Swimming Upstream

quanket

Swimming Upstream
July 2018

I swear my scrap bins are bottomless! It seems no matter how much I pull from them, that when I finish a new quanket and am putting away all the leftover pieces, the bins seem as full or fuller than when I started πŸ™‚

I’ve only myself to blame. When I am at the fabric store, I am a sucker for a cute fabric, as well as for a good deal on remnant pieces. The fish fabric I pulled from the store’s half-off shelf, while the blue polka dot and the grey geometric were from the remnant bins. Since the goal of all my quilts is to incorporate ‘pieces of past’ fabric, I dug into my blue scrap bin to fill-out my palette.

I have a lot of time to think while I am quilting, and the fish got me pondering how some people seem to easily rise up to meet challenges, while others shy away from anything that takes them out of their comfort zone. I found this unattributed quote that I really like:

When life gets harder, challenge yourself to be stronger

I personally like to be challenged, and try to be strong when life deals hardships. However, I cannot even fathom how hard it must be for the kids in the foster care system, and it is my hope that they can be strong and find some comfort from the love that I put into the quilt I made for them.

This was donated to the County of Ventura, Children & Family Services, for a child in foster care in July 2018.

Ms. Love Bug

quanket

Ms. Love Bug
June 2018

The main star of this show is the yellow fabric, with supporting roles played by red and black. And, if you take a closer look at the fabrics, you might see where I derived the name for this quanket. I dug through my scraps bins to use up as much red and black as I could, but still had to rely on a couple of newer fabrics to have enough in the color palette I chose. I enjoy using up scraps not only for the reason of clearing up space in my scraps bins, but moreso for the memories they bring me as I work with them, reminding me of where I had previously used the fabrics, and/or where I had gotten them.

This is another of the many variations of a 9-patch block, and is a pattern I had used a longtime ago in my Who Let the Dogs Out quanket. I like the fun playfulness of not only the design, but the fabrics as well.

This was donated to the County of Ventura, Children & Family Services, for a child in foster care in July 2018.

Hoots

quanket

Hoots
May 2018

This is being donated to Little Lambs Foundation for Kids in Logan, Utah, as part of this year’s Hands2Help Charity Quilt Challenge. The Little Lambs Foundation for Kids provides comfort kits to children ages newborn to 17 years old who are transitioning into foster care, emergency shelter or who have been hospitalized.

The Pieces of the Past fabric that I incorporated was the teal blue polka dot material which I had inherited from Granny. I suspect that she had originally used it to make similarly matching outfits for my sisters and I when we were kids since I have polka dot fabric in different colors in her fabric scraps. She would often make the same outfit for each of us just using a different color of the same fabric design. I always got pink πŸ™‚

Confessions Of A Fabric Addict

 

Go Dog Go

quanket

Go Dog Go
May 2018

I don’t often do panel quilts, and I don’t often have UFOs, but this one ticked off both these boxes for me. I had found this flannel panel a few years back and thought it was too cute to pass up! I also figured it would be a super quick project. Oh, how wrong I was!

From the start, this gave me grief. The panel had a strange wonkiness to its shape and was not a true rectangle. It was longer along its center top-to-bottom axis. I tried to compensate with the addition of the navy blue side borders, and adding tucks here and there, but this only further exacerbated the issue. I became so frustrated because I couldn’t figure out a way to correct the wonkiness that I put it away. This is slightly out of character for me since I am a full subscriber to a ‘just fix it’ mentality.

When I learned about this year’s Hands2Help Charity Quilt Challenge needing baby quilts for the Little Lambs Foundation for Kids, it energized me to pull out this UFO and get it done. I added a seam in the top of the center block, just below the traffic signal, which helped shorten the center length, allowing me to remove the previous tucks I had done in an attempt to fix the misshapen issues. And while upon final inspection it is not perfect from a sewing standpoint, I think its vivid colors and playful design are perfect for a newborn.

Confessions Of A Fabric Addict

The Little Lambs Foundation for Kids in Logan, Utah, provides comfort kits to children ages newborn to 17 years old who are transitioning into foster care, emergency shelter or who have been hospitalized.

Hooty

quanket

Hooty
May 2018

The overall design for this one started with the colorful owl fabric that I used in the center-ish of the quilt. With the little owls being so close together, I decided that instead of cutting them to work into a block quilt, that they may do better in strips. I added the zig-zag rows to the top and bottom of the quilt, and felt it needed something unique to center the entire thing. I like all the various animal blocks that have become popular in recent years (porcupines, dogs, foxes, etc.), and have been itching to try one out. This seemed to be the perfect place to give it a go!

