Every once in a while we actually get to live the weekend that we planned and this was one of those weekends! The weather was really, really unseasonably cold but the sun was bright so it was fine to sit outside yesterday to chat with some friends. They were my only social time this weekend the rest of the time I was doing things!
I got both of the Blockade veterans quilts quilted and bound. I like seeing them side-by-side to see how different they look just by changing the palette for the hand dyed fabrics. I like both of them a lot but I can see where people would have strong preferences for one or the other.
When I quilt the veterans quilts I am trying to use up a huge stash of King Tut thread and I was able to use purple thread on these quilts.
Two more veterans quilts ready for delivery!
I also screen printed some tea towels to get ready for my next fundraiser sale in a couple of weeks. I have a couple more dozen to dye but I wanted to do some in white.
I got in a little more crochet in the evenings. I'm really loving this pattern and I know I'll make it again. If you like this one just search "filet crochet baby blanket pattern" on Etsy and you will find it. This yarn is Hobby Lobby I Love This Yarn and I do actually like it a lot.
But the big news of the weekend is that the cat quilt is quilted! It was the last thing I finished so this was all I had the energy to photograph. Today or tomorrow I will get the binding done. Then I need to make labels for this and the penguin quilt. I want these done, done by Friday.
That sums up everything I did yesterday. It was time to get all the cat scraps off the cutting table and make some veterans quilt "kits".
I decided to make this one a little less scrappy and pulled only the cool colors. I even found a blue for the binding. Kit #1 done!
Then I wanted to do something different with the third Blockade set. I found this fabric (also by Paula Nadestern from an older collection). It's the fabric that I used for the background of my Pleiades quilt. I had exactly enough for the blocks and binding. See that little scrap on the right? That's all that was left from this piece of fabric. Clearly I'm living right!
Kit #2 done.
Next up were the 2.5" squares. I'll do a simple double 4-patch. The dotty fabric is from a project that I had planned a long time ago and eventually lost interest. I cut the binding from the dots also. I have TONS black. It's Paula's Marbella black and it's one of the best black fabrics that I've ever seen. I stocked up when it came out.
This is basically how it's going to look and I'm happy enough with it. I have a lot more 2.5" squares so if I like this maybe I'll make another....or not. I'll deal with that later.
Kit #3 done.
While I had everything out I figured I might as well deal with this. I did a very simple design in EQ and adjusted it so that I wouldn't have to cut any more of the pinwheel pieces out.
The background is the purple version of the same fabric that I used in kit #2. I have at least 3 yards of this fabric left.
Kit #4 is done!
I still have lots more 2.5" squares, a stack of 3.5" squares and scraps for crumb blocks but at this point I'm sick of cutting things out and I have a total of 8 veterans quilt kits cut out so I put all that away for later. I'm sure I'll find it in 5 years and wonder what I was thinking keeping all those bits and pieces!
While I was chatting on the phone with Mom I got a quarter of the blocks in kit 1 put together.
I'm really at a stand still on other quilt projects at the moment. There isn't anything that I'm particularly inspired to do. I want to focus on longarm quilting as soon as the mosaic wall (which is in next to the longarm) stops off gassing. I think I'll focus on longarm quilting for the next few weeks and piece these quilts during my break times. Maybe I'll come up with an idea for a new quilt in the mean time.
For now I'm just glad to have a reasonably clean cutting table.
Yesterday was a day without any distractions so I got to spend a good 5 hours or more in the sewing room with my audiobook on. The scrap bin is almost empty! There are at least 3 veterans quilts in here. I'll need to cut some other fabrics to go with but I have drawers and drawers of hand dyed fabrics for that.
After I got tired of cutting I sat down to some sewing. I cut these blocks out while I was cutting the cats and there are enough blocks here for a veterans quilt. I'll start sewing this quilt together tomorrow.
I will also start cutting the cat background fabrics and, hopefully, start sewing it together this weekend. If the weather allows I want to grout my mosaic wall Sunday. Fingers crossed!
I hope you have a great weekend. I find my days are really nice when I stay off any news sites on the internet.
