Donation Quilts for 2015

March through July 2015

Although I have plenty of completed tops that need to be quilted, sometimes I just feel the need to simply *piece* tops together. Or practice a different quilting motif. Or try out a new pattern or layout. So, that's what I did with the following items. Some are quilted; most are still tops. Eventhough they are small, I still didn't feel like quilting them! Many of them are already paired with a backing, so they certainly are *ready* to be quilted!

Doodle cloth cage liners. By golly, what the heck are these??? Well, there are times when I need to practice quilting motifs before I actually stitch them on a real life quilt. During those times, I load up a "doodle cloth" on my longarm and just practice. When I've used up that particular piece of fabric, I make a decision: do I need to keep the doodle .. as a visual reference for myself? .. or can I discard it? Even if I don't want to keep it, I just can't throw it away!

I talked with my veternarian and found out the size of the cages they keep their animal clients in. Typically, the staff puts terry towels on the bottom of the cage so the animals aren't laying on bare wire mesh, but those towels are pretty thin. That's where my doodle cloths come in. I cut them to the size of the cages, bind them just like I do quilts (although I tend to use up bits and pieces of bias binding because the animals don't care) and when I'm done, I've created something more comfortable than thin terry towels for the animals to lay on. My vet is very grateful for them.

Cupcake Fleece quilt. There's quite a bit of space underneath my longarm. Since Nature abhors a vacuum, I have naturally filled this space with Stuff. Valuable, important Stuff. Since I don't usually look underneath the longarm, I tend to forget the Stuff that's there.

Well, recently, I finished quilting a toddler quilt and happened to notice (probably not for the first time), what the HECK is that cupcake fleece doing there?? And, once again, it occurred to me that this was one of the pieces of fleece that was gifted to me by some long since not-remembered person. (I say 'not-remembered' because it's not like I've actually *forgotten* who I got it from, but the identity of this person currently escapes me.)

Specifics about the quilt are:

  • each block is 10" finished
  • 15 cupcake blocks: fused and machine appliqued with a buttonhole stitch
  • alternating with 4-patch blocks
  • The free layout can actually be found in two places that I have discovered:
    All About Quilts: Cupcake party OR as a PDF from Fat Cat Patterns. I used the pantograph "Flirtatious" by Irene Steele.

    I'm *fairly* certain that I didn't buy this fleece because 1) it's not the sort of fleece I normally buy and 2) there's a companion print fleece of dog bones. There is NO WAY, JOSE that I would buy dog bones of anything. Cat paw prints, maybe. Dog motifs? Nope.

    So, this fleece has been aging there for who knows how long. It struck me that it was going to STAY there until I DID something with it. And once I did something with it, it would no longer be looking back at me.

    I found a very cute webpage (see links above) with an appliqued cupcake block. The cupcake blocks on that page are supposed to be 5" square. I resized them to 10" square to more rapidly fill up the fleece. Even at 10" square, I figured I would need 30 blocks (5x6 layout) to completely cover the fleece and I really didn't want to make 30 cupcake blocks.

    So, I made the layout so the cupcake blocks would alternate with plain blocks. But ... 10" plain blocks are kinda .. plain. So, I changed the plain blocks to 4-patch blocks.

    The cupcakes are fused to the background fabric and buttonhole stitched along the raw, fused edge. I'm fortunate that these are fairly easy blocks to navigate because the buttonhole stitch is NOT fast. And I get bored. :-)

    This is a picture of the (in)famous cupcake fleece.

    Dog bone fleece quilt. This was the OTHER piece of fleece yardage that I have no idea where it came from. The top that coordinates with it is made up of focus squares of dog fabric (haven't a CLUE where I got those fabrics from either ... I'm not a dog person, ya know), sashed with a dog print fabric and accent squares of blue and red that match the background of the dog prints.

    Honestly, I thought the layout would be good .. but by the time it was constructed, it didn't turn out quite like the vision I had. However, it is what it is and I'm confident that some little boy or girl who loves dogs will like this quilt just fine.

    Audrey's Brights. Now, this top has an interesting background. Earlier this year, my dear sister in law's mother, Audrey, died. Audrey and her family were social friends of *my* family long before her daughter and my older brother married. So, when Audrey's sewing room needed to be cleaned out, my sister in law asked if I could help.

    See, my sister in law doesn't sew ... at all. Audrey was a prolific seamstress. My sister in law, bless her heart, doesn't know beans from buttons about what to keep and what to donate .. but she knows this. So, she asked me, the .. heh heh heh .. family "expert" ... to help with the culling of the sewing room contents.

    As an incentive (as though I actually needed one to help), she said that I could have any and all of the contents, should I want, because if I didn't take the items, they certainly were going to be either donated or dumped. Thus instructed, I began to create piles of stuff that I liked ... yards and yards and yards .. and even MORE yards of fabric; embroidery floss; beads; counted cross-stitch projects; a new in-the-box iron; rotary cutters; cutting mats. Just everything a seamstress would have .. and quite a bit came home with me. More was donated; there was actually very little "trash".

    From the cotton-poly, really BRIGHT fabric, I cut lots of squares and just sewed them together, willy-nilly. It will make a durable and BRIGHT quilt!

    Audrey's Bright Hearts. Yup ... there was enough of the really BRIGHT fabric to make another quilt.

    This time I made some focus squares with fused appliqued hearts, created with a coordinatingly BRIGHT print, then surrounded those hearts with the bright fabric.

    Mini Science Fair. This is certainly a really weird name for a quilt, but it comes from the layout I found Jaybird Quilts.

    I did make a full size version of Science Fair and decided to play around some more .. which this smaller quilt is the result.

    Nope, it's not anywhere near the same layout as the original, but that's where I got my inspiration.

    It was on this quilt that I practiced a feather motif in the borders.

    I really do love quilting feathers. They look so lovely and this was a little different presentation that I normally quilt.

    I was happy to be able to use this donation quilt to do the practicing on.

    Falling Hexagons. Now this was a VERY intriguing way to use pre-printed hexagon fabric .. but the final result turned out to be horribly, horribly different. I hesitate even to publish my final result.

    The original layout is fantastic as it looks like hexagons dripping from a solid mass of hexagons at the top of the quilt.

    Well, I did have some pre-printed hexagon fabric (in two different sizes) but nowhere near enough to do what the original layout specified. Instead, I really bastardized the layout.

    I honestly didn't have a clue what to do with it since I couldn't replicate the original layout ... and yeah .. this is what happened.

    I shouldn't have stitched down all those hexies until I had moved them around A LOT .. but obviously I didn't take that route. As a result, I'm very unhappy with this top .... but not enough to rip everything out to re-do it.

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