Sunday, April 29, 2012

Hands2Help - Featuring Guest Blogger Amanda Jean Nyberg

Hi, all!

It's Sunday again - and time to welcome another guest blogger to the Hands2Help Charity Quilt Challenge!  Today we welcome Amanda Jean Nyberg of Crazy Mom Quilts - a fabulous blog that never fails to inspire me and pad my quilting bucket list!  And not only does she have a great blog, but she has co-authored a book called Sunday Morning Quilts, full of great designs and quilting tips.  Be sure to check it out - after you read her great tutorial below!  So now, without further ado, here's Amanda Jean!


Hello, I'm Amanda Jean from Crazy Mom Quilts. I'm happy to be a guest here on Sarah's blog. I love to see what Sarah and the members of her quilt ministry do to help others that are hurting and in need. I'm always blown away by the beautiful quilts that they crank out week after week. It's truly inspiring!

Today I'm happy to share a little tutorial today for my 
Sixteen Tons quilt. I hope that you use this pattern to make a (or several) quilt(s) for the Hands2Help Quilt Challenge, or for the charity of your choice. Or both!  Let's get started....
To make this quilt you will need:
various scraps-none smaller than 2.5" square
1 1/2 yards background fabric (I think I only used 1 1/4 yards, so I rounded up for you already)
52" x 63" batting
1/2 yard for binding
2 3/4 yards for backing
From your scraps, cut several 2.5" squares and sew them together in 4 rows of 4 to make a 16 patch block. Press seams in opposite directions so they will nest together when sewn. Or, you could strip piece these blocks using 2.5" strips (great way to use leftover binding strips) rather than cutting each square individually. The unfinished block should measure 8.5" square. Square up if necessary.
Make 20 blocks.
From the background fabric, cut the pieces in the following order to ensure maximum fabric usage:
Cut 4 squares 12 5/8", and cut in half on the diagonal twice to make quarter square triangles. These will be used for the setting triangles on all 4 sides. (there will be two extra setting triangles)
Cut 2 squares 6 5/8", and cut in half on the diagonal once, to make half square triangles. These will be used for the corners.
Cut 12 squares 8.5". These will be used as the setting blocks.
On a design wall or the floor, arrange your blocks on point in a pleasing arrangement. Take a digital photo to check for color clumping or anything that bugs you in the layout. Rearrange blocks if necessary.
Once you are happy with the layout, add the setting blocks to the outside edges of the quilt as shown. (The quarter square triangles.)
Then add the 4 corners as shown. (The half square triangles)
Finally, add in the setting blocks as shown.
Sew the blocks together, working in diagonal rows. Press the seams toward the background fabric.
Once all the blocks are sewn into rows, sew the rows together. Press seams to one side.
Square up your quilt top. It should measure 46" x 57".

Then quilt and bind as desired!


Okay, now I'm off to go pull fabrics for one of these great quilts!  I mean, seriously, how cute is that?  And it uses up little scraps - woohoo!!  Thanks, Amanda Jean, for making my bucket list a little longer!!

And remember, if you're just now stumbling across the Hands2Help Charity Quilt Challenge, there's still time to join in the fun!  You can read more about it by clicking on the tab at the top of my blog page, or by clicking on the Hands2Help tag at the end of this post.  

Be sure to join us next week when Lisa Roddy of Shiner's View will be our guest blogger!



Friday, April 27, 2012

Can I Get A Whoop Whoop? A Little Fancy FMQ...

Hi, all!

Another week gone by - did you get lots done?  As you read this, I'm on my way to the quilt show in Paducah - I can't wait to see all that eye candy!!  (And stop off and indulge my addiction at Hancock's of Paducah.....  ;-)

I worked on a lot of things this week, but this quilt is my favorite finish for the week...

I played around with the quilting on this one, trying out some different designs in the borders.

See the clamshells in the orange border?

And loop-de-loops in the brown border...

With micro-stippling around the paper pieced fruits and veggies...

Aren't these blocks just gorgeous?  I wish I knew how to do paper piecing - but until I learn, I'll just enjoy the ones Sharon pieces!!\

And just for good measure, here's the pretty back that Pam pieced for this quilt!  Most days, she carries the title "Queen of Quilt Backs"!!


Now it's your turn!

What have you been working on this week?

Remember it doesn't have to be a finish - 

Just something you want to share!!

You have until Sunday night to link up -
And be sure to visit your fellow linkers
and see what they've been up to!



Wednesday, April 25, 2012

What's Cookin' at The Sweatshop, Week #28 - That Little Engine..

Hi, all!

I feel like that proverbial little engine - I think I can, I think I can!  So many quilts needs on the list right now, and here are the five that we delivered this week....

This lovely quilt was pieced by Sabrina, a new ministry member, and went to a gentleman who has had liver cancer for a very long time....

This glorious batik quilt was pieced by Robin, and found a new home with a woman who will be undergoing a serious surgery soon with an extended recovery time.

This beautiful quilt was made with blocks paper pieced by Sharon...  which you've got to see up close!

The quilting on this one was fun to do - I did a large random meander in the outer border, a loopy trail in the brown sashing between the blocks, a clamshell pattern in the block borders, and a very tiny stipple in the white surrounding the object in the block.  There is no quilting over the actual fruit or vegetable.  They stand out so nicely now!!

And Pam worked her usual magic and pieced a beautiful back for this quilt.  It is going to a woman who just had surgery for a quadruple bypass.

(Yes, the above picture is sideways - but work with me, people!)  This pretty quilt was pieced by Diane, and is going to a gentleman with cancer who has only been given a short time to live....

And this quilt, pieced by Pam S. from blocks donated by Megan, is going to a gentleman recently diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.  He also has diabetes, and surgery is not an option for him, so he will be undergoing chemotherapy.

So those are the quilts we've delivered this week.  Six more quilts for sick people are on the list right now, and we've had a minor baby boom around church, so there are several baby quilts to make, too!  See why I feel like that little engine?

AND - - - it looks like we'll be in our new sewing space at church in the next week or so!  Woohoo!!  We've already started accumulating shelving so that when the room is cleared out, we can jump right in and start moving stuff over there!   I'll start taking pictures of the space so you can follow our progress....

Thanks to all of you wonderful quilt bloggers who help this ministry thrive!  We couldn't do it without you!!



Monday, April 23, 2012

Make-A-List Monday - Thankful for Progress!

Hi, all!

How was your weekend?  I hope you had a good one - I sure did!  My wonderful hubby put a couple of new cabinets in our bathroom, so we now have much more counter space than we did before - it's so nice to have a place to put stuff!  And then he went to my daughter's house and fixed her toilet - what a guy!  He was a plumbing maniac this weekend!  I got a little bit of quilting done this weekend, though, to top off a pretty productive week.  Let's see how I did on my week from last Monday...

1.  Quilt the quilt for the man with throat cancer.
Done and delivered!  

2.  Pull tops for three men's quilts, border if needed, and 
prepare backs for them.
All three tops pulled, one quilted and delivered, one ready to go on the frame, one still needs borders and a back.

3.  Pull a top for a woman's quilt, border if needed, and 
prepare back for it.
Done and delivered!

4.  Quilt a top for a woman recently widowed.
Done and delivered!

And I have another woman's quilt on the frame - doing a little fancy quilting on it, which is taking longer, but it has been a learning experience, for sure!  I spent several hours Sunday afternoon trying out some new techniques....

So here's what's on the list for this week...

1.  Finish the woman's quilt that's on the frame.

2.  Quilt the blue and white man's quilt.

3.  Put borders on the Jacob's Ladder top, make a back, and quilt.

4.  Pull a couple of baby quilts for this week's newborns!

I'm headed to Paducah for the quilt show this weekend, so I think this is probably all I can get to this week.  And maybe not this much - but it's worth a shot!!

So - - - what are you working on this week???



Sunday, April 22, 2012

Hands2Help - Featuring Guest Blogger Miki Willa!

Hi, all!

Sunday again - and it's time for another guest blogger!!  Today we're welcoming Miki Willa, from Miki's Fabric Creations.  Miki and I have a lot in common - not only are we quilters and bloggers, but we each have granddaughters of very similar ages who love to help us quilt and create!  So without further ado, here's Miki!


Hi.  My name is Miki Willa, and I usually hang out over at Miki's Fabric Creations.  I am honored today to be able to share a quilt pattern I came up with for my H2H quilt last year.  I call it Bella's Stars, after my granddaughter.  I have used the pattern a couple of times, and have seen a quilt made by another quilt blogger after she asked me to send the pattern to her.  I goes together pretty easily and has two blocks.

This is the quilt I made for H2H last year.  With the borders, it was 60" x 60".

