Monday, January 23, 2017

A Lesson In Value & Fabric Choice and a Hop

Using Value to Create Brilliant Blocks

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Fabric Challenges: Charity Quilts Day 19

"There's No Such Thing As Ugly Fabric"

Has anyone ever told you this? And did you believe them? Well, I beg to differ. I'm usually attracted to the one-offs, and not what everyone else likes, and I'm okay with that. We all have personal tastes toward color and pattern, and all it takes is looking at your own stash if you don't believe it.  For me, I am attracted to both stripes and flowers. Put them together in a 1960's-1970's print, and I am over the moon! Isn't it just gorgeous?!

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Packing Charity Quilts for Shipment: Day 17

Do you remember me telling you the MCC Connections Store and warehouse was like a well oiled machine? Well, a machine is only as good as its parts, and today I have another example. Two brothers team up to make sure the donated comforters that arrive in the warehouse are properly packed for shipment around the world. I stuck with them from start to finish, and so can you to see how it's managed.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Accidental Volunteer: Charity Quilts Day 16

Simple, Yet Spectacular!

I made a trip back up to the MCC Connections Thrift Store and quilting room in Kidron, Ohio today. I went to ask a long list of questions related to charity quilting, and one person who could answer most of them was there working today. Not wanting to waste her valuable work time, I tried to help along side while she explained things.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

15 Stars 'Til Midnight Done: Day 14

"15 Stars 'Til Midnight"

Kids have the best sayings. They mix up parts of speech, and combine sayings. Several of ours were genius at it, and this would be something they would come up with. 

It's together at last, and measuring 72" x 91". Again, winter light makes for poor picture quality, but let's just say the dark blue borders gave this quilt new life. It was a pale gal without them.

Another one done, and ready for quilting.

Come on, Doxie girls.
Let's go sew.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Free Easy Charity Quilt Pattern : Day 13

Close Up of Variation of a Nine Patch
"The Houses On Cherry Ridge"

Our kitchen table has been covered in these fabrics for a few days. I cut and sewed, cut and sewed all day. These are all fabrics donated to me this week, and I've added a few more from my own charity pile. My goal was to take a chunk out of the pile while testing out some new ways to configure a nine patch. This one is simple to cut, and simple to sew.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Follow the Charity Quilt Process, Part I: Day 12

Comforters Made by Serging

This past week I popped up to the Mennonite Christian Committee's Connections Thrift Store in Kidron, Ohio. To say it is an impressive operation is an understatement. More than 300 volunteers rotate through the month to assist in the many ongoing projects housed there besides the thrift store. Many help daily. The back of the store where donations were being sorted was teeming with people when I arrived. There were departments for electronics, books, clothing, shoes, furniture, home goods, plants, decorations, toys, sewing machines, and on and on. It was a cross between a small city and Santa's workshop, and everyone was genuinely glad to be there. 

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

A Two Top Finish: Day 11

Scrappy Trips Around the World
& Effy Helps

The past two days have been icy with both periods of snow and rain. If you didn't have to go out, you didn't. I stayed in as much as I could and finished tops. I also started another quilt or two, and have been piecing in front of the t.v. The dogs have been good company, but muddy feet and quilt tops do not mix. Effy sneaked onto the quilt as I stood on a stool to snap this shot. Thankfully she was clean. Around here we always say, "Effy helps." She's always there in the middle when you want to do something. 

Sorting Cottons from Man Made Fibers: The Fire Test Day 10

Unknown Fiber Contents:
Fabric Samples Above and Below

I've gotten some fabric donations, and like all the rest it went through a wash and dry cycle. It helps me to know fiber content before using the fabric, and paying attention to it during this process gives me clues.

Shake out a piece of polyester or nylon blend fabric from your washer, and it smooths fairly quickly. Cotton tends to stay bunched together, and usually has more wrinkles.

Pulling it out of the dryer is an even bigger clue because man made fibers tend to have fewer wrinkles. Notice I said tend because that's not always the whole story. Some cottons are treated with chemicals that make them wrinkle far less now. It's just hard to tell so sometimes I do a burn test to know for sure.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Herding and Bordering Flying Geese:Day 9

Rows of Geese
I made these flying geese with a method that produces bias edges on all sides of the original HST. Check it out HERE. After turning them into flying geese strips, I was left with just a bias edge on each outside edge. These will all be bordered with fabric so it won't be a problem. 

Sunday, January 8, 2017

The Cost of Charity Quilts: Day 8

I believe most quilters are free of heart and hand, and love the quilting experience along with the actual quilt. When we are hungry, we are reminded of those who have no food. When we are cold, of those who cannot get warm. We want other people to have at least the basic things we ourselves appreciate, but all families struggle themselves at one time or another. Let's talk about ways to keep the cost of giving quilts at a reasonable level.