Thursday 12 June 2014

More inspiration from Katie of Swim, Bike, Quilt

We are so thrilled to have the wonderful Katie share her inspiration and free patterns with us this month...

Hi! My name is Katie Blakesley, and I blog at Swim, Bike, Quilt. My blog has been a little quieter than normal lately due to a difficult pregnancy and an impending cross country move (from Virginia to Oregon); I hope you will still visit.

I’m happy to be talking a little bit about this month’s Le Challenge blog theme, charity.  I know my life is happier when I think about charity in a broad sense—trying to show a little more love, kindness and forgiveness for myself and those around me—which includes choosing to believe the best in others instead of the worst.

Since this is a sewing related post, I'm going to share a little about my experience with charity quilts, and include a few free pattern ideas that work really well for donation quilts.

If you are interested in making a quilt for someone in need, the easiest thing to do is to join in a charity quilt drive or group that is already established. Not only do you benefit from a cheering section, deadlines, a cause, and sometimes even prizes (not that we sew for prizes but its kind of fun anyway), but you don't have to do any organizing. It's already done for you!

For several years, I have organized a yearly quilt drive called 100 Quilts for Kids. It has been a wonderful thing in my life, and I’m so happy to announce that my fellow DC Modern Quilt Guild member and friend Heather Tompkins of Quilts in the Queue will be continuing as the organizer of 100 Quilts for Kids. Make sure to follow her blog as she announces 2014 dates and fun! I hope you will consider participating.

100 Quilts  = fun + easy!

1. Make a quilt.  Great time to use bee blocks, try a new pattern, practice your free motion quilting, or experiment with a design of your own.

2. Donate it to a child in need, locally if you can.  Consider donating your quilt(s) to a local foster care program, domestic violence center, homeless shelter, children’s hospital, or to a local military family support organization. You can also mail them to the DC Modern Quilt Guild if you would prefer.

There are so many great charities and sewing circles out there!! If you don’t know where to donate your quilt, try one of these organizations or quilt drives: Margaret’s Hope ChestBumble Beans Basics, do.Good StitchesProject Linus, the work done by Sarah and her Quilt Ministry, and Siblings Together.

If you are interested, here is a little information about 100 Quilts for Kids in 2013!  Check out the quilts linked up here, in the Flickr Group, and using the hashtag #100quilts4kids on Instagram.

In the past few years, the DC Modern Quilt Guild has donated quilts to a domestic violence shelter for women and kids in Alexandria, VA; a community group that supports indigent families in DC;  and the DC center that transitions children to foster care.  In some cases, quilts have been hung on walls to brighten up sometimes dreary and non-inviting spaces. In other cases, they have been given to kids who need some comfort and care.  You can’t really go wrong with that, I think. 

Free Patterns for Charity Quilts I thought I would share a few free patterns to get you started thinking about quilts for kids. If you aren’t up for making a quilt by yourself, ask a local guild, group of friends, or quilting bee to each make a block for you, or invite friends over to your house and teach some basic sewing lessons! I have done all of these--there is no wrong way to sew for charity. 

The Wonky Star Quilt 
Last year, Dear Stella donated this great fabric for a Wonky Star Quilt and a number of friends in my guild made 15’’ wonky star blocks using this tutorial. I was able to quilt and bind the quilt, and I think it was a great group effort. If you have bee blocks or sampler blocks that are just sitting around, its a simple way to use them! 

Star Bright Quilt 
I made one of my all time favorite quilts last year, and shared a downloadable free Star Bright Quilt Pattern. Its available on Craftsy or my blog.  

The LOVE Quilt
I’ve always loved this Love quilt made by Jessica for 100 Quilts for Kids a number of years ago.  Kelly Bowser has a tutorial for the free wonky letters at Sew, Mama, Sew.  

Linked Octagons 
Anjeannette Klinder has a great free pattern on the Moda Bake Shop

Giant Starburst Quilt Along 
Megan has a great Giant Starburst Quilt Along on her blog, Canoe Ridge Creations. This would be a fun and simple quilt to make!  

I hope this post helps you think a bit more about charity quilts, and that you join in on a charity project this year!

Huge thanks to Katie for joining us and providing such brilliant links and ideas! We wish you all the best with your pregnancy and move :)

1 comment:

  1. Oh man that sounds like a challenging move. I wish you fortitude and blessings. I can only imagine what being on the recieving end of one of those beautiful quilts would feel like. I know I love to make things for others. Nice inspiration!


Thanks for your comment!
We will reply to any of your questions here on the comments section of the blog so please check back.