Wednesday, January 25, 2012

What's Cookin' at The Sweatshop, Week #18 - Lots of Quilts and a Challenge/Giveaway!!

Hi, all!

Well, we're finally off to the races at the Sweatshop this year!  We've finished six quilts and have a bunch more in the works - but before I show them to you, I'd like to extend a challenge to you!!

You may recall my blogpost where I talked about this great book that I got for Christmas...

Cut The Scraps!, written by Joan Ford and published by The Taunton Press, is the most useful book I've found for organizing and using your scraps.  She recommends cutting your scraps into 5", 3.5", and 2" squares, and then provides about 20 patterns that use those sizes. Most of the patterns are quilts, but there are a few bags, table runners and other things in the patterns too.  

One of my commenters asked if I was going to do a scrappy challenge, and the thought kind of stuck in my head.  There are lots of scrappy quilt challenges going on right now, though, and if you're like me, you don't have time to enter all of them, unfortunately...  So I thought it might be fun to have a scrappy block challenge!  Short and sweet, no long term commitment.  

So my challenge is this - using the three sizes in Cut The Scraps!, create a block!  Here are the guidelines:

1.  You can cut the squares down from the designated sizes, 
but you can't use any larger.  
2.  You can add solids if you want.  
3.  Finished blocks can be any size.  
4.  We'd like your permission to use your block 
creation in quilts for the quilt ministry 
in the future.
5.  And for you overachievers out there, 
yes you can enter more than one block!

There will be a linky party on Wednesday, February 8th to show off your finished blocks (that's two weeks - is it enough time?  If not, let me know - if enough people need more time, I'll push back the linky party date!)  Each block you link up will become an entry in the giveaway - plus if you promote the giveaway on your blog, you'll get an extra entry - just leave me a comment on this post to let me know you've done it!

And did I mention prizes?  When I thought about this challenge, I decided it would be great to be able to give away a copy of the book - so I wrote The Taunton Press and asked them if they would donate a copy.  And guess what showed up in my mail yesterday?

That's right - a copy of the book for one of you!!

And Shannon from Fabrics N Quilts is donating three prize packages just like this one:

Check that out - a Moda charm pack, a pattern, and a spool of Aurifil thread!  Woohoo!!  So we'll have four giveaway winners for this challenge......


And now, it's time for an update on the quilts we made this week!

First up is this cute charm quilt, made by quilt ministry member Debora.  It went to a 3-year old boy in Florida who has a tumor in his eye, and had to have his eye removed.


Next is this gorgeous postage stamp quilt, pieced by Sharon and finished here in Nashville.  This quilt is going to a gentleman in Arkansas suffering from cancer.


Here's another quilt pieced by Debora - the pattern is Bricks and Blocks and she highly recommends it as an easy quilt!  This one is going to an older gentleman who is dealing with the end stages of cancer.


And oh, this beauty!  How I wish I had Sharon's piecing skills.... This one is going to a member of our church who is suffering from multiple serious health issues.


This pretty quilt uses some scraps that one of you lovely readers sent me after I commented on how cute her quilt was - they've been sitting here waiting for just the right home for a while!  When Deborah (yes, another one - we have about five in the group!) spotted them, she wanted to use them in a quilt, so we came up with this design (I saw a similar quilt out there in blogland, but can't remember where - sorry I can't attribute!) and she put it together!  I love the whirligigs and bow ties....  And check out the back!  

This quilt is going to a woman who just found out that her cancer prognosis depends on how aggressive she's willing to be in her treatment.  We hope this quilt gives her comfort and courage for the days ahead!


And this quilt, also pieced by Sharon, is going to a gentleman with cancer of the bladder, liver and bones.  I love the bow ties on this quilt!


We've also had some great donations in the last few weeks - one of which are these two dies for the AccuQuilt GO! Cutter...

I can't wait to use these - they look like fun, don't they?

And I processed a huge fabric donation that came from the lovely Carmen, who I don't think has a blog of her own - here's just a sampling of the beautiful fabrics she sent...

Look at all those beautiful batiks!!  I can't wait to plan a quilt around these...

And here's another piece that came in just the nick of time (or in God's time - which is probably truer!)  I had a quilt back that needed to be about 10 inches larger, but couldn't find just the right piece of fabric to enlarge it in the stash.  I set it to one side and opened up the boxes from Carmen - and found the piece on the left side of this picture!

The color is perfect, the words on it are comforting - it's perfect!  And just the right amount to finish off the back of this quilt!  

So that's what we've finished this week.  We've got six more quilts in the works right now - lots going on at the Sweatshop!  And always scraps to cut up - so I don't think we'll be getting bored any time soon....  And we found out this week that we will be getting permanent space for the Sweatshop at church, where we can store all our fabric and keep our sewing machines up all the time!! Woohoo!! Of course, that's probably some months in the future, as they need to shift around all kinds of things (we're just part of a major reworking of our space at church) but it's coming!  I'll keep you updated as things move along - - - I'm excited!!

Thanks to all of you who participate in this ministry - whether you sew, donate, cut, pray, find us space to work, or just cheer us on!!  We couldn't do it without you!!



PS If you're planning on participating in the Scrap Block Challenge, I'd love to know!  Let me know in a comment....  ;-)


ga447 said...

