Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Gracious Geisha



It's another gorgeous day on the Erie Canal! I love how flat calm the water is in the mornings before the breeze picks up. I have another little finish to share with you.


Gracious Geisha might look a bit familiar. I used the same panel in a larger quilt earlier this year. My preference is to only buy one of any given panel, since there are so many available. So many panels! So little time! But occasionally I find them two-fer-one on eBay at killer prices. So. Here she is again.

This time I combined her with two lotto blocks from Sunshine Guild members, and one of my own orphan blocks. This is a small, wheelchair sized quilt, about 36"x48". You can tell it's lightweight by my jauntily deployed pinkies. Yes, that's me in the photo, and Sean climbed off the boat with camera in hand.


I chose this lotto block because the purple lilacs matched the purple wisteria.


And this one has a combination of colors that felt quite Asian to me. You can see the simple big stipple quilting in purple thread, and the purple and red striped binding.


This one is my orphan block, made of pre-cut hexagons. Sewing these together requires Y-seams, not my favorite, so they'd been marinating in my stash for over four years. That's a bicycle handlebar shadow on the right. This one is my photo, can't blame that on Sean. Just keeping it real, y'all. If you're here for my photography skills, then perhaps you need to go outside and clear your head.


The back is a mish mash of Asian-inspired scraps pieced together. It felt like time to use these up and get them out of my stash. Sometimes those ziplock bags of random fabric take up more mental space than they are worth.

Gracious Geisha will be sent to Doris, my friend from the Sunshine Online Quilt Guild. Her local group, Joyful Stitchers, makes and donates wheelchair quilts to nearby nursing homes. I really love making these smaller pieces, and while most of my quilts are kid friendly, it's nice to also skew a few toward more adult interests.

Finding a local senior living center or nursing care facility is tricky for me. Just showing up somewhere with 2-3 quilts doesn't seem like the right thing to do. Which residents would get them? Having enough for everyone is good manners! So I'm grateful to have found Doris and her group, and add to their local efforts in Alabama. I had thought I might donate this quilt to a place mentioned by another blogger. Several of us asked in the comments for more information about the nursing care center needing the quilts, but the blogger never followed up. That made me a bit irritated! But rather than rant about that, this is a great time to say how grateful I am to the folks who DO follow through.

One of the reasons I continue to give to my favorite quilt charities is the positive feedback I get. At the very least, they all let me know when the quilts arrive. I'm not doing it for the thanks, but it's really nice to hear that the darned things at least made it to their destination! But most also send a sweet card or email with kind words. Joyful Stitchers, Covered in Love, Wrap A Smile, Quilts Beyond Borders, Little Lambs, Victoria's Quilts, Happy Chemo, Mercyful Quilts, Jack's Basket, A Doll Like Me: each one of these has been great about acknowledging my donations.



And speaking of Joyful Stitchers, Doris sent me this photo of one of my quilts being used on their bulletin board. Remember the one I made with train panels? Here it is, folded so just the trains are showing and being used to promote their sewing group. All Aboard! I'm just tickled pink!

Care and feeding of volunteers doesn't really take much, yet makes a huge difference. Many thanks to those who do it right!

21 comments:

Joanne said...

I thought the Geisha looked familiar! Kudos to you for being such a generous quilter!

djquilting said...

Love the Geisha. That calm water should make free motion quilting easier.

Kate @ Smiles From Kate said...

I do like how you sympathetically increased the size of the panel to make a lovely quilt. I’m a sucker for a pieced back too, they look great and use up small pieces. Practical and decorative in one, win win.

Stephanie from Ontario said...

Will you continue through the Welland Canal into Lake Erie. I am near Port Dover, Ontario in Inner Long Point Bay. Have some great quilt shops nearby and you would be using $US and they go farther here!
Sandy from Quilting for the Rest of Us walks her dog on the Erie Canal.
Stephanie

Lynn said...

Wonderful use of those orphan blocks to complement the panel - just lovely. And I love your generous heart for the charities, but agree a thanks is always appreciated too.cute useful quilt.

Carol E. said...

You are my hero. Funny, clever and generous all rolled into one.

Vicki in MN said...

