Seahorse Pillow- a cross stitch project

I hate that summer is coming to an end and I feel like I haven’t done much… My husband keeps reminding me about the pandemic… But today we just found out that the kiddo got two extra days before school starts!

With that, I have a series of beachy pillows I want to share to make me feel like I’m at the beach instead of ‘Staying Home and Staying Safe!’

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I’m really in love with how this cross stitch pillow turned out! My niece is in love with seahorses. You might even remember the seahorse stuffie I made her from her very own design…  Well, when I got the Summer 2017 issue of Crossstitcher Magazine and there was a seahorse alphabet in there, I knew I had to make it for her!

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I have to say I loved working on this on my trip to the beach last year, but I was sad I wasn’t able to put it lall together before I left the beach. Ha. but sometimes swimming in the Gulf is more important that sewing… sometimes… Ha!

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Typically when I pick cross stitch projects, I’m not a fan of the outlining.  I almost left this one without the outlines, but I’m so glad I switched gears and actually followed the directions! I’m pretty sure they wouldn’t have been as cool. I really love this alphabet.

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Although, I’m just posting this, it is an older project. One I made before my obsession with invisible zippers.

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And how about that seahorse and octopus fabric??? A perfect match. I’ve been hoarding this fabric and it was perfect for this project!

We Made Masks

Honestly, I didn’t want to, but we did.

Here’s my quick soap box… I don’t feel like in a country like ours there should be a shortage of any health care PPE. Not in this day and age. Hospitals should not have to worry about getting PPE to protect our healthcare workers. We live in a land of plenty. A land of mass wealth, but we can’t supply our own people with protective gear to us safe from disease. Most of us in the US are very lucky and blessed to be in the situation we are on a typical day in the United States of America. But today we aren’t. States are not getting the supplies they need as a UNITED country. We are being led by a group of people that don’t believe in science and don’t see the need for PPE or clean air, etc. This is why I didn’t want to make masks. It makes me angry.

But here’s the flip side to why I didn’t wallow in my anger and protest the making of masks.

And yes, I’m stubborn and have been known to protest things!  Some funny things, some very personal and political things. Here’s a funny story. Back in the day there was a local drug store in New Orleans that was bought out by another store that didn’t sell Coca Cola products, only Pepsi products. I never went to that store again while I lived in New Orleans. Ha!

Ok, back to why I did make the masks.

Two reasons.

The first is that I’m lucky enough to still have a job, to be home and safe with my kiddo, husband and dog, and I have a stash of fabric and elastic. And the biggest thing is I have the skill and machines to make masks. Not everyone has these things. And I know that and I can’t take that for granted during these times.

The second reason comes from my job. I spend a lot of time in hospitals as an architect. I design rooms around codes that deal with the safety of workers and patients. Where does the PPE go, where do they put on the PPE, where are the hand wash sinks in relation to all the movements of the healthcare workers. And where are the trash cans for all the PPE to go. I see all the one time use, non recyclable products that we use in this country for PPE to protect ourselves. And it’s really depressing to me to see all these one time use products. Not that my masks are going to take the place of the disposable PPE in the hospitals, but my hope is that maybe this mass movement of sew-ers and quilters making masks, just maybe, there could be a shift in thinking from disposable to reusable. It’s hope that kept me moving as I made 47 masks last weekend.

OK, that’s my soap box.

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And these are my masks. I had a small list of friends and family that I wanted to make them for, but as I was cutting, I kept cutting. I didn’t keep count and had no idea how many I was actually making! There are probably a million tutorials out there. Between working 50 hours a week and trying to homeschool the kiddo I didn’t have the bandwidth to do a lot of research. I’ve always liked Dana’s tutorials from Made Everyday, so I just went with her tutorial that you can find here.

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A couple of things I do like about her tutorial is that that fit over the N95 masks if anyone can ever get those again and it has a pocket to put a filter in.

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I added a step from her tutorial. On the bottom of the front and back of each masks I did sew a 1/4″ hem so that when they get washed they won’t fray.

