Look another little quilt headed to Jack’s Basket! As a result of my cleaning efforts in the sewing room, I put some scrappy nine patch blocks together that had been sitting in a pile for quite some time. It felt so nice to use up the blocks and make this sweet little quilt.
It is so bright and cheerful. I quilted straight lines on the diagonal. At first I was stitching across the wonky stars but it looked funny so I took that out. I think the stars look best without any quilting. The lines were just freehand with the corners of each square guiding me. Because the quilting is very light, the quilt has a cozy drape to it.
Purple flannel on the back makes for a soft, cuddly quilt. For the binding, I used a bit of a yellow print from an older line by Jeni Baker, back when she was designing for Art Gallery Fabric. I even had the right size scrap of batting for this. Isn’t it great to use up some fabric that has been sitting for a while?
I had not yet mailed the You Are My Sunshine whole cloth quilt yet so both of these will go out together next week. I am not positive, but I think this is either the seventh or eighth quilt I have finished this year. Most of these were were made with flimsies that have been sitting which is super satisfying! Still another month to go this year. Will I have time to finish another quilt? Time will tell!
With the onset of the pandemic and especially when everything shut down, my shop went nuts. It took me by surprise, never having owned an on-line business during a pandemic before. (Who knew??). Anyway, I was happy to provide fabric to the many, many people making masks as well as quilters who were not able to physically go into their LQS. As a result of this increase though, I was really busy and had almost no time to sew.
Things have changed and many people are venturing into brick and mortar shops (which is good for the shop owners, as long as people are being careful and masking up.) I think the frenetic mask making has slowed down a tiny bit as well. Thus my shop has gone back to a more realistic level of sales for one person to handle. What does this mean? More time to sew!! Hurray.
This week I had the opportunity to learn to use my friend Sophia’s Baby Lock Tiara sit down quilter. It is a dream. The wide throat is incredible and it sews with a nice even stitch. So much easier than using my Janome (which while it has a bigger throat, is getting old and tired) for FMQ.
When I wanted to first try it, I decided to just bring a piece of cloth over – I wasn’t sure how successful I would be and didn’t want to bring anything I had pieced. I have had a yard of this cute fabric sitting on the shelf for a good 4 or 5 years. I am sure it was a border print made for a panel but I think it is adorable. I used to sing this song to my kids when putting them to bed and now I love hearing my son sing it to his girls.
I decided to use it as a whole cloth baby quilt for donation. To practice with Sophia’s machine, I just stippled this. It was so fun and so incredibly quick. It took (almost) as long to pin baste it as to quilt it.
The bold blue polka dots on the back are really cute. You can see the stippling a bit better on the back side. I used an off-white thread which doesn’t really show on the front.
Now there is a cute baby quilt ready for donation and I have a little practice under my belt with the Tiara machine. It is rather tiny in size (30 x 36″) so I will need to see which organizations can utilize a quilt of this size.
So that is a (small finish for me! Used a little bit of fabric off the shelf, learned to use a cool machine and have a donation ready for someone! My next project with the machine will be the jelly roll quilt I recently pieced. I am looking forward to getting some tops finished up! 🙂
Popping in today to share a few things with all of you. Many of us are having a tough time trying to deal with all that has happened over the past couple of weeks in our country. Much unrest, anger, sadness and feelings of helplessness seem to have settled over much of our world. There are ways to help and to remain positive though. Lots of people are trying to provide support where they can, donate to various organizations, and be really vocal about the changes that need to be made.
To this end, there is an auction starting today on Instagram. Hosted and organized by MrDomestic, many artists, quilters and people of all sorts have donated things to be auctioned off. There are a variety of items in all sorts of price ranges – from beautiful skeins of yarn, to out of print and collectible fabrics (think Tula Pink and Heather Ross) to amazing quilts and children’s clothing – something is sure to appeal to you! I know there are items on the feed that I am going to keep an eye on for sure.
Needle and Foot has donated both a $75 gift certificate to the shop as well as a bundle of fat quarters by Sharon Holland to the auction. This is a great way to contribute to a much needed cause. There are many, many items for auction so take some time to enjoy some scrolling and shopping!