Your group is amazing, and the quilts that they turn out are very special. Isn't it wonderful when you receive fabric, I thank God each day for our donations. At our last church quilt meeting we had 2 new members, now we are up to 4. Those are blessings.

Rebecca said...

What a fun scrappy challenge!

rubyslipperz said...

O!! Sarah! this challenge comes a a PERFECT time for me! I was sooo excited/lucky to find the "Cut the Scraps" book at my local JoAnn's and used a 50% off coupon. I've wanted the book for quite some time! I NEED to organize the huge (tall trash can size) bucket that is overflowing with scraps.

I will be blogging about your challenge on my blog sometime today! If I were to win the book, I would "pay it forward" =)


Lisa Marie said...

This may be a dumb question, but...will there be a way for non-bloggers and/or those new to linky parties to participate?

Alison said...

I could manage a scrappy block challenge! :)

Vroomans' Quilts said...

Oh Sarah - they all look so lovely!! I love the challenge and surely I am up for it - this over acheiver will keep to an even keel. I have a post going out tomorrow. And 2 weeks is plenty of time for a block. Wouldn't it be nice if everyone donated their blocks to your group!

Carolyn J. said...

Oh so many lovely quilts!!!
I'd like to commit to your challenge and I'll promote it on my blog too.

Have a great week!

Hollie said...

I'm so in!

Sue Daurio said...

Oh I love the idea of the challenge. And Sharon's idea to donate the blocks is fabulous!!

tink's mom said...

OK so I read through your posting a couple of hours ago because that's what I do. I thought it was interesting and a nice idea not my thing because I don't think of myself as creative. Then I took the dog for a walk and low and behold I mentally designed a block. It may not be a great block but a block it is. I will put the thoughts on paper before they fad away and then try and put it into fabric. No matter if it's good or bad I will link up. Could be a new me.

KatieQ said...

I don't have Joan Ford's book, but I did buy 2 of her patterns, one for a quilt and the other for a tote bag. I don't know how thrilling a block I can come up with, but I'll sure give it a shot. I love the quilt that Deborah made from the scraps sent to you. The back is amazing.

B Greene said...

I have never done a challenge before, but I will try this one! Great idea!!!

Kate said...

OK - I am in !! This will be interesting, and I'm happy to give a small bit of help to your quilt ministry... you're doing so very well... great quilts for people who need a big hug!

Sheila said...

I'm in :D

P. said...

I'll give it a shot! And will donate whatever I come up with, if you'd like.

Each one of those quilts is wonderfully pieced and nicely quilted. Such amazing variety, it's like a quilt smorgasbord!

Fabrics N Quilts said...

Wonderfully productive week in the sweatshop! Big Blessings to Carmen for that very generous donation!

I am so eager to see the challenge blocks!

em's scrapbag said...

Beautiful quilts made by the ministry. Your scrap challenge sounds fun. I'll see what I can do.

Michelle C said...

I'll accept this challenge! I've taken the book out of the library, so I know the sizes you're talking about. I do have an enormous scrap stash... This'll be fun! Now if I can wrap by brain around a deadline.

Miki Willa said...

This looks like a fun challenge. If I have time, I will try and design a block or two. This may be just the inspiration I need to try out some different palettes and spread my wings colorwise.

Terri said...

I already have the design in my head! Yes, count me in.

Love the quilts you make and give. I've always said that charity quilts should be as nice as any you would give to family. You all embody that. (I'm a bit peaved with the local Project Linus group who think "quantity, brown and easiest". I think that demeans the work and the recipient.)

Sis-O said...

I would like to try this challenge. I am kinda avoiding my workspace b/c haven't really cleaned up since the Christmas rush of last minute gift making.

Hillbilly Tonya said...

Feb 8th is really a tough date for me to get it done by. Just one block I know--but have some orders that have to go out first.

Do you ever use baby quilts? I have a baby flimsy in need of a good home.

Talin's Corner said...

What amazing quilts. I actually cut my scraps/leftovers into different size squares and strips when appropriate. When I am making a scrappy quilt (which is basically all the time), I always have a stash all ready to sew. I will have to give some thought to the scrappy quilt block. Do you want them to be an original design?

hueisei said...

Your scrappy challenge sounds interesting. I'm new to quilting, so a small size of block would be ok for me. I want to join!!

Michelle said...

Those are great quilts -- I'm sure they'll bring lots of comfort.

Carolyn J. said...

Sarah, I'm starting to make a dent in cutting up my scraps.....such a relief to get rid of that big jumbled box. :)

Kira said...

I blogged your challenge.

Michelle said...

I can always count on Wednesdays for a great quilt show!

I'd LOVE to the scrap block challenge. Alas, I am deep into learning about book marketing, on a deadline for a baby quilt, and waiting to hear back on a job. My brain is FULL!

Carol E. said...

Love the work you do, and the quilts are gorgeous. I just created a block and will be happy to participate in the Linky Wednesday. I'll put a link to this idea on my blog, too.

Terri said...

Hi Sarah,
I did link up on my blog at:
I hope it brings in more participants.

Carol E. said...

I totally forgot about the linky party on Feb 8!! Did it happen? Right now I can't upload the pic of my block, because my computer died. We have to wait for the new computer (with a card reader) and/or get my pics off the old hard drive.