There has been a lot of discussion debating ties or elastic. I went with elastic. If I tried to tie a bow behind my head every time I wanted to put this on, I would never wear one. I’d tie my hair in knots and curse and complain every time! And the thought of constantly tying my sons mask to his head did not interest me in the least. So elastic it was for our family! And therefore, our family and friends, ha!

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There four different sizes in the tutorial. I made the kids and adults.

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And we ended up with 47 masks. Most all of them have found homes. I feel like I may have to make another small batch before I’m done with masks.

Last night at our Seattle Modern Quilt Guild one of our members did a very through presentation of the pros and cons and in and outs of making masks. You can find here presentation here. There’s a ton of information collected to help you make the best decision on which masks are right for you. Be sure to check it out!

Stay safe and healthy everyone!

Doggy Bandana Tutorial- Holiday Edition

Ok, there really isn’t any other edition other than the holiday edition! But you can make these dog bandanas for any occasion you’d like!

They are super simple, reversible and just fit over the collar so that there’s not another thing around the pups neck!

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Oh, and did I mention stinkin’ adorable???

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Here’s the story… I’m kinda obbessed with my dog and follow a lot of big white Great Pyrenees on IG (mine’s a mix, but very much a pyr in her own right!) and I see so many with these cute bandanas. Then the other night, when I was supposed to be making Christmas presents, this whole bandana thing popped in my head as a super easy thing to do. So I made two!

I put the kiddo and pup to bed and took Lulu’s collar. She was soooo not happy about me taking her collar! I don’t know why. And she seemed very happy to have it back the next morning.

I’ll show you how I made mine.

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First step is kinda obvious… You have to cut the pieces out! You can download the pattern here. And cut out two pieces.

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Along the top edge, the squared off edge, sew a French seam. First, sew along the top with a very scant 1/4″ seam, fabrics wrong sides together. Then fold the fabrics over at the seam, now right sides together and sew a 1/4″ seam. Easy peasy, but if you would prefer a more detailed French seam tutorial, they are all over the internet.

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Now you are going to sew a 1/4″ hem along the short, straight side. (the sides perpendicular to the French seam. Sorry, not a great photo for this step.) Fold over a 1/4″, then fold over another 1/4″ to hide the edges and stitch.

Then fold over, right sides together, and stitch along the triangle edges.

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Be sure to trim the edges at the point of the bandana to avoid bulk before turning right side out.

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Turn it right side out through the collar holes. Next I marked my stitching line from corner to corner, about 1 1/2″ from the French seam.

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Then topstitch and you’re ready to insert the collar!

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Look at that model pose!

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They really are super cute and quick! Now this one is sized for about a 65/70 pound dog with a 1″ collar. You can resize for a smaller dog and use the same process.

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I ended up giving the reindeer one to her cousin before she had a chance to model that one. I might just have to make another one! A quick and easy sew for a festive pup! Let me know if you have any questions!

 

ABC- O and Q Quilt Blocks

 

This years Modern Quilt Guild Quiltcon Charity Quilt Challenge is all about Text.

‘Quilts incorporating text have been popular in the modern quilt movement right from the start,” says the MQG. And this year all the participating guilds get to interpret that challenge in a black, white and grey pallette. The SMQG giving committee had a call for design ideas and they landed on one that includes a bunch of letters. You can see more about that here.

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I came home and knew I wanted to make a Q. Instead of using a circle, I had the bright idea of using a hexagon. But then I wasn’t sure how to make the little line for the Q. As I’m thinking this out in my head, it started to look familiar… Like maybe someone else had already done this… Like maybe Jaybird Quilts in her alphabet block book, Alphabet Soup… Yep. That’s where I had seen this! I’ve been wanting to buy this book, but haven’t had a need for quilted letters. Mine are a bit different from hers, but totally inspired by hers!

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And the hexagon used as an O! No patterns were used. I just started with a hexagon. and went from there! 

I really do like these blocks and can’t wait to see what the giving committee comes up with!

Another Handmade Backpack

OK, I’m a pretty bad blogger these days. it’s been a while since I showed anything… I missed back to school, when most people are blogging about back packs! And I made this back pack a while ago… But despite all that, here I am!

