Thursday, November 26, 2020

Thankful for the Helpers

“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, "Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.” Fred Rogers

Happy Thanksgiving, quilters! I hope you are warm and maybe enjoying some cozier, smaller gathering than usual this year amidst everything that's going on.  This year I'm more thankful than ever for all my helpers! Like Beth T. who sent in this top, and Kathy who quilted it.  The seven quilts in this post bring us to 12 for the March/April block drive.

This top was sent in by Holly and also quilted by Kathy.  As you can tell, I had very golden Fall light the day to took the pictures above.  I know that for Northerners quarantine has gotten harder to deal with as temperatures drop, but for us in the South it has only just become tolerable.  During Summer doing activities outside really wasn't an option, but it's so nice now to be able to take classes, birthday parties, and some community events outside.

Holly also assembled and quilted these block drive blocks into a quilt and quilted it with intersecting lines.  I love the on-point setting.  Since she put them on point she needed to enlarge the backing a bit and did so with neat orphan blocks.

All of us have times in our lives that we couldn't get through without a supportive community, and 2020 has been all of us having those times together, one after another. 

Tammy S. assembled these two quilts from block drive blocks but when it came time to quilt she was struggling with the Covid Malaise.  Feeling low and tired and just in a funk. 

Fortunately, her friends Claudia and Marion jumped in to longarm them with some extra light, poofy batting and this pretty leafy motif while Tammy took some time away.

People helping each other to help me to help other people :) 

Speaking of, Linda D. has recently joined up with CiL and begun assembling and quilting blocks.

She recently upgraded to a long arm and I am only too happy to keep her in top to learn on. I love this design with the multi pointed stars! I have always wanted to piece a design like that. 

The first quilt Linda put together was united by whites with very busy backgrounds.  This second one has yellows all in the same tone and whites with very small dots or similar.

The panto she chose is pretty flowers and leaves, perfect for the Spring-y colors.  Thanks to all you ladies and Happy Thanksgiving to all the CiL family!

Fall weather means cozy sweaters for everyone ;)

Covered in Love is a 501(c)(3) charity that donates quilts to patients dying in the hospital, over 700 so far! The Nov/Dec drive is going on now.  Check out the main post HERE if you want to get involved. 


Linking to  Confessions of a Fabric Addict and Finished or Not Friday

Thursday, November 19, 2020

Saltwater Quilts

Hello quilters :)  These three quilts came from Louise, who continues to assemble donated UFO and orphan blocks for Covered in Love from her sewing room on her floating home.  If you haven't seen her series on how she manages to quilt on a boat you definitely should!

Louise posted about these three quilts here.  This first one was made with "vintage" bits sent in by Priscilla.

This one is a mix of orphan blocks I sent her and some blocks from an online guild.  I love the quilting style Louise used on it!

You should go read Louise's post to hear more about each quilt. The only thing I really contributed was to get some outdoor pictures of them.

I'm reasonably certain that this top originally came from Marianne K.  It was a very small top made from batik fabrics and at some point I had put another border around it.  (There's a picture on Louise's blog).  Louise recognized that everything was too busy and the cool houses and palm trees were getting lost, so she split the top apart and put it back together like this.

Lovely quilting with the calming words in the border.  Louise is pretty much my hero!

Every night when I finish my shower there are cat paws sticking under the bathroom door, impatiently waiting for me to open it. While I brush my teeth and get ready for bed they inspect the wet shower and do their best the take apart the bathroom.  The other night... no cats.  I finished my entire bed room routine and no cats appeared.   I went looking for them, worried they got themselves trapped somehow and found them like this. I think they finally figured out the heated bed I bought them :)

Covered in Love is a 501(c)(3) charity that donates quilts to patients dying in the hospital, over 700 so far! The Nov/Dec drive is going on now.  Check out the main post HERE if you want to get involved. 


Linking to  Confessions of a Fabric Addict and Finished or Not Friday

Thursday, November 12, 2020

Pretty Scrappy

We're creeping on through November, still hard to believe it's this late in the year!  The three quilts in this post were quilted by my local quilter friend Kathy C.  This really nice, scrappy 9 patch top came from Amy A.

Since she first contacted me in early 2017 Kathy has assembled and quilted for Covered in Love, completing a total of 102 quilts! That's 14% of CiL's total quilts. She has also spent a lot of hours standing in the parking lots of CVS and Dairy Queen with me chatting about quilts, and nursing, and life in general.

Sandy P. sent in this bright turning 20 top.  A lot has happened in the past 3 years, for both of us. Kathy now has two grandchildren she watches during the week who have hit full toddler stage. With the demands of full time grandparent-hood and two VERY active children Kathy's going to be taking a quilting hiatus until they get into preschool.

Kelly C. sent in this scrappy bowtie top.  Running after toddlers keeps you young, as they say, but it is exhausting! So I'm wishing Kathy good luck and God Speed, and I hope you'll all hope me in giving her a massive thank you for the past 3 years of dedicated service to CiL!

This lady-goat and two of her friends ran away from home and tried to move in with us a few weeks ago.  It took a really team effort to get the ladies back home as they had covered some 3 miles or more!

