It was easy to get stuff done this weekend because it's entirely too hot and humid to be outside. The mold is up so my allergies are insane. I'm averaging one Benedryl every hour and a half. (No, it doesn't make me sleepy because I've been taking it daily for over 30 years. Nothing else works as well as the Benedryl.)
I also deleted a game off my phone that was wasting entirely too much of my time.
I'm making progress on the quilt crosshatching the background diamonds and doing the ruler work in the border blocks. I set a goal of doing a row a day and now I only have 3 rows left. After I finish this ruler work I'll take it off for a bit to quilt a couple of veterans quilts and then I'll put this back on to quilt around the floral blocks.
Limiting myself to one row a day and quilting left-handed is keeping my left wrist happy so I'll stick with that mode.
I started making blocks for another veterans quilt. I did spend some time in EQ looking for my next big project but nothing is striking me yet so I'll keep going on veterans quilts. I do enjoy making them especially knowing that they are truly appreciated. Once I get this top put together I'll get busy making kits from all the patriotic fabrics that I bought a couple of weeks ago.
After 2 false starts I finally got going on this baby quilt. I love doing double crochet, it goes so fast! This one will be done in no time.
I also made a new and really cute postcard design but I can't share it until Mom received it for her birthday this week. We'll go to my brother's this weekend to celebrate with the whole family.
This week's inspiration comes from MaryAnn Shupe. She made her bright stained glass quilt using batiks and hand dyed black for the "leading". She says that it fused beautifully. That black is out of stock today but will be back next week! You can read more about this piece and follow MaryAnn on her blog, Joyful Puttering.
For sharing, MaryAnn 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 been working on starting this project all week. I shared this photo a couple of days ago. It was my swatch for this blanket. I started the blanket and realized that changing yarn every row was more work than I wanted to do for a donation blanket.
Then I found this pattern that looked fun. It has a new-to-me stitch called the Herringbone Stitch. I got it started and got 7 rows in. I love the stitch and like how the color is going to look but I decided that this stitch is making a blanket that is too heavy. So I'm unraveling this and will start again. I'm going to do straight double crochet but use the stripe repeat from the pattern. That should make a blanket that's a little lighter. I will come back to the herringbone stitch at some point for another project, I enjoy doing it.
Yesterday I spent a few quality hours with the Direct TV repair guy. He was very nice so I gave him a postcard to give to his wife. While I was rummaging in the sewing room for something else I found a little stack of leftover hand dyed fabrics. I sewed them to some postcard bases and will work on doing something with these this weekend in between quilting sessions.
I don't have a lot to share today because yesterday was a busy dyeing day. I'm very grateful to my customers for keeping me so busy lately! Yesterday was a particularly long day but all the fabric is happily batching and waiting to be washed out this evening. I"m lucky to have my husband's abandoned sauna for batching so I get very consistent temperatures every week.
I'm slowly making progress on the quilt. I've finished 3 rows of 8 of the cross-hatching and border blocks. My left wrist has mostly healed itself but I'll continue to quilt with the ruler in my right hand for a while.
After the Direct TV repair person comes today I'll be right back on this and, hopefully, get another row done.
I started this blanket to work on in the car ride to and from The Great Smoky Mountains. It was a perfect project because the yarn (Hobby Lobby I Love This Yarn) is kind of chunky and the pattern (filet crochet) was really simple.
The pattern is worked in sets of 12 stitches (plus 1). I cast on 121. If I was to make it again I'd probably do 109 stitches. I used every inch of 3 skeins of the variegated and added the border in some leftover white from another project. I finished it with Crab Stitch in the variegated.
The pattern for the border is:
1 row of DC in ever stitch (there are 2 DC for each row in the blanket)
1 row of alternating DC and chain
1 row of DC in every stitch
1 row of Crab stitch
I did block this blanket. Just getting it wet for blocking made it even softer. This yarn is sooooo easy to crochet and they have a bazillion colors at Hobby Lobby. With frequent sales, this yarn is also very budget friendly.
