Just stopping in to thank all of you for such a successful quilt along. Mercyful Quilts now has another batch of fresh, gorgeous quilts on the way. I am always looking for ways to keep the shelf full for their Palliative Care department and all of you are a huge part of that.
Many thanks to Preeti (Sew Preeti Quilts) for heading this Positivity QAL up for the second year in a row. Preeti designs the quilt, writes up the instructions, keeps the timeline and answers many questions from quilters needing a little help here or there. Without her, this event wouldn’t happen. Thanks also to the quilters who graciously spend their time and money to make a quilt (or two!) for the program. I believe we have about 15 quilts this year as a result of the event. There may be one or two more that get finished up later and that is totally fine.
Due to the generosity of Art Gallery Fabric and Benartex Fabric, each quilter who finished a quilt and either linked up or sent me a picture of the final quilt will receive a gift. I know the prize, or gift, is not the reason we make these comfort quilts. But it is nice to be able to replenish your fabric after you have given up some of your stash to make a quilt for us. These gifts will go out in the mail later this week. If Preeti or I don’t have your address, we will contact you to get the mailing information.
As I write this post, I am thinking about how grateful I am to have your support for Mercyful Quilts. When I consider the time it takes to make a quilt, the expense of the fabric, batting, backing and binding, possible expense of a long arm quilter, and the cost of the postage – this is no small undertaking. Many people don’t understand how many hours and hours go into each quilt. Nor do they know the amount of money spent to make one lap size quilt. But I know and am so thankful. When I count my blessings, each of you are counted.
Who has finished their 2022 Positivity Quilt for Mercy Hospital in Sacramento? Visualize me with my hand up in the air and a huge smile on my face! Whether you are finished, or still working on it, know that Mercyful Quilts is so grateful to you for your time, creativity and generosity. These quilts give comfort to families as they say goodbye to a person very special to them. Anyone who has lost someone dear to them knows how difficult this is. For us to be able to provide some support to these people is a gift.
I am really happy with the quilt I made for this QAL. Before I left California, my friend Stephanie (who has donated 3 quilts to Mercy Hospital already) gave me a stack of fabric. In her honor, I used the bundle of Dreamcatcher fabric for this quilt. It wasn’t the absolute perfect choice because so much of the fabric was directional and made some of the blocks look a bit chopped up. But – the overall effect is good, so I am pleased. I mentioned before that this western themed fabric isn’t something I would typically choose. But this quilt isn’t for me, is it? The region that Mercy Hospital in Sacramento serves has plenty of people with horses and ranches so I am hoping this quilt calls to a family with this sort of vibe.
I had some large pieces in the stack and was able to piece a backing with them. At least this way I could feature the directional prints in the right manner.
I quilted the body of the quilt with loops of all sizes. I wanted to practice one shape while I was quilting so I selected circles – quilting just circles over and over was great to develop that muscle memory. As usual, I quilted with Glide thread. It is super silky and works well for me.
I like this little nook in front of my machine – it is just the right place to tuck the roll of binding while I am attaching it. I machine stitched to the front and hand stitched the back.
Now that this is finished, I have two Mercyful quilts ready to go. So – do you have yours ready too? If so, please link up and show us your finish!
If you can’t link up, please send me a picture so I can enter you in the prize drawing. Here is Lisa T’s quilt finish. Lisa’s quilt is a lovely rainbow of color!
The two quilts shown above were made by Danielle (@justanaveragequilter). The different background colors make such a difference in the overall look of the quilt!
Maybe I should share a prize or two donated by Art Gallery Fabric. They are always very generous sponsors and I am grateful. Surely you are already aware of the quality of AGF fabrics but if you haven’t given them a try, please do.
Each of these Art Gallery Fabric prizes give you three yards of fabric to work with! There are also bundles of fabric provided by Island Batik as well as
OK – Here is the link up! Show us what you made. (Or email me a picture! You can use the contact me button on this page.)
This is a good day! I feel like life is getting back to normal. With time for a little sewing, a couple of chores, and time to write blog posts; it is evident that the work of the move is behind us. The timing could not be better as it is time for the second annual Positivity Quiltalong, hosted by Sew Preeti Quilts and Needle and Foot. This quiltalong happened for the first time, last spring. At that time, life was getting crazy and it was difficult for me to focus on it. This is made most evident by the fact that I have not yet finished my quilt from that QAL. My incomplete quilt aside, Preeti has once again created a fun, easy to make pattern for all of us to create together.
