Wednesday, July 11, 2012

A Time to Gift

One of the beauties of my retirement is that I have time...time to do what I want when I want.  Time to sew, time to quilt, and time to make birthday gifts for my family! My sister recently celebrated a birthday and I knew exactly what I wanted to make her.  She had renovated her kitchen reecently so I put together a table runner to match the tile on her back splash, using shades of green, blue, and grey.

The pattern is from Little Charmers 5 by Heather Mulder Peterson for Anka's Treasures.  It called for charm packs, but I managed to find everything I needed in my fabric cupboards. It's a tiny little runner, a perfect fit for her table.  And doesn't it look cute on my little custom-made table on the deck?  Woodworker Hubby made this years ago just to hold the deck umbrella and a drink or two!

I also gifted my sister a zippered pouch from a pattern I've used many times!  The "Patchwork Pouch" is a design by Sherri K. Falls of This and That  Patterns. The design was featured in the Spring 2011 edition of Quilts and More. I used batiks from Island Batik Inc., fabrics I had won awhile back from a giveaway with The Material Girls.  

I really enjoy batiks, and these shades were downright yummy! I used quick strip quilting techniques to piece the front and the back.

Then I used the template to cut the cuves.

I pieced the front and back, used a few decorative stitches to add pizazz, added a little batting, installed a zipper, zipped it all up, and it was ready to meet its new owner!

With retirement I also have time to gift to worthy causes!  On June 25, I received an email from Julie from Having Fun Quilting. She was letting people know about the devastating fires taking place in the hills of Wood Hollow, to the west of her community in Fairview, Utah.  She had decided to coordinate an effort to provide quilts for the families of those who had lost their homes. In no time at all, the quilt blog community responded to Julie's plea. In fact, the response was so huge that Julie has recently created a new blog, specific to this cause, called Phoenix Quilts.

Julie's efforts have grown from assisting those 52 families affected by the fires in Wood Hollow, to include a total of 743 families who have lost their homes in the states of Utah, Colorado, and Idaho. Over 100 quilts and quilt tops have already been received, with more on the way. Donations of quilt blocks, fabric, backing, thread, and monetary donations have also been received but more is needed. 

I immediately pledged to send a cuddle quilt. My intent was to quilt it myself, but it would take toooo long, and Julie assures us that she has machine quilting elves just waiting to do their magic!  I see that quilts are already being delivered so I want to get it in the mail as soon as possible. I went to my cupboard and found the pattern book and all the materials I had purchased last year to make the Hugs and Kisses quilt  from this Layer Cake Recipe Book by Cozy Quilt Designs. 

I plan to piece this quick and cute quilt top this week(fingers crossed I can really get it done in a few days) and send it along. 

The fabrics I have ready for the quilt were put together in a kit by Linda of Fiddlestitches.  Love them...they are bright and bold...just the thing to brighten someone's day! The pattern uses layer cake squares and charm squares so I'm ready to roll!

As I mentioned, Julie says she has lots of quilters who will quilt the tops that are sent. Please spread the word and do what  you can to help out.  All the information you need is at Phoenix Quilts. Thank you Julie for having a quilter's heart of gold and helping me participate in the spirit of gifting/giving!

Just a reminder that the next monthly Christmas Quiltalong, created by Quilt Sue at Quilt Times, is scheduled for this Saturday, July 14.  Lynn will be our lovely host at Sew'n Wild Oats Quilting.  Make sure you visit her blog...always an inspiration! Join us for the 6th installment of the Christmas Festive Mystery quilt designed by Quilt Sue, or just join us and sew on anything you want that might be Christmas-related! We love Christmas! (Parts 1-5 are posted at the top of my blog so you can catch up!) 

I finished my 24 blocks of the mystery quilt so am all caught up! I had a lot of fun playing with the arrangements of the blocks.  The combination of the 24 blocks will form the centre of the quilt. 

I think I'll go with the first arrangement. I love the way patterns show up in the blocks, like the square...

And the star...

I now have a lot of sewing to do, and it's a great day for quilting!


  1. Lovely show and tell today! Thanks for sharing! I like arrangement #1 too. :-)

  2. Lesley your gifts are lovely (and your hubby's table is great too!). Your mystery quilt is going to be lovely too---I like the first arrangement best as well- just love how secondary patterns emerge. I hope you get some good sewing done and the phoenix quilt makes good progress.

  3. You certainly are the quilt and blocks!

  4. You have been a busy bee, love the table runner, and the pouch, I need to make one of these to take to work
    instead of a humping a big bag around!

  5. GOtta love all the time you have to indulge in what you want to. The table runner and the quilt are wonderful.

  6. There just don't seem to be enough hours in the day for all the things I want to do. How do you do it? You must be able to budget your time wonderfully. You're using your days of retirement to the max --quilting and sharing your talents and time. Bravo!
    Lovely projects, every one.

  7. I think you seem to be fitting into your retirement very comfortably. It is always lovely to see the wonderful projects you work on.

  8. Wonderful work Lesley , the runner is beautiful as well as the little bag you made for your sister ,bet she was thrilled . The Christmas quilt along , wow that is one beautiful quilt and I like #1 as well . You are a kind and generous person and I know your quilt will be much appreciated . hugs Sheila

  9. Thank you so much for being willing to donate a quilt to Phoenix Quilts! The pattern and fabric you picked out are darling! I'm sure the recipient will love it! And thank you for helping me spread the word about Phoenix Quilts! As of yesterday, there have been 816 homes burned in the wildfires in Montana, Idaho, Utah, and Colorado. We've received 143 quilts so far, but would like enough so we can put one in the arms of each family who has lost their home. With some help from everyone WE CAN DO THIS!!! :)


  10. I just retired from teacher on July 1st, so I understand your feeling of freedom to sew whatever you want whenever you want!! It is amazing, isn't it?


Thank you so much for visiting me. I enjoy writing about my quilting projects and am so glad that you enjoy reading about them. I will certainly reply if you leave a comment. Thanks again!