Tag Archives: dorie javier

twisted

Twisted Quilt is Finished!

I haven’t finished a quilt for such a long time.  This one feels great! Partly because I started it in June, 2017 so it has been around for a while.  But also in part because I am donating it to the Mercyful Quilt drive that I have been hosting over these past weeks.

Surely I am not alone in the feeling of intention that comes along when making a quilt for a specific purpose.  When I began making this quilt, I chose it because I love the Twisted pattern, the lattice look of it.  I was happy because I mainly used scrappy bits that I had in my stash.  It was just a nice project. However as I began quilting it, I knew it would be a nice piece to donate to the Palliative Care unit at Mercy Hospital.  Once I decided to donate it, my mind constantly wandered, thinking about the purpose of this particular quilt.

twisted

I chose to use a grid pattern for the open sections within the lattice.  This was a bit time consuming.  I did mark the lines with a Frixion pen – though they still have some wobble to them. But I wanted them to be as straight and uniform as I could get them. I marked and quilted a one inch grid on each spot. This gave me plenty of time to think while I quilted.

twisted

As my mind wandered, I found myself thinking about the family who might choose my quilt for their special family member who was actively in the dying process.  I do not hold any grand illusion that because they have this quilt in hand, the process becomes easy.  I have been there. I know that whether given one, or twenty five, handmade quilts, the process doesn’t become easier.  But it is something. It might reduce the sterility of the hospital room a tiny bit.  Maybe taking the quilt home will bring comfort to the family as they grieve. It gave me great satisfaction to think that maybe by donating this quilt, I am bringing a little bit of solace to the family as well as comfort to the person who died.

twisted

Modern, bright florals on the front and soft roses on the back. So sweet.

Since starting this quilt drive, I have received so many comments that compliment the staff who support patients as they die.  Many of us feel the same – that this is such a special calling and certainly a very difficult job much of the time.  Collectively we are grateful for these angels who are able to provide care for patient and family at this time of life.  Personally, when I think of someone dying, I almost always find myself remembering when my first husband died. It is only natural I suppose; this was a huge, life altering event in my, and my childrens’, life.  He died in 1994 after experiencing an aneurysm in his brain stem.  He was flown to a trauma care hospital and they took care of him (and me) for the next two days.

This was such a stressful, terrifying time in my life.  I was only 33 and he was 36.  We had three young children.  I spent that weekend in a shocked, fearful state of mind.  The staff there were amazing.  Mark had a nurse that spent about 36 hours with him, without going home.  She just stayed with both of us. I remember asking her how she could do this job.  I asked her why she stayed so long, and how many of her patients actually survived.  She sat with me and explained she felt honored to care for him and me both as we faced this change.  She told me that less than 20% of her patients survived.  But she felt called to do this work. She told me that most of the nursing staff don’t last a very long time in this type of work, but for the time she was able to, she wanted to do this type of nursing. She was an angel and while I can hardly remember her face, I do remember her words.

There was also a chaplain who came in and out quite a number of times to check on me.  Memories of him are a bit of a blur but I know he was there and supportive.  At a time like this, there are many decisions to make and having someone who wasn’t emotionally involved is so important. I am not sharing all of this as a call for pity.  I am fine and my boys are fine.  We will always miss Mark but memories of him have become a sweet part of our life.  I am sharing it to describe how needed and comforting it was to have this team of people who deal with death on a daily basis and thus were able help me to deal with it.  They helped me to make decisions when I was reeling with shock and grief. Mark wanted to be an organ donor and that process was somewhat involved. They told me what to expect next, why they were doing each process, what Mark might be experiencing as time went on.  They were such a comfort at such a scary, sad time.

twisted

My Mercyful Quilt is backed with a soft vintage sheet.

So, making this quilt caused me to reflect.  It gave me time to think about providing what we can to help people we will never meet.  I thought about how being kind to a faceless person feels good.  Quilting this piece made me realize how important it is to pay it forward.  I received comfort from a team such as the one at Mercy Hospital.  It is my turn to help the next person going through a difficult time.

Now this one is done so I can look forward to quilting the next one.  I have two quilt tops in line to work on.  I have a few holiday projects in process but I think it is ok to work on those first and then tackle the next Mercyful quilt.

Mercyful Quilts – destined to bring comfort to others.

Look at the stack that is waiting to be picked up! I believe we are at twenty quilts so far and more are on the way.  My gratitude intention for Thanksgiving this year is easy.  I am over the top grateful for each of you and the amazing, gorgeous quilts you are sending to me for Mercy Hospital.  Quilts have arrived from Texas, Arizona, Louisiana, Massachusetts and all over California.  AMAZING!! I hope you will continue to feel a desire to work on this drive.  Share it with your quilting groups, post about it on your blog or Instagram feed and tag it #Mercyfulquilts.  The need is ongoing.  If you cannot contribute a quilt, you may want to make a couple of blocks for Covered in Love.  This program serves the same need at a hospital in Texas.

Wishing all of you a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend.

Linking this finish up at a few fun places.  Check them out at the top of the page, under Link Ups.

 

Newsletter!

Have you signed up for my newsletter?  It is published every month or so and is full of information about my shop, new arrivals, sales, and events.  Click here to sign up!

