Polka Party 1
Polka Party 2
Polka Party 3
Polka Party 4
Here are four baby quilts that were designed and pieced by Jocelyn over at Happy Cottage Quilter. She had made these as part of this year’s Hands to Help Challenge, but had sustained a shoulder injury before she was able to quilt and bind them. She reached out to me to ask if I would like to finish them, which I did! I really enjoy quilting baby quilts, as they are a great way to practice and improve my quilting techniques. For Polka Party 1, I quilted straight lines, a 1/4″ on both sides of the seam lines. Polka Party 2 is quilted in large, overlapping circles. The third is quilted in a harlequin/diamond pattern, and Polka Party 4 is quilted in hourglass/wavy lines.
Why Polka Party as the theme across the names? As it happened, after I had done the binding on the first three quilts, I realized that I had unknowingly chosen polka dot fabrics for each of them. So, I kept this going and found another polka dot fabric to use on the fourth. I will be sending these to Little Lambs Foundation based in Utah, who were one of the handful of recipients of this year’s Hands2Help challenge comfort quilts. At the close of the challenge back in the Spring, there were a total of 562 quilts that went to the participating charities! Little Lambs Foundation provides backpacks full of comfort items for children from newborn to 17 who are transitioning into foster care, emergency shelters, or hospitalization.
Love Hugs Back
First a disclaimer: I did not make this quilt, my daughters made it as a surprise birthday gift for me! They began earlier this year, working in tandem, using my husband as a courier to pass cut fabric pieces and finished blocks between their two homes. All the while, I never knew that anything was going on — yeap, totally oblivious — which is quite amazing considering we are at each of their homes to hang out and play with our grandkids every week. Also, as a quilter who often tracks random threads from my sewing room all across the house, I am impressed that there was not one thread that gave away that they had been conducting clandestine sewing activities in their homes.
Some of the blocks were designed by my grandkids, some were blocks I’ve made in past quilts, and some are ones from Tula Pink’s City Sampler: 100 Modern Quilt Blocks that they liked. Considering neither of them have made a quilt from start to finish before, I’m in awe of how small some of the pieces are, of how most of the points are pretty dead-on, and of the geometry in some of the blocks, which would give even the most experienced quilter a headache!
I’m going to go ahead and bore most readers with a list of the blocks, as while perhaps not important for others, I want to document it for myself and my family. The blocks were typically not intended as exact replicas of the original quilt, but to provide a resemblance to the original quilt.
- Top row, from left to right:
- Plumage, July 2021 – gifted to Kimi and Tracy
- Quiet Start, January 2021 – gifted to Jeff and Miguel
- #20 Crosses, Tula Pink’s City Sampler: 100 Modern Quilt Blocks
- Ivy’s design (used tangrams to design)
- Sticks and Stones block, June 2002 – gifted to Amber (college quilt)
- Second row
- #7 Crosses, Tula Pink’s City Sampler: 100 Modern Quilt Blocks
- Phillip, September 2020 (row 5, column 1)
- Hoplon, March 2019 – gifted to Jamie
- Country Fair, September 2015
- Aurora, August 2020 (row 2, column 2)
- Third row
- Forth row
- #2 Crosses, Tula Pink’s City Sampler: 100 Modern Quilt Blocks
- Nolan’s design
- Palahdee, September 2019 (adjusted version)
- Pocket Full of Monsters, August 2020 – pandemic distance project with Amber & Felix
- #3 Crosses, Tula Pink’s City Sampler: 100 Modern Quilt Blocks
- Fifth row
- #55 Triangles, Tula Pink’s City Sampler: 100 Modern Quilt Blocks
- Firsts, June 2021 – first quilt I ever made, for my first love
- Opening Day, December 2018 – memory quilt gifted to Ryan
- Further, May 2021 – gifted to Amber & Skyler
- Persistence, July 2020 (row 4, column 1)
- Sixth row
They chose the name. They said that the quilt represents many of the quilts that I’ve made for others, and they wanted to return the “hug”. As I finish writing this post, I am choked-up and tearful as this is the most beautiful and thoughtful gift I have ever received. I’m so thankful for the wonderful family that is mine.
The inspiration for this recently finished quanket came from Kate Spain’s block #8 which was part of Moda Block Heads 4. The center of each of the four 22″ blocks was fabric given to me many year’s ago by a family friend. I had been waiting for just the right block design to use these very special pieces, as I did not want to lose the beautiful floral designs by cutting them. While the block design was intended with a white center, these sample pieces from the iconic fashion brand, Key West Hand Print Fabrics, were the perfect substitute into the center of each ‘wild geese’ block.
Between 1962 and 1985, prolific textile designer Suzie Zuzek created over 1,500 designs for Key West Hand Print Fabrics in Key West, Florida, which were used by Lilly Pulitzer. Suzie Zuzek’s design contributions were on exhibit last year at the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum in New York City. The eclectic patterns Zuzek designed defined a uniquely American style, often spotted on fashion icons such as First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy.
This will be donated to a child in foster care.
Donation Blocks for Can You Teal the Love
When Kate over at Tall Tales from Chiconia announced that she is making an Ovarian Cancer charity quilt this year – after a two year pandemic hiatus – I knew right away that I wanted to contribute to this quilt project. The last one I had participated in was Go Teal it on the Mountain, back in 2018. The theme this year is love, with hearts being the feature element in the blocks’ design. To keep things interesting, she expanded the colorway from teal (predominant) and ivory, to include pink (in small amounts) this year.
