Category Archives: Merciful Quilts

Feeling Like Fall!

Oh how I love autumn. It means the summer heat is over, the possibility of rain is coming closer, the fire dangers might soon reduce greatly. Colorful leaves, cooking comfort foods, baking bread – this is fall at our house.

The first maple to turn in our yard.

There is no filter or editing done with the photo above. The first of our 1/2 dozen maples has turned to a brilliant crimson color. It is the same each year; this tree turns red first, drops its leaves first, and leafs out first. Then the other two on the front lawn take their turn after this tree.

This is the road leading to our property.

This road doesn’t have any maples but the oaks do drop their leaves and it becomes autumnal in its own way.

A not-so-great latte

Being crisp and cool out, I wanted a coffee when I was running errands yesterday. I went to Caroline’s, my favorite local coffee roaster. I asked for one pump of pumpkin spice added to my latte – this is not something I usually do but I thought maybe I would enjoy it. Hmmm, it was terribly sweet. I mean wayyyy too sweet. I won’t be doing that again. Either I really don’t like the pumpkin flavoring or they accidentally added twenty-nine pumps rather than the one pump I requested.

A garland for Julia’s dorm room.

A week ago or so, I saw these cute garlands in a shop window. I liked the colors and the texture provided by the variety of fabrics it contained. Of course, I decided to make one. Julia and I both like seasonal decorations and I knew she would be happy to receive something with fall colors. I cut strips measuring 1.5″ x 4″. I used quilting cottons, wool felt and some fleece and tied the strips to a piece of twine. It is adorable and just long enough to decorate a bit of her dorm room.

Preparing tomatoes to be roasted.

Autumn also means using up the last bits of produce from the vegetable garden. Ray grows a particular variety of tomato that is pale orange in color and very meaty. Sunday I roasted a pan of tomatoes. I cut them either in half or quarters, depending on their size, and give them a gentle squeeze to remove any excess juice. Then brushed them with just a bit of olive oil and dusted them with garlic salt.

I put them in a 300 degree oven for about 2-3 hours. I checked them after two hours and removed any that are dry enough. If they were still really wet, I left them in the oven longer. They are delicious – really, really yummy!

Thrift store finds

Yesterday I was running errands and while at the grocery store, I stopped and thumbed through a quilting magazine. I couldn’t bring my frugal self to purchase it for $7.99. Instead, I went to one of our thrift shops. I found these American Quilter magazines for 2 for 25 cents. Oh my gosh – six current (2020 and 2021) quilting magazines for $1.50. While there I also picked up some sweet books for my two grand daughters and a jig saw puzzle. I want to bring a few treasures up to them when we visit later this month. Big sister loves these floor size puzzles and I am thinking it will be a challenge to amuse little sister while we assemble it. Maybe we can play with this during lil sis’ nap time. I spent just $7.00 for these treasures.

The most recent Mercyful quilt

Finally, I received an unexpected quilt donation for Mercy Hospital a few days ago. It is just beautiful. I think the heart motif will be perfect for a family grieving a loss. Thank you Deb for this donation. It will be loved and will bring comfort.

I have done some sewing but I think this post is long enough. I will be back in a day or two to share a cute quilt top with you.

I hope you are enjoying the beginning of autumn. Let me know what signs of fall you are seeing.

Positivity Quiltalong-Winners!

Hello all – I was supposed to post this yesterday but it was totally forgotten. I am so sorry. We had a such a nice weekend with my son and his wife in town visiting. My parents and two of my sisters, plus one wonderful niece were able to come for dinner on Saturday night. It was a lovely weekend filled with visiting and family time. Unfortunately, writing this post up was completely overlooked. Before I announce the winners, let me thank Preeti and all of the amazing quilters who participated in this event benefitting Mercyful Quilts. Currently I have received 21 quilts and there are several more on the way or in process (including my own which has gotten a bit closer to the flimsy stage.) To see a parade of quilts, those received and those on the way, check out this post by Preeti. She also announced another quilt along for summer of 2022 which is so exciting!

Without further chit chat, here are the winners (in no particular order)!!

Judy Blauer – a wonderful scrap pack curated and donated by Preeti

Roseanne Nelson – the fat quarter bundle of Mystical Land, designed by Maureen Cracknell and donated by Art Gallery Fabric

Nikki Moshier – the fat quarter bundle of West Palm, designed by Katie Skoog and donated by Art Gallery Fabric

Bonnie Stapleton – a five piece bundle of Mayfair with a yard of coordinating yardage donated by yours truly!

