Sunday, April 23, 2017

Hands2Help - Time for Guest Blogger Kat!!

Hi, all!

It's Sunday, and time for us to welcome another guest blogger for the Hands2Help Challenge!  This week, we will be hearing from Kat Drinkwater, who blogs at Kat & Cat Quilts.  Kat runs one of last year's H2H charities, Covered in Love, and she's going to tell us about her experience with Hands2Help.  I can't wait for you to hear from her, so I'll let you get right to her part - but be sure to stick around all the way to the end of the post to see some of the results of this year's Challenge!!


Hello! My name is Kat and I run Covered in Love which was one of the charities fortunate enough to benefit from the H2H drive last year.  I wanted to let you know what a blessing H2H was for us and encourage you to keep sewing on your quilts for this year!

To give you just a little bit of background, I started CiL 2 years ago to benefit patients in the hospital where I work.  Our mission is to give quilts to patients who are dying or have died in the hospital to warm up the room and so the families can take them home as a keepsake.  To date over 150 quilts have been given out! 

Quilters from all over the world contribute to CiL, mostly through the block drives hosted on my blog.  I am a full-time Nurse Practitioner student, part-time nurse, and do the majority of the quilting for CiL myself, all of which can get exhausting as you can imagine!  I can't tell you what a relief it was during H2H to get so many quilts that only needed a label to be done!

Quilting Assistant #1
Prior to H2H last year we had been getting by with just enough quilts. As soon as I got them done they were up to the hospital and given away. The 50 quilts we got during last year's H2H drive put us ahead for the first time, and we've stayed ahead ever since!

The infusion of new, completed quilts from quilters like yourselves can give a huge morale boost to a little charity like mine, besides of course allowing us to reach more people.  So keep on sewing as H2H wraps up :)  I got some late quilts last year that missed the H2H deadline, but even if it comes in December you can bet we'll still be glad to see it!

PS - I know Sarah has some link ups here during H2H for you to show off your progress.  I wanted to let you know that I also have a linky every Wednesday for charity related sewing, if you want to link up!


It makes my heart sing to hear that H2H had a lasting effect on Kat's ministry - I know from personal experience what a relief it is to have quilts ready to go when there is a need, instead of having to finish one in a hurry.  See what you have done?  You guys rock!  

And today I heard from Amanda Kelly, who runs Stash Builder Box, which is the conduit for our donations to Camp Hobe this year.  She sent me this picture.....

...which was what she picked up from her post office box this morning.  She said it was mostly H2H donations...

And these are just some of the quilts they received today!  She says they have a stack of ten already.   In her words, "Camp Hobe is going to have some happy campers come June!"  

Look what you have done!  I am so proud of all of you!!!  You are making a huge difference in the lives of so many - keep up the good work!!



Friday, April 21, 2017

Can I Get A Whoop Whoop? A Hidden Gem...

Hi, all!

Friday is here once again, and that means it's time to get our whoop whoop on!  Are you ready?  Let's start!

This week, I've been in Perdido Key, which is near Pensacola, and I found a hidden gem here (thanks to Jan, the Colorful Fabriholic!)  that I want to share with you.  I set out on a F.A.R.T. (fabric acquisition road trip) and came across this... front of a little strip center in Pensacola.  My husband was skeptical, but we stopped and headed through this door...

...and this is what I saw - your typical local mom-and-pop pharmacy.... 

...but then I turned to my left and oh what a surprise!

Crafty stuff!!!  And then entering in that side of the store, there was MORE!!!


... more fabric...

...LOTS more fabric...

...and quilt hanging from the ceiling!!!

The ladies who worked there said that they have over 10,000 bolts of fabric, and I believe them - everywhere I turned, there was more beautiful fabric!!  You can read more about the shop here.

And even though I need more fabric like I need a hole in the head, I did pick up some basic staples - natural colored Essex linen, a taupe Quilter's Linen, and that great black and white cross-hatch fabric - that I had run out of at home.  I could have spent hours in this store, but thankfully for my budget, my husband was with me and I kept my visit short.  But I guarantee you, this will be a shop I return to every time we come here for vacation!

The staff was awesome - friendly, helpful, and they even offered a discount to guild members!   Definitely a place you should check out if you are ever in the neighborhood.

And I've been doing some sewing this week, too - take a look at these oh-so-cute churn dash blocks I made Thursday!  And I say cute, because they are only 3" finished - so tiny!  I've still got more of these to make, but it's a start.  This will be part of my Long Time Gone quilt - pattern by Jen Kingwell.

So - - - can I get a whoop whoop?


And now it's your turn!

What's got you whooping it up this week?

What's making you do a little happy dance?

Share - we want to dance right along with you -
And it's always more fun to dance with friends!

The party will stay open util Sunday midnight - 

Hope to see you there!



Wednesday, April 19, 2017

I May Have A Scrap Problem... A Trip Around the World, and a Technique Tutorial

Hi, all!

I almost lost track of my days this week - being at the beach has that effect on me - but as I was working on a block for my Long Time Gone quilt this evening, I remembered that I needed to write a blogpost!  So here I am!  And I actually have something to share - hooray!!

First of all, here is the next block I have made for my Long Time Gone quilt...

This is the Trip Around The World block, and it is made with 169 (!) 1.5" squares.  Normally I would find all that piecing a very daunting task - I have a short attention span (can you say SQUIRREL??) and don't like little fiddly piecing - but I have a technique to share with you that made this block pretty nearly easy peasy!!  Here's the tutorial I wrote for the Sweet Sixteen quilt-along two years ago - I'll show you some of my progress shot after the tutorial.


If you're working with small patches - say 1.5" squares - this is a handy way to make your blocks! Take a very lightweight fusible interfacing, and draw a grid on it, 16 squares in the size of your fabric squares.  Cut out a 16-patch unit of the interfacing. 

Lay your patches out on the fusible side. Press them down with a hot iron to fuse them to the interfacing.

Now flip the piece over and fold right sides together on the line you drew.  Press it down.  Stitch 1/4" from the edge. 

Do the same for all three lines running the same direction.  Take a small sharp pair of scissors and cut the seams open. Press them open.

Turn the piece and repeat the process for the crossing lines.  Cut open the seams and press them open.

Flip it over and press again.  Voila! You've got a cute little 16-patch block in about half the time of sewing all those tiny pieces together!


Here is what my Trip Around the World block looked like before sewing, but after it was fused to the interfacing...

...and here's what it looked like on the back after the seams were sewn and pressed open.

Now I have a feeling (because I've heard it from several people) that you're saying your piece would never look as good as this one. I am here to tell you - you cannot have a mismatched seam using this technique, because you're not matching seams!  But they will come out perfectly every time.  Give it a try with a small piece and you'll see.

This is a great technique to use up those smallest of scraps, and to use up scraps of interfacing too!  Add it to your bag of tricks today!

Be sure to link up and share your scrappy progress, whether on your own Long Time Gone quilt or working with your scraps in another way!  Inspiration is everywhere!!