Monday, May 10, 2021

Fabric and Finishes

As mentioned in the previous post, my daughter recently brought me two big bags full to the brim with fabric from her coworker.  Here it is on my cutting table after I took it out of the bags and grouped it by colors and thus loads that I could prewash together.

I am allergic to cats and dust (not that you'd know it by the usual state of my housekeeping), so I  prewash everything before incorporating it on my shelves.  Time consuming, yes, but I actually enjoy the opportunity to pet each fabric individually as I take it out of the washing machine (and cut apart the mess of strings), dry the load, and then press each piece one by one.

It took about 10 days to get all of this new-to-me fabric sorted.  Here is everything afterwards, stacked on the cutting table.  There's some great fabric here!  The biggest piece is 3 yards of a Christmas print, but many yard and half-yard cuts, and a whole lot of fat quarter sized pieces.

I am so grateful to this person who wondered what to do with the fabric left from mask making in 2020 and passed it along my way.  I will certainly use it!  

Now for the finishes.  Several months ago, Jo of Jo's Country Junction connected me with a woman named Evelyn in California, who had a flannel quilt kit and a some other UFOs to be finished.  I agreed to finish them for donation.  You may have seen this pretty flannel quilt finish recently on Jo's blog (HERE and HERE).  

After I had pieced it, I sent it to Ray in Florida, a longarm quilter who finishes many donation quilts that come to him through Jo.  It was larger in size than I normally feel able to handle quilting on my regular sewing machine, so I asked Ray if he would be willing to longarm quilt it, and he agreed.  He did a beautiful job!  You can read more about this quilt in the links above, but here is a closeup he sent me of the quilting.

Then this weekend, I finally finished the second UFO from Evelyn.  She had sent some beautiful, neat-as-a-pin redwork embroidery blocks of cute animals, along with the instruction sheet to complete the red and white quilt and fabric to do so.  

Her blocks were so well done!  I really wanted to do her handiwork justice in finishing this quilt.  Here it is pieced together and on the design wall in mid-March.

I did use a different "white" when piecing the borders of the quilt (Kona Snow), as it matched the background of the redwork better than a true white did.  I pieced the backing from some of the other red and white fabric she'd sent, plus added a bit of my own to make the backing big enough.

Then it was time for me to quilt it.  The size was ideal for me to handle, at about 45 x 55, but how was I going to quilt the embroidered blocks?  I had a couple vague ideas, but no concrete plan, so I put the basted quilt aside for several weeks to allow my trepidation to settle.

Last week, having procrastinated long enough, I started in on the ditch quilting.  I still didn't really know what I was going to do around the embroidery, but I know that when I finally get over myself and take the first baby steps, momentum usually takes over. 

And so it did.  Ultimately, I just went with the flow and let the spirit and needle lead the way, block by block.  Over the course of a couple days, it was quilted!

Some blocks may be a little more inspired than others, quilting-wise, but overall I think it turned out well.

I used some red fabric from the new influx of scraps mentioned above in binding the quilt.  There was a long red scrap on the lengthwise straight of grain, which was perfect for this quilt.  

Having quilted more densely in the center than the borders, they threatened to become a bit wavy.  The lengthwise-cut binding helped corral it and made for a nice straight edge.

I will be donating this quilt to Quilty Hugs for Happy Chemo as part of the Hands2Help Comfort Quilt Challenge 2021.  I hope whoever receives it will be uplifted by the playful, whimsical critters in this pretty red and white quilt.  Thanks again to Evelyn for entrusting a few of her projects to me to be finished, and to Jo and Sarah for connecting a community of charitable quilters!


  1. Wow!! You said there was a lot fabric in those bags. You weren't kidding, Paulette!! Congrats on finishing up Evelyn's beautiful Redwork quilt. LOVE the was you quilted each block differently and Ray did a great job on that other donation!

  2. Both quilts are pretty, but the redwork one is really something special!

  3. Those turned out SO GREAT!! I would be very hesitant to take someone else's project and finish it. But apparently that's your forte. You did a fabulous job quilting the red and white.

  4. These are beautiful quilts! The embroidered one is especially amazing. But I can imagine how soft and cozy the flannel quilt is. Whoever receives these will be comforted, I am certain. Nice that so many people work to get these quilts out to those in distress.


  5. Thank you for your generosity in finishing these quilts and sharing them with us! I know the recipients will feel the love that went into each one!

  6. What beautiful quilts had fun with. Enjoy the new fabrics you received. Lots of baby quilts coming up.

  7. Love quilting in the blocks. That sun in the rooster block was truly inspired. Fantastic job!!!

  8. Your quilting on the embroidered quilt is just beautiful! Someone will treasure it for sure.

  9. What a great haul of fabric! You have done a lovely job on both these quilts: the redwork is very striking but the flannel one is just begging to be snuggled into.


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