Saturday, November 8, 2014

charity quilting part 3

Thursday night was the deadline to turn in quilts that will go to the closest veteran's hospital (about 30 minutes from home) and I had two to take.  I actually had them done the week before, but life got in the way and I didn't make it to the meeting.

You've seen these before as tops, but they're finished.  Bound, labelled and now GONE!

First is my favorite of the two:

This was one of two I worked on, making a few blocks on days off, way back in early 2013.  I pulled out the green floral (click on it and you'll see those dots in the green are actually flowers) that was leftover back from my niece's MSU quilt.  I had a lot of extra, so this went quite far - I still have some left, but not nearly what I had before!

When I got the blocks laid out, I realized I had only one with purple in it.  That looked a little odd, so I did what I've heard and added more purple.  I think the pop in the corners really fixed the whole problem.

Up to this point, I'd purchased nothing.  I even found a chunk of pink in my stash that I used for borders - that big of a chunk is hard to find in my stash!  The backing I did have to buy, but I caught a good sale (and now have a chunk of THAT in my stash instead...).  Having a longarm saved a lot, too, though some would argue that my time is worth something.

I had grander plans for quilting this, but after breaking the button that makes the longarm go on the second quilt I'll show you, I decided something that required less stopping and starting, at least until I have a backup button again, was a better choice.

I don't have actual measurements, but this is about twin-size.  And, after multiple mentions that not ALL the folks at the VA hospital are men, I hope this brightens the day of a lady soldier.

And the second quilt:

(forgive the waviness - it was a bit windy with rain predicted for the next few days (and they were right), so I had to take them when I did...)

This quilt is the second (of three - third is still just blocks) from my project to use up scraps and make blocks.  Though these colors are much less "me", they are far more plentiful in my stash.  How did that happen?

I had intended to use the blue as borders and sashing, but ended up having to purchase more to get everything I needed.  This wasn't a plan-ahead chunk as much as the other quilt, but thankfully I was able to find more and used this fabric as the back as well.

And then I quilted it.  Remember my friend Dale who convinced me to just throw some stuff together and the zippers would be okay?  Well, she's an INCREDIBLE longarmer.  Like award winning, take your breath away sort of longarmer.  We all wish we could be her.  She's also very crafty and creative.  (Her hubby has an old truck in the yard she doesn't want, so she got out the cutting torch and started cutting out pieces to use in he has a holy truck in the yard, but she's convinced she'll dispose of the whole thing through her art pieces...she giggles when she says that, though, so I'm not sure how dedicated to the project she actually is and how much of it is just to get a rise out of her hubby?)

Anyways, Dale-the-troublemaker convinced me to quilt the bejeezus out of this thing.  Just do swirls everywhere.  Don't plan it, she says, just start and you'll be fine.  Okay.  I can do this, right?  Me, the one who mops myself into a corner regularly when I can see how the room is shaped, I can do this.

So I get about 3/4 of the way through and the button that turns the longarm on quits clicking.  Like no connection clicking.  This is not good.

Stop what I'm doing and head to the car parts place, as we have no Radio Shack nearby, hoping they have something.  Nope.

But hey, wait, there are buttons on the back of the machine!  Swap that out and finish the quilt.  

(In my younger years, I was blond.  In my head, I'm still blond.  Apparently in more ways than one?)

A trip to Radio Shack later in the week, non-functional button in hand, tells me they also do not have buttons.  So it looks like I'll be paying the high price to order from the longarm manufacturer, but at least for now the problem of the button is solved.  And they really aren't THAT pricey.

So you probably want to see a little more of that quilting, right?  Okay!

They're pretty much all like this.  Quilted to death, but the quilt itself isn't too stiff.  I did nothing in the sashing and cornerstones, which I think helped.  And the borders are just quilted with big swirls that are kinda like feathers, so not too dense there either.

I got better as I went and did a little planning with each block before I started, but I buried about 4 million thread tails and am not in any hurry to quilt anything else quite this way any time soon.  But I can say I did it.  And Dale is happy.

This quilt, also of unknown size (and maybe it's somewhere in the blog where the top photo lives, but I'm not looking for it today) is twin-ish sized.  And this one could go to a guy or a gal soldier, but really it doesn't matter.  It's meant to keep them warm and say thank you.

When I turned these in on Thursday, we had a show-and-tell of all the quilts, wheelchair quilts, pillows and pillowcases that had been made and donated this year that will go to the VA hospital.  While I know for sure there are a few quilts in the stack that were in the stack last year (and got misplaced before donation day), we will donate:

35 quilts
1 wheelchair quilt
6 pillows
37 pillowcases

These will be donated in the next few weeks, as our goal is Veteran's Day, but we know they aren't given until Christmas.  I'm so pleased to be a part of this project.  I think everyone needs a quilt made with love to snuggle under and with each one I make and give, however it gets to the person, I'm closer to that goal.  (I know I can't get everyone, but I also know I'm not alone in my attempt.)

Our guild is at 49 members currently.  We've added quite a few in the last year, but I still think that for a guild this small, this is a pretty good number.

And I think my goal for next year will be to increase that wheelchair quilt count.  They're smaller, but count just the same and I can probably get them done faster than the nearly 2 years these took.  (Procrastination included!)

The dinosaur quilts are coming along.  (Sorry no photos yet.)  I quilted one of them last weekend and it took a bit longer than expected, so my original plan to quilt both didn't happen.  I plan to get the second one quilted this weekend and maybe get the dino "teeth" done, too.  I have till Christmas, right?  (Unless I really want to start that Bonnie Hunter mystery quilt...)

Off to work on something quilty!  The hubby worked last night, so I have the house to myself and know that when he gets up, we'll be off to do errands and then there's a pretty big-deal college football game on this evening where I'll need to root for my team!

Happy quilting!


A Left-Handed Quilter said...

You have been BUSY!! The purple "pop" in the corners was a TERRIFIC solution!! Sorry about your "button" but the quilts turned out VERY nice and will surely be appreciated by the recipients. And YAY!! your team!! - ;))

Ruth said...

Both quilt will be greatly appreciated by 2 veterans who need the warmth and knowledge that they are appreciated. The quilting looks great! That was a great number of quilts and other items to take to the veterans hospital!

Beth said...

I remember when you were working on some of those blocks. The quilts look really great all put together and quilted. I like the swirls on the second quilt.
they sure will be appreciated by the veterans that receive them.
I haven't had a quilt on my midarm since I moved over a year and a half ago. This week I tried and my stitches were just not right. I spent 7 hours picking out 2 1/4 rows of a baby quilt. Going to try some scarp fabric before I load that quilt and try again.

Marsha B said...

Both of your quilts are wonderful, I know they will be much appreciated. Love the curly quilting, it looks great! You have been so busy! Your group has done a nice job making quilts for the VA hospital, should give everyone a nice warm feeling.

Unknown said...

Do you ever sleep??;) No, seriously....I love these;) I know the veterans will appreciate them very much. My mother got a couple during her hospital stay...she LOVED them;)
Happy Quilting!!

---"Love" said...

The quilts are very nice and will be much appreciated I'm sure! You have been really busy! So have I, but your "busy-ness" has been more productive than mine!