In May of last year I asked the folks at the Senior Center where I volunteer as a computer teacher and Medicare Part D advisor if there was any interest in my starting a quilting group there. My idea was just to get together with others who like to quilt, NOT to teach a class. Well, yes, there seemed to be some interest, but of course more interest in my teaching than in everyone just "doing." So, I needed to plan something for each week's meeting. A few had done some quilting before, but several had never quilted, and some did not have sewing machines. The first few weeks we spent going thru the fabric contributions on hand at the Center, then we decided to do a sampler quilt. Each of us - at that time about 8-10 - were to do 1 or 2 blocks. I brought in lots of patterns for them to choose from and some more fabrics. We eventually got 20 blocks made, then I showed them how we could assemble it as a quilt-as-you-go quilt with several different ones maybe helping with the quilting of the blocks. Some of the blocks had to have a bit added to the edges to make them be the right size, but I have done that to most of the ones that needed it. I'll post pictures of mine when I finish quilting them.
Before we finished this project I had the idea to make placemats to give to the Meals on Wheels participants that are fed out of the Senior Center. Turns out there are at least 60 people in that program so we had lots of placemats to make, but a few of us got really busy and by mid-December we had about 70 placemats which were distributed to the Meals on Wheels clients before Christmas. Here is one of the placemats that I made. It is from Six Halves Make a Whole - 6 fabrics -1/2 yard each - of coordinating fabrics make 6 different placemats with each fabric in a different position in each placemat. I wish I had taken a picture of all of them before they were distributed, but the day I brought my camera they had already been rolled up and tied and ready to give out.
In the meantime we had found 20 blocks in a box that was donated to us by the family of a recently deceased quilter that were clearly intended to go together - and with them was enough fabric to use as sashing around these blocks. One of the ladies volunteered to piece them together. I put on two borders, using fabric that we had decided on as a group when we took a field trip to the VA Quilt Museum (about an hour north of here) and to a quilt shop. Then the lady who assembled the quilt took it to do the long-arm quilting on it. I got it back from her about 3 weeks ago and finished it today. At her suggestion I did the binding differently - cutting the backing a bit wider that the top and folding the backing around to the front and blind-stitching it to the front. I thought it was really hard to do the corners neatly that way, but I got it finished and this afternoon I finished the label and gave it to the director at the Senior Center. It will be raffled with the proceeds going to the Senior Center. They had a recent quilt raffle that brought in enough money for them to spend some of it one a Brother sewing machine for the quilters and others who meet there to use. Here is a picture of the quilt on our bed. We are calling it Bertie's Purple Lady because it was Bertie Golden who pieced the blocks. I will take a picture of the label when I am there next week. I wasn't sure it I would be able to finish it this afternoon as I don't often have time to do things I want to do when I meet with them!
More in the next post about what we are working on now.