Last Saturday was the first guild meeting of the year. Traditionally, we have given the officers appreciation gifts at this meeting. COVID-19 or no COVID-19, 2021 was no exception.
Mary C was kind enough to be the drop-off point. Her house is more centrally located in the county than mine and she has a good porch. With county rules on sheltering-in-place and ‘travel’ because of COVID-19, this year was a little harder to organize. People had to mail their gifts, or drop them off, as allowed. Also, I tried to be sensitive about costs and encouraged people to write notes instead of buying a gift. I also offered up notepaper, etc for people who were really struggling.
Last week I went over to Mary C’s house and we assembled the bags, physically distancing and wearing masks. Mary C has a wonderful backyard and I am always happy to spend time there.
Members of the guild came through magnificently! A few members made bags so we could contain the other gifts. I couldn’t believe the effort that people took with the small gifts. If last year was good, this year was better. We got an amazing array of gifts. I don’t know how we will match it next year.
Mary C went out at the last moment and got the gift bags (large pink bag in the above photo) so we could ‘wrap’ them. We had to drop the bags off at officer’s houses and we wanted it to be less easy for them to peek before the meeting.
Lots of zipper bags, but also supplies like needles, Iron Off, and Quilt Soap. Embellishments, gift cards and fabric were also in evidence.
I was so pleased and the officers were very happy. It wasn’t as good as doing the whole thing in person. however, it meant we got to spend more time organizing the bags so they looked pretty.
Yesterday was the first time we gave a door prize in 2021. The bag isn’t as full as some were last year, but we are trying to tone them down a bit.
Tim made the bag. SueG made the zipper pouch. Carrie made the coasters, pattern weights and the thread catcher (not shown). The other items were all donations one way or another. I enjoy the team effort.
Earlier this week, I received a big box of items from Carrie. She made coasters, pattern weights and thread catchers for all of the months of this year. She did the work in record time without any fuss! It was fabulous.
Once I got all of Carrie’s contributions, I decided to organize the offerings. I got everything out of the bag and laid it all out. I put as much as I could into SueG’s zipper pouch. Not everything would fit, so I put each month’s gifts temporarily into a plastic zipper bag until I get more containers for the months.
DH, apparently, has an Altoids habit. I had no idea until he came home and started to work remotely. I asked him to save me a couple of tins and suddenly I had 8 to work with. I wanted to make small sewing kits for the guild officers. I looked for tutorials. The one I liked was DIY Felt Magnet. It turned out, however, that I mostly fumbled along on my own during Craft Nights. Check back in a few days for a tutorial of my own.
One key was letting everything dry thoroughly after I glued it.
I am pretty pleased with the way the sewing kits came out. I would have done some things differently if I had known, but I didn’t.
I am particularly pleased with the WonderClips** band. I think that is genius. I know I am tooting my own horn and I don’t want you to think I have a big head, but I was trying to think of a solution for storing some WonderClips along the lines of the clippy pocket I made for the UCAB. I wonder if I can sew some bands and add those instead of going through all of the Clippy pocket steps?
The other thing I realized was that I could use the bias tape makers to make almost perfect trim by cutting fabric on the straight of the grain and applying it like trim. There was no messing around with the iron, trying to get the trim straight. No burned fingers or frustration. Those bias tape makers** are fun to use and I am finding them to be more and more helpful.
I delivered these on Wednesday when Mary and I put the Officer Appreciation gift bags together.
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“Sometimes the world’s problems are so big we think we can do little to help. On our own we cannot end wars or wipe out injustice, but the cumulative impact of thousands of small acts of goodness can be bigger than we imagine.”Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II
This year I contributed something positive to the world.
Like last year, I still have in the back of my mind that I would like to make 30 donation blocks per month-360 in a year. This year’s achievement is 124 blocks. I feel like I have made a good effort even if I haven’t quite achieved my goal.
I didn’t take photos of all of the donation blocks I made:
Surprisingly, I have more donation quilting to show. Tim is on a roll and, the other night, sent me a photo of the finished quilting on the Blue Improv quilt.
With the Purple Strip donation quilt, this one makes two this week! I am thrilled for a couple of reasons: 1) I have something to write about and some donation quilts about which to feel good and 2) I haven’t been working on any donation anything so these finishes are a bonus.
Tim quilted swirls into the top. The quilting is hard to see with everything going on with the piecing. He sent me this detail and it looks good, which is no surprise.
I haven’t been working on donation blocks lately, for the most part, but I have made a few.
For the moment, these are earmarked for the quilt I plan to make with a bunch of different colors of strip blocks. I may have mentioned it before, but I don’t remember. I had a few leftover blocks from the other Color Strip projects, so I thought a multi-colored quilt would be a good idea. I am collecting blocks right now as I make the other donation quilts. I have a ways to go before I can put a quilt together. I haven’t done pink or yellow and and I have more green scraps so I can make some green blocks.