I think in my final analysis of the overall design, I realize that doing big stripe type quankets such as this present a challenge for tie placement. Also, while the owl block worked out ‘okay’, that I should have re-thunk the construction aspects of this particular stripe and block: the pink fabric did not want to lay nicely and having no place to tie across the center section became an issue. I tried to compensate by doing a running stitch above and below the pink center stripe which helped a little bit.

The Pieces of the Past fabric that I incorporated was the pink stripe material which I had inherited from Granny. From the design and feel of the fabric, I estimate that it was from the 1940’s-1950’s, and could have originally been bed sheets.

Confessions Of A Fabric Addict

This is being donated to Little Lambs Foundation for Kids in Logan, Utah, as part of this year’s Hands2Help Charity Quilt Challenge. The Little Lambs Foundation for Kids provides comfort kits to children ages newborn to 17 years old who are transitioning into foster care, emergency shelter or who have been hospitalized.

Postcards from Abroad

Quanket

Postcards from Abroad
March 2018

The fabric I used for the center squares is typography, some in French and some in English. I wish the photo would have done more justice to the typography, so you could better see how pretty this fabric is! While most of the fabrics were newer additions pulled from my stash – including the typography piece, the blue sashing, brown edging and the black “photo corners” – the corner block fabric was among the donated fabrics I had received from my daughter’s friend from when she worked at Center Veterinary Clinic. Don Diego was another quanket I made using fabric donated from the folks at the clinic.

When we travel, we try to send postcards back home to family and friends. This practice can be funny when traveling overseas, as many times we are home long before our postcards arrive! Nonetheless, it is fun and usually adds a bit of adventure to our travels, especially when we need to find the postal service in a country where we don’t speak the language. The earliest known picture postcard dates to 1840 and was a hand-painted design of Post Office workers seated around an enormous inkwell. It was posted in London (Fulham) by the writer Theodore Hook Esq. to himself, and is thought to have been a practical joke on the postal service.

I like how the fabric colors in the quilt go so well with my two prints hanging on the wall behind. The prints are actually paper samples from the French Paper Company, and I have six altogether. The French Paper Company is based in Niles, Michigan and is one of the last American, small, independent paper mills. They were established in 1871 and since 1922 they have used 100% renewable electricity generated by their own green hydroelectric plant (saving over one million barrels of fossil fuels to date). As a proponent of reduce/reuse/recycle, this is awesome!

This quilt was donated to the County of Ventura, Children & Family Services, for a child in foster care in April 2018.

Catnip

Catnip
March 2018

My plan for this started out as a Lone Star quilt, but somewhere along the ‘quilt wall’, it turned into this. Basically, I opted to not give it points. I also broke my personal rule of avoiding white as a background color because it seemed that whatever other color I tried in place of the white just fell flat. And oh my, the white gives the center such great contrast that it screamed for the rule to be broken!

Why the name Catnip? I chose it for a variety of reasons. The cat fabric is sort of psychedelic, which I wonder if cats experience when they are partaking in the ‘nip’ πŸ™‚ The cat fabric was a donation from Barb, who had acquired the fabric when her daughter passed away from cancer (#CancerSucks). The peace symbol fabric and the first blue/teal border fabric (also in the center of the star), sort of fit with the psychedelic catnip theme going on here – both having a very 60’s vibe. These two fabrics were donations from Mary, who absolutely loves cats! I chose the other fabrics from my stash to complement the overall color scheme.

I had considered naming this one ‘Frog’ for all the seam ripping I did (rip-it, rip-it) to get everything just the way I wanted it! While I want my quilts to look good, I try to balance the need to be perfect with the need to be done: the more quilts I get done, the more I can donate to foster kids. As I quilt, I try to keep in mind the quote, “Perfection is the enemy of done”. Deep Patel wrote a good article for Forbes last summer, that includes the passage:

Effective work is about moving toward the desired destination, and not necessarily about ensuring that nothing gets spilled or knocked over in the process. Mistakes will happen. Missteps will occur. It’s momentum that matters, and ensuring that time is not wasted obsessing over the little things that won’t end up moving the needle anyway.

I love the last part about moving the needle – how apropos!

This was donated to the County of Ventura, Children & Family Services, for a foster child in April 2018.