This is the second quilt I made from the pattern. I added sashing to this one because I thought the fabric patterns needed a little separation. It was a wedding present for my nephew, and the colors were selected just for them.  As you can see, the blocks are pretty basic, but the right colors can make this quilt look great.

This is the pattern I created for the red, white, and black quilt.  As you can see, I have included all the fabric requirements in the box on the right marked "needs."  For all you EQ7 users, this probably looks pretty primitive, but I do love my pencil and graph paper.  (This is probably because I have not tried EQ7.)  I have also included all the cutting measurements for the two blocks (counts are for one block each.  For the quilt I made, the cuttings for the star blocks and the square in a square blocks need to be multiplied by eight.)  I use the No Waste Flying Geese method for making my geese.  You can use any method you want, but if you want to try the NWFG method, I have a tutorial here.
For the centers of both blocks, start with a 3 1/2" square.  Sew the 2" by 3 1/2" strips to the tops and bottoms of this square.  Then, sew on the 2" by 6 1/2" pieces to the side.  I know this is counter to what we are taught, and you may certainly sew them in the opposite directions with the short pieces at the sides. I just liked the look this way.  I can be contrary that way.
I know this is probably a different sort of pattern tutorial than what you are used to, but I have seen what you are capable of, and I am sure this brief overview of my pattern will be all you need if you decided to make this quilt. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at mikiwilla at gmail dot com.
I am, as always, so impressed by the generosity of the quilting community.  It is so wonderful that you are all willing to give of your time and expertise to make quilts to comfort others.  Thank you, Sarah, for letting me be a small part of this years Hand 2 Help quilting project.


Thanks so much for sharing with us, Miki!  Your designs are aways inspiring and I know I want to try this one out really soon!!

Be sure to check back next week, when our guest blogger will be Amanda Jean of Crazy Mom Quilts!



Friday, April 20, 2012

Can I get a Whoop-Whoop?? My Friend's Quilt...

Hi, all!

It's Friday again - has your week been as busy as mine?  Seems like I've been standing at that quilting frame all week!!  But it's all good!!

Today I want to share a quilt that's only a little bit mine - my friend Robin created this beautiful quilt, choosing all the fabrics, piecing it, making the back and binding - all I did was quilt it.  So this is really her whoop whoop!!  Lots of gorgeous bright batiks, and I wish I knew the name of the pattern, because I really like it!  
Update: Robin says the name of this pattern is Fat Quarter Breeze from Best of Fons & Porter Easy Quilts
Robin made this quilt for the quilt ministry, so it will be bringing a lot of comfort and cheer to someone who needs it badly very soon.


So now it's your turn!

What have you been working on this week?

It doesn't have to be a finish - 
just something you're happy about!

Show it off!  We want to cheer!!

You have until Sunday night to link up....



Wednesday, April 18, 2012

What's Cookin' at The Sweatshop, Week #27 - Eye Candy Galore....

Hi, all!

Well, it's really been a sweatshop this week - we've got six quilts to share that have gone on to new homes!  

First up is a quilt that is going to a gentleman with cancer.  He likes blues, and this quilt worked up quickly with lots of blue scraps. The pattern is Amy Smart's Easy Bricks Quilt.  It really is easy and fast - great for a quilt you need in a hurry!

This beautiful quilt was pieced by Robin from a kit one of you wonderful readers sent to us (I wish I could remember who, but it's been a while - sorry!)  It is now winging its way to a woman who has been dealing with various cancers for a very long time.  

This gorgeous jelly roll quilt was pieced by Shirley, and is going to a friend of hers who recently lost her husband to spinal cancer.  

This very manly quilt was pieced by Debora, and is going to a gentleman with stage 3 throat cancer.

This fun quilt is going to a twelve year old girl with a very rare disease called EBA.  She likes bright colors - pink, lime, purple - and I love this very cheerful quilt, designed by Kate Conklin, called Whirly Garden.  Keep an eye on Kate's blog - the pattern will be coming out soon!!  (I had the good fortune of proof reading it for her...)

And this very pretty quilt was pieced by Pam S., a new quilt ministry member.  It went to a 16-year old girl with ovarian cancer who is facing a tough road ahead.  Although we didn't know it at the time, it turns out that lime green is one of her favorite colors (and that daisy border IS lime green, even though it doesn't look like it in this picture!)

So those are the six quilts we distributed this week.  Our constant prayer is that these quilts will bring comfort and hope to the recipients....


