Good morning everyone! I wanted to pop in and let you know the names were drawn for the prizes for this link up. Mercyful Quilts is truly grateful for both the quilts being made as well as the sponsors who have donated gifts for these quilters! The next time you are looking for just the right pattern to make, please check the shops for our sponsors. You will surely find just what you are looking for!
Congrats to these quilters! I have emailed you so please check your in-box for the information. The next link up will be to show your finished quilts. This happens during the end of August.
The turnout for this year’s event is a bit less than last year. Who knows why? Maybe people are busier this summer. Maybe it is too darn hot across the whole country to be sewing. (I cannot believe how scorched much of the US is right now!!) At any rate, we are grateful for those who are participating. If you are working on your quilt and not making the time schedule, no problem. The need at Mercy Hospital is constant so we will happily receive your quilt donation at any time! If you feel overwhelmed and cannot finish the total number of blocks please make as many as you want to complete your quilt. While the pattern calls for 80 blocks, a generous quilt can be accomplished with less than that. Especially if you add a pretty border to enlarge it.
I hope you are sitting down as you read this because I have some news! Not only have I finished my quilt top for the 2022 Pos QAL, but I have pieced the backing. There is more! The binding is cut! The quilt is basted! I know, I know – this is shocking. I am almost positive I have never finished a QAL within the stated timespan. What is happening here??? Is my plan to focus on one project at a time actually working? I feel like I don’t even know myself anymore. Hahaha.
OK – Closing for now. I have the pleasure of staying with my grand daughters next week for a couple of days while their parents have a quick getaway. No sewing will be happening but lots of fun will be had!
Because blog posts are much more fun to read if they have pictures, here are some fun ones!
Last Saturday was a busy day and so very much fun! Being new to the area, I wanted to go to a quilt show up in Sequim which is about 1 1/4 hours from my house. Luckily I met a woman who lives nearby and also wanted to go so we took a road trip together. The quilt show was outdoors in a park which made the whole Covid thing feel less of an issue. It could be tough to manage an outdoor show in this area due to all of the rain we have but everyone got lucky and we just had cool cloudy weather.
I took lots of pictures for ideas and inspiration. The show wasn’t juried but there was a vote for each category so Susan and I went off and chose our favorites. The people seemed so friendly, probably because everyone was thrilled to be back at an in-person show! It has been a long time.
The best part of this quilt was the little pictures of people (and a cat!) driving the cars. I was really tickled by this. The license plates showed names, I suppose of the person driving the cars. It was so creative.
My friend and I browsed the guild’s boutique area so we could be sure to show out support. 😉 We both bought these two kits. The pieces for the Native Rays kit and the Hollow Hexi kit both are cut with an older Alison Glass line of fabric. I think the arrow quilt will be fun to do and hang in my sewing room. The hexi kit will be made a bit larger with borders and then (eventually) donated as a Mercyful quilt. I haven’t made anything like this before but I am up for something different. Plus they were a steal. I found the Hollow Hexi kit on-line for $120. Both were sold for one dollar each. I don’t know why they were priced so low?
When I saw this book of postcards, I was first drawn to the label because it is from the Shelburne Museum. This museum was very close to my son’s house when they lived in Vermont and I have been there a couple of times. I thumbed through the postcards and they are lovely so I am going to have fun mailing them out. Again, one dollar well spent! Finally, there was a rack of quilt tops that were for sale. I chose a pink one and planning to enlarge it with a couple of borders and then donate it. I actually also worked on this already and it is ready to be quilted! I’ll share photos later on.
Across the way from the park was the local quilt shop, A Stitch in Time. I restrained myself from buying but did do some wandering through the shop, perusing their fabrics. It is a great shop with a big selection. Will I ever tire of just looking at fabric? No, no I won’t! Fabric shops exude potential, inspiration, and creativity. I am always itching to go home and sew when I am in a nice shop.
I had no idea this area was well know for its lavender production. We happened to be there during their annual Lavender Festival. People drive from farm to farm enjoying the gorgeous fields of lavender. We stopped at this farm and walked a bit. It was exquisite. The fragrance was incredible with all of the different varieties in bloom.
