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’ 🙂 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.

Start Your Engines

quanket

Start Your Engines
January 2018

‘Start Your Engines’ is a fitting quip for the New Year, and for this quanket that uses a fun race car fabric! Several months ago on another post, I made a comment about how many traditional quilt designs are variations of a 9-patch. Well, here is a modern design that is also a variation of a 9-patch. Ya gotta love the 9-patch for its versatility!

If you look through the quilts I have created, I sort of am all over the place in regards to style(similar to my wardrobe – all over the place 😉 ) I am style agnostic: I like modern, traditional and contemporary. While I really like modern quilt design, I tend to shy away from it since many designs predominately use white as a background color. I love the choice of white for its high-contrast value, but since I make these quilts for kids, I fear that white fabric is not going to go the distance. So instead of white, I use other colors for my backgrounds to help convey the modern feel.

This was a super fun, quick design that can be put together in less than a day. It is also a good scraps-buster project, especially if you have wonky-shaped scraps. The blue background fabric was some I had inherited from Edith and the race car fabric was given to me by a close friend. Most of the others were pulled from my scraps bins. There are a lot of ‘pieces of the past’ fabrics that were used in this quanket!

Quilting is more fun than Housework

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

Plan B

quanket

Plan B
October 2017

Looking for inspiration, I dug out a 1993 issue of a Quilters Newsletter magazine – remember when we used to get magazines in the mail?! I came across this diamond Bargello* design that was perfect for the fabrics I had already pulled from my stash. While the candy apple green was one of my ‘pieces of the past’ fabric (from Granny), the others were new.

I had bought the cute multi-color zigzag fabric back around Easter time. I try not to buy holiday novelty prints that are too holiday-oriented, and thought the colors and zigzag had a fun vibe, and did not scream Easter. I figured with so many colors, it would be easy to use somewhere.

So, off I go starting on this quilt. Uh-oh. I am building the rows and am about 90% done, and realize I am running out of the multi-color zigzag fabric. Ugh. There is no way the fabric store is going to have any of this fabric in October. Okay, don’t sweat it, move to Plan B. If you open the image in full screen mode, and look to the bottom left edge, you will see how I implemented my ‘Plan B’.

In general, I tend to be an over-analyzer. So, where did I go wrong? Perhaps instead of just ‘starting’ the quilt, I should have ‘planned’ the quilt and conducted much more thorough calculations and measurements. I don’t mind math (I don’t think you can if you are a quilter), but I also don’t want to dedicate too much time to calculating and measuring. And in this case, darn I was close! Alas, I am not sure what the take-away lesson is here, other than always have a Plan B – not only in quilting, but in life in general 😉

This was donated to the County of Ventura, Children & Family Services, for a foster child in October 2017.

*I am not sure when the wave, and twist and turn trends got popular with Bargello quilts. In the 1993 magazine I referenced, the diamond design was referred to as an ‘advanced’ Bargello design. However, looking at all the variations of this quilt design out on the Internet, I am humbled in what I created here.

Desert Twilight

Quanket

Desert Twilight
August 2017

The Grand Canyon-like center for this medallion quilt was fabric I had gotten from my Granny. My guess is it is circa 1970’s. It has sat in my stash for years, challenging me to do something with it. Its colors are so intense that every time I went past it, I just kept on going!

Well, it was finally time to do something with it. Since learning about medallion quilts from Melanie’s Catbird Quilt Studio blog, I have done a couple (here and here), and really enjoy the process. It seems to give a bit more freedom to the artistic aspect of designing a quilt, since not only do you choose colors and layout, but you can also use a variety of different quilt block elements as you build each border.

Quanket

I had not done Flying Geese blocks before (the first border surrounding the center), and used the tutorial here which made quick work of them! The next border was from the same fabric as the center block, as well as the tip of each of the matchstick blocks in the fourth border. So while intimidating at first, I ended-up using quite a bit of this unusual fabric to create this quanket.

I had started this project in March, and had finished it in June, mentioning my excitement about this one in my Silver Lining post in June. Part of my holding off on posting it was because I had entered it for display in the 2017 Ventura County Fair’s Home Arts pavilion. And while the County Fair was in early August, I had other priorities in life over the summer that delayed my posting this blog. This was donated to the County of Ventura, Children & Family Services, for a foster child in October 2017.

Silver Lining

Silver Lining Quanket

Silver Lining
June 2017

If you are needing an easy pattern that can be done in a day or two, or a great scraps buster, this is the pattern for you! This is a framed squares quilt design, which is an easy and versatile pattern. In preparing to write this blog post, I searched for framed squares quilts on Google, and really enjoyed seeing all the different interpretations of this pattern! Quilts remind me of snowflakes – each one so unique.

