Category Archives: Kindness & Community

Its Been a While

Yikes, I checked my blog after many days away and realized I haven’t posted since the first of December.  So, this is just a quick one to check in and say hi.  It has been a rough start to the month for me. I  have mentioned before I deal with chronic migraine and it has been a constant battle these past couple of weeks.

I thought this humorous picture by Natalya Lobanova described what I deal with quite well. Sometimes it feels like I am constantly explaining or apologizing for being unable to keep a commitment or come to a scheduled appointment. Just today I cancelled a dental appointment (which I hate to do on such short notice as it causes gaps in their schedule) as well as a coffee date I was looking forward to with a friend (Sorry Kristi!)  I have another coffee date tomorrow morning and am crossing my fingers I will feel well enough to keep that one.

Chronic illnesses are very often invisible to others. Because of this, we never truly know what the person next to us in line at the store, walking down the street, or maybe driving in the lane up ahead of us, is really experiencing and it is important to remember that and treat each other with compassion and patience.   Additionally,  people living with chronic illness need to extend that same compassion to oneself. It takes an incredible amount of patience to live with something like this. I am so fortunate to have a great support system made up of family and friends.

Anyway, this is just my way of letting you know I am down for the count but once this cycle breaks, should be back on track.  Hopefully sooner rather than later. I have done very little sewing except for some custom orders for my Etsy customers.  Also I am in the midst of making a cute tree skirt for our Christmas tree and should be sharing that soon.

Now to put a positive spin on this post, I will share the Santa figure made by my husband when he was about 8 years old or so.  My mother-in-law brought it to me several months ago and I LOVE it. Made of toilet paper rolls and red tissue paper, this guy makes me smile each time I walk by.  I am so glad my MIL saved it and passed the treasure on to me. 🙂

See you soon!

Sewcial Bee Sampler Round Up

One of my favorite projects from this year has to be the quilt I made with the Sewcial Bee Sampler Quilt Along.  Remember this?  Hosted by Sharon Holland and Maureen Cracknell, there was one block released each Wednesday for twenty five weeks. There were several reasons for this being my favorite. One was the block design. The blocks were based on common piecing methods but Sharon and Maureen gave them a really modern look, probably because they included solids in their fabric selections. It gave the blocks such a fresh look.  Also, the blocks were doable.  I have been quilting for a while but I am definitely still in the advanced beginner stage and fussy, intricate blocks tend to frustrate me.  Finally, the community developed by Sharon and Maureen.  This was actually the main draw for me.  So many quilters joined in – I would have to say there are hundreds of SBS quilts either finished or in progress.

The use of social media greatly enhanced the development of a friendly group participating in this QAL.  Also, Sharon and Maureen were really dedicated to staying involved in the conversations on Instagram and put out a strong, positive vibe by giving great feedback and praise as we all shared the blocks we were working on.  While this is not my first QAL, it is the first time I really paid attention to the quilts others were making as I made mine.  With previous projects, I wasn’t as involved with the other quilters so I didn’t see as many projects made from the same quilt pattern.

The Sewcial Bee Sampler quilts that were made are gorgeous. I have had such a fun time perusing the #sewcialbeesampler hashtag and looking at the color schemes, fabric choices, and the ways quilters chose to set or arrange their blocks. I thought it might be fun to share some with you today.  When you look at the quilts one after the other, it is so cool to see the varied interpretations of the patterns Sharon and Maureen developed.

Let’s start with the queens of the quilt along, Sharon and Maureen!  Believe it or not, Sharon made two quilts (I had enough trouble keeping up with just one!) The quilt above was made with the same fabric for the block borders and sashing which gives a cohesive look to the quilt.  It makes the blocks float on the surface.

In the second version of the SBS quilt, Sharon used uniform frames for the blocks and chose to set them with a blue sashing.  Notice how distinctly the blocks stand out when sashed like this.  She used a palette focusing on blues, pinks and white which is really sharp.

