My weekend plans went awry. I was looking forward to 2 sewing days with my Country School Quilters friends but when I got to the meeting room it was clear that someone had recently cleaned it. That's all good except that they used about a gallon of Pine-Sol. It's mold season here and I'm having enough allergy challenges. The Pine-Sol was just too much. I visited for a little but packed up and came home.
Not to worry, I had plenty to do! At the club meeting last week members gave me 13 more veterans quilt tops! Then I got 2 in the mail from my friend, Patty. With the 3 that were already there I now had 18 quilt tops hanging in the guest room closet. The ones on the left are paired with backs. The ones on the right need backs. I got those backs dyed last week. So I decided that instead of poisoning myself I would come home and work on these veterans quilts.
I quilted 2 quilts but realized that I can only share one. The other is a sample quilt for an upcoming Barbara Brackman block of the week/month. Becky does sewing for Barbara and the new quilt finished at 48" x 60" so she turned it into a veterans quilt.....a REALLY nice veterans quilt. All I can tell you is that it's a really cool quilt for those of you looking for a challenge!
I have so many quilts to quilt that they are getting the fastest possible quilting. The Loose Leaf panto is perfect for that.
This one is another one that Gwen mad with 4-patch blocks. This is the 3rd I've quilted for her and there are 2 or 3 more!
Then I was able to start making dog blocks. Is this puppy cute or what? I don't buy a lot of patterns but I'd surely buy more patterns from Sew Fresh Quilts. This one is really well written. The fact that I had to unsew something in ever block is only commentary on my sewing skills. I have 3 of them done.
These blocks are big, 18" x 12" so the hand dyed fabric makes a nice impact.
I made some more progress on moons too. I almost have another set of 4 ready to share.
What a great way to finish off the week. All 3 of the new veterans quilts are totally done! They are bound and ready for delivery.
I had a blue variegated thread that was perfect. It showed up just the same on not quilts, not too dark and not too light. I used the star and ribbon pantograph on these.
I had a light blue backing already dyed that worked well for these. Just so I'm prepared I dyed 4 new veterans quilt backs this week.
I'm so happy that I started out this month getting one more UFO out of the way. I had big plans for the weekend. I want to work on the fish mosaic, load my next big quilt for quilting and start a new quilt. But I've sprained my ankle so I'm not sure what will be happening. I'll see how it goes. At least I have hand sewing if I can't stand much.
Getting those veterans quilt tops done really motivated me and I couldn't wait to get them quilted.
This quilt was made by Becky. The batik fabrics are left over from a quilt that she made for her Grandson and his new wife. She added in the green for a nice bit of color.
I had the perfect green backing for her quilt but since I quilt 2 quilts on one back I've been waiting for another quilt to pair with it. This leaf pantograph was perfect for the nature feeling of her quilt.
My UFO transformation quilt with the green border was the perfect quilt to pair with Becky's quilt. Can you see that it's also bound!
That leaf pantograph really helped out this quilt giving some focus to all that scrappy randomness of the tumblers.
If you are in the US I hope you have a great 4th. We are going to gill with Mom this afternoon but that will leave plenty of time for more quilting!
I mentioned Monday that before starting a new project that I wanted to see if I could get something else off the UFO list. This quilt is what I picked.
The original plan was to use this on a bed in the guest house after appliqueing some giant sunflowers on it. You can sort of see that I have a few rows of predominately green tumblers at the bottom. I drew out lots of ideas that I liked but I eventually realized that the quilt wasn't quite big enough for the twin beds in there and I wan't motivated to cut and sew more tumblers.
This being 4th of July week I though maybe I could turn it into a couple of veterans quilts. Of course the easy solution would be to cut it in half, quilt then and call them done. But the quilt wasn't quite wide enough for that easy solution.
But it would work with a border. I remembered that I had a veterans quilt upstairs paired with a green backing so this predominately green end of the quilt and a green border would mean I'd have 2 more quilts ready for quilting.
It wasn't quite as easy as cutting it in half and adding a border. I added a step to remove 2 of the green rows and sewed them to the other side for a little more balance. Truthfully, in really life you don't see the distinction between the green and blue so much.
Most importantly, I've 1/2 a UFO down! For the remaining half I wanted to see if I could do something different (more interesting). So off to EQ I went to work up some designs.
