I hope you all had a great holiday weekend. Ours was lovely and quiet. The weather was really warm so we were able to take a hike Christmas morning and the rest of the weekend I was able to make some things! One thing turned into another and the next thing you know I had a lot done.
First I got 2 veterans quilts quilted. I think most of you know by now that we quilt them in pairs. So I loaded one back and quilted both at the same time. When I make my veterans quilts I generally make them 2 at a time just for this reason. These are from that big stash of patriotic batiks that I bought last year. I've almost made my way through all of that fabric.
I quilted it with the star/ribbon pantograph with red thread. My current favorite "workhorse" thread is Innovatech. I still like So Fine a lot but the Innovatech is a just little beefier so it shows up more.
I only had 2 more quilt tops in the closet so loaded and quilted them. One is this one that I made with strips of leftover hand dyed backing fabric from other veterans quilts and leftover strips of waste fabric from the Big Green quilt. I adore this quilt! I will make more of these this year. I think it sparkles.
I love to quilt diagonal blocks like this. It's really fast and makes a great pattern on the back.
The other quilt in that pair is this one make by one of our club members. The quilting wasn't going to show so I did a quick stipple. I don't have to bind this one.
Then I had more time one afternoon and decided to tackle all of these batting scraps. I don't think I had let the batting scrap bags get out of control this much before.
It made 8 pet beds for my friend to deliver to Richmond Animal League!
Finally, last night I remembered this scrap blanket that I started last year. I decided to add the rest of the scrap balls that I had and finish it off to be another pet blanket for donation. I have a few old blankets (not quilts) in my closet that I'm going to cut down and serge and make into more blankets for them. I like finding new homes for things I don't need anymore.
Now I'm busy planning my next crochet project and I've started doing just a little cleaning and reorganizing in the sewing room. How are you spending the last week of 2021?
First I'll report that I'm now 13% done with my postage stamp binding. I've even turned a corner! A little progress every day will get me there.
But today is all about yarny talk. I picked that up from one of the YouTube channels that I follow. Pamela has a nice channel and she opens by inviting listeners in for some "good ol' yarny talk". She's also Southern so that's a bonus. I've used 2 of her patterns so far for a pocket shawl and the cheer leader doll outfit.
Today's yarny talk starts with finishing a second Divine hat. I love making this hat. It goes so fast. This is the second one with this yarn. I made the first one with J (body) and H (brim) hooks. I made this one with I and 7 and it fits me better. Both will be donated to a breast cancer oncologist office. I had a good bit of yarn left over but not enough to make a 3rd hat. I remembered this shawl that I made in August from the same yarn so I pulled it out and added 3 rows to the bottom. All that was left was that tiny bit of yarn and I'm cool with that.
I really hate leftover yarn and always look for something to do with it. Fortunately, in this case, I had not delivered the shawl to the donation center yet.
My next chemo hat is this one. I bought 3 balls of this yarn at the Hobby Lobby clearance in June. I think I paid about $1.50 for each skein! These are going to make some classy hats. I have the same yarn in some bright colors for more playful hats. The yarn is soooo soft that I think they will be perfect chemo hats. The oncologist office is near my doctor's office. I'll be seeing her in late November to follow up on some tests so I'm going to see how many hats I can complete by then.
(Side note, I got my first set of labs back today and all I can say is "Yay vitamin D"! If only I had knows about vitamin D years ago I could have solved so many problems so much earlier.)
Back to yarn.
Do you remember when I started doing crochet and I said "I'm not going to stash yarn". Yeah, I didn't really believe it either. Our fabric stashes are really valuable especially when we need something quick to finish off a project. Well, that works in yarn too and I do have space, soooooo......I buy clearance yarn.
This blanket 36 x 49 and made with Premier Serenity Chunky yarn. I planned it for a dialysis patient blanket and I wasn't exactly sure how big of a blanket I could get from the 11 balls of yarn that I had. Like all of my yarn, I bought it on clearance from somewhere. Corner to corner is so perfect for this kind of blanket because it makes a really squishy blanket and crochets up really, really fast. it also makes it easy to size as I go. I started in one corner and kept increasing both sides until I used 4 balls of yarn, then I went straight up (increasing only on one side) until I had 4 balls left. Genius right? Yes, indeed, if it had actually worked. Take a look at the upper right corner.
