Sunday, April 23, 2017

Hands2Help - Time for Guest Blogger Kat!!

Hi, all!

It's Sunday, and time for us to welcome another guest blogger for the Hands2Help Challenge!  This week, we will be hearing from Kat Drinkwater, who blogs at Kat & Cat Quilts.  Kat runs one of last year's H2H charities, Covered in Love, and she's going to tell us about her experience with Hands2Help.  I can't wait for you to hear from her, so I'll let you get right to her part - but be sure to stick around all the way to the end of the post to see some of the results of this year's Challenge!!

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Hello! My name is Kat and I run Covered in Love which was one of the charities fortunate enough to benefit from the H2H drive last year.  I wanted to let you know what a blessing H2H was for us and encourage you to keep sewing on your quilts for this year!


To give you just a little bit of background, I started CiL 2 years ago to benefit patients in the hospital where I work.  Our mission is to give quilts to patients who are dying or have died in the hospital to warm up the room and so the families can take them home as a keepsake.  To date over 150 quilts have been given out! 


Quilters from all over the world contribute to CiL, mostly through the block drives hosted on my blog.  I am a full-time Nurse Practitioner student, part-time nurse, and do the majority of the quilting for CiL myself, all of which can get exhausting as you can imagine!  I can't tell you what a relief it was during H2H to get so many quilts that only needed a label to be done!

Quilting Assistant #1
Prior to H2H last year we had been getting by with just enough quilts. As soon as I got them done they were up to the hospital and given away. The 50 quilts we got during last year's H2H drive put us ahead for the first time, and we've stayed ahead ever since!


The infusion of new, completed quilts from quilters like yourselves can give a huge morale boost to a little charity like mine, besides of course allowing us to reach more people.  So keep on sewing as H2H wraps up :)  I got some late quilts last year that missed the H2H deadline, but even if it comes in December you can bet we'll still be glad to see it!


PS - I know Sarah has some link ups here during H2H for you to show off your progress.  I wanted to let you know that I also have a linky every Wednesday for charity related sewing, if you want to link up!

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It makes my heart sing to hear that H2H had a lasting effect on Kat's ministry - I know from personal experience what a relief it is to have quilts ready to go when there is a need, instead of having to finish one in a hurry.  See what you have done?  You guys rock!  

And today I heard from Amanda Kelly, who runs Stash Builder Box, which is the conduit for our donations to Camp Hobe this year.  She sent me this picture.....


...which was what she picked up from her post office box this morning.  She said it was mostly H2H donations...


And these are just some of the quilts they received today!  She says they have a stack of ten already.   In her words, "Camp Hobe is going to have some happy campers come June!"  

Look what you have done!  I am so proud of all of you!!!  You are making a huge difference in the lives of so many - keep up the good work!!

Hugs!

Sarah

Friday, April 21, 2017

Can I Get A Whoop Whoop? A Hidden Gem...

Hi, all!

Friday is here once again, and that means it's time to get our whoop whoop on!  Are you ready?  Let's start!


This week, I've been in Perdido Key, which is near Pensacola, and I found a hidden gem here (thanks to Jan, the Colorful Fabriholic!)  that I want to share with you.  I set out on a F.A.R.T. (fabric acquisition road trip) and came across this...


...in front of a little strip center in Pensacola.  My husband was skeptical, but we stopped and headed through this door...



...and this is what I saw - your typical local mom-and-pop pharmacy.... 


...but then I turned to my left and oh what a surprise!


Crafty stuff!!!  And then entering in that side of the store, there was MORE!!!


Fabric...


... more fabric...


...LOTS more fabric...


...and quilt hanging from the ceiling!!!

The ladies who worked there said that they have over 10,000 bolts of fabric, and I believe them - everywhere I turned, there was more beautiful fabric!!  You can read more about the shop here.


