Special Quilts for Special Children

This is my day in the “It’s All About the Kids” blog hop, and you can read on to find out about a special giveaway by the Fat Quarter Shop and about opportunities for giving quilts to special children.Giving quilts is dear to my heart because as many of you know, our oldest granddaughter was born with a very rare and large brain tumor. She has had four delicate brain surgeries to remove parts of this tumor. Thus over the past few years we have spent weeks in the St. Joseph’s pediatric intensive care unit in Phoenix, AZ. One of the most wonderful things that happened to us during each hospitalization was receiving a quilt from the AZ Blankets 4 Kids Organization. These quilts were simply and well-made, they were colorful and bright, and they truly lifted our spirits and those of others in the ICU.

Because of this, I have been working on digitizing a center block for a child’s quilt. Paper dolls are one of my favorite things and this paper doll pattern is from my mother. The design isn’t finished yet–this is my first iteration of it, but it’s good enough to go into the center of a quilt. And I can border it with simple squares or flying geese or star blocks to make it just the right size for a child.

Paper Dolls Center Block
Paper Dolls Center Block

This is a work in progress, but here are two possibilities of ways to use this center block for a child’s quilt.

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child quilt 42x42

And here is an example of extra embroidery blocks used in a child’s quilt and following that, a picture of novelty fabric used in a child’s quilt.

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IMG_5901_0018 (Custom)

Novelty fabrics are really fun to use. And the nice thing is that you can get a single panel or a book panel print for less than $10.00. It only takes some sashing or additional borders to make it just the right size.

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How can you get a quilt to a special child?

While I am most familiar with AZ Blankets 4 Kids, other organizations that come to mind are Project Linus and Quilts for Kids. And there are many local organizations and local hospitals who will welcome your contributions of quilts. At your local hospital, contact the Volunteer Services Department or the Director of Nursing for the Hospital.

What is the best size quilt to make?

In general, most organizations ask for quilts that are approximately 38-40 inches wide and 42-48 inches long for toddlers and children. However, as you read the requests from the different groups, you will see that there are also real needs for quilts for teens. A quilt for a teen should be slightly larger (lap quilt size), approximately 40-45 inches by 56-62 inches. There are also special requests for quilts for boys. As the grandmother of five grandsons, I can unequivocally state that boys love quilts.

The AZ Blankets 4 Kids organization lists the following recommended sizes:

  • Infant – 38-40 inches square
  • Toddler – 38 x 44 inches to 40 x 46 inches
  • Child – 40 x 48 inches
  • Teen – 40 x 56 inches to 42 x 60 inches

What fabric and batting should be used?

Fabric: My recommendation is that you use quilt shop quality fabric because you will find that it is softer and more durable. Flannel quilts are particularly soft, but it is important to prewash the fabrics to assure all shrinkage is accounted for before cutting and stitching. If you have novelty prints or bright colors or sherbet colors, these are all very cheerful for children and teens. And for boys–dinosaurs, transportation/construction vehicles of all kinds, and Superheroes are especially welcome.

Batting: A low loft cotton, cotton/poly blend, or a good quality polyester batting are all excellent choices. A high loft batting can be difficult to quilt and difficult to manage with all the tubes and equipment that are around a child in the hospital.

How should a child’s quilt be quilted? Can I tie the quilt?

These quilts can be quilted on the machine using a walking foot and stitching horizontally and vertically or cross- hatching the quilt. They can be quilted using your domestic machine and free-motion quilting or with a longarm machine. It is important that they be quilted with a medium all-over design so that they can be washed and cleaned.

And yes, tied quilts are just fine. Be sure to use good embroidery floss for tying and space the ties in a 3-4 inch grid across the quilt.

What are the best patterns for a child’s quilt?

Each of the sites listed above share free patterns. However, as a quilter you all have favorite patterns that you love. Simple traditional patterns like rail fence, bricks, strips, and four and nine-patch blocks are favorites. Simple stars and pinwheels are also wonderful patterns for children’s quilts. And another quick and easy quilt to make is to use orphan blocks. Do you have extra blocks leftover from other quilts you have made? Why not put them together with sashing and borders to create a sampler quilt? And there are many free patterns in the links on this blog that can be modified in size and fabric to make quilts for children.

One of my favorite books for children’s quilts is the Tuck Me In book from the Editors and Contributors of Quiltmaker Magazine. What are your favorite children’s quilt books? And recently SewCalGal wrote a review of the Nap and Nod children’s quilts book.

Should I wash the quilt before donating it?

I like to wash quilts for children before I send them. I think it is a personal preference, but somehow it makes me feel better to know that the quilt is nice and clean and the fabric and batting are “softer” because of washing.

 GIVEAWAY!!!!!!!!   YAY!!!!!!!!!!

