Aurora


Aurora
August 2020

Back in May, I joined Jacquelynne Steves Silver Linings QAL (quilt along). Each Monday, she would release a new block, for a total of twelve. There were also six  optional embroidery blocks as part of the project. Since I’m not overly familiar with embroidery, I only did one embroidered block. I used a coloring page for the pattern, and did an owl to work with my overall owl theme. Although the group QAL is ending this week, there is still time to download the block patterns here.

The first block was a nine patch, which I fussy cut the center square from scrap owl fabric leftover from my quanket Hooty. The owls are in different colors, including pink, which began my colorway for this quilt. I used scraps for all the pink blocks, and fabric from my stash for the borders and binding. The blocks are 6″ and since the QAL only had twelve blocks, plus the embroidery, I pieced an extra seven blocks to make the finished size 40″x46″ so it can work for a baby or young child.

As I suspect with many people, the pandemic has become a depressing pall over daily life. The hardest thing for me has been the infrequency of seeing and spending time with family and friends. And when I do see them, it’s at a safe social distance. The not being able to plan for parties, camping trips, vacations, etc. is particularly difficult for me, since I so enjoy planning for the next big adventure! In a nutshell, the inability to ‘look forward’ to something concrete has been the biggest loss (for me) as a result of the pandemic. This QAL has been a breath of fresh air during this difficult time, as while it was just a small thing, it gave me something to look forward to each week. 

The name Aurora means dawn. For mariners, a pink/red sky in the morning is a warning of a potential storm. While a storm at sea can be scary, if a sailor uses the scientific knowledge of prevailing winds, along with the fact that a pink/red sky in the morning could indicate a high pressure system to the east, and a possible impending storm, then they can take the necessary precautions to be better prepared to ride out the storm. The pandemic can certainly be likened to a storm, and if we rely on the scientific facts and take the necessary precautions, we will get through this!

This will be donated to the County of Ventura, Children & Family Services for a child in foster care.

Yellow Ribbon


Yellow Ribbon
June 2020

In 2012, I began this journey of making quilts for kids in the foster system and Yellow Ribbon marks my 100th donation quilt. I had inherited a lot of fabric after my Mom passed away, and while I had no urgent need for fabric at that time, as someone dedicated to recycling/reducing/reusing/repurposing, I figured I could put it to use, and ultimately decided I would make quilts to give to foster kids. I always try to incorporate a piece of fabric that was from my Mom, Granny, Mother-in-law Edith, or Aunt Betty, but in the past year it’s becoming more difficult, as the stash I inherited has dwindled considerably! For this, I used my yellow, white, grey and black scraps, so there are a lot of pieces of the past fabric in it.

I have been making quilts since the ’80’s, but have never been what I would consider a hard core quilter, and I still don’t actually consider myself a typical quilter. I love the piecing aspect of the quilting process, but the sandwiching batting and then stitching/quilting has been something I’ve only started doing more of in the past two years. I usually back my tops with fleece, and tie them, which is a process that just seems to work really well for me. If you’re interested in the process, check out my posts about making a quanket:

This was donated to the County of Ventura, Children & Family Services for a child in foster care in June 2020.

Cutting Corners


Cutting Corners
May 2020

The scraps bins have really been a lifesaver these past few months of safer at home. I’ve made a good dent on my yellows (stay tuned for my next post for this one), my black/grey/white, and now my blues. I am also participating in Jacquelynne Steves Silver Linings QAL (quilt along) that started a couple of weeks ago and I will be making two baby quilts with the completed blocks: one in a pink colorway and one in a blue, using fabric from my scraps bins. There is still time to join her quilt along here.

There are so many pieces of the past fabric in this one, which is usually the case when I dig in on the scraps bins! The jump-off fabric that informed my design direction is the larger border of blue and red/burgandy flowers (blast from the past quiz for my daughters to see if they remember where I had used this back in the late 80’s). Of note, there are fabrics from both Edith (the red/burgandy) and from Granny (the edge binding). I used the same method for building the blocks as I did for Ziggy, using dryer sheets as the foundation. This time I trimmed the dryer sheets to squares as opposed to leaving them rectangular. My sewing room always smells so good when I am using used dryer sheets as foundation 🙂

I had two names I considered for this quanket: this, and Infinity Mirrors. While a ‘cutting corners’ behavior is generally not considered desirable, I think that sometimes the efficiencies gained by cutting a corner outweigh what was “cut” in the cutting of that corner. What do you think?

This was donated to the County of Ventura, Children & Family Services for a child in foster care in June 2020.

Land’s Edge


Land’s Edge
March 2019

Back in January I tackled my blue scraps bin and created the Bargello twist and turn quilt I named 3273 K. Of the 500 scrappy blue rectangles I cut for that project, I still had about 100 left. So instead of trying to cram them back into my scraps bin, I pulled out all my skinny blue and brown string scraps and made this! No pattern, just winging it 😉

There are so many different fabrics in this quanket, I wouldn’t know where to start to list which ones are “pieces of the past” – heck, I guess they’re all technically “pieces of the past” since they’re all from past projects! I plan to link this to the weekly linky party over at Quilting is more fun than Housework. Pop over to see all the other great scappy projects others have been working on.

Quilting is more fun than Housework

This was donated to the County of Ventura, Children & Family Services in March 2019, for a foster child.

Baby Bear

Charity quilts for foster kids

Baby Bear
April 2016

Baby Bear is the final quanket in my Three Bears series, and I am thrilled to have it finished in time to include it, along with Papa and Mama Bear, in this year’s Hands2Help Charity Quilt Challenge.

I have had little time to spend at the sewing machine over the past few months, however I did take some time recently to better organize my scraps. While I am not quite as organized as other quilters in cutting my scraps into commonly used sizes, I do keep my scraps together by colors. My prior method of keeping them in plastic bags was beginning to get out of hand and needless to say, it looked tacky. So I purchased some cute photo boxes that were on clearance, and have now organized my scraps into these. They look much cuter on the shelf and work much better than the plastic bags did. During the process of organizing, I found that my blue scraps were overflowing, which is what inspired the fabric selection for Baby Bear.

Designing a scrappy quilt, while challenging, is fun and rewarding. Challenges include finding enough scraps in similar or complementary color values and/or saturation, and designing the layout. For me, the layout is usually dictated by the amount of scraps I have that work together. In Baby Bear, I had a lot of country blues – leftovers from the 80’s – and darker blue leftovers from my quanket, Celebration. Using a design wall is great for exploring options in how to arrange blocks, sashing and borders. My design wall is a closet door covered with felt which works great, as it lets me place pieces without the use of pins. For pieces that have more seams, it seems that a pin is needed, otherwise I end up with a pile of pieces on the floor in front of the closet door!

Hands2Help Charity Quilt Challenge
Quilting is more fun than Housework