I participated in the swap that was part of the guild year end party. Sadly, I can’t show all the gifts because we were all on Zoom, but I can show my gift. Of course, you saw the gift I made, the Oslo Tote, earlier this week.
I received a tea cosy.
As you can see the colors are perfect for me. They mimic the colors of my Aqua-Red Sampler. Some of the fabrics are even the same.
The front has a little pocket. I don’t what I could put in there aside from tea, but I’ll think about it.
Cyndi made it (it was a one-on-one swap, which I didn’t know until I received my gift) and she did a great job. Of course, I asked for turquoise and red, but she chose great fabrics in those colors.
Swaps are fun way to challenge myself. I am not often up for such a project, but I try and participate in swaps the guild sponsors.
I joined the most recent guild swap and made an Oslo Craft Bag for Cyndi. She said she wanted any kind of tote bag. I was on the fence about this bag as it doesn’t strike me as a straight tote bag.
A few years ago I wrote about this bag and have been wanting to make one ever since. This was a great opportunity. I put a note in the bag that I would make her a real tote if this wasn’t what she was expecting. I thought about making her a Multi-tasker tote as well, but lost steam and didn’t get to it. I kind of want to make her a Superbloom tote as well.
This bag went together with no problems. I thought the pockets with the yellow binding were a little too fussy. However, I like it that they have dimension. I don’t know if I would make them the same way again, but I like to make the pattern as is the first time, as you know.
I saw another version in the Facebook group (a good use of FB, IMO) where the maker put two pockets like the top photo shows, but put a second mesh pocket over the first. I am thinking about making another one and I might do that. I like mesh for some reason, though I am not sure what it is good for in terms of storing sewing items.
I was disappointed in the interior. Not the design, but the saggy-bagginess of it. The seam allowance was 1/2 inch, which I thought meant that Sara had included enough to take up some of the lining so it wouldn’t sag. No such luck. The exterior was sewn with a 1/2 inch seam allowance as well. I tried a few things to make the lining fit better. Short of taking the whole thing apart, none of my efforts worked.
It is a nice rectangular bag and I think it would be useful for various tasks including bringing things to Sew Day. We’ll see what Cyndi thinks.
I am pretty pleased with the colors. I decided that I would try to use the donation blocks in a quilt top. The guild is still keeping up with making quilts, but moving them between people is harder and giving out packages of blocks isn’t working very well. It is easier for the Community Giving team to provide a quilt to be quilted. We’ll see how this works.
Yes, I have been working on a lot of donation tops lately. That is how it goes during the piecing of Fabric of the Year quilts. 1) there is a lot of piecing; 2) I have to keep the pieces in order and subtle changes in color are not always obvious in the wrong place until the whole thing is sewn together and 3) I can’t not sew with leaders and enders. Not using leaders and enders just seems wrong. Thus, I have made a few donation quilts.
This donation top is an offshoot of a pattern Peggy modified, the Plus quilt.I made one using our standard postage stamp donation blocks and wasn’t super excited. Someone will like it, but I wanted to modify it.
I wanted to make the top a little bigger, so I used charm squares to make up the plus instead of the blocks. I don’t think it really worked the way I intended. I only gained an inch on each side. That is why I added the borders. Not very modern of me, I know, but someone will like it.
It also went together very quickly. I made the whole thing in a few hours, which is always a bonus.
That Nicey Jane fabric (with the giant dots) was laying around bugging me. I am glad it will go to a good home.
I saw a pinwheel quilt. Since I am trying to teach my students about block structure, I showed them this quilt. I was trying to make the point that they had the skills to make it.
I was amazed when one of them came up with a method of making the quilt that was completely different than what I was thinking. She was thinking QSTs and I was thinking Flying Geese. I was so impressed that she was really thinking about how to make it. It validated that I was getting through.
I decided to make the quilt her way – using QSTs – to see what I thought. I ended up thinking there too many seams and think I will try the pattern using Flying Geese. Still! I am just excited that a skill I think is really valuable is getting through.
I made the back also, but don’t think I took a picture and the whole package is off to the Community Quilt chair for quilting, etc.
While I began sewing FOTY 2019, I used some 2.5 inch squares as leaders and enders.
I realized as I was making them, that there is no rhyme or reason to the color scheme. I don’t have enough of one color to really do anything with the blocks.
The problem is also that making blocks when people can’t get a set at the meeting doesn’t help Peggy with Community Giving.
Looking at them now, I could make another 16 Patch Plus quilt top like I made for Peggy last weekend. I could use the black blocks for the outer legs of the Plus and a red one for the center block. The 16 Patch Plus tops turn out so small, though, and I really prefer making larger quilts.