Winter Solstice

The winter solstice occurs on December 21. It is the day when the North Pole reaches its farthest tilt away from the sun, resulting in the shortest period of daylight of the year in the Northern Hemisphere, followed by the longest night. What that means is that over the next 30 days, you will begin to slowly see the days getting longer. Around January 18, we will have gained about an extra hour of daylight.

In the meantime, take advantage of the time you don’t have to work in the yard, plant new flowers or tend to vegetables, or even mow the lawn. Start a new quilting project or better yet, finish at least one UFO (unfinished object) you’ve had sitting in the pile! It’s also a good time to plan out your quilting year – what annual quilt shows you might want to attend and will you need hotel reservations, are there retreats or classes you’d like to go to, is there a shop hop that might give you new inspiration. Whatever it is, don’t let the shorter days of winter bring you down. Stay busy with your needle and thread!

Annual Winter Potluck Dinner

At this month’s Crazy Quilters meeting we had our Annual Winter Potluck, which was enhanced by a good old fashioned Yankee Swap. However this time, it wasn’t a purchased gift. The swaps were UFOs and there were some pretty nice projects among the mix. Some had been partially started and others were brand new kits in a package. As with all Yankee Swaps, there were a few favorites that were passed around a few times.

The food was varied and delicious and a cute tray of mice made from half an Oreo cookie, a Hershey’s kiss, a cherry dipped in chocolate and some almonds were a big hit.

The Next Generation

Members of the Crazy Quilters, along with some friends, have been teaching youngsters to sew. The five classes, which have been offered three separate times, were organized by Kellie Crawley, Program Coordinator for the Barnstable Recreation Program and Lori Crawley, President of Crazy Quilters of Cape Cod. With donated and borrowed sewing machines children ranging from fourth to fifth grade, with little to no experience in sewing, are gaining confidence as they create a new project each week. First they made a pincushion, the second week was a stocking and you can see by the smiles how proud they are of their accomplishment! Each week a new skill is introduced.

And lastly, Jacob Stapledon of Children’s Cove shared some photos of our Santa Sacks being filled for distribution to families. We’re hoping our small contribution will help to make a child’s Christmas a little merrier.

We wish everyone a very happy holiday season no matter what or how you celebrate. It is the one time of year that we hopefully can think of others more than we think of ourselves!

November Rushing By

This time of year it always feels like the clock has sped up. You blink and half the month is over, Thanksgiving is around the corner and all of the December preparations and holidays will be crashing into us.

Well, the Crazy Quilters decided to do some looking back during our November meeting. Members brought in the first quilt they made and we heard some great stories about why they decided to try making a quilt.

Members also participating in a UFO (Unfinished Objects) Challenge dug into their closets and bags of stuff to pull out projects that had never been completed, and in some cases never even started. They are challenging themselves over the next months to bring the past into the present.

Go to our Events page to view photos of the quilts and projects that were brought in.

We were also pleased this month to once again donate Santa sacks to Children’s Cove, the Cape & Islands Advocacy Center. Children’s Cove does an extremely important job coordinating services for some of our most vulnerable children; those who have been subjected to sexual abuse. Jacob Stapledon, Community Engagement & Education Coordinator informed us that they served 230 families last year. It made us realize we needed to make a lot more sacks!

UPDATE 11.21.22 In an article in today’s Cape Cod Times, Mr. Stapledon stated the number of children’s abuse cases referred have increased by 55% since last and therefore they are planning an expansion.

At this time of year particularly, we should reflect and appreciate how lucky we are and think about those that don’t have the ability to help themselves. Children are our greatest investment and the time spent now helping them grow up to be productive adults is really everyone’s responsibility. It does take a village.

Mystery Quilt Completed

After nearly a four year journey, Crazy Quilters member, Liz Devlin, has completed her Bonnie Hunter 2018 Mystery Quilt, well almost. She said it still needs the corner blocks and then will be sent off to the machine quilter but it’s quite an accomplishment nonetheless. Liz said the colors were inspired by Asian pieces Bonnie had observed while visiting Japan. I asked Liz if she had a name for the quilt but indicated she doesn’t generally name her quilts. I did a little research and discovered that Bonnie named this mystery quilt pattern Good Fortune.

Liz explained she had always wanted to make one of Bonnie’s quilts. Bonnie’s style is very scrappy and it’s certainly reflected in these blocks. When I asked Liz if she had actually counted the number of pieces she said she didn’t dare. She did tell me she started off by making 250 – 3″ – nine-patch blocks in two variations. I attempted to count from the photograph just the pieces that make up the 49 main blocks and came up with 800 pieces in the half-square triangle blocks and roughly 768 pieces in the four-patch blocks; that’s not counting the the pieces in the sashing and borders! The overall size of the quilt is 60″ x 60″.

The quilt was worked on at retreats and local sewing groups in between other projects so hence the length of time in completing it. She said there were a few folks who completed the quilt in about 6 weeks. I think Liz’s method might be best since you can rest your mind while sewing something less complicated in between sewing all these little pieces together.

Liz said “Overall, the process was quite enjoyable.”

If you’d like to hear how Bonnie selected the colors for this quilt and her suggested use of the color wheel when deciding to change colors in a pattern, go to this YouTube video https://youtu.be/9RLxUJp34Hk. If you’d like to challenge yourself and make this quilt, you can pick up the pattern as a digital download from her website HERE. Read more about how Bonnie got started in sewing, designing patterns, and keep up with her adventures HERE.