Sunday, February 27, 2022

Hands 2 Help 2022

Do you know about Hands 2 Help? It's a comfort quilt drive to benefit several designated charities, or you can choose to donate locally. I've been participating for several years. This year Sarah, the founder and usual host, is indisposed, so Mari at the Academic Quilter is organizing and hosting the event. There are prizes! You can read more about Hands 2 Help at Mari's kick off post here

Since moving to Arizona last year I've become involved in my quilt club's charity committee. The club has a stash, used for charity quilts. Unfortunately the stash wasn't being used to best advantage and there was a lot of frustration trying to kit up projects for charity sew days, so I worked with the committee chair to help solve that problem. We ordered some light neutral fabrics to combine with the mish-mash of mostly dark and medium prints in our stash, and I put together some tutorials and some plans for kitting up projects for future sew days. 

If you've been reading my recent posts, you've seen my scrappy tops and the tutorials for them. Here's a recap: 

Kid Quilt, shown baby and toddler size, 38-1/2 x 45". Pattern also for 45 x 60" size.

Scrappy Color Bars, shown 60 x 80". Pattern also for 50 x 60" size.

Basketweave, 60 x 80". Pattern also for 50 x 60" size. 

Scrappy Spinners, 64 x 80". Pattern also for 48 x 64" size.

The kid's and basketweave tops above were made using my personal stash so they're less representative of what the club has available. The Spinner quilt is made entirely from fabrics in the club's stash. We do have a bin of kid prints, so we should be able to kit up a few scrappy kid quilts.  

The club has charity sew days every month, a different theme or project each month, and we have prep days for the committee to kit up the projects. I've written simple tutorials for the projects shown above that we can include in the kits, and they'll be posted on the club's website as well. 

Hands 2 Help encourages local donations as well as donations to their designated charities. The tops above will be used as teaching samples for my club's charity sew days. Then they'll be quilted and donated to the charities that the club supports, the local family services agency (abuse, domestic violence, kids going into foster care, etc.) and local hospice. 

I encourage you to participate in Hands 2 Help, whether by officially signing up and checking in, or informally by making and donating a quilt to the organization of your choice. PDF patterns of my tops shown above are available to jump start your efforts and bust some stash. Just leave a comment and be sure to type your email address into the comment field. 

Friday, February 25, 2022

Tumbler Quilt for Charity

 The tumbler quilt I pieced with fabrics from Carla's box is now a finished quilt. It will go to the local hospice we support. 

The fabrics mostly came from the box of goodies that Carla destashed and passed to me for charity quilts. 

I added a couple and found a few more lights in the club's stash, and I used the 6" tumbler die to cut them. The flimsy went together quickly. 

There was some of the burgundy rose print that drove the palette left over so I found something else in the club's stash that harmonized with it and cobbled together a backing. I used that green and burgundy stripe for the binding - I love a striped binding and the colors are perfect. 

Someone in the club quilted it; it was used for long arm training and they used the River Run panto. I would not have chosen this panto because I think the diagonal quilting fights with the diagonal tumbler seams a bit, but that's just me. I would have preferred just an allover smallish meander. No big deal, it's a comfort quilt and it will serve its purpose well. 

Rather than chop off the points of the tumbler shapes on the sides, I bound around them - just to see if I could - and it worked fine.

Now this quilt is ready to go to it's destination the next time we take a load of quilts to hospice. 

Sorry for the too sunny photos - the light is really harsh here!

Link ups: Alycia Quilts, TGIFF

Friday, February 18, 2022

A Crazy Mish-Mash Of Prints

 The fourth of my patterns for charity quilts for PebbleCreek Quilters is now finished. The PDF is ready, and the teaching sample top is sewn. 

On my design wall, above, I can show it hanging vertically, but for outdoor photos I have to hang it horizontally to fit on the 6-foot wall. It looks much better in outdoor light.

I used almost all fabrics from the club's random stash for this one. The result is colorful, yes, but also in its own way it works. There are at least 60 prints plus the constant light here. With a scrappy quilt, more variety is always better. 

This one actually seemed to take longer to piece, or maybe it's just that I've been pushing so hard to get all four of these done. The PDF pattern for this one is now available. Again, if you want a copy for your group's charitable work, leave a comment and be sure to type your email address in the actual text of the comment. 

I'm actually quite pleased with how this one turned out using the club's very random stash, because this one is most representative of what we have and how it can work together. 

Yes, it's a crazy mish-mash of prints, but it has strong value contrast to emphasize the spinning pattern, and because of the contrast, it works. 

Soon PCQ will get all of these patterns posted to their website so all the members will have access to them any time. We'll use these patterns for various work days and community sew days when we make quilts for kids, for older boys, and for adults in hospice or clients of the local family services agency. I'll post a recap of all four patterns next week. 

Link ups: Alycia Quilts,

Tuesday, February 15, 2022

Scrappy Spinner Charity Quilt

 The fourth of my strip quilts for PCQ is underway. The purpose of these is to enable us to use the club's very random and mostly older stash in charity quilts for both kids and adults. The scrappier the better, and by die cutting strips we can kit them up for members to work on during our sew days. 

This one I'm calling Scrappy Spinner, and like the others it uses all 2-1/2" strips.

I'm making the 60 x 80" adult size version using mostly fabrics from the club's stash for the sample of this one. There are at least 60 different prints plus one constant light from my own stash. This sample will be a good indication of what our donation quilts will actually look like.

The large version has 80 blocks that finish at 10 inches. That's a lot of strips. It's also a lot of sewing so this is not a quilt-in-a day fast one to piece. 

For ease of chain piecing I's sewing pairs together then pairs into foursies. I'll end up with more than I need, but that will give me flexibility to move the blocks around. 

I have about half of the blocks sewn. Easy sewing, and as I get batches of blocks done I'm putting them on the wall. I'll arrange them later; this is by no means any sort of final arrangement. 

The PDF for this one is not ready yet. For those of you who have expressed interest in this series of charity patterns, I'll let you know when this one is ready. 

Link Ups: Small Quilts and Doll Quilts, Love Laugh Quilt, Quilt Fabrication

Friday, February 11, 2022

Basketweave Top

 The third in my series of charity quilt teaching samples for PCQ is now a finished top. 

This one finishes at 60 x 80" using 48 blocks.

This one was made from my own stash; I just love analogous color combos. Here I pulled all the versions of blue, turquoise, teal, aqua and cool green I could find. When we make this pattern using the club's stash we'll end up with a lot more dark old fashioned prints instead of these bright modernish prints, but if we stick to analogous colors or themed palettes such as patriotic or Autumnal, we'll be okay.  

I'm so glad I have the die cutter to help with cutting all the 2-1/2" strips these quilts require.

Three down, one to go...

Link Ups: Alycia Quilts, Wendy's Quilts and More

Monday, February 7, 2022

Design Wall Monday: BasketWeave Blocks for PCQ

 The blocks for my third PCQ charity quilt pattern are finished and up on my design wall. 

This is the prototype and teaching sample for one of the Charity Quilts we'll be making later in the spring. This one uses 2-1/2" strips which we can die cut. This one's made from my own stash so I was able to choose harmonious colors in mostly modern prints, in blue, turquoise, and cool green. 

I'm hoping to get the top assembled this week, then I'll move on to the fourth and final Charity quilt pattern for PCQ.

When we cut from the club's stash I think we'll have a lot of darker and duller prints to choose from, along with beige prints for sashing instead of white. I'm hoping there's enough variety in their stash that we can kit up combos of analogous colors. This pattern works best in analogous colors or related palettes like Patriotic or Christmas. Here's an EQ rendering of the Patriotic palette highlighting the weave effect.

We'll post all four patterns on our website as PDFs for easy access for our members; here are the first three. If you would like any of these PDFs for your own or your group's charitable endeavors, leave a comment specifying which one(s) and put your email address in the text of the comment

For Kids

Color Bars


Link Ups: Small Quilts and Doll QuiltsLove Laugh Quilt

Friday, February 4, 2022

Friday Finish: Sock Monkey Plus

I finally had a chance to long arm quilt the Sock Monkey Plus top that I made before the end of last year. With help from an experienced PCQ member, I was able to FMQ it from the front of the machine. Just a gentle meander, but for a first time attempt I wanted to keep it simple. I enjoyed FMQing from the front of the machine much more than following a panto from the back of the machine, and it went much faster than I expected. 

Sorry for the too-bright photo, the sun is really strong here and deep shade photos were even worse. 

