We started the project back in October. Guild members began making 6-1/2-inch nine-patch blocks -- stacks and stacks of them. We concentrated on warm, "homey" colors like maroons, hunter greens, tans, etc. We got together for a few Saturday sessions where we sorted the blocks into color families, then built them out into larger blocks using flying geese, setting squares, etc. We put those larger blocks into kits, and then doled the kits out to members to join and border.
This particular quilt is based on the "Comforts of Home" block from www.scrapquilts.com. We made the nine-patches smaller and flipped the positions of the flying geese around, and it turned out great!
Besides mass-producing nine-patches, we found some great ways to use assorted oddball blocks that lots of us had sitting around, too. Most were totally scrappy - and it's amazing how such a jumble of colors and patterns can come together to look so great!
Each quilt changed hands several times as different members did the layering, basting, quilting and binding. By Friday night's meeting, we had not five, but but 10 completed quilts to present to the agency development director. And five more are in the final stages of production.
We felt great about the results, and when the development director shared stories with the group about some of the challenges the group home kids face, you can bet we'll all be remembering them during their fundraising campaigns, too. So, it was a great learning experience for us all.
So many ideas for community service quilts (I can't stand the term "charity quilts") presented themselves over the course of this project that I'll be jotting them down here over the days to come. I hope the techniques will be useful to you in your own community service projects.