Assembling the First Blocks for the Fire Quilts

Over the past couple of weeks, more blocks and donations have been received, and I got to work to prepare for the first sewing day with friends.  I measured the blocks and divided them into piles based on their size.  The blocks ranged from 12-inches to 12-1/2-inches, with a fair number at 12-1/4-inches.  Thanks to you, dear readers, there are 298 blocks for the project!

California Fire Quilt Project | From My Carolina Home

A few had some minor squaring up to do, easy to do and the diagonal lines in the pattern made this simple.

California Fire Quilt Project | From My Carolina Home

I tried to put similar blocks together in a variety of colors like ones with mostly white backgrounds, or mostly ecru/light tan backgrounds as I pulled three sets of 56 blocks to make the three quilts I have committed to making. The remaining blocks were bagged up, and labeled.

California Fire Quilt Project | From My Carolina Home

As more blocks came in, I kept mixing them into the stacks and changing things around.

California Fire Quilt Project | From My Carolina Home

This fun fabric was donated for backing, and it was just a tad shy of what was needed now that I decided to use 56 blocks instead of 30 with sashing and borders. So I added a bit of white donated fabric to enlarge it just a bit. The fun print really says California, doesn’t it?

California Fire Quilt Project | From My Carolina Home

I pulled the first group, and began working on the zigzag setting, sewing dark points together in pairs, mixing up the colors.

California Fire Quilt Project | From My Carolina Home

Each set was pinned at the patch points, sometimes turning a seam to the other side to get them to nest nicely.

California Fire Quilt Project | From My Carolina Home

Then the pairs were put into rows.

California Fire Quilt Project | From My Carolina Home

With each new row, I compared the blocks I had yet to assemble to the previous row done to try to keep the colors mixed. On this lineup, the blocks on the ends would be too similar to the ones above, so I rearranged them with other blocks.

California Fire Quilt Project | From My Carolina Home

And the rows were sewn into a flimsy of seven blocks wide by eight blocks long making the flimsy 84 x 96 inches, a nice size.

California Fire Quilt Project | From My Carolina Home

I loaded it on the longarm, with the idea of doing some of that quilting while friends worked on the next two tops. But best laid plans sometimes go awry.  The longarm was acting up, not stitching well, and I’ll tell you about that later.  It is an ongoing issue for now, and my expert tech support guy in the house (aka DH) has come to the rescue and is trying to get it fixed for me.

California Fire Quilt Project | From My Carolina Home

I got a lot of the piecing done during the January snow, you can see my hydrangea covered in snow outside the windows from about 2 weeks ago.  There was about four inches on the ground and on top of the railings, a white wonderland.

California Fire Quilt Project | From My Carolina Home

Thank you to these ladies whose blocks and donations arrived after the last update.  I appreciate each and every one!!
Diana V, Dixon, IL – Catherine M, Perry, NY
Kathie L, Allentown, PA – Daun, Taunton, MA
Kate S, Bartlesville, OK – Marti R, Lublin, WI
Melba M, Concord, NC – Judy G, Roseville, CA
Elaine N, Branford, FL – Rita C, Jasper, AL

Their blocks were mixed into the stacks as well. If I have enough help, there are enough blocks to make two more flimsys after the three we are already doing. So, we might be able to send one or two flimsys ready to quilt to California. The yardages on the right of the picture below are enough to make bindings for two quilts.

California Fire Quilt Project | From My Carolina Home

I want to acknowledge the awesome contribution of Backside Fabrics. I sent Christine an email explaining what we were doing, and she generously offered a substantial discount for two 3-yard pieces of wide backing for use on the next two quilts. I have no affiliation with Backside, I just like helping North Carolina businesses, and I am totally sold on their quality.  They are also quite supportive of events on my blog with nice giveaways.  Backside Fabrics has high quality wide backings, lots of sales and fantastic service with quick shipping. Thank you, Christine!!

Sew day with friends was yesterday, and I’ll show you what we got done soon.  Thanks so much to Marti S, Bonnie C, Carol P, Sam V, and Bridget O for willingly coming to Carole’s sweat shop to work their tuckases off on Tuesday.

What are you working on this week?

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California Fire Quilt Project | From My Carolina Home

22 thoughts on “Assembling the First Blocks for the Fire Quilts

  1. Cindy Beal

    Carole, this quilt is lovely!!!! Thanks for sharing the WIP step by step – I love how you set these blocks. ….and yes, Christine is just the best.

  2. Donna Weeks

    The variety of blocks blend together nicely. The quilts are a creative work of art by many hands and will bring great comfort to the California Fire receipient. Great work!

  3. Wow, just wow! I love the layout and all those beautiful blocks look amazing together. Thank You and your sewing friends for putting in all the hard work! Can’t wait to see more ‘after’ pictures. Oh and I love Backside Fabrics too!

  4. manasotavacation

    I was unaware of Backside Fabrics….thank you. I have only purchased one wide backing and really did not like the quality of any of the ones I saw, so I quit looking! Thanks….now if I want a wide backing I’ll go there!

  5. Crystal F

    Thanks for the pictures……it is looking beautiful. Thank you for letting us be a part of this project. Just wish I lived close enough to come sew with you!

    Crystal in Cedar City

  6. So nice to see the blocks getting put together. You are so generous to do this project. Thanks for sharing the process and thanks to your sewing friends who have come together to help put these tops together. I hope the L/A gets the love & attention and repair it needs quickly. 🙂

  7. A sewing day sounds like so much fun. If my Lear was not in the shop (😂) I’d pop in for the day! I have been prepping for my Stars over Baltimore, but today I am pulling and cutting my whites to determine what size my Square Dance will be, and I promised myself I would try and finish one more block on my hand quilting project. It’s a fabric day for me!😄

  8. Darlene S.

    I’ve always loved scrappy style quilts, but oh my do these pop. I love the fabrics, colors and layout of the blocks. These quilts will certainly bring much needed quilty hugs of love to those impacted by the Thomas Fires. Bless you.

  9. Melanie

    Love this scrappy block, have forgotten how versatile it is. The quilts look beautiful–great job. Hope the longarm behaves itself and DH can get it working properly for you.. I am working on 2 quilts for kids this week to donate on Monday at our group monthly meeting, always rotating projects to meet various deadlines. Do you still have snow? It’s raining cats and dogs here today in So. OR. But we need it, so no complaints! :o)

  10. So glad you received so many blocks. It was a pleasure to help with this worthy cause. The quilt is looking wonderful. I also love the quilt block pattern.

  11. Brenda Ackerman

    Hello Carole; These quilts are going to be so beautiful and so full of love! It is just overwhelming the way your followers flew into action and contributed so much. Deanna and I did not get our blocks sent before the notice from you to not send any more, so we did as you asked. Quilters are amazing people! I am so glad that your friends are going to be helping with putting the other quilts together with you! I hope that you all have a fantastic fun filled day! Plus, I know I am looking forward to seeing the results of the quilts Have a fantastic day!

  12. Pat Evans

    How fun to see 3 of my blocks in your photos. What a great job you and your quilty friends are doing. I chuckled when reading about sorting the blocks by size. Oh, yes, the joys of working with multiple block contibutors. Been there, done that. Keep up the good work. Your efforts are well appreciated.

  13. Elaine Nemeth

    Beautiful pattern when blocks are assembled. I did not think the secondary design would be so dynamic. Thanks to all your worker bees and especially y o u!

    Sent from my Verizon 4G LTE Droid

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