Wendy Tuma – $25 certificate to Hancock’s of Paducah

Liz Arbaugh – the 1/2 yard bundle of Geometric Bliss, designed by Jeni Baker and donated by Art Gallery Fabric

Sylvia from Treadle Stitches – a wonderful scrap pack curated and donated by Preeti

This wraps up the 2021 Positivity Quiltalong. If you have quilts in process, I am very excited to see them. Send them when you are ready. Winners will be notified by email this morning!! Thank you, thank you, thank you so much!!!

Because any post is a bore without a picture, here is my sweet girl after snitching a chocolate out of the box of See’s she was thrilled to find! Pretty much the same expression I have after a piece of good chocolate.

Quilts, Projects and a Fun App

The Mercyful Quilts continue to arrive! I have a large stack of quilts to deliver to the hospital and I know they will be thrilled to have them.

Lots of boxes to recycle as I open the beauties!

Pieced by Tina C from Delaware.

Most of the quilts are from the Positivity QAL, hosted by Sew Preeti Quilts. However I also received two quilts from Tina C in Delaware. Tina has contributed to Mercy before and she is a fantastic quilter. I really like this sampler in particular though.

Isn’t this the cutest?

Up at the top, there is the sweetest pup appliquéd to the quilt. It is about ten inches tall and such a fun surprise when you look through the quilt.

Also made by Tina C.

This smaller lap quilt is a pretty one. I do love Dresdens! This will be so sweet for a petite patient.

From Wendy!!

This Positivity quilt was sent to us from Wendy of Pieceful Thoughts. This one is particularly fun for me because she used a bundle of fat quarters from my shop. A couple of years ago I held an event selling a series of blogger bundles and Wendy collected them. This bundle was curated by Quilting Jetgirl. It is fun to see the bundle made into a quilt.

Made by Mary R in New Mexico

This quilt came at the same time as Wendy’s which was sort of fun because they have a very similar vibe.

With Mary’s quilt, there is such a subtle shade difference in the strips connecting the pluses. Isn’t that a cool design? Your eye is really drawn to the pluses. Great idea Mary!

There are so many more quilts and I will share more in the next post. I am so grateful to Preeti for cooking up this event and have heard rumblings she may do it again next year! Prize winners for the finished quilts will be announced on Monday, the 6th of September. If you (like me) didn’t finish your quilt yet, that is ok too! Finish it when time allows because Mercy Hospital is always in need of quilts. We will welcome it at any time.

Painting is not nearly as fun as quilting

As for me, I continue to be distracted from the sewing room. This week my husband painted the master bathroom. It looks so fresh – we have been wanting to clean up this bathroom for a long time now. I painted these cabinets for him out in the garage. We shared the painting duty on the bathroom door because I was waylaid by a migraine. The cabinets and the door are back in place and the bathroom looks wonderful!

Time to clean those boots!

Julia is getting ready for college to start up this year. She goes back on campus which will be so much fun. She has been packing and organizing her things. Her boots are ready to go for her beef production lab this quarter. in the upperclassman housing, she has a suite with three other women. They will share the common space and kitchen. Julia has collected quite a set of kitchen supplies through hand me downs from her older brothers so she will have a nice kitchen set up. We take her down to campus in another ten days or so.

Playing Memory together

I have been meaning to share this fun app for quite a while now. This is something I really enjoy using with my grand daughter. For the past year or so, we have played together, read books, had silly conversations and colored pictures using the Caribu app. It is a really nice way for me to stay in touch with her. I love getting a text from her (on my son’s phone of course) asking if I have time to play Caribu with her. (By the way, this is not an affiliate link – just a very cool product that I wanted to share with you.) Caribu has games, books, drawing, worksheets, addition and subtraction, matching, working with sounds and numbers, and mazes – plus more I am not remembering at the moment.

Peter Rabbit – a classic!

There are a large number of books to read and they are divided into age groups or subject categories. The selection of books isn’t exactly Newberry quality. But for our purpose, it is fine. She loves picking books out. Right now Angelina Ballerina is one of her favorites and we read them quite often. The user can mark something as a favorite so it is easy to find again.

A delicious ice cream cone.

Drawing is another favorite. At four years old, she usually needs me to draw the item first and talk about each step so she can relate it to the pictures on the right. Then she tries to do it herself. I love seeing her facial expressions as she works on her drawing.

