Thursday, February 25, 2016

The Cure for Anything is Saltwater

This week I finished the quilt for the sailor I talked about last week.  This quilt is for a patient I had a couple weekends ago.  A very nice older man who's had a life full of adventure.  He's getting older, sicker, feeling just the beginnings of dementia, and now he's having a bit of a crisis of faith that it all might be over too soon.

When he having a panic and getting upset we talked about sailing and looked at pictures on my phone to calm him.  Despite a long, full life he just hasn't seen everything he wants to see!  He's hopeful that he will do some traveling soon to some US national parks.

You didn't all get to meet my delightful patient, but I want to share him with you.  Being from this part of Texas the ocean is a long, long way away and sort of a mystery.  Somehow, when he was 13 he fell in with some Sea Scouts, and from then on he was a sailor.

Most of the rest of the boys in his Sea Scouts groups were orphans.  They all joined navy when they turned 18, just in time for the Korean war to start.  After a career in the navy he retired and spent 6 years building his own sail boat, which he then spent several more years circumnavigating the globe in.  He stopped in ports around the world to rest, soak in the sights, and work to fund his journey.

In his 50s he built another boat and he and his cousin sailed it from Galveston up to DC, then inland until they reached the Mississippi and downriver back to home.  That journey took six months.  He lives on a local lake where he can take his boat out whenever he likes.

The same weekend I took care of the sailor I also had a Vietnam vet and another Korea vet, a career military helicopter pilot.  Most of the WWII vets have passed on and now these guys are close behind them. Take the time to listen to their stories, whenever you get the chance :)

Linking to Crazy Mom Quilts Finish it Friday.

March Block Drive - Grownup Eye Spy

February is almost behind us -- how did it go by so fast?? Even on a leap year it's still such a short month.  The Split 9s block drive for Covered in Love is wrapping up, thank you to everyone who sent in blocks! I think we are going to make 3 quilts from the February blocks.  That means it's time to announce March's block drive.

This month we are making grown-up eye spy blocks with fussy cut centers.

For each 10.5" (unfinished) block you will need (4) 2.5" fussy cut centers.  Remember these are for adults, so nothing too baby-ish, but I think whimsical is fine.  Things that would make adults smile :)  Try to choose mostly images with not-light backgrounds since most of them will be bordered with light colors.

Next you'll need a 2" strip to border each center with. The bare minimum length for these strips is 16" but I cut mine a bit long to give myself room.  For each set of four, choose (3) cream/off white/tone-on-tone light fabrics that are solids or will read as solids and a fourth fabric (solid or read-as solid) in maroon, navy, or gold.

Sub cut the strips into (2) 2.5" pieces and (2) 5.5" pieces.

Sew the short sides to your centers and press.

Then sew the longer sides and press. Finally, sew all four little blocks together into one 10.5" blocks. Each large block should have (3) sub blocks with light borders and (1) sub blocks with a colored border.  You can place the colored block anywhere, it doesn't have to fall in the lower left like mine did.

(Edited to Add: View some finished quilts here)

Covered in Love makes comfort quilts for patients who pass away in the hospital.  Family members are able to take these quilts home as a keepsake.  In 2015 our block of the month drives made 18 quilts!  If you would like to participate by making just a few blocks or a whole lot, jump right in! Comment (make sure I can get in touch with you) or email me for the address to send blocks.

October's block drive quilts

I can't wait to see what you guys create!

Linking to Oh Scrap! and Design Wall Monday.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Lots of Tops

Belated Happy Valentines Day!  I worked over Valentines day this year, but one of the male nurses passed out yellow roses to all the girls. Isn't that sweet?

I won't have a Friday Finish this week, but I did get 3 tops done.  First was the last of the string diamonds.  I didn't get a picture of that one, but you've see it on the design wall before.  Then I decided to put some of the February block drive blocks up on the wall to see how they look. I ended up falling so in love with them that I went ahead and sewed the top together.  I know that I just declared November's Falling Leaves my favorite, but this one is my new favorite block drive we've done!

The last top is a sailing theme quilt I put together for a patient I took care of and made a connection with over the weekend.  I have also done some sailing, so we bonded over that.  This guy, though.  He built his own boat and sailed it around the world.  Before that he made a career in the Navy.  He's been sailing since he was 13 and even though he's seen more than most of us will ever dream of, he's not ready to be done yet.

He's part of a group that is not normally covered by Covered in Love.  He's dying (prostate cancer with mets to the bone) but not today or tomorrow, possibly not even this year.  It's a difficult limbo place to be in.  So, I made him his own quilt to remind him of the adventures he's had.  Also I hope that when he takes this quilt to the hospital or treatments with him it will prompt other people to strike up conversations with him about sailing, which he loves to talk about.

Unfortunately that's all the sewing for me this week. Until Tuesday I'm going to be spending all my time communing with my 20lb Patho textbook. Bleh.

Linking to Judy's Design Wall Monday.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Big Quilt Delivery Day!

