Sunday, May 20, 2018

Hands2Help Quilt

My donation to this year's Hands2Help charity quilt challenge was a scrap quilt that came from bonus half-square triangles resulting from another quilt (blogged about HERE).

The fabric is from a beautiful layer cake of Aspen Frost I'd won in the H2H participants' giveaway in 2016.
Once I sewed all the bonus HSTs together, I added a wide border to bring it up to a comfortable lap quilt size, about 58 x 63.
I used some other winter-themed fabrics in the scrappy backing.
This was sent off to Quilty Hugs for Happy Chemo.  My hope is that it will brighten someone's day, perhaps during the holiday season, as they're going through treatment and recovery.

During the past few months, I've also donated a few quilts locally.  There was an incident in our city earlier in the year where a man was making explosives in his apartment and there was an explosion and fire.  Not only did he destroy himself and his own apartment, but the entire complex had to be evacuated and, some weeks later, leveled completely due to the risk of further explosions and structural instability.  Fifteen or so families were never able to return to their homes after the initial blast. 

There were several fundraisers in the community to raise money for those displaced.  I went through my quilt closet and selected three quilts to be donated for silent auctions or raffles.

This 16-patch and X-block quilt (blogged HERE and HERE) was one I'd made a couple years ago during Sarah's Sweet 16 Quilt Along, in advance of the 2015 Hands2Help challenge (I had held onto this quilt and made and donated another to H2H that year).
In March, I donated this to the local fire department's fundraiser for the displaced victims of the apartment explosion, which raised a total of over $20,000.
This Scrappy Mountain Majesties quilt was one I'd made in a quilt-along with my friend Marei a couple years ago.  It went to another successful fundraiser for the apartment families.
It has been heartwarming to see the community response in coming together to help the folks affected by this tragedy.

Linking to:  Confessions of a Fabric Addict - H2H Final Linkup

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Sunday Sundry 5-6-18

Spring has finally arrived, all of a sudden it seems.  Hard to believe that this was the backyard view just two and a half weeks ago.

Now the landscape has transformed into a sea of green, dotted with golden daffodils, dandelions, hyacinths, tulips, etc. 

(Mallards enjoying the new greenery and mud puddles at the park.)
I've done a little raking, some mulching, but no digging in the dirt quite yet (it's been pretty wet).  Looking forward to it, though.

Went for a walk and gained 10 pounds...
One glorious spring morning this week, as I hiked through the neighborhood enjoying the bird songs on the warm breeze, I noticed it must also be that time of year when the city crews pick up random household items, the stuff that doesn't go in the usual trash bin.  There were various piles sitting at the curb as I passed through the blocks.  Broken bed frames, pet-ravaged furniture, damaged dressers, ancient plastic flowerpots, etc.

Coming up on my walk in one such pile were a couple of hard-used Coleman coolers and shattered shelving unit.  As I got closer, however, something else caught the corner of my eye.

Sitting on the ground in an open cardboard box were two crocks, a smaller brown one nested inside a larger light colored one.  I stopped and removed the smaller crock so I could hoist the larger crock out of the box, because it looked like it could be—why, yes indeed it was—a Red Wing!

If I had been thrifting in a store, this would have been a "Start the car!" moment—when you find something too good to be true.  Your insides are jumping up and down, but you keep a poker face, play it cool, and make a beeline for the checkout and the safety of your getaway vehicle.

Back at the curb, it was 10 seconds, tops, and I was scuttling back down the sidewalk on my way home, now 10 pounds heavier, cradling a dirty, paint spattered crock.

A quick bath and a couple minutes with a razor blade to remove the red paint (talking about the crock here), it was spiffed up and ready for some "after" shots. 

I was expecting to discover at least a hairline crack or a chip or two, but it was pristine!  Now it's ready for some spring flowers—if I can bring myself to fill it with dirt, that is.  Maybe I'll find a pot that will fit inside.

What I couldn't quite throw away...

I was tidying up in the sewing room the other night when I grabbed what remained of Dad's three ties and took a couple steps toward the garbage can with them.  But then I stopped and laid the silky fabric back down.  Just toss it already and move on.  But am I really done with it?  There isn't much there to do anything with.  It was late, I was tired, so decided to sleep on it.

The next morning, I was still on the fence, but I started playing with the pieces on the table, like a jigsaw puzzle.  I laid out what could be sewn together into a slab of "made fabric" and then started doing just that.  Thinking this was probably an exercise in futility, but at least I'd spend a few more minutes playing with it, and mentally processing, before tossing it out, and maybe that's all I needed to do.

Eventually I had two slabs, each a little smaller than a sheet of paper.  I happened to have a 6.5-inch square ruler on the table and put that down on top of the slabs in various ways, looking through it like a camera lens for an interesting vignette.  

Finally, I cut a square from each slab.  The center of a wonky star, perhaps?  Maybe I could even squeak out some of the star points from the leftover bits from the slabs?

So that's what I did, using Dad's shirt scraps for the blue background and red star points.

And today I made a second one with the other center square from ties, the rest from shirts.  My thought is to make two 18-inch pillows from these big blocks.  I've got a large piece of denim from one of Dad's shirts that will make a great pillow back for one of them.  I'll rustle up something else for the other.

I guess reconsidering the fate of the ties was a good move after all.

There's a chain a-coming...

I also started cutting strips for a Carolina Chain quilt, a Bonnie Hunter/Quiltville free pattern, which can be found HERE. 

Started sewing a couple of these together, just to see how it might go.  Sometimes I have doubts about whether my "lights" and "darks" are going to work together overall.  That ever happen to you?

You wonder, will it be okay or just a beautiful mess?  After putting a few together, I'm ready to trust the process and let things take their course.  So we'll see.

Housekeeping and a boo-boo...

I checked my email subscription list for this blog last week and was surprised to find that during the time I had not been blogging much during the first part of 2018, over 1,000 new email subscriptions had been added.  Why all the sudden interest in this small, semi-neglected corner of the blogosphere, I wondered? 

Turns out, on closer analysis, these seemed to be bogus email addresses all ending in, likely planted by a bot of some sort.  A little maintenance/housekeeping was going to be required to remove these.  The bummer was, I was going to have to delete each and every one of the bogus addresses by hand, all 1,000-something of them.

But I did that over the course of a few days, a few hundred at a time.  Unfortunately, at one point I got a little carried away in the rhythm of it (click delete, enter delete, enter okay), and I accidentally removed a handful (maybe about 4) legitimate email subscribers.  If you have received this blog post in your email, you were not one of them, so no worries.

However, if you subscribed to the blog by email between February 19 and the third week of April, and you aren't seeing this post in your email, I sincerely apologize and ask that you kindly take a moment to re-subscribe. 

The bogus email subscriptions have no effect whatsoever on legitimate subscribers.  It's just something I need to be aware of and handle on my end if it comes up again.

As always, thank you all so much for reading!