The first backpack I made was really cool! I loved the alien backpack! It was designed by the kiddo and so is this one! I don’t know where the design came from, but I have to say it was quite a bit easier to put together than the alien!

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I didn’t use a pattern, but there are some great backpack patterns and tutorials out there! There’s one by Crazy Little Projects that is pretty similar to the one I made. I also love Sew Sweetness Bags and she has two backpack patterns, the Cumberland and Edelweiss patterns. And I like the pattern that So Sew Easy has on their blog. It’s small, but you can enlarge it for a larger kiddo or yourself. I haven’t made any of these patterns, but they can help you make your own, if you don’t want to wing it like I did!

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On the inside I used a laminated cotton fabric. A bright laminated cotton fabric! I made this while I was at a retreat and I didn’t take a non-stick foot, and it did not treat me nicely! But I pushed on anyway!

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I love to add key fobs…

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The design on the outside is what the kiddo designed. It was much easier than the alien, but it was still tricky! Keeping those lines straight wasn’t as simple I thought it would be and especially without the right foot.

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The other thing I think all backpacks should have is the side pockets. I always include elastic, so when it’s not being used, it scrunches up close ot the backpack and doesn’t flop around.

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In the back I padded the straps and angled them out a bit.

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And the kiddo liked it! That’s the best part of the whole thing!

 

Starting the Begonia Quilt

Every year, the Seattle Modern Quilt Guild does a block of the month quilt.

And each year I start them, but I am very behind on finishing them! Like the 2016 BOM… and the 2017 BOM… I’ve finished all the blocks for those quilts, but I haven’t finished the quilt! I did finish the 2015 BOM!

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This year we’re doing the Begonia Quilt designed by Stephanie from Satterwhite Quilts. And this quilt is looking just like her! She loves a HST!

January and February was a lot of cutting! And not a lot of sewing.

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And a LOT of half square triangles! A LOT… And I think there’s more to come!

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This one is kinda like a medallion quilt. Start in the center and then each month is a new border. The other thing about this one is it’s a MYSTERY quilt! No one has any idea what it is going to look like! You should check out the hashtag, #seamqgbom2019 to see all the different versions. It’s so cool how different they all look even though we’re all making the same quilt!

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ok, the lighting is really off for these last two shots, but just when I was thinking it needed a pop of something.. The orange came in!

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Feel free to join us! Even if you’re aren’t a member of the Seattle Modern Quilt Guild, you can still sew along with us here!

 

Another 1 Hour Basket

I’m going through all the pictures I have of unshared projects and here’s another one!

Even though this one is old, I love it! This is a 1 hour basket that I made for a SMQG swap ages ago! This wasn’t my first rodeo, as they say, with the one hour basket. Which technically isn’t one hour if you are piecing and quilting it. Well, at least not for me! I made another one back in 2015. Both times I used the tutorial from Kelby Sews.

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For this one I used the techniques from Sew Katie Did’s Psychedelic Baby Quilt Class. I made a bunch of triangles, sewed them together and then added a top and bottom border.

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For this one, I used ribbon for the handles, rather than making actual handles. And I used some of my favorite fabric, the sprinkles from Cotton and Steel!

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I mentioned this was for a swap. And in the swap, I got this awesome Sew Together bag made by Kristy. I LOVE this bag! I use it all the time! But I’ve always been scared to make my own, so I was so excited to get it in the swap!

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OK, here’s where I need your help! Every year, I make the kiddo’s teacher a tote bag. This year his teacher is a Mr. Do I make a Mr. a totebag? Or do I make a Mr. a 1 hour basket for his desk? Or do you have an even better idea for a Mr. teacher? I was kinda thinking a 1 hour basket might be a nice idea…. Hmmm! Love to hear your thoughts!

Madrona Road Challenge- An OLD WIP, finally finished!

 

If you are a member of the Modern Quilt Guild, you are probably familiar with the fabric challenges they do. I used to love them! I would get so excited and sign up right away for my free fabric. The problem is there are deadlines. You are supposedly to make a quilt using their fabrics within a certain time frame… I had a problem with staying within that timeline… A bad problem..  Does anyone remember the Madrona Road Fabric Challenge???

