Aren't they adorable? I sort of want this project done soon but I sort of want to drag it out because they are soooooooo cute.
The postcards came together quickly. I started with the center motif and just added other fabrics on the sides. I satin stitched around the motif and around the edges.
It took less than 2 hours total to make 7 of there. I always like to have some patriotic postcards for our summer Airbnb guests so now I"m all set.
In between sewing sessions I also finally got through all that yarn!
I started with 3 bankers size boxes of yarn and, honestly, I didn't use it often because I'd have to get it all out and dump it on the floor to find anything. A lot of this came from $1 bins at discount stores and the rest was bought in half-price bins in yarn shops. So there really isn't a ton of money represented here.
I've been winding off 5 yard pieces of each one on little cards. Since I only use them for postcards, 5 yard pieces are plenty.
There's a piece of each of those yarns in this bin and it all fits great. But I quickly realized that I had the same problem. Because This is layers of yarn I'd still have to dump it out to find what I wanted. I had to find a better solution.
So I went back to the Cabinet of Magical Things, where this yarn really belongs, and emptied the second drawer (drafting tools, knitting needles and embroidery frames). All of the yarn fits here and I can see every one. This will be perfect and should also keep me from buying more.
Here's all the stuff going to my fiber art friends. The 2 nags are all yarn and the box is general supplies. They have a pretty large group to share with but I gave them permission to toss anything that isn't wanted.
I feel like I have a little breathing room now!
Now there's no confusing these for anything but penguin heads!
All the bodies now have wings.
Here are the 4 papa penguins! The cuteness slays. I think it might be hard to give this one away but I know that my SIL will love it.
I've also been sewing on the coasters in bits of time and finished 4 coasters and a bowl. These are made with the strips that I tore from the Fireworks quilt backing when I was squaring up the fabric. I forgot just how much fabric these projects use up. It's nice. I think I only had 1 strip left over and I really did toss it in the trash. But I have a ton of cording left over so I'll dig into another stack of strips that I have littering my sewing room.
I went ahead and wrapped these up so they are ready the next time I need a hostess gift.
Now back to the penguins.
When I was 8 I fell and broke my left wrist. I was playing with my brothers in an empty furniture box and the box tipped over as I was getting in it. Mom was out Christmas shopping and had to be paged at JC Penney. It threw a little wrench in Christmas and I didn't get any extra sympathy gifts which seemed a little unfair to me.
As with all injuries they always reassert themselves as we age. This particular one often brings numbness in my pinkie and ring fingers if I overuse them. Even typing with my pinkie finger is a little nervy. If I overdo things I'll have pain in my wrist. It's nothing horrible but I can't use knitting needles or embroider with a hoop because I really can't grip small things in my left hand. I can use the hand just fine but gripping is the problem.
Crochet is good because I hold the hook in my right hand. But it turns out that there's plenty of action with my left hand too and I've started to have some problems. I've been testing out different things to try to help it. I have all kinds of wrist braces but I eventually figured out that what I needed was to keep those 2 fingers from being able to close tightly and that's where this little felt roll comes in. There was a lot of R&D to determine that the width and diameter of this roll was just right.
The elastic hooks over both fingers and it sits right at the base of my fingers. Now I can't close those fingers and no more pain. I think I can use this for hand sewing too. It looks ridiculous but it works and I'm OK with that!
I've been testing it out on a zig zag blanket and I can crochet for longer periods of time now. I still have to work on my posture because my habit of leaning forward is annoying my back. Getting old is a privilege and a challenge!
This yarn is Caron Simply Soft. The first two skeins of yarn that I purchased were Caron Simply Soft in a variegated color palette. I didn't have a remote idea how much yarn was needed for a baby blanket so I only purchased 2. Then I discovered that I didn't have nearly enough! So I bought some white and purple to go with it and still not knowing exactly how much I needed I bought too much. But I'm going to try to use all of it on this blanket. I've made it a little wider than the other blankets, over 40" and I'll make it as long as possible. This blanket will be more of a toddler or youngster size.
It will take a while.
