Customer Gems - Ann Jensen
Ann Jensen is back this week with another of her Hawaii-inspired pillow covers. Each pillow cover is hand appliqued with batiks and gradients on a gradient background. She is masterful at fussy cutting the gradients to get just the effect that she wants. I believe that she used Monterey Bay, Niagara and Sugar Maple in this one.
For sharing, Ann 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.
Another day with no sewing
It was a beautiful day here yesterday and that meant that it was another day of spreading mulch. This was the 4th truckload. I started this big bed Tuesday and used a third of yesterday's load to finish it off. These areas are going to look so good when the grass starts turning green. We are lucky to have found someone new to mow for us. Our last guy retired after 20 years. We were spoiled!
I should plant some things here to use up some of this space but I'm just not into gardening. I like weeding (a lot) and mulching and that's about it. Sometimes if I'm listening to a really good book and want to concentrate on the book I'll just go outside and pull weeds for a while so I won't be distracted from the book. I pulled a whole grocery bag full Tuesday when I was finishing up my most recent book.
This is the same bed from the other side of the cedar tree. Last summer we went around the property and took a bit of an inventory of the tree varieties that we have. We were surprised to count 26 different varieties of trees! I have read that the Appalachian area, specifically the Great Smokies has one of the greatest variety of trees in the world. The Great Smokies has over 100 varieties of trees. We benefit from much of that here with our climate and proximity to a pond and river.
This photo is for Patty. She does lots of gardening and often posts about her Lenten Roses. I didn't know what they were and was never really interested in finding out. But recently I sent a photo of these to my Mom and brother. Mom planted them a few years ago and they must be hardy because I don't do anything with them: no watering, no feeding, no trimming. In a text conversation I found out that they are Lenten Roses. So I've had some of my own all this time!
The next area to tackle is this one with a Holly and a Sycamore. I emptied the rest of yesterday's truckload at the back edge. It will take one more truckload to finish it off. After that I basically have 10 standalone trees to do and I'll be done. It looks like I'll have 2 good days this coming week and then I'll be off to the beach for a week to hang out and sew with my friend, Kim. Like I said, I enjoy mulching so I'm not in a huge hurry to finish. By the end of April will be good, before it gets too hot.
Before I went outside yesterday I did iron some pretty new fabrics that will make it into the shop next week.
At the end of the day I was too tired to quilt so I sat and worked on this blanket. I'm on the last skein of yarn so this one will be done soon. Maybe by Monday.
Today it's raining and that means it's a perfect day for sewing. It's also sewing weekend with my quilt club so I'm going to be getting this veterans quilt top done, if all goes to plan.
The Goldfinch pattern
Yesterday I had hoped to start sewing more little blankets but I had to do a lot of dyeing and by the end of that I was spent. So today I thought I'd show you what in the new pattern that I got after the Mid-Atlantic Quilt show. While at the show there was a new vendor called Legit Kits. I was totally enamoured so I decided to give one a try. They have a lot of different designs and these patterns are in the same price range as the Judy Neimeyer patterns. They come as pattern packs or full kits. I chose a smaller pattern to try out and I got the pattern only because I want to make it with my hand dyed fabrics.
On the right you can see that the pattern is pieced in rectangle shaped blocks. For example, A1 is one block. The pattern comes with LOTS of paper....let's take a look.
It comes with a detailed 14 page instruction manual. I need to sit down and read through all of this.
For this small pattern there are 3 pages of fabric requirements! This explains why the full kits are so expensive. I think the fabric included is Kona cotton. I'll be pulling from my stash and from gradients. For example, I'm going to create the background totally from my Jenny Lake gradient. I think it will work great. But it's going to be an exercise to match up all of the fabrics for sure!
For every color there's a chart like this to indicate which pieces are cut from each fabric. 48 pages of the kit makes up the "cut guide". I'll probably attach my fabrics to these pages to keep track of them.
For every block in the quilt there's a piecing guide like this.
Finally, we're at the good stuff, the foundation papers! There are 40 pages of foundation papers printed on newsprint, just like the Judy Niemeyer patterns.
I think this pattern is going to be fun for me and I'm excited to get started. But there are a few other projects that have to get done first.
In the evenings I'm continuing on with my crochet projects. After I finished the past shawl I decided to start a new baby quilt. This is some yarn that I found on sale for half off when I was in Maine last summer. It's a very nice and soft yarn and this one is coming along pretty quickly. There's a possibility that I'll need to buy a solid color for the border because I only have 4 balls of the yarn.
I'll worry about that in a few weeks.