And even though I need more fabric like I need a hole in the head, I did pick up some basic staples - natural colored Essex linen, a taupe Quilter's Linen, and that great black and white cross-hatch fabric - that I had run out of at home.  I could have spent hours in this store, but thankfully for my budget, my husband was with me and I kept my visit short.  But I guarantee you, this will be a shop I return to every time we come here for vacation!

The staff was awesome - friendly, helpful, and they even offered a discount to guild members!   Definitely a place you should check out if you are ever in the neighborhood.


And I've been doing some sewing this week, too - take a look at these oh-so-cute churn dash blocks I made Thursday!  And I say cute, because they are only 3" finished - so tiny!  I've still got more of these to make, but it's a start.  This will be part of my Long Time Gone quilt - pattern by Jen Kingwell.

So - - - can I get a whoop whoop?

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And now it's your turn!

What's got you whooping it up this week?


What's making you do a little happy dance?

Share - we want to dance right along with you -
And it's always more fun to dance with friends!

The party will stay open util Sunday midnight - 

Hope to see you there!

Hugs!

Sarah



Wednesday, April 19, 2017

I May Have A Scrap Problem... A Trip Around the World, and a Technique Tutorial

Hi, all!

I almost lost track of my days this week - being at the beach has that effect on me - but as I was working on a block for my Long Time Gone quilt this evening, I remembered that I needed to write a blogpost!  So here I am!  And I actually have something to share - hooray!!

First of all, here is the next block I have made for my Long Time Gone quilt...


This is the Trip Around The World block, and it is made with 169 (!) 1.5" squares.  Normally I would find all that piecing a very daunting task - I have a short attention span (can you say SQUIRREL??) and don't like little fiddly piecing - but I have a technique to share with you that made this block pretty nearly easy peasy!!  Here's the tutorial I wrote for the Sweet Sixteen quilt-along two years ago - I'll show you some of my progress shot after the tutorial.

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If you're working with small patches - say 1.5" squares - this is a handy way to make your blocks! Take a very lightweight fusible interfacing, and draw a grid on it, 16 squares in the size of your fabric squares.  Cut out a 16-patch unit of the interfacing. 


Lay your patches out on the fusible side. Press them down with a hot iron to fuse them to the interfacing.


Now flip the piece over and fold right sides together on the line you drew.  Press it down.  Stitch 1/4" from the edge. 


Do the same for all three lines running the same direction.  Take a small sharp pair of scissors and cut the seams open. Press them open.


Turn the piece and repeat the process for the crossing lines.  Cut open the seams and press them open.


Flip it over and press again.  Voila! You've got a cute little 16-patch block in about half the time of sewing all those tiny pieces together!


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Here is what my Trip Around the World block looked like before sewing, but after it was fused to the interfacing...



...and here's what it looked like on the back after the seams were sewn and pressed open.


Now I have a feeling (because I've heard it from several people) that you're saying your piece would never look as good as this one. I am here to tell you - you cannot have a mismatched seam using this technique, because you're not matching seams!  But they will come out perfectly every time.  Give it a try with a small piece and you'll see.

This is a great technique to use up those smallest of scraps, and to use up scraps of interfacing too!  Add it to your bag of tricks today!

Be sure to link up and share your scrappy progress, whether on your own Long Time Gone quilt or working with your scraps in another way!  Inspiration is everywhere!!

Hugs!

Sarah


Monday, April 17, 2017

Make-A-List Monday - Sunny Days!!

Hi, all!

Monday has arrived, and I'm happy to say I am at THE BEACH!!


Isn't that gorgeous? That was my view this morning - a little cool when the sun went behind a cloud, but otherwise just perfect.  So I won't have a to-do list this week, but I did want to share about last weeks' list.  So here's how it went...


1.  Photograph and mail three quilts for the quilt ministry.
Done!  

2.  Make a slab block and write a tutorial for Wednesday's blogpost.
Done!  Here's the block, and you can find the tutorial here.


3.  Put together kits for a couple more of the Long Time Gone blocks.
Done!  I've got the next two kits ready for sewing this week.

