Thursday, March 31, 2016

Finished Split 9s for Covered in Love

It's a happy Friday and I have some finishes!  The first 2 February quilts from the Covered in Love block drive are done.  In February we made split 9 blocks in manly colors.  Over 60 blocks were sent in by 15 quilters!

For those new around here, these monthly block drives allow everyone who wants to contribute a block or 10 to support Covered in Love.  CiL is my pet charity, which gifts quilts of comfort to the families of patients who pass away in the hospital.  You can find out more details on our main page.

The sun came out when I brought the second quilt out

CiL recently passed a new milestone: I ordered more labels!  Yes, we've almost used up the first 2 fat quarters of labels from Spoonflower.  I made a few changes to the new labels, including making the washing instructions larger and easier to read.

These quilts are fairly large, 60"x72" and I'm sure they will be a great comfort to the families they eventually go home with.  If you want to participate in one of our block drives I would love that! Email me or leave a comment (make sure I can get in touch with you!) for my mailing address to send blocks.

Last month's blocks drive is winding up with plenty of cute grown-up eye spy blocks waiting to become quilts, with the new month comes our new block!  The tutorial went up a few days ago and I know a few of you saw it already.  This month's blocks is a springy string block, slightly more complicated than the past few blocks we've done.

Thanks to Jannette, Summer, Amanda, Susan, Barbara A., Valerie, Ann, Tish, Joy, Barbara W., Diann, Johanna, Mina, & Debbie who contributed blocks to these Split 9 Patch quilts!

Linking to Crazy Mom Quilts Finish it Friday.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

April Block Drive

Another month, and a new block! Every month I host a block drive here to benefit Covered in Love.  CiL provides comfort quilts to the families of patients who pass away in the hospital where I work.  We are always accepting donations of tops and quilts, of course, but the monthly block drives are a quick and easy way to contribute. Together we have made some beautiful quilts!

Some of last year's CiL quilts
This month's blocks is bold and bright, inspired by the gorgeous spring weather outside! It is slightly more complicated that the past few months' blocks have been, but not too bad.  I'm calling it a string lattice block, based on a design I saw online somewhere.

First sort out some string scraps in pink/orange/yellow colors based on the palette below.

Your strings can be any width and need to be at least 8.5" long.  Sew them together into a column at least 11" tall.  (If you're making several blocks at once you can sew your column taller and then subcut 11" blocks from it).

My column is laying sideways...
These blocks will end up at 8.5"x11", or the size of a page of printer paper, so it may be handy to use a piece of paper to make sure your column is tall and wide enough.

Big enough, but just barely.
Trim your column of strings to 8.5"x11".

NOTE: To make a lattice design I actually need 2 kinds of blocks and the difference is in the next step.  The steps are the same, but either you trim the top left & bottom right corners of the block or you trim the top right & bottom left corners.  These two blocks are mirror images of each other and I need a roughly equal amount of each. Just something to keep in mind as you are making blocks. Don't stress about it.  When I get all the blocks in I will make some extras of whichever I am missing.

In this example I cut off the top left and bottom right corners
On the top left/right corner of your column, measure in 4" and down 5 & 1/8".  Make a pencil mark at both points, then line your ruler up with the marks and make a diagonal cut to remove the corner. 

Here I am about to make the cut on a mirrored block. You can just see my pencil marks where the ruler crosses.
 Flip the block completely over and repeat. 

Cut a rectangle of light neutral fabric, like unbleached muslin or a cream, to 4 & 5/8" x 5 & 7/8".   Cut diagonally corner to corner (NOTE: the angle of this line needs to match the angle of the corners you cut off your big block.)

This block is the mirror image to the one shown in most of the other pics. Notice how the light block is cut on the same diagonal as the big block.
Sew the light colored corners onto the larger block...

...and press.  Go ahead and sew your little string corners together if you want and send them along, I will use them for something!

Here are my two mirrored blocks.  Sorry for the weird colors, it was getting dark, but you get the idea.

I hope the tutorial is clear enough, don't hesitate to comment or email if you have questions.

(Edited to Add: View some finished quilts here)

This block drive runs for a month; try to get your blocks in the mail by the 30th.  Make one block or a bunch, every blocks helps!  Comment (make sure I can see your email address) or email me for the address to send blocks.  And thank you so much to everyone who continues to support Covered in Love!

Monday, March 28, 2016

No Place Like Home

I'm back from an awesome Florida vacation!  10 days, 11 nights, hiking, canoeing, biking, and beaches!

While I was away the crumb quilt was in the Tyler quilt show and got 2nd place in modern quilts!! I wasn't able to attend, but several people took pictures for me. This was my first show to enter a quilt in and I worried that things like uneven quilting or my habit of back stitching repeatedly rather then burying threads would make my quilt sub par to the others there. Needless to say, I was tickled pink to win a ribbon.

Even from the best vacation, it's always good to get back home. All the better to arrive to a pile of mail for Cil!  There were 4 sets of blocks waiting for me and a goody box from Summer and her friends in Houston!

