Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Quilts, Quilts, Quilts! Time for a delivery

Having a boot on for the last four weeks has allowed me to be really productive.  Now most of the quilts in this post are not my work.....but the center is going to love all of the quilts.  

This quilt was pieced by one of the ladies of the Adel Christian Church quilt group.  I actually thought I had all of these quilted up already.  I found several that were tucked away waiting their turn on the long arm.  I fondly remembered Donna Grove, when I pulled this quilt out.  Donna told me that she got bored, so I offered her a bunch of flannel fabric that she could use to create Hope Quilts.  Donna took the flannel back to her church group and announced that they would be making Hope Quilts for me.  Not at all what I had intended....but that was Donna.

In an effort to keep the quilt donation fairly balanced.  I decided that I needed to quilt a boy quilt....so I found this blue ABC panel. I know that this quilt really could be for either gender but the first one was pink....so I did the best I could.

These next quilts all came from Betty W.  

Betty is working on stash busting.  All of these adorable quilts came to me totally completed and ready for donation!

Now remember I am trying hard to donate Hope Quilts equally for boys and girls.  Betty remembered that and also created quilts for both genders.  Owen was visiting a few weeks back.  He was heart broken when he could not keep/use either of these quilts.  He loves trains....grandma might just have to make him one

I love this little quilt! It is going to make a little guys year, I just know it will.

This quilt is so sweet.  I sat and looked at the pattern for a very long time.  I am hoping to use it next year to do some stash busting of my own.

This strip quilt is so very simple yet makes a great little boy quilt.  I don't know how I managed not to get a photo of the little buddy that I sent along with this quilt.  It had a cute little pony.

Another adorable stash buster.  I may have to ask Betty where she finds her patterns at.  I had this one constructed three different ways before I realized it is one pieced block with an offset block.  Boy did I feel silly.  Simple but elegant.

Here is the last quilt that Betty gave us.  I love two fabric quilts, so simple yet so sweet.  I found the perfect little purple bunny in my stash to go along with this quilt.

Now as if these weren't enough.  Betty also took home 4 Hope quilts to bind for me.  She got them all bound and back to me in a week.  I think we can all agree that she is awesome!  Thank you so much Betty for all your time and talents.

I have several finished quilts to show you over the next few weeks, so make sure to stop back.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Great volunteers!

I have said it before and I will say it again.  I have some of the best volunteers around.  You have made Iowa Comfort a  success!

Kathy B. has been with me since the very beginning. She has come to every community sew day.  She has pieced, quilted and bound quilts for us.  Oh and she has made pillow cases.

She whipped up these 8 pillow cases for the center.

That brings our count up to 423 donated this year.

This is ICQ #179

Kathy also donated this finished quilt to Iowa comfort.  It has already made its way to the center.  The gals there fell in love with the colors.   Its kind of like seeing Christmas through a child's eyes.

Kathy also pieced this quilt together for us.  It is the first of the Asian quilts that we worked on at the last community sew day.

Last night was my Circle of Friends meeting and I let them help me pick binding for this quilt.  

It was tough because I am trying to use fabric that I already possess.  

In the end we decided to use a black/grey fabric for all but one strip (not quite enough fabric to bind the whole quilt) and then a soft creme.  The plan is to position the creme fabric over the darkest corner of the quilt. 

I am so grateful to all of my volunteers, especially those that go way above as Kathy does.  We touch lives because of all of you.  

Thank you so much!

Now off to cut that binding.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Christmas in July

I use to absolutely hate when I would see Christmas anything before Thanksgiving.  I actually still do....but I am going to have to get to a point where I love it because Iowa Comfort needs to get jolly!

Fons and Porter donated a lot of Christmas fabric.  I just could not see making bed size quilts out of this fabric.  I want these quilts to be used or at least special.   

I spoke with the center and asked if lap size quilts would be of any value around Christmas.  I was told that they could be used for clients that do not get adopted, or clients that enter the center to late to be adopted for the holidays.  

So here are 8 kits that I am going to get sewn together and quilted to be used as Christmas gifts this year.

This means I am going to take a break for a little bit from making pillow cases and I will focus on these quilts.  I work better under a schedule, so the plan is to complete at least one, including binding, a week.  

I plan to sew during the day, then cut and press in the evening. It has been a long time since I have pieced...so I am hoping that I won't be spending a lot of time with my seam ripper. If all goes as planned they should all be completed by the end of September...in plenty of time for Christmas.

