More Donation Blocks

I made more donation blocks before I started working on the Charming Donation Top.

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.

Charming Donation Top

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.

Charming Donation Top
Charming Donation Top

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.

Pinwheel Donation Top

 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.

Pinwheel Donation Quilt
Pinwheel Donation Quilt

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.

New Donation Blocks

9 donation blocks
9 donation blocks

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.

Blue Improv Donation Quilt

Blue Improv Donation Top finished
Blue Improv Donation Top finished

The Blue Improv quilt top that I thought I might turn into pillows for my SIL is back in the donation top pile.

I found a piece of fabric that I don’t have to piece for the backing. Less bulk will make the quilting easier.

The page with all of these Color Improv quilts has been updated as well. I was amazed to see that I have made 6 of these scrap improv donation tops!

16 Patch Plus Quilt

16 Patch Plus Quilt
16 Patch Plus Quilt

I was able to finish the top and back of one donation piece during the Retreat. This will be a small quilt, but the Community Giving team has an organization that makes boxes for new mothers. They want small quilts that fit in these boxes, so I don’t feel as bad about making a small quilt.

Peggy made a few of these with the 16 patch blocks I made earlier this year after seeing Cheryl Bricker’s quilts in the presentation at the meeting. I decided that I would make one as well since I had some 16 patches I had made and giving them to Peggy wouldn’t do much for her except add to what she had to store. This was a better option, though the blocks aren’t super cohesive.

I am thinking of making one of these with charm squares. It would go faster and be larger.

Weekend Traffic Jam

Traffic Jam #2 top
Traffic Jam #2 top

I finally got my act together and put Traffic Jam #2 together. Seeing Peggy churn out donation quilt after donation quilt at the Retreat really kicked me in the backside. I got the blocks out and just started sewing them together. I had to find fabrics for sashing, so I did that and eventually sewed it all together.

I have to make the back, but I can do that this week, then it will be ready to go.

Machine Quilting on Zoom

We had a guild meeting on Saturday. Our speaker was Christina Cameli. She is a machine quilter and I wasn’t that excited, but I really loved the presentation and her.

She had the guild send photos of several people’s quilts. People sent quilts where they needed help with the quilting. I was amazed and impressed with her suggestions.

I liked her because she was very calm and listened to the people engaged with her. The presentation seemed to be about the quilt and not about her. She used Adobe Draw to write/draw on the images. This was an effective way to show what she was thinking.

I really liked her suggestions for Gerre’s quilt. Christina asked what Gerre was thinking and what kind of quilting she enjoyed, such as FMQ, walking foot, straight line, etc. This is a quilt Gerre started in the Jen Carlton Bailly class. I love the bold prints she used. Christina suggested putting leaves and flowers in the curved pieces. I thought that was brilliant and Gerre liked the idea, too. I thought the idea was really innovative, but fit in with the spirit of the design.

Melinda R's scrapbuster quilt
Melinda R’s scrapbuster quilt

Melinda showed a scrapbuster quilt. Melinda talked a little about her thoughts. Christina shared that she felt like the brown vertical strips were bars and she suggested wavy lines to soften them. I thought the brown lines were quite dominant so this suggestion was a good idea. I couldn’t get over the thought that this was the back of a quilt and not the front. Of course, it isn’t my quilt, so my opinion means nothing.

Maria's Radiate quilt
Maria’s Radiate quilt

I am not sure how Maria felt about these suggestions. I am not a fan, though I think the vertical lines in the upper left are effective.

Pati's Graphic Black & White
Pati’s Graphic Black & White

Pati had a bold, graphic quilt to show. I thought the lines following the stair step piecing what what I would do. I really like the diagonal lines Christina suggested. They are unexpected, after seeing the stair step quilting, but fit in with the implied diagonal on the checkerboards.

Christina really thought outside of the box, but not in a weird way. The quilting designs she suggested were in line with what the quilt needed.Ii was very impressed.

You can find Christina on Instagram at @afewscraps.  I was impressed with the four books she has written, the multiple online classes and television demos before I knew she was also a nurse-midwife and the single mom of two kids. I am even more impressed with her now. Her books are:









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Blue Improv Good News -Bad News

Blue Improv Donation Top - Finished
Blue Improv Donation Top – Finished

The good news is that I have finished the Blue Improv donation top. The bad news is that it isn’t going to end up as a donation top.

My SIL came over on the weekend and when I showed her this top in progress, she examined it minutely. Then she said that if this were pillows, it would look great on her sofa. Why not? I really like this top and would love to see it  on a regular basis. I am going to make the top into pillows. They will be about 20×20. I was thinking of making 4 of them, but I may make two and have both sides be improv pieced.

I’ll have to make it up to the guild.

