Our mini kitchen remodel is going beautifully. We really couldn't ask for things to be better but there's no avoiding the noise of saws and hammers and shop vacs. So yesterday I escaped to the basement to quilt two veterans quilts.
I've mentioned many times before that I load and quilt two quilts at a time. I match them up toa hand dyed backing and pick a thread color that I can use on both. This one is a great patriotic quilt that I would expect to go together very easily and quickly. The "block" seems to be a rectangle with tan in the middle, blue on one side and red on the other in varying widths. It's a very clever design.
I shined a light across it so that you could see the quilting. It's my new star/ribbon pantograph that is going to become a staple for me. I quilted both of these quilts in less than 3 hours and that included basting.
This meticulously pieced log cabin was made by Betsy. Even if she had not personally handed the quilt to me I would have known it was hers. Her style is so very distinctive.
Her log cabin blocks have 1" logs!. I used the taupe thread as a way to bring some of the block color into the white with the same pantograph.
I have several more ready to quilt and hope to get to them next week. I'm going to Atlanta this weekend with some friends so I'll get a brief break from the construction zone. But that means no quilting for a few days.
Last year North Carolina was devastated by two hurricanes that produced major flooding in a large part of the state. Residents there are still trying to recover from the effects of Florence and Michael. One of my blog friends (and fellow football addict) is helping with the coordination of gathering quilts for the victims. The latest reports estimate over 4500 homes totally destroyed and over 700,000 have sustained flood damage. It's mind boggling.
There are lots of organizations helping with the rebuilding efforts but these people also need help rebuilding their hearts and souls and that's were we quilters come in. The Carolina Hurricane Project wants to deliver bed size quilts to as many affected households as possible. The goal is one quilt per household. Twin, full and queen size quilts are the requested sizes and there's no set pattern or color scheme. You can send finished quilts or tops with backing.
Maybe you already have a finished quilt that's looking for a loving home.
Get all of the details including shipping locations here. If you can't make a quilt you can help by making a donation to help defray the cost of batting. The project will last through the summer so you have plenty of time to help mend a family in North Carolina.
Everyone should do some level of kitchen remodel every 20 years or so. I unpacked the cabinets this weekend while I was watching the football games and I can't believe some of the old stuff that I found. I've been gluten free at least 8 years and we still had wheat pasta in the cabinet. I thought I had been keeping the spice cabinet pretty cleaned out but I discovered that I was pretty wrong on that front too. We got a lot of good laughs out of the things we found.
We got it all done and today the work has started and given the Eagles win last night, there's nothing he could do today that would dampen my mood. He could play rap music and I'd be OK with it today.
Regiment is the 4th veterans quilt that I designed for my program tomorrow. the perfect block size for these 48" x 60" quilts is 12" so I decided that for this one I would do straight blocks with no sashing or borders. I don't know what this block is called but it's really just a variation of the Churn Dash, one of my favorite blocks. This is another one that's good for scraps. You could even do both backgrounds as scrappy tonals.
I have a pretty sizable stash of black on white and white on white fabrics. I bought all of them with plans to overdye them. Like the 10 year old pasta in the kitchen, these fabrics have been around at least that long. I'm trying to get them all dyed up this year to use in veterans quilts. The light blue background in this quilt was a black on white fabric. The dark blue was a flawed fabric that I couldn't sell. I dyed it and cut around the flawed areas. The centers are one Midnight Stash Pack of fat eighths. I would have used dark blue for the binding but I didn't have any if that left so I used the extra print.
So I'm all ready for my program tomorrow and I have 10 kits cut out for anyone who wants them. Now it's time to get back to some of my project, like the beaded mosaic wall and Lost My Marbles quilt. I've also got to come up with a project for the monthly Country School sewing days...unless I come home Tuesday night with a bunch of veterans quilt kits.
Well,, I survived the day of countertop shopping. I'm not planning to share photos of any of the work. It's just a kitchen and there's nothing particularly special about it. It's just that it's 20 years old and needs a little refreshing. While the contractor is here he's also doing a laundry list of things that have needed attention for a while. None of it is really photo worthy.
One of the things that we are doing in the kitchen is removing the over-the-stove microwave/vent combo. Doing that in the original design was a giant mistake. If you are considering doing something like that in your own kitchen remodel, you might want to reconsider. The vent part doesn't work all that well and it gets absolutely disgusting. I can't wait to get that thing taken out and replaced with just a vent.
We will be packing up most of the kitchen this weekend and getting ready for work to start Monday so sewing/quilting might be slow.
For now, though, I still have 2 more veterans quilts to share. Before I talk about today's quilt I want to answer a question from yesterday. The veterans quilts that we make are 48 x 60 so that's the size of these patterns. But any of them would be really easy to make larger. The size we make was recommended by the hospital. This size is goof for hospital beds because they don't get caught in the bed mechanism and for people using them while receive treatments, these are perfect for use in a chair.
I called today's quilt Redoubt. When I started working on this one I was looking at a 12" block as the foundation for the quilt.
The foundation of this quilt is this simple spool block. The lantern motif comes from placement of the colors and columns of blocks are separated by 3" sashing.
Now, I know that my version isn't going to appeal to everyone, but I love it. It's a lot brighter in real life and has more purple in it. I wanted to use one of my Galaxy fabrics as a background and I paired it up with lots of different greens.
Here are a couple of other colorways that you might like better. If you want to make one of these you can get the tutorial here.
Well, things are about to get pretty "exciting" around here. We are finally starting a mini kitchen remodel. The best part about it is that the husband of one of my best friends is doing the work. We've waited a long time to have this done because we specifically wanted him. His work is meticulous! So, I'm excited about that part. The allergy-girl half of me is anxious but hoping for the best. Fortunately we can block off that room really well so, at this point, I'm remaining positive. But if I disappear for a day or few over the next month or so, you will know why.
Today I'm doing counter top shopping after my shooting lesson. It seems like a natural transition, doesn't it? I just hope I get to end the day with some quilting or sewing.
But let's get back to quilting. Today's veterans quilt is one that I'm calling Blockade. I think this name actually makes sense since it's a square surrounded by a square. This quilt is great for scraps and jelly rolls because it's all based on 2.5" squares and strips. The finished block size is 6".
This particular one is made with the scraps from my Indonesian batik quilt. I pulled a variety of green hand dyed fabrics to go with it. The color in this photo is actually pretty bad. I promise that the real quilt looks a lot better in real life. The quilt top went together really quickly and I was about to do a lot of string piecing. Then I had fun in EQ designing some alternative layouts.
I think it would be cool to divide a huge variety of scraps into light and dark to make one of these quilts. If you haven't already figured out how to make it you can get the tutorial here.
I was going to wait until I did my program next week before I shared these quilts but this is pretty much all I've been working on so it's all that I have to share!
I've gotten motivated to focus more on the veterans quilts because we have such a wonderful group of nurses at the veterans hospital that make sure these quilts are given to people who appreciate and love them. The nurses are so grateful to have these to give to their patients that really need a boost. I just want to make sure that they always have a supply.
We also have a great set-up at Country School Quilters to make these. We use our dues money and other fundraising money to purchase backing and batting. I used to get printed backing but now I only buy white so that I can dye the backs. Here are a few that I dyed in November and December that are all ready for some quilts. I used to do all of the quilting but now we have 4 longarmers in our group and we share the work.
I decided to do a program for January with 4 new quilt ideas and that's what I have been working on. I wanted projects that were easy and I'm even cutting a couple of kits out of each one for members who don't like to do the cutting step.
This first one is SOOOOOO easy. I decided to call it "Strength" because it's pieced in columns, or pillars....get it? I know, it's a reach, but it was late and that was the best I could do. The real point of this design was to make a quilt that would make great use of large scale prints or other "special" fabrics that just need a little framing to show them off.
For my version I used my "waste" fabrics and I think it created kind of a stained glass look. This could be easily adjusted to make a QOV or bed quilt size. I'm thinking about doing one using all of the Paula Nadelstern fabrics that I've collected with a black background. I think that could look pretty awesome. The kits I made have blue background, red bars and patriotic plaids as the feature fabrics. I think they will make a couple of really cute quilts. I could probably make about 30 kits just with my collection of waste fabrics!
The pattern, such as it is, is here.
We had a great holiday that was a perfect mix of socializing and relaxing. Now it's time to get back into some sort of productive routine. The easiest way for me to get going after a break is to work on something easy. For me, that's veteran's quilts.
This one was made by Sara.
My goal for 2019 is to work on more veterans quilts. We have found a wonderful department at the local VA hospital where the nurses are so grateful to have our quilts to distribute. They carefully select the recipients that really need a nice gesture. Knowing that the quilts are going to people who really will love them is all the motivation that we need. I even bought a few new pantographs to use on the veterans quilts. I like doing free motion on them but I do tend to quilt quite densely. These new pantographs will help me quilt less dense but still balanced. This one is Start Streamers from Urban Elementz and I expect that I will be using it a lot. It's perfect for patriotic quilts.