The house we just bought has quite a few lavender plants and I am enjoying cutting bunches of it for the house.
In sewing related projects, I have been continuing the effort to sew with what is on the fabric shelves. Check out the picture above – I have unpacked everything!! Each piece of fabric I have is now on a shelf. I am thrilled. It feels good to have it out and available. I have quite a number of unfinished projects to work on. They are all organized and I am enjoying working through them.
Both grand daughters are old enough for regular books. But I have several of these panels left over and the story is such a sweet one. So I made up a copy for them and gave it to them last time they were over. I made up two more for gifting in the future. It would be a nice book to read with little ones during the Thanksgiving holiday season. (If you are interested in buying one, I have five panels left. Leave me a comment and we can work it out.)
Today is the last day to link up your quilt top for the 2022 Positivity QAL. If you want to link up, click here. Prizes will be distributed over the weekend at some point. Otherwise, we will be back in a month with a parade of finished quilts to share!
We have reached the middle of July which means it is time to link up your quilt tops for the 2022 Positivity QAL! I can’t quite explain how we are already to this point. It sure doesn’t feel like that much time has passed. This is a fun link up and there will be a drawing for prizes at the end of this week!!
I have to be honest with you. I only have 26 blocks completed. This is not enough for a quilt top so I cannot share one today. I could make up all sorts of reasons for this. Instead I will just blame it on Julia. She was home for a month for summer break and we got to spend lots of time together.
The time passed and a few days ago Julia returned to California and her college life. This means more time for sewing. I will keep working on the blocks for this cute southwestern themed quilt. The pieces are cut so I need to keep plugging away at it. You know, watching how quickly others are getting their blocks and quilt tops done, I have decided I must be a very slow quilter. These are easy blocks but it seems like at each sitting I only get four or five completed. (There were also a couple of times I had to rip out the blocks because I was distracted by an audio book or podcast and got sloppy.) Whatever the reason, I am not one who can whip out a quilt top. Slow and steady wins the race…
Please do link up your progress – I am excited to see what you have made!! By chance if you are participating and do not have a blog post to link, you are welcome to send me a picture of the quilt top and I will add it to this post. You will be included in the drawing for prizes at the end of the week.
Updating this post to add photos of quilt tops sent to me today. 🙂
Also – an update on the previous post which included a giveaway of the My Sewing Workshop book. The winner has been selected and it is Kathy U!! Congrats to Kathy.
Receiving a review copy this new book by C&T Publishing, My Sewing Workshop, by Annabel Wrigley, made me so excited to teach my grand daughters to sew. Wrigley wrote the book as a guid for young people to learn to sew on their own. If the girls were about 10 – 12 years old, the book would be perfect for that. Because they are much younger, I would utilize the book differently. For me, the book is the perfect outline of how to teach children to sew. It is like having a complete lesson plan with tons of projects all photographed and explained perfectly. What a treasure this book is!
The layout of the book is done well. Wrigley explains the process of threading a machine, the basic parts of a sewing machine, as well as the difference in the types of fabric used in the projects (cotton, felt and canvas).
The projects are earmarked as Easy Peasy, Teeny Bit Challenging, and the most difficult – Take Your Time and Ask for Help. She does an excellent job explaining safety and is sure to tell a student when they need to have the help of an adult (eg using a staple gun or hot glue gun).
This is such a great exercise. I know my five year old granddaughter would love to pick the thread color and trace the lines. I also know I wouldn’t have thought to have her go through the exercise. Wrigley moves on to a very large zig zag for the student to trace which teaches the process of leaving the needle down and pivoting at each corner. H would want to change thread colors a million times but that is the fun of it and it is certain this Grammy has thread in every color of the rainbow for her to explore.
Hand stitching is an important part of being able to sew. There are seams to close and fun embroidery to learn. I loved this suggestion for sewing an opening closed. A while back, H was working on a little sewing project with me (I will post more on that later) and there was a bit of hand sewing to be done. I told her I would do it for her but as usual, her response was “no Grammy, I can do it”. Basically she did know how to do it but holding the project and moving the needle in and out was challenging. I think if I had her hold the object between her knees she would have been more successful.
