Monday, September 15, 2014

100 Quilts for Kids: Where to Donate?

There are still a couple weeks to finish up your quilt donation for 100 Quilts for Kids and link it up here for some fabulous prizes! If you haven't started yet, I bet you can find some simple and fun ideas for a charity quilt here. We're at 61 quilts linked up as of this morning, so we still have a little way to go, but I know we can make it to 100!

Today I'd like to talk a little about where to donate your finished quilts. I started compiling a list here, so go take a look. Also, I'm sure you have other places you like to donate, so if you see one that's not on my list please leave a comment or send me an email and I'd be glad to add it.

For 100 Quilts for Kids, we encourage donating your quilts to in your own communities if you can. Some places you might consider are hospitals, family shelters, children and family services, or a military family service organization. Last year, our guild did a group donation to the DC Child and Family Services agency for children entering the foster care system. These are the four I donated (top two were group quilts I assembled and quilted):

Collage of 2013 Quilt donations

This year, our guild will be donating to a family homeless shelter in the area.

If you aren't sure how to connect with a local organization, there are national organizations that can help you donate in your own community. Quilts for Kids collects and donates quilts to children receiving treatment in hospitals. I've donated many quilts to Quilts for Kids in the past - here are a few from a couple years ago:

Project Night Night donates care packages (a blanket/quilt, a stuffed animal, and a book) to homeless children to provide comfort at what can be a traumatic time. They even send out little tote bags to put the items in before you donate them. I donated these and a couple other quilts as part of Project Night Night packages a couple years ago.

Project Night Night Quilts

Also, "community" is not necessarily constrained to an area close to you geographically. My friend Val has set up an effort called Quilt Lemonade to donate quilts to a community in Guatemala with which she has ties. You can read more about her connection to the community in a beautiful post here.  I wanted to help Val reach her goal of a quilt for every child living in a safe house and donated several earlier this year. Now Val is expanding her efforts to give quilts to the community in general, so consider helping her out as part of your own donation.

Quilts for Quilt Lemonade

I'm enjoying checking your posts and learning a little more about the organizations you are all donating to. It's so heartwarming to see such love being spread.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

100 Quilts for Kids Charity Quilt Ideas: Bee Blocks, BOMs, and Orphan Blocks

If you are like me, you probably have a box or shelf with a stack of blocks from virtual quilting bees, block-of-the-month sew-alongs, or just orphan blocks that never made it into other projects. 100 Quilts for Kids, or charity quilt drives in general are a great reason to pull those blocks from the bottom of the bin and give them new life. In fact, this is where many of my charity quilts have come from.

One of my very first online bees was the 3x6 block swap on Flickr. I chose a color scheme, and received some really interesting blocks, but in the end just wasn't loving the combination. So instead of making more blocks for a larger quilt, as I had planned, I made a smaller quilt and donated to 100 Quilts for Kids.

Last year, one of the quilts I donated was from blocks in the Half Square Triangle Block of the Month hosted by Jeni at In Color Order. I even used it as a sampler to practice my free motion quilting I was learning in a Craftsy class taught by Leah Day.

Hope Valley Love Quilt
And one of my very early quilts (which honestly, I'm a little hesitant to share here) was from the Summer Sampler Series sew along. I made it just to practice some piecing skills - my first venture into paper piecing - and with no real plan, so I ended up donating it as part of 100 Quilts for Kids.

Finally, do you ever have orphan blocks sitting around from projects that never came to be? Over a year ago I made a whole quilt's worth of blocks out of Kate Spain's Cuzco fabric and then decided I really didn't like it. Those blocks languished for months and months, but I recently took half of them, made some alternate setting blocks, and voile! A new quilt that hopefully will be appreciated by an older child or teen.

Cuzco quilt

I'm loving seeing all the quilts pop up in the Flickr group and on Instagram using the hashtag #100quilts4kids. You still have plenty of time to donate! The link up for prizes is open through September 30th. See all the details here.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Waves QAL: Quilting Ideas

Waves QAL

Welcome back to the Waves QAL. Are you quilting along with me? If so, I'd love to see your progress on Instagram with #wavesqal and #100quilts4kids or in the 100 Quilts for Kids Flickr group. All the posts in the QAL can be found here.

Do you have your top done yet? If not, keep plugging along a few rows at a time - you'll make it. Today I thought we'd talk a bit about quilting options. Since the piecing is so simple on this quilt, there are a lot of directions you could go with this quilt.

You could use a large scale or all over pattern that echoes the chevron design.

all over quilt examples

Also, when I have stripes like those made by the chevron, I love to use the upper and lower bands to help guide the designs.

quilting examples

Here are some examples of when I've done this in the past.
quilting examples
For my own version of the quilt, I'm just loving the boldness and simplicity of the solids, so I plan to keep the quilting minimal - just basic outlining of the seams along the chevron design.

I hope you'll come back and link up your finished chevron quilt on the 23rd!

Sunday, September 7, 2014

A Lovely Year of Finishes Goal: September

If I am being honest with myself, it will be a real stretch to get another quilt top complete this month given what's currently in the works, but it's good to have aspirational goals, right? And really, these blocks have languished too long in the bottom of my work-in-progress box.

Sugar Blocks and Stash Bee Blocks

These blocks are from the 2013 round of the Sugar Block Club designed by Amy at Stitchery Dickory Dock and the setting blocks were made by the members of my Stash Bee Hive 12 beemates in January. All I need to do is sash the Sugar Blocks and stitch up the rows. Think I can manage it?

Linking up with A Lovely Year of Finishes.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Waves QAL: Joining the Rows

Waves QAL

Welcome back to the Waves QAL. Are you quilting along with me? If so, I'd love to see your progress on Instagram with #wavesqal and #100quilts4kids or in the 100 Quilts for Kids Flickr group. All the posts in the QAL can be found here.

By now you should be done piecing your blocks and ready to complete the quilt top. If not, don't worry - we'll have two weeks to complete this step, so you have plenty of time.

Layout of Waves Quilt Blocks

Once you have all your blocks completed, I think it's helpful to lay them out to make sure everything is in the right order. I have a "design wall" I use made of flannel backed vinyl, but sometimes use a "design floor" as well!

Piece one row at a time, and press the seams of each row in opposite directions. This will help with matching them up when you piece the rows together.

Abutting seams

Once you've pieced all the rows together, give the top a good press. I had to press from the top as well to really get the seams flat. Now you are ready to quilt! Come back on September 9th where I'll be sharing some quilting ideas.

completed Waves quilt top

Thursday, August 21, 2014

100 Quilts for Kids Charity Quilt Ideas: Scrap Quilts

Hey all! I'm back today with some more ideas for charity quilts you can make and donate for 100 Quilts for Kids. As a reminder, I'm keeping a Pinterest board here with ideas I'm collecting as I come across them.

Scrap quilts are a great way to make good use of fabric you already have on hand and don't have plans for. You may already have your go-to project for using up scraps, but here are a few I've found that I think would be great for children's quilts.

The only scrap quilt I've ever made was part of the Scrappy Stash Quilt-Along at Ellison Lane quilts. This is a great pattern for using up long strips and is very forgiving for random sizes, etc. You can see my version here.

Photo by Ellison Lane, used with permission.
I also recently happened upon this free pattern by Cluck Cluck Sew called the Chippewa Scrap Quilt. Isn't this a beautiful way to feature some little bits of of treasured fabrics?

Photo by Cluck Cluck Sew, used with permission.
Also, if you follow Crazy Mom Quilts, you know Amanda Jean does amazing things with scraps! She recently hosted the Scrap Basket Quilt Along where participants made a rail fence quilt from their scraps and donated it to Margaret's Hope Chest. Such a simple pattern, but there is great movement in this straight-forward piecing!

Photo by Crazy Mom Quilts, used with permission.
Also, Rachel at Stitched in Color hosted the Scrap Attack Quilt Along a couple years back. See a list of great resources and inspiration here. I love the triangle quilt Rachel did as part of the series (not all our scraps come in strips or rectangles, of course).

Photo by Stitched in Color, used with permission.
Finally, I wanted to let you know that if you make a scrappy quilt as part of 100 Quilts for Kids, you can also enter it as part of the Scrap Quilt Challenge being hosted by Fabrics N Quilts. Fabrics N Quilts is sponsoring a prize for 100 Quilts for Kids this year, and their 4th annual Scrap Quilt Challenge also runs through September 30th, so the timing is perfect! Fabrics N Quilts has some great prizes lined up (Aurifil, Quilter's Dream, and an Accuquilt Go! Baby, just to name a few) so go see how to be part of this great event!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

100 Quilts for Kids Blog Hop

As part of 100 Quilts for Kids this year, I'm hosting a blog hop with my guild, DC Modern. You can hop over to see Alyson at The Hasty Quilter here, and visit the DC Modern Quilt Guild blog here for a list of all the participants so far.

Check back tomorrow for more charity quilt inspiration!