Today I'm taking a few minutes to catch up on what's been going on with crochet and loom knitting. I don't have photos of hats that I'm working on. I just have a little project bag that I keep ready to go with yarn and hook to make chemo hats and they are coming along just fine.
My big finish is this blanket that I will donate to be a wheelchair blanket. It's about 29 x 38 and could also be a baby blanket but I decided to make this one a lap blanket for a nursing home or assisted living. It's a self striping yarn but I had an extra cake of the matching solid turquoise and I added it in the turquoise sections to give it more length. The annoying dark spots where the pink and turquoise meet are just the way that the yarn came off the cake. You don't really notice it or the awkward striping when it's in your lap.
The yarn is Caron Baby Cakes that I got on clearance in the Spring. I used 2 of the stripe cakes and about half of the solid turquoise. This is a very soft yarn and really nice to crochet with. I used an I (5.5 mm) hook and the Sedge Stitch. It's perfect for TV watching.
Since my hand has gotten better I haven't been loom knitting as much but I found out that the donation place wanted sleeves for dialysis patients. Well, a sleeve is a lot easier than a hat that required decrease. I started with 28 pegs and did 8 rows of 2x2 rib and then did the body in the Beehive Waffle Stitch and finished off with more ribbing. It's a fun stitch to do and very easy to keep up with. I've got a lot fo 5 and 6 weight yarn specifically for the loom so I'll get another sleeve started soon.
I have 2 projects that I'm started to crochet. One is a blanket made with this beautiful yarn. This is Cascade Cartwheel and it's the same yarn that I used in another wheelchair blanket earlier this year. I liked working with it so much that I bought a bunch of it on sale. I'm going to make a big blanket with this and it will likely be for Chris or gifted.
I had two patterns in mind so I did a messy swatch with one pattern on the bottom and a lacier pattern on the top. Chris preferred the bottom one. He doesn't like holes in his blankets. It's this blanket from BagODay.
I think I cast on 171 stitches and am using a J hook. It does go really fast. I really wanted to get this started because I think there's a possibility that I will need more yarn and I want to find that out soon before I can't get it anymore!
I'm also going to start this duster jacket. When the lighting is good I can work on this and when the lighting isn't so good I can work on the blanket.
I'm also considering starting another wheelchair shawl so that I can feel completely overwhelmed (normal) and feed my daily whims about what to work on.
This week I have a new Stash Pack to share with you. I think you can look Dunes it and tell that these fabrics are a lot of fun to dye. I try for outrageous texture but without so much contrast that they are difficult to use. This pack was inspired by sand dunes and all of the flotsam and jetsam washed up on the beach.
Each Stash Pack contains 10 fat eights to give you as much variety as possible in very usable sizes. These 2 photos give you a larger image of 6 of the fabrics. Textures and color ratio will vary from pack to pack.
Need a little inspiration? Here are 3 great projects from customers. Click on each image to see a larger view.
Fabric of the Week
Can you tell that I have "beach" on the brain this week? I just made our family reservation for 2022 and I'm already excited about it. In celebration, the fabric of the week is Beach Walk Gradient. All gradients are sold by the half yard and this one is 20% off through Sunday!
I've got good news for everyone! First, I'm going to spend next week with my friend at her river house. The boys will join us in time to cook for Thanksgiving but mostly we will have lots of sewing (or whatever) time. While I'm away I'm going to host a week of giveaways! Every day next week (Monday - Saturday) there will be a different giveaway. If you are going away for the American holiday, don't worry, you will have plenty of time to enter when you get back. The drawing will not happen until the following Tuesday with winners announced November 30.
Check in next week to see and enter for each day's prize package.
Well, Christmas is officially underway here. I've gotten the first set of cards done!
I don't know how the color is showing up on your screen but half of the 24 cards are on a bright pink background. It's very "not me" but I thought it really set off the dark fabric trees well. I have a few friends who will appreciate the pink cards.
Often my card designs start with a fabric that I want to use instead of starting with a design and that was the case with these cards. Years ago I bought these painted silk fabrics. I bought them in Houston so it had to be 10 years or more and I think I bought them with the idea of using them in my symmetry quilts. They never worked for that so they wound up in the cabinet of bits and pieces. I found them last week and thought they might be good for tree images on cards. I started by fusing interfacing on the back and then adding a layer of fusible web. The fabric is really thin like scarf fabric so it had to be stabilized to be cut out.