When the kids were home and we vacationed at a lake, we always looked for the calm waters early morning or later evening for them to ski or tube. Great memories. You and Sean are making many great memories in your travels and lifestyle. Quilters are the most generous people-you are among them my friend!

Debbie said...

Beautiful and for such good causes. You make so much difference in the lives of many. Great statement to live by.

Fiona said...

love how you matched those blocks to the panel... you are always so clever with your putting together quilts... and there is nothing wrong with your photography - but the addition of your humour is always welcome!
Totally agree about any kind of volunteering... just recognition is enough that you are indeed there.... anything else is a bonus but so appreciated...
Hugz

piecefulwendy said...

What a unique quilt, and a great way to use up orphan blocks! You have me giggling at the photo comment, since I can relate. I'm constantly trying to keep my shadow out of my photos! I really appreciate how many quilts you donate; you encourage me in that way. I need to find more local charities and donate. It is frustrating when you send a donation and never hear back, really only wanting to know if it arrived or not. I need to keep your list of charities handy.

Janice said...

Louise, you are an inspiration in several ways. Your generosity, of course, but also in your method and way you think in putting things together. So creative!! I am so glad we met in blogging land. And I also appreciate your willingness to always use your creative brain to help me when I don't know what to do. The charities aren't the only ones who appreciate you! :)

Nicki said...

Your Geisha quilt is so pretty & will make someone warm & happy to receive it. Your sewing machine must require constant oiling to keep it humming with all the quilts you make & send away. Thank you for your support to all those charities. It is important to know that your quilts find their destination & are appreciated. Thanks for all you do & for your fun blog.

The Colorful Fabriholic said...

Hear, hear! Your charitable work is an inspiration to us all.
Your geisha quilt is lovely and will surely be appreciated by a nursing home resident. So many homes keep the air conditioning comfortable for the staff, and the residents often feel chilly.

Kathleen said...

I thought that looked familiar. The canal looks gorgeous. Shadows and shoes are my problem when taking photos. That’s a nice way to get this quilt donated, through a friend’s affiliation.

Lisa J. said...

Another wonderful donation quilt. I liked the Geisha panel the first time around and I still like it. You chose your accompanying blocks well. They add a lot tot he panel.

JanineMarie said...

I always get hungry when I go to your blog. Do you know why? It’s that giant pretzel on the boat! Anyway, another lovely finish, Louise. I really liked the look when you made the first quilt with that panel, so it’s neat to see another. You always seem to have just the right blocks and fabrics to complement a panel.

I totally relate to your thoughts about hearing back from charitable groups. I used to send packages with signature confirmation just to know they at least got where I sent them, but with shipping prices lately I quit doing that. It’s probably inconvenient for the recipient, too. I’ve usually hear back, although I find that is less likely when there is a quilt/block collection related to a mass human tragedy—probably due to the overwhelming response by the quilting community. Then I just cross my fingers and hope it got there. I also worry that things get “taken” or “lost” in transit—and in that case, I just hope that whoever ends up with the quilt will be impacted by it in some way that was meant to be. But isn’t it heartwarming to get those little notes of confirmation?

JanineMarie said...

Oh, just had to say one more thing. I love that first photo on the canal. I’m tickled to be following your trip toward my beloved Great Lakes.

Sandra Walker said...

It's DEFINITELY a thrill to see your quilt in use! But it's also just GOOD MANNERS to receive at least an email thank you. I love your quip about your photography skills, bahaha! Lovely water shots, ahhh.

Sandra Walker said...

PS and now I see Janine's second comment, I agree! She and I share a deep love of these inland seas. But then I already mentioned that in a previous comment about you getting closer and closer to me! Wouldn't that be a thing if you, me and Janine somehow met up? Maybe on the Detroit River? It connects Lake Erie to Lake Huron, through Lake St. Clair (not a Great Lake) and well, you know all this...

Nancy @ Grace and Peace Quilting said...

Too cute and sweet, Louise! I love the stories of your quilts and combination of donated blocks, orphan blocks and panels. Great job on piecing that back together, too! Love the quilt bulletin board poster! Yay!

KaHolly said...

I wish I had your vision! You always manage to put blocks and fabrics together in the most interesting of ways. I agree with you about donating as a solo quilter to places like nursing homes. It wouldn’t be very fair.