But first, penguin eyes! I'm working on 20 penguin faces and finished 40 penguin eyeballs. I'm having some serious issues with my seam allowance on these tiny pieces. If I made this quilt again I'd create foundation papers to create the small eye and beak pieces. For me, that would be easier. The next step is to make beaks.
Back in the 90's the quilt fabric manufacturers really went wild creating beautiful fabrics for us and we dutifully bought all of it along with tools, notions and batting. We've created amazing collections of supplies and not it seems that we are starting to age out of the hobby and more and more of those collections are looking for new homes. I would be shocked if there's any quilt group out there that hasn't been gifted another quilter's stash. It's fun to go through other another quilter's stash looking for treasures.
A member of our group got a call last week of another quilter's estate that needed clearing. She wasn't a member of our group but as I went through some of the stuff I realized that she had been a Facebook follower of mine and we had chatted about her custom t-shirt and memory quilt business. Sadly she died less than a year after retiring. Her executor found us through a friend. She was clearly so grateful that we were able to take everything.
I brought home the batting to go through to see what we could use for veterans quilts and we have another quilter who will piece batting for the dozens of charity baby quilts that she makes. I also brought home the HST quilt that she was working on. Mom will finish that, maybe for 2 veterans quilts, maybe for something else. This lade lived in a 1 bedroom apartment and had this much batting! You can imagine how much fabric was there.
She saved EVERY tiny piece of batting. If you have scraps like this and haven't used them yet, please give yourself permission to throw them out. They are just a burden to you because every time you see them you think "I should do something with that". But if you haven't yet, you probably won't. But since I make dog beds from my own batting scraps I just added these to my bed bin.
It didn't take me long to sort through everything. The bin on the left will go to Karen for her baby quilts. The bag in the middle is pet bed stuffing and the stack on the right will be for 11 veterans quilts.
I immediately chopped up the pet bed bits and decided not to let this accumulate anymore.
It took less than 2 hours to make these 4 pet beds. All those fabrics are decorator fabrics that came from other quilter/sewist stashes and it was all free to me. The size of the bed is based on the optimal size I can cut the fabric. I do try to make only large beds because I think rescue organizations probably gets mostly large dogs. Also large beds are faster to make!
I even use scrap thread and finished off this cone of King Tut thread. I'm working my way through a spool of heavy cotton purple thread now.
The dogs don't care if the thread doesn't match.
All of this has made me, once again, start looking around all my creative spaces to think about moving out things that I'm not likely to use again. The first place I'm going is into my fiber art supplies. I have silk fibers and other things that I'm not likely to use. I did dabble in fiber art a few years ago and I use some small quantities of things in my postcards but I'm not likely to do much fiber art in the future simply because I'm so allergic to the adhesives and paints.
Maybe it's time to empty a cabinet or two.
Because I just got all of my new Paula Nadelstern fabrics!
Maybe I need a new rule. Everything coming in has to be balanced with things going out. The math lover in me would say:
Inputs <= Outputs
I was so excited to get the other Hunter Star quilt top done 2 weeks ago and was ready to quilt it this week as the last thing before I start my new projects. I loaded it on the frame and picked a free motion edge-to-edge that seemed like a good idea at the time.
I didn't notice that I had caused this until I had it all done, off the frame and TRIMMED! Because the quilting pattern I used didn't go over the star centers I created fullness there. Stupid. Just stupid. Many bad words were spewed and I can tell you that I'm really good at profanity especially when I'm alone.
The profanity didn't solve the problem (it never does but it does feel good) so I had to actually start thinking.
Conveniently I have a file cabinet full of buttons and I thought I'd put a button in the center of each star. I tried hand sewing a button on the quilt but there were just too many layers.
Then I remembered that I could sew them on with my Brother sewing machine. It worked perfectly. I secured each one with a little dot of Fray Check on the front and back.
I wouldn't put buttons on a child's quilt but it works great on an adult quilt. I've used a quilt with buttons and it was just as comfy as a quilt without buttons.
Because of all the starch I used in this quilt I did wash it and that took more of the puffiness out of the stars. Now that my panic is over I'm really glad it happened because I love the effect of the buttons! It really puts focus on the stars.
