Taking Stock

WIP Wednesday seemed like a good time to take stock of what I have “in progress” at the moment.  So here goes…

1.   Blocks almost ready to be made into a top…

Paper piecing star blocks

Paper Piecing Monday blocks… one block to go!

Granny squares ready to go

Granny squares ready to go

2.  Quilt top needing the paper pattern removed…

paper removal

3.  Quilt tops waiting to be basted and quilted….

scrap simple quilt top

Sunburnt Country top

paper pieced square in square modern  scrap quilt

Square in square quilt top

1001 Peeps square in square quilt top

1001 Peeps square in square quilt top

4.  Quilts ready to go to Project Linus…

project linus quilts

7.  Ongoing project that may take me years….

bright scrap hexagon

Hexagon flowers… all hand done!

6..  Very old quilts that have been sitting in my cupboard (or in storage in Australia) for YEARS…

heart quilt top

My first ever quilt top… circa 1997

1930's Star quilt... circa 2000

1930’s Star quilt… circa 2000

Kaffe Fassett floral quilt top... circa 2008

Kaffe Fassett floral quilt top… circa 2008

 simple novelty rainbow quilt top

Novelty rainbow quilt top… circa 2009

So where do I start…. It is all so overwhelming!

The joy of 5 inch squares.

Last year I had a brief period of time when I had some back issues that meant that sitting was not a fun thing to do.  I decided that, seeing I could not sit at a sewing machine, I would cut fabric.  For weeks I cut 5 inch squares out of my scraps and stash.  The end result was hundreds and hundreds of 5 inch squares.  Now all I had to do was find ways to use them.

My first step was to make a pile of simple baby quilts for Project Linus which played with colour (please excuse the dodgy i-phone photos).

simple bright kids quilts

This year I have got a little more creative with the squares, while still keeping it simple.  First I used the squares as the basis for my wonky star quilt which you can see here.   I then used the left over bits and pieces of that quilt (plus some left over scrappy white squares) to make this.

modern simple kids quilt

The 5 inch squares were used for the center pieces of the block, the background of the quilt  plus I cut a number of  the squares diagonally and used these triangles to make the star points.  Wonky star quilts really are so ridiculously easy.

The latest quilt I used my 5 inch squares on is my extra-large granny square quilt, which I have just finished.

modern large granny square quilt

With this quilt I just lay the blocks down diagonally to make the pattern,  sewed the blocks together then trimmed the extra edges and it was ready to go. Again ridiculously easy.

With both these quilts I did a simple straight quilting, running down both sides of the “ditch”.

quilting detail

The backing for both these quilts is from Ikea.  The granny squares got the most fabulous fun lips fabric as it’s back (yes the photo is upside down!)

quilt back

And for the wonky stars I went with a simple black & white music note fabric.

quilt bindingWhat I love about Ikea fabrics is their width.  You can easily piece larger kids quilts with one piece of fabric plus their prints are really fun.  Both these quilts are now finally finished and ready for delivery this month to Project Linus.

35,000 and counting

Last Thursday our chapter of Project Linus processed/bundled it’s 35,000th blanket.  A wonderful achievement that was appropriately celebrated.

IMG_1464

An amazing group of women and men from Portland and Vancouver have worked hard to make, quilt, mend and label 17,500 quilts, 10,500 fleece blankets and 7,000 afghans since 2001.  You can see some of the quilts and hear some of the stories about blanket recipients at the chapter site.

IMG_1471

This Project Linus chapter is the third one I have been involved in.  I started making Project Linus quilts in 1999, when my sister was a nurse at the local Children’s hospital.  At the time there was no Project Linus in Brisbane, Australia, so we set up a chapter.  At first there was just me and my quilts, but it slowly built, with the tireless effort of my sister,  to deliver to all the major hospitals in Brisbane.  Working with my sister to supply blankets I got to see and hear first hand how much my blankets were appreciated.

When I moved to Bristol England in 2001 I started making blankets for the local Project Linus Chapter in Bath, and also to for the Royal Bristol Children’s Hospital.  I was working for Aardman Animation, who had a strong connection with the Children’s hospital through the Wallace & Gromit foundation.   Again I got to see first hand how my quilts were impacting.

Project linus quilt

Now each month I bundle up my quilts, not quite knowing where they are headed.  They are made with love and sent off into the world where I hope they will bring some kind of comfort.  I can imagine it is hard for some people to spend so much time making a quilt – a mini work of art – and then ship it off, not knowing where it will end up and if it will be loved or cherished.  I am so lucky to have had such a personal connection to the process at the beginning of my Project Linus adventure.  Having seen first hand the impact a quilt can make I know all my time and effort will help someone, somewhere.

Colours of this week are purple & aqua!

This week has been a weird week.  I have not got as much done as I would have liked, as our family is preparing to run away to Australia for a couple of weeks.  In between the packing and the last-minute shopping I did managed to get this quilt finished.

finished double pinwheel quilt

This quilt is made up of 16  of these 12 inch blocks.double pinwheel finished block

I used a really easy pinwheel paper piecing pattern and lots and lots of scraps of fabric.   There are a number of simpler versions of this block on the web but I love the extra punch of the added pinwheel.  The pattern and dimensions I used are:

purple aqua quilt pattern copyEight of these pieces make up one of the finished blocks.  If I was to do the quilt again I would probably stick with more strongly contrasting fabrics – the blocks that have the dark purple against the aqua are so much more punchy I think .   The contrast makes the pinwheel pattern really pop.

purple aqua quilt detail

I am still doing just straight quilting…. maybe when I return from vacation I will be sufficiently relaxed to forget the stippling nightmare.  I have to be braver with my quilting.   The backing is  a selection of different fabrics I had in my stash.  Nothing too exciting but I like how it looks, particularly the Erin McMorris “Somersault” fabric.

purple aqua quilt back

I finished it all up with a scrappy purple binding.  I do love scrappy binding – bits of solids, bits of prints, different shades, different patterns.  The scrappy does not work with all quilts but it seemed to be just right for this one.

purple aqua quilt binding

Now it is back to packing and cleaning…..

Wonky Stars – wip Wednesday

Today’s work in progress is all about the wonky stars.  When the call went out last week for more quilts to replenish the Project Linus stocks, I turned to the old faithful wonky star.  It is a fast, fun way to make simple kids quilts.

I have managed to finish one quilt….

blue wonky star quilt finsihed

I love how the quilt turned out and in particular the scrappy nature of it.  I used different white and cream blocks for the background and blues for the star.  I know it should, in theory, be the other way round – blue background with white stars, but I had a stack of white/cream scraps I wanted to use up.   The quilting is simple as I want to get as many of these done as I can before next weeks monthly Project Linus meeting.

blue wonky star quilt detail

The quick and easy nature of the wonky star is why I choose to focus on them for this drive.  I have managed to get another top done this weekend which I will try and get quilted this week.  I “borrowed” the idea from another quilter I came across on the “wip Wednesday” hop.  They had used a wonderful Eric Carlyle print as the center of their wonky star to great effect.  I went with a Jone Hallmark kids print that had been sitting in my stash for a while.

novelty star quilt top

My final wonky star is currently sitting on my design floor waiting to be sewn.  It is the left over star bits from a quilt I finished a couple of weeks ago.

wonky star wip

I hope to have it sewn and ready for quilting by the end of tonight, so I am going to stop blogging and go sew!