Thursday, May 17, 2018

Purrrr-fect

 I had so much fun quilting this awesome cat-themed top this week.  Debbie S. sent in the top back in the Fall and I've been meaning to get to it for way too long.  It's done now and in the stack for the next Covered in Love delivery.


The cat fabric is by Dan Miller and each one is fussy cut.  The white plaid in the snowballs has a nice texture, too. 


I stippled in the middle and did a spiral in the red border.  Then in the brown border I quilted the names of many cat coloration and breeds ("Tabby" "Tuxedo" "Maine Coon" "Siamese" etc.)


I also quilted four cats based on this design from the Inbox Jaunt.  Two were more or less the same as the tutorial, then I did one lying and one from the side. The matching thread makes it hard to see all the quilting, so that will be fun for someone to discover.

Prior to wash
Thanks to Debbie for the top, Sandra and Gail for backing, and Nicki for binding! Thank you to everyone who continues to support CiL!

Covered in Love is taking a break from the block drives for the next 2 months so I can catch up, but don't go anywhere! I still need your blocks. Check out details HERE.


Linking to  Confessions of a Fabric Addict, Crazy Mom Quilts and Finished or Not Friday

Thursday, May 10, 2018

A Cat, a Baby, and a Ferret

Super-duper block assistant
Happy Friday! I've actually had a super productive week, but not too much of it was very photogenic.  For one thing I sorted a bunch of hunter's star blocks and laid them out on the design wall so I can assembly-line sew them together later.  Probably half of them I have ready to go into tops now. I also pieced 3 string tops together and made some backings.


I also made and finished this sweet quilt from a charm pack for a little baby who was born too soon and is hanging out in the NICU for the next few months.


I just loved this charm pack, SUCH pretty colors and sweet little designs. Foxes and bunnies and birds.


For now it can go over her isolette to keep it dark and later she can wrap up in it.


I also made a couple of these reversible preemie gowns.  The baby isn't big enough yet to wear anything, but inbetween when she gets a bit bigger but can't wear clothes yet hopefully she can wear these. Like adult hospital gowns they go on easily and have room to tubes and wires to come out.  And they're cute!

the fabric line for that charm pack

My other "finish" was a ferret bed repair.


This big boy is Bubba Bear and his very favorite bed is a tent I made. Since ferrets sleep upward of 20 hours a day beds are very important to their lives.


For unknowable reasons Bubba likes to scratch at the floor of the tent and he had scratched a hole right though. 


I patched it with a couple pieces of fleece to reinforce the floor and he's already moved back in. Note the sag in the floor of the tent in the picture below, that's a sleeping ferret.


Seriously, these two.  The trouble they cause never ends.


Covered in Love is taking a break from the block drives for the next 2 months so I can catch up, but don't go anywhere! I still need your blocks. Check out details HERE.


Linking to  Confessions of a Fabric Addict, Crazy Mom Quilts and Finished or Not Friday

Thursday, May 3, 2018

The First of Many

The first 5 of the Jan/Feb string block quilts are done!  Not only are there going to be more quilts from this drive, but I think they are going to look better than ever.

by Nancy and Jenn

Nancy K. volunteered to assembled a couple of batches of block for me and her friend Jenn did lovely quilting!  The quilt above got loops and the one below got a pretty lily flower motif.  I really love how Nancy changed up the design with the sashing.

by Nancy and Jenn

Tammy S. also volunteered to put together a stack of blocks and quilt them.  I really like the design she made with these scattered diamonds.

by Tammy

Katie G. sent in this top already pieced and a local quilter, Angie C., volunteered to do some quilting for CiL. She just got a new machine and wants to practice. It's a win-win! 

by Katie and Angie

Finally, this top was pieced and quilted by me.  The blocks are sets made by 4 or 5 people that just came together really well so maybe you can spot some of yours.  I quilted it with a quick stipple and bound it with scraps.


Backings for these quilts came from Sandra, Amanda, Katie, Nancy, and Gail.  Thank you for all your help! In the coming months there will be 30+ of these quilts getting finished.

I've decided to post them in batches of 5 and take them up to the hospital once I get 10.  Chaplain Perry says these are his personal favorites and always well received by patients and families.  I can't wait to get more done :)

Covered in Love is taking a break from the block drives for the next 2 months so I can catch up, but don't go anywhere! I still need your blocks. Check out details HERE.


Linking to  Confessions of a Fabric Addict, Crazy Mom Quilts and Finished or Not Friday

Monday, April 30, 2018

Covered in Love May/June

Tomorrow it will be May, and I can't believe the year is flying by so fast! Two block drives in and CiL has received so much support this year.  I have about 20 string quilts left to finish and around 11 Hunter's Star quilts, not to mention a dozen or so tops to be quilted.  In order to give me a chance to catch up the CiL block drive will be taking a break during May an June this year.  BUT don't go any where! I have a special pretty-please request for you!




Briawna is a friend of mine through my do. Good Stitches circle and she recently started her own charity, gathering cross-plus blocks to make into quilts to auction for various organizations.  Since I'm not asking for any CiL blocks this time I would really love it if you all could make some blocks for Briawna and really bless her socks off (to use a phrase from my Baptist upbringing).


I started CiL to meet a need I was seeing, in person, every day. If I hadn't been in a position (because of my job) to be confronted with the realities of end-of-life I might have never known or cared about these issues. But I did, and now it's my mission. When I talk about the struggles of chronic disease or the need for a cultural change in how we deal with death, those aren't abstract or hypothetical issues for me. Those are issues that have names and faces and families.  Medicare funding for advance care planning discussions isn't a political issue to me, he's a 68 year old man with heart failure struggling for air. 

My best, secret hope for Covered in Love isn't that it would grow bigger and bigger and everyone in the quilting world would contribute. My hope is that each one of you would find those issues in your own lives, that are right in front of you, that have names and faces, and decided you have to make a difference. I hope that CiL stays a modest size and instead hundreds more little charities pop up.


Briawna found that in these precious faces.  For most Caucasians race issues can seem a little distant, nebulous, nonspecific... someone else's problem.  It shouldn't, but it does.  For Briawna when she read statistics about African American children dropping out of school or struggling to achieve milestones it isn't theoretical. She sees her son or daughter or husband.  She wrote a beautiful post about why she started her charity here.

Briawna is asking for cross-plus blocks and each month she chooses a different organization benefiting minority teens/young adults/children to make and auction quilts in support of.  I'm sure the May charity will be up in the next few days, but previous charities have included the Mocha Autism Network and The Posse Foundation.


You can find the block piecing directions HERE.  Email me at CoveredinLoveTx@gmail.com or Briawna at simplypurplepoppy@gmail.com for the address to send blocksThe raffle is the last week of each month if you'd like to purchase tickets and you can find detail on Briawna's blog.

When CiL was first starting I felt so isolated and every single package of blocks or top that came in was a huge boost, just to know that someone else cared about my passion project.  Let's cover Briawna with a little love in May and June, ok? 

CiL will be back with your regularly scheduled block drive in July, and in the mean time I'll be posting plenty of finishes!

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Skinny Strings Scraps {Tutorial}

Back in January I cut my string scraps that were less than 2.5" down to a uniform width of 1.5". Since then they've been aging in a couple of large ziploc bags. This weekend I decided the time had come to do something with those scraps!  As many scrap quilts have made I remain amazed by how many quilts can hide in a scrap bin.


Scraps are irresistible to me. Much more so than yardage.  I had an idea in my head for what I wanted to do with these strings and I decided to photograph the process for a tutorial.  I started by sorting out the cool colors, which probably constituted half of the strings. (I *might* have a problem with the color blue... the "warms" pile was pitiful by comparison.)


I sewed the strings together at their short ends to make one looooooong string.


