Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Red Hat society

Penny White dropped by a couple of weeks ago with this completed quilt for us.  She loves the wit of Maxine, and thought maybe one of our clients might enjoy receiving this quilt while undergoing treatment.

It was the perfect size for covering a lap, while undergoing chemo.  And lets face it if Maxine can't bring a smile to your face, not much is going to be able to.

Ha, I wish I could make a fashion statement.

This one is my new motto in life.  Eat my DUST old age.

Oh yes Maxine.... I to forget.

I am hoping this quilt will find it's way into the lap of a member of the red hat society and that it will bring a sliver of joy to them.

Thank you Penny for this quilt and all of the other quilts that you have  pieced for Iowa Comfort.  You have a generous and loving spirit.

BTW folks, if you are local and have a need for a comfort quilt or know of a family that does.  Give me a shout, if I have the appropriate size quilt on hand I will be glad to help you out.

My mission has always been to provide warmth and comfort to our local community.  So let your churches and schools know that we might be able to assist if needed.

Now, this week is my surgery so I won't promise a post the next several weeks.  I am proud to say that I have all of the quilt tops quilted, and only have two left to bind before Friday.  

YIPPEEE it feels good to be caught up.  Once I am back up on my feet, I get to start piecing tops together!

Have a great week everyone.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Time saving tricks from Celia and Jan

I actually like to binding by hand, but my hands are not a big fan anymore.  My age is catching up to me, and with the amount of binding that needs to be completed I can't do it anymore.

Now I have wonderful binding fairies, that help me out.  I find that I feel like I am imposing on people when I ask.... I know that really is more about me... but it is how I feel.

So over the last several months I have been practicing different techniques that people have share about machine binding.

Celia has been a binding fairy for me since the beginning of Iowa Comfort.  She has mastered the technique.  Unlike most machine binders, she applies the binding to the front of the quilt.  Just like you would if you were going to hand stitch it down.

Just like this example. Make sure to give that binding a little refresh with the iron before the next step.  You want it crisp.

Jan also does machine binding, and although she applies it to the back of the quilt top.  Her tip for the corners is to make sure that you iron your fold over.  Once you complete that it should look like the picture above.  This is the first step to those perfect corners.

Now this next tip is mine.  I use a contrasting thread in the bobbin.  I really want that so see that stitch line on the back of the quilt.  

Celia's secret weapon.  Yes its glue.  I bought glue at the local quilt shop for  this purpose.  Unfortunately the arthritis in my hands prevent me from having the strength to use the bottle.  Or I just forgot to properly clean it after using, and now it is all gummed up...either way I can't use it.  So my solution was to pick up a bottle of Elmers.

Very carefully I apply a thin layer of glue between the edge of the quilt top and the bobbin thread.  NEVER OVER THE BOBBIN THREAD.  Working with about 12 inches of the binding at a time, I fold the binding just past the bobbin thread.  Then I hit it with an iron to set it into place.  Repeat the process until you have the entire side of the top tacked down.  I also find it easier to work from right to left in this step.

After you have one whole side glued down, take it to the sewing machine and stitch in the ditch from the front of the quilt.  to get Jan's perfect corners, start stitching right at the quilt top and sew to the end of the quilt top.  For this technique you are not going to stop at that quarter inch mark.  Your stitch line should be just a couple of threads into your binding on the back.

I find that my stitch line is always better if I am wearing my glasses.  LOL

Here is the quilt all bound and ready for donation.  This technique has really saved my hands, and I have many completed quilts ready for donation.

I believe these quilts will be a little more durable and will stand up to washing a little better than my hand stitched bindings. That is the hope at least.

So thank you Celia and Jan for the tutelage, and the patience in teaching this old dog a new trick.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Window Pane from Jean V

This beautiful quilt has been with me for quite a while now.  It is a large queen size quilt, and I just never had the right backing for it.

I love working on Jean's donations.  Always scrappy and beautiful.

I sat and tried to figure out how to recreate the pattern using florals.  I was not sucessful, which lead me to a few minutes on pinterest....okay so it was more like an hour before I pulled myself away.  Jean if you have a pattern, please let me know who the publisher is so I can order it.  I know I am just making it way to complex, and my math skills are lacking lately.

Now I told you that I have had the top for a very long time. I didn't have a large enough piece of fabric for the backing.  Well I still didn't....but I made myself a promise that I was going to get all of the quilt tops quilted prior to my surgery.  So I had to make do.

So this was my solution.  I almost had enough of the muted green for the backing...but I was a little short.  So I went ahead and pieced in some blue fabric to make the backing.  I centered the blue in the middle section of backing.... and tried to get the top centered when I quilting it.  I was close....but not perfect.  

Then I fretted over the binding.  I looked through my stash for over a week, trying to find just the right fabric, one that would do the top justice.

On about day 10 it dawned on me what fabric I should use.  How about the blue that I used in the backing?  It worked perfectly.

Now I think this quilt is really special.  And I am going to be really protective of it, I want it to go to someone that will truly apreciate all of Jean's love and hard work that went into creating it.

I have been in contact with Dallas and Madison county Dept of Human Services.  I have given them my name and number.  The hope is that when a local youth ages out of foster care, that Iowa Comfort can provide them with a warm bed size quilt for their new home.

So for right now this one will stay close, until I get the call.

Hope you all have a wonderful week, and make sure to stay warm.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016


Diane L. donated this quilt top to Iowa Comfort. She has donated several tops over the last few years. I love the top, and I love how the fabric placement changes the view of the quilt.

Take a close look.  We have two blocks that have the same fabric placements. Three other blocks that are identical.  Finally four other blocks with same fabric placement.

All of the blocks are the same pattern.  The fabric placement makes each of the blocks look different.

Here is the block up close.

The top had soft florals in it..... so I found this floral in my closet and decided to use it as the backing. It wasn't perfect but...I am getting better at using what has been donated to me.

This quilt was the perfect size to be our first quilt for cancer treatment.  

I want to thank Diane for her generosity to Iowa Comfort over the years.  All of her donations have been wonderful, and I couldn't ask for a better friend to Iowa Comfort or myself.