Author Archives: heARTs Creations

Design, Cut, Pin

Prepping for a week of quilting away, I designed a rag quilt for a soon to be neighbor baby boy. I do love flannel rag quilts. Mine is actually my favorite couch quilt – soft, warm. cuddly and so easy to wash. The quilt gets better after each washing!

So unlike me, I completely sketched out the design with measurements and placements. The older I get, the more difficult I find it to “wing it!” The seams will be 1/2 inch which will make this a nice sized baby quilt.

There are four layers to each block: The backing, top layer, then a double layer of a diamond, circle or square. The bottom full squares will get clipped, then the top double layer will get clipped. There is no need for batting as the four layers makes it a nice weight and all the clipping will make it super fluffy!

There are three different animals featured in the circle blocks: lion, elephant and giraff. I think they are SO cute!

And here is the whole layout. All the layers of each block are pinned together and numbered. I will now be able to pull each block out of the project box and sew. I’ll clip as I go because waiting ’till the end makes for a very sore hand with all that clipping!

This will be an easy, fairly mindless project to work on away from home. The only difficult part will be having to wait until I get home to wash and dry it to reveal its fluffiness!

HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY to all mothers and to all the children celebrating their mothers!

Little Pieces

Scraps have a way of sucking me in. When I finished the Can Can quilt, there was a pile of one inch Kaffe strips. Just like many other not so sane quilters, I cut them to smaller lengths – one to 3 inch strips. I’m piecing end to end, then onto paper. Why on paper? I find it helps to keep the rows from being wonky. There are 15 blocks done and the total will be determined by how long the strips last!

The last few weeks, however, I haven’t sewn much. The weather here has been amazingly beautiful, and the garden has been calling me. And that’s okay – it’s my happy place.

I’ve once again redone my Works in Progress. I’ve taken off projects that haven’t seen the light of day in forever. Will they ever get done? I have no idea. Right now, there is no desire. I am also keeping track of my quilting related purchases. I’m really trying to work from my stash only, but sometimes there is no choice. I purchased two yards of a black batik for a project that is not yet cut. I purchased the die to cut half rectangles from my bin of five inch strips for future Hospice quilts.

I need to make my next priority to quilt some of the Hospice quilt tops that are hanging. I’m beginning to feel a strong urge to sew again, and I think I’ll begin with one of those flimsies. Maybe my May progress report will have a more impressive number of completed projects!

Happy Happy Mail

A while back I received a box absolutely packed full with quilt tops from Trish in Connecticut. There is so much work in these along with all the fabric and threads used. One of the larger quilt tops I passed on to a friend who is heading up an effort to donate ten quilt tops to the local Hospice House being built a couple of miles down the road from me. These quilts will stay at the Hospice House. The quilts I have been passing on to Hospice go directly to the patients. Both are great causes.

Feast your eyes on these – just amazing! (Please pardon – they are not pressed. That will be done prior to quilting)

The last two will need a border added to make them just a bit bigger which is an easy task. They will all be backed with fleece and quilted. When? Good question! It’s no secret that my quilting skills are not the best, but eventually it will all get done. Thank you Trish – from the bottom of my heart!

On Their Way

On Friday, the volunteer coordinator for the local Hospice came to my home to pick up nine quilts. It was a wonderful bonus to have her visit me and talk about donated quilts. It was especially awesome to hear about the comfort and joy they give to Hospice patients. And here there all are:

This quilt was put together with blocks a reader sent to me about a year and a half ago. Oh the colors – so happy! I had been so enthused about this quilt once put together, it was quickly quilted and bound.

The quilt below was made by me about fifteen years ago. The children had flown the nest and I had run out of things to sew. I took a log cabin class at the local quilt shop. I knew nothing about quilting the quilt, so I tied it. It has gone from cupboard to closet ever since. It will be so much better off as a donation quilt. So glad it will finally have a home and some use!

This log cabin quilt also serves to remind me how my quilting life has developed over the years. Such a joyful hobby!

Trifecta of Quilts!

It’s been a couple of weeks. Spring has really sprung here and I’ve been outside enjoying all the color and amazing nature. Uhhh, the pollen not so much! In absolute contrast, last week we went up to the Blue Ridge Mountains for a couple of days to celebrate my birthday and it snowed! It didn’t stick, was pretty to watch – the best kind.

And now for a fabulous delivery made to my home last week. Thank you to Dolores for three amazing quilts she has donated for Hospice. She is an excellent and long time quilter and her generosity is greatly appreciated.

All three were made from her scraps and are just so cheerful. The different designs and use of the pieces are so smart and I’ll be sure to be copying at least one very soon. I am partial to the one below – the arrows are so clever.

All the colors in the next quilt are so fun – this is sure to be a cheerful welcome!

The third pops with color like crazy! I’ll be checking my scraps to see if I can put together one similar – wow!

It is always so thrilling to experience the amazing generosity of quilters. Not only do they use their own fabrics, there is much time invested in each of these quilts. Thank you!

Pretty Donation Ready to Go

Oh how moved I am when I receive donations for Hospice quilts. Recently Julie donated this pretty lap quilt – pieced, quilted and bound! There’s no doubt this will bring joy to someone in care.

Such a fun collection of prints. The center block of squares with circles quilted around each quilt is just perfect.

There was no avoiding shadows the day I took this pick. The backing is as cheerful as the quilt top and the black and white binding is perfect!

Just think of the comfort and joy this will bring someone. A handful of donations will be making their way to Hospice very soon!

Some Colorful Joy

Recently I learned of an acquaintance that has an unpleasant health condition. I also learned that a friend would be visiting with her and I wanted to send along a quilt of comfort. I went to my closet of flimsies and found a bright, cheerful and colorful top that would be perfect. I also had the best bright green fleece for the backing.

Several years ago I cut this bright colorful collection on my die cutting machine using a large triangle die. It was quick piecing and the best way to showcase these large prints. Having not looked at this quilt top for a while, I found myself really appreciating the setting and know that I’ll be doing this with other large prints.

Some quick quilting and a bright binding – voila! Done and ready to go. How wonderful to know that this quilt is bringing warmth and joy to someone rather than hanging in a closet!

Great joy also this past week here in North Carolina – blooms! The daffodils are especially beautiful this year and I love that so many bloom among the hellebores. In the fall I pruned my Camelia and it sure paid off! The red blooms are so striking. Hubby’s Japanese Magnolia is also full. Unfortunately, the magnolia has pale pink flowers and does not photograph well. It’s always a bit sad when these blooms begin to fade, but I know there are others to follow.

Linking up: N&TT

Let’s March Into March!

My goal for 2020 and beyond was to reduce my Works in Progress. I define those as a project that has been started either by cutting or cutting and sewing. A project is a pattern and fabric sitting together with nothing having been done to it. As you can see by my listing below, I have greatly reduced my WIPs. Four of the remaining projects have a great amount of handstitching to be done, so they won’t be a quick finish.

I would love to concentrate on the lap quilt I am quilting with big stitch, but I have encountered problems with that as of late. Usually I work on it in the evening when I’m tired and it slows me down. The last several years my hand cramps when I’ve done some hand stitching and I have to stop and rest often. AND, the biggest problem: Callie my cat hops on my lap and is definitely not in favor of my stitching. I find it so peaceful and comforting to have a cat in my lap, so I never say no to her. The quilt will get done eventually.

Lollypop Tree quilt is all together except for the outside border which will have many appliqued circles on it. Time. Now that I’m this far along on this quilt, I will do some of the applique work during the day as my sewing on the machine for WIPs has decreased mightily.

My log cabin quilt is at a total stand still. I’ve run out of the dark grey and have been unable to match it. It’s quite a dilemma and I’m just not sure how I will remedy the situation. There is already so much work into it that I know I want to go forward, it just won’t be right away.

Starting a new WIP: I have two kits in the wings. I don’t usually do kits, but there was no way for me to do these quilts without a kit – too much variation in fabric. The first one I will do is a plaid Christmas quilt and it has 30 fabrics! I’m going to need a couple of uninterrupted days to get this one cut. Mistakes just won’t be an option!

For the first time I’m also keeping track of fabric purchases. I have a typical quilter’s huge stash of fabrics, and my goal is to reduce it. Putting it down on paper should help to make me accountable!

CAN – CAN, the Quilt!

Cut, pieced, quilted and bound in five days! Amazing how much I enjoyed making this quilt. No contest when I auditioned border fabric. The bold black and white was a definite winner – perfect for all the bright, pretty and fun strings in the quilt body.

A very simple quilting – diagonal wavy lines – was perfect. I wanted this quilt to be about the fabrics, not the quilting. And I am tickled the way the black and white prints come together in the center of the blocks and where four blocks meet. I finished the binding by hand which quickly reminded me why I rarely do that anymore. My hand cramped and ached so I had to take many breaks along the way.

The backing – oh the backing! I bought this Brandon Mably fabric when I took a workshop from Kaffe Fassett and Brandon Mably a few years ago. Brandon, who knows my daughter, brought a bolt of the Can Can fabric up to me and thought I had to have it as it reminded him of my feisty daughter! Of course I bought some, but I never did use it in the workshop project. So glad because it is perfect for the back of this quilt, thus the name Can-Can! She’s already living in my living room – bright, cheerful and warm.

Links: Oh Scrap! N&TT Whoop Whoop Friday Brag About Your Beauties

Another Squirrel Attack!!

Absolutely NOT my fault! A few weeks ago I made the above block for a group project. It’s Kaffe stripes and a solid thrown in. I cut one inch strips and made four identical 8 inch blocks and sewed them together with the black and white in the center. We were to submit a 16″ block finished. I loved it! And, as it happens, I have lots and lots of scrap Kaffe and Kaffe Collective fabrics which includes Brandon Mably and Phillip Jacobs.

Off to the drawing board I went. I had to do this for me. My blocks are smaller – 12 inch finished. I pulled out my scraps and large pieces and began to sort and choose. Such fun! The above pic is of a joyful and organized mess. I put the strings for each individual square on a paper plate which is a trick I learned from a friend at a retreat. It works really well for some of my projects.

I sewed the one inch strips onto a lightweight stabilizer which keeps the block from getting wonky as can happen with such thin strips. I didn’t sew the black and white fabrics onto the corners until I placed all the squares onto the design wall, as the intersecting blocks needed to have matching black & white.

Oh the fun I had sewing these! It was just the burst of joy I needed as I was tiring of the sewing I had been doing. I had all the blocks sewn, squared and trimmed in three days!! A couple of borders are needed. I searched my stash and have come up with my first choice. Tune in to see.

Do you have squirrels in your studio waiting to attack? Don’t fight it – feed your creativity!