Tag Archives: charity quilting

Many Peoples’ Scraps and a New Leader-Ender Project

I brought home one kit that I put together from the pieces remaining at the end of the recent Sunshine Retreat.  And I’ve been itching to see what it will produce. So I laid the pieces out and did my usual rearranging thing and ended up with this:

Omaha arrangement

These squares and rectangles came from the offerings of many Sunshine members who started cutting their scraps as soon as the block pattern was announced. While selecting, I’d decided on a floral theme. First I pulled all the BIG floral squares. There were not 24–it was near the end and the piles had been picked over many times.  So I added medium size and then small. Finally I added the monochrome green and I had my 24. After selecting the big squares, it was just a case of finding colors that would work for the other parts.

I debated between making blocks and then arranging or arranging from parts since I could. I chose the latter, the better to switch colors of the big square around without ending up with with smaller pieces where I didn’t want them.

Having decided on this arrangement, I’ve now gathered the squares by row and labeled them so that when I am ready to sew, I can just start sewing. No more planning and re-plannng. No forgetting what I had in mind should significant time pass.

On another note, Leader-Ender projects.  I’ve had only short ones lately, relatively without a project goal. Just assembling parts that await future inspiration. But Deanna of Wedding-Dress Blue has come to the rescue with Irish Stars. Maybe you’ll want to play too.

I’ll try to remember to link with other scrap projects, one (Oh Scrap!) is in the sidebar. The other, Scrap Happy deserves that you check it monthly on the 15th.

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Sunshine Retreat 2017

Two years ago, the Sunshine Online Group (a Yahoo group that makes quilts for children in mostly third world countries having cleft palate surgery by the Rotary Rotoplast project and orphans around the world) had its first retreat. Soon after it was over, a second was planned near Omaha, NE. In the year before the second event, online members made piles and piles of blocks and sent them to the organizers. Some, like me, cut the parts and brought them.

Seventeen members gathered at the Carol Joy Hollings Retreat center and over the weekend finished 184 tops. These were then distributed to members who had offered to quilt and bind them. People at home also sewed tops during the weekend, but I don’t have that tally yet (I know of 6 so far).

OM-152

This photo is from about 3/4 of the way into the weekend when we had just surpassed 150. I didn’t jump up fast enough to get that photo-op moment.

As usual, I designed from a design bed. Other more agile folk designed from the floor.

OM-design bed

I would take 30 or so blocks up to my room so I could switch in and out as necessary to get the final 24, mark the rows and return to the sewing room, return the unused blocks and start sewing up the selected. You can see the main block we used. They measure 10 1/2 inches unfinished. We also had star and pinwheel and crumb blocks to work with. And blender fabric.

Most finished tops measure 40 X 60.

OM-4

This is the only top I made that I got a photo of for myself. The leaders took photos of all 184 tops and they are posted on our Yahoo group page. There are many interesting settings possible with the block; however, by the end I went with the simplest so I had more freedom to move blocks around for color interest.

A couple of us got there before the official opening time. We had breakfast at a local coffee house in Ashland, Cheri O’s, with nice coffee shop atmosphere and great food.

Cheri O's sculpture

I especially liked the wall 3D sculptures.

And being near Lincoln, we visited the International Quilt Study Center and Museum. I found it amusing that I went to Nebraska to see exhibited some of the collection of a local Portland quilt collector, Bill Volckening.

These are from the 70s. Note how modern the first one looks–or does that mean “modern” is really an old concept? And as for the hexagon diamond quilt–if all you have is double knit, double knit is what you will make your quilts from!

There were other exhibits as well: a Studio Art Quilt Association (SAQA) show, Layered Voices, (the link should take you to a description of the exhibit from which you can click on slide show), Elizabeth Ingraham’s Regarding Nebraska (link takes you to description–I didn’t see a link to quilts, though there is one to the website), and Sacred Spaces, quilts from Central Asia, where they have made patchwork for over a millenium (the link leads to the quilts). I could have spent a whole day there, but it was time for lunch and for beginning our sewing marathon.

