Sunday, January 1, 2017

January Goals: Charity Quilts

Happy New Year!

Isn't it heavenly to start with a clean slate? 

Are you ready to do a fabric purge in your studio, 
and put it all to good use?

A whole year of new starts, and fresh eyes toward our future is a gift. We stand on this exact spot, but recognize the opportunity less than we would like to admit. Many times it simply becomes routine with the New-Year's-Resolution-Thing. This time is different. I've taken the entire month of December to dream about what I was seeking in 2018. Nope, that's not a typo. How can you plan the year at hand by not looking further down the pike? Do you ever just get in your car and drive around and around? No. We plan destinations, and we determine the best routes. Energy is in limited supply.

For 2017, I made a road map. I am starting off by doing some unconventional things in my search for joyful work. The first thing on my plate is giving. There are many ways for a quilter to give back, but I'm focusing on just one today.

I have a goal of completing 5 quilts this month for giving. I won't be trying for fancy because these are meant to be warm, utility quilts, but instead adding something to each one that makes it personal to the family that will receive it. Mennonite Central Committee ships these quilts around the world to areas in need. Syria and Iraq are big concerns. The recommended size is 60" x 80", but can vary. Contact me for more information about donating to MCC Relief, if you'd like. 

Scrap Management

Along with creative quilting for charity, I'm going to be working on scrap management. That means digging through all those places I've stashed my little pieces, cutting them to usable sizes, and either storing or putting them to use. In order to keep myself motivated, I've committed to blog every day the month of January. It might be a small post with a new pull of fabric or an idea for a lively composition, but I'll be here. I'll also be continuing with the 100 Canadian Women and Bonnie Hunter Mystery Quilt. Those are like dessert sewing to me!

If you're also working on charity quilts this month, leave me a comment so I am aware. I have promised to limit my computer and social media time this month to concentrate on this project. Finished quilts will be on Second Chance Quilts on Pinterest, and if you'd like to be added as a poster there let me know. I'll add you, and you will have the freedom to post there indefinitely.

Personal Thoughts and Guidelines

1. Finished sizes of 60" x 80" to 70" x 90" are ideal.

2. I'll use polyester batting here instead of cotton like I usually do. The poly dries faster if it gets wet, and many of these quilts are covering people in adverse weather conditions. I'm even wondering about the usefulness of polar fleece as the batting and backing combined.

3. Sturdy over beautiful. Use a full 1/4" seam or more.

4. Add a love tag. Even listing your state and the US is something to give people an idea where a quilt comes from.

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


Danice G said...

Your charity work is so wonderful. It feels good to give a quilt to someone in need, doesn't it? Scarp management, that is definitely something I intend to do in 2017. Happy New Year's :)

Kimberly Smith said...

You've chosen a wonderful way to start 2017. Locally we have a small 3-store shopping center run completely by/for MCC. There's Booksavers, Act II consignment, and World Treasures(?) fair trade shop. These are the only places I consign clothes and donate books. Our Plain Mennonite population here in Western Maryland/South Central Penn. is pretty large. I'd be interested to know what you learn about fleece as batting and/or backing. Share on your blog perhaps? Happy New Year, Julie!

Julie said...

You are so right, Danice! Giving is especially nice when you know what you're giving will make the person's life more tolerable. I love to give quilts, but sometimes have wondered if it will become just another thing for them to schlep with them in life. We all place different value on things, but when we give it to keep someone warm vs. lay on the back of their couch, it's two very different scenarios.

I also feel squeezed by having too much fabric sitting there waiting for its destiny. I want it to get out there, and have a life.

Happy New Year to you, too.

Stitchin At Home said...

A great way to start 2017 Julie. I try to organize my scraps as I finish each project, notice I said try. I started going through and cutting and arranging yesterday.

Mary Huey said...

Reading lots of "starting 2017" posts this weekend and taking inspiration from them all! Wish I could quilt as fast as I can piece?!?! Happy New Year, Julie.

The Colorful Fabriholic said...

I've used fleece as batting/backing on a child-size donation quilt and it worked pretty well. With no other batting, the result was soft and drapey and very cuddly. I quilted it using a walking foot on my domestic machine, and I think the fleece shifted and stretched a bit during the quilting. Pin-basting closer together would have helped, or spray basting.

Kate said...

Good luck with your charity sewing this month. Stash management is a complex challenge, good luck on that front as well. I'll be curious to see what strategies you develop and implement.

tink's mom said...

My 2017 list has several Charity quilting and non quilting projects on it. Currently making a quilt for Honor Flight and Para cord bracelets for Operation Shoe Box. Both are ongoing projects for the entire year. Your goals are admirable. I'll be following your progress.

Rebecca Grace said...

Happy New Year, Julie! I think the charity quilts are a great way to start off the new year. I'd love to hear more about your two-year goal setting. It's much more fruitful to look forward than to wring our hands over what was left unfinished in 2016.

Angie in SoCal said...

I make baby quilt tops every month for our Church group who turn them into quilts. You will be blessed for giving. Off to work on the latest one. Happy New Year, Julie.

Sharon - IN said...

Love your road map idea. That will make reaching your 'destinations' more achievable. Kudos to you for all the charity work!