I’m baaaaaack!

“From where?”  you might ask.  Hmmm…cough, cough…no where in particular.  Just whatever where.  Oh, that is not quite true as I did take a lovely vacation to the UK in August, but more about that later.  Let’s do a little catch up…working backwards…starting this weekend…or really this started earlier in the summer.

100 Quilts for Kids – Katie from Swim Bike Quilt started this project a few years ago and Heather at Quilts in the Queue took it over this year.  She has done a fabulous job…getting the word out, sponsors, prizes, a blog hop…just fabulous.  So, early in the summer I volunteered to organize a group quilt made by DC Modern Quilt Guild members.  To start I choose a paper pieced pattern (6″ economy blocks) and distributed some fabric at a DCMQG meeting.  I made some blocks and then received blocks from Anne and Linda and Jamie.  Here are my first blocks, more to give a true sense of the colors than anything else.10 Economy blocksMy little stack was growing.  Our September meeting was a sewing charity sewing day so I had the plan to be there to receive more blocks and have folks help to put the quilt top together. However, due to a brewing mini-crisis at home, at the last minute I was unable to go.  Fortunately, the lovely Liz was able to drop all of the collected blocks off at my house .

How do you feel about your sewing commitments?  I usually have some, as I like to be connected to the world, and not always in my own private little universe, but I don’t like to be stressed about it.  And stress I do if I am not going to be on time.  Maybe it has to do with my job, where I stress to kids that  things are either done on time, or not, you are in the classroom on time, or not.  So, I choose carefully what I say yes to.  Well, the 100 Quilts for Kids link up ends on Tuesday and I did not want this group quilt sitting in pieces at my house!  A few of the big hurdles from the start of the school year were past, including my big Bay trip and Curriculum Night, so Friday afternoon I started.  Before the sun went down I had this up on my design wall…Economy arrangement

and the rows were sewn together before I went to bed.  Saturday morning, after a lovely run with my 10K group along the canal, I put the rows together and pieced the back.  My good camera was out of commission, so these are cell phone pics and I feel that the colors are off.  Economy quilt topI needed to cross the river yesterday anyway to pick my daughter up at the airport, so I delivered the top and back to Aubrie who had volunteered to quilt this baby.  She does awesome work, so I was thrilled to hand it off to her and have her already talk about what designs she might do.

Whew…mission…at least my part of it…accomplished!

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Action…

Yup,  there really has been some action going on here.  First off, I saw this flyer somewhere, no clue where, but seeing as how my household is full of science nerdyness ( is that a word?) how could I not do this?Astronomical quilt challenge  Here is the star that I sent off to join the others for the astronomical quilt.  This block is called the dog star and it is one of my favorite blocks.  Dog star block challenge

I have also been working on the pieced top for my secret Pillow Fight partner.  The top is now all done.DSC_0259

The top will then get some intense straight line quilting. I am thinking of low volume or text for the back (ohh, and maybe I can practice putting in an invisible zipper) and then the aqua for the binding.  On quilts I frequently do a scrappy binding.  I wonder if it would look funny on something as small as a pillow.

Just a few days I also got word of what I should be making for August Heal Circle of do.Good.Stitches.  Here it is ready to send off… a Greek Cross (using Fresh Lemon’s tutorial) quilt in black and white.  Won’t it be striking!DSC_0262

 

 And, to sign off…a block that I made for a group quilt for someone going through cancer treatment.  The whole quilt is going to be light and cheery!Granny Square

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100 Quilts for Kids

100_Quilts_for_Kids_ButtonWelcome to the first stop on the 100 Quilts for Kids Blog Hop.  Yes, this year DC Modern Quilt Guild is continuing the tradition of making quilts for kids.  In my experience, quilters are, by nature, givers.  We sew and donate quilts to so many causes.  Just check the blogs that you read to see how many do.Good.Stitches buttons you see!  This year our quilts will be going to Carpenter’s Shelter in Northern Virginia.  In the busyness of DC and its environs, it is all too easy to overlook the less fortunate.  This 80 bed shelter for the homeless generally serves 25 children each week.  It is difficult enough to comprehend life for homeless adults.  But homeless children, well I can’t even imagine.  We hope to provide them an ample supply of quilts for these kids.

My first experience of working on charity quilts was long ago for Project Linus.  In recent years I have taught sewing to a small group of kids and we donated the simple flannel quilts we made to Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, DC.  kid  quiltsIn the spirit of service learning, the kids also did some research about the hospital and what it is like for a kid to be there for an extended period of time and for their family.  The sewers were pleased and surprised when some adults in our community stopped by and told them about, and sometimes even showed them, the quilts that their children received while at the hospital.  This year one child in my group brought in her quilt from a hospital stay when she was much younger.  By now it was a bit thin and ragged, but she still has it.  Bit by bit they understand how this imperfect bit of cloth could be so comforting and meaningful to its recipient.  Although we were not allowed on the wards when we delivered the quilts, bringing them in person and hearing about how and when they are distributed furthered the sense of satisfaction for the kids.

This year I am contributing two quilts that were originally part of another project that sat and sat.  I simply would never finish that quilt as it was planned.  I used some of the blocks and reworked the design.  It was so satisfying to make something that will offer warmth and security out of a project that earlier just had no love in it.  I am thrilled to be donating these two quilts.DSC_0245DSC_0123

In addition, a group of DC Modern quilters are joining me in making a group quilt.  The focus fabrics are Denyse Schmidt Quilters Quarters that were kindly donated.  We each are digging into our stashes to supplement that fabric to create a harmonious but scrappy economy block quilt.  Here are the blocks that I have made so far.10 Economy blocksDuring our sewing day in September we will start to arrange the blocks and then sew together the flimsy.  One of our members that does fabulous free-motion quilting will then quilt it for us.  I will post the quilt when it is all done.

