Thursday, April 30, 2015

Covered in Love: Why We Do It

You guys, this whole "starting a charity" thing has been a roller coaster. I had the idea and even ordered the quilt labels almost a year ago. But then I put everything to the side and let it sit. Because I wasn't sure I was up for it. Wasn't sure how it would be received (there is hardly a more delicate time in a person's life than when their loved one is about to die.) I knew I couldn't do it on my own and worried that no one else would pitch in.  I was afraid.

But then I realized that no matter how few or how many quilts we are able to provide, it's like that story about the starfish. Each one makes a difference to that family. And we can't affect how out quilts are received. They are given in love, and that's enough.

As for my fears that I would be all alone in this, well, slowly but surely the quilts and tops are trickling in.  Like these from Barbara. The one above is made from mens' shirts ranging from flannel to something like microfiber. The colors and textures are delicious!

Barbara was kind enough to send not just the tops but matching backing fabrics as well! All I had to do was baste, quilt, and bind.

In contrast to the first quite traditional top, the second one is very sharp and modern. I decided to be a little more creative with the quilting on this one instead of just a stipple. Ribbon candy in the sashing and square spirals in the patchwork.

I took these two quilts and four other up to the hospital last week. Covered in Love provides quilts to families of patients who are passing away in the hospital. If you would like to contribute a finished quilt, top, or blocks I promise they would go to good use.  Please check out the main page for more info and comment or email me for more info.

Linking to Crazy Mom Quilts.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

WIP Wednesday

Happy Wednesday! I have a couple of new quilts in the works.  First up I'm piecing low volume and a few colorful strings onto strips of batting QAYG style. This is going to be one of those projects that takes a while, though.

The second project is quite he opposite of a scrappy project. It's going to be a disappearing nine patch and I have all the fabrics cut.  Chain piecing these together tonight.

Linking to WIP Wednesday.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Two Scrappy Finishes

It's two for one this week on Finish it Friday!  I made these two medium sized scrappy quilts from my ever-regenerating scrap piles.

First up, the blue and grey scrap quilt I made based on Cynthia's design is done.

As this one is a bit too small, and too childish for Covered in Love I decided to put it in my Etsy shop.

The quilt finished at just over 42" x 54" after washing. The backing is an awesome Joel Dewberry print. Can you believe I found this on sale for like $2.50 a yard at Hancocks? Needless to say, I boght the whole bolt. I thought the red was fun against the rather monotone top.

The second quilt finished is another simple scrappy patchwork. This time from oranges, brown, and reds.

It wasn't quite big enough before so I added borders to bring it up to size.  I went with FMQ loops in the 2" squares. The binding is a scrappy blue and brown leftover from the blue and brown string quilt.

This one is going in the stack for Covered in Love to go to the hospital.  If you are interested about learning more about my charity project Covered in Love you can read more on the main page.

Linking up to Crazy Mom Quilts Finish it Friday and Sunday Scrap at Quilting is more fun than housework.

Monday, April 20, 2015

The Four-Fat-Quarter Baby Quilt

So I needed another baby quilt for someone at work. I decided to make this one from 4 fat quarters, because if I don't take too much out with seam allowance that ought to come up to almost 1 yard (36" x 44"). I'm going to outline quick a tutorial here, so you can make a baby quilt with just 4 fat  quarters and a little border fabric!

I used the same technique as for the square in square blocks my do. Good Stitches group did, just on a larger scale. Get yourself 4 coordinating fat quarters, it's best if they all play well next to one another.

Press the FQs and stack them up. They won't be the same size, but try to line up one edge.

It helps to trim them square to the same size a this point, but it's not strictly necessary.

Start making cuts, first from the right and left, then from the top and bottom.  Then repeat with the fabric block remaining. I made mine wonky, but you could make yours straight. As you make each cut push that piece to the side but leave them all in position. Keep cutting until you've cut 3 rounds.

From the center block move the top 2 pieces of fabric to the bottom of the stack. On all 4 pieces in the second round move the top piece of fabric to the bottom of the stack. Leave the third round alone. In the outside round move the piece on the very bottom to the top of the stack.  Now you have your four block laid out, each layer is one block.  You sew them together in the opposite order you cut, starting in the center.

Because of seam allowances you will have to press and trim after each pair is added.

The most tedious part of this is keeping all the pieces in the right place and orientation as you sew.  I recommend leaving them laid out on your sewing mat as you assemble.  Once you get the blocks together each one will be about 3" smaller than the FQs your started with.  If you are making them wonky you'll lose a bit more. Stack up the finished blocks and square them all up to the size of the smallest block.