Yesterday I got 4 more cat blocks cut out and I'll get them sewn together today and get the last 4 started. This weekend is supposed to be sewing weekend with my quilt club. I usually work on veterans quilts when I am there so I might pull out one of my kits and work on it this weekend. I miss my quilting peeps.
I also did a lot of ironing yesterday to get a bunch of tea towels ironed and photographed. I've been thinking about what I could do to raise money for my local food pantry. I recently had an opportunity to buy a lot of very high quality tea towels and the idea was born. I'm going to dye all of them and sell them locally with all of the proceeds going to WHEAT (Western Hanover Emergency Action Team). I feel like their resources are going to be pretty stressed the next several months and probably the rest of the year. Before I share these with you I have to tell you that, for the moment, I have NO PLANS TO SELL THESE ON LINE. The logistics of accepting payment and shipping and having to pay taxes and fees on the sales is more trouble than I want to deal with at the moment. I may change my mind later. We'll see.
But here's the first batch. I'm doing some with screen printing and some with shibori techniques. I have lots more colors and designs planned but I'm happy with this start.
I'll see how the interested in these goes and if they sell and then I'll decide what to do next. They are a LOT of fun to make!
In other news, the purple crochet granny square is done! The granny square blankets are soooo much fun to do and I am sooooo glad to be done with the Caron Simply Soft yarn.
I'm very glad that I saved some of the white yarn so I could add a border. I actually ran out of white and had to splice in a short piece of another white yarn to finish the last 10 stitches.
This little bit of purple is all that's left of that yarn.
Next up is this Lion Brand Ice Cream yarn. The color is called Lemon Meringue which makes no sense. The stitch is the blanket stitch that I did on an earlier blanket. It's pretty mindless and I like that. I'm not sure I'm going to like the color patterning but I do like working with this yarn.
Before April, I hated going to the grocery store. Chris did 95% of the shopping and he went to the store every day because it's right next to his workout place. I would go about once every 2 weeks to Wegmans or Kroger to get my allergy foods. Occasionally he would even do that for me. Watching me in a store must be hilarious because I never know where anything is and I wander back and forth just waiting for the one thing I need to jump out at me.
Times have changed and now it's a weekly debate on who gets the excitement of a trip to the store. Yesterday was a bonus day because we both got to go. Chris had to go to Costco and I went to Wegmans (a store that is still stupidly allowing people to bring in reusable shopping bags). I needed to get Mom's groceries, my special allergy foods and baking supplies.
I needed baking supplies because I'm on another (probably futile) quest for new gluten-free, nut-free and vegan dessert options. These little unappetizing white disks are the latest experiment. You won't be able to guess so I'll just tell you that these are sugar cookies and they turned out exactly like the recipe intended. Gluten-free vegan baked goods generally don't brown which doesn't help with making them tolerable. These sugar cookies are made with confectioners sugar and, honestly, they taste like sugar wafers. They were supposed to be frosted but the though of that made my teeth hurt. Chris says that peanut butter helps. Regardless, this recipe in not a keeper.
About 80% of the recipes that I try are fails. GFV food just isn't really all that good. I had a lemon meringue pie phase last year that yielded nothing but yellow slime and some pretty expensive garbage. Chris said yesterday that I had 4 good recipes (that he likes) and that I needed stick with them (because he wants some chocolate chip cookies apparently). But I won't. I'll keep experimenting. I already have another sugar cookie recipe (made with almond flour) ready to try. I've got a lot of time to try out lots of new recipes.
I can only spend so much time in the kitchen so I decided to get two more veterans quilts quilted this weekend. Peg made both of these and dropped them off last week at my request. I wanted something to quilt while I waited for the backing and batting for my vintage flower quilt.
Peg is a great scrap quilter and she makes lots of charity quilts. Some are for our veterans and some for our local women's shelter.
I had this pretty blue for the backing and both were quilted in this stars and ribbons pantograph.
I do love a quick project. Meanwhile the backing fabrics arrived!
Years ago there were lots of options for wide backs in 30's reproduction prints but that is no longer the case. Once again I'm swimming against the fashion tide. But eventually I found these at Backside Fabrics. What a great little shop! You can order free swatches right from the website. I ordered swatches of these plus one more repro in green and white. I was certain that the green/white one was going to work and I was completely wrong. The swatches saved me. These got pre-soaked this weekend and I'm happy to report that neither fabric bleeds.