We're also looking forward to being in our new space at church in the very near future - such exciting times!!  Space to spread out projects.  Space for classes to teach quilting basics.  Space to learn to machine quilt on the mid-arm quilting frame we found this week!   I can't wait to show you what our new space looks like - - - soon!!



Monday, April 16, 2012

Make-A-List Monday #91! More Done Than I Thought...

Hi, all!

Monday's here again, and I was thinking I didn't get so much done on last week's list - then I ended up putting a quilt on the frame this afternoon and voila!  A good result!!  So let's take a look at last week's list....

1.  Make a "blues" quilt for a man with cancer.
Done!  This one will be delivered tomorrow...

2.  Make a bright quilt for a 12-year old with a rare disease.
Done!  Also to be delivered tomorrow...

3.  Quilt a top for a 16-year old with ovarian cancer.
Done!  This quilt is s-o-o-o-o soft...

And look at that backing - a great old piece of vintage
(36" wide) fabric - soft as butter!

4.  Quilt a top for a woman with cancer.
Almost done - quilted, and I'll bind it tomorrow morning
first thing!

5.  Quilt a top for a man with throat cancer.
I didn't have time to get to this one this week - 
but I hope to put it on the frame tomorrow.
One of my sewing sisters made a back for it
on Saturday so it's ready to go!

And I'd like you to meet some of my sewing sisters!!

Robin, cutting scraps, and Joyce, making a back...

Ann, ironing scraps...

...and Pam, Lori, Katy, Margaret, and Debora
working on various projects!!

So that's what I managed to get accomplished last week.  Much better than I thought I had done!!  And here's what's on the list for this week...

1.  Quilt the quilt for the man with throat cancer.

2.  Pull tops for three men's quilts, border if needed, and 
prepare backs for them.

3.  Pull a top for a woman's quilt, border if needed, and 
prepare back for it.

4.  Quilt a top for a woman recently widowed.

I'd love to get all these tops quilted this week but I'm not holding my breath.  If I get two of them quilted and the other four ready to quilt, I'll be a happy camper!!


One other thing I wanted to share with you - today I saw a church sign that really made me think.  It said...

Imagine what it would be like
if you woke up tomorrow 
and all you had
was what you thanked God for today.

What a wake-up call!  Really makes you think about cultivating an "attitude of gratitude", doesn't it?   Well, here's three things I'm really thankful for - this really makes me smile...  Push the play button and see if it doesn't make you smile too!!

So now - - - what are you working on this week?



Sunday, April 15, 2012

Hands2Help - Time to Check In!!

Hi, all!!

Sunday has rolled around again - and it's time to think about the Hands2Help challenge!!  So many of you have been talking about working on your H2H quilts - and I've even received one Canadian blogger's quilt for quilting!

So here's your chance to link up and show what you've been working on, or leave a comment telling everyone how it's going!  You can even link to an earlier post if you want....

I'll confess right now, I haven't started working on mine - I've been swamped with ministry quilt needs, so I've been negligent on the H2H front.   But I hope to correct that in the next week or so!


Now, though, I want to show you something gorgeous that I received in the mail last week....

Isn't that beautiful?  Quilt blogger, honorary quilt ministry member and fellow H2Her Sharon of Vrooman's Quilts pieced this gorgeous quilt, and then sent it to another H2Her, Sue of Sue Daurio's Quilting Adventures, for quilting!  Look at this beautiful piecing and quilting...

I have long admired Sharon's mad piecing skills, but I'd never had a chance to see Sue's quilting up close - and now that I have, I am so impressed!  I really want to be able to quilt like that someday!!  I took this quilt to church Wednesday night to show the ladies in my sewing group what "real" quilting looks like!!

This quilt now hangs in a place of honor in my house, in my dining room where we all meet to sew once a month, and proclaims to everyone who comes in my house, "A Quilter Lives Here!"  Thank you so much, Sharon and Sue - I am humbled and totally unworthy of this beautiful quilt, but I will cherish it forever!!!


OK  -  so now it's your turn.  Link up a blogpost or leave a comment telling how your H2H quilt is progressing!  Those of us who haven't even started yet want to know we're not alone, plus we want to see what everyone else is working on!!  You have until next Sunday, 4/22 to link up......

And be sure to check back next Sunday, when Miki Willa of Miki's Fabric Creations will be our guest blogger!!