I've got tons to show you today, most of which I can take very much credit for. It's so exciting to get to take 10 quilts all at once up to the hospital for Covered in Love! This brings our grand total to 58!!  The chaplains are always so excited to get new quilts.  Prepare yourself for a picture heavy post.

First up, I finished the last of the falling leaves quilts from the November block drive. And when I say I finished, I really mean finished, as I put on the binding. That's really all I can say I did on this one. The top came to me already pieced and Annie did her awesome long arm quilting again.

Isn't it great? The colors just glow.

If you look closely at this picture you can make out the free motion design, they are big leaves.

Here they are all in one picture. Five quilts altogether from the blocks you guys made in November, pat yourselves on the back!  I have to admit, I think this is my favorite of the block drives we did last year.

Next up is the quilt actually assembled and quilted myself last week. It's the second of the string diamonds from December block drive.

This one is made from the blocks that had a lighter brown for the background color. And although I loved how the zigzag quilting looked on the first quilt, it's too time intensive to use for them all. This one got a quick stipple.

I think adding the label with everyone's name adds a nice personal touch to the quilt. Sort of to connect the people who made it to the people who eventually receive it.  Just one more of the string diamonds to go and I will be caught up on block drive quilts!

Finally, you may remember that my do. Good Stitches circle has started supporting covered in love.  Carla sent in two of our quilts from the past year which arrived today, to combine with the one Louise sent me a little while back.

Aren't they lovely?   You can see more pics on the blog posts about the blue and orange diamond quilt and the modern pineapple. Carla also sent along two of her own quilts for Covered in Love!

Whew! What blessings!  If you would like to help out with Covered in Love remember our February block drive is going on now! Click on the block below to link to the tutorial.

Linking to Crazy Mom Quilts Finish it Friday.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Design Wall and Chain Sewing

Happy Monday! Check out these gorgeous paper pieced blocks on my design wall! The ladies of the Nurture circle at do. Good Stitches made these in January and the blocks just keep coming in!  Waiting on one more block, in the meanwhile I need to start working on my layout for these.

Unfortunately, instead of quilting I've been spending a lot of time on this: studying.  These are my books for just one class! The sticky notes on the front tell me which chapters I'm *supposed* to have already read in them.

While listening to lectures for school I've been chain-piecing on an old project. Back around Sept of 2014 I started on this crumb project, sewing 1.5"x2.5" scraps of white and colored fabrics together.  I was planning to make a quilt like one I saw with a zig zagging design (similar to this one).  It reminded me of the old gum wrapper chains people used to make.  Anyway, I made close to 1000 little 2.5" square units and then lost interest.

Then, on last Friday's Finishes at Crazy Mom Quilts I came across the "Bonnie Lass" pattern, which uses the exact same units!  With my enthusiasm back, I have begun chain piecing the many, many, 2.5" squares into four patches that will measure 4.5" sq.  One of these days this might be a quilt, yet ;)

Linking up, a bit late, to Judy's Design Wall Monday.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

a Small Finish

It seems like I did an awful lot this week to still have not much to show on Friday :/  On Tuesday I completed a quilt top and on Thursday I made up 3 quilt backings, but none of that equaled a "finish".

Instead of a lanyard there is a clip on the back

I did manage one, small finish this week. I made my Modern Quilt Guild name tag!  Since the Tyler Modern group became all official recently we're all supposed to make name tags to wear.  I admit this will help me out a lot since I have such a terrible time remembering names!  I used the sketchy thread-fill FMQ technique described in this post.

I thought you might be interested in seeing my quilty to-do list.  Crossing things off this list gives me huge satisfaction!  Back to chipping away at it, hopefully I'll have a bigger finish next Friday!  Linking up to Crazy Mom Quilts Friday Finishes.

PS- The February block drive for Covered in Love is on, check it out here!

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Celebration Sew Day

Monday night I took my first exam of grad school, and it went ok!  In celebration I took the whole day Tuesday to sew.  No school or work, just sewing.  I was recently given 2 years worth of Saturday Sampler blocks by a member of the Tyler Modern Guild for Covered in Love (thanks!).

You may recognize the blocks on the right.  Another member of the same group previously donated me her blocks from the same sampler, done with a black background.  I decided to use strings for the setting this time. 

My initial pull for the sampler quilt

Part of the reason I chose strings is that I was recently donated 2 large boxes of fabric, one almost all strings, which considerably increased my stash.  It's so much fun getting to play with other people's scraps!

While I had the strings dumped out I set aside strings for a baby girl quilt I have coming up.

Sew helpful...

I wanted to use mostly white/low volume strings interspersed with some of the same colors from the blocks.  I cut them into common widths and sewed them end to end into loooong strings, then sewed those into panels.

It's definitely busy, but I think I like it.  Unfortunately there will be no more sewing today. It's back to the school grindstone and then work Thursday and Friday.  If you're interested in helping with Covered in Love, remember our February block drive is going on here!

Linking to WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced.