Monday, July 26, 2021

Charity quilts 2021 - Stripes and red white and blue - Two quilts

I've lost count again on how many charity quilts I've made in 2021.  I turned in a bunch of finished tops and picked up more fabric.  I was especially looking for striped fabric that would go with some of the material that had already been donated to me.  I found this great red, white and blue stripe with a hint of green.  And there was enough to use it all throughout two quilts.

Both of these quilts use just plain old 6" squares.  I cut the striped fabric on the bias and then played around on my design wall with the layout.  There are 11 rows of 13 squares, or a total of 143 squares.  Both quilt tops ended up being 60.5" x 71.5".

I hope you like them! 

Friday, July 23, 2021

Charity Quilt - 2021 - Opposing squares #2

I am still working through the box of material that was given to me by Bonnie Keller.  I previously made this pattern from the overdyed blue fabric.  This one is with two shades of green fabric and solid black, and I call it "Opposing Squares".

It's all made with half square triangles, that started with 6" squares that were sewn together, then trimmed to 5-1/2".  The quilt is 60" x 70".

I hope you like it.

Monday, July 19, 2021

Charity quilt 2021 - brown and gold fabrics - Cross

I've really been on a roll since December in making charity quilts and quilt tops.  I started out using materials and scraps from my stash.  Then I made a bunch with boxes of material that were donated to Clark County Quilters.  Then I got two boxes of fabric from Bonnie Keller's stash.  With each quilt, I'm using a bit of my material too, so my pile is getting smaller.  Which is a good thing.  Most of us stuck at home during the COVID-19 pandemic really took a good look at our belongings.  And most of us wanted to purge a lot of stuff.  We're almost out of the closures and restrictions, but there are still a lot of places that require masks and people are still being cautious.  Maybe, we will all decide to live with less and whatever our new normal will be when this is all over.

This quilt was made with brown and gold fabrics, with a little bit of tan tossed in.  It was the same pattern that I used for the cross quilt.  Nearly all of the 6" squares were sewn together, then cut apart into half square triangles.  It also used 24 each of 5-1/2" squares for the center cross.

It is 60" x 70".

I hope you like it.

Friday, July 16, 2021

Charity Quilt - Opposing triangles #2

I made a beautiful quilt top from overdyed fabrics from this same pattern (described in an earlier post).  This one was made with brown and tan fabrics from my stash and pink/brown fabrics given to me by Bonnie Keller.  And it's kind of pretty too - but more antique looking than the modern looking one made before.

It was pretty simple to make.  Here's what you need for the 65" x 70" quilt.

From the darkest brown:  13 @ 6" squares; 2 @ 5-1/2" squares; 2 @ 5-1/2 x 15-1/2" strips; 2 @ 5-1/2 x 25-1/2" strips; and 2 @ 5-1/2" x 35-1/2" strips.

From the medium brown:  23 @ 6" squares
From the light brown:  19 @ 6" squares
From the tan: 14 @ 6" squares
From the lighter tan:  6 @ 6" squares
From the pink/brown scraps:  75 @ 6" squares
Sew the brown squares with the pink/brown scraps squares and cut into half square triangles.  
Press towards the brown fabrics.
Trim to 5-1/2" x 5-1/2" squares.
Lay out according to the pictures.
Sew the columns together, pressing each in opposite directions.
Sew the rows together and press all in one direction.
Stay stitch around all the edges.

I hope you like it!

Monday, July 12, 2021

Charity quilt - Modified Cross

This is the same quilt that I posted previously about which I hadn't named, but I think I will call it "Cross". 

For this quilt, I didn't use any overdyed fabric, just the blue that was in the box of fabric donated to me by Bonnie Keller and meant for making charity quilts for men.  I added some red and burgundy fabric that I had in my stash, as well as some Riley Blake striped navy and white fabric that I purchased.

For this quilt you'll need the following:

12 @ 5-1/2” squares of red fabric
12 @ 5-1/2” squares of burgundy fabric
32 @ 6” squares of striped fabric
54 @ 6” squares of blue fabric
40 @ 6” squares of white fabric
18 @ 6” squares of plaid fabric

Sew 18 squares of white with the plaid to make 36 Half square triangles
Sew 22 squares of white with blue to make 44 Half Square triangles
Sew 32 of the blue squares with the striped to make 64 Half square triangles
Press towards the darker side
Trim to 5-1/2” squares
Lay out the squares according to the picture.
Sew the rows together and press each in opposite directions
Sew the columns together and press in one direction.
Stay stitch around the outside edge.

I hope you like it!

Tuesday, July 6, 2021


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Monday, July 5, 2021

Charity quilt #5 with overdyed fabric - Opposing Triangles

I've written 4 previous posts about the quilts that I made with overdyed fabric.  Bonnie Keller gave me two huge boxes of old fabric that she wasn't going to use, and I overdyed a lot of it.  I saw a picture of this quilt on Pinterest and used it for the inspiration for this quilt.  

It's 65" x 70", which is the size that our charity group likes to work with.  Mostly made with half square triangles, it also includes some longer strips of the background fabric.    Since I wanted to alternate yellow with the gray background, I made 150 half square triangles, pairing the overdyed fabric with the background as follows:

From the yellow:  50 (from 25 @ 6" squares of both colors)

From the light gray:  46 (from 23 @ 6" squares of both colors)

From the medium gray:  28 (from 14 @ 6" squares of both colors)

From the darkest gray: 26 (from 13 @ 6" squares of both colors) and  2 strips at 5-1/2" x 35-1/2"; 2 strips at 5-1/2" x 25-1/2"; 2 strips at 5-1/2" x 15-1/2"; and 2 each 5-1/2 x 5-1/2" squares.

I hope you like it!

Friday, July 2, 2021

Charity quilt #4 using overdyed fabrics - Opposing Squares

I've written 3 previous posts about the quilts that I made with the overdyed fabric.  Thanks to Bonnie Keller for not only giving me the fabric, but also in helping me figure out how to dye the fabric.  This quilt top was made with predominately purple fabrics and some fabric from my stash.  I found a similar quilt on Pinterest.

Here is the finished quilt top, which measures 60" x 70".  Its all made with half square triangles.  I used 84 of the bluish purple, and 84 of the reddish purple.

I hope you like it!

Monday, June 28, 2021

Charity quilt #3 with overdyed fabric

This is the third quilt top that I've made with the overdyed fabric that I made with scraps given to me by a friend.  The other two were in the navy and royal blue tones.   This one was made with the turquoise fabric and some of her black scraps.  I added a bit of gray here and there to lighten it up a bit.  It's 65" x 70" and is intended for a male recipient.  It's been donated to our Clark County Quilters charity group.  

The main thing that I learned from making this quilt is an old lesson - pay attention to the value of the fabrics.  I don't think this quilt is successful for that very reason.  I mixed light turquoise with dark fabrics, and medium and dark turquoise with med and light grays.  Rather than a strong zig zag pattern, I ended up with a mish mash.  Lesson learned (again!).

Here was my inspiration, which has a strong value difference between the red and the gray/black background.  I found this on Pinterest and am assuming it was a quilt designed by Victoria Finley called "Fractured".  I fell in love with the modern graphic nature of this quilt.

And here is the quilt that I made:

Here's how I sewed this quit together:

Unit #1  Start with 46 of each color, stack them right side up, do the slash 2” from the left top to 4” from the left bottom.  Swap the top and bottom layers on one side and sew back together.  Trim to 5-1/2” x -5-1/2”.  You’ll end up with 92 each 5-1/2” squares.

Unit #2  Start with 41 of each color, stack them right side up, do the slash 4” from the left top to 2” from the left bottom.  Swap the top and bottom layers on one side and sew back together.  Trim to 5-1/2” x -5-1/2”.  You’ll end up with 82 each 5-1/2” squares.