You can find details about which organizations will be supported by clicking here. I like this format for fund raising as it allows people to help both by donating our hand crafted items or supplies as well as purchasing beautiful things and all of the money raised goes directly to the charitable organization. I hope you will go to visit the auction which is on @mrdauctionhouse. Also, please share this far and wide on all social media feeds – the more bidders, the better! (Try saying that a few times in a row!)
Moving on but still talking about ways to contribute in our world. This is a feel good project many of us have worked on in the past. Amy, of A Doll Like Me, is running low on hospital gowns for the dolls. She would LOVE to have us make more and send them over to her. For those of you who are not familiar, click here to read the post from last year. Amy’s dolls go to special needs children. She sends them their special doll (who looks just like the child) along with a handmade doll quilt – donated by so many of you – as well as a hospital gown, if needed. Many of these children are in and out of the hospital on a regular basis. They often bring their dolls with them and Amy likes to give the doll a gown much like what the child will wear during his/her stay. The gowns are super easy to make and you only need a fat quarter of fabric and some narrow, double fold bias tape. Truly a wonderful and easy way to contribute. If you have time (and I know you have fabric!!) would you consider making one or two (or ten?!?) and sending them to Amy in Wisconsin? If you need the mailing info for the gowns, please comment and I will email it privately. Just in case you didn’t keep the tutorial for making the gowns, you will find it here.
Finally, I want to share a sampling of the quilts that have arrived recently for Mercy Hospital.
I cannot thank all of you enough for making these amazing quilts and donating them to Mercyful Quilts.
Truly you are the best of the best!!!
These quilts will be loved and appreciated by their recipients.
Thank you, thank you, thank you!!
How could I close without a baby picture to make you smile. Yesterday, big sister took this picture of little sis. Doesn’t it look like the baby is giving her big sis the stink eye? That one eyebrow raise is hilarious. I love this one. Hope you do too!
Everyone – please hang in there. Our world feels upside down right now. Breathe in and out, try to find a calm place so you are able to react and help in whatever way works best for you. Let us hope all of this anger results in positive change.
I have been looking forward to the mail delivery and the UPS guy daily. Most days they bring me a wonderful package to open. It’s like Christmas around here!! Sarah’s amazing Hands2Help event is finishing up at the end of the month so quilts are being mailed to various organizations all over the map. Mercy Hospital in Sacramento is one of the (incredibly grateful) recipients.I have opened quilts from throughout the US – Florida, Texas, Arizona, and North Carolina among others!
I thought it was time to share the bounty with you. I took pictures of some of the quilts but not all. This was not done with any rhyme or reason. I wanted to share some of these and it just isn’t feasible to photograph all of them. Not enough hours in the day, right? But I will say this – ALL of the quilts are amazing. Each one is uniquely beautiful and all of them are clearly made with love and compassion.
Let’s take a look at these beauties!
These were both made by Emily of Darling Dogwood. Both have gorgeous batiks in similar colors but the light and dark backgrounds sure make for a different vibe.
I have to say I don’t know Ann but isn’t she a talented quilter? Her choice of colors and patterns are just wonderful! I love both of the patterns she used for her quilts.
Ok – three quilts from three wonderful women. Top left came from Kim C. in Florida, top right was made by Erica in Arizona and bottom center by the wonderful Linda R. in Texas. Thank you ladies!!!
These two are so much fun. Top left is from Anny who lives about 2 hours from me and I have had the pleasure of meeting in ‘real life’. She made this with a group from the Sacramento MQG – so cool that they chose to donate to a hospital local to them! The other came from Selina who lives in Florida. Thank you so much!!
Two more lovelies – Trudie sent her quilt all the way from Texas and Kathryn sent hers over from Pennsylvania. These beauties will bring great comfort to their recipients.
This quilt came from Cyndy in Oregon – she blogs at Quilting is More Fun than Housework. (I got lazy and used a picture from her blog post!!). Anyway, the thing I love about this quilt is it is made up of orphan blocks! Her orphan blocks look like they were planned and made to go together. I was pretty surprised when I read this. It is really beautiful and she did a great job of laying these out and making them work!
