs. She does a lovely job quilting her pieces.

Another pretty quilt!

This quilt was made with a jelly roll. These fabrics have a bit of a metallic shimmer to them and the theme of the line is dragonflies. The backing is a soft purple flannel. Lush!

Pretty Dragonflies are quilted along with a looping design.

I looked for some information on dragonflies because I know some cultures feel there is a symbolic meaning to the dragonfly. I loved what I found.

From Dragonfly-Site.com:

“The dragonfly, in almost every part of the world symbolizes change and change in the perspective of self realization; and the kind of change that has its source in mental and emotional maturity and the understanding of the deeper meaning of life. 

The traditional association of Dragonflies with water also gives rise to this meaning to this amazing insect. The Dragonfly’s scurrying flight across water represents an act of going beyond what’s on the surface and looking into the deeper implications and aspects of life. 

Reading this, I couldn’t help but think this quilt was meant for Mercyful Quilts. The recipient of our quilts may very well be struggling to understand a deeper meaning of life as they grieve the loss of their loved one. It is always our hope that Mercyful Quilts bring comfort during this process.

As for my own sewing, I finished a baby quilt that will be shared in a week or so as a part of the celebration of Cheryl Brickey’s newest book; Just One Charm Pack. The quilt is adorable and you’ll just have to wait a bit to see it!

I am also working on matching outfits for my grand daughters. I have one outfit done, for the younger one.

I also have a pair of shorts finished for the big sister. \

There is even a little label on the back to help her know which way to put them on. I have yet to cut out or sew a shirt. I am hoping I can figure out how to do this with the remaining fabric. (The leftovers are in odd shapes and sizes). Cross your fingers for me! If it all works out and the outfits actually fit the girls, I will share a picture later on.

Last fall we bought some new furniture, including the chair you see above. I wanted something to rest your feet on but the ottoman that matched the chair was too big for the space and too pricey for my wallet. Some years ago, I bought this little footstool thinking I would one day re-upholster it. Of course it sat in a closet ever since. But it was the perfect thing for this chair so I ordered matching fabric to cover it with.

It was a fairly simple project and it didn’t hurt any that Ray did most of the work. A staple gun and a fair amount of hot glue was all it took – and the muscle to be able to staple gun into this very hard wood. I don’t think I could have done it, truth be told. But I was a very helpful assistant. Honest! He actually covered it during the Christmas holiday but again, it sat. Waiting and waiting for us to make and attach a band around the perimeter to hide those staples. That finally happened last week and it is finished. This project took much longer than it should have!

It is that time of year when the garden is producing in full force! Ray dug up potatoes twice already; there is an abundance! Tomatoes are starting to really ripen as are the green beans and cucumbers. For some reason the crook neck squash are weirdly small. He yanked that plant out as it really isn’t worth picking those miniature bits.

Check out the size of this boysenberry!! We have the hugest berries this year. Yum – sooo good! Both the boysenberries and the blueberries are about finished for this year. We were able to freeze about twenty pounds of blueberries which is far more than usual. It is so nice to have them all year though.

Let’s take a look at some silly girls, shall we?

Dad decided it was time to play with water balloons for the first time! This picture couldn’t be better – he caught the splash as the perfect moment!

I love this (slightly blurred) picture showing the girls playing together. Little sis will do anything big sister says. Here they had a little game going on that reminds me of a Conga line! They are so funny.

The clearance sale continues! Prices are now discounted by 25%!

I am getting closer and closer to retirement! The sale is now set at 25% off so be sure to come take a peek!!

Linking to my favorites. Check them out at the top of the page, under Link Ups.

The Positivity QAL Progress Link Up

Hi Everyone! As I mentioned the other day, I am hosting the first link up for the Positivity QAL. The event is hosted by Sew Preeti Quilts and the quilts made will be donated to Mercyful Quilts or the charitable organization of your choice. At this point, most of us have selected our fabrics, cut pieces and made (hopefully) twelve or more blocks. If you have’t gotten very many blocks done yet, no problem, I haven’t either! Just share what you have done so far. We are excited to see where you are on this project! (For more info on Mercyful Quilts, please click here.)

Looking nice! Note, these have not been squared up yet.

