It’s time for the Bloggers’ Quilt Festival again!
This year I’m submitting a special quilt that’s part of a larger project I’m working on. This is one of seven quilts I’m making with my Mom’s group for graduating foster teens in the City of Alexandria.
These teens leave the foster system only with the items given to them by a proactive community member who works tirelessly on their behalf.
Nationwide 1/3 of them do not have a high school diploma.
Due to limited work histories, many find it difficult to obtain employment. Those who do typically work in positions where they can easily be exploited or find it difficult to increase their independence.
One day they are considered a child by the state, and the next day they are on their own responsible for everything.
I was drawn to help these teens and I was thrilled when my mom’s group wanted to help! We are sewing string blocks
during nap times, in the evenings, anytime we can grab a few minutes together. These women have newborns & twins, but all of us have babies under two. Once or twice a week we get together at my house & we work while the babies play (ok, & sometimes we play more than work!) I love this project because the string quilts don’t require advanced quilting skills & there’s plenty of work for non-sewers to do! In fact, we can assembly line these blocks easily where one person sews & another presses.
It means a lot to me that these teens receive the quilts. I worked with foster kids at the Boys & Girls Club of Alaska & this is what I know about them:
– These are the easily forgotten.
– They are talented at making themselves invisible.
– They have had their hearts broken numerous times.
– They are beautiful lives that deserve to be made whole again.
These quilts for them. To give them something that will keep them warm- no matter where they are sleeping. To give them something from moms in their community to let them know they are cared about. To give them a reminder that someone has not forgotten about them.
If you’re interested in how to make a difference for foster teens graduating out of your local area- the Jim Casey Youth Opportunities Initiative
can help you!
Linking up with the Bloggers’ Quilt Festival at Amy’s Creative Side
In my last post I mentioned that I didn’t have any pictures from the trunk show. Well, that same day a woman who attended the trunk show shared with me the pictures she took.
This is sweet quilt I made for a class sample. This is one of my favorite patterns for beginners.
These are a few of the first quilts I longarmed. I’ve learned a lot since those days!
This is called a winding ways quilt. I started this in Alaska & only recently finished it.
A Seven Sisters quilt! One of my favorite patterns!
A log cabin quilt I made with a friend
while J was deployed.
A Double Wedding Ring quilt! This is one of my personal favorites & was a feat to accomplish, but it was well worth the effort.
The sunflower quilt! My only hand quilted quilt! My sister pieced the top & I quilted it, took 15 years & I’ll never hand quilt again….
And my first official quilt! Just look at those pastel calicoes from the 1980s!
Thank you Heather for your pictures!
Last Friday several ladies from my mom’s group came to my house for a trunk show. Several of the women recently started quilting & had heard I was a quilter & were very interested in seeing my work. So 5 ladies, 7 babies & many cups of tea filled our living room that beautiful morning!
I gathered most of my quilts from various places in the house (closets, quilt racks, boxes, backs of chairs, beds, & cribs) & chose my “favorite” quilts I wanted to chat about.
I knew in planning my talk that I wanted to share more than just the stats about the quilt. I mean, there’s so much more to a quilt than what fabric I used, what pattern I chose & how I quilted it. I wanted to share my story through the quilts & my thoughts on quilting as a hobby or vocation.
It was a wonderful experience to share from my first to my most recent quilt & be able to talk about who I was at the time I made it.
Because, when we create we are invited to learn a new piece about ourselves. And when we continue to create, we are able to remember who we are.
I could go on & on about last line, in fact, I think I will in a bit (I hear Teapot waking up….)
I didn’t get any pics of the trunk show, but after everyone left there was a heap of quilts in the middle of the living room & Teapot took to climbing & hugging the pile. Or actually this pic might have been after all the playing when she was tired (but not too tired to actually nap!)
This is another quilt I longarmed for Quilts from the Bluffs. Isn’t it the most darling little quilt?
I love the design & balance of this quilt.
The 9-patches are bold & distinctively stand out in the quilt. And by adding in the skinny teal inner border they gave the quilt a nice “pop”. Now your eye isn’t getting bored with looking at pink & brown.
The complementary print fabric adds texture and subtlety- see how it appears to hang out in the background & doesn’t overpower the 9-patches? This is a great use of a print fabric!
Then the added brown cornerstones in the outside border then create a sense of continuity.
For the quilting I chose the pattern “Jilly” by Keryn Emmerson
because the round design worked with the flowers in the print while at the same time the center of the swirls gives some dimension to the quilt.
This quilt is one of the best examples of traditional quilt design I’ve seen recently. I hope this quilt is kept a little girl warm this chilly winter!
Who wants a free quilt pattern??
I designed this several years ago for a class I taught & decided it was high time this became a free pattern available to my readers.
