Tag Archives: community service quilts

Flannel Blankets and a Trash to Treasures Giveaway

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.

New Shorts for Summer

Honestly, I cannot remember the last time I sewed a pair of shorts?  Its been a long time, like a really long time! Maybe sometime in the 1980’s or so?  Anyway, during one of my obsessive trips to a thrift store, I picked up a Simplicity easy-to-sew pattern for pants, shorts and a skirt made with woven fabric and a knit fold-over waistband.  I have a knit skirt like this and it is really comfortable.  I was a bit curious about making this combination of woven and knit fabric and decided to give it a try.

The first (and only) hurdle was deciding what size to cut.  I am sure I am not alone when I say I dislike measuring my hips and waist.  The number is never what I think it should be, which is to say I think I should be the same size as when I made that last pair of shorts.  Ha.  Guess what? I am not.  When I took measurements and looked at the pattern, it indicated I should make the shorts as a size 14.  The vanity running through me said, well that is clearly a mistake because I don’t wear that size.  Truth be told, I almost cut the pattern out as a 10 (which is my ready to wear size).  Vanity runs strong and deep my friends. At that point,  I had to have a very firm talk with myself. It went something like this:  What does it matter if you cut a size 14?  Well, of course it matters – it means I have gone from a size 10 to a 14.  No, no it doesn’t and if you cut these at a size ten, they won’t fit and you will be so irritated. On and on we went, the two of us inside my head.  Finally the pragmatist won and the vain side lost.  I cut them as a size 14 and here I am telling all the world about it – well, at least the portion of the world who reads my blog.

Shorts that actually fit!!

Guess what?  The shorts took maybe an hour to make and THEY FIT GREAT!!  Shout that to the world – in handmade shorts, I wear a 14 and I made a pair that fit!!!

Woven shorts with a knit waistband = comfortable!

I debated whether to actually take a photo of the waistband but decided I should because I am being all mature and accepting of whatever size I am and the waistband is the cool part of the shorts. (If that isn’t a run-on sentence, I don’t know what is.). I love the fabric I used – it is from Alison Glass’ Handcrafted line of batiks and is called Artifact in Navy. (Click the link if you want to check it out in the shop.). Overall, I love these and will wear them a lot.  My only disappointment is I didn’t put pockets on them.  I like having a pocket for my phone and car or house key if I go for a walk.  I think I can put a patch pocket on the back side still and that will fix things right up!  The next pair are going to be in knit fabric for top and bottom.  I want to see how that changes things up.  I suppose my take away from this project has to be that the numbers are just numbers.  My hips are what they are and if you want something to work, just follow the size and measurements as laid out on the pattern.  They didn’t put those numbers there to make me mad, rather they put them there so I could be successful with the project.

Community Service Quilt, Pine Tree Quilt Guild

One other quick sewing project I did last week was to bind a quilt that someone in my guild made for Community Service.  This project was pieced and quilted, it just needed someone to bind it.  I happen to enjoy binding so that was an easy one to help with. When I got it home, I saw the binding was made and was quite narrow.  The maker cut a two inch strip where I usually cut 2 1/4 and sometimes 2 1/2″ strips.  I decided to machine stitch it to both front and back sides so it would be really durable.

As I came to the end of the binding strip, I realized it wasn’t going to be long enough.  I should have checked it before I started but I made the assumption that the maker had done that.  Looked like it was going to be a scrappy binding.  I found a little print that seemed to work with the polka dot binding provided with the quilt.  It all looks fine.

Pieced binding for the win!

I especially like the backing for the quilt.  It is a nice denim with a printed pattern.  This quilt will last for a long time.  It is earmarked for the local foster youth program.  When the kids age out of the system at 18 years old, our guild gives them a quilt to add to their belongings. This one will work for a guy or girl.

Delicious boysenberries, or are they?

Last story of the day…..  on Saturday, over the weekend, I was picking berries early in the morning.  It was gorgeous out and there are a zillion berries right now.  I popped one in my mouth and guess what?  There was a beetle on the underside of the berry.  Ugh!  It was horrible.  There I was having my zen moment picking berries all alone and all of a sudden, I was spitting beetle out of my mouth.  Yuk!!!  I will be a little more careful before tossing another berry in my mouth.  🙂

Reminder – I will be back on Wednesday this week with the June Blogger Bundle.  It was curated by Paige Alexander of Quilted Blooms and I am really excited to see what she has made with the fabrics!  See you there!!

Linking to Cooking Up Quilts, Lets Bee Social, and TGIFF.  Info is at the top of the page, under Link Ups.

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