100 Quilts for Kids charity quilt drive

Have you heard about the 100 Quilts for Kids program, co-hosted by  Katie Blakesley of Swim, Bike, Quilt and the DC Modern Quilt Guild? This charity drive has a super simple premise: Make a quilt or two and donate it to a child in need.

I'm working on a twist to my Sliced Coins quilt-along this year to donate, using some Urban Chiks' Hullabaloo charms that I've had sitting on my shelf for a while. It's so relaxing to do some simple patchwork for once! I was pleasantly surprised that I could manage to put together a cute little quilt top using just a charm pack and a little over a yard of sashing.

100 Quilts for Kids

Last year, I made what is quite possibly my favorite charity quilt to date, for a young woman's 18th birthday, my Drunk Love quilt, featuring some of my favorite pink and green fabrics.

MHC Drunk Love quilt - finished

This was a hard quilt to say goodbye to, because I loved working on it so much, but it put a smile on my face to know that I was making something for someone who truly needed it. I donated this quilt through Margaret's Hope Chest's Wrapped in Love program, which benefits children with an incarcerated parent. If you are interested in making a quilt for this program, simply email Carin for more information.  This quilt is still one of my favorite quilts that I've ever made, and maybe one day I'll make another like it.

Need some inspiration or a pattern to work from? Join the 100 Quilts for Kids Quilt Along at Swim, Bike, QuiltLink up your finished quilt here for a chance to win great prizes from sponsors, including Moda, Fat Quarter Shop, Westwood Acres, Rowan , Free Spirit, and Ty Pennington Impressions, and others. 

Swim, Bike, Quilt
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100 Quilts Blog Hop Participants

July 2: Lynne @ Lily’s Quilts
July 16: Lee @ Freshly Pieced
July 23: Katy @ Monkey Do
Erin @ Sewing Summit
July 30: Dana @ Old Red Barn Co
Heather @ Olive & Ollie
August 6: Jessica @ Twin Fibers
Holly @ Bijou Lovely
August 13: Leigh @ Leedle Deedle Quilts
Heather & Megan @ Quiltstory 
August 20: Melissa @ Happy Quilting 
Elizabeth @ Don't Call Me Betsy
August 27: Jeni @ In Color Order
Miranda @ One Little Minute
September 3: Ellen @ The Long Thread 
Faith @ Fresh Lemons Quilts
September 10: Elizabeth @ Oh, Frannson!
Anne Marie @ Gen X Quilters
September 17 Cheryl @ Dining Room Empire
Jane @ Quilt Jane
September 24: Angela @ Moda Home Mom
September 25: Sara @ Sew Sweetness

Sliced Coins Quilt Along: Gallery of Finishes

Sliced Coins Quilt Along
Week One: Introduction & Materials
Week Two: Cutting Instructions
Week Three: Assembly
Week Three point five: Sashing
Week Four: Quilt Backs, Quilting, and Binding
Week Five: Gallery of Finishes

First off, can I just say a big thank you to all of you who have participated in the Sliced Coins Quilt Along so far??  This quilt along has been so much fun, and I hope you've enjoyed quilting along with me, too.  I am so excited to see your finished quilts!

Do you have a finished quilt yet?  You do?  High five!  Link it up below for a chance to win a $25 gift certificate from Sew Fresh Fabrics as a special thank you for participating in my first ever quilt along.

If you're not all finished just yet, that's A-OK, this drawing will be open until 2/27, so you've still got some time to wrap it up.  Come on back over and link up as soon as you're done, and I'll announce a winner first thing on 2/28.  Good luck!

Sliced Coins Quilt Along: Backings and Quilting

This is the final week in the Sliced Coins Quilt Along.  Have you had fun?  I sure hope so, I know I have.  I'm so proud of all the amazing finished quilt tops I'm seeing for the quilt along!  It makes me so happy to see how many people are participating and how much they're enjoying this quilt pattern.

A part of me really likes making quilt backs, trying to use up scraps from the quilt top and making them work in a new way.  Another part of me dreads making quilt backs, because sometimes it feels a little bit tedious to me.  I've done a lot of different things for quilt backs in the last year and I've also seen a ton of awesome ones on Flickr - here's some of my favorites for inspiration.

Since you more than likely have extra coins, I went ahead and did some math for you all for a quilt back, to use up those excess coins and make a scrappylicious kind of quilt back.  I've also PDF'd the instructions for you, to make things even easier, just click on the picture below to access the PDF.

Now that you've got a quilt back, it's time to baste and quilt!  Basting is my least favorite part of quilting!    Jennifer wrote a really comprehensive basting tutorial during her quilt-along last year - That Girl...That Quilt's Basting tutorial - and I highly recommend it.