And we would like to thank The Fat Quarter Shop for sponsoring a $25.00 gift certificate giveaway. All you have to do is leave a comment on this post before Sunday, November 2 to be entered into this giveaway. The winner will be announced on Tuesday, November 3.

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 You can find the Fat Quarter Shop at:

http://www.fatquartershop.com/
http://fatquartershop.blogspot.com/
https://www.facebook.com/FatQuarterShop
https://twitter.com/FatQuarterShop
https://www.youtube.com/user/FatQuarterShop

 

Monday, October 27th

Tuesday, October 28th

Wednesday, October 29th

SewCalGal

Thursday, October 30th

Friday, October 31st

Jacquelynne Steves, The Art of Home

Wendy Sheppard/Ivory Spring

 
 

Counting Monkeys

Do you ever make quilt blocks from book panels? I love to make children’s quilts–my grandchildren have far too many quilts–if that’s possible. There is one grandson who absolutely loves monkeys, so when I saw this panel in the AQS fabric shop I had to have it for him. The rest of the fabrics are from my stash, but I made a trade with someone who pieced the top for me. And now that the Mother’s Day quilts have been quilted for customers, I’m quilting this for that little one who is growing up much too fast and will be wanting superhero quilts instead of monkeys very soon.

The sashing strips were cut with my AccuQuilt GO. The interesting part of it was that the panel blocks were about 3/8″ shorter than they were long. That made cutting those sashing strips a bit tricky. Cutting sashing strips on the lengthwise grain is always the best way to go though, as there is much less stretch than cutting on the crossgrain. And it makes it easy to fanfold those pieces across a strip die and cut a lot of sashing strips in one pass. Having strip cutters has really changed the way I put quilts together–for the better I think.

I am quilting it with a pantograph called Monkey Jungle from Urban Elementz. I reduced the size of the design to 8 inches so the monkeys are fairly small and I have to go slow to quilt it, but it’s looking great so far.

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Comfort Quilt Finishes

It seems 2014 keeps us unbelievably busy with grandchildren and family. Last weekend, all that was put aside for some time doing nothing but stitching on the machine. The quilt retreat in January made me realize how much I enjoy just sitting at the machine stitching. I spent all of Saturday piecing quilts.

This is one of the finishes from last Saturday. It is the quilt for my daughter’s friend’s mother who is undergoing chemotherapy for breast cancer. The pattern is the Warm Wishes free pattern from Quiltmaker magazine. It is often used in the crib size for project Linus quilts. It is simply a six inch rail fence block alternated with a focus fabric block. It can be pieced in long strips –easy to cut, easy to stitch. With different color placements and widths for the rails, the quilt has many variations.

In the sunlight, the pinks on the two focus fabrics I used looked the same, but under the CFL light, the pinks are not the same.

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And one of my goals for the 2014 is to make more quilts for an organization that befriended us each of the four times that Ezri had her brain surgeries. The organization is AZ Blankets 4 Kids. I will never forget the first night we were in the PICU with that tiny little girl with tubes and wires everywhere, and someone brought in a beautiful red and white lap quilt. That was the softest and most comfortable quilt and truly was a comfort quilt for that night and many nights thereafter in the hospital. And the next morning as we walked through the PICU, there were bright, beautiful quilts on every bed.

Yesterday, I sent this quilt to Arizona. It is leftover zoo animals novelty fabric. It was a piece and quilt as you go on the longarm. I loaded the backing and batting and stitched fabric strips and flipped them and stitched the next strip. IMG_5156

 
 

2 New Projects

I’ve been working on two new projects. One is to update and expand my breast cancer awareness ribbons and make some mug rugs to go with them.Here’s a quick look at the breast cancer awareness mug rugs. They are available for free in my Craftsy pattern store through the end of October.

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The other project is my effort to use up a Sesame Street novelty fabric set that I bought. With two grandsons the exact same age (born 24 hours apart), I always buy two of every novelty of this sort. I cut up the novelty print into several pieces and cut strips from the stripe and blue fizz fabric and played around with it until everything fit. It was much easier than I expected to get a rectangle out of these fabrics. It’s just the perfect size for a child to drag around wherever they go. Now, I need to get the second one done and both of them quilted this weekend. One of my grandsons has a Super Grover costume for Halloween, so this is a perfect Halloween gift for him.

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Owl Quilt for Baby Johanna

Finished the owl quilt yesterday for baby Johanna. She’s due in September and the baby shower was yesterday. I finished the quilt at 9am and the shower was at 11am, so it was a tight squeeze. But I was so pleased with it. The embroidery designs (all but one which was my design) were from DesignsbyJuJu.com owl sets 1 and 2. The flowers are my Accuquilt GO! fun flowers and I used the design that was digitized with the free-form applique embroidery edge. I quilted edge to edge with the Double Bubble Panto from Urban Elementz.

