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How to Make a Group Quilt (Pic Heavy)

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    How to Make a Group Quilt (Pic Heavy)

    I'm involved with an organization that helps raise funds for our local cloistered nuns, the Discalced Carmelite Nuns of Sacramento. These nuns are charged with praying for the entire Sacramento Diocese, all day, every day. The Diocese of Sacramento is geographically huge, comprising 20 counties and 42,000 square miles. Our nuns have a big job. As such, they do not have time for fundraising; that's where we in the Carmelite Auxiliary come in.

    Beginning in 2016, the Auxiliary creates a quilt each year to use as a fundraiser. We started with an Edyta Sitar quilt, which was perfect for a group project. You buy Edyta's paper patterns, then sew and cut on the lines of her pattern. You don't have to worry about who's got a fat quarter inch and who's got a scant quarter inch. Sew on the lines, and everything is perfect.
    Our next two quilts went well, as each quilter was instructed to square up her block to specific dimensions. Our talented leader did the applique border on the third year's quilt all on her own.
    Quilt2.JPG Quilt3.JPG

    This year, I realized that I would never ever find the time to assemble the Jinny Beyer's queen size "Echoes" quilt, and I donated the kit to the Auxiliary.
    Quilt4.JPG Wall Hanging Size. We did queen size.

    Then we opened the instructions. Oh. My. Goodness. This required hand-made templates (but we used Deb Tucker's V-Block tool instead), perfect half square triangles, snowballed corners, and a total of 62 different combinations of fabrics and shapes. In the past, we've said, "Many hands make light work." This year we said, "Many hands make the impossible, possible."

    Our quilt leader and the Auxiliary president figured out which fabric was which, a not insignificant task. Then a team assembled and we cut some 876 carefully sorted pieces and three borders cut from the length of the fabric (on a grey day when my overhead florescent lighting decided to start blinking—YIKES).

    But with all these angles and shapes, how would we ever gain the precision needed to make this project work? We decided to take a hint from Edyta Sitar. We drew the sewing and cutting lines of the 5 different blocks onto paper. We then copied the drawings to create 121 templates, and marked each of those with the appropriate color numbers (and, in the end, only made a single color mistake). And then we started sewing.

    We're approaching the finish line. We've completed the top half:
    And we're more than half done on with the lower half:
    Just three steps left:
    Fix the two little mistakes we've discovered (i.e. pick out and re-sew the middle of two blocks—suggestions welcome!),
    Attach the pieced border that completes the design, and
    Attach the three Jinny Beyer borders.

    All this is taking place at my house, so my downstairs is basically a quilt factory until we're ready to send to the Long Arm quilter. It's a small price to pay for what has been an exhilarating process!
    Toni ... If I keep sewing long enough, will they make their own dinner?

    Re: How to Make a Group Quilt (Pic Heavy)

    Wow, what job and congratulations for your kind work.


      Re: How to Make a Group Quilt (Pic Heavy)

      absolutely amazing charity gifting.. Congratulations to your groupfor their endurance and commitment and to you for sharing this project with all of us
      Walk in peace with the Lord by your side.


        Re: How to Make a Group Quilt (Pic Heavy)

        Wow, that is not your everyday charity quilt. I guess it has to a challenge much like the cloistered nuns' mission in life.

        The quilts are stunning, and I hope that they drive the auction bidding sky high. Best wishes and God bless all those who work on the quilt.

        Enjoy life and do what makes you happy. Everything else will follow.

        Every day I try to do one thing that challenges my comfort zone.


          Re: How to Make a Group Quilt (Pic Heavy)

          That's an a amazing work of love! Each quilt is beautiful! I hope your fundraiser brings in big bucks for the sisters.

          “Nothing can dim the light which shines from within.”
          ― Maya Angelou


            Re: How to Make a Group Quilt (Pic Heavy)

            Thank you all! It's really been a fun project.

            There was a lot of extra fabric in the kit. If I had this to do all over again, I would cut oversized and trim down. We never could have done this with the hand-made templates called for by Jinny Beyer, so I was really glad to have Deb Tucker's V-Block tool on hand. I also would have used Deb Tucker's Corner Pop tool for the snowballing; I believe you save fabric with her method as you cut oversized triangles instead of squares that get half trimmed away. I also would have cut the half square triangle fabric a bit oversized, and then trimmed down with Block-Loc rulers. But you cant know ahead of time that the quilt kit is generous--most are not!
            Last edited by GuitarGramma; April 8, 2019, 11:08 AM.
            Toni ... If I keep sewing long enough, will they make their own dinner?


              Re: How to Make a Group Quilt (Pic Heavy)

              Beautiful quilts & a wonderful story. Thanks for sharing your project with us.


                Re: How to Make a Group Quilt (Pic Heavy)

                Wow, I applaud the monumental task of keeping it altogether. It's looking great!!