As I said before, there are more and I am so very thankful for each of the quilts donated. It never ceases to amaze me how generous the quilting community is. Quilts of this caliber take so much time! Not to mention the expense of fabric and batting. And then, beyond all that, spending $20 to mail the quilt somewhere! I am grateful to know all of you and thankful you thought of Mercyful quilts when you wanted to give someone such a lovely gift.
Oh how I love this event! Each year Sarah from Confessions of a Fabric Addict hosts an event, Hands 2 Help, to encourage quilters to donate some of their work to various organizations. I have participated numerous times over the years. I have donated quilts to various places and have marveled at the number of quilts made and gifted each May. Last year and this year I am going to donate as well as coordinate the receiving of many beautiful quilts for Mercyful Quilts.
Over the past several weeks, the quilts have started to arrive. It is so fun to open the packages and see the color schemes, block patterns and quilting styles on each one. From simple to ornate, each one is beautiful and very much appreciated. I promise to share them with you – I still need to take pictures though.
As I thought about the event from the donor perspective this year, I knew I would donate one to Mercy Hospital – you all know how strongly I feel about their program. I will be giving them the blue and yellow star quilt I wrote about in my post two weeks ago. I also wanted to donate to our local Project Linus group. As I started to look at fabric, I decided it was silly to make a new quilt for them. I have a small stack of baby quilts in the closet that I made for the fun of it but never used or gave away. It seemed more practical to give one of those away than to make another one.
I chose to give them the Fireburst Quilt I made a while ago during a quilt along hosted by Tish’s Adventures in Wonderland. It is such a sweet quilt and should be used. Yesterday I washed and dried it since it had been in the closet for some time. It is all soft and crinkly now – ready for a child in need.
I love the colors used for this quilt – they are bright and cheerful. I remember when I started to spiral quilt this I worried it would be stiff so I decided to gradually widen the space between the spirals. It worked out well and I like how soft and puffy it is.
The fabric on the backing is Folk Fleur from the Meriwether line by Amy Gibson. It is sweet with tiny flowers floating across the fabric. (There is just a bit left in the sale section of the shop.) I used a zig zag stitch to quilt the border which added a bit of whimsy.
I am really happy to give this quilt to Project Linus. I love making them but it doesn’t make any sense to leave them unused in the closet. I know many people have stacks of their quilts throughout the house and that is what works for them. I feel like quilts are to be used. This one needs to belong to a child.
I am excited to see the numbers for this year. It seems with each year more and more quilts are donated as part of Hands 2 Help. With the quarantine in place this year, and many people unemployed, it might be a lesser number? This would be totally understandable too. Are you participating? If so, thank you for your generosity!! Thank you also to Sarah for spending so much time organizing this inspirational event each spring.
I recently had a conversation with the chairperson of our Community Service team within our local quilt guild. We were talking about the recipients of the quilts we make and the quantity of quilts she had available. The discussion came around to our local Children’s Protective Services team. This team includes officers of our Sherrif’s Department who have the very sad task of removing children from home’s where they are not in good, safe situations.
These officers like to carry blankets in the trunk of their cars so they can wrap up a child if needed when removing them and taking the child to social services and a foster home. The officers asked for blankets or quilts without batting. These kiddos are often put into carseats and the quilts can be too thick.
Thinking about this need, I decided to make some blankets with quilting cotton and flannel. These would be cozy and so easy to make. Plus they wouldn’t take up much room in the carseat. To do this, I looked at my stash as well as the fabric in the shop and selected some pieces that worked together nicely.
The sizes of the blankets were somewhat dictated by the pieces of fabric I wanted to use. The first blanket I made turned out to be 42″ square when finished. I cut pieces of flannel and quilting cotton that were each 1 and 1/4 yards – so almost a 45″ square, depending on the width of the fabric. I pre-washed everything because flannel is known to shrink a bit. After pre-washing, I pressed all of the fabrics and laid them out, right sides together. Then I squared up the pieces. A quick stitching around the perimeter, leaving about five inches open to turn it right side out, took little time. Once the corners were popped out nicely, I pressed the seams and top-stitched around the perimeter at a 1/8″ margin. I top-stitched again about two inches inside of that first go around.
