Friday, October 25, 2013

1 in 8

I love these fabrics?  Aren't they the greatest?  I love them for so many reasons....
My niece-the-quilter gave them to me.
I love pink.
I love that salmon can be pink and that the "white" one is pink when compared to white.
I love the hot pink.  It is really HOT!
I love they are Konas and feel like a dream.
I love that I have leftovers.
Here's what I don't love.
I don't love that we still have to have a month devoted to breast cancer.
I don't love that 1 in 8 of the females reading this blog will get breast cancer (at least in the US).
I don't love that we do not have a cure.
I don't love that too many women I do love have had breast cancer.

If you're a reader of my blog periodically, you may have read this post entitled a Quilter's Fairy Tale last year.  This is a tribute to a special friend who successfully fought IBC (Inflammatory Breast Cancer).  But it was a terrible battle.
This year I happen to be reading the book "The Emperor of All Maladies" by Siddhartha Mukherjee. Subtitled "The Biography of Cancer" -- it is fascinating and horrifying at the same time.  I am particularly interested in the references to breast cancer early in the book.
Would you believe the first documented case of cancer was breast cancer and was noted in an Egyptian papyrus believed to be from the teachings of Imhotep who lived around 2625 BC.  It's a very clinical description.  The next documented case of cancer appears to be IBC and Atossa, the queen of Persia, around 440 BC. What's the irony in that?  The first two cases of documented cancer are still being battled today!
Since it's October and Breast Cancer Awareness Month -- and this is a pink pink pink quilt -- I'm linking to Amy's Creative Side's Blogger's Quilt Festival.  If you have a chance, check it out.  She does a wonderful job of providing an opportunity for all quilting blogs to post and for us to wander through a quilt show of blogs.  There are prizes and voting and, most of all, inspiration.  I'm going to link under the "Throw" category (I did think about 2 color but I thought that was stretching it!) -- not because I'm soliciting votes but because I hope a bunch of women will read this post and make sure they are doing breast exams and getting mammograms -- and pestering other women they love to do the same.

Details on the quilt:

  • Modified from Cozy Modern Quilts by Kim Schaeffer
  • 65" x 65"
  • 21 shades of pink from Robert Kaufman's Kona line
  • Phillip Jacobs fabric for lattice
  • Quilted with Lava by Superior (no rush to do that again although I love the color changes)
  • Bobbin was So Fine by Superior
  • New overall pattern I wanted to try -- learned a lot and will use again

For a giggle -- here's how I started my month!  It's given me some opportunities to talk about breast cancer to people I might not have -- servers in restaurants particularly!  I'm happy to stay they are still intact. I wasn't sure if we would get through the month together.  I now think we will.
I hope you are

Playing with fabric you love
Finding inspiration at the Bloggers Quilt Festival
Doing breast exams and getting mammograms!


Sunday, October 20, 2013

A week of extremes

I'm so so happy to say that this quilt top is done.  All these beautiful "reproductions" from Caryl Bryer Fallert's hand dyes are together in one quilt top (no culling out of warms or browns, as I had planned).  I adore it.  The colors together make me very very happy -- as does getting it off the design wall, off the floor, off my cutting table, off my sewing table..... It had taken over my little sewing room.  Now it is neatly folded and waiting for quilting inspiration (and time).  I had failed to mention in my original post that this is a free pattern from Marcus Fabrics using their Ombre strips (pattern is called Ombre Hand Dyes by Nancy Rink).  I think we sometimes forget about all the great FREE patterns that fabric manufacturers have available to us through their websites.  Anyway -- it's done and the floor is now visible in my sewing room.
And -- to keep that feeling of "accomplishment" going -- I have continued to plug along with my little bitty 4 patches that were part of a swap from earlier this year.  Briefly, we were to make 800 of these little darlings and package them in groups of 100 (I think) where they would be assembled and redistributed -- with each of us getting 1 of our bags back and 4p from 7 other quilters. Not!  Long story but I got at least two of my bags back and maybe more (one quilter decided she'd keep all hers!).  Plus I had made 100+ more for my quilt.
I absolutely have NO idea how many 4p I have -- but I know that the 7 finished blocks I've made have over 100 in them and I've just started.  The blocks (each with 16 4p) finish at 8" so this may or may not be a twin size quilt -- I literally don't know.  I'll keep sewing in steps until the squares are used up and then decide whether I need to make a few more (using 1.25" strips) or chuck the extras.
My milestone for the week is getting the first step done.  Every little square now has sashing on one side -- setting it up for the next step(s) with half being sewn together and half getting a 2.5" "topper" strip.  Since this is a leader/ender project, I just grab and sew as I finish a row and need something in my machine to be ready to sew the next piece on the quilt I'm "really" working on.

This will be years in the making --

But, all in all, a good week.  One quilt top made with 2.5" strips and only 15 pieces in the entire block. And, one step completed in teeny tiny pieces of all kinds -- darks, lights, batiks, vintage, low quality, homespuns, Kaffe, hand-dyes, florals, novelties, you name it.  So much fun to come across someone else's fabrics -- and keep the line moving!

I hope you are having a productive week -- whether it's with little bitty pieces or larger, dramatic pieces,  or quilting, or cutting, or designing, or just dreaming of your next project!


Saturday, October 5, 2013


Aren't quilters the most generous people?  You know what I mean ....

They'll give you their last scrap of their favorite fabric if you need it.
They'll bind your quilt if you break your arm or are running behind.
They'll take the time to explain whatever you need to understand.
They'll encourage you -- no matter where you are in the learning process.

I've been getting batting and backs ready for some charity quilts and I realized that so much of these quilts were actually donated by someone else.

This is a 12" x 12" mini-quilt from a practice block I made YEARS ago in a machine applique class.  The local homemakers club is doing a silent auction with all donations going to ovarian cancer research. I echo quilted (tuck included for free) and decided I don't really like trying to do echo quilting 1/4" apart on my Bernina.  Lesson learned.
This little quilt is to be donated to the local hospital and I am hoping the right quilting in pink thread can rescue it from itself.  I bought a lot (all) of the neutrals at an auction from our local guild with proceeds going to Salvation Army angel tree.
These quilts are also going to the local hospital when I get them quilted.  The strips were cut using a friend's Studio cutter -- generously loaned to me for a long long weekend while she was out of town.  Having pre-cut strips when I'm under the gun to complete a quilt is an incredible advantage!

This quilt is made from blocks donated to me by monkeymamaquilts.  She made them early in her quilting career and this little top is the perfect size for the hospital.  More generosity.  Interestingly, the backing is a darling lavender polka dotted flannel given to me by mom22smartchix for use in a hospital quilt.
This is another hospital quilt -- with the owl fabric donated by mom22smartchix and the quilting done on monkeymamaquilts HQ16.  Thank goodness it's bound and ready to go!
Finally -- and even easier -- monkeymama quilts decided she didn't really have a use for this ABC quilt.   Isn't it darling?  It's a bit big for the hospital so we agreed that I would quilt it (on her HQ16) and bind it and we'll donate it to Quilts Beyond Borders.  If you aren't familiar with this incredible non-profit organization, you can read about it here.  It's wonderful because you can donate tops if you don't have access to a longarmer.
I rest my case -- quilters are the best!  I suspect you have had the same experience and been the recipient of another quilter's generosity -- giving us all good reason to pay it forward.  I hope you are finding time to quilt -- and give!