Monthly Archives: August 2019

A Note from Mercy Hospital

Hi all – I want to pop in and share this lovely thank you I received from a member of the Palliative Care team at Mercy Hospital. The response to the Mercyful Quilt Drive has been nothing short of AMAZING and I want to be sure you know how appreciated your beautiful quilts are. So far we have received over 90 quilts in the last 10 months. Hurray!!! Just in case you are new to my blog, you can read the details about Mercyful Quilts here and here and even here!

Dear Bernie, 

Back in November of last year, our ICU nurse Patty reached out to you about how we used to have a supply of quilts for patients at the end of life (aka “comfort care”) here in our hospital and how the quilts have sadly been harder to come by in recent years. You in turn said some wonderful things about your own family’s past experience at Mercy General in your blog post and then asked for those in the community to consider sending us quilts to have for this program. The response to this has been incredible and we thank you so much for this help. I am a social worker on our palliative care team here in the hospital and have had the honor of bringing these beautiful quilts to the family or loved one of a dying patient. 

The supply that you all have provided has been amazing. I, as well as others, can now provide a quilt that family feels expresses the personality or the favorite colors of their loved one and allows an openness to talk about who they are- who they were. We actually have a selection for men on comfort care now which was always so hard to come by and in addition, we’ve been trying hard to honor our Veterans at the end of their life here, and those who made and donated the patriotic colored ones and the American flag ones are now used to help honor them in one final way and show appreciation to their family for their service. 

Our palliative care team, as well as the dedicated bedside nurses that care for patients in their final moments, can often feel helpless in wanting to provide comfort and something meaningful to loved ones during such a dark time. These gifts have allowed us to bring something they can find some beauty in and later keep to remember the one they’ve loved and lost. 

I am so sorry that it has taken me almost a year to write to you but wanted to say to you, and to all those who have made and donated these quilts, that we cannot thank you all enough for the time and effort you put into these. It means a great deal and on behalf of our team here, thank you so much for your wonderful gift. 

-Emma Cook 
Palliative Social Worker  
Mercy General

This was such a wonderful note to receive. I knew they were really happy to have the quilts but this certainly validates all of the work and effort, time and creativity, not to mention expense, that goes into the gorgeous quilts so many of you have donated. Please continue to make quilts for this worthy reason. I am happy to facilitate the donations and get your quilts right over to Mercy Hospital. Continue to think about gender neutral themes and the occasional patriotic theme as they are needed.

Thank you, thank you, thank you for your kind hearts and gorgeous quilts!!!

A Linen/Cotton Version of the Hobo Bag

I told you I wanted one of these shoulder bags for myself! I have made two for Julia which you can see here and here. The pattern is a freebie from Very Purple Person.

They are so fun to make, don’t take too much time and not a lot of fabric so why not? It is a great way to use this sweet Japanese fabric that was given to me by my friend Patty. She vacationed in Japan about a year ago and when she returned she sent me five pieces of fun fabrics. Three of them were a beautiful cotton-linen blend and I have been holding on to them and thinking of how I wanted to use them.

Each cut is 1/2 yard and I was happy to be able to squeak a bag out of this one! I had to piece the shoulder strap a bit but you can’t even see it. The fabric has a great weight to it. I washed and dried it first because I suspected there would be some shrinkage. It was minimal though. Rather than sewing a gusset into the bottom of the bag for width, the designer simply used two wide darts at the bottom corners of the outer and interior fabrics. Very easy!

As usual, I added two interior patch pockets. Purses need pockets to keep the little things from always ending up at the bottom of the bag. The lining is an older print that has been in my stash forever. How great to use it up and have one less piece in the pile!

A simple hair elastic was added to loop around the button as a closure. I did this after the fact (meaning I forgot to stitch it in while constructing the bag.) But this was not a big deal. I basted the elastic (with my machine) where I wanted it. Then I folded up a square of fabric so no raw edges showed and stitched it over the bottom of the elastic. Let’s call it a design element, shall we?

