I was SO EXCITED last week when I read the announcement from Craft Hope about their newest project to spread hope to those who need it, by making and giving them wonderful hand-made items. The new project is QUILTS!
Craft Hope is asking for donations of quilts to distribute to families who lost their homes in wildfires in the western U.S. this summer. The goal is 849 quilts. Any size, shape, or color, done by hand or machine--even non-quilts such as crocheted afghans--are being gladly accepted. Please click on the words "Craft Hope" to go to their Facebook page to learn more.
My first and favorite kind of sewing has always been quilting, so I am definitely going to donate a quilt--or possibly two. The "soft" deadline for submissions is September 14th (that's when the official Craft Hope project will wrap up, but the group that is actually distributing the quilts, Phoenix Quilts, will continue to take them after that.)
I rummaged through my quilt chest and found two pretty quilts that are complete except for the binding. It's hard to get a good quilt picture inside, so I took them outside and photographed them on the hood of my car!
This blue one is a traditional pattern called either Monkey Wrench or Churn Dash. There is an interesting story about how I was inspired to make it: a woman contacted me to ask if I could "fix" her quilt. I told her sure! (I love old quilts--why not??) When she brought it to my house, I could see the problem immediately--it was a "tied" quilt (instead of actually quilting it, the maker, her mother, had just tied it with bits of yarn, about a foot apart). The quilt was well-loved and well-washed, and all that washing had caused the inner layer to bunch up, and the outer layer was beginning to split. I pulled open one of the split areas to see what kind of batting was inside, and what did I see but another quilt!!! And it was a far superior quilt to the one on the outside! I could hardly push the lady out the door fast enough, because I wanted to rip open her quilt!
The outer quilt came off easily, revealing a beautiful old hand-quilted quilt in the Monkey Wrench/Churn Dash pattern. Apparently, once it had a hole or two, the owner decided to cover it with her own work. Sadly, all the years of wear and tear inside the inferior quilt had ruined the one inside. I took measurements of the pieces and made this copy for myself, using reproduction fabrics in colors similar to the original.
There's one more amazing aspect to this story: inside the old, ruined monkey wrench quilt, THERE WAS ANOTHER QUILT!!!! I'm not kidding! Of course, it was even worse off than the monkey wrench; I couldn't see enough of it to determine what the pattern was, and there was no way the two could be separated.
I "fixed" the outer quilt by giving it new batting, machine quilting it, and binding it by hand. (The quality and workmanship was too poor to bother with hand quilting.) I reluctantly returned the inner quilt to the owner, and I showed her the third quilt peeking through the holes. I suggested that she could perhaps display it on a shelf or over a door in her home. I hope she appreciates the treasure that was hidden in her quilt!
This quilt, below, is one I made out of 1930's reproduction fabrics, in my favorite colors, just to please myself! I have finished the hand-quilting, but the edges have not yet been prepared for binding (that's why there's lots of batting showing all around!)
It's just a simple 9-Patch, alternating with solid blocks. The boarder was the time-consuming part, since it was all hand-appliqued.
My plan is to make a new quilt for the Craft Hope project; but just in case I run out of time or get side-tracked by other things, I have these two quilts as my back-up plan; I will bind and donate one or both.
I want to encourage everyone who reads this to consider making a quilt or other blanket to donate to a family that has lost everything they own. You could do it as an act of thanksgiving for the abundance things you possess. I'm so grateful to Craft Hope and Phoenix Quilts for this opportunity!