We had some really beautiful weather Saturday and we had a lovely walk in light jackets. The weather is what I love most about Virginia. July and August are mostly miserable with heat and humidity but we get some breaks of mild weather and, where I live, we don't get a lot of hurricane or tornado activity. September - December is generally very pleasant. January and February are cold, but like the summer, there are mild days that often get up to the 60's, like Saturday. The are great days for taking walks and catching up with the neighbors. March - June in Virginia is generally glorious.
The rest of the weekend was pretty darned focused for me and I got lots of things done or started.
I got an immediate start on veterans quilts. My goal every year is to quilt 40 of them. I only have 38 to go! I have several other longarmers in the group to help out now so we should be covered if they have another year of 100+ quilts. This one was made by Mom. She keeps trying to deal with her bin of squares but she doesn't seem to ever use them up.
I'm not sure who did this one. I couldn't really see the pattern when it was on the quilting frame but once I hung it up and stood back I got it! That's quite a "wow" of a quilt.
I have certainly gotten my money's worth on this pantograph. It's one of my 3 favorites to use on veterans quilts for obvious reasons.
I had planned to load my postage stamp quilt next but I've decided to wait on my two custom quilts because I've given myself the gift of the Freehand Feather class with Betheanne Nemesch. I know that I want to feather both of those quilts so I'll concentrate on mostly veterans quilts for a couple of months. Next on the frame is this big quilt that Mom made. I think it's about 95" square. With both the busy front and back the quilting will never show on this quilt so it's getting a pantograph.
I haven't checked in with a crochet update in a couple of weeks and I do have some things in progress. This blanket is my "car" blanket. This is the third blanket that I've made in this DC/chain combo pattern and it's easy to do in the car. I added a few rows last week when we went to Amherst VA for a hike with friends.
In front of the TV I'm working on this blanket. I started it in Maine but quickly realized that I had not bought enough yarn. I bought more yarn so it's back in progress. The pattern is from Daisy Farm Crafts. It's front and back post double crochet and is easy to do once you are past the first few rows. The yarn is Bernat Baby Velvet and I really like working with it.
The color is closer to this. It's kind of a seafoam green and it's sooooooo soft.
I love the patterns from Daisy Farm Crafts. They are so well written and the video tutorials are easy to follow.
I other news I've decided to participate in the Rainbow Scrap challenge this year. I'll have a post about it later this week when I've gotten organized. I expect that I will start 2 projects this month and I'm cool with that.
Most of what I've been doing the past 2 days I can't share. I'm making a couple of gifts that I can't show yet. But I do have 2 things I can share.
This is the lovely stack of veterans quilts that I delivered to the VA hospital contact yesterday. If I counted correctly there are 26 and that makes our total for the year 108! It's our biggest year ever. So there, 2020 isn't all bad. We know how much the doctors and nurses love having these quilts so it motivates us to make more. One of our members made 20 of them on her own this year. I think I made 10 and I hope to do the same next year.
I've made one more set of coasters. These are for the wife of one of Chris' hunting buddies. She loves the beach so I think she will like calming water colors of these. I bought way too much clothesline so I'll probably just keep going for a while. I've got lots of fabric and lots of clothesline. It wouldn't be a bad thing to have a few sets of these in the gift closet.
When I gift them I wrap them in a strip of the fabric that I used in the coasters so they can see what they are made with. I have some of these coasters that I probably made 10 years ago and they are still in great shape. They are very sturdy.
Today is dyeing day and I'll be dyeing some quilt backs and some fabrics for the remaining gifts that I'm making. I should be done with Christmas making by Christmas day!
I wanted to get all the veterans quilts quilted before sewing weekend with the quilt club and I did it! Someone asked earlier this week where these quilts go. We've been making them for the local VA hospital (used to be called McGuire before we went radical PC this year). I don't know what it's called now but it's in Richmond VA. We are currently giving them to the Interventional Radiography department. They do lots of procedures there but one of them is inserting ports for chemo patients. The doctors and nurses there absolutely love having the quilts. Newly diagnosed cancer patients are usually in shock and many are angry. Sometimes they can't get the patients past the anger long enough to work productively with them. So they stop and give them a quilt and chat about our group and why we make them. We are told that these quilts make a world of difference for the patients and for the staff. You know it's important when the doctors take time out of their schedules to specifically come talk to you and than you for making them. We get such great feedback that we are all really dedicated to making them.
I think that both of these are from Betsy. They certainly look like "Betsy quilts". With these 2 I will have personally quilted 39 for members and made 15 of my own. Other quilters in the group have done lots of them too. I will not be doing any more until Christmas gifts are made and postcards are done and in the mail.