Solid squares  Cut 8 each 5-1/2” solid squares


Lay out the squares according to the picture below and by this count:

Row 1:  5 each Unit #1; 7 each Unit #2 and 1 solid block

Row 2:  8 each Unit #1; 5 each Unit #2

Row 3:  5 each Unit #1; 7 each of Unit #2 and 1 solid block

Row 4:  5 each Unit #1; 8 each Unit #2

Row 5:  5 each Unit #1; 7 each Unit #2 and 1 solid block

Row 6:  4 each Unit #1; 9 each Unit #2

Row 7:  8 each Unit #1; 4 each Unit #2 and 1 solid block 

Row 8:  6 each Unit #1; 6 each Unit #2 and 1 solid block

Row 9:  8 each Unit #1; 5 each Unit #2

Row 10:  7 each Unit #1; 5 each Unit #2 and 1 solid block

Row 11:  8 each Unit #1; 5 each Unit #2

Row 12:  9 each Unit #1; 3 each Unit #2 and 1 solid block

Row 13:  6 each Unit #1; 7 each Unit #2

Row 14:  8 each Unit #1; 4 each Unit #2 and 1 solid block

Sew the columns together and press alternate rows opposite directions.

Sew the rows together.  Press in one direction.

Stay stitch 1/8” around all the edges.  I started with 6" squares, layered them right sides up, slashed them on the diagonal, then switched the pieces to form two new squares.  Those squares were trimmed to 5-1/2".   

I hope you like the quilt and can use the pattern!

Friday, June 25, 2021

Charity quilt #2 with overdyed fabric

This is the second quilt that I made from the overdyed fabric.  Again, it is intended for a man.  

It is entirely made from 5-1/2" squares of dark fabric, and 112 half square triangles made from light and dark fabrics.  All were scraps given to me by a friend.  It is 60" x 70".

I hope you like it.

Monday, June 21, 2021

Comfort quilt for a man from overdyed fabric

This is a quilt that I made from the over-dyed fabric.  It is intended for a man, which our charity group always needs.  It was made with 5-1/2" squares of fabric set on the diagonal axis, and 5-1/2" half square triangles in the rest of the rows and columns.  To make this 60" x 70" quilt, you'll need 24 solid squares and 144 of the half square triangles (made from 72 dark and light 6" squares).  

I hope you like it.

Monday, June 14, 2021

Overdying old fabric

I got another box of old fabric from a fellow quilter.  Since our quilt guild is always looking for charity quilts that are appropriate for a man, I decided to overdye most of this box with blue dye.  First, it all had to be washed to get rid of any sizing.  Here is the pile:

YouTube is so great!  Whenever I want to try something new, I always look there first.  Somebody has almost always posted a video on how to do something.  So, when I wanted to learn how to overdye fabric, that was where I went.  So many people have posted videos and almost all of them recommended Procion fiber reactive dyes and soda ash.  I've shopped at Dharma Trading and Blick Art Supplies many times before, and decided to order from Blick since they offered starting kits.  My friend also loaned me her dying supplies.  I ended up using navy blue, royal blue, turquoise and black in different mixtures.  The Dollar store was a good place to shop for dye containers cheaply and I purchased 5 dye tubs, measuring cups, rubber gloves, and squirt tubes.  I repurposed a gallon jug and a few quart sizes pop containers.

The process was fairly simple.  Wet your fabric.  Dissolve the dye powder in the plastic cups (and mix with urea if needed).  Dissolve the soda ash with water in the gallon jug.    Scrunch the fabric in the dye tub.  Dilute the dye concentrate with water.  Pour the dye over the fabric and manipulate.  Wait 15 minutes.  Pour the diluted soda ash over the fabric and manipulate again.  Let it sit for one hour.  Rinse the fabric thoroughly to release the excess dye.  Wash the fabric in hot water with Synthropol.  Dry and iron.  

Of course, I failed to take pictures through the entire process!  Ugh.  Well, anyway, here is the finished pile of fabric. 

I found the book "Color by Accident" on low-water immersion dyeing immensely helpful.  The book was written and published by Ann Johnston of Lake Oswego, Oregon.

I like the end results, don't you?

Sunday, June 13, 2021

Quilt Sewing Day with the Undercover Quilters

One thing that the COVID-19 isolation created was a huge need to get together with some long-time quilting friends.  The Undercover Quilters has been going strong for at least 25 years.   We've seen each others' kids grow up, get married and have their own kids.  Some of us have moved.  Some divorced.  Some of our kids have been divorced.  Some are just about to get married.  Through it all, most of us are still making quilts and still trying to see each other as often as we can.