I’ll be linking to Finished or Not Friday (button in sidebar).

 

 

 

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Last 5 Weather Blocks

I guess it is time to get with the program and finish off this 2016 project. So here are blocks for August-December

weather-aug-dec

These are ready to put with January – July, blocks that have been patiently waiting. (If you click back to the early post you will have to scroll way down to get to the weather update.)

October . . .

weather-oct-2017

. . . I think it is safe to say, was the most boring month! If I had divided temperatures into groups of 5 instead of 10, I’d have been able to switch out only 7 of the grass green squares.

The design definitely works out best in a strip setting instead of monthly setting, as you can see from the others in the Facebook group. But I had to try. The image in my head was of calendar dish towels.

I’m aiming for 50 x 70 for the AIDS camp that I make several quilts for; here’s hoping one of the participants is a weather geek. I’m thinking of 1-inch strips between months and a narrow border on the right. On the left a wider border with the key to the temperatures. In keeping with the dish towel look, the top border will have “2017.” And the bottom “Portland Highs.”  So now to make the letters and numbers.

I didn’t get to use red for 100s or purple for 20s. I’d have been able to use the latter for this January–at least three days, so cold does happen here. Hot not so much.  I’m pondering using them for the letters and numbers and/or binding.

ETA: Linking with Moving it Forward Monday–button in sidebar.

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Toy and Joy

Some deadlines work for me–real ones. I’ve tried making fake deadlines to convince myself to work ahead. It is no use because myself knows better. Somewhere in October I had three of those self-made deadlines. Then I convinced myself that the coupon for a small discount on long arm quilting wasn’t enough to make me say, No, to events I wanted to attend. I convinced myself that the project with a real due date of January 31 had plenty of time. And I didn’t finish the Toy and Joy quilts in time to get them to last month’s meeting just in case the weather was bad this month. Luckily the weather is fine.

The meeting is tonight and the last baby quilt is now quilted. Five hours ahead of time.

Back in August, you saw most of the tops here. And earlier, the story of most of the blocks here.  There was a joke in one of my Indiana quilt guilds that a quilt could be shown at show-n-tell seven times. The history of the “rule” was that one member had actually shown seven stages of one quilt–that was before my time, so I didn’t get to see it. Thus, ~3 posts is showing restraint.

The first three are from the guild’s block of the month last year–I won three times. Only two (red-blue-gold, totally scrappy) made it to Toy and Joy quilts. The third (pink) is awaiting quilting.

The pastel block wasn’t bright enough to go with the other ‘totally scrappy’ blocks, so it became a doll quilt all by itself. (The doll quilt is about 20 x 20, the infant quilts 36 x 36.)

The doll quilt back was made from minkie scraps.

tj-doll-back

Yep, that stuff stretches.

And I had to extend one of the three other backs.

tj-infant-back

Silly me, I’d bought 3 yards of flannel for 3 36-inch tops. Then prewashed the flannel. Lesson learned. At least I had that cream strip to finish the third one off.

I did a big meander on all the quilts–the batting required quilting only every 8 inches.

tj-red-blue-gold-detail

Although plan A is to practice FMQ on charity quilts, sometimes quilts just need to be finished. So I don’t really call meandering practice. However, I am getting better at starting and stopping without a zig zag in the line, and my stitch is getting more even, so it isn’t wasted on the practice front.

The other quilt comes from Lotto blocks that I’ve won in the past. I love that heart block; however, it created an interesting design issue.

tj-heart-horizontal

When I planned it, I had it laid out horizontally. However the heart looks better on point.

tj-heart-on-point

Had I been thinking ahead, I’d have made the tans parallel and the blues parallel for this orientation. Lesson learned. Think of the final orientation when designing.

