I think I'm almost beyond the panic phase of preparing for the AQS show in October. I also know that if I do future shows they will not be nearly as stressful as the first one. For one thing I won't have to dye ALL of the fabric like I'm doing this time and I will generally know what I'm doing. But this week is a big turning point. After I process the fabric this week I will have all of the Color Wheel fabrics done.....that's about 240 yards alone. Gradients are almost done and I only need 2 more Stash Pack sets. Then I'll have some Shades Packs, Shibori and Crystals and I have toe whole month of September to do all that. No problem!
All of this is to say that I don't have a ton of time for myself so I needed to search out a quilt top that could be quilted with an all-over pattern and I settled on my Stars At Sea quilt. This is a good one because it's specifically made to be a display quilt in the booth so it's got to be done by October.
I had grand plans to do some fun, sort of fancy, quilting on this but I can't do that kind of quilting yet and I decided that a pantograph will be good enough.
This is the one I settled on and I have 1 row done already. I hope to get it quilted by the weekend and get the binding started. I would love to have one finish for July!
When we first moved here 20 years ago I didn't expect to find a vibrant quilting community in my little village of Montpelier. I joined the Richmond Quilt Guild and there was the Country School Chapter in Montpelier. I came to the first meeting expecting about 5 people. I was surprised to find a very active and vibrant quilting group. We have traditional quilters, applique quilters, art quilters, scrap quilters, charity quilters, beginner quilters and everything in between. More importantly, it's a wonderful community as evidenced by my weekend.
Marcy is still keeping FloMo occupied while I can't quilt. She's finished 4 veterans quilts so far and will probably finish the 5th and 6th today! This has been a huge help to me and she has been so happy to get in some practice. When I can get these on the design wall to photograph I'll be able to show you how much she has improved just in 4 quilts! She's totally independent on the machine new and doesn't need my help at all. I'm absolutely certain that there's an Innova in her future.
Estelle wanted to borrow some threads and offered to do any cutting that I wanted. I had just dyed these fabrics for a new hand quilting project so I got them ironed (left handed) and she cut enough squares for me to get started. She also found a few threads to use in her latest art quilt.
Becky came over Sunday and cut these pastel solid fabrics for my next flower applique project. She also trimmed the veterans quilts that Marcy quilted. While she was cutting I looked through my personal stash and found some great hand dyed fabric bits for leaves in her current applique project.
I'm so grateful to all of them and very excited to have some hand sewing to do. My arm it getting better but I'm a week or more away from sewing and longer from quilting. Having a little hand sewing might save my sanity. Fortunately I can do my fabric dyeing, if I'm careful, so I'm getting lots of that done. Ironing is coming along a little slower but I'm getting my left arm slowly trained!
All in all, I'm doing great. It jut takes time and now I have some other activities to fill that time.
It's been about a week and a half since I hurt my arm and it is getting better. But you know that "mature" people heal less quickly that we used to! I really appreciate all of the kind get well comments that you have left. My arm is getting better. Every day I have a little more range of motion and do a little more work. It's just taking time. Ice, ibuprophen and KT Tape are doing their jobs nicely. I'm not complaining about my injury. It was all my own fault and frankly, I'm lucky I didn't break something. I came out of that endeavor pretty lucky!
If you've never heard of KT tape here it is in action on my arm. If you have watch sports you have probably seen someone taped up with it. This is the modern version of the ACE bandage and I think it's one of the greatest inventions ever. It's amazing how much support this stuff provides and with my chronic issues with tendinitis it helps tremendously. One application lasts 3 days and there's another version that lasts about a week.
As I said, I'm getting more range of motion every day but the last motion that's going to return is the motion needed to quilt on the longarm or sew at the machine. You know what motion I'm talking about, reaching straight out in front. So I decided that since I can't quilt that someone else should.
I've talked about my friend Becky many times. She's an incredibly talented applique artist and hand quilter. All of her quilts are spectacular. I had been trying to convince her that we could baste her quilts on the longarm saving her many hours of crawling around on the floor. She decided to give it a try with me giving instruction and her doing the quilting.
