Quilts from the Ashes

Monday, January 1, 2018

The Thomas Fire in Ventura County, California started December 4th. Within 24 hours, my husband's cousin and her boyfriend lost their home to the fire. The fire quickly spread to become the largest fire in the state's history (and is still burning 28 days later!). A week after the fire started, the Ventura Modern Quilt Guild put out a call for quilts and quilt blocks for victims of the fire. I knew immediately what I needed to do.


Quilts from the Ashes - quilts for Thomas fire victims



Scott Griffin, the Vice President of the Ventura MQG, designed the Perkiomen Valley quilt block for use in the "quilts from the ashes." Super Buzzy, a quilt shop in Ventura, is spearheading the efforts of collecting the quilts and blocks. They recommended a 6x7 layout of the 12" blocks to make 72" x 84" quilts. (If you would like to help, read more here.)

Quilts from the Ashes - quilts for Thomas fire victims
Image courtesy of The Modern Quilt Guild
I dug through my scraps and chose the four colors I had the most of - aqua, blue, orange, and purple. I initially thought I would have enough aqua to use in both of the quilts, but soon realized I barely had enough for one!

Quilts from the Ashes - quilts for Thomas fire victims



I used every scrap of those four colors that I had. I went through my entire stash trying to find more purple, finally finding *just* enough.

Each quilt needed "dark" and "light" fabrics, so purple and blue became the darks and orange and aqua became the lights. I decided on blue/orange and purple/aqua combos. I had much reservation about using the blue/orange combo. I'm still unsure about it. I love the colors together, but it may be too literal of fire and water for someone who lost their home in a fire. The colors are often associated with a particular sports team too, so that quilt to me is a little risky on whether the recipient will like it. But I just don't have enough of any other color to use!

Quilts from the Ashes - quilts for Thomas fire victims



Once all the squares were cut, I made the HSTs first. Each quilt needed 84 - so 168 total!

Quilts from the Ashes - quilts for Thomas fire victims
Quilts from the Ashes - quilts for Thomas fire victims
Quilts from the Ashes - quilts for Thomas fire victims



I assembled each block one at a time in order to try and prevent repeated fabrics within each block.

Quilts from the Ashes - Perkiomen Valley quilt blocks
Quilts from the Ashes - Perkiomen Valley quilt blocks



I assembled the tops by pulling blocks randomly out of the pile. It became near impossible to keep the same fabrics from being too close to each other. I decided that finished was better than my illusion of perfect, and whether the same fabrics were next to each other or not really wasn't that important.

Quilts from the Ashes - quilts for Thomas fire victims



Once the tops were assembled, my husband went on a fabric run for me to the local quilt shop to buy wide backing fabric (he's the best!). The only decent choice was a mottled gray, so both quilts got the same back.

Quilts from the Ashes - quilts for Thomas fire victims



I pin basted the orange and blue one first. I used the very last of my 80/20 roll of batting from The Warm Co. Between cleaning off the dining room table, ironing the backing fabric and top, and basting, it took right at two hours.

Quilts from the Ashes - quilts for Thomas fire victims



For quilting, I decided to use Aurifil 50wt Medium Blue #2735 on the blue halves of the blocks and Aurifil 50wt Orange #2235 on the orange half of the blocks.

Quilts from the Ashes - quilts for Thomas fire victims



I quilted a medium sized stipple/meander first on the blue halves, then the orange.

Once finished, the stipple covers the entire surface, creating an illusion that it was quilted all at once.

Quilts from the Ashes - quilts for Thomas fire victims



After cutting all my scraps into squares, I had no yardage left for binding. From the leftover scraps, I was able to cut 2 1/4" strips of several different fabrics to create a scrappy binding.

Quilts from the Ashes - quilts for Thomas fire victims



The orange/blue quilt was finished December 30th - my 51st quilt finish for 2017!

Quilts from the Ashes - quilts for Thomas fire victims



I immediately began pin basting the purple aqua quilt. I really wanted 52 quilt finishes for the year!

Quilts from the Ashes - quilts for Thomas fire victims



Starting the evening of the 31st, I begin quilting using the same stipple/meander design, but this time using Aurifil 50wt Medium Lavender #2540 on the purple halves of the blocks and Aurifil 50wt Light Jade #1148 on the aqua halves.

Quilts from the Ashes - quilts for Thomas fire victims



Once quilted, I used a purple batik fabric from Jo-Ann's to make 2 1/4" binding strips, then machine stitched it on.

Quilts from the Ashes - quilts for Thomas fire victims



The final stitch was at 11:30pm - my 52nd quilt finish for the year! (See all my quilty finishes here.)

Quilts from the Ashes - quilts for Thomas fire victims



I am quite shocked that I was able to make so many quilts for the year, but I am even more satisfied that the final two were quilts for others.

Quilts from the Ashes - quilts for Thomas fire victims



I will add labels to the quilts and get them in the mail this week. I pray they will be a blessing to my husband's cousin and her boyfriend as they start the new year.

