Monday, December 3, 2012

Design Wall Monday

The saga continues as we wait on logistics for our move. This week I forgot my power cord for my sewing machine, so not much to show you today.

While in Arizona last week visiting my parents, I was given the opportunity to teach a group at the Apache Junction SDA Church that regularly meet on Monday mornings to assemble 'Bags of Love'. Each bag includes age/gender appropriate items and a quilt and are given to local agencies, including Child Protective Services, to be given to a child when they are removed from a home for whatever reasons. This bag is then the child's very own bag to keep with them. I showed the ladies how to make quilts with Jelly Rolls, i.e. 1600 Jelly Roll Race. I compiled many examples that I found online to inspire their creativity and they cut scraps from their stash in order to create a Jelly Roll. If you've not made one, just google 'jelly roll race quilt' and you'll get several tutorials. Basically about 40 strips of 2.5" x Width of Fabric strips or the equivalent from your scraps. If they are all the same length, cut the first one in half (roughly) and return one half to your stash and then get going. Sew them end to end in your desired method (straight or diagonal), add a separator if you'd like with a length of your choice (i.e. choose a zinger from your stack). One they are all end to end, fold and sew lengthwise together. I found sewing from the folded end easiest so it will untangle at the other end if that is an issue. If you are neat and tidy you can fold it carefully, but remember you're folding two lengths of 800"! A challenge for some ;-). Do the fold and sew lengthwise a total of 5 times. Border if you like.

This is the one I whipped up before showing them how it is done. I won this Jelly Roll from a Quilting Gallery weekly themed contest earlier this year. The fabrics are by Deb Strain. In my stash at home is also enough backing from one of the fabrics.  A white background with red print (9th row from the bottom, not counting the border). The border was made with the 3 strips in the Jelly Roll that were tone on tone red, cut in half lengthwise.

Since I did put separators in (the red with white print ~ 5" cut strips) I'm wondering if any applique would be appropriate or not. I was thinking a heart bouquet type of idea, one friend has suggested, do nothing more. Want to weigh in on this? I'd love your feedback. Perhaps if I had not put separators, applique would be more appropriate.

Does it need another border?

Here is the one I did during our session. I used a 20 piece jelly roll that I won as part of my McCalls Design Star 2011 participation and added another ___ fabrics that coordinated. Chose the chartreuse as my zinger which got cut in different directions inadvertently-ah well, and had a couple of different lengths in the stash collection. I believe there was enough in their stash to back and bind with the dark turquoise used in the border. The top and bottom 'border' are really part of the race strip, so just added the two on the side. I must admit that when I originally finished this one (without the borders) I did take a couple of strips apart and switch a few rows around to get this exact effect. I thought the zingers helped to make this look like a huge "S".

Below is a photo of some of the tops. There were a total of 10 sewing that day. Three of these (2 on the table and the far left) got to this point during our session. The other 3 in the back row were finished later and brough back a couple of days later to be included in this photo. They all seemed very excited to have something so simple to do that they can talk while they are doing it and quickly get quilt tops put together with the mostly donated fabrics that they have received.

They are now strategizing how they can trim them to the size they normally make (48" x 60") and utilize the scraps for the pockets on the bags so that they coordinate.

You can see the door is open (far left) to their well organized stash closet. And the items hanging in the background center and right are up as part of their craft sale. They are open each Monday in the first weeks of this month and their proceeds go to pay on a loan for the school building that the church supports. Very popular items include the World and US map quilts and the purses that they make with lots of pockets, are self-closing and have an adjustable strap. I gave my mom some really nice red leatherette embossed fabric and we found some cute lining at a shop while I was there so that she'll make me another one. I think I got her enough of the leatherette she'll be able to make herself one too (red is her favorite color!). I think she'll line it with the gorgeous iceland poppy fabric I brought to her from a special sale. From all of their production of goods, they have raised quite a bit of money. Maybe my mom will comment on this blog post with their efforts. It really is quite amazing what some (mostly retired) industrious souls can get up to!

The day I returned later in the week to take this photo, our primary reason for meeting was to learn how to use a Handi Quilter frame. Their main challenge now is to find a machine with a decent throat size so there are more than 3-4 inches of quilting space. But...we got it all working, so hopefully they can have fun perfecting their new skill.

Although I have no power cord to sew, today is a big milestone for us. Later we'll sign the closing papers on new commercial property that in the near term will house my long-arm machine quilting service.  I hope to get the renovations done by the first of the year. On Wednesday, I'll post a 'before' photo!

More Design Wall's at Judy's Patchwork Times.


  1. I keep saying that I am going to do one of these them!

  2. While perusing blogger this morning I stumbled onto your blog which I thoroughly enjoyed reading. I haven't done a jelly roll race but am familiar with it. I sorted fabrics this week and I have a large storage bin full of nothing but mostly hunter green and assorted green fabrics. I thought it would be fun to do a jelly roll quilt with mostly green and throw in a red zinger occasionally. YOur blog has encouraged me to put this on my list but as this year is my year to finish my UFO's and PPP's (previously purchased projects) I have to work on one of them before I can start a new quilt or project. Thanks!