Let's be honest. I wanted her to baste the quilt here because I wanted more time to look at it! Becky's quilts always have amazing details and I took some photos to share wit you. First get a look at the saw tooth border. That's not pieced. It's ALL APPLIQUE! And check out the little red bud at the end of that vine. It's perfectly fussy cut!
Seriously cute! Loot at the appliqued worms, beaks and eyes. So tiny!
Look at those perfect skinny vines. It must be so much fun for her to quilt because she gets to revisit all of these little details again.
If you check out the top photo you can see this cute little detail added to the border sections.
There are even bits of embroidery added around the quilt. I just love the fussy cut butterfly wing.
I know that Becky is a perfectionist so I was a little nervous basting her quilt on the longarm. We used the channel locks to make sure everything lined up exactly right but I was still a little nervous about it. But then Becky sent me this photo. It's loaded on her hand quilting frame and quilting is underway! I know she's happy to finally be hand quilting again.
This week's dyeing focused on some new Stash Packs for the shop and for the AQS show in October. I got this set done yesterday and have another for today.
Not particularity interesting but it's what's going on around here at the moment!
But next week is going to be a lot more fun because there will be a giveaway here on the blog every day! Don't forget to stop by and enter every day, Monday - Saturday.
Meanwhile, the shop is going to be quiet and I will not be shipping orders. Regular shipping will resume May 29 if I can tear myself away from the beach.
My friend, Patty the Quilt Lady, has made several veterans quilt tops for us over the years and she gifted us with two more this year! If you want to see them in their full glory you can see them on her blog here and here.
I also dyed 4 new quilt backs for veterans quilts and Patty's quilts will work perfectly with the medium blue at the bottom. Each one of these quilt backs serves 2 quilts. If I ever finish Lost My Marbles I'll be able to load and quilt these!
But that's not all! Patty also send me a big collection of keys! Now you may be wondering why someone would want a bunch of keys that no longer unlock anything. Well, just think for a few moments while I untape these.
Did you figure it out?
What we have here is the focus of my next sun printing session!
You know, I'm really big on decluttering and even have yard sale and thrift store piles being built right now. But I'll never get rid of my "trash". This is a lot more valuable to me than the plates that are going into the yard sale next month.
We're all like that, right?
I had great plans of posting every day while I was at Birds of a Feather. Ha! Silly me!
Not only did I not post, I didn't even take photos. I just found the camera when I was unpacking this morning. It was an incredibly busy few days but also a great deal of fun and I couldn't have done it without my friend, Anne. She volunteered to come help mind the booth while I was in classes and I sure needed the help.
I got the booth set up Wednesday with the help of the friends who were visiting us. They had to fly out of Dulles that evening so it worked out perfectly. The even kicked off mid-day Thursday and I stayed consistently on the move from that point forward. We didn't even leave the hotel to go out to dinner. I taught 2 classes each morning on Friday and Saturday so Anne kept the booth and then we spelled each other the rest of the time. I have to say, it was a lot more fun than I thought it would be and it was great to see people respond to the fabric and get some instant feedback.
I also had great booth neighbors. On one side was Karen Miller with Red Bird Quilt Co. and on the other was David Gilleland with Vector Quilts. Karen is an applique artist and David designs foundation pieced designs. They were great neighbors. In fact, all of the vendors were really nice and watched out for each other if someone needed a break or snack.
The vendors were so nice that I had to buy a few things!
The new Septaliner and Circleliner Extensions from Sue Heinz. You are going to see a lot of these as I work on the brown Spirograph quilt in the coming weeks (months).
What's this?!? A GARMENT pattern?
Yes, Anne and I are going to have a tunic sewing day and I picked this pattern and batik rayon from Sew Batik. It will be a great summer top if it fits well.
Finally Anne won a GREAT gift basket that included the electric Go! Cutter and a ton of other great prizes. Included was this Swirly Girls pattern that I've decided to make using one of my Color Wheel Fat Quarter Packs.
