Monday, July 1, 2024

June Challenge with Sleep in Heavenly Peace, and Quilts Across America

For June, the Island Batik Ambassadors were asked to work with the Studio 180 tool we received in our January boxes and make a quilt for Quilts Across America, which supports Sleep in Heavenly Peace. 

Our challenge info sheet included the following information:

 "All children deserve a safe, comfortable place to lay their heads. Across the US, too many boys and girls go without a bed—or even a pillow—to sleep on. These children end up sleeping on couches, blankets, and even floors. This can affect their happiness and health. That’s where Sleep in Heavenly Peace comes in. A group of volunteers dedicated to building, assembling, and delivering top-notch bunk beds to children and families in need. 

So many great charities provide clothing, meals, and toys to families in need. But as wonderful as this aid is, few organizations offer suitable beds and bedding to the kids in these families. Sleep in Heavenly Peace fully believes that a bed is a basic need for the proper physical, emotional, and mental support that a child needs. If a child needs a bed, Sleep in Heavenly Peace wants to make sure they get one. NO KID SLEEPS ON THE FLOOR IN OUR TOWN!

Quilts Across America is a program that relies on the generosity of quilters everywhere to provide a quilt with each bed that is delivered. Quilts Across America was initiated by Studio 180 Design and Tucker University in July 2023. Help make this the largest quilting project in America and complete the process of getting kids, Off the floor, Into a Bed, and Under a Quilt. "

When my cousin Anne called about 2 weeks ago, and mentioned seeing all the challenge quilts she also mentioned that Mike Rowe did a video about Sleep in Heavenly Peace. Mike Rowe Sleep in Heavenly Peace

In my case, Murphy's Law has been very active this month.  If anything could go wrong, it will. 

More on that as I show you what I'm working on. 

Studio 180 sent me the 4 Patch Square Up tool.  All Studio 180 tools have you make the unit oversized, and trim it to perfection.  For this project, I worked on a few 4 patch designs on EQ8, and decided that using the Squiggles, Dots and Lines strip pack, with the additional yardage from my January box would be a great choice for something for a child: gender neutral, and it was also designed by Deb Tucker, of Studio 180.  The package came with 2 yards of Rain, and 2 of Wine.  I added some Moo Milk for the background.  All the fabric, tool, and thread came from Island Batik, Studio 180 and Aurifil for my role as ambassador.  

Here is the plan from the EQ8 version:  Using only 20 strips, make as many 4 patch units as possible.  It works.  Use the 4 patch square up to verify the units are square.  I added Moo Milk between the blocks, and a Wine square for the center of each one.  I tried to make sure that the 4 patch units were varied in each larger square, which ends up at 10 1/2".  Adding Rain as sashing and a blue cornerstone (from Basics), makes the top.  I like adding sashing to blocks.  It's a fast way to add length and width, and although my blocks would nest if pressed correctly, this alleviates the need to battle seams matching.  Speeds up the sewing.   I did make sure that the darker of the 2 squares in each 4 patch would add to the Chain look, so they actually point to the outside corners of each 10" square, which was a design choice as I thought about it.   

Pressing with the Oliso Iron, another brand sponsor for Island Batik, is great!  Flat blocks, especially after using my favorite clapper, made by my friend. 

After the top was done, I played with border choices.  We were reminded to make the quilts fit a twin size bed, so I actually added a second border, and made the outer one 6".  This now measures 66 by 78".  

But wait, when trimming the strips into the 4 patch units, there's a bit extra, but not enough for another 4" finished unit.  But the borders will be 2 1/2" strips, so I sewed the little scraps, too, and made tiny 4 patch units for the corners. 

I "web" the top, as Bonnie Hunter has explained.  I work in columns.  Row 1 to sashing, add sashing and cornerstones between blocks, then next block to sashing.  Row 2 gets added to sashing, with the cross sashing added between. Next is sashing/cornerstones, then blocks, then sashing/cornerstones, and finally blocks.  Then you sew across, with the top attached by threads between the rows.  I finger press the seams to go towards the sashing, away from the blocks and cornerstones.  When it's done, I press the whole thing, making sure everything is flat, and then measure for borders. 

The inner border is Rain, and the next border is Ravine, which I thought looked really good with the darker blue from the collection.  Wine makes up the outer, and will be the binding. 

I needed to set this aside for a few days, to make a dress for me to wear to a wedding.  Again, things didn't go as planned, and for some reason my Janome decided to not cooperate making the buttonholes.  But the dress looked good, and the wedding was fabulous.  It was for the couple that received the boat/beach scene topper back in April.  
Here's me in the dress, with my friends.  The bride requested pink attire, and the floral print seemed like a great choice for me.  (on the right).  

So, next up is getting backing, batting, choosing thread, and getting it loaded on the long arm.  
I picked a medium blue Aurifil 40-three weight for the quilting, and the backing is a deep red wide back I have in my shop inventory.  I used Warm & Natural batting, mostly because I made an error trimming up the Hobb's Poly Down I planned to use, making it too small.  Oops!  The thread almost disappears on the blocks, and really only shows on the border, and the back.  I quilted it with Whisper panto.  

Tiny cute 4 patch corners!  Each square is 1" finished.  The rest are 2" finished.

So, back to the Murphy's Law.  Yes, the Janome was cranky about sewing buttonholes.  I was sewing buttonholes and adding buttons until 1 pm Friday, and the wedding was at 3.  
So, Saturday was my plan to quilt this but Mother Nature had other plans.  She decided to knock down a large branch from one of my trees onto the power lines in my neighbor's back yard.  So, the entire neighborhood was without power.  It went out about 10:10 am, and was not restored until closer to 4:30 pm.  I was exhausted from dancing the night before, and didn't sleep well, so add to that the stress of no power, no ac, and having to wait for the power company and tree crew, and then the noise of the tree saws, and then having to clean up the branches (was told it's my responsibility).  Saturday was lost.  Sunday was filled with a number of thunderstorms, and I won't plug in the long arm if there's a chance of power issues.  It's too expensive to have the computer blow!  Best protection is unplugged completely.  A surge protector isn't foolproof.  But the storms cleared out this evening, and I finished the quilting.  I'll share the finished top probably Tuesday, if I can get photos, but you can see the idea behind it, and the actual top on the long arm.  It's pretty, and the panto will add just enough texture to keep the quilt cuddly for the person who will get it.  Island Batik has asked us to send the quilts to them, and they will share them with Quilts Across America to give to Sleep in Heavenly Peace.  

Please look for Sleep in Heavenly Piece in your area, and if you can, donate a quilt that's at least 50-60" wide, and 75-90" long.  If you try my design, you can get 2 quilt tops from 1 strip pack, plus about 2 yards for each quilt for outer border, accent squares and binding, and 1 for the inner border, sashing.  Cornerstones needed 5" width of fabric (or 2 strips) and the second border was about 1/2 yard.  Give a child a hug, and a safe, warm comfortable place to sleep. 

Please check out the other Ambassador projects.  You can find the list of blogs on the Ambassador tab on  

1 comment:

Pamela said...

Love how you took a simple unit to make a stunning quilt! Very nice!