Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Charity Baby Quilt and Challenge Block

Scraps for the project
 Fall retreaters, attending the Mt. Hood Quilters retreat which begins tomorrow, were asked to make a baby quilt for the community organization, Boxes of Love. In 2021, I've quilted five charity quilts on Thomas the longarm. I've completed four others on my domestic machine.  I had no desire to make another charity quilt. I did look through my baby quilt patterns; but none said "make me." Additionally, I am juggling other projects.

Laying out pieces for a block
One Saturday, I was spending a little time enjoying scrap projects on Cynthia's Oh Scrap link up. Gertie, my inner squirrel, saw a scrap block that she thought would work well in a baby quilt. 

She insisted that I check the reference link which took me to a tutorial through the Treadlestitches blog that Sylvia writes. I had to agree with Gertie, this block would be terrific.

I pulled a bag of Martha's juvenile flannel scraps. The scraps on the left side of the pile in the first photo were too small for this project. Many people would have tossed these; but, I will likely string piece those into strips to use in a future project. There were a few squares and a few strips that were the correct size for the block. It was serendipity. 

A finished block
I cut enough pieces for two blocks. I've learned it is good to begin with a trial block or two to test that I understand the directions. Testing also gives me an opportunity to see how well I like the block.

I decided that I would make a 36 inch square quilt which meant that I needed 36 blocks. I cut enough pieces to stitch six blocks. After I had completed the blocks, I repeated the process. 

Blocks arranged courtesy of Miss K
I find it helpful to cut a little and stitch a little. At times, I had to scrounge for more scraps in her flannel bits. In the end, I exercised creativity with the fabric combinations. I constructed 36 six inch blocks. It took me about four hours to make the blocks.

Picking the pattern and choosing the fabrics was goal number six on my September list. My ghost sewer arranged the blocks for me. I am so fortunate to have an ally on the quilting front! 

Over the next few days, my plan is to make the blocks into a top and begin quilting it it. I've left the blocks pretty much as my ghost sewer designed them. I do have some blocks that will have seams to match; but, I'm okay with matching a few seams. 

In retrospect, I could have told my ghost sewer about turning the block so that there weren't seams to match. She had fun arranging the blocks and sometimes rules/parameters get in the way of having fun. The fun factor this time was more important than matching seams!

My plan for the backing is to use flannel left from making my daughters' nightgowns when they were about my ghost sewer's age. There may be piecing involved of the back!

Completed challenge block

Also, I started and finished the challenge block for the Clark County Quilters guild. The theme is the northwest. When I was about 12 years old, my parents took us on a horseback vacation in the Wallowa mountains. We rode on trails to different mountain lakes and fished. 

I remember how blue the water was and the wonderful colors of the sun setting and rising each day. I also remember watching the fish jumping out of the water. A couple years ago, I drew and watercolored a fish that I used for a greeting card.

I redrew that image larger and pulled fabrics that spoke "fish." I had appliqu├ęd it to the background and added some embroidery stitches to enhance the image. For the dorsal, pelvic and anal fins, I fussy cut a leaf fabric so the "veins" in the fins would be represented. 

Tomorrow, I'll mail the block to the challenge chair. Eventually, she will make the blocks into a quilt that the guild will sell chances to win it. The proceeds will go to a charity that the members have determined. This was goal number three on my September list


Unknown said...

Your is fish is awesome!!!

Jocelyn is Canadian Needle Nana said...

You are so kind to make 5 quilts for charity. That squirrel gets around! That is a very cute block and you were busy! How great to have a pretty model nearby like that. I also enjoyed reading your story and the very creative way you marked it. The fish looks great. Coincidentally I wrote about the importance of nostalgia today. Thanks for sharing all this. said...

Thank you, Joycelyn. The past couple years have been hard ones and the need for quilts seems to be especially great going into winter.I had fun making the fish and reliving the memories.