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Angular Meander Quilting

Here’s another quilting design that I decided to try. This is a small quilt that Norma pieced. Because of the bright colors and busy pattern, it’s more difficult to see the quilting very well, but it is simply an angular meander. This was so much fun to quilt, and I like the way it looks on the quilt.

I did a lot of doodling on paper and on my Kindle Fire Whiteboard before quilting. The black and white picture below is what it looks like on the Whiteboard from my Kindle Fire. I’m glad my quilting looks better than my doodling.

 
 

Halloween Quilt / Wall Hanging

I seem to be collecting a lot of machine embroidery blocks. The more designs I digitize, the more I stitch, and then there’s no time to put them all into a quilt. But I can dream – and dream I do. That’s the beautiful thing about EQ7. It allows me to quilt with a computer.

The two most recent sets I digitized are the Halloween set and the Turtle Treks set. This is what I came up with for a quilt layout. I think both of these would be nice as a lap quilt, but even cuter as a wall hanging. Here are the two quilt layouts from EQ7–very simple – and the quilting will be the ‘piece de resistance’ for these quilts. The third image shows the block outline. Tomorrow, I’ll give directions for constructing the black and white connector blocks. And then maybe some lucky person would like to be the recipient of a kit giveaway to make one of these – blocks already embroidered!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  
 

Pet Menagerie

This is my entry for the Pets on Quilts Show. It’s a Pet Menagerie of wild, safari animals that are just perfect for a snuggle. This quilt is made with applique animals alternating with safari animals print blocks. The back has a great zigzag across the middle.

This has been a year of making and quilting safari animal quilts – for my nephew and for my grandsons – and they all love their quilt “pets.”

Quilting was done on my Nolting longarm using Aurifil 50 wt thread on top and bobbin.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  
 

Pets on Quilts Show Starts Wednesday

Are you ready? Have you taken a picture of your pet(s) on a quilt? Do you have an animal-themed quilt? Wednesday will be here before you know it. Just head on over to Lilypad Quilts on Wednesday and link your photo or blog for a wonderful quilt show. Read more about the Pets on Quilts Show here.

Remember the rickrack and flower quilt that I made and thought it needed “help”. Well, Jan in Atlanta came to the rescue and suggested that it needed some leaves. I couldn’t agree more – I think that will give it the pizzazz it needs. With so much on my plate right now, I asked Jan if she would like to take that quilt top and finish it with her own special touch for her granddaughter. So, Friday I shipped the top and enough fabric for leaves and binding off to Atlanta. You can visit Jan here at her blog, Geema Sews. She does some beautiful quilting, so it will be fun for all of us to see what she does with that top.

We visited with our daughter this past weekend for our grandson’s baptism. And what a delightful surprise to see a beautiful quilt that she received from a friend for our grandson. While I don’t know her friend, I do know from seeing this quilt, that she is a wonderful quilter. I loved this quilt so much that I have to show it to you. The overall design is very striking with the center pinwheel section set off with prairie points and a border and binding that accentuate it perfectly. I love the straight line quilting. (I’m going to try the same thing on a border soon.) And the fabrics are delightful. This quilt is almost too pretty to be used – it would be beautiful on a wall. But it is already being used as you can see that my daughter has washed it already. And it will be used and enjoyed for many, many years.

The fabric on the back is a tan color – on my computer it looks gray, but it is a very fun fabric and perfect for the back.

 
 

Accuquilt GO! Zoo Animals and a few Orphan Blocks

When I was making the quilt for my nephew, there were a few blocks left over from all the different layouts I tried. In fact, there were enough blocks left over to make another baby quilt. And, whenever I digitize, lots of blocks are created. Altogether, they turned into a cute baby quilt. And the machine embroidery set is for sale and ‘on sale’ in my shop. I also added some elephants to round out the ‘zoo.’ The photo is from my phone and it’s hard to hold it completely still – but you get the idea.

And since the top was 45 x 45 inches, the backing needed some extra width. Thus, I added some quarter square triangles that were cut using the 8 inch finished quarter square triangle die from Accuquilt. And that made a perfect back for this little quilt. Love the way this turned out – I can see using strips of triangles across backs in lots of different ways.

Believe it or not – the blue on the front is the same blue fabric as the back. The light really changes the appearance of color.

And I thought I’d add in a couple of extra photos that are fun. Here are Ezri and Kes at pre-kindergarten graduation. Kes will still be in pre-K in the Fall, but Ezri will be in Kindergarten. Don’t you love those paper hats? They’re like the paper crowns we used to wear when I was a child – what a nice and inexpensive way to “graduate.”

And my husband is building a “tree house” addition to the swing set for the grandchildren. Last summer just before school started, Ezri and Kes were having a conversation as to whether our house (back yard actually) was a playground or a park. Ezri, much more experienced with school, assured Kes that Grandpa’s house is a “park”.