Tuesday, February 3, 2015

How to Make Others Who Are Going through Tough Times Feel a Little Loved (or, Making Charity Quilts)

Both my guilds are collecting charity quilts, so in the spirit of FINISHING things, I got out a smaller top a few days ago that I made awhile back, with fabric even older than 'awhile back'.  I was playing with a pattern I've seen called cobblestones, and tried it out in two different styles of fabrics.  One is still blocks, the other was sewn together and just needed borders to make it the 3' X 4' size that Great Lakes Heritage Quilters is collecting this year.  This size is aimed at people bedridden or in a wheelchair.  I love the size in a purely selfish way---they are easy to sew, and easy to quilt.  The guild's collections efforts are really benefiting from the size the committee selected.  I've already made 4 or five, lost track.  Quilting these quilts are fun, no pressure, just relax, machine quilt, try things out, it's all good!!

 The picture below is during the free motion quilting process.  Before I started, I got a few books to look through for ideas and inspiration.  I chose what Angela Walters calls 'back and forth lines' and did them on the diagonal in each block.  Every-other block switches direction to make a nice over-all pattern.  I kept them bigger, as this is a lap quilt and should be soft and drapeable. 

As I sat stitching down the binding, I decided I was NOT happy with what I did in the border, so it all got ripped out, and re-done the next day.  For two sides I used some paper quilt-right-through-them border papers some de-stashed to me awhile back.  On the other two sides I did some diagonal lines, very simple, marked with chalk and stitched with the free motion foot.

Then, digging thru un-finished tops, I found one that was just a titch larger than the 3 X 4 size.  Picked a backing, got everything pressed and ready, and this one I will quilt next.  I initially made the pattern as a baby quilt gift but was unhappy with the results.  All finished up, I guarantee someone will be very happy with it!!  You can only see part of it here, but it's these columns of blocks. The sun coming through the window (LOVE IT!)  made it hard to get a better photo, a problem I'm willing to work around.

DAMQG (Detroit Area Modern) also needs quilts to donate, and those will go to a children's acute care unit. The nurses want them large enough to mostly cover a bed, so good-sized lap up to twin has been requested.  The children that get them are tiny up through about the age of 18.  The nurses have been thrilled when they are dropped off and can't wait to spread them over a bed to try to make a hospital room a little bit more cheery for an arriving child,  The child takes it home when they go.  A generous quilter in our guild who has a long arm quilting machine has been offering to quilt these for us.  This top was a Mystery Quilt we did at GLHQ two years ago. I wasn't really pleased with results, but hey, add a cute pink border and it's not looking too bad!  Not everyone is as picky as me. I got a backing pieced, pressed top and backing really nicely and it's on a hanger,  ready to be given to the longer-arm quilter at our guild meeting tonight!!  When she brings it back, I'll bind it and take a picture, you can see it finished later.....

I'd say that was several good days of work, wouldn't you?