In case this is new to you, Preeti Harris is a staunch supporter of a project I organize called Mercyful Quilts. Mercyful Quilts collects lap size quilts for patients who are at end of life at Mercy Hospital in Sacramento, CA. I have been coordinating this program for nearly four years now. You can read a lot of the details by clicking here. Countless quilts have been made for this project – each one given to a person who is saying goodbye to a loved one. The family uses the quilt to cover the person while in the hospital. When the person passes away, the quilt goes home with the family as a remembrance of this special family member. We have heard several very moving stories from families who received a Mercyful Quilt. These quilts serve to remind us how important it is to show kindness to everyone, even to people we don’t know. We are reminded that these acts of kindness and care might just provide a bit of extra support to a family going through a sorrowful time. This is why we make the quilts.
There are only a few requirements for Mercyful Quilts. The hospital serves adults only so no juvenile fabrics or themes. We always need male, female and gender neutral quilts so search your fabrics with that in mind. Lap size only please – no bigger or it becomes too difficult to store them.
Last year when Preeti asked if I would like to work with her on a quiltalong for Mercyful Quilts How could I say anything but yes?? Feeling we all needed a dose of positivity in our lives, Preeti designed a pattern, wrote very clear instructions and even gathered a few prizes. We all made a “plus” quilt together and if memory serves me, Mercy Hospital received over 20 quilts. There were a few others made internationally which were donated to causes closer to the quilter. After such a successful and fun time, she is at it again!
This is the pattern we will be sewing for the 2022 event. Preeti has put together a relaxed schedule (that I am hoping to actually adhere to!) There will be several Linky parties (hosted here at Needle & Foot) to share your progress along the way.
Here is the breakdown:
May 29, 2022 – QAL Launch – Block tutorial and fabric requirements will be shared.
June 5, 2022 – Finalize your fabric picks, block and layout etc.
July 24, 2022 – Level 1 prizes announced. Complete making the binding.
July 31, 2022 – Complete piecing the backing. Complete basting your quilt tops.
August 7, 2022 – Quilting in progress.
August 14, 2022 – Complete quilting and attach binding
August 21, 2022 – Share finished quilts. Mail finished quilts to Patty (our Mercy Hospital contact). Linky party participation required for prizes.
September 4, 2022 – Level 2 prizes announced.
This will be a fantastic project to work on over the summer. I have an idea in my head for the fabrics I think I will use. How about you? Will you join in and make a quilt for Mercy Hospital with us? Preeti and I would love to have you join us! If you have any questions, please feel free to leave them in the comments. I am thrilled to, once again, be working with Preeti, gathering Mercyful Quilts and hanging out with all of you!
I have finished very few quilts this year so I am excited to share this with everyone. It is a cheerful quilt and a fun pattern to make. As you likely remember, I tested this pattern for Sew Preeti Quilts. Preeti writes delightful patterns and has several listed in her Etsy Shop.
I did make an internal compromise with this project. I really wanted to spend some time and quilt the center of each block with a picture of sorts. I had them all planned out. However, life is so crazy right now and I decided the free motion quilting would have to wait for another project. Instead I did a version of a zig zag/serpentine stitch going both vertically and horizontally which was a very quick way to finish this little quilt.
The zig zag adds some fun texture and will probably be enhanced even more after being washed.
I have quite a large piece of this polka dot fabric which made the backing choice a simple one. Binding was done with the same red fabric as used on the front.
Our fall colors were extraordinary this year – most of the trees have dropped their leaves at this point.
Moving on to non-quilting topics, I have exciting news! Ray and I have decided to move from California up to Washington. I am sure you can guess the main reason. Yes, you got it. There are two sweet girls up there we are wanting to see more often. Between the pull of being near the grand children and the drawbacks to California life (mainly very hot summers and the dangerous fire seasons), we decided to go for it.
We have talked to a realtor and made a list of projects to do in order to have the house ready to list in early Spring. To that end, we both have been very busy. Ray bears the brunt of the really hard work but I have a fairly long list as well.