I knew I'd put them on a hand dyed fabric background but that wasn't going to be quite enough to complete the design.
Off I went to another bin to find something sparkly to add behind the tree. These fabrics helped narrow down the background choices.
Now, I don't draw. When I need a template I head on over to Google and search for silhouettes and that's where I found this tree. I downloaded it, put it in my photo editor and resized it to fit the 4 x 6 postcard size. Then I was off for an evening of cutting out trees. Ice cube tray were really helpful to keep the pieces together.
The backgrounds were fused, 12 in each color.
Then the fun part of fusing and stitching the trees. I used Superior in Light Gold to edge the trees. I finished them off on the serger. You can see from the first photo that I also added a crystal tree topper.
Now on to the second design which I think is going to be a stocking.
This week's inspiration comes to us from Gene Black. Gene recently won one of my giveaways for a collection of my "waste" fabrics. These are strips of fabric that I use when dyeing gradients. They get amazing textures on them from that process. I don't but rather save them for giveaways (hint, hint).
In this quilt Gene used a technique that he learned from watching an episode of The Quilt Show. Tula Pink demonstrated the method for making the sections for this quilt. He combined the hand dyes with shirting fabrics to great effect.
For sharing, Gene 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.
With Finally! done I've moved on to postcard planning. After doing a couple of sessions of leaf blowing I dug into my supplies and this is my first prototype. Hopefully I'll have set done my Monday.
Have a great weekend!
I've been thinking way to hard to come up with a name for this quilt. I've toyed with all kinds of ideas (Insanity, 3970, 23 years) but all day yesterday I just kept thinking "Finally it's done!" Of course "Finally!" has to be the name of this quilt.
It's finally done, it's finally on my bed and I finally got to sleep under it.
I can report that its really warm and really heavy! Check out more details and photos here.
Now I feel a little discombobulated about what to do next. I think I'll just focus on the Christmas postcards while I organize my thoughts about future quilt projects.
I love designing new gradients. Some are big hits and some aren't. It's a gamble that's worth it for the pure fun of putting colors together. I've had a few photos from vacations that I took for the specific idea to use them as gradient inspirations. I was reminded of those after I shared the online color tools in last week's post. I got out some of my photos and used them for 2 new gradients this week.
We spent Christmas of 2018 on a wonderful trip to Nashville with friends. We spent most of our time downtown listening to great music but we decided that we needed a little nature break and headed to beautiful Radnor Lake State Park for a hike. I took this photo in a section of the lake and I knew right away that it needed to be interpreted in fabric. The tool that I used was Palette Generator. It's good for hours of entertainment!
You'll see with both of today's new gradients that I just love muted colors.
I do not take all palette suggestions as a requirement. I use it as a guide. With this one I felt that the red wasn't going to add much to the final effect. I just have to like the resulting gradient, it doesn't have to exactly evoke the original inspiration photo. I'm really pleased with this one too.
Gradients Back in Stock
Fabric of the Week
The fabric of the week this week is the Sunshine and Shadows Gradient. it's 20% off through Sunday! Patricia Caldwell used this gradient in her piece, Copper Trails.
I had the weekend to myself and I think I got a lot done. Chris is away on his annual hunting trip to Nebraska and is coming home this evening with some turkeys and pheasants for the freezer. While he was away I hunkered down with my audiobooks and got some things done.
The postage stamp quilt binding will be done tomorrow just in time to take to the quilt club meeting for show-and-tell. I still can't believe that I'm actually finishing that project! I need to get a label made later in the week.
In less exciting news, I got 2 of my own veterans quilts quilted. I'll bind these this weekend at our club sewing days. I'll probably be able to also finish the rail fence tops that I started last month. That would be cool. That would give me 4 more finished projects before year end. I'm all about padding the stats.
I also made some design process on the Christmas postcards. I do a tree themed one every year and I think I'm going to have trees made from these hand painted silk fabrics on a dark burgundy background.
