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?

Yellow Donation Quilt #2

I starting working on another donation quilt, this time in yellow, pink and peachy-orange. It now has a yellow vibe, so I am calling it Yellow #2, as part of the series of yellow donation quilts, which I started in 2012.

That last sentence is totally pretentious and you can call me out on it. I did seriously start another donation quilt in yellow, pink and peachy-orange and am naming it #2 to distinguish from the first one I made in 2012.

Yellow Donation quilt #2
Yellow Donation quilt #2

I am not very far along, but making progress. I started to put the blocks together even though I don’t have enough to make a whole top yet. I am not sure why I started to put it together before having all of the blocks, but I did.

The four block section I have put together is covered, on the left, by another block waiting to be integrated. My design wall overfloweth.

Circles Donation Quilt

Circles Donation Quilt

The other thing I did at Sew Day on Saturday was work on the Circles donation quilt. Gerre finished quilting it, so she brought it and I made the binding while she met with the other Executive Board members.

She has a lot of the plaids so I used one that had enough left to make an entire straight of grain binding out of one motif. It is similar in colors to the large blue and white striped circle in the lower right hand corner of the photo above.

I have a lot going on so she took it to sew the binding on. I won’t be able to add very much fabric to my spreadsheet as most of it was Gerre’s, but I supplied the background, so some.

Red & White Donation Quilt – Almost

Red & White Donation Quilt
Red & White Donation Quilt

Well, the Red & White Donation quilt is as done as it is going to get on my watch.

I am not happy with how long it took to get done or the way it came out.

I was under the impression that new, updated QAYG method would make making an entire quilt a breeze, especially since I had the blocks. This was my slap in the face that quilts take time. I know this. I want to make a nice quilt no matter if it is a donation quilt or one that will lay over my stair railing for the next 10 years. It was a good reminder that quilts take time. I know this, but was lured by a gimmick, I think.

Red & White Donation Quilt back
Red & White Donation Quilt back

In the process of putting the quilt together using the QAYG method, I lost sight of the design of the postage stamp blocks. You can see that I lined some of them up crazily. The general method is that the you quilt the blocks on the machine with only batting on the bottom, then you put the back on and quilt some more. Putting the back on and quilting more was like quilting the whole quilt. This is what confuses me.

The quilting you can see on the back is in addition to the quilting I did on the blocks. There is enough quilting through all three layers to hold the quilt together. I don’t understand why the QAYG method is easier?

Red & White Donation Quilt back - detail
Red & White Donation Quilt back – detail

The quilt as you go method that sounded so good when I heard about it. The good part is that I quilted the quilt. The binding just needs to be attached. I even sewed the binding by machine. All that needs to be done is handstitching.

I almost brought it to my SIL when I finished to get it out of my sight, but decided that I might do the binding after the Christmas rush. It is put away for now, but we will see.

I know someone will like it and it will keep someone warm, so it isn’t a disaster that needs to be tossed: just not up to my normal standards.

Cutting Corners Donation Quilt Progress

Cutting Corners Donation Quilt
Cutting Corners Donation Quilt

I got a glimpse of my Cutting Corners donation quilt again. Pam is working on finishing it. She quilted it and is now binding it. I know I have said this a thousand times. I love it that I can make something and someone else in the guild will also work on it. It feels like my efforts are not completely mine and somehow more worthy.

Cutting Corners Donation Quilt back
Cutting Corners Donation Quilt back

I made this top and back in March. I knew then it wasn’t the most beautiful top, so I am not surprised it took so long for someone to pick it up and finish it. I think I need to try the technique again with more cohesive fabrics.

Various & Sundry 2016 #12

Doing Good

Valerie makes blocks every month for charity via Kat’s blog, Kat & Cat Quilts. If you are looking for an organized way to contribute to something good this might be an opportunity for you.

I found another update on the Pulse quilts in Orlando. This one has a slide show of a variety of the quilts.


Need some easy color work? Need to relax? Nerdy Mama has 20 free coloring pages for you.

My pal, Jill (Quilt Rat) has found another IoS creativity tool. I am so sad it doesn’t work on Android devices! It is called Amaziograph. With this app, you can create amazing kaleidoscopic designs a la color pages and La Passacaglia (without the color). Jill has written a blog post and created a basic video tutorial.

Projects, Patterns & Tutorials

Wanda, over at Exhuberent Color posted these sunflower blocks. I didn’t know these were in the Farm Girl Vintage book. I have that book and have looked at it, but must have missed this block.

Aren’t these monsters great? I love them and want to make one.

As per usual, Bonnie Hunter has released the first clue to her 2016 mystery quilt, En Provence. Download it now (she has a printer friendly version I save to my computer) as the clues go away in about 6 months. She has some excellent cutting tips in the first clue. It is always good to check in on our sewing technique.


Sara, over at Sew Sweetness, has posted a list of Cool Tools. Which do you use?

Definitely check out the sincere and lovely thank you from EQ.

Other Artists

My sister shared Christine Peloquin’s website with me. She commented that the art looked like ours would look if we were one person. I think it is true. I am not much of a face-in-quilt-form person (to each his own), but I do like the face painted over the quilt top. The imagery I saw on the day  I looked (11/11/2016) was dominated by images of women. I thought the images were profound given the current discussions on the status of women. Christine is located in Florida.

This subsection will be called the Judy Martin section. I know many modern quiltmakers have never heard of Judy Martin, but I love her work and especially her block designs. She also has a very friendly newsletter. They are not high tech, but cheerful, upbeat and entertaining. They are archived on her website. Judy, seriously, makes me want to visit Iowa again. It sounds much more interesting that I found it to be when I visited my great grandparents for summers as a kid.

In the November issue of her newsletter, she mentions that the Electric Quilt Company has a new download product that originated as her book, Knockout Blocks & Sampler Quilts (now out of print).

She also has a quilt at the Iowa Quilt Museum, which I mentioned previously. Judy writes “Nestled in an old J.C. Penney storefront on the picturesque courthouse square of historic Winterset, Iowa is the new Iowa Quilt Museum. It’s not a huge space with a large permanent collection. Rather it’s a small, nimble space given over to interesting exhibits curated especially for the museum. Through January 24, 2017 the exhibit of star quilts features “State Fair Star,” a Feathered Star variation I made for Patchwork Among Friends. The quilt shares the airy, well-lit space with 29 other star quilts. If you’re traveling to Des Moines or simply passing through on I-80 or I-35, the Iowa Quilt Museum is worth stopping for.”

Judy also mentions “a web site for a socially minded company that is making fabric from empty plastic bottles! They are trying to create opportunities for people in Haiti and Honduras while reducing the ecological impact of littered plastic bottles.” She says that she hasn’t “sampled any of their products, but” that she is “intrigued by the whole thing and certainly support[s] their goals. Take a look and see what you think.”

[end of Judy Martin subsection]


Quilt World News

Christen Daniels has resigned from the MQG board due to time constraints. The Nominating Committee put out a call to assist with the task of filling the volunteer board elected seat. They sought candidates with strong strategic planning skills and knowledge for nomination by November 12.

Not Quilt Related

From the Doing Good-NQR Department comes an article about the Native Sons and their donation to the Craniofacial Center at UCSF. Much of this money comes from $1 raffle tickets, $5 chances on gift baskets and $10 dinner tickets rather than $10,000 donations from rich people. You can make a difference by making a donation.

Blue and White Donation Blocks

Donation blocks Nov 2016
Donation blocks Nov 2016

I have been really churning out the donation blocks in the last week or so. I guess I feel I need to spread some kindness into the world.

I received more of the Northcott Colorworks 5×5 squares so I was back in business making donation blocks. I had almost started sewing 1.5 in x 1.5 inch squares together for the Thirty Something quilt.

Simultaneously, I washed several yards of white fabric so I could cut 2.5 inch squares for the donation blocks using the Accuquilt. The charm packs came first. I also have some ideas for the white and use it for linings to dresses, so I’d like to keep the yardage intact, if possible.

Donation block November 2016
Donation block November 2016

I have a whole group of red and white donation squares that I am putting together into a top, so these blue and white ones are just stacking up.

I am trying to make them cheerful, though I do have a container full of squares earmarked for donation quilts. I cut one 2.5 inch square, at least, from each fabric I buy or wash or use when I do my normal cutting.

Donation block November 2016
Donation block November 2016

For the moment, these are blocks, however, I am testing out a new quilting method and so they may turn into quilts without sending me into paroxysms of pain. Stay tuned.

New Donation Blocks

As I mentioned yesterday, I needed a lot of leaders and enders to help me keep the layout of The Peacock in order. In addition to other projects, I made a number of donation blocks.

I picked up a few blue kits at the guild meeting Saturday. My intention was to sew them “sometime” during the next month. Quickly, I realized that I would need leaders and enders while I pieced The Peacock. Very quickly I had the kits out and blocks partially made.

Donation blocks - October 2016
Donation blocks – October 2016

Soon after that, I had 4 blocks made from a combination of my own fabric and the kits.  These join the two I made before my trip.

I made several blue blocks with the intention of putting them together into a quilt. I don’t have enough yet, but will will soon. I think I mentioned that the Peacock requires a leader/ender between each seam. One half of the block is in one row and the other half is in the row above. It requires another piece between each Peacock seam so I can keep the different blocks in order. It is a quilt where I will get two quilts out of the piecing.

Red and turquoise donation blocks - October 2016
Red and turquoise donation blocks – October 2016

Previously, I made red and white blocks for a different charity quilt. I like having color themes even if the reds (or whatever colors) aren’t exactly matchy-matchy. I have enough red blocks to make a charity quilt, however, I want to try something new and am waiting to figure out some match and layout before I piece the blocks together. I am still making red blocks as I can pair them with black for boys.