This quilt is Maureen’s project. It looks like she sashed hers with a denim color chambray fabric. I like that she has some really vivid pops of color – the three bursts of yellow that stand out to me.

Also, because Maureen often designs fabrics with a large focal point, she was able to use those and do some great fussy cutting for block centers. Look at the shot above and you’ll see an owl, dragonfly and her gorgeous orange peony.

Cynthia of Quilting is More Fun than Housework, also used Maureen’s Garden Dreamer fabric for her quilt.  You will find the owl and the peony in her quilt as well.  Same fabrics building many of the blocks, yet it looks different.  Maybe partially due to the white sashing and varied fabrics used to frame the blocks?

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My friend Mari of Academic Quilter also made a quilt.  She chose bright, colorful fabrics which gave her quilt a definite summery vibe.  It makes a person happy just to look at it and I think it is the colorful palette she used. She also framed her blocks in a variety of colors.

Let’s take a look at an international version of the SBS. I watched this quilt grow on Instagram.  Mariana (@cosertejercrear on Instagram) is a quilter who lives in a town just north of Valencia, in Spain.  She began quilting six years ago.  Because there are no quilt shops or guilds in her part of the world, Mariana has made friends with lots of quilters over the internet. She orders her fabric on-line and says most of her quilty friends are American.  Participating in a QAL that has such a strong presence on-line makes the world feel much smaller as we are always communicating with quilters from every corner of the world. Looking at Mariana’s quilt, she used really bright colors and lots of prints.  This could be overwhelming but it isn’t — she used white frames on the blocks and a calm, blue sashing to set the blocks. It ties everything together neatly.

This one will surprise you.  Lisa made the SBS quilt as her first quilt project ever. I know…. that is crazy, right?? When I saw her posts on Instagram (@knitluxe) and realized she was a newbie quilter, I wanted to know more. She has been a crafter for a long while who has done a lot of knitting and has made clothing but this quilt is her first attempt at quilting.  She lives in New Mexico and clearly has a talent for sewing!  Like Sharon, Lisa framed her blocks in white and also sashed them with white.  Again, the blocks are floating.  The crisp blue tones look great with the white setting. Kudos to Lisa for taking on something like this as her first project!

Last but not least is my friend Sarah’s quilt. Sarah of Cedar Fork Stitches lives in cold, cold Montana in a really rural area.  I think she told me she is 40 minutes from town.  Kind of remote, I’d say!  She and I have been friends on Instagram for a while now.  (She is @cedarforksarah)  I love Sarah’s quilt for the personal twist she put on it.  She chose to skip the frames on the blocks, added a few of her own blocks and put a great border on the quilt.  The chambray she used for the sashing and borders is really rich and sets her blocks off well.

Clearly this post could go on and on because there are hundreds more quilts to see.  If you want to take a look, hop over to Instagram and search on #sewcialbeesampler. As I write this, there are 7,280 photos in the hashtag.  Really amazing and far more than I think Maureen or Sharon anticipated!!

I am looking around at the quilt alongs and block of the month events that are starting to line up for 2018.  I’ll be back with a round up of some fun events in a few weeks.  If you know of a good one, leave it in the comments and I will check it out.  I am definitely going to do at least one.  Just need to decide which one!

 

 

Heartwarming Holiday Project

Ok – this post has nothing to do with quilting or sewing and everything to do with service to one’s community, helping those who need it, and bragging about one of my kids. Sorry, I can’t help it – but I am so dang proud of her so I decided to write about this. Plus, it may inspire another family to do a similar project once they see how easy this came together.

Our family has always felt the importance of volunteer work. My parents instilled it in me and my sisters from a long ways back. I have tried to instill it into my children as they grew up. Because of this, Julia is already an active volunteer in our community. She has been helping at the local food ministry since she was about five years old. For the past four years she has volunteered at the thrift store benefiting the animal shelter off and on as her school schedule allows.