This blanket is going to be gifted to the daughter of a friend for a baby girl coming in September.
I like the look and effect of the Crab Stitch border so much that I know I'll use it on lots of blankets going forward.
I'm casting on 2 new projects and this is the first one. This one will be good for taking to quilt club meetings or for working on in the car. This is Lion Brand Mandala yarn. It's the first yarn I ever picked up and it's still one of my favorites. There are so many colorways to choose from and simple stitches work great so the color changes in the yarn can do all of the work. It makes a very soft blanket.
This is a swatch that I'm working on for the second one. I really like this pattern but it's going to have a color change EVERY ROW so I'm not sure that I'm going to actually do this one. I don't want to work that hard. I'll figure it out this week and make a final decision.
I'm really enjoying my evening crochet session. It's so relaxing to put on my audiobook and play with yarn for a bit. Last night I dropped off 5 blankets with a friend. She has donation destinations for them.
Fabric of the Week - Navajo
This week the fabric news is all about gradients and I'm kicking it off with Navajo as the fabric of the week. It's 20% off through Sunday.
One of my favorite projects made with Navajo are these Jarl Squad banners made by Timothy Coote for the Up Helly Aa Festival. Don't they look like they have a great time?
Back in Stock
I got several gradients restocked this week and the most important one is Frolic. It's the newest gradient and it sold out in 2 days when I first unveiled it. If you missed your chance to get some, it's now back!
Another gradient that sold out fast was Midnight. I've been waiting on a delayed dye order so that I could make more. it's finally back in the shop!
Sundance is also back! Patricia Caldwell used Sundance in her Vitamin C quilt.
Jenny Lake, like all the other gradients, makes a great background but also is a good way to amass a stash of colors and textures in one pieces of fabric. Irma Lubbe used Jenny Lake for the leaves in her Morning Glorified quilt. She used Morning Glory for the flowers.
I was not nearly as productive this weekend as I planned. I "relaxed" a lot! But first I stacked more wood. I don't have a photo to show but we now have almost enough wood to get us through winter. Today the chimney people are here re-lining the flue to the wood stove. I'm glad we get it inspected every year, otherwise we would not have known that it was cracked. It's about 9000° outside but we are ready for winter! I feel really bad for the guys working on the roof but I've been trying to get as much home/car stuff done as possible during covid to give our local businesses as much work as possible.
I didn't waste the entire weekend. I got this top together. It's a veterans quilt top and the print fabrics are Kaffe Ikat fabrics leftover from a project my friend made. I barely eeked this quilt out of those scraps. The purple and green hand dyes are leftover from other projects that I made. I didn't have enough of either for the whole quilt but, now that it's done, I think I like it better with the 2 colors. I think it looks manly enough for our veterans. It's in the to-be-quilted pile for now.
I also got in a few solid hours on this quilt. I have 2 rows (out of 8) of the cross hatching diamonds done. But doing that I inflamed my left wrist again. I talked about it back in March when it flared up while doing crochet. I did most of this quilting on Friday and I couldn't do any Saturday. My pinkie finger was swollen and, well, everything from my wrist down hurt.
This is why. I love ruler work best of all kinds of quilting but if I do it too long my old broken wrist flares up. I wanted to quilt some yesterday so I decided that I needed to figure out a way to change how I quilt.
The best option is to quilt with my right hand controlling the ruler. It's awkward but I'll get used to it with some practice and it's a skill worth developing if it gives me more quilting time.
To make it work for my left hand I needed the handle to be bigger so that my grip wouldn't be tight. Here's my kluged answer! I actually covered it with a cardboard tube so that I don't mess up the thread. I got 2 more blocks quilted after I rigged this up and I think it's going to work fine. From past experience I know that it's going to take weeks for my left hand to calm down again but that's OK now.
My goals for this week are to finish a baby blanket and quilt on this quilt a lot. Our quilt club is meeting tomorrow (outside) and I can't wait to see everyone again.
