Tuesday, January 9, 2007

Charity Project - Bento Box Quilts

Monday I pulled out and worked on another project loooooong over due! Last year in January I joined the Sunshine Quilters with the HGTV board. They make 2 blocks of a selected pattern each month and mail to the hostess - she in return, puts them all into a quilt(s) and donates to a charity of her choice. (Usually a childrens charity, although they have done nursing homes, and Quilts With Love for soldiers.) Each month is different and it is a lot of fun! I included the link in case anyone wants to check it out. :) Also here is the link to our group's finished quilts we have made and donated.

There is no membership and they are not strict on if you participate each and every month and it is not a requirement to ever host but I felt the need to at the beginning of last year so I signed up for March and selected the Bento Box pattern for everyone to mail to me. Only I did something a little different - I asked everyone not to join the 4 quarters of the blocks that I would do that b/c I planned to mix them all up. I got this idea after one that I had seen on line.

(This was a hard photo to get with the wind - as you can see I have not trimmed the extra backing and batting off yet. Will do that when I'm ready to bind.)

Everyone sent me the required two blocks and some members even sent 4 or 5 blocks! Last summer I put together the first top together and paid to have it machine quilted by a longarmer in the group. She gave me a very VERY affordable price since it is for our charity project and also included the batting in her price! I had never had a top quilted by a longarmer before and after gettting it back - all I can say is WOW she did a F-A-N-T-A-S-T-I-C job!!! I love the swirls she choose to do in the quilting design and she even used bright variegated thread which I think is so cool!

I was able to spread out on the bed and get a close-up of the quilting on Bento Box #1 for your to see.

Before Christmas I laid out on the floor more quarter blocks for top #2 and pinned them into rows so I will know what order they are to go in. Yesterday and today I have been busying sewing them together into blocks. I am close to having it all put together and will have to go looking for the perfect boarder fabric to go on it. I so wish I had bought all that was left on the bolt of the boarder fabric in top #1... but I was not thinking ahead at the time.

The backing for quilt #1 is the same fabric as the corners. (Will edit and show photo here) Again - didn't buy enough of that either. :P I used only 2 quarters of each blocks in this top and mixed the quarters up so that the child that receives this quilt can play find "this block's opposite". Funny how when I requested everyone use bright kid colors - everyone thought the same - orange and yellow :c) So I have had to make some green, blue, red and purple blocks to mix among all the orange and yellow or pink and yellow.... but the tops are going to look nice.

Top #1 is still waiting a label to be created and sewn as I attach the binding. I will probably wait and do all of this at the same time after tops #2 and #3 are done. I rather donate them all at once rather than one at a time anyway. I hope to get top #2 mailed to the longarmer in the next week and then begin working on top #3 and have it to her in February and finish all three quilts before March '07! I am not gonna feel guilty about taking a year to complete b/c others in the group have taken that long too...

On our next pay day I will be going to look for boarder/backing fabrics for top #2 so I can get it sent to be quilted- those are legal purchases thankfully!!! :-) Maybe this time I will look for a boarder that isn't so busy. Here is a photo of the quilt that I saw on line that gave the inspriation to take on this project! :c)

It was made by Patsy a friend from the HGTV boards and she was so nice to let me use her photo :c) I really love her lime green boarders! ~Bonnie