Thursday, June 28, 2007

Looking at our first 6 months

As June draws to a close, I've been looking at what we've accomplished in our first 6 months.

Sharing the stories on this blog about the quilters who are participating in the project is inspiring to me as I continue to work on my HeartStrings quilts and I know there are many participating quietly. I frequently come across photos or a mention of HeartStrings quilts or blocks just in reading online group messages or quilting blogs.

We try to keep a database of donated quilts so we can count the number of donations and identify which organizations are receiving quilts. If you've made and donated a HeartStrings quilt that we don't know about - please send me an email and a picture and let us know which organization (or individual) received it.

Take some time to look through our online photo albums and see the finished quilts as well as those in progress and if you haven't already, share your Heartstrings Project Quilts with us.

In the next couple months we'll have our second MN/WI area sew-in this time in Roberts, WI and we'll be working on our Purple Project. I hope you'll join us.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

The Purple Project - HeartStrings Quilts for Kids

Following the success of our Chinese Coins project and inspired by Stephanie's recent children's quilts we'll have a special project for July and August 2007.

We'll be making and collecting HeartStrings blocks with purple centers made according to the guidelines EXCEPT for the substitution of a 2 inch purple center string. Blocks should be mailed to Sue (US) and Megan (AUS) by mid September to be assembled into quilts for children.

Since these quilts will be made with 24 blocks versus the 48 blocks needed for the typical HeartStrings quilts, I hope to receive enough blocks for several quilts. As always, you are welcome to make and assemble your own quilts rather than mail the blocks - just remember to send us a photo.

We'll continue to accept HeartStrings blocks with red and blue centers (US) and red centers (AUS).

Email me with any questions or for the mailing addresses for sending blocks.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

MN/WI area sew-in

On July 14, HeartStrings quilters will meet again this time at 9:00 AM in Roberts, WI for another sew-in.

Kathy writes: "We'll sew, eat, chat and have fun. Breakfast will be juices, coffee and tea with some fun goodies to eat. Lunch will be pizza ordered in with potluck for salad and dessert.

The building is handicap accessible with a great country setting along a small lake.We'll be bringing sewing machines, pressing supplies, rotary cutting supplies and other goodies to make blocks, tops and backs for HeartStrings quilts.

We will be making a Quilt of Valor for an injured returning service man or woman. Our color theme will be red/white/blue because of the patriotic theme of the quilt and in honor of the 4th of July(American Independence Day)."

Please let Kathy know if you're able to come - we'd like a head count if possible beforehand and she can give you directions.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Inspiration from Australia

Stephanie wrote: Thought I'd share another quilt. It was made by Dee from my group who was inspired by our sewing day that was featured in the magazine. Her picture is on the blog from that day.

She has an autistic nephew called Lyndon who turned 21 last week. Lyndon loves red, and all things fish. Dee was full of enthusiasm after our Heartstring sewing day and decided to make Lyndon a Heartstring quilt. She used red centres, and all of the strings are inspired by the sea. Fish, dolphins, coral, swirls, water, shells, you get the picture.

Then she fussy cut fish from printed fabrics and appliqued them on with sparkly thread. Quilted waves, swirling current and bubbles in the fishy border. It is gorgeous, the picture really doesn't show how good it looks in real life.

You can see a picture of Dee working on HeartStrings blocks in this previous blog post - scroll down the page to the last photo.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

HeartStrings for Children

Stephanie in Australia sent me photos of her two recent finishes and says the finished tops are going off in the mail this week. She writes "Both are good sizes for children, as requested by Julie for the orphanage" and she shares her instructions for making them.

Blue bubbles is made from 24 blue centre HeartStings blocks with a couple of stash borders to highlight. Gold border is cut 2", blue border is cut 4 1/2". I used a generous 1/4" seam, finished size is 47" x 63".

Wild at Heart is made from 24 assorted string blocks given to me for Heartstrings, by fellow Stitch by Stitch member Dora Carbone, sashed and bordered by me with a wild purple fabric from my stash. I cut the sashings and cornerstones 2 ", and the outer border 2 1'2". Finished size 44" x 66".

You may remember Stephanie and her group from this previous blog post and they were featured in two magazine articles - in the May/June issue of Australian Quilters Companion and the May issue of Australian Homespun Magazine.

Guidelines for making the HeartStrings blocks are on our website.

Stephanie also wrote more about the orphanage the quilts will be donated to. "At the very end of last year a net buddy from another list posted up a message about wanting to make a number of quilts for an African orphanage. I emailed her and asked if she would like ufos/quilt tops too, as well as the blocks she had asked for. Her name is Julie Tobler, from Queensland (opposite side of Australia from me) The orphanage she has chosen is one that has recently been completed. Her partner is from Africa, and knows a fair bit about Bethel"

It is located in Kafue, Zambia. Please visit the web site here.

Bethel Orphanage is a charitable organization among Christian charities caring for orphans. AIDS in Africa has increased the burdens of child charity organizations like Bethel Orphanage that help children orphaned from poor families. Orphanages have a challenge of keeping up with the growing numbers of orphans. The Orphanage currently supports over 100 children. Most of the children are AIDS victims that lost their parents from the AIDS epidemic.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Chinese Coins

I completed the first top from our Chinese Coins project today. I had originally thought that we'd get 3-5 tops (including one from Becky from sections I'd sent her) but after making this top, I think I've underestimated how many quilts we'll be able to make from these donated coins.

You can see the fabric used for the borders and sashing below - a really cute heart print that Pam let me know was on sale at her site Real Women Quilt.

Monday, June 4, 2007

Use the Stash Challenge

Judy Laquidara of Sunshine Quilts and the founder of the Stash Quilts blog ring issues a monthly Use the Stash Challenge to encourage quilters to dive into their stashes and make quilts using the fabric we already have.

Judy's challenge for June is to make and donate a quilt to your favorite organization. Since HeartStrings quilts use all those little leftover bits and pieces of our stash to make donation quilts this is a great challenge for us.

Join in the fun and visit Judy's site and let her know you're playing along.

Since our Chinese Coins project has just come to an end, I'll be pulling borders and sashing from my stash and will be assembling quilts from the coin sections sent in by HeartStrings quilters.

Saturday, June 2, 2007


I love this recent photo of a HeartStrings quilt top that Nann posted (I see one of these in my future)! Don't you love the touch of red?