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In 2012 (yes, 7 years ago now, see what I mean??) The Modern Quilt Guild announced their Winter Fabric Challenge. You signed up and then got the fabric around the first of Decemeber that year and were supposed to finish the quilt by January 31st. This fabric bundle was the Madrona Road line from Violet Craft for Michael Miller.

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I had originally design this quilt to be a rainbow of hexi’s, but when I got this fabric, I decided to go with this designing using the Madrona Road to make the hexi’s. I started these hexi’s the summer of 2013. See, I was already behind. Way behind! Violet Craft had already selected her favorites!

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I finished the top and back in January of 2014! And that’s when this quilt went into the pile of WIP’s. Wishing to be quilted… Yelling at me from the shelf… See, these pictures even have my old ‘logo.’

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Then in 2017, this photo made it’s first appearance in the Finish A Long posts that I was participating in. (still am, though missed the last one!) And it’s been showing up every couple of months since then. Sitting basted, waiting to be quilted….

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And then last year it finally got quilted! What a long story for this little quilt!

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I just quilted it in straight line quilting with accent quilting around the box.

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Of course, the other thing with the challenges is they don’t give you much of the fabric, so you pretty much have to buy more if you want to make more than a mini. and I did. I used the yellow flower fabric on the back.

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And you know I love a label shot!

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So this quilt started back in 2013 and had a long journey of 5 years before I finally finished it last year about this is same time. And I guess you could call it 6 years, if you count the year it took to actually blog about it! I finished it and put it in my son’s school auction. His best friend’s family purchased it and it lives on their couch just a block away! We went over to take care of their cat and I saw it sitting out. I was like, that looks familiar! Ha!

And needless to say, since I can’t keep up with the deadlines of the fabric challenges, I no longer participate in them.

It does feel nice getting a WIP finished and then to know it’s being loved by someone.

 

 

House Mini Challenge

I’m typically not a fan of mini quilts! Being honest here! Ok, I should say, I’m not a fan of making mini quilts. When I make a quilt, I like them ot be big enough to use as a quilt.

But recently I’ve started participating in the Curated Quilts mini challenges that they have for each issue. Have you made any?? This mini was for their House mini challenge.

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I also have never made a house quilt block or a house quilt. Oops, I take that back. I did make some house blocks for a do.Good Stitches quilt. But I haven’t made any on my own. When I saw this challenge come up, I pretty much said nope. Not going to that one! In the end, I couldn’t not play along.

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Do you ever google vintage mid century house plans? If not, you should! Every now and then I do because the drawings and ads and plans are just so cool! Being an architect, I knew that if I was going to do this challenge, I would have to do a floor plan. So I went back to my google searches and found a design I wanted to make into a quilt.

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I took that plan and then laid out how I was going to break it down into a mini quilt.

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And this is what I got! Walls, windows and planters. Originally I had planned to hand quilt in the pavers in the patio. I finished this right before I headed out on summer vacation last year, so the plan was to finish it on the road. That didn’t happen. I really think it would be more dynamic if it did have the hand quilting, but oh, well!

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This quilt did not make the cut! And I totally see why. It’s not my best work, but it was still fun to make it!

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Seattle Modern Quilt Guild Giving Committee 2016

Well, there’s a few things I haven’t done much of lately and one of those things is blogging about my Giving Committee Chair role. And there’s a lot of things I have been doing! Including being Co-Chair of the Seattle Modern Quilt Guild Giving Committee, with Debbie Jeske, for the last three years!

I realized that I haven’t blogged about many of the awesome quilts we coordinated! I’m going to start way back in 2016!

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This one we called Sunset Strips! I was totally inspired by Debbie’s Bacon Quilt and thought it would be a fun one for the group. A little improv, but not too improv! We didn’t have a lot of participation in this one. I am a huge fan of ‘white’ space and this lends itself quite nicely to not a lot of color and plenty of white space.

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The directions that we gave to make the quilt can be found here if you’d like to make you’re own!

