Donation quilts, large and small, and some leftovers

26 03 2020

Well-known quilter and author Sandi Cummings leads and mentors a great group of quilters who meet monthly at The Cotton Patch fabric store in Lafayette CA.  I’m pleased to be a part of this group.  We make quilts to donate to a local charity, First Place for Youth, which assists in helping young people transition out of foster care and into adulthood.  Each of their clients chooses one of our quilts for their new place, which we hope keeps them warm and lets them know we care.

I have made a dozen or so quilts for this group so far, but I always forget to take pictures of them.  I remembered this time.

This quilt’s story includes a story of the inspirational fabric that started it all.  Originally designed for a group of fabrics that represented a designer’s Christmas series, I found this on a sale table and bought a bunch, just because I liked it.  It then sat in my stash for probably more than ten years, since I had by that time burned out on the idea of making more Christmas quilts (seven was enough).  Here’s a detail photo of the fabric:

After joining this First Place group I went through my stash and looked for fabric to donate for a simple quilt, and I finally realized that this fabric doesn’t necessarily look like a recognizable Christmas motif, save for the little red holly berries hiding in the background.  By using tons of other non-holiday fabrics, I could make a fun and colorful quilt, finally using this fabric favorite.  I love the finished quilt and hope it finds a good home.

The masterful quilting was done by Tina de Man , who quilts tons and tons of our donation quilts so fabulously.  Her dedication is truly admirable.

 

The pattern I used was one from Sandi’s folder, which included many sets of simpler quilt instructions torn from various quilting magazines.  I modified the pattern slightly, and I would love to credit the original designer if I still had the printed material.  Help in identifying the source would be appreciated and included here at a later date.

Of course, just as usual, I cut waaaaaaay too much of the coordinating fabrics, and had the plenty of the focus fabric left (remember; it was on sale!!!).  So off I went on my favorite sewing expedition, making a quilt from the leftover fabrics and bits and pieces of a project I have just finished.  I love this one too, and hope that it too finds a good home through my guild’s Children’s Quilt Project donation system.

 

P.S.–Confession time

A few more words about this “leftover syndrome”, that continues to haunt me.

Here is how is happens:

I am currently 91% finished working on the top for a new project using blues and yellows.  However, during the long process of working on this English paper piecing (which takes a fair bit of time), I have manage to amass fabric that I thought I might need to use.  Always good to have choices, right?

See below what is leftover now, perhaps enough to make 6-7 different backs for the quilt in progress.  Sigh

Does any one else do this or is it just me?  I know the fabric stores are all in favor.

I’m pretty sure First Place will receive just a few blue and yellow quilts relatively soon.

P.P.S.

Please forgive the quality of the quilt photos.  These are just phone photos taken on the wall in my studio, where lighting is not optimal.

 

 





Florida Colors

28 09 2018

I had just returned from our two weeks in Ireland, away from my studio for all that time, so all I wanted to do was to sit down at my sewing machine and just sew and sew and sew.

I had found one of these on sale, a set of jellyroll strips that were just not rolled up.

I also had a few yards of a light and happy background fabric, so off I went to find a pattern and get started.

The pattern was quickly found on YouTube.  Fons and Porter have a gaggle of free video tutorials and quilt pattern instructions.  For this one, search Fons and Porter, Quilting Quickly: Twice as Nice.  The video takes a whole 5 minutes.

This is the resulting quilt, which arrived in a miraculously short period of time.  I added a couple of borders, some very simple straight-line quilting, and Bob’s your uncle.

Florida Colors, 2018

 

Florida Colors, detail

This quilt will go to my sister-in-law, whose house is wonderfully decorated in all these fabulous colors.

The only problem now is what do I do with both of these?????

 





Black and White All Over–foundation-pieced triangles

21 09 2018

I have written about this piece while it was in progress in two prior posts, and it was finally finished in time to be shown at my guild’s exhibit, EBHQ’s Voices in Cloth, 2018.

