Monday, April 12, 2021

Hands2Help Check-in

This is the first check-in for H2H at Confessions of a Fabric Addict this year, and I have a flimsy finish!

I was dodging the rain showers and bright sunshine, but I managed to run out and get this photo in high cloud. Wind is often a factor here, and it was playing a bit with the flimsy today too, so it looks a little wonky.
I was going to make this quilt similar to Still Waters which I made last summer, but then I thought why not split the block in two with the opposing colour being the 1" strip down the centre? Did a little math, and voilà! A fast and interesting quilt. 

With a little story, of course.

One of Sarah's suggestions is that we try to make a quilt for an essential worker this year. This was on my mind from waaaay back, because my neighbour, S, who shares a part of our back fence with us, works at our local grocery store. She has two school-age boys, who are sometimes babysat by her mum. S's mum has a sweet brown dog named Shadow.

Shadow is the same age as Rocco was, and they became best buds in no time. Shadow still comes to the fence, looking for Rocco... Rufus has gone over once or twice to say hi, but Shadow thinks Rufus is a young goofus, so he's not too interested.
November 2020

That's a single frame from the little video I took of the two seniors, just three weeks before we had to make that terribly painful decision to let Rocco cross the rainbow bridge. Rocco and Shadow well... as you can see, they'd sniff noses. Lift their arthritic male legs and pee. Sniff where the other peed. Kick up a bit of turf, you know, let each other know they were still macho. Tails going to beat the band.

We first connected through the dogs, so I wanted to symbolize that, which is why I have brown for Shadow and blue/greys for Rocco. I want the quilt to be not-fancy, to be the kind that sits on the couch for when they're watching TV, thinking Shadow might hop up to snuggle with the boys too. Rocco loved his couch time.

Here it is on the design wall, when I was balancing out the darks. I'm sure you know, but going into Edit in your Photos and changing the colour to Mono will give you a black and white view of the photo which is very helpful for ensuring the lights and darks are evenly distributed, especially when you have different colour families.

I used mostly light and bright blues with some grey-blues as a nod to Rocco's breed: a blue-nose pittie. Shadow has some pit in him too but he's mostly a Heinz 57. Florals had to be in the quilt because S spends some of her down time in her flowerbeds. I love that there are vintage fabrics and brand new ones, regular cotton and a few batiks.

Seeing S in the grocery store, knowing she has a young family, recognizing that she is putting herself directly into a risky situation each time she goes to work, makes my heart go out to her. I want her to know how much I appreciate her. I plan to back this with a navy fuzzy fleece. Couch quilts, you know.

Brief tutorial

If you would like to make one like this, simply cut two rectangles 4.5" x 9.5" of one colour. Cut one 1.5" x 9.5" rectangle of the contrasting colour. Sew it between the larger rectangles. The block should measure 9.5" square. This made no dent at all in my strings 😣 but it did make a noticeable dent in my blue scraps sorting box and in my brown scraps baggie. 🥳 Just after finishing this post, I had a lightbulb go on in my head. Sigh. Eternally, infernally gifted, with afterthought: I knew I had a scrap of dogs on blue fabric somewhere... Finally found it. There was enough to replace one of the squares in the quilt, which I now have done. Ah, but you will have to come back for the finish to see it!

I already have made two other H2H quilts, both of which need to be delivered (but now we are in a month-long stay at home order, so they will have to wait a bit). One is another quilt for an essential worker, Rainbow VIP, which I made for my good friend Anna, who is a kindergarten teacher, and the other is Delia, which will go to an Indigenous or new immigrant girl, delivery made possible through my good friend Tammy.

I still plan to make at least one more, either for Tammy to give as she sees a need, or to send a top to Victoria's Quilts Canada.

Thank you Sarah, for hosting this oh-so-worthwhile event again this year.

I'll be back tomorrow with the cutting directions for the Follow Your Own Path QAL! It's not too late to join. 😁


  1. Another month long "stay at home" order? Things are opening up here. I hope we aren't making a mistake doing that.

  2. I know Ontario has gone into another "Stay at home" period, but, I confess that other than knowing the vaccination effort in Canada is lagging, I don't know why. Is it lack of supply or difficulties with distribution or both? In the US, of course, the surge in cases is due to stubbornness and outright denial and a huge case of "Your can't tell me what to do". I'm thankful to be fully vaccinated, but annoyed the the behavior of others will still limit our freedom to go about our business. Sorry, off my soapbox. The quilt for your neighbor hero shows your usual thoughtfulness and I'm sure will be much appreciated.

  3. I am positive that S is going to be really touched by this gift. And how sweet that Shadow and Rocco bonded so sweetly through the fence.

  4. You have such a generous heart and a great talent for putting together fabric to make the most lovely quilts. Your pattern looks easy and will be a great way to use up fabric scraps...if only I had them that long. If not, I'll just have to make new ones!

  5. This lovely quilt is also from Rocco, to S and Shadow, love that photo of the two, memories will be in every block with their colours . The workers we value so much, every day they are there, in danger, hope you can manage with your lockdown, here in NZ our Government has stopped all people travelling from India to stop for two weeks. The photos there of their so overcrowded hospitals is frightening. Stay safe and well.

  6. I agree these essential workers seem to have been forgotten the world over. Obviously medical staff are essential workers, but they aren't the only ones, who risked, and still risk, getting ill so we can get our shopping etc. etc.

  7. It looks great so far. I made a similar pattern, but my strip down the middle was definitely not 1.5 inches. LOL

  8. Hi Sandra! I adore this post about Shadow and Rocco . . . and the bond they made. I love even more that there will be a quilt to honor their unique friendship or petship, if you will. Couch time plus a quilt sounds like a win/win to me. So nice that you're making others for some essential workers that touch your heart. I know they will appreciate your thoughtfulness. {{Hugs}} ~smile~ Roseanne P.S. I'll be back for cutting instructions tomorrow!

  9. Fast and easy quilt project for Hands2Help. Thanks for the mini tutorial, Sandra!

  10. What a wonderful gift and a fun tutorial. I am so procrasting today but finally catching up on the at least that is something. Not sure I will post on the catchup...but such a sweet quilt and I know she will love it and its backstory!

  11. Quick, fun and cute, a definitie winner on the quilt design front. Love the stories of the two doggie buddies. Definitely a winner for someone who works in a capacity that isn't often appreciated for the necessity and importance that it is.

  12. A wonderful quilt for an important essential worker. Love the back story!


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