Julia and I were recently talking about other ways she could actively volunteer in the community. She wanted a project that was ‘all hers’. She wanted to think of it, organize it and carry it out on her own. After some discussion, she decided to hold a Toiletries Drive for the shelter. To do this she first got permission from her principal to hold the event at school. Then she approached the shelter and asked for a ‘wish list’ of what they needed in this regard. They were thrilled to give her a list of items such as toothpaste, tooth brushes, hand sanitizer, antibiotic creams, antacids, deodorant, lip balm, band aids, and many other items along these lines.

 

Julia’s next step was to create a little brochure which she posted at school and gave to the principal and school secretary. They both posted it on various avenues of communication with the students and parents. I posted her project on my personal Facebook account so my local friends and neighbors would know what she was trying to do. Oh. My. Gosh. The response to Julia’s project was just awesome.

 

 

 

She specifically suggested people donate all of those free little shampoos and lotions that one collects from hotel visits which often seem to linger on in the bathroom cabinet. She also proposed cash donations and promised to use them wisely to purchase what was needed. People from everywhere donated. Kids, moms and teachers at her school brought items in. Neighbors, friends and family members donated money. She ended up with bags and bags of items plus $245 in cash donations.

Yesterday she and I went to the local dollar store. She carefully counted and selected items from the list. It took quite a while to fill the cart but she heaped it with all sorts of supplies.

Calculating what she had spent, keeping notes on how many of each item she had selected, and figuring out what the tax would be was quite the process. She wanted to spend all of the money but not exceed the $245.00. She did great and has about $10 left over which we will take to the dollar store once more to buy a few more things. We didn’t dare go get more items on that trip. It took the cashier forever to ring up more than 200 items as I boxed them up and Julia tracked the costs. The other customers in line were so patient and kind. They could see she was doing a project and if they asked, she would explain it. One older gentleman chuckled and said ‘oh phew, I thought that was all for you.’ It was so nice to see everyone being supportive and sort of cheering her on rather than grumbling about having to wait behind her for a bit.

This picture makes me smile – she has a receipt that is about three feet long!

In addition to collecting from friends and kids at school, Julia also asked two of our family dentists for donations. One dentist donated a carton of toothpaste tubes and the other dentist gave her a box of toothbrushes. This is one generous community we live in!

There is so much value in a project like this! For one, she learned to define the steps needed to get this going. She approached adults – at school, at the homeless shelter and the local dentists – on her own – to ask for permission and support of her project. She lugged supplies home, posted signs at school, promoted the project on her social media account and will finish up by bringing the donations to the shelter next week. She also plans to write thank you notes for many of the donations. If I think about how projects are done in the professional realm, many of these steps are the same. I feel like this was a hugely valuable experience for Julia.

This is such a cute shot so I am including it, even though it is a bit blurry.

Honestly, it wasn’t all that difficult. I would strongly recommend something like this if your family is looking for a way to give back to the community. If your kiddos are younger, you might want to be more hands-on and supportive. As a teenager, Julia required only a little coaching here and there but truly she did 90% of the work herself.

 

I am really proud of this girl and she is (rightfully) proud of herself. She likes the fact that she started this, kept to a timeline that she developed, and was very successful. If you have any questions about implementing a project like this, feel free to ask. These are the times when parenting is so gratifying; when we see one of our kids giving time and energy in a selfless manner.

And now just a quick Thanksgiving recap:  We had a great holiday!  Very quiet with only three of us celebrating together but so much fun.  I also held my first big sale in the shop.  Orders kept me busy and I truly appreciate each of the orders I received, some from blog friends and others from new customers – thank you so much for supporting my business!

The Best Kind of Sewing

I know I am not alone when I say I love to sew for a cause. There are so many people less fortunate than us, people who are dealing with all sorts of hardship. Quilting and sewing cannot fix these things, but it can show others how much we care. One such cause is Sadie’s Dream for a Cure. Founded in 2012, this organization provides tote bags filled with toys, crayons, games and stuffed animals to children who are battling cancer. Sometimes the child regularly endures long IV infusions or hospital stays in an isolation room while their immune system is severely compromised from their treatments. These bags bring a little happiness to a scary time for a child.

