Thursday, December 31, 2015

2015 in Review

2015 is almost behind us, and what a year it's been.  We started Covered in Love and donated 45 quilts to comfort the families of the dying at ETMC in Tyler!  I couldn't have possibly done this on my own, not in a million years.  In August we started monthly block drives.  We made one quilt that first month. Then two in September.  Eight in October.  There are going to be five from November, currently in the form of 3 tops and a pile of blocks.  And looks to be at least three for December.  Close to 100 people have contributed to Covered in Love this year, from single blocks to complete quilts to quilting and piecing services.  My sincerest thanks to every one of you.

This year I made 30 quilts from start to finish, pieced and quilted 17 that others contributed blocks to, and quilted 13 tops that other sent in.

Thank you to everyone who has made Covered in Love a success this year.  It's been such a success, in fact, that I have a stack of six tops waiting to quilt and 100 blocks to turn into tops sitting around.  Even with all the help from others, taking the month off from quilting in November put me quite behind.

Rory says: "So much to do, so little time!"
As such, I think we'll take January off from our monthly bock drives.  If you have any UFOs, tops, or quilts you'd like to donate I'll still take them, of course! And in February we'll resume with the block drives as usual.

Happy New Year :)

Linking up to Finish it Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts.
Mosaics made using the BigHugeLabs mosaic maker.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Christmas Baby Quilt + How to Fold a Quilt for Gifting

I love the idea of Chistmas babies! As lame as it would be to be that kid, and constantly have your birthday and Christmas lumped together, there's just something about newborns stuffed in Christmas stockings that makes you go "Awwww!"

A friend's baby boy was born Christmas Eve, so I decided to make him a quilt heavy on red and green but not overtly Christmas-y. I had the perfect backing fabric already and drew my colors from that.

As I was packing the quilt up to mail this seemed like a good time to make a photo tutorial of how I fold quilts for gifting.  I've shown pictured of these little quilt bundles before but I can't find that I've ever walked through the process of making them.  I like to do this because it keeps the quilt folded up neat and makes a nice little pocket for putting in extra goodies.

Step 1, spread out the quilt face down, with the part you want to end up showing on the outside on the bottom.  Fold from the top down, but not all the way to the bottom. Depending on how big the quilt is you may have to fold it only a few, or several times.  The height of this folded section (ignoring the "tail" sticking out below) will be the height of the finished bundle.  The "tail" should be 1/2 to 2/3 the height of the folded part (the taller it is the deeper the pocket will be).

Step 2, fold the edges in, starting with the side you want showing on the outside. I started with the right because I want that label to show.

The width of these folds will be the width of the finished bundle.  Folding both edges in first ensures the raw edges will be closed inside.

Step 3, separate the "tail" layers to find the ones you wanted on the outside

Step 4, now the tricky part.  Fold the front up, so that it wraps up around the thicker folded part. 

Hold the first side in place and work the fold around so that the whole "tail" wraps around the bundle tightly.  See the loop of fabric below my hand in the picture above? I am taking that part and forcing it to wrap around to the back side of the bundle so that it is basically inside out from how it is above.

Finished! It can take a little work to get the tail flipped around and snug but it's worth it for a pretty, clean looking quilt package.

Either side can be the front, and you can put another turn on the top of the "tail" to add another ring of contrast if you want.

Hope you find this useful, and your Christmas has been full of family, fun, and fabric!

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Pretty Pink Little Girl Quilt

Pretty, pink and girly aren't my usual style... This quilt is for a little girl whose dad is marrying into my family this weekend.  Her parents are getting this string quilt but this is a big day for her, too, and both her new first cousins already have one of mine :)

From my limited stash of girly fabrics I found this pink one with the unicorns and the dark purple with the swallows.  Originally I was hoping to use just pinks, purples, and yellow for the borders but I didn't have enough so I added blue and green.

For the backing I used an old Tula Pink print with swans.  I lucked into a bolt of this on sale a few years back in California.

Happy wedding to Doug and Anna and welcome to the family, Kenna!

Linking to Crazy Mom Quilts Finish it Friday.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

WIP Wednesday: Falling Leaves

Right on time, fall weather has hit Texas. The leaves are changing and falling and it's a sunny, cool day outside my window.  Perfect timing for sewing up the November block drive blocks!

You guys sent in enough blocks for 3 quilts! The first two are being laid out now on the design wall (I can see that I need to do some rearranging).  Thanks for all your support! If you want to participate in the December block drive for Covered in Love the post is up here :)

Linking to WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

October's String Quilts: The First of Many

Happy Friday! I have more Covered in Love block drive quilts to show off!  Back in October I asked for 10" foundation pieced string blocks and you responded in force!  These four are the first of eight quilts (yes, 8!) to come from those blocks.

