Thursday, March 25, 2021

Appreciation, help and friendship

      One of the hardest things this past year has been the lack of being with friends and family. Fear was mass communicated to keep us "safe" and locked down. People have not fared real well with this strongarmed message. Some have cut off all connections, watch news nonstop and review the numbers every day. I feel I lost them. Others will not get together even outdoors, distanced. 

     I am grateful I have this blog to communicate with dear people that I have not met or met briefly and they are willing to keep in touch. I have sent many cards, got my guild on Zoom, and read and respond to emails everyday, just grateful for those people I know.

    I have had a huge number of request for comfort quilts, especially for cancer patients- some unknown to me and some close friends and relatives, in the past three months especially. I feel I can do so little for them but a comfort quilt care package. Not sure for the spike- I think it is the stress induced by the times.

     For non-cancer requests, I put in a book called "The Scars that Shaped Me" by Vaneetha Risner. Vaneetha is a gifted writer that has endured much suffering and writes encouraging words. Her new book, "Walking through Fire" has just been released. We have communicated for some years through email, and she has become a friend. She asked me to make a small quilt that she could use in her speaking engagements to illustrate a story she tells. It had to be compact to travel easily and not heavy because she has little arm strength. She needed it quick and I came up with this design, pieced, quilted and shipped it this week. I hope she likes it and it works in her presentation. It is 18" square. I put triangle facings in the back corners so she could hold it easily, and a rod to hold it straight to hang.

    I feel so privileged to be a quilter and be able to provide some concrete comfort to those who need it. Quilting is not a hobby. 

     Today, I heard from Debbie of Stitchin Therapy and she has just received a horrible diagnosis and could use your prayers.

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Giveaway winners and spring has sprung

     Today, when my grandkids were here for virtual school, I had them draw the names for the Star and the Plaid Giveaways. They had a hard time understanding the concept.
     I had a number of people who were no reply commentors, so I could not send you an email. Please check your status so you can be contacted in situations like this. I can't even notify you that you can't be notified.
     The Winner of the Rapid Fire Lemoyne stars, pattern and template is: JustCallMeElle. I am just waiting for an address to send it out.

     The Winner of the Plaids is: Cathy, (catkiz). Please send me your address.
     Spring has sprung around here with the early birds showing off.

Friday, March 19, 2021

Orphan Block Adoptions, anyone?

          Cynthia Brunz is hosting one of her Orphan Adoption Events  Good news for me to clear some things out.

Quilting is more fun than Housework

     First up, is a complete small quilt cut that I started in a workshop with a trained Studio 180, Deb Tucker teacher. I have the small pattern, the template, 2 extra project sheets and all the fabric cut for this small star quilt. It is a Lemoyne Star template. It works well, I liked doing it, but it is not my area of interest. I love the batiks I chose, but I will never finish it. The direction are included and there are great videos on Deb Tucker's Youtube channel. The template is pricey, but I will give all this away for free if you will use it.

      The second is my attempt to try and use plaids. I had this brain wave to make flying geese in plaids and make a quilt top. I collected all cotton plaids, mostly shirts. I made a few blocks and my anti-plaid brain vetoed the idea. You could make flying geese or whatever other block you wanted.

      If you really want to work on these, I would be happy to send them. Just make a comment below telling me you are interested, and on Tuesday, when my granddaughter is here again for virtual school, she will draw a name from the comments. Let me know which one you want or both. Make sure you are not a no reply commentor.

Thursday, March 18, 2021

More at retreat

     One of the perks having a retreat at Stella Niagara is to be able to walk outside on the grounds. The complex sits above the Niagara River just north of Lewiston, NY. When you look across the river, you see the Parkway in Canada, which is as close as I have been to Canada in over a year. You can walk down right to the river edge across a wild meadow. Most of the US shoreline is cliffs along here, so it is rare to walk to the shoreline. The British crossed here during the War of 1812 from Canada.
     It was a sunny day, but there was a huge cloud lingering above us making too much shade.

The chapel sits on the shore, Canada is across the river.

The main Stella Niagara campus

Closer to the chapel, Niagara River behind, Canada across

     I was able to finish some hearts for Deanna's daughter's wedding quilt (Sparkle Jane) that I mailed yesterday.

      I usually teach a fun project to build up our companionship. I found a tutorial for quilted 45 records. Here are our attempts.

     As we work, we display our finishes on the railing on the ramp. Our goal is to fill it before the time is over.

     I am so grateful for the time I had and the women that worked together.

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Thank goodness for retreats!

     Last weekend, a few of us (8) from my guild were able to go to Stella Niagara for our spring retreat. The accomodations are wonderful as everyone has their own tiny bedroom and they feed us. We have a huge workroom and the surroundings, between Lewiston and Youngstown, NY on the Niagara River is unparalled.

     It was so wonderful to eat meals together and just laugh. Don't judge- we followed all the precautions- masks and all the nine yards. Our meals were all put in individual containers and placed in the frig or warming oven for us to take. They did an excellent job in difficult circumstances.
     But the best was I finished tops. I had done prep in putting together blocks clipped for webbing and assembly. I finished tops that will become comfort quilts. Now I need to find a deal on backings. I make my comfort quilts at least 70" long because I think they need to cover you if you are laying down. Most of mine are a bit longer.

Diagonal variations made from strip tubes

HSTs Blue Green Zig Zag

The other batik blocks from the failed Craftsy kit, arranged like the orange ones.
I did not have border fabric and it needs them as it is only 40 x 60.
Upstairs, Downstairs top

Tuesday, March 9, 2021

Upstairs, Downstairs Part 3

      I found the process of putting together Upstairs, Downstairs rather inspiring. I bought another bundle of 2 identical jelly rolls on Etsy and started to examine how to put them together. There were only a few oranges in these batiks, so instead of organizing the darkest strips as the diagonals, I used the oranges to be the long diagonals.
     After consultation with The Left Handed Quilter of course. I would have never have figured this out on my own. Sometime, maybe I will find jelly rolls that are easier to sort.

Did not work with darks at top, mixed in oranges

Block strip layout I am going with. There are two identical strips in each folded color so I will get 6 total blocks from each of the 8 columns.

Values in the black and white version

Sunday, March 7, 2021

Upstairs, Downstairs Part 2

      With all the strips sewn into blocks, I laid the blocks on the wall and tweaked the diagonal rows a number of times. Due to the excellent explanation by  A Left Handed Quilter,  I was able to get something that I like well enough. I took it down by columns that I will web sew at retreat later in the week.

I laid out the strips for each block on cardstock and stacked them for chain piecing.
Completed blocks on left. Tube sewn strips on tray.

Block layout stack ready for piecing

Completed blocks all clipped by columns for webbing.

Monday, March 1, 2021

Upstairs, Downstairs part 1

      I was inspired by the quilts that The Left-Handed Quilter has made from 2 identical jelly rolls. She explains the process well, but I could not grasp it so I thought I would try to make one. Somethings you just have do hands on to get it.
     I found 2 great priced Boundless jelly rolls on Etsy and started separating them into groups of 5 with a dark in each group, two indentical strips in each group. There are eight groups of 5. Then I sewed the strips into strip sets in the order I planned trying to go from dark to light. There are normally two identical strip sets, so you can get 6 blocks out of them.

     Instead of sewing the strips in tube, she cut the 2 1/2" wide strips first from the strip set (Stripology ruler), and then sewed each smaller strip in a tube. I think it all cuts and sews easier her way than the big strip set tube. I did it her way.
I put all the strips for each block on a cardboard and stack them
so I can pin and chain piece. I pin with fork pins at the meeting seams.