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.