Monday, February 25, 2019

Stringing Along for Charity with Humble Quilts!

Lori of the Humble Quilts blog has opened up another Stringalong link up this week.  Along with a project I've been working on for a while, I also made some new blocks this weekend.  Recently, I was checking out Myra's "Finished or Not Fridays" linkup and saw a post by Kat over at Kat and Cat Quilts about her "Covered In Love" charity quilt drive.  

Kat puts out calls for block donations or collects UFO tops to be sent to her to be made into finished quilts to give comfort to terminally ill patients in hospices in east Texas.  Turns out for January and February she was calling for string blocks!  So once again, someone is making strings the thing this year!  I donated string blocks to a different cause a while back (a good while as it turns out -- it was in 2012), so it was nice to participate in something like this again.

Kat decided to do a string variation block this round:  she is asking for 12-1/2" blocks to be made with a red corner (between 1-1/2 inches and 3 inches) and the strings added around it half log cabin style.  Easy enough!  After checking with her to make sure there was still time to make a submission,  I pulled a square from my Scrap Users box and cut up a charm square to get a few more.  However, then I found some really short red pieces among the string stash and decided to cut them down to squares and added those to the scrap square and one of the charm square subcuts so I had a variety of centers.  Up to now, I've only had the chance to work with neutral strings for my "Roll, Roll, Cotton Boll" project so this was an opportunity to pull out some of the colored strings.

Mind you, this is only a small sampling taken from the larger bag I have!  I've managed to make up four blocks although I realize that going forward I need to stash more of the wider strings.

After I started making the donation blocks, I figured I might as well also make a few more blocks for "Cotton Boll" right along with them:

I'm going to send the four variation blocks and make a cash donation to the cause as well.  That is because the decision to make the blocks jogged my memory of something: back in 2016, my DH's aunt (one of my MIL's sisters) went to the hospital and was diagnosed as terminally ill.  When we went to visit her, the first thing DH said to me when we got back home was, "do you have a nice bright quilt we can take to her to use in her room?   It looks so cold and sterile there".  We ultimately took my "Fabric Gal" quilt for her to use while in the hospital and when she was later transferred to a hospice.

I can honestly say it made everyone happy: his aunt, the hospice staff, visiting family and her daughter right up until the day her mother passed.  After that I added to the label already on the quilt and inscribed it to both the late aunt and her daughter and gifted it to her.  So I know from personal experience this kind of gift can bring comfort and joy at a difficult time.

I hadn't known when I made that quilt that this would be its ultimate purpose but we quilters always like when we know a quilt will be enjoyed by whoever receives it.  So I look forward to seeing the quilts my blocks go into and knowing that they will brighten someone's hospice stay and continue to comfort their family afterward.  I also look forward to seeing what blocks Kat calls for the rest of the year and hope to be able to donate again!

7/12/19 Edited To Add:
Here's some updates on all the wonderful String blocks Kat recieved and the quilts that resulted from them for donation:

Round 1:

Round 2:

Quilters are a caring bunch!

Monday, February 11, 2019

Moving It Forward Monday: Lots of Cutting Going On!

I'm linking up over at Em's Scrapbag because it's time for:

It's been a crazy few weeks so a crazy amount of different things have wound up being pushed forward in the quilt space.  Having  finally finished my "Double Delight" mystery top and backing last week (one of the early Bonnie Hunter Quiltville mysteries), it was time to follow through with plans to use up the leftovers.  I've been piecing string blocks over the last month for another old Quiltville mystery "Roll, Roll, Cotton Boll" and had already cut up alot of the pinks from "Double D" to add to it:

I had also looked forward to using up the leftover indigo blues from "Double D" and had filed away ideas for other projects to use them in.  The plan was to choose one (or more) depending on how much fabric I wound up having left over.

As it turns out, I actually had big enough cuts of the blues to provide the 10" squares needed for "Indigo Weave", a simple lap quilt pattern from McCalls Quilting "America Makes Fast Quilts" special issue (Spring 2013).  While it's fun to immerse yourself in the piecing intensive work of a typical Bonnie Hunter design, following it up with a simpler quilt was an appealing idea!   However, I only had seven blues left from "Double D" and "Weave" called for twenty-four so the question was, did I have enough in-house to fill that out?

Uh, yes!  I was a bit surprised to find that it was no problem because I didn't think I had stashed a lot blue fabrics.  The "Double D" leftovers are in the upper left and the rest came from stash (upper right), two "Haven't Started Yet" project stashes (top center and bottom right), an applique fabric stash pack (bottom center) and a few more pieces from the destash giveaway I won from the LA Quilter some years back.  Ok, but the pattern also called for neutrals in white, cream, gold and tan.  Anything around for that?

Guess so!  So this one is now kitted up for future leader/ender sewing!

Edited to Add:  You can see the finished quilt here.

The other thing I wanted to get started on in February was a quilt called "Emeralds" from a back issue of Fons & Porter's "Love of Quilting" (Mar/April 2013).

