Sunday, December 28, 2008

Merry Christmas!

I hope everyone had a great holiday! We're getting ready for our New Year's Party making Happy Blocks for kids quilts. We'll continue making blocks through the end of February.

You can find instructions for the Happy Blocks we'll be making at this link:
Happy Block Instructions

And a twisted version here:
Twisted Happy Blocks

Join us on New Year's Eve and New Year's Day!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

The giving season

At HeartStrings, we work on making and giving string quilts all year around but as I wandered through the HeartStrings blog ring today, I found several posts that I'd thought you'd enjoy reading.

Judy finished four comfort quilts for a family who lost 2 children in a fire.

Ruthie's guild made holiday placemats for Meals on Wheels.

Deb's been collecting hats and scarves for kids in Kosovo.

Nann made a donated a quilt for a fundraiser AND made one for a little boy being adopted.

Hanne finished a string star quilt that was mailed off to be donated to children with long term diseases.

Alycia showed off some of the pillowcases that have arrived from our Pillowcase Party over Thanksgiving weekend. They'll hold the Quilts of Valor that will be donated in May 2009.

JJ continues to make quilts to send to East Timor.

Pat made a Yellow Brick Road quilt that will be donated to a crisis center.

And I took 2 quilts with me on my trip to Virginia for the Angel Tree at Mom's church.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

We're planning another party!

Mark your calendar now for a HeartStrings Party - New Year's Eve and New Year's Day, we'll be making Happy Blocks to start off our special project for January and February. (You didn't think we ONLY did string quilts did you?)

We're going to be making quilts for kids so pull out your novelty fabrics and some brights to go along with them!

Instructions for the blocks can be found at the link below:
Happy Blocks Instructions.

If you're a little twisted like me, there's a twisted version of the block too BUT you'll need to make a full set of 48 blocks or piece the entire top to send these in. If you just want to make a few blocks use the instructions above.
TWisted Happy Blocks Instructions.

Email me at with questions or for the mailing address to send in blocks.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

A new quilt by Hanne

Hanne recently finished another string quilt that will be donated to children with longterm diseases in Norway.

You can see other quilts by Hanne by clicking the link below:
Hanne's HeartStrings Quilts

Thursday, December 4, 2008

HeartStrings Quilts by Connie

I spent some time today updating our online photo albums. Have you seen these two quilts by Connie? I love both of them.

Monday, December 1, 2008

A successful party!

Pillowcases by Barbara in FL

Although they're a departure from our usual HeartStrings quilts, we worked on making pillowcases this weekend.

Initially our thought was to make and send some pillowcases to Alycia for her 2009 Quilts of Valor project but that idea was expanded into a 2 day *virtual* sewing party with 266+ pillowcases being made for Quilts of Valor, ConKerr Cancer, Operation Support for Deployed Military and other local charitable organizations.

Thanks to everyone who participated!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

HeartStrings and Quilts of Valor

Becky has been working with RWB Chinese Coins sections donated this summer by HeartStrings members and has several quilts ready to ship off to Alycia to be donated as Quilts of Valor for wounded soldiers. You can see the others at Becky's blog.

We're also making pillowcases this weekend to send to Alycia - the Quilts of Valor are placed in pillowcases and with a goal of 400 QOV for 2009, she'll need some help. You can use any pattern you like - I was shown how to make them by Ethel who sews them for Operation Support for Deployed Military and since I learn best with lots of photos, I took step by step photos to share as I made my first ones earlier this week.

Sunday, November 9, 2008


Wondering what fabric to use for making pillowcases during our Pillowcase Party on Thanksgiving weekend??

Alycia wrote today:

I tell you what - Anything goes!! I have some mickey mouse pillowcases and western ones and - oh my - they are just so cool! I have been making sure that the floral/feminine pillowcases go with girly quilts - so maybe think more generic - that I could put any quilt it there?? Male or Female?

I'm going to head for my Blue stash first and go from there!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Save these dates

November 29 & 30

We're having a Pillowcase Party to make pillowcases in patriotic colors for Alycia's Quilt of Valor Project. The pillowcases are used to present the quilts to the wounded soldiers - you don't have to have patriotic fabrics....just use Red/White (or beige)/ Blue in any combinations.

Pillowcase instructions (no exposed seams - I like that!) from the website Operation Support for Deployed Military.

I made a few practice ones and took lots of photos so if the directions still seem fuzzy, take a look at the step by step photos and see if it's any easier.

