I got a bunch of scraps of fabric that were so orange, I felt compelled to use them all at once. It reminds me of California poppies. This blanket will brighten up your day whether you like it or not! Below is a pattern based on the Bento Box square. I also made it from scraps, flannel ones. Both are going to Project Linus.
This is a quilt I've had in the work for years. When I first started reading quilt blogs, I followed Anna Maria Horner's blog and admired all her stuff. I still do -- follow her blog and admire her stuff! I followed along when she had her son right when her oldest went off to school, and then her mother passed away and her youngest was born. I read about how she decorated her house, her studio, and now her business place, Craft South. I read about what inspires her to create, and about her heritage. I learned about quilting and embroidery from her examples. She shares her knowledge and her life on her blog in a way that I haven't seen anywhere else. Truly, she is one of my biggest quilting inspirations.
I got this fabric so long ago I can't honestly remember when; I just know that the line is discontinued. It was a sort of grab bag purchase, and I looked at the fabric for a long time before I decided what pattern to use. I didn't want to cut it up and lose the patterns, and I auditioned hundreds of patterns in my mind. I finally decided on this simple pattern, but when I had the top done, it was a little narrow. What to do? I started looking for fabric from that line, and I finally found a piece on Etsy that someone had used as a table runner at a wedding; it was about 24" wide and about three yards long. I cut it up in such a way as to use it all up and make a border. Again, not fancy, but for sure the best use of the fabric.
I had been meaning to get it finished for the past year or so. Turning tops into quilts is my weak spot. I could make tops forever, but the sandwiching and quilting is not my favorite part. Anyway, I had to get this done because I found the perfect recipient for it. A young woman I know was to join us for Christmas. She wants to study fashion, and she always admires my quilts. I actually cranked this out Christmas Eve morning before she came, and then at the last minute she wasn't able to come because she caught the flu and didn't want us to catch it, which we appreciated. My sister got the quilt to her a few days later and she loved it.
It felt so right giving this quilt to such a nice person. I had thought I would keep it for myself, but I've enjoyed looking at it (and then not looking at it when it made me feel guilty) long enough. It's good to get it out in the world and around someone to give warmth and joy. That's the whole reason I quilt!
This was turned into Project Linus yesterday. The fabric was an older line, with cobble stone walls and bunches of roses. The coordinating fabrics all came with it (except the green, which I had on hand). I kept thinking there should be other fabric patterns to go with the prints, but I looked up the line and there wasn't much else. It was a subtle pattern, and the colors were pretty. I used almost every bit up. The fabric with the roses is also on the back, and I used the purple for the back binding, my new favorite way to bind. I'm thinking of doing a tutorial on it, so stay tuned.
This was another triumph of turning donated fabric into a comfort quilt!
I call this a donation blanket not because it will be donated to Project Linus (which it will and already has been), but because it was made with donated fabric. Often we get donations that for the most part are just not suitable for making kids' quilts. If I can pull out anything that might work, I do, with the idea I will make at least one blanket from the donation.
I confess, sometimes this makes me cranky, as I have enough fabric I've picked out that I look forward to using and I (mildly) resent spending time on fabric I didn't choose.
I feel I have to use the donated fabric, though, as a sort of karmic thank you to the generosity of others. This time was pretty easy. The blue fabrics and the white are natutical in theme and came already cut in two and a half inch strips. Yep, precuts! I considered a rail fence, then started making little four patches. I found the red which has little white polka dots on it, and planned to box the four patches, and then I saw this pattern where the squares ran through the borders and through the blanket, and I knew that was it.
It turned out much better than I expected, and I'm happy to have it off my plate. Now to work with my own fabric!
The one above I made from a batik fabric I got on a recent vacation in Hawaii. Nothing fancy, but I was particularly pleased that the thread I used to quilt up the lines of the white fabric was variegated in the same colors as the fabric. Nice. Below, take two on a blanket made from donated fabric. It was a pretty floral and it seemed like it would be easy to turn it into something sweet, but it took a little more doing than I expected. Nevertheless, done!
I have to confess, I've been in a major quilting slump. If I've made any blankets in the past few months, they weren't enough to warrant pictures. That's pretty sad, isn't it?
We got a donation of fabric that was just terrible. I passed most of it along to another charity, but I kept some out to make a blanket. I was going to do something simple and small, but I got carried away and the blanket ended up child-sized instead of baby-sized. Not that there's anything wrong with that, but it's more complicated to quilt, as I found when I started quilting it and ended up ruining the whole thing. I threw it away and threw my hands up in disgust. And so my quilting slump ensued.
