This has been a busy week. I’ve done Quality Control (QC) on a box of quilt tops I received from Noreen Fling to get them ready to go to longarmers. That meant checking them for appropriate size, modifying them if required and making backs, binding and labels. I was lucky enough to have substantial assistance from my good friend, Shirley, without whom I would still be working on those tops! They’ll go in the mail tomorrow AM.
Some folks wonder where our tops come from. Over the last year I’ve seen some come from all over the US and as far away as Japan and Korea. A lot of them have been made by quilters at the International Quilt Festivals in Chicago and Houston, by quilters visiting from all over the world. Many tops are made specifically with us in mind, and others are sent to us because they didn’t work out for their intended recipient and the quilter wanted to do something with them to get them out of their house! Sometimes the tops have labels including the names of the creators, but many times we don’t have that information.
When I got the box from Noreen, I decided that probably a third of the tops were made by “toppers” who had us in mind. They were the perfect dimensions, and the fabric was clearly selected with children in mind. Lovely! All we had to do there was add the backing and binding and they were ready to roll!
Another third was probably made at one of the Quilt Festivals. The piecing was inconsistent with some tops — perhaps made by multiple people working at different times on a single top? The fabrics were wild, in some cases. We receive a lot of wonderful fabric donations from vendors, which aren’t always juvenile fabrics. This gives us a great chance to try some new things, and since our intended recipients range in age from infants to 17 years old, this is a wonderful source of quilts for some of the older children who might want something a little bit more sophisticated. I did some trimming of edges on these, but on the whole they were the right dimensions and not a lot of work to prepare.
The last third were the group of quilts that were probably donated because someone changed their minds about finishing them for their initial intended recipient and wanted to just give them away to someone else who might appreciate them. I really enjoyed working with these, because they challenged me the most. We added borders to most to make them just the right size. In one case, I took a larger quilt top and turned it into two really cute tops that will make two children very happy! One top was probably the topper’s nightmare. It was a trip around the world where some of the blocks and rows had gotten mixed up and the topper just gave up on it and sent it to us. Out came the seam ripper, and it made me so happy when it was done that I’ll be quilting that one myself!
Anyway, I really enjoyed working with these over the last week. I loved it when we were able to add borders and binding in colors that would just tie the quilt together and make it sing! And what a great feeling of accomplishment to see them all boxed up and ready to head to the Post Office tomorrow morning!
For the longarmers, Barbara, Nan, Sandy, Judy, Marcia and Donna, here’s a sneak peak at some of the quilts that will be coming your way. I didn’t have the names of many of the piecers, so if anyone out there spots a quilt top that you made, please add a comment to this post so we can add your name to the label.
Top by Helen
Top by Sandra
Top by Billie Lynn
Smaller version of larger original
Original center from larger top with new borders
Trip around the world
Cats in the Garden
- Car Quilt
Above, with the Car Quilt, is a photo of my pal, Shirley, who stitched many borders and backs, helped me with design decisions, and held all the quilts for photos. Her toes and fingers are featured in most of the shots. Unlike many seniors who have quilted for years, Shirley took up quilting just a few years ago in her 70’s! You GO, Girl!! Thanks for all the help!
Thanks, also, to Noreen for sending me this box of fun. Special thanks to the longarmers who are going to receive these, as well as all the longarmers who have taken 54 more earlier in February and March! You ladies do amazing things on these quilts, and I know that Carolyn will be thrilled when she receives them to take on the trip to Ethiopia. And thanks to the Toppers, known and unknown! Your combined magic will make many little children very happy!