Saturday, December 11, 2010

December's meeting - Lots of quilts 'almost' done

 In our organizing session this month, we needed to all be aware of the recent requests we've gotten and to see where we are in finishing some to fill these.We have a little kids quilt, "Critters- Bugs in the Grass", that is ready to go to Eric. I have to write the letter that goes with it (actually done now), and deliver to his Aunt Lelia.

We also had a request for a parishioner (Betty B), from another member (SB), who is going through some very tough cancer treatments (and I believe, some trials-medically). We put together the "Blueberry" top previously, but sandwiched it and tied it at our meeting. All I need to do it do a slight wavy stitch through the border and bind it (will the back wrap around the front enough?... we'll see). I hope to get that done, at home, by Sunday. Then we can get it blessed with another one -"Dots". Hm... I haven't taken pictures of these yet. I guess I'll have to and post them later.

This is a panel that I added black strips to the top and bottom to lengthen. I figure we can use it for a top and stitch around the log cabin strips to make it look pieced. The ladies said we should use some border black fabric for the sides.... That can get done at my house this month.
We put this together at our summer block party event. At least we had the strips into columns. I finished it at home. Our thought was to put a 'tie' into the points of the envelopes. We'll put one with a real pocket in the envelope for a label on the back.
We did come across one that needed a 'fix' job. Does it look crooked? We 'rushed' to get the borders on at the last meeting after hastily cutting this off.... but never squared it up. Once I got it home and looked at it, it just didn't look right. So I measured it. Duh.... the right side was 61.", the middle was 62" and the left side was 62.5" long. Well, I guess this will be my project this month to remove the borders, even out the length and put the borders back on. 

This one was part of the many vertical lasagna quilts we made at the block party... Added a soft green and it will be done. Nice to have some 'guy' type quilts. 

Another lasagna quilt.... no borders yet. It's a little more yellow than it shows in this photo.

This was one I finished (probably wheelchair sized), that still may get a border.Probably black, but I'd like to have the 'points' stretch into the border. Believe it or not, this started out as lasagna strips, meant to go as a rail fence, then got 'adjusted', since the rail fences looked 'broken'. I call this one "Shattered Italian Tile".

Janet made this wonky Log cabin quilt... we'll put that in the 'tops' pile and work on that soon....

This lasagna quilt had the lime green border added by Marilyn. Stunning addition. Thanks Marilyn!

Another top pile...."Starlight Prisms"

Maryellen made this one, I believe....

 We even had time for a slight 'show and tell' from the members...

This beauty was made by Margaret for her husband. What a nice present.

Marilyn stretched these lovelies to make a larger quilt. Beautiful border!! Nice choice of fabrics, too.

Another Margaret quilt....using heartstring blocks, adjusted. I took a photo of the quilting that was done (by Laura McCarrick-great choice of threads, Laura!)

And last, Marilyn used a great focal fabric for this pattern... and doesn't like to have scraps left, so used up the rest of them to make the design for the back.
Great work ladies!!!!!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Progress at home

I've been progressing on one of the take home projects that we sometimes have. I took home all the leftover 3.5" strips of fabric that should have gone into another lasagna quilt. And, boy, were there a lot of them. But I'm doing something different with them. I started making a lasagna quilt until the layers got until 4 strips wide in the stripset.

 I cut the whole stripset into 12" square blocks, put two together, right sides together.  

I then, penciled a diagonal line on each one, and sewed 1/4" on each side of the line.

I then cut the line, opened up the blocks and voila!

 Put a few together and they look like Shattered Tiles. Not sure which design I like, but it works.

Friday, November 5, 2010

November means Business!

We had a great Nov mtg, not because we got to see what was accomplished, but we got to see how far we've come and what needs to be focused on. After a brief 'business' mtg, we made some decisions on who would be willing to write thank yous for all the donations we get, who would keep records of where our quilts go and made a decision that's been long in the making regarding tithing 10% of any monetary donations BACK to the church. We are blessed with their generosity to give us the space we have to work on these quilts and their support in our ministry. We even made a few decisions on our lasagna quilts that were done at our last quilting event in the summer.

We also got to do the fun stuff......Sorting through the projects we have in stages (many of them are almost done!), and deciding when and how to finish them. Two quilts were taken home, both to add borders on, then we can decide on the backings and add them to the "Tie one On!" pile. We hope to have another 6hr session in Feb on a Sat to tie all the quilts that are at that stage, then my mom will be inundated with bindings to do!! Go MOM! (She's 82 and sharp as a

I believe we counted 6-8 quilts to tie, so that will be great to finish them. We may at that point have a 'quilt show' of sorts to have them blessed before Easter.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Busy scedule causes cancellation

Due to my work schedule (October being the busiest month of the year), I had to cancel our October mtg.
We did however, get to have a quick Sept. mtg (I think having it on the day after Labor day Monday throws people off, so I'm not sure how to plan for that month anymore- only 4 people showed up).