Hmmm, it didn't seem like a lot of stuff until I had to account for it! But it wasn't too bad. I sold more than I bought so that's the important fact from the weekend. I also got to meet some blog/Facebook followers and that was a real highlight!
Now it's time to get things back to normal so that maybe I can do something fun tomorrow.
The only person doing any sewing around here is Laura. She's making some extra large hot pads for her friends who have moved into a new home. She's suing Insul-Brite between 2 layers of batting so they can sit hot dishes on them.
I was supposed to be getting the rest of my booth inventory ready yesterday but Chris, Ian and I went clay shooting instead and then last night Laura and I met another friend for drinks.
Today they are off doing other things so I'll behave and do my work.
One of the "work" things is to pack up some hand work project to do in the booth when things are slow or in my room at night. I'll take my applique project to work on at night but I need something smaller for the booth time. I think my shibori stitching exercises will be perfect and it doesn't take up much space. Space is becoming a serious consideration. I've got 3 people and a lot of stuff to pack in my small car!
My carrot for being serious about work today is that if I get done I'm going to allow myself to get the Maine quilt out and work on it. I'm motivated to get the Maine quilt top done because I REALLY want to start cutting the Antelope Canyon quilt. I'm not going to let myself start cutting AC until Maine is done. That's my goal for the weekend...until Sunday when I'll be totally focused on football for the last time until August.
Time for panic!
My friends from England are here and I want to spend every minute with them. But I also have just 14 days until I leave for Birds of a Feather. I'm teaching 4 classes and, for the first time ever, selling fabric in a booth. This is my staging area and it's not even half full! I'm not sure how much creativity I'll be able to accomplish in the mean time so don't be alarmed if there's a day I miss posting.
I've got 3 of 4 class materials ready and need to get the 4th done by Sunday.
Sunday I'm not doing anything except watching Super Bowl hype and the game.
Next week is totally dedicated to preparing everything for the shop. I'm about 40% done so far....I think!
In the middle of that Laura and I will be starting a new baby quilt for her and maybe I'll sew on the Maine quilt for my relaxing time the next 14 days.
I love making my fabric postcards every year simply because I know how much fun they are to receive. Here are 4 handmade cards that I've received this year.
This first one of from Carol, a member of Country School Quilters. She fussy cut the cardinal and stitched it to a snowy background.
This one is from Estelle. She printed the tree using a thermofax screen from Stegart on Etsy. The raw edge of the fabric is perfect for garland!
This beauty is from Mary Anne. That's all hand stitching. She's one of those "crazy" quilters. Well, at least, she claims to be crazy.
This one isn't stitched, instead it's beautifully painted with watercolors by Linda.
I just remembered that I have 2 other handmade stamped cards that I forgot to photograph. Thanks to Deb and Gabriella for those!
Meanwhile, while I was quilting the purple quilt I had an idea for a postcard for next Christmas! I just freemotion stitched this on the longarm to the side of the purple quilt on the excess batting and backing. I really like how this turned out and it has the added benefit of using LOTS of this variegated thread. I will try to make lots of these throughout the year this year.
Marcy and I were so excited to finish the veterans quilts Tuesday and I brought them upstairs right away to trim and photograph them.
I didn't bother to inspect them because I never have weird tension problems on my Innova. But I've also never used Superior Lava thread. I should have done a little testing before hand. We had a number of thread breaks/shredding while we were quilting but that's not what these areas are. These are like thread burps and I couldn't leave them that way.
I decided to fix them on my regular sewing machine and not tempt the longarm again. As long as someone isn't closely inspecting the stitching I don't think these repairs will stand out at all.
From the front they are completely invisible. There were 18 spots over the 2 quilts and it only took about an hour to fix them. I feel much better about turning them over today.
Let's take a moment to appreciate a truly rare sight....a clean sewing table!
Maybe it's about time that I get back to playing around with these blocks again.
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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