Team BAM

I know you probably roll your eyes at the way I go on a bit about donating blocks for someone else to make donation tops. Quilts do actually get made from these blocks, which is great and you do know that I do make tops as well.

I forgot to mention the work of mine that Erin finished last month.

Retreat Donation Top quilted by Erin
Retreat Donation Top quilted by Erin

You might remember the Retreat Donation top? This is truly a team effort as I took shards Maureen was giving away at the Retreat and made them into a top. Erin did a great job quilting and binding it. Two guilds, three people = truly a team effort.

Donation quilt - Erin's finish
Donation quilt – Erin’s finish

She also finished a top that I don’t think I made, but was made from some of the single blocks I contributed. I am pretty sure I ddin’t make the top as there is no sashing. I usually put sashing between the 16 patch blocks to give them space.

Anyway, I really appreciate Erin’s work as it is a tangible example that we are working as a team to contribute to those in need.

One Small Block

June donation block
June donation block

I am using En Provence for leaders and enders so my donation quilt/block progress has slowed somewhat. I did manage to make one block.

I am back to using white and will send this one to the guild rather than use it to make a quilt. I have enough blocks at home to make donation quilts and will focus on those. Someone else can use this one to make a quilt.

Walker Bags

Walker Bag n.1
Walker Bag n.1

BAM had a Charity Sew Day on May 6th. Peggy and Michelle created kits and a pattern for walker bags for a local nursing home. I made three, though not without mishap and only with the help of SIL.

The first one I made was the pink and purple version. I liked the fabric combination.

Patriotic Walker Bag
Patriotic Walker Bag

While SIL turned the first one (the first seam is right sides together), I started in on a second. I wanted to kind of do an assembly line and get as many as possible completed. I don’t use much patriotic fabric, but I did like the flags. They are cheerful and a little jaunty.

Walker Bags n.3
Walker Bags n.3

I was kind of confused about the various seam allowances so I did have to rip a bit. SIL also ripped for me some.

I stuck a ruler in one of the pockets to show the depth. It was a little too tall for the pocket, but I am sure they will work for smaller items.

All around it was a good day. We finished about 25 bags and there was a lot of laughter, which is important as well.

Star Donation Quilt

Sawtooth Star Donation Quilt
Sawtooth Star Donation Quilt

I turned in the Sawtooth Star Donation top and back on Saturday at the BAMaQG meeting.

(insert gif of me dusting off my hands and moving on)

I was sad to see it go as that was a really great quilt. I know some family with a sick baby will love it, though and makes me happy.

People at the meeting agreed that it was cheerful even with the black.

Yes, I used different background fabrics as I had a few fat quarters and thought I might as well use them up. Pretty soon I’ll have to break into yardage again.

I’ll probably make another one of these. I have some more black squares and it is a good use of them.

Sawtooth Star Donation Blocks

Black background donation blocks
Black background donation blocks

Here is more, finally, about the new direction in which my donation blocks are going. I talked about this last week and had time and brainspace to make the ideas a reality. How long this whim will last remains to be seen.

Remember I can make any blocks I want for charity blocks. Peggy will do something with them, if nobody else does. Still, I feel kind of obligated to make enough of one type of block to make a small quilt so it is easier for the Charity Girls who do a ton of work already. Also, I like the 16 patch/postage stamp format. It makes for easy leaders and enders that take very little brainspace while I am working on other projects.

Thus I was looking for something that would work with 16 patches. I didn’t really need a pattern since I can figure out most quilt blocks myself and my DH will do math if I need help. I especially wanted to make something with these black postage stamp blocks so that they wouldn’t be a drag on Peggy and Michelle.

Donation Sawtooth Star
Donation Sawtooth Star

I saw the magazine Quilting Quickly, which I normally don’t buy since I don’t often buy pre-cuts beyond charm packs and the name makes me a little crazy. This time it had a colorful 16 patch on the cover with an almost Sawtooth Star, but sort of Jacob’s Ladder quilt on the front. It gave me the idea to make Sawtooth Stars, so that is what I did.

Immediately I thought of Sawtooth Stars and decided to make them.

I used the Wing Clipper method of making the Flying Geese that make up the legs of the star with scraps. I usually don’t keep pieces large enough to cut a 5 1/8″ square in my scrap bins, so my choices were limited, but I am pleased with how cheerful it came out. The Pure Elements Linen background (not quite white) helps with that. I think a black background would not have given the impression of them looking so cheerful.

The blocks are 16″, so without sashing or border, I would make a 32″ square quilt. I am not sure if I will add sashing or not. We will see.

I am pretty excited about how fun these blocks turned out. Seriously, I really want to turn all of my donation blocks into stars! I guess it is a good sign when you don’t want to give away the quilt!

Even More Donation Blocks

Early April Donation Blocks
Early April Donation Blocks

These blocks have nothing to do with my new direction in making donation blocks.