Here are the eight blocks I have made so far. I am really pleased with the colors I am using and am anxious to add some yellow and gray blocks to the mix.

I haven’t yet decided on the layout I will use but until I have more blocks to play with, I won’t really think about that part.

Bloggers, please link your post at the bottom. For those participants who do not have a blog, you may send me a picture of what you have made so far (if you would like to) with your name and email. I will post it here as they come in. Use needleandfoot@gmail.com to send me a picture. OK – all of you please check back to see new pictures this week as I update the post and to check out the link ups. I will leave the linky open until July 1st.

From Rochelle S. She has 24 blocks completed already! Hurray. Love these colors. 🙂
Sunshine in the form of a quilt! In process by Nikki M. Thanks so much Nikki!!!
Check this beauty out. Made by Rachel and headed to Mercyful quilts soon!!

Thank you so much for participating! Hope you are all had a nice weekend. Be happy, healthy and creative!

Shipping Orders, Sewing, and Cute Kid Pics

Hello there! Life is still quite busy here. The fabric sale continues and customers are keeping me busy. I am happy to say the stack of empty bolts is still growing and the shelves of bolted fabric are shrinking. Thank you all for supporting me as I clear out the shop in anticipation of closing it.

In between shipping orders, we have had a lot going on. I haven’t been able to get a ton of quilting done but I do get to the machine now and then.

I am working on my blocks for the Positivity QAL. The other day I suppose I wasn’t paying attention because the block wasn’t assembled correctly. Ooops! Luckily it took little time to unpick the stitches and fix it (the upper left block). The blocks are super easy to make and I am enjoying it. People are starting to post their progress on Instagram under #thepositivityqal. Check them out to see! If you want to join in, there is time. The QAL is just getting started!! Sure some people (Preeti and Cheree, I am looking at you!) are finishing flimsies but others (ME) have all of five blocks sewn. Also, for those of you who are already into this, remember the first link up for showing progress shots is this Sunday. Preeti and I have decided I will hold the link up here though. So come back here to link up on Sunday, ok?? (Note to self: go figure out how to host a link up since you haven’t hosted one in several years. Haha)

I have also had some time to work on the gray and blue monster I am making for my bed. We have a king size bed so this is certainly the largest quilt I have made yet. (I have made four queen size quilts though and this isn’t too much bigger than those). I am very happy with this project though. My husband chose the fabrics and helped me select the pattern. Mainly I need to work on the sashing strips and then assemble the rows and add borders and baste it and quilt it and bind it and wash it. See – I think I am almost done!

The garden is going nuts now. Zucchini, cucumbers, green beans, bunching onions, boysenberries, and blueberries are coming in fast and furious. Tomatoes are just starting to turn color, the shallots look great and the pumpkins are happily growing.

Before I close (which I really need to do so I can get downstairs and ship orders), here are some smiles for you. The girls are growing like crazy and I am feeling the urge to see them again! It has been just over a month and they seem different already, especially the one year old. At that age, there is something new almost daily.

Hmmm, I am sure there is some way to make this thing go.
Daydreaming. Remember doing this as a kid in the summer?
Silly girl, wearing Dad’s hat.

OK – I will be back on Sunday with a link up for you! Come and check out the quilts people are making or link up your progress shots.

What a Busy Week!

First of all, thank you for all the well wishes you left on my last post. What a nice bunch of friends! So…after posting about my plan to retire, the orders for my shop went nuts! Truly, it was an incredible response. In the first four or five days, I cut over 400 yards of fabric. This was a lot. Honestly, a lot! Many customers like to order a stack of 1/2 yard cuts so who knows how many cuts that 400 yards really was. Just believe me, so many! Check out all of the empty bolts. Shelves are thinning out quickly.

As the shelves empty out, I keep moving bolts and condensing them. This is freeing up space for me to move my personal stash downstairs. I am moving all of my sewing supplies and machine downstairs so we can have a ‘real’ guest room. I continue to organize and purge through my fabrics which has been really helpful. As I was working on this last week, I found a free motion quilting project I had made a few years ago. It was a quilt along hosted by Lori Kenedy back in 2016. I had a lot of fun stitching along with her but when I finished it, I put it in the closet and forgot about it. Upon finding it, I decided to bind it and hang it. It is so summery with the boats, fish and sunshine.

