It's been a good couple of days around here! The weather has been beautiful and I've accomplished a few things.
After finishing the blanket I decided to take a hat break. This time of year the local charity pust out a call for lots of hats. I had a skein of Premier Puzzle and I decided to pull it out and see how many men's size hats I could get out of if.
The answer was 3.
I looked around for an easy hat that was specifically designed for men and I found the Chunk Guy Hat on Etsy. I generally don't buy hat patterns because there are a gazillion free ones on the web but I really liked this one and it was only $5. I'm glad I did because it's well written and makes a very nice hat! It has 4 sizes and I made one large and 1 extra large and used a K (6.5 mm) hook.
You might wonder how I know it will git a large man's head.
Well, I tried it on! Last night, after I created this post, I also had Chris try it on and I got the seal of approval.
I had never worked with Premier Puzzle yarn before and I really liked it. I would definitely use it again and it's a very affordable yarn.
Here's what I do with my scraps. I do not want to every have boxes of scrap balls so I started some corner to corner projects and, so far, I have one for each of 3 different hook sizes. I'll add any yarn that fits the weight of the blanket in progress. If you look at the "I" swatch you can see that I even added in the tiny bit of gray yarn that was leftover from the blanket I shared Wednesday.
I don't' usually talk about food because my food allergies make my meals boring and I don't do much cooking or baking. But last week I found a new gluten free baking book called Cannelle et Vanille Bakes Simple: A New Way to Bake Gluten Free. I saw the author on YouTube and she seemed to have a lot of credibility. I got the book and ordered all of the special flours and tried my first recipe yesterday. Look at those beautiful baguettes! They taste delicious too! If you are gluten free and vegan, I highly recommend this book. It has other baking recipes too, most that I can't use, but it was worth it for the bread recipes.
The main thing I'm working on this weekend is the Red Sunset quilt but I also have the privilege of delivering a new batch of 23 veterans quilts to our hospital contact.
I'm making progress! I think by the end of the weekend I will have the center of this quilt together and I'll be ready to start cutting fabric for the much-more-detailed border.
I know lot of people hate foundation piecing because of the hassle of removing the papers. That part has never bothered me and I generally remove paper as I do the piecing. As soon as a piece is enclosed I remove the paper behind it. It's a huge mess on my sewing room floor but a quick vacuum handles that. I don't worry about the little bits left behind. Once the quilt is washed all of that will just become part of the batting.
The weather was beautiful yesterday so it was nice to open the windows and to take my crochet out to the back porch after my dyeing session was over. I do love this time of the year.
Football is back and that means Sundays parked in front of the TV! You know that I rotate the crochet projects that I'm working on and Sunday was the turn for this blanket. I was so close to finishing that I stuck with it and finished it during Monday Night Football. I am very happy with it and would absolutely do this pattern again. All of the details (mostly notest for myself) are at the end of the post.
The original plan for this blanket was to be a wheelchair blanket so I made it 37+" wide. But I also wanted to use all three skeins of the gray yarn and that made it about 52" long. It's way too long for a wheelchair blanket but it will be great for someone getting dialysis or chemo treatments. From The Heart will surely find a good home for it.
I bought the gray Yarn ID yarn at the Hobby Lobby clearance this past summer and paired it with some Pound of Love in navy from my stash. That tiny ball is all that's left of the gray. I love it when that happens. I bought the POL for another project and, I have to admit, that it's one Lion Brand yarn that I do not love. It's not a bad yarn but after I got through the 5 pounds that I have, I'll not buy more. This particular skein had multiple sections of yarn barf to detangle. There are other basic yarns that I like better (Premier Basix, Hobby Lobby, Lion Brand Basic Stitch on sale).
The Yarn ID yarn I would absolutely buy again. It's really soft and great to work with. I think it's a little beefier than a normal 4 weight. If I were making a blanket for a family member or friend I'd not think twice to spend $5.49 (or whatever it costs now) to make a blanket. It's lovely.
Here are all of the specifics:
Blanket finished size: 37 x 52
Pattern: Sober Granny by Christa of The Secret Yarnery - she has excellent tutorials and patterns, did not do the border
K (6.5 mm) hook
Cast on 26 sets of 4 + 2
Crochet alternating 5 rows in each color, beginning and ending with navy
CH3, 2 DC in 1st SC from previous row
* SC in CH2 space from previous row, 3 DC in SC from previous row*
SC in last CH2 space
Getting back in the dye studio after a long absence is always interesting. Just a few weeks away and I seem to forget a few things. The first session back is always slower and requires much more thinking. So I focused on Gradients that needed restocking to get myself back in the groove. Here are 5 that are finally back in stock for you.
I just love dyeing Gradients. They are my go-to happy place. They look so awesome in the bins when they are wet and very dark. They look even cooler hanging to dry on my covered back porch like bright, colorful flags.
If you aren't familiar with the Gradients, they are sold by the half yard and the design runs across the width of the fabric. These are only 5 of almost 50 to choose from.
I promise to have some new designs soon but it was more important to get these popular ones back in the shop first.
Fabric of the Week
Since the focus is on Gradients this week and I feel Fall trying to break through, I'm featuring Campfire at the Fabric of the Week this week. Campfire is 20% off through Sunday.
Well, I don't know about you but I had a great weekend! It was pretty much sewing focused because this was sewing weekend with our quilt club. Mom stayed with us for a couple of nights and we visited with my brother and his family Saturday night.
Yesterday my brother sent me a photo of his dog, Lulu, playing with the lobster that I brought her from Maine. She only likes toys that are as big as she is and she absolutely destroys them. Before we left yesterday she had already removed one tentacle and one eyeball. She still has a lot of appendages to work on.
One of my accomplishments for the weekend was getting the rest of the curved blue pieces attached to the spike pieces. I've got pieces laid out for the next 2 steps.
But I spent most of my time this weekend at sewing and working on a veterans quilt.
I finished one of the 2 quilts in the kit I pulled Thursday! If I had not talked so much Friday I would have started on the second one but I was happy to visit with everyone again and to get one top done.
I love quilts made totally out of scraps. The light blue squares are cut-offs from dyed veterans quilt backs. The dotty batik is left over from the patriotic batiks that I bought for all the kits that I cut and the hand dyed pieces are all from my scrap bin. It's like getting a free quilt.
I also picked up 5 finished tops from other members so I need to get some quilt backs dyed soon. I expect I'll get a few more Tuesday night but I got these paired up so I can pick colors for the backing fabrics.
This week I want to make some good progress on the Red Sunset quilt. That's really my main goal.
This week's inspiration is provided by Irma Lubbe. She has sent us another of her beautiful applique quilts. She mostly used the gradients Sugar Maple, Woodlands, Jenny Lake, Sunshine and Shadows, Navaho for elements of the quilt and added other fabrics for the flowers and squiggles.
Here's her message about the creation of this quilt:
"I designed, sewed, and quilted this piece, again using techniques I learned a few years ago in a Jane Sasssaman workshop, "Abstracting from Nature". The thin stems were fused in place but every other element (each petal, leaf, etc.) was straight-stitched in place and then machine-appliqued with a zigzag stitch. After zigzagging, I added the quilt backing. Each element was then outlined in Sew Sassy 12 weight thread, which became part of the quilting, as did the details on the leaves. I added "floaters" (single units of a decorative stitch) to complete the quilting."
For sharing, Irma 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.
As you can see from this photo I had time to sew yesterday and that means that our local Social Security office is well run by very pleasant people! There was a line when I got there (at opening) but they were very efficient and I was out within 35 minutes of the door opening. I didn't need my crochet bag or snacks! In fact, I made 6 stops on the way back and was home by 11:00.
Then I got busy sewing on Red Sunset. I got the veins added to the blue pieces so you can get a better idea of how it's going to look in the photo above. Those were the last sections to piece before I could start sewing the center section together.
Of course there's a very specific order for piecing the top together and these are the first blocks to go together. They are the hardest to sew together so I'm glad to get them over with first. I got the 8 "lefts" done and will start the "rights" possibly this weekend.
It's also possible that I don't sew on Red Sunset at all this weekend because today and tomorrow are sewing with my quilt club. I picked this kit to sew on and I'm pretty sure I have cut enough for 2 quilts in this package. Mom is staying with us tonight and tomorrow so I may not get any sewing done at all and that's perfectly fine. There's always next week.
I hope you have a great weekend and get to do something fun for yourself.
I didn't do a lot of making yesterday because I was finally back in the dye studio. A month away was a good break and it took a minutes to shake off some cobwebs in my process. But I have 5 gradients processing to add to the shop next week. No new designs in this batch but I'll have some new ones soon.
I have gotten in a little sewing the last 2 days and I got that little curved gold piece added to 16 blocks. It may not look like much but Quiltworks patterns have very specific steps and adding curved pieces is a multi-step process. But their process works so I follow it. Next I'll work on the pieces that go in that "V" space. They have a curved vein on them too just like the ones at the center point of the stars. Soon I'll be ready to put the center of the quilt together and start on the borders. This is moving along faster than I anticipated mostly because I'm really enjoying working on it.
Today's progress will depend on my luck at the SSA office today. Fingers crossed!
I've started doing a little sewing back on the Red Sunset quilt but most of it is just organizing and prep work now so nothing camera ready. Hopefully I'll have a photo to share tomorrow. I also need to go through my stash of veterans quilt kits and pull one to take to sewing Friday with my quilt club friends. I've missed 2 months so I'm looking forward to getting back.
For today, I thought it was time for a crochet update.
This is meant to be a donation blanket and I'm really please with how it's looking. Originally in envisioned it as a wheelchair blanket but I think it's going to be more of a lap size because I have enough of the gray yarn to do two more gray stripes. That means 3 more blue stripes. I've got loads of the blue yarn. It's Lion Brand Pound of Love. The gray was a clearance yarn from Hobby Lobby this year. I generally love all Lion Brand yarns but I'll probably not buy Pound of Love again. I know it holds up well but there was endless yarn barf in this skein. Eventually I had to take the remaining yarn, untangle it and wind it in a ball.
I probably have 5 more skeins of POL. It might get donated. But I do like how this blanket is looking and I'm sure it will find a good home.
Tim's blanket is really coming along nicely. I'm almost done with the 5th skein and there are only 2 more to go to finish this one up.
My crochet sweater has stalled a bit. I got to the bottom border and I need to find a substitute stitch pattern. The pattern instructions are great but there's a stitch that collects a lot of loops and this yarn is so splitty that it's nearly impossible to get the hook through the loops. I just can't do a stitch like that 100+ times. There aren't enough profane words to get me through that. I'll try to sit down this weekend at some quiet time and figure out something else to do.
Here's a closeup look at the bottom border where I was experimenting with another stitch but the math didn't work out right. I need a clear brain to figure this out.
While we were staying at the hotel Friday night (and I watched Virginia Tech lose embarrassingly to ODU), I took in my hat project bag to have something to work on. I didn't want to haul in one of the big blanket bags. Instead I got a start on a new chemo hat. I'll take this with me tomorrow when I go to the Social Security office for an expected interminable wait. I'll take snacks too.
Yes, in theory, I should be able to do everything online but I tried that for a week and talked to the "help desk" 6 times to no avail. I can't get an online id. I gave up and decided to just go in person to the office that doesn't accept appointments. Tomorrow might end in a mood......
I am not embarrassed to admit that I'm still in a bit of vacation mode in my mind so things are still moving at a slow pace around here. We got to spend part of Labor Day with friends and the rest was more laundry and getting back into some semblance of a routine. I think I'll be sorted by the end of the week.
But for today I wanted to do a quick post to tell you that the shop is back on the normal shipping and dyeing schedule and I have some new fabrics!
It's been a while but I was finally able to fit in some Reflections fabrics into the dyeing schedule. When I dye these I'm usually thinking of landscape elements but, of course, you can use them any way that you wish.
With the new group I have a gray brooding sky, a deept sunset or sunrise and a midnight sky or rippling water. There's also a green for some cool landscape effects of fields or tree reflections. That's what I see in these fabrics. What do you see?
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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.