I also found this fabric! I fell in love with this digital print and just had to have it. I showed it to my sister-in-law and she wants it for the back of the cat quilt. It also doesn't bleed and the colors are very vibrant.
Today is dyeing day but hopefully I can get that done with time left for some more cat making. I'll try some more experimental baking later in the week.
I think I talked recently about a quilter's estate that was given to my quilt club recently. She had a roll of batting that I've cut up for veterans quilts and the stash is being shared throughout the group and several people are making veterans quilts with them. She also had a partial quilt on her design wall. Mom took those blocks and made two veterans quilts with them. This is one of them. We are fortunate that Pamela loved Kaffe Fassett prints! Another quilter is quilting the second one but I pieced a leftover piece of wide backing and pieced some batting that's made this one of the most economical quilts ever!
I quilted it with straight lines to complement the architectural print of the tan fabric. The turquoise backing looks nice with the Kaffe fabrics.
I've also been playing around with dyeing some tea towels. These are done by screen printing Jacquard Color Magnet on the fabric before dyeing. The screen areas pick up a lot of excess dye.
I even did some with shibori. I sent several of these to my friend, Carole, and she's using them as prizes for an event to collect placemats for Meals on Wheels. You can check it out on her blog. Doing these got me thinking that I might be able to do something as a fundraiser in my area for our local food pantry so I spent part of yesterday getting some tea towels screen printed, tied or clamped and read for dyeing. I'll have them to share early next week.
The granny square crochet is going very quickly especially while I"m listening to a book that I like. This is all of the partial purple skein. Next I'll add the white.
This weekend I need to do a lot more weed control but I want to spend most of my sewing time working on the cat quilt. Of course, we don't have plans to go anywhere......
Yesterday we finally got some rain to clear out the pollen. The pollen this year has been insane. I think everything bloomed all at once. We took advantage of the beautiful day and got the kayaks out on the neighborhood lake. This goose was keeping guard for the nest. If you look at the mound on the right you can see the female on the nest. He looks pretty calm here but I did get a little close for hos comfort earlier and he let me know.
We have our first Bluebird nest of the season too!
One thing I've been working on for a few weeks is dyeing a stash of quilt backs for veterans quilts. Of course, our quilt club isn't meeting but I expect that the next time we get together (probably June) that I'll have a ton of quilts to quilt. But I did have 2 tops of my own and one of Mom's and I got those done this week working on them in between masks.
I have a small stash of plaid fabrics and many of them are charm squares. I decided that I needed to use some of them and came up with this incredibly simple idea for a veterans quilt. The whole thing is based on a 4" grid. The finished size is SUPPOSED to be 48 x 60 but this one is 4" short and I didn't notice it until the top was done. It's OK, it's still a nice lap size and I fixed it with the next one.
Once I made the first one and saw how easy, but striking, it was I just had to make a second one and this one is the right size. I think it would be fun to carry this on through more borders for a larger quilt. It's a great way to use plaids. Well, at least I think it's a great way to use plaids.
The "solid" fabrics for both quilts are pieces left over fabric from other quilts that I've made. The tan was a backing fabric.
The wavy crosshatch was the way to go on these quilts. I got each one quilted in about an hour. and since I had pre-cut the binding, the finishing was fast too. It feels so good to accomplish something other than masks!
The backing is a hand dyed gray-brown. I don't know how long it will be before the VA is taking quilts again but these 2 will be ready.
I"m going to quilt one for Mom and maybe 2 more as I'm waiting on an ordered batt for the vintage flower quilt that I'm going to do next.
I made all 40 masks yesterday and that's all I did! Some have elastic and some have ties. The only thing that determines that is what I have. All the bias tape I'm using came from my Aunt's sewing stash. She gave me all her sewing supplies over 10 years ago and she passed last August. I think she would be happy to know that it's being used. After the CDC FINALLY recommending people wear cloth masks I expect these to come in high demand. Everyone will be looking for a sewing friend. We're now the cool kids.