Quilts from the Ashes - quilts for Thomas fire victims
Quilts from the Ashes - quilts for Thomas fire victims
Quilts from the Ashes - quilts for Thomas fire victims
Quilts from the Ashes - quilts for Thomas fire victims
Quilts from the Ashes - quilts for Thomas fire victims
Quilts from the Ashes - quilts for Thomas fire victims
Quilts from the Ashes - quilts for Thomas fire victims
Quilts from the Ashes - quilts for Thomas fire victims
Quilts from the Ashes - quilts for Thomas fire victims
Quilts from the Ashes - quilts for Thomas fire victims

This is the first time I've ever taken photos on the ice of our pond! We've never had ice thick enough to even attempt it. It was -5 degrees at breakfast this morning, and the ice is at least 6" thick. I'm not brave enough (or maybe stupid enough) to attempt ice skating, but quilt photos near the shore worked well!

Quilts from the Ashes - quilts for Thomas fire victims


This post contains affiliate links. Clicking on a link will NOT affect the purchase price.

31 comments:

  1. They're really beautiful. How lovely of you to make these contributions!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Such wonderful quilts and I am sure they will be a blessing and bring blessings to those who lost their homes in the fires. What an awful thing to go through! I am not so courageous about putting my quilts in nature - they do look lovely on that frozen pond. We had -10 today! Oh, and congratulations on 52 quilts! Great job!

    ReplyDelete
  3. These are great quilts Laura, it's such an effective block when it's put together! love it!

    ReplyDelete
  4. wow beautiful quilts.amazing site having very informative and inventive tutorials and quilting with longram.it would be quite helpfull.thanks for such an wonderfull site.keep it up!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Such nice quilts. They look lovely on the ice and in progress. Congratulations on reaching your goal of 52 quilts. And so many of them for donations!!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Wonderful finishes. Beautiful photos on the ice. These quilts just say love.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I am so sorry to know that your husband's cousin and wife lost their home in the fire. These will certainly be quilts they treasure. Congratulations on getting 52 quilts done in the year. You have such a kind, generous, big heart!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Your quilts are wonderful. You have been very productive. These are a great way to end the year of quilting. Very special gifts.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I smiled when reading about your race to get the 52nd quilt finished for 2017 - just because! That very fact explains how you made 52 quilts this year - shear determination and love for the craft. Your quilts are beautiful and will be a joy well received!

    ReplyDelete
  10. What beautiful quilts. I am sure they will be well loved.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Wonderful quilts! They will be appreciated! Happy 2018! -Jean

    ReplyDelete
  12. My heart hurts at all the loss the fire has brought. Your quilts look so happy and will bring a lot of comfort. I love the pattern!

    ReplyDelete
  13. I am humbled by the love and care you put into these charity quilts. Your quilts are beautiful and I love each detail. Thank you for sharing the link. I will check it out. Wishing you success and joy in the new year.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Both beautiful quilts and such a needed and great cause. I'm sure they will be loved and cherished for years to come ... not to mention appreciated too!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Wonderful quilts! I enjoyed reading how these were created and I love the photo of them floating on the ice! Congratulations on 52 quilts for the year!

    ReplyDelete
  16. These look great, and I hope they bring some comfort in such tragic times. Congrats on 52 quilts in the year!

    ReplyDelete
  17. 52 quilts in one year is quite an accomplishment! The final 2 are special indeed. I know your family members will cherish them.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Such a great idea to do the block stipple! I need to try that some time. Thanks for linking to Wednesday Wait Loss.

    ReplyDelete
  19. You have been productive! I love the pics on ice! Just perfect!

    ReplyDelete
  20. Beautiful! They will bring hugs and comfort!

    ReplyDelete
  21. Those are beautiful and you are amazing to get them done so quickly using your basting pins and a domestic machine. My hat is off to you!!

    ReplyDelete
  22. Oh, wow!! I cannot believe how quick you could get those large quilts quilted on the domestic!! I am in awe. :) Seriously. Even with a stipple, that's really impressive. I'm sure these will make them feel loved at such a traumatic time.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Beautiful quilts and so good to see all your steps. Wonderful that they have gone to people who have suffered loss and will appreciate the gift.

    ReplyDelete
  24. It is amazing how many quilts you churn out! And it's not like they're all small or crazy simple, either! These are beautiful and I'm sure they will be greatly appreciated. I can't even imagine losing our home like that.

    ReplyDelete
  25. The quilts AND the photos on the ice of your pond are AWESOME!! Congrats on such a productive 2017. Best of luck for 2018!

    ReplyDelete
  26. Very pretty quilts! This block is one of my favorites, as it's fun to play with the settings. Thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  27. Beautiful quilts and they looks so neat on your pond!

    ReplyDelete
  28. So sorry to hear about your cousin's home. These blocks and quilts and are so bold and striking. Thanks for linking up with TGIFF.

    ReplyDelete
  29. You are so fast at making quilts!!! And they are so wonderful! I love the colors you choose and your quilting is great!

    ReplyDelete
  30. These are gorgeous! I love the way you did the colour placement! It gives the quilts a very co-ordinated look!

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for visiting and for your comments! I try to reply to comments via email, so if you're expecting a response and don't hear from me, check if you're a no-reply blogger. Happy sewing!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...