I checked my stash and I had at least 2 yards of 4 different blue fabrics that I could work with. I love a good stash!
I unsewed the rest of the quilt into 2-row sections. The finished width of these is 6" so that was easy to work with in designing a very simple pattern.
Voila! Two veterans quilt tops! These took longer than they should because I made some ridiculous cutting mistakes. Fortunately, most of the cuts were too large. I was thinking that this would be a great way to use some of my waste fabrics or even a bold print. I'd only need about a yard of the feature fabric. You could even do crumb blocks like this. I might write this up as a pattern just so I have the instructions for future use. Anyone else interested?
The nest part is that this is all that's left of the original quilt top!
Now on to some quilting. I'm so glad that my quilt club makes veterans quilt because they are such a great way to use scraps and bring new life to old UFO projects.
In between sessions of binding stitching I took breaks to do a little quilting on two more veterans quilts. This one was made by Karen and is another of her lovely disappearing 9-patch quilts. Karen makes dozens of quilts for charity every year. She probably has an average of 3 quilts for show and tell every month! She's mastered the art of scrap quilting so that the quilt doesn't look scrappy at all.
Gwen made the patriotic quilt above. She did a program for us a few months ago sharing lots of ways that 4-patch blocks can be used. She did this orange quilt that I shared last month and this patriotic one is another great way to set 4-patch blocks.
These 2 quilts were paired up with a pale blue hand dyed backing. I used a star and swirl pantograph and white thread. I have 3 more veterans quilts in the closet but they are each awaiting a mate for quilting so I'm done until the next Country School meeting in a few weeks.
While Lost My Marbles was drying I was able to get a couple more veterans quilts quilted. I think both of these were made by Betsy.
Betsy works a lot with reproduction fabrics and really favors red and black so I love all of her quilts. This one is made with 2 simple blocks that create a complex design when combined.
This one was made with the Strength Quilt pattern and she made it more interesting with her pieced top and bottom borders.
Some people think that you can pair reproductions and batiks. Clearly those people are wrong because they work perfectly together in Betsy's quilt.
I dyed a beige backing fabric and quilted both with this easy fan pattern.
Today I'm off to hunt for more glass tile to finish the fish backsplash. Cross your fingers for me!
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.
At the April Country School Quilter's meeting I picked up 14 veterans quilt tops needing quilting. FOURTEEN! Those ladies have been busy because I brought home 16 the month before. I hadn't intended to necessarily quilt any this month because I wanted to finish Lost My Marbles. But this weekend I decided that I didn't like having the closet full of quilt tops that desperately wanted to be finished and delivered to veterans at the local VA hospital. I decided to take Marbles off yesterday and set aside this week to see how many I can get quilted before our meeting next Tuesday. So, if all goes well, all you are going to see from me this week are more veterans quilts. I think you are going to see some great scrap quilts this week.
This one will be great for the fall. It's a flannel string quilt that was pieced on a fabric foundation so it's beefy and going to be very warm and cuddly.
The 2 black side borders on this on were a little full so I chose a big stipple to help me flatten it all out. It worked really well.
Back in January I did a program for the group and introduced 4 easy patterns for veterans quilt and gave out several kits. This one is a kit I prepared using the Blockade pattern. I paired scrappy oranges from a Stash Pack with a single blue fabric and I love the effect.
The color on this photo isn't even close to accurate but you can see that I used one of my favorite pantos, Woven Wind. It's easy and fast and looks great. When you want to quilt 13 quilts in one week you need a lot of easy and fast! These 2 quilts have a hand dyed medium blue backing and were quilted together on the same back and using the same blue variegated thread.
I had one backing piece that was a bolt end that wasn't wide enough for 2 quilts. It was pale blue and was a good fit for this Elvis quilt. Becky has a large collection of Elvis fabric and has decided to use some of them for a couple of veterans quilts.
The quilt couldn't be easier to piece and yet it looks more complicated. She started with this panel of Elvis in uniform.
Then she added 4 borders to finish it off. I love the beer bottle fabric and the celebrity Elvis print. It got my other favorite pantograph of stars and ribbons. When I post later this week I'll post the name of the quilt.
I have the next set of quilts loaded and ready to quilt.
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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