Thursday, July 4, 2019

Colorful collection


Happy Independence Day to my US readers, and happy belated Canada Day to our northerly neighbors! Here along the border in the Thousand Islands region, fireworks and festivities abound.

Today I have four finishes to share. My UFO pile is slowly getting smaller and I'm hoping to be able to see the surface of the guest bed sometime soon. 


These three little quilts are all destined for Quilts Beyond Borders (QBB). They are made with a simple block that the Sunshine Online Quilt Guild calls the Mendota.

My yellow and orange Mendota...
Every two or three years, this group of quilters from all over the US holds a retreat in a different city. A year before the retreat, the organizers pick an easy block for members to make in advance. The goal is to make as many quilt tops from the blocks as possible during the retreat. Tops are then distributed around the country to members, who baste, quilt and bind them. The quilts are then donated to Sunshine's two official charities: QBB and Wrap-a-Smile.

...with cats and fairies on the back
This year's retreat was held in Mendota Heights, MN, and I was really hoping I could attend. We knew we'd be traveling the Great Loop route this summer and would end up near Minnesota at some point. Alas, it will probably be August or September by the time we get there, and the retreat was in mid June. 

Greens, yellows and reds...

...with apples and bluebirds on the back
I had a stack of 100 Mendota blocks ready to go, so I pieced five tops up at home during the retreat weekend. Other "at home retreaters" and I shared our progress with the "at retreat retreaters" via social media. A good time was had by all, although the "at retreaters" had lots of extra fun: ice cream, candy- and quilt-shop visits, BBQ, and face to face getting to know each other!

Pinks and purples and rainbows...
...with jungle animals and an odd brown/purple/turquoise striped floral that I never thought would find its forever home!
I have two more Mendota tops from my own blocks ready to be quilted, and committed to finishing five more from tops made at the retreat. The gals in Mendota Heights stitched up over 140 tops. Amazing!


This quilt is made from orphan "T" blocks that were sent to me by Kat of Covered in Love. They were made by a woman who did a beautiful job with the piecing. I'm sorry I didn't take any photos of the backs of these blocks with their perfectly pressed, uniform seam allowances. And I just loved peering at all her scraps! She used hundreds of different fabrics and only one overlapped with something in my stash. I have already shipped this quilt back to Kat, so I can't double check the block maker's name, but I wrote it on the label on the back of the quilt. Update: Kat left a comment below reminding me that the blocks came from Priscilla.


I finished stitching the blocks into a simple square top with no sashing, and put several extra "T's" on the back. I used a dark purple binding and big stipple quilting to hold it all together. These pretty blocks are no longer orphans, and are ready to comfort a grieving family.


One final note: We spent a few days anchored in the harbor of Clayton, NY. During this boaty photo shoot, two little girls were taking sailing lessons. You can see their tiny sailboat just above the railing in this photo. It was really nice to hear their sweet, happy voices while I was taking the photos.

28 comments:

Cathy said...

Happy Independence Day! The quilts are all lovely, and it’s so heartwarming to see others who madly stitch and donate quilts to worthy charities. πŸ˜˜πŸŽ‰πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡ΈπŸ—½πŸ§¨

Mari said...

Happy 4th of July! All of your Mendota quilts look great and are sure to make some people happy. Have fun there in New York!

Debbie said...

Wonderful small quilts....love all the variety and even the backs. You have a real gift and knack of putting the blocks together.

Kat said...

Priscilla :)

Kathleen said...

Wonderful quilts. It is nice to get that pile managed isn’t it? Sweet little voices on the water - just delightful. Coming to Portland Maine at all - probably when we are in Minnesota but if you are it would be fun to meet up!

Fiona said...

Great work on those quilts... the offset squares do look great and I just love all those T blocks together.... lovely finishes going to new homes...
Hugz

Lynn said...

I like that Mendota block - great way to use us scraps. And the Ts, wonderful job. As always, very productive!

KaHolly said...

These are all fabulous finishes, and for such good causes. They will be so loved and appreciated.

piecefulwendy said...

