Kathleen captured a photo of her grandson flying his first kite when he was 3 years old. She translated the image into this great memory quilt. She used the Blue Sky Gradient for the background and then created the magical moment with multiple fabric paints and pencils, thread painting as well as fused appliqué.
For sharing, Kathleen received a 20% coupon for the shop that's good for 3 months! If you have made anything with my hand dyed fabric I hope you will consider sharing it in the Customer Gallery. The only rule is that projects have to be complete. It doesn't have to be made totally from hand dyed fabric, just include a recognizable amount.
When Mom was over visiting a couple of weeks ago I was in the middle of "bag mania" and I told her not to be surprised if her birthday card contained the scraps from those efforts. I just have the worst angst about tossing out scraps when they still have potential to be something. I really had a hard time with the blue scraps from the zipper bags. I tried a few postcard design ideas that fell really flat and I almost gave up. When I get to that stage it means that I'm trying too hard and I need to simplify.
On the sewing table I spied the cork leftovers from making the bag handles and the idea of simple squares was born. I cut all of the blue into as many 1" squares as I could and then added some blue, white and orange cork squares. I fused them to a postcard base. I was careful with the cork pieces to use a pressing cloth but I was mostly just trying to adhere the blue fabric bits. The cork I could hold in place until I stitched over the edges.
I used a zig zag stitch with a 3.0 width and .4 length to stitch over all of the joins and then finished off the edge with a wider zig zag. Once I had my design worked out these went together really fast.
This is all that's left of the blue South African fabrics!
I made 7 of these cards. Mom's was already in the mail when I took this photo.
I hope you all have a great weekend. I'll be finishing the quilting on the big green quilt and, hopefully, cutting out some 9-patch blocks for my long term family quilts project.
Quilting has commenced on the big green quilt. Cheryl wanted a very lightweight quilt so the batting is thin. To keep it soft and airy I decided on a giant swirl motif. She will use this on their bed so it needs to be cuddly. That's been a hard quilting lesson for me to learn. My tendency has always been to over quilt things but I know from my own bed quilts that I like the feel of lightly quilted quilts better. This one will not be over quilted for sure and it should be done this weekend.
All the fabric that I was soaking is hanging out to dry and I'll fold it and add it to my "safe" stash this weekend. I don't think I'll iron it since I have to iron all the fabric that I take out of stash anyway. There are some really cool fabrics in this batch and I look forward to actually using them.
Yesterday I also got some new knitting looms in the mail! After tons of research and struggle with the Boye looms, I decided to give KB looms a try. The Flexee is adjustable as you knit and I wanted to try it for hats so that the crown can be decreased. The other one can be standard or bulky (by removing alternate pegs). They both have some great reviews on YouTube. It was very cool to find out that this company is only an hour or so away from me in Fork Union, VA. I'll start some projects on these this weekend.
Tomorrow I'll share the new postcard design.
Yesterday didn't go quite as planned but everything worked out in the end. I spent more time than I planned dealing with what I thought was a plumbing issue but is actually an electrical issue. The water pump on my dye sink has been failing. I thought it was the pump but now we know that it's something in the electric box. Yesterday they replaced the one breaker switch but it failed again sometime after they left. I plugged the pump into another outlet that feeds from another breaker switch and it ran great. So it's definitely inside the box. I'm guessing that something was reconnected quite right after the generator was installed. We have a supervisor coming out Monday to look at it. Meanwhile now I know that I can use the sink and run the pump from another outlet.
But the coolest part of all of that was that the electrician that came out yesterday was a woman! Yay!
While I was still worried about the pump I decided to bring some fabrics that I wanted to soak up to the bathroom. These are the rest of my collection of my first-ever hand dyed fabrics. They are serious bleeders but I'm solving that problem this week and can then I'll be able to start using them with all of my other hand dyed fabrics.
I eventually got to working on my other goal of getting the big green quilt loaded on the longarm. It's a complex process because I want the front centered in this ice dyed back. Just between us, I like the back a lot better than the front!
I have a tutorial here for how to center a quilt on the longarm but here are the basic steps. I load the backing and then roll it until the center is in the middle of my working area. Usually the batting has a pretty perfect fold in the middle so I line up the batting fold along the center line of the backing.
Then comes the hard part of lining up the quilt top with the center batting fold. There's a lot of bulk laying around and you have to ignore it and only worry about that center. I get that one line centered and then baste.
Once the center is basted I can spread out the batting and quilt for the lower half of the quilt and baste the rest of the work space. Then I loosely roll the bottom batting and top onto the roller so that I can focus on basting the top half of the quilt.
