Donation Quilt Catch-Up

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.

What are your favorite donation quilt patterns?

 

Quilt for Jill

This little quilt was made for a woman who has volunteered at our clinic for years, providing physical therapy services to many of our patients who have hard physical jobs. She has accepted a position at another university and will be leaving us next month.orphan block quilt

It started out years ago as a single block.  I’m sorry to say I have no idea where the pattern came from.  After making one block I decided it was entirely too tedious to make a series of them for a quilt, so it went in the orphan block pile.  When I was asked for a quilt block to give to Jill, this one immediately came to mind.mini quilt

I added a border and was lucky enough to have EXACTLY enough fabric left from one of the prints to make the binding.  I used a grid-print backing so it will be easy for people to sign on the back.  The quilting in a spiral did slightly distort the overall quilt into a shallow bowl shape, but that steamed right out before I put on the binding.

Quilt Stats

Name:  for Jill

Size: 15” x 15”

Materials:  Quilting cottons

 Quilter’s Dream Request Loft cotton batting

 Superior So Fine thread used for piecing and quilting

Quilted by: me

Block designer unknown–please contact me if you know so I can give credit

One UFO Makes 3 Quilts!

I made these “prepared fabric” squares some months ago with John Cage’s “prepared piano” in mind.  Then they sat in a box while I wondered what to do with them.

At a quilt retreat, I got some of them out and put them together into a 40″ x 44″ quilt top for Ronald McDonald House.nov-ufo

So the November UFO (UnFinished Object) project was to do something with the rest of those squares.  I modified them further and made 2 more Ronald McDonald quilt tops, each 40 inches square.

That UFO box is empty!  There were a few scraps for the scrap bin, and 3 blocks for the orphan block bin, but that project is DONE!

Sort of like that turkey…how was your Thanksgiving?

Projects 2013–Part I

For some time I’ve been meaning to add to my blog with a gallery of projects for each of the past several years.  I’ve been held up in part by the variable quality of my photography over the years, but I’ve decided to just start anyway.  Here are some projects from 2013.

I entered several national contests in 2013, the year I also started this blog.  Here is the quilt I made for the Quilt Alliance TWENTY challenge and chose as the header for my blog:

Rising star art quilt

Rising Star, made for the Quilt Alliance TWENTY contest in 2013

I made this quilt for the Michael Miller challenge in 2013:

Michael Miller Challenge 2013

Packet of Posey Seeds

And I made this little quilt for the Pantone Challenge:

Applique quilt

Radiating Orchid mini-quilt for the Radiant Orchid Challenge

I attended some wonderful classes with Laura Wasilowski in 2013, and made this little art quilt:

applique art quilt

Leaf, made in class with Laura Wasilowski

I did some “crafty” things in 2013, including chambray shirts decorated with orphan blocks and matching T shirts for a special baby and his special Dad:

Here are a set of placemats and two table runners from 2013:quilted placemats

leaf runner

table runner

Table runner made from a strip of leftovers

Also in 2013, I made an apron for a special friend and a caddy for carrying my iron to classes and retreats:

2013 was also a good year to make pillows for friends and to use up orphan blocks:

Well!  That’s it for special projects from 2013.  The actual quilts from 2013 are up next–more to come!

Crunchy Numbers

The WordPress people send me two statistical reports a year regarding my blog, and of course I can look at statistics on my administrative page at any time. I don’t stress it or check very often, so I was quite surprised when the recent report from WordPress said people from 61 different countries viewed my blog in 2015!

This picture of Iceland is from NordicFoodFestival.org

This picture of Iceland is from NordicFoodFestival.org

Most of the countries were predictable: the U.S., Canada, U.K., Australia, and New Zealand. But there were views from every continent except Antarctica! The place I got the biggest kick out of was Iceland 🙂

This improvised log cabin block, which was made into a pillow, appears to have been the most viewed picture on the site.

improvised log cabin block

improvised log cabin block

Jo Glover, big stitch quilting

Jo Glover

And my most popular post was about Jo Glover, who first developed Big Stitch quilting but doesn’t always get enough credit now that everybody does it. You can find that post HERE if you missed it.

Another popular topic was my ongoing modern sampler quilt, and there’ll be much more about that coming up soon.  A few of those blocks are shown below.

The stats show my readership growing steadily over the 2-1/2 years I’ve been blogging. The growth is slow, but I’m blogging for fun (and I’ve kept my day job!) so that’s just fine. I’ve made some new friends, which is even better.

As always, I’m amazed by the power of the internet. I’ll skip the chance to philosophize about that and just wish anyone who reads this a very happy 2016!

2015 Finishes: Part I

 

Ronald McDonald House is the chosen recipient of donation quilts from one of my groups, and EACH of us made 12 quilts for that cause this year.  I finished the last 2 this month (yes, a LITTLE behind!).

These are a good illustration of why a dark border is a good idea to make a quilt feel “finished”.  I’ll try to remember that next year!

And here are the other 10 donation quilt finishes for the year.  I love how different they are! I got to try lots of new things 🙂

More finishes coming soon!