11 pm, ETA: At guild tonight it was announced that our year’s contribution to Toy and Joy is 1889 doll and infant quilts.

I will be linking with Oh Scrap! and Let’s Make Baby Quilts (buttons in sidebar) and Scrap Happy; welcome visitors.

Shall I read a book or get to one of those other two projects?

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Block-of-the-Month Assembly

Three months out of the year I won the guild block-of-the-month pile–ending up with 26 after making only 15. Back in February, the pink ones quickly became a top (back made, but yet to be quilted). More recently I won the red-blue-gold nine and the totally scrappy six.  Along came a straggler that thought I had won pastels.

The straggler became a top for a doll quilt for the Toy and Joy project.

BOM pastel doll

I’ll be making doll/teddy bear quilts till the minky fabric is all used up, but the bag just doesn’t get empty. However, the fire fighters have requested more infant sized quilts (36 x 36). So I’ll shift my attention.

Nine 12-inch blocks easily make 36 x 36. Here are the red-blue-gold.

BOM red-blue-gold

The six block group required more thought. I laid out five.

BOM-5

I could use the sixth and make three more, or I could do something else. I thought and thought.

Once, long ago, I’d offered a challenge for people to send blocks with sides in any multiple of 3-inches. At the time I’d wanted to practice designing a quilt using variously sized blocks. What I didn’t anticipate was that without a color limitation, they wouldn’t play together even if I could arrange the space. I grouped them into color sets and put them aside. Maybe I should get them out. I arranged and rearranged the blue and white ones till I got four 12-inch blocks and added them in.

BOM plus 4- top

I decided it worked and sewed the top. The one remaining block will be combined with novelty fabric to become another doll/teddy bear quilt.

Now the two await backs.  I have multiple small pieces of flannel from which I’ll be making scrappy backs until it is gone. I have until the November or December meeting to finish these. Next in the stranded-block line up are the Foot Squared Freestyle (F2F) blocks–I still have to make my three as well as assemble blocks.

I’ll be linking with Let’s Make Baby Quilts (button in sidebar) when the link is available on Friday. And people visiting from that linky might also want to see the heart quilt on this blog entry, also a baby quilt.

 

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More Lotto Block Tops

As I assembled these tops, I pondered my process for grouping unlike  blocks.There are many features to play with: color, shape, value, intensity . . .

  • I look for exact pairs (or groups when there are more than two).
  • I look for similar colors and balance them–usually into corners.
  • I fill in the empty spaces with similar or coordinating colors; sometimes blocks that match in color add different colors as well, and that new color leads to a criteria for selecting other blocks.
  • I evaluate shapes and shift blocks around.
  • I consider values and shift blocks around.

Sometimes, of course, the block that is the right shape is the “wrong” color or value, so I shift around and go for the Gestalt effect that is pleasing.

I’d started this process toward the end of July (here), and after a reading break,  I made five more tops. This first one is about similar shapes first, then color considerations.

lotto 9 with stripes

42 x 42

I had some of the stripe left that  I’d used in the first batch,  just enough for sashing/borders by adding the yellow cornerstones. The plan is that the stripes unify the different colors.

Another top where striped fabric comes to the rescue:

lotto orange striped borders

42 x 60

This one started out with framed pictures as the unifying idea, then framed anything, then 9-patch blocks that had a novelty center. Finally the Shoo-Fly block that sorta fit. Next I shuffled them around till I liked the look of the colors and shapes.

The next one was arranged mostly by color; secondarily by shape. The yellow center block might have looked good in the bottom middle, but so did the one with green.  Either one would have balanced the top center.

lotto lavender and aqua

42 x 42

The border and cornerstones tie those two blocks to the other more aqua ones; however, there is purple and green in the prints of the corner blocks, which suggested the addition of the two center purple/green blocks. Aqua around the center block was to keep the top from becoming too purple.