Most of the Traffic Jam #2

I have all of the Traffic Jam #2 blocks done. That doesn’t mean I am able to show you them all, but most are available for viewing. Somehow I am missing 5 of the blocks

Now I need to find some sashing fabric and put the top together. I think I’d like to try making one of these tops with a darker background. Not necessarily black, but with a color rather than just white.

First Catch All Caddy

This post should have really been the first one I wrote about the Catch All  Caddy class. I should have posted it before the Baseball Catch All Caddy post. I realized that my mom, to whom I planned to gift it, reads my blog and I wanted it to be a surprise.

Paint Tube Catch All Caddy
Paint Tube Catch All Caddy

As mentioned in the Baseball Catch All Caddy, this was the project from my first Zoom class and I really liked the pattern. Lynette taught the class and she did a great job. I was impressed with her overhead camera set up (she used her iPad on a tripod). I need to figure out that kind of setup for when I teach. Things take time.

I used the color scheme of the original, because I really like that slate grey. I used a Cotton Couture solid from Michael Miller. It was easy to work with, though I didn’t like the fact that the holes where the basting stitches had been showed even after I took them out.

Instead of making a scrappy border for the pocket, I used one piece of fabric. It is the paint tube fabric that goes with the set of bags and holders I am making for my mom. I was actually glad to add this one to the group, because I am running out of useful bags to make for her. She really liked t he bag and thought she might use it to carry a project between her recliner and her sewing room

Paint Tube Catch All Caddy
Paint Tube Catch All Caddy

The bag went together pretty easily, which was why I could make two in one day, though I did cut the fabric for this one the day before the class.

I kind of like the simplicity of the bag and the opportunity to highlight favorite fabrics or scraps on the pocket border. I was thinking that I could use ribbon as well. I have some of that Renaissance Ribbon and this project would be a good way to highlight some of it.

I had some trouble with the lining, but was able to fix it when I closed the turning hole. I don’t think Mom will mind.

Blue Improv Donation Top Progress

Blue Improv Donation Top in process
Blue Improv Donation Top in process

I made good  progress during the week on this top. It is a lot of sewing since the scraps are mostly pretty small. I have only gotten it up to 30×35 inches, which isn’t large enough for a baby quilt and on the small side of what I like to donate. I went through the scraps  on my cutting table (a big pile I really need to deal with) and found more blues. I am hoping I have enough to make one more 5 inch strip so the top will be 35×35 inches. I can think about whether to put a border on it after that.

Somehow the title of “My Mind on COVID” is the way I have started to think about this top. There is some cohesion because of the colors. Beyond that, the piece looks fairly chaotic. My mind isn’t chaotic all the time, but the unknown of the future does bring a sense of chaos to my mind.

Aside from getting a top out of the process, I am also doing a good job of cleaning out my blue scrap drawer I can see the bottom of it!

Blue Improv Donation Top Returns

Blue Improv Donation Top - early October 2020
Blue Improv Donation Top – early October 2020

After several weeks of not working on this project, I got back to it during the guild’s Community Quilt Sew Day on Saturday. The top is now 22.75 x 24.5.

I have some large chunks that I worked on which are not yet attached. Working on two donation tops at once is difficult. I don’t feel like I am making progress on either. I need to finish one up so I can focus on the other.

Traffic Jam Continues

Traffic Jam 2- Block #2
Traffic Jam 2- Block #2

I am feeling guilty about the Blue Improv Donation quilt, but somehow I can’t seem to get back to it. My reasoning for working on the Traffic Jam blocks is that I need to get rid of the 2.5″ squares that are preventing me from closing my bin of donation squares.

I’ll get back to the improv quilt eventually. In the meantime, I am using up squares from various Bonnie and Camille lines, mostly.

Traffic Jam 2- Block #3
Traffic Jam 2- Block #3

I have been making 4 patches and all of a sudden I am able to put several blocks together. I am going to make at least 9 of these blocks, but perhaps 16, to make a donation quilt. It depends on how many squares I have. I am already running out of red, so I may need to augment that stash a bit. My foot is healing so I may be able to climb upin my fabric closet again. We’ll see.

Traffic Jam #2

Traffic Jam 2- Block #1
Traffic Jam 2- Block #1

First, I started sewing more 16 patch donation blocks with the leftovers from the last Stepping Stones n.2 quilt I made last year. Then I looked at the two most recent 16-patch donation blocks I made and realized that the group of fabrics would make another great Traffic Jam donation quilt.

I made a number of 4 patches and just let them pile up. After awhile, as I was sewing other things, I finally started putting the blocks together. As I may have mentioned, Tim already quilted the last one and this is such a great pattern that I did want to do it again. I wasn’t planning to do it so soon, but here we are.

The leftover 2.5 inch squares from the Stepping Stones n.2 quilt plus some dots are looking fresh and bright. This will have to be another girl quilt, I think, as it doesn’t look very boyish.