I quilted both of these from the front of the machine. I was just tired of the pantographs. This one also had a little fullness in the border. It wasn't a problem at all but by quilting it from the front I could make sure that I didn't quilt in any pleats.
I am 100% certain that this is a Betsy quilt. Isn't it lovely? I quilted this one with free motion lines. It's a fast method of quilting and I didn't want the quilting to take away from the bold geometry of the circles. Both of these got a light tan backing.
Today I'm off to sew with my friends and it's going to be a great day!
I hope the weather where you live was as spectacular as it was here this weekend. It was lovely to have the windows open. I took full advantage and stacked all the wood that Chris chopped a week ago. There was a lot more there than I thought and my sore arms prove it. I also started blowing leaves. I have an electric blower which isn't terribly practical for our large yard but I'm happy to do in in 30 minute sessions and get a little done each day. I'll continue that this upcoming week.
Inside I've been making progress on the quilt binding. I'm over halfway done now. I also got the kitchen floor cloths painted and now they are ready for drawing. I forgot to upload a photo to share today but I'll have photos Wednesday.
My primary accomplishment was to finish 4 more veterans quilts. Only 2 left to go before I take a break from those for a while! Here are the 4 news ones.
The double nine patch is made with patriotic fabric so I quilted both of these with red thread and my favorite patriotic pantograph. I've sure gotten my money's worth from this pattern!
In the second set I actually quilted the 2 quilts differently. I rarely do that but sometimes it's necessary. This barn raising HST quilt had a little fullness in the borders so I wanted to quilt it from the front to make sure I don't leave any pleats. When I have solid borders on a quilt with print fabrics I like to use a thread color that will bring some additional color into the solid. I used a pale grey with my trusty wavy cross-hatching. It didn't take 45 minutes to quilt this one once it was loaded on the machine.
This one is such a fun quilt and a great pattern for scraps. I used red thread to bring a little more color in the black spaces. Both of these quilts have a soft grey backing fabric.
I'm going to try to get the last 2 done today so I can take them to the meeting Tuesday. It would be nice to get the binding finished on the flower quilt so I can take it to show-and-tell. I've got lots of motivation!
I don't have anything new to share from the customer gallery so today I just have a brief update.
Yesterday was the follow up visit for my annual physical. I love having a doctor who will sit and talk with me for an hour. I got a good report so what did I do? Came home and ate a bunch of junk food to celebrate. I'll be back on track today, I promise.
Later in the day I finished quilting these 2 veterans quilts. I pieced the tops while I was on vacation in August They are the last 2 quilts from my marathon veterans quilt piecing this summer. The fabrics are all from the same line. After I got them quilted I had a couple of hours left before bed time so I went ahead and put on the binding. My friend, Becky, has volunteered to bind my other quilt so I'm officially done with my own veterans quilts for the year.
The backing is a pretty faded denim blue and I quilted it with one of my few go-to pantographs with stars and ribbons. I can quilt both quilts in about 2 - 3 hours.
Today my plan is to paint the base for the floor cloths and get 2 more veterans quilts loaded. I only have 6 left to quilt and I'll be totally caught up! After those I will quilt one of Mom's quilts and then load my oldest UFO to quilt. Paula Nadelstern's newest fabric line is also on the way for me to make a sample quilt and I'm close to figuring out a couple of designs for this year's Christmas postcards. It's going to be a busy weekend and a buys month!
Yesterday was about recovering from Tuesday. I'm not reading or watching news for a few days while things related to the election settle out. I'm focusing solely on things I can control and one of those things is getting through the stack of veterans quilts to quilt. I'm also working my way through stitching the binding on the massive quilt and there's a lot of yard work that I need to do.
But first there was napping. I usually don't nap but I had a glorious hour long one yesterday afternoon.
These are the 2 veterans quilts that I quilted yesterday. I don't know who made the first one but it's a beautiful patriotic panel that someone will love. The second one is one of the ones that I made on vacation in August. When I was loading the quilt I was trying to remember who gave it to me. I had it almost totally basted before I remembered that it was mine!
Today will be more of the same. I have some quilt backs to iron and then I hope to get the next set loaded and quilted. I have 8 more quilts (4 sets) left to do and then I can move on to Mom's quilt later this weekend. There will be a binding session and maybe a little postcard planning. Hopefully, no naps.
The got some exciting news yesterday that we can have our quilt club meetings again! We can't meet in our normal place because it isn't big enough but the arts center next door is letting us reserve their big room for a few months. I AM SO HAPPY!
