This and That

Where am I with these charity quilts?

Since the kids left to go back to the USA to university, I've been trying to work very hard on these charity quilts.  Last year I failed to reach my goal of 120 quilts - I only made it to 70 - I used the excuse of my husband's surgery, our two trips to the states, his subsequent broken leg and both vehicles being out of service for a while as an excuse, but I probably could have finished them I had tried hard enough. 

 Once I release the batting from it's plastic wrapping, it grows in size until it fills in under the bar counter - and is about 65" wide.

Once I release the batting from it's plastic wrapping, it grows in size until it fills in under the bar counter - and is about 65" wide.

I had run out of batting and while the store is close, it isn't close enough for me to carry it home on my shoulder.  At least a couple of weeks we were driving a tiny borrowed car - one that would not hold a roll of batting. Another week we were without transportation altogether.

By the time we got our Maverick back, I had given up on the idea that I could even finish the 50 without completely ruining my own Christmas with the kids.

That means I fell behind by 50. So, this year, I decided to try to "make that up" by attempting to do 120 early this year, then, during the warmer months, I can work on 50 more tops and then this fall, when the weather is cool again, maybe I can get those 50 quilted - the "make up 50".  (I suppose all depends on whether we go back to the states again this fall. My husband has mentioned it again - that we would visit some of our supporting churches in the fall. Nothing has been decided, however.)

I did have almost 120 tops ready to go - all I have to do is sandwich and then quilt them - I actually think I have about 116 tops without preparing anymore - which I can do.  Rachael (my twin) helped me incredibly in August when she came and we put together about 50 tops - I can't really remember.  Mostly they are panels that we added borders to.  Then, some of you sent me some tops - I think I've got about 10 or 12 tops from you all to go ahead and finish - and they are in the works. Then my friend from Arizona who loves to piece, has made a lot of these centers - all the Around the World designs - to which I've added borders, making her piecing function like a panel.

 These are piled on a queen size bed.  And there are only 63 here. I can't wait to see if I can get all 120 in one picture. I'm curious if I can get them to go to the ceiling, or at least almost. Once I wash them they aren't quite as fluffy.

These are piled on a queen size bed.  And there are only 63 here. I can't wait to see if I can get all 120 in one picture. I'm curious if I can get them to go to the ceiling, or at least almost. Once I wash them they aren't quite as fluffy.

 This Indian fabric isn't really a very large print. But a lot of the ones I use are actually quite large.

This Indian fabric isn't really a very large print. But a lot of the ones I use are actually quite large.

To make the process faster, PLUS I had used up most of my what I call "not so nice fabric", I started buying backing fabric locally from two stores - Kary and Kejt - both are Polish manufacturers of bedding fabrics. I found out that I could buy from them wholesale.

Once I discovered them, I realized that by not having to piece the backings, I could save myself time and make a completely reversible quilt - one side with a typical patchwork design and one side with a large printed design.

 I decided that giving the cats their own quilts to sleep on helps keep them off the ones I'm trying to work on.

I decided that giving the cats their own quilts to sleep on helps keep them off the ones I'm trying to work on.

I've been doing some each day - lest I actually hurt myself or get stressed.  I am not sure why I do this to myself, though. It's all voluntary - no one has told me to do this many, but I just decided a few years ago that 120 was a high number, one that would pressure myself, yet leave me time to do other quilts.

 

 

 

Personal philosophy of charity quilting

I do pretty basic charity quilts - not really exotic ones.  I think if my target group were sick kids or women who were abused, etc. I might actually want to do more complicated patterns. But my target group, almost exclusively, is the poor in our area.  They aren't used to patchwork quilts nor do they generally have sophisticated tastes.

 This picture was taken last August when we had a big give away of charity quilts to people from Otwock, Poland.

This picture was taken last August when we had a big give away of charity quilts to people from Otwock, Poland.