As for quilting, I'm more of a free-motion kind of girl.  Don't get me wrong, I like straight-line quilting, but free-motion quilting is relaxing to me.  I would be perfectly happy putting my earbuds in, turning on my iPod, and free motion quilting all day.  That sounds quite awesome, actually.  I learned to free-motion quilt from Elizabeth Hartman's quilt patterns, they're very thorough, but the basic gist is this - practice the motif you want to quilt (i.e. loopy, stipple, circles, etc.) on paper first.  Practicing on paper is really helpful, even if it feels a little silly.  Randi wrote a fantastic free-motion quilting tutorial last year that will really help you free-motion, if it's your first time.

If you're interested in straight line quilting, there's two great tutorials to see - Amy's simple straight-line quilting tutorial and Katy's wavy quilting tutorial.  Both are very beginner-friendly.

I can't wait to see how these quilts turn out!  In fact, I'm so excited to see these quilts finished up that I'm going to hold a giveaway for those of you who finish your quilts!  You'll be able to enter in the giveaway linky starting next Friday 2/18 and ending on Friday 2/28.  I'll be giving away a gift certificate to Sew Fresh Fabrics for $25 to a lucky random winner.  Thank you, Peg & Becca!

Need some fabric now?  They're running an awesome free domestic shipping special for orders over $35 right now until 2/14 to share the Valentine's love!

P.S. - I entered my finished Sliced Coins quilts in the awesome Love Nest quilt show over at Gen X Quilters - go check it out and vote!  If you want to vote for me, I'm #11, but there are a ton of awesome quilts to see, so hop on over and see for yourself :)

Sliced Coins Quilt Along: Sashing

Sashing is one of those parts of quilting that I'm not a huge fan of.  It can be a little boring, in my opinion, but I really love the look it gives to this quilt.  Working with huge pieces of fabric is sometimes a challenge, but as long as you pin well, everything should come out just fine.

First, you will be working on your A, B, and C coin stacks, which should be the three stacks on the left side of your quilt.  Grab a piece of your sashing to match your coin stack and pin your sashing strip to the left side of the stack.  Pin well.  I like to pin at my seam allowances.  Seam together using a 1/4" seam allowance.  Do the same for your B and C stacks as well.  Press your seams.

For your final coin stack, you'll be adding a piece of sashing to both the right and left sides (for a total of 5 pieces of sashing).  This should be coin stack D.  Again, pin and use a 1/4" seam allowance.  Press your seams.

As you sew your stacks together, make sure to watch your seams, particularly if you have pressed your seams open. 

Next, begin joining your sashed stacks together.  Seam together stacks A and B with a 1/4" seam allowance and do the same for C and D.  Make sure your stacks follow this pattern - sashing, stacked coins, sashing, stacked coins, sashing, stacked coins, sashing, stacked coins, sashing.  Your quilt top should begin with sashing on the left and end with sashing on the right.  Press all seams.

When you're done with this step, it's quite possible you may need to trim your top or bottom to give an even clean edge.  Feel free to do that if need be.

The final step of sashing this quilt is sashing the top and bottom.  Add a strip of sashing to both the top and bottom, making sure to use a lot of pins to keep everything straight.  Seam together with a 1/4" seam allowance and press seams well.  

Voila!  A finished quilt top!!

Make sure to come back next Thursday to show off your progress.  I can't wait to see these gorgeous quilt tops!

Next week, we'll be talking about quilt backs and quilting.  If you want to get ready for this step, I suggest you get together all of your scraps from this quilt and see what you've got.  It's quite possible you may have enough to piece together a quilt back from just your scraps.  You may also need to supplement your scraps with some additional fabrics.  Also, make sure you have the batting for your quilt.  Have a great weekend!

Sliced Coins Quilt Along: Assembly

Welcome to the second week of the quilt along.  If you're just joining the quilt-along, please click here to visit the cutting instructions and here for the materials list.

Now that you've got your fabrics all cut up, I imagine you're just dying to start putting your quilt together.  This week, we're going to be laying out our coin stacks and adding our slices.

Do you have a design wall?  I do, but I actually didn't use it for laying these quilts out - it's becoming more of a landing strip for all of my works in progress at the moment.  If you're interested in a design wall and don't have one yet, there's lots of options - a flannel sheet works great and so does the back of a vinyl tablecloth because they're usually flannel.  Mine is a Fons & Porter Design Wall that I happened to get a ridiculous deal on.  I highly recommend having a design wall, I don't know how I ever quilted without one!
A table top can work well as a design space too!

You can use a floor, or a sheet, or whatever works for you.  Use a measuring tape to measure on your work surface how long your stack of coins ought to be.  Use the figures, but keep in mind the math includes the slices, so you will need to trim your stacks when completed.  

