Today is a day to get myself organized, get everything put away from last week and make a list for what I want to work on this weekend.
On the crochet front, here are 3 hats that I finished last week. I found this Bernat Bundle Up yarn a few weeks ago and thought it might be good for chemo hats. It's so, so soft! Out of one skein I got 2 adult hats and almost one baby hat. I had to add some leftover velvet yarn to finish the baby hat. My favorite is the hat in the top left. I'd make that one over and over and I'd probably wear it too. The pattern video is here. It's a good hat for men or women. The hat in from is from this video. Mine looks difference because I had to add 3 extra rows to make it big enough. These will get delivered later this summer to a local breast cancer doctor's office.
I'll make more chemo caps but will likely not buy this yarn again. I have a feeling that this yarn pills. I think next I'll try some of the bamboo/cotton blend yarns. They are also soft but probably less likely to pill.
I used up 2 skeins of yarn since past week on hats so I was ready to start something new last night.
I picked up some Caron Baby Cakes a few weeks ago to try. They were on sale a Michael's. I looked last night for an easy pattern and found 2. The first is this video and it's the stitches in the bottom rows. I really like the texture and I will use it sometime but I was in the mood for something even faster. That's when this video popped up in my feed. It's a simple cluster stitch and there are dozens of patterns for them. This one was convenient and she's using the same yarn. In my swatch I tested I and J hooks. J was the right answer.
This is the yarn and the start of my blanket. I'll use 2 cakes and make it as big as those cakes allow. Then I have a cake of pink for the border.
On the dyeing front I have 26 towels to dye. I volunteered to make golf towels for everyone for Chris to take on his trip next weekend. I got them all dyed and soaked in soda ask. He's picked the right shades of green and gold for his high school colors so I'm ready to go on these this weekend.
I also need to do something with the scraps from Karen's quilt. There are a LOT of leftovers. Because I cut diamonds most are odd triangle shapes that I think I will crazy piece into placemats. There's also probably the equivalent of 20 fat quarters left and those might make some fun manly veterans quilts.
I had to order more of one of the animal prints for the binding of Karen's quilt and I found these cute Sesame Street fabrics! These will be more pillowcases for the boys. I have heard that I might have inadvertently created a laundry crisis in one house as one of the boys refuses to sleep without his dinosaur pillowcase. I think I can solve that problem soon. Pillowcases for the boys will be an easy counter point gift to the doll dresses for Ella.
Time to get busy! There's also a lot of dyed fabric to wash out today.
I know some people think list making is a waste of time and that it's depressing to make a list and then not be able to complete it. I view lists completely differently. Lists (like project plans from my former work life) are just a way to organize my thoughts and are simply an outline of what might be accomplished. I fully expect other things to come up and the lists helps me decided what a can accomplish instead. I got a good exercise in that this weekend.
Things started out right on plan with the quilting of 2 veterans quilts.
These 2 quilts bring my YTD total to 14.
Things went a little awry after that. While I was washing out fabrics the sock that I use to trap lint from the washer stretched enough to clog the drain so the water went the only place it could, over the edge of the sink and all over the basement floor. It wasn't a big disaster. I do a deep clean annually after woodstove season is over and now that's all done!
Nothing was damaged because I am always careful not to have anything that can be damaged sitting on the floor. With the hot water heater and this sink downstairs, these accidents are bound to happen. I did discover that my little shop vac works great!
All the cabinets and shelves are back against the wall now and the rugs will be completely dry today so I can put it all back together and I can remove "clean basement" off my April list. It's really, really clean right now.
Because my dye work tables were moved into the longarm space, I didn't get to practice for my quilting class so instead I did quite a bit of crochet this weekend. I'm really enjoying this gingham technique. I can see myself making lots of these blankets in the future. I also love the Hobby Lobby "I Love This Yarn" yarn. It's so easy to work with and it's sooooo soft. I don't like Red Heart but I hear that the Premier and Walmart Mainstay brands are also really soft and nice.
I didn't get into the sewing room until yesterday and most of my time there was spent ironing the fabric that I dyed. But I did get half of the arc blocks together for the big quilt. I'll make better progress on these this week.
I have something new that I'll be doing over the next couple of months. Hanover County is operating a vaccine clinic to serve the whole county and they have asked elections officers to help man the clinic. I'll be doing that every Tuesday afternoon starting tomorrow. I won't be getting the vaccine myself but I'm happy to do anything I can to assist in getting it out to the people who want it. I was sort of hoping to be outside as a traffic cop but this week I'll be manning a registration desk. Should be interesting!
It seems that the beach in February is defined by warm/high wind days and cool/low wind days. Yesterday was cool and today is expected to bet he same with rain.
