Tag Archives: mercyful quilts

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.

Wednesday Words

I fear I have become a lazy blogger. No fair to just read all of your posts and then never write one. Becomes a bit of a one-sided conversation. Here is a quick update for you.

Julia and I were called to jury duty on the same case – a faux pax on the part of the jury selection system I suppose. Anyway, we both went and answered their questions as well as filling out a huge questionnaire. Fortunately neither of us were selected. It was an ugly case involving domestic violence, rape and more. I know this stuff happens and it is horrible but listening to this case for three weeks would have been quite unpleasant and we were both just fine with not being picked for the jury.

This is the road we have been using for our walk/jog program. So pretty!

Last week we both (Julia and I) decided we need to up our exercise game. We walk most days which is nice. After tossing it around a bit, we downloaded the Couch 2 5K app. This is an app that adds short segments of jogging to the walk and eventually shortens the walking segments and lengthens the jogging. Today will be the 3rd day of it. (We walked on the days in between doing a segment of C25K). I have used this app before to get into running and it works quite well. In the beginning, where we are now, it is basically a warm up, then walk 90 seconds, jog 60 seconds, and repeat for about 20 minutes, ending with a cool down walk. My legs are a bit sore but that is to be expected. So far I can’t say Julia is loving this but she is willing to keep at it for a bit.

In the sewing room the other day, I wasn’t feeling like working on the myriad of projects I needed to be. So instead I decided to try something different – I wanted to learn something new. I decided to make a pair of underwear. Not the normal project for me but I had fabric that would work as well as some lingerie elastic. Needing some cotton fabric for the crotch lining, I went to Ray and asked if I could cut up one of his white undershirts. He looks at me and says sure you can, but why? I told him I wanted to make underwear. He got such a funny expression on his face and says, ‘uhh… for me’? Hahaha, nope. For me. Anyway, I made a pair and it worked quite well. The only problem was I cut the elastic for around the hips too big which means it didn’t gather correctly. While they fit reasonably, I think they would feel like they were slipping down. So, I am going to try again. It was fun to do something different. No pictures because I am just not much on modeling underwear!

The Bloom with Grace quilt that I am making for Mercy Hospital is coming along great. I am just over 1/2 way done with quilting it. Shouldn’t be much longer and this will be a finish to share. More on this one soon.

My sweet Vermont native was beyond thrilled to have snow in her new home in Washington state. This girl loves being outdoors and cold has never been an issue for her. She was so excited to have snow to play in for a couple of days.

For my other sweet girl, snow was a completely new experience. She isn’t quite walking yet so when plopped down, there she stayed. I don’t think she quite knew what to make of this cold stuff! Luckily her parents have tons of snow gear in all sizes from her sister so they were well prepared.

Finally, I finished the dolly quilt for the snow bunny up above. I need to take some pictures and I will share that soon. It is adorable!

In shop news, you might have seen this cute bolt of wide back fabric in a rainbow of polka dots I shared on social media last week. Well, after I shared it there were a number of orders for it. (Thank you so much!) As I unrolled the bolt to start cutting orders, I noticed all of these teeny tiny white spots splattered on the fabric. At first I hoped it was just the one area. I unwrapped the entire bolt and checked it. This is no small feat with 108″ wide fabric! The spots were all over the place. Ugh. I returned the bolt to the manufacturer and they said they were having trouble with this run of that particular fabric. So sad because it was super cute. Anyway, if you wondered what happened and why I took down those posts, now you know. Customers were very gracious when I explained the discovery and canceled their orders.

I spent some time cleaning up yesterday. For my bargain hunting customers, there are a number of new bolts added to the Clearance section. Plus quite a few new remnants were added to the Remnant section. Be sure to take a peek and see if anything catches your eye!

That’s it for now. I hope you are all staying warm wherever you are located! Such a crazy winter this is for most of the country.

Linking up with Stitch Sew & Show over at Life in the Scrapatch.

February Plans

Just sitting here on a chilly, damp morning drinking that first cup of coffee. (Nothing better than that first cup, is there?) I am trying to wrap my head around the fact that my oldest child is celebrating his 36th birthday today and number two celebrated his 34th birthday two days ago. How did that even happen? Time just marches on. I love having adult children – watching them carve their path, raise children, and develop their careers. It is truly satisfying.