From Orphans to Donation

One of my UFO (UnFinished Object) goals for the year is to do something with some of my orphan blocks. (Those are miscellaneous blocks left from various projects; you can read about them here).  I’ve already turned a bunch of them into quilts, but I hauled them out again last month to give it another shot.

orphan blocks

These star blocks are orphans left over from several projects, so they are different sizes

These are left from various projects, but I just love star blocks so they probably won’t be the last of the breed 🙂  And you can probably see that one of them even has a piece turned wrong, which I did NOT see until just now 😀

After fooling around with various options for them, I selected 5 and made this quilt:

orphan blocks

Donation quilt made from orphan star blocks

It actually worked out just fine to simply add a partial border to the smallest one.  And the purple fabric is left from yet another project, so win-win!

What do you do with your orphan blocks?

8 Projects for April and May!

In keeping with the plan to finish a UFO a month during 2015, here is the April finish.  Since this fabric has been waiting for about 5 years, I’m calling this a significant finish!

donation quilt

Flower Fairies, A Donation Quilt

The second April finish is not only finished but delivered to the Quilt Alliance for their 2015 challenge. This one is called Cat Circus. The Laurel Burch fabrics reminded me of how just one cat can be a complete circus (polite word for disaster) in just a matter of minutes in any room in the house. I love cats, so that’s OK by me.

Quilt Alliance

Cat Circus, my 2015 Quilt Alliance challenge quilt

And here is the May finish, along with two other donation quilts I made in April and May. This means 6 so far this year–I’m caught up through June!  I’ll have more information on some of these in a later post.  They are an improvisational quilt, an orphan block quilt, and a quilt using Cuddle charms and cat fabric.

I made two more blocks for My Modern Sampler this month.  You can read about the improvisational one here, and I will blog about the Humbug Star at a later date.  For now, here’s a preview:

Finally, I bound the Charley Harper quilt that came back from the quilter a while ago.  These organic cottons from Birch are stiffer and less silky than my usual quilting cottons, so I washed the quilt when it was finished.  That helped some with the stiffness and also made the quilting stand out more.

Charley Harper

Turning Twenty Again pattern in Charley Harper fabrics

On to the June projects–I’ll have much more news coming up!

2015 Donation Quilt #1

A couple of my quilty friends try to make a quilt a month for various charities, so I thought I’d try that this year.  The group with which I make donation quilts sends them to a Ronald McDonald House to be given to sick children.  The House wants all quilts to be 40″ x 40″, which doesn’t seem too big to do one a month.  Here goes….

For January I took some of my orphan blocks and related fabrics and made this quilt.  The blocks also happen to be on my UFO list for 2015, so there’s TWO projects accomplished at once 🙂

Donation quilt

February finish and January donation quilt

The blocks finish 12″ square, which means that with a 2″ border the quilt comes out 40″ x 40″ as planned. The 9-patch blocks were made using the stack and shuffle method I learned years ago from Karla Alexander’s books.  It’s easy and fun.  To end up with blocks this size, I started with 15″ x 15″ squares of fabric (since they’re cut wonky on purpose it takes a bigger starting square than you might think).

The center block has little inset strips using a technique I modified from one of Judy Niemeyer’s ideas.  To make a quarter inch inset that doesn’t “wobble”, do this:

block tutorial

Block pieces, including yellow insert

Cut a 1″ strip of fabric and lay one edge along the raw edge of the piece where you want a narrow inset. Stitch through both the strip and the quilt piece 1/2″ away from the edge, either by using the 1/2″ mark on your machine’s throat plate or by marking the center of the strip.

Quilt tutorial

The center pieces of the block have been jointed and the insert laid along the side

Fold and press along the seam-line so that you now have 3 raw edges, all lined up.

quilt tutorial

Strips have been added to all sides of the center pieces and pressed along the seam

I don’t usually trim away the extra fabric because I like the stability, but it DOES make for some weighty intersections if you choose not to trim away the bottom 1 or 2 layers.  Then assemble the block as you normally would, using 1/4″ seams.  The strip you added will show up as a 1/4″ inset.

Let me know if you try either of these blocks.  I thought they were fun!

 

2015 UFO Challenge

Last year I participated in Aunt Marti’s UFO (Unfinished Object) challenge over at 52 Quilts and found it helpful. I did NOT succeed in finishing a UFO every month, but there were several months when I wouldn’t have gotten even one done if it weren’t for the challenge.
So this year I’m not only taking the challenge, I’m (gasp!) publishing my list here so it’s public! And I’ll post about the finishes as I do them. Here’s the list, some of it in picture form:  If you hover over the picture you can see its caption.

 

 

There are two more to be done, but no pictures yet:

11.  Rework the Under the Sea top

12.  Quilt a practice piece I made for a magazine project.

Aunt Marti’s UFO challenge goes like this:  You gather up 12 of your (many) UFOs and number them. Then, each month Aunt Marti posts the number of the UFO to be done for that month.  (By the way, the project for January is #2).

I’ll keep you posted on how it goes. If you want to play along, here’s the link to the “rules” at Aunt Marti’s site.

Hope you have a good week at get at least one UFO finished even if you aren’t doing the challenge!