The good thing about having several projects underway at all times is that when your energy/space/time is limited there's always something you can work on. The Rainbow quilt has been good for me this week because I could work on it in bits of time when I had the energy. Eventually I got it done!
It's king sized and for the moment I have it draped over the guest bed. I seriously love this quilt.
Finding that this quilt back will fit was a stroke of good luck.. This is folded in quarters and the lime area is the center. The motif of squares works great with the front. I dyed this for another project and it didn't work out. I'm glad it's going to work out for this one.
When I started making the Rainbow quilt I picked a lot of fabric and cut it all out. I got so carried away that I have enough blocks for a lap quilt! I laid this out on the floor last night so I wouldn't have to plan it at the next sewing with my quilt club.
I have all of the rows clipped and read to sew next month.
There are even more blocks left over! I'll plan a baby quilt or something with these and the scraps from all the cutting after I finish the lap quilt.
The health Gods are really messing with me now. I was feeling better from the cold but yesterday after walking to the mailbox (it's a long walk) I knew that something wasn't quite right. Fortunately my doctor could see me yesterday afternoon and now I have antibiotics for pneumonia. Fabric dyeing and other very physical activities are further delayed. I'm supposed to teach Saturday and hopefully I'll be all better by then. I will say that pneumonia doesn't feel nearly as bad as the first 10 days of that horrid cold!
So, just what does a girl do when she's sick and doesn't feel like quilting,, dyeing or mosaicing? She things about all of those things and buys new supplies!
The only commercial fabric is buy is an occasional solid and ALL of Paula Nadelstern's fabrics. She does a new symmetry collection every year. usually I make a sample for her in the fall but I wasn't able to do it this year. I had to wait on the fabrics to arrive in the store like everyone else! They jsut came in this week and, as always, I LOVE them. Once I finish putting together the applique quilt top and preparing the borders for applique I will be starting a new symmetry quilt. It will probably be something from Paula's new book, Fabricadabra.
If you also need some of these fabrics Paula has a 2-week Pop-Up Shop open on her web this week! Check out the whole collection along with the book and coordinating thread collection.
On the way to the doctor's office I checked the mail and saw that this long-awaited book had finally arrived!
I don't buy many books anymore because most of them are hugely disappointing. I bought a longarm book recently that I felt was very weak on usable content. It had about 3 pages on technique and the rest was patterns for the author's quilt samples. I don't need to replicate her quilts. I wanted to see many examples of her design process. Frankly, it was a waste of money.
Playful Fabric Printing, on the other hand, is how books should be. It's a comprehensive book on printing fabric with thickened MX dyes. There's ample information on mixing dyes and getting the perfect thickness for printing. The rest of the book has a lot of detail instructions and samples for various methods of printing cloth including stencils, stamps, multiple color stamping, screening and texture. If you are at all interested in fabric dyeing then you will want to add this book to your library. The sections on methods of design and printing are totally applicable to fabric paints too. It's a book that will be a long time reference for me and I couldn't read it all even in the long wait at the doctor's office.
Playful Fabric Printing should be the standard for quilting and craft books. That it isn't is why so many book publishers are going out of business.
I don't think I know of any quilter as prolific as Patricia Caldwell, The Butterfly Quilter. She takes her job as full time artist very seriously and is always working on something new. Right now she's getting ready for a big exhibit this Spring. Here's her latest beautiful piece.
This one is called Trillium and is a spectacular use of the Navajo Gradient. You can see from the photo of the gradient how she used it to add just the right shading for the leaves. You can follow Patricia on her Facebook page. Today she's working on quilting another Crystal mandala.
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.
While I'm not going to have a formal UFO tracking project this year I am going to keep tracking my own and anyone else is welcome to join in.
I intended to do this post at the first of the month but you know that I didn't have the energy to even care about a UFO unless one was coming to kidnap me and take me somewhere without viruses. That didn't happen so here I am.
But let's start with a photo. This weekend (yesterday and today) is the monthly sewing days with my quilt club. This is the project that I keep ready to work on there. Last month I finished making all of the blocks. Yesterday I started putting it together. This will be a king size and I'm doing it like a big 9 patch and I got 2 of the 9 blocks put together yesterday. Then I came home and took a long nap. But it was so nice to be out and sewing some very bright colors. I'm really lucky to be a part of this wonderful group of ladies. There's no drama and lots of inspiration and laughter.
Back to the UFO report. I started this tracking in 2015 with 29 UFO projects so I think I've made really good progress in 2 years. I'm down to 19 to start off 2017 and have already finished one on the list. My goal is to get down to 14 by the end of this year. But I also want to start 6 new projects and we'll just see how that goes. I'm also committing to quilt 40 veteran's quilts again this year.
If you want to join in with me this year you are welcome to leave a comment with your report or link. Going forward my plan is to post the first day of each month.
2017 in Review
Starting UFO 19
Finished YTD 1 (Goal 11)
Started YTD 0 (Planned 6)
Ending UFO 18 (Goal 14)
Veterans YTD 0 (Goal 40)
New QOV from leftovers (started May 2016)
Actively In Process
THE WALL (2/3 done)
Ashley's Rainbow (started June)
Vintage Flower appliqué (blocks and inner border done, need to put together the rest of the top and applique outer borders))
Projects I Want to Do (not counted)
New symmetry quilt
Quilt a Crystal mandala
Start a new wall section
new Quilt Along project
QOV/veterans mystery quilt
New guest house quilt
Quilt 40 CSQ veteran’s quilts (36 done)
Ready to be quilted (have backs)
Baby Drunkard’s Path
Tops Done (need backs)
Brown Drunkard’s Path (top done)
Kaleidoscope Block of the Week (Jackie's Choice)
Tops/Projects In Some State of Progress
Shibori dyeing series (need to decide if I'm doing anything with them)
Blue flower appliqué (after multi flower appliqué)
Flower appliqué on green wall hanging (need setting plan)
Dark red screen printed fabric (in gold) for placemats
Coming Home sun prints for wall hanging
Red leaf prints for wall hanging
Postage Stamp Quilt (the next project to work on at CSQ sewing days)
White with hand dyes HSTeria quilt (needs border)
Blue scrappy tumbler quilt
2017 got off to a very slow start for me. I had big plans to have so many things done by now but my immune system had other ideas. Maybe a late start makes the first finish more enjoyable because this feels like a big accomplishment.