OK – moving on from blathering about my boys, let’s look at a fun project I worked on this week. Our local quilt guild is doing some community service work, making placemats for both Meals on Wheels and the local senior center. I thought this would be a fun project to contribute to. The only requirement was to make them finish at 12″ x 18″. My plan was to use some orphan blocks as the starting point. I have three finished and two more that just need binding.

This one used six HST’s that were leftover from making my Pikes’s Peak quilt (which still needs to be finished). Love the blue and gray tones in this placemat. I used a fun stitch to quilt the outer border. All of the placemats have machine stitched bindings.

Placemat number two used up a few odds and ends from the Twisted quilt I made several years ago and donated to Mercyful Quilts. I actually have quite a few of these rectangles left because I had stitched a number of them backwards and didn’t notice it until after trimming the backside (making it too late to rip them apart). This made a cute placemat and, again, I used a decorative stitch for the two borders.

Isn’t this a cute one? I have had that little heart block for at least four or five years. I made it with a pattern from Kitty Wilkin over at Night Quilter. I never used it though and am happy to see it finished up.

Thinking forward and making a plan for what I will work on next, I think I want to finish up a quilt for Mercy Hospital. I had shared my Bloom with Grace flimsy two weeks ago and, at the suggestion of a couple of you, I decided to add top and bottom borders to give it some length. That is completed and it is basted and ready to quilt.

This is the main goal for February and I will link this up to OMG at Elm Street Quilts. Beyond this quilt, I want to make something for my grand daughters. Both girls have birthdays next month. As I said above, time marches on and A will have her first birthday just after H celebrates her fourth! Wow. I am thinking about making a teepee which can be set up in one of the play rooms. I have a feeling they will like playing in it. For this, I need to order some heavy fabric, maybe a canvas, with a non-directional print..

OK – time to get going. The coffee is now lukewarm and there are orders to pack. Looks like it will be a rainy day but hopefully there will be a break enough to take a walk and get a little outside time. Have a great day all!

Project Updates

Somehow almost two weeks have passed since the last post. Not sure how that happened, but here we are. I have actually been in the sewing room quite a bit so I will do a quick update on what has been in the works.

First and foremost, I have been working on a cute baby quilt for my niece. It is just about done – I have a few more inches of binding to stitch down and then into the wash it goes. Once she receives it, I will share it here. I am 99% sure she doesn’t read the blog but since I haven’t taken photos of it anyway, it will have to wait.

Additionally, I decided to make a quilt for Mercy Hospital. If you are new here, I coordinate a program called Mercyful Quilts and you can read more about it here. It seemed like a good way to start off the new year by making a quilt for them. I have a panel (by Three Wishes) in the shop that is very pretty. It has four large sections and each has a quote. I thought, for people who are going through the process of saying goodbye to a loved one, this quilt would provide comfort. The prints are reminiscent of a water color painting.

Being a panel, this was a simple quilt top to create. I cut the panel into four sections and used some of the coordinates to create borders around the squares. (Looking at the squares, I think these would also be fun to use for a tote bag for bible study.)

Now that it is all put together, I am thinking it might be a tad small at 49 inches square. Just trying to decide if I add another border or go ahead and get it basted. Decisions, decisions. I am thinking of using a soft vintage sheet for the backing. I hope I have one in the right colors for this.

In the on-going saga of pretending to clean the sewing room, I started playing with a stack of leftover HST’s from the Mosaic Mystery Quilt I participated in last winter. (The top is still in the closet, patiently waiting for me to get it finished up.) As a result of piecing that top, I have a large stack of 2 1/2″ HST’s that I want to use for something. I poked around that wonderful rabbit hole, aka Pinterest, until I found some inspiration. I am working on a mini. I haven’t made a mini in quite a while. I remember making a bunch of them when I first started blogging but seems like it has been a while. So this will be finished up soon and I will share it with you then. I am thinking it may need to be hand quilted.

OK – that is it for now. Sorry to have been remiss in posting. I have been reading tons of posts and am loving the Stay at Home Round Robin that is going on. Have you seen the posts about this? It is being hosted by Quilting Gail and I am enjoying it. Check it out – maybe you have the perfect orphan block to build from.

Linking up to Stitch Show & Sew as well as a few others. Check out my Link Up tab at the top of the page.

Thank You from Mercy Hospital

Below is a letter I received from the Palliative Care team at Mercy Hospital in Sacramento, California. They are so grateful for all of the quilts you have made and donated to their program.

Dear Stitchers,

We are writing to thank you…words cannot explain how important these lovely Comfort Quilts are to the family of our dying patients.  When we deliver them, a look of relief and gratitude immediately takes the place of sadness and loss.  For our families to be able to take home something that their loved one has worn is amazing and unforgettable.

Thank you for all of your skill, hard work, and obvious love that is sewn into each and every quilt; our gratitude for this kindness will never end.  Please know that you are making a difference in someone’s life.  Thank you, again. 

Sincerely and warmly,

The Palliative Care Team at Mercy General

Lisa Seo, Palliative Care MD
Sameera Sandhu, Palliative Care MD
Lori Marsh, RN
Emma Cook, LCSW
Elizabeth K. Mohrherr, MSW
Lucy Zang, SSC

Could it be?? Another Finish?

Yep – it’s true. I have another finish to share. The very small, almost non-existent, silver lining to the fires and smoke we are experiencing is having to stay inside. The smoke is thick and the air very unhealthy so we have been indoors continuously for a long while. This means I can sew!

OK – I started this quilt ages ago. The fabric was leftover from the twin size quilt I made for Julia’s bed in our Downieville house (which we sold this summer.) I made that quilt back in early 2016.

Downieville Quilt

This was a huge quilt as I wanted it to hang over the edge of the bed by a ways. I had planned to make two matching quilts for that bedroom but the second one never happened. However I had already cut many squares intending to make the second one. I decided to use the leftover fabric to make a Mercyful quilt for the families at Mercy Hospital in Sacramento. I matched up a number of the squares, making sure each was partnered with the tan solid and made large (10″ finished) half square triangles with (some of) the leftovers.

Quilt Top Completed!

I made the quilt top in November 2018 and promptly stashed it away – for almost two years!! Why?!?

Basting the top – Finally!

In my last post, I shared I was basting the top and planning to finish it up.

Marking my lines with painter’s tape.

After some thought, I decided to go with simple straight lines for the quilting. Marking the quilt with wide painter’s tape, and starting from the center, I did a two lines of stitching with my walking foot. I used the width of the walking foot to mark off the separation for the second line in each set. This, naturally, went very quick.

My quilt holder, aka Julia, and I took some quick photos on the deck. Didn’t want to stay out long because it was too smokey! I am so pleased with the way this quilt looks.

For the off-centered diamond, I did some extra quilting on the diagonal. I didn’t measure this accurately and my center line is a bit funky. Such is life. I am not overly bothered by this.

The overall effect is good and as we know, I am not one for precision.

A peek at the backing.

For the backing, I used one of the vintage sheets I have stashed. I know many quilters dislike backing with sheets but I have not had a problem with it. They quilt up fine and I have washed the finished quilts (those I have kept) many times without issue. I love how the soft purple and greens complement the darker shades in the quilt top.

This quilt is headed to Mercy Hospital and I hope the family it is given to will take comfort from it.

Unfinished Quilt Tops

About two weeks ago, I made this collage of the unfinished quilt tops I have. I have finished two of them since then which makes me so happy. I haven’t decided which one I will tackle next. I think I need to decide on backings and see what I have available.

For my next project, I need to make a bunting (with the letters of her name) for my youngest grand daughter. When we were up in Seattle, my son reminded me I had made one for older sister before she was born yet this baby is nearly 6 months old and I haven’t made hers. Yikes. Better get on it!!

Take care everyone. If you are affected by the fires (and pretty much everyone in the west is) please take care and be safe. If you have extra rain, please send it to us. We are all in dire need.

Sharing at:

Brag About Your Beauties, Finished or Not Friday, UFO Busting, and Can I Get a Whoop Whoop

Mercyful Quilts on Parade

I have been looking forward to the mail delivery and the UPS guy daily. Most days they bring me a wonderful package to open. It’s like Christmas around here!! Sarah’s amazing Hands2Help event is finishing up at the end of the month so quilts are being mailed to various organizations all over the map. Mercy Hospital in Sacramento is one of the (incredibly grateful) recipients.I have opened quilts from throughout the US – Florida, Texas, Arizona, and North Carolina among others!

I thought it was time to share the bounty with you. I took pictures of some of the quilts but not all. This was not done with any rhyme or reason. I wanted to share some of these and it just isn’t feasible to photograph all of them. Not enough hours in the day, right? But I will say this – ALL of the quilts are amazing. Each one is uniquely beautiful and all of them are clearly made with love and compassion.

Let’s take a look at these beauties!