As always, if you have a local charity feel free to work alongside us and donate your pillowcases to any organization you choose.

There will be door prizes so make sure you email me during the Party weekend to tell me you're sewing with us and I'll send you Alycia's mailing address.
Email Mary at

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Green for Guys

Our project for September/October is ended. If you've made any Green centered blocks, please try to mail them this week. They'll be combined with other donations into quilts and donated.

Betty is shown below with a full set of green centered blocks she made, this top was assembled at the sew-in and is waiting for quilting.

Email me if you need the mailing address to send in your green centered blocks at

Stay tuned for information about our Pillowcase Party to be held Thanksgiving weekend.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Inspired by HeartStrings

Linda shared these photos of her "Autumn Splendor" quilt inspired in part by our HeartStrings quilts. I love the sashing and border choices she made in this quilt and the Baptist Fan quilting looks great too.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Project Pink

Jennifer continues to make progress on the Project Pink quilts, she just posted this photo of the 10th quilt she's finished (from donated blocks and tops) on her blog.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Rochester Sew-in

Sorry, not the best photos here but we had such a good time at our Sew-in yesterday and I wanted to share the photos with you.

In this first one, Sue is standing with the pile of blocks she bought with her. Since the inventory was almost completely depleted before our Block Party a few weeks ago - these are all recent donations - and Sue has already sent some of them out and there are more coming so you can imagine how many blocks there were made during the Block Party.

In addition to sewing more blocks - we assembled 7 tops yesterday - unfortunately I don't have photos of most of them - not sure how we managed to miss taking photos of them all but Sue did share some tops that were assembled by her and her Mom that are in the link at the end of this post.

We also learned how to make pillowcases with the "sausage roll" method - no exposed seams from Ethel. We're planning a pillowcase Virtual Sew-in next month and I hope you will all join us.
The rest of the photos can be seen in the MN/WI October 2008 Sew-in album.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Green for Guys

Just one week left in our Sept/Oct project to make green centered blocks and quilts for guys. Here's a top already completed by Laura, it's heading to Jay in NE where it will be quilted and donated.

For the mailing address to send blocks - email me at

Friday, October 17, 2008

HeartStrings and Quilts of Valor

Do you remember the story of June, a HeartStrings member, and Al? Take a look at this previous post and then click on the YouTube link to see Al's video.

June and Al - HeartStrings quilts for Quilts of Valor

Al's video

Also, don't forget that HeartStrings members are helping Alycia meet of her of 400 Quilts of Valor.

Alycia's Blog

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Don't forget the MI/WI area Sew-in

Where: Rochester, MN

When: October 25, 2008

Time: 9:00 - 4:00 PM

Email Mary at or Sheree at for details.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Sometimes it's fun to pick and choose

I'm a big fan of string quilts that have a little of everything tossed in but I also love ones that have a bit of a plan too. Take a look at the following quilts and be inspired to create your own.

By Peggy
Peggy, a new HeartStrings member shared a link to photos of string quilts she's made and donated including this black/white & red one.

Peggy's String Quilts

Here are a few other HeartStrings quilts with a coordinated look.

RWB by Fran & Lynn
Pink and Green by Marianne & Jennifer
Yellow and Red by Hanne

Friday, October 3, 2008

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Last year we did a special project using pink strings and made a number of quilts that have been donated to Breast Cancer patients.

Thanks to the great response we had, Jennifer continues to work with the blocks received to assemble, quilt and donate additional quilts.

If you'd like to make and donate a HeartStrings quilt for a breast cancer patient, you can find lots of inspiration in our online Pink Strings album.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

More on Tying Quilts

(Photo used with permission)

Tanya posted about her group at church tying a Prayers and Squares quilt for one of their members.

In addition to being a quicker way to finish quilts, tying a quilt can be a way to incorporate prayers for an individual into the actual gifting of the quilt.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Tying a HeartStrings Quilt

While most of our HeartStrings quilts are quilted by volunteers there's another way to finish these quilts. Tying was a traditional way to finish string quilts and is still a wonderful way to finish HeartStrings quilts.

Bonnie Hunter
posted photo's of her Charity Bee tying a HeartStrings top that was pieced and donated by Laura (the photos are shown here with Bonnie's permission).

More information can be found at the links below.
Tying a quilt
Quilt Tying Tips from Quiltmaker Magazine

What happens to the HeartStrings Blocks you donate?

