A few weeks back, I read a post on Melissa Averinos' yummygoods blog about a project she and Beth were organizing called "Handmade for the Holidays". What's that, you ask? Here's brief description from Melissa:
Handmade for the Holidays is an annual holiday charity crafting event in which we invite folks to create hand-knit (crocheted, sewn, etc) items for donation to local (Cape Cod, MA) women and children in need.
The idea is: warm, soft, cozy things. You know, things that convey love and comfort.
I immediately shot Melissa an email and said "I'm in". It took me only a few more minutes to decide what I wanted to make.
The first decision was easy. I came home from Quilt Market with a few fat quarter bundles of Melissa's new line, the aptly named "Swoon". I was chomping at the bit to create something with it, and a quilt to help Melissa's cause was the perfect fit.
I headed to my local shop to pick up some coordinates, and decided on a creamy solid and some Anna Maria Horner Garden Party dots that I thought played really nicely with Melissa's prints.
The next decision to make was what pattern to use. I had just picked up the latest Quilts and More magazine and found my inspiration. In that issue, Monica (aka the Happy Zombie) has a wonderful pattern called Rectangle Reverie. It was just perfect for showing off Melissa's large prints. And I love the supporting role that it would allow the dots to play.
Monica also has a really fun story about where her inspiration for the pattern came from. Here's a hint: "Make it work!"
Don't you love this pattern? You can find it here (and PDF version here).
Now I have some good news for you guys. After I completed the quilt top, I received a note from Melissa asking if I would hold the quilt a bit longer rather than donate it to Handmade for the Holidays. You see, she is planning something even bigger and better for the Spring, where the donations she has received might make an ever bigger difference to those in need. I don't know the final details yet, but if I was a betting man I'd bet that this quilt will be auctioned or raffled off, rather than simply donated. That means that you might have a chance to become its new owner! Of course, I'll let you all know as I learn more.
In the meantime, the quilt is laying on the back of my couch, pin-basted but not yet quilted. (And on that note, would any longarm quilters like to donate their services before I most likely ruin it by trying to quilt it myself? I can't offer to pay for quilting services since this will be a donation quilt, but I will be sure to sing your praises here on my blog and wherever the event is publicized!)
Edited to add: WOW! Less than an hour after my post went live, I was contacted by the amazing & generous Jackie of Canton Village Quilt Works. She offered to quilt Rectangle Swoonerie for me. Thanks so much, Jackie -- you're my hero! Please head over to Jackie's blog & help me thank her for her generous spirit (she's even got a giveaway going on at the moment) ... and check out her shop while you're over there!
I love the backing & binding that I picked out for the quilt, too. I'll show it off when the project is complete.