This past week was really productive.  I am finding that my boot is really messing with my schedule,  I am limited to what exercise I can safely do.  So a lot of it is not getting done....but the my machines are getting a work out.  Last week I quilted 4 Hope Quilts and a bed size quilt.  All of these quilts are currently out being bound.  

Additionally I was tired of looking at all the piles on my quilt room floor.  I put my nose to the grindstone and created 3 large puppy pool quilts.  Puppy pool quilts are made from left over batting and fabric that for one reason or another won't make it in a quilt for people.  The puppies at AHeintz 57 dog rescue won't care that the batting is uneven or that the fabric doesn't match.  They will just know that they have a soft cuddly quilt to snuggle in when they wear themselves out and want to take a nap. 

I really like that I can see my floor and my sewing surface again.  I am getting the binding on the puppy quilts today so they can be donated soon.

Betty W. stopped by to drop off 6 Hope Quilts this past week, those will be a future post.

This coming week I have three beautiful Asian quilts that were pieced by Joyce, Jackie and Kathy to get on the longarm. They are from the community sew day, and they need to get completed. Lofty goals I know....but that is the plan.

Everyone have a great week!

Monday, July 6, 2015

Susan and Millie K

A while back I received an email from Jacque J at Adel Quilting and Dry Goods.  She had received an email from Susan.  Susan's mother Millie was a hand quilter.  When she passed away, Susan loving boxed all of her mothers fabric up for storage.

Earlier this year Susan set out to find a good home for her mothers fabric.  She contacted Jacque who put me in touch with her.  

I told Susan about Iowa Comfort and our pillow case challenge.  Susan told me that there was yardage in her mothers fabric... and I made an executive decision to break my rule and accept another fabric donation. 

Here is the donation in its original presentation.  I had one focus with this donation.  Cut it, kit it, and get those pillow cases made.

I have worked on this donation for a little over  a month now.

That is 57 pillow cases, ready for donation.  I also have a basket of flannel and solids for other projects.  Several large pieces of backing and about 10 more pillow cases for MaryAnn and I to get sewn up. (It was suggested that Big Bertha should be renamed MaryAnn, and I agreed.)  

Thank you so much Susan for donating your mothers fabric to Iowa Comfort. Your donation will provide comfort to many, and helped us get closer to our goal of 500 pillow cases donated this year.

Oh officially these are pillow cases 359-415. And it is only the beginning of July.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Big Bertha

Anybody that knows me knows that each and every sewing machine and pet that I own was named after a  TV character from my youth.

My kitties are Mork and Mindy.  Mork is a spaz and Mindy is a lady.

Hawkeye is named after the Mash character, although most people thought it was for the university.  Don't know why????  Oh yeah look at the previous post....that could be it.  With his sense of hearing, Radar might of been a better choice.

I have domestic sewing machines, their names are Lavern and Shirley...one is a little more dainty and therefore my traveling machine.  The other stays at home...and is really durable (read hefty).

Then there is the long arm....that is Lenni, Squiggy and the Fonz.

Side note; perhaps all this TV time did me no favors later in life.

As most of you know we have a pillow case challenge going on.  I was working on some pillowcases that Sue D. donated.  Wonderful, colorful, soft flannel pillowcases.  I was sewing along on Shirley, and when I got to the flange (six layers of flannel) Shirley threw a hissy fit.  She actually refused to sew for me any longer and demanded a spa day.  THE NERVE OF HER!

I was commenting to my dear hubby how I had so many, many more flannel pillowcases to put together.  He had a solution for me.

Now try as I could, I could not come up with a name for her.....except Big Bertha.  She is a work horse and is making quick work of all the pillow cases I need to sew in the next several weeks.

Here is some fabric, from Tony's donation that I knew I could get a few pillow cases out of.  I spent a night kitting them up and had them ready in case anyone volunteered.

Within a couple of days, Dian W offered to sew a few together for me.  Here they are all put together.  We have cats, peacocks, dragon flies and barnyard animals.  All very unique and colorful.  These might be used as book bags later at the center.  I think they have way to much personality to actually be a pillow case.

Lonnie was checking out the fabric on the sale rack at Adel Quilting and Dry Goods.  She decided to sew up a couple more for the cause.  I have lost track of how much fabric/ finished cases that she has donated this year.

These are the cases that led to Big Bertha living in my house.  I know she was meant to live in my sewing room, and I am so glad to have her.  I can get these sewn up in half the time it use to take.

With these donations we are officially at 358 pillow cases donated so far this year.  Well over half of our goal, before half of the year is up.

Thank you to Dian, Lonnie and Sue for the donations of fabric, finished pillowcases and your time and talents.