This organization has several options for how we can help. They will provide an entire kit to a person wanting to sew a bag. These kits contain the fabric, fusible batting and the label for the front. Alternatively, they will send you just the label, if you would like to rather use your own fabric. I thought it would be a good use of some stash so I requested just the label. Finally, if you don’t have time to sew just now, they keep a wish list on their website of items they need for filling the bags. Here is a link to check it out.

Bags are donated to hospitals all over the country. Some of the bags are filled with adult items for parents who find themselves suddenly experiencing an extended stay at a pediatric hospital. The adult bags are stocked with toiletries and snacks.

Before I go any further, I need to make a clarification. I didn’t make all four bags shown at the top of the page. I first heard of this project on Instagram when The Quilter’s Planner announced a sew along to make these bags as a group. They did a few posts explaining the steps along the way. I didn’t join in with the sew along due to some timing issues. However, I did pass the idea along to my sister. She also loves to sew and I was fairly sure she would want to make a bag or two. Turns out she made three! Hurray for the kindness of others.

It has been fun to receive pictures of the bags my sister made over the last week or so. She did this cute one with bugs — perfect for the budding entomologist.

Who wouldn’t love the colors in this purple and blue bag? The fabric choices are perfect. It would work for a child or an adult.

For the third bag she used this sweet multicolored fabric with little cupcakes.

My bag is pink with a floral print used for the pockets and the trim around the top. I added a pop of green for the accent strip. When I was making it there was one hiccup.  After I attached the lining to the outer bag, I noticed I had forgotten to put the pocket on the lining (for the inside of the bag). Dang it. I decided to unpick the stitches on the side seam and carefully insert the pocket and try to stitch it down. It was kind of silly but it worked.

I am pretty happy with the final results! Fun, bright colors make for a cute bag.

These bags are fun to make and a simple way to help out a family going through a rough time. I enjoy bag making anyway so this was a pleasant way to spend an afternoon.

Just a quick note – I want to let you know I have begun a newsletter to keep readers posted about my fabric shop. I will be sending it out about every eight weeks or so and it will contain information on new arrivals and fun promotions for my newsletter subscribers. If you are interested, there is a sign up form on the right side of the page.

Linking up to Crazy Mom Quilts and TGIFF.  Hope all of you have a fantastic long weekend for the Memorial Day holiday.

 

Sew Fresh Quilt Bee Blocks

Last November (I think it was) Lorna of Sew Fresh Quilts announced her plan for the Sew Fresh Quilts Bee. The goal was to make tons of 12″ quilt blocks which would become part of a series of quilts to be donated to the Ronald McDonald Houses in Canada. The blocks and/or quilt tops were to be finished by May 15th or so and mailed to Ontario no later than May 30th. I jumped on board and bought some of the required fabric (it has a cute Canadian theme) right away. I planned to make a stack of these improv blocks because I have believe strongly in the Ronald McDonald house organization.  I made two blocks right away and then set them aside. Back in November, May seemed like it was so far in the distance. I pretty much forgot about these blocks.

Come January, I wrote a post about my Q1 goals and I put the Bee Blocks on the list. But nope, there were so many other things to work on. Not to mention a wedding in Toronto and my trip in April to meet my new grand baby in Vermont. So again, I put them out of my mind.

At the end of April I read Kate’s post about finishing up her Bee Blocks. Kate and I are quilty friends and we shared the Canadian fabric required for this project. It reminded me how close I was getting to the deadline and as usual with a deadline looming, I sat down and finished some blocks. Yet again, I put the blocks down and quickly became distracted by the quilt show I worked over the weekend.

Looking at this month and all that I have on my plate, I decided these four blocks are as far as I am able to take this project. It was my intention to make more of them, but sometimes life gets in the way. I packed them up and tomorrow I will ship them off to Ontario. I have been looking at the wonderful projects people have made over the past several months for this bee Lorna has hosted. I think it is awesome that so many quilts have been created and they will definitely provide comfort to the people staying in the Ronald McDonald houses during what are likely times of stress and worry.  Thank you Lorna for organizing this event!