Most of these quilts are 50"x70", perfect size for a hospital bed or a couch (the one with yellow centers is bigger). The blocks were made by more than 20 quilters! I quilted two of these, one with a zig-zag going against the grain of the strings, the second got a big stipple.  The other two were long-arm quilted by the wonderful Annie McHugs!

So many fun fabrics, so much variety, so much to look at!  Below is a quilt top that came to me already completed, with yellow middle strings to pull the whole thing together.  A few of the tops I sorted by color or tone, but the first few I made were just a complete mishmash.

Thank you to Nancy, Teri, Rhonda, Dee Dee, Summer, Tish, Valerie, Susan, Melanie, Kati, Dhia, Johanna, Margaret, Mina, Ann, Amanda, Barbara W., Barbara A, Jeanice, Tricia and the ladies of the Tyler Modern Guild, and I know there are a few more I missed!

The December block drive post is up now if you want to participate this month! Remember, these quilts, over 30 so far, go to the families of patients who pass away in the hospital. These comfort quilts really do mean a lot to families on one of the worst days of their lives.

Linking to Crazy Mom Quilts Finish it Friday.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

December Block Drive

1st Sept block drive quilt
Every month I solicit you guys to send in blocks for Covered in Love so we can make group quilts.  These quilts we make every month are used in the hospital to provide comfort to families who have had a family member pass away.  The quilts not only warm a hospital room, they are taken home by the families as transitional items.

2nd Sept block drive quilt
October's string quilts are coming along and November's falling leaves blocks are drifting in.  Now it's time to meet our December blocks: string pinwheels!  Our color scheme is below, choose one color per block.  Plus, you'll need a brown for the outside corners.

Get into your scraps (or stash if you must) and find strings of at least 15" length, although I recommend a bit more, and between 1"-2.5" width.  Sew these together into a block at least 7" wide and 14" long.  Your string block should have about 4 to 6 strings.

Square off the block and trim to 7"x14", then cut into two 7" squares. Also cut two 7" squares from a brown fabric for background.

Mark the two brown squares on the back with a diagonal line corner to corner.  Place these squares right sides together with the strip blocks, be sure that both sets are the same.  With the strings in the same orientation and the lines on the brown fabric running the same way.  Then sew 1/4" on both sides of the line to make 2 half square triangles from each set.

Cut the blocks along the line you marked and press, then trim to 6.5" square.  There will be two sets of matching blocks, the identical ones go on opposite corners to each other, as shown below.

Your finished block should be 12.5" square.  I am always thrilled with the response to these things :)  If you want to participate you can make one block or ten, just comment or drop me an email for the address.

(Edited to Add: View finished quilts here)

Linking to Oh Scrap! at Quilting is More Fun Than Housework and Design Wall Monday on Patchwork Times.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Oversized Block Quilt and Patchwork Star

This week I got two quilts back from the quilter, my oversized Watermelon Taffy and another of Mina's tops.

This quilt is one I pieced using Tish's Watermelon Taffy block pattern. Instead of making a twelve inch block I made a 72" quilt top.

I found the cutest fabric on sale for the backing.

A fabulous local quilter has been donating her services to help with Covered in Love.  Please check out Annie McHugs if you need long arm quilting!

Along with my top she also quilted another top Mina had donated to me, a large patchwork star in pretty pinks and oranges.

This is the third week in a row I have featured a quilt that Mina sent in either the top or blocks for!

I love the pattern Annie chose for this one, waves with loops.

For the backing I got lucky with another sale table find: a pretty dyed fabric with print on top.

Big thank you to Mina, Annie, and everyone else who continues to make Covered in Love a success!  Check out the main page for ways to contribute or visit the monthly block drive here (we're making leaves!)  Or check back on Sunday for December's block!

Linking to Finish it Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Mina's Fall Flowers

Last Friday I showed a quilt made from donated blocks sent in by Mina, and this week I have 2 more!  Mina sent in these 18 fall flower blocks along with her October strings for the block drive.

Quilt #1
With (18) 20" blocks I was able to add some sashing and make two 68" square quilts!

Quilt #2
The fabrics in these blocks are soooo saturated and vibrant and they just scream Fall. As you can see from the leaves on the ground in my pictures, Fall is finally arriving here along with cooler weather.

I stippled through the blocks and made a little FMQ leaf in the cornerstone squares.

I just can't get enough of these lovely prints Mina used! Both quilts have a plaid backing and scrappy brown and red bindings. They are warm and comfy.

These quilts were donated to Covered in Love.  If you would like to contribute please check out the main page or consider make a few blocks for the monthly block drive.

Linking to Crazy Mom Quilts Finish it Friday.