I have a number of yards of gray flannel in my stash that has been sitting for a long while. It looks great with these silly animals. I am sure it will work with other pieces as well and will try and use more of it for these sorts of blankets.
For each blanket I cut one piece of flannel and the other woven cotton. However this could be easily adapted according to the stash a person has to use. Stretch knits would work and be really cozy. A woven cotton backed with minky or cuddle fabric is also a great idea. All of these are thinner than a typical quilt.
On of the blankets I made is quite a bit smaller because I had a little piece of flannel I wanted to use. It finished at 32 inches square. The navy flannel with sweet little daisies is so soft and the size will be perfect for a smaller child or toddler.
The need for these blankets makes me so sad. Last year these officers had to remove about 100 children from bad situations within our county. I couldn’t believe that number. It is much more than I would have guessed. If the blankets are helpful in this awful time for a child, I am happy to make them. They take little in the way of supplies or time and might be soothing during a scary time. I plan to bring these to our community service group and check to see if other guild members might want to make one or two. Really, they take so little time and most likely we all have one yard cuts waiting to be used.
OK – Let’s talk about the Trash to Treasure giveaway now! I have mentioned before that two of my sisters have an Etsy shop together. It is called 6 Monkeys & Co and they make and sell custom children’s clothing and gifts. One of my favorite things they make are traditional baby bonnets. They are soooo sweet and make a wonderful (very affordable) handmade baby gift for a newborn. Please take a peak here to see them. If you find yourself in need of a fantastic gift for a grandchild, niece or nephew, be sure check out their shop.
Anyway, when my sisters are sewing, they are inclined to toss their scraps. When you are a garment maker, it doesn’t make sense to keep these pieces of fabric if they aren’t big enough to cut into a useful piece (sleeve, skirt, collar, etc) for a piece of clothing. But as a quilter, I want all the scraps, ALL THE TIME! So Cathy and Patti save them for me. At the moment, I have accumulated tons. Sometimes I cut them into 5″ squares and figure I will make an I Spy quilt. But let’s be real. This pile is growing and I think it is time to share the wealth. If you would like to have some of these, please leave a comment. I will pick two winners and each will receive a great package of assorted scraps. Some are novelty fabrics, some blenders and lots of little florals and stripes. My sisters only save the larger scraps as I explained I wanted to be able to cut five inch squares with them so the pieces are really usable. The fabrics are great quality and would make a really fun scrappy quilt. Giveaway open through Friday, January 31st.
NOTE – Giveaway Now Closed. Thanks for entering!! Congrats to Sam and Sharon – winners of all these fun scraps!
I have almost finished my January goal which was to quilt and bind my Squared Away quilt. I will share that later this week. For now though, how about some scrappy treasures?? Happy sewing all.
Sharing at some of my favorite link ups. Check them out at the top of the page, under link-ups.
Currently many quilters are making tree theme quilt blocks to donate to the Woolongong Modern Quilt Guild in Australia. This chapter of the MQG is making quilts for the families who lost their homes in the currently raging bushfires. As a native of California, I am too familiar with the devastation of wildfires and am happy to contribute a few blocks to the cause.
Here is some of the information as posted by the Woolongong MQG on their Facebook page. If you hop over to their Facebook page, there are some blocks shown for inspiration. You will likely see many on the other quilt blogs right about now. Side note – if you are following RSC2020, this is the perfect month to make the tree blocks since the scrap color for January is green.
How you can help: We have decided to make tree blocks. The tree is a symbol of growth and nourishment. A tree symbolizes the generations of a family; a tree sprouts from a seed, the roots provide strength and stability, and whilst the new sapling is young and vulnerable they are protected by the other trees until they grow and flourish. In time the branches spread and then create new fruit that gives life to the next generation.