We did get our Quilt of Valor quilt done...Here is my grandson, Malakai holding it up (kinda)... this is the front (heartstring)
and we used a panel that was bought at Marden's for the back, but since it wasn't wide enough, we split it in half lengthwise and added an strip down the middle (added the label on). We had to change plans for where it was originally intended, so it's available at the moment.

Our Summer Block Party 2010....

I never got the chance to post how our summer block party went this year.... It was HOT!!! and Wonderful, because we had some publicity in the local newspaper/online version, and some ladies from Wilimantic, CT came to join us. They seemed to have a great time, so I'm assuming it was a hit!

This was how the room was set up....

Here is the 'Post Office' where we are assembling our envelope blocks we started sooo long ago. They are the easiest block to make... figure out the size rectangle you want and using a paper template, figure out what size square to make for the 'flap', as you will cut a square in half diagonally and have two flaps. I put two different fabrics together, sew them around all four sides (right sides together), then cut in half diagonally, turn inside out, and you have two envelope flaps!
Here is the designer's house where we put together two child sized heartstring quilts with bright yellow centers.

Cricket (in red) is at the Italian Restaurant and Jane is working on the Chinese coin strips at the Bank of Beijing.
Margaret is working on the QAYG blocks at the Better Batting Mattress Co, (recycling plant).

Anna is getting needles threaded for tying the Yellow heartstring quilt. This one actually got finished to the point of sending home with my mom to finish hemming the binding.
Here is Muriel at the Emergency Medical Center, but she had no 'patients'... The quilt in front is at the Hog-Tied Deli, waiting to be tied.

Here is one of the new ladies that joined us, at the Strip club, cutting up strips of fabric for the Bank and the restaurant.
Here is the Founding Father's house where we cut up foundation blocks.
Nice design at the Post Office... sorting letters never got to be this much fun! 

One thing they all loved was the dessert! Sand cake!!. It's like dirt Cake, but you use pecan sandies, or sugar cookies to crush up for the top and you serve it in a pail vs. a long pan. It was delish!!

This is the lasagna quilt in progress.... all over the floor!

Marilyn was layering the lasagna and Anna (close) was sewing (sorting) coins for the cash drawer at the bank.

Lasagna quilt still getting layered.

This heartstring quilt was finished tying and the floral backing was to be wrapped around to the front for it's binding. This one had a home to be sent to as soon as it was done......All in all, the girls really did have a great time. I'm glad it's over though, because the day we did this was over 90 degrees!!! And the girls stayed to the end... thanks, ladies. We really did get so much done. Everyone agreed that we should do this (6 hr day) more often than once a year. Just not sure when we can get together. I'm planning the next one for early June.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

2nd Summer Block Party

Well, I finally am able to post the results of our charity quilting event of 2010, the 2nd Summer Block Party. We had 13 ladies there (with a few others in spirit), and, nicely enough, we had four new ladies who read about us in the newspaper article that I wrote in the Hartford Courant .
Everyone seemed to have a great time and ,boy, did we get a lot done!!!
This year the neighborhood consisted of a few new things and some businesses, alas, had to close down.
The Founding Father's House was still cutting a 'foundation block' of sorts... just that we used it for the backing of our QAYG blocks (all done in beiges and greens-- the backs, that is).
We decided to 'outsource' the equipment at the Sew-er Dept, because of the 'fuel cost' it had with the Delivery Service. These (sewing) machines went to the following businesses...

The Bank of Beijing where we made Chinese coin strips (lots were made, which means we will have a great project in the future to put together). Some really good research was done by Janet G regarding the colors of ancient Chinese coins (soft greens, mauves, grays, sandstone, and others), so those colors all seemed together nicely. We even had a 'cash drawer' where they were placed when cut into 6 strip segments (we called it 'making change' and 'cutting the deficit'). We even had 'armed guards' to pick up and deliver the strips that were cut at the Strip Club. (Don't worry, it was a squirt gun on loan from Janet G).
The US Postal Service where we took envelope blocks that we had made as a 'homework assignment' a few years ago and 'sorted the mail'. Some blocks had to have the envelope flap sewn to them (lick and seal the envelope, so to speak). These got to a stage of being pinned together in rows/columns and will be worked on in future months.
The Better Batting Mattress Co. was new this year... it recylced old 'bedding' (batting) to make the QAYG blocks, using a consistant center strip and multi strips for Heartstring blocks.