These were both made by Emily of Darling Dogwood. Both have gorgeous batiks in similar colors but the light and dark backgrounds sure make for a different vibe.

I have to say I don’t know Ann but isn’t she a talented quilter? Her choice of colors and patterns are just wonderful! I love both of the patterns she used for her quilts.

Ok – three quilts from three wonderful women. Top left came from Kim C. in Florida, top right was made by Erica in Arizona and bottom center by the wonderful Linda R. in Texas. Thank you ladies!!!

These two are so much fun. Top left is from Anny who lives about 2 hours from me and I have had the pleasure of meeting in ‘real life’. She made this with a group from the Sacramento MQG – so cool that they chose to donate to a hospital local to them! The other came from Selina who lives in Florida. Thank you so much!!

Two more lovelies – Trudie sent her quilt all the way from Texas and Kathryn sent hers over from Pennsylvania. These beauties will bring great comfort to their recipients.

This quilt came from Cyndy in Oregon – she blogs at Quilting is More Fun than Housework. (I got lazy and used a picture from her blog post!!). Anyway, the thing I love about this quilt is it is made up of orphan blocks! Her orphan blocks look like they were planned and made to go together. I was pretty surprised when I read this. It is really beautiful and she did a great job of laying these out and making them work!

As I said before, there are more and I am so very thankful for each of the quilts donated. It never ceases to amaze me how generous the quilting community is. Quilts of this caliber take so much time! Not to mention the expense of fabric and batting. And then, beyond all that, spending $20 to mail the quilt somewhere! I am grateful to know all of you and thankful you thought of Mercyful quilts when you wanted to give someone such a lovely gift.

Scrappy Dresden and Monthly Color Challenge Block

Happy Saturday Everyone. It is National Quilting Day so I really hope you each find a few minutes to work on a project or at the very least look at fabric and plan the next project!

I got my two monthly scrappy projects done for March! For RSC2020, the color is teal and I decided to make a smaller Dresden plate. I will combine it with the larger orange one I made in February and likely need to make one or two more before I put them together into some sort of wall quilt.

For the Monthly Color Challenge, hosted by Patterns By Jen, the color is orange. You might remember I did the January and February blocks with polka dot fabrics. That caused me to do a quick search though my scraps to see if I have enough polka dotted scraps to make this a theme for the sampler. I believe I do! So this month, I continued with the dotted fabrics.

March Scrappy Blocks

The block was a breeze with a pinwheel block in the center and then some flying geese to surround it, making it a square in a square. Easy peasy and very cute!

Next up is another quilt I am working on for Mercy Hospital. I had thrifted some pretty fabrics about a week or two ago. I knew I wanted to use them in a large block design because they are quite large in scale of print. I gathered another piece from my scraps plus a cut from a blender in the shop and pieced a Giant Star Quilt using a tutorial by Jeni Baker from In Color Order. This pattern is super simple and a lot of fun. Side note: I actually made something very similar when I was about 19 or 20 years old for my parents. I remember I saw the pattern in a magazine and made with in tones of burgundy, navy blue and it had a muslin background. I filled it with a puffy polyester batting and yarn tied it. That was a whole lotta years ago!

At this point, I have the quilt basted and did some ditch stitching to stabilize everything. This weekend I should be able to get it quilted. I need to find something fun to use for the binding.

Since all of California is mandated to now ‘shelter in place’, there is plenty of time for sewing and also lots of time to read. I am LOVING this book and highly recommend it if you want something to read while we wait out this Covid-chaos. My girlfriend loaned it to me and it is such a great read.

Let’s close with a picture of my sweet grand daughters, shall we? Little sister has decided she isn’t terribly fond of sleeping in her bed and is creating some sleep deprived parents these days. Coincidentally, big sister is thinking afternoon naps are passe`. Yikes, this doesn’t make for a good combination. Hoping the baby starts to cozy up to the idea of sleeping in her bassinet soon!!

Linking to lots of fun places including Brag About Your Beauties and Oh Scrap!

Quilts, Quarantines, Babies and More

Oh my gosh, where to start! This is such a crazy world these days. The news is all-consuming as we constantly check for updates on the spread of Covid-19, within the US and internationally as well. Our philosophy is to take it seriously and try to remain calm and rational at the same time. The Governor of California spoke yesterday. He has ordered all pubs, bars, nightclubs and wineries in California to shut down for the duration. All restaurants are to cut their capacity for seating in half and move tables much further apart. People age 65 and over are to quarantine in place at their homes. No visitors at convalescent or senior homes unless it is a terminal situation and people need to be there to say goodbye. So, things are serious here in CA. I believe if people respect the rules and stay home for a bit, the contagion will be limited and hopefully the situation can be controlled. I hope you are in a safe situation and able to stay healthy.