My blocks ended up at 14.25" x 17.5", so once sewn together the top was 28"x34.5". I chose to add borders to bring the size of the top up to 34"x42", just the right size to use 1 yd of fabric for backing.  For a different look you could add sashing instead of borders.

Ta-da! Linking to Design Wall Monday and WIP Wednesday. I'd love to see a picture if you make anything using one of my tutorials!

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Rail Fence Quilts for Covered in Love

Back when I made one of my very first posts about Covered in Love a generous local quilter contacted me with a donation of four rail fence quilt tops and matching fabric for backings.  Thank you, Nancy! All I have had to do was sandwich and quilt the them.

One quilt was light purple and white, very feminine, the rest were masculine.  All about 55"x65", perfect size.

These quilt tops were from an old charity sewing circle that no longer sews. The tops were lost for years and later found. 

Their original custodian did not want them any more, so she gave them to Nancy and Nancy gave them to me :)

I just stippled all 4 quilts for speed and simplicity.  I've been working on them for a while and just finally got the 4th one done.

Check out the awesome novelty fabric used in one of the quilts.  I think it's important for these quilts to have some fun in them since they will inevitably be given at a sad time. 

These will go to the hospital with the next batch of Covered in Love quilts soon!

Linking to Crazy Mom Quilts Finish it Friday.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Scrappy Stringy Triangles (Take 2)

Happy weekend! I am celebrating by pulling out the rest of my scrappy string triangles and playing on the design wall.  If you remember the String Braid quilt  made around the new year, these are the rest of the triangles that didn't go into that quilt.

I have a few design options here. The traditional spider web as above.

...or the pinwheel hexies shown here.  I think I like the second one better, please let me know what you think!  I might also try Bonnie's serpentine layout seen here

To sun is shining, the cat-flowers are blooming, and it's a good day to play! Hope you have a great week :)

Linking to Oh Scrap! and Design Wall Monday.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

The "Towel" Quilt Finished

I have always wanted to make a quilt out of towels, it seems like it would be really super cuddly. Unfortunately this isn't that quilt, instead its a quilt based on a towel. Proof that quilting inspiration comes from everywhere.

I used the colors from a bath towel to pull the fabrics for this simple brick quilt. I've been trying to make more manly quilts, or at least not overtly feminine, for Covered in Love.

I used  two different quilting patterns, a stipple in the plain areas and a swirl in the bricks.  The swirl is one of Angela Walter's designs; I love her books.

I had a request for this quilting motif on a quilt for a friend, so I wanted to practice it.  This was another quilt that went to the hospital for Covered in Love, and if you aren't already tired of hearing about that please click on the link and find out more.

Linking to Friday Finishes at Crazy Mom Quilts.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

WIP Wednesday: Spray Baste Success

After 5+ years as a pin baster I finally made the leap to spray basting this week. And the verdict is... I like it! Yesterday I was able to baste 3 small-medium quilts in only a couple of hours.  I already stippled them and everything went well, no wrinkles appeared. Only downside, it did take a whole can of basting spray.

I also personalized an old quilt for its new owner. Wilson of course helped oversee the whole process.

Happy WIP Wednesday! Linking to Freshly Pieced.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Scrappy Mountain Majesties Design Wall

I have another Covered in Love donation quilt in progress.  This is Bonnie Hunter's Scrappy Mountain Majesties design. My first time doing a Bonnie Hunter quilt. I did make the blocks larger.

Linking to Judy's Design Wall Monday.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Covered in Love Launch

...And we're back! I took most of March off blogging for a couple of reasons. For one thing we've had constant torrential rain, making photos of finishes next to impossible. Also, all that rain meant our septic system wouldn't work so we couldn't do laundry. Ick. Believe me there was not much going on around here in the last month you would have wanted pictures of. 

But the best reason I didn't blog last month was because I was busy getting everything together to launch Covered in Love!  On April 1st I took the first 8 quilts up to the hospital.

For anyone who hasn't heard I'm gathering quilts to be given to the families of patients who pass away in the hospital. Something that they can take home with them as a comfort item.

(As you can see we actually had some genuine SNOW when I took these pics.)
One of the quilts I dropped off was this old WIP that I finished for the project. I call it Dallas Nights because the black and white prints remind me of skyscrapers from a distance.

I quilted it pretty densely with square spirals in the "buildings" and stipple in the "sky".

The sashing and borders go a square spiral too, and the backing is my new favorite IKEA print since Numbers if going out.

Please please feel free to donate to Covered in Love.  All the details are on the main page. I am looking for quilts in the appox. 50"x65" range. They need to be machine wash safe. I'll take unfinished tops and blocks as well as finished quilts. I can't do this by myself, and I promise they'll go to a good cause!! Comment or email me for my address.

Linking to Finish it Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts.