Thursday, August 5, 2021

Covered in Love times six

Time for a quick catch-up post on what I've been working on. These six quilts were finished in June and July and I just shipped them off to Kat. This first one was made almost completely with scraps from Jan of The Colorful Fabriholic. They were leftovers from the very cool piece she made for her guild's Color Spoke Challenge. I grouped them by size and added a few more touches of the magenta. Then I set two quadrants of the quilt in black background and two in white.

The back used up some chunks of black, white and gray fabrics that have been in my stash for a while. I also had some strips with sweet and encouraging sayings on them; that fabric was donated to CiL and I hope it brings some encouragement to a family. 

Fabric designs that are half black/half white like these on the back seem to be very hard to use in piecing for me. I like them, I buy them, but then never use them. If you have any advice on ways to incorporate high contrast fabrics like this, let me know! 

This Star-Fish quilt was made from two different CiL donations that happened to be sitting next to each other on my work surface one day. The 13 free-form stars are made from soft, pretty batiks and came to me as rectangles. I don't know who stitched them, but I love them! The three fish panels with white backgrounds came from someone else, but the colors are an exact match to the stars. That made 16 blocks, hm, a 4x4 layout could wo4k. Then I remembered I had another fish panel with similar colors and could make four more block from that. 4x5 was a much better size and a quilt was born.

The back is just fat quarters in the same sherbet shades as the front. I also pulled those colors from my bin of 2.25" strips for a scrappy binding. 

This fun quilt is made with a combination of blocks from me and Cathy of Crazy by Design. I think her blocks might be from the book Farmhouse Vintage? They include the bee, flower and hand mixer. Aren't those super cute? They ended up as orphan blocks in her stash because they weren't exactly 12.5", and we all know how that goes, don't we? I have my own selection of 12.0", 11.75" and 11.4785726" blocks that are hoping for friends of the same size to come out and play.

I grouped blocks of the same width together and sewed them into columns. Then I offset the columns to hide the fact that each column is a little different height. Your eye sees the stairstep design but can't perceive the slight differences. Of course, MY eye sees my blocks with crappy contrast, so I'm glad Cathy's fun blocks dominate the scene! The background gray is printed with the names of all fifty US states.

The back is a large chunk of stylish ladies on Vespas that I've been hoarding for years. Some of you may know that we have motorscooters that we carry with us on the top of the boat so I love all things scooter-related. Time to get that cute fabric out into the world to comfort a family.

This autumnal piece was donated by Christy and sewn by a friend of hers. It came with a big extra chunk of the red and brown leaf fabric. I'm guessing that it was made in the early 2000s? It is a very complicated design, with most of the blocks being cut on the bias. Blocks that had NO BUSINESS being bias. Maybe it was a mystery quilt along and each piece was so unusual there would be no way to guess the final design? I don't know, but I feel for the gal who tried to make this beast lie flat. The combination of so many bias edges and the super soft plaid flannel made the top wavy gravy. Roly poly. A sea of rumples, kind of like the Maine waters we're cruising right this minute.

I removed the entire outer border to get back to some semblance of flatness, and used the leftover pieces to make the quilt rectangular. Then I "quilted the life into it," as the saying goes! I find that when I'm fighting with a quilt top, or feeling bad that I chopped off some points, or I'm not loving the colors, it really helps to do more extensive and/or custom quilting. 

This classic looking quilt started as a batch of Priscilla's orphan blocks. Priscilla's piecing is always precise and perfect. They are also delightfully scrappy, with no one color dominating at all. A little sashing, a few cornerstones, and this top came together lickety split. I think Nicki made the pretty green floral binding, all nicely pre-pressed and ready to go. 

The back is an eBay find that I think was supposed to be a lightweight bed cover. It came to me as a single piece of cotton, 120"x120". 