My son with his two sweet girls.

Moving on to better and more enjoyable topics, my new grand daughter arrived on March 12th!!! Such an exciting event to break up the negative vibe we have all been experiencing. When I look at the photo above, I just love how big sister has her hands up to her face, looking at her new sister with awe. Isn’t this heart-warming? The baby is healthy and mommy is healing well. She was very chunky at birth, weighing 8 pounds and 14.5 ounces. She has dropped to 8 pounds, one ounce but is feeding well and doing fine.

Two sisters just hanging around together.

Big sister surely loves little sister but is a tad disappointed in the baby’s lack of abilities. On the first day, she asked her father to bring the baby into her room so “she could crawl around a little”. Once she realized this wouldn’t happen for a while, she got a little bored of baby sister. Today I got to FaceTime with them and she was “playing” doctor with dad and little sister. I could hear my son quietly say, ‘gentle, gentle’. I think it is going well though. So all is as it should be. My husband and I were supposed to travel out to Vermont on March 31st and we are soooo sad to postpone the trip. We will go just as soon as the Covid crises calms down. Hopefully sooner rather than later.

Postage Plus Quilt

I finished up a quilt for Mercy Hospital! I am really pleased with this finish. You may remember I started this back when the blog hop was running for the Modern Plus Quilts book. I took it to quilt it on a friend’s long arm and had a horrible time with it. In frustration, I took it off the long arm and brought it home. After ripping out so many stitches I came to be extremely annoyed with the whole thing. It was folded and placed in a basket where it sat for two years!!

I decided it was time to finish it up and really had fun with it. I used my walking foot and quilted it in a grid fashion. I outlined the patchwork plus in the center. With the wide brown stripes there is quilting running in both directions. The horizontal lines are stitched in brown and the vertical lines in green. It looks wonderful!

Backing is a pale yellow batik heart fabric.

For the backing, I used a piece I had thrifted years ago. It is a buttery yellow batik with hearts all over it.

Scrappy binding for the win!

When I pieced the plus in the center of the quilt, I used a jelly roll. It didn’t take but 1/2 of the strips so I decided to use some of the leftover strips for binding. It looks really pretty since, naturally, the prints and colors work perfectly.

Ready for Mercy Hospital

I am so happy to have this done and ready for Mercy Hospital. I am already working on the next one for them. Their supplies are down so I am trying to boost the stack for them just a bit. Mercyful Quilts is once again thrilled to be a recipient for quilts made through the 2020 Hands2Help event that is hosted annually by Sarah of Confessions of a Fabric Addict. I am so grateful to have our organization included. Last year so many gorgeous quilts were donated and it was hugely helpful. Thank you in advance to all the quilters who participate in this year’s event!

I have been thinking quite a bit about being home for the duration of the Covid-19 saga. Many of us are turning to our craft and sewing rooms. I read a great article about how soothing it is to involve oneself in a craft, such as sewing, art, woodworking or other project during stressful times such as these. Ray and Julia have been talking about working out in his woodshed while she is home. All three of us have been baking. Of course, I plan to sew. My shop has been quite busy the last couple of days so I think many quilters are planning the same thing.

To this end, I want to help out a bit. Lots of quilters are turning to on-line shopping if Covid is prevalent in their area. For instance, I have noticed a substantial increase in orders from the Bay Area in California where so many people are home and quarantined. To make things a bit better for those shopping on-line, I have a Free (standard) Shipping promotion going in the shop. It started today and will run through Wednesday. All orders will ship for free during that time! You won’t need to enter a promo code – it is all set up for you. I hope this is helpful to you! Click here and browse a bit.

I am going to sew this afternoon. I haven’t made any of my scrappy projects for March yet. So I need to make my orange block for the Monthly Color Challenge and then something with the teal scraps for RSC20. After that, I will pick up another quilt top to finish up for Mercy Hospital. What is your plan? Is Covid affecting you and your daily routine? I worry about people who live alone and are quarantined. Can we all support each other? Let me know how you are doing and let’s all keep each other busy and engaged.

Linking up with several sites, including Brag About Your Beauties and Elm Street Quilts.