Saturday, May 09, 2015

Audrey's Brights: 2 donation quilts

Well, they WILL be donation quilts once they are quilted. :-)

I tend to want to wait until a quilt is finished in order to show off display what it is that I'm working on.  But because I don't always quilt a top immediately upon completion of the piecing, it could be a LONG time until I blog about them.  Then I remembered that showing a WIP is always appreciated, too. :-) So, with that in mind, here's what I've been working on lately.

Earlier this year, my sister-in-law's mother, Audrey, died.  Audrey & her family have been social friends with my family from when I was a little girl .... long before her daughter married my brother.  So, there's a long time connection between our families.

Audrey was a sewer.  She and my Mom often made matching square dance dresses to wear to conventions and hoe downs. She collected fabric and "inventory" long before the concept of building a stash was made popular.  She obviously had a great fondness for Christmas, both religious and secular.  When she died, my sister-in-law and her sister asked me to help them clear out their Mom's sewing room.  Neither of them sew or do crafts, so they have absolutely NO idea what would be worthwhile to save and what could safely be donated.  They said that I could have whatever I liked, as whatever I didn't take would either go to the dumps or to donations.

Let it not be said that I denied someone a helping hand.  Especially when the payoff is fabric. :-)    Nah, I would have done it even without the fabric.

Originally, Audrey had organized her sewing room well.   She had shelving around the walls with totes and cubbies on the shelves.  But much later in life, she either gave up or became confused or didn't remember or didn't much care .. whatever .. because her purchases soon were simply tossed into the room.

It took me over 6 hours just to clear out the center of the room, behind the door and the top of the sewing machine cabinet.  I never even reached the shelving.  Thankfully, it was all "stuff".  No garbage.  No little beasties.  No bugs.  

I separated the fabric & notions & supplies that I could use, craft supplies that I would donate to our local elementary school, counted cross-stitch supplies to a kindergartener teacher who stitched.  I boxed everything for ease of transport and filled up the back of our Jeep with all those boxes.  And when I got home, I started putting all the fabric in the laundry.  (I don't use anything that hasn't been washed .. personal preference).

Remember me saying that Audrey liked Christmas?  Well, her inventory of red & green Christmas fabrics totaled over 45 yards.  Oy vey.   I never did get around to figuring out how many yards of everything else, but it was at least that much.

the leftover BRIGHT scraps
In going through Audrey's fabrics, I came across some BRIGHT, imaginative and fanciful scraps of mushrooms and flowers.  Think 1960's.  No yardage but just remnants leftover from some project.  I was able to cut a 4" square from the smallest of the scraps and then proceeded to cut as many 4" squares from the rest of them.  By the time I was done, I'll be lucky to be able to cut a 2" square out of what is left.  :-)

I also found 6 BRIGHT coordinating solids.  I had some fleece of my own that I had earmarked for quilt backings and was determined to use Audrey's bright scraps for the tops.

For the first top, I simply put the bright print squares and the 6 solids into rows, one following another.  It was very repetitive but easy to sew together.  Not terribly exciting but, boy, is it BRIGHT.  I figure some little kid will be delighted with it.

When the first top was done, I found I had quite a few bright print squares left over.  This time, I looked through my collection of inspiration pictures and found something that caught my eye.  Using the 4" squares, this new layout would yield a 14" block with the BRIGHT print as a machine appliqued heart in the center.  Eventually I made (20) 14" blocks for the second quilt.  I found 3 other small pieces of fleece, that when sewn together, would produce a suitably sized backing. 

this is the 14" block for the second quilt top
What is interesting is that when all those blocks were put together, the resultant top was such that you would never think that there was a basic block that started the whole thing.

The fleece backings and the pieced tops have now been paired together and await their turn to be quilted.  I had intended on loading the first quilt onto my longarm machine this past week, but before I could do so, a client called up to see if I could quilt something for him.  Yep .. I sure could .. and Audrey's Brights will need to wait until the client quilt is done.

Luckily, there is no deadline for my donation quilts .. when I finish a "goodly amount", I bring them over, rather than transporting them onesie/twosies.


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