So, what are you waiting for?  There are so many ways to participate…start a quilt to donate, or look through your lonesome WIPs that might never see sunlight again and give it new life, or gather a group of friends and work on a quilt together.  Donate it to Carpenter’s Shelter or someplace in your community that serves children.  Think of the comfort and joy that it will give a child.  What’s that I hear?  You don’t actually quilt?  Then consider supporting kids in another way.  Carpenter’s Shelter is collecting school supplies as are many organizations this time of year.  Tbere’s nothing quite like starting the school year all equipped and ready to go!

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Sunkissed #2

I am definitely making some headway on my “Wanna-do” list.  Finishing up this piece serves as double duty for A Lovely Year of Finishes as my July goal (#15 on the link up ) and the Littlest Thistle’s Finish Along 2014 for my third quarter goal.  I have written several times about making something with the already made Sunkissed Blockapalooza blocks.  Here is the second of what I expect to be three quilts from this aborted project.  The first one used some of the yellow and green blocks.  Believe it or not, the soft colors actually grew on me.  I have now completed the second one.  This one was based on blocks that had the cheddar gold color, a color I still am not fond of.  Here it is…

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I kept my promise that I would not buy any more fabric for this, so the back is also pieced and the binding scrappy.

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One of my favorite easy places for taking pictures is the bridge by the pond behind my house.  Look who came to greet me…turtleWhat can I say…I am easily amused and a turtle sticking his nose above the water to investigate does it every time!

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Ta Da! Modern Quilt Guild Challenge

I had not signed up for the other fabric challenges from the MQG, but loved seeing what my guild members made for the last one, so when this was offered I went for it.  I figured that it ended after school ended, so I certainly would have time to finish.  And then the deadline was extended..some bonus time!  So, you might ask why I am finishing at the last moment…good question.  This project had a bit of a slow start.  I tried to use a certain pattern, but that was a fail.  DSC_0181I showed it to lots of people, and the consensus was that it was doable, but not how the pattern was written.  Where were the pattern testers for this published pattern?  It sort of bothers me that I actually purchased the book just for this pattern.  I kept my same basic idea and shifted to using a wedge ruler to make the petals.  Far from perfect, but much better.  Three circles set into another Michael Miller fabric – Helen’s Garden by Tamara Kate…DSC_0199

Next I fussy cut centers for the circles and hand-stitched them down.DSC_0205

Using the same blue print fabric for the back I set about quilting…I really like variegated thread for quilting..so I used King Tut 985 and went at it with my walking foot.DSC_0222

Thanks to Heather I had a bit of fabric that I could use for a narrow binding.  It actually was done a few days ago but I was waiting for a great day for pictures, which today is.  So, ta da!DSC_0217

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Twilighter and Mid-Summer Check in

Saturday night was the Rockville Twilighter Race, the target race for my 8K program.  Last year it was stormy and the race was not run.  The previous year it was brutally hot.  This year…perfect…cool and breezy.  It was such a lovely easy affair…2,000 runners…7 minutes from home…easy parking…warm up with my group.  Our wonderful coaches really helped me out at the end when I really wanted just to slow down.  I did really well for me… my pace was almost a minute faster than the best race pace I have ever had.  My daughter ran also…although quite a bit faster than me!

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And now on to the Mid-summer Check-in… here is my big wanna do list that I posted at the start of the summer…let’s see how I am doing!

-  Carol’s Convertible purse  DONE!

-  June Heal block DONE!…July DONE! DSC_0202and August too but don’t have the info for that yet

-  Finish the second Sunkissed Blockapalooza quilt top DONE!

-  Quilt and bind the  second Sunkissed Blockapalooza quilt top – quilting yes…binding no

-  Make a Flirting the Issue skirt

-  Make the Sorbetto top by Collette patterns that I have started the muslin for

-  Quilt my Supernova quilt

-  Make another For Pinks Sake pink block for Life Sew Crafty DONE!pink block #2

-  Finish…oh, really start and finish the Michael Miller challenge – almost done…just the binding to go.DSC_0206

-  Put together the Summer Sampler blocks

-  Make a back for the Allison Glass Feathers quilt

-  Put together the Quilt Around the World II blocks.

Hmmm…lots of DONEs so some progress, but still lots of work to be done.  I have a few more weeks at home so I hope that I can attack a few more of these.  Stay tuned!

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They are selling school supplies!!!!

The ads in today’s paper were full of ads for school supplies!  Egads!  Do you know what that means?  Before I turn around twice my luxurious summer will be over.  I better get going on my “Wanna-do” list.  Here goes…

-  My pieces for heal@do.good.stitches for July…3×5 monochromatic blocks.  I am not surprised that I had that many reds in my stash…but orange?  I am surprised that I have that much.  It is truly starting to grow on me.  Ready to mail tomorrow :)DSC_0203

-  Mug Rug Revival…It took me a while to get started, but I feel that I am on a roll now…I have lots of extra fabric around it and will trim as I figure out where I am going with this…quilting and embroidery.DSC_0201

-  And finally, the MQG Michael Miller Challenge…it is becoming a skinny quilt or a table runner.  Some type of border is next and then some quilting.  Oh, and something about the center circles.  As I look at this pic I am confident that it looks better for real.  The due date is July 25 so I need to get going.DSC_0199

Progress is progress and I am moving in the right direction, hopefully faster than they are selling those school supplies!

Linking up at WIP Wednesday…Check out all of the fabulous work being done!

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