This week had to be some of the best November beach weather ever. It was glorious. Kim and Laura were on the deck reading on this afternoon and took this photo of me on the beach. I had the whole beach to myself. I didn't even think I needed a vacation but it turns out that I did and it was wonderful.
I didn't take a sewing machine because it was just easier to pack up crochet projects. If I had stayed longer I would have taken a sewing machine but crochet was much more conducive to chatting.
This is a hat and scarf set for donation. When I finished the Mandala Ombre blanket last week I had one ball of the yarn left. I paired it with white and made a bulky hat and scarf in linen stitch. The scarf is about 5 feet long. This set will keep someone really warm.
I worked on my blue sweater and got it to the point where it's ready for the next step. I need to get the video back up and watch the next step. I think it's adding the center back.
I'm about a third through the second to last ball of yarn for David's blanket. I hope to have this done by Thanksgiving because Mom and I'll visit my brother sometime in early December to go see my beaded ornaments on their tree.
Someone was having a great time on the beach Halloween evening!
This is what I came home to. I cleared this area before I left but it looks like I have a lot more to do. YOu can see the pile on the far side where I put them. A 5 foot stack of leaves will be totally reduced by the time I do this again next year. I actually have 3 areas about this size to deal with. I'm just glad I can use a blower instead of a rake.
This weekend I'll also get started on those Christmas postcards along with a long list of chores.
Yesterday was my monthly meeting with the knit and crochet group at the Ashland library. I only take my donation projects to work on there and I was able to finish this baby blanket. I suppose they could decided to use it for a wheelchair blanket and I trust the ladies at the charity to find the best home for it.
Here are the details:
Pattern is Alpenhaus Easy Crochet Throw
Yarn is Lion Brand Mandala Ombre in the color Happy, 3 cakes
Chained 180 stitches with a J hook, worked pattern with I hook.
Finished size approximately 27" x 36"
I could have made it a bit bigger because I have one more cake but I'm using it to make a hat and scarf set, also for donation.
This yarn is so soft and squishy. I wish Lion Brand would come out with new colors. This is the second blanket I've made with this yarn and I have another color to make a third. I really like the linen stitch (combination of single crochet and chain 1) and it works really well with the self-striping yarns. This pattern is a keeper too!
So, there's one more finish for the month of October. It might actually be the only finish for the month!
The first thing I want to mention today is that I've heard that some people are having trouble getting the blog subscription newsletter. I think it's related to the email address that I'm using. I've made a change that I hope will work. If you have stopped getting them all together you might want to try to re-subscribe on the box on the right side of this page.
Sewing weekend was very productive! I got another veterans quilt top done. This is from the same kit as the one I made last month. I think I like this one a little better than the other one. It's just mroe to my personal taste. Both will be good comfort quilts for 2 veterans.
This one is all scrap fabric. The large squares are a Paula nadelstern fabric that I used as the background from my Pleides quilt. The gold is leftover veterans quilt back fabric and the small print fabrics are all symmetry fabric scraps.
I finished that quilt and had time to clean my travel machine, wind a bunch of bobbins and make one block from the next kit I'll work on. This one has enough pieces for 2 quilts. They should go together pretty fast but I will not work on the until the next sewing weekend. I'm in no hurry. I've made 10 veterans quilts this year so far and I'm happy with that productivity.
Mom stayed with me Friday night so after sewing we visited my brother. I delivered his blanket to him and also delivered this little sweater that I dyed for his massively spoiled dog, Lulu. Lulu is a little nutty and very demanding of belly rubs and attention. She's a funny dog and she's really grown on me. I was surprised that she actually kept this on for about 15 minutes.
After she gets all of the attention that she needs she digs into her blanket and this is all we see unless she hears anything that might sound like a treat.
I spent a lot of Sunday ironing while watching football but I also made a little progress on my Red Sunset quilt.
I might be going out of town for a few days this week so if I don't post a for a couple of days that's why.
Mom was coming over to get her hair cut yesterday so I rushed Tuesday night to get these two veterans quilts done. One is hers and she could take it home for binding.
This is the one that Mom made. The 12-patch blocks are 12" square and it's made all with scraps.
I did a combination of continuous curves in the blocks and simple ruler work in the narrow sashing. I'm a little tired of the pantographs so I'm trying to do more free motion from the front of the machine.
I think it made a cool pattern on the back. This fabric is actually a pretty pale blue, not gray.
I don't remember who made this quilt but I like it a lot! The blocks are 12" and it has a 5.5" border.
I quilted this one with a wavy zig zag stitch and was able to use seams as my marks and only needed to chalk some dots around the border.
I have 3 more quilts left to quilt before the October meeting. The meeting isn't until the 11th but I hope to get them done this weekend. We're expecting lots of rain from Ian and that seems like perfect sewing and quilting weather.