Once the top is done I go back to the middle, unroll the batting and backing for the bottom half of the quilt and finish the basting. After a little bit of dyeing today I will be ready to start quilting! I think I'm going to do free motion swirls all over it. That will go fast and will add some softness to the straight piecing.
Barrier Island Gradient is back in stock this week. You can see it in action in this stunning quilt by Louise Hall.
Don't be afraid to cut apart and rearrange a Gradient fabric.
Color Wheel Fabrics
The Color Wheel Fabrics (Stash Packs and Shades Packs) are my basic line of fabric and they are always 20% off. In Stash Packs I offer 3 versions: light, medium and dark. Medium is back in stock so three are all available again!
Pat Ferguson used the Color Wheel fabrics for her New York Beauty quilt. It certainly is a beauty.
Don't forget to periodically check out the Clearance section. There are new fabrics there this week!
August Schedule Reminder
This is your weekly reminder that my summer vacation is going to be a really long one this year so I want to give you notice now in case you need something dyed for your next project. We have plenty of time to get it done if we start planning now. I will be away August 6 - September 5 so the shop will basically be closed the entire month of August. If there's fabric that you need please get your orders in by the end of July. The cut off for custom dyed fabric will be July 26.
I got back to clearing off the cutting table this weekend and I didn't start any more drawstring bags. That's a big win!
A couple of weeks ago I unearthed a bin of these fabrics. Long time readers might remember that I started these as yet another travel project. I used a bunch of them in the Penguin quilt that I gave to my SIL. I still had a stack of fabrics ready to be tied, stitched or clamped and decided that I'll pack them up again for the car ride to Maine. That will give me 3 different types of projects that I can work on for 32 hours of riding and, hopefully, the variety will be good for my hands.
I bought these stencils from Cindy Needham a few years ago and they are perfect for marking fabric for Shibori stitching.
In an hour I had all of these fabrics marked. I marked one with each stencil. The cool thing about Shibori stitching is that you could mark 10 or more fabrics with the same stencil and stitch all differently. I'll just use the grids as guidelines and make my design decisions as I pull each fabric. I used Crayola Washable Markers and I only stopped when I ran out of ink in one marker. This will give me plenty to hand stitch for many trips to come. The small sizes are very manageable and they are a perfect size for a feature block in a quilt.
My Shibori project bag is perfect for this project and the zipper pouch is perfect for my threads, needles and little scissors. I'm ready to go!
Back to clearing the table I found some doll patterns that I printed off so I cut out 2 dresses, a sparkly t-shirt and batik shorts. I also found a bin with all the leftover animal print batiks from the Safari Quilt. It went into the batik fabric bin. I just don't have a good idea for using it at the moment. I'm getting close to the dustiest edge of the cutting table.
My friend, Brenda, came over for her first quilting lesson. She's going to buy a longarm soon and she's hoping to help with the veterans quilts. Helping her become comfortable with quilt if of great personal benefit to me! She was fearless and now she's alreay quilted her first quilt!
I finished off the weekend with some repair work. It annoys me so much that my pillowcases fray while the sheets are perfectly fine. In the past I'd toss them out and buy new ones. But I just got them to that perfect soft cotton feel so I don't want to throw them out. Plus I'm trying to do more repair and less tossing. My first though was to take off the cuff all together and add a new one in a print fabric but the serger was out and I decided to take the easy way out. Function over form.
I love having a serger! I just turned under the edges and did a really quick cover stitch. Good as new.
I also made some postcards this weekend but I have to wait until Thursday to share them because one of them is for Mom's birthday. They are pretty cool, though.
Today, the big green quilt will get loaded and basted!
Our inspiration this week comes from Lauren Furey. Lauren has shared her beautiful bespoke stoles with us before. This was a commissioned clergy stole that they desired spring greens for the background and a highlight of the Kousa Dogwood tree in the front yard of the church. She used the Endive and Color Wheel Green Shades Packs for the Spring vibe of this stole. Check out more photos below.
For sharing, Lauren received a 20% coupon for the shop that's good for 3 months! If you have made anything with my hand dyed fabric I hope you will consider sharing it in the Customer Gallery. The only rule is that projects have to be complete. It doesn't have to be made totally from hand dyed fabric, just include a recognizable amount.
Chris and I were gone about half the day yesterday for an appointment and errands and then we visited friends yesterday afternoon so I didn't get a whole lot of creative things accomplished yesterday.
