I got back on the donation block bandwagon this month as I was finishing up the Ends n.14 (Typewriter) donation top. I didn’t make many, but every little bit helps, right?
I spent yesterday afternoon at the guild meeting. I went to drop off the Ends n.14 (Typewriter) top and back and the American Jane Plus donation top and back. I also needed to hand over the door prize.
The skills of the whole team are shown off here. Sue’s drawstring bag and Carrie’s little wallet are in evidence. So many people from the door prize team contributed to this bag that it warms my heart.
Lee Ann was the lucky winner this time and she was at the meeting, so no mailing required.
I may not have mentioned that I ripped out all of the Big Stitch quilting on this project. I am preparing it to go to Colleen.
To do so, I had to find some fabric for the binding. I wanted the main turquoise used for the background. I couldn’t find it anywhere.
I did find a slightly darker solid turquoise that I think will frame the piece better than the same color. I know the differentiation is hard to see, but I think you can see that the slight difference looks good for the binding.
I still haven’t done anything with the bits and bobs included by the others who worked on it.
I put the blocks I with Friend Julie’s backgrounds on the design wall so I could look at at them. I took them off, cut out the back and put the block on the ironing board to be pressed.
Half the blocks are Friend Julie‘s backgrounds and half are Adrienne’s. The top four rows are Adrienne’s backgrounds and Julie’s circles. The bottom four rows are Julie’s background and my circles.
I decided to look at them together as I moved Julie’s off the design wall. It turned out that I needed to put Adrienne’s blocks on the design wall to select the fabrics for the second round of circles.
I only had cut about 10 squares to make circles for Adrienne’s blocks. I thought I had cut all I needed, but I am glad I didn’t. I ended up looking at each block to decide what it needed.
My first thought was to lighten it up.
I have finished cutting out the circles and am now starting to pair the circles with the backgrounds. I hope to sew these this week in the evenings.
I didn’t really sit down and cut all of the circles at one time. Each time I had a break or a few minutes free I would cut 1 or 2. I finally completed the task a few minutes at a time over a few days.
The pressed cross is so I can line up the circles in the middle of the background. I prefer to line the circles up exactly even though this is a bit of an improv process.
Now I am not sure if I want to press the creased out then sew or just leave them in. I’ll have to press creases in again later, but I don’t want the creases to interfere with the sewing. I want the circles to be flat along the background.
I have sorted the ‘ready to sew’ backgrounds by the color of the circles. This is a selection of the blues. I want to match the thread color to the circle so it doesn’t show up much.
The other day I talked about completing my squares for Orange You Glad. Now I am on to cutting.
Mostly I grabbed handy fabrics and cut squares out of them, then folded and pressed them. I didn’t spend a ton of time deciding on whether a certain fabric would fit in with the orange. I did eliminate fabrics as I was choosing, if they were too close to orange and wouldn’t show up or were obviously not suited to the project. I also eliminated all browns, blacks, predominantly white fabrics and fabrics with too much white in them.
The paper template is a circle I made the right size by using a compass or a plate. I don’t remember as I had to use both for different sizes of circles we agreed upon for this project. The circle template is folded into quarters.
Friend Julie has some great photos of making the templates, using the templates and holding them in place in her blog post today.
Or maybe this is the second round?
I received Julie’s orange squares last week and have been diligently cutting the fabrics that I will applique’ to the top. I had many of them cut, but not all.
The background squares are 10″ and, during this round, we are supposed to applique’ an 8 inch circle to the top. I do this by first cutting 8.5 inch squares, then cutting a circle from the square.
I am using mostly cool colored fabrics, as you can see. I selected these from the stacks in my fabric closet, but may switch some out if I don’t like the way they look.
Looking at the fabrics I chose alongside Julie’s backgrounds has got my mind working on which to pair. I feel excited!
Friend Julie and Adrienne are, presumably, doing the same to my squares and Adrienne’s squares.
We have a month to applique’ the circles to the backgrounds. This is a fun project.
I thought the last bullseye I sewed with Julie and Adrienne was Passionate Purple. I looked back on my blog and found that the Original Bullseye was actually the last one that I finished. I am not sure when I started that one, but from my various blog posts, it sounds like I had stuck it somewhere and then found it again. The Original Bullseye was part of the project with Adrienne and Julie, but it was the kernel that started the whole Bullseye project.
We are now working on an orange bullseye. We will cut 48 squares of fabric at 10″ and then send them on to the next person, who will add a circle and send it on to the third person who will add another circle. Then the squares will come back to each of us. We will add another orange circle, cut the blocks into 4 and keep two. The other two quarters will be sent to each other.