Linking up with Sew Fresh Quilts. Be sure to come check out the blocks and quilts that have been made for this wonderful event.

 

 

Back to the Real World

I don’t know if it is the same for you, but it is always with mixed feelings that I end a trip or vacation. Julia and I had such a wonderful time in Vermont. The week seemed to fly by and it was difficult to leave. Having my kids living so far from California isn’t the ideal situation but it is what it is, right? While I was a bit sad to leave them, and especially my sweet grand baby, I was happy to come home. I love my home and was more than happy to see my husband after ten days apart.

As for my grand baby, since I know you are all dying to hear, she is just adorable. I loved having the opportunity to spend a long stretch of time with her. She is full of all that newborn wonder that just melts a person’s heart. Her little cooing sounds when she is nursing, the happy smile she does when she is dreaming (what do newborn babies dream about anyway?) and the adorable cat-like stretches she does when she is waking up – the stuff newborn babies are made of. Ahh, I do love babies. She does have a touch of colick and can be quite fussy during the late afternoon and into the evening. Her parents handle these episodes with such patience. I am really proud of both of them.

When I got home, this was the first thing I saw as I drove up to the house. Isn’t it great? I ordered this banner a few weeks ago from Vistaprint. I will be a fabric vendor at our local quilt show in May and wanted to have something hanging at the back of the booth so shoppers would know the name of my shop. I am thrilled with how well it turned out. These pictures don’t do it justice. Ray hung this for me as a surprise but it was very gray and cloudy out and we took it down right away so it wouldn’t be rained on.

The size is 2 1/2 feet by 6 feet.  It seems big to me but I am a poor judge of these things. Ray thought it was perfect so I am going with his opinion. We will see when I get the booth set up.

I also came home to a lot of happy mail. There was a lovely thank you note from a reader that won some fabric. How sweet of her to send a real note.  It is a treat to receive a real card when email is usually the way we communicate these days. The card featured a very pretty crazy quilt picture.

After opening the card from Gloria, I opened a package sent to me by Jayne of Twiggy and Opal.  I cannot even describe my surprise to see this gorgeous mini quilt. Jayne enclosed a note saying this was just a little gift for me. Really? For me? Just because???  I am beyond happy to have this quilt. I watched Jayne’s progress on this project on her Instagram feed.  (Side note: do you follow Twiggy & Opal on IG?  If not, hop over there and follow her. She is just a constant source of inspiration. I love her feed.)  Anyway, I loved this project from the beginning.

I love the quilts Jayne designs. It seems like (and I may be totally wrong) she starts with an idea and it just organically evolves while she is sewing.  From what I saw on her IG feed,  Jayne made the bias strips she used to create the heart in the center. Then she started creating little (teeny, tiny) pieces to use in the border.  The nine patch block on the left side of the photo above measures just under one inch. I have no words. It is adorable.  The little HST’s to the right are also just under an inch. Yikes. My fingers are too clumsy for such miniature piecing.

She must have done some strip piecing for the nine patch and then also used it for the checkered border.  That isn’t a striped piece, it is pieced! I just love her straight line quilting and also the quilting she did over the bias strips to emphasize the heart shape.

It is already hanging in my sewing room. I love having this treasure from Jayne and will think of her when I see it. It is such a special gift.

I have so many blog posts to catch up on this week. I didn’t read too many while I was away last week. There is so much going on right now. The New Quilt blogger Blog Hop is on going and there are lots of new bloggers to befriend. Check out the links at Quilting Jetgirl, Cooking Up Quilts and She Can Quilt.  I will have a new Meet the Designer post up in a few days. This one will feature Kim Schaefer, a designer of cute, whimsical fabric lines for Andover. Hope you will come back Wednesday to get to know Kim. Until then, happy sewing to you!!