The sun was shining bright yesterday morning when I snapped this photo but it was too cold for a walk (in my opinion, others on the beach disagreed). We waited until the afternoon. It was overcast but warmer. It wasn't warm enough for bare feet today but we have a lovely, long walk.
The weather for the East is looking dicey today and tomorrow. Chris is prepared at home for more power outages and there's a reasonable chance that I will have to stay here an extra night. That would be horrible, wouldn't it?
I'm not going home if there's no power. Chris said that Costco didn't have the snow crab for our anniversary dinner anyway. We'll just see how things look Friday morning.
Meanwhile today we are considering venturing out to check out a couple of quilt shops in Morehead City.
On the sewing front, I've been cutting out fabrics while Kim has been sewing. The first kit I made is for a string quilt that will be a veterans quilt. The blocks will finish at 8 x 10 so that they will be set 6 x 6 for a 48 x 60 quilt. The center string is the light blue. It's leftover fabric from a veterans quilt back. There was just enough for the blocks and binding. The strings are the leftover from the Club Noir quilt. I cut up a bunch of leftover neutrals and whites for the foundations.
I got all the scraps cut down into strings and bits so I might actually start sewing on these blocks while I'm here if Kim is done with the sewing machine.
The other quilt(s) I brought to cut are some star blocks in bright yellows and oranges on this great mottled background.
I actually brought enough of the oranges to cut star pieces for 2 quilts so I did that and cut the block backgrounds for 1 quilt. When I get home I'll search the stash (or dye) fabric for the second quilt. I know it's not exactly patriotic but they will be really happy quilts and very beachy. There are lots of beach people who live in our area so I expect these will find good homes with a couple of veterans.
Here's what Kim has been working on. First, I'll note that the lighting is this house is awful so the photos are not great. This one is really washed out. It started with these 2 napkins that I dyed with a gradient. She loves pink so I decided to give them to her. I pulled some fabrics from my stash to coordinate and brought the kit for her to make placemats. She finished sewing them together yesterday. They are very "Kim".
She's going to be working half day today so I'll spend the morning finally taking the first class on the Bethanne Nemesch feather class and then do some more crochet. Tomorrow I'll show you the hats that I'm working on to try to use up the extra yarn from the baby blanket. I've never made hats before but they are kind of fun to do.
and another day at the beach! It's hard to tell in this photo but it was windy as heck yesterday. The night before was worse. We had a storm come through after midnight that was wild. I could feel the house AND my bed shake. Yesterday morning I learned that there was a tornado in a county south of us so I've decided to consider us lucky. The wind did calm down a bit in the afternoon for another barefoot walk on the beach with jacket and hat. You can easily identify all the New Yorker's here because they are on the beach in shorts.
I remember ages ago when I graduated college in March. A group of us headed to Myrtle Beach to celebrate. It was freezing cold to us but the Canadians were all swimming in the ocean. We never took off our sweaters on the beach.
I did finally start doing some cutting for a veterans quilt last night but mostly I've been crocheting. When I get near the end of a project I like to get it done and this one was so close. I love how it turned out. Here are the details:
Granny Square about 32" square
Yarn is Lion Brand Mandala in color Mermaid, 3 balls
Hook size H
This will be doanted to a local charity
For this one I managed the color changes instead of just stitching the yarn continuous and letting the colors fall wherever. It meant that I rolled a lot of balls of the individual color but it was so worth it. I had a bit of yarn leftover because I didn't want any partial rounds but I have plans for that yarn.
I finished it off with 2 rows of single crochet. There wasn't enough of the light turquoise or white to do double crochet. I like the extra structure that it added to the blanket and I wanted the white as the final row. I think it worked out really nice.
I do still need to block this when I get home.
Here's the leftover yarn and I'm already working on beanie. I expect I can get 3 from this and I'll donate all of them somewhere.
Today will be more about sewing but I might get one of these done.
This weekend was supposed to be quilt club weekend but this interfered just as I expected. I was really bummed to miss my friends but I did have this view outside my sewing room and I made the most of the weekend, including spending time packing for my little trip.
My first goal was to quilt 2 more veterans quilts. Both of these were made by Peg. Peg, Karen and my Mom are geniuses at scrap quilts. Just a few HST blocks sprinkled around makes this more than just jsut a scrap busting quilt.
Here's the big news form the weekend. All of my blocks for Summer Sunset are done! I had the arcs left to do and I wanted them done before I left. This will give you a little idea of how this quilt is going to look. If you need one of these for yourself you can get the pattern here.
Here are all the pieces and parts ready for me to start assembling when I get back. I am soooooooo excited about this quilt!