Once the isolation and restrictions lifted, and we all got vaccinated, we started meeting once a month for a day of sewing and friendship.  Here's a picture of us in June 2021.  I'm so thankful that the group still includes me, even though I've moved away from the Portland, OR area several times.  And it was so nice to see them all again.

Here we are:

I hope you all have good friends like I do!  

Monday, June 7, 2021

Crocheted hot pads

My mother used to make crochet hot pads by the dozens.  Everyone in the family has several and we all use them.  Totally washable, they are useful and colorful.  Nobody seemed to have a copy of the pattern.  Then, viola!  My youngest sister found two copies in a box of stuff.  She set out to make them, but didn't know how to crochet.  She asked me to help her.  Little did she know that it would be the blind leading the blind!

We both struggled with the first couple of rounds of crochet and discovered that our tension was too tight, or too loose and we had "bowls" and "flowers".  I tore mine out and started over.  She kept going.  We both learned a lot from each other and YouTube.  I quit counting my stitches and developed a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants method.  My sister kept going with the pattern.  In the end, we were able to make only one hot pad that was of any use.  

I decided to rewrite the pattern to make it easier to crochet and easier to count stitches.  It's not the original star pattern, but simply rounds of single crochet and double crochet.  Good enough for me.    


 First color:
Chain 4, join.
Row 1              Chain 3, 16 DC’s in circle, join (16)
Row 2              Chain 3, DC in same space as Chain 3, 2 DC’s in each of 16 DC’s. (32)  Join. Cut yarn.
2nd color
Row 3              Attach yarn. SC in 4 DC’s, SC in same as last stich (adding a stitch), SC in next 4 DC’s, add a stitch and continue in rest of row in same pattern.  Adding 8 stitches total.  (40) Join.
Row 4              Chain 3, DC in each stitch.  (40) Join.  Cut yarn.
First color       
Row 5              Attach yarn.  SC in 5 DC’s, SC in same as last stitch (adding a stitch), SC in next 5 DC’s, add a stitch, and continue in rest of row in same pattern.  Adding 8 stitches total.  (48)  Join.
Row 6              Chain 3, DC in each stitch, 2 DC every 6 stitches, adding 8 stitches. (56)  Join.  Cut yarn.
3rd color
Row 7              Attach yarn.  SC in 7 DC’s, SC in same as last stitch (adding a stitch), SC in next 7 DC’s, add a stitch, and continue in rest of row in same pattern.  Adding 8 stitches total.  (64)  Join.
Row 8              Chain 3, DC in each stitch, 2 DC every 8 stitches, adding 8 stitches.  Join. (72) Cut yarn.
First color
Row 9              Attach yarn.  SC in 9 DC’s, SC in same as last stitch (adding a stitch), SC in next 9 DC’s, add a stitch, and continue in rest of row in same pattern.  Adding 8 stitches total.  (80)  Join.
Make 2 pads the same.
Joining the pads
Place the two pads together with all the loose yarn in the middle. 
Using same color as row 9 (First color), Attach yarn.  SC in one SC.  Skip one SC, make shell
stitch in next SC.  (Shell stitch is 5 DC’s in same SC).  Skip next SC space and SC in next
stitch, skip SC space, Shell stitch.  Repeat all the way around.  There should be 20 scallops on
the outside edge.  Join. Cut yarn.  Bury yarn ends.

Here are a pair that I crocheted from the revised pattern.

Nice memories.


Monday, May 31, 2021

2nd Lunch Box quilt for charity

I liked the "Lunch Box" pattern so much that I decided to make a second one with the brown and tan fabrics.  This time, I used turquoise scraps that I had in my stash to supplement the brown and tan scraps that were donated to me by a friend.

Here is the finished top which is 64" x 72".

I hope you like it.  And thank you Bonnie Keller for donating the fabric.

Monday, May 24, 2021

More fabric donated and the first Charity quilt from the stash

One of my quilting friends called me this week and asked me if I wanted some of her old fabric collection.  They were mostly fat quarters and I ended up with a huge box of browns, greens, and blacks.  After sorting them into dark, medium, and light values, I went to my favorite scrap quilt book, "Charm School", by Vanessa Goertzen, for inspiration.  