While my scraps bins are overflowing, and I honestly should have tackled those first, I had some remnant pieces I had recently purchased that I was itching to use. While I usually try to incorporate some pieces of the past fabrics into my quankets, my supply of the larger pieces has really dwindled! And what I have tends to be odd colors and patterns, which is going to require some strategic planning on my part in how best to use them in a quilt. But, I am up to the challenge 🙂 In fact, I have another project on my quilt wall now that I am excited to show you in the coming weeks.

This was donated to the County of Ventura, Children & Family Services, for a foster child in June, 2017.

Puddy Tat

Quanket

Puddy Tat
April 2017

Have you ever noticed how a lot of the more traditional quilt patterns seem to be a version of a standard 9-patch quilt? This quilt pattern is called Panache, and can be found here. I had come across this design over at Hyacinth Quilt Design, which by the way, I love how she came about choosing the name for her blog.

Most of the fabrics I used in my Puddy Tat quanket are new, with the exception of one that was left over from a quanket I had made for my Mom many years ago, and some 4″ squares I had gotten when I visited the Latimer Quilt and Textile Center in Tillamook in 2015. A couple of these cut squares had the maker’s mark on the edge, Aunt Jane’s RJR Fashion. It’s a cute fabric, with small pink, white and blue flowers (?) on a tan background. I am not sure if it is vintage, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it is – it has that look about it.

This was donated to the County of Ventura, Children & Family Services, for a foster child in June 2017.

Lagartija Mola

quanket

Lagartija Mola
February 2017

Two years ago, we helped our friends navigate their sail boat through the Panama Canal. During the trip, I had the opportunity to be exposed to Molas, a colorful textile art form made by the native Kuna peoples. Molas are brightly colored panels that use the techniques of appliqué and reverse appliqué. The panels are then used in the women’s blouses/dresses.

Unfortunately at the time, I didn’t have the opportunity to purchase a Mola, as our time was dedicated to enjoying time with friends, and sailing. However, given our global economy, I was able to source a Mola from ebay. I thought a Mola would be a perfect center block for a medallion quilt, and I loved the bright colors of this lizard-motif Mola.

The fabrics used for the borders were mostly pulled from my ‘Pieces of the Past’ stash, but I did have to buy a little more of the aqua-teal color to complete that particular border. While I liked how setting this border on point looked, it created a challenge in keeping my sizing consistent since the bias cut edge lends more stretch to the fabric. I used the black with aqua-teal hourglass blocks to mimic the lizard’s cuisine – flies!

I have only done one other medallion quilt, my Marigolds quilt. I wasn’t sure if there were certain rules to be followed for a medallion quilt, so I checked in over at Catbird Quilt Studio since Melanie does a lot of medallion quilts. Here is what I found:

A medallion quilt is simply a quilt made with a central motif, which is surrounded by a number of borders. That is the ONLY rule, If you can follow that, you can make a medallion.

So, I guess I can log this one as my ‘second’ medallion quilt! 🙂

This quanket was donated to the County of Ventura, Children & Family Services, for a foster child in April, 2017.

Burgoyne Blossoms

quilts for foster kids, charity quilts, quanket

Burgoyne Blossoms
November 2016

Burgoyne Blossoms is a Burgoyne Surrounded quilt pattern. I have been wanting to try this pattern for several years, and even though it uses a strip piecing technique which is typically easy, this pattern looked challenging. Probably because the smallest squares are really small. In this case, the small squares measure 1 1/4″ finished. Part of the challenge of small pieces in a pattern is that they don’t allow for seam allowances that aren’t fairly precise: they have a very small tolerance. I find that on bigger pieces, that there is a bit of fudging that one can do to make all the seams line up nicely. But on the small pieces, there is very little wiggle room! What is your acceptable tolerance for seams lining up? 1/16″, 1/32″ or zero? How much time are you willing to spend ripping seams to get them to line up perfectly? Do you allow yourself a bigger or smaller tolerance for point seams?

Another challenge in the Burgoyne Surround quilt pattern is in the construction: it is really a master block that is comprised of many component blocks. The instructions for this quilt pattern are in a book I have had for years, Quilting for People Who Don’t Have Time to Quilt by Marti Michell. This is the book that opened my eyes to the strip quilting technique.

The blossom fabric was one from Edith’s stash, and the pink polka dot used as the main background fabric was from Granny’s stash. The soft rose pink was one I have had in my stash for years: as I recall, I was planning to make dresses for my daughters when they were young, but never got around to making them. Back then, not only was I one of the People Who didn’t Have Time to Quilt, but I also didn’t have much spare time to do much sewing in general. I count myself fortunate that I now have more free time to spend on quilting. Over the past 3-years, I have made over 60 quankets. Check out my photo gallery here.

I will be linking this to this year’s 100 Quilts for Kids annual charity drive, which is being coordinated by Alyson who blogs over at The Hasty Quilter. This year’s drive will run through the end of November, so you still have time to participate.

This quanket was donated to the County of Ventura, Children & Family Services, for a foster child in April, 2017.