Finished stacks will measure (including slices):
  • Baby - 42 1/2"
  • Crib - 52"
  • Lap - 66"
For each quilt, you'll be putting together four stacks of coins.  Play around with this.  Mix up your fabrics and mix up your coin slices.  Don't get too caught up in the layout, though, your quilt is going to look fantastic!

This is what happens when you don't have a design wall...
A sheet can make a great little "design floor"
When you're satisfied with your layout, stack your coins one on top of the other from bottom to top.  Make sure to keep them oriented correctly, if any of your fabrics are directional.  Your bottom coin should be at the bottom of the stack and your top coin at the top.  Keep your rows separate.  I used file folders to keep everything straight and labeled each folder in two ways - a row number or letter (I used letters) and a sticky note reminding me that the coins are top to bottom.


Next, take your file folders to your sewing machine, and grab a stack of your 1" neutral slices. 

Add a slice to the bottom of each coin, with one exception - do nothing with your bottom coin, which should be at the bottom of the stack.  So, if you have 13 coins in your stack, you will add 12 slices.  Got it?


Keep your coins in order.  I suggest chain piecing them, and laying them face down as you trim them from your chain to ensure they stay in order.

Next, finger press (or press with an iron, your choice) the seams you've just created on both sides.


Lay your coins back in their file folder in order, with your top coin on top and your bottom coin on the bottom.

Continue to chain piece your coins and slices together until your stack is complete.  Your stack should start with a coin and end with a coin.  Press the entire stack well and label with a small piece of painter's tape or masking tape with the letter or number assigned to the stack.  I'm a press-seams-open kind of girl, but you do what you are most comfortable with.  Set aside your completed stack and grab the next file folder to do it all over again.  When you're done, you'll have four completed stacks.  Their lengths may vary slightly - don't worry about that right now, we'll fix them up and make them even next week.


Next week, we'll be tackling sashing.    And then, you will have a completed quilt top!  Yippee!  Don't forget to link up your progress next Thursday and in the Flickr group as well.  Have a wonderful weekend :)

Sliced Coins Quilt Along: Show off your cutting skills!

Are you participating in the Sliced Coins Quilt Along?  Did you write about it on your blog this week?  Link it up here, show off your beautiful stacks of fabric, all cut up and ready to sew together.

How about a work-in-progress picture to get us started?

The munchkin was uber-helpful with the basting process.  He's big on trying to help with everything lately, from helping me sort socks in the laundry to wanting to help me when I'm driving with helpful commentary like, "Mommy, watch out for that car!" and "Mommy, remember what the policeman said, don't drive too fast."  (Yes, I was pulled over during the holiday season, the first time in nearly seven years, and the munchkin was in the car.)

Add a link with a picture and your blog and make sure to visit your fellow quilt-alongers to squeal about your progress together :)

Tomorrow, I'll be sharing how to create your sliced coin stacks, so get those bobbins wound and get ready for some sewing!

Sliced Coins Quilt Along: Cutting Instructions

I cannot even begin to explain how excited I am about getting started on this quilt-along today!  Today, we're going to start cutting into that beautiful fabric I've seen you all collecting on Flickr.  By the way, it's not too late to join in the quilt along fun!  Grab a button from my sidebar, join the Flickr group, and let's get started.

Now, remember, there are three different quilt sizes we're talking about here, so there's three sets of cutting instructions.  Here we go!!

Cutting your fat quarters:
Baby & Crib size quilts -
Cut your fat quarters into three strips along the longer, 22" side of your fat quarters - two measuring 9 1/2" each, and the other being your excess.  Hang onto your extra strip, you may want it later, depending on how big it is.

Lap size quilts - 
Cut your fat quarters into two 10" wide strips along the wider side of your fat quarters, which should be 22".  Hang onto your extra strip, you may want it later, depending on how big it is.  If you're using a layer cake, you won't need to make these strips, skip right to the next step.

All - 
Once you have your strips, the instructions are the same for each quilt.  You will now make your coins, by cutting your strips into randomly sized pieces.  Here's how I did it - I made five different sized coins, 8", 5", 4", 3" and 2".  You can choose whatever sizes you would like, and in fact, you can stagger the sizes depending on the size of the print on your fat quarter.  Try to keep your coins stacked together with like fabric (despite the difference in sizes) for layout purposes.

For the baby size, you will need approximately 35-45 coins.  For the crib size, you will need around 55-65 coins.  For the lap size, you will need around 60-70 coins. You will wind up cutting more than this, and we will use the extra coins to piece together a quilt back.