Today I have loads of fabric to wash out and another truckload of mulch to spread. Hopefully I can get something creative done as well.
4 more cuddle quilts
As a refresher, I'm making a group of small cuddle quilts from some dye sample fat quarters that have been languishing in my sewing room for years. Many years. From the Heart uses these 27" x 36" as cuddle quilts for kids getting cancer treatment. They aren't meant to be blankets. More like "blankies". I've made and delivered 8 so far and these 4 will make 12. I have enough fat quarters to make about 28 of them. They aren't all playful colors so some will be donated as wheelchair blankets, which are the same size.
Because they are 36" long, I can use standard fabric for the backing so I'm using this as an opportunity to clear some yardage from the stash too. I try to coordinate the back to the tops so that I can use the extra backing fabric for the binding.
This set of quilts started with this batik. I bought 5 yards of it at a quilt show many years ago and, I think I remember that it was a bargain fabric. I think I thought of it as backing fabric but I've never used it until now. Each of the 4 quilts have this as the backing and binding.
Here are the 4 little quilts.
They wanted bright quilts and that's what they are getting! The two photos below show the quilting a little better than on the quilts. I will not be using these for my botanical class practice anymore. I determined that these need to be as soft and cuddly as possible so dense quilting isn't optimal.
Next up is this baby quilt that Mom made. It's for my cousin's son and has a cool story about it. One I get this quilted I'll tell the whole background. I'm going to get the backing dyed today if I can settle on a color. I hope to get it quilted this weekend so I can get it to Mom Tuesday.
Just one thing
Aurora is back!
Last week I introduced a new gradient that was an experiment for me. I designed Aurora inspired by photos of the Northern Lights. I wasn't sure how it would be receive so I was shocked that it was sold out within an hour of the newsletter going out. I immediately put it on the dye schedule for last week and it's the only new fabric that I have for you this week.
If you missed out last week, it's back!
Fabric of the Week
The fabric of the week this week is the Blue Spruce Shades Pack. This color is being discontinued so supplies are limited and this pack only comes as a fat quarter pack. It's now 20% off!
Not much quilting
There wasn't much going on in the fiber world for me this weekend but I still got lots done. Friday started with my brother and we put up his new backsplash. He had called me to ask if I had a wet saw and, surprise, I did! Since I've worked some with cutting glass and had all the glass cutting tools, I offered to help.
He laid the field and I did all the cuts. Honestly, I was surprised at how well my cutting worked out! I didn't go back Saturday to help grout. I told him that I was confident in his skills. Plus I know, from doing my mosaic walls, that grouting is an unholy mess. He confirmed that with several messages during the day. Mom and I went over last night to check it out.
His name is Tim and I told him we could start a business and call it VicTim. Something in me wants to start a business just so we can see if we could register that name.
The other big job of the weekend was mulching. I actually enjoy doing this. I can listen to a book and get some great exercise. Chris would help if I asked but I've not needed help so far. This was Sunday's work that I finished before we left to visit my brother. The first bed I tackled is this area around the magnolia tree. First I had to rake up a wheelbarrow FULL of seed pods. I still need to trim the suckers and this will be done for the year.
Our truck is so old that it now has antique plates. That means that it doesn't have to be inspected anymore. It does limit how far you can drive (250 miles) it but we only use it for local trips. It's not reliable enough for any distance.
We have 6 Sycamore trees lining the driveway and four of them are in standalone beds like this. The rest of that truckload took care of three of them. There are irises planted under these two trees. The next bed that I will do will use an entire truckload. I hope to get to that one Tuesday before the weather turns cold and rainy again.
It wasn't a totally fiber-free weekend though. I got 4 of the little child cuddle quilts quilted on Saturday and got the binding cut. This week's tasks will include getting these finished. I also have a baby quilt that I need to get quilted for Mom. It's for my cousin's son's first baby. I'm making the baby a teddy bear out of a special vintage quilt so I hope to get that made this week too.
I hope you had a great weekend and have some fun things planned for your week.
Customer Gems - Lisa Wiebe
This week's inspiration is a handbag made by Lisa Wiebe. She used the Woodlands Gradient in a course by Brandy Maslowski; Quilter on Fire, for the base of a bag that used three different piecing techniques and fabric painting. I love the printing that she did on the gradient before cutting it up and piecing it into the bag.
For sharing, Lisa 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.
The crochet cape "pattern"
My second version of ths shawl is complete!
From The Heart organization specifically requests wrap around shawls for donation to assisted living and nursing home facilities. The shawl that seems to be most popular is a free one by Susan Coes. That one is OK but I wanted more wedges.
