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.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Falling Leaves Trickling In

On my design wall today are the early-bird blocks for November's Covered in Love Block Drive.  Thanks to Summer and Amanda whose blocks are already here and to everyone else who has commented or emailed me committing to make blocks!  If you want to contribute there is still plenty of time!  I love the color scheme and scrappiness we have coming together, this is going to be a beautiful quilt.

I have been sewing a bit here and there, mostly working on the Crumb-splosion, but for the most part November has been a month off quilting for me.  Partially I needed the break, but more importantly since 2002 November for me has meant National Novel Writing Month.  Becoming a published author is permanently on my bucket list, so this month I am trading the sewing machine for a keyboard and trying to bang out a rough draft of a story.

Hopefully I will be successful, and definitely I will be back to quilting full speed in December!

Linking to Judy's Design Wall Monday.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Red White and Blue Rail Fence Quilt

Mina has been a very generous contributor to Covered in Love! Not only does she regularly contribute to the monthly block drives, but there are always extra blocks and goodies in the boxes she sends!  You'll be seeing more of her projects as I finish them, but first up in this patriotic quilt made from oversize-rail fence blocks.

I only had to join the blocks and border them.  I've had this clothesline fabric for ages just waiting for the right project and this one was it.

I quilted it with a quick, all-over stipple and bound with the same red check that's on the back.

Basting seems to be everyone's least favorite part of quilting, so I want to share a tip I learned recently.  Up until I started CiL I was always a pin baster, but with the increase in volume of quilts that was just too slow and labor intensive. Then I went to spray basting, which was faster but quickly got expensive and I always had to mop afterward, even with putting down drop cloths.  For about the last month I've been using Elmer's washable glue sticks to baste, the kind that go on purple and dry clear.  These don't work quite as well as spray baste, as far as stickiness and reposition-ability, but they still work quite well and it's just as fast.  A $1 glue stick can do about 1.5 quilts and they don't gum up the needle or anything like that.  Plus I can baste across my bed without having to roll up the rug downstairs.  Best of all, they are washable- as promised!  The rinse water turns bright purple when the glue gets wet again and I generally wash twice before drying to make sure all the glue is gone, but once the rinse water is clear you can be fairly certain. I've done a bunch of quilts this was lately so I feel I can vouch for the technique.  No ill effects to report!

Huge thanks to Mina for her support!  If you want to contribute to Covered in Love check out November's block drive page here.

Linking to Crazy Mom Quilts Finish it Friday.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Quilting in Circles

I'm still working on my crumb project.  We're into the quilting stage now :)

I'm doing spirals centered on each crumb block and letting them overlap where they intersect.

For the backing I had just enough left of this neat IKEA print.  Gotta get some more of that.

Linking to WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Patchwork Mosaic Quilts-- Big Reveal!

Each month since August I've asked you guys to send in blocks for Covered in Love and each month you deliver!  Covered in Love has now provided quilts to 36 grieving families at ETMC! This gorgeous pair of quilts are from September's patchwork mosaic blocks.

The first quilt is just a jumble of blocks. It's busy, bright and rowdy; so many awesome tiny blocks you guys pieced!

I love how different these two turned out, the second quilt is soft and feminine.

I quilted ribbon candy in the vertical sashings.

Once again, some stunning piecing.

I made a ton of this striped bias binding, enough for 3 quilts, from donated fabric (thanks, Linda!)  Since I was making bias binding anyway I rounded the corners of the quilts. 

Thanks to everyone who contributed blocks to these quilts, I hope I got all your names! Thanks to Ann, Teri, Margaret, Debbie, Diann, Summer, Tricia, Mina, and Tracey.

I checked in today with one of the chaplains who delivers these quilts and he said, "This is a wonderful, powerful gift. [I] placed the Route 66 quilt on a bed Tuesday and the family cried and cried.  He had lived for many years in Amarillo and it was on the quilt! It was perfect!"

I hope that encourages those of you who have donated. These quilts bless lives! Thanks for your continued support.

Covered in Love donates comfort quilts to the families of patients who pass away in the hospital. If you want to participate in this month's blocks drive check out the block drive post here.

Linking to Crazy Mom Quilts Finish it Friday.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

The Crumb-splosion is a Top!

Whew! After months of work, on and off, the latest crumb project is finally a top!

It measures just shy of 50"x70" and I can't wait to get started quilting. I'm planning on doing intersecting spirals.

Rory watched the final stages of this come together from her nest in the string pile. She's going to be really disappointed when I finally clean these up.

Linking to WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced.