Monday, November 30, 2009

Piece out

I stopped by Lazy Gal Quilting's blog, a quilter whose quilting philosophy closely matches mine, though she's had the courage to be more free about it than I have. I looked at the "incredible" heading to her blog, and decided that was just what I needed to make my current charity quilt more interesting.

I took off the boring borders I had originally sewn on and instead will be inserting these words within each border of the music-themed quilt. I would have liked to have made my letters more irregular, but I was working with a scarcity of fabric and a bunch of 1" strips, so I just used what I had. I quickly sketched out the letters on scratch paper and worked out how to make each one using strip piecing. The "y" was my main headache, maybe because I'd had too much turkey earlier that day. The rest were relatively simple.

I am working with two groups who do charity quilts. The Roseville group meets weekly. They have worked primarily on quilts for babies who are born with drug addictions due to being exposed in utero. In order to give them a clean start, they cannot be exposed to any of the items in the home where drugs are used, because the drugs permeate the fabric and can still get into the baby's system. The quilts and other items we give the babies help get them free of the drugs. We learned recently, however, that it is not just babies who need the quilts; they need them for teens also, so while the rest of the ladies really love to do cute little baby quilts, I am specializing in quilts for older kids. The focus of most of the Roseville group is on getting as many quilts made as possible. Therefore, most of the quilts are whole-cloth and tied. I usually machine quilt mine, because it's about as fast as tying.

The Carmichael group makes quilts for kids in the cancer unit at the hospital. They meet monthly and are truly quilters in the traditional sense. They take a lot of pride in doing really great quilts. Speed is not their main goal, and many of the quilts being produced are quite impressive. Most of the quilts they have made, again, are themed toward younger children, but since children of all ages get cancer, there is a shortage of quilts for the older ones.

Both groups receive a lot of fabric donations, mostly brand-new quilt fabric that someone bought a few+ years ago and never used. I try to make my charity quilts purely from the donated fabric, since there is a lot of it. Just using some of those prints (think "ugly") and finding something in the stash that goes with it is a big challenge.

I haven't spend a lot of time with piecing intricate patterns, but once I got started on piecing the letters for my music words, I decided maybe I will fit in the second group a little better than I did, even though my quilt is still not "cute." Final product will be posted when I finish it, December or January.

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