4.  Continue (and maybe finish?) the repairs on the vintage quilt.
Continued and FINISHED!!  You can read more about it on this post - there's even some info on how I did the repairs.


5.  Pull together all the supplies needed for vacation sewing!
Done! I'm all set up and I've even done a little bit of sewing - beach sewing is the best!!

6.  Finish (quilt and/or bind) some quilts to restock the quilt ministry stock.
Done!  We gave away so many last week that our stock was really depleted, so I spent a day before vacation finishing off some quilts.


7.  Keep up with any quilt ministry needs that come up.
It was a quiet week last week - good thing, because we gave away most of our stock the week before! No quilts went out last week.

So that was my week - I'm really glad I got everything done!!  And I will be working on a few things this week, but without any pressure - if they don't get done, no worries!  But here's what I'll be working on...

1.  Write a blogpost and tutorial for Wednesday's Scrap Problem post.

2.  Work on two more blocks for the Long Time Gone quilt.

3.  Work on the quilt top and tutorial for this year's 12 Days of Christmas in July quilt-along.

In between sitting in the sun with my toes in the sand, eating lots of seafood, and lots of other fun vacation-y things, I'll be working on some of these things.  I love bringing my machine to the beach - it's a fun thing to do in the downtimes!

So now, the question is - - - what are YOU working on this week?

Hugs!

Sarah
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Sunday, April 16, 2017

Hands2Help - Meet Carole, and Time to Check In!


Hi, all!

Welcome back to another week of Hands2Help festivities!  In addition to our guest blogger, there is a link-up party at the end of this post where you can link up and share your progress - even if all you have to share is a fabric pull or a pattern you've chosen!  Join in the fun and cheer on your fellow H2Hers!

And now I want to introduce today's guest blogger - Carole, who blogs at From My Carolina Home!  I love her blog, not only for the great quilt-y stuff she shares, but also because she posts pictures of her beautiful home state, which is also my original home state.  I may be a beach person but the Carolina mountains have a special place in my heart!  So without further ado, here's Carole's post!!

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Thank you, Sarah!  I am delighted to be a guest blogger for your readers today.   I'm Carole, and my blog is From My Carolina Home.  I blog mostly about quilting and sewing, but there are a generous number of other subjects too, like recipes to wool applique, and mountain living to gardening.  Today I want to share a technique for using your orphan blocks.  I am currently doing the Be My Neighbor quilt, and the first block was a lovely house with a tree. I pulled stash scraps and made the block in my traditional way, then decided to go a different direction for the colors. So, now I have this orphan block. It is 18-1/2 inches square, a good size to be the center of a quilt.

Orphan Block Quilt ~ From My Carolina Home


I also had this really cute fabric that I originally thought could be a backing.  The red color in it went great with the house, so it became the border fabric as I needed the quilt to be bigger.

Orphan Block Quilt ~ From My Carolina Home


So, using the cute apple farm fabric as my color inspiration, I pulled red and turquoise fabrics from stash for squares. I cut the squares 6-1/2 inches to perfectly fit the house and placed them around the edge in a pleasing pattern.

Orphan Block Quilt ~ From My Carolina Home


Next I added two bars of fabric at the top and bottom, one red background and one lighter with a red alphabet print, to make the quilt longer.  Both bars are 5 inches wide. The entire quilt was then bordered with the cute apple farm print about 6-1/2 inches wide.

Orphan Block Quilt ~ From My Carolina Home

Quilted and bound in red, it is ready to send for the Hands2Help event.  I'll be showing more details on the quilting of this quilt on my blog tomorrow.

Orphan Block Quilt ~ From My Carolina Home

If you have any orphan blocks, just look for some coordinating fabric and you can have a fast and easy quilt. This quilt didn't have a plan really, I just kept building on what was there. If your orphan block is 12-1/2 inches, cut your squares 4-1/2 inches to put three on each side, or smaller for more squares. This could eat up some charm squares too, if you enlarge a 12-1/2-inch center with sashing to make the it 14-inches.  Then three 5-inch charm squares will fit on each side (minus 1 inch for seam allowances - 1/4-inch x 4), with one more in each corner.  Keep adding borders until the quilt is the size you need.  The only limit is your imagination! This one finished at 42 x 61 and will go to Quilty Hugs for Happy Chemo as she is accepting just about any size.

