Tag Archives: charity quilting

Border Solution

I left off on this top after being disappointed that my choice for a border did not work.

NW Rail Fence Border Audition

Plan A had been to make the border from stash.  However, nothing that I already owned really worked. I finally gave in and went shopping (oh darn!). And I am happy with my choice.

Rail Fence with border

64 X 80 inches

Guild has been in need of twin sized quilts the last couple of months, so it was time to get this one on its way.  Someone else will be quilting/knotting and binding it, so I’ll not see the finish nor be able to show it here.

To visitors from Scrap Happy:  This is at least partly a scrap quilt. The middle color is from my scraps and the kit was made up from guild members’ left overs. Other readers might like to view Scrap Happy to see what folks are doing with all scraps.

Quilt history

Blocks made at 2016 Fall Retreat (no photo)

Blocks trimmed and arranged in preparation for 2017 retreat

Blocks assembled at 2017 retreat and border audition

And during the quilting silence, I’ve been knitting squares for blankets for orphans.


A friend of mine had volunteered more than he could get finished, and I had time, so  helped a bit. It would certainly be fun to be on the receiving end and be arranging squares from 400+ selection! The square was a perfect size for using up bits of left over yarn that had been seeking a project. You can see I have a few ends to weave in. Every craft has its dull moments.



Filed under quilting, knitting

The Next Four

I finished the last four baby quilts just in time to get them to guild for the fire fighters’ pick up for Toy and Joy. The guild has given 2044 this year. (Membership is around 300.) Earlier quilts are two posts back.

The first two are made from larger scrap left overs, but they both needed additions.

a aqua brown

(I’ll trim the empty space when I have my photo program again–and have time. Done!) The blue print is a batik of little baby feet. I try for at least a few kid friendly fabrics.

a pink and fern


This quilt gets its kid friendliness on the back with this cute bear-print flannel.

I used all I had mixed with left over green and blue checked pieces. The yellow in the photo is green IRL.

The last two were made from a mix of 6-inch squares. My first consideration was alternating lights and darks.

a multi-bridge in corner

a multi owls



Some of the darks aren’t very dark–just darker than the squares beside them.

Since I was running out of darks i repeated more than I would have liked. I spread them around as much as possible. I also made sure “stand out” colors–yellow and that bright green–were spread evenly.

I quilted with a light tan 50-weight Aurofil thread; it blended with the lights and will sink into the darks after the quilts are washed.

I used a meander for each; it worked well except on prints with a high proportion of dark background.

I had this square finished before I realized the problem. So I tried for the look of water on the rest.

The 4 squares in these quilts are the very last of my bridge fabric. I hate to see it gone.

ETA: 1603 were picked up at the December meeting; the rest had trickled in over the year. And joining Confessions of a Fabric Addict for a Whoop Whoop


Filed under quilting

Toy and Joy Time

Toy and Joy month snuck up on me, and I hadn’t prepared ahead even though I always think I will start early. The only start I had was the tops for two doll quilts that were my leaders and enders at a summer retreat. These are now finished.

They are made from mini charm packs that we got in swag.  Bordered they are ~16 x 16. The quilting doesn’t show well in the photos. The brownish one is diagonal lines and the blue one concentric circles.  However, I don’t recommend the circle quilting for a quilt that has been stitched to the back and turned.  Even with a walking foot, the fabric bunched up.  I don’t think the doll or child will mind this time, but I’d not do it again. The backs are minky fabric, and I still haven’t used up the leftovers. So I guess I’ll be making doll quilts next year till it is gone.

However, I’ve shifted my focus to the baby quilts because of the fire fighters running out last year. Seems the need is greater for them.  The baby quilts are used beyond Toy and Joy time when fire fighters have to remove babies from burning homes.

