This week's featured quilt is an Oregon Coast landscape by Adri Herman. We worked together to pick the Sepia Shades pack for the beach and frame for her quilt. If you need help narrowing down choices or matching color I'm always happy to help.
For sharing, Adri 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.
Making postcards is a great way to try out new techniques and new products. These cards fall into that category and they turned into a lot more work than I expected.
A few summers ago I got into my head that it would be fun to sun print every stencil that I own. I printed multiples of all of them and am slowly making postcards with them. Here are a few that I started with.
I still have 8 sets of these fabrics left (oy!) and decided that it was time to use another. Given my current obsession with Wild Gears, this one seemed like a good idea. I wanted to see if I could combine Wild Gears with these cards.I did but it turned into quite an ordeal. I worked on these all last weekend but wanted to wait to share them because i used this card for Mother's Day (seriously) and my brother's birthday (more appropriate).
I spent hours trying to figure out how to add the Spirographs to the fabric. I considered drawing on fabric and on some sheet brass that I found in my supplies. I bet I've had 2 rolls of the brass sheets for 15 years. I don't remember why I bought them but I became determined to add this to my cards and appliqueing it wasn't going to work. I tried different pens and just a ball tip to engrave the brass.
The brass sheet had to go under the fabric. I cut it 1/2 smaller so that the brass wound't get caught in the edge stitching. The brass is very thin so it can be sewn through but there was no reason to taunt my machine into breaking.
I cut holes in the fabric and fused it over the brass. This was the fist one and I learned how to get a better circle for the rest of the cards.
Ugh, then came the hard part. Sharpie marker proved to be the best tool but I had some smearing issues. The upside of Sharpie is that if the design is crap it can be erased with some alcohol. I did a lot of erasing. They did not turn out great.
I drew some more Spirographs on the fabric with gold pen but they didn't show up great. Gold thread for the edge helped a lot. But you know what fixes everything.
Crystals! Crystals fix almost everything and they helped these tremendously
They are not my best work but I learned a lot and they aren't half bad. I made 10 of these cards. I told Mom that although they didn't look very Mother's Day-ish, she could maybe appreciate the stupid amount of time that I spent making them!
Another good day of yard work the ended too tired to stand and quilt or do much of anything else for that matter. It seemed like a good opportunity to do another EQ lesson. I was really looking forward to this one because it's on making wedge quilts. It's yet another capability that I knew was there but had absolutely no idea how to do.
It started with drawing and cloning the wedges using a base grid. The clone and rotate feature is brilliant!
Woohoo! A beautiful quarter circle and it was so easy.
I colored it in using the same colors used in the lesson book.
And created the quilt just like in the lesson and then I realized why I liked these colors so much.
There we go! I found the lettering option on my own but it was worth the effort.
No, I'd never make this quilt but it made me happy for a day to think about it.
Moving on to the next lesson part.
Part 2 was about making wedges that are pieced differently.
And then adding binding. I like this and hope to use it sometime to design a quilt of my own. I'd like to do foundation pieced wedges I think.
The last part of the lesson was about adding applique. This would be fun for designing Christmas tree skirts.
I'm halfway through the first book now and I have to say that it's money well spent. I know I'll never remember the specific little things but I will know that something I want to do can be done and I'll easily be able to find instructions through the lessons. Next up is designing pictorial quilts.
I'm not into gardening at all. It seems that with everything you plant that there's more work associated with it. I like trees and shrubs because they are relatively low maintenance. That leave my "gardening" to activities that I actually enjoy doing: weeding and spreading mulch. Those things only require sporadic effort. I skipped most of that last year so I'm in catch up mode. The weeding (spraying) was done a couple of weeks ago and the weather has been totally uncooperative for mulching until this week. So that's what I'm doing. We aren't talking about a few beds around the house, we're talking about 7 truckloads. It's great exercise but it's going to take a while but at least I've started!
Looks like those boxwoods that I "pruned" are going to live! They won't need any attention for a few years for sure.
But this means that inside the sewing room there isn't so much going on. Yesterday after mulching I decided on a quick and easy project: dog beds.