In addition to all the HeartStrings quilts made from start to finish by individual members of our group, many of us work on assembling, quilting, binding, and donating quilts from the blocks sent in for group quilts.

I wanted to give you just a small sampling of the numerous quilts that have been made from blocks YOU have sent in and thank you all for participating in our Block Party this weekend that will result in even more quilts that will be donated to those in need.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Block Party Weekend

We're sewing up HeartStrings blocks this weekend to replace our depleted inventory. Please join in and make a few blocks with us.

Blocks should be made according the the guidelines but you can use RED, GREEN, or BLUE centers this weekend.

Block Guidelines

Email me for the address to send in blocks and to let me know that you've participated and how many blocks you made (1 or 100 - it's all good!)

Email Mary at

Thursday, September 25, 2008

MN/WI area Sew-in October 25

Mark your calendars and join us for a sew-in in Rochester, MN

Date: October 25
Where: Holy Cross Lutheran Church, off Elton Hills Dr
Hours: 9am - 4pm

What to bring:

  • Sewing machine
  • Strips and Strings
  • Pot Luck contribution if staying for lunch
Please contact us for additional details or to let us know you'll be attending by emailing Mary at

Monday, September 22, 2008

We're having a Block Party

Sue tells me that her block inventory is getting low so we're going to have a Block Party next weekend - September 27-28.

We'll sew on Saturday and/or Sunday and you can make 1 block or 100 to mail in to Sue (or Stephanie if in AUS).

You can choose to make GREEN centered blocks for our Sept/Oct project or BLUE or RED centered HeartStrings blocks. (RED for AUS)

Please use the guidelines for making the blocks:

Anyone participating will be eligible for some door prizes - again, the number of blocks you make doesn't matter - participation does!

If you're unable to participate on the weekend - you can sew up a few blocks this week and still be eligible for the door prizes.

Will anyone join me?

Green for Guys

Are you making HeartStrings blocks with green centers for our September/October project? I'm leaving out the pinks, purples, and large florals and tossing in a bit of everything else for my blocks.

Please consider making some blocks and sending them in to be combined with other donations into quilts for guys. Email me for the mailing address at

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Checking in with Alycia's QOV project

The current count on Alycia's blog is 136 tops and quilts, of these 90 are quilted. She's well on her way to meeting her goal of 400 Quilts of Valor for 2009.

Pictured below is the most recent HeartStrings top, sent by Laura.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Happy Quilt

Annie is a HeartStrings quilter who had made a ton of HeartStrings blocks and tops. She recently posted this Happy Quilt on her blog and talked about where this one is being donate.

One reason this caught my eye is that I just sent a HeartStrings quilt to Tristan, another little boy with Leukemia. I hope the quilts bring these two boys some warmth and comfort as they face the challenges ahead.

Monday, September 15, 2008


Inspired by the blocks below pieced by Cheri, Helen decided to make her own Rainbow string quilt. Click on their names below visit both their blogs for other inspiring quilts.

Cheri works with Project Linus and has used HeartStrings blocks in the past with her group to make and donate quilts.

Helen lives in the UK and makes and donates quilts to a variety of children's charities.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Where do you find inspiration?

Have you been browsing through the new HeartStrings Blog Ring? Here are some recent quilts posted by members.

From my blog
, Half String Hearts. An instruction sheet for making this quilt is available on my site.

On Becky's blog, a Funky Caterpillar quilt from RWB coins donated by HeartStrings members. She also wrote instructions for this quilt and shared them.

Ruthie shared a chinese coins quilt that she dressed up with buttons and yo-yo's.

If you are a HeartStrings quilter and have a blog, you can join our blog ring.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Let's go Green for Guys

After getting some input from HeartStrings members who attended the WI/MN area sew-in August 2nd, I chose Green for Guys as our special project for September and October 2008.

Think guy quilts as you create HeartStrings blocks using a center green strip. Use the guidelines and remember to replace the center red or blue strip with a 2 inch green strip.

Make one block, a set of 48, or anything in between. Email me for the address to mail blocks.

Friday, August 22, 2008

HeartStrings Blog Ring

Click on the logo to view the blogs of HeartStrings quilters.

HeartStrings members and bloggers - don't forget to sign up for the new HeartStrings blog ring.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


Every now and then it's fun to try something different. Here are a couple fun string quilt variations from HeartStrings members.

Melva's quilt uses a block with strings in just half of the block - doesn't the sashing add a lot to this quilt too?

Lori's quilt uses light and dark strings on each side of her center rather than mixing them all up.