I don't know how it was where you live but the weather was spectacular here in Virginia this weekend. Friday night we got to share some of the tuna catch with friends for a wonderful dinner on their patio. The weekend ended with a fantastic Eagles win over the Commanders. There was lots of quilting in between.
The first thing I did was get the binding on this veterans quilt. This is the 9th veterans quilt that I've made so far this year. We usually deliver a little over 100 quilts each year. It's such a wonderful way to keep us quilting. I was talking to a friend recently and we were talking about how we don't "need" to make more quilts. Our families have enough for a lifetime. The veterans quilts are wanted and needed, they are small and they are fun to make. Everyone wins.
This is the second quilt I've made with alternating 4-patch blocks and I have another kit cut out for one more. The light blue was cut from leftover veterans quilt back fabrics. The dotty dark blue batik is left over from all of the kits I cut earlier this summer and the brights are straight from my hand dyed scrap bin. Some of the fabrics are from the very first ones that I dyed over 13 year ago.
On Sunday morning, before football came on TV, I loaded the next 2 quilts to quilt. This one is a top that Mom made. I'd like to get 5 quilts quilted this week so that I can next load a queen size quilt that Mom made for herself.
Saturday afternoon I spent several hours cutting out all of the pieces for the Red Sunset borders. I had to dye more fabric this week before I could start cutting. I think I dyed close to 30 yards for this quilt. I know I used 13 yards of the gradient and then there was an additional 4 - 5 yards of the gold and about 12 yards of the dark red.
There are tons of leftovers, especially from the gradients. I'm already starting to think of something to do with the leftovers.....probably some placemats and maybe a veterans quilt kit.
This is why there's so much leftover. There was a lot of fussy cutting of the gradient. It was totally worth it and I know that the fabric won't go to waste.
But for now all of the leftover fabric is in the bottom of this bin just in case I need to re-cut anything. The pieces are stacked in the order that I want to work on them. The machine is set up and I'll start sewing this week. I'm excited to finish this quilt so I'm highly motivated. I should be able to get in some quality sewing and quilting time this week.
Yesterday was our From The Heart get together at the Ashland Library. It's really just a opportunity to get together with people and knit and crochet. Everyone works on whatever they want.
After I shared the 3 hats I made last week I decided to keep working on hats for another week and see how many I could have done by today. Including the original 3, the answer is 10! They are in the middle of collecting hats and scarves for local schools and I turned in these hats for boys. These will be for older boys because I purposely made them kind of large.
They may not look like much here, but on the head, they actually look really nice. I used these patterns:
Perfect Guy 2.0 beanie
Chunky Guy Beanie
They are the same hat but using different size yarn so the counts are a little different. But you could just go with the Chunky Guy and adjust the number of rows that you do. The patterns aren't as different as I expected. I also adjusted the number of rows that I did with each yarn. Most requied one extra row of double crochet. It's a very easy pattern and great for charity hats for men. The stitches are double crochet and single crochet in the back loop. That's it!
The yarns I used are all 5 and 6 weight:
Bernat Softee Chunky
Lion Brand Hometown
I used an K hook on the 5 weight yarns and L on 6 weight.
I will make more of these but not for a while. I'm going to return to my brother's blanket and my summer cardigan. I have a new charity blanket planned to start soon.
I also dyed the additional fabric that I needed for Red Sunset so I hope to start the cutting for the borders Sunday and to get the binding on my veterans quilt.
Two days to myself! The boys are off fishing in the Outer Banks and had a very successful day yesterday. We are going to be eating lots of delicious tuna this weekend. While they were away I got on with my own chores (yardwork, laundry) and quilting. I got two veterans quilts quilted and one of them was the one that I made. I'll get the binding done this weekend or next week.
I've made several of these 4-patch scrappy quilts and the wavy crosshatch is the perfect quilting motif and it's super fast.
The second one was made by Peg and I had fun free-motion quilting on this one.
I used continuous curves and wavy lines to make a continuous pattern across the blocks.
I think it makes a nice pattern on the back.
I also baked more bread! This is the loaf bread recipe and I made this one to take to Mom today. We have our dentist appointments this morning so I thought I'd bring her a nice loaf of home baked bread. I made one of this recipe Tuesday so I already know that it's good. I ate 3/4 of it in 2 days! I need to take a break from bread eating for a few days.
It's been a good couple of days around here! The weather has been beautiful and I've accomplished a few things.
After finishing the blanket I decided to take a hat break. This time of year the local charity pust out a call for lots of hats. I had a skein of Premier Puzzle and I decided to pull it out and see how many men's size hats I could get out of if.
The answer was 3.