So I have one finished and four more tops ready to sandwich and quilt.

baby 1

Over the year I’d cut scraps into various sized squares.  These are the 6 1/2 inch squares that easily make a 36 x 36 quilt. I use the term “scrap” somewhat loosely to include fairly large left over pieces that could be called yardage. But if I have no further planned use for them, they are scraps to me. That is how I get many matching squares–however almost never the requisite 18. Quilting is a simple meander.

Linking with the Friday finish blogs and Oh Scrap (buttons in sidebar) and Let’s Make Baby Quilts. Now excuse me while I get back to finishing the last 4.



Filed under quilting

Border Practice Becomes a Finished Quilt

This quilt has a long history.

It started with my picking up the light and medium green fabrics in a charity quilt starter packet at my guild in Indiana (and I left Indiana in 2011). It continued when I did my first round robin and had never done pieced borders before, so I practiced each border before making it on someone else’s quilt. This was a year or more before I left Indiana. Not big enough, it needed more borders.  That was accomplished at a quilt retreat in 2013 (here), and then it rested till now.

Border Practice finished

55 x 65

What prompted the finish is the guild’s charity project, quilts for hospice patients, this quarter.The subdued tones seemed right for that. And I had time.

I ended up quilting in a meander except for the circle in the center. That I just outlined.

border practice center

In addition to practicing borders, I had been practicing inserting circles–yes, we were doing that then. This quilt is not a typical medallion quilt, since the center isn’t really a medallion, a special block. The 9-patch seemed the fastest way to get a center the size of the round robin piece awaiting my border.

In some ways the large squares (6 1/2 inches) are too large for the rest of the piecing. Seeking balance, I made the final border the same width. Luckily there was enough of the medium green print to make four cornerstones. I think the “imbalance” ends up working because the light green borders in a gestalt view read as one wide light border. (Perhaps I delude myself that it works–feel free to say so.)

Something else different from my usual is the color of the binding. Usually I bind darker than the final border. In fact I went to the store with “the right” brown or dark green in mind, though I was also considering pink.  No pinks were dusty enough. Moving on to the brown section, I paused at the gold. Actually in the store it looked closer to the peach of the raspberry and peach narrow borders, and it seemed good to repeat that peach. And gold appeared in three prints.

border practice corner

Actually that was just an excuse to show that mitered corner. While I don’t love the gold binding next to the medium green, I do like it next to the dark green and in the overall look at the whole quilt. I think the striped print with its green in between two light pink stripes set up to have dark with light on each side. So I think the lighter binding works here, though it may not work everywhere.

One more UFO loosed on the world.

Linking with TGIFF and Finished or Not.

And Finish it up Friday (when link available)


Filed under design, quilting

Second Welcome “Blanket” and Last Omaha Top

At long last the second welcome “blanket” is finished. It was so easy to keep putting it off while I did other things, and then the due date appeared. I’ll get it in just under the wire.

pink welcome blanket finished

42 x 42

I wrapped the back to the front for binding–since it was a pieced back, there are the pink interruptions in the cranberry print binding. Not as great an effect as a wholly pieced binding, but it will do.

I quilted it with an all-over floral pattern. I’ve used it before, but then it slipped out of favor. A recent blog posting by Angela Walters reminded me of it again, and it seemed just right for all that pink. And it is just as easy as  a simple meander.

pink quilting detail

Here is a link to the Welcome Blanket blog–you can browse it and see the exhibit to date. They had received 1500 at the Oct 9 post. Maybe there will be an update soon. The blog mentions mass deep freeze.  An earlier email described the museum process: 72 hours freeze, 24 hours thaw, another 72 hours freeze. Just so no moths, etc. are entered along with the blankets.

Quilt history: top here, (You can see its destination changed.) back here, BOM project here.

The other finish is the top I had started at the retreat.

Omaha big flower

40 x 60

This top is made from the kit I assembled from the parts that people had sent it. Most of us took some extra parts home from what were left at the end of the retreat. I had fun picking up all the big flower pieces, then when they ran out, medium and smaller flowers. I made the rectangle pieces from neutral fabrics that had been donated. We assembled 170 tops while at the retreat, but others have been making tops since as well, so the total is higher now.

