Posts tagged #charity quilt

Trout of Montana Trailhead Country

This is the most unique quilt I have had the pleasure of working on. It was made by Tese Shekitka to benefit the Montana Trailhead Country chapter of Casting for Recovery. The quilt is currently being auctioned here. The auction will be open until 10:00 pm Eastern time tomorrow (12/11/2016).

Tese is an artist with exquisite attention to detail. She thought through every element of this quilt, and even modified the pattern to make it more true to life. The blue behind the fish goes from light to dark to look like sunlight is filtering through the water of a river. The border fabric is reminiscent of a woven basket that one might use when fishing. Tese hunted long and hard for the perfect fabrics to make each fish look like the real thing.

The five trout in this quilt are all found in the greater Yellowstone River area. From top to bottom, they are: Golden, Yellowstone Cutthroat, Brown, Brook, and Rainbow. 

The brook trout is a prime example of Tese going the extra mile for this quilt. The pattern doesn't include the stripes on the fins, but all brookies have them. Tese pieced three different fabrics and figured out where to cut them to make the fins look realistic.

Another fantastic detail is the belly. While most of the fabrics used to portray the trout are batiks, the belly of each one is Fairy Frost. Tese chose this to give the quit the beautiful shimmer that you see on fish in the river.

One of my favorite parts of this quilt is the rainbow trout. I really like the embroidery along the pink center stripe. I also appreciate the shine that Tese added to each trout's eye with a bit of white thread.

Tese spent a ton of time on the 28 flies that surround this quilt. They are all true-to-form for flies that are often used when fishing.  First up, the Royal Wulff:

Grizzly King:

Bead-Head Prince Nymph

Adams fly:

Last, but most certainly not least, is the hot pink Woolly Bugger. Tese made the Woolly Buggers pink as a tribute to the breast cancer survivors Casting for Recovery serves.

I was the lucky lady that got to quilt this masterpiece. It's quite possibly the most fun I have had on a quilt.

Naturally, the blue behind the fish is the water of the rivers they swim in. Since the water goes from light to dark as you move down the quilt, we chose a different shade of blue thread for each section. I quilted it with a horizontal stipple to look like water.

Tese's vision for the black background was to have loosely packed river rocks. I quilted loops of varying sizes and shapes to mimic the organic feel of a riverbed. I love the choice of a variegated thread here.

One of the goals for this quilt was to have each of the fish puff out. In order to do this, we used a double layer of batting, and I stitched in the ditch around each fish. There is no quilting inside the fish, but the areas surrounding them are quilted densely. This gives the fish a rounded, lifelike appearance. The double batting also has the benefit of providing increased texture to the dense quilting.

We continued the watery theme with the quilting in the borders.  The green spacer blocks are full of bubbles.  The outer border has a watery fern.  Since the inner border was too narrow for another fern, we decided on a ribbon that matches the feel of the outside.

Have I mentioned how much I enjoyed working on this? I am so grateful to Tese for partnering with me to quilt her work of art.

If you or anyone you know may be interested in bidding on this quilt, the online auction can be found here. Please share the link! All proceeds go to benefit our local chapter of Casting for Recovery. Remember, the auction is only open until 10:00 pm EST 12/11/2016.

350 Blocks Project: October Report

Another month has come and gone. I can't believe it's almost Thanksgiving! I've started thinking about Christmas already. I'm hoping to get gifts handled early this year.

October was an especially fun month because I got to attend two quilt retreats. Considering that, I finished a remarkably small number of blocks, but I had a blast.

First up are two leader/ender blocks. I forgot to bring my leader/ender project with me to the first retreat, so Jen kindly shared hers. I had fun playing in her scraps to make these two wonky stars.

While at that retreat, I finished the units for My Blue Heaven, finished the remaining blocks, and assembled the top. I downsized the blocks, and they are adorable in miniature. It makes me want to make a whole quilt out of them, but I am calling this one done. That's 23 more blocks in the bag.

The last block I finished was a charity block at the annual guild retreat. Each person at the retreat is given the pieces to make one block. Everyone makes their block by Saturday night, and a couple people sew the top together before we leave on Sunday. This is the same style of block that we did at last year's retreat. It goes together quickly and easily, and it looks great when the blocks are put together. You can see last year's finished quilt here.

I just looked at last month's post to add up my total, and I realized I never counted the blocks of the t-shirt quilt I made! I will be posting the details of that quilt in the morning. It included 20 t-shirts. I am counting each of them as a block.

I did better than I thought last month. 2 wonky stars, 23 My Blue Heaven blocks, 1 charity block, and 20 t-shirt blocks gives me 46. That puts me at 266 blocks for the year. I only need 84 more blocks to hit the goal of 350. So far, I haven't made any this month, but there is still plenty of time.

Charity Quilt

My local quilt guild is involved in a lot of charity projects.  One of the things we are committed to is supporting Habitat for Humanity.  Whenever someone in the area receives a Habitat home, the guild donates a quilt for each family member that will be living there.

Most recently, the guild members completed a quilt top during our annual retreat.  Each person was given the pieces to make one block, and three or four people worked together to assemble the top on the last night we were there.  This quilt is for one of the boys that will live in the house scheduled to be finished in a couple of months.

I had the privilege of quilting this beautiful quilt.  The center of each block has the same star fabric.  I wanted to stick with that theme, so I quilted it with Swinging on a Star by Jessica Schick.  I love that each of the star points ends in a little swirl.

The back of this quilt is a cozy flannel.  A flannel back always makes a quilt extra warm and snuggly.  I enjoy the little bit of extra weight that the flannel provides.  It also has a knack for showcasing the texture of the quilting.

I got nervous that I was going to run out of thread partway through quilting this one.  Another guild member provided the perfect variegated thread for the quilt, so I didn't know how much was on the cone.  Since the design used more thread than I expected, I was holding my breath that it would last.  Fortunately, I finished with some to spare.

I hope that the recipient of this quilt feels all of the love that a whole group of people stitched into it.  A Habitat house is a wonderful opportunity for a family to get a leg up in life.  The quilts are the perfect gift to start the process of making the house a home.