Help for Sydney – Doing My Part, Spreading the Word

I just read about the idea that Josh from Molli Sparkles has come up with to help comfort those affected by the tragedy in Sydney, (which occurred near where he works). He’s inviting the online community to come together to donate their time, money, or quilt blocks so that he and his fellow Glitterati in Australia can make at least 6 quilts for family members consisting of about 1080 blocks plus materials for batting, backing and quilting.

Click here for complete details.

molli_sparkles_helpI made a small paypal donation to help defray the cost of materials; then I got to thinking – how could I contribute more?

So I decided to make you guys this offer: from now through Sunday, December 21st, I’ll donate 50% of the sales of all my PDF patterns to the cause. (Of course, you are also welcome to donate directly or help out in the other ways stated on Josh’s blog).

CQ-PatternsI currently only have 5 patterns for sale, so it may not make a big dent, but every little bit helps, right?

It sickens me when I hear of such tragedies in the world, but it does give me comfort when I see quilters band together to offer love and support where they can.

Support 100 Quilts For Kids!

I’m excited to participate in 100 Quilts for Kids this year – both with a donation quilt and as one of the prize sponsors. (So If I happen to win one of the random drawings, I’ll be glad to pass that onto someone else!)

Busy Hands

“Busy Hands” – the quilt I will be donating to 100 Quilts for Kids this year.

100 Quilts for Kids is an annual charity quilt drive to encourage quilters to make a quilt, donate it to a child in need, and be entered for fabulous prizes for their efforts. In 2014, 100 Quilts for Kids will run from August 1st-September 30th.

20140804_100_quiltsOriginally started by Katie Blakesley of Swim, Bike, Quilt, this fabulous charity event is now being coordinated by Heather Tompkins of Quilts in the Queue. I’m happy to support this worthy cause and encourage you to do the same.

20140804_quilts

The idea is to find a local charity to support. I plan on giving my quilt to Project Linus, and you can click here for tons of other ideas of where you can donate.

Heather is hosting a linky party on her site where you can share pictures of quilts you are making and donating. So be sure to join in the fun! After all, isn’t sewing with a purpose so rewarding?

100 Quilts for Kids Charity Quilt Drive and Project Linus

100 Quilts for KidsMy friend Katie from Swim, Bike, Quilt is holding her annual charity quilt drive where she encourages you to make and donate a quilt for a child in need.

The drive runs through September 30th and she’s even rounded up a few giveaways for those that participate. (I’m one of them!)

The best way for you to help is to donate a quilt locally through such organizations as a local foster care program, domestic violence center, homeless shelter, children’s hospital, or to a local military family support organization. Katie has a few other ideas here.

Project Linus Scraps

Christa and Paula with fabric for Project Linus

I personally love to support Project Linus who wraps kids in “blanket hugs” when they’ve experienced some kind of trauma or loss. A quilting buddy of mine, Paula from Washington, is a chapter volunteer there. Each time she comes to town for a visit, she stops by and cleans out my scrap bins and takes home lots of goodies to put together kits for her local volunteers to sew into quilts.

Project Linus QuiltsHere a just a few of the quilts Project Linus volunteers have made from donated fabrics:

Project Linus QuiltsAren’t they so bright and fun?

Project Linus QuiltsTo offer their support, fabric company Quilting Treasures has even put together a Project Linus fabric line featuring cute panels that would whip up into baby quilts in no time.

Project Linus Panel

Project Linus Panel

As part of the 100 Quilts for Kids charity drive, Katie will be hosting a linkup on her blog September 28-30 where you can show pictures of your donated quilts and be inspired by what others have done. She’s even including a few giveaways as an extra incentive. 🙂

This is a great time to experiment with colors, fabrics and quilting because whatever you make and donate is sure to be loved!

BOM and WIP Blocks

I am adding to my list of UFO’s with my BOM and WIP! What in the heck does all that mean?

It means I am starting some more quilts that are quickly becoming Unfinished Fabric Objects. My newest quilt is a Block Of the Month project where I make a couple of quilt blocks each month until it is done. As long as I work on my quilts on a regular basis, they become my Works-In-Progress.

Sound Wave

Sound Wave

Magnum

Magnum

Here are my two blocks that I just finished, following along with the Skillbuilder Block of the Month at PileOFabric.com.

I absolutely love these blocks. I think they are turning out very modern and I am gaining more color confidence in working with solids.  I am using Kona Coal Grey as the background and am very pleased with how it looks against the solids.

Modern Block - Not!

Modern Block – Not!

A few months ago I tried to make my first “modern” quilt block by adding grey to a paper pieced block I was making from bright  mottled fabrics.

The block design was awesome, but it just didn’t work with the grey!  I think my blocks above are much better.

In these last few months I have learned that it takes a lot more than simply adding grey to your quilt to make it modern. 🙂


While sewing my BOM blocks, I used lots of starch to keep the skinny strips nice and straight. I also cut the strips on the grain parallel to the selvedge (instead of cutting them WOF – the Width of Fabric). This grain has less stretch and give to it. While sewing, I also flipped my sewing direction on each successive strip so as not to distort the fabric.

Block Piecing

It’s amazing how much this block shrinks up due to the seam allowances!

I pressed all of my seams open first with a wooden seam roller (loving this tool!) and then with a dry iron. They are nice and flat!

Seam Roller Pressing

You can read my previous BOM post about picking fabrics. If you would like to join me, my friend Alyssa and a few (hundred) others making these fabulous blocks, just go to PileOFabric.com and check out her Skillbuilder Block of the Month.