There is no restriction to one type of tree block. We would love our quilts to be beautiful and diverse just like our wonderful communities ….. If you would like to help, please make a tree block of a generous 12.5 inch square using a low volume / white or pale grey background. Once completed please send to:
Wollongong Modern Quilt Guild PO Box 54 Jamberoo New South Wales AUSTRALIA 2533
We are going to distribute the quilts made to the families who have lost everything. We would like to ask that blocks be mailed for arrival by the end of February. We thank you in advance for your support. #bushfireblocks
For my blocks, I chose to use the tutorial written by Kirsty Cleverly over at Bonjour Quilts. It is a bit different than some of the other blocks and I like the look of it. Plus, they come together quickly. Aren’t they cute? I like the three tones of green in each one.
There are certainly other tree blocks you might choose to make. This pine tree block is really cute and simple. The tree portion (it was drafted for a pillow) creates a 12 1/2″ block which is great for this. The Tree of Life block is traditional and lovely but oh my, so many HST’s. If you are interested though, here is a tutorial over at Fat Quarter Shop.
Post Update: I just learned of an incredible tutorial for another tree block! Designed by Linda at Flourishing Palms, she created the tree to emulate the shape of Australia. I love it! Click here for a well written tutorial for this cool block.
I know there are plans to set up a station at QuiltCon in February to collect blocks. If you know someone going to the show, or if you are going, it might be nice to gather blocks from quilters local to you and contribute them there. This will certainly will save on mailing expenses. Our local guild is making blocks and I am hopeful there will be quite a few to mail in. (If you happen to be a local member, please bring your blocks to the Tuesday night meeting in February!). Hoping you’ll be moved to make a block or two for this worthy cause – Happy Weekend everyone!!
I am supposed to be at a class today. I have been really looking forward to it – Mel Beach came up from the South Bay to teach a workshop for our guild. But, as you can probably guess, the past two days were migraine days and I am wiped out today. It seemed ‘too difficult’ to cart the sewing machine and supplies and be in class, listening and comprehending a technique today. The day or two after a migraine are just weary for me. So, I am home.
I thought I would catch up with you. It has been a while since I have shared the Mercyful Quilts I’ve received. They are just gorgeous, I am sure you will agree!
As always, the quilts are stunning. Each one is so unique and more beautiful than the last. Mercy Hospital’s Palliative Care team is so grateful for these. I hope you know how much your work and generosity are appreciated by staff and the families who are given these comforting, loving quilts. If this program is new to you, read this post and this one to see what it is all about!
I have been running out of space in the shop so I ordered a wire shelving rack. It is now filled with Art Gallery Fabric, my favorite of all fabric. Isn’t it a pleasure to look at this and just think of the projects one could make??? I have a box of AGF arriving today and I can’t wait. There will be a couple of new colors from the Pure Elements solid line as well as a few more from Maureen Cracknell’s Sun Kissed line. It’s like Christmas morning every time a box shows up!!
I am out of Mary Ellen’s Best Press and went to order a bottle on-line. Did you have any idea of the number of scents it is made with? I thought there was just the regular Mary Ellen’s – this caught me by surprise. Just what do you suppose “Caribbean Beach” smells like?? Of course I ordered unscented. I am not a fan of fragrance – not in lotion, creams – none of it. This was news to me. (I lead such an exciting life.)
OK – Better get busy. My project for today is to make a couple of simple curtains for the Downieville house. There is a stairwell off the kitchen, leading to the basement and it has a couple of windows. Those windows are single pane and can be quite warm in summer and chilly in winter. I am going to use this vintage sheet and line them with a heavy muslin. I think that will help and they will look cute. The old fashioned floral is perfect for the house. I have an old curtain from the window to use for measurements so this should be a quick project. (if my post-migraine brain cooperates.) Wish me luck!
If you haven’t yet read the fantastic comments and discussion on this post, please do! So many quilters are sharing their mistakes and quilting blunders. So funny to read these and very validating!! There is time to enter a comment sharing your experience as well. ( I am definitely reading all of them and trying to comment on most – it has been a challenge because of my head.) Prizes are offered!! Winners drawn Saturday morning. Go check it out.