Thanks to Summer, Sheila, Barb, Marion, Karen, Caroline, Lillie, and Carolyn for the blocks, fabric, and thread! (Rory also really enjoyed the plastic bag that the blocks were in).

The March block drive is wrapping up shortly but there is still plenty of time to send in blocks if you want to. Meanwhile, the April block will be a bit more complex! The post is scheduled to go up soon (Thursday? I think.)   Also remember, we are featured in the Hands2Help charity quilt challenge this year so be sure to follow along with all the fun tips and link ups there.

I have a paper to finish for school today and then I am going to settle in for a quilting marathon. The to-be-quilted pile is getting out of hand!

Thursday, March 17, 2016

"A Lot of Fight Left" in These Crumbs

Finally! At long last the crumb slabs quilt is done!  I went back and looked, my first post about this one was way back in May of last year.  It's really unusual for me to have a quilt in progress that long!

 This is the latest in a line of crumb quilts I've made.  I store my crumbs in a large glass jar and whenever it fills up I make something with them. There was the Sherwood Forest quilt, Crumb Jar Nines, and Scrappy Paint Boxes. I love using scraps!

This is the first crumb quilt to be made entirely from scraps. Even the background pieces are sewn together from low volume fabric scraps.

I used FMQ to quilt the top heavily with overlapping spirals.  I use a scoop shaped foot with measurement lines on it to help keep the spacing even. (You can see the foot in this post).  FMQ as opposed to a walking foot makes for much less shifting and wrinkling of the fabric.

This quilt is going to be in the Modern section at the Tyler Quilt Show this weekend. This is the first quilt I have ever had in a show!  I don't think you are generally supposed to wash show quilts but I just couldn't stand the idea of not washing a scrap quilt. They don't feel done until they have that krinkle.

I ended up facing this quilt so that the design would continue right out to the edge.  It just felt right. First time I've tried that, and it went surprisingly well.  The quilt is also closer to square than I ever dared hope it would be!

The backing is a favorite IKEA fabric.  It makes your eyes do funny things to look at.

When I was working on this back in the fall I kept thinking about the lyrics to "Fight Song" by Rachel Platten and how they related to this quilt. Even the smallest scraps can have a huge effect!  I wrote part of the chorus on the label and the quilt is names "A Lot of Fight Left."

"Like a small boat
On the ocean
Sending big waves
Into motion
Like how a single word
Can make a heart open
I might only have one match
But I can make an explosion"
"'Cause I've still got a lot of fight left in me"

Linking to Finish it Friday and Oh Scrap!

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Hands2Help Charity Challenge

I'm super honored that this year Covered in Love has been chosen as one of three charities benefited by this year's Hands2Help Challenge at Confessions of a Fabric Addict!

Initial sign up run until Saturday the 19th. Sorry is forgot to post about this sooner, but there's still time!  Although you can join in later, if you're thinking about it you should go ahead and sign up to get in on the first prize drawing. 

The final linky party for finished quilts will be on May 22nd.  Sarah runs an awesome program with lots of linkups, prize drawings, and other goodies, so go check it out

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Arranging and Rearranging

I worked 4 days this past week, but before and inbetween I've gotten some sewing done.  The second Feb Split 9s quilt top was arranged and sewn together.

I had 7 split 9s blocks left and after staring at them for a while on the wall next to the Forest QAL blocks my do. Good Stitches bee mates made I decided the two belonged together.

I got into my scraps and made up enough neutral 9 patches to finish the top.  My initial scrap sort-and-cut was only 3 patches short of the total amount I needed! I began playing with all three types of blocks on the design wall.

This one has gone through a lot of iterations. I like to put it on the wall and stare at it for a while.  I actually don't have pictures of the first couple arrangements.

I made an extra split 9 block.

And finally I think I've settled on this arrangement with the double bend.  But I haven't sewn it all together yet, so it may change again. We'll see.

Finally, with the Tyler Quilt Guild show coming up next weekend I finally got the crumb quilt done! Full finish post coming on this one next Friday.

Also, could someone please explain to me how this little peanut grew into a big cat overnight?  I swear it was just yesterday she was palm sized!

Linking to Oh Scrap! and Design Wall Monday.

Friday, March 4, 2016

Finishes for CiL

It's been a whole week since I posted.  You know, back in January when I decided to take an 11-day vacation in the middle of the school semester it seemed like a pretty good idea.  Now... not so much!  I know it's going to be fun, and going to be worth it once I'm there.  Right now it's hard to see past my to-do list as I work to get 2 weeks ahead on all my school assignments.

In the midst of spending way too much time on school, I did get the final  String Diamonds quilt done.  That means I'm all caught up on block drive quilts for Covered in Love, just in time to start on February's quilts!

This one measures 60" square, like the others.  I did a quick stipple quilting all over.  The other finish this week I only did the binding on.  Susan, one of the regular block drive contributors, sent me this beautiful bright top for Covered in Love, and Annie did her long arm quilting on it.  Gorgeous!

If you want to contribute to Covered in Love our March block drive is going on now. Check it out by clicking on the block below!

Linking to Crazy Mom Quilts Friday Finishes.