I am going to get that stack of bags done this weekend to get them out of the way and I'm not cutting any more out! I knocked this one out yesterday afternoon. It will be a great size for gifting a bottle of wine or other spirits. It's made from a fat quarter size ice dyed fabric. It's got one seam in the center back so that I could center the mandala on the front.
Another little chore that I accomplished is restocking my supply of pet bed fabrics. A friend helped me acquire a bunch of upholstery and drapery remnants. I worked through the 2 bags of goodies and got everything paired and precut so that I'm ready to go when the batting scrap bin is full again. Chris and I are pretty sure that one of the fabrics is a silk blend so 4 pets are going to get some really fancy bedding!
On the loom knitting front I've made a few decisions. I'm only doing the loom to give my hands a break from crochet. I don't love doing it but I do need to keep my hands busy. I developed horrible tendonitis in both hands several months ago and they are just now getting better. Loom knitting is working out to be a pretty perfect substitute for those times when my hands bother me. The Copperfit compressions gloves are helping tremendously! I've been working with the round loom only so far making hats and one knit stitch scarf. I didn't like the scarf because it curled horribly and had to be blocked. Making hats is OK but the yarn tension is pretty tight so there's still some strain on my hands.
I had bought a $5 clearance modular set from Michaels and decided to try out a scarf set up and I started making the scarf on the left. I think I've found my perfect project! The tension on this stitch is quite loose and there's no pressure on my hands at all. When we went out yesterday I took it in the car with me to see if it would be too bulky to work with and it's not! I will be making scarves for the foreseeable future during my crochet breaks. I may eventually make more hats but I don't like them as much as this double knit style scarf. It's actually a really soft and warm scarf. I should be able to get a few made before I drop off donations again in September.
One of our errand stops was to Joann where I picked up the ergonomic loom pick on the right. I had to sand off the point a little but it does work better than the pick that came with the loom. I also bought more bulky yarn that I didn't need but it was less than $1.75 a skein after the markdown, clearance discount and military discount all added together. I'll be making loom scarves for the next 10 years if I'm not careful about my purchases!
Today my one big goal is to get all of the bags finished and everything put away so I can get back to the worktable cleanup. Tomorrow I'm giving a quilting lesson and then I'll get the big green quilt loaded and start quilting.
I have seriously lost my mind but I'm having fun at it. I never thought I'd say this but I need to get back to making doll dresses!
Here are the two newest ones and they are made from the very first fabrics that I ever dyed when my best friend made me dye fabric one summer against my will. These were made with glue resist. The one on the left is red on one side and black on the other. I made these bags as big as the fabric allowed. That's why I love these projects. I can finally use my special fabrics and can use the whole piece because size really doesn't matter in this case.
Of course that created another project.
Here's one of 2 drawers of some of my earliest dyeing. Anne and I did lots of print paste, resist and other special dyeing techniques and created some really cool fabrics. But I don't use the fabrics because I know for a fact that they will all bleed.
I've decided that it's finally time to fix that and to soak all of these fabrics so that I'll use them in future projects.
In case you didn't think I was being accurate about the bleeding here's the first group that I put through soak cycles. That's only 12 fat quarters!
We were following the conventional wisdom of that time so we didn't know better. It took me several years to figure out that I could actually fix bleeding fabric.
These fabrics have already been processed and are back in the drawer and ready to be something someday. They will not be drawstring bags, I promise.
Because I've already cut all of these fabrics to make into bags in the coming days. Some of these are earmarked for gifts but most are for me.
99% of you will already know how to make these but if there are any new sewists reading I have created a tutorial. I've read through the tutorial 3 times and I think I've corrected all of my errors but if you see something let me know, I can easily fix it.
This is a quick quilt that I quilted for Mom this week. When she lived in Farmville her neighbor was also a quilter. Rita and John were very nice, very funny and were really kind to Mom. Shortly after Mom moved away Rita died and, of course, left behind a packed sewing room and tons of UFO projects. Mom has taken on a couple of them to finish for the family. This quilt is one of them.
Rita was really organized and had her projects packed away with the fabric and pattern together so Mom knew that she planned this pattern for this fabric.
Funny story, when she brought the top over we put it up on the design wall and we both commented that it's not one of our favorite quilts. We aren't particularly fond of the fabrics or pattern. But just as we were expressing our opinions Chris walked through, glanced at the quilt and said that he really like it. So there you go, different strokes for different folks.
I quilted it with an Urban Elementz pantograph called Carnival and used pink So Fine Thread in the needle and bobbin. It was nice to do something a little feminine for a change.
Next on the longarm is the big green quilt.
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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.