Well, it will be next week anyway!
I get very excited for my family beach week every year. It's great to spend time with my brothers and their families and it's always wonderful to kick off summer with a beach experience. I clearly had it on my mind in the dye studio last week as evidenced by today's fabrics. I also have a beach week for you. Read below for details.
Because I'll be away there will be no orders shipped next week. Any orders after May 20 will be shipped May 31.
New Stash Pack
A couple of weeks ago I dyed "the ocean" with the new Caribbean Stash Pack. This week I'm added in the sun! The Sunshine Stash Pack is 100% sun inspired.
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!
Each Stash Pack has 5 streaky fabrics and 5 mottled fabrics. Here are larger views of 6 of the fabrics. There are so many possibilities for fussy cutting applique or landscape elements.
Gradients Back In Stock
There are 4 Gradients back in stock this week and several of them would make great water or sky elements.
Fabric of the Week
The fabric of the week this week is a dye mistake! This was supposed to be Forest Canopy but I dyed that middle orange too dark. In my opinion, it still looks great. It makes me think of a forest fire. But it's not "right" so you can pick this one up for 25% off while it's still around. This one won't be coming back.
Beach Week Giveaway
While I'm away next week I'm leaving behind a daily giveaway for you to enter. There are 6 in all, one each day Monday through Saturday. I'm really excited about the prizes and I hope you will be too!
I hope your weekend was as good as mine! We had sewing days Friday and Saturday and in between I worked on my nephew's wall hanging and made really good progress on all fronts.
I took 2 kits to sewing and finished both! Each is based on a panel and I have no idea where these panels came from. I don't enjoy working with panels because they are never square but I do see the appeal. I got two quilt tops made in 2 days! I used a lot of leftovers to finish them so I didn't have a ton of options for coordinating fabrics. This one was really awkward because the orientation is landscape and it was almost to our max width for the quilts so I just had to add strips to the top and bottom to bring it to 60" long. It will have a blue binding.
I added some hand dyed borders to this one to bring it up to size. I'm really please with both of them.
It doesn't look it, but both are 48" x 60".
The rest of the weekend was spent working on the wall hanging.
After sewing Friday I came home and cut all of the 1" strips for the wall hanging.
I spent Saturday afternoon and evening Preparing the backing and batting. I decided to mark my pattern right on the batting with washable markers. I'll mark the spike lines to follow and will align the middle seam of the strip on the spike lines. I marked the top and bottom edges so that the print part of strips do not run off the edge of the quilt.
I marked the spike lines and then arranged some strips to see if I liked it.
I made a couple of changes to my spike lines and I was ready to go!
I got started quilting/piecing yesterday and I'm 30% done. I sure love the channel locks!
Pretty much every update this week will be on this quilt. I want it done with the sleeve attached by Friday night!
Yay! Today and tomorrow are the monthly sewing days with Country School Quilters! I've got 2 quilt kits ready to go. Both of these are simple so I expect to get one finished and the second underway. Soon I'm going to have to get busy cutting out all the patriotic fabric that I bought in Paducah and get more kits ready. Sometimes I take my sewing machine to the beach vacation and I'd need a project for that. But this year I have another plan!
I have had a small itch to try fly tying for a long time. After making those tedious ornaments for almost 30 years it seems like this is something I might be able to do. I've no interest at all in fly fishing and neither does Chris but his friend, Mike, loves fly fishing. He was visiting last week and I mentioned that I was interested. I even took him on a tour of my sewing supplies and we found some things that he could use. This week he sent me a tool kit and a kit to tie some flies! I'm taking this to the beach (with my crochet) instead of sewing. I've been watching a lot of YouTube videos to prepare and I'm excited to give this a try. I have no idea what I'll do with the flies but I can worry about that later.
Also related to beach planning is the quilt project that I started yesterday. I mentioned this one many weeks ago but it stayed on the back burner until I could finish the wedding quilt. My nephew requested this wall hanging for his music room and I'm going to try to get it done by next Saturday so I can deliver it to him at the beach. I didn't really want to make an exact quilt from this book but he fell in love with this one so I'm making it for him. I'm going to make my version wider, about 4 feet, by 3 feet tall.
