My primary focus this week is to find a new lawn mowing service so I'm making lots of calls and meeting people. But in between that and making bread I got 2 more of the little lap quilt tops made.
These two will go with the plaid one I shared a few days ago with this stripe fabric for the back. I found out that I have a stack of black-on-white fabrics in the dye studio that I intended to overdye. Now I'm finally doing it and will use them for backs for these child lap quilts or adult wheelchair blankets. These will go in the to-be-quilted closet. that makes 14 tops so far. 4 have been finished and delivered, 4 are being quilted and 6 are in the closet. The next group will be eyeball searing bright.
Today's newsletter is going to be quite brief because I was busy into the evening last night to get a lot of new fabrics listed. This week I have over 20 new Stars fabrics! It's the most I've ever listed all at once.
Stars are one yard cuts of fabric. They aren't specific recipes and can't be reproduced. They are great for bindings, borders, backgrounds or anything where you need a larger cut. If you want a Star fabric that will go with a specific palette, like a Gradient or Stash Pack, contact me and I can try to match one for you.
If you are working with a Shades Pack or Gradient I can always custom dye yardage to match. Minimum order for custom yardage is 1/2 yard.
Check out all of the Stars fabrics here.
Fabric of the Week
The Fabric of the Week this week is the Pebbles Stash Pack. Each Stash Pack has 10 fat eighths of fabrics in a variety of color combinations and color texture. I love them for scrappy style quilts but I think most people use them for elements in art quilts. You can use them any way you want!
The Pebbles Stash Pack is 20% off through Sunday.
This art quilt by Patricia Caldwell is an example of what can be done with one little fat eight from a Stash Pack.
A perfect weekend would have ended in the Eagles winning the Super Bowl but that was not to be. Both teams played great but KC won in the end. I've no complaints because I was entertained by a fun season and the SB game itself was exciting and fun to watch with Chris and some friends. It was all good and now I have my Sunday's back for a few months.
In other news, do you remember my quilts for Paula Nadelstern's new fabric line? You can see them here and here. Well the fabrics are now in the shop and Benartex has published the Lookbook. The other quilts in the Lookbook are spectacular! Please check them out. If you are interested in the fabrics, they are in several online stores and you can find them by searching "Needle Stars Benartex". I found the best price at Hancock's of Paducah. I'm not affiliated, I just spent some time shopping around.
I honestly didn't get a lot accomplished this weekend. But I did get one more lap quilt top made and another cut out and ready to sew. Each one takes a little more than an hour, start to finish, if I don't cut the fabric wrong.
I didn't practice my botanical quilting at all! I must rectify that soon.
Instead of sewing or quilting Saturday we picked up the last load of wood from Becky's, Chris chopped it and I stacked it. This whole pile is only 1 tree! It's probably about a third of what we will use in a winter so we still have lots of work to do to find and harvest more wood. This particular tree fell during Thanksgiving weekend and we were happy to get it.
Saturday I had done my normal exercise, hauled woods with Chris and then stacked wood. After that all I wanted to do was sit in my chair and crochet and that's exactly what happened. I'm 4 balls in on this blanket and have 3 to go.
Today's inspiration comes from Julie Griffiths. Sh use the Jenny Lake Gradient and Gloria Loughman's Tile Technique to recreate the view from a home she recently sold. The view features Aspen trees, Snakeroot, grasses and shrubs.
For sharing, Julie 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.
On Monday I shared two more comfort quilts Monday and I used this fish fabric and the backing fabric. I had a little of the fabric left over and I really hate having scraps. That meant that I needed to come up with a quick project to use it and placemats are one of my go-to projects. Chris is big into fishing, especially off-shore. I got this fabric with because the fish are pretty accurate and I thought I might make him a quilt. I was just never inspired to make a quilt with it. Placemats are a fine tradeoff. He can see his fish while he eats his dinner.
I even used 2 fat quarters from that bin of fabric that I pulled out a couple of weeks ago. That's the yellow and gold trim. The ohter blue is a hand dyed piece from my stash and I used all of it too.