I knew right away that I wanted to represent these colors in a dove, using hearts for the wings. While the pink is not intended to represent breast cancer for this quilt, the teal and pink together is meaningful to me: my sister passed away late last year from breast cancer, and her sister-in-law passed away in early 2020 from ovarian cancer. How befitting that I could combine these two colors in a dove, a symbol of love.
The final quilt will be assembled by Kate and donated for The Trudy Crowley Foundation fund-raiser in early September, to help support the work of the newly-opened Trudy Crowley Center. The center provides a safe space, conference room, self-care and advice haven for those with ovarian cancer and their families.
Here’s another quilt I made as part of this year’s Hands2Help Challenge that I will be sending to The Little Lambs Foundation in Utah. The challenge is being hosted by Mari over at The Academic Quilter.
This quilt incorporates a lot of “pieces of the past”. The fussy cut zoo animal centers were from my 2014 quilt, Balancing Hippopotami. The pink polka dot fabric is some from my Granny that has been in my stash and has made numerous appearances in my quankets for several years now. Another blast-from-the-past fabric is the backing fabric. I repurposed a twin sheet that was from my daughter’s college dorm days. It was still in excellent condition, and worked and looked perfect for the backing.
I enjoy using pieces of fabric, that I’ve either inherited or previously used in quilting projects, in some small way in my current projects. It sometimes makes me nostalgic, and oftentimes fills me with many great memories while I sew.
I used this printed panel to make a quanket (quilt + blanket = quanket). It will be donated as part of this year’s Hands2Help Challenge. The challenge is being hosted by Mari over at The Academic Quilter.
While I typically tie the fleece-backed quankets I make, I decided to try something different with this one, and quilted it on my machine. I had tried quilting on a fleece-backed quilt years ago, but became frustrated when the fleece bunched, and looked a mess no matter how many pins I used to hold it in place. However, between then and now, I have discovered the wonders of basting adhesive, which I use for all my regular batted quilts. The spray worked great at holding the fleece flat and in place. I quilted baseballs and gloves in the maroon sections, and outlined the bats, the playing field and many of the other elements.
This will be going to the Little Lambs Foundation in Utah.
For this recently completed jeans quilt, I used my and my sister Cathi’s old worn jeans. I had been wanting to make a jeans quilt for some time, but hadn’t found any designs that interested me. I had seen one that was made similar to this, except the folded over piece had been radiused, resembling a cathedral block. I wanted a more modern look so left the folded piece squared off, and mitered the corners. Since the back, or inside, of used jeans can be quite plain looking, I used Annie’s Craft Store’s Magical Winter 5″ charm squares on the inside of the jeans fabric, under my folded over piece, and then topstitched the folded over piece using a decorative stitch.
I constructed the quilt by starting with 7″ squares cut from the legs of the jeans. For most of the jeans I had, 7″ was about the widest I could get making the most efficient use of the fabric. I then cut a 1″ square from each corner of the 7″ squares. I first joined the squares to create my rows, using a 1″ straight seam, sewing from cut corner to cut corner. Next, I attached the 5″ charms using temporary quilters spray adhesive. Once I had a row assembled, I would seam down the flap portion just along the edges that had already been sewn, using a decorative stitch.
When it came time to join the rows, I opted to create two panels since jeans fabric is heavy, as it made it much easier to manipulate through my machine when it came time to do the final stitching down of the folded over piece between each row. I mitered the corners as I worked down each seam stitching down the folded over pieces. I used one of my machine’s fancy embroidery stitches, hoping to allow the raw edges to fray some, but not too much. Once it was done, I ran it through the wash to begin the fraying process. Overall, I was quite happy with how this one turned out, and I think Cathi would have liked it too!
This quilt will be donated as part of this year’s Hands2Help Challenge. This year, the challenge is being hosted by Mari over at The Academic Quilter. She will begin the sign-up process soon, so if you’re interested in joining this year’s challenge, check out her blog.
The backing fabric, shown here, is a Mary Engelbreit design from 2001, and has been living in my stash for about ten years now. I think the fabric is super cute, but every time I considered using it in a quilt, I was not sure how to cut the fabric. The individual elements are so close to one another, that I was concerned that even fussy cutting it would lose too many aspects of the overall design. I finally figured that using it as a backing on a baby quilt was going to do it the most justice. The piecing on the front mainly uses scraps and small pieces from my stash, and the flower pot is done using a raw-edge appliqué technique.
Scooter & Tod
I have donated these two recently finished scrappy quilts to my grandkids elementary school for a silent auction that will raise money for school programs. If you are interested in bidding on either of these baby quilts, you can bid on Scooter (airplane) here, and Tod (fox) here.
Each quilt measures 40″x40″ and is made from 100% cotton outer, with 80/20 cotton/poly batting, machine pieced and quilted.
The auction is open from March 11-19, 2022.
Every Spring, I try to participate in the Hands2Help Challenge hosted by Sarah over at Confessions of a Fabric Addict @fabricaddictquilts. This year I decided to get a jump start on making baby quilts for this great cause. Since I was working to deplete my scraps bins with my recent Tod quilt, I kept the momentum going and made these yellow and blue log cabin blocks with “mostly” scraps. I say “mostly” because I was being a bit too fussy about the colorway, and did go into my stash for some of the blues and yellows. I made the airplane using a raw-edge appliqué technique.
Why the name? Scooter was a super sweet pound puppy that my sister had year’s ago. While this isn’t a dog, I thought the airplane was super sweet, and it reminded me of my sister – she’ll know why.
This was donated to Friends of Short Avenue Elementary for a silent auction in March, 2022.