Saturday, May 23, 2015

Denim Update

On Saturday, December 12, 2009, I wrote a post on this blog about the denim quilts I have made. I have been amazed at the number of quilters who wanted the pattern. As Facebook gained popularity with some of us 'older folks' and Pinterest took off that number just kept going up. At first it was a few people a month who either emailed me or left a comment with their email address, then a few a week. Then I was asked by Marina and Daryl at Quilt Inspiration if they could do a post and they did. Then things really picked up! There would be days when I got 10 or more and I knew that someone new had pinned a picture on Pinterest. About a week ago someone posted a photo on the Quilt Along with Pat Sloan Facebook Group page and requests shot up once again. I was looking for the picture thread there today though and it seems to have been deleted. Not sure what that is about.

Anyway, since 2009 I have gotten over 1100 comments on the blog post and probably at least another 1000 emails with requests for the pattern. Which means I have sent the pattern to more than 2000 quilters in the us and around the world! Crazy, to think about! 

Unfortunately, some comments did not include an email address so I was unable to fulfill the requests. I also moderate comments as I was getting a lot of spam. Because of this there is a delay before a comment is posted so some people commented more than once thinking it didn't work. I usually only publish one comment per person in those cases. Also, if you don't want your inbox filled with comments from other folks make sure you check your settings.

I have changed the pattern slightly over the years and my latest version has a new size added to it (60" X 80"). I have tried to add more information to the pattern to answer some of the questions I have received from folks over the years. The most commonly asked questions is whether you should add seam allowance to the measurements I have given and the answer is a resounding NO! It is included in the 2", 4", 6", etc. Also, the strips ARE cut 1" wide.

I have never charged for the pattern, but I have given folks information about making donations to a couple of charities. First it was Relay for Life to help fight cancer, but more recently I have asked for donations to Lutheran World Relief. Lutheran World Relief is an organization that helps people all around the world by providing quilts, soap, personal care kits, school kits, layettes and sewing kits to people with nothing. They also have a program working to fight malaria and a program to provide people and villages with livestock, wells, schools, etc. I am very proud of the work they do all over the world. They are currently on the ground in Nepal following the devastating earthquakes there. 

In March, when my husband and I took our two oldest grandchildren to the east coast we were able to visit one of the LWR warehouses in Maryland and the kids were able to watch as they squished quilts and wrapped them in bales to prepare them for shipping.
The quilt folding area and pallets
with bales of quilts.
Almost done making a bale.
Folding the quilts to be baled.
Weighing a bale.

Here is a link if you are interested in learning more or would like to donate click here: Donate to LWR To donate in my honor you will need my mailing address: Alicia Wells, PO Box 596, Olalla WA 98359.

In the email that I send out with the pattern I also have asked quilters to send me pictures of quilts they have made using the pattern and here are..
A two-piece cover for the couch
in Marilyn's motor home.

Rhoda in South Dakota made this
one along with the next two.
Made from Crown Royal bags

From Karin in the UK. She said that she enjoyed cutting the pieces and figuring out the layout but the quilting was a bit daunting so she put it in the cupboard for a while to percolate and then finished it in one day!
The quilting is fun on this one by Virginia
Birgit's version
She added rows to make it larger.
This one is from Judith.
This one is from Michelle
who added an extra row
to make it long enough
for her son.
From Cindy
Memory Quilt made by Glenda
Becky made this for a raffle.
She wasn't happy with the way it
turned out but I think it is great!
This is one started at the class
I did for my quilt guild.
This one has wider sashing.
Becky did it as a Quilt As You Go.
Here is a shot of the back
Susan used decorative stitching
for the quilting on the strips
on this test sample.
Phyllis used a maroonish red for the strips

Linda made this for
her granddaughter, Amanda.
Phil did this larger adaptation,
saying, "the quilt was surprisingly
easier than I expected it to be."
This one is a work in progress
from a first time quilter.
Jackie made this for her grandson.
 I think he likes it.
Sandra added extra rows
and used red for sashing.
From Jennifer
Can you see the darker 'bat' shape in there? 
This is Susan from Australia
showing the quilt she made
for her son using his jeans.
Mary made this king size top
using some added bits of lace and 
some buttons along with blocks 
from various embroidered 
denim shirts, jackets and jumpers.
Melissa made this one
and embroidered a squirrel,
her god-daughter's name
and her college name.
Ann made this one using
platinum strips and added
some pillow shams for her son.

This is Theresa's WIP for her
daughter with an Americana theme.

These pictures really show the versatility of this pattern! I am currently working (when I get a chance) on using up all the denim I have. I am guessing I have enough to make 10-20 or more quilts using the new 60" X 80" pattern.