I make my placemats with flannel from old (but clean) flannel sheets as the batting. It adds just enough weight but doesn't make them fluffy. I also like quilting them pretty heavily so they don't need much ironing. I use a lot of straight line quilting because it's really fast but I wanted a little movement in the ocean and did overlapping wavy lines in the middle. It looks like a lot of work but it went really fast.
I even dyed napkins to match!
My scrap usage doesn't end with the front of the placemats. Especially when I make them for myself, I try to use my ugly fabrics for the backing. I remember giving some placemats to a friend and I use one of my "uglies" on the back. She sent me photos a few months later to show me how great the placemats looked in her new home. It was the ugly back that matched her decor! They didn't look ugly anymore.
I had enough fabric to make 8 for 2 sets of 4. I'll give the other est to my nephew because he loves fishing too.
This weekend I'll be back to practicing my quilting and making the lap quilts. On Sunday I will be totally focused on the Eagles and the Super Bowl and I'm likely to be a little loud.
I'm linking up to Alycia's Finished Friday and Confessions of a Fabric Addict
Yesterday started off bright and early. I left my house at 4:45 so that I could get my friend to the surgery center by 6:00. After her successful (and efficient) surgery, I had her home and relaxing on the sofa by 10:30. I stayed with her until about 5:30 and then another friend spent some of the evening with her. She reports that she is doing great today now that the drugs and nerve block have worn off.
She's a very low maintenance patient so I had a lot of time to fill.
I took my hat bag to the surgery center and finished this one up while I was waiting. The lady next to me noticed and we talked a bit about our various crochet projects and preferences. It's always nice to meet another maker.
The donation place is a mile from my friend's house so I dropped off the other hats, with this one, when I went out to pick up her prescriptions. In all, I dropped off 7 hats and 4 lap blankets yesterday. I have a ton of this soft gray yarn so I'll just keep making this hat until it's all gone.
Back at my friend's house I had this big blanket to work on and made good progress because she didn't need my help much. It's about 44"square now and I'm pretty sure I have enough yarn to add another 14 or so inches. It will be good for a dialysis patient....or wherever the charity feels it's needed.
It was really beautiful and warm yesterday so Chris got all of the latest load of wood chopped. If you need me I'll be stacking and then I'll go check on my friend and buy a new small fridge for the dye studio. My old one is quickly dying on me.
This is not one week's worth of work. I've been working on these off and on for a few weeks. It just didn't seem post worthy until I had a few to share.
I've been looking for a good beanie pattern that I could use to make chemo hats for men. Honestly, the only thing that makes a hat a chemo hat vs a regular hat is the yarn used. Bald, sensitive heads want soft yarns. One of my favorites is Feels Like Butta by Lion Brand but all the major yarn makers have an equivalent chain-spun polyester yarn that's exactly like FLB.
I found the Avery Brimless Beanie and gave it a try with some FLB. I started in blue and realized that I didn't have enough so I added some black and finished off with the blue. The stitches are half double crochet, herringbone half double and extended single. I think it's the combo of the special stitches that makes this a pretty classy beanie. It also looks and fits great on a man. After making this one I wanted to try another yarn.
Mandala Ombre is a very soft yarn and it's always in stock at my local Wal-Mart stores. It's really soft and I like it for baby blankets and it's great for soft hats too. I picked up 2 balls. The color Cool made these two hats, both from the same ball of yarn.
These two hats are from the color Mantra. I think they all have a nice masculine look.
I had little bits of yarn left from the other hats and I was able to get one more done. It had lots of ends to weave in but, being scrappy, it's my favorite.
Today I'm taking a friend for surgery and have my hat crochet bag and some gray FLB yarn to work on some more. I've made enough of them now that I have the pattern memorized. After I get my friend home I will drop these off at From The Heart since it's only a couple of miles from her house.
I'm slowly working on the placemats and have been watching my quilting classes in the evening. I need to get to the basement for some more practice Thursday and Friday. I've also been stacking wood. A friend had a big oak fall in the woods on her property and Chris has been harvesting the wood. I help him haul the wood out to the truck and after he splits it I do the stacking. It's pretty good exercise. We were both a little sore last night after bringing home this new load. It was a big tree and we have a couple more loads of wood to bring home for next year's fires. Then we will be on the search for more!
