Monday, July 15, 2013

Quilting for Me (& Next Year's Auction)

I've finally done it.  After finishing my first three quilts nearly a year ago and quilting a dozen more projects for other people, I made something for myself!

I was out of town last week and so away from my fabric and machine.  I started to have the shakes (emotionally, if not physically) from not sewing anything... does this happen to anyone else, or do I have a problem?

In any case... in one fast and furious evening, I whipped up this pillow.

I was starting to get really tired of the orange and green scheme we have going on in the family room.  Thankfully, this cheers things up a bit.

The backing is this great Denyse Schmidt print that I picked up at JoAnn's.  I only bought half a yard, but wow! - that goes quite a long way when it goes into a pillow as opposed to a quilt backing!  Though I do think I'll have to go back and buy some more...

I'm in love and am now envisioning half a dozen other pillows which would make for a full room redo... Why didn't anyone tell me how gratifying a quick and easy pillow project is?

I'm so glad that Charlotte is so enthusiastic, too.  I actually put the pillow in the car for our most recent trip to chemo... Charlotte wanted to hold it for the entire ride - too cute!

Now, back to the real point of this blog: quilt auction for brain tumor research.  Over the course of six weeks from March to April 2013, we were able to auction quilts to raise over $3,000 for brain tumor research and for pediatric patient care. How exciting to be a part of something so meaningful!

I've brainstormed and schemed in an effort to learn from last year's auction and to have next year's pulled off without a hitch.  Here's what I've come up with: I want to auction all of our quilts simultaneously next year.  Which means that I will have to photograph the quilts and write posts all ahead of time.  It's still quite a few months away, but I'd like to have all the quilts in hand on February 1, 2014.  So plan accordingly, okay?  Surely you could whip up a quilt to further brain cancer research by then, couldn't you?

Don't quilt?  Click on over to my "Get Involved" page to see how else to help.  Hint: a $35 gift card to could go a long way.  Last year, I was given fabric that probably cost about $35, but the quilts that we made with them (Pink Diamond and Once Upon a Time) raised $250!  How is that for multiplying a friend's generosity?!

Please don't hesitate to contact me at charlottesgraceforacure[at]gmail[dot]com with any questions.  I'd love to hear from you!

(Linking up to Fabric Tuesday at Quilt Story and Crazy Mom Quilts.)

Monday, July 8, 2013

Celebration of Life Quilt

This quilt has been such a hard secret to keep!

Well, here's the story: This past May, my mother-in-law, Teresa, told us that she would be throwing a party on the Fourth of July.  She would call it her "Celebration of Life" and wanted us to come to town to help her celebrate ten years of life since her breast cancer diagnosis.

Of course, what better way to celebrate than with a quilt?  I got to work right away...

This is a nine-patch and diamond pattern from Me & My Sister Designs.  The original was only a baby quilt size, so I had to do a bit of math in order to increase it to this size of 59 x 59 inches.  And I did my own thing on the borders, too.  The nine-patches and diamonds were constructed with 5-inch charm squares that were cast-offs from Tracy.  (I promise I do buy my own fabric, too... sometimes.  :)   It's just that I seem to use the free fabric so much more often!  It's part of the challenge of quilting, I think...)  The neat thing about this fabric coming from Tracy is that she, too, is celebrating ten years of life since her diagnosis of ovarian cancer.

After about a week of piecing and some mad-dash phone calls to see who had room on their rack for a quick quilting job, off it went to Logan of Chocolate Dipped Quilts for some gorgeous longarm quilting.  Logan did such a wonderful job with this custom quilting.  There is a different medallion for both the nine patches and for the diamonds, then three different designs for the borders.  I just love it!  (And the pricing is so reasonable, too; click on over if you need some quilting done.)

After keeping this secret for about two months, I was finally able to give it to Teresa at her party just a few days ago.

Speaking of celebrating life... while I was at her home, Teresa gave me a quilt that her mother made.  So here's Marian modeling a quilt that her great-grandmother quilted about forty years ago!

I just adore many of these fabrics and think that I got the better end of the quilt-gifting Deel deal for this reunion!

(Linking up to Quilt Story and Crazy Mom Quilts.)

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Robots and Rocket Ships

Happy July to you!  I have just a quick finish to share today.

This little baby quilt was lovingly stitched for my dear friend, Laura.  Or, for her new baby, rather.  It doesn't really have much to do with brain tumors, I suppose, except that Laura was the first person to whom I was able to break the news regarding Charlotte's brain tumor diagnosis.  I phoned her even before my husband got the news (he was en route to the hospital, and I knew that I couldn't tell him while he was driving).  Laura has been a dear friend of mine since we met in 2007, and she has been a constant source of support since Charlotte's diagnosis.

The robot fabric was a gift from my most-generous friend, Anne, and the pattern is from this issue of my current favorite magazine, Quilty.

This little guy is my absolute favorite - a robot walking a robot dog!  Check out how in the picture above, the robot's wheel is gliding along the border, but in the picture below...

...the dog's wheels are right on top!  Such good fortune!

This sweet, smiley robot wins a close second place in my heart.

The border is full of rocket ships like this one.

Tracy gave me the backing fabric, and here you can also see the quilting: stitch in the ditch plus crosses through each block.  Tracy is also friends with Laura and so whipped up a bunch of burp cloths for her, two or three of them matching, for goodness' sake!

I think the quilt turned out nicely; I am so glad that it and the burp cloths were well-received.

Alas, I forgot to photograph Charlotte with the quilt again.  But here's what she's been up to recently:

... riding around in a laundry basket!  It was not until after I committed to breaking my back that I realized that her everyday life involves being pushed around the house... It might be 2.5 feet higher up, but at least her wheelchair has wheels!  (Sigh... my aching back...)