 Gift and a T-Shirt

It has been a busy week and I am happy to see Friday roll around. I really enjoyed working with Maureen and writing the posts about her work. It was a lovely bonus to see the sale on her Garden Dreamer fabric created a good number of sales which kept me busy cutting and shipping (it will be on sale through Sunday, March 19th if you are interested.) By the way, I truly appreciate all of the readers who are supporting my shop – thank you!

Thanks also to Mari of Academic Quilter. Mari and I became friends a couple of years ago (which is hard to believe actually) via our new blogs. We have struck up a great friendship and even got to have lunch and do a little fabric shopping together last summer when I was in Maine. That was so much fun. Yesterday I found a package in the mail. Usually getting the mail is so boring unless I have recently ordered fabric. Nothing much comes in the mail anymore with the exception of a few catalogues and the occasional advertisement addressed to ‘Occupant’. Sigh.

Not yesterday however! Look at this adorable lovie she made for my sweet grand baby! She even used the colors of the nursery (gray, lavender and pink). The backing is a soft gray and white flannel. Being the generous quilter Mari is, she even enclosed the leftover fabric for me to use. Thank you Mari. <3
These tiny blankets are so cool – the tags around the perimeter are made with ribbons and twill tape, and other trims which provide sensory stimulation when baby fidgets with them.


I have also seen mom’s hook toys to the loops and lay baby near it to grab the toys. It can be used in the car seat with toys attached or not. It was so kind of Mari to think of me and this little girl. I will hand deliver this when I go to Vermont – which is in only THREE weeks!! I can’t wait!

Moving on now (because I talk and think about this little girl too often and don’t want to become annoying!) I did get a fair amount of sewing done last week. I made this cute t-shirt with Butterick pattern, number B5954. Remember I posted about not having enough fabric? I decided to make the sleeveless version which took every bit of the fabric.


This version takes about 1/2 hour to sew because it is just the front and back pieces, sewn together at the shoulder and side seams. I finished the seams with a bright blue bias tape because I like that little surprise of color. I am only 5′ 4″ so I did have to alter the length and when I make it again, I would make it even a bit shorter. It is so comfortable and I am pleased with the result! Looking at these photos, I realize I should have pressed it before my modeling stint. Sorry about that!!

Cute Top But in Need of an Iron!

 

For the month of March, my challenge from Island Batik is to make something that is paper pieced. You already know how frustrated I become with paper piecing. I called my friend, Sophia, and invited her for a sew day. I knew I would need her help to get started! Sophia has a degree in Mechanical Engineering and has that logical sort of brain that I so envy. She spent the afternoon with me and it was so helpful.  Plus I got to spend the afternoon sewing with her which we don’t often do. It was a very nice to spend the time together.

Choosing Colors for the Sashing

 

Before she arrived, I picked a few easy paper piecing patterns and printed the sheets. She and I looked and decided this star pattern would be a good one to learn on. (I took a class last fall to learn to paper piece but you know what happens if you don’t practice….  I couldn’t remember how to get started on the blocks!) This pattern is a free download on Craftsy.com. It is slated as a beginner pattern, which is mostly true.  The problem is there are no real instructions – reminding the quilter to cut strips a certain width or to trim each section, adding in that crucial 1/4″.  But never fear, I had Sophia coaching me! While my precision isn’t as close as I would like, overall I think it looks nice.

Perfectly Imperfect Points!

I finished the top and have begun quilting it a bit. I love the colors and it will be nice to hang this mini in my sewing room. I need a new one on the wall.

The Top is Finished!

OK – that is my week in a nutshell. Gifts, Etsy orders, and a fair amount of creative time in the sewing room. This girl doesn’t need more than that!  Happy Weekend everyone!
Linking to my favorites. I am including the end of quarter FAL link up at She Can Quilt because I had listed garment sewing on my goals for this quarter! Please check out the tab at the top of the page titled Link Ups.