I also played with mroe scraps.
I forgot to share these scraps that were left over from the brown plaid veterans quilt. They were too small to put back in the plaid bin but I thought they would make some nice Americana postcards.
I pulled these pieces to be focal points for the cards. I'll work on these over the next couple of days.
Well, we were supposed to be on vacation this week. It involved air travel so I think you can guess how that went. I was sad for a few minutes and then I thought "hey, more quilting time! I've got this." First I was able to go to sewing with my quilt club Friday (the county parks department canceled Saturday). I'll show that progress at the bottom.
I spent much of my weekend enjoying the beautiful outdoors with a long hike Saturday and I spent some of it agonizing over which shibori blocks belong in the penguin quilt. I eventually narrowed it down to this group with 3 spares (on the right). Then I had to decide which would be for which size penguins.
Here they are all cut to size and ready to make penguins.
You do understand why I can't toss these out, don't you?
But I'll think about that later. I also spent part of the weekend planning new crochet projects.
I picked up this yarn because I really needed to get something that didn't have any pink. I don't even like pink and the first 3 blankets all had pink in them! I tried 3 different patterns in this before settling on the same pattern that I used in my first blanket. It's simply double crochet in the back loop which gives it the ridges. It will be great for travel because it's so incredibly simple. But it doesn't look like I'll be doing much traveling anytime soon!
I'm dealing with a problem with my left hand while I crochet and I think I'm close to solving it. I started another project to work on in front of the TV and I'm testing out solutions for my hand and hopefully with have that to share tomorrow.
These are the quilt tops that I finished Friday. I cut these out a while back as kits. I have a bin of plaids so that's where these came from. I started the green one in February and finished it first. Then Becky pointed out that it was a little shorter than we try to make. I needed one more row of plaids in the center. This one is fine as it is. It will be a good lap quilt for someone getting treatment. I had not pre-cut the sashing in the kits so it was easy to adjust the tan one. These are based on a 4" grid with 4" finished wide sashing. It couldn't be easier and I love how they turned out.
All the quilt club members have been busy making tops so I need to get busy dyeing more backs and it turns out that I have plenty of time for that this week!
Today's inspiration is from Janet Pollat. This is a collage quilted wall hanging made from
Laura Heine’s Confetti pattern. She used the Helios Gradient as her background which made for a beautiful sunset feel to the quilt.
For sharing, Janet 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.
I've made great progress on the penguins in the past few days. Following the directions to the letter, I first sewed sides to the eyes so that they don't look like houses anymore.
I chain pieced wings.
I got tired of drawing diagonal stitching lines so I finally got out the Sharpie and just drew a line that I could follow. That sped things up nicely.
Three sets of penguin wings for small, medium and large penguins. I'm calling them papa, mama and baby anymore. There are 4 papas, 8 mamas and 8 babies.
Next was adding corners to the head and finally we have something that looks like a penguin! NOW I can play with the bodies.
Here are all of the fabrics that I have to choose from for the bodies. I need twenty so I'll spend the weekend deciding which ones that I want to use. The tedious part of this quilt is over!
This weekend I'll work more on this, the scrap coasters, winding yarn and I also need to plan a new crochet project.
I am working on penguins, winding yarn and crocheting in the evenings but I got a little diverted for a couple of hours yesterday.
This is an old dresser that Chris and I bought at an auction (for probably $10) about 25 years ago. He refinished it and now it's the Cabinet of Magical Things. It has 4 Drawers of Magical Things. It's mostly the stuff that I use for postcards and other small projects. I had to go into one of the drawers yesterday to look for something for a postcard idea and ended up cleaning the whole thing out. I didn't get any before photos because I was immersed in sorting the contents into keep, share, trash. The share items will go to my friends who do fiber art. Here's how that 2 hours of effort ended up.
The top drawer ended up with Angelina fibers, feathers and a few other decorative things.
During the cleanout I found these metallic papers that I had completely forgotten in the disorganization. Maybe I'll actually use them now. I also found some stamping supplies that belong in the basement with all the other stamping supplies.
