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
Here's how things look this morning on Long Pond. We're expecting overcast, misty and rainy for the next couple of days while Henri does whatever Henri is going to do. We don't expect really bad weather here and after the storm passes the rest of the week is going to be gorgeous. If I have to spend 2 days listening to books and stitching then so be it. I'll get by.
I do have a finish to report! This is my car travel crochet project and it's the 3rd one that I've made in this pattern. It looks like I cast on 115 stitches for this blanket. The original post for this blanket with all the stitch info is here. The yarn is Hobby Lobby I Love This Yarn. The body is 3 full skeins of Crushed Raspberry and the border is about half a skein of Hot Rose. The Hobby Lobby Yarn is so soft and just wonderful to work with. I buy it on the alternating weeks when it's 30% off.
I started this one last October when we went to the Great Smokies for a hiking trip. I only worked on it in the car so I'll need another project for the ride home. I'm thinking that I will do another version of the shawl that I posted last week. The car project has to be easy and that shawl is really easy.
The border of this blanket gave me fits. I started it 3 times and it still ended up wavy. I'll block it at home but it's not horrible and would probably look misshapen after a few months of use anyway. I usually hate pink but I felt that this blanket needed a bold border and I like the look of the dark pink on this one. I do still hate pink though.
Here you can see just how simple this pattern is. It's all double crochet and chain stitches worked in rows of 3. it does make for a good car project but 3 of this pattern might be enough. If I don't do a shawl I might start some granny squares. That would be a great car project because they never get big enough to be unwieldy. I'll see how my mood is by the end of next week.
For the border I worked one round of double crochet, one round of alternating double crochet and chains and a final row of double crochet. I'm calling it good and done because I'm ready to work on something else. I brought yarn and a pattern for a ripple blanket that will not have a border!
But today, if the weather stays dodgy, Ill be here at my sewing corner. We really miss not having our friends, Ian and Laura, here with us but I won't have to fight Laura for the sewing machine today and tomorrow.
We've made the move to the Acadia area and we have internet again. It's truly sad how dependent I am on the internet all day. I really need to work on that. I like to look things up all the time. I was reading a book last week about the recovery of a shipwreck and I so wanted to get on the web and see the recovery photos and watch the interviews and documentaries about it. Plus there's all the time that I waste on crochet porn on YouTube. But the big thing is blog reading. As of now I have 376 posts in my reader to catch up on. We're expecting rain from Henri at some point so I expect I'll have time to catch up.
Here's one of the last sunsets from our place in Greenville. It was really beautiful and peaceful there and we hope to go back next year. It's a lot less developed and more remote than Acadia, of course, and that's really appealing.
Chris had some really good fishing there. One trip was a guided bass fishing trip on a lake and he caught at least 60 fish! He said is was the best day of freshwater fishing in his life. He's ready to go back for sure.
Out last hike was around Big Moose and Little Moose ponds. There weren't any moose but it was a really good hike with lots of varied terrain great views. My one note for next year is to double spray the bug spray.
Since my last post I switched from my vintage blocks to work on veterans quilt tops. These 2 were cut as a set and I sewed them at the same time. Having pre-cut kits is so nice! I need a cutting genie for all of my sewing projects.
I suppose the Accuquilt is sort of a cutting genie because this one got cut fast using the Accuquilt and it sewed together really fast. I have another set of HST blocks and will work on that next now that my new space is set up.
Before we left Greenville I also finished these 3 hats. I'll sew on the toppers when I get home. They have elastic strings that you are supposed to just feed through and tie off but the heads are too floppy. I think a few stitches will make them better. I hope the boys (Ella's brother and cousins) like them.
I forgot to take a picture of my sewing set up here but I'll get one tomorrow. It's got the best view! All of my projects are on a guest bed that will not be used until our friend gets here later in the week. For now, this is my attempt at organization.