Covered in Love is a 501(c)(3) charity that donates quilts to patients dying in the hospital, over 600 so far! The Nov/Dec drive is going on now.  Check out the main post HERE if you want to get involved. 


Linking to  Confessions of a Fabric Addict and Finished or Not Friday


Thursday, November 5, 2020

Strings and Reflection

Another week and another batch of string quilts! These six were quilted by me, but some of them were pieced by Pam. She helped out by piecing two great big boxes of blocks I sent her into 8 tops and sending them back. Great big thanks to Pam, she did a lovely job of piecing and pressing nice flat seams!

Also obviously thanks to those who sent in cool backing fabrics for these quilts. Patients and families love to look at the backs and often connect to them. 

There have been quite a few of these string quilts so far, and there will be more, so instead of talking about them I wanted to talk about something - or rather someone - that was on my mind lately.

I was fortunate to have several exceptional teachers in my life. Sometimes I really recognized it at the time and sometimes it wasn't obvious until later, looking back.  My elementary art teacher from 1st-6th grade was a fabulous artist in her own right and also a wonderful teacher.

Even twenty years later I remember so many things that I learned in her class.  I think her approach to art and her passion influenced my own creativity and curiosity greatly.

Just one of example of how she taught, our unit on weaving didn't start with some yarn and a loom. It started with meeting her Angora Rabbits.  She brought fresh wool and cotton, too, but the bunnies came to class. She showed us how she sheared them, then we cleaned their fur and aligned it by brushing between two big wire paddle brushes. We tried spinning it into yarn on a drop spindle and a spinning wheel, then we dyed it.  And then we got out the looms and the Walmart yarn, because no one in their right mind wastes Angora on 3rd graders!

And that was just one thing. Before we did collages we learned to make our own paper.  And then from the paper we branched into papyrus and vellum and book binding. When we did clay we didn't just make ash trays, we learned how the Native Americans dug clay out of the ground and we made Storyteller Dolls and pinch pots.

Can you imagine how much work and mess that was with 15 or 20 little kids? And how little it must have seemed like we were getting out of it? But I remember the details of so much she taught me. We did do the usual arts as well, I definitely remember perspective drawing, pointillism and impressionism. I probably remember them less because even then I was terrible at drawing and painting.  But she never let art stop at traditional lines, art was any kind of visual expression, including crafts or handiworks.

I don't think I ever really realized how much that one teacher inspired my passion for all things creative, and for going beyond the surface.  She showed how art and creativity can tie together history and math and science.

I had an equally passionate and innovative science teacher throughout high school who I can largely credit for the reason I'm in healthcare today.  I realize that these women also shaped the teaching style I try to bring to my nursing students, and I'm really just lucky to have had them.  Since it's been on my mind lately I'm going to write them this week. I hope that if you had a special teacher in your life you can thank them, too.

Covered in Love is a 501(c)(3) charity that donates quilts to patients dying in the hospital, over 600 so far! The Nov/Dec drive is going on now.  Check out the main post HERE if you want to get involved. 


Linking to  Confessions of a Fabric Addict and Finished or Not Friday

Sunday, November 1, 2020

Nov/Dec CiL Block Drive

Hello quilters, welcome to the 2020 Nov/Dec Covered in Love Block Drive! For anyone who may be new, basically CiL is a charity that makes quilts for patients dying in the hospital. I run a block drive every two months where anyone can participate and make as many or as few blocks as you wish. Scroll to the bottom of the post for more details if you'd like to participate!

For the end of the year (gosh I can't believe it's the end of the year already!) we are going to be making these pretty Sunflower blocks. It will be a nice little bit of sunshine in the winter months.  This block tutorial originally appeared here from Molli Sparkles, but I've sized it down.  The color scheme comes from my Nurture Bee friend Jenny.

For each 12.5" block (made of 4 mini blocks) you'll need:

  • (16) 1.5" brown squares
  • (4) 4.5" black squares
  • assorted 1.5" wide white/cream and golden yellow strings

Please choose whites, very low volumes, and light creams for the white, black tone on tone or black and white for the blacks, mid- to golden yellows, and rich browns.

The angle you attach the yellow and white strips together at DOES matter, so make sure to pay attention and make sure yours slant the right direction. 

I found it easier to sew together longer pieces and then trim them down to 4.5" units.  This image is to show you how to make sure the slanted part is centered when you're trimming it.  Measuring from where the colors intersect, each one should be 3" on its longer edge and 1.5" on its shorter edge.

You'll need (16) of these yellow/white units.

Start putting together the mini blocks like this.  Remember to pay attention to the orientation of the strip units. 

Each mini block should measure 6.5" unfinished.  Sew four of them together to make a 12.5" unfinished block.

Throw back to my original orange boy, Thor

I hope you all had a wonderful Halloween weekend and you're staying warm, wherever you are! Cold weather has arrived very suddenly and very wet here.

The current drive runs November through December, so blocks should be in the mail by the end of December.  Email if you need the address to mail blocks.