The Italian Restaurant seemed in very good standing again, this year, and I think if all the lasagna strips get worked on before our next meeting, we should have enough to make 4 lasagna quilts, total!! (Last time we had enough to make two). We almost got one completed at the party, but Marilyn had agreed to finish the top at home-(thanks Marilyn!).
The Landscaping Co didn't get much business this year for some reason, and that came from the BBMC.
It was SUCH a hot day (this was the hottest July on record!!), that the Foundry (where the iron workers were) was only half-staffed (one iron). That actually worked fine.
The Designer's house was busy from the start with two children's quilts (yellow centered heartstring blocks, made by Margaret M). They got put together to the top stage, but they will need a few borders to make them bigger!
There was only a few incidents that needed to be attended by the EMTs at the Emergencey Medical Center...
The Strip club was VERY busy, in fact, so busy that they even cut the material at the bottom of the pile (for the lasagna quilts) that I forgot to put aside for the borders!--OOps! They were faster cutting than I was saving! LOL
We also had a new business open up, called the Hog-Tied Deli. We got to sandwich things together (backing, batting and quilt tops) that had been in the 'frig' for a while. We got 3 quilts tied and opportunities to tie a few more at upcoming mtgs. We really need to go get more "sandwich fillings" and we are now able to with the help of our church's outreach committee's donation.
The Bordello and the Massage Parlour are necessary but sometimes barely acknowledged. This year was no different.
I did have a survey, so I hope those who took them home, will fill them out and return them to me. It only makes for a better party the next time around.
Hope to load photos soon....

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Reactions to quilts...

I just got a phone call today from a member who 's been active in our church for almost 40 yrs. During our church service where our Priest Blessed our recent QOV quilt, I hung up the quilt like I always do on the front railing. I think people like to look at them as they walk by for communion. This woman said she was so moved after the service by this quilt that she actually cried when she looked at it. Two other women were doing the same as they admired it after the service, also. It still needed to be hand-sewn on the binding (my mom's gonna do that), but I knew it may not be available for a blessing by the following week. (I hope to connect with the soldier it's going to (he was wounded by an IED in Iraq), as he came home in May. (The photo is under the previous post)

This makes what we do seem very important to the parishioners and keeps up going. Yea, ladies!!

Friday, June 18, 2010

June mtg- Last mtg of school year

We had a few people able to make the mtg this month, but we seemed to get LOTS done!
A few of us worked on tying the "Sunshine and Space" premmie quilt, then I was able to sew the binding on and send it home with my mom to hand-stitch and finish (I got it on the 13th and had it blessed in church).

A few others also got a chance to tie the QOV quilt, up to the outer borders and I'm not sure whether I'll machine sew  (SITD) near the borders then add the binding (I have a choice of two different ones to use). I took it home and trimmed it, so far.

MaryEllen took the Black/pink/poodle blocks home to square up and put together. We'll add a border at the Summer Block party (at the 'bordello'). I can't wait to see it.

It's so nice to have everyone take part in the whole process for each of these quilts. I can't thank you ladies enough for all the work you put into it.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Spring vacation Project in Maine

We got a few things organized at the last mtg, so that I would be able to get supplies in Maine (my vacation spot) to finish a few quilts we've had requested. Enid's Yellow/Blue HS quilt top came to the meeting without borders. It was taken home by Enid with fabrics from Anna's stash (Dark sky blue) and Marilyn's excesses she had given me (beautiful yellow), to add the borders, then to hopefully get it to me (had two wks to finish the borders) before I went to Maine. She did good! I got it the two nights before I left and took a few others needing 'something'.
Since I brought my sewing machine up to Maine with me, I figured I'd at least get the backing done (pieced) on these few quilts. This was the view (and the weather was liek this for 12 out of 14 days!! Who could beat that??)
I found the perfect backing for the Yellow/blue HS top. It had a deep blue sky with clouds and some man-in-the-moons on the fabric, which went perfectly with the planets on the front. I'm calling this one "Sunshine and Space". It's for a premmie who was born in Dec 2009, 3 months early. He's about 10 lbs now, so making it normal baby quilt size worked out fine. I didn't have the top with me to match the colors, so I'm thrilled that I had enough (split it diagonally and 'streched it') to use for the backing. This photo is showing it split, just not extended yet.

I even got the binding done for this one and enough for another one (great blue/white stripe).
I felt the need to extend the top of this QOV quilt, because the panel that we were using on the back would have gotten cut off, if I didn't. This panel, I split in half up the middle and inserted a red strip (wide), added the label and figured it could trim it if needed. It should be perfect.
Mavie Q, a Heartstrings member (from Maine), made us 'some blocks' as a thank you for her friend's quilt (friend was very sick and needed one NOW- thankfully, we had one to send). I picked them up in Maine (at her house) and decided on this pattern of putting the blues together. I did get them together, even though I'm posting this design-in-progress photo. Thanks SO MUCH Mavie for the 48 thank you's....!!!
I did finish splitting and combining the pink/black /poodle squares (finished ones are the top left pile). I'll bring them to the next mtg.
The surprise I'm getting soon is that Cricket, another Heartstring member, took one of my first quilts ever, and added the borders around this to finish this quit for our group. What a great gift!! Thanks Cricket! Can't wait to see it in person.