Monday, April 30, 2018

Covered in Love May/June

Tomorrow it will be May, and I can't believe the year is flying by so fast! Two block drives in and CiL has received so much support this year.  I have about 20 string quilts left to finish and around 11 Hunter's Star quilts, not to mention a dozen or so tops to be quilted.  In order to give me a chance to catch up the CiL block drive will be taking a break during May an June this year.  BUT don't go any where! I have a special pretty-please request for you!




Briawna is a friend of mine through my do. Good Stitches circle and she recently started her own charity, gathering cross-plus blocks to make into quilts to auction for various organizations.  Since I'm not asking for any CiL blocks this time I would really love it if you all could make some blocks for Briawna and really bless her socks off (to use a phrase from my Baptist upbringing).


I started CiL to meet a need I was seeing, in person, every day. If I hadn't been in a position (because of my job) to be confronted with the realities of end-of-life I might have never known or cared about these issues. But I did, and now it's my mission. When I talk about the struggles of chronic disease or the need for a cultural change in how we deal with death, those aren't abstract or hypothetical issues for me. Those are issues that have names and faces and families.  Medicare funding for advance care planning discussions isn't a political issue to me, he's a 68 year old man with heart failure struggling for air. 

My best, secret hope for Covered in Love isn't that it would grow bigger and bigger and everyone in the quilting world would contribute. My hope is that each one of you would find those issues in your own lives, that are right in front of you, that have names and faces, and decided you have to make a difference. I hope that CiL stays a modest size and instead hundreds more little charities pop up.


Briawna found that in these precious faces.  For most Caucasians race issues can seem a little distant, nebulous, nonspecific... someone else's problem.  It shouldn't, but it does.  For Briawna when she read statistics about African American children dropping out of school or struggling to achieve milestones it isn't theoretical. She sees her son or daughter or husband.  She wrote a beautiful post about why she started her charity here.

Briawna is asking for cross-plus blocks and each month she chooses a different organization benefiting minority teens/young adults/children to make and auction quilts in support of.  I'm sure the May charity will be up in the next few days, but previous charities have included the Mocha Autism Network and The Posse Foundation.


You can find the block piecing directions HERE.  Email me at CoveredinLoveTx@gmail.com or Briawna at simplypurplepoppy@gmail.com for the address to send blocksThe raffle is the last week of each month if you'd like to purchase tickets and you can find detail on Briawna's blog.

When CiL was first starting I felt so isolated and every single package of blocks or top that came in was a huge boost, just to know that someone else cared about my passion project.  Let's cover Briawna with a little love in May and June, ok? 

CiL will be back with your regularly scheduled block drive in July, and in the mean time I'll be posting plenty of finishes!

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Skinny Strings Scraps {Tutorial}

Back in January I cut my string scraps that were less than 2.5" down to a uniform width of 1.5". Since then they've been aging in a couple of large ziploc bags. This weekend I decided the time had come to do something with those scraps!  As many scrap quilts have made I remain amazed by how many quilts can hide in a scrap bin.


Scraps are irresistible to me. Much more so than yardage.  I had an idea in my head for what I wanted to do with these strings and I decided to photograph the process for a tutorial.  I started by sorting out the cool colors, which probably constituted half of the strings. (I *might* have a problem with the color blue... the "warms" pile was pitiful by comparison.)


I sewed the strings together at their short ends to make one looooooong string.


Locate both loose ends, put them rights sides together, and start sewing down one long side toward the middle.  When you reach the middle it will probably be all twisty. Cut it and complete sewing the two strips together.


Press your string pair, then repeat the process. Find both loose ends and start sewing your pairs into a four. Press and repeat, sewing your 4-string string into an 8-string. This takes a long time if you started with a lot of string like I did. The bright side is that every time you fold it in half and sew, it ends up half as long, so as you go it gets easier.


Keep going until you have a long panel 16 strings wide.  I considered stopping at this point and just making a quilt top out of horizontal strings, but I decided to continue with my original plan.  I sub cut the panel into squares, each 16.5" square. I put these up on the design wall alternating directions, this would make a cool quilt, too.


Then I did the same process with my neutral colored strings.  I took the neutral and cool colored squares and turned them into HSTs.


I marked the line with a sharpie and pinned the blocks so they didn't shift while I sewed on either side of the line.



If you put the squares together with their strips running the same way, then in the HST they will turn.  If you put them together with their strips perpendicular then in the HST they will run the same direction.



I chose the first method so the two different colors run at different angles.  With my blocks turned into HSTs the options are limitless... Any layout that can be made with HSTs.  I haven't sewn these together yet, still auditioning layouts to find my favorite. Which do you like best?






Linking to Oh Scrap!

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Good Stitchers

A couple more new Nurture circle (do. Good Stitches) quilts were in the latest delivery to the hospital.  These quilts are made by me and nine other ladies in monthly sewing-bee style.


We each made one block from this tutorial. I remember that I counted up each block had over 100 pieces in it. This bright little quilt was put together and quilted by Jenny and she did a beautiful job, especially with the quilting!



Covered in Love is doing great and growing by leaps and bounds.  With the increased number of quilts coming in we are able to serve more families. Chaplain Perry told me about a patient who told her family that being given a quilt was the first time in her life she'd felt real, unconditional love.  I don't know what to say to that...


This migrating geese quilt was assembled and quilted by Louise.  It's going to be in the May/June issue of Modern Patchwork magazine!  Very exciting.  I'm sure their photography will be lovely, but I doubt they can compete with my mom's house shoes ;) 

This is pretty much the last week for the the latest CiL block drive.  If you'd like to join in with Covered in Love's mission you can learn more on the main page or check out the block drive.  The current Covered in Love block drive is an easy Hunter's Star block.



Linking to  Confessions of a Fabric Addict, Crazy Mom Quilts and Finished or Not Friday

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Past the 300 Mark!

 Big news! With the latest quilt drop off today CiL officially crossed the 300-quilt-mark donated!


That's right, the latest quilt delivery brought us up to a grand total of 305 quilts donated to mourning families in the East Texas area!  So many people from around the country, and even around the world, have contributed to those quilts to make this possible for Covered in Love.


This week I quilted up the last 3 of the tops Theresa had sent me. Theresa sent me 13 quilt tops last Fall!


Really pretty fabrics in this brown one. I found the perfect surprise fabric for the backing from the ones Sandra has sent.


This pink, green, and grey flowery top I quilted with all kinds of loops.  Really, really pretty fabrics.


The really cool this about this one is the 3D diamonds on it.  I was careful not to pin them down with the quilting.


Last, there was this Christmas top with novelty fabrics. I did a stipple over it.


Sandra had given me the perfect backing for this one, too.  I imagine it going to cover a family matriarch who loves Christmas: bringing her whole family together under one roof, feeding them until they're ready to pop, cousins camped out in the living room, and surprising the grandchildren with Santa deliveries.  I really believe that every quilt will find its perfect family!


Don't forget about the block drive going on now! If you'd like to join in with Covered in Love's mission you can learn more on the main page or check out the block drive.  The current Covered in Love block drive is an easy Hunter's Star block.



Linking to  Confessions of a Fabric Addict, Crazy Mom Quilts and Finished or Not Friday

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Insta-bites

Highlights from the past week or so on Instagram, for those of you who don't have it.


These gloves, would definitely recommend!  Makes moving the quilt much easier.


A wallhanging for one of the Chaplains CiL works with.



Rory earns her nickname "Demon kitty," Moo meanwhile is still an angel.



Thursday, April 12, 2018

Unsung Heroes

Kathy is one of the (many) unsung heroes who keep Covered in Love in quilts. For the past year she's met me about once a month in a parking lot to exchange raw materials for finished quilts.  All three of the quilts in this post were pieced and quilted by her from donated blocks.


These blue blocks were sent in by Carol from Minnesota and made a pretty 60"x70" quilt.  For some reason that yellow block doesn't jump out at me in person, but I love how it looks in the picture in the center of the quilt.


These next two quilts were a joint effort of blocks from Holly and Priscilla, assembled and quilted by Kathy.


I'm so glad so many people contribute to CiL so we get such a good variety of quilts!  I apologize for the swing pictures. I prefer to hang quilts up to get a better photo, but the wind was blowing like a hurricane so it was this or no pictures at all.


Thank you Carol, Priscilla, Holly and Kathy! 



Don't forget about the block drive going on now! If you'd like to join in with Covered in Love's mission you can learn more on the main page or check out the block drive.  The current Covered in Love block drive is an easy Hunter's Star block.



Linking to  Confessions of a Fabric Addict, Crazy Mom Quilts and Finished or Not Friday

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Cat Houses

I normally reserve Friday posts for finished quilts, but these paper pieced blocks for my do. Good Stitches circle deserve a mention!

(My homemade starch was mixed too strong, so there are some white splotches that will wash out)

Our circle makes paper pieced blocks about once or twice a year.  Some members enjoy it more than others... I admit to being a reluctant paper piecer.  (But, I once inflicted the most tedious paper pieced blocks of all time on them, so I really don't have any room to complain!)


This block was Briawna's choice; you can find the pattern here.  I believe there are 4 houses in the series, and of course you can make small changes and mirror them, so you could make a whole little village if you wanted.


If you follow me on instagram you've been seeing these blocks in stages for the past couple weeks. I pieced them both at the same time, trying to do one step per day so I wouldn't get frustrated or burned out.


I've had a cut of fabric with blue cats on a white background for a long time waiting on the perfect project.  I couldn't resist putting a few of them in the windows and yard! 

he's singing the song of his people
Every town needs a cat lady or two, and it might as well be my house!  I'm really looking forward to seeing this one all done.


Don't forget about the block drive going on now! If you'd like to join in with Covered in Love's mission you can learn more on the main page or check out the block drive.  The current Covered in Love block drive is an easy Hunter's Star block.



Linking to  Confessions of a Fabric Addict, Crazy Mom Quilts and Finished or Not Friday