See how much extra gray marl there is there? That's not Serenity Chunky yarn . I had no intention of buying another ball online to finish it. That one ball might have cost more than all the other balls combined.....it was that much on sale.
Off to my stash to get some white and gray worsted weight. I figured I could blend white and gray and that it would work well enough.
Then I found this Bernat twist and it was PERFECT! I don't even remember buying it but I'm guessing it came for Joann. I think I paid about $1.20 for it. I remember going in there once and bringing out a whole bag of yarn for about $20.
That was all the justification I needed to take advantage of a big sale at Lion Brand. They had a lot of yarns about 70% off. I put a ton of it in my cart and then reduced it to enough for 2 blankets and 2 wheelchair shawls. The next week they had a general 35% off so I bought yarn for 2 specific projects that I wanted to do for myself. One is a blanket done is squares for a travel project and the other is a sweater/duster jacket.
I'll take a moment now to comment on Lion Brand customer service. The first order arrived yesterday and there were 3 balls of yarn missing. I emailed them around noon and received a shipping notice for the missing yarn within 2 hours! That's great customer service right there.
When I went out to pick up my sewing machine Tuesday I took the opportunity to drop off this box of donations to From The Heart. It has 2 dialysis blankets, 1 wheel chair blanket, 2 wheelchair shawls, a baby hat and 24 walker caddies. I also included some yarn that I didn't like working with. It's a yarn that most people love and they were thrilled to get a donation of new yarn. They have a big yarn wall where people can get free yarn to make items. That's another reason that I don't mind my yarn stash, I can always donate unused yarn there and they really appreciate new yarn and yarn in quantities to make whole projects.
While I was there I was talking to them about stuff that they need and they showed me dialysis sleeves. The patients can't wear sleeves so they like to have knitted or crocheted "tubes" that have ribbing on both ends that the patient can slide up their exposed arm while getting treatment.
I had already decided that I really didn't enjoy making scarves and hats on the loom and they get soooo many hats and scarves that I didn't thing they needed more. These sleeves seem like a great idea so I got one started last night.
A while back I watched this video for the beehive waffle stitch and this seemed like a good project to use it. So far, so good and it goes pretty fast.
I have to loom knit for a few days because my hands need a crochet break.
Today Chris leaves for a golf weekend trip so I have 4 days alone! By Monday the ornaments will be packed and ready for delivery sometime soon. I also hope to get a lot of that binding done. I'm taking Mom to her eye doctor appointment tomorrow so I'll have a little bit of crochet time too.
are finally done!
There are only 14 in the photo. One of them decided to be a truant from the photo shoot. I'm really pleased that I got 15 caddies out of a pretty small stack of fabric. Now I just need to get them tagged and delivered along with 9 that I made in May. That's right, I haven't even delivered those yet! I don't intend to make any more anytime soon so I'll get these delivered soon along with some blankets and capes.
Each of the caddies has a big pocket on one side and a patch pocket on the other. I don't remember why I designed them this way but I hope it will work for people.
When I sew them I make sure to triple stitch every area that will get stress.
The ties are simply a 1" strip of fabric folded in thirds and zig-zagged over the raw edges. I think they will hold up just fine.
This is why I don't plan to make more anytime soon (or maybe ever). Home dec fabrics are treated with stuff that flakes off and I breathe and it enrages my sinuses. I expect my machine isn't all that happy either!
For anyone who cares, this is a rough drawing of the FINISHED measurements of my caddies. I accidentally cut off a 1 on the left side. It should read 13". Is this "right"? I really don't have any idea. My Mom used to work in a nursing home and she said they will generally take whatever they can get. The demand never ends.
This weekend I will work on the ornament storage and I will either load some veterans quilts for quilting or sew the binding on the postage stamp quilt to get it ready for hand sewing.
I didn't accomplish much yesterday. I had my elections officer training in the morning, got my fabrics ready for today's dyeing and shopped an online yarn sale. If you are interested, Lion Brand has a lot of yarn 65% off. I put tons in my cart, left it for a few hours, researched some Youtube reviews of all of the yarns and later, removed everything except yarn for 4 donation blankets or shawls. I'm glad I got myself under control before I entered my credit card info but I also got a great deal on those 4 yarns. I think each project will cost about $15. That's not bad.
After that I only got 2 more walker caddies made. You will notice that on all of my caddies the pocket fabrics are different. I do that on purpose so that the walker owner will be able to see the pockets easier.