I picked  "Lunch Box" to make this quilt.  All I needed to add was about 2-1/2 yards of my own fabric to give the quilt a cohesive feeling.  Well, I had jus the right red fabric and in just the right amount to pull this pattern off.

I cut the fat quarters of the dark fabric into 5" squares and 2-1/2" x 2-1/2" squares.  The light fabric was cut into 5" x 2-1/2" rectangles.  The red fabric was cut into 9" squares.  Super easy and fun to make, I made the 9" blocks and using half of them, layered them with the red fabric and sliced them one way; and the other half were sliced as a mirror the first half.  

And here is the finished top, which measures 64" x 72".   Perfect size for our charity quilt group.

I hope you like it.  

Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Black and white squares and log cabins blocks for charity - Charity quilt #12

I made a second black and white charity quilt, but instead of doing stripes, I made square in a square type blocks and offset them with log cabin blocks.  This is a super easy quilt to made with scraps.  It's 60" x 72".

I hope you like it.

Monday, May 17, 2021

Wonky log cabin blocks made with scraps - Quilt #13

This is the final quilt made from scraps donated to our charity quilt group.  I started with 5" squares then will nilly added scraps, any width to the squares.  I kept adding pieces until I had a large enough block to trim to 12-1/2" x 12-1/2".  I used 30 squares for this quilt, which is 60" x 72".  It was fun and freeing to just grab the next piece and keep sewing.  I listened to a lot of music and rocked out!

I hope you like it.

Monday, May 10, 2021

Charity quilt #11 with black and white blocks

This quilt was made with mostly materials donated to our charity quilt group.  I added solid black to tone down all the busy colors.  It's really fast to make!

You just sew 3 each of 2-1/2" strips of black fabric with 3 each of 2-1/2" strips of white fabric, then cut the strip sets into 12-1/2" blocks.  Then you sew 2-1/2" strips of fabric in a log cabin type of block and make them 12-1/2" square too.  Alternate the blocks into 5 blocks across and 6 blocks down.  And that's all there is to get this 60" x 72" quilt.  The perfect size to donate to our comfort quilts charity group.   

I hope you like it!

Monday, May 3, 2021

Trinkets modified for 2-1/2" strips and 5" squares - Charity quilt #10

I made the pattern "Trinkets" according to the pattern designed by Vanessa Goertzen.  See a previous post about that quilt.  Since I still had 2-1/2" strips and 5" squares from the material from our charity quilt group, I redesigned the pattern.  

Here's the pattern instructions:

Trinkets  65” x 65”
13” x  13” blocks

For each 13” block, make a double square in a square block with 2 different colors and one background fabric.  You need 25 blocks to make this quilt.

Each block needs 1 each 5” center square of the inside color
                              4 each 2-1/2” x 2-3/4” rectangles of the background
                              4 each 2-1/2” x 4-3/4” rectangles of the background 
                              4 each 2-1/2” x 5” rectangles of the outside color
                              2 each 5-1/2” squares of the outside color (cut on the diagonal)
                              2 each 4-1/4” squares of the background (cut on the diagonal)

 The first square in a square block:

Up size the corner square side length to 4-1/4” and trim the block after sewing it together.

The second square in a square block, using the first square in a square block as the center square:


Upsize the corner square side length to 5-1/2” and trim after sewing the block together.

The block showing the parts sewn together:

Sew five rows of five blocks each. 

Here is the finished quilt top:

I hope you like it.

Monday, April 26, 2021

Trinkets with Tula Pink fabrics

I made this quilt from Tula Pink fabrics that I've been saving (hoarding) for a few years.  She designs interesting fabrics that usually include some kind of animal.  This line was called "Slow and Steady".  The darker fabric that I used pictures a turtle.  The pink one features a snail.  Tula Pink is so funny and witty!  

The pattern is a relatively new one called "Trinkets" and is made of 16 each 18" x 18" blocks.  One of my favorite modern quilt designers is Vanessa Goertzen and this pattern is on her web page.  She designed the pattern to use fat quarters, but I used yardage.