I made these with the last of my white 2.5″ squares. You can see that I am also getting short on foreground squares. Sadly I don’t have a minion to cut for me and cutting is not a favorite activity.

My plan is to make the blue and white donation quilt, then clear out my donation squares bin as much as I can before starting in on the all color postage stamp blocks.

I was thinking about how they would look at what  my inspiration was. I could only think of the Patchwork Wheel blocks we made for BAM in 2012. I went look for those blocks and they aren’t quite what I was thinking about.

I have made some blocks and even a donation quilt that have less white in them. One was two colors. It isn’t a new idea to me; it just seems new because I haven’t thought about it for while.

Moving Donation Blocks in a New Direction

No joke.

I mentioned earlier this week that I was trying something new with donation blocks.

It started when I ran out of white squares. While I have more white charm packs and can cut them, I didn’t want to stop and take the time. I have seen some quilts that use with all colored 2.5″ squares and no white. I have been thinking of making some of these types of postage stamp blocks and now might be the time.

Sunny Skies from Missouri Star is an idea although not exactly what I was thinking. Southern Belle also has a design that would work. It isn’t exactly what I was thinking and is still very similar to what we are doing now, but without the white. Searching for “16 patch quilt” gave me a lot more ideas, though not the one I had in my head. Putting some blocks on point would use up other sized fabrics. I saw 2 16 patch X quilts (one called Arkansas Road) that were really great. Also not what I saw somewhere, but definite possibilities. Finally, I saw one that looked like a tile floor and was interesting enough to have some possibilities for gift quilts using leaders and enders.

Black background donation blocks
Black background donation blocks

I seem to have a lot of black and dark grey squares, so I decided to head in that direction by making a couple of blocks with those darker colors as background.

This plan serves two purposes. It clears out some of those darker 2.5″ squares and moves me towards a different kind of quilt using the same format.

I am cognizant of the need to make these blocks bright and cheerful. Black and dark grey are not always bright and cheerful, so I have paired the darks with brights, for the most part. I like that moon, but the dark blue does create kind of dark hole.

I have enough blocks to make another quilt from a serious bout of donation block making late last year. I’ll keep donating the blocks I made until I am ready to make the blue and white donation quilt.

More Donation Blocks

March Meeting Donation Blocks
March Meeting Donation Blocks

I have several new donation blocks to show you. As I make the Carpenter’s Wheel blocks, the donation blocks keep flying out of the machine as well.I kind of think I should make some different donation blocks, but until I figure out what those will be, you get the postage stamp blocks.

I forgot to photograph this group of lovely pink blocks before I went to the BAMQG meeting. Before I handed them in I pulled them out of the bag, put them on the floor and did the deed. Thank heaven for cell phone cameras. Of course I had to show off my new pedicure. 😉 [It happened to be a warm-ish day and I didn’t have to hang around outside much.]

Donation blocks, March 26, 2017
Donation blocks, March 26, 2017

I mostly made this varied group last week. I still have quite a bit of pink fabric, so there are two more pinks for the Charity girls.

I am not a huge green fan, but kind of like that green block on the lower right corner.

I think, in general, the newest blocks are very cheerful.

BAMQG Design Wall

SIL's Design Wall
SIL’s Design Wall

We had Craft Night at SIL’s the other night. Her design wall was awash with BAMQG projects.

One thing that is cool about this is that SIL never belonged to any guilds (that I remember her talking about) when she lived back East. The other thing is that she does more of the various challenges than I do.

  1. SIL's Design Wall n.2
    SIL’s Design Wall n.2

    The first project is the text project. SIL is smart and makes small projects for the challenges. The blue fabric is a text print and her piecing of the striped fabric is truly genius.

  2. The green and pink piece is actually a quillow. That fabric was truly a challenge for SIL as she normally works in a different palette.
  3. The blue and white square and rectangle piece is the latest challenge from BAMQG. This year’s theme is scraps and the first challenge has to do with using scraps to make a piece from squares and rectangles. I like the white as I think it adds a lot the the piece.
  4. You might recognize the postage stamp blocks from the various posts I have written about donation blocks and quilts. SIL is using sashing on hers as I often do.

There is a certain cohesiveness on her design wall that appealed to me.

Finished: Ends Donation Top & Back

Ends Donation Top - March 2017
Ends Donation Top – March 2017

As mentioned, this top was sort of unplanned. It did, however, come together very well and last week, I was able to finish the top, back and batting.

I am a little sad to give it away as I really like it. Of course, I like most of the quilts I make as donations, but this one is particularly pleasing to me for some reason.

Ends Quilt back - March 2017
Ends Quilt back – March 2017

The back is fairly plain. Several large half yards of fabric and I was done. I also put the batting together with Heat Press. There might be more Heat Press than batting and I hope that the quilt won’t be stiff as a result.