This one was made by Sharon. She's on a big personal scrap busting mission and this pattern is perfect for scraps. I think it's Jacob's Ladder.
On this quilt I used Woven Wind from Quilts Complete. Both of these patterns quilt up really quickly and I know that I'm going to use them a lot.
I have 4 of my own veterans quilts to get quilted and bound by January 8 and I have 2 more quilts from members to get quilted so I better get busy!
We had a great weekend of sewing at quilt club and I got the last 2 of my new veteran quilt patterns made up.
I'm working on these because I'm doing a program on veterans quilts for our January meeting and I want to have 4 easy patterns to share. The colors in this photo aren't quite right. The background one of my Galaxy fabrics and I love these for backgrounds. It's actually a lot more purple than this photo shows. The greens are greener and the orange is brighter in real life. I think this would look really cool in scrappy tans for a background, blue lanterns and red squares with a red binding. I cut it out one evening and sewed it together in about 5 hours.
This is the last of the 4 and I love it. It's simply 20 12"blocks. I had an overdyed black -on-white that I used for the background, the dark is dyed navy blue and the centers are from the Midnight Stash Pack. One Stash Pack was plenty for this quilt. I also pieced this in about 5 hours.
Next I will write up instructions for them and will post them in January.
The weekend finished off perfectly with the lovely snow storm that hit the Southeast. (I refuse to legitimate the bogus habit of the Weather Channel of naming winter weather systems. It was just snow.) It's a rare event in Virginia but we were gifted the second highest December snow levels in Richmond at 11.5". We measured 10" in front of the house. That's the most in this area in December since 1908 and I'm glad we were here to see it.
I've been hoping for the opportunity to get these photos for 20 years! I even moved all of the cars out of the cars when the snow started so that I could take a photo without vehicles. Maybe I'll have to print them on fabric for next year's postcards.
Now that the Christmas postcards are done I'm spending the remainder of my December mostly working on veterans quilts. I'm going to do a program for Country School Quilters in January and want to design a few relatively easy patterns to share.
This current focus all happened because of this quilt that I made with the Indonesian batik scraps. It was so much fun to make a small quilt for a change that I decided to make a few more. Plus we've gotten some feedback from the hospital department that distributes our quilts and that really inspired me to focus on these quilts for a while.
Here are some of the design ideas that I'm working on. I'll make at least one top from each one and then cut up some kits to have at my program next month.
I sewed this one together very quickly yesterday. Once it's quilted I will use the orange fabric in the bars for the binding. The feature fabrics are my "waste fabrics" that I love so much! I'm thinking that this would look great in a larger quilt using shibori fabrics.
Here are 4 kits that I've cut out already. Today and tomorrow are sewing days with Country School so I hope to get the 2 on the right put together by Monday. If I can get those done I will have 4 quilt patterns to share in January. It will be even better if I get them quilted and bound.
We might even have a quilt-along on the blog next year for a veterans/QOV quilt.
For months this summer I couldn't quilt because of the injury that I did to my arm in May so my friend, Marcy, helped me catch up on the backlog of quilts. We also have some new longarm quilters in Country School that help out a lot. We never have much of a backlog anymore. In fact, since September, I've only had to 2 do and this week was the perfect time to get them done.
The quilter who made these made either 3 or 4 in the same pattern. I expect them to be very popular with our patients at the VA hospital. I quilted this one with a stipple. Withe everything going on in the fabric it only needed simple quilting. One of our other quilters quilted the others.
The center of each star has a quotation patch. I didn't want to quilt over that so I did a little SID around the block.
My Mom made this quilt and it started about a year ago. When she had her first cataract surgery it did not go well at all. She had so much trouble with her vision for months after that. She couldn't do any sewing or fine work so on one of her visits here I set her up with the Go! Cutter, several dies and a big stack of scrap hand dyed fabric. She spent several days cutting fabric. One of the shapes she cut was the applecore. Fast forward to a couple of months ago and she was looking for a project and I "gifted" her the applecore blocks. We both love the quilt but she has declared this her last applecore quilt. She will trim it down so that she can do a straight binding.
Ruler work has been the most troublesome for my arm so I decided to do ruler work on this quilt to test my arm and warm up. I am now ready to get back to Lost My Marbles! I've missed quilting the Spirograph blocks. I've even ordered Bethanne Nemesh's Lily Lines rulers just so I have more shapes for my marble.
First, though, I need to do some basic maintenance on the machine like replacing the check spring and adjusting the hopping foot and a deep, deep cleaning. That will be work for next week because tomorrow I head to Blacksburg to watch my Hokies.
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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