Patricia Caldwell is back again this week to give us out weekend inspiration. She made this small wholecloth quilt from a fat quarter of fabric that she won in one of my drawings! It has loads of heave hand stitching along with beads, paints and other embellishments. I imagine that it was very meditative to work on this quilt.
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.
and this is why. One of our neighbors cut down some trees and offered the wood at a great price. Chris brought home the first load Wednesday and I needed to get it all stacked before the second load (the piles in the photo) arrived yesterday afternoon. The wood in the back is leftover from last year but the 3 stacks in the front are what I did yesterday morning in the blazing heat. After this I completely forgot about the blog and everything else other than the fabric dyeing I needed to do. I'll have more to stack this weekend after Chris splits the rest but we'll be pretty well set for this winter.
It's not all work though. I'm making a little progress on the vintage flower quilt and I got all these blocks made for a veterans quilt. The Ikat fabrics are leftover from a quilt that Anne made and I did replace the darkest fabrics that were too close in color to the dark purple. There's almost nothing left of the Ikat fabrics so this was a good use of them. I think it's going to look fine. I'm dyeing dark purple for the binding.
I also might need to make a baby quilt so I played around in EQ last night to come up with something simple that I could use as a go-to baby quilt blanket. This one would be based on a 4" finished square and I think could be a really nice and quilt pattern. I think it would be really sweet in feedsack fabrics with a white background. I also have a set of really bright plaids that would look good too.
I'm also getting ready to cut a bunch more veteran's quilt kits. While I was at Anne's we took a break to visit a couple of nearby quilt shops. When I was there for tiling I bought the fabrics on the left and they have already been soaked and are ready to press and cut. When we came back to grout she had bought me 3 more FQ packs as a gift! I'll get these soaked this weekend and then I'll be ready to start planning some more quilts for our veterans.
This weekend I don't have any big plans. Aside from stacking wood I hope to stay inside and I hope the air conditioner doesn't break! My plan is to finish a crochet blanket that I'm working on right now, finish the veterans quilt top and make some serious progress on the vintage flower quilt.
Well, it's (mostly) done! I think my part is done anyway.
The backstory on this is that my best friend has a house on a Chesapeake Bay tributary and recently her husband and BIL built a nice brick grill worstation with a pizza oven on one end. Anne has been wanting to mosaic it ever since it was finished. She finally poked me enough that we picked last week to get started. The Mexican tiles were leftover from my mosaic collection and they had been gifted to me by another friend. There are so many tiles that we could probably mosaic 2 more pizza overs, but we are not going to! She bought the background tiles from a reclamation place in Richmond. They are basically tiles from 50's era bathrooms.
The design process started with her deep dives into Pinterest and some really complicated ideas. I reminded her that neither of us could draw and the we didn't have a palette that would work for most of her big ideas. I did some quick searches for "mosaic Mexican tiles" and found a really cute sunflower idea. It was well within our skills to trace around a bowl for the centers and the rest was easy.....as easy as mosaic can be. It took the better part of 2 full days to do the tile work.
The nightmare was (and always is) the grouting.
Chris went with me Monday night because he was going to hang out with the dog while we grouted but, luckily, he got bored and came out to help. We would have never finished without him. Working solid starting at about 8:30 on the hottest day of the year, we finished a little before 4. Anne had a conference call and we needed to get home. She will have some touch up grouting and will need to seal it. Then she will be able to take down the tent and get some glamour shots. All-in-all we are really happy with it.
I ended the day with 6 fingers bandaged and with multiple cuts on each but pleased with the project. As you drive down the driveway to her house this will be the first thing you see.
We did this little bonus project at the end of her driveway. The original builders of the house put 2 of these light poles at the end of the driveway and put a hideous tile (picture of a castle) in it. I don't know what a castle has to do with this particular house or this location so you can imagine how much my friend hated it. A little sun image to go with the sun at the top of the pizza oven chimney seemed perfect. It's a huge improvement.
If I ever mention mosaics again please remind me of the torturous grouting on this project.
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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.