A while ago one of my blogging friends posted a picture of her “red rails” quilt. She makes these quilts to use up 1.5″ x 3.5″ scraps, so it seemed perfect for me. I cut my scraps into strips varying from 1.5″ to 4.5″ in width and store them in drawers, sorted by size in 0.5″ increments. Here are some of those (stuffed) drawers:
Since I had a lot of 1.5″ strips and wanted to make another donation quilt, I got started. Her quilt is “red rails” because the center strip of every block is red. I have a lot of blues, so mine became “blue rails”. I drew it with EQ8 to start with, to be sure I knew what I was doing:
I got busy sewing 1.5″ strips together in sets of 3 and cutting the sets into 3.5″ squares. Then I started making the blocks. Before I knew it, the 1.5″ bin was almost empty and I had a lot of little 3.5″ blocks.
I joined them in groups of 4, and that’s where I went wrong. It turns out there is a right way and a left way for the blocks to twirl in sets of 4, but I didn’t realize that at first!
Trust me, no matter how you rotate these two blocks (drawn with EQ8), they do not match up!
So, I will have TWO blue rails quilts, one rotating in each direction. Here’s the first one, which I am donating this month. Another doggone learning experience 😀
I now belong to THREE groups that make donation quilts, and it may be a bit much. I’ve decided to focus on the group I’ve been working with the longest, both because it was the original and because we donate the quilts locally. (I fear there’s some truth to Garrison Keillor’s quip that most donation quilts sent to other countries go to hot climates where their best use is as compost.)
I see from my notes that I fell behind on donation quilts over a year ago due to being over-committed. Duh. Anyway, here are my recent attempts to catch up.
I found this panel in the SCRAP BIN at a shop where I teach, so I got it for $1 an ounce! The finished quilt is 34″ x 44″.
This top was started over a year ago when I wanted to experiment with half-rectangle triangles. The finished quilt is 40″ x 48″
This was made from slabs swapped in one of my groups. I spy some orphan blocks incorporated into slabs!
This one was done for leaders and enders, and is going to have to be entitled “Nobody’s Perfect”! Finished size is 34″ x 39″
I made this after starting the blocks as a class demonstration last time I taught “Twinkle”. Finished size is 40″ x 40″
I can just hear somebody saying, “Well! That certainly is a variety!” It would be more efficient to make the same pattern multiple times, but I just can’t do it.
My friend Melanie mentioned recently how much inspiration comes from travel, and I agree. While travelling in New England last summer, I came across this book in a quilt shop.
I enjoy making landscape quilts and made quite a few at one time, but donated them almost all of them to the free clinic where I worked for a while. It’s time now to make some more! I have been saving this project as a reward for getting some other things done!
My First Tiny Landscape
Karen gives very, very detailed step-by-step instructions and I must say that’s a good thing! The book is well illustrated and I had no trouble making this little village on my first attempt. Because I already had the materials, it is postcard size (4″ x 6″)! As you can see in the picture, her directions involve finishing the piece with tulle over everything to be sure none of the tiny pieces comes loose.
I enjoyed this project and like the way it came out. I must note, however, that it took all day to make one postcard 😀
I have a number of pieces of antique furniture, as much out of obligation as desire. These belonged to my grandparents, great-grandparents, and in one case to my great-great-grandmother. One of them contains Great Aunt Bess’s “Fizzle Drawer”.
Granny once commented on it, saying that whenever her sister, Bess, had a sewing project that “fizzled”, the project went into that drawer. I’m not sure what happened after that. This would have been in the early part of the 20th Century, but I don’t even know whether the “fizzle” items were clothing or something else. By the time I inherited the furniture they were long gone!
I think some of my UFOs probably should go in the “fizzle drawer”, but I don’t know when to quit, so I keep working on them. This next one was a class I did not especially enjoy, but I’ve converted it to 4 large blocks to be combined into a donation quilt.
This next one is not a fizzle, it’s a set of place mats I made for a quick holiday class to teach this fall. I developed this pattern YEARS ago for McCall’s Quick Quilts and have made many versions of it since. Place mats are a nice hostess gift to have on hand.
We went to the “apple barn” this weekend and got some apples–must be fall! Here is the view from the apple barn, looking across some trees heavy with red apples to the mountains beyond. It doesn’t get any better than that!
My modern guild is making a charity quilt for QuiltCon 2019, and the requirements include a predetermined palate and blocks with pieces no larger than 1″ in at least one dimension. The theme is “small piecing”. Here is the palate:
At the last meeting, our guild had chunks of fabric about 8″ x 10″ cut for us to take home and make little blocks. The blocks are going to be used to construct something else, so the only requirement is that they finish either 2″ or 3″ square. I took these 3 colors:
And here are some little blocks I made.
