Several years ago my brother’s house was completely destroyed in a fire. There was absolutely nothing left except a few things in the front corner of the house which was the main bedroom. Even the kitchen appliances were vaporized. They barely got out of the house and didn’t even have time to put on their shoes. Interestingly enough, many of their quilts survived the fire. The boys were away at college and had their graduation quilts made by my mother. A quilt that I made and gifted them was displayed on a chair in the front entryway and partially survived. I promised to repair it and it has been sitting in a basket in my sewing room ever since. The problem with repairing it is that I didn’t know where to start. I have repaired several quilts over the years, but this one has damage everywhere. The binding is frayed and the fabric that looks like it is all right is very faded and damaged from the cleaning process that was used after the fire. This is a picture of the damaged quilt.
Recently I bought some beautiful Moda fabrics – one is a dark blue, one is a cream with blue flower sprays and the third is a rich red. In the process of prewashing and pressing the fabrics, I decided to pull out the damaged quilt and to see if these fabrics would work. And then seeing how simple the quilt actually is, it only made sense to use these three fabrics and make a replica of the original quilt. I spent the time between baking and getting ready for July 4th making the stars for this quilt.
As you can see, this is a simple but very pretty quilt with 12 stars bordered in blue and set with red sashing and borders. I made blocks one at a time on July 4 as I cooked and got ready for the grandchildren to come over. And yesterday I added block borders and sashing. This is the progress thus far.
The blocks are 9″ finished and bordered by 2″ finished blue strips for a finished block size of 13″. The center sashing is 3″ finished and the borders are 3″ finished (red) and 4″ finished (blue). I used the AccuQuilt GO! 6″ Qube with Shapes 1, 13, and 14 to make the stars and 2, 3, and 4″ strip dies for the remainder of the quilt. The outer border will be wider than the original, but I think this is going to be a nice quilt when finished.
This has been a strange time with the constant fear and uncertainty of the pandemic ever looming. For me the semi-isolation is probably the hardest in terms of creativity. It seems there are lots of ideas, but then little motivation to act on them. Back in March I finally spent a lot of time making masks for my grandchildren and the neighbor children. And there have been some finishes around here.
Sherry Gray is always around to help with binding and encouraging words. Bea Lee has also been fun for conversation and inspiration. Most of our conversations are via text, but that’s how it was before the pandemic. I am going to show you just a few quilts at a time over the next few days.
The following pictures are quilts made from a set of blocks that I made over 10 years ago. There were well over a hundred blocks. There was a time when Drunkard’s Path blocks were one of my favorites. That, along with a subscription to Batiks Etc., monthly batik pack kept me going. I was working full time in those days and made a block or two a day. I showed the blocks to Sherry. She and her husband are absolute color gurus and they took on the task of sorting the blocks for color combinations and then Sherry stitched them together. I quilted them, and she did the binding. If only you could see them in person. They are gorgeous and have been gifted to my three granddaughters who live here.
Grandchildren are such a joy. A cute little story about one of the second graders is about his reading. He comes to our house after school on Tuesday and Thursday to play. One of his school assignments is to read 30 minutes every day. For the last two weeks he has found one excuse or another at home to avoid his reading. Yesterday he missed his visit to us because his mother restricted him to no more grandparent visits until his reading was done. We got a message late yesterday afternoon that he sat and read for a solid hour. We had a good chuckle over his motivation and the fact that we can never understand why it’s more fun at grandparents’ house than his own. Nevertheless, he has won a visit to our house today on a rare Wednesday but is required to read with us for 30 minutes of that visit.
This is one of the projects I’m working on right now. It was started about five years ago. The background fabric I chose was pink and as the grandchildren kept coming, they were all boys. At one point I stopped with the last three letters, x, y, and z unfinished. Finally two years ago the last grandchild was born and it was a girl. She’s two now and thinks she’s the queen of a house full of brothers and her dad. So a couple of weeks ago, I finished the last three letters and am in the process of putting this quilt together.
The embroidery designs are an alphabet from Designs by JuJu. I love her embroidery and this makes such a cute quilt with the bright colors. I added a princess crown, carriage, queen bee and castle from another Designs by JuJu embroidery set to make the rows come out even.
I’m still working on a decision as to the border fabric, but I think it’s going to be the batik even though the print looks really good with this.
This is the rug in her room and the turquoise hopefully will coordinate with that as well as the hints of blue in the sashing fabric.
And this is that wild child with her sweet brother.