The first crochet thing I'll work on is getting the border on this baby quilt. This is my car crochet project and I finished the body of the blanket on the drive. The border required some trial and error and math so I couldn't do that in the car. I can get this wrapped up by the time Henri has passed through and then I can move on to something else. Of course, there's another project bag just waiting to be opened!
I'll leave you with moon rise over Long Pond last night. We are so lucky to be able to be here.
Yesterday's post was written Sunday and I haven't had a chance to get to the internet spot again until this afternoon (Tuesday). We are still having a wonderful time. I haven't seen any more moose but we have been on a couple of really good hikes.
This is Moxie Falls, a really beautiful little place. Generally I don't take a ton of photos on vacation is this photo is the reason why. It's impossible to show scale. There's no way to really convey the vastness of the Lamar Valley in Yellowstone or the grand scale of the Grand Canyon. Chris and I laughed when we looked at this photo because it looks like a little waterfall. But like everything in nature, it's better in person!
Yesterday we hiked Mount Kineo at the West end of Moosehead Lake. You take a little water shuttle to the island and then hike 900 feet up. This view was near the top. There's no view at the top unless you climb an old fire tower. Chris did and said the view was spectacular but you couldn't pay me to walk up open stairs that sway.
I have been dong some crafty things every day, mostly in the evenings and not as much sewing but the next few days should have more sewing time. On the loom knitting front I finished the scarf and hat that I worked on in the car on the way up. I'm finally learning this gadget and am happier with my results. Both of these were made on KB Looms and theses are my favorite things so far.
The hat was made on the Flexee loom that allows you to decrease the crown instead of gathering it. It takes a little longer but I like it much better.
I've got my next 2 project started. The hat will be like the blue one above except that there's a little purl pattern going through it. The other project will be a scarf. I saw a scarf with rib ends and thought I'd give it a try. This one is flat knit in a pattern of knits and purls. I've got plenty of yarn for it!
Here are all of the hats and scarves I've made so far: 5 hats and 3 scarves. I brought all of them with me to Maine hoping to find a place to donate them. They are much more useful here than in Virginia. I did find a place here in Greenville so these will be donated before we leave town.
Then I finished this shawl. I've been looking for a pattern for a shawl that would be good for donation to senior organizations. The organization I donate through likes horseshoe shaped shawls because they stay on the wearer better. I do not like the pattern that they have and have been looking for another. One of the Youtubers that I follow posted this pattern recently (search for Carrie Penny shawl on YouTube) and I thought it would be perfect. I had a single ball of Mandala yarn to test it out with. This worked up really fast and I love how it looks. This is a short shawl that will just cover the shoulders and that makes it perfect for someone in a wheelchair. The color changes in this particular yarn (I think it's called Chimera) is so pretty. I'll take this one home to donate. I think this basic pattern would be easy to add in patterning for some variety but I do like the speed of straight double crochet. This is TV work so I like for it to be simple.
Next on the crochet front I'm going to get these hats done. I bought the kits months ago but we were heading into summer and I wasn't motivated to make them yet. These should be done pretty quickly.
At my little sewing station I'm working on a pair of veterans quilt tops. These are going together quickly so I may have a photo to share tomorrow or Thursday.
For the rest of this week I may just post photos from my phone. Text in a blog post is a total pain on the phone. I'm not sure how much internet time we will have because we have lots of things we want to do before we leave Moosehead Lake. It's possible that I won't post again until Saturday when we are on Mount Desert Island and have internet at our house there.
Thanks to Sylvia for alerting me to my missing audiobook post for July. It wasn't actually missing but I had accidentally posted it to July 5, instead of the 31st. You can find it here.
I have two of my own veterans quilts to share today. I've been working on these in my quilt club sewing weekends. I got the tops done in July and, by doing some really fast quilting, I was able to get these knocked out this week. The one on the left was supposed to look like the one on the right but I cut all of the sashing wrong! It has the dark blue corners because when I was re-cutting the fabric I ran out of that blue from my stash. We quilters make do! I like the look of both of them.