This quilt is intended as a donation quilt for a tween or teen boy. It came out about 44 x 56". Some of the fabrics are repurposed shirts; the fabrics all read masculine, and who can't smile at those sock monkeys? 😊

I found flannel for the back in the club's stash and pieced the backing. Combined with the not-dense quilting, this quilt is very soft, drapey, and cozy. 

I just need to finish hand-sewing down the label, and this quilt will be ready to donate. It will go to the local family services agency for abused children. 

P.S.  Thanks again Libby for the sock monkey and red text fabric. You knew I'd be able to use them!

Link Ups: Alycia QuiltsWendy's Quilts and More, My Quilt Infatuation

Wednesday, February 2, 2022

January Stash Report and Goals Update

 Well, January certainly went off the rails as far as goals went, but it was good for the stash report. Very productive all around, actually. I had an ambitious list of goals, but then my role on PCQ's charity committee became more about planning for certain sew days, using the club's mish-mash stash, and developing and writing up patterns, so that's what I spent most of my time on this month. 

PCQ Color Bars Charity Quilt Sample Top

PCQ Charity Quilt for Kids

Let's start with the Goals update and we'll catch up with the stash report afterward. 

January Recap
1. Prep for and teach Cut and Shuffle class on 1/18. DONE

2. Assemble the coral snake blocks into a flimsy and assemble backing. No. Blocks are off the wall and have been labeled and kitted up for later assembly.

3. Assemble the blue floral strip top from Carla's box. Progress; strips are sewn together; top needs borders added. 

4. Plan and kit up donation quilts from Carla's second box. Yes, combined some of Carla's UFOs with coordinating fabrics from my stash and put them in the Intake bin in the club's sewing room. Kept a kit for my own future use, too.

5. Quilt something on the club's long arm. Yes, quilted the Sock Monkey Plus donation quilt. Learned freehand meandering from the front of the machine.

6. Participate in the No Shame Train and finish a UFO. No; priorities for the month changed and I worked on patterns for PCQ's charity quilts instead. No UFOs were touched.

7. Plan a new long term complicated and challenging project to work on over time. No, did not get to this.

Other accomplishments this month: 

1. Wrote up instructions for Fidget Mats for PCQ's website and made samples. 

2. Developed 4 simple quilt ideas suitable for use with PCQ's stash, made test blocks, and wrote up all four of the patterns. 

3. Completely pieced two of the patterns for teaching samples: Color Bars and the Quilt for Kids. 

4. Began making blocks for the third sample top, Strippy Basket Weave.

Quilted on the long arm, by me

February Goals: Since I didn't manage to get to several of my January goals, they'll have to be bumped to February. However, due to PCQ the charity committee's project schedule, I need to get the quilt sample tops done first. 

1. Finish the third PCQ charity quilt teaching sample top. 

2. Make the fourth PCQ charity quilt sample top.

3. Bind and label the Sock Monkey Plus donation quilt. 

4. Finish the blue floral strip top from Carla's box. 

5. If possible, bind the Cabbage Rose Tumblers donation quilt (currently awaiting quilting).

6. Quilt something on the club's long arm. 

7. Assemble the coral snake blocks into a flimsy and make backing.

8. Participate in the No Shame Train and make progress on a UFO. 

Blocks for Third PCQ Charity Quilt Sample

So, another busy month is planned for February. Since I was able to finish two samples for the charity projects using fabrics from my stash, my stash report is looking pretty good. 

Stash Report: 
January and YTD  IN: 2-1/2 yards (quilter's estate sale 2-1/2 yards)
January and YTD  OUT: 6-5/8 yards out (Fidget mat, 1/4 yard.  Test blocks, 1/2 yard.  Donated to kit, 3/8 yard  Color Bars top, about 3 yards.  Kid Quilt sample, about 2-1/2 yards.)

YTD Net Change: 4-1/8 yards OUT. It's nice to start the year moving in the right direction! My goal is to break even or reduce the stash by the end of the year. Starting with yardage out gives me a little wiggle room for shopping. 

In February I'll have more usage to count out after I get the blue basketweave top done because that's all my own stash. Then I'll figure out what to use for the fourth charity pattern sample and whether that will be all my stash or some combo of mine and the club's. 

I'll certainly be busy, with lots to do during a short month!