Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Two quilts for KHOI

KHOI Community Radio is where I've put a lot of energy in the past couple of years. You could say my radio reporting has kept me out of trouble--or almost, anyway. Last month we had a fund drive with two matching donors providing $2500 each. Today, I presented quilts for them to the station. I wanted to make sure they felt the love.

Sharing the love is what our community radio station does best (KHOI = "Heart of Iowa").

Here is the blue quilt, unfurled. I made it out of an assortment of scrappy antique blocks a friend bought at an auction decades ago. Most of the fabrics were from old work clothes. Some were a little stained.

My design wall--such as it is--was in use, so there was very little "designing" going on when I stitched the outer border. "It is what it was"--?

Here is the back, made of "Silver Lining" and "Rich Navy" (almost a charcoal) from Connecting Threads.

Here is the blue quilt with its new owner (note there is a quilt--not mine--on the wall in the background. We are a quilt-loving community!)

Here is the Temperance-block quilt unfurled (you may recall I had quite a spat with this quilt).

Lessons: I like working "crazy" with premade blocks. I like the indigo palette. I like the effect of embroidery on a quilt. Sometimes it's not so bad just piecing and patching without thought of the "final composition". Sometimes those quilts turn out better than the ones you fuss over.

Now, on to my "Christmas projects". Gee whiz, I have a whole 9 days! (good planning, Greta).

Monday, December 8, 2014

100 blocks

I learned the week before Thanksgiving that my cousin has cancer. He is 10 years older than me and has a loving family of five kids and five little grandkids. Besides that he is the kind of guy who spends his early retirement (he was successful) visiting prisoners. The concurrent chemo-radiation therapy he will be undergoing starting tomorrow is said to be a knockout punch but potentially effective. So I've been sewing him a quilt to hang around the house with.

Today I finished it.

I totally cribbed the design from a Pinterest pin that traces back to Dr. Linda at Sew E. T.

I loved the simplicity, rhythm, and use of different solids in her quilt. I went cool with my neutrals, using a parchment white (has everyone been reading the wonderful discussion of neutrals by Freshly Pieced here and here?) and grays more than tan. I thought the cools would set off the primary colors I was using better (including Connecting Threads' beautiful "Patriot blue").

The idea behind the quilt is: 100 blocks for 100% recovery. And, while Linda called her quilt "Which Direction?" I interpreted the design as sorting out the good cells from the bad. Out with the bad, in with the good.

The quilt contains a bunch of patches from my husband's Hawaiian camp-style shirts. My cousin, who lives far away in California, also loves to sport a good Hawaiian print.

The back is simple. There will be good days and bad.

It's in the mail now. If only a person could do more.

UPDATE: My cousin is cancer free! The family celebrated his complete recovery with a big bash. I could not go, but my brother and family, who lives a couple of hours from them in California, did. Yay!