My friend Anne gave me this red sparkly fabric to make a doll outfit with. There's tons of it so I'm feeling a card featuring a stocking with white felt as the cuff.
You might remember this reject from last year. It might get resurrected. This morning I have to go to the doctor to have blood drawn so I may go to the Joann that's nearby and see if I can find a wide plaid ribbon that could be sewn to the side and I might have 2 tree-themed cards this year, which is not a problem at all. While I'm in that neighborhood I'm going to visit my brother to take him some shirts that I dyed for him.
I also have to deal with this. Remember when I made the cheer outfit? I followed the directions and used her hook size but I crochet really tight and ALWAYS have to go up a hook size. I should have done that for this project. It's supposed to be American Girl, not American Hooker.
I think I've fixed it. I made both pieces over again using an H hook and I added 1 extra row to the skirt. The extra row was an accident but it can't hurt. Poor little AG, she must be really cold in that first outfit.
While I was working on the AG outfit I was using yarn from Dollar Tree, Joann and Hobby Lobby. It made me wonder which of the "bargain" yarns hold up best. Since there's nothing I like better than a good research project I've decided to do a test. I'm going to make 4 swatches from each brand of yarn. 1 set will be control, 1 will be machine cold gentle wash and flat dry, 1 will be machine cold gentle wash and tumble dry and 1 will be machine hot wash and tumble dry. I'll each set in laundry bags and run them with my laundry and I'm going to do it 4 times. I want to see how each brand holds up and which ones pill or if all of them are basically the same. That will tell me how to label the donation things that I make and give me some guidance on what yarns to buy in the future.
So far I've made swatches of I Love This Yarn, Premier Just Yarn, Premier Just Active and Big Twist.
I'm also going to swatch Premier Basix, Lion Brand Pound of Love, Red Heart, Mainstay and maybe Caron One Pound. If I get motivated I'll go to Hobby Lobby and get some of their house brand one-pounder. I think that will cover it for the bargain yarns. I'm not going to order anything that I can't get locally, this project is already a little out of control.
This one is going to take a few weeks. My focus this week needs to be Christmas cards.
Today's inspiration is this lovely mini-quilt from Wendy Tuma. It's from the pattern Face The Sun in the Scrappy Improv Quilting book by Kelly Young. She used only the Sassafras Gradient for all the colors of her sunflower. You can read more about it and see lots more photos on her blog.
For sharing, Wendy 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 didn't post yesterday because Wednesday was dyeing day and Thursday was errand day so I just didn't get a lot done.
I can report that I'm 53% done with the binding on the postage stamp quilt! I basically stitch 3 lengths of thread every day.
Since the ornament closet is empty I set off on a little bit of reorganizing (mostly of the yarn stash) and that led to some much-needed reorganization of the office/shop. It
In that process I FINALLY hung this quilt that my friend, Marcy, made for me. It's absolutely perfect on the gray walls of the office! I love it and I'll see it every day when I'm packing orders.
I've got the longarm fired up again and I'm starting with 2 of my own veterans quilts. I should have these done this weekend.
I'm making good progress on this blanket. I haven't decided if I'm going to donate this one as a baby quilt or as a wheelchair quilt. I think it's going to be a little big for a baby quilt but it would work fine for either. Another week or so and this one will be wrapped.
So it's time to think about new projects and here's one of them. Lion Brand recently had a sitewide 35% off sale and I picked up this kit. I love a duster coat so what's not to love about a duster sweater. Mary Ann said that this yarn was really soft and nice to work with so it seemed like I should give it a try. I made a swatch last night to motivate myself to finish the blanket.
Another project that I bought yarn for is this blanket. I wanted a granny square format project as my next car project. I realized this summer that blankets are way too hot and bulky to work on in the car. I made one really bad sample block just to make sure I'm happy with the colors. I did a lot wrong in this one but I know what's wrong and I know I'll be able to make the blocks. I got this book used from Thriftbooks and I think it was less than $10.
I don't know when we will take our next road trip but I'm ready!
Today we have some repairs being done at the house and then I have to go get more soda ash for dyeing. I'll do some more binding and maybe get one of the veterans quilts quilted.
I hope you have a great weekend.
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In Bloglovin you need to search "Colorways By Vicki Welsh" to find the blog.
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.