Only 11 more to go! I do want these done so that I can get on with binding the postage stamp quilt. Plus late last night I was perusing my crochet books and saw a Christmas blanket. That reminded me that I haven't even thought about ideas for the Christmas cards this year. I've got to get crackin' on that very soon.
Maybe I can use my dyeing time today to come up with an idea or two. They are going to need to be very simple ideas this year for sure.
I don't have a lot to update today on the creative front. My college roommate and I decided this summer that we needed to go back to Virginia Tech for a football game and we decided to take out Moms with us. We left Friday, stayed in Roanoke (because hotel rates in Blacksburg on game weekend were insane) and drove into Blacksburg Saturday morning. We had a great time driving around to see our old apartment and dorm building and visiting other sites around campus. We had some light rain in the morning but you can see that the clouds moved out in time for kickoff at 3:30. Then the Hokies proceeded to get their butts kicked. That was no surprise but I was glad that we all got to experience Enter Sandman before kickoff. We had a late dinner back in Roanoke Saturday night and then home Sunday. I got home in time for NFL games at 1:00 and proceeded to put my feet up and relaxed the rest of the day.
I always take a travel project with me and I finished this Divine Hat in the hotel Friday night. I followed the instructions and used a J hook for the hat and H for the brim. It seems a little big so for the second one I'm going to use an I for the body and 7 for the brim. I made a shawl from this yarn last month and I like it a lot. It's possible that I can get 3 hats from this one ball. These will be hats for chemo patients. But after these are done I'll switch back to Feels Like Butta for the chemo hats. FLB is incredibly soft.
When I'm crocheting in front of the TV I switch between projects. Working on this blanket with the bulky yarn is really fast but I think it's harder on my hands. I only have 4 balls left and 1 ball only does 4 or 5 long rows. I figure this one has reached it's max length and I'll start doing short rows on both sides. I think this will finish to about 36 x 48. That's a fine lap size I think. It's incredibly warm and occasionally induces a hot flash.
That's when I switch to this lighter weight project. Yesterday I added the last 2 color sections. I think I got the second wide aqua section done just before I left Friday. I am liking the effect of the wide aqua sections and I think this will make a nice wheelchair blanket. I only have a few cakes of self striping yarn in my stash and that's good. I might be kind of over it for a while. After this I'm pretty sure the next blanket I make will be another gingham using 3 solid colors.
Before I left I also finished another walker caddy. These are fast to sew and I have then set up at a machine so I can work on them in small bits of time. I'm going to try to get them finished and out of the way by the weekend. This one has one of the embroidery pieces as a patch pocket on one side and a large pocket on the other. The ties are positioned at the top of the big pocket to add more stability and support for the pockets.
For anyone wanting to make these I recommend just looking online for patterns. I don't really know if mine are right or not. I found a couple of online patterns and adjusted them for the fabric that I had.
Yesterday was a lovely day because I was finally able to sit down and do some sewing. I didn't have any dyeing scheduled because I'm going on a trip Friday and there wouldn't be time to process the fabrics. That meant a free day! First thing I wanted to do was to finish the next set of blocks for the Flora's Stars quilts. I really like this block pattern a lot. I don't know the block name but I'm going to have to remember it. I think it has a lot of possibilities.
I'm making 8 of each block, one for each of the 8 quilts and now this set is done. I gave 3 more sets cut out and ready to sew. Once those are done I'll stop and do a little planning and see where I want to go with this project.
Then I started on the stack of walker caddies that I cut out a couple of weeks ago. These are designed to hang over the top bar of the walker and tie to the side legs. There's one big pocket on one side and a smaller patch pocket on the other. Only 14 more to go!
I may not post tomorrow. Today I'm running a lot of errands, packing for the trip and we have company staying overnight so there might not be time. If not, I'll see you Monday.
There's nothing like a good podcast or book to help keep me focused on my sewing projects. The past couple of days have been great for sewing. Nothing is done but there's been lots of activity.
I'm working on the nest set of 8 blocks for my Flora's Stars quilts. Sometime in the next couple of weeks I will do a post dedicated to this project to explain what it is. This is one of the 14 sets of blocks that I took on vacation to put together. I think I got 8 of them done so I'll work on these a little every day until they are done.