Good morning! Just popping in to let you know I am guest posting over at Confessions of a Fabric Addict today. I am thrilled to tell you that Mercyful Quilts is one of the recipients of the quilts made for the 2019 Hands2Help event hosted each year by Sarah!!
Each day this week on Sarah’s blog, a representative for the charitable organizations receiving quilts this year is posting about their group or charity. I have a post about Mercyful Quilts on her blog today. I hope you will hop over to read more about the event and if you choose to, it would be great to sign up and participate! Check back each day this week and learn more about the other wonderful groups you might want to make a quilt for.
Thanks to Sarah for hosting this amazing annual event. This is the ninth year of Hands2Help!! Amazing, right? Thus far, over 1,450 quilts have been made and donated to a variety of groups. I have participated a couple of times and it is very rewarding!
Happy Friday everyone! It has been really busy here between the shop, the usual migraine nonsense and… wait for it…. getting ready to leave for Vermont! I am going to be watching my grand daughter for three weeks. Her mama has to go to Washington DC for a month long training session and asked if I would come and help out while my son is with H. He commutes a fair bit to work and back which makes H’s daycare time much longer if he is on his own with her. Between that and snow days and the usual illnesses she is always coming down with, it will be good to have another person there. I am looking forward to it as much as my DIL is NOT looking forward to it. You know? I feel terrible for her to have to leave for so long. She is a medical resident in Radiology at the University of Burlington and has known this was coming for the last several years but now that it is actually time to go, ugh! She is such a trooper and is trying to make the best of a lousy situation.
I have been cooking meals and freezing them so Ray and Julia don’t have to cook quite as much while I am gone. They both have long days and it will be nice to have a few things they can just pull out of the freezer and heat up. Also, my friend Sophia has been coming over and learning to run my shop for me. She is such a good friend and I am incredibly grateful she is able to do this for me. She will cut orders and ship them for the next few weeks. I have known her for a long while and we are both into quilting and sewing. She will have everything under control while I am away!
I did play a bit in the sewing room this week, though not as much as I would have liked (is there ever enough hours in the day?). I had four custom orders, two are finished and the other two are prepped to be completed today.
Inspired by watching Marie Kondo on Netflix the other day, I thought I would clear out some old fabric that just wasn’t ‘sparking joy’ for me any longer and give it away. But as soon as I sat down and started going through things, I found this panel I had picked up at a garage sale last fall. That was the end of the Konmari cleaning effort!
I just love this panel. I did several reverse image searches to try and find it on-line and see what line it was from. One person on Facebook or Instagram (?) commented that she made pillow cases with it in the 1980’s for her children. So it is an older fabric. I wasn’t sure what to do with it but finally decided to make a doll quilt with it for A Doll Like Me. It is so pretty and, at 22″ x 26″, just the right size for this.
I found a batting scrap and some backing fabric and quickly put it all together.
I love the pig and unicorn both!
The quilting is basic since it really doesn’t show up and the animals are the star of the show here.
Lions, tigers and bears, oh my!
I free motioned around most of the animals and some of the vines to hold everything together. Around the outer border I FMQ’d flowers. That was good practice as I am really rusty these days.
The backing and binding were also a thrift store find – I believe it was an older RJR print. Great colors thought, right??
Don’t you love making something start to finish with bits of fabric you already have. The stack of fabric in my closet holds so much potential. I will keep this little quilt and mail it to Amy when I have a few more things to add to it.
Time to go finish up those two orders. Also need to make meatballs for the freezer. Yesterday I had a roast in the crockpot for shredded BBQ Beef sandwiches. I am filling our freezer!!
Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend. Ours will be gray and rainy out, as it has been all week. The wet weather inspired me to cut a few gray and white fat quarter bundles for the shop. Aren’t these pieces wonderful? Included are flowers, stripes and text prints by Carrie Bloomston, Alison Glass and Sarah Fielke! Click the link if you want to add them to your stash. 🙂
Linking to my usual sites. Check them out at the top of the page under link ups!