Friday, February 10, 2017

Quilt of Valor 2017 Project - January Block - Friendship

Since last year was the year of getting UFO's done (25 total), I wanted to do something that would give back to the community.  One day I was pursuing FaceBook, and came across a group that makes blocks for quilts that get given to Veterans.  

The FB group is called Quilts of Valor Stars.  They are not the group, but follow their guidelines for making quilts for veterans.  

Each month, members are asked to make a block or several blocks with a chosen block pattern, and then asked to mail them to the organizers who then will assemble the blocks, add borders, donate batting, add backing and then they have long arm quilters who donate their time to quilt the finished product, and then finally they have someone do the binding.  

For each block made, you can donate a name of a veteran you would like to receive a quilt.  When they have a completed quilt, they draw a name out of a hat and make arrangements to present the quilt to the veteran.

You can find out more about this group here, and you can join up as well and start making blocks.

January there was a call put out for the group to make 600 blocks.  The need it greater than the supply.  So they asked that the members make the Friendship block for January's goal.

I was able to pull from my scrap buckets and found some red, blue and white.  I made these blocks, mixing it up a little bit and ended up making 24 blocks.  The blocks are 12.5" square, and it only takes 12 blocks to make a quilt (adding sashing and borders).  

Next week I will be working on the February block and give you a look at it in my next QOV post.


Wednesday, February 8, 2017

2016 Finish Quilt - Mystery Quilt Grand Illusion - #23

The weather is still overcast and lots of rain or snow here in the Pacific Northwest, so no picture taking available yet for the blog.  I have about 10 quilts that I would like to get pictures, but the weather is being very uncooperative.   

This quilt is from 2014 when I did Bonnie Hunter's Mystery Quilt.  You can read about all the details and the progression of making it here.

This was the last quilt to have the binding done in the last batch of five quilts I got back from the Long Arm Quilter back in November.  I like to do my binding while traveling in the car on road trips.  

Here is a picture of me working on the binding on a road trip a couple of weeks ago.  It was especially nice because it was very warm on my lap while I stitched away.

I was able to get it the binding completed once we got to the venue where we were having a trade show.  The venue building has lots of open space, so I was able to take some decent pictures of the final quilt.  Here it is all flat and laid out.  Remember, this was done from scraps of all my Thimbleberries projects.  It is a big one, measuring 90" X 90". 

This is a close up of a corner, giving you a better look at the border and the block pattern.  I used a green binding to tie it all together.  I think it looks really nice.

I had a good sized brown wide width backing fabric, but I was a little short, so I added some green around the top and bottom to get the backing big enough to cover the top.

The batting was an experiment this time, I found a queen sized flannel sheet at a garage sale.  I washed it up, and contacted my long arm quilter to ask if I could use it as a batting.  She agreed and I really like the result.  The sheet cost me $.50 making it very reasonable compared to the cost of batting. The best part is the flannel sheet makes the quilt heavy and not stiff like some of the batting I have been using from JoAnn's.  

Right now, this one is on my side of the bed, folded in half, keeping me very warm this winter.

PS:  This quilt pattern is available on Bonnie Hunter's site here if you are interested.  


Saturday, December 31, 2016

2016 Finished Quilts - A Civil War Tribute - #24

Sorry about being out of order for the quilts I finished this year.  But, as I give them away, or in this instance, sell a quilt, I took some pictures (the best that I could at the time) so I would have some record of them in my blog and my quilt notebook.  As I get them quilts done this year, I have numbered them, and it has helped me keep better track of what I have done and accomplished.  I wish I had started a system like this when I first started making quilts.

This quilt was called "A Civil War Tribute".  This was one of the the biggest quilts I have worked on, one of the most complicated quilts I have had the privilege of being a part of, and one of the most difficult quilt patterns I have ever followed.  I have found the bigger the quilt, the worse the pattern is, and somehow harder to get to come out square.

I confess, that I did choose to make this quilt to the original pattern from the 1800's and in order to get the blocks to come out to the correct size, the seams were 3/8's inch, and 7/16's inch.

You can read all the posts that I wrote about it here, if you are interested in the progress of me working on the blocks.

While at a trade show with my husband, I was spending some down time, hand stitching the binding on this quilt.  Remember it is about 102" X 112', so it was a rather large quilt for hand stitching the binding.  It was taking a lot of the down time (in between customers) to get this one bound.  Another vendor's wife was admiring the quilt, and telling her husband she would give anything to have a quilt like that for their bed.  He came over to ask how much a quilt like that would cost, and I mentioned to him the cost of materials and the amount of time one spends in making a quilt.  He didn't blink an eye, stating that he hadn't gotten anything for his wife for Christmas, and felt this would be perfect since she like it so well.  Sold!

Here is the finished quilt.

A close up view of a corner showing the pieced border and binding.

And lastly a picture of the backing and the quilting done by my long arm quilter.

I'm glad I sold this one, as I didn't like it as much once finished as I did when I signed up for the BOM.  I am so glad someone else will be enjoying it on their bed.  Warms my heart.


Thursday, December 29, 2016

2016 Finished Quilts - Thimbleberries Log Cabin - Quilt 17

My last post of 2016 finished quilts was at number 12.  I finished 25 quilts this year, either by completing UFO's, working on past BOM's, and pairing completed tops with batting and backing, and then getting them all off to the long arm quilter.

