Yesterday a friend came over to quilt a couple of veterans quilts. She has been through longarm training so it wasn't like I had to train a newbie. She just needed some practice and I was happy to oblige. I wanted to be nearby in case she needed something so I worked on the wall and finished the last full section.
It's the perfect ending to the best project I've ever done! I struggled for weeks to think of a good motif to finish off the wall and what could be better than a Featherweight? The sewing machine needle is a glass rod and once it's grouted it will be just a fine black line.
Filling in the backgrounds on the signature blocks is the last thing I have to do until I grout this side of the wall. I have to wait for a couple of warm days so that I can open all of the windows but will grout it as soon as I can. The background for the 17 block is dark blue and I think the background for the initials block will be olive green. I needed dark colors to contrast with the letters and numbers and those are the only 2 colors that I have enough materials to finish the blocks. That's as good a reason as any!
To answer your next question, yes, I'm going to keep going. I'm going to turn right at this corner and I have a plan for the next 5 feet of wall space. It doesn't involve clamshells or any symbolic imagery. I"m over all that. I have something planned that will use up a lot of cups of leftover pottery bits. I'll unveil that plan a little later. I think it's going to look pretty cool.
Today it's back to the applique. I need to get all the stuff off the cutting table so I can trim the newest veterans quilts to show you.
Finally a new section of the wall is finished. Only one left to go and the the signature corner. I still don't know what I'm doing in that last section but I'll get it figured out soon.
In October we went with our friends to visit Niagara Falls. We stayed on the Canada side and visited a couple of other Canadian attractions while we were there. In one of the Niagara gift shops I found the plate and I knew I had another section of my wall designed.
Niagara has all of the great tourist trap elements like the wax museum, Rainforest Cafe and lots of gambling. I had to pick up a couple of other elements (refrigerator magnets) that reflected the the area. I really wanted to emphasize Canada so that where the little flag came in.
I had these things all glued to the wall before I decided on the red and white flag elements as the background. But before I could do the background I got sick....and this time, that was a good thing! Because I was surprised with the last element for this section.
Fellow blogger Judy Stupak is also a postcard maker and in 2016 she coordinated tracking the miles that fabric postcards traveled and the total was over a million miles. I entered the mileage for my Christmas postcards. She decided to draw names from the participants and I was a winner. I received some lovely red and white fabric and this lapel pin celebrating Canada's 150th birthday. I knew immediately that it had to be on my wall and with it positioned above the plate it looks like a crown.
The problem was that lapel pins have pin backs. I solved that by drilling a hole and little recess into a piece of tile. Then I just super glued it all together. Perfect.
I've spent a little time in the past 2 weeks working on the mosaic. It was something I could do without expending too much energy and precision wasn't required.
This section commemorates our vacation to Maine last summer. I always have a tough time with my allergies in August and several years ago it was particularly bad so we decided that we needed an annual August vacation to some place cooler to give my asthma a break. The first year we went to Wyoming. The next year was Seattle and last year it was Maine. WE LOVED MAINE. We will go back to Wyoming again but we could go to Maine every year. In fact we are going to 2 weeks this coming summer. It was funny to be there last summer when they were having a "heat wave" and everyone was complaining about the 80 degree heat. HAHAHAHA!
We spent part of our week in Portland and part on Mount Desert. This year we are going to be on Lake Sebec for a week and back at Mount Desert for a week.
I found this tile in a gift shop and brought it home for one of my wall sections.
Here's what I did with the tile and I'm very happy with it.
I even got one of the half circles on the bottom edge done. This is leftover tile from a friend's backsplash.
This is all that's left! I'm working on the Niagara/Canada block next and received something in the mail this week that is perfect to add here. The 2 partial blocks will be my initials and date and I desperately need an idea for the last full block.
I'm back from my internet Christmas break. We didn't do a lot for Christmas which is exactly the way we like it. I did wake this monring to find that someone gifted me a cold so I'll have that for a few days.
I continued to focus on the mosaic wall and have a few more sections done.