I know that some people will still not be comfortable attending and I have complete respect for that but those who want to attend can and we can be safe in that large space.
So I'm loading and quilting veterans quilts again and these are the first 2.
I mentioned a few months ago about a local quilter who died and her stash was donated to us. I hope that Pamela Smith is happy knowing that so much of her fabric has been used to make veterans quilts! The top quilt is probably about the 10th "Pamela" quilt that's been made this year. Pamela was a big collector of Kaffe fabrics and these are all from his shot cotton collections. Pamela had a scrap bag of bits that Peg sewed together until she got a top big enough. If you have worked with the Kaffe woven fabrics you will know that this is a really soft quilt.
The second one was made by Karen when we had our first sewing days earlier this month. I almost feel like this one is too fresh. It was pieced and quilted in the same month!
The back of both quilts is buttery yellow and it's quilted with the super fast panto, Woven Wind.
The next pair of quilts are already loaded. Both are made by the same quilter in these great winter themed fabrics.
There are 6 more sets of quilts to be quilted (one set isn't in this photo) so I need to dye a few more quilt backs today. These will all get fast pantograph quilting treatments. I want to have them all done by November 17. Maybe I can get enough back bound in December to make one more delivery this year. We've delivered 84 so far and the VA is going through them pretty quickly! They go to patients receiving ports, mostly for cancer treatment.
The dog bed stuffing bin is going to fill up quickly this month so there will be more dog beds for RAL after Thanksgiving.
It's going to be a busy weekend. If the weather gets and stays dry I might get my floor cloths painted. But I will also be doing a lot of quilting and binding and, hopefully, designing some Christmas postcards.
(This was supposed to post Wednesday. It didn't so I'm catching up.)
Last night was our quilt club meeting so I've tried to spend most of my time since coming home quilting veterans quilts. I quilted 4 and 2 of them are for other members.
Betsy made this one. She has been very motivated lately making lots of veterans quilt tops. This was a great way to use string blocks.
I quilted it with the star and ribbon pantograph with red thread. Red is Betsy's favorite color!
Becky made this one. Some guy who loves hunting or nature is going to love this quilt.
The pantograph for this one is Woven Wind. I think it fits well with the idea of blowing snow.
These are the two of mine that got quilted. It's the first 2 of the 6 that I made last month. I'll photograph them once I get the binding done. I have one more to quilt and then I'll get back to the flower quilt. I'm out of quilt backing for the veterans quilts so I'm on a forced hiatus until I order and dye more backing fabric. I'll make myself finish the flower quilt before I get to quilt more veterans quilts. The veterans quilts are so satisfying!
Today is dyeing day and there's LOTS to do to catch up on orders. If I'm lucky I'll get some crochet in tonight.
But let's start with the hiking report. Yesterday we hiked Pemetic Mountain and it was quite a workout! This is part of the trail on one side. Lots of steep scrambling but a lot of fun.
It was worth it for a lot of spectacular views all along the trail. We were both pretty exhausted (in a good way) after that. Today was a quieter day. I kayaked in the morning and then ran some errands, even visiting 2 quilt shops. In the end I didn't buy anything but thread but it was fun to visit fabric.
Two people asked on the last post about the yoga app that I use. I've tried several yoga and exercise apps and my current favorites are Down Dog and HIIT, both by Yoga Buddhi Co. I use the HIIT app most often but do occasionally use the yoga app. There are good options for types, duration and skill level and you can choose the voice and music. I like the Aussie guy for yoga and I don't like any music background. They are paid apps but I think you get a trial of 5 workouts of something like that and when they introduced the HIIT app you actually got both for one price. I absolutely love the HIIT app. The workout can be as hard as you want it and it's really helped me build strength and stamina. They have other apps for prenatal, barre and beginners.
Between hikes, paddles, eating and relaxing I've kept going on the veterans quilt tops. These last 2 rail fence tops went together fast. I finished this one yesterday.
...and I finished this one today. These will look even better with my stars and ribbons pantograph.
Here are all 5 together. I'm really pleased.
Tomorrow we expect rain. There's a remote possibility that we get in a short hike early but otherwise it will by a sewing day. That would be just awful, wouldn't it?
My next project is to start in the big Mardi Gras star quilt. That one is going to be for me!
Another day in paradise!
Actually it rained all day yesterday but we makers don't mind that. I got started on the next pair of veterans quilts and made some great progress. I only have 6 sheets of triangles left to stitch and I've already started cutting and pressing.
I made some more crochet progress while I've been waiting for the weather to warm up today. This little blanket will be done soon.
It's 67 now so I'm off to paddle around the lake for a bit.
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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.