Friend Julie has also started cutting and I think she landed on a good name, Orange You Glad. I have finished cutting my squares, but will press them so the centers are clear and to make it easier for my team members to line up their second circles. I cut my squares bigger so I can square them up, if necessary, later.
I also started cutting the small squares for the last round. I am getting ahead of myself, but I couldn’t help myself.
In order to find enough squares, I rummaged through my entire fabric closet. I found a lot of orange in random places and will take this opportunity to rearrange it.
I am considering the strip for the binding, though it isn’t quite the right color. I’ll have to see once the top is done.
Orange You Glad?
Cindy made an amazing Improv top during Sew Day also.
This one is super cheerful and I love the way she used those curved blocks.
I am always amazed at how different the Charity Sew Day quilts look.
Mary and I did finish the top at Sew Day. I brought it home to make a back and will be handing it in today at the meeting.
I am pleased with how this came out. The ugly bits we started with turned into a really great quilt. It isn’t made from the colors I would normally use, but I am pleased with the result.
I am also pleased with how many of the orphan blocks and chunks we were able to use up overall during Sew Day. Sadly, none of the shards I brought were used. There is always next time.
Mary wants to do another with me next time, which I think will be great fun.
Cathy went straight to work almost as soon as we arrived. She brought some of her Pointillist Palette chunks to work with.
I keep looking at this one and seeing different things.
It is great to see other people’s work in the quilts. Two of my donation blocks were included. Cathy also used Joelle’s word chunk from a previous swap.
I finished cutting out the Friesan pouch at Sew Day and had an hour until it was over. I could have left, but instead Mary C and I decided to work together to make another donation quilt top in an hour. It was a charity Sew Day after all and both of us had been working on our own projects.
We used some fabric from one of the first retreats that had been sewn together into a block of rectangles. It was not very attractive.
The first thing we did was to cut it in half and they cut the halves on the diagonal so we could insert some strips and break up the parts that were unattractive.
Mary C had some strips and strips sets leftover from a quilt she had just finished that we ransacked to make the improvements.
I selected some grey from the abundance of solids that Peggy has and we used that color to fill in other places.
Adding the seafoam green strips REALLY helped that rectangle go from unattractive to attractive. The addition also lightened up the piece.
To make the two halves large enough, we added the strip set and sewed the pieces together.
We decided we wanted to use the ‘bird’ blocks as well. They were mostly made from the same fabrics, so they fit in well. I had to build up the green block, which was not nearly square.
Mary sewed the brown bird into a large-ish chunk with the intention of putting on the bottom of the piece. I thought it came out well.
While she did that, I built up the green bird block into a shape we could use. The green strip along the bottom allows that darker green and orange section to float a bit which was a happy accident.
Eventually we ended up with several large chunks. We wanted to add those half circle pieces, which took a bit of time to work out.
In this endeavor, Mary did the sewing and some ironing while I trimmed, pressed, matched fabrics, cut strips and brought her stuff to sew. We had to make little bits to allow us to fit the chunks together. There is a freedom in this kind of improv quilt. I happily hacked off pieces of the blocks and chunks to make them fit.
We had a charity Sew Day on 4/2. Often Peggy will provide a pattern, but this time the activity centered around orphan blocks and chunks.
Maria had been collecting orphan blocks and chunks for awhile. The first thing she did when she arrived was start pinning them to the design wall.
Maria put up a random assortment of blocks and chunks and people took what they wanted and worked on donation tops.
As mentioned, I didn’t really want to do the activity, but others got right into it. Since I made the Missouri Star donation top and brought it, I didn’t feel guilty about it. Nobody said anything to me either.
After I finished cutting out the Friesan Pouch, I ended up working on a quilt with Mary C and found that it was a fun activity. I prefer to do these types of quilts with someone else.
I talked about this quilt after I put the design walls back up. I haven’t made all the colors in the rainbow for the Color Strip & Chunk donation quilts, but I have made several. I thought the rainbow quilt would be the crowning glory, but the reality is that I have a lot of stuff on my small design wall and I want it gone or finished. The blocks that were hanging around are now having their turn.
Over last weekend I starting making more strip blocks as I was working on the Cha3 table runner and the Missouri Star donation top. I made a couple of black blocks, the purple blocks you see and that one red-violet block. I am not working on more greys, thought I don’t know if I will need them. I need some green and yellow blocks as well.
I am still making a few of the regular guild donation blocks. I have started work on the next Color Strip Donation top to go with the others. The HST 9 Patch is made from leftovers from the HST Star quilt top. It is larger than the other blocks – 12.5×12.5 rather than 8×8. Peggy said she would do something with it.