A friend posted a picture of a minion in her Instagram feed, wondering if anyone had seen a pattern for one. She commented that she thought it would be great to have a minion in her sewing room with her.
I thought that if one were going to have a minion in one’s sewing room, the minion should do something. Like hold pins.
And I was thus inspired to make her a minion pin cushion: A PINION!
I used felt for the body and the hands and raw edge appliqué to add the overalls, goggles, and eyes.
I used a tight zig zag stitch on my sewing machine to add details: the goggle strap, the shoulder straps of the overalls, and the middle of the eyes.
Now I think *I* need a PINION to help out in my sewing room!
My dad has cancer.
It’s not a secret, I just don’t talk about it because it makes me sad and angry and frustrated and a whole host of other emotions that don’t even have names. There aren’t words to describe how unsettled and out of sorts it makes me feel to know my dad has this disease which he maybe, someday could recover from. Or it could take his life. We don’t know. I can’t begin to imagine how it makes him feel.
Here’s the short version: My dad was diagnosed as having a gastrointestinal stromal tumor (GIST). He was on chemotherapy medication for almost a year and then, in September, he had surgery to remove a very large tumor and a dozen or so smaller tumors from his abdomen. About a month ago, a scan revealed the cancer had spread: stomach, liver, kidneys. His case was transferred to another hospital and he started some different chemotherapy drugs. There are a lot of unknowns ahead.
I just returned home from visiting my parents for a few days. My dad gets around, but the disease and its treatment wipe him out quickly, so he spends a lot of time in his recliner. Apparently, my mom was watching a show that featured Quilts of Valor. My dad made some comment along the lines of “Those guys get a quilt and their wife isn’t even a quilter.” At least cancer hasn’t made him soft!
I could apply for a quilt from Quilts of Valor for my dad. He’s a Vietnam veteran. On top of that, it’s possible (probable?) that exposure to agent orange during that war caused the cancer. But, I told my that I wanted to make him a quilt, and drew up three color schemes using Ohio Star blocks and 4-patch chain blocks (modified Irish Chain? Does this block have a name?)
He picked this one. It’s made of a 5×6 grid of 12-inch blocks to finish at a large throw size of 60×72 inches.
I would love to have this finished by his birthday May 5th. That’s exactly 6 weeks from now. I don’t think I can complete this quilt on that timeline by myself, but I was hoping you would help?
The color scheme is “red, white and blue”: think deep blue and bright red, like the American flag.
These are the blocks I need:
I will post a quick tutorial for these in the next day or so, but here are the quick fabric requirements:
white: (2) strips, 2.5 x 10 inches; (4) squares, 4.5 inches
blue: (1) 2.5 x 10 inches; (1) 2.5 x 5 inches
red: (1) 2.5 x 10 inches; (1) 2.5 x 5 inches
Step 1: Sew one long white strip to the long blue strip along the long edge. Sew the other long white strip to the long red strip.
Step 2: Cut the strips apart every 2.5 inches (You will have pairs of red or blue + white that are 2.5 x 4.5 inches)
Step 3: Sew the short red and blue strips together along the 5-inch edge.
Step 4: Cut the red and blue piece in the middle to make two pairs of red + blue for the center of the block.
Step 5: Use pairs and white squares to assemble the block as seen above.
For the center: 3.25 inch square, white or low volume with red or blue print
For the corners around the center: (2) 3-inch squares (red or blue, depending on the block), cut on the diagonal to make (4) triangles
–Sew the long edge of each triangle to a side of the center square. Trim the unit to 4.5 inches.
Quarter square triangles: (2) 5.25 inch squares, white; (1) 5.25 inch square, red; (1) 5.25 inch square, blue
Block corners: (4) 4.5 inch squares, red or blue, depending on the block
If you’d like to help, I would be forever grateful. Here’s how:
1. Make a block or two and send it my way. Leave a message, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will send you my address. I’d like all blocks in hand by April 16th at the very latest (3.5 weeks from now).
2. Send me some fabrics in “American flag” colors of deep blue and bright red. Both of these colors are severely under-represented in my stash. A 2.5 x 15 inch strip or a 9-inch square in these colors would go a long way! Again, send me an email if you can help out with this and I’ll send you my address.
3. This is a long shot, but if you are a longarmer, or know of one would would do this project on the cheap the week after Easter, let me know. I can certainly manage a quilt of this size on my Bernina, but a long arm would be quicker!
My friend Bill wanted a handmade quilt for his bed. I can’t argue with that. If you are lucky enough to know a quilter who will make you a quilt for your bed (or you ARE a quilter), just know that you own a treasure because there are a LOT of hours that go into making a quilt that large. (I think that you should read this post on the value of a quilt.)
Bill is a dear friend, and when his Facebook status asked if anyone knew a quilter, I was more than happy to volunteer my own skills.
Bill sent me this photo as an example of the colors he wanted. Rather than go with all solids, I found the Michael Miller Krystal prints at The Fat Quarter Shop. Ivory, burgundy, and teal (which is really more “spruce”, I think) were perfect!
I found this pattern for a Single Star Wreath on Serendipity Patchwork. The pattern was for 6-inch blocks and a finished quilt of 42 inches. I modified the idea to make 14-inch blocks and a quilt that finishes at 98 inches on a side!
I love how the angles of the blocks give the illusion of a star in a circle.
I made some huge templates to get the isosceles triangle blocks and worked with oversized half square triangles. It was a fun challenge to make blocks of this large scale.
The next photo shows the color a little more accurately and you can see the quilting, which was done by Pat Cole on her long arm machine. The size of this quilt was more than I was comfortable attempting on my little domestic Bernina!
I kept is simple with the back and used a single length of 108″ backing fabric with a subtle tone on tone ivory print.
Bill, I hope this keeps you cozy and happy. It was joy making this for you, friend.