Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Camp Sunshine and Quilt Installation

Welcome to Camp Sunshine
Entrance Doors address ALL who come here.  This is an absolutely amazing place.  The main building is huge because of all the needs it must address. 
Entry Walk
People may buy a brick to help support the work here.
 Donna and Me in the Main Entry
This is a very large area used both for  entry and circulation between pool, dining hall, and age related play and gathering areas.  Donna,  grant writer and wonderful hostess, is helping me hold my donation:  A Friendly of Five Fabulous Fishes Frequently Travel with Two Terrific Tag-a-longs. 
Right Side of the Entry
The cozy bench and animals invite snuggling.  The corners are round to flow into the 12' wide hall which is adorned with memory quilts.
A Very Welcoming Quilt

Quilts Made by and for a Special Disease
Each Camp Session address One Disease
The quilts above were made by and for one of the groups.

This Support Post was turned into a Volunteer List
There is a little yellow shirt with a name of a volunteer.  One side is for 5 years or more; another for 10, etc.  Donna told me this place could not operate without all of the wonderful volunteers.  While I was there many volunteers were pulling wagons with a child in side going from one event to another.  There are lots of wagons for children to ride in because many have a difficult time walking, especially in such a big place.

These Guys Great Everyone at the Dining Room Entrance

Dining Hall - Theater End
They often have productions involving the campers.  Quilts are hung from the ceiling to add  warmth and absorb noise.  Although this is an institutional size building, many efforts have been done to bring it down to scale and add warmth and interest.  The lights overhead are people doing different things.  This is another work of art.

Dining Hall as seen from the entry

A Cozy Spot in the Dining Hall
The following murals are All by wall muralist Mary Bleackfeather, herself a cancer survivor.  As you can see, these add such a warm, wonderful addition to this building.  I personally loved them.  Everytime I saw one, I smiled automatically. 
Bathroom Entrance

This one is close to the one above.

Shower Entrance, Females

Shower Entrance, Males

Computer Room
Hall Leading to the Infirmary- starting corner

Hall to Infirmary - entrance is just around the corner

Infirmary Waiting Room

Shower Curtains Decorate the Stair
There are craft rooms for every age.  One popular project is painting shower curtains.  After decorating the stair, they go into the family room baths.

 My Guild Friend, Sharon
She drove me and the quilts [ Beside my wall quilt, 5 bed quilts were donated by our members.] out to this wonderful facility with a heart as big as its' structures.  Sharon posed just before we left.  We both have warm memories of our visit and plan to find ways we can contribute more.
 Play House
This is attached to a Play Room for Young Children-Toddlers
My Quilt Installed
The entrance to the Play House in on the left side of the photo.  In my mind my quilt might be a little high.  However, it is hard to tell from the photo as everything here is child size.
Quilt Hanging System
Before I delivered the quilt, I sewed Velcro to the back and also glued and stapled Velcro to a wooden 1x2 drilled to mount on the wall.  This way the children can touch the quilt, yank it down, get it dirty, yet cause no harm.  It will be easy to wash it when needed.

For more information about Camp Sunshine, please visit

Camp Sunshine needs bunk size quilts, especially for boys. They now use the same size for bunks and beds. Width 63" - 78"; length ~ 87" long. The new bunks are the longest ones. This 87"-90" length is the size most needed.  As true of most places, quilts for boys are in short supply. They would prefer long bunk quilts that are age appropriate, with a theme that might appeal to either a boy or a girl, especially quilts for teens. Of course, bright, cheery colors are always important for these special children age baby through 18.  Each family room has a futon for the parents [yes, that also needs a quilt] and bunk beds for the children.  There is also space for a crib or cot if that is needed.

As an example, the quilts of mine that she particularly liked are the 'Tinkerbell quilt' for a girl and the 'Musical instruments quilt' for a teen, especially a boy.

It is not that these quilts are so wonderful.  It is just that they relate to a girl, boy or someone interested in music.  Donna said that she prefers quilts that are "age related" as opposed to a quilt that might be OK for anyone.  In my opinion, these special children deserve a quilt that relates to them.
If you would like to contribute a bed quilt or other work, please contact

Donna Leith
Development Team/Grant Writer
Camp Sunshine
35 Acadia Road
Casco, Maine 04015
207-655-3800 (telephone)
207-655-3825 (fax)

This is seventy, number 19
For more information on "seventy", please see the post below.


Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Beaded Coneflower

Beaded Coneflower Post Card
4" x 6"
I worked on the beading for several weeks since I can only do a little bit at a time because of arthritis in my hands.  I feel it was not worth the effort.  I think it is too heavily beaded.  This was a trial in preparation for a larger quilt.  Since it is too much beading, how else can I finish the flower center?  Comments very much appreciated.
This is seventy, number 19
For more information on "seventy", please see the post below.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Water Lily Purse

Water Lily Purse
13.5" wide x 11.75" tall + handles
I got these handles on the free table at my last guild meeting.  I was so excited, because I had a plan.  Cut the old fabric off, sand and refinish the handles, then make a purse.  I have been collecting sample fabrics for many years.  Lately, I have been thinning my stash.  While going through this process, I pulled out several pieces that I particularly liked.  This is one of them.  I first used one layer of batting and backing under the flowers and bud.  I cut away the excess before doing the all over quilting.  The flowers and bud stand out a bit more.  Everything is rather subtle.  Rather elegant for a wood handled purse.  Of course I painted gold on the edges of the wood for a little extra glitz.  This also covered up the plywood edge.
Water Lily Purse, detail
I quilted everything at least once in gold thread.  I found the only way to keep it from shredding, even using a metallic needle, was to go at the tortoise speed on my machine.  Around the leaves and flowers, I sewed three to five times.  I am very happy with the way it came out.  I tried several brands of thread.  I had the best luck with Sulky Metallic.  It is a very fine thread, so that it way I had to go over the stitching many times.
Inside Handles and Purse

Inside Purse
I used raw, washed canvas on the part of the purse next to the handles because that area will get a lot of abrasion.  The lining fabric is polyester for its' strength and softness.
Purse Back
I quilted this in a wavy cross hatch pattern using the gold thread.
Original Purse
I mistakenly cut the fabric off the handles as soon as I arrived home.  As I was taking the purse apart, I noticed how lovely it was and regretted taking it apart so carelessly.  The fabric is a hand woven wool.  After I felt it, it will become part of my felted wool stash.

