Sunday, May 20, 2018

Hands2Help Quilts

It's time for the final link up of the 2018 Hands2Help Challenge and I'm happy to be donating four quilts this year. 

I've participated in this challenge for five of the eight years that it's been in existence and I feel that it is such an honor to be a part of it. I really can't thank Sarah (Confessions of a Fabric Addict), enough for all that she has done to organize this. Since 2011 when 47 quilters made and donated 60 quilts, to last year when 125 quilters made and donated 267 quilts, a grand total of 1034 quilts have been donated to those in need. Wonderful!

This year, I've decided to make my donations in honor of Ruth Hubbard, Jack's aunt who passed away November 5, 2107 at the age of 99. Aunt Ruth was such a kind and loving person and she always asked me about my quilting. I can't think of a better way to honor her than to pay it forward, help those in need, and donate quilts in her name. 

Ruth Hubbard, 3/22/1918 - 11/5/2017
From the first time I met her, I knew Aunt Ruth was a special person! She had a gentle spirit about her and always made me feel welcome. Ruth had a wonderful memory, and she and Jack spent many visits looking at old pictures, sharing stories from the past, and reminiscing about world events in general. Since Ruth was born in 1918, she had experienced so many things and it was especially fun to listen to her talk about the many changes she witnessed - including technology. Up until the last year of her life, Ruth used an iPad to keep in touch with family and friends and I do believe that she was much better at it than me.

Ruth had been a first grade teacher for many years and upon her death, a number of former students sent condolences commenting about what a special teacher she was. I have no doubt that was true. Because of her years of working with children, I was very happy to see that one of this year's charities is Little Lamb Foundation for Kids. The following two quilts are on their way to that foundation. 
This quilt was made using the Woven pattern by Cluck Cluck Sew. The multi-colored fabric in the center has guitars on it and I thought this might appeal to a youngster who enjoys music.  

Quilt, Woven Quilt, Cluck Cluck Sew, Baby Quilt, Music Quilt

I wanted to send a more masculine quilt and decided this one fit the bill. I sewed six large 16 patch blocks and simply added borders. I hope this brings joys to someone and provides a comforting "fabric hug."

Sixteen Patch

The follwing two quilts are on their way to Quilty Hugs for Happy Chemo

I made this first quilt as a class sample with the idea that it could be donated when it was no longer needed to advertise the class. I find this to be whimsical and cheery and hope it makes the recipient smile. 

Lap Quilt, Chevron, Chevron Quilt, Watermelon Quilt

Here's another musical themed quilt made using the Uptown Girl pattern by Creative Sewlutions. This was also made as a class sample with the intention of donating when it was no longer needed for display. 

Uptown Girl Quilt, Music Quilt, Lap Quilt, Creatvie Sewlutions

Last year, Sarah posted the following on her blog:

What does love look like?

It has the hands to help others.
It has the feet to hasten to the poor and needy.
It has eyes to see misery and want.
It has the ears to hear the sighs and sorrows of men.
That is what love looks like."

                                               St. Augustine  

Love also looks like people like Aunt Ruth. 

I am proud to honor her today and can only hope to be the kind of person she was - a kind and caring soul. Amidst all the sadness and ugliness in the world today, I'm happy to be a part of something so wonderful. 

Thank you Sarah for organizing this! Thank you to all the organizers of the charities, and thank you to everyone who has participated - quilters and sponsors alike. 

Check out the other donation quilts at Confessions of a Fabric Addict. Be sure to check back frequently, as people will be linking their quilt pictures all week. 

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Mindless Sewing

Sometimes you just need to take a break to fondle some fabric and do some mindless sewing.

I've been quite busy the last few weeks with classes and programs; and I have some "must do" projects, but I really needed to slow down and clear my mind before diving into them. I decided that snowballing the corner of these blocks was just the thing to do. Ahhhh, I'm almost done with the stack and then I'll be ready to hit the ground running.

Yikes! I just looked at the picture again and think that perhaps I should clean my machine before I do anything else. Do you see the dust? I'm choosing to believe that's a sign of productivity and not lack of housekeeping skills. 😀

By the way, did you notice the new banner at the top of the blog? What do you think?  

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Jaftex Warehouse Tour

I was happy to be home today and available to watch my friend Scott Fortunoff have a live Facebook tour of the Jaftex warehouses in Seneca, South Carolina.

In case you don't know, Jaftex recently purchased Free Spirit and you'll get to see some of that fabric as well as the many others manufactured by Jaftex - Blank, Henry Glass & Co., AE Nathan, Studioe Fabrics, Fabric Editions.

This tour provides an inside and behind the scenes look at what goes on in a fabric warehouse, including what's involved when you decide to change warehouse.  :-)  I found this fun and interesting and am sure you will too. 
Here's a link to the tour.  Enjoy!

Monday, April 30, 2018

Design Wall Monday

I taught six straight days last week (Monday thru Saturday - 2 umbrella classes, 3 jelly roll rug classes, and a stacking pop up class), so yesterday was a catch up day at home. I was pretty successful at taking care of the household stuff, but by 8:30pm I was ready to sit at my own sewing machine and do some mindless sewing. 

Since I have more Jelly Roll Rug classes coming up, including one tomorrow, I decided that I should make another sample. I went to the container where I had previously put some of my packages of 2.5" strips (potential rugs) and pulled out one that I thought would be fun to work with.   

