Monday, May 23, 2022

Hands2Help Gingham Quilt

This is my third quilt for Hands2Help this year, and my eighth year of participating. This one was a DrEAMi, as in a Drop Everything And Make it project. It is not a true DrEAMi, in that I did not drop everything until it was done, but it did definitely take me away from regularly scheduled sewing for two separate chunks of time: cutting and constructing. From starting to piece until finished quilt it took just 24 hours!

It started with making a string placemat for the RSC challenge, which happens to be forest and sage green for this month... I had the squares all cut and on the design wall on May 9. And then a couple of other necessities preempted its completion: La Mer (I behaved, and finished up a UFO) and making the Pop Star flimsy for my QAL.

I noticed that I actually did have a fair amount (in smaller chunks) of these shades of green, and some of them are pretty old! In my newfound desire to "use it all up" I decided that I could probably cut these chunks of forest greens into 5" squares. They would be the dark, and I was sure I could find some sage greens for the medium...
Friday May 20

Well, I didn't have enough of any one in my 1/3 to 1/4 yard drawer organizers, so I checked on my shelves of yardage, and I spied this adorable Laurel Burch (have I said recently how much I love her fabric? No? Well, there I just did, and now I feel better.) Moving on. I thought it might do the trick, and I did have enough. Just. You need 40 squares of the medium. The dark and light have a lot less. I was having trouble finding a light that worked with the forest and sage, and then I thought of maybe a beige or cream... and found this lovely solid. I think it's a lawn, because it's very soft and lighter in weight than regular quilting cotton. It really was a lovely little chunk of soft fine fabric. So this is the convo I often have with myself:

Maybe I shouldn't use it.... it's so beautiful a hand.

Okay, well what should you use it for then? 


Maybe a camisole...

I don't make them!

Maybe I bought it for a lining for ... ??

Still no idea?

Okay, sold. Use it.

So I did. And it's all gone. I ended up having to cut five different forest greens to get the required number of squares, but they all read the same, so they work. The cream actually takes on a bit of a greenish hue, doesn't it?!

I pieced, quilted and applied the binding all with the same Madeira polyester thread. Not one break while quilting with it in Avril. I am SO happy she had her spa last summer. She is back to taking on any kind of thread and stitching beautifully. Speaking of taking on any kind of thread and stitching beautifully, I pieced this on my 1947 Featherweight, Billie, and she continues to amaze me with her sewing prowess. 
Finished on Saturday May 21! Storms all evening meant I had to wait until Sunday for photos.

For the backing, again I went to my shelves of yardage since the backing vault didn't really have anything I wanted to cut into, only needing 40-odd inches. I found a lovely Moda (sooo soft!) that I had bought for the border of a quilt I made my sister Linda several years ago. Perfect. Except there was only about 3/4 yard. Okay, need another 16" or so. I found a sage that I'd originally thought might work as the medium on the front of the quilt that could add to the amount required. Great. However, there was not quite enough. Aha! Fill in with what's left of one of the forest greens from the front.

I cut up the remainder of the forest green into a 5" square and a few 2.5" squares. All three fabrics on the back are now gone! This is feeling very good I must say. And I have this wonderful quilt to give to someone in need of a quilty hug! For the batting, I had two small hunks that butted together perfectly (I just hand-whipstitch them together with big stitches as they lie on the backing on my longarm), so that felt good to use them up too. 

As for the binding, I nearly pulled out some forest green fabric from the drawer organizers, when it occurred to me to check my baggie of binding cut-offs. The two floral quilts ate up a ton of it, but I had quite a few hunks of black, a deep purple floral, and a wine... sold!

It doesn't show that well, but I love the pop of the green thread (it has such a nice sheen) on the black binding.

I'm so pleased with how it turned out. The photo below is post-laundering as it finishes air-drying on my sewing room floor. For the first wash I pop them in a low dryer for 5-8 minutes and then let them finish air-drying flat.

Here are all three.
It's so green thanks to some really good rains and sunny days in between this past week.

