Saturday, October 29, 2011

Two ways for quilters to help

Today, my studio time was spent cutting scraps into usable pieces for the string quilt project.  Not really worthy of a photograph.  I loaded the above quilt on Priscilla and started quilting when my knee decided to let me know there would be no standing or walking around for the rest of the day.  After ice, rest, and an extra dose of Univera RegenaCare (a miracle I believe), it is better, but I am still resting it.  Needless to say, the quilt did not get finished.  Maybe tomorrow.  But I digress from the subject of my post today.

I am so impressed with the way quilters rally together to help others in times of need.  When Sarah over at Confessions of a Fabric Addict called for quilts to be sent to poverty stricken families in Romania, bunches of you responded.  When another quilter lost her teenage son, so many of you responded by sending her heart blocks.  Tsunami victims in Japan received hundreds of quilts lovingly donated by so many of you.  Hundred of you have made mini quilts to raise money for Alzheimer's research. I am honored to be a part of this giving group.  I just wanted to let you know about two more opportunities where you can help others in need.

WE NEED MORE QUILTS!One great project is the BASICs quilt drive being run by Victoria at Bumble Beans Inc.  She and Pat Sloan are trying to gather together 400 quilts for families who are moving from shelters into transitional housing.  Last year, Victoria was able to gather 300 quilts from people all over the country, but there were 700 families in the program.  Do you have a finished quilt or quilt top that just needs to be quilted and bound that you don't have a home for?  Maybe you and your quilty friends can get together and finish up those UFOs that aren't finished because they need homes.  Please read more about the project here and think about how you can help.  If you are a quilter, you might think about taking a few tops from others and finishing them for the project.  That is what I am doing.  The quilt at the top was made by Irene Armok, and it is the second one of hers I have worked on. 
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Perhaps an easier one is the 4 Patches 4 Hope project by Regina at her blog by the same name.  She is raising money and asking people to donate simple 4 patch blocks to be made into quilts for cancer patients.  The rules are simple and these simple blocks will mean much when they are joined with others and made into quilts.

Thanks for taking the time to stop by and read this post.  Thank you for considering helping in these projects.  Every little bit makes a difference.
Have a wonderful weekend, and joyful quilting,

Friday, October 28, 2011

A little of this, a little of that, and a finish - finally

First, the finish.
Ta da . . .
I have been working on this Hawaiian applique for over five years.  After I got it cut and basted, I put it away, thinking I was never going to have the patience or skills to finish it.  I finally decided I would never develop the skills unless I tried, so I got it out a few months ago and did the needle turn applique.  Then I hand quilted it.  I put the binding on today from an old Hawaiian shirt of Tom's.  It isn't perfect, but I am really happy it is done and somewhat presentable.
It is amazing, but I actually got this done in this mess of a studio.

As you can see, I have projects everywhere.  My design wall is off to the left.  The board to the right holds all my inspirational bits and pieces.  The table to the left holds quite a few orphan blocks and UFOs.  The stacks of fabric and books on the end of the table in the middle are waiting for me to put them away in the other room.  I try and keep everything for one project in a separate basket, so you can see them stacked around.  One of these days, I will have to clean up a bit.  Unfortunately, I would rather use studio time to create, not clean.
Today, I also tried something new to me.  I wanted to try string quilting.

I got a 12" and a couple of 4" blocks put together before I decided to put this away for another day.  I did this by creating a largish strata and cutting the block units from that.  There was much too much waste for me.  When I get back to it, I am going to try a different approach.  Besides, I also discovered that the greens, teals, and turquoise fabrics I want to use are all very different sizes, most much to small to make good strata.  At least I like the results.  Tom likes these and hopes I continue.
Here are the JL blocks I made (2 each).

And last but not least is the final block for my BOM quilt.
This is the last you will see of this until it is finished and ready to enter in the contest over at 15 Minutes Play on December 1.
I can't wait to see what I get done tomorrow.  I hope it goes as well as it did today.
What are your plans for the weekend?

Monday, October 24, 2011

One block to show

I spent quite a lot of time getting a couple of quilts ready to go on the frame.  They had been stored for a while, and picked up tons of threads and other garbage.  I am a bit anal about hanging threads, so they had to all be clipped or removed.  Then I spent time making more fabric for the BOMs.  Neither of these things was photo worthy.  This is the only block I got put together today.    Hopefully, I will get a JL block or two made tomorrow morning before I have to pick Bella up from pre-school.  That would be nice.
I have been thinking about quilting lately.  Not piecing, but actually quilting.  I have been trying to convince myself that I have to learn how to do fancy quilting if I really want to call myself a quilter. I even started practicing every day for a week.  I finally figured out that it is just not my thing. I would much rather spend time playing with fabrics.  I really enjoy seeing a well quilted piece.  I have a deep admiration for those who enjoy doing this.  That being said, I finally realized that I am really all about the fabric and color and what patterns I can create with them.  I have also realized that is okay.  My quilts are going to continue to have simple quilting unless I win the lottery and can afford to have someone who enjoys quilting do that part of it.
Now it is your turn.  Do you prefer a quilt where it is the quilting that shines, or one where the fabric is the star?  Isn't it wonderful that this art form can be so rewarding for all of us.
Joyful quilting, everyone.  I will be back on Friday.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

More progress

Here is today's JL block.  I noticed yesterday, when all the blocks were on the wall, that I needed another pair of really dark ones.  I found this fabric in my stash, but don't know what it is because the selvage was missing.  I think it is going to work very well.  14 down, and 34 to go.
I wanted to tell you about my adventure with Tom at the local chain fabric store.  We went in to get ten yards of my favorite batting, Warm and Natural.  We went to the back, where it is usually hanging, and there was none there. There was Warm and White, and Tom suggested I get it instead.  I don't like the white, and there were not ten yards on the roll, but after looking at the other batting they had to offer, I decided to try it.  I was armed with my 50% off coupon, but of course the batting was already on sale at 30% off so the coupon was no good.  That always seems to be the way.  Tom was amused by this when I explained it to him.  Before we got the white batting cut, I asked the clerk if they had the natural in the back somewhere.  She informed me they don't carry it.  I was flabbergasted since they have always carried it before.  Another clerk, who overheard the conversation, said there was probably a bolt in a box in the back.  We went back and found it.  Hurray!  The first clerk set about measuring the batting and lost count about half way through.  Tom began to chuckle.  Check-out was just as much fun.  Only one register had enough cash to take cash customers.  Of course, we didn't know that until we got our turn at a non-cash register and had to go back to the end of the line for the cash register. It seems as if everyone used cash yesterday.  By the time we got out to the car, Tom was laughing out loud.  It was contagious.  From now on, I will be able to find the humor in my visits to this store.

When I was cleaning out a basket from an old project, I found these fun HSTs and built another quilt for AAQI.  This one is 11" x 7.5".  I love pinwheels, but usually don't make them because I have trouble with the centers.  This piece went together pretty easily.

I made this BOM block using some of the fabric I made yesterday.  Of all the BOMs, this one should be the easiest.  I managed to mess it up a few times before I got it put together.  Hmmmm.

Last, but not least, I did some more building on this piece.  I love these colors together, but I realize they are not every bodies taste.  I also realized I needed more lights.  I dug through the stash and found some pale purple batik.  I will add some in tomorrow.  I also need another dark, but don't have what I need.  Since my palette is limited, I think it needs to be purple.  Today, I added in some red/orange stripe fabric from another thrift store skirt.  I really love this fabric, so I am glad it works with this.
I guess that is all for today.  Who knows what tomorrow will bring.  
Joyful quilting, everyone.