I got the idea for this one off Pinterest so I can take no credit for it. It's my tribute to family vacations at the beach. I had planned on a pale blue sky but once I started putting the sky pieces in I hated it. I decided for a sunset (or sunrise). It's multi colored because I didn't have enough bits of any one color to do the whole thing. Sometimes when we are forced to make do we actually get something better and I think that's true in this case.
I've been wanting to do this chicken for a while. I've also been wanting to add some purple to the wall and this seemed a fine place to do it. Aside from the beak and legs I tried to make every element a non-traditional color. So we have a purple chicken with green wings, a blue flower with a pink stem and mirror grass with a yellow sky.
You can see that I have the next section "basted" in place.
The side sections are really difficult (and boring) for me so when I came up with the bead element for one section I decided to carry it into the next one too. Two side sections done pretty quickly.
I have 3 full sections, 2 bottom sections and 1 side section left to do and I'm planning to keep pressing to get this wrapped up!
After the failed attempt at placemants I decided that I needed to end yesterday on a positive note. This section of the wall was partly done so I knew I only needed to finish the background.
The center tile in this block is from Chris' time in the Navy Department of Legislative Affairs. We were dating for that period of time. He lived in DC and I lived in Virginia Beach. Every time I went to visit him I would get lost. I eventually discovered that I needed glasses. Chris is from this area and he had an absolute blast during this time.
I bought a set of Washington DC ashtrays off Etsy and added those for the monuments. I did the background in pink to symbolize the cherry blossoms. I only have 5 full sections to go and might make a push over the bext 2 weeks to get this wrapped up.
I got a lot done this weekend. I'ts just too hot to be outside so between some Olympic watching I quilted some veteran's quilts, blocked my Non Unus Pluma quilt, dyed some beach towels and finished my latest mosaic section.
We have Mallard ducks visit the pond often so I thought I should include one om the wall. Of course after I finished it and stepped back I realized I had my duck sitting on top of the water instead of floating in it so I'm going to call this the Jesus duck. He rules all other ducks. Believe it or not that beak piece was pulled straight out of my scrap container. No nipping necessary.
The water came from a piece of potter that someone has used to test glazes. The mix of color samples was perfect for my water.
Glass work is suffering because of the heat but that's good news for the wall. Here's the latest block.
"Virginia Is For Lovers" is probably the most recognized tourism slogan ever. It was coined in 1969 to represent that Virginia is for lovers of.......beaches, mountains, history, cities, sports.....
I wanted to represent Virginia on the wall since Chris and I are both Virginians and we still call Virginia home. We love Virginia and can't imagine living anywhere else.
The red marble at the top represents Chris' hometown of McLean, The one at the bottom is my hometown of Bassett and the one in the middle is for Montpelier, where we live now. I even included the Eastern Shore. This block would have taken half the time if we lived in Colorado or Wyoming.
I had an incredibly productive weekend. It's hot enough outside to make me stay inside all day with my quilting, my wall and an audiobook. I finished the border quilting on my quilt and am ready to start the green spikes. But I can only quilt for about an hour at a time. I have some sort of nerve damage in my left wrist that probably has roots in the fact that I broke it almost 50 years ago. It became an issue when I first got a knitting machine (around 1990) and pushed the carriage back and forth so many times that my wrist eventually went nuts. It causes numbness in my pinkie and ring fingers. Since then I have to be careful and I try to remember to tape it when I'm doing a lot of quilting or whatever. It's just another welcoming aspect of aging and my body saying "Stop, you idiot, you are aren't 20 (or 30 or 40 or 50) anymore.
So in between quilting I worked on the wall. It's way too hot to do glass work and fire the kiln so I'm going to try to power through the wall over the next few weeks until I can fire the kiln again.
This section is my tribute to the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. It was cool that I had 2 blue pottery plates with actual ridges in them. I think this leaves me 9 full blocks to do.
Last night I worked on this corner block. The shards are from a platter from our wedding china. Chris' Dad was a Navy Captain and in their day, Chris' Mom had to do a lot of entertaining. She regularly hosted parties for 60 or more and she did all of the cooking herself and served everyone on china. She told me that I was lucky to become a Navy wife when I did because the social requirements were basically gone.