Here is one project – you’ll surely relate to. I moved my sewing supplies downstair to the family room in order to create a guest room.
In the twelve years we have lived in this house, this room has never been so clean. After the holidays I will have all the carpets cleaned and the guest room will be staged for showing. For now, I am just reveling in its tidy state.
Julia’s room was in need of sprucing up as well. When she was about 10 years old, she asked if she could have a blue and lavender room. Time took its toll on this room so Ray and I painted it a very pale gray.
As with the guest room, I cannot believe how tidy Julia’s room is. This room will also be rearranged for showing but the hard part is done.
I can’t show you the new sewing space just yet – mainly because I haven’t taken a photo for you. (Let’s be honest, it is a hot mess!)
Finally, here is another project I am working on. I am a huge fan of photographs and have so many albums. But they do take up space. Rather than move them all, I decided to pull pictures out and organize them by year in photo boxes. One might think this is a quick and easy task, and it should be. But with each album I get pulled into the nostalgia and memories they contain. So while this is really enjoyable, it is not quick!! Evenings have been spent poring over the books and sharing pictures with my kids via text. It will get done all in good time. I have emptied about eight albums and they fit into two boxes which saves a lot of space.
That is enough for today. I need to get going to the grocery store for a few things. Julia comes home tomorrow for the whole Thanksgiving week. I am so excited! I haven’t seen her for eight weeks which is the longest ever! Have a wonderful day everyone.
Linking up to my favorites since I miraculously have a finish!! You can find them at the top of the page under Link Ups.
Last week I mentioned I had been asked by Preeti of Sew Preeti Quilts to test a pattern of hers. She recently released her newest design, Masala Box. The pattern is really adorable. Here is Preeti’s version.
This is the sort of pattern that is right up my alley. I love patchwork and also simplicity. Fussy patterns are not my favorite. This pattern is set up for strip piecing (which is quick and efficient) or if you have a box of 2 1/2″ squares, you could make a scrappy version and use those bits up!
Hoping to finish this quickly so I could share Preeti’s new pattern, I made a baby quilt. It finishes at 36″ square which is the perfect size for Jack’s Basket. I love donating to them and will send this off when it is finished. Looking through my stash, I wanted to put together some bold colors. When I saw the red polka dots on turquoise I decided I would build off that piece. Luckily, I had plenty of red and aqua in the stash and I added a bright polka dot on off-white to break things up a bit.
The pattern features a large rectangle within each set of 2 1/2″ squares. Preeti did a wonderful job writing this pattern up. Her instructions and illustrations are clear and very easy to follow. There are so many ways the rectangle within each block could be used. How about placing appliqué on that center, or featuring a large scale fabric, maybe notes or signatures could be written here in permanent fabric markers – I think it is a creative space with a lot of potential.
I plan to back my quilt with the red and aqua polka dot fabric. As for a quilting plan, I don’t have one just yet. I want to do something special with those white rectangles and am waiting to figure that part out.
If you would like to see another version of the Masala quilt, hop over to The Academic Quilter. Mari made her quilt in tones of blue, green and yellow with an earthy background. It is so pretty and totally different from my version. Isn’t it fun to see the same pattern made with different fabrics?
Congrats to Preeti for the release of this fun pattern. Be sure to go to her shop and add a copy to your quilt pattern collection!
Linking up to my usual favorites – check them out at the top of the page, under Link Ups.
Somehow May is just flying by! I haven’t posted since April but with good reason. Now that our family is vaccinated we have had lots and lots and LOTS of family time. Like many of you, we are making up for all of the lost time over the past year or so. It has been heavenly.
With all of the visiting going on, there has been very little action in the sewing room. Before I left for Washington, I did get my diamond blocks made for May. The RSC color this month is red and I have plenty of red scraps! I am quite pleased with the blocks for the month. Plus, to start increasing the total number of blocks, I made four instead of three!!
Another fun project was a set of pillowcases for my sister. A while ago she was doing some cleaning and came across a piece of fabric with the Stanford University logo on it. She had bought it years ago and tucked it away. (Her husband is a Stanford graduate.) She asked me to make something simple with it and of course I said sure. Some weeks after I got the Stanford fabric, I was in a thrift shop and saw a big piece of fabric with the UC Berkeley logo on it. This was quite the amazing find, as my sister is a UCB graduate!! I grabbed the fabric and decided to make them a matching set of pillowcases, his and hers.