Charity quilting is so important, letting those going through a rough patch know that someone does care is priceless.  Thank you, Sarah, for putting together this wonderful way to help someone smile and have a quilty hug.

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That is such a fun quilt, and what a great way to use an orphan block!  We are blessed with an abundance of orphan blocks in our quilt ministry, donated by quilters who created them and either decided they didn't want to make enough for a whole quilt, or had some left over from a project.  We've made groups of them into large quilts...


...but I've not seen a tutorial before for using one large block and building a whole quilt around it!  This is so cute, and a great way to make quick children's quilts. Thanks for sharing, Carole!

Now it's your turn to share!  Link up below and share your progress on your H2H quilt(s) - but be sure to remember that you'll also want to link up in the final linky starting on May 21st!  That's the one that we'll draw for prizes from.  

Hugs!

Sarah



Friday, April 14, 2017

Can I Get A Whoop Whoop? Vintage Restored!

Hi, all!

Wow, that week went fast - - - and here it is, Friday again!  And you know what that means - it's time for us to get our whoop whoop on!!!  Let's get started!!

As you read this, I'm headed down south for a lovely week at the beach with my husband - sunshine, sand, and nothing "required" to do!  Of course I'm taking my sewing machine (because a day without sewing is like a day without sunshine!) but spending a lot of time with my toes in the sand will be the number one order of the day.  So I'm DEFINITELY whooping it up!!

But I also had a finish this week.....


This lovely old vintage quilt was in terrible shape when it came into my hands!  It was so bad I didn't dare hang it up to take a picture, as some of the blocks were gaping open, with dangling wadding leaking out.  So trust me when I say it really needed help! But it's such a lovely example, it would have been a shame to junk it.  The gentleman who asked me to repair it said that it had been made by his mother sometime around the turn of the (20th) century.  It's unusual to see such a well-planned quilt of that age - there is some scrappiness to this quilt, but all the background pieces are the same two fabrics, which I don't see too often in really old quilts.


You can see in this picture the state of the underlying block.  I dug pieces out of my stash that would work with the age and coloring of the quilt and hand-stitched patches directly over the badly damaged spots.


Meet my new best friend!  I've had a tailor's ham for many years now, but it hasn't gotten much use until now.  It was very useful for giving me something to pin my patches onto as I repaired the damaged blocks, since most of them were towards the center of the quilt, making them difficult to reach with my hand underneath.  The square directly above the tailor's ham is one I repaired.

Many of the light background pieces, and a few of the bow tie blocks, were showing wear - tiny holes or worn spots that weren't really bad enough to replace, but would only get worse with time.  Those I fixed with an overlay technique, using bridal illusion (the fine netting they use for wedding veils) and stitching it down by machine in the ditch of the patchwork.  Here you can see it pinned to the patch...


After stitching all around the block, I trimmed the excess netting away using my Kai curved blade scissors.  I love those scissors - sharp as can be, and the curve helped prevent cutting the quilt by mistake!


And here's the finished repair.  The bridal illusion mostly fades into the background, but it will protect the patchwork piece from further wear and tear.  When you have many matching pieces in a quilt that need minor repair and it would be difficult to match it for replacement, this is a great way to protect the pieces.  I probably wouldn't recommend washing this quilt (I wouldn't have recommended it before the repair either) but for display purposes, these repairs will protect the quilt and allow it to be handled safely!


So that's what I'm happy dancing about this week!  Can I get a whoop whoop??

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And now it's your turn!

What's got you whooping it up?


What's making you do a little happy dance?

Share!  We want to dance with you -
And it's always more fun to dance with friends!

The party will stay open until Sunday midnight.

Hope to see you there!!

Hugs!

Sarah