Friday, May 27, 2016

Bold and Bright Lattice Quilts

Happy Friday! School is back in session for me for the summer and I'm currently in the "denial" phase of coping.  This week I did some quilting to procrastinate reading pharmacology and got the first two of April's block drive quilts done.

These two quilts are essentially the same, finishing at a generous 56"x77".  There will still be an odds and ends quilt to come from similar blocks, but I'm still having fun playing with the layout on that one.

One of these quilts got an overall stipple. The backing for this one was a dark purple that showed every stitch so I wanted to use an FMQ design I was confident with!

The other quilt got more elaborate FMQ, with ribbon candy in the strings and flowers in the diamonds.  These were both quilted on my new-to-me FMQ machine, if you missed the Wednesday post go meet Schuyler! This one had a nice bright turquoise backing.

We've gotten some more quilts from the H2H drive in the past couple weeks.  Opening up these packages is so much fun!  Also, kudos to our mail lady who managed to shove 2 whole quilts into our mailbox the other day.  (They weren't damaged, I really mean it. Kudos to her-- saved me a trip to the post office to pick them up!)  Thank you to Carol, Adele, Mina, Jan, Jamie, and Ann whose quilts arrived recently.

The June block drive post went up yesterday so if you want to support Covered in Love this month please sew along!  Remember, Covered in Love gives quilts of comfort to the families of patients who pass away in the hospital. You can find more details on the main page here.  If you want to participate leave a comment (make sure I can see your email address!) or email me at for a mailing address.

Linking to Finish it Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Sun and Sea {June CiL Block Drive}

Summer time is already here in Texas, and soon to be upon the rest of the country. What does summer make you think of? Sunshine, beaches, popsicles, sand castles and ocean waves.  Being a red-head, I'm all-but allergic to sun.  Summer means a lot of going around wrapped up like a mummy, but even I am not immune to the draw of the beach.

In honor of summer this month's Covered in Love block drive is one I'm calling "Sun and Sea".  The proper name is this block is Diamond Weave and it was designed by Maureen for Janome using fabric from her own lines!

You can find the tutorial for the block at Janome's project center.  Everywhere that she talks about using red or coral we're using yellow instead, for the blues use "true blues", that is, not aqua or teal but regular blue. You can make these with just a couple of fabrics or make them scrappy.  Her instructions are great, so there's no need for me to reinvent the wheel.  Although...

As it stands the cutting instructions make 1.78 blocks.  If you will cut 2 additional 4.5" squares, one each of yellow and blue, and use the same instructions as for the larger HSTs to make them into (2) 4" HSTs you will have enough for 2 whole blocks.

(Edited to Add: View some finished quilts here)

I'm not sure if any of you watch "Gold Rush" on the Discovery Channel. We're occasional watchers and recently caught the memorial episode for one of the show's old-timers who passed away at 96.  Suspecting that his time was growing short he was peaceful. In one scene, on his birthday, he sings this song by Terry Jacks,  (you can see the scene here, about 1 minute in)

Goodbye my friend it's hard to die
When all the birds are singing in the sky
Now that the spring is in the air
With the flowers everywhere
I wish that we could both be there

Sometimes it's like that. The sun is shining and life is going on everywhere and it's hard for those that have to leave, but even harder for those left behind.  That's why we make quilts, to comfort the loved ones left behind.  If you would like more details about Covered in Love check out the main page and if you would like to support us by making blocks this month you can make as few or many as you like.  Comment (make sure I can contact you) or email me at for a mailing address.

You can also check out some of out past block drive quilts here.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Meet Schuyler

Schuyler (pronounced Skylar) is my new-to-me free motioning machine!  She came home at the end of April and we've been getting to know one another.  Nancy (no-blog) is a local quilter who was one of the first people to reach out to me and support Covered in Love with blocks, tops, and friendship.  When she upgraded to a long arm last year the gave her old mid arm machine to a friend, who subsequently moved to a smaller house and the machine and accompanying table needed to be re-homed again.  Nancy offered her to me and I couldn't say yes fast enough!

Besides the luxury of more throat space, the 8 foot long table also allowed my to join to wonderful world of doing my cutting on a table rather than the floor!  I've quilted about half a dozen quilts or so on Schuyler, now.  We had some bumps starting out, but now we're a smooth-running team. One thing I learned: this machine is happiest when she goes fast!  This works out well since my preferred quilting speed is just shy of mach 1.

Most recently I've been quilting up the April Covered in Love block drive quilts.  Rory has been tons of help of course.  In the picture below she's giving me that reproachful look because I wanted to quilt on that sandwich and she wanted to play in it.

This month has been sooo fun as the H2H quilts have been coming in along with CiL's May block drive.  If you want to participate and make some May blocks there is still time!

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Team "J" Quilts

Continuing the parade of quilts from Covered in Love volunteers with two quilts that were a team effort. Johanna, who sent in the patriotic quilt top, also sent in these tops and Judy from Quilt Paradigm did a beautiful job quilting them.

Photos courtesy of Judy

Some of you saw these on Judy's blog when I linked them in a Sunday post, but I think they deserve their own post.

Judy did some really detailed feathers and loops on the HST quilt.  I actually added the blue borders and corner stones to this top to make it bigger. The blue borders were a John Deere novelty fabric donated to me; I cut around the logos and saved them for another day.

The more subdued, manly top got a basket weave quilting pattern for maximum texture.