This should have been my 3rd QOV for 2016 because all that was left was the binding. But I'm not delivering it to a QOV coordinator until next month so it matters not whether it was a 2016 or 2017 finish. It was just another pile in the sewing room needing attention.
This quilt is made with the leftovers of my first 2016 QOV. I also made a veteran's size coins quilt. By the time I was done with those I was completely fatigued by these fabrics and gave them to a friend in my quilt club and she made 2 more veteran's tops. I think those fabrics are truly done now.
My patched binding looks just fine. If the recipient notices they will just think that they discovered a secret and will proudly point out their astute discovery to their friends.
The quilting is a simple double stipple or ribbon. This goes so quickly, keeps the quilt soft and is great for masculine or feminine quilts.
Of course I had to add a little of myself with a hand dyed quilt back. I love this mottled blue. You can see there there are some very dark areas and I cut those from my scraps for the binding patch.
This one is washed and ready for a label and then I can deliver it and my other QOV next month.
Time to start thinking about another QOV quilt to do.
Yesterday I sewed!
I need to start putting the vintage flower top together since the cleaning lady pointed out that it's been on the living room floor since Christmas. But before I set up the machine for that one I thought I'd get my first finish for 2017 and sew on the binding of a QOV.
It should have been done last night but then this happened. I'm short anout 20" of binding! This quilt was made with the leftovers of another QOV quilt and I gave all of the leftovers to this to a friend and she's made 2 veteran's quilts with them. So I don't have one extra inch of this fabric.
My first inclination was to search the web to find more of this blue. It's a older collection and the solids are not available anymore. Plus, with shipping, a half yard would probably cost about $20 and would delay me at least another week.
I decided that I needed to make do. Real quilters make do. Fabric dyers could actually dye a matching fabric. But that would take a few days and I want to get this done.
The back of this quilt is a hand dyed mottled fabric on dark navy blue and turquoise. I'e got lots of that leftover and I found this piece that is mostly dark blue.
It's not perfect but I think it will do just fine. This might be done today!
Tomorrow and Saturday are sewing days with Country School Quilters so I'll be working on my rainbow quilt for as long as I can last. This cold is still beating me up pretty thoroughly. I have heard from so many people who have had the same thing so I know it's just going to take time. I'm feeling a little better every day so that's all that matters.
All of the snow has melted and I'm drying all of the snow dyed fabric. It's so nice outside today that we will be able to open the windows for a few hours. The fresh air will probably help my cold more than anything.
David Armour has been a customer of mine for several years and I've been wanting you to meet him. His main interest is in color value so his purchases are generally Shades Packs and he works magic with them! He is masterful at mixing hand dyed and commercial fabrics and loves working with value and transparency in his art quilts.
David graciously invited us into his quilting spaces and I hope you will enjoy meeting him and touring his quilting home. It's a PDF article that you can download and read here.
Here's one of David's recent finishes. I just love his color palettes!
The snow melted on my dyed fabrics. We still have plenty outside. Here's how the bins look before I washed everything out this morning. Everything is soaking now. I love most of the pieces. A couple didn't turn out so great but that's how it goes.
I wanted ruddy greens and I think I succeeded.
One of these is a 108" square quilt back...or front.
This didn't produce the browns that I wanted but I love all the colors and there's a Tshirt in there that's awesome.
This one and the next one are pieces done in boxes so that I can sit the pieces on edge. It gives a totally different look. I wanted greens (check) and red(not so check). I got more pint than red but they still turned out really nice.
I peeled myself out of the recliner long enough Sunday to prep fabric, shirts and other things for snow dyeing. The most time consuming part of snow or ice dyeing is preparing the fabric. Most of the fabric isn't on grain so I have to do some tugging and stretching to get the fabrics square so I can get a perfectly centered mandala. The 108" square pieces are the hardest and I try to do one in each session.
I got fabric ready for 4 trays. After I get all of the fabric folded I soak it all in soda ash solution for about a half hour and then arrange them on the 4 screens to get the ready for the snow and dye. This bin had one large quilt back and one 58" cotton sateen mandala.
I have these wide plastic strips that I clip around the fabric to hold the snow/ice on the fabric.
I start with a layer of snow. It's just enough to cover all of the fabric. I do this because I try to avoid getting dye dots on the fabric.
This one will be all blues. I don't bother with turquoise anymore because it's a colossal waste of dye. Turquoise just will not set in cold temperatures so 90% of it goes down the drain. This one will have sky, cerulean and cobalt. I cover this with several more inches of snow. This snow is so dry that I actually added about 3 more inches of snow after it melted some.
Here's what it looks like from the side where you can see the layering.
Here are 3 more bins. On the left I'm going for golds, orange and browns. The middle is yellow, gold and black and the right one should come out in shades of green.
Chris has the wood stove going and 72 is about as low as it will get down there today so the dyeing should happen pretty quickly.
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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