I made it for a donation quilt, so off it goes.

Ends Donation Top

I have a box of quilt ‘dreg’ ends. Dreg is an ugly word as it conjures an image of grounds in an empty coffee cup or discarded tea leaves. These are simply pieces and parts that don’t have an immediate need or use. For some reason, I decided to go through the box in which they are stored. I think it’s part of the recent tidying frenzy in which I have been engaging.

Ends Donation Top
Ends Donation Top

Initially, I thought I would put some batting scraps together to make a baby quilt sized batting. However, I found a bunch of fabric edges. They were cut from past quilts when they were squared up. I started laying out these fabric strips to get them out of the way. At one point, I looked over and saw a kind of improv strip top developing.

The next day I had some free time so I pressed and straightened up the strips. Then, I pinned sets together in preparation for sewing. I still have to sew the strips and see what happens.

Since I didn’t have time to sew, I built up a batting from scraps in preparation for the donation quilt. I don’t know if I will have enough pieces to make a batting for this top. It will be close. I have some long thin strips left. I don’t really want to use the tape up to attach them as it will use so much of the Heat Press. I might just sew them on to make the batting large enough and get the strips out of my house.

It is interesting to see this top develop.

New Donation Blocks

Mid-Feb 2017 Donation Blocks
Mid-Feb 2017 Donation Blocks

I am doing other things with leaders and enders so my crop of donation blocks and tops has slowed. Not stopped but slowed. Here are new blocks that will be donated at the March BAMQG meeting. I made the first four during the week of 2/5, approximately. I have put a few more together and just finished those last Thursday.

More pink + 1 purple block
More pink + 1 purple block

I am really channeling my childhood bedroom, which was pink and purple. I paid a lot of attention to the fabrics I chose for the second batch as I wanted to play with color and pattern.

You can see some of my favorite Kaffe Collective fabrics as well as a piece of a couch.

These blocks are definitely girly and I will need to get back to some more boy blocks. I couldn’t resist indulging in a little pink.

Favorite donation block
Favorite donation block

This is my favorite block. I love the fabric combination. I have a lot of pink squares so will probably come up with more pink blocks.

Doing Good

As mentioned briefly, the BAM Charity Sew Day was Saturday. I was busy with CQFA in the morning, but went on my way home. I made myself available as a general dogsbody since I didn’t bring any tools or supplies and was set on the task of basting quilts. My job was easy since there was a high table and the quilts were small. People kept coming up and helping me so it was pleasant as well.

We made about 32 quilt tops.

We totally finished about 6 of them – binding included.

February Donation Blocks
February Donation Blocks

A few people stopped by and brought additional donation pieces, like me. I brought some blocks.

As usual, I have been using these as leaders and enders. I have another 3 on the design wall, but am working on the 4 patches for the Carpenter’s Wheel so there will be a break in donation blocks.

I think these are cheerful and fun. When I get to making more blocks, I have some pink squares that will end up as blocks. I also have some boy colors, which I will need to make up.

People also brought tops and backs they had done at home. I think there were about four of these. I brought the Bits and Bobs top.

Yellow Donation Quilt #2 - Feb 2017
Yellow Donation Quilt #2 – Feb 2017

I also brought Yellow Donation Top #2, which I should be calling lemonade. Twilter Diane (DDRQuilter) said it looked like that I was disappointed not to have thought of it myself. I really like the little bit of pink I added to the blocks. I think it makes it not as ….yellow. Not sweet exactly, but tones down the yellow and also doesn’t make it scream pink.

Bubble Quilt

Simply Moderne Bubble Quilt
Simply Moderne Bubble Quilt

The Simply Moderne Bubble Donation Quilt is finished. Gerre had finished the binding for this quilt after the January Sew Day, but saved it so I could take a photo. I think it will be given in this weekend during the Charity Sew Day.

We started this quilt back in May. I have to say that I think Gerre did most of the sewing and she did the quilting. I did a lot of the cutting, sewed the background and the back and made the binding. Not sure if it was an equal division of labor, but the quilt is done and is interesting and will make a good ‘boy’ quilt. We don’t have our next donation quilt idea ready to go, but I think I will suggest straight piecing when we do decide what comes next.

Retreat Donation Top

Maureen's Bits Top
Maureen’s Bits Top

I was on Retreat this past weekend. Maureen brought some bits and bobs. I decided that I would take some of the pieces sewn together and make them into a quilt top for the BAM charity. I sewed various bits and pieces together in kind of log cabin format until the piece was around 40 inches square. It is not a masterpiece of design, but someone will like it. I have not yet made a back and may not.

There were more bits and pieces and I probably could have made another top, but wanted to work on my own stuff. I’ll finish the yellow donation #2 and be able to provide an additional two tops. That counts for something, right?