The quilting is far from perfect but the overall look is cute and worth enjoying during these summer months. I love the bias stripe binding. It is from the shop, just in case you are wondering. (Haha.)

Just a tiny peek!

Moving on, I have also been working on a quilt to be shared during a blog hop in July. The flimsy is done and I am trying to decide on a backing. This will be shared soon!!

I have also been cutting a stack of strips in gray and blue. I am making my largest quilt yet. It is a king size for our bed. This is going to be a great project. Assembling the top shouldn’t take terribly long as it is a simple design. Now basting this monster and quilting it is a whole other story!!

This sums up my week! I think the weekend will be focused on the king size quilt. I am so anxious to see it come together. Hopefully I will have some progress photos for you soon. I also need to pull purple scraps for my RSC diamond blocks. So many projects and never enough time!

Don’t forget – all fabric, quilt patterns and notions are on sale, 20% off! I hope you will come by and check it out!

Linking to my favorites – including Brag About Your Beauties. The rest are located at the top of the page, under Link Ups.

Changes are Happening at Needle & Foot

I have some news for all of you so we will just cut to the chase! I have decided I do not want to have a fabric shop any longer! There, I said it – to all of you – in public – it is no longer just a plan in my head! Ah, that feels better!

Let’s talk about how all of this evolved. Last year, in 2020, I sold a LOT of fabric. Truly – tons and tons of fabric. I should have added up the yardage for you but I am feeling too lazy, so you will just have to take me at my word. When COVID hit and the quarantine was in place, online shopping went through the roof. My small shop went absolutely nuts. (I can’t even imagine how it was for bigger shops!) It took me by surprise, there was no way to plan for this. I scrambled to keep up with demand, bringing in fabric however I could. Of course the fabric manufacturers felt the same spike in demand and within a month or two, so many fabrics were out of stock. I rarely saw this, pre-COVID. There was always availability.

Keeping up with this was hectic but manageable. Basically my little online shop became a full-time gig. For the first time I got a taste of what this would be like if I were to keep it going on a full-time level. It was exciting and tiring at the same time.

Then fall rolled around and I had a momentous birthday – I turned 60! Yeah, I can’t believe it either. It is hard to wrap my head around that number! But when I turned 60, I soon realized I didn’t want to work anymore. It was almost an over-night decision. Actually my decision to open the fabric shop (at the end of 2016) was also a very quick decision. When something feels right, it just feels right.

By closing the shop, I will have more time for other things (obviously!) One thing I noticed after opening the shop was how little time I had for sewing! Kind of ironic, yes? I had thousands of yards downstairs and not a whole lot of time to use them! Once I decided to close the shop, I stopped the flow of new inventory coming in. I have not brought in new inventory since January. Let me say, cancelling all of the outstanding orders was quite freeing. Selecting fabrics, placing orders, keeping track of money spent, unboxing inventory and listing it online is time consuming. Reading about what companies are bringing in new fabric, which designers are coming out with new lines takes time. I had to be on the computer a lot! Like, a lot, a lot, a lot! So this has been the first change I have noticed. Less time on the computer leaves me more time for other things. I have been out in the garden more with Ray which is a total win!

As you know, I love traveling to see my grand children. Each time I do this, I have a wonderful friend, Sophia, who ships my orders. She says she likes doing it but I don’t feel like I can impose on her forever. I want to be able to go up to WA and stay without feeling a twinge of guilt for taking up Sophia’s time.

I suspect some of you have wondered what was going on. I have some very loyal reader/shoppers and my inventory has decreased with no new pieces being added. Well, now you know why! The existing inventory will be sold off (at great prices) and I will be moving on to new adventures.

I want to spend more time participating in QAL’s (like the upcoming Positivity QAL), more time making Mercyful Quilts, and more time making garments. Blogging is still in the mix and I hope to be more focused on it – both writing posts and reading your posts.

Having the shop was really a great experience. All of you were so supportive and I am so grateful for that. It has been fun to put together bundles, think about which lines you would enjoy, and learn about new kinds of fabric. (For example, I knew next to nothing about repros and nothing at all about the stunning William Morris fabrics.)