Then I found this one by Carrie Penny. That was great except that I wanted a neckline so that the shawl set more forward on the body. I also thought that it wasn't necessary to keep increasing for the full length.
I melded what I learned from those two and created my own pattern that also happens to be pretty fast to stitch up.
I also wanted it to have a bit of a decorative edge and a single crochet neck edge for a little nroe neck stability.
I have written up the "pattern" and you can download it here.
I am not a pattern writer and it has not been tested so try it at your own risk! If you find errors please let me know and I'll fix it. Once you get going it's really simple and it's easy to make up for an missed increase on the next row so you don't have to frog much.
If you do try it out please let me know if there's anything I can do to make the pattern more understandable.
Just 1 quilt quilted
Mulching season has commenced and I started working on that this week. I got the first truckload done and finished all the beds near the house. I've got to say that this is some really good exercise. If the weather is as nice as projected, I hope to get a couple more truckloads done this weekend.
When I work outside in the cold I have this one particular fleece jacket that I wear. A friend had put in it the donation bag when she was stay with us. It was just what I needed for working outside so I kept it. But when I'm working outside I like to listen to my books and this jacket only has the standard front pockets that are perfect for tipping the phone out on the ground. I decided to sew a quick phone pocket to the inside. I took the shortest zipper I could find (hot pink) and the fabric on the top of the scrap bin (orange) and cobbled together this pocket that functioned perfectly while I was spreading mulch. It goes much faster with a good book.
On the making front, I did finish the wheelchair shawl and I should have it posted tomorrow with some rudimentary instructions. I also got this quilt quilted for Becky. Becky and Rich gave us access to a ton of wood for our fire next winter so I wanted to quilt this quilt for her. It's for her nephew's son. He's 13 and I think he will love the bold graphic nature of it.
I quilted with the Square Spiral pantograph that I just love to do on masculine and graphic quilts. I almost finished off a cone of Superior Rainbows with this one.
Tomorrow we are expecting a lot of rain so I'll be at my brother's house helping him tile a backsplash. He needs my glass tile saw so he had to take my assistance as part of the deal. It should be fun since we both know probably about half what we need to for this to be successful. Cue the profanity.
My goals for February were:
- keep piecing lap quilts - done
- finish one more veterans quilt and quilt as many as are needed - done
- practice class quilting on the lap quilts - done
- finish the crochet cardigan - didn't even touch it
- finish quilting Mom's quilt - not done because I'm not done with my botanicals quilting class
That's a usual month. I always set some goals but I know I'll change them as the month goes along and that's OK. Mom is in no hurry for her quilt and I don't put any time limits on my crochet projects. But I am going to take that cardigan to the beach later this month and expect that I can finish it there. It will help to have my friend help me analyze the fit. I'm at the part where I need to determine the back width and that's a little difficult to do on your own.
While I missed a few goals I got a lot of other things done. First off, I quilted 4 veterans quilts. The red and blue one is one of my own so I got it bound as well.
I got 8 of the little cuddle quilts done and delivered to From The Heart. I practiced my floral quilting on 4 of them but going forward I'm not going to use these for practice quilting anymore. These quilts need to be really soft and snuggly so I don't want such dense quilting. I think I have 7 more read for quilting and lots more to cut and sew. I have a new project that I want to start so I'm going to try to get these knocked out in March.
The surprise new project of the month was getting 12 placemats made. It all started because there was leftover fish fabric from 2 of the cuddle quilts and I didn't want to put it away. I made 8 placemats from that fabric (4 for us and 4 for my nephew) and then I decided to make placemat sets for the whole family. The bird set was next and there are more to come.
On the crochet front I apparently went a little crazy with hats. I did finish one large donation blanket that will be given to a chemo or dialysis patient but mostly I finished hats. 3 are winter hats to donate next year and the others are masculine chemo hats that have already been donated.
I used up 8 balls of yarn but I think I deserve extra credit because 2 of them were 16 oz balls.
My last 2 finished for the month are this pincushion for my friend and doll dresses for Ella.
It was a really good month!
Current YTD stats:
Veterans quilts made - 7
Donation lap quilts - 8
Veterans quilts quilted - 7
Crochet/loom knit hats and scarves - 10
Doll outfits - 2
Placemats - 12
Other Donated items - 74
Balls of yarn used - 16
Other items - 1
I'll be gone one week in March to go to the beach with a friend but we are taking our sewing machines so making will be happening between beach reading and walking sessions (if the weather permits). I'm setting a long list of March goals knowing that they will not all get done but these are all the things on my radar with only 2 having looming deadlines.
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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.