Unfortunately, I have not been able to get any decent pictures, because here in the Pacific Northwest, we have overcast, wet ground, and either rain, mist, or snow, making it impossible to take any pictures.  My house is not big enough either to take full, nice pictures.

But I have either given away or sold some quilts, so I took the best pictures of the finished quilts that I could given the circumstances.  So some of the finished quilts will be out of order in posting until I can get out this spring to get decent pictures.

This was a Christmas present for my neighbor.  I have know her for over 10 years, and have known her through her children growing up, a divorce, and now her upcoming retirement as a nurse.  She will be selling her house and moving back to Montana to live when she retires.  She has bought some property up there and plans on building a new house.

I came up with the idea to gift her a quilt, one reason to use in her new house, and two, to remember us as neighbors into her new life.

I picked what I thought was appropriate for a house in Montana, I thought of a log cabin pattern quilt.  I finished this one in a group of 4 quilts during the month of July this year.  I began working on it back in May, you can see that part here.

This quilt kit was a part of a annual club for Lynette Jensen's Thimbleberries.  It was called "Anniversary Club" back in 2008.  It was a project for the month of October 2008.  This club consisted not a block a month, but a complete quilt every other month for two years.  There were 11 complete quilt kits in the program, and I have completed 3 of the 12 projects.  I finished # 3 last week called Star and Chain, which I posted about a couple of days ago.

This is a picture of the folded log cabin.  It consisted dark colors, constructing with light beige background fabrics.

This is a full picture of the completed quilt, on my kitchen floor.  Again, sorry for the poor picture, as the weather is cranky here in the Pacific Northwest.  

Close up of a block in the finished quilt.

Picture of the backing and binding of the finished quilt.

When I gifted it to her, she opened it and I told her it was for her new house in Montana and to help her remember us when she leaves, she broke down and cried.  She was so touched in receiving a quilt from us.  She said it would be perfect, as these were going to be the colors for her new house.  Such a nice feeling to give and the receiver be appreciative!


Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Star and Chain Quilt

I picked out a quilt that was a part of a past quilt club.  It was a Thimbleberries club back in 2008.  The club consisted of 11 projects that were complete quilt kits shipped every other month.  This quilt kit was for the month of June 2008.

This quilt is called Star and Chain, and the pattern can be found in Lynette Jensen's book, "In Celebration of Quilting".

There was a lot of repetitive cutting of pieces.  It was important to keep them in order, as I found out later, getting one strip out of place, messed up the top and bottom strip where this one was attached to in the quilt pattern. 

In order to make the outer part of each block, I needed to make these strips, but then I needed to make  the same amount in the opposite direction to later sew together to make the outer star point.

This is the pile of corners I cut off of the above strips,  I have a ziploc bag full of these half-square triangles, that I will maybe figure out something at a later date.  One thing about the Thimbleberries projects that come in kits, there is always, and I mean always an excess of fabric.  I have a bin full of leftover fabric from the many projects that I have made using her lines of fabric over the years.   I already made a mystery quilt a couple of years ago, king size, using nothing but scraps.  

I made a couple of pinwheel blocks with the above scraps, but they didn't go together as well as I would like, as when you are cutting off corners, the pieces are not as precise as they would be if you were cutting them from a piece of fabric.  I will figure something out eventually.  

These pictures show the center star, using some flying geese blocks, and putting it together  in a nine patch block.  The strip below the star is the mirror image strip blocks that I made in the pictures above.  

You can see in this picture, that placement of the different colored strips is critical in order to have the  same colored strips surround the same colored blocks.

Here is the completed top, laying on my kitchen floor.  Not the best picture, but the weather is not cooperating this time of the year.

I will get it off to the long arm quilter after the first of the year, and will be the first finished quilt for 2017!


Monday, December 26, 2016

En Provence Mystery Quilt Part 5

It's that time again, another part of the mystery quilt came out on Friday, and I was able to work on it this weekend and I was able to complete part 5.

It was quite possible that many participants would not be able to get a big amount of work done, so she released a short and sweet part this week.

I ordered her new Essential Triangle Tool, that helps in making all kinds of blocks, including half-square triangles, quarter-square triangles, flying geese, and others.

I paired up a light piece of fabric and a dark purple piece of fabric to set up to use the new tool.  Using this tool saves fabric, and makes perfect blocks.

This is a set of part 5, which is a half-square triangle block.  Simple and easy.

I had most of Saturday free, so I cut out the different lights and dark purple, and then spent time getting them sewn up.  

So there you go, step 5 completed, now onto other projects while waiting for the next part.  If you are interested, it is still not to late to get all the parts to date and get involved and participate in this mystery quilt.  You can click on this link and find out all the information (p.s.  it is free),


Monday, December 19, 2016

En Provence Mystery Quilt Part 4

We are proceeding along quite well with the mystery quilt.  Part four was the same as part two, only using different colors.  

I managed to get part 4 done this weekend, and now I am caught up on all the parts.  Below is a sample of a group of 20 for each part.

I will be working on a few UFO's this week while waiting for the next clue to come out this Friday. 

If you are interested in participating or want any information on this mystery quilt, please click on this link