Thank you to Jo, Judy, and all the volunteers that keep Covered in Love going.  Your support has allowed my little pet project to grow and grow beyond what I ever dreamed and your love has touched lives across East Texas.  If you're interesting in getting involved check out the main page or our monthly block drive.

Linking to Crazy Mom Quilts.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Mina's Fall Stripes Finished

Another week, another blog reader's quilt top finished for Covered in Love!  This top was sent in by Mina, a regular monthly block drive contributor.  This quilt features gorgeous, saturated fabrics that you might recognize because she used the same ones in some other quilt blocks she sent in.

This time Mina paired her fabric scraps with a simple textured background fabric to really make them pop.  Brightly colored fall leaves, grapes, berries, and acorns.

The sun was coming in and out behind the clouds when I took these, so I got pictures in different lights.

Thank you to Mina, and all the other generous folks in blog land who send in block, tops, and quilts for Covered in Love.  And thanks to those who have sent in quilts through the H2H drive.  In the past week or so I've gotten gorgeous quilts and some bonus tops from Joanna, Kathy, Rosemarie, and Lisa. These quilts make meaningful gifts for mourning families.  If you would like to contribute visit the main page or check out our monthly block drive.

Linking to Crazy Mom Quilts.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

April Lattice Blocks

  Rory has been ever so helpful getting April's Covered in Love blocks laid out on the design wall.  It looks like we will get 2 "regular" arrangement tops out of these plus a third out of the scraps, orphans, and odd-shaped blocks.

Also pictured, my new (to me) free motion machine!! A gift from a local quilter friend.  Formal introduction post coming soon, once I give her a name :)

Of course, you know me, the scraps are the best part! Granted these are other people's scraps, but just as good as home grown.  Currently I have them in a zigzag configuration but there are so many options!

I am in the process of assembling the first top (below) while playing with the design of the other two.

Last week I announced May's block drive design several people have already sent in blocks!  If you want to sew along and support Covered in Love check out the block drive for more information :)

Linking to Oh Scrap! and Design Wall Monday.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Man's Best Friend {Susan's Quilt}

This week I have another fun quilt for Covered in Love that was donated by a generous blog reader.  Susan (no blog) from Utah sent in this dog quilt top along with a generous amount of left over fabric!  I just had to quilt and bind to get it ready for donation.  This was one of 18 (yes, 18!) quilts I took to the hospital on Tuesday. For details on the drop off day and a sweet "thank you" from a family member read the post here.

This quilt is too cute! Susan fussy cut dogs from a panel and appliqued them onto patches alternating with four-patches of novelty dog-themed fabrics.

Dog bowls, paw prints, and text fabric, oh my!  Susan sent plenty of fabric for me to make a backing and binding from.

I gave the quilt just a simple stipple quilting.  I hope that this quilt will land with just the right family, some true dog lovers. 

If you would like to help out with Covered in Love we do of course accept finished quilts and tops (see the main page for details). If you're looking for a more low-key way to participate check out our monthly block drive!  You can send in as many or as few blocks as you like. Leave a comment or email me at merlin775 at gmail for the address to send to.

Linking to Crazy Mom Quilts Finish it Friday.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

A Big Delivery for Covered in Love

Today was an exciting day! I delivered 18 new quilts to the hospital and had lunch with the chaplains to catch up. The quilty donations from Hands 2 Help for Covered in Love have started to really roll in. Thanks to Anita, Bernie, and Beryl for their quilts!  Also huge thanks to Becky who also found me through Hands to Help.  Realizing that she lived relatively close, rather then pay shipping she drove to meet me part way and deliver nine beautiful quilts!

Becky's H2H quilts for Covered in Love

With the H2H quilts added to our usual block drive quilts and donation odd and ends the Cat-Free Quilt-Staging-Area was soon overflowing. Time for a hospital delivery!  Usually I bring quilts along with me on days I work, so when I drop them off with the chaplains we are all "on duty" and being pulled in many directions at once. It was nice to come in on a day off and actually sit down to talk.

"...the quilt is very beautiful [...] Angels were in her room 
and they caressed the quilt with compassion and love.  
The Spirit of God and his Holy Angels were in her room 
as the waves of love encompassed my mother like ocean waves.  
As she took her last breath there was beauty and peace 
and at the speed of sound Mama was wrapped up in the 
arms of Jesus as he welcomed her home.

PS- Tell the quilters to keep up the good work."

They got to hear more details about who you all are and how the quilts come together and I got to hear some recent stories from their deliveries.  I got a photocopy of a sweet letter from a grateful daughter which I shared in part above.

Today's delivery brought us up to 84 quilts for grieving families.  Thank you to each and every person who has contributed.  Your kindness has ripples you'd never expect. The Chaplains who deliver the quilts, the security guards who occasionally let me in to get a quilt for a family after hours, nurses caring for dying patients, and the local mail clerks have heard our stories and been amazed by your generosity.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

A Different Kind of Scraps...

 When cleaning the sewing room sometimes you find things you'd forgotten all about. Or is that just me?  I stumbled across my stash of UFOs and abandoned projects and discovered it was a lot bigger than I remembered! Oh bother.

I quickly put together this top from a dozen abandoned blocks and some donated fabric.  I think the red brings together all the different florals. Hope so anyway.

Next I pulled out these two large Swoon blocks a blog reader sent me and started rifling through my orphan blocks for others that might play well with them.  This orphan quilt is still in the design stages ;) Happy weekend!

Linking to Oh Scrap! and Design Wall Monday.