She was right. I would have been a complete failure in her Navy.
When Chris and I got married she gave us this china set. It has 12 7-piece place settings and a myriad of serving pieces. It's called Frederick The Great by Rosenthal. It's absolutely beautiful and we used it exactly once in 28 years. Why? Because it had to be hand washed and I have 2 other sets of china that can go in the dishwasher. I recently took the whole lot to Greensboro, NC to Replacements and sold it all, except for this platter. There were several pieces that they did not want (wouldn't pay for) but I gave them everything except this one platter so I could add it to the wall. I hope the gold edging holds up to grouting, but, if not it's too late!
I have the next section started and will try to spend this week focused on the quilt and the wall. I might also work on the border of the vintage flower quilt too. But nothing else. I hope.
About Replacements. A lot of people complain that you do not get much for your china when you sell to Replacements. We were paid the most for the plates (about $25 each) and they sell them for $70. But, for some other pieces, like salad plates, were were paid about $6. Most serving pieces were about $15. Considering how they have them priced, that doesn't seem like much. Well the reality is that they don't sell many of the serving pieces and if you are buying from them you rarely pay full price. I've seen sales as deep as 60%. They ALWAYS have a sale so you can't base the offer you receive on the list price on the web site.
The truth is that people just don't buy china much anymore so it's a buyers market. I know that my MIL paid $300 for this whole set of china when she bought it and it cost us nothing. The important thing is that I decluttered and, instead of it winding up at Goodwill, we got a little coin. I was happy to just give them the extra pieces because it saved me a trip to the thrift store.
Yes, as a matter of fact, I do love vultures. If you live "in the country" you grow to appreciate them. I developed my love of vultures when a big (and probably pregnant beaver) died at the edge of the pond and I thought we (meaning Chris) were going to have to deal with it. Nope. My new best friends arrived and had the whole area spick and span in 2 days. They are fun to watch too as long as you don't get close.
I knew I wanted one on my wall so I put him in the upper corner where he can watch over my quilting. I think the bold blackness of him also detracts from the hideous (but necessary) pipes.
Here are all 4 of the most recent sections together. The vulture next to the flag just cracks me up!
Here's what the floor looks like after 3 sections. This annoys me so it will be cleaned up before I start another section. That will give me some time to come up with an idea for the next section too.
This past weekend I taught the New Owner's Training at The Longarm Network. I love doing the class. Everyone is excited about their new machine but they are also a little scared. My goal is to get them wanting to rush home and quilt. The class is always fun and I love all the people that work at TLN. Shelby works there and that's why I was in a hurry to get her gift done and ready for delivery Saturday.
This is Shelby and she loved her new plates! One of them really needs to be slumped again but she wouldn't let me take it back. I figure she will eventually relent when she gets tired of it rocking on the table. It was the last piece I made and was done Friday so I didn't have time to slump it once more. But she loved them and she's happy so I'm happy.
I'm writing this Saturday night because Mom and I left Sunday for a couple of days in Martinsville. By the time this posts Monday we will have attended an impromptu reunion of the families that I grew up with on Blackberry Road in Bassett, VA. I should have a story or 2 later this week.
But I didn't let the weekend go to waste! I finished a new section of the wall late Friday night. This is one that I've had planned for a while and I knew I wanted it at the top of the wall. Notice that there are 10 stars on my flag. That's because Virginia was the 10th state. There are little secrets like that all over the wall.
I can't travel without a travel project so I planning to work on the centers for my flower quilt. I use applique sheets like this or RIcky Tims Stable Stuff for applique and my Go Cutter has the perfect size circle.
Here's my little kit if circles, starch, scissors and a mini iron. Who knows if I'll actually get anything done but I'm prepared if I do have a little time. I don't exactly remember how I did these before but if I get a method working that I like I will write myself a tutorial for the next time.
I'm Vicki Welsh and I've been making things as long as I can remember. I used to be a garment maker but transitioned to quilts about 20 years ago. Currently I'm into fabric dyeing, quilting, Zentangle, fabric postcards, fused glass and mosaic. I document my adventures here.
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