Using the square in a square calculator that I posted about previously, I made 6" to 9" blocks; then 9" to 12" blocks.  Here's a few tricks if you make square in a square blocks:

1.  Add 1/8" to the size of square used to make the half squares.  It is much easier to trim the edges than it is to end up with blocks that are too small.  For instance on the 6" to 9" block, the calculator calls for cutting 5-1/8" squares.  Size these up to 5-1/4".  The 9" to 12" calls for 6-7/8" squares.  Size these up to 7".

2.  Fold the pieces in half and match up the centers.  

3.  Sew with the bias edge against the feed dogs, and the straight of grain on the top.  This way, the bias edge doesn't stretch.  

4.  Trim up the blocks.  There is very little waste.  Can you see the tiny sliver that was trimmed off?

Follow the same steps for the next round.  Add 3-1/2' x 6-1/2" rectangles of the outer color, 3-1/2" x 6-1/2" rectangles for the background, and 3-1/2" x 3-1/2" squares for the 4 corners out of the background fabric.  

Make 18 blocks and sew them together.  I added borders to use up the rest of the Tula Pink fabric.  The quilt measures 81" x 81".

I ended up giving this quilt to my good friend of 50 years, Judy Mezen.  Here she is with the quilt on her bed, which amazingly fit right in with her decorations.

I hope you like it.

Monday, April 19, 2021

Charity Quilt #9 - Rail Fence

Still working through the box of scraps given to me by our charity quilt group.  This makes #5 from the box, and #8 since the first of December.  This pattern is super easy to make and is called rail fence.  All I did was to the sew the 2-1/2" strips into VERY long strips; sew 3 colors together, and cut them into 6-1/2" squares. 

The layout alternated the black on the bottom with the black on the left-hand side.  There are 120 blocks needed for this size, which is 60" x 72".  Here is the completed quilt top:

I hope you like it! 

Monday, April 12, 2021

Square in a Square calculator

I recently stumbled across a simple calculator for square in a square blocks on the internet.  Don't get me wrong -- I love math!  But rather than go back and figure this out again, or find something in my files, I hit the internet.  

Quilter's Paradise has developed a simple square in a square calculator.  You either enter the inside square or the outside square and their formula calculates everything for you! To get there, click on this link:

Square in a Square calculator from Quilters Paradise.  

I was trying to figure out the pieces for a 6" inner square and 12" second outer square.  Here's what the calculator gave me:

The first result is for the 6" inner square:

The second is for the 12" outer square:

Now, I can confidently make the blocks I need for an interesting quilt that starts with a double square in a square block.

I hope you can use this calculator too!  

Monday, April 5, 2021

Charity Quilt #8 - Modified First Crush

I'm still working through the fabric that was donated to our quilt guild.  I was able to make 2-1/2" strips and 5" squares from the fabric.  In December, I made First Crush, which was a pattern in the Charm School book by Vanessa Goertzen.   Here's what that quilt looked like:

This quilt is basically the same, except that I didn't have any more white fabric, so I pieced the long black strips to the long blue strips.  From those strips, I cut 4-1/2" squares and 4-1/2" x 8-1/2" rectangles.  

I pulled some yellow fabric from my stash and used that to make the half square triangles.  Here's what each block looked like before it was pieced.

I didn't like the look of the quilt when I laid it out like the first one, so I turned some of the squares this way and that until I liked the layout.  And here is what the modified version ended up looking like.  It's 61" x 73".

I hope you like it! 

Monday, March 29, 2021

Owl Art Quilt - Final - "Hootie"

This is a continuation of 2 previous posts about the making of the owl art quilt, ad the final one of "Hootie".

I decided to paint the owl since there were so many tiny little pieces in its breast feathers.  The process was the same that I've used in previous quilts, which is basically a paint by number technique.  I made sure to shade the outside edges of the owl to make it look more like it was in the shadow of the tree, and also shaded the tree itself.  I also decided to add the moss around the hole, instead of just the left and right top.

The owl got a lightweight stuffing underneath it and the edges were glued to the backside.

The tree got two layers of batting underneath it to give the whole piece more depth and the moss was placed on the edges of the tree.

It was lightly quilted and bound with traditional binding to match the tree color.  It measures 15-1/2" W x 20" H.

I hope you like it!