We spend a lot of time together this way and it is really a special way for her to have time with her Grammy. She has some older cousins who also read books on Caribu to her. There is a subscription fee which can be paid monthly or annually. The free version is available but is very limiting because you can only do a few activities each month – but if you want to try it out, that is a great way to do it. One suggestion, it is nice to look through some of the activities ahead of time. Once we get on the computer together, H is so excited and doesn’t want me to have to ‘figure out’ where something is, or how it works. It is easier to take a quick peek at the screen before we start a call. I have found it works better on a tablet than on my laptop (though I am not sure why?) Enough on this – I think it is a fun time spent with H and if you have a distance grand parenting thing going on and want to have another way to stay in touch with your grandchildren, give it a try.

My shop inventory is disappearing quickly – It looks so strange downstairs with only a few shelves of fabric left. At 40% off, there are still some bargains to be had. I expect I will be officially retired by mid-September. Woohoo!!!

Positivity Quilts Final Link-Up

Hello all. Today is the day! Time for all of the participants in the Positivity QAL to link up their finished quilts. This has been such an exciting time for Mercy Hospital. We are truly grateful to Preeti for creating the great pattern and hosting this QAL. So far I have received nine quilts and more are on the way!!

Everyone who submits a finished quilt is entered to win one of three prizes donated by Art Gallery Fabric. AGF is my favorite brand of fabric – both for their designs and the quality of the fabric they produce. Also, they are incredibly generous and have supported several events for me! Thank you Art Gallery Fabric!

Above is a picture of the West Palm collection designed by Katie Skoog. I have a 16 piece fat quarter bundle to give away!!

This bundle is from a few years back. Designed by Jeni Baker of In Color Order, it is called Geometric Bliss. I have an 11 piece bundle of 1/2 yard cuts!!

Finally, this bundle, Mystical Lands, was designed by Maureen Cracknell. It is a lovely bundle and I have a 20 piece fat quarter collection to give away! How great is that?!

Since I didn’t finish my Positivity Quilt (yet!), I will share a few of the quilts I received this week!

Pieced and quilted by Preeti Harris!
Pieced by Judy B. She calls it Cappucino & a Blueberry Muffin!
Pieced and quilted by Roseanne and Sue from Home Sewn By Us.
Also piece & quilted by Roseanne and Sue – but such a different look with these soft colors.
Pieced & quilted by Arlyn P. Love the black and white polka dots framing the center!
Pieced and quilted by Nikki M. Thank you Nikki!!!

Even though the quilts are made from the same block, there are dozens of ways to lay them out. With the variety of colors everyone chose, no quilts looks like the next. It is so much fun!

I cannot thank you all enough for making these Mercyful Quilts. You are all the best and I am totally grateful to be part of this tribe.

OK – now please link up your finish below. If you can’t (or don’t want to) link up, please email me a picture of your finish and I will upload it to this post.

Prize winners will be announced on September 5, 2021. Good luck to each of you!

Long Overdue Mercyful Quilts Update

Oh my gosh, I have been going a million miles an hour lately. Sometimes life is like that. We have had a trip to San Diego (family wedding), tons and tons of gardening because my farmer husband planted so much this year, and fire season has begun in fall force. So, I am behind on blogging and blog post reading.

My immediate family!

This picture was taken at the recent wedding. My parents are standing on either side of the bride and groom. Just to explain; my parents had six kids, who then provided 21 grand children to the group. Following that, those grand children produced (so far) 16 great grands. This picture shows our family less about 15 people who weren’t able to get to the wedding. I love our huge, very noisy family.

When we got home from the wedding there were four quilts waiting for me! It was like Christmas morning!! Let me show them to you.

Positivity Quilt made by Cheree L.

Just gorgeous and if these colors don’t make you ache for autumn, than nothing will! Cheree blogs over at the Lively Latte and she actually made two quilts during the Positivity QAL one of which we were fortunate to receive!

Positivity Quilt made By Janine H.

Here is Janine’s version of the Positivity Quilt. Adding the triangles gives it such a different feel. She blogged the details for this quilt here. She also pieced the backing which I love!

The color sequence she used is so pretty. This is a double sided quilt, if you ask me!

Donation Number Two by Janine!

Janine included a second quilt in her box. I remember when she made this one and I just love it. Looking at the quilting design, I suspect it stayed hidden in my brain and was my inspiration when I quilted the Ninja baby quilt I just finished. 🙂 Janine based her design of this quilt on a pattern called Nines in the Middle by Doris Rice for Moda, The blog post with the back story is here. Also, she made sure to tell me that she received the fabric from Louise of My Quilt Odyssey . So actually, this pretty quilt comes from both Janine and Louise!

Another beautiful quilt back!

Looking at the back side, you will see that Janine made another pretty, pieced backing with her leftovers. This side also really shows the quilting pattern off.

