There are some things that I don’t love about winter- extreme cold and icy roads are the worst. But there are many things to love about it including snow play, cozy fires, hot chocolate/coffee/tea and downtime. Most of us don’t get enough downtime with our modern, busy lives, but I live for this every winter. I look forward to the months of January and February as the least demanding of the year. During this time I can try new things, spend all day reading a book, binge watch fun stuff while knitting or doing other handwork.
It has also become a habit of mine to use the downtime of this time of year for some easy, mindless sewing. I love making simple comfort quilts that I can donate to my quilt guild. The quilt guild coordinates the donations to a number of different charities in my community. Our guild collects over 400 quilts each year from guild members and others in our community. Each guild member is asked to provide at least one community quilt each year, but since I love making small quilts I always donate several. This year I went a little bit crazy and made 10 kid size quilts. Lucky for me I had all this fabric, thread and almost all of the batting in my stash already. I don’t use a lot of prints these days, but I do love them. In my art quilt work I often put a fun print on the back just to use my favorites. I have been trying to decrease the size of my stash for the last few years so I set aside piles of prints that I wouldn’t mind using this way. The scraps will also be used for comfort quilts as time goes on.
These quilts were made in two different ways. I either cut 20 10” squares as in the quilts above, or I cut width of fabric strips to use horizontally as you’ll see below. I think the main thing that makes these quilts work is that these are fun prints. Some of these quilts are almost like I Spy quilts and will be just the thing to distract a child going through difficult circumstances while also providing a cozy place to cuddle.
I then machine quilt them with a simple serpentine stitch (on a Bernina it’s stitch #4 with the length increased to 2.5). Then I do a machine stitched binding. The horizontal strip quilts are the fastest, taking about 3 hours. The 10” block quilts take a little longer for the piecing, but they work great if you have smaller pieces of a bunch of different fabrics.
Comfort quilts have the advantage of needing to only be fun and colorful. They don’t need intricate piecing. They can easily be done by quilters of all levels and will surely be appreciated by various charities in your community. If you don’t have a local quilt guild you can check with Project Linus, your local hospital, services for women and children, even your local fire department might be interested. If you are inspired to try one let me know and Happy Quilting!