This is a very pretty collection of fabrics, but I didn't notice until after I had sewn them all together and was actually making the rug, that some of the fabrics are repeated four times. I basically just pulled the fabrics from one side, sewed them together, and just started over and added the next side. I kind of wish I had played a little with the placements,

I am almost done with the rug but am not sure that I want to use the final strip of dark fabric.

If I continue and finish sewing the strip, a little over half of the rug will have two rows of the dark fabric and I think that might make it look lopsided. 

I decided to leave it as is overnight and make my decision later this morning. 

See, this really is pretty fabric. I'm just not sure that I love it as a rug. I'll finish it and I'm sure it will grow on me.

What are you working on today?

Check out the quilting eye candy at 

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Breezy - A Rachel Rossi Design

Last week I showed you my versions of Rachel Rossi's Breezy pattern and told you how much I enjoyed testing the pattern and that I really like this quilt.

I liked it so much that I not only made the king version above, but I also made two baby size quilts using a panel.

I'm thrilled to announce that Rachel has released the pattern for sale and I strongly urge all of you to hop over there and snatch up your own copy. The pattern includes instructions for three sizes: Baby, Throw, and King.

Here's Rachel's blog post about the pattern. Not only does she talk about the pattern, but she provides some absolutely wonderful pictures too. It's amazing how different and amazing each of these quilts looks! There are some fabric choices that I would never have considered, only to find them stunning. I'm already thinking that I just might have to make another one (or more) of these quilts.  😀

This pattern is very well-written and the quilt was such a pleasure to make! Please do not let the many half square triangles (HST) scare. Rachel includes extremely clear and straight forward instructions on all aspects of this quilt, but especially for the HST and pinwheels. I know that you will love the magic eight method of making the HST and all the tips she provides. Yes, it can get tedious to trim all those HST, but it is so worth it!

I devised a system where I did all the sewing first and then separated the huge pile into smaller stacks for trimming. I will admit that I was so excited to see how the pinwheels were going to look that I did sew, immediately trim, and then sew the pinwheels together for the first couple rows of one quadrant. Once I knew that I was going to love it and the fabrics were going to work, I took a few minutes to collect my thoughts and make a plan. The "break it up" plan worked great for me and was much less daunting than seeing a huge stack of HST that needed trimmed. Another advantage to doing this is that it provided a built in timetable to take a quick break to grab a drink or stretch my legs. 

Not only does the pattern include overall great instructions, it provides a wonderful explanation on the magic 8 method of HST, AND some awesome tips and techniques to make sure your points are perfect and that the pinwheels lay perfectly flat. That alone is worth the price of the pattern! If you don't believe me, ask any longarm quilter.  😊

I enjoyed making this quilt and know you will too. You can purchase this pattern, as well as Rachel's other patterns HERE. I know you won't be sorry!

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Breezy Quilts - Original and Two Variations

As promised, here are pictures of the Breezy quilt completed. You can see the story about this quilt HERE and HERE

I really like this quilt! 

The quilting was done by my friend Judy and she did an awesome job. I think this pantograph, Zephyr, is perfect. 

I was worried about the low-contrast part of the pinwheel, but I like it now. 

I did change the border from the original one in the pattern; but I believe that this border option will be written into the final pattern, which will be released later this month.

I knew that I wanted to make a baby size version of this quilt and when I saw one of the other pattern testers use a panel, I decided to use my Skylines panel by Hoffman Fabrics. Of course I also had to make two quilts, because what else would I do with the other half of the panel?

I made a few modifications to the pinwheel sides of these quilts. On one of the quilts, I added a barrier strip of fabric between the two halves because I was running low on the pinwheel fabrics. 

I used a single fabric for most of the pinwheels, but then added a few pinwheels made from musical notes fabric. (I may have to call this "Whistle While You Work."

The panel side is quilted in random vertical lines with grey thread, while the pinwheel side is quilted in the ditch of the pinwheels with the same grey thread.

The second quilt was made using a variety of background and pinwheel fabrics and it "moves" from a racing flag fabric in the bottom right up through the stages of a busy day in the city all the way to the colorful and fun nightlife.


I quilted the panel side with a variety of thread colors in random vertical lines, and the pinwheel side is quilted with meandering stitches in thread to match the background fabrics.  

I love this colorful gradation binding!

I wanted to see what it looked like with the quilts together, as I was originally playing with the idea of combining them into one larger quilt, but decided against it.

I had so much fun with these two quilts and can't decide if I like them better than the king version.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Breezy - A Few More Pictures

As I said in my last post (where I initially misspelled the word peek - YIKES!), I'll be reviewing Rachel Rossi's Breezy pattern when it is released later this month. In the mean time, I'm providing a few sneak peeks. 

Jack liked the pattern from the get-go and was happy that I was making the large version. He picked the fabrics and initially, I just was not sold on his choices. He said to trust him; and since the quilt was for him, I did and I'm glad! (I'm really not sure why I doubt his choices. He is just about always right.)

This picture shows all the fabrics used in the quilt. I was worried about the one section in which there is not much contrast; but in the overall quilt, it looks great and provides an interesting feature. (You'll see what I mean in a couple of days.)

Here's the center of the quilt. This also provides a close up of some of the quilting done my by friend Judy. (At 100" square, this quilt is too large for my frame.) The quilting design is called Zephyr, by Lorien Quilting and I think it's perfect.

I had to find a resting spot for the quilt while I was moving things around. As you can tell, it's been kind of wet, windy, and rainy here. After days of rain and a busy schedule that required me to be away from home, I finally just gave in and took pictures while it was drizzling. I was happy that it was not a full out rain and actually like the dark sky in the background.