I've contacted a reporter for CBC about donating one or two of these to an Afghan immigrant family in need. I feel awful that Canada seems to have let these incredible people (interpreters, navigators, helpers of all kinds, and their families), fall between the cracks since helping Ukrainian refugees has become forefront. I will also be sending one or two, depending on what happens once I hear back from whoever she has forwarded my phone number to, to my friend Tammy, who has been a wonderful go-between for refugees and Indigenous people in need over the past several years.

I am so grateful to Mari at The Academic Quilter for taking on the demanding role of organizing this event in Sarah's absence this year, and I continue to send Sarah heartfelt good wishes.

Quilt Stats:
Pattern: Gingham quilt by Simple Simon & Company
Size: 40.5" square
Fabric: Stash and scraps
Backing: 'Quilt Connection' by Kansas Troubles Quilters for Moda and scraps
Batting: 100% polyester
Quilted: on Avril 20 947 stitches
Threads: pieced and quilted with Madeira Polyneon 100% polyester


  1. You had me at green, what a lovely quilt! I've also been trying to use it up.

  2. I think your gingham quilt is so cute. The colors look great! It is on my to do of quilts to make.

  3. Looks wonderful, simple squares win again, very effective.

  4. The simple piecing and solid colour choices have really made for great looking quilts.

  5. Cute, fast, and uses up leftovers, plus gets donated-- that equals a perfect quilt! I love this and need to try to make another one myself. The medium trips me up. That's the hardest fabric to find, I think. Great quilt!

  6. Great job and it will be so loved. Love the Hands 2 Help drive and all the quilty love that goes with it!

  7. Such a simple but stunning quilt. I like that you are using your scraps. I often have the same conversation with myself. I like this fabric too much to use it for that. But when will I use it? Sometimes, I just have to move on because it causes too much dithering!! Those three quilts together are so lovely. I think there will be some very grateful recipients out there.

  8. It's lovely, and it's fun to see the white take on a green hue just from the proximity to all the other green loveliness. I had to look closely to see all the different dark green fabrics you had to use!

  9. Love the colours you chose! The gingham quilts looks fabulous!

  10. The green is my pick, with the white it looks great, and all three will find a new loving home that will welcome a quilt made with such care and filled with love.

  11. Well done. They are all lovely and I'm sure they'll all be appreciated by the recipients. Your garden is certainly looking good and hope those horrible storms I heard about in Eastern Canada didn't reach you. Take care and hugs.

  12. I love this pattern and have wanted to make one or two or 29 of them for a long time. I even have fabric picked out. Just need to do it!! Yours is lovely.

  13. Sandra, I love this, simple really, I have some fabrics picked out to make a few, when I get my Pop Star off my design wall. I love the three quilts on the bench in your garden/yard. Lovely!

  14. I just love this Sandra...gorgeous colours and I love your use of your stash. I must do the same, but I'm not good at not buying fabric or books and hugs Sue xx

  15. Hi Sandra! I'm so glad you decided to use the Fawn fabric. I have a similar convo with myself. But what exactly are we saving it for?! A lining - then it wouldn't be able to shine and take on a little green personality. I just love this quilt. Like Bernie, I've wanted to make one or 29 for ages now . . . it just need to do it! Thank you for the inspiration. {{Hugs}} a bunch!! ~smile~ Roseanne

  16. Lovely quilt and a great use of some scraps, stash and leftovers. Well done on the tally of charity quilts.

  17. What a lovely quilt! It's wonderful to know how it came together, with parts and pieces that joined as if they were meant to be. Total synergy, I'd say! And it's marvelous that you're giving it away for such a worthwhile cause. So many people are in need, and it's very generous of you to make three quilts for others. Bless you!

  18. Don't you love it when you decide on something in your stash and you use it and it's all gone? Your quilt looks great!

  19. You did a great job with your plaid quilt. I thought it was all the same dark green when I first looked at it but on close inspection you used several different darks. And, boy does it look great. I hope you can donate it to immigrants.

  20. From a bit away, it looks like it's all the same dark green. Up close and seeing the different prints makes it all the more interesting! You know I love these gingham quilts. So wonderful to share them with others, Sandra!