Saturday, March 9, 2019

Quilts for Tornado Victims

Last Sunday, March 4, 2019, a EF-4 tornado surprised thousands of people just east of Auburn, Alabama. The tornado was 1/2 mile wide and traveled for over 70 miles before it dissipated.  23 people were killed, including 4 children, and over a hundred others were injured. Hundreds of people lost their homes and everything they own. 

You can look it up, and have maybe seen pictures already, but here are just a few:

Audrey Smith, @audreypawdrey on Instagram, and I are both graduates of Auburn University, and Audrey still has family there. After I checked in on everyone I know who is near, or has dear ones there, Audrey and I decided that we wanted to help, as quilters do.

We are requesting finished quilts and/or quilt blocks to send to the victims. I know there are other quilt drives for victims of this tornado, but we wanted to reach out to our community of quilters and friends and ask you to participate with us. 

Together, we can share some love and comfort and quilts with those who have lost everything. :o(

If you are interested in sending finished quilts (I know I've got a few I can send!), we are partnering with the Cotton Boll Quilt Guild in Auburn, and they are willing to receive finished quilts and distribute them when the victims are ready to receive them. Email me or send me a DM on instagram for their address. (my email is weshallew @ gmail (dot) com)

If you are interested in sending Audrey and me blocks, which we'll put together and make into quilts for them, email me or send me a DM on instagram, as above.  *due end of April, please.

These are my EQ7 sketches of the quilts we could make. It doesn't include the various block sizes, but we can just use our imagination for that. ;)

We are asking for simple wonky cross blocks. There are several ways to do this, and many tutorials, so how you go about making them is up to you. Here are a couple that I found quickly: Sew Mama Sew/Elizabeth Hartman, and Lolly Quiltz (which makes 2 at a time, but doesn't use up your scraps!)  This tutorial by Hillary at EntropyAlwaysWins isn't for wonky crosses, but inset strips, which you can use to make a wonky cross - just start with your background either 7" or 13" square, and go from there to inset your cross strips.

Here's the first one I made. :o)
We ask that you use navy, orange, and white-based low-volume fabrics. We would like most of them to be low-volume background with either navy or orange crosses, but if you are using Carla's technique to make 2 at a time, that's fine, we'll make do. :o)

For size, we would like them to either be 6 1/2" square of 12 1/2" square, or even 6 1/2" x 12 1/2", as we want it to have some good variety and interest.

And we are asking to have blocks by the end of April so we can make the quilts and get them sent down early this summer.

And if you want to send a finished quilt (of any design), we are hoping to send some larger ones, like 72"x80", if that's not asking too much! But if you've got a finished quilt to send, we aren't picky about the size. Just send it! :o)


Thank you for still reading, thank you for your interest in helping out some people most of us have never met, thank you for your generosity!  We really appreciate you!  And if you can only make 1 block, that's great. If you can make 10, that's great! If you can make an entire quilt, that's great, too. We really want to be a blessing to those who are literally picking pieces of their lives out of the rubble. 

Sunday, February 17, 2019

Scrappy String Half-Square Triangle Tutorial (Foundation Paper-Pieced)

(I hate recipe posts where they tell me a whole bunch of crap before the recipe! Just give them the dadgum recipe, Lisa!)

My tutorial makes two 8 1/2" scrappy string half-square triangles.

You can make it any way you choose so that it looks like I want it to, but I thought this was a pretty fail-safe way to go about it, considering there will be a bunch of different people making blocks for my quilt. Continuity and simplicity are the keys to success here. :o)

8 1/2" piece of copy paper (x2)
10" x 10" piece of Kona (or similar) solid white fabric, cut to half-square triangles along the diagonal
Scraps of chosen colors of varying lengths and widths. (between 1" - 2 1/2" wide, varied please)

  1. Cut paper to 8 1/2" square, fold along the diagonal, and open back up again. 

  2. Draw a line 1/4" from the edge of the fold line on both pieces of paper. This will be the guide-line for the white fabric and your first scrap strip (string). Set one paper square aside for the second block.
  3. Cut the 10" piece of solid white along the diagonal, making two half-square triangles. Set one aside. 

  4. Place the diagonal of the white fabric along the drawn line on the paper, then place a strip of colored fabric (14" long by chosen width), right sides together.  Pin or glue baste, and stitch 1/4" from the line/white/colored fabric edge.
         please make sure that your stitch line goes exactly through the diagonal, like bisecting the 90 degree angle at the upper left and lower right...if that makes sense! I didn't do this right on my second block and you'll see a picture of it below.

    See what I mean? I didn't make sure the first seam of the white-to-aqua strip went all the way from corner to corner. No big deal, I'll still use the block, but I just wanted to warn you to not make the same mistake I did! :o)  Also, another great reason to not trim it...I'm happy to do that. :o)
  5. Open the strip out and press. 

  6. Place second strip (12" by chosen width) along the raw edge of the colored strip, right sides together. Pin or glue baste, then stitch 1/4" seam along the raw edge. Open out and press. 

    Note: I experienced some shifting unless I put a small amount of glue stick glue on the paper where the newly sewn strip goes. I didn't heat-set it, just pressed it down, but it definitely helps keep that piece in place when you stitch down the next piece. And since it wasn't heat-set, the paper pulls off relatively easily. :o)

  7.  Continue to add strips in the same manner until you get to the end of the paper square.

  8. Look! Isn't it cool? :o)  (Optional) Flip it over, take your ruler and trim around the edges of the paper, so that the block is 8 1/2" x 8 1/2" square. *Please make sure that your first diagonal seam goes from corner to corner before you trim. Don't do what I did! ;o)  If you feel like leaving it untrimmed, please do. I am happy to square it up. :o)

  9. Flip it over and look at your hard work!

  10. (optional) Flip it back over and remove the papers. (or leave them, it's okay!)

  11. Please make a second one!
    you can see even better how my aqua fabric didn't actually bisect the square as I had hoped it would. :o)  But it's okay...if yours does that, too, don't stress about it, I'll still use it! :o)
Color Palette

Please use one color per block, using one of the following colors: orange, pink, light-to-medium green, light-to-medium aqua.

Here is my inspiration quilt:
(quilt by blooming poppies)

There you go! Do you have any questions? Please send me an email. :o)

Please note: I would prefer that you not complete this block using fabric foundation piecing because I don't want the added bulk behind the colored strips. Using paper allows you to complete the block to the square specifications, but I can tear it off and there is no bulk. Thank you.