I got started yesterday.
I had about 3 yards of this fabric and the same of some black so I was ready to go. I've cut the fabric on both sides through the black area. I will not use the middle section at all.
If I had used the middle section I would have seamed it to have the center of my strip the bright yellow. Instead I just used the cut off edges, trimmed off what I didn't need and stitched the 2 long pieces together.
This fabric will be cut into 1" strips so I used a very tiny stitch length to, hopefully, keep the seams together as I piece it on the longarm. Remember when I made these placemats to practice longarm piecing?
Hey look! I emptied another cone of thread! I bought the Wonderfil in Paducah to try out.
I am using black thread for this project because there really isn't a substitute for black thread on black fabric.
I added to wide pieces of black to each side of the center strip.
Yes, I could/should have pieced it as a tube like traditional Bargello.
Yes, the way I'm doing it is incredibly wasteful of fabric.
That's just how it has to be. I have some sort of allergy to traditional Bargello. I did it once and hated it. I hated breaking apart the tube because I kept doing it wrong. The whole thing was exceedingly stressful.
I decided to just do it this way. It's more logical to me.
Next step is to cut this big piece into about 100 1" strips and then set up the longarm and plan the wave pattern and then just a lot of flip-and-sew on the longarm. I really don't think it's going to take an excessive amount of time but we'll see.
I finished the veterans quilts! There are 2 almost identical ones and these are almost identical to 2 I made a couple of years ago. I was in the same fabric store and saw that they still had the panel. I loved those quilts so much that I decided that I wanted to make 2 more. The panel and the 2 narrow borders are commercial prints. The other fabrics are all from my "waste" fabrics and scrap bin.
I think that the Woven Wind pantograph is perfect on these quilts and it's also perfect because it quilts up so fast.
Here's proof that there are two of them! These will get delivered with many more this weekend.
I checked on the Eastern Bluebird nest yesterday. All 5 are doing well and have passed their ugly phase.
Yesterday I got the veterans quilts quilted and one is bound. Today, after dyeing, I hope to get the other bound and to have both to share tomorrow.
Today I thought I'd answer a question that Gene had. He noticed that I was piecing the half square triangles with blue thread. Since one of the fabrics is gray you would expect that I'd use gray thread. Gray is what I use (and probably what you use) most for piecing. That has been my habit and I buy a lot fog ray, white and black piecing thread.
But I have another thread problem that needs to be solved and that's what I'm trying to do here.
When I started longarming I bought a lot of thread without really knowing if I would use it or not. Most of the thread I bought I like and I use. I didn't love King Tut but was able to give some away and used most of the rest on the veterans quilts. One thread that I bought but don't like on the longarm is Masterpiece. Of course, it was never intended for the longarm but I thought I'd want to use a thin cotton yarn for quilting. Turns out, I don't. Of course I bought ALL of the available colors before discovering this.
About a year ago I decided to move that thread into my sewing room and use it for what it was intended: piecing. I've got it divided into light, medium and dark groups and I basically treat it all as shades of gray. I use pink and yellow as white or cream and I use purples, greens and blues as dark grays and browns. If the tension is good on the machine it all works out fine. Dark green and dark/medium purple are great gray substitutes! Pink is a great substitute for cream.
Some of the bright colors I use for basting on the longarm and sometimes I actually match the thread color to my project.
I'm determined to use these threads and avoid buying new thread as much as possible. I do still purchase a little gray and black and white but not nearly as much as I used to.
So that's why I'm piecing with blue thread on this project.
In other news, I'm getting ready for the upcoming annual family beach vacation and that means I'm planning for a giveaway week for you! So keep your eye out for giveaway week coming up soon.
I'm looking over my to-do list and schedule for the week and it looks like this is going to be a veterans quilt week. I wanted to get my current stack of tops quilted before the meeting tonight and we have sewing days this weekend (where I work in piecing veterans quilt tops) so that's surely a themed week.
Seems like a fine way to spend my time.
I finished quilting these two quilts yesterday. They were made by Margaret from a stash of African fabrics that she purchased at a quilt show. I love both quilt although I did have some thread shredding problems. I got through the quilts and figured that I would need do some machine adjustments. After I took these quilts off I did some testing and everything was fine so I think the problem was the finish on the fabric.