I also made my first trip to Walmart. We go to the store once a week and this time it was my turn. I wear the mask and nitrile gloves (my dyeing gloves). Id' say about 30% of people had on some sort of protection. They had toilet paper (I didn't need any) but the stock was still low. How much toilet paper do we need? I hope Purel is back in stock in the next month. We have enough to last till then. The surprise out-of-stock item is frozen peaches. We haven't been able to find them anywhere but I think I'll be able to survive without them. Otherwise the customers were being nice to the employees and the employees were being nice to the customers. Early morning is the best time to go.
I've been thinking a lot about what kind of long term changes we will see after this is all over. I think companies will embrace telecommuting in a big way. Why pay for expensive real estate when all you need to do is buy the employee a laptop and cell phone? My nephew who works in purchasing and inventory has no desire to go back and work in the office.
Speaking of embracing. As a short person I've always hated business and casual social hugging. I'm down with hugging my family and that's it. I may like you a lot but I don't want to hug you but it's become something even done in the business world. I think that's OVER and no one will be happier than this short girl.
This weekend I'll be starting a new project. Yay! I hope you have a safe and wonderful weekend.
We quilters are generous people and with every crisis we search for a way to help. When I saw all the social media talk about making masks I was dubious. There's no way the homemade masks could be what our health professionals needed. So I went to the source and emailed my own primary care physician to ask her opinion. Well, I was wrong! She immediately asked for some for her office and for some of her doctor friends. They are well aware of the limitations of these masks but they are perfectly suitable for some (non-viral) situations and help the N95 masks last longer.
If you are considering making them contact your local doctor, nursing home, veterinary office, hospital....to see if they need them and to see if they are looking for a particular pattern. Make sure that where you are sending them really needs them. I made a second set with ties (because I ran out of elastic) for a nurse friend and her hospital. In hindsight I think the ties work best.
This is how I spent the last 2 days and I'm grateful for my stash of fabric, elastic and seam binding (ties).
Now I'll get back to my projects which involves a bit of online shopping. For those of you who need to do a little online shopping I have a little gift for you.
I usually do a summer vacation store wide sale but I wanted to move it up since we are all on "vacation". I do wash my hands thoroughly before packing orders and I'm the only staff.
I hope you are safe and comfortable with your families. I know we all have a long road ahead and our help will be needed by our fellow citizens for months to come. Quilters are generous people and we will keep making and giving as long as it's needed. While I wait for more mask orders or for something totally different, I'll get back to making and quilting veterans quilts.
Well, we were supposed to be on vacation this week. It involved air travel so I think you can guess how that went. I was sad for a few minutes and then I thought "hey, more quilting time! I've got this." First I was able to go to sewing with my quilt club Friday (the county parks department canceled Saturday). I'll show that progress at the bottom.
I spent much of my weekend enjoying the beautiful outdoors with a long hike Saturday and I spent some of it agonizing over which shibori blocks belong in the penguin quilt. I eventually narrowed it down to this group with 3 spares (on the right). Then I had to decide which would be for which size penguins.
Here they are all cut to size and ready to make penguins.
You do understand why I can't toss these out, don't you?
But I'll think about that later. I also spent part of the weekend planning new crochet projects.
I picked up this yarn because I really needed to get something that didn't have any pink. I don't even like pink and the first 3 blankets all had pink in them! I tried 3 different patterns in this before settling on the same pattern that I used in my first blanket. It's simply double crochet in the back loop which gives it the ridges. It will be great for travel because it's so incredibly simple. But it doesn't look like I'll be doing much traveling anytime soon!
I'm dealing with a problem with my left hand while I crochet and I think I'm close to solving it. I started another project to work on in front of the TV and I'm testing out solutions for my hand and hopefully with have that to share tomorrow.
These are the quilt tops that I finished Friday. I cut these out a while back as kits. I have a bin of plaids so that's where these came from. I started the green one in February and finished it first. Then Becky pointed out that it was a little shorter than we try to make. I needed one more row of plaids in the center. This one is fine as it is. It will be a good lap quilt for someone getting treatment. I had not pre-cut the sashing in the kits so it was easy to adjust the tan one. These are based on a 4" grid with 4" finished wide sashing. It couldn't be easier and I love how they turned out.
All the quilt club members have been busy making tops so I need to get busy dyeing more backs and it turns out that I have plenty of time for that this week!
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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