Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Hands-2-Help Charity Quilt Challenge

You have probably seen (all 32 of you) the button on my side bar. The bright happy yellow/multicolored Hands-2-Help Charity Quilt Challenge. I volunteered to make a quilt for someone in need in Romania. All the quilting volunteers were assigned a partner who mailed them 2 yards of fabric. You then took that 2 yards, added some more and make a quilt (sounds crazy simple enough). The design and execution is up to the quilter (that would be me). So, let me tell you something about this whole quilt making process, for me that is......
1. No amount of arm twisting could ever make me make a quilt if I didn't like the fabric and design. There is just too much time (and money) that goes into these to not enjoy the process.
2. That being said, I usually design my own patterns and use what ever fabrics I think are necessary.
3. I have never made a quilt from a single "line" of fabric. To me it's a bit like Albums of old (remember vinyl). There were maybe 1 or 2 songs that you really wanted and the rest- not so much. So, typically I pick the ones I like and leave the rest.
4. I have NEVER had anyone send me fabric to make a quilt for someone I didn't know.
(So, you are probably wondering what exactly was I thinking- or not thinking).
5. That being said, I also decided this year would be a good year to stretch my comfort zone. To try some new things- this is what I got myself into and I can tell you, honestly, the Challenge in the name is aptly put.

My lovely partner send me 2 yards (4- 1/2 yard pieces of differing hues) of purple. I have exactly 3-4 other fabrics in my collection that are purple (sum total perhaps, 4 fat quarters). I have YARDS of blues and greens, pinks and oranges but very little purple. BUT, you also have to be brave to send purple. It's a royal color, regal and historically very important. So, I embraced the purple and thought, what to put with it. Salvation came in a pattern- what you say- from Stitch Magazine called Dare-to-be-different. Isn't that what purple essentially is, daring, very different??? This was a sign. I knew it- I had purple and I had a pattern.  I went to the fabric store and pulled from my collection and this is what I got (start to finish- fabric selection, layout, pinning and completion all in pictures)

the 4 purples from my partner on the right, my additions, the green (Alexander Henry's Farmdale) and selections from my stash and shopping outing on the left.

fabric and pattern, fabric cut and stacked in the light, medium and dark piles

testing the layout

pin basting

Front of quilt

back of quilt- pieced binding really stands out along bottom edge

I did several additional things I have never done before in this quilt- why not, I was on a roll and feeling comfortable with the way I had already stretched myself.
1.  I pieced the binding with the leftover fabric scraps and did not (for the first time) cut the binding on the bias. I wanted to use up all the scraps, keeping the "boxy" feel-  and I think it really compliments the quilt. 
I also pieced the back (done that before)- but I am really happy with the layout both front and back. (I did not follow the pattern for the back of the quilt- no surprise there). 
The quilt is 72 x 56 inches. Bigger that I was planning, but again, using all the material I purchased and was given. It's stipple quilted all over in a variegated green thread. 

I would like to really thank my partner for giving me this challenge. I'm thinking I perhaps haven't given purple the respect it is due. 

Thank you Judi
Thank you Sarah
and mainly, Thank you Kari, without those purples, this quilt and it's journey from inception to completion would never had happened. 


  1. Wow, that is such a cool quilt! I admit, my very favourite colours are purple and black but I've not been brave enough to try to make a quilt with them yet! Like the look of those blocks, and might have to start stashing some purples and blacks and make something with them. Whoever receives that will know it was made by a very good, kind heart. You rock!

  2. You may have had to stretch yourself, but you did an awesome job!!! That is a very cool quilt!! Now - don't forget to upload the pics to Flickr so everyone can oooh and aaah over them!! (PS I use non-bias binding all the time, and piece my bindings a lot of the time - great way to use up scraps, and I have a little bucket of left over binding for when I need one in a hurry!!

  3. You did a wonderful job with this quilt!

  4. I LOVE the quilt! It looks absolutely AMAZING! Thanks for sharing your entire process through this challenge.

  5. I already commented on Flickr about your quilt but thanks for sharing the whole story. It's nice to hear how you stepped outside of the box. I haven't started on mine yet. I think I know which book I want to use but I haven't picked the pattern yet. I wish I could find some of the green print you used. I really like it. You should get some sort of prize for being first done...lol

  6. I love your quilt. Purple is a daring color, and I don't use it much or have much in my stash. It's great with the green Farmdale. Sometimes I think going outside our comfort zone is the most fun, because that's when we see ourselves growing.

    Great job on the quilt.

  7. Fantastic quilt! I love how the colors work together!

  8. Great quilt. Love the pieced backing. I wouldn't be able to decide what side to use because they are both beautiful.

  9. Completely and totally and utterly agree with point 3...unless it's Tufted Tweets which has been my one and only exception!

  10. Your quilt is lovely! I really like your color combo!

  11. Love how it turned out, congrats on stretching yourself.
    ~Kimberlee, www.TheSpunkyDiva.com

  12. very nice, I am almost finished hand quilting my H2H quilt. Yours is really nice! someone will love to receive it!

  13. I am not a purple person, but this just pops out at you. Just a lovely finish that is going to wrap some one in lots of love.

  14. I like this pattern,you did A+ work!!

  15. Yeah for the purple. I think it is a beautiful quilt. I have never made a purple quilt either. May have to give it a try.


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