Patriotic Rescue

As part of Daughter’s charitable sewing group, we have made up some “kits” of scraps and orphan blocks and labeled them “Adoptable Quilts.”

Here is one I recently finished.

The scraps came from at least three different sources, but they were able to come together and make something that someone will be glad to wrap up in.

It is a little smaller than I might have liked, about 55″ x 65″, but at least it isn’t a pile of unwanted pieces, and it felt “done” when I got to this point.

TUTORIAL: Welcome Home Quilt Block

If you are looking for a scrap quilt pattern that is versatile, good looking, beginner friendly, group friendly, quick and just plain FUN, you have found it: Welcome Home Quilt Block.

Yes, all of these are Welcome Home Blocks!

As long as the pieces match up, it does not matter what order you assemble them–traditional log cabin, court house steps, random–they all look good.

MATERIALS (for each block–it takes 48 blocks to make a 60″ x 80″ quilt)

From a variety of scraps, cut…

2 2-1/2″ x 2-1/2″ squares

2 2-1/2″x4-1/2″ strips

2 2-1/2″ x 6-1/2″ strips

2 2-1/2″ x 8-1/2″ strips

1 2-1/2″ x 10-1/2″ strip

ASSEMBLY

  1. Stitch the 2-1/2″ squares together. Press.
  2. Add the 2-1/2″ x 4-1/2″ strips, matching ends and pressing between each.
  3. Add the 2-1/2″ x 6-1/2″ strips, matching ends and pressing between each.
  4. Add the 2-1/2″ x 8-1/2″ strips, matching ends and pressing between each.
  5. Add the 2-1/2″ x 10-1/2″ strip, matching ends. Press.
  6. Ta-dah! That’s it. Now, go make a whole bunch more.

Yep, this quilt was built with just such blocks! Aren’t you excited?! Go build 48 blocks and have a nice size quilt people will cuddle under with love.

Welcome Home Quilt Finished

The first Welcome Home quilt is complete.

The blocks finish at 10″ and it only takes 48 to make a nice size (60″ x 80″) quilt. Perfect for a large, cuddly throw, a Quilt of Valor, or a twin size quilt.

Jennifer, who donated her quilting time, used an overall flower pattern with multi-color thread. LOVE IT!

We have another finished top waiting to be quilted, and more blocks in the works. To celebrate the season of giving, I am joining Susan in committing to make a block a day to #LightTheWorld. The Welcome Home block tutorial will be posted tomorrow. Won’t you join us? You can make blocks for your own charitable quilt, or send finished blocks my way to add to the ones I am making for a project with love from many hearts and hands. Let me know if you would like to do that.

Such a scrappy happy quilt! It will surely bring warmth and a smile wherever it goes.

All Blocks Complete

I warned Husband that this was going to be a high sewing weekend. It was time to get those blocks finished!

He didn’t complain and even stepped up and did extra around the house. (You have to love a man who mops!)

And I finished the blocks. All 64 are complete. YAY!

Sweet Scrappy Saturday

Sparkle Jane (Daughter) has started a scrappy sewing group that meets at her shop once a month and makes items for donation.

The favorite project these days is the Welcome Home blocks (tutorial coming sometime soon) that are assembled to make large couch or twin sized quilts (60″ x 80″).

Sparkle Jane herself did the assembly work on my “new” Featherweight. It sews straight and true.

And in the end we had one completed top and only 6 blocks short of second. YAY! Next day scheduled for November 21.

Quilt Restoration Complete

It was a big push to finish before I start Teacher Work Days.  Once school starts intense projects are much harder.

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This quilt was made for JoAnne by her mother Florence about 1976.  You can tell that Florence was resourceful.  She used the fabric she had.

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Every block needed some repair, and that was how I approached it:  One block at a time.  You can read more about some specific repair techniques HERE and HERE.

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Since the one-block-at-a-time system seemed to be working so well, I quilted it the same way–A meander-stipple around the birds in each block.  My freehand quilting is not great, but it disappears into most of the fabrics and, hopefully, no one will look at the back too much.

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Speaking of the back, it is a white piece of wide-back flannel (prewashed) that I hope will mimic the feel of the fleece when it was new and stabilize the overall structure of the quilt.