And finally, some rainbow fun! This quilt was made by me with a batik jelly roll donated to CiL. It's just a simple rail fence, and a few borders, but there's something about rainbow order that always makes me smile. The last batch of donations that Kat sent me contained four jelly rolls, so I'm on the lookout for more good patterns to use them up. Let me know in the comments if you have a pattern you like!

This big chunk of solid orange was also donated and makes a great back for such a bright front. I hope it ends up in the hand of an orange lover.

I got confirmation from Kat yesterday that she received the big box containing these quilts, so soon they can go to work doing the serious business of comforting grieving families. I have a batch of baby/toddler quilts to share with you next, so stay tuned! And thanks for your understanding while I was on blog hiatus.


  1. What a lovely varied “crew” of CiL quilts. You really know how to add your magic to orphan blocks, scraps and donated fabrics. All delightful quilts which will bring comfort to the recipients.

  2. I was so excited to see your post, and what great quilts you've finished! As for the high contrast fabrics, I like to add them to colorful improv (or otherwise) blocks. They add a little zing, I think. They also work great for borders, and the striped variety are great for binding.

  3. Always happy to see a post from you, that way we know you are not just lazing around getting a tan on that boat, hahaha. Pretty rainbow quilt. Here are free patterns...

  4. Hello, stranger. Happy to see you've been very busy during your hiatus to no one's surprise. You could use the black and white fabrics as the center strip in string blocks or as an outer border on crumb blocks, then alternate them with a single fabric square like the fish blocks. I love those free-form batik star blocks and wonder if they were foundation paper pieced. Enjoy the rest of your summer up north.

  5. What a wonderful - and varied! - batch of quilts for CIL. I'm amazed at what you were able to do with my Color Spoke Challenge cast offs. To me they were useless but you've made a cohesive quilt out of them that really sings. Thank you!

  6. Wow - times six!! Next time I have a batch of orphan blocks, I need to send them YOUR way.

  7. It's always great to see what magic you've been working with donated blocks and fabric, Louise! These are really neat and will be loved and appreciated. The stair step design of Cathy's blocks is a brilliant idea!

  8. Welcome back to cyber world! I've missed your posts sooooo much! I'm going to have to say I "think" my favorite this time is the quilt from Cathy blocks & your blocks. I just love how smart you were to offset the columns of blocks so that the eye doesn't see any differences in the sizes of the blocks. By the way, I think I have one of those 11.4785726" blocks that could come play with yours but mine doesn't know how to swim to get to you! :)
    Yep, that's my binding that you used on Pricilla's orphan block quilt. I feel so honored to be a part of one of your quilts. Thanks! Thanks for all you do for Cil & the other charities that you sew for.

  9. A lovely variety of quilts... you have been busy.... as always I am impressed what you manage to make up from your fabrics/blocks etc

  10. Another sweet batch, Louise, with so much to learn about building a quilt from bits and pieces. (And I’m so glad I can comment here again!)

  11. Good to see you back and you have been busy. You had a lucky find with the extra fish panel from your stash, Star Fish is so colourful. Clever idea to offset the blocks on the second quilt, a fun design and I can't see any difference in the height of the panels. Pleased to see the autumnal quilt
    came as a ready made top, it does look quite complex and would have taken some time to piece I think. Your last two are so colourful, especially the last one. I used to have a book with quite a few jelly roll patterns but I think that went to a Guild sale quite some time ago. If I find any I'll be in touch.

  12. Oh my, what Quilty goodness! I like them all, but am particularly tickled with the quilt where you combined your blocks with my orphans. Together they made a stunning quilt with such a creative setting! I’ve missed your posts, my friend!

  13. I am going to get busy and make you a few blocks that measure 11.4785726". I will have them done in no time.

  14. You have done a wonderful job with these quilts. Thanks for all your efforts.

  15. Somehow I missed this post, but am so happy I found it! Love that Autumnal Splendor. I think I would like to make it - sans the bias seams lol. It looks like it was constructed from four blocks. All of them are wonderful. CIL I know was thrilled with them.

  16. PS - do you remember what size it was?


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