I have a couple of small quilts to bind this week, and I hope to get one bed size quilt on the machine also.  

Hope you all have a wonderful week!

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

You can teach a new trick to an old dog....

This past weekend I celebrated my 58th birthday.  So the old dog that I am referring to in the post title is me.  The great news is that even though I am a year older, I am so much healthier and grateful for it.

I am also glad that I still have the capacity to retain new information.  Several weeks ago, maybe even a couple of months ago, Nancy J. shared a tip with me.  She had been to a quilting function and they were using their scraps to make doggy beds.  Nancy thought that the information would be helpful to me and passed it my way.  I am so thankful that she did. 

The doggy beds were made out of old t-shirts.  And as luck would have it, I have old t-shirts that I can no longer wear.

First thing you do is turn the t-shirt inside out and sew the arms and bottom together.

Turn the shirt right side out and you now have your bed ready to be stuffed.  Just put your scraps in the neck hole.

Once you have stuffed the bed about 85% full.  Take the bed to the sewing machine and finish sewing up that neck line.  Wallah you have yourself a doggy bed! Easy peasy!

Now I like the beds that I donate to be functional for A Heinz 57.  So I take some fleece and make an outside cover for the beds so they can easily wash just the cover instead of the whole bed.

I was struggling on how to close them up, and finally realized I could just sew a little fleece and make a tie to do the trick.  I do believe thou in the future I will use 4 tie's vs just the two.

In addition to all of the beds, I also delivered these 5 doggy blankets to them.  My guess is that they will be used for the puppies when they have them in the kiddy pools to keep them corralled. Long before they are potty trained.  These were made of fabric that was not 100% cotton and could not be used in quilts....but they will be perfect, and wash well, for this purpose.

NOW before you all start thinking you should donate your t-shirts to me.... get that thought right out of your head!  I have plenty to work with, between my husbands and my old wardrobe.  But I would encourage you to make a few of the beds up from your own scraps.  IF you want to donate a stuffed bed, I will make the outer casing and get it donated to Amy.

Thank you Nancy for sharing the tip.  It really did make it so much easier for me, and as you can see a lot of puppies are going to be up off the floor because you shared.

Hope everyone has a great week!

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Some times you just need supplies.....

Every once in a while you just need to replenish supplies.

I was working on this quilt for the Adel Library auction that Jacque is hosting at Adel Quilting and Dry Goods.

The top was pieced really well, but I did not have my air conditioner on yet, and the humidity was messing with my quilting. As you can see when I got to the end the border kept curling up.... and I was feeling lazy.


So it gave me a great excuse to head over to the quilt shop to purchase this handy dandy tool.  It is my favorite go to spray.

Couple of quick sprays and that border is lying flat as can be and there isn't anything that the humidity can do about it.

I was able to finish quilting the quilt in no time at all.  This top had been donated to the auction by Nancy.  I donated the quilting on it.

I think it was really pretty prior to the quilting, and the quilting made it pop even more if I do say so myself.

Since the top had butterflies in it.  I decided to quilt some pretty butterflies on it, in a pretty green.

The backing was bright and has butterflies on it also.

This quilt will be available for purchase this coming Saturday at Adel Quilting and Dry Goods.  Many other things will be available in this auction also.  All proceeds from the sale of these items will be donated to the Adel library. So please come and check out the quilt show, and the auction.

So how many of you are wondering about the title of this post?

I have taken the long way around to this donation.  When I went into the quilt shop to pick up that can of Sulky that is pictured above.  I had a gift certificate waiting for me from Lonnie.  She told me that she hadn't been able to do as much for Iowa Comfort as she would have liked, but wanted to donate.

I knew I needed that can of spray....but I was set for pretty much everything else.  SOOOOOOOO guess what we did with the balance of the gift certificate????  Give you three guesses, first two don't count....
Yep you got it.  We kitted some pillow case kits from the sale rack.  I took the fabric home and whipped up these 6 pillow cases.  Alright to be perfectly honest, I did dip into a yard of fabric from here at home.  Don't know how I thought I was going to make 6 cases from 5 yards of fabric....but we got it done.

Officially these are pillow cases 336-341.

It was really nice to play with quilt shop quality fabric for a little bit.  I have been working with some vintage fabric...but we will save the rest of that story.

Thanks Lonnie for the donation!  You have been very generous to Iowa Comfort and I really appreciate it.

Don't forget to stop by the quilt shop this Saturday and pick up an item from the auction.  The library will appreciate it!