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The wide binding was not in good shape, but couldn’t be removed without danger, so I put a narrower binding over it.  The wavy nature of the quilt made it hard to achieve a uniform look, but I hope the original binding peeking out preserves both the quilt and the memories.

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So, it is complete and should be back to its owner within a week.

Here are before-during-after shots.  What an interesting experience this has been.

Quilt Restoration: Block Style 2

The entire quilt was a bit of doozy…30 of 30 blocks needing help.

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For insight on how I fixed blocks with ruined backgrounds, see HERE.

Today I am sharing one way to fix a damaged applique.  I am not pretending this is a great way, but this block needed two different techniques. So it seemed a good example.

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A previous repair had stitched netting over the damaged fabric.  I suspect much of the damage on this block, and a number of other places on the quilt, was due to a combination of different shrinkage after washing and very light quilting.

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So I removed the netting and cleaned up the frayed fabric so I could see what was going on.

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The small frayed area at the bottom could be sort of darned using matching threads.  the larger torn area needed matching fabric.

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I stitched the bottom area first (no good picture, sorry) and then a line on the matching fabric right where the stripe color changed.  Fortunately, not in the way of the eye.

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You can see the darning repair in this picture.  Once I attached the matching fabric I pressed it open and trimmed it just outside the zigzag edge.  Then I turned in under and stitched it down like turned edge applique.

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And finished it off with a matching zig-zag stitch as close to the original as I could.  Whew!  From a distance and on a galloping horse, it doesn’t look too bad.

Quilt Restoration: Block Style 1

The quilt has 30 blocks, and not a single one didn’t need something.  Some were fairly simple, just restitching the ric-rack or mending a small hole, but a few were much more involved.DSC01995

There is no batting, exactly, in the quilt.  Rather, a recycled, lightweight fleece served as both batting and backing.  There was also essentially no quilting.  Just some stitch-in-the-ditch at the sashing and between the blocks.  The blocks themselves are roughly 13″ x 14″. You can guess some of the problems that causes.

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This block, and two similar to it, had ruined backgrounds.  The birds were in pretty good shape, but…

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First, to expose the entire problem, the netting applied as mending needed to be removed.

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The fabric that hadn’t already torn was so fragile that saving it with some kind of backing wasn’t an option. I found a near-matching piece of fabric as a new background and cut it around an inch larger than the existing block.  Pins mark the position of the bird as it was placed on the block.

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I cut  the applique bird out of the existing background, leaving some extra around the edges where possible.

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I ironed the extra towards the back.

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And re-appliqued it onto the new near-matching background.

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Now, to fit the block into the hole, which is no longer a true rectangle, or any particular shape.  Lots of pins.  And blind stitching the edges into the hole.

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In the end I believe the new block doesn’t stand out too much as “new.”  Hopefully the owner will see the memory of what once was and not be too taken aback by the changes.

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One more look at “before” and “after” side by side.

Believable?

Quilt Restoration

This might be out of my league, but I was asked to do it by a long-time neighbor and friend of my parents.

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Her mother made her this quilt when she was a young child.  It is much loved and is full of memories…

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Each block and each bird have their own personality.

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I am tentatively starting to work on it, making repairs one block and a time and hoping for a grand revelation on a finish.  It is mostly not-quilted and there is no batting…

Suggestions?  Ideas?  Encouragements?

A Sleuth Of Bears

What do you call a group of bears?  A SLEUTH!!  What a fantastic word.

And what a great description for this finally-finished project that started with Sparkle Jane, but eventually involved all of us.

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A high school friend of Sparkle Jane was involved in a service project making charity bears.  There were leftovers and Sparkle said she could make some bears.  There was A LOT of leftovers.  In typical Sparkle style, she cut until she couldn’t cut any more.

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And then it was time to stitch.  Each bear, of course, needed to be unique.

Then she got tired and set it aside, but this year she was determined to finish.  ALL OF THEM.

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She finished all the faces.  I helped with eyes.  Then it was time for everyone to help with stuffing and stitching.

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And they are finally finished.  YAY!  Soon to be donated to worthy causes.  Whew!