Here's the finished quilt. I dyed a darker gray shade for the binding.
I love, love, love the backing and it was a great use of my Gray Skies mistake. All the pink part was cut off. I just hope there's a veteran at the hospital that likes gray as much as I do!
I know I talked about new projects yesterday, but I still had the two Hunter's Star veterans quilts to finish up. Here's the autumnal one. I absolutely love it. It started with a gradient similar to Sugar Maple. I added a couple of oranges, yellow and green fabrics to fill it out. I made this one difficult by making it completely scrappy. It meant that I had to keep up with pressing directions while I was arranging the blocks. It turned into kind of a nightmare but I eventually got it done.
I decided to do a little custom quilting on this one but it still had to be something quilt that I could do edge to edge. The result is a little awkward but repetition makes it work OK. When I used to teach new quilters I always told them "crappy quilting, done consistently, looks good"! I still use that mantra.
I used a veterans quilt back so I had space for another and quilted this Disappearing 9-patch.
It got the Loose Leaf pantograph in orange thread.
I picked up several more quilts at the meeting this month. Marcy will quilt 4 of them (3 have fragrance and I can't deal with that). I think there are 4 others but they are going to wait a while. It's only February and I'm already 25% into my goal of quilting 40 quilts.
Betty cleared out her stash of 2 1/2" neutral strips for these 2 Jelly Roll Race quilts.
With some quilts, like the ones I featured yesterday, I do quilting that will not show. But on these quilts I felt like I had a good opportunity show off quilting. I picked a very dark green thread and quilted this simple leaf pattern. It shows up nicely in the finished quilts.
I picked the dark green thread because I had a pretty dark green fabric for the backing. This color isn't true, it's more of a dark blue-green. I think it works well on these simple quilts.
That's all of the veterans quilts for this month, except for my own Hunter's Star quilts.
This quilt was made by a former member, Carol. She relocated from Virginia to Georgia to be closer to family. But she sends quilts to us occasionally and I'm happy to quilt them for our cause. Carol is a very unique quilter in that she has NO STASH! Yes, you read that right. Carol gets fabric for the project she wants to work on so we can be sure that these fabrics are left from a recent project. Once she's done she finds another home for any remaining scraps. Amazing.
This one was made by Becky. It's from one of Barbara Brackman's block programs. If you click on it you can see some of the wonderful fussy cutting that Becky does to make her quilts special. I took the photo with the quilt upside down so that's why you see the watermark at the top!
I quilted it with the Woven Wind pantograph and used a butter cream for the backing.
I found a backing for my Hunter's Star. I had SIX yards of Gray Skies Gradient that didn't process right. It was my own fault but the light side of the fabric ended up pink! But by stitching two lengths together on the dark edge I can eliminate the pink edges. I'll take those pink strips and over-dye them and use them in another project.
I had a bunch of wide strips of batting left over from quilting sets of veterans quilts so I stitched them together to use in this quilt. It's like free batting!
I love our monthly sewing "retreat" days. We are so fortunate to have a county resource at our disposal so we can get together and sew for 2 days every month.
I finished the second Hunter's Star veterans quilt top! I absolutely love this quilt and can't wait to quilt it and get it done. I knew I would finish it this weekend so I was ready to go with one of my other quilt kits that I cut a few weeks ago.
I decided to start with a really easy one! I just have to add the bottom 2 borders and an outside green border. I wasn't sure how this would look but once I added the green border I knew it would be OK. I will miss the March sewing days so I'll finish this in April.
In the evenings I've really enjoyed crocheting again. I think the last thing I made was a blue sweater that I crocheted in high school. It was easy to get back in the groove.
This is just a small double crochet baby blanket and I'll give it to a friend who donates quilts and blankets to local agencies. These are going to be perfect projects for TV and car time. We'll see how long I stay interested in this. My goal is to not start collecting yarn!
The edging started off a little messy but I figured it out by the time I finished. I'm pleased with it and the yarn is really soft. Here's the free pattern for this blanket.
Of course I had one whole skein of yarn left over! So I'll just buy more of this for the next one. I'm not even getting close to Ravelry and I'm already down a large rabbit hole of free crochet patterns.
