Sew Teach Me Fundraiser

Tropical Beauty

Tropical Beauty

One of our local quilt shop treasures is closing this August after nine years in business. QuiltWorks has been a mainstay in the Central Oregon quilt community and has put on amazing gallery shows every month since it’s inception. I was honored and delighted to be a featured quilter there in March 2012. I’ve also had quilts in multiple other exhibits over the years, most notably with my Undercover Quilters group. So, it’s with great sadness that we say good bye to this wonderful shop.

This August 2nd is the 100th First Friday for the shop and they are going out with a bang. The gallery show for August (and really just the first week or two) is a fundraiser for Sew Teach Me which is a non-profit founded by Marilyn Forestell, the owner of QuiltWorks, that teaches young people how to sew. This has become a real passion for Marilyn and she will be traveling around the country to spread the word about the organization and to help get new teams started. If you have a shop or other group interested in the program please check the website for more information.

Marilyn asked friends of the shop to donate small quilts that will be sold to benefit Sew Teach Me and I was happy to oblige. All the quilts you see here will be included in the sale which starts on Friday, August 2 and continues until all are sold or until mid-August. I can’t wait to see all the quilts that will be available. If you are in the area, the First Friday reception will be a huge party and a great way to say goodbye to Marilyn and all the QuiltWorks folks.

Pink Flower

Pink Flower

Black and White and Spooky All Over

Black and White and Spooky All Over

Three Pink Trees

Three Pink Trees

Autumn

Autumn

Little Red House

Little Red House

Boho Baskets

Boho Baskets

Autumn Baskets

Autumn Baskets

Night at the Improv

Night at the Improv

Welcome Blankets

Welcome Blankets

Welcome Blankets

If you are feeling frustrated by the inaction on the part of the government in reuniting families and treating immigrants and asylum seekers with respect and compassion, here is a project you might be interested in.  The Welcome Blanket Project is collecting blankets (knit, crochet, woven, quilted, etc) to display and then distribute to refugee resettlement organizations.

The goals of Welcome Blanket are as follows (from their website):
1.     Welcome new immigrants to the United States with a practical gift and words of welcome and connection.
2.     Provide ways for those who want to support immigrants to create and give a practical and thoughtful gift.
3.     Create community around positive, hands-on ideas of inclusion.
4.     Promote discussions about immigration policy and its effects on real-live people.

I have made several quilts to send along and maybe you will too.  They are asking for 40" x 40" blankets.  They even have some suggested patterns if you'd rather do that.  They have a knit pattern, a crochet pattern and a super quick quilt pattern which I used to make things go faster.  Plus it is very graphic and has lots of design options.

Click for Blanket Patterns

One of the nice things about this project is that they ask for a personal note from the maker about their own immigrant story.  I think that's a wonderful way to make a connection with these new immigrants and to really welcome them.  You can find lots of wonderful blankets and notes in their gallery and also on their Instagram account: @welcomeblanket.

2018 Welcome Blankets (10).JPG

The orange quilt above and the red quilt below were made with the Magic 8 Method.  However, because quilting fabric doesn't usually come much wider than 40 usable inches, you might want to just try this quick method.  When you use the Magic 8 Method with squares about 20" you'll end up with a finished quilt less than 40" square.  The other quick method is not as quick as Magic 8, but it allows you to make a scrappier version like the one below.  By the way, there are some interesting tips in that second link, but I don't have the Quilt in a Day Square up Ruler so I just squared mine up the old fashioned way (also, it isn't big enough for these big blocks). 

2018 Welcome Blankets (9).JPG

Perhaps you are not moved to make a welcome blanket, but you might find the quick methods can be useful for other community/charity/donation quilts.  I am working on another one to donate to my quilt guild's community quilts program. When I go to quilt shops these days I usually don't really need more fabric and I'm trying to not grow my stash too much anyway, so I'll often take a look at the clearance fabric.   If I find something interesting I'll get a couple of yards which works well to make a baby quilt and someone can always use a baby quilt.  

