Fabric Swap at June 13 Closing

For our year-end meeting, TQG will be meeting in person (as long as the current COVID situation doesn’t get worse) at the Port Dover Community Centre. One of our activities will be a swap of 5” squares suitable for I-Spy and memory quilts. In this case, we use the term memory quilt to describe a quilt that prompts memories and conversation, not a quilt made to remember a person’s life.

In either swap, the idea is that you needn’t purchase multiple fabrics to get a good variety. You can buy a few, cut them to meet the swap guidelines and by swapping your repeats, you end up with a much wider choice of feature fabrics.

Members who want to participate should cut or fussy cut 5” squares of the fabrics they have and bring duplicates that they want to swap to our get-together on June 13. To help everyone get a good assortment, keep all blocks with the same images together. We’ll be swapping the fabrics one-for-one.

Choosing Suitable Fabrics

Many I-Spy quilts feature fabrics with small repeating images that appeal to children. The memory quilts we are planning are a bit different in that the feature fabrics are usually pictorial, appealing to adults, and fill a larger space. Of course, many fabrics work in either type of quilt.

This excerpt from the Nova Scotia Alzheimer Society’s website refers to a combination quilt with fidget, touch and memory-stimulating blocks. You can read the full article by Cindy Dobbelsteyn on the Nova Scotia Alzheimer Society’s website. https://alzheimer.ca/ns/en/whats-happening/news/1000-fidget-quilts-labour-love.

“While nine of the 20 squares of each lap quilt share common aspects such as pockets, zippers, Velcro, “blue fuzzies,” and a heart-themed fabric square with “Somebody Cares” labelled on it, each quilt is individualized by careful selection of colourfully patterned fabrics and additional attachments. Cathy and Beth put loving consideration of the recipient’s likes, former occupation and pastimes into the quilt’s design. For example, the inclusion of fabrics depicting various pets for a retired veterinarian or animal lover. Beyond occupations, additional themes include nature, travel, music, dogs, cats and sports, all which can bring back memories and provide topics for conversation. All the quilts contain a key in one pocket, which the recipients often delight in discovering.”

How to Use Your New blocks

So, what will we do with these new-to-us blocks? This tutorial by MarlenaT on Instructables provides a lot of great information about I-Spy quilts and activities to do with them (scroll to Step 13). https://www.instructables.com/Injeaneous-I-Spy-Quilt/

This disappearing nine-patch tutorial from Caroline Sanchez on her blog Obsessively Stitching gives a resulting quilt with borders and cornerstones. http://obsessivelystitching.blogspot.com/2010/05/disappearing-nine.html

Amy Smart of Diary of a Quilter has a couple of options you might want to consider. https://www.diaryofaquilter.com/two-i-spy-quilts

Robert Kaufman offers an economy block I-Spy pattern found through I Love Quilting Forever. https://ilovequiltingforever.com/free-quilt-pattern-i-spy-economy-block/

In addition to the excerpt above about quilts for people with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, the Manitoba Alzheimer Society has a PDF with more information about “touch” quilts. https://www.alzheimer.mb.ca/touchquiltproject/

Community Service Day, Nov. 13

In early fall, Monica Thompkins contacted some Norfolk long-term care homes to determine what items TQG could provide to benefit the residents. After a day of sewing fidget quilts in October, we are looking for lap, fidget and memory quilts.

On Saturday, November 13, from 9 am to 4 pm, we’ll be using the TQG Sit and Sew link to get together virtually to make quilts to fill this need in our community. There will be door prizes and we encourage you to drop in and take part for even part of the day!

The Thunder Bay Quilters’ guild has excellent links and information for community sewing projects on their website.  Here are some suggestions and requests to keep in mind as you plan and gather your supplies for Saturday.

Lap Quilts

  • About 40″ x 40″
  • Flannel backing is suggested to help avoid slipping

Fidget Quilts

  • About 20″ x 20″
  • 6 to 9 blocks with different things to fidget with, like zippers, buttons, elastic, textured fabrics, ribbons, fringe, rickrack, strapping
  • Batting is optional, but a stabilizer may be necessary to support heavy items
  • Flannel backing is suggested to help avoid slipping
  • Please do not to use any plastic, as that may not stand up in an industrial washing machine. 

Memory Quilts

  • About 40″ x 40″
  • Fabric blocks with illustrations of items that might spark a memory
  • Flannel backing is suggested to help avoid slipping

Add your sources for patterns or tips for these sort of quilts in the comments below!