[Originally published June 22, 2021]
In 2020, the Orlando Modern Quilt Guild’s community outreach focus was on giving small-ish quilts to children in the local foster care system. Given that we were not able to meet in person to sew collectively because of Covid-19, this was a project each quilter could do on their own and turn in. I’m proud to say our guild donated 100 quilts.
This was a project I needed during the pandemic. Making purposeful, bright and happy quilts was a welcome diversion from all the uncertainty. However, there’s more of a backstory to the drive that ended up manifesting these three quilts.
My mother, from which many things in the realm of community outreach stem from in my life, was celebrating five years with the local chapter of Days for Girls that she founded. The church where they had been meeting for their sew days was the connection to the drive for the above mentioned quilts, so there’s that link.
Mom had been offering around this grocery bag of scraps from Days for Girls sewing. These were pieces that were far too small to be useful in the production of their kits.
Not perhaps prints that I’d personally seek out to put in a quilt, but worthy fabric all the same. That was the spark. Could I use these scraps to make the Guild’s community outreach quilts – in honor of the Days for Girls group’s achievements? I happened upon @blueelephant ‘s Granny Squares quilt and wanted to give the scrappy album block style a try.
I was smitten with the transformation. What’s interesting is that very little from my stash was added to these blocks. Just some pops in the center and some additional yellows to balance it out.
The thing was, there were still more scraps in the bag. I had barely made a dent. I figured I’d keep going.
I tried variations. Some stretched out blocks above, and giant blocks below.
There were still scraps in the bag. I made another, not like these, and gave the bag back to her. I had done my best. Now, I couldn’t call these Granny Squares. It just wouldn’t be right. Mom is Grammy to my son and in honor of her and her group, these are Grammy Squares.
The three quilts in this series each stand for 1,000 of the 3,000 kits that Southeast Orlando Days for Girls have cut, sewn, collected, and assembled over their first five years. Just think that each of those kits help empower a woman. Therefore, this tribute is for this powerhouse of a local group that puts so much good into the world.
All were quilted on my domestic machine. The walking foot pattern is from Jacquie Gering’s book, Walk. The free motion flowers are one of my go-to patterns for texture.