Hmmm, it seems that in addition to a serious addiction right now for Quiltville mysteries, I also have a lot of nostalgia for 2013 and a yen for monochromatic quilts!  For some reason, this one always appealed to me and I had realized a while back that it would make a great couch quilt for March in honor of St. Patricks Day.  No, I'm not Irish but if it gives me an excuse to make a quilt, I'm happy to join in!  For this one, I had always planned to take some of the leftover greens from when I made Bonnie's "En Provence" mystery and then add some other greens from stash to fill out the mix.

I also saw a cute design that would allow me to make a pieced design for the back -- who doesn't like a two-for-one quilt?  I cut parts for that too although I'll be adding some other colors besides the greens when I work on that part of the project.

So all the cutting of the green stash for those two is all done now.  Now I have to go shopping for yardage for one neutral background for the blocks for both the top and back so this project will have to sit awhile until that's accomplished.  I wasn't finished with those greens though:  I went back to "Roll, Roll, Cotton Boll" because some of what's left from the "Emeralds" session could now go into that mystery project for the greens needed there:


Cutting for one of the parts gave me a chance to make good use of my Stripology Ruler (which I blogged about here) because I needed to cut rectangles and squares of the same fabric.  First I cut the strips I needed and then used the ruler to subcut both the squares and the rectangle at the same time:

It should be noted that last year I "kitted" up  yet another old Bonnie mystery project called "Tobacco Road" because I had plans to use it as a travel project.  That one featured browns culled from -- wait for it -- Bonnie's "On Ringo Lake" mystery (forgive me --- addicted!) so if I have some extra left from that, those too will go in "Cotton Boll" when the time comes.

So a couple of projects got moved up to being added to the sewing queue or in the case of "Emeralds" from the "stash shopping to store shopping" stage.  With this cutting session serving as a break from the previous piecing session, now it will be time to get back to finishing up some quilt stitching.  I'm heading back to Em's Scrapbag now to see what everyone else has moved up their "To Do List" ladder!

Thursday, February 7, 2019

Continuing the Quiltville Adventures: Double Delight Is a Flimsie!

Well, I may not have  "Good Fortune" but it's a "Double Delight" to bring this to a top!

2/11/19 Edited to add:  The Last "Good Fortune" Link-up is now up!  Lots of finishes -- Go See!!

I managed to stay relatively on task finishing up "Double Delight", an "oldie but a goodie" Bonnie Hunter mystery.  While I didn't get the top completed by the end of January as planned, this is close enough!  I have to admit, I really liked this one as I was piecing it and was actually diasppointed on the days I couldn't work on it.  Had it not been for the recent deadline project, this might have gotten finished even earlier.  I also have the backing ready to go for this as well!

I had ordered the fabric in the center from Quilt In A Day with plans originally to use it as the cheddar in the top along with the William Morris floral print for the outer borders.   However when they arrived, I quickly realized that the two were just not going to work well together.  The Morris print had been an early inspiration in embarking on this project so it was important to me to have everything else I bought work with it.  I also liked the separation of the narrow cheddar border between  the double pink setting triangles and the outer border so also didn't want to change that aspect of Bonnie's design.  I eventually found another smaller scale cheddar to use in the blocks and inner border.

Then I realized that the orginal cheddar fabric didn't have to go to waste and could be used as the center piece for a medallion style backing so had to find something to go with it.   Originally I was going to get a nice indigo print I saw and create a simple two color, two fabric backing.  But you know how it is -- when you go to buy a significant amount of yardage for a backing (I had estimated I needed another five yards), you want to take advantage of the best deal you can find.  When I went to order the indigo fabric, I saw another nicely coordinating one at an even cheaper price point.  I was going to have to take all that was available and even then might need to go through my project leftovers to completely fill out the back.  For the additional savings, I was perfectly okay with doing that.  So I got the stripe you see and what was cool is that it turned out to be by the same manufacturer as the cheddar print (and a company I've never heard of before).

After I placed the order, I thought I almost wasn't going to get the striped fabric!  I happened to place my order while QIAD was also hosting a "Road To California" sale and after checking out, a message popped up on the screen that said "it appears that we don't have what you want".  Uh oh, maybe someone got to it before me?  However, I got a call from them the next day -- it seemed that they had so many orders, their system crashed so it recorded the payment but not what items I had ordered.  The operator updated that information into the system and my fabric arrived a few days later.

In making the back I also wanted to try to piece in an area for a label.  I had a bunch of extra double pink setting triangles laying around and figured that adding a pieced panel between the center panel and the striped fabric would also help solve that problem.  So I pieced in two muslin triangles along with triangles cut from what was left of the neutrals I had used: 

 After this gets quilted, I can just write in the label information on the muslin.  As I noted when I did the Quilt Alliance Label Pledge a few years back, piecing a label area into your backing is one of the easiest ways to make sure you have a way to label your quilt once it's completed -- no additional sewing needed!  It also turns out I didn't need as much of the stripe fabric as I thought:  my original plan was to run the stripe horizontally across the back but I was running out of steam as I got down to the end and doing it vertically was a whole lot easier.  Bonus:  I still have two yards left so when this gets quilted, there may be some coordinating pillowcases, shams or a neckroll cover in its future!

Now that it's done, I have to decide how I'm going to quilt it.  Before I work on that, I'll go back to finishing up the quilting on my Christmas Cobblestones project as well as set up a few smaller projects to work on.   A flimsie finish always feels so good!