The block is a sawtooth star with a 9-patch center. Simple. I have another kit cut out in this pattern where the stars are bright oranges and yellows and the background is turquoise. I think I actually cut out 2 kits for that one.
I am the lucky person who gets to deliver the quilts. It's really easy now because our VA hospital coordinator just moved about 5 miles from me. Do you remember when Benartex sent me a bunch of patriotic fabric in compensation for losing one of my quilts? Quilts from those fabrics are starting to roll in! There are 11 in this stack of 31 quilts.
My quilt club is so prolific! I think that this stack alone is the work of only 8 people. Amazing. I hope to have about 10 more of my own ready to quilt after vacation.
Sewing with my quilt club each month is always a great start to the weekend.
I am using my quilt club sewing days to work on veterans quilts for the next several months. I started this one last month and finished it this weekend. It's ready for quilting but I don't know if it will get quilted before we leave for vacation in August. I have a couple more quilts ahead of this.
Back at home my first priority was to finish cutting up ALL of my patriotic fabrics. I decided on 4.5" squares, 2.5" strips and 2.5" squares. Anything smaller than that went in the trash. I also had a stack of fabrics leftover from hand dyed quilt backs for veterans quilts and I cut all of the blue ones in the same sizes. I put them all in a box and this will likely be the last veterans quilt kit that I cut/sew for many months! I think I have 15 - 17 kits cut and ready to sew.
This effort cleared one pile off the cutting table.
The table is now about half cleaned up so I'm making good progress.
On the quilting front I loaded a quilt for Mom last night and got the first row quilted.
This is just a weird side story. When I first got into longarming I did the normal thing that people do, I bought TONS of threads. Instead of buying one or 2 cones of a thread that I thought I would like and trying it out, I started collecting just about every line that Superior carried at that time. As expected, over time I've grown to favor some and not others but I'm determined to use even the ones that I don't prefer. They are all good threads but they don't all fit my aesthetic now. I'm no longer a big fan of King Tut but I'm using it on veterans quilts as much as possible. I also bought a lot of Masterpiece thinking that I would use it in the longarm but I don't really like it on the longarm. It wasn't designed for that in the first place. It's not called Masterpiece for nothing! I stopped using it for the longarm and brought it all upstairs to use for piecing and I'm going through it at a pretty good pace. But let's face it, some colors just aren't going to be used for piecing and here are 2 prime examples. But I do hate waste and wanted to still find a use for the bright colors that don't work so well for piecing. I picked the magenta one and started using it to baste quilts and now it's almost all gone! I didn't think I'd ever get through that cone of thread but the veterans quilts are keeping the machine busy. Soon I'll be basting in orange thread. That's the kind of thing that makes me happy.
I'm determined to only buy 1 new cone for every 2 that I empty so that I can reduce the massive inventory that I have. Aside from blue and cream for veterans quilts I shouldn't need to buy any thread for several years and I haven't really bought any new thread for several years.
This week I'm determined to get the project/gift bag tutorial done and posted and possible even the ice dyeing tutorial. I'll get Mom's quilt quilted and get the big green quilt loaded. I also want to finish clearing the cutting table and doing some other organizing in my sewing room. Things are generally kind of messy in there and that interferes with my creativity.
Wow, what a month. I suppose that I could have accomplished more things but I doubt it!
First, I finished off the month with the last 2 veterans quilt. My quilt closet is officially empty except for my own quilts, of course. These quilts are cool because they are what I call "bonus" quilts. I used the last bit of wide backing fabric from the bolt and I use scrap batting to squeeze in an extra quilt or 2 from every bolt of fabric and batting. The fabric at the end of a bold is usually about 36" wide. I dye it first and then cut it in half, sew the 2 halves together for one backing that's about 64 x 60, once it's squared up.