Love the finishes, Louise. The Mendota block might be simple, but it sure showcases fabric well! So if you get to MN in August or September, let me know? Maybe we can meet!

Lisa J. said...

I love that you had enough blocks to split your blocks into colour families. Very nice.

Vicki in MN said...

The gals at retreat may have had a few things you didn't. But that works 2 ways, they were not on a boat in the water which is so peaceful;) So I think you are all even, LOL. That would have been so cool if you would have came to the retreat I would have driven up to meet you!!! You are blessed to be doing so many great quilts for these charities and they are blessed to have you.

Nancy @ Grace and Peace Quilting said...

Wonderful gift quilts, Louise! Amazing what the retreat group got done! Let me know when you come to Minnesota.

Quiltdivajulie said...

I never cease to be amazed at how many comfort quilts you complete -- so much goodness being shared.

Susan Earle said...

Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful photos. Your quilts were of course lovely. But the backgrounds were my favourite. I’m from the Thousand Islands originally and loved seeing some “home” pictures. I grew up on Wolfe Island (Canadian side). Ferry on one side to Kingston, ferry on the other side to Cape Vincent NY. Looking forward to my travels that way next month (need my “water fix”!)

Liz said...

Happy Independence Day! Beautiful quilts, my you've been busy! That t-block one is particularly impressive. I've never seen that block before!

LIttle Penguin Quilts said...

I always love seeing your fun and colorful finishes combined with where you are! Your posts often send me to the map! Those Mendota blocks are good ones - I'm going to keep those in mind for playing with.

Anne / Springleaf Studios said...

Love seeing all the comfort quilts you make. It's so inspiring. You also must be seeing some amazing scenery on your voyage. Enjoy the summer months.

Carol E. said...

You MUST let us know when you come to Minnesota! I see I'm not the only one hoping you make it here. We could have a large rendezvous with all your fans.

I love all the quilts. You do such lovely quilting in a small space on a DSM. I usually go the tried and true route of straight lines, but I'm trying to branch out, again. I go through this phase every now and then until I get discouraged again and go back to straight lines.

Anyway, your quilts are even more gorgeous against your gorgeous backdrops. You have the BEST quilt photos!

JanineMarie said...

Wonderful finishes yet again, Louise! So many blocks and so many tops! It sounds like a really energetic retreat (oxymoron?). I like how you made a way to “be there” even if you couldn’t actually go.

Joanne said...

That Mendota block looks like a great stash eater and it wirked up into some very cheery quilts that are sure to be treasured.

Sandra Walker said...

Again you do such wonderful work Louise. I think that this next half of the year I will commit to making another donation quilt with my orphan blocks that I've accumulated over the years. When I see what you can do... I'm incorporating a block similar to that Mendota block in my August hop quilt for Island Batik! Love the water shots, and aww on the little girls learning to sail! And oh yes, we get a double whammy of fireworks since we live on the border, and I am not complaining for one nanosecond!

Bonnie said...

Love those Mendota blocks. Any chance you can share the block instructions or where I can find them? It is a lot of fun to sew with a group. I was going to say that you got more done but I'm not sure with 140 quilt tops being made. Amazing. Have fun in the great lakes.

Sarah@123quilt said...

I'm always inspired by the work you do!

Mystic Quilter said...

Lovely, lovely quilts for such a good cause. A straight-forward block but given all the different fabrics and colours the quilts have great impact.

Kate said...

Congrats on some very pretty and colorful finishes. Hope the seas have been smooth and you've been spared a lot of the rain that seems to be drenching the rest of the US.

Jocelyn is Canadian Needle Nana said...

You are quite productive on your boat there while travelling around! So many wonderful quilts done and dusted. YOu choose gorgeous bright colours which certainly show well against a boat and water! Well done Louise.

sillygirl said...

Just read a fun quote - When life hands you scraps, make quilts!

helenjean@midgetgemquilts said...

playing catch up with my blog reading. Some great quilts there, I am sure the recipients will love them. I love to see your finished quilt photos