Holiday Lights Quilt Debuts as “Trees of Hope” QuiltJWD Publishing | December 3, 2011
When Alex Anderson designed her Holiday Lights quilt many years ago, she designed a winner. It’s been extraordinarily popular with people of all ages. This year has been no exception. The pattern keeps selling and Holiday Lights quilts continue to brighten the homes of people during the month of December.
This year The Piece Corps and Friends chose to make Holiday Lights their selection to raise funds for the Sutter Hospital Quilt Auction to benefit breast cancer research and patients. The Sutter Cancer Center holds their auction every three years at the Sutter Hospital in Sacramento, California.
The Piece Corps and Friends named their auction quilt Trees of Hope. You can see their finished quilt (above) with several of the fourteen-member group: Sally Scholz, Barbara Wexted, Martha Flanagan, Della Goss, Connie Seale, and Donna Bays. They enjoyed making this quilt and were extremely happy with the results.
Below are several in-progress photos that you will enjoy seeing. Also, if you are part of a quilting group that might want to make a group quilt for an auction or any other purpose, you’ll be interested in reading how this group organized themselves and how they worked on this quilt. At the end of this post, you can see Alex’s latest version of Holiday Lights.
O.K. , is this border long enough now?
Donna Bays, one of the group’s members shares with us: “With a pattern such as this, it made the quilt much more interesting. By having so many people contribute tree blocks, we had a tremendous variety of fabrics for the trees, the trunks and the background fabrics, which were also used in the pieced border.
“Some of us are very good at appliqué and some are very good at piecing, so our combined talents made this quilt come out so well.
“We are lucky to have one longarm quilter in our group who was quite creative in quilting. She quilted across each tree a few times as if it were a rope of tinsel, using rainbow variegated thread.
“We all had fun and were very proud of how well our quilt did in the auction. Not one of us could have made such a nice quilt by ourselves.”
How do you think this should go? (Do I see ribbon instead of bias tape? What a novel idea!)
The Piece Corps and Friends members each made tree blocks. After they collected and counted all of the blocks, they calculated what size quilt they could make. Also, everyone donated a few strips of background fabric for the outer border. One of their members has a fabulous sewing room with a great design wall, so they met there to arrange the tree blocks, position the light bulbs to be appliqued, and audition fabrics for the red and green inner border.
Hmmmm, how should I begin?
Donna’s additional thoughts: “The group project worked well because we had lots of time to work on it. We started discussing it in December and the auction donation deadline was September 1. We set target dates for each phase, such as a date for turning in the tree blocks. We spent several hours arranging the blocks on a large design wall, which was a lot of fun. Then some people volunteered to sew the blocks into rows and we set a deadline for that. Then I sewed the rows together.
“Also, once we calculated the size of our quilt, based on the number of donated tree blocks, we were able to piece together the outer borders and give each section to 4 people who love to applique. We had a date for finishing that. So it all came together timely and we had plenty of time to get it quilted and bound. We are a small group but everyone is generous with their time and talents.”
The Piece Corps and Friends meet regularly and mostly work on their own projects and enjoy each other’s company. But for each of the last 4 years, they have made a smaller group quilt to give to a family when they receive the keys to their new Habitat for Humanity home. For those types of quilts, they keep the patterns simple. They agree on a color scheme, everyone makes a few blocks, and then they put them together. What a great group of women!
The Sutter Breast Cancer Quilt Auction received almost 700 donated quilts this year. Most are hung in the hospital for a month with bid sheets for the silent auction. Fifty “exceptional” quilts are selected for the live auction which is held on the last day of the bidding. Their group was thrilled when Trees of Hope was selected for that honor. The winning bid was $500. The money goes to breast cancer research and to support people fighting cancer. Information about the auction and pictures of all the donated quilts can be seen at the quilt auction page of the Sutter Medical Quilt website.
The members of Piece Corps and Friends are Ann Barrow, Ellen Crozier, Bonnie Toy, Francess McCleerey, Diane Yates, Sylvia Earl, Gail Sims, Sally Scholz, Barbara Wexted, Martha Flanagan, Della Goss, Connie Seale, Donna Bays, and Star Rudge. Thanks Piece Corps and Friends for your generosity of time and talent. Also, thanks for sharing your experience with us.
Share Your Ideas
If you are a member of a group that has made a quilt for an auction or donated a group quilt to a worthwhile community project, do share with us.
Alex’s newest Holiday Lights quilt can be seen here.
Both versions are shown in the current Holiday Lights pattern.
To Purchase this Pattern:
Shop owners: You may purchase Holiday Lights from us or from your distributor. You can see further details about this quilt on the Holiday Lights page. To purchase, contact us in your preferred method.
Quilters: This pattern should be available at your local store. If you do not have a local store, you may purchase this pattern online. For further details about this quilt, check the Holiday Lights pattern page.
Happy December to you!