So, if after reading this update you want the updated pattern, either comment and give me your email address or click on View My Profile on the right and then click on Email Me on the left.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

A Bit of This, A Bit of That

I really need to get my sewing room under control and I think the only way to do that is to finish things. In an effort to finish one project, I have been working with my leftover triangles again. I got them all sewed together into half square triangles units. Got all of those trimmed up and put them together into Broken Dishes blocks and then added them to all the blocks I have made in the past. 

I saw a quilt somewhere online using rows of blocks of various sizes. It had either grey or tan as strips in between those rows. I counted all the blocks and figured out how big a quilt I could make and it was going to be pretty big so I adjusted and decided to make two smaller quilts, thinking they would be easier to sell or give away or something. I sewed the blocks together by size into strips around 45-50" long and took them to work to lay out on the floor. As I laid them out I was talking to my boss about the upcoming Shrove Tuesday Pancake Dinner and Talent Show at the church and she mentioned having a silent auction also. I offered to add a quilt so I picked up what I started and took it all home to adjust the lengths of the strips to something more like 70-80".

Here is a picture of the rows hanging on the drying rack after pressing.
 Here are the rows laid out at work. As you can see the rows varied a lot in length depending on how many blocks I had of each size.
I took a few of the blocks to the fabric store to see what I could find for the 'in between' and my favorite was an apple green. I added green to each row to make it 85" and then put 1" finished strips between the rows. Here is a picture of it on the floor for basting.
I backed it with a barn red flannel - a king-size duvet cover that my husband got at a garage sale for $5 last summer. Here it is all finished and hanging at the church. 
I did a medium stipple using a variegated green thread. Here is a picture of the two smallest rows. There are 4 little 1/2" Broken Dishes blocks and then a strip of 25 - 1" blocks.
Tuesday was craft night next door and Sally had Linnea's quilt finished for us to see. Isn't that a cool panel?

Linnea also brought her quilt from Mary from one of the previous exchanges. Mary hadn't been able to finish all the blocks and get it put together so we didn't get to see it at the reveal and then Linnea brought it one night to craft night but I wasn't there so I asked her to bring it so I could see it. It is quite beautiful in person!

I finally finished my grandson's baby quilt. He is now 7 months old!
It was made from blocks I cut out of the quilt I made for his mommy almost 30 years ago. While pregnant I had embroidered the 12 old-fashioned babies on a piece of pale green fabric. When I had them done I just quilted around the embroidery and then between the babies. It was a pretty boring quilt though she loved it. When we talked about a quilt for her little one I suggested redoing her quilt and she was open to that. She told me she likes the 30's prints so I got some and cut 2 1/2" squares to frame the blocks. When I cut the blocks I left the original hand quilting around the babies and just cut through all the layers and used them that way. I machine quilted diagonals through the small squares and added another round of hand quilting about 1/4" out from the original. The back I used was fabric I purchased in Sitka when I visited my daughter when she was in college and I thought it was appropriate since little Karl visited Sitka when he was just one month old.
I have had everything done but the label a month ago but just didn't get to the label. Finally this week I wrote out a label and got it stitched to the back.

I have pulled out my denim now and hope to work my way through that next. That would mean at least two large bins will be emptied and I should be able to get rid of some backs and batting that has been given to me too!

I am hoping my next post will be an update on denim quilts.

Sunday, January 18, 2015


Well, I guess the weekly thing is just not going to happen! I wish it would but it just isn't. I guess I have to be satisfied with every two weeks or so!

I have two 'finishes' so far this year though! The first was finishing the border on a round robin top. I will be taking that to Idaho for the reveal in about a month.

On January 6th we had our 5th and final reveal at my neighbor's house in our quilt exchange. Luckily, she emailed a reminder on the first or I wouldn't have had this one done for Cindy (on the right).
Nadine (left) made this one for Mary (right). Some of the black and whites were the same ones she used in this one for me.
Mary made this huge one for me! It really isn't that orange in real life. As you can see, my grandson took part in the festivities.
Nadine (left) got this lovely quilt from Cindy (right). 
A great pattern and I love this focus fabric!
Linnea (right) created this Bargello Beauty for Sally (left). When she had the quilt loaded on her machine she discovered a mistake and had to take it off and fix it before quilting this. 

Sally ran into problems while quilting Linnea's so she just got to see it partially done. I will post pictures as soon as I get to see it finished.

My little Grandson had fun playing with his mommy - he had just pulled her glasses off in this picture.
Here are a couple of parting shots of my little buddy. The first is taking a short nap in Grammy's sewing room and the second is playing with my tote bag under the ironing board. He has started crawling so I will have to either clean up the sewing room or keep a close eye on him when he is helping. Which do you think is more likely?