The quilt has to be twin size, so it’s going to take a LOT of these babies! It will be fun to see what other guilds do when QuiltCon comes around in February.
Thanks to everyone who offered an opinion about my choice of accent color for the shirting quilt. There are two different blocks in the quilt that use the tiny accent squares, and I’ve decided to use orange for this one and rust for the other. Here are a couple of the blocks with orange. Those tiny orange squares finish 3/4″. Eek!
The museum is currently hosting a Studio Art Quilt Associates (SAQA) exhibit entitled Guns: Loaded Conversations. The exhibit is intended to spark thoughtful conversation about the history and culture of guns in our society. I would hope the conversation could calm some of the hysteria on both sides of this difficult issue.
Photo courtesy of commons.wikimedia.org
The pictures featured here are not of the current exhibition. The museum did not respond to my request for photos that could be shared here, so these are from Wikimedia Commons.
The exhibit is to be followed by museum participation in a gun buy-back program sponsored by the museum and the San Jose police department. For this unique buy-back, persons surrendering guns will receive not only money, but a quilt!
The museum needs donations of both quilts and money for this project. The quilts can be any design or color, but should be lap size or larger. They do not need to be either for or against gun control, just a regular quilt. If you are interested in donating a quilt, contact the museum. I’m not sure about donating a quilt, but the museum looks worth a visit if I’m ever in California!
I’ve been working on a project to be published in Modern Quilts Unlimited in late summer, so there have been no pictures of current sewing lately. However, that is now finished and I’m focusing on several other projects coming right up.
First, I’m going to be teaching a very un-modern quilt at Studio Stitch in Greensboro in May.
Sunbonnet Sue Visits Quilt in a Day
This is an old, old Eleanor Burns version of Sunbonnet Sue but the pattern is still available. It’s the easiest way I know to do perfect applique! And it’s fun to add trinkets, like this fish bead hanging from Overall Sam’s fishing rod:
Also, I’ve signed up for Quiltfest. Luckily, it’s in July when I’ll have some vacation time available again. I’m going to be making a boxy tote with Carrie Licatovich and a star quilt with Renny Jaeger. Then I’m signed up for “shibori resist with indigo dying”, taught by Debbir Maddy. Which reminds me, I haven’t used the fabrics I made in my last dying class… I always enjoy Quiltfest because it’s just the right size: There are well-known teachers, but not a crush of thousands of participants. And of course there are sales at Tennessee Quilts, too! Oops!
Finally, I’ve finished a donation quilt. I’ve gotten far, far behind on my donation quilts, so those will be floating to the top of the to-do list soon. Here’s the first one, finally quilted and bound:
The concentric squares are pieced; the other pieces are a print from Michael Miller
In case you haven’t been reading my blog long enough to know about the condom quilt, here is a brief summary:
A couple of years ago I wanted to make a quilt from a QR code in such a way that the entire quilt top could be scanned to open the target website. Since I was going to be putting in a lot of effort, I wanted a QR code that had some meaning for me.
At that time I was working in public health, spending much of each day helping patients cope with various problems that might have been prevented by appropriate use of condoms.
When I looked for a condom-related QR code, I found that Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and Hawaiian Islands (PPGNW) had developed a QR code to be placed on their condom packages. Scanning the code linked to PPGNW’s “Where Did You Wear It?” site. The goal was to encourage safer sex through condom use.
The Original Code
My colorized version of the code
PPGNW graciously agreed to let me use their QR code in my design. I colorized their code and made my quilt, checking after construction of each section to be sure the whole thing still scanned correctly.
This is the finished quilt. That tiny embedded QR code leads to my blog.
I showed the quilt anywhere I could. (It isn’t just younger people who need safer sex.) That included guilds, quilt shows, and the folks in my office. After a year of showing it to anybody who would listen, I donated the quilt to PPGNW to be used in any way they wish.
I was very pleased recently to receive this picture of the PPGNW management staff with the quilt. That funny looking guy is their condom mascot.
The folks at PPGNW report that the quilt has sparked discussion, especially about the interaction of traditional crafts and technology. I enjoyed this quilt from start to finish and I’m glad it is now in its home.
At our last modern guild meeting, one of our members told us about PrintablePaper.net, where you can get all kinds of grids to use for drawing quilt designs. It’s a free resource and has many other options in addition to the grids. There’s even a printable car bingo. I know I’ll be using some of these.
As promised, here are a few of the quilts our retreat group made for Ronald McDonald house. Sorry they aren’t very square. Next time I’ll do better standing straight-on to the quilt when I take the pictures! Each is approximately 40″ square.