During the process of making this quilt, I tried numerous times to include color of any kind, and did not succeed.  Frankly, the result is super-pleasing, to me at least.  Seems not to have impressed many others.  But then we do what we do because we are following our own compass, not to please others.

Black and White All Over, 2017

 

Black and White All Over, detail

I started this in Ashland, Oregon, while on vacation at a great house, attending many plays at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival.  I wanted a portable project, requiring limited baggage, so I took only my Featherweight and black and white fabrics, just to get a new quilt started.

I made my own foundations on freezer paper using an unthreaded needle on my machine.  I do not include a seam allowance on my foundations.  I learned to love foundation-piecing a billion years ago in a class taught by Jane Hall and Dixie Haywood at Houston.  I’m so grateful to them for sharing their expertise.

Freezer paper foundations

Progress started out slow, until I got into a good rhythm.

Day One

And then it got easy.

Day five

 

I even found a beautiful bowl for the fabric trimmings, which became its own fabric sculpture after a while.

 

And here is what most people commented on about this quilt, since this fabric was used often:

ANTS!!

Still love it.





More donation quilts for kids

27 01 2017

Here are a few things that I worked on over the holiday season,  just to keep myself sane.

Sometimes it’s fun to just sit and sew, with no huge or magnificant plans in mind.  These five are the results of just such playing.

These quilts measure approximately 36″ x 42″, just the right size to sew and quilt easily.  All of these quilts have been  donated to the Children’s Quilt Project wing of EBHQ’s Deanna Davis Community Quilt Project.

Leftover solids in a Rail Fence pattern with a wild border.

271

 

More 2″ squares–so fun to put together!

272

 

A Rail Fence quilt made from donated sample fabrics.

Scrappy Rail Fence

 

All squares with great African animal fabric donated by Jane S.  Love this fabric–it made at least three quilts for the kids.

African Animals

 

And  these Dalmation puppies on red played very well with some great black and white fabrics.

Puppies with Black and White

 





Five donations completed

28 10 2016

It feels good to complete projects.  “Done” is satisfying.  And it’s easier when the projects are these small quilts for donation to EBHQ’s Quilt Project.

Since these were simple quilts that I put together on a recent trip, I quilted them myself.  And four of the five were made from my favorite 2.5″ cut squares.  Very fun.

Here’s the gallery:

Squares in zigzag pattern

266full

Zigzag detail

266-detail

__________________________________

Random squares, with little animals popping up every now and then:

267full

Detail

267detail

________________________

Random squares with cute birds popping up:

268full

Detail

268detail

__________________________

All sorts of leftover squares that seemed to go with this wild border:

269full

___________________

And leftover solid rectangles that play with my dotty background:

270full

All were photographed on the wall in my studio;  no professional photographer here, but I wanted to get a shot of each before I bring them in for distribution.

AND

a sneak peek at the Triangles, in progress.

triangleinprogress

 

 

 





Triangles-in-progress

7 10 2016

I have finished 133 of these puppies, and I think that may be enough. They look kinda cool on the floor, so I am really jazzed about how they might look on my design wall.

image

And here is the fun one:

image

 

 

BEFORE

 

 

 

image

AFTER

I will have to make a pile of half-triangles for the sides of the quilt and a few more blocks to see how I can get color into this piece.

Here is a sample, just because I happened to have this black-with-red fabric nearby. Don’t know if this will be enough color to compete with all this black and white.

 

image

 

And, now that I have finished all of these blocks, I am amazed to realize that I never once considered using the same fabric for all three sides of each of these triangles.  Oh, well . . .

Would have looked like this:

image

 

Maybe that is how the color can be used.  Hmmmmmm . . . .

And here’s another one of the CQP kits, just for fun:

image

 





A new project-finally

23 09 2016

Having finished a lot of previous projects, I am finally starting a new one, one I have been thinking about for a while.

I cut a ton of 2″ strips from black and white fabrics I had collected, probable cutting way too much, nothing new for me.  And next I  cut another ton of center triangles.  Loving the triangle shape these days.

