I don’t feel right sewing on Sunday for my business, so if I am dying to sew on Sunday I will make quilts for charity. I have made lots and lots of baby quilts over the years. Our quilt guild gives them to the neonatal clinic at the hospital where they lay them over the tops of the incubators to give the room more color. The parents get to take them home with their baby.
Right now I am in charge of a service project in our stake, for our stake “Day of Service” on May 2, so lots of people have been donating fabric and I have made about 12 of these quilt tops in the last couple of weeks. I even sewed all day on my birthday, it was my birthday present to myself. I had so much fun!
Here are a bunch of simple quilts that I made last year for charity, they are not masterpieces but I bet they are appreciated anyway. Most of that fabric had been given to me, or I bought it cheap at yard sales. I will try to take some more photos of the ones we make on May 2, and tell you how many we made.
I have a simple method for using fabric scraps for charity baby quilts. Collect any pieces of appropriate fabric which is the full width of the fabric (approximately 45″ wide). I have a 6″ wide ruler which is 24″ long. ( If I had a wider ruler which was long I would use it.) I cut the fabric into 6″ strips. cutting it the width of the fabric. I put the strips into color coordinated groups. Many times I have a pile of red, white, and blue colors, a pile of pastels, and a pile of bright jewel tones.
Sew the strips together, then cut them crosswise into 6″ pieced strips. Arrange the strips, making sure no fabric touches the same fabric. For most of the quilt, I use fabrics which are 45″ wide. But if I have some smaller scraps, I will cut them into 6″x6″ squares, and mix them in with the rest of the patchwork wherever I need an alternate color mixed in.
The key to making these quilts attractive is to use a nice mixture of fabrics, with colors that blend. Also, lay the pieces out and look at them to make sure that the same fabric is not repeated next to itself.
There is no mathematical formula for making the right amount of patchwork. I always have a few pieces or rows of patchwork leftover, and I save these to combine with future fabric.
When I was first starting to do freemotion machine quilting, I took a class from Harriett Hargrave. She told the class that we would never become good at machine quilting unless we practiced a lot. So that year I made 30 charity baby quiilts, and machine quilted them like crazy, and really became good at it with all that practice.