In the last couple of weeks, I've been on a roll finishing UFOs. It started when Bernie at Needle and Foot put a call out for donations to Mercy Hospital in Sacramento, CA. She calls them Mercyful quilts, and they are for patients who are not expected to live. They receive a comforting quilt for their final days, and their families take the quilts home. This is similar to the work done by one of my regular charities, Covered in Love.
Bernie suggested that we look through our UFOs to see if we had any that did not yet have a recipient, finish them up, and donate them. Since the program at Mercy Hospital is primarily for adults, the call was for adult sized and themed pieces.
I immediately thought of two tops that were languishing on hangers in my closet. This one was made during the 12 Days of Christmas In July quilt along with Sarah of Confessions of a Fabric Addict. Instead of red and green yardage, I used red and aqua scraps. I'm calling it 12 Days of Scrappiness in July.
The piece originally ended up 51" square. I found some aqua yardage that matched nicely and added some 3" borders to make it 57" square. Another chunk of the aqua went on the back, along with this white with small violet flowers. Mostly white backings are not a good choice for most of my kid's charities, so I was happy to use it here. A scrappy red binding made from some Cinderberry fabrics (thanks, Rose!) was the perfect touch.
Sorry about the rather washed out photos, and the big sharp shadows across the quilts. We've been mostly sitting at anchor and it's been windy and cloudy and stormy for many days. So when a sunny, slightly less windy day appeared, I dashed out to take photos on the foredeck. The low sun angle really shows off the texture, but is lousy for much else. Oh well, it is what it is!
The second quilt I chose as a Mercyful donation is this one. It was made as part of My Carolina Home's Square Dance Mystery quilt along. I admit I really hated this top when the mystery was finished. Carole's own quilt was done in rich autumn colors and was so pretty. My blue, green and yellow one just looked like a big mishmash. So I'm calling this one Homely Square Dance.
I decided that adding some dark blue borders might help, and would also bring it up to a better size. I like this celestial fabric, and figured even if the quilt was ugly, at least the borders were pretty!
The backing is this green and cream plaid, with a stripe of leafy green to hide any mismatch in the plaid when I stitched together several pieces to make it big enough. Here's a tip for you: don't try to match plaids, just fool the eye with a contrasting stripe.
Like 12 Days, Homely was quilted in a big loose stipple for softness and a fast finish. The busy fabrics hide the quilting, so there's not much point in doing fancy schmancy FMQ. I even used the same pale green thread, which turns out to be a decent neutral for quilting. Homely Square Dance has grown on me since I finished it. It's amazing how much a little quilting helps! It also helps to look at it in photos from a distance where the overall pattern is what dominates instead of the individual fabrics.
While the Juki was loaded with pale green thread, I decided to baste and quilt up this next piece, called Birds in the Window. The pattern is "Kitchen Window" by Elizabeth Hartman. It's in her book The Practical Guide to Patchwork.
I used lots of different bird fabrics in the panes, a dark green fern print for the window frames, and a pale sky blue for the background.
For the backing, I pieced this mustard polka dot and a coordinating leafy stripe. This fabric is kinda ugly on its own, but it picks up the yellows and golds from the front and actually looks pretty nice. It just goes to show that even the weirdest fabrics have a home somewhere.
The quilting is another big, soft stipple and the batting is 100% polyester. Birds in the Window will be donated to Quilts Beyond Borders, and they prefer poly batting for quilts going to Syrian refugees. The poly dries faster after being handwashed. I bought a king size piece of Fairfield Poly-Fit to try and it quilted up nicely. It's so, so different from the cotton Warm and Natural that I usually use, though!
Here's a shot of our anchorage in Beaufort, NC. The land you see is Cape Lookout National Seashore, and there were often wild horses grazing on the banks. We also saw dolphins feeding in the water almost every day. Pretty neat!
And finally, here is Five Alarm Chili all quilted up and finished. This was made with Sandra's Playtime Plus pattern. I made the flimsy back in April in the Bahamas and it's been patiently waiting for me to get motivated to quilt it.
In keeping with the hot chili pepper theme of the fabrics, I quilted dancing flames in the large red central plus. I didn't have any red thread, but this bright orange turned out to be a great choice. This is the first time I've done flames, and I'm pretty chuffed about them. Of course, it's another totally washed out, over exposed photo, so you'll just have to trust me that my flame quilting is on fire!
In the white background, I quilted a horizontal flowing pattern that looks like ripples of water. That's supposed to represent the cool water (or milk, or beer) that you need to drink after eating the hot chilis!
In the small pluses, I stuck with a simple, tight stipple in medium green thread. It completely disappears on most of the busy fabrics, but you can see it clearly on this orange plus.
Lots of yummy texture in all that quilting!
This quilt is a gift for my husband's cousin Chris. Chris is a wonderful cook, and makes some killer salsas. I'm sure he'll get a kick out of the fabrics, but I didn't know if this quilt would match his decor at all. So I asked his sister-in-law about colors, and she told me that his favorite colors are orange and gray, and that he also really likes fish. So I pieced the backing out of gray and orange, with a stripe of blue and orange fishes. Why not? The same orange fabric has squiggly lines that made a fun stripey binding.
I'm still working my way through a pile of UFOs, so I'll have another installment of UFOpalooza soon.