Cutting your sashing:
Baby - 
From your sashing, cut the following:
  • 3" x 37" - quantity of 2
  • 3" x 43" - quantity of 5  **UPDATED QUANTITY**
From what remains, cut into 1" strips, then cut those down to 1" x 9 1/2" pieces. These will be your slices for your coin stacks.  Make sure to have at least as many as you have coins.

Crib - 
From your sashing, cut the following:
  • 3 1/2" by 55" - quantity of 2
  • 3 1/2" x 52"" - quantity of 5  **UPDATED QUANTITY**
From what remains, cut into 1" strips, then cut those down to 1" x 9 1/2" pieces. These will be your slices for your coin stacks.

Lap -
From your sashing, cut the following:
  • 5 1/2" x 66 1/2" - quantity of 2
  • 5 1/2" x 66" - quantity of 5 **UPDATED QUANTITY**
From your remaining sashing, cut 1" strips, and then cut those strips into 1" x 10" pieces. These will be your slices for your coin stacks.

Want a sneak peek of how your finished top is going to look?  Here's my boy twin sliced coin quilt top.  

Next Thursday, I'll host a linky so you can show off your cutting prowess.  Next week, we'll work on layout and assembly of the coin stacks.  Happy cutting!  I can't wait to see all of those fantastic stacks of cut up fabric.  Here's mine :)

Sliced Coins Quilt Along: Fabric Auditions

Have you joined in the Sliced Coins Quilt Along?  We're going to start cutting next week, and everyone in the Flickr group has started to show off their fabric auditions.  Here's some highlights...

1. Sliced Coins Option 1?, 2. Possible Don't Call Me Betsy Quilt Along Choices, 3. Sliced Coins Option 2, 4. Sliced Coins Quilt-Along fabric, 5. Fabrics for quilt-along, 6. Janette's fabric choice, 7. Choice 2, 8. Sliced Coin: Option 1, 9. Sliced Coins Fabric, 10. Sliced Coins Quilt Along Fabrics, 11. Twin baby quilt #1 fabric audition, 12. Twin baby quilt #2 fabric audition

I can't wait to get started next week!  There's still to join in - grab a button and join the Flickr group.  Stay tuned next Friday for cutting instructions, and if you missed the details on the needed materials, check here.

Sliced Coins Quilt Along: Introduction and Supplies

Welcome to my very first quilt along, the Sliced Coins quilt along!  I'm super excited to get started and I hope you are, too.  I'll be posting on Fridays, starting in two weeks, on 1/21/11, sharing each step of making this quilt.  This should give you some time to either do some fabric shopping or to dig through your scraps, as this quilt would be an awesome use for scraps!

Earlier this week, I started up a Flickr group for us to share fabric choices, show off progress, and get to know each other.  Scoot on over and join the group, and show us your fabric auditions!  Feel free to join even if you're not sure you're going to participate right away.  You can always sew at your own pace!

So let's talk about what you need to for this quilt along...

First, let's talk about supplies.  Here's some basics you'll need:
  • Non-slip Ruler - I'm a big fan of the Omnigrip rulers, but really any ruler will work.  I recommend a ruler that is at least 24" long, for ease of cutting.
  • Cutting Mat - I use a 24 x 36 and find that it meets all of my needs quite well.
  • Rotary cutter
  • Batting (appropriately sized for your quilt) - I'm a fan of Warm & Natural
  • Basting pins or basting spray
  • Fabric (see below)

Quilt sizes & fabric 
I've created three sizes of this quilt for you to choose from - baby, crib, and lap.  What's the difference between baby and crib?  A baby quilt is good for a stroller quilt or wall hanging, whereas a crib quilt is big enough for a playmat or a crib blanket.  Here's the details:

Baby - 36" x 48"
4-6 fat quarters or 1/4 yards or scraps at least 9" wide
1 1/2 yds solid netural for sashing between coins and for sashing the sides and top of quilt

Crib - 54" x 57"
8-10 fat quarters or scraps at least 9 1/2" wide
2 yds solid netural for sashing between coins and for sashing the sides and top of quilt

Lap - 66" x 76"
10-12 fat quarters or scraps at least 11" wide
2 yds solid netural for sashing between coins and for sashing the sides and top of quilt

Feel free to hop over to Flickr and join the group I created for the quilt along by clicking here.  You can share your progress, talk fabric, and share photos, too.   Don't forget to grab a button from my sidebar!  If you have any questions at all, don't hesitate to let me know.  Happy Friday and happy fabric shopping :)

UPDATED 12:29PM 1/7/2011
In case you're curious about the timeline, here's what we're looking at:
Friday, 1/21 - Cutting your fabric
Friday, 1/28 - Assembling your coin stacks
Friday, 2/4 - Adding your sashing
Friday 2/11 - Quilting and binding

And each Thursday, I will provide a linky for you to share your progress.  I can't wait to get started :)