 

TWISTED

Twisted Quilt Top

I have made progress on my Twisted quilt — I have a finished quilt top!  Do you remember this project? I started it a long while back when my local quilt guild hosted a class taught by the pattern designer, Dorie Javier. It was in June of last year that I began the quilt.  I pulled it out once or twice since then and made a few more blocks for it.  Then it would sit.  Here we are, a year later, and I had hardly made any progress on it.twistedAbout two weeks ago, I had the pleasure of sewing with my friend, Sophia.  I decided this was the project to work on.  Making the rest of the blocks went quickly.  Playing with the layout took a little bit of time.  At first I was sewing the four blocks together and then laying out the 12″ blocks but I realized I needed to play with colors and sprinkle the darker values out across the quilt. It worked better to layout some of the six inch blocks so I had more flexibility.  I unpicked the seams on a number of the 12″ blocks to allow for this.

twisted

After settling on the layout and getting the design sewn together, I played with fabrics for the border. My first thought was to use a dark purple and a narrow strip of green.  I posted the picture above on Instagram and asked for opinions.  I love hearing from others because it often spurs me into another direction.

twisted

After looking at others’ feedback, I thought I would introduce a floral into the border. I looked at two from my shop.  One was the High Meadow Floral from Amy Gibson’s Meriwether line and the other was Cat in the Flowers from Paint the Town.

twisted

It was a tough choice and I actually think either would work, but I went with Cat in the Flowers and a narrow purple border.  I liked the deeper color of the High Meadow floral but I didn’t like the red tones in some of the flowers. Cat in the Flowers has a softer palette and it seemed to work a little bit better. Because it is directional, with the kitties all oriented in the same direction, I decided to attach the borders so that the cats were all looking out and away from the quilt’s center.

twisted

What do you think? I am so happy with the colors and the feminine, flowery vibe of the quilt top.  We had some breezy weather and a comical quilt holder when trying to take pictures.

twisted

Now that the whole top is assembled, I am moving on to the next phase – time to decide how to quilt it!  Like many of you, this is always a tough decision for me. At this point, I am thinking I will separate the quilting into three logical sections.  The center of each set of four blocks, the lattice-like pattern created by the florals, and , of course, the borders.

Once I figure out how to quilt it, I will do it at home.  Also, I have not yet decided on a backing for the quilt.  I don’t have tons of yardage in my stash (well, if we don’t consider the shop fabric my stash!!). But it would be nice if I could use some stash up.  Maybe I will piece a backing together or I could use a vintage sheet if I have one in a good color.  Decisions, decisions

If you are interested in the Twisted quilt pattern, I carry it in my shop. There are also some of Dorie’s other patterns available too.

Feels good to have the quilt top done, some twelve months after starting it.  How about you?  Lots of UFO’s languishing?  Do you have many quilt tops needing to be finished?  Hopefully I will get this top basted over the weekend.  It is supposed to be quite warm out so planning for an indoor project is a good idea.  Have a great weekend everyone!  I am linking up with the Friday favorites.  Check them out at the top of the page, under Link Ups.

Newsletter!

Have you signed up for my newsletter?  It is published every month or so and is full of information about my shop, new arrivals, sales, and events.  Click here to sign up!

SaveSave

SaveSave

Summer Flowers

I started a new project! Over a year ago I received a stack of Kaffe Fassett florals from somebody. It was during the first round of #getyourquiltywishesgranted on Instagram. I wish I could give proper credit but I just can’t remember which kind quilter sent them. She had offered them up if anyone wanted to use them and I was the lucky recipient. Then, as often happens, they sat on the top shelf in the closet for about 18 months!


At the April guild meeting, they announced a class to be held for using up scraps. I have no shortage of possible ways to use scraps but this pattern looked cute and what is better than a day sewing with friends? I signed up. Yesterday was our sew day. A woman, Doris Javier, from a neighboring guild, had designed the pattern and she was there to teach. The pattern itself is extremely simple to construct; basically cut lots of rectangles and sew together in pairs. Then arrange in one of a number of designs and stitch into blocks. When I first started joining the rectangles, I was not consistent about the direction In which I placed the floral fabric and the background. Of course, it needs to be consistent so that the angles run the correct way. Luckily, I was eager to see how the block would come together and tried to lay some out right after I pieced the first couple. So I have a few that are slanting the wrong way and will have to be used in something else. Maybe I will piece the backing and use them for that. Because the rectangles are sewn together on the bias, much like binding strips, I now have a large stack of triangles to use up. They are all stacked in pairs and I will chain stitch them into HST’s to be used at some point down the road. Love those little bonus HST’s!

It has been a long time since I have sewn with a group and I had forgotten how much fun it is. Even with people you aren’t well acquainted with, there is already a common bond with our shared love of stitching. One of the best things about making a particular pattern with a group of people is seeing all of the different fabric combinations created by each of us. Each unique combination gives the quilt a whole new look. When I gathered my fabric together, I based the pull on the Kaffe Fassett scraps but didn’t have quite enough of them to make the whole top. It was very easy to add other brightly colored floral scraps to round things out. For the background, I selected a textured solid made by Red Rooster – it was the last bit I had in my shop and works perfectly with the florals. The look is so summery.


I made significant progress yesterday. I have a large stack of rectangles made and paired into blocks. It takes four of these to make a full block. I didn’t sew too many complete blocks together because I want to lay them out and check the distribution of color. At this point though, it shouldn’t take too long to complete the quilt top. I would estimate I have half of the rectangles pieced. With one more session in the sewing room, I should be able to chain piece the rest of them.


The group in class yesterday agreed to try and get at least the quilt top finished before the guild meeting in September. I am sure I can complete the top but would be even more pleased to get the quilt itself completed. We shall see how my projects go this summer!

Quick side note: I am thrilled with the number of readers joining in with the sew along that is just beginning. If you haven’t read the post yet, click here. We will be making a simple shirt to wear and I will break it down into a few simple steps. We are just getting started so I t isn’t too late to join in. Read the post, order your pattern and select your fabric. The next post will be up on June 15th! Let me know if you have any questions.