All those veterans quilts created a lot of batting scraps. I store then in this bin until it gets full. I actually started with this overflowing plus a bucket full of scraps. The only fabric bits that I include are fabric bits attached to batting. Too much fabric makes the dog beds heavy and dense. I know that Richmond Animal league washes them and I don't want them to take 5 days to dry.
The fabrics are whatever I get free from donations. There's always someone showing up at quilt club with fabric that they want to divest and occasionally there's a bolt of heavy decorator fabric. I still have fabric pre-cut for 5 more dog beds when my bin fills again. I use this tutorial to make them.
I'm not going to share any more photos of mulch but my posts might be a little thin this week.
There will be no shipping May 20 - 27. Orders placed during that time will be shipped May 28. Custom orders will be dyed and ready to ship June 3.
Fabric of the Week
The fabric of the week is the Coffee and Cocoa Gradient. It's 20% off through Sunday. Patricia Caldwell used Coffee and Cocoa with Blue Sky in her quilt Sky Meets Earth.
It's been a while, hasn't it? I love the surprise of unwrapping these ice dyed Crystal mandala fabrics and I'm excited to have more to share with you this week. You can quilt them whole cloth like Margaret Griffiths did or you can cut them up as elements for your quilt. Margaret faced her quilt eliminating the need for a matching binding. But if you need a matching binding for your Crustal mandala, just let me know and I'll match up one of the Stars for you.
You can see all of the new Crystal mandala fabrics here.
I love our Country School Quilters 2-day sewing "retreats" each month. It's so nice to be able to set up all of my stuff, leave it overnight and just focus on sewing one project and still sleep at home. I could theoretically get more done at home because I spend so much time visiting and talking but, in reality, the distractions at home are even greater.
This is the project that I'm currently working on and I only work on this as a retreat/travel project. It stays packed up the rest of the time. I've had this pattern so long that it's now out of print.
I've cut out fabric and foundations for the 54" x 71" quilt but I have foundations for a queen size one. I'm going to make all the blocks for the standard size and see how I feel about continuing with it. First I'm working on the center blocks and I have all of the elements done except the big middle piece and I made good progress on those.
I've been unsure about this quilt from the beginning because I made some pretty random choices about color placement and fabric selection. After this week I had enough pieces of blocks to get an idea of how it's all going to look together and I'm really pleased! Yes, I have a green spike piece turned wrong but you can still get the idea.
Now this project goes back on the shelf until next time. This week I'm determined to get some mulching done and to get dog beds made with the giant piles of scraps I created from trimming all those veterans quilts.
I'm the luckiest fabric dyer in the world to have such a prolific customer as Patricia Caldwell! She's back this week with Go Where The Wind Blows, W 36 x H 381/4. It's made with dyed yarns, gemstones of "Agate" and the Barrier Island Gradient. You can see what Patricia is up to on her Facebook page. She sells her art quilts at the Sedona Arts Center.
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.
I buckled down yesterday and got the last 4 quilts done. These 4 all either use my fabric or my pattern. Back in January I did a program on veterans quilts and introduced 4 patterns and gave out a bunch of kits. Two of the "kits" were really just scrap bags and I think both of these quilts came from those. This one might be from Karen because she's combined the string scraps with some other scraps that I gave her at another time. She happily takes all the scraps that I give her! I love how she combined the scraps in this one.
I think that Gwen got the other bag of scraps and I think I remember her showing this at the CSQ meeting last month. It looks like she had a great time combining the fabrics into 10" squares. Both fo these are fun quilts. I quilted these with a lavender thread.
The backing for these 2 quilts is a pale forest green.
This one uses my Blockade pattern and I think that Betty may have made it. I love the color palette.
Both of these last 2 quilts are straight blocks (no borders) so I moved back to the front of the machine to do my favorite motif: the wavy cross-hatch. It's sooooo fast and looks great.
This was another kit that I put together and this one uses the Regiment pattern. The dark background is not black, it's really a very dark purple. The key fabric was a black on white that I overdyed gold. Becky pieced it in between making Elvis quilts.
Gold thread was perfect on both of these quilts. I especially like how it stands out in the dark purple.
I had a gold fabric that was just right for the backing for these 2 quilts.
13 quilts ready to deliver! Whew!
Now I can just spend today and tomorrow relaxing and sewing with my quilting buddies.
I got 4 more quilts done yesterday so I'm still on track.
This is one that my Mom made. When she finished this quilt she still had a lot of 2.5" squares left and made more 16-patch blocks. I really like how she offset the columns.
I picked a gold thread for this quilt and the next one and I think it looks great on the quilt.
I don't know who made this quilt but I absolutely love it. I just love a great bold orange and it plays so well with the scrappy brown tone 4-patch blocks.
The gold thread looked great on the orange quilt too.
These quilts are backed in a soft buttery yellow.
I don't know who made this quilt either but it's pieced really well, the wonkiness is due to my lazy photography skills last night.
Here's the block for this quilt. Four of these make one big star block. This is another great quilt for scraps.
Elvis is back! This isn't the same quilt from Monday. Becky made 2 of these. She says she still ahs lots of Elvis fabric but this was the last of the beer bottles.
These 2 quilts are quilted with white thread and the backing is a nice medium blue. I have the next 2 loaded and basted and ready to go tomorrow morning. I had to stop for this evening to make my Mother's Day card.....which could not look less like Mother's Day.
That's 9 of 13 veterans quilts done so far!
I didn't get much done yesterday because we had a friend visiting but I do have 2 more quilts to add to the quilted pile. Carole commented on the last post about the volume of quilts and that it was a lot of ask of a quilter. I felt that I should explain that I totally volunteer to do these and I know that I can stop doing them at any time and no one in Country School Quilters would fault me. Quilting these is enjoyable simply because I set some rules around it. I recommend rules for anyone who does charity quilting.
My rules are that I quilt the quilts however I want and using whatever thread that I want and I do them on my schedule. There are times when I don't quilt any for several months. Once they give a quilt top to me they have no say over it and they get it back whenever I'm done. The Quilters understand, are happy with the rules and are very grateful. Plus if I make a veterans quilt of my own someone will always volunteer to bind it for me! I also have a few other quilts who help out a lot too. I don't quilt all of them. These quilts are a great break from my own quilts that I tend to make overly complicated and stressful.
I've mentioned many times that I quilt these 2 at a time and I finally thought to stop and take a few in process photos. The quilts are all about 48" x 60". I cut a backing that's around 70" wide so I can stack them on the backing like this. I could probably load them in the other direction too and that would be fewer quilting passes but when I quilt from the front I will occasionally quilt the 2 quilts differently. 95% of the time I use the same thread on both quilt. Actually, as I'm thinking about it, I can't remember the last time that I switched thread on a pair of quilts. I do baste the quilts first. It makes the quilting part go a lot faster.
Then once I start quilting I just keep going, ignoring that there is a space between the quilts.
Once I finish the row that covers both edges I will stitch a label to each quilt before I advance to the next row. I do forget this step occasionally and then I just pin the labels in place and the quilter can stitch it down with the binding. With this set up along with a simple pantograph, I can load and quilt 2 quilts in a couple of hours.
It's very satisfying work.
I believe that both of these quilts were made by Karen. She is the queen of scrap quilting and she is very prolific. Not only does she make a lot of veterans quilt tops she also makes a lot of baby and child quilts for a local hospital. Yes, this one is Christmas themed. Our nurses do like a wide variety of quilts and this one will find a happy recipient this winter.
It's a very simple block and gives me an idea for a pack of plaid charms and a pack of Liberty of London charms that a friend gave me. Both would work great in this pattern.
This is a Disappearing 9-patch done scrappy and it looks great. The light center square is what makes this quilt sparkle.
While it is very scrappy there is still a cohesive palette to it. Her piecing is not crooked, that's due to the fact that I didn't have it spread out flat. Karen is actually a very precise piecer.
The back is this pretty pale bright green. Hand dyed, of course! Today is dyeing day and one of the things I need to dye is more quilt backs. I only have one left.
I'm up to 5 of 13 done and have the next 2 started. I hope to finish those and another 2 tonight.
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.
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