Saturday, October 15, 2011

100 Quilts for Kids

I've had so much fun learning about the quilt blogger community over the last few months, and I'm especially glad to have met Katie from Swim, Bike, Quilt. Katie is also a member of the DC Modern Quilt Guild, and for the second year in a row, she's put together a charity event called 100 Quilts for Kids to encourage quilters to make charity quilts for children.
Swim, Bike, Quilt

I'm totally inspired by this and have lots of quilts in the works for it, but I only managed to finish one by the actual deadline (today), thanks to being sick and working on my friend Anne's quilt over the last month, since her baby is due in a week, and my friend Talia's storm at sea quilt, which I hoped to present on her 2nd anniversary, but alas...that was last week! (So many quilts, so little time, but lots of big finishes soon to report to all 5 of my followers!!!)

I went to my first DC Modern Quilt Guild Event in September, and it was a charity quilt sew-in on a Friday night. Although I did manage to get lost getting there, it was a really fun event with a lot of really nice women who were all there to help in one way or another with this awesome effort.
I pieced this top that evening with fabric I bought from Connecting Threads, though I still have to put together a back and get it quilted/finished. (This isn't just procrastination - I've got a neat plan for another quilt out of a jelly roll from the same fabric, and I want to use the remaining part of the jelly roll, along with the bit of yardage I bought, to make the pieced backs for both quilts.) I'm still learning about how to use blogger and how to photograph quilts. The first photo is the outside picture taken by my lovely assistant, Bryan! (If he reads this, it may be his last time being my lovely assistant!) The second one is from my "design wall" (aka a large piece of flannel tacked onto the wall of my sewing room!). I think I might like the inside picture better...especially because my legs aren't showing!

For the sew-in, Katie had received lots of great donated fabric from shops, other quilters, and her own stash, and when I saw this Eric Carle "Very Hungry Caterpillar" fabric, I knew I had to make a quilt for a child in need out of it. I love the "cheater print" in the center. I added the columns of color around it, and I like the way it came out.
I had originally planned to make a solid back, but then I wouldn't have been rushed, and that's no fun, so I pieced the back as well as the front. I managed to use up just about every scrap from the front, and I have some of the "Very Hungry Caterpillar" print leftover to send back to Katie for someone else to use for the rest of the prints that she had.
I kept the quilting very simple, and I decided to just use nice white cotton flannel for the batting so that it would be lightweight enough to be a "blankie" that a child can carry around all year. With such bright colors, it is as much about mental comfort as physical comfort! I decided to try a machine binding, so that it will hold up to years of washing, and I discovered that I like it.
I got to try out my new binding clips that I ordered from Hancock's of Paducah, and I love them! They will definitely save me some tired hands when I hand-finish my next binding, too!

I've been trying to decide where I wanted to donate this quilt, since there are so many worthy causes. At long last, I decided on "My Very Own Blanket" out of Westerville, Ohio, which, incidentally, is the town one of my dear friends grew up in. As she has been working with kids for a number of years after teaching in DC through Americorps, I thought it would be a nice tribute to her, as well as a great organization and a great cause. Having known a couple of people who grew up in foster care and had some pretty horrendous stories to tell, I like the idea of helping a child in foster care have something that is his or her very own.

A big thanks, once again, to Katie for putting this great event together. She made it happen, and the goal will be met (especially because I have 6 other charity quilts in the works in one form or another), so that is pretty incredible. Also, I want to give a big thanks to her sponsors, especially Pam at Del Ray Fabrics for the great donations and for a discount for fabric for charity quilts. I bought the red solid from her that I used in this quilt (and it will be featured in another charity quilt in much greater amounts!).

Finally, I can't end this post without a picture of my little helper. She is a very patient kitty, considering that she has really wanted to be in my lap throughout the time I've been working on this quilt. I keep trying to figure out how I can teach her to sew, but alas...I don't think there are enough treats to teach her to do that! For now, I'll just be happy if she'll quit trying to lay on my newly stacked fabric as I attempt to redo the sewing room and organize my fabric!

Thanks for reading! I hope to post some tutorials on my methods for making some cool quilts in the next few months, along with more pictures of quilts that are about to be finished (and someday I'll even post pics of the t-shirt quilt I made for my aunts...I realized that until this quilt, that is the only other quilt I've finished this year!) I'll have to remedy that soon!


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