I did want to stop here and share some information on how I piece batting. A few years ago I started seeing the fusible batting tape and quickly realized that it's simply a very expensive version of knit garment interfacing. I happen to have a shelf full of interfacing left from my garment making days so I've started cutting it in 2" strips to fuse my batting together. Now, the interfacing that I have is tan or gray so I make sure to use this batting inside dark or busy quilts where this interfacing will not show. For now, this is free for me, but even purchasing interfacing and cutting it myself to 1.5" is so much more economical. At Joann I found a package of batting tape for $8 for 10 yards of 1.5" wide fusible interfacing. The Joann price for Easy Knit interfacing $6/yard and you will get the equivalent of 13 yards of fusible tape just for cutting it yourself!
When I quilt with pieced batting I do try to do a denser quilt pattern (like the 2 in the photo on the right) so that the batting seams will not separate in the wash.
As my Brit friend, Laura, would say, I'm quite chuffed with this photo. Including the 2 quilts that I just finished, that's a total of 22 veterans quilts quilted this month! I'm definitely going back to free motion quilting for veterans quilts. It's twice as fast as a pantograph.
I'd say that the biggest accomplishment for the month was learning how to time my machine myself. I also learned that my vision is no longer good enough to see this up close but the phone takes great photos that I can enlarge and I'm able to see exactly how everything lines up.
But wait, there's more!
I also took up loom knitting so that I can do yarny things between crochet sessions. I totally messed up my hands by overdoing crochet and loom knitting is going to ne a good alternative. I finished 2 hats and am halfway through a scarf. I did get one crochet baby done and have a wheelchair blanket underway.
I tie dyed some shirts for my little buddy, Eli, and made a Cookie Monster gift bag for them. It's no surprise that he liked the dinosaur toy that Mom got him more than he liked the shirts but I have it on good authority that he is wearing the shirts!
Finally I got the big green quilt top done. I ice dyed the backing last week so this quilt will get loaded for quilting this week.
I guess staying off social media really does pay off. Getting rid of Facebook and Instagram on my phone was a good decision. I do periodically check in via the desktop and I've discovered that I don't miss very much.
Here are my ending stats:
Starting UFO 8
Finished YTD 3
Started YTD 2
Ending UFO 7
Other major projects - 1
Veterans quilts made -
Veterans quilts quilted - 50
Fabric Postcards - 14
Pet Beds - 6
Quilted for others - 2
Crochet blankets - 5
Crochet hats - 12
Doll outfits - 7
Placemats - 8
Pillows - 2
Donated items - 20
My goals for July are:
Quilt, bind and deliver the green quilt
I brought 20 veterans quilt tops home from the last quilt club meeting and I set myself a goal of getting all of them done by Sunday. I wanted to commit to this group of quilts because I'm not going to take any more quilts in until September. I need to work on some of my own quilts for a while.
By last Thursday I had 8 of the 20 done.
Over the last 3 days I finished 10 more! They are all simply quilted but the tension is good and the thread colors were chosen to match the quilt tops. Most are ribbon meander but there's some wavy crosshatch, meandered leaves (on the brown quilts) and wavy lines.
I have 2 quilts left to do. These will be done on single backs. When I'm dyeing fabric for the quilt backs there's always a piece left on the bolt that's about 1 yard. I don't let that go to waste. I dye them, split them in half across the width and seam them together to make one new backing that's the perfect size for one veterans quilt. All of those batting strips are the excess width that I cut off while quilting. I will piece those together (using the fusible interfacing strips)to make a few pieces of "free" batting. Then I'll chop off the trimmings in the back for more dog beds. I want all of this done by tomorrow and then I'll be on to my projects again.
In between quilting sessions I was outside washing out the ice dyed fabrics. The last of them are hanging to dry today. It will take me all week to get all of this fabric ironed and photographed and loaded in the shop. Hopefully it will all be done by next Tuesday's newsletter.
Time to get back to quilting!
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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.