The summer weather has been beautiful, and it’s been a great time to get some UFOs finished around here. Thought I’d give you a little quilt show of what’s been done before I ship these off to their recipients. While the political season is in full swing and does not make one feel positive in the least for the future and with other very somber news, I have been listening to the Cincinnati Pops Gershwin selections with conductor Erich Kunzel from an old CD. While audiobooks are usually the media of choice for me, some upbeat music is just what is needed right now.
These quilts have been finished in the last two weeks:
This one was pieced by Norma and quilted by me. Sherry will bind it. Great team effort on a beautiful “Brick” quilt.
This is the car quilt that I made for the AccuQuilt blog post and shows a closeup of the cars. It is going to my second youngest grandson who is 18 months old. His older brothers have lots of quilts and this will be his. There is no more fabric like this–and it will truly be missed around here. I love this fabric with the Gulf and Esso and Phillips gasoline signs as well as the Route 66 signs. Do you remember that TV show?
This is a quilt that I made ages ago–actually it was years ago and all those New York Star points are paper pieced using Sharon Schamber’s method. This was before I had an AccuQuilt to make the Drunkard’s Path blocks so these were cut with acrylic templates. This quilt is going to my daughter who needs a quilt to take to soccer practice and for games that won’t show red dirt stains. This has a batik backing that is black with colored checkered stripes all over it. I thought that would be perfect for a soccer quilt.
And this is a Hunter’s Star made with the AccuQuilt Hunter’s Star die. This is the third one I’ve made and I still love this die and the way it turns out. It is just so easy to make these blocks–no question as to which way to press. If you always press to the dark with this pattern, all the seams interlock and it makes a beautiful quilt. Four blocks make a star with a quarter star on each corner.
There are a couple more quilts but I can’t show them because Sherry made them–I quilted them, and they will be gifted.
I had turned off comments, but have adjusted my email, so hopefully I will see the comments when they arrive. I always hold my breath when updates, etc., are installed as my technology skills have not kept pace with all the advances.
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.
This is a work in progress, but here are two possibilities of ways to use this center block for a child’s quilt.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Quilter’s Giving Bee is closed to donations and now the gifts are being tallied and the prizes are sent to the winners. This is a big shout out to SewCalGal for organizing and sponsoring this great event, the four blogger participants and their organizations, and most of all to all of you who contributed money and/or purchased machine embroidery designs from me as a donation to HopeforHH.org. You will also find a post I wrote on the Craftsy blog for Holiday machine embroidered napkins for those of you who like to do machine embroidery on napkins. And for those of you who just want to use Christmas fabric to make napkins, here’s a link to a great tutorial for Nine Minute Napkins. I love cloth napkins and have loved making them using this tutorial. So many of the tutorials show how to fold the corners and trim, etc. This is so much quicker and easier for me. I also added links to these tutorials in my blog roll links.
My twin grandsons are celebrating their 5th birthday soon and will be having a birthday party with invited friends their own age. Always in the past, their birthday has been a family occasion. As a party favor, my daughter decided that they should give Superhero Capes, as the twins love them so much. It seems like a lot, but the party is for two children so that makes it a bit more reasonable. The capes were made by PipandBean Etsy Shop, and they are adorable. The colors are absolutely wonderful. The cost of having Pip and Bean add the emblems to 20 capes was too much, so Grandma was tasked (actually Grandma volunteered) to make and add emblems to each cape. And I have been totally immersed in that the past three days.
Here are some pictures of my adventures. Unfortunately the emblems are too large to cut with an AccuQuilt, so they have all been cut by hand. I do wish I had ordered the bullseye Studio dies, as I would have loved having the smaller circles cut so nicely with it. The outer circle is 10-1/2″ (used my longarm circles for that. However, I have three rotary cutters and none of them would cut through the eco-felt or the wool felt, so they all had to be cut with scissors. Also tried the Silhouette on the eco-felt and that didn’t work either. This sounds like a challenge that should be pursued. . .I have cut smaller felt shapes with my AccuQuilt and it cuts great.
I am going to make two quilts in the next couple of weeks. One is for Gene Black’s Quilt Angels that provides quilts to young people who are in a shelter situation. The second is a quilt for the mother of my daughter’s friend Katie. Katie’s Mom has just been diagnosed with breast cancer and will be having surgery and chemotherapy beginning right away. I am asking your suggestions for Katie’s Mom’s quilt.
Katie and Em both thought pink would be the right color. And they thought the grandchildren could make handprints with paint on fabric to be part of the quilt. My suggestion was that they do the handprints on paper and let me make jpgs of them to print on fabric as that would hold up better than paint so the quilt can be machine washed.
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.
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.
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.