This is a great pattern for using your stash. Because well, you know, most of us quilters might have more stash than we know what to do with! Whether you decide to use many fabrics of a single color, or focus on brights, reproductions or just random scraps- this quilt will highlight the beauty in all the fabrics you’ve purchased over the years.
I’ve written this pattern in two sizes: 61″x61″ for a generous lap size & 97″x97″ for a queen size, so this is flexible for your needs.
This pattern also uses 5″ squares, or charms for the main fabrics & the corner pieces are 2.5″ squares- so if you have access to an Accuquilt machine
with a 5″ die, you can cut these fabrics in no time!
Again, this pattern is available for free from Craftsy!
If you remember I posted back in December about the VAT “to do” that was impending.
(Quick recap, the EU was going to make me file & keep track of a lot of tax info for every country that had a citizen buy a digital download from me. I opted to not sell any digital pattern to an EU citizen.
Well we can have a party now because Etsy has figured out how to keep track of this for small businesses like me so guess what folks??
Yes! I now have patterns available for sale on Etsy!
These are digital downloads with immediate access- just like with my Craftsy patterns, only through Etsy I’m able to sell to EU citizens.
Thank you so much for being patient with me through this- I’m so glad Etsy worked out a solution that enables us pattern writers to get back to business!
I was going through old pictures & couldn’t believe I never shared this beautiful quilt with ya’ll!
This was a donation quilt for Quilts from the Bluffs
a few years ago, pieced by one of their members & that I quilted.
Since the fabrics reminded me of a reproduction look, I wanted to use a classic quilting pattern to bring justice to the quilt. The Baptist Fan pattern was the perfect choice!
I love how it adds a nice subtle background texture, yet doesn’t distract from the overall design. In fact, the clam shells help add an element of movement that works with the diagonal stripes.
The Baptist Fan pattern is one of my all time favorites- it’s classic, simple & elegant. What more could we ask from a design?
- We’re all moved into our new home! (well mostly, you know, there are always things to be done…)
- I have a studio again, & it’s wonderful to be able to work in a good usable space.
- I have (almost) mastered quilting in one hour bursts.
- I’ve been piecing string blocks since they require little thought & can easily be picked up/put down.
- It is a fact that no mater how many string blocks you piece, your stash of strips will never decrease. I have pieced 20+ blocks & still have two shoe boxes full of strings.
- Teapot is ten months old today!
- I found this Piece of Cake dress from Anna Maria Horner that I *need* to make for her. (& while you’re looking at that picture, scroll on down to the Paper Fan Dress! Adorable!)
- I finished two UFOs in February! Once the weather isn’t so glum, I’ll take some pictures outside.
- I’ve been quilting beautiful cross stitched & embroidered quilts for customers! Seriously, my clients give me the most amazing pieces to quilt.
Happy Tuesday everyone! (& if you’re in the path of another snow storm or winter weather- stay warm & safe!)
I finished Teapot’s hat yesterday & have a picture of the hat for my friend’s baby:
It’s a free pattern from Gros. I used Fortissima Socka for my friend’s hat & Dream in Color Smooshy (colorway Go Go Grassy) for Teapot’s & size US 1.5 & 2 needles. I made the 6 month size for my friend & 2 years for Teapot. (I knit quite tightly & she must knit very loosely. Or Teapot just has a huge head. She probably just has a huge head.)
Here it is on Teapot. It’s even cuter in person. (But isn’t it crazy how well the 2 years old size hits her! I guess I could check the gauge…..)
It was very addictive to knit. I could make another. But all my yarn is at the new house & it’s really cold out.
Ok, well it’s not as cold as some parts of the country (-30 wind chill! Yikes!), but it’s pretty cold for Virginia so we’re going to be lazy & stay home.
And once I’ve finished knitting the dress for Teapot I’ve got started, perhaps I should pack the kitchen. Sheesh I hate packing kitchens. They’re the worst. Worse than studios full of fabric & yarn. Fabric & yarn can just be thrown in boxes & you don’t have to worry about anything breaking. Kitchen stuff is breakable & oddly shaped.
– We’re in the middle of moving to our new house & my studio is now at the other house.
– It’s snowing & generally nasty today. Since NOVA folks aren’t the most adept at winter driving, we’re staying in today. This means I’m knitting (& apparently blogging.)
– I’ve almost finished a cute hat for Teapot. I first made one for a friend’s baby & it was so addictive, I had to cast on a second immediately.
– Back to moving, I really dislike moving
– After moving the studio twice in 18 months I’ve realized…
– I have a lot of quilts that need to be quilted
– I have a lot of quilts I’m in the middle of piecing
– I have a lot of sewing projects (this one surprised me. I didn’t think I was much of a sewer. Clearly there’s disconnect between my thoughts & reality.)
– In general I have too much stuff
– Therefore things are quickly leaving the studio
Would anyone be interested in a giveaway of some patterns & threads?