This button has been in my button jar for a very long while and it is perfect! I am happy to add this bag to my collection. A selection of different purses is fun to have – I am one who changes them out all the time. This one will be great for the fall which is just around the corner! If you are intimidated by making a bag, this is the pattern to try. It truly is simple. The most difficult part is turning the whole thing right side out as you pull it through the shoulder strap as it is bulky and can feel awkward. If you try it and have any problems, email me. Happy to help.

Adding a pocket or two to the interior (or exterior) is simple as well. Here is a link to a great tutorial if you need more information. Again, if you need help, send me a note.

Finally, I have a great giveaway happening on Instagram today and tomorrow. Be sure to click over and check it out!!

New Baby Quilt with a Cute Sisu Print

I have had this adorable fabric in the shop for a while now and it has called to me on numerous occasions. It features the sweetest little girl hang gliding, floating with balloons, and parachuting. The use of primary colors makes it so cheerful and bright – I just love it. It is called Hei Sky Cloudine from the Sisu line by Art Gallery Fabric.

AGF, as always, has described the line beautifully: “Sisu!” is an untranslatable Finnish word; it is the mindset that allows us to keep going just when we think we are about to give up. In Sisu, children playing with primary shapes and colours inspire our natural tendency to persevere into our fullest potential.

Last week I was browsing quilt blogs and came across a post on Material Girl Quilts and saw a very simple quilt made of stripes of fabric in varying sizes. It really appealed to me because it would show off this sweet fabric perfectly. I made two small modifications to the tutorial. I added a very narrow stripe of color just above and below the focal fabric. Then I cut my strips a tiny bit wider just to make use of the fabric as much as possible.

Obviously, this is a very simple quilt to make and took little time to put together. I used primary colors which make for a bold, happy quilt. Because the assembly took no time at all, I took the quilting slow. A quilt this size is perfect for practicing free motion quilting. Also, quilting in a row like this lent itself to some fun motifs. I enjoyed making the rows of rising suns on the dark yellow stripes. On the blue dots, I quilting large stars but I cannot quite make them show up in the picture. It seemed like I was making a night sky stripe with stars on the dark blue dotted fabric.

Clouds were the obvious choice for the focus fabric. This adventurous girl is floating around amidst all sorts of clouds. Small curved lines with lots of echoing was a fun motif to quilt. For the red polka dot stripe, I just did a wavy line, almost like a ribbon candy motif. By the way, the stars and sun motifs are from Lori Kennedy Quilts – you can find just about any motif on her site. It is a wealth of information!

The backing fabric is a red and white large check with a hint of blue outlining the white squares. Perfect colors, right?

Making this quilt was so satisfying. Easily pieced, fun fabrics, and fun quilting motifs – Hurray!All of these fabrics are available in the shop so feel free to browse these links:

I am surely going to make more of these when I want to use fabrics with large scale prints. This quilt will probably hang as a sample for a while and then be gifted or maybe donated to Project Linus. We are enjoying oddly cool weather today and tomorrow so I am enjoying it. Sewing is going to have to wait until it heats back up on Monday!! Enjoy the weekend all!

Linking to my favorites – check them out at the top of the page, under link ups. This week since this has some FMQ going on, I am also linking up with Muv for Free Motion Mavericks.

County Fair Re-Cap

What a nice day we had today – long but lots of fun.

Julia started the day with a great smile, all ready to go.

She competed early in the morning in “Market Class” which is where the judge (in the ball cap) ranks the animals by the quality of their physical structure. Julia and Leo did well, placing 3rd out of eight animals.

Competition was followed by the “Breakfast of Champions” which is an annual event at fair. Yum – corn dogs!!

We watched some 4-H kids practicing showing their steers and I just loved the phrase on this guy’s shirt. His 4-H group all wore these shirts and it made me happy to see – they must have a great leader.

The breeder that Julia works with had a new litter of piglets just a few weeks ago. He brought the mama and her eight piggies to the fair to people could see these little guys. The mama looked exhausted and why wouldn’t she be with constantly nursing eight hungry babies. Mama pig weighed 500 pounds – she was huge.