Christa’s Quilt Links – Help for Sandy Storm Victims

I wanted to focus on how we as quilters can help victims of Hurricane Sandy. Donated quilts will not solve all the problems of those who’ve been impacted, but they can help keep them warm through the cold winter and provide a warm “hug” to let them know someone cares!


Hurrican SandyThe American Quilter’s Society has teamed up with Project Linus in New Jersey to collect and distribute quilts to those in need. Project Linus usually focuses on giving quilts as a hug to children who have suffered trauma due to illness or loss.

However, when disaster strikes, they are more than willing to expand their scope to reach as many people as possible. You can get the shipping address for quilt donations as well as needed quilt specifications here.


Hurricane QuiltEQuilter and Timeless Treasures Fabrics have also joined forces. They have set a goal of collecting 5000 quilts to distribute to storm victims.

Timeless Treasures has generously donated warehouse space to receive the quilts. Click here for the shipping address and detailed instructions on how to donate your quilt.

The quilt at left was photographed at the Houston Quilt Festival and was made by Marianne Williamson.


The Quilting Gallery is doing their part to help by hosting a quilt block drive. They will be matching up those who want to sew blocks with those who would be willing to assemble the completed quilts. You can register here to participate. There is even a free tutorial on how to make scrappy wonky log cabin blocks for this heroic project.

Log Cabin Block Drive


I know my local guild plans on coordinating efforts of our members as well, so I will be sure to donate a quilt and some supplies. Please check with your local guild, too!

American Warriors Quilt Tutorial – American Rails Quilt

Darlene S. posted a question on my blog asking about a pattern for my Wounded Warriors Quilt that a few of us gals from church made. So I decided to post a few more of the step-by-step pictures along with some simple instructions.

This quilt is JELLY ROLL friendly!

American Warriors Quilt

The quilt is basically a modified rail fence version with 3 strips of color instead of 4. Since it’s made from red, white, and blue strips with the white strip in the middle, the design forms sort of a woven look. It would make a perfect signature quilt, too!

So easy peasy, here you go:

Step 1 – Our lap size quilt finished at 60″ x 72″ and consisted of 120 blocks set 10 x 12. Each block finished 6 inches square. So you would need about a 1.5 yards of each color. Use scraps for variety, or your favorite jelly roll.  I used several prints of each color. Cut each fabric into 20 – 2.5″ strips.

Subcut those into 120 rectangles each of red, white and blue, measuring 2 1/2″ by 6 1/2″.

Red, White, Blue Strips

Step 2 – Sew all of the rectangles into sets of three with the same red-white-blue color orientation. For best variety, mix up the pieces while sewing as much as you can.

Sew Strips into Blocks

Step 3 – The tricky part – lay out all of your blocks so that they form an interesting zig-zag  pattern. This was probably the hardest part of making the whole quilt and keeping the colors going the right way! If you look closely at the picture you will see continuous streaks of red and blue on either side. Constantly refer to your layout to keep it going the right way.

Zig Zag Blocks

Step 4 – When all of the blocks are laid out in the correct orientation, you can join the blocks into rows. Then join all of the rows to make your top. We tied our quilt, but it would look great quilted in the ditch with a decorative stitch!

Join the RowsIf you are wanting to make a signature quilt you can either piece all of the blocks and have people sign them ahead of time. Or finish the quilt and bring it to your party or wedding reception and have the guests sign directly on the quilt!


Updated: This quilt has now been featured as a favorite on FaveQuilts.com. They renamed it American Rails. That makes my day. 🙂

Click here to see my other FaveQuilts featured tutorials.

Free Jelly Roll Quilt Pattern

Want to make another quick and easy jelly roll quilt? Click here to sign up for Friendly Threads, My weekly email newsletter and get the PDF pattern for Puzzle Box emailed to you.

Puzzle Box Pattern

Wounded Warrior Quilts

My friend Suzanne’s parents are currently serving as missionaries for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. As part of their service, they are collecting Americana themed quilts for Wounded Warriors in California. Each of the Wounded Warriors comes to the hospital without any personal belongings and are given a minimal amount of clothing, personal items and a handmade quilt.

Wounded Warrior Quilt Basket Weave

Suzanne was able to share this project locally with a me and a bunch our our friends from church here in Las Vegas last weekend. We joined forces and quickly pieced a bunch of  rail-fence blocks in red, white and blue. We literally made a quilt in a day!

Piecing Wounded Warrior BlocksPiecing Wounded Warrior BlocksMy friends pitched in to get this project done in a hurry. Brooke and Emily (left) joined me for the morning sewing shift. Tamara, Suzanne, and her daughter came over for the afternoon shift. Later that evening, we got a larger crowd together for tying.

Tying our Wounded Warrior QuiltIt was such a fun way for a bunch of us (who are a little younger than the traditional quilting bee crowd) to get together for good food,  company, and fun!

Here are more quilts that some of the other wards (congregations) in our area made:

Wounded Warrior Quilts

Patriotic Quilt

This quilt below was made by a bunch of 8-11 year old girls from Suzanne’s parents ward in San Diego. I think it’s so great to get them started sewing so young!

Activity Days Girls' Quilt

And finally, Suzanne’s dad is delivering a stack of quilts to the Armed Services YMCA at the Naval Medical Center in San Diego, California (near where her parents are serving).

Delivering Wounded Warrior Quilts

If you are interested in making a Wounded Warrior quilt, you can check to see if there is a group in your area. Or you can email Judi Pett (Suzanne’s mom) if you would like to donate a quilt. She can be reached at Judipett@gmail.com.