OK – this has become a long post and if you are still with me, thank you! To begin clearing out the inventory, I have opened a sale with everything in the shop marked down by 20%. This will be an open ended sale. If you are interested in yardage (eg a partial bolt of solids or a lot of a particular wide back) send me an email. I will work out a special price for you. Also, there are a couple of you who have a gift certificate that has not yet been used. Please take advantage and use it! I don’t want you to miss out on the opportunity!

As I said earlier, without all of you, this whole adventure would not have been nearly as successful. So thank you, thank you, thank you for all of your support over the last 4 1/2 years!

Coin Quilt Finish

Today I want to share the finish of this pretty coin quilt. This quilt started out on a whim one day a couple of months ago. I was cleaning my sewing room and attacked a pile of scraps, cutting them into rectangles measuring 2 1/2″ x 4 1/2″. I decided to concentrate on specific colors and then use the rectangles at a later date for a coin quilt. Green, yellow, pink and blue were the colors I selected.

Yes, the quilt has a bit of an Easter egg vibe but who doesn’t love Easter eggs? I chose a mottled blue fabric from the shop as the background and a pretty green wide back (also from the shop) to finish it up. The binding is the same as the background. I might note I find myself really drawn to using a binding that matches the outer border when possible. I like the look of it. Maybe because it feels less busy to me.

With my trusty quilt holder, Julia, I was able to take a few photos of this pretty quilt in our yard. When I quilted it, I outlined the coin columns and then stippled the blue background. I have been using Glide thread and finding my machine loves it. I had very few hiccups and those I did have were due to bobbin winding issues. Glide is slippery thread and (for me anyway) it can be a challenge to wind the bobbin with it.

My husband always leaves a patch of California poppies go in the field, not mowing them down until they finish blooming. The poppies are such a pretty pop of color for us. Anyway, this quilt is destined to be a Mercyful quilt and is also my contribution to the 2021 Hands 2 Help event run each year by Sarah Craig, Confessions of a Fabric Addict. I also have a quilt in the works for her Hometown Hero idea but it won’t be finished by the deadline. I will post the story behind that quilt soon as it is finished.

Yesterday my husband and I took a day and hiked at the Gray Lodge Wildlife area. It is gorgeous out there. Usually it is a haven for waterfowl but this late in the season, there isn’t a whole lot of water so the number of birds out there is far less. We were lucky to be out there and enjoying ourselves before it gets too much hotter. This is in a fairly toasty area an hour or so from our house. We plan to go back during the winter months to see the birds.

There are tons of rice fields out in this area too. At this time of year the fields are heavily irrigated and bright, bright green. So gorgeous. Because the fields are so wet, there are lots of white heron out there. Try as I might, I didn’t get any pictures of these pretty birds.

At home we are busy picking, cooking and eating artichokes. This year is a bumper year for our artichoke plants. However, it is supposed to really heat up over the next week which should slow the plants down quite a bit. I haven’t counted how many are out there but I bet we have about twenty left to pick, after eating several and sharing some with my neighbor.

So pretty!!

Ok – that is it for now. I have lots in the works! I am joining in with Sew Preeti Quilts Positivity Quilt Along which begins this coming week. I love the pattern for this quilt and look forward to sewing along with Preeti and many others. At the same time, I am making a quilt to celebrate the upcoming publication of Cheryl Brickey, of Meadow Mist Designs, new book, Just One Charm Pack. The book comes out toward the end of June and there will be a blog hop later in the summer to share the quilts several of us are making. I have the pieces cut and hope to start sewing tomorrow. Hope all of you enjoy the weekend!

Psst: Be sure to come back and read my next post. I have some big news to share!!

Linking up with Cheryl’s Favorite Finish as well as other favorites – check them out at the top of the page, under Link Ups.

Is It Really the End of May???

Somehow May is just flying by! I haven’t posted since April but with good reason. Now that our family is vaccinated we have had lots and lots and LOTS of family time. Like many of you, we are making up for all of the lost time over the past year or so. It has been heavenly.

With all of the visiting going on, there has been very little action in the sewing room. Before I left for Washington, I did get my diamond blocks made for May. The RSC color this month is red and I have plenty of red scraps! I am quite pleased with the blocks for the month. Plus, to start increasing the total number of blocks, I made four instead of three!!

Another fun project was a set of pillowcases for my sister. A while ago she was doing some cleaning and came across a piece of fabric with the Stanford University logo on it. She had bought it years ago and tucked it away. (Her husband is a Stanford graduate.) She asked me to make something simple with it and of course I said sure. Some weeks after I got the Stanford fabric, I was in a thrift shop and saw a big piece of fabric with the UC Berkeley logo on it. This was quite the amazing find, as my sister is a UCB graduate!! I grabbed the fabric and decided to make them a matching set of pillowcases, his and hers.

They certainly do not match – the colors are basically awful together. But it was so cool to find that Berkeley fabric!! My sister loved them and was quite surprised to see her school included in the package.

Moving on to more wonderful news! Preeti Harris (of Sew Preeti Quilts) is hosting her first Quilt Along! Even better, is she has designed the The Positivity QAL to be in support of Mercyful Quilts. I think most of you are familiar with the Mercyful Quilts program I coordinate for Mercy Hospital in Sacramento, CA. If you are not, please read a few prior blog posts about this truly valuable program. I have them available for you at the top of this page, under Mercyful Quilts.

Preeti generously asked me if she could coordinate this effort. Now, mind you, Preeti has already donated SIX gorgeous quilts to the program and here she is asking to do more. Amazing!!

Last week I received two quilts from her. Let’s take a look at them.

The original Positivity Plus Quilt.
Serenity Quilt

Mercyful Quilts was selected to receive both of these gorgeous quilts. If you would like to read Preeti’s blog posts about them, here you go: Serenity and then Positivity Plus. If you haven’t yet read Preeti’s blog, please check it out. Her writing is just as creative as her quilting.

I have a couple of things to share with regard to this quilt along. One is this – quilting is an expensive hobby. We all know that when it comes to donating quilts, sometimes the expense is more than our budget allows. I have a couple of generous donors who would like to make this a bit easier on those quilters who choose to donate to Mercyful Quilts and are feeling a budget pinch. (This year has been especially tough on many people financially.) If you are feeling the pinch and would like to be reimbursed for your postage expenses, please sent me a note so we can help. There are limited funds to do this but enough to help a number of you if needed. Remember this is anonymous – your name won’t be announced. If you would like to take advantage of this, use the ‘contact me’ button at the top of the page.

Another way to reduce the expense a bit is this. If you choose to have your quilt done by a long arm quilter, I have an idea that will slightly reduce your expense. You might choose to send your quilt to your long arm quilter and ask her to send it directly to me for Mercy Hospital. If you would include the binding, I am happy to bind the quilt for you. This would eliminate one shipping expense (because the long arm quilter wouldn’t route the quilt to you, and then you would have to send it to me). If you want to discuss doing this, let me know. I am all about figuring out how to be economical. Again, just use that handy ‘contact me’ button at the top of the page.

The schedule for Preeti’s QAL is very relaxed, for which I am grateful. I am not a speedy quilter! If you would like to join in, we would love to have you. Below is a copy of the schedule, taken from Preeti’s blog.

Here is a suggested schedule for the QAL so that you can pace yourself and stay on track.  There will be three linky parties, shown in red below. 
1. May 30, 2021 – QAL Launch – Block Tutorials, Layout Options and Fabric Requirements
2. June 6, 2021 – Finalize your fabric picks, block and layout etc.
3. June 13, 2021 –  Cut fabrics
4. June 20, 2021 – Complete Blocks 1-25
5. June 27, 2021 – Complete Blocks 13 – 24. Linky Party to share your progress
6. July 4, 2021  –   Complete Blocks 25 – 36
7. July 11, 2021  – Complete Blocks 37 – 48
8. July 18, 2021  – Share Finished Flimsy. Linky Party Participation Required for Prizes
9. July 25, 2021  –  Level 1 Prizes Announced. Make Binding
10. August 1, 2021 – Piece Backing. Baste your quilt tops.
11. August 8, 2021  – Quilting
12. August 15, 2021 – Complete Quilting and Attach Binding
13. August 22, 2021  – Share Finished Quilts. Mail Finished Quilts to Bernie. Linky Party Participation Required for Prizes
14. August 29, 2021 – We rest and wait for quilts to reach Bernie.
15. September 5, 2021 – Level 2 Prizes Announced. 

OK – this has been a long post but it has been a while so there was lots to chat about! I will leave you with some sweet pictures of my adorable family!

Grandpa and his littlest girl.
Julia’s 20th Birthday Celebration!
Making bird feeders with toilet paper rolls, peanut butter and birdseed. So much fun!

This week I plan to quilt and bind my Coin Quilt. I want it to be my donation for this year’s Hands2Help. I have started it but my machine was giving my fits with the thread breaking. So irritating! I will clean and re-thread everything which should correct the issue. Wishing all of you a wonderfully creative week!!

Linking to some of my favorites. Please check out the list at the top of the page, under Link Ups.

Rainbow Scrap Updates and a Panel Challenge

It is the end of the month and I scrambled to get a few things done for April. Seems the April came to a close much sooner than it was supposed to as I wasn’t really ready.

Yesterday was a housecleaning day. The obscure chores just get pushed back until finally the oven stinks whenever it is heating up and there is no choice but to clean it. That was not a fun chore but it is done and the oven is all ready to go again! I also had to give some of my houseplants a bath. The larger ones get dusty and it is easiest to take them on the back deck and just hose them off, let them dry and bring them back in. Yikes they look so much better now.

After that nonsense, I managed to finish the RSC blocks for April. I used three very different shades of blue for these blocks. The diamond blocks are fun to make and not at all difficult. They finish at 6″ x 12″. I have been pre-cutting the neutral background triangles making it simple to put them together (making one wonder why I would wait until the end of each month??) Sigh.

Here are a few of the colors put together. I am sure I will need more than three of each color (which is what I am currently making). Seems best I make a few more pink, yellow and green blocks so I won’t have to do it all in the fall. But will I??? We all know the answer to that. Motivate me. Tell me how happy I will be come October, if I have the right number of blocks made. Tell me how it will make it so much easier to assemble the quilt and if I don’t have the right number of blocks made, I will likely put this in a project bag and let it languish. Tell me, ok???

In the meanwhile, I have also been working on a panel challenge hosted over at Prairie Moon Quilts. A while back, Shelly challenged quilters to use one of the panels in their stash and make something with it. Too many times, the panels in shops attract a quilter and are purchased without a real plan how it might be used. Panels are so fun and can be used in any number of ways. To see a few of my favorites, check my Pinterest board.

I chose to use this beautiful panel from Northcott’s Covent Garden Line. I do have it in the shop if you love it as much as I do! It measures 28″ x 42″. The colors are amazing. It was designed by Deborah Edwards.

When I first got this panel in the shop I wanted to just quilt it as a whole cloth and hang it somewhere. But as time went on, I was less convinced this was the right choice. When Shelly presented her challenge, I decided to cut it up and piece it.

Next decision was how much to cut?? Not much was the answer I came up with. So I sliced it into columns. The center measures 9″ wide and moving out from there the size decreases. The next strip was cut at four inches, followed by three inches and the narrow outside strip was 2 1/2 inches wide.

For the first border, I used a piece of fabric from PB Textiles. I liked the rusty tones with the flowers. It was just about square at this point and my brain felt like it should be a rectangle. Adding a four inch floral strip at top and bottom made this happen and my brain was much more content. Shelly will be showing all of the quilts made for this challenge and will have it open for viewers to vote. I hope you will hop over there on Monday to look at all the different projects everyone has made. I am looking forward to it!

What a huge difference this made – There are so many ways to use this columnar method with a panel. Some quilters will move the panel pieces up and down so the picture is not totally lined up. This looks great with panels showing pretty landscape scenes. I also love when a panel is cut and made with attic window blocks. One idea that attracted me was seeing a quilt where part of the panel was cut and appliquéd to the quilt. The design looked wonderful. To see the panels I have in the shop, click here.

Thanks to Shelly for motivating me to play with this panel. Now it is time to baste and quilt it. I have a few quilt tops lined up to be finished. I think I will baste one this weekend to begin that process. What are your plans for the weekend? It is going to be rather warm here and there is plenty to do out in the yard during the cool of the morning and then in the sewing room in the afternoon.

Linking with my usuals. Check them out at the top of the page, under Link Ups.