This is seventy, number 17

For more information on "seventy", please see the post below.
Original Purse Fabric after Wet Felting
This shrunk more than anything I have ever wet felted.  Apparently it is not a good idea to felt hand woven fabric.  Look at my mistake and learn.  It is just a thick blob full of bits from the other things in the same load.  Needless to say, it is very disappointing.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

First Two Chemo Quilts

This project started because I was looking for another charity project.  I have a good friend, Marti Lew, whose husband is a Pediatric Oncologist.  I asked if he would like some chemo quilts.  YES he would.  I tried to get fabric a child might enjoy.  For the flannel I wanted both bright colors and a soft hand.  Some of the flannel had so much printing, it was not soft enough for me.  I volunteered to make a dozen.  The next quilts are going to be a mix of strips and squares so that I can use more variety PLUS make them a bit more interesting.
Chemo Quilt - Tinkerbell
40" x 56"
Detail Tinkerbell
Everything was done on my machine.  This is the first binding I have attempted in a few years because of arthritis in my thumb joints.  I ironed and glued it in place then machine stitched it down.  I thought the decorative stitches might add a bit more interest for the receiver. 
This is my first attempt at a chemo quilt. The goal size is 40" x 60" and as light as possible.  No tiny piecing.   A chemo quilt has only 2 layers and is only fasten together enough to keep it together.  In this case I used a decorative stitch to fasten all of the seams to the flannel.
I designed my simple square design so that the fabric would be the quilt.  I used 8 1/2" squares in a 5 x 7 pattern.  It would also fit nicely on 42" flannel that I used for the back.  Wasn't I surprised that the flannel shrink up to 38 1/2".  Because of that, I invented a unique binding that would cover the missing flannel space.  Because I didn't have enough on any one fabric for the binding, I mixed up the colors used in the quilt.  I like the look so much, I used it on my second quilt. below.
Chemo Quilt - Bakery Treats
40" x 56"
Detail Bakery Treats
My second quilt went smoother.  The flannel didn't shrink as much, so I could use a normal size binding.  In this one, I stitched all of the inside seams down before I put it on the flannel.  This makes it a bit softer.  I then stitched all of the seams in the outer squares to the flannel.
Both are light weight, colorful, and hopefully comforting during a chemo treatment.

This is seventy number 15 and number 16
For more information on "seventy", please see the post below.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Golden Swirl Cushion

Golden Swirl Cushion
I started this as a response to a Fast Friday Fabric Challenge.  It never got to the cushion stage because it was way too large.  I had based the size on the old cushion.  However, because the edges had cording, it had to sit absolutely flat to look good. 
Previously, I had cut the top down and carefully taken the cording off and totally apart.  The other thing I did not like about the original was the way the ridges in the cording stood out.  This time I wrapped the cording in raw, but washed, canvas.  The cording now has a nice smooth look. 
Why does it take me so long?  I spent almost 5 hours just finishing this up.  The good thing is that it sits nice and flat, not bunched up on the edges of the hanging chair.

Cushion in-situ
The original cushion top with a circle drawn where it needed to be cut down.  The colors here are more accurate than the photo above.

This is seventy, number 14.

For more information on "seventy", please see the post below.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Bed Quilt for a Girl

Bed Quilt for a Girl
60" x 84"
I had the top pieced in January.  Because I was having horrible tension problems with my longarm, I just stalled on the quilting.  Saturday, I spent the better part of the day trying to find the tension and missed stitching problem.  Turns out they were both connected.  I had inserted the needle so that the hole pointed at 35 minutes.  It is best at 25; 30 will work fine. At 35, the thread snags and the stitches do not always get picked up.  Because I decided to clean my machine thoroughly, oil it and of course insert a new needle, everything got off.  Quilting is nothing special.  I like a very lightly quilted quilt for a bed.  It is much warmer.  Because of all the frustrations, I should name this quilt, "Done".
The photo was taken in my new studio, which is still in process.  This is the only place where I had the room to pin up this quilt because of the size.  That is a saw horse loaded with wood in the lower right.  I still think you can get a good idea of the design.
This is seventy, number 13.
For more information on "seventy", please see the post below.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Little Treasures


Little Treasures
small: 2" x 2.5", large: 2.25" x 3"
I rarely use a pattern to make something decorative.  However, when I was going through my files, I found this pattern.  It is from Quilting Arts Magazine, winter 2005.  This particular information was on a special sheet called "Little Treasures by Carol Fletcher".
Part of the instructions said to not zigzag the edges, just straight stitch close by.  My take used gold fabric on the outside, brocade on the inside and a patterned stitch in 3 layers around the edges and solid on the pulls.  I used a multicolored metallic thread.  The colors are not very accurate in that the gold does not seem to show.  I think this method makes a very sleek little gift box.
Little Treasure opened
This is seventy, number 11 & 12.
For more information on "seventy", please see the post below.