Beyond hand stitching there are also lessons for sewing on a button, inserting a zipper and doing appliqué. This book explains it all!
Let’s check out some of the projects that are offered. The ideas are adorable and there is something for every child. (Side note here – the only area I find lacking in the book is none of the projects show a boy sewing or use masculine themes. Many of them could be adjusted toward a boy. I realize not many boys enjoy sewing but this is changing and should be encouraged in publications such as this.)
The cross body pouch shown above is classified as “Teeny Bit Challenging” so it is in the middle, skill wise. Depending on the age of the student, these ratings will sometimes be less accurate. But the book is written for independent use by a middle school child. If I were using it for H, this project would be too difficult. However there are lots of easier projects to be made.
This project really appeals to me. Cupcakes are fun at any age and this would be so easy to make. Cutting out the shapes and fusing to the background, then adding the top stitching would be something a beginner could achieve and be successful. Also, one could use any shape here. (By the way, crayon books provide a great opportunity for easy appliqué stencils.) There are many more projects including a cover for a tablet or iPad, a sweet lavender sachet, and fun decorations for their bedroom. I love the yo-yo garland which uses felt to make various sizes of yo-yos. There is a fun bunting and a fabric tassel garland (no sewing needed here). I strongly recommend the book.
I could see many ways this book could be utilized. Leaders for Girl Scouts or 4-H could use this when helping kids work toward a sewing and/or crafting badge. Grammy’s such as me could teach their little ones to sew. It would be a wonderful gift for that special child or grandchild during the holidays. Wrap it in fabric instead of paper for a double gift!
If you aren’t familiar with Annabel Wrigley already, here are her social media feeds and website. She is very clever and has taught many students. Year of great experience is shared with us in this book.
To making things even more exciting, I have one copy of the e-book to give to a lucky reader! If you are interested in winning the e-book, please leave me a comment telling a memory about when you learned to sew. Who taught you? How old were you? I would love to know. If you want to read about my early experiences with sewing, check out this post. Good luck all!
Someone said ‘every finish line is the start of a new race’ but for me it is the start of a new quilt. I am now allowed to work on 2022’s Positivity Quilt! As well as all of the other little distractions that pop up along the way.
This quilt doesn’t have nearly as many blocks as Preeti (Sew Preeti Quilts) called for but I decided it was a large enough quilt at this point. All of the pluses are either a shade of blue or yellow and with one exception, all backgrounds are various grays. The blue cross with yellow background came from Alycia (Alycia Quilts). She included this with her quilt when she donated it – you know, a year ago, when we were supposed to have finished these! I thought it was a perfect pop for this quilt so my quilt was technically made by me and Alycia!
There is a border of deep yellow framing the blocks and a dark blue binding. The binding was selected by my sisters. I texted them when I just couldn’t decide and they chose blue. Smart call on their part, as this looks great!
The backing is a piece called Abiding Reverie from Art Gallery Fabric. I had it in my shop because it reminded me of vintage sheets (which you all know I have a strong affinity for). It is such a cheerful fabric. There is still some left which makes me happy.
After doing straight line quilting both horizontally and vertically, I did this little design on each plus. I am so happy with the new machine my sister gave me. It is so easy to quilt on compared the the older machine I was using. I still don’t have a walking foot yet and the straight line quilting was actually more of a challenge than the FMQ. I had a few puckers since the fabric wasn’t being moved from top and bottom.
This is a finish and I am thrilled with it. I think I will wait and mail it to Mercy with the second quilt. Having this beauty sitting in my sewing room will motivate me to finish the 2022 project! Thank you Preeti for hosting this event, both last year and this!
Linking to my usual favorites. Check them out at the top of the page, under Link Ups.