This one was fun to quilt in wavy lines and diamonds. About halfway through I figured out that I only had the problem going right to left so for the rest of the quilt I quilted left to right and it was smooth sailing.
This is such a fun quilt. Notice the difference in the size of the center squares from the black centers to the print centers. I think that one little difference made a huge impact on the quilt design.
This one got quilted with a free-motion Baptist Fan-type motif. I think it works well with the fabrics in the quilt.
Now I'm quilting my twin veterans quilts. One is done and the next row of quilting will start the second one.
Sitting down 15 minutes here and there I'm making progress on all of the half square triangles for yet another veterans quilt top. This one will take a while.
Boy did I push Mother's Day just to the wire. I got this card finished Thursday night and in the mail Friday. Fortunately it made it 25 miles to Mom's place Saturday. With the USPS that's not a guarantee these days.
These postcards started with a stack of sunprints that I've been hoarding for a long time. These were sunprinted with a stencil and I couldn't decided exactly what to do with them. There's nothing like time pressure to fix design angst. I felt that all they really needed was some sparkle. I outlined them with some free motion stitching using Superior Metallic thread and then added crystals.
I tend to use the crystals primarily just for Christmas so it was fun to use the "other" colors of crystals on these cards.
I made 7 all together. I only got one made before I had to get Mom's in the mail and I finished the rest by Saturday. Now my May and June birthdays are covered.
In other news, we have baby Bluebirds! I hope they have survived the unseasonably cold weather we've had this weekend. I'll check on them again in a couple of days.
This week's inspiration is courtesy of Stephanie WIlds. She has previously shared many of her beautiful art quilts with us. This one certainly doesn't disappoint. She used a Blue Sky Shades Pack to help create her background sky for this piece.
For sharing, Stephanie 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 don't have anything quilty to share today because I haven't done anything. We had company for 2 days and my sewing has been working on my Mother's Day and May birthday cards. This weekend I'll finish the postcards and get some veterans quilts quilted.
At least that's the plan. Meanwhile, here's a couple weeks worth of crochet.
I took the baby blanket to Paducah to work on in the hotel and I made great progress. You can see the progress marker on the right side. I'm on the second of 3 balls for the body and I have a 4th ball for the border. This is baby Bee Sweet Delight yarn from Hobby Lobby. It's really soft and easy to work with.
I haven't done a ton of crochet since I got home but what I have done has been on these next 2 projects. I finished off the second of 7 balls for my brother's blanket. You can see the progress marker on the left side here.
I've spent the most time on my t-shirt. The yellow marker in the right side is my progress. I got this one far enough last night to try on. It seems like it's going to fit. Who knows if I'll like the end result but there's only one way to find out so I'll keep going. Right now I'm just going round and round in linen stitch. It's good for watching TV at night. This is the second ball and I'll probably use one more for the body and a 4th for the sleeves and neckline.
I like having the three different projects, it's a lot less stressful for my hands.
It always seems to take me a day or 3 too get back in my routine after a trip but this time I seemed to adjust a little faster. It helped that I put everything away as soon as I got home Sunday so all I had left for Monday was a little laundry.
But the first thing I did Monday morning was get the kiln fired back up. I want all of these bottles done so I can get on with more fun things. Here's the collection so far. I took 3 more out this morning and have the last 4 in the kiln right now. So one task for the weekend is to get the glass table cleaned off and plan my first "real" projects.
The other thing that gets me back in a routine is to quilt some veterans quilts. This one was made by Julie. She did a king size quilt with these blocks and used the leftovers for this soothing quilt. I expect that she's over her "gray period" now.
Nancy was cleaning out her sewing room and found these beautiful blocks. There were just enough for a veterans quilts. I've found that the veterans quilts are the perfect size for orphan blocks and other abandoned UFO projects.
Today my primary objective is to make my Mother's Day card which I will not share until Monday. I'm already cutting it close to assume that she will even get it Saturday but, fortunately my Mom has never been a stickler for absolute dates. ....plus I just took her on a quilt adventure so that's gotta count for something!
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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.