Then I made about 140 of these triangle patterns using freezer paper.  These are the foundations on which the strips are sewn.

image

And here is the result of my sewing so far, not even halfway finished, but lots of fun along the way.  I’m still thinking about getting some color into all this neutral, but that will happen when I get all the blocks on the design wall.  Maybe some magic will happen.

image

 

And here below are all the scraps from trimming the extras off the edges of the foundations. I started throwing them into this nice bowl, and all of a sudden they were an arty project all on their own.  Gonna keep doing this and see how full it gets.

Enjoy.

image

 





Woven Hexagons

12 08 2016

Woven Hexagons is finished.  This quilt is the final product of the sewing project I had to start in Ashland OR, when I inadvertently left my sewing basket at home when I left on vacation almost two years ago.

Click here to see the full story, including details about the English paper piecing techniques used.

Woven Hexagons, 2016

                                         Woven Hexagons, 2016       

It was difficult finding a background for all these great blocks, and I was surprised that this really bold-printed pattern on black was the one that finally did the trick.

Frankly, working with this entire color palette put me way out of my comfort zone, so I am pleased that it is finished and that I like it so much.

Woven Hexagons, Detail

Woven Hexagons, Detail

The quilting is very simple;  it is hard to see as it is, so just enough quilting to hold it all together, including the fun circles in the middle of each block.

it’s a challenge to make a quilt using only fabric from one designer or fabric line without the final project being uninteresting, so using only Marcia Derse fabrics for this one posed some problems.  In the end, I hope it hasn’t turned out too boring.

 





Purple Geese

29 07 2016

I just finished five quilts in time to get them photographed, quite a flurry of activity.

It was fun finally to finish this Flying Geese quilt, and I say “finally” even though I have no idea when I even started it.

When a class project more than 15 years ago did not turn out as I would have liked, I used all the fabrics I had gathered for the class and all the left over cut pieces and started sewing these geese on freezer paper, three geese to a block.  I worked on these randomly, and then there was a huge pile of them, which became this quilt top.

After that,  the top sat unquilted for the longest time.  The 2016 New Year’s resolutions to finish my projects really worked in this case, and here is the quilt that grew from that abandoned project.

artwork by Susan Dague

Purple Geese, 2016

59″ x 63″   

The quilting is very simple.  I wanted the plaids to do all the heavy lifting.  I think they do a great job.

258_PurpleGeesemed_3

 

Purple Geese Detail

And I gratefully acknowledge Gerry Roy and Roberta Horton for helping to nurture a love of plaids early on in my quilting life.  These fun fabrics are a a joy to work with, and I try to include them in everything I do.

If I had known I would love this one as much as I do, I’d like to think I might have finished it sooner.  Oh, well . . .

AND

there’s one more, finished in 2009.  It’s probably the remains of the class project that did not please me and did not warrant finishing as a full-sized quilt.  Done. (Must have had strong New Year’s resolutions in 2009, too).

111_AllPlaids_medAll Plaids, 2009

42″ x 44″

 

 





More Nancy Drew

25 03 2016

The full-sized version of the Nancy Drew quilt is finally finished and photographed.  There were so many of these great fabrics that I felt I had to include as much as I possibly could.  The bold colors were fun to play with.

Get a Clue with Nancy Drew, 2015 61" x 73"

Get a Clue with Nancy Drew, 2015                  61″ x 73″

And here is a detail of the blocks and some of the quilting.

253_NancyDrewDetailA_med_2

 

The “Get a Clue” line of fabrics from Moda also included these larger panels of the book covers, so I used this piece for the back instead of trying to find a comfortable way to cut these into blocks.

Nancy Drew Quilt--Back

Do you remember Nancy?  Yes, I read the books in my youth, and I have re-read a few more recently, too, just to take a trip down memory lane.

Now my daughter collects those old books we all discarded, so this quilt is for her.

 

Photography by Sibila Savage