My priority now and for the foreseeable future is getting the postage stamp quilt done. I've started on the little blocks and I'm doing continuous curves in them. My CC stitching path isn't perfect but it's good enough for my bed. I can do this for about an hour at a time and then my hands and back need a rest. I'm going to try to get in 2 sessions every day so I can get this wrapped up soon.
It is fun to revisit all of these fabrics. I started this quilt in 1998 so these fabrics are from older projects. A lot of the are from the collection of novelty fabrics that I used in that dreadful Cathedral Window quilt. I also recognize lots of fabrics from long forgotten quilts and from projects for my nieces and nephews who are all now 24 - 32 years old.
Having a very wide quilting area from the biggest machine isn't really a benefit for small scale quilting. It's most comfortable for me to work on this section 6 - 8 rows at a time. The ruler shows where I finished up yesterday. You might get tired of seeing this update over and over for the next week or so! I am determined to get this quilt off the machine as soon as possible. I'm really excited to get it finished and ready to put on my bed this winter.
After my sewing and quilting sessions I was straightening up the sewing room and was going to put away the upholstery fabric scraps that I picked up last week. Remember that when Mom and I delivered quilts to her former neighbor that he wanted us to take some of his wife's fabrics. I took upholstery and batting scraps because I knew I could use them pretty soon. The batting has all been dealt with. Instead of putting the upholstery fabrics in my cabinet I decided to go ahead and cut out kits for walker caddies. I got about halfway through the fabric last night. Here are the first bases and ties that I cut.
These are pockets for the fabrics in the previous photo and the rest of the fabrics that I need to cut. I'll finish with all of this today.
A few weeks ago someone else gave me rolls of fabric and lining. I'll use the lining fabric to cut lining for the caddies. The bolt of fabric will probably either be pet beds or will be passed along to another friend who has a friend who takes orphan fabric. I think the print is too big for walker caddies. Either way I will find it a home soon!
I've been doing crochet in the evenings but don't really have anything worth showing yet but I should have an update by Friday. I'm wrapping up September with very few finishes but I think October might be pretty amazing!
When I write my blog posts now I take photos on my phone and use the Weebly app to upload them then I have to go to the computer to write the text because the Weebly app is kind of crap. Anyway, all that is to say that I've uploaded the photos and as I started writing this post I realized that I left a couple of things out and I'll share those later this week.
The first thing I finished was the binding on these 2 veterans quilts. I pieced these while I was on vacation from some of the kits that I cut out earlier this summer. Both of these are from the 6" HST Accuquilt die. They were fast to cut, fast to sew and fast to quilt. I love both of them. All I had left to do was the binding and that the first thing on my weekend list.
The quilting is very simple wavy lines. This motif is super fast and results in a very soft and cuddly quilt.
I also got the binding on the safari placemats. I forgot to take a photo of them. I may save sharing them until I get napkins made for them.
There was a lot of football watching this weekend so I did a lot more crochet (another missing photo) than quilting. I'm about half done with the pocket shawl for Mom.
I did get into the basement to make some final decisions on quilting the postage stamp. Here are the 2 threads that I was deciding between and, in the end, I didn't like either of them!
So I went back to the cabinet for more options. Please ignore the quilting motifs, the machine was pushing up against the zipper edge and I couldn't get a smooth feather. But this is on scrap fabric and just for the purpose of selecting colors. I've decided that I like the brown the best. It's actually darker than it looks in this photo. So the machine is cleaned, oiled, set with a new needle and ready to go this weeek.
I even worked out some ideas for the border. I've got to try to keep the quilting from being too dense. This is a bed quilt, not a show or wall quilt. This is what I want to focus on this week.
The other thing I want to do this week is to come up with a way to safely pack up these because they are going to be delivered to my SIL and niece. I won't have to display them anymore. I can just drive to their house and see them displayed there!
I have an idea for a packing and storage design, I just need to get on with doing it.
I know someone will ask so I'll say here that, no, I will not miss them. For me the joy is always in the making and I'm done making these. I started about 30 years ago and it's time for someone else to enjoy them. My SIL has a white tree in her new house and these will be beautiful displayed on her tree and other people will actually see them. No one sees them at my house. They will be loved in their new home in Newport News.
In between big crochet projects I've been slowly working on loom knitting and crochet hats. I've been saving them all up but it's time to put the stack of hats away and that means a hat centric post for today.