The second drawer has my needlework frames, knitting needles and drafting supplies. I even have my Dad's drafting kit from when he was in college. Yes, I do use it quite often. I didn't get rid of much from this drawer. I've been through this one before.
This drawer of ribbons and trims had gotten completely out of hand. I didn't reduce much but I got it reorganized so I can actually see what I have.
Here's where the trash can came in handy. This drawer had all of my metallic painted fabrics and where I'd shove scraps of pre-fused fabrics. I was able to toss about half of it so the drawer is now really magical. I was not particularly surprised at how many TINY pieces there were. I'm rolling my eyes at myself!
No more diversion. I'll get back to winding yarn now.
I'm working on the scrap coasters in fits and starts. I like making them but they are a little rough on my wrists with all the wrapping and holding things taught. I've got 2 done and I've got plenty of fabric and cording for 2 more and probably a bowl too. This fabric is from the backing of my nephew's Fireworks quilt. I pulled these strips when I was squaring up the back and then just piled them on a shelf because "someday"......
The penguins are coming along and I'll have lots of photos of that project tomorrow.
I picked the granny square just to use up this yarn. Now that it's done I absolutely love it!
You know that my goal was to use ALL of this yarn. I wanted a border so I estimated when I needed to stop and start doing the border. I figured that I had enough yarn to do a half double crochet. But I came up short about 20" of yarn! It's jsut like quilting when the bobbin thread runs out on the last row of quilting.
The good thing about crochet is that ripping out stitches takes about 5 seconds so I pulled out the border row.
I did a single crochet instead. (The colors in this photo are horrible.)
I used this Youtube Tutorial to make the blanket with 3 balls of Lion Brand Mandala Sparkle yarn. I only had a little bit of yarn left over and I allowed myself to toss it out. The colors of the yarn are most accurate in this photo.
It finished about 32" square. This is my 3rd crochet blanket and I'm already planning the next one.
I'm also working on penguins and coasters and studio cleaning.
Just a quick reminder today that if you "need" fabric in the next 2 weeks, get your order in by Friday!
There will be no shipping March 14 - 22.
No custom orders accepted after March 11 (tomorrow). Custom orders and shipping will resume March 23. You are welcome to contact me about custom orders at any time but I will not be dyeing again until the week of March 23.
Stars Sale Continues!
The sale on Stars fabric is extended through this week. All Stars fabrics are on sale 15% off! Stars are One Yard cuts of fabrics in one color but with lots of texture. There are over 30 to choose from! Use code STARS15 at checkout.
The very first thing I did Saturday is get the taxes together. Every year I think I dread it for 3 days when it really only takes about 3 hours to do the work. I had a couple of reconciliation issues with my business but once those were worked out I was good to go. I'm delivering them to the accountant today and now I don't have to think about it again for a few weeks.
By mid-Saturday afternoon I was able to get back to fun stuff.
Penguin eyes with the beaks. This is a really fiddly pattern but the instructions are so well written and illustrated.
Now we're getting somewhere! The are starting to look really penguiny. I think this is going to be such a cute quilt and I'm eager to get to the point where I can start cutting the shibori fabrics....the fun part.
Yesterday afternoon my friend, Kim, came over with this quilt quilt that she made for a Project Linus "event". I don't really know what it's for. I just know that the daughter of a friend snookered her (in a good way) into to make a quilt for her Project Linus project and it's due in a couple of weeks. She picked up a kit with 3 yards of fabric and a free pattern at the Mid-Atlantic quilt show and had this pieced in one evening. I volunteered to quilt it for her and yesterday was the day.
I took my cue from the wavy grid pattern in the print and quilted wavy lines across the quilt. Our goals were "fast" and "done" with the added goal of good tension. We succeeded on all 3 fronts and she went off to bind it last night.
During "breaks" I'm still winding yarn off so I can reduce the size of my yarn stash without having to totally get rid of any of the yarns. This is a pretty boring task but I'm slowly making progress through the three big boxes of yarn.
I'm almost done with the granny square crochet too. I'm down to the last round and border.
It was a good weekend.
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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.