Inspiration comes from everywhere. Sometimes I peruse images on the internet for inspiration. That's how I came up with the South Beach gradient. Sometimes it comes from something I see on a hike or on vacation, like Jenny Lake and Niagara. But occasionally inspiration is dropped right into my email box from one of my customers.
I shared this quilt made by Patricia Caldwell on the blog Saturday but I've had the images for a few weeks. As soon as I saw the quilt I knew I had to make a gradient with blues and purples. Blue Moon is the happy result. Once the gradient effect was revealed it reminded me of a bright moon in a dark sky. I hope it will inspire something for you the way Patricia's quilt inspired me.
Back In Stock
It was "blue week" in the dye studio and I got these two beautiful blues back in the shop.
Fabric of the Week
The fabric of the week this week is the Jeovani Reflections. Reflections are sold in 1 yard increments and are dyed with lots of streaky texture that works great for sky and water elements. I also like them for borders on traditional quilts. Jeovani is 20% off through Sunday unless it sells out early.
This weekend was great weather for staying inside and quilting. I kicked off my weekend by quilting two more lap quilts for donation. You might remember that I said I was going to use the lap quilts as my practice quilts for my botanicals quilting class. Well, I just couldn't put leaves and flowers on quilts with a fish print backing.
I had 3 yards of this fish print and that meant that was enough for 3 quilts but when I was getting ready to load the quilts I realized that the fish would be swimming in the wrong direction so I had to turn the quilt tops and that limited me to 2 quilts, which wasn't a problem. I can use the extra top on another backing fabric.
Free motion waves were the right answer for these 2 quilts and I think they turned out really cute. I expect that the charity will allocate these to be kid's quilts.
I originally bought that fish fabric to make a quilt for Chris but I was never really inspired to use it. Now with the 2 lap quilts done I had one yard of the fabric left and decided to start some placemats so that he will at least get SOMETHING from the fabric. I was even able to use 2 more fat quarters from that bin of tester fat quarters for the yellow and gold accent pieces. The dark blue was a 1+ yard piece from my stash and I had enough for the edges and binding. I'll work on these a little at a time and might have them done in a week or so. I had enough fabric to make 8 of them so I'll probably send 4 to my nephew who also had the fishing "disease", as they call it.
I was getting ready to start making some more lap quilt tops and that required me to move this mending project for the 50th time. Instead of moving the pile again it seemed time to actually do the mending.
I dyed a vintage tablecloth and napkins in 2015. You can see them on this page if you scroll down to the "Other Projects" section. I am still very proud of that project and use the tablecloth and napkins once or twice a year. They don't get a ton of wear but they are old and are showing their age. The napkins, especially, won't survive that much longer. The edges are wearing and the ladder hem stitching is ripping. I can't do anything about the frayed edges but I can do a quick fix of the broken ladders - by machine, of course. I'm not about to do hand stitching.
I played around with my machine stitches until I found a stitch that was good enough and then dug through my vast thread stash and found a perfect match.
It's not perfect but it's serviceable and my guests won't notice. I'm sure of that! At least, for now, they are back in the drawer and off my sewing table. I can start some more lap quilt tops.
I did get on with practicing my botanical quilting and forgot to take photos of the first 2 quilts. I have the third one set and ready to go as soon as I decide on exactly what I want to practice next.
I also did a good amount of crochet this weekend too and I'll share my progress on that later in the week. I was too lazy to take any more photos last night while I was writing this post.
This week's inspiration is from Patricia Caldwell. For this one she moved from the wall to the bed with a 78" square bed quilt made mostly with Stash Packs. Pattern is from the 2022 Moda challenge blocks . She choose one of the blocks that she liked and cut strips 2 inches wide. Sashing 2 1/2 inches wide.
She had it professionally quilted with a pattern called Vortex.
You will see next week that this project was also inspiration for me!
For sharing, Patricia 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.
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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.