Sunday, June 4, 2017

Forty three

The number of quilts made by our guild is 43!  I wonder if that includes the one that I had at my house?  This is for the Canada Big Quilt Bee if you didn't see the post from two days ago.

Yesterday was a super productive day.  A number of us worked on the quilts for the Ronald McDonald Houses. Why did I volunteer precious time for this cause?  This initiative was started many months ago with a goal of 1,000 quilts. Who would have thought that they would accomplish this?  Personally, I think the number will be closer to 1,500 but that is my guess.  Guilds/quilters could make a simple block or two, a quilt top or two or make a finished quilt. Of the 43 that our guild donated, about 3/4 were finished. Binding, labels, everything!   But those others were not done.

Let's do a bit of math for a moment. There are a couple of rooms set up at Quilt Canada where volunteers will be working on completing quilts for the project. I do believe that the volunteer slots are FULL for this event, but volunteers for other positions are welcome. There are a couple of long arms and sewing machines dedicated to this task. The show is open for a total of 32 hours. You know it's going to take a bit of time to get everyone organized. And let's say that they can quilt ONE quilt in one hour. Two long arms - 32 hours per machine - that means the maximum they can quilt is 64 quilts.   (Technically, it can be done faster, but if you're working with volunteers and depending on their skill level, it may take longer).  Even if we suppose that they do the economy of scale thing like I did yesterday and the person doing the quilting is fast. Let's say they get TWO done each hour - that is still only 128 quilts and I'm talking about the small ones - the bigger ones will take double the time.   If our guild had donated 12 quilts that were NOT quilted, that equates to 10% of the total capacity of what could be accomplished that weekend. See where I'm coming from?  And what will those organizers do when the event is over and they are still left with blocks and tops. Someone will have to get busy to complete them.

So that's why I volunteered to get these done. The satisfaction of knowing that our guild donated 43 completed quilts rather than add to the workload. I'm fast and I'm efficient - I can get a lot done in a short period of time.

Besides, our little group had a lot of fun yesterday.  Helen Anne and Jane were set to arrive at 9 AM. The girls (that would be Lexi and Murphy) were staring out the window about 8:55 and I thought that one of them must have arrived.  Nope - that would be Heather (on her motorcycle no less - a big one - I should have taken a picture of her!)  That was a surprise and I whisked her downstairs to start stitching a binding on one of the quilts that I had quilted a while back. Shortly thereafter Jane arrived and we started matching up backings to tops, Helen Anne was dispatched to the long arm and soon we had a buzzing little bee happening.

Heather did extremely well despite the fact that she had never used a sewing machine without a presser foot lever before. I think she a natural for sewing the binding on by machine.  And I thought I heard a comment from her corner of the room about how nice that extension table is. So smooth, no edges catching on your project. I also heard a rumor that Heather went for a bike ride after she left my house - 321 KM (with friends and hubby). It was a gorgeous day!

Heather checking the width of her binding seam
Once Jane and I had sorted through the backings and tops - I think she brought backings for almost all the quilts, it was time to start making miles and miles of binding. Since we now had an extra person, I shoved a pile of stuff away on those work tables, whipped out a sewing machine and Jane was good to go for binding.  I met up with Jane at the quilt store in the afternoon. She had expressed an interest in taking an EQ class with me. After I saw what she had in her hand (a printout of a quilt from EQ), there is no need for Jane to take the class!

Jane making miles and miles of binding
Helen Anne was put to work on the long arm and did a super job. She was the perfect person for the job because not only has she used my machine before, but she rents out time on someone else's machine.  And the double backing worked like a charm. The quilts we did have to load went super fast as we did it together. Helen Anne was off for a hike with her sister in the afternoon.

Helen Anne at the helm of the long arm

Heather still binding that quilt by machine

Binding is done!

One more quilted!
After Heather left, it was Jane's turn to learn how to put the binding on by machine.
One more binding was done!
After they left, I went outside and sat in the gazebo for a bit. Off to the quilt store where I ran into Jane, back to the gazebo and it must have been close to four by the time I got back to work!

I finished the second of the two quilts that Helen Anne and I had loaded. She quilted one and I did the other.

Another quilt - DONE

And one more - DONE
In total, we got four quilts quilted, two were bound, miles of binding was made. The backings that needed to be pieced wee assembled and some of the battings were joined to the appropriate size.

The next two quilts are loaded - well two backs and one quilt. A job for later this morning when I need a break from the sewing machine.

Next batch is loaded

So if you're making some of these quilts for Ronald McDonald House, try if at all possible to finish the quilts. At least get it quilted.  Everything takes time and the more that gets done while we have full momentum going, the better it is going to be. Otherwise, there will much to get done after the event and it will become a chore.  Get those quilts done NOW!!!!  Wouldn't it be amazing if those two volunteer rooms were idle? That would be the ideal, but I don't think that's going to happen. I bet those rooms will be hopping!

Originally, these blocks were based on the Slab block designed by Cheryl Arkinson. However, the variety of blocks - well, everyone made up their own thing which is just great. Some of the quilts are absolutely beautiful, like that gray and white one above. I want that one!

Jane is collecting quilts and tops from other guilds - oh Jane?   How many tops are you getting?  Are most of the quilts completely done? I forgot to ask that question yesterday. I know that she is still sitting on about 100 blocks - leftovers from our guild (our guild made a total of 536 blocks) and other random blocks she received from people.

What a fun morning and we got a lot done for just the four of us.  Actually, if there had of been any more people, it wouldn't have worked.  Thanks again to Heather, Helen Anne and Jane. It was a fun morning and we got something done!!!!  Glad everyone got out yesterday to enjoy the day because it's pouring rain today!

Have a super day!!!


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