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For the back I went crazy with the white space and turned it pink!

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Quilt Name: Sunset Strips
Quilt Size: 60″ x 72″
Blocks created by: Seattle Modern Quilt Guild Members
Pieced by: Louise Wackerman
Quilted by: Jeanell Murphree
Bound by: Debbie Jeske
Organized by: 2016-2018 Giving Committee Chairs, Louise Wackerman & Debbie Jeske
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image via A Quilters Table 

When we took over the Giving COmmittee from the lovely ladies before us, they mentioned that they had talked to a couple of pet rescue organizations to make a quilt for a fundraising item, but it had never come to fruitition. We decided to start our time off, we’d close that gap. For our first one, we worked with Homeward Pet Adoption Center.  (can you find the dog block?) They requested that we design something that represents their organization so we agreed that the quilt would be made using the colors of their logo – blue, purple, brown and white. Enter Clothworks of Seattle, who generously donated beautiful American Made Brand solids for the project.

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image via A Quilters Table 

Guild member were asked to make original improv blocks as they wished using only the fabrics in the bundle they received. They could use some or all of the colors, with blocks being in one of three sizes: 6 1/2″ square, 6 1/2″ x 12 1/2″, or 12 1/2″ square. I thought I’d point out (get it…. ha!) the block I made. It’s an improv log cabin with super skinny lines. I love it and keep saying I’m going to make a quilt like that one day!

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image via A Quilters Table 

The quilting was done by guild member Emily Steed, who had fun with the quilting and gave each block it’s own design!

Quilt Size: 58″ x 70″
Blocks created by: Seattle Modern Quilt Guild Members
Pieced by: Debbie Jeske
Quilted by: Emily Steed
Bound by: Debbie Jeske
Organized by: 2016-2018 Giving Committee Chairs, Louise Wackerman & Debbie Jeske
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image via A Quilters Table 

Next up is another quilt inspired by Debbie’s work! This one I was so excited about that I did blog about the beginning’s of it here. For this one we used Debbie’s X Marks the Improv tutorial and asked the guild to use their stash fabrics to make 12.5″ x 24.5″ blocks in solid reds with yellow accents.

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image via A Quilters Table 

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image via A Quilters Table 

One of my favorite things about guild or bee quilts is the variation in colors. It’s hard for me to that on my own. For one you’d have to have that many different variations on the same color all in your stash! And once the blocks all went together it turned out to be a really striking quilt!

Quilt Name: eXmark
Quilt Size: 72″ x 72″
Blocks by: Seattle Modern Quilt Guild Members
Pieced by: Louise Wackerman
Binding by: Susan Pray
Organized by: 2016-2018 Giving Committee Chairs, Louise Wackerman & Debbie Jeske
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And the last one I want to show today is our version of Little Tents! I love this improv tent triangle block! The colors look like little lit tents on a warm summer night! The pattern is inspired by Ants to Sugar and you can find our details here in case you want to make your own!

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This quilt was made from member’s stash and everyone was asked to make 6.5″, 12.5″ or 18.5″ blocks. The blocks all fell into place just right, but in order to achieve a more random placement effect, I did have to add in a couple of inset seams!

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We had a few blocks that didn’t quite fit on the front, but that always helps ot tie together the back. You can see I have done that in a couple of quilt backs for the group! And we are so lucky to have our fantastic quilt labels thanks to Dionne .

Quilt Name: Little Blue Tents

Quilt Size: 44” x 63”

Blocks by: Seattle Modern Quilt Guild Members

Pieced by:  Louise Wackerman

Quilted by: Jaci Bartol

Binding by: Debbie Jeske

Recipient: Nurse Family Partnership

Organized by: 2016-2018 Giving Committee Chairs, Louise Wackerman & Debbie Jeske

 

And a huge thank you to EVERYONE that helped! these are in no way completely my work! These were all a huge team effort by more people that I can count! Although I’m only sharing these four from 2016, we did help facilitate others, including an improv log cabin and a baby star quilt.  And we also had some other guild members with sharing ideas that the group took on. You can see all of the 19 quilts that the guild did in 2016 here!