This week I want to focus on more veterans quilts and getting those placemats wrapped up.
I've got several irons in the fire right now. I'm working on binding the flower placemats and I've dyed matching napkins for them. I'm also finishing labels for the 2 quilts that I finished in January and. in the evenings, I'm crocheting away on the baby blanket. I'm finding that I really an enjoying doing crochet again.
Laura is busily cutting fabric for her new quilt so that when she comes to the beach in May she can get right to sewing. She will leave that project here to work on in May and August when she's back here. While she's using the cutting table I'm in the basement quilting veterans quilts. These two are both from Betsy. Betsy loves reproduction fabric and chain piecing small pieces. Her quilts are spectacular.
Because of the geometric nature of this quilt I decided to add some curves and angles with the star and ribbon pantograph and I picked a thread that would not show much on the next quilt.
This one is also Betsy's and I think it looks like an antique quilt.
Here's how the same panto and thread looks on this quilt.
The back is this nice sky blue. The next 2 quilts are already loaded but my main goal today is to get quilt labels sewn to the January quilts.
Here's the problem with me and veterans quilts. I will ALWAYS quilt vets quilts before I quilt my own. They are fast and easy and they are for a GREAT cause. I brought home a big stack from the last meeting because I wouldn't take them in the last 3 months of last year. I knew if I did that I wouldn't get any of my own quilts quilted.
Since I finished 3 of my own projects this month (and the next 2 quilts are really involved) I'm going to motor through this pile and get them done before the next meeting.
Here are the my #5 and #6 quilts of the year.
I know I've shown this before but this is a reminder of how I get so many done so quickly. We make then about 48 x 60 so I can load 2 at a time. I try to pair them up so that I can use the same quilting design and same thread on both. I load them really close so that the quilting just continues from one quilt to the other. One quilting session = 2 quilts. There's such a sense of accomplishment that you can see why I love doing them.
This is the third Elvis quilt that Becky has made (and the last of her Elvis fabric collection). Both of the previous ones have received offers to purchase! People still love Elvis.
We get fabric donated to us all the time and in one of those grab bags Carolyn found this Army fabric.
She matched the yellow in the print to give this simple layout a touch of brightness.
I've actually had Carolyn's top for months just waiting for another top that needed a pale gray backing. Elvis was a perfect partner and the stars and ribbons pantograph was perfect for both quilts.
I might have gotten a little carried away cutting veterans quilt kits the past 2 days but at least I'm prepared for the next several months of sewing with my quilt club!
Next I tackled a stack of patriotic batiks. I won a gift certificate for Fat Quarter Shop and decided to spent it on patriotic fabrics for veterans quilts. Of course I spent an additional $75 to get coordinating yardage. I added some batiks from my collection and have 3 quilts cut from these fabrics now.
I ended my cutting session with several pieces of leftover blue backing from the puppy quilt. I finally opened the rectangle Accuquilt die to cut enough for half the rectangles needed for this quilt. I didn't start looking for other fabric until I had cut the blue. I had a little panic because I didn't seem to have anything that I liked with the blue. But I went to the FQ drawers and pulled a warm side rainbow. I don't know how this quilt will be arranged, there are too many options. I could see myself getting a little obsessed with rectangles....
That's 6 kits and I need to stop this for a while. The sad thing is that the only difference that I can see in my stash is that I can get the lid on the plaid bin now. Otherwise, it looks exactly the same.
Now I'm going to do some sewing and quilting and get on with the placemats and the Jackie's Choice quilt for my cousin.
Here are the quilts that I mentioned yesterday that Mom made for our veterans quilt project.
My Mom has a huge bin of 2.5" squares that she's been making quilts from and that's where these quilts started. The blue fabric on the outside came to use from a friend. She and her husband have been clearing out his Mom's house. They send the sewing stuff to me. Lots of it was garbage but there was fabric that I'm using for dog beds and there was probably 5 yards of this blue. There's enough for a 3rd quilt that we are going to make to send to the MIL.
Gosh, I love a scrap quilt!
They are quilted with a stars and ribbon pantograph on this blue hand dyed backing.
Next I'll quilt the Grandmother's Choice quilt and then I'll be back to veterans quilts.
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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