My dad joined us for lunch and to watch Julia compete in the afternoon. We loved having him hang out with us – Thanks for coming, Papa! Isn’t this a cute picture of the both of them?

The day ended on a somewhat sour note. During the showmanship competition, Leo decided he wasn’t in the mood to cooperate and literally went to the corner of the ring and refused to leave. Try as she might, Julia couldn’t get him to perform, walk, or get out of the corner. It was crazy ridiculous since Leo has been such a great animal and they have been walking our property every morning for weeks and weeks. But if the animal has never been in a ring with eight other pigs, you can’t truly be sure how it will respond. Leo wasn’t in the mood I suppose. Julia tried and tried and finally realized she wasn’t going to be successful. Oh well, life lessons, right? I was proud of her in that she kept her cool and did her absolute best.

They are still buddies even if Leo really doesn’t dig the show ring too much. Raising an animal is a great experience that instills patience and responsibility in a person. But as with humans, animals have their own personalities, likes and dislikes. This guy is not a performer which was disappointing and surprising to Julia. She handled it well though and that is what counts.

Thrifting Fabric

About a week ago, our local guild sent out an email to members stating a seamstress in town was retiring and having a sale. She wanted to clear out her fabric and supplies as she planned to downsize to a smaller home. I am sure you knew I would be sure to go check it out. The woman was both a garment maker as well as a quilter. Her shop was large and there was tons and tons of fabric.

By the time I got there much of the quilt fabric had been sold. But I was not really interested in quilt fabric considering the shop I have downstairs! My interest was actually in garment fabric. I found a few gems. Instead of setting a price on each piece of fabric (which would have taken days and days) the woman had a stack of plastic laundry baskets. The deal was $10 for whatever fit in the basket. Oh my. Let me show you what I picked up.

This is two yards (58″ wide) of a stunning border print. It is a cotton/rayon blend and has the nicest feel to it. I washed it and had no issues. I think Julia has claimed this piece for a pair of wide legged pants. That border will be so nice at the bottom of each leg. Sort of a boho look.

I picked up six yards of this fabric. Not a seersucker but it feels like one? I am not sure what it is but it washed well. Julia and I both want pants out of it and I am sure there will be leftover fabric.

Four yards of this gray and white chambray. It is really pretty and a great quality fabric. I am not sure what I will make with it. It is heavy enough to back a quilt but I think I want to make some sort of wearable with it. Hmmm…. decisions, decisions.

As I brought these up in the basket, along with a few oddball pieces, Carol (the seamstress) smiled and remarked my basket wasn’t yet full. I looked around and saw an antique unfinished Dresden quilt top stuffed into a corner. All hand stitched to a very thin muslin (as was often the case with this sort of quilt).

The blocks are huge at 18″ across. The fabrics look like the 1940’s – 1950’s. I picked it up and she said to add it to the basket. My plan is to pick the blocks apart – there are twelve blocks in good enough condition to use. Then I will fuse a very thin stabilizer to them since that muslin is so thin. Add some sashing from my vintage fabric collection and it will be a quilt top again. I am really looking forward to finishing this one and it shouldn’t be a huge project.

As I was waiting to pay, I saw this little quilt folded up on the counter. Apparently Carol had picked up the center patchwork piece and added borders to it. The little squares are 1 1/2″ and all hand stitched. It had been tied intermittently. I believe it looks like the remaining 1/2 of a quilt – if you look at the pattern, I think it continued into full square with that navy blue having been at the center. I am not terribly fond of the borders that were added. They are filled with puffy batting, probably a polyester. But it was calling to me. I could leave it as is and just give it a wash or I can consider taking those borders off and reworking it. Looking at the fabrics, the patchwork portion was also made in the 1940’s or so.

Julia will be busy this week with the county fair. Hard to believe her time with Leo has come to a close. Why is it that time goes by faster and faster?? Since we share a car, I will likely be home quite a bit which means lots of time to sew. I started a purse for myself a couple of days ago and want to finish that up. The quilting on my friend’s memory quilt is very close to being finished. Those two projects will be the focus for this week. How about you?