I'm planning to get back in the saddle today, so I will have some things to show. I acquired two bolts of mink fabric that are only 28" wide. I can either make baby blankets that are 28" by 36" or so, or if I get carried away again I can sew the 28" pieces together and go bigger. I hope I don't do that, though, because I don't want to have to throw another messed up blanket away.
I finished four baby blankets for Project Linus and handed them over yesterday. It felt good to use up some more flannel. It's always a challenge to come up with a pattern that uses small pieces like fat quarters or half yards. I had to get creative, but for baby blankets, it worked it out. Done is better than perfect, in my book!
I sent two blankets to Project Linus last week, both for our black and white theme, although I added red. This pattern came from a blogger who designed a different pattern every week for a year to get practice in EQ. I thought this looked quick and easy, and it was. I used some coordinating black and white fabric that I got from Backside Fabrics – it was a really good deal because I bought like a half yard of each, but because the width was 108 inches, I got plenty of fabric for the money. The red poppies came with a bag of scraps I got from somewhere. That's why I love going through scraps; sometimes you find something great and then eventually find the perfect use for it.
The fabric in this blanket also came as scraps. We got a big donation of flannel, and in a bag were these squares, already cut (although in the odd size of 5.75") plus extra of most of the fabrics. There wasn't enough of the extra to add another square, so I set these blocks aside from the scraps. I was really excited to start sewing this quilt, but I had a lot of flannel to sort through first. By the time I got around to this, I couldn't find the squares!
I actually thought that perhaps I had just dreamed that there were eight squares of eight fabrics all precut and waiting for assembly (that sounds like a quilting dream come true, doesn't it?). I searched all over my sewing room and everywhere else I could think of, to no avail. Then lo and behold, months later, I found them under the bed. Well, I didn't waste any time getting started, including wasting time doing things like, oh, pinning and ironing. Yep, I just started sewing and sewing and didn't look back. I have to say, flannel is a bit more forgiving than regular quilting cotton (fortunately).
I backed it with red Minky, because I felt it deserved it. All in all I was happy with how it turned out. I got a lot of compliments on it, but really, I can't take much credit. Someone else collected, coordinated, and cut the fabrics; I just assembled them. Still, I think it will make a child happy some day, somewhere!
I turned in two quilts for Project Linus the other day. One was a flannel pink thing. It's a 16 patch and the second block on the third row is a smaller version of the bigger layout of squares. Kinda fun, but not as dramatic as I had hoped.
Next, I used some fabric I found at a yard sale – the prettiest little floral pattern in a white with purplish pink flowers and the reverse of that pattern. I thought for a long time on how to use them. I finally decided to go with a traditional pattern - a rail fence. I always thought that pattern was kind of dull, but I committed to it and began. To be honest, I thought it looked kind of dull part way through, but in the very end I thought it turned out nice. I had the perfect shade of pink in fleece to use as a backing, and I sewed on white buttons to quilt the layers together. It turned out to be a teen-sized quilt, and it went to Project Linus as well.
Looking at these pictures, I guess I could have done some ironing here. Oh, well. They might have sat for a month if I'd waited on that!
I actually embroidered this piece awhile ago, and it sat in a pile with some fabric that was just perfect for it, so it was rather sad that I didn't get the pillow made in a more timely fashion. Last month I donated items to a craft fair for our local chapter of Project Linus, and I threw this pillow together to add to the inventory.
A young woman snatched the pillow up right off the bat at the craft fair. She asked us to hold it for her while she looked around, and other people tried to buy it. She took it back, and other people tried to buy it off her. I was flattered, of course, but I told her if she got a good enough offer to take, split the money with me, and I'd make her another one ; )
I can't help but like someone who likes my embroidery choices as much as I do. A few years back I made some pillows with cats and only one sold. Really?!? Ah, well. Perhaps this design has more universal appeal. The woman said it was totally her, and her mother agreed. So I'm sure the pillow is happy in its new home.
Here's a link to the pattern:
How did I come up with this name for my blog?
I will never be recruited into the Quilting Police – I am not a perfectionist when it comes to quilting. I prefer my quilts done (not that I don't have plenty that are only partly done and many many more in the dream stages). I also like to get a deal on fabric, and I like to use up my fabric efficiently. I created this blog to show the method of my madness...
Some of my favorite sites: