Monday, March 23, 2020

Hands 2 Help Comfort Quilt Challenge 2020

In a world of uncertainty, there is one constant we can all count on.  Sarah Craig, at Confessions of a Fabric Addict, has opened the sign-up for her annual Hands 2 Help Challenge.    2020 is the tenth year of this charity quilt challenge and it could not have arrived at a better time.  With millions of people hunkered down at home (especially those of us of a certain age group), the Hands 2 Help Challenge is the perfect way for quilters to reach out and help someone who needs a quilty hug, without leaving the comforts of home.


This year, Sarah has chosen six deserving charities to receive your quilty hugs.  The wonderful thing about the participating charities is the variety of choices of quilt sizes they are requesting.  Two of the charities request quilts in all sizes from children to adults and two are only asking for adult size quilts.  If you love to make small quilts, one of the charities is specifically asking for infant quilts and another is asking for sizes from infants through teens.

The charities also vary in the missions they serve.  There are groups requesting quilts for cancer patients (children and adults), for communities going through disaster recovery, caregivers, end of life patients, and for babies going into foster care.  I'm sure at least one of these causes will touch your heart and inspire you to donate a quilt or two, or maybe even three.

The initial signups for the challenge will be Sunday, March 22nd through Saturday, March 28th,  You can signup after the initial period, but prize winners will be chosen from those who signup during the opening week.  Quilts must be mailed to the appropriate charities by Friday, June 12th.  If you live outside of North America, you can choose to mail your quilt to a local charity.

Stop by Sarah's blog, Confessions of a Fabric Addict to sign up for the Hands 2 Help Comfort Quilt Challenge 2020.  You can click on either of the two links in this paragraph or use the button on the right side of my blog.  She has lots of surprises for quilters partipating in the challenge.   I'm already surprised by the challenge.  This is the first time in the nine months since the 2019 H2H Challenge ended that I have posted a blog entry.  It's that important to me and I hope it will be to you.

Friday, May 24, 2019

H2H Grand Finale

The minutes are counting down until the official end of this year's H2H Challenge.  I've been looking at all of the quilts that are completed for donation over at Sarah's blog Confessions of a Fabric Addict.  The number of quilts donated this year is nothing short of amazing and the colors and patterns are dazzling.
In my last post, I showed this Rainbow Rail Fence top I sent to Brenda at Songbird Designs.  Brenda is an accomplished longarm quilter and our joint effort will be donated to the Carolina Hurricane Quilt Project.
 A few years ago, Covered In Love, headed by Kat who blogs at Kat & Cat Quilts was one of the charities selected to participate in the H2H Challenge.  After learning about Covered In Love's mission to provide quilts to hospitalized patients, it became my favorite destination to send quilt tops.  The two quilt tops below are in transit to Texas (home of Covered in Love) along with backings and bindings.

After making three tops for the challenge, I finally buckled down and accomplished some actual quilting. Eighteen months ago, I took a class to make a lovely baby quilt.  Since then, I've made attempts to work on the quilt, but could never really motivate myself to finish it. Having Jack's Basket as one of the H2H charities this year provided the motivation.  The pictures are very washed out.  The colors are much prettier in person.

I made a second quilt to donate, but after quilting it, I noticed two of the bunny squares look scorched.  I will wash it and if the brownish look disappears, it will also be sent to Jack's Basket, if not, our new baby granddaughter (we just found out yesterday), will have a Peter Rabbit quilt.

 The back of the quilt is a cozy flannel  print featuring Hunca Munca (a mouse from the Beatrix Potter stories).
Congratulations and thank you to Sarah for motivating so many quilters to use a skill they love to enrich the lives of people who need a little comfort.  Visit Confessions of a Fabric Addict to see the final link up of quilts.  They are really a joy to behold.

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Hands 2 Help Quilt Ready To Go

My least favorite thing about making quilts is what takes place after the top is done.  Layering the top, batting, and backing and then basting them together is a drag.  Quilting them together is like staying after school and writing, "I will not talk in class," 500 times.  For those of you who were well behaved in school, you have no idea how annoying that is.
Luckily, The Carolina Quilt Project  is one of the charities participating in the 2019 Hands 2 Help Challenge organized by Sarah at Confessions of a Fabric Addict.    Carole, who blogs at My Carolina Home is helping to provide victims of  Hurricanes Michael and Florence with quilts through the Carolina Hurricane Quilt Project.  If you're like me and love to make tops, but dread the thought of quilting them, Carole can pair you with a longarm quilter who will finish your quilt. 
 I made these blocks for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge hosted by Angela at So Scrappy.  I loved making the blocks, but 72 x 88 is too large for a someone with quiltphobia to handle.  Brenda who blogs at Songbird Designs  is the quilting angel who will turn my quilt top and the pretty blue backing shown below into a quilt to comfort someone who faced losses during the hurricanes.

It's not too late to join this year's Hands 2 Help Challenge.  Just clink the link at the left and fill out your info.  Sarah has arranged for some lovely prizes.  I am donating this Star Light, Star Bright, lap sized quilt kit.
Stop over at Sarah's and join in.  Your quilt needs to be finished for the final link up by May 24th.

Monday, April 15, 2019

Finally Making Progress

As someone who does not make many quilts, I am always amazed at the inordinate amount of scraps I accumulate.  I became interested in the Jewel Box style of string piecing after seeing a quilt on Debbie's Stitchin' Therapy blog.  All of her quilts are amazing, but with lots of scraps and unloved fabric, string pieced blocks really fill a need.  I copied her idea of drawing a layout plan and coloring it in to keep my colors on track.

I planned on taking pictures of the quilts out by our beautiful Star Magnolia tree, but it is raining and the wind is sending the petals to the ground like snow.  The 2 tops will be going to Kat, who blogs at Kat and Cat Quilts.  She accepts quilts and quilt tops through her group Covered in Love to distribute to patients receiving end of life care.  Not only is it a worthwhile cause, but I can send her tops to be quilted by volunteer long arm quilters.  Although I love to make blocks, I do not enjoy the quilting aspect.  Luckily, there are quilters who do and they are ready to help out.

If you haven't already signed up to participate in the 2019 Hands 2 Help Challenge, it's not too late.
Sarah at Confessions of a Fabric Addict is hosting the first link up for quilts in progress this week, but your quilt does not have to be completed until May 19th.  There are five wonderful charities waiting to receive your quilt.  It's a great way to motivate yourself to finish up a UFO or three.

I'm currently working on a quilt for Jack's Basket.  They need baby quilts that finish at 36 inches.  Even I'm willing to quilt something that tiny.  Unfortunately, the photo was taken inside so the colors look washed out.  I'm working on the backing today.

I'm linking up with Sarah's Hands 2 Help  Check In.  Stop by, there are lots of great quilts to see.

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Moving At A Snail's Pace

The Extreme Ironing webportal describes extreme ironing as "the latest danger sport that combines the thrills of an extreme outdoor activity with the satisfaction of a well pressed shirt."

I had lots of  fabric to prepare last week.  Unfortunately, I chose a humid day to get it done.
The blocks for my Chimney Sweep/Album blocks were from a swap that  used pre-washed fabrics. Even though I no longer pre-wash my fabrics, I prepped yards of Kona natural and some Civil War fabrics to sew more blocks.  While I can't say I was as wet as the gentleman in the photo, I was pretty damp.

Here they are placed with the rest of the blocks.

I hit a snag with the baby quilt I am using as my June One Monthly Goal project   I was using a traveling combination cutting board/ironing surface and didn't realize my iron touched the handle that was dangling off the edge.  The polyester braided handle melted and left a residue on the iron's surface.  In my blissful ignorance, I proceeded to iron my blocks.  Ugh! What a mess.

These are a few of the pieces I had to remove.  I made some new block components and will sew them today.  This small project is wearing me away, one small disaster at a time.

If you are buried in scraps and looking for an innovative way to use them.  Take a cue from the art work I found at Home Goods this week.

I didn't measure the shadow box frame, but I would guess it was about 24 inches square.  The fabric appeared to be wool, but it could have been a blend.  I'm not sure how I would like this color combination hanging on my wall, but it might be an artistic way to store jelly rolls on a sewing room wall that doesn't get much sun.

I'm happy with my seven Chimney Sweep blocks so I am Whooping it up with Sarah at Confessions of a Fabric Addict.  There are lots of fabulous projects posted this week.  Stop by and check them out.

Saturday, June 2, 2018

One Monthly Goal For June

How can one person be so busy and still not get anything done.  That's the question I've been asking myself all month.  I did work on a few things, but nothing is finished.  More than a few years ago, I joined a swap making Chimney Sweep/Album blocks using Civil War fabrics and Kona natural fabric.  I loved the way the blocks looked, but there weren't many of them and I though t the construction was a little fiddly so I put them away to mellow.

I pulled out the 12 original blocks and realized they would make a great quilt.  I finished 7 and plan on making an additional 11 before adding sashing, corner stones, and borders to flesh out the top.

We spent the first two weeks of May visiting Washington, DC and Florida.  Since it was a driving vacation, I took along some handwork to keep myself busy on the way.

I'll keep making groups of hexagons as my summer car project.  These were made from a charm pack of Martinique.  I have another Martinique pack and 2 other charm packs that use similar colors so I should be able to keep busy for a few trips.

In January, I chose a baby quilt that I planned to finish as my One Monthly Goal project at Elm Street Quilts to be used a gift for a new baby's first Valentine's Day.

It didn't happen.  The baby is now 8 months old and ready to be Christened on the last Sunday of June.  Hopefully, I can finish it in time.  I will be posting my One Monthly Goal for June at Elm Street Quilts.  Patty Dudek is the hostess and she welcomes everyone to join in.  If you haven't set your own goal, stop by and see what everyone else is planning to work on.

Saturday, May 26, 2018

H2H 2018 Quilts

Once again, Sarah at Confessions of a Fabric Addict has hosted a wonderful challenge to quilters.  Judging by the quilts posted to the 2018 Hands 2 Help Challenge linky, this year is probably the best year ever.  Due to severe procrastination and a bad case of distraction, I did not complete the 2 projects I had intended to donate to the H2H Challenge.  Luckily, the many UFO's I constantly complain about came to the rescue.  Through a wonderful stroke of luck, one of this year's featured charity organizations, Victoria's Quilts Canada, requested quilt tops.  I had two tops that fit the 50 x 70 requirement and one top that needed an extra row of blocks to comply.

Since the tops have been hanging around my sewing room for a while, I thought they might enjoy being photographed in new surroundings.  On Thursday, my husband and I took a trip to the New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx.  The NYBG is one of the premier gardens in the world and the largest located in any city in the United States.  New York City has botanical gardens and arboretums located in each of its five boroughs, but the NYBG in the Bronx is the most spectacular of all.

We managed to find a beautiful late blooming lilac in the recently refurbished lilac garden.  The fragrance was delightful.  This is the third Gumdrop quilt I have made.  I love how it uses up tons of 2.5 inch scraps and looks so bright and lively.

The Peggy Rockefeller Rose Garden produces blooms from May to October.  June is the most magnificent month.  The garden is awash with blooms representing almost any type of rose you can imagine, from China Roses to Climbers and Knock Out Roses and everything in between.  We found a lovely climbing rose bush that was very fragrant. Unfortunately, the bench was slightly shaded, but it didn't take away from the beauty of the flowers.

I couldn't fit all three tops in my tote bag for the trip to the NYBG so it was photographed at home.

Thanks to Sarah for another great Hands 2 Help Challenge.  I loved that this year's challenge not only gave a choice of charities to choose from, but each charity requested a different type of quilt and or top.  Hopefully, I will get the two baby quilts done and they can go out in the mail to the Little Lambs Foundation for Kids.

Visit Sarah's Confessions of a Fabric Addict and check out all of the fabulous quilts and tops donated to this year's challenge.  Unfortunately, I didn't post mine in time so I linked up with Sarah's Can I Get A Whoop Whoop.