I played more drastically with color in the next one. The closer to the end, the fewer to swap around.

lotto squares sashing

42 x 60

I started with the matching pink blocks and added the pink-brown-green. I’m not sure which came first the 36-patch or the aqua in the corner. The bottom center balanced the top center’s dark value. Originally I had the orange and aqua 36-patch in the lower corner to balance the upper aqua, but it was too dark. Dark seemed to fit the center better. Then, because the colors were so varied, I made the sashing and borders in as many of the colors as I could and tried to spread them around. It isn’t the world’s best design, but this is, after all, a utility quilt, so making do is okay.

And the last one is a surprise.  Looking at them tossed on the floor–the 12 rejects from the other 9 tops–I had decided they didn’t play together at all. I decided to take a photo to show that.

lotto A-layout

Instead of putting the blocks away, I started moving them around until they became a workable group.

Lotto A top

36 x 48

Isn’t it amazing what just a little rearranging will do?

That concludes my current batch of Lotto blocks, collected over about 6-7 years and 9+ winnings. I still have Blocks of the month from guild to assemble and my Foot Squared Freestyle blocks to arrange. Maybe in a day or two.

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Lotto Tops

I’ve been making lotto blocks for Sunshine  (an online Yahoo group for making charity quilts) and winning them back occasionally for the last several years. Although there is a monthly theme, it is sometimes a challenge to make all the blocks play well together.That, plus choosing colors for sashing and borders, is all the design work involved–sometimes it is enough to stretch my brain. Sometimes I keep one block that doesn’t work into groupings in the hope of getting some mates later on. Sometimes I make blocks to add in. Sometimes i make do.

I have won bright blocks a couple times, boyish prints, novelty prints, floral prints, and a couple color groupings, most recently blue and yellow. I finally gathered them all together and started making tops.

Lotto 1

42 x 48

This one was a color experiment.  I am not unhappy  with it, but not thrilled either. It was intended to be 50 inches long, but I’d been cutting 3 1/2-inch strips for sashing and forgot to shift to cutting for 4-inch HSTs. It was easier to make 8 more HSTs than to start over. Then 4 more because I’d forgotten to add in the width of the sashing. I decided that was enough HST work for a while. On to straight borders.

Lotto 6

42 x 50

I was considering a narrow red border then navy, then I remembered the striped fabric.I’d wanted something to tie in the “extra” colors in a couple of the blocks. The planet print block, lower left above the Ohio Star, is one that had been waiting for mates. Happily there was a space themed block in this blue and yellow set.

The next quilt tops don’t have a border–they can be used as is, or I may add a border later when I dig into fabric for backing.

Lotto 2

42 x 42

This one also benefited from waiting. I’d laid out the arrangement sans the middle top and bottom blocks. I’d wanted something somewhat like the white, gold, red blocks. These came in a more recent batch.

Lotto 3

36 x 48

This one had been laid out ahead, but I’d had only one purplish block. I was happy to be able to add two more from a more recent winning in place of what I’d made do with before. Most of these blocks are from the boyish-print month. See the big bugs? Another top that benefited from its time out. If I add borders, they will be dark green or blue.

Lotto 4

36 x 36

I gave about one-minute of thought to setting these blocks on point, but 33 inches or 50 inches seemed too hard to work into the preferred measurements of the groups. I decided that baby quilts are often wrapped on the diagonal, so the hearts would show then. These were from the floral month winnings.

Lotto 5

36 x 48

This one started out with orange as the unifying feature. Needless to say that got to be too orange. So I swapped out blocks one by one until I got it toned down just enough.

When I have pairs of matching blocks and am working with a big variety of blocks, my formal balance instincts kick in even though I like to work asymmetrically otherwise.

I still have enough blocks for 4 or 5 more quilts, depending on what size I make from them.

ETA: Linking with Oh Scrap! because at least some of these blocks were made from other peoples’ scraps and Move it Forward Monday (links in sidebar).

 

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