Thursday, January 26, 2012

Fabric Donation from Gail

We received a very nice bundle of fabric from a wonderful lady I met at the quilt guild meeting in Missouri Valley, Iowa.  I have been trying to use it up or kit it up.  Here are my first two attempts.


Found coordinating fabric to go with the cute teddy bear panels.


I wanted to make an "easy" quilt to make at February's quilt day.  I think this is what we will be doing.  I have made four kits so far using this pattern.



Saturday, January 21, 2012

Introducing ECLECTIC FEVER

Here is my latest quilt design.  I actually started this a couple years ago but just found it in my recent quilt studio reorganization last week.

The goal I have in designing quilts for Quilts from the Bluffs is to use up as much scrap fabric as possible and still have a quilt that is interesting and fun to look at.

My first version of the quilt:
I thought it needed another single row in the center of the quilt.  My next attempt used scrap that was donated to us a couple years ago.  I do not remember who gave the fabric to us but it was someone who made clothing.  This fabric was from Africa (I think) and I thought it was so interesting. 

So.....brace yourself...this is the quilt that prompted the name ECLECTIC FEVER!

How fun is that!  :-)  I know...most of you are cringing but these fabrics were all so unique and this is definitely a one-of-a-kind quilt.

I am in the process of writing the pattern out for this quilt and will publish it when it is done.  We may even do this quilt at the next quilt day in February.  Comments are welcome!







Sunday, January 15, 2012

Monthly Quilt Status Update - January

After our first quilt day of the year, we have in current inventory 81 quilt tops, 44 completed quilts, and no quilts delivered yet.

This does not count any quilts that you have taken home to work on...only  the ones in my possession.

Considering our first of the year total was 110 (I found 13 more since the first update) quilt tops and 13 completed tops, we are moving the right direction.


Rag Quilts

Quilt Day was very productive this month.  We had 21 attendees and many working hard on making rag quilts.  Three were completed and several more are in progress.  We also had a pretty big stack of finished quilts.  I will take an inventory of our progress later today and post the results. 

Thanks to everyone who attended!!


 



Friday, January 13, 2012

Rag Quilt Patterns

There are endless patterns and variations for rag quilts.  Since we will be working on rag quilts at our group's monthly quilt day, I thought I would share some information I found.

This is a pretty good tutorial for rag quilts:
http://jenyu.net/make/ragquilt.php

http://quilting.about.com/od/ragquiltpatterns/ss/rag_quilt_basic.htm

http://www.freequiltideas.com/free_quilt_patterns/Rag_Quilt_Pattern.htm

Here is the way we will be doing them at quilt day:

MATERIALS:

We will be using 9” flannel squares for our rag quilts.  You could also use homespuns or denim and any size block you want (usually between 6” and 10”).
Batting should be 1” smaller than the flannel squares.  We will use 8” batting.  You could use another layer of flannel instead of batting.  If you do this, you can keep it the same size as the outer flannel squares.

SIZE of QUILT:

To determine the number of blocks you need to achieve the size of quilt, figure ½” seams and about ½” shrinkage from 9” squares.  That is approximately 7 ½” per square.
Twin:     9 across x 11 rows = 99 blocks          198 flannel squares       99 batting squares
Lap:      6 across x 7 rows = 42 blocks               84 flannel squares         42 batting squares
Cut or Select the squares you will need.

Sewing/ASSEMBLY:

Layer a flannel square right side down, a batting square centered on this square, and the top flannel square right side up.
Pin a pin in the middle of each side to keep the layers together.  You can pin all the blocks first and then string piece them if the want.
Sew an “X” through all layers.  If you are string piecing them, do one side of the “X” for all blocks and then come back and do the other side.
Using a generous ½” seam, join the blocks together in rows, leaving the raw edges of the blocks on top.
Sew rows together matching seams leaving the raw edges of the blocks on top.  I would reinforce the stitching at the intersections of the blocks.
After you have joined the 8 rows, sew an inch inside the outer border all around the quilt.  For more stability with your seams, you can go around the quilt twice.
Cut the seams into fringe using sharp scissors.  Be very careful not to cut into the stitching.  Cut every ½” or so.  Make sure you cut around the outside of the quilt as well.
Wash the quilt to fray.  You may want to use the Laundromat.  Front loading washers work best.  Make sure you have a good lint filter and clean it when you are done.

PDF Version of Instructions
Cuddle and Enjoy!!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

2012 Challenge - Starting Count

I just counted all the quilt tops I have sitting around here...at least I think I found them all.

97 will be our starting number for the 2012 challenge.

-6 that I have done this week.

+1 quilt top that I made this week (I was ADHD and not focused on the goal!)

We only have 92 to go...

2012 Challenge - CATCH UP

This is the year we will catch up on our quilts...really...it is!!  That is the goal I am setting forth to the group.  I would like to have no more than 25 unfinished quilts at any given time.  That means we need to not only finish the quilts we start this year but also finish at least 75 more.  I calculate we have around 100 quilt tops ready to finish at this time.  I will get a more accurate count later and post.

So, who is up for the challenge?

My personal goal is to quilt 150 quilts on the longarm this year for the group.  I have 6 done so far.  That's a mere 144 more to go.

How can you help?

  • Take quilts home to finish.
  • Work on finishing quilts on quilt days instead of new tops.
  • Do you have a shortarm/longarm?  Can you commit to certain number of quilts to finish each month?  Even 1 or 2 will get us closer to the goal.

I will try to give a monthly status update on how many quilts we have delivered, have on hand completed, and tops that still need to be finished.  If we keep this in our focus, maybe together we can succeed!!



Thursday, January 5, 2012

It's A New Year!!

I haven't posted for a few weeks but I have not been idle!  There was so much quilting going on through the holidays and I am finally able to take a breath.  I am starting to look towards the new year and do some planning.

First, I would like to report that Quilts from the Bluffs was able to deliver 267 quilts during 2011.  This is such an awesome feat since it has been a challenging year for many!  Congratulations to everyone who contributed to this accomplishment.

Our first meeting of the year will be January 14 at First Christian Church in Council Bluffs IA.  If you would like information on this group, please let me know.  We welcome new members at all skill levels.  We will be making rag quilts.  This is a picture of a rag quilt I made a few years ago and resides on our bed.  We would love to make some quilts for some of the residents of Children's Square in Council Bluffs.


Here is my latest Quilts of Valor quilt I quilted for Marianne Fons (I didn't piece the top.)  I have two more in the mail that I will work on this weekend.  This is such a good organization and would encourage you to get involved, either by making quilt tops or by quilting them if you have a longarm machine.