The Kindness of Friends

Yesterday I received a package in the mail. It was completely unexpected and absolutely made my day. I looked at the return address on the package, trying to figure out what it was and saw it was from Janine. Janine blogs at Quilts From the Little House and we became friends a couple of years back, when both of us were quite new to the quilt blogger community. When I saw her name I smiled to myself, wondering what the heck she had sent to me!

Take a look at this sweet gift – all wrapped up in a pretty floral fabric.

As if the fabric wasn’t enough of a surprise, the gift inside was even more so. I got a bit choked up when I opened this. She made this adorable frame for me and tucked a picture of my new grandbaby inside.

I love the little saying in the bottom right corner, Life is Grand. Isn’t that perfect for a first time grandmother? She did a fantastic job with the frame. I think she decoupaged the plaid background on to a wooden frame and trimmed it out with a deep burgundy braid around the outer edge. It is lovely and I smile at Janine and Baby Girl each time I walk by it!

I want to talk about several more very kind quilt bloggers! I have been supported by this community so much during the new year as I expanded my Etsy shop to include quilter’s cotton fabrics. People within this community have cheered me on, shopped my little shop, and shared what I have been doing. I am so appreciative of each act of kindness.

There are six bloggers who are, as I write this, making some really great projects using fabrics from Needle and Foot. They are participating in a Grand Opening Blog Hop to celebrate my shop and all of the gorgeousness it now offers. This event begins on Monday, March 20th and you won’t want to miss it! There will be projects and fabric shared as well as giveaways at each stop along the hop. Mark your calendars and join in on the fun! I think I will leave it a surprise as to which bloggers are involved. A little anticipation is a good thing. Just know I am truly grateful to each of the six for helping to celebrate my expansion!

Finally, I had the good fortune to meet and talk with fabric designer, Maureen Cracknell, by phone this week. We had such a great conversation and I will share this with you on Tuesday next week as the second installment of my “Meet the Designer” series. Maureen is a talented and incredibly kind individual and I feel grateful to have had this opportunity. I hope you will come back and check out the interview and get to know her better too. As with the first Meet the Designer post, all of the fabric in my shop, designed by the featured designer (Maureen Cracknell this time!) will be on sale for the week. This will be a great opportunity to pick up some gorgeous Garden Dreamer cuts at a reduced prices.

So much is going on right now! I am loving every bit of it. I will leave you with this sweet photo of Baby Girl. I love these tiny hands and feet and suspect this picture will make you smile.

 

Kennel Quilts with Island Batik

Island Batiks offered two challenges to the group of Ambassadors for the month of February. One was to create a fun project for Galentine’s Day. I posted about that one a couple of weeks ago. The other was to make and donate at least one kennel quilt. This was new to me. I had not heard of kennel quilts until now.  These little quilts (about 12″ x 18″) are made and used by shelters when they are supporting animals in need who may have been separated from their owners due to emergencies, weather crises or other unfortunate circumstances.

Here is the explanation from Island Batik.

In 2016, Island Batik joined forces with an existing group of  industry partners and supporters of the Petfinder Foundation to create the Piece for Shelter Pets (PFSP) initiative. The initiative supports the Petfinder Foundation, a “public charity that works to end the euthanasia of adoptable pets by assisting animal shelters and rescue groups across North America”, through financial contributions made possible by the sale of fabric, thread, and other quilting related products. PFSP sponsors include The Quilt Pattern Magazine, Island Batik, Aurifil Threads, QuiltyBox, Benartex, and Hancock’s of Paducah.

The TQPM Small Kennel Quilt Team is a volunteer organization sponsored by The Quilt Pattern Magazine (TQPM) that springs into action (or should we say “stitches” into action?) when disasters strike, sewing small kennel quilts for animals in need while they are separated from their humans and possibly injured.  Creating kennel quilts is a way for quilters to help our animal friends in times of need by doing what we love. TQPM Small Kennel Quilt Team supplies kennel quilts to shelters across the United States. Learn more here.