I looked around for an easy hat that was specifically designed for men and I found the Chunk Guy Hat on Etsy. I generally don't buy hat patterns because there are a gazillion free ones on the web but I really liked this one and it was only $5. I'm glad I did because it's well written and makes a very nice hat! It has 4 sizes and I made one large and 1 extra large and used a K (6.5 mm) hook.
You might wonder how I know it will git a large man's head.
Well, I tried it on! Last night, after I created this post, I also had Chris try it on and I got the seal of approval.
I had never worked with Premier Puzzle yarn before and I really liked it. I would definitely use it again and it's a very affordable yarn.
Here's what I do with my scraps. I do not want to every have boxes of scrap balls so I started some corner to corner projects and, so far, I have one for each of 3 different hook sizes. I'll add any yarn that fits the weight of the blanket in progress. If you look at the "I" swatch you can see that I even added in the tiny bit of gray yarn that was leftover from the blanket I shared Wednesday.
I don't' usually talk about food because my food allergies make my meals boring and I don't do much cooking or baking. But last week I found a new gluten free baking book called Cannelle et Vanille Bakes Simple: A New Way to Bake Gluten Free. I saw the author on YouTube and she seemed to have a lot of credibility. I got the book and ordered all of the special flours and tried my first recipe yesterday. Look at those beautiful baguettes! They taste delicious too! If you are gluten free and vegan, I highly recommend this book. It has other baking recipes too, most that I can't use, but it was worth it for the bread recipes.
The main thing I'm working on this weekend is the Red Sunset quilt but I also have the privilege of delivering a new batch of 23 veterans quilts to our hospital contact.
Football is back and that means Sundays parked in front of the TV! You know that I rotate the crochet projects that I'm working on and Sunday was the turn for this blanket. I was so close to finishing that I stuck with it and finished it during Monday Night Football. I am very happy with it and would absolutely do this pattern again. All of the details (mostly notest for myself) are at the end of the post.
The original plan for this blanket was to be a wheelchair blanket so I made it 37+" wide. But I also wanted to use all three skeins of the gray yarn and that made it about 52" long. It's way too long for a wheelchair blanket but it will be great for someone getting dialysis or chemo treatments. From The Heart will surely find a good home for it.
I bought the gray Yarn ID yarn at the Hobby Lobby clearance this past summer and paired it with some Pound of Love in navy from my stash. That tiny ball is all that's left of the gray. I love it when that happens. I bought the POL for another project and, I have to admit, that it's one Lion Brand yarn that I do not love. It's not a bad yarn but after I got through the 5 pounds that I have, I'll not buy more. This particular skein had multiple sections of yarn barf to detangle. There are other basic yarns that I like better (Premier Basix, Hobby Lobby, Lion Brand Basic Stitch on sale).
The Yarn ID yarn I would absolutely buy again. It's really soft and great to work with. I think it's a little beefier than a normal 4 weight. If I were making a blanket for a family member or friend I'd not think twice to spend $5.49 (or whatever it costs now) to make a blanket. It's lovely.
Here are all of the specifics:
Blanket finished size: 37 x 52
Pattern: Sober Granny by Christa of The Secret Yarnery - she has excellent tutorials and patterns, did not do the border
K (6.5 mm) hook
Cast on 26 sets of 4 + 2
Crochet alternating 5 rows in each color, beginning and ending with navy
CH3, 2 DC in 1st SC from previous row
* SC in CH2 space from previous row, 3 DC in SC from previous row*
SC in last CH2 space
Well, I don't know about you but I had a great weekend! It was pretty much sewing focused because this was sewing weekend with our quilt club. Mom stayed with us for a couple of nights and we visited with my brother and his family Saturday night.
Yesterday my brother sent me a photo of his dog, Lulu, playing with the lobster that I brought her from Maine. She only likes toys that are as big as she is and she absolutely destroys them. Before we left yesterday she had already removed one tentacle and one eyeball. She still has a lot of appendages to work on.
One of my accomplishments for the weekend was getting the rest of the curved blue pieces attached to the spike pieces. I've got pieces laid out for the next 2 steps.
But I spent most of my time this weekend at sewing and working on a veterans quilt.
I finished one of the 2 quilts in the kit I pulled Thursday! If I had not talked so much Friday I would have started on the second one but I was happy to visit with everyone again and to get one top done.
I love quilts made totally out of scraps. The light blue squares are cut-offs from dyed veterans quilt backs. The dotty batik is left over from the patriotic batiks that I bought for all the kits that I cut and the hand dyed pieces are all from my scrap bin. It's like getting a free quilt.
I also picked up 5 finished tops from other members so I need to get some quilt backs dyed soon. I expect I'll get a few more Tuesday night but I got these paired up so I can pick colors for the backing fabrics.
This week I want to make some good progress on the Red Sunset quilt. That's really my main goal.
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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.