Happy 4th everyone! It sure doesn’t feel like July here. We are having a bout of unseasonably cool weather and the high for today is only supposed to be 69 degrees (about 20 degrees C). We are heading to my sister’s house for a BBQ but it won’t be very warm out!
Whenever I am ‘supposed’ to be working on something it seems like everything but that project appeals to me. Why does this happen? I should be working on piecing the blocks for the 2022 Positivity QAL. I have the pieces cut and I did get some of them pieced. I think about 20 blocks are made. But all sorts of other ideas keep popping into my head. So you know what I did? I set those QAL blocks aside and played with other fabrics.
Part of the reason is I wanted to make things that take no thought. The last couple of days I have had a cold dragging me down. Summer colds are unfair in my opinion and this one opened the way for a couple of summer squirrel projects.
Here is one project but I actually made this one about a month ago and never shared it. We have one very tattered USA flag that was left at the house by the previous owners. When the girls were here they marched around with it. It looks awful and there was only one flag to march with. Not a great situation. I found some patriotic fabric on the shelf and made two little flags for them.
I think they are super cute. The girls weren’t overwhelmed with them. Maybe the timing wasn’t right. Or maybe they prefer marching around with just one worn out flag? Who knows? But these are sweet and I am sure they will use them at some point. I did glue the fabric to the dowel so the flag stays on the pole. A few drops of superglue on the dowel and that fabric is well attached.
Back to this week’s squirrel. While I was dragging around with this annoying cold I decided I wanted to make something really simple. I had just read through the Quilting Daily email newsletter where they quoted McCalls Quilting editor, Lori Baker, “If you feel like a challenge, do something new, learn something. And if you are feeling a little fragile, do something simple so your success is assured.” Mistakes happen all the time but I am more prone to them if tired or not feeling well. So an easy project was called for.
This floral fabric was left over from making a table runner for my DIL several years ago. It is a home dec fabric from Jo-Ann’s. I washed the fabric and some matching solid fabric and dried it on high heat to make sure it was pre-shrunk. After pressing it, I cut three rectangles measuring 13″ x 19″ and did the same with the lining.
I assembled all three, right sides together, and stitched the perimeter. Flipped them right side out, poked out the corners and pressed them again. Finally I top-stitched around the edge at the 1/8″ mark. I think they are really cute.
Clearly I should work as a photography stylist. This table looks absolutely incredible. Hahaha. The placemats look cute and since we have white dishes everything works together. Simple and successful – just what I needed. Plus I used up fabric off my shelf.
Last weekend two of my sons and their wives took Julia out to celebrate her 21st birthday. Her birthday was in May but since she wasn’t home to celebrate, the kids wanted to take her out. It seemed like they had a great time. However three days later, one of my boys and one of my daughters-in-law tested positive for Covid. Yuk. Because it was Andrew from one family and Shar from the other, it was clear the contact was made while they were all out together. They both first showed symptoms on the same day. Even worse, this whole group was excited because they were supposed to go on a camping trip up at Mt. Ranier which they had been planning for weeks and weeks. The trip was cancelled. My older grand daughter was so distraught when told they couldn’t go on the trip. Her mama set up a tent in the backyard so they could pretend camp while Daddy was in bed feeling miserable.
This fun didn’t last for too long. From here it only got worse. My other DIL and both grand daughters got sick and tested positive.
Such a rotten time for all of them. Julia escaped it as did one of the guys. But the rest of them have been fairly sick. Julia had to isolate for quite a while and wear a mask when she wasn’t in her room. But it has been long enough now we feel confident she won’t get it.
It seems like the girls are over the worst of it. It is amazing how quickly children can bounce back but not so much with the adults. One of my DIL’s still feels awful. What a rotten virus this is. This picture shows the detritus of a house with two sick adults and two sick kids. Blankets everywhere, water bottles and snacks. Playing with dad’s video game is a special treat though and the girls enjoyed this diversion. I wish I could have them helped out. It has been a tough week for them.
I will be back in a couple of days to share a finish. I got my 2021 Positivity quilt finished and just need to take some pictures and wash it. Can’t wait to share it with you. Enjoy the holiday everyone!