Saturday, February 7, 2009

Blanketeers for the Snowball Express

The Blanketeers got together yesterday for another fun day of... well, what do you call it when you get together to cut and tie fleece blankets? Blanketeering? lol I think the final count was 12 blankets and they went together super fast. They make a nice, impressive heap!

What a relief! Rachel and I were worried we wouldn't get them finished in one day and we REALLY wanted this to be our Final Focus on Fleece Forever, well, at least for 2009. She and I have just assumed responsibility for the SS Blanketeer and we have vowed that the ship will NOT go down on our watch, so a successful blanket day was essential. Here are Virgina, Virginia, Rachel, Christine and Brandy (above only) holding up some of our best efforts.

Here is Brandy with the pretty sailboat fleece and I think that's Rachel's arm. lol The sailboats were backed with a lovely yellow fleece that this picture doesn't do justice. All the fleece was of a wonderfully high quality. I'm always amazed that they can get very realistic images to "take" on such a soft fuzzy fabric. That plane looks like it's going to fly right off the blanket.

Our Snowball Express contact wants patriotic quilts and blankets to distribute to the children of our fallen service men and women at the big 2009 event coming up in Dallas this December. I think this blanket definitely qualifies as patriotic! We have Brandy to thank for having this nice venue for our efforts. She volunteered her church, which had a lovely space for us to work and a great kitchen to store our potluck food.

We all had our doubts about whether or not a red Mickey Mouse blanket backed in yellow would qualify as "patriotic", so this one will probably be donated to the U.S.O. at DFW Airport instead. Everyone thought that some little kid will be very happy to snuggle up with Mickey! Below Virginia and Mickey, is the red, white and blue afghan that Christine knit this month. Christine is retired and is an unbelievably prolific knitter. Every month she brings one or TWO knit baby blankets to donate.

I didn't get any pictures of Carol, who had to leave early but tied more than her fair share of knots, or Sheila who was taking pictures at the same time as me. After we had finished our blankets, we still had time for a few special projects. I was successful in teaching Rachel and Sheila how to spray baste their quilts. It would be hard to fail at that endeavor unless the fabric blew away in the wind or we accidentally gassed ourselves with the fumes indoors. I don't think either of them are going to miss pins.

I had less luck teaching them how to stipple; though I'm sure they could easily become as proficient as I am with practice. After I got back home I tried to think back to how I learned how to stipple and I remembered something I had totally forgotten. I initially thought I would make my sewing machine embroider the stipple pattern, so I carefully drew out a full page of stippling to scan into the computer. Now I wonder if the exercise of drawing out the stippling pattern on paper wasn't very helpful , maybe even essential, in me learning where to go and how to go back and fill in empty spots. And I'm all about practice too. Even now, before stippling a new quilt I will do a little practice sandwich to get back in the groove. Anyone else have any hints for how to teach stippling? I'm definitely not much of a teacher!


Christine said...

Thanks for visiting my blog. The Christmas Wishes block is block 2 of Gail Pan's free BOM. There is a link in my sidebar if you are interested.
Looks like you have been very busy with your ladies. I'm trying to teach myself to stipple ... need lots more pracise yet!
Take care.

Kim said...

You didn't have you're email available so I'm going to answer your question in a comment. I had the luxury of buying my Roxanne thimble a quilt store so I got to try on a few and get the right fit.

I thought I lost my thimble a while back and bought another one. It was a size bigger and it still works but it's more comfortable than having it be too big. Have you tried to see if you can exchange it? Maybe it's been too long. You might try to sell it to a friend and buy a new one. Good luck on that.

Kim said...

It's better to have it be too big than too little. I guess I can't type tonight either.

Brandy said...

Thanks for the comment!! Also... you did a great job teaching the stippling! I was able to find the darning foot for my newer machine and quilted the colorful froggy quilt. Some spots I did good, but in other areas, it looks like a crazy person did it! Either way, I'm working on the binding and should bring it on Friday!

Nanci said...

Oh the fun you must have had doing those quirky quilts! Good stuff.
I'm sure they are very cosy.

Quiliting in Mequon said...

Susan.... I love these blankets... What a great job and soo many... I made one this year for my neice for Christmas... Keep up the great work... Jean M :)

Knot Garden said...

All those blankets look amazing! Such a lot of work and for a very good cause.
Stippling always seems very tricky at first - I thought it was going to be impossible when I first tried it. I think lots of practise is the answer.
Thanks for visiting my blog!