They certainly do not match – the colors are basically awful together. But it was so cool to find that Berkeley fabric!! My sister loved them and was quite surprised to see her school included in the package.
Moving on to more wonderful news! Preeti Harris (of Sew Preeti Quilts) is hosting her first Quilt Along! Even better, is she has designed the The Positivity QAL to be in support of Mercyful Quilts. I think most of you are familiar with the Mercyful Quilts program I coordinate for Mercy Hospital in Sacramento, CA. If you are not, please read a few prior blog posts about this truly valuable program. I have them available for you at the top of this page, under Mercyful Quilts.
Preeti generously asked me if she could coordinate this effort. Now, mind you, Preeti has already donated SIX gorgeous quilts to the program and here she is asking to do more. Amazing!!
Last week I received two quilts from her. Let’s take a look at them.
Mercyful Quilts was selected to receive both of these gorgeous quilts. If you would like to read Preeti’s blog posts about them, here you go: Serenity and then Positivity Plus. If you haven’t yet read Preeti’s blog, please check it out. Her writing is just as creative as her quilting.
I have a couple of things to share with regard to this quilt along. One is this – quilting is an expensive hobby. We all know that when it comes to donating quilts, sometimes the expense is more than our budget allows. I have a couple of generous donors who would like to make this a bit easier on those quilters who choose to donate to Mercyful Quilts and are feeling a budget pinch. (This year has been especially tough on many people financially.) If you are feeling the pinch and would like to be reimbursed for your postage expenses, please sent me a note so we can help. There are limited funds to do this but enough to help a number of you if needed. Remember this is anonymous – your name won’t be announced. If you would like to take advantage of this, use the ‘contact me’ button at the top of the page.
Another way to reduce the expense a bit is this. If you choose to have your quilt done by a long arm quilter, I have an idea that will slightly reduce your expense. You might choose to send your quilt to your long arm quilter and ask her to send it directly to me for Mercy Hospital. If you would include the binding, I am happy to bind the quilt for you. This would eliminate one shipping expense (because the long arm quilter wouldn’t route the quilt to you, and then you would have to send it to me). If you want to discuss doing this, let me know. I am all about figuring out how to be economical. Again, just use that handy ‘contact me’ button at the top of the page.
The schedule for Preeti’s QAL is very relaxed, for which I am grateful. I am not a speedy quilter! If you would like to join in, we would love to have you. Below is a copy of the schedule, taken from Preeti’s blog.
Here is a suggested schedule for the QAL so that you can pace yourself and stay on track. There will be three linky parties, shown in red below. 1. May 30, 2021 – QAL Launch – Block Tutorials, Layout Options and Fabric Requirements 2. June 6, 2021 – Finalize your fabric picks, block and layout etc. 3. June 13, 2021 – Cut fabrics 4. June 20, 2021 – Complete Blocks 1-25. 5. June 27, 2021 – Complete Blocks 13 – 24. Linky Party to share your progress 6. July 4, 2021 – Complete Blocks 25 – 36 7. July 11, 2021 – Complete Blocks 37 – 48 8. July 18, 2021 – Share Finished Flimsy. Linky Party Participation Required for Prizes 9. July 25, 2021 – Level 1 Prizes Announced. Make Binding 10. August 1, 2021 – Piece Backing. Baste your quilt tops. 11. August 8, 2021 – Quilting 12. August 15, 2021 – Complete Quilting and Attach Binding 13. August 22, 2021 – Share Finished Quilts. Mail Finished Quilts to Bernie. Linky Party Participation Required for Prizes 14. August 29, 2021 – We rest and wait for quilts to reach Bernie. 15. September 5, 2021 – Level 2 Prizes Announced.
OK – this has been a long post but it has been a while so there was lots to chat about! I will leave you with some sweet pictures of my adorable family!
This week I plan to quilt and bind my Coin Quilt. I want it to be my donation for this year’s Hands2Help. I have started it but my machine was giving my fits with the thread breaking. So irritating! I will clean and re-thread everything which should correct the issue. Wishing all of you a wonderfully creative week!!
Linking to some of my favorites. Please check out the list at the top of the page, under Link Ups.