I look at doing these charity quilts like I would cooking for my kids. When they were young, I kept meals pretty simple and kid-friendly. I didn't serve them steak - they much preferred hamburgers. I didn't get them sweet and sour pork - I gave them grilled cheese sandwiches and carrot sticks or quesadillas with cheese and ham. I try to keep my charity quilts to things that appeal to the target group - for kids - it's animals and bright colors. For the ladies it can be more creative, but for the men, dark colors and geometric designs. Fancy pinwheels and paper pieced designs aren't necessary. If you have given me a top like that, I will direct the quilt to people that we know personally - and not let them end up with someone that we think might sell it for alcohol.

 Some of my tops ready to sandwich. The ones on the left are an Around the World design taht I have added borders to to get to my 60"x80" goal On the right are sort of "cheater panels" that we added navy, green, and brown to in order to make bigger. They are the perfect "men" colors.

Some of my tops ready to sandwich. The ones on the left are an Around the World design taht I have added borders to to get to my 60"x80" goal On the right are sort of
"cheater panels" that we added navy, green, and brown to in order to make bigger. They are the perfect "men" colors.

A few people have learned that I do give them away if they ask, so some have asked me for them - usually people that have gotten at least one before.  While at first you might think that is wrong, at least that way I know that they appreciate them, so I usually oblige.  I did have one lady a while ago give me the measurements of the quilt that she wanted.  I didn't make her one since I had already previously made her one exactly like she had asked - even used my more expensive fabrics. I had told her that it would probably be too small for two people, but she assured me that is what she wanted. Since I usually don't make "to order" for charity, I already considered myself going completely beyond the call of duty for her. When last time we had a give away, and none of the larger quilts fit her needs/wants, she handed me a piece of paper with the measurements she wanted. I kind of chuckled to myself and put it on the dash of the vehicle and went on.  I told her I'd see about it - but made absolutely no promises. Truthfully, since I had already made on special for her, I was in hurry to get to another one.

Here are the charity quilts I've been working on.  My daughter Lydia's room is being used for storage of these until I start trimming and binding them.  I'm kind of enjoying seeing the pile get higher and higher.

The weather

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We are turning out to actually have winter again!  At least the last few days we've had some winter weather - starting the next couple of days, we are supposed to have some spring weather - well up into the 40's F - where our snow is going to pretty much all melt off. Everything is melting a bit today as we had some rain. Where there is snow on the ground it is extremely slippery! My husband is still getting around outside, using one of the crutches as a cane to help stabilize himself.

 On the right side of the picture, in the sidewalk area, you can see where it hasn't been shoveled. At this time, that would be treacherous to walk on . It has since rained and every place like this is extremely slippery.  The bone hospitals are probably full with people who have fallen. Lots of people here do not have cars and "still" walk from point A to point B.

On the right side of the picture, in the sidewalk area, you can see where it hasn't been shoveled. At this time, that would be treacherous to walk on . It has since rained and every place like this is extremely slippery.  The bone hospitals are probably full with people who have fallen. Lots of people here do not have cars and "still" walk from point A to point B.

New van

We were able to get a new vehicle today (new to us, that is, it's not new).  We went to the other side of Warsaw to get it - a stressful drive for me.  I actually intensely dislike the crowds and chaos of the big city and the older I get the less I like it. I just felt the need to sit and "de-stress" a bit when I got come from driving our older vehicle (while my husband drove the new one) home. I really have learned to appreciate people who have to do this every day.

The Olympics are coming up

In just a couple of weeks now, the Olympics will be starting. I'll be watching the winter sports - the skiing especially, with anticipation. Is there something you particularly enjoy?   

We have some good Polish ski jumpers and cross country skiers. I usually cheer for the Polish skiers/jumpers and also the  US skiers. This particular realm seems pretty controlled by Austria, Germany, Norway and other European countries, however.

And so, I'm back to it today. 



If you happen to need some good fabrics for your latest project, be sure to check out what my sis has for you in the store!



Becky Petersen2 Comments