Saturday, November 17, 2012

Octagons -- finally done!

This quilt has been years in the making.  Literally.  It started with admiring MacQuilts' Paperweight quilt that she made from a kit of Kaffe shot cottons.  And then I got the pattern and hunted down the recommended kite ruler.  And I started cutting...and cutting. 
This pattern calls for width of fabric strips in 2.5" and 2.0" so as I bought fabric, I'd cut two strips and put them in a bin.  Since I'm a scrap quilter, I have no "palette" -- and you can see that as you look at all the different octagons.  Not all brights nor reproductions nor novelties nor prints nor.....
This is an Aardvark Quilt pattern and I do love it.  She gives good directions about using lights, darks, mediums in order to get a sense of depth in the quilt.  I didn't really achieve that as well as I'd like.  I used black on black fabrics for the kites -- as you look at various examples, this is easier said than done.  
The pattern calls for this to be assembled in rows with inset seams.  Not my preferred method of construction so I put mine together in blocks.  This requires laying out a lot more as you go and not being able to move the octagons around for balance.  That was ok with me.  I had my wedges done -- just not assembled and I previewed those.  I would absolutely put it together like that again.
AND, to that point -- there will be another quilt.  This uses a boatload of fabric because you are cutting 60 degree triangles and that results in an equivalent number of "opposite" triangles -- but rarely enough for a full hexagon.  I was able to use some of them for the half hexagons on the edges of the quilt.  When putting together "unmatched" triangles and maybe scrappy-pieced kites, it will be a lot more fun and layout will be a lot less important because it should be a happy bedlam of scraps.  How fun is that.  I hope to put that on next year's list -- I needed to walk away from these for a while.
But, it's done and I do like it a lot.  I quilted it last spring and finally finished the binding last nite.  It is going on the guest bed for Thanksgiving and is the washer right now!  Yea!!!!  It's a small queen and I couldn't get a picture of the entire thing so you'll get bits and pieces.
I've done a few other things in the meantime -- two more charity quilts delivered, started an occasional block for myniecetheathlete's batik quilt -- that is my "spring project" for sure.  Finished a baby quilt from a class I took -- more on that later.  My Hurricane Sandy quilt is on it's way to New Jersey Project Linus (see last week's post if you want to help out).  It is so cold and the coverage is heartbreaking. I hope it can keep someone a bit warmer during all this tragedy.

AND, I did manage to spend three days in Houston with mom22smartchix -- here's my loot before I packed it up to come home.  I bought two kits which is not like me at all and two goodie bags from Cherrywoods and a few other things.  More on that and the incredible quilts and great booths and trends.

I wish each of you a wonderful, healthy, family filled Thanksgiving....with plenty of good calories.


Thursday, November 8, 2012

A Call to Action

What a two weeks....Hurricane Sandy, a presidential election (and an end to political ads) that reminds us of the privilege of being able to "vote", and now a nor'easter to complete the trifecta!  I suspect all of us know many people in the northeast who have been without power, had damage to their homes, have been inconvenienced by mass transit issues, or maybe even lost all their possessions.  This time 18 months ago, I was traveling to NYC and the financial district on a fairly regular basis.  Coverage of the storm from Battery Park was particularly fascinating to me.

If there is one thing I know -- it's that quilters have kind and giving hearts.  I think it is in our DNA.  We've seen it disaster after disaster -- Katrina, Japan's earthquake, Australia's fires, and now Sandy to name just a few.As you would expect, the troops are rallying and there is a need for warmth.  Are we up for it?  OF COURSE we are.  So far, I've seen these two calls for action and places where quilts can be sent to aid the victims of Sandy.

American Quilter had this information about sending quilts to the Project Linus coordinator who will distribute.  If you read this, you will see that this not your typical PL quilt for a child.  Instead, they should be twin to queen size.  All the info you need is included as well as contact information should you have a question.

Victoria Findley, who many of you may know as BumbleBeans, has been active in NYC with an organization she helped establish that provides quilts to people in shelters.  They have expanded their outreach to include those impacted by Sandy.  Her information is here and you will note they are asking for store bought quilts or blankets, as well.  Contact information is also provided for questions.

I was captivated by early coverage of the storm and then slipped away to Houston for the International Quilt Festival (oh, my!) and didn't have the TV on the entire three days of 80+ temps.  So easy to forget the suffering and cold of others when you are out of the fray!
I suspect many of you are like me -- extremely grateful for all you have as we go into the Thanksgiving season -- and acutely aware that there are people suffering physically and emotionally that we can help. I'll be getting my Orca Bay ready to ship -- I knew it was a donation quilt when I made it and now I know it needs a home with someone who will not care about a few missed points!

As other means of getting quilts come to light, I'll be updating this post to include them.  BUT, don't forget that the most immediate thing we can all do is donate to American Red Cross.  It's so easy and provides much needed resources instantaneously.  I do feel blessed to live in a country where generosity and caring are basic traits of most -- we just hear about them less than the slugs that are out there creating problems.

I hope you and your quilting are blessings to someone that needs it this week!


UPDATE -- here is additional information about another outlet for donating quilts to help out.
Long Island Chapter for Quilts for  They are working with the local schools in Long Beach, pediatricians in the Rockaways, and the Community Outreach Center of Nassau Community Hospital and Winthrop Hospital.  In addition, they are going straight to the Red Cross Disaster Relief Vehicles to give to people in need. They are asking for child sized quilts.

Quilts can be sent to Carrie Crowley Davis, Long Island Quilts for Kids, 304 North Ocean Avenue, Patchogue, NY  11772.  You can also reach out to Carrie at

NEW UPDATE -- Michele at The Quilting Gallery is matching up people who can't quite make a quilt but are willing to make quilt block(s) and others who will assemble and quilt.  If time keeps you from making a quilt (or if you don't have one in inventory), this might be the way to help.  Just check out the link and see what you might be able to do.  Thanks.