Locate both loose ends, put them rights sides together, and start sewing down one long side toward the middle.  When you reach the middle it will probably be all twisty. Cut it and complete sewing the two strips together.


Press your string pair, then repeat the process. Find both loose ends and start sewing your pairs into a four. Press and repeat, sewing your 4-string string into an 8-string. This takes a long time if you started with a lot of string like I did. The bright side is that every time you fold it in half and sew, it ends up half as long, so as you go it gets easier.


Keep going until you have a long panel 16 strings wide.  I considered stopping at this point and just making a quilt top out of horizontal strings, but I decided to continue with my original plan.  I sub cut the panel into squares, each 16.5" square. I put these up on the design wall alternating directions, this would make a cool quilt, too.


Then I did the same process with my neutral colored strings.  I took the neutral and cool colored squares and turned them into HSTs.


I marked the line with a sharpie and pinned the blocks so they didn't shift while I sewed on either side of the line.



If you put the squares together with their strips running the same way, then in the HST they will turn.  If you put them together with their strips perpendicular then in the HST they will run the same direction.



I chose the first method so the two different colors run at different angles.  With my blocks turned into HSTs the options are limitless... Any layout that can be made with HSTs.  I haven't sewn these together yet, still auditioning layouts to find my favorite. Which do you like best?






Linking to Oh Scrap!

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Good Stitchers

A couple more new Nurture circle (do. Good Stitches) quilts were in the latest delivery to the hospital.  These quilts are made by me and nine other ladies in monthly sewing-bee style.


We each made one block from this tutorial. I remember that I counted up each block had over 100 pieces in it. This bright little quilt was put together and quilted by Jenny and she did a beautiful job, especially with the quilting!



Covered in Love is doing great and growing by leaps and bounds.  With the increased number of quilts coming in we are able to serve more families. Chaplain Perry told me about a patient who told her family that being given a quilt was the first time in her life she'd felt real, unconditional love.  I don't know what to say to that...


This migrating geese quilt was assembled and quilted by Louise.  It's going to be in the May/June issue of Modern Patchwork magazine!  Very exciting.  I'm sure their photography will be lovely, but I doubt they can compete with my mom's house shoes ;) 

This is pretty much the last week for the the latest CiL block drive.  If you'd like to join in with Covered in Love's mission you can learn more on the main page or check out the block drive.  The current Covered in Love block drive is an easy Hunter's Star block.



Linking to  Confessions of a Fabric Addict, Crazy Mom Quilts and Finished or Not Friday

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Past the 300 Mark!

 Big news! With the latest quilt drop off today CiL officially crossed the 300-quilt-mark donated!


That's right, the latest quilt delivery brought us up to a grand total of 305 quilts donated to mourning families in the East Texas area!  So many people from around the country, and even around the world, have contributed to those quilts to make this possible for Covered in Love.


This week I quilted up the last 3 of the tops Theresa had sent me. Theresa sent me 13 quilt tops last Fall!


Really pretty fabrics in this brown one. I found the perfect surprise fabric for the backing from the ones Sandra has sent.


This pink, green, and grey flowery top I quilted with all kinds of loops.  Really, really pretty fabrics.


The really cool this about this one is the 3D diamonds on it.  I was careful not to pin them down with the quilting.


Last, there was this Christmas top with novelty fabrics. I did a stipple over it.


Sandra had given me the perfect backing for this one, too.  I imagine it going to cover a family matriarch who loves Christmas: bringing her whole family together under one roof, feeding them until they're ready to pop, cousins camped out in the living room, and surprising the grandchildren with Santa deliveries.  I really believe that every quilt will find its perfect family!


Don't forget about the block drive going on now! If you'd like to join in with Covered in Love's mission you can learn more on the main page or check out the block drive.  The current Covered in Love block drive is an easy Hunter's Star block.



Linking to  Confessions of a Fabric Addict, Crazy Mom Quilts and Finished or Not Friday