Half square triangles are so much fun to play with too.  If you haven't explore this design element, here are a few places for inspiration:

Tea & Brie

Making More with Less

Pinterest

Other tips for these quick quilts:  I did a quick serpentine stitch for quilting.  On the Bernina that's stitch #4, with a stitch length of 3.0 and a width of 5.5.  I machine stitch the binding to the back, iron it over the front and machine stitch to the front.  It looks pretty good and is very sturdy, but the best thing about it is that it only takes about 1/2 hour compared to several hours of a hand stitched binding.

2018 Welcome Blankets (8).JPG

Of course, you can also do your own pattern.  When I first heard about the project I went searching through my closet to see if I had anything that fit the size.  Every Last Piece was the only one and it was actually in my Etsy shop, but I decided to send it along with the others.  

Every Last Piece

Every Last Piece

And here' s a bonus quilt that I made with the scraps leftover from the second one.  

All Things Being Equal

All Things Being Equal, 12x12

All Things Being Equal, 12x12

This quilt was made for the SAQA Benefit Auction.  The deadline has been extended to June 9 for arrival at their facility.  Just yesterday I decided I had a few hours to make something and came up with an idea of using improv equal signs in a simple vertical layout.  My goal is to spread the word about equality in all things in life and this may mean different things to different people.  Gender equality, marriage equality, pay equality, racial equality.  What does it mean to you? 

I had these scraps saved from the Maria Shell class I took last month.  I plan to get back to that one soon, but in the mean time I had some strips already cut and ready to use.  I created six different strip sets and roughly cut them to 2.5" lengths.  Then I rearranged them to make this design.  I needed a bit more width, so I made another set of the black and white version and created one strip with just black and white.

I did some simple channel quilting which is so easy on a small piece like this!  Last night I finished the binding, label and sleeve on the back.  This will be donated to the SAQA benefit auction and will be auctioned off this fall.  

Do Your Civic Duty

Civic Duty, 16x16

Civic Duty, 16x16

This quilt has become all the more relevant today as the horrendous news comes out of Washington today.  The US will withdraw from the Paris Climate Accord.  This decision takes the country backwards and I am furious.  If I had room I would have put "as if your grandchildren's lives depend on it".  It's possible that if the 50% of Americans that did not vote in the 2016 election had exercised their civic duty we wouldn't be in this mess.  

This is my entry for the Quilt Alliance contest this year with the theme "Voices".  I have added this to my Threads of Resistance series even though it was not made for that exhibit.  I will keep adding to this political body of work as time goes on.  

This quilt is hand appliqued, hand embroidered, and hand quilted.  The letters VOTE are hand appliqued.  The other letters were created with a layering technique that I learned in a class with Heidi Parkes at QuiltCon.  I don't think she fuses her shapes to the batting, but I did because I didn't want the letters to shift during quilting.  I used my stencil set to cut out the letters and fused them directly to the batting.  Then I layered over it a very thin shot cotton (Kaffe Fassett).  I appliqued VOTE to the shot cotton before I layered it all and started hand quilting.  I bought only two sizes of the stencils and this is the smaller size.  The capital letters measure 2.75" tall.  As it was, I had to play with the layout to get the words to fit within the 16x16 parameters for the contest.  

In the end, while this was a technique I wanted to try, I'm not sure it works as well as I would have hoped for a word quilt  This is the sort of quilt that invites closer inspection and so it works well that way, but from a distance it's hard to see the layered words and lighting makes a huge difference.  I decided to hand quilt with red thread around "life" because it needed more color.  I used pearl cotton for all the stitching on this piece and I love the bold line it makes.

I will be mailing this off to the Quilt Alliance tomorrow.  The contest deadline has been extended to July 3rd if you decide to raise your voice and let your opinions and thoughts be known.  All the contest quilts are donations to the Quilt Alliance and will be auctioned off this fall.

Quilter's Alliance Bidding Starts Now!

Smarter Than the Average Bird

Smarter Than the Average Bird

Bidding has begun on the first group of quilts from the Animals We Love contest from the Quilter's Alliance.  Check out the auction page for my quilt, Smarter Than the Average Bird here.  Also, check out the others in this group here.  There are some wonderful treasures to bid on!  Good luck!