Making one or two kennel quilts is a very easy way to support these little critters who are in need. Because they are tiny, it is a perfect scrap busting project. When I made mine, I was able to stitch batting strips together, using up some of those long strips that are left when we square and bind a quilt. I would encourage you to click through the link above and make a few.

I used a set of 5″ wide strips that came in the box of treasure supplied to me by Island Batik. They are so pretty – the lime green adds a nice, bright touch, don’t you think? I took some of the strips and made six rail fence blocks for this little quilt. No binding is needed. Just stitch right sides together, turn right side out and finish by sewing up the opening.  I quilted a series of diagonal lined to keep the quilt together.

With the second quilt, I just sewed the strips together length-wise.  Really, the project is very easy and probably took an hour or so to do. If you decide to make a few, I would love to see them. Post a picture on Instagram and tag me @needleandfoot. Also use #kennelquilts – it is lost of fun to see what the other quilters are creating!

Thank you Island Batik for partnering up with the Petfinder Foundation to support animals in need.

Linking to a few favorites, including Sew Some Love a link up for projects being made for charities at Kat & Cat Quilts. Check them out at the top of the page, under Link Ups.

Sunday Update

Good morning! Looks like we are in for another rainy day. This is fine with me as I have lots of projects to work on. Yesterday I spent the day at a seminar that one of the local agriculture colleges hosted for the 4-H kids that have swine projects. Lots of information was provided and Julia is one step closer to bringing home her piglets. But it did mean we were away for most of the day. It will be nice to be home today.

I wanted to finish my story about my trip to Toronto earlier this month. Remember I mentioned I was able to have coffee with another quilt blogger?  It was a pleasure to meet Lisa of Sunlight in Winter Quilts. Lisa also began blogging in 2014, right around when I started. We met through the New Quilt Bloggers Blog Hop. (If you haven’t participated in this event, and you are fairly new to quilt blogging, you might want to check it out. It is a great way to learn about blogging and to meet others. The link I provided will take you to the 2016 event for a general idea of what it entails.) Anyway, I digress.  Back to my coffee date. Earlier in the fall, I mentioned in a post that we would be traveling to Toronto for the wedding. Lisa emailed me and said she would love to meet if I had time. There is always time, right??

Lisa lives about 1.5 hours outside of the city proper. She graciously made the trip in, even though I told her I wouldn’t have too long to hang out. She made a weekend out of it. Her post about her weekend explorations is here. Both of us forgot to take a picture, which I regret. It was a lovely visit though – it is so fun to catch up in person, isn’t it? We had coffee, talked about our blogs, quilting projects, and of course, our families. She is just as sweet in person as she is in her blog posts. In fact, because she knew I wouldn’t have time to explore any shops in Toronto she brought me a little bundle of fat quarters. She wanted me to take something home from this trip. She is really a thoughtful person.

I have a love for Ankara wax prints. I have used them in several projects, including this tablecloth, and think they have a wonderful character to them. These fat quarters are also wax prints. Love the guinea fowl and the elephants! It will be fun to think of a project for these. Thank you Lisa for the gift of the fabric, and more so, of your time. Hopefully the next trip to Toronto will allow for some fabric shopping.

When I got home I there was a package that had arrived in the mail. When I mentioned the baby quilt I am making for my new grand baby, Mari, of Academic Quilter,  asked if I would like some light gray Kona to use in it as the background. She had also sent me a lavender print earlier to contribute to the baby’s quilt. She is such a thoughtful person! The print works well with the others I had selected and the pale gray is perfect for the background. Now I need to start cutting.

In the same Q1- FAL post where I talked about the baby quilt, I also mentioned I wanted to try making a baby quilt by enlarging one block to about 36-40 inches. For inspiration and reference, Mari added her copy of the book, Sew One and You’re Done. It basically does just what I was saying. I have hardly had time to take more than a quick peek at it but I think it will be helpful. Thank you Mari!!

My stash has grown just a bit and I now have all the fabric for the baby’s quilt. Time to get busy!

Linking to Sunday Stash.