2020 All Donation Quilts

“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.

Donation Quilts and Tops for 2020

Doing Good

2020 All Donation Blocks

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:

  • 4 blocks- March-16 patches
  • 8 (or so) plaid blocks from the plaid donation top


Even More Donation Quilting

Blue Improv Donation Quilt quilted
Blue Improv Donation Quilt quilted

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.

Blue Improv Donation Quilt quilted - detail
Blue Improv Donation Quilt quilted – detail

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 don’t know who he has to bind it.

More Donation Quilting

Purple Strip Donation Quilt - quilted
Purple Strip Donation Quilt – quilted

Tim sent me some photos on Saturday of the purple strip donation quilt I finished back in March of 2019.

I really like the skinny rectangle motif he used for the quilting. I think it echos the strips I used.

Purple Strip donation quilt quilted
Purple Strip donation quilt quilted

It took him awhile to quilt this. I think he was having a hard time getting inspired. I can understand. I blame the pandemic.

He’ll get someone to bind it or maybe I will next time I visit; we’ll see.

A Few More Donation Blocks

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.

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.

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.

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!