This one will go on the pile of quilts that need backs.  A step between top finished and quilting. That plus cutting the batting are the hold ups for me, but eventually they get finished.

Linking with Free Motion By the River and if I remember, with the Friday finishes (buttons in side bar). ETA 11/12/17: Also linking with Free Motion Mavericks (changes in WP keep me from showing the button anymore).




Filed under quilting, Uncategorized

Fall Retreat

Another fall retreat has come and gone; I’ve been well fed, had lots of good laughs, and also managed to sew on several projects.

I liked this view of sewing machines four deep.

NW sewing machines

My first project was the one I’d laid out last week (here). I finished the top all but the border by Friday lunch (while stitching 2 1/2-inch squares as leaders and enders for the larger Irish Star (tutorial and quilt along here).

NW Rail Fence

Although it had been raining, there was a brief moment when I could get an outside shot. I thought I had a perfect border fabric, but upon seeing them together, I am no longer sure.

NW Rail Fence Border Audition

It feels like it draws too much attention to itself and overshadows the body of the quilt. And that is not what a border is supposed to do.  I’ll keep looking at it and thinking about it while also stash diving a bit deeper for alternative possibilities. Your thoughts?

Next I moved to the smaller Irish Star quilt made with bigger squares. That top took the rest of Friday and a good part of Saturday to finish.  (Meanwhile continuing on the 2 1/2-inch leaders and enders.)

NW Irish Star 1

45 x 45

This one is also made from the left overs from Urban Chickens--and there are still MORE.  Having those 3 1/2-inch strips/squares was enough to motivate me to do the math to use them. (The tutorial is for 1 1/2-, 2- and 2 1/2-inch squares.) Probably no math teacher would recognize my method of modifying the size. There is probably an easy formula, if only I knew it. But I ended up with 15-inch blocks (finished).

I’d started out thinking to reverse print and solid, thus making stars of prints. But as I looked at the solids in the chain, I decided all solids would look better. It will become a lap quilt for guild giving to nursing homes.

Other small finishes were two doll quilts–Fire Fighters’ Toy and Joy is coming up.

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The mini charm packs came from swag at a previous retreat and had been leaders and enders then; they were waiting for borders to make them about 20 x 20. The brown stripe was in the free box; the blue came from a shopping expedition some fellow retreaters made.

I got a start on the Omaha kit I”d made up at the end of the Sunshine retreat in Omaha. (Sneak preview of the look here). The rows are made and half of them attached. More on that one later.

It’s been a while since I’ve linked to Oh Scrap! This post seems scrappy enough. 🙂





Filed under design, quilting

Mostly Traditional

At guild a long time ago, I picked up a kit to make a twin sized charity quilt. The Rail Fence pattern needs one dark, one medium and one light. The kit had two darks and a light. So it sat a while.

I had a lot of left overs from the Urban Chickens quilt–strips conveniently 3 1/2 inches wide.  Lots of medium, but not a single color. I decided to sew and figure out an arrangement later.  I finished the sewing of the blocks at last year’s fall retreat. I delayed a long while because I don’t particularly like trimming blocks and these needed it.

Today I am getting ready for this year’s fall retreat, so finally trimmed. Next comes the fun part, arranging the colors. I started out alternating horizontal rows. I dismantled that before I thought of photos, but trust me, it didn’t look good.

Rail Fence

I think because the design moves diagonally that alternating diagonal rows works better. (To echo or to contrast? That is the question. Today the answer was to echo. )I’ll have to stare at it for a while and move a block or two before I pack it up.

It will need a border.  I don’t like the fabric from the kit for the border either.  I’ll go stash diving later and see what I have that works.  I guess that kit will end up making two tops.

Assembly should go fairly quickly. I have one other project kitted and another two planned. Lots of cutting in my week to get ready!



Filed under design, quilting, Uncategorized