First up are these 2 loom knitted hats. I am still at the early learning stage on the loom. Nothing that I make turns out like the pattern yet but I think I'm getting a little better each time. Both of these hats were knitted with the exact same pattern. The blue one is a 5 weight yarn and the brown one is a 6 weight yarn. That's all the difference. One fits me and one fits Chris, although both will be donated.
Both of these were made on the Chunky Flexee loom. I like that loom a lot because it allows you to do crown decreases like this and I like the look of this a lot better than the gathered crown.
But.....I'm still a long way from getting the tension on my stitches right. My hat should look like the one in the pattern picture but obviously it doesn't. I have yarn to make another but I'm going to do a little swatching of different knit stitch styles before I cast on the next one.
There's also another chemo cap. I finished this one before I went on vacation. The yarn is Flecks from Michaels. The yarn feels really nice but it's pretty splitty to crochet with. I tried different hooks. The Clover Armour work the best with it but it still splits a lot. I'll be happy to make one more hat and see the end of this yarn. I do like this pattern a lot. The hat looks kind of elegant on the head.
I also sewed on the tops of the Sesame Street hats. I sure hope the hats fin the boys.
Also in the chemo hat category are these 2 Diving hats. I have been seeing a lot of these hats on YouTube and then Fiber Spider posted a tutorial and I wanted to give it a try. The gray multi one is a Cloudborn yarn. I bought 1 hank to swatch up for Mom's shawl but didn't like it for that. The yarn was expensive so I didn't want it to go to waste. It worked up great for this hat and it's super soft. The ecru one was made Tuesday during quilt club and I printed the original pattern for this one. The only difference is the number of rows. The ecru yarn is Impeccable which I think came from Michael's. It was great to crochet with but isn't as soft as I want for a chemo hat. I think I'll stick with Lion Brand Feels Like Butta for the chemo hats. It's affordable and very soft.
Here's a close up of the patterning on the Divine hat. I really love it. But after the blankets and hats I had scraps and I hate yarn scraps!
For my 4 weight scraps I started a scrappy afghan and I just add yarn to this as I finish a project. You can see the most recent yarn additions from the hat projects. I think that I'll make this a small pet blanket and donate it to Richmond Animal League. That will be a perfectly fine way to use up my scrap yarns. I don't need a scrap yarn collection to add to my scrap fabric collections and I don't need a big, ugly scrap afghan for my lap.
The little tag on the stitch marker tell me what hook size I'm using since this little project can go months without me touching it.
The yarn left from the baby blanket is a bulky weight so I used the little bit of leftover from that to make a premie hat. The subtle shading in the yarn made a really cute hat!
Any other bits of leftover yarn get chopped up and added to stuffing for the pet beds.
Now I'm on to the pocket shawl project and will also be swatching up some test blocks for the daisy hexagon afghan. I've got plenty to keep me busy this weekend.
I so love our monthly sewing get together with my quilt club. We usually have 6 - 10 people and we get to leave everything set up Friday might so we can show up Saturday and just start sewing. This weekend we had 9 both days. 7 people came both days.
I finished this veterans quilt top and I love it so much! It's all scraps. The blue center is leftover from a veterans quilt back that I dyed and the color strips are leftovers from the Big Green Quilt. Trash to treasure for sure. The blocks are rectangular and finish 8 x 10 so the top is 48 x 60. I just love how the waste fabric scraps sparkle. I'd make one of these in a bed size. Some day this will get quilted.
I fired up the longarm for the first time since vacation and quilted these two tops that I pieced on vacation. I just did some simple wavy line quilting. My approach to the veterans quilts now is fast and easy. There are too many to be quilted to spend a lot of time on them. I think this motif works well with the strong geometric lines of the design. I like both of these quilts a lot and they were easy to cut with the Accuquilt Go.
Last week I got this backing fabric dyed for my postage stamp quilt. That's the next thing going on the longarm - FINALLY! My oldest UFO is going to be quilted.
I was going to do a black backing but I decided on blue and black. It just needed to be dark because the batting is black. I'm excited to finally get started on that one.
My goals for this week are:
- load and baste the postage stamp quilt
- bind the veterans quilts
- finish the current crochet blanket
- start working on enlarging the vulture quilt
To subscribe click the RSS Feed button and copy the URL of that page into your blog reader.
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.