Positivity Quilt, Pieced by Julie K and quilted by Rebecca Grace

This beauty was also made by a participant in the Positivity QAL. Julie K pieced this pretty quilt. The blues on a scrappy neutral background are so soothing. She sent it over to the talented Rebecca Grace to be quilted. Rebecca did a custom quilt motif on it using several different patterns. The effect is really fantastic. I offered to bind this quilt so that Rebecca could send it directly to me as opposed to sending it back to Julie for binding and then sending it to me. Might as well save on some postage!

Another pretty backing!!

Isn’t this a cool backing? I love the huge plus or cross, depending on what you want it to be, with the blue fabric. I have enough of the blue fabric to use as binding and hopefully this will be done soon.

Let’s move on to summer gardening! Like I said earlier, Ray put in a lot of plants this year. With just the three of us here, there is no way we can eat all of it. We share it with neighbors, friends and family but there is still too much! I have taken extra fruits and veggies over to our local food ministry twice now.

These peaches all went to the food ministry yesterday!

We have had grapes for at least five or six years now. Usually the raccoons and birds take most of them and the individual berries on the plant are quite small. Not so this year! We have beautiful clusters and, as you can imagine, more than we can possibly eat. So I have been taking those to the food ministry as well.

Poblano and Anaheim Peppers

The peppers are very happy this year as well. I will be roasting these in the next day or too. We love roasted peppers on sandwiches, in omelets and in salsa.

As far as the shop goes, the sale continues and the number of bolts on hand has been steadily decreasing. I appreciate all of your support. Whether by shopping or sharing the word about the close out sale, you are such a help!

The regular price fabric is now 30% off! Patterns and notions are 20% off and ship free. The clearance and remnants are 10% off. Come by and browse the sale; see what might strike your fancy!

OK – this post is getting on the lengthy side. I will close now and hopefully get back into a better blogging schedule. I hope all of you are well and happy!

The Positivity QAL – Link Up Number Two

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A Bit of This and a Bit of That

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

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

Isn’t this stunning?

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

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

Another pretty quilt!

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

Pretty Dragonflies are quilted along with a looping design.

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

From Dragonfly-Site.com:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Shipping Orders, Sewing, and Cute Kid Pics

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Coin Quilt Finish

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

So pretty!!

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

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

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

Bloom with Grace

A while back, when the Bloom With Grace fabric first arrived in my shop, I knew I wanted to use some to make a Mercyful Quilt. It seemed so perfect for bringing comfort to a grieving family. The colors are gorgeous and the sentiment is very sweet. I took a panel and cut the four main blocks apart. Then it sat. This seems to happen quite often in my sewing room!

After a bit, I cut borders from some of the coordinates in this line. I added these to the four blocks and alternated the colors when I placed the bocks together. After stitching those up, I added a narrow pink border with tiny green cornerstones. Thinking it cute but a bit small, I cut up some scraps and added a patchwork border to the top and bottom. There. Now it felt finished!

Using a vintage sheet seemed like the perfect backing. A soft floral was the right complement to the colors and vibe of the quilt top. Each square block is quilted with a crosshatch and the borders have basic straight line quilting. The patchwork at top and bottom are stitched in the ditch to hold it all in place.

I am really pleased with the finished quilt. It isn’t huge, finishing at 44″ x 46″. With some additional pieced blocks between or around the four main panel pieces, one could make it quite a bit bigger if desired.

After taking some pictures I put it in the wash and now it is all soft and crinkly, ready for Mercy Hospital. Most of you are familiar with the Mercyful Quilt program but just in case you aren’t, I organize a program where quilts are made and donated to Mercy Hospital in Sacramento. Their palliative care team offers a quilt to families who are comforting a loved one who is dying. The family often chooses a quilt and uses it to cover their family member. After the person has died, the family takes the quilt home in remembrance of this special person. It brings great comfort to the person and to the family. I have received (and shared here) many thank you notes from both families who have received quilts as well as the team at Mercy who distributes them. I would love to have more donations for them. If you feel called to make one, there are just a few requirements. Your donation must be lap size, made with adult fabrics (because this hospital doesn’t treat children) and must be a new, unused quilt without any fragrance, especially not cigarette smoke. Other than that, the quilt can be as simple of complicated as you like. All quilts are hugely appreciated!!

This is the completion of my February OMG and I will be linking up to Elm Street Quilts. This is also to be a donation used for the 2021 Hands2Help hosted by Sarah Craig. I will link it up when that event opens up. For other link-ups that I enjoy, take a look at the top of the page and click on the Link Ups tab.