My goal is to post every day this week but I might not. It is a vacation after all. So don't worry if you don't hear from me. Have a great week!
Yesterday was dyeing day so I didn't get much accomplished otherwise. But I did get the 2 veterans quilts trimmed and ready to get back to the piecers for binding. I can't believe we're less than 6 weeks into 2021 and I've already quilt 10 of these and should get 2 more done today. I had to dye more quilt backs yesterday for the 7 quilt tops that are waiting in the closet!
My progress on veterans quilts will slow considerably after this week because I'll be taking Bethanne Nemesch's online feather class starting this weekend. There's lots of practice to be done and then I will start on my 3 big personal quilts that I want to custom quilt. But I'll still get some of these done in between. They are so fast and easy and, therefore, really satisfying.
I'm taking a couple of projects to the beach next week to cut out and one of them is a veterans quilt based on the star block in this quilt.
This one is a really interesting spin on jelly roll quilts. That stair step insert makes it so much more interesting.
The color of the backing isn't quite right here. The camera really wanted to turn it gray. I found some 90" wide muslin that someone gave me to use for veterans quilt backs. There was enough for 6 quilts. There's a pretty wide strip left from this so I'm going to use that fabric to make a string quilt for a new veterans quilt top. There's plenty of leftover fabric for the center strip and binding. I've got a bin of perfect scraps for the rest of the block strips.
This is sounding like a great beach project. Minimal thinking required.
No bin news today. Chris has started the front of the floor cloths. He'll do one coat a day so they will be done this week. We will probably leave them in the guest house for a week to get all the polyurethane smell out of them.
Yesterday I took Mom to a Dr appointment, picked up a big stack of veterans quilts and quilt tops from one of our club members and took my oath to be an elections official for the next 3 years. In between, I've made a little progress on a few things.
A few more rounds to the baby blanket. The coloring in this photo is horrid. Take my word for it that it looks better than this. It will get 4 more sections in the 4 blue colors and I'll probably finish it off with white.
As I've been working on this I realized that I'm going to have some yarn leftover and I thought I might try my hand at some hats to donate. Maybe to community organization or to hospitals for chemo patients.
That side-tracked me to this yarn leftover from the last baby quilt. I have 2+ balls of this left and I thought that it might be really soft and comfy for chemo patients. I found a pattern at the Bag-O-Day YouTube site that I'm giving a try. If it works I'll share a link when this is finished. It it works it's going to be a REALLY soft hat.
I have yarn from 2 other projects that I think I might make into scarves to donate. I do not like having leftover yarn hanging around!
Yesterday afternoon I finished quilting this pair of veterans quilts. I'll try to get the cutting table cleared today so I can trim them and share them tomorrow.
January is turning into a good month for veterans quilts. I finished 2 more for a total of 6 so far. If all goes to plan I'll have 2 more by Sunday to finish out the month. I also finished a long tern crochet project this week.
These are the 2 veterans quilts. Betty made the disappearing 4-patch. I love how she arranged the grays in a gradient of sorts. Mom made the scrappy one. She's really trying to empty her bin of 2.5" squares but it doesn't seem to be working all that well! That's good news for the veterans.
I was tired of my 2 or 3 normal pantographs so I pulled out this one for a change of pace. I don't remember what it's called but it goes fast and creates some really nice texture o the back.
I also finally finished this crochet project! This is the most involved (and most expensive) project that I've done so far. I started this blanket in August. Per the pattern, Daisy Farm Crafts Crochet Ribbed Diamond, I needed 3 balls of the Bernat Baby Velvet. I went to Michaels and bought them. The pattern is worked in sets of rows to make diamonds. I have 8 sets of diamonds in the length of my blanket. Well, I got through one ball of yarn and was only through 1 set of diamonds. Something was really wrong! I had bought small balls, I needed big balls. Isn't that always the case? The balls are never quite the right size.
I put the blanket aside for a few months because I realized that to finish it, this blanket was going to cost over $45. That's a lot more than I want to spend for a donation blanket. But I also didn't want to have a partially finished blanket around as a UFO. I think it was in November that I pulled this out and decided to finish it.
It finished at about 30" x 33".
The pattern is worked in front and back post double crochet and the pattern is easy to follow after the first few rows. There are a few mistakes but this yarn is so forgiving that I didn't bother to undo anything to go back and fix them. Besides, it's a baby blanket that will likely have bodily excretions on it so a front-post-instead-of-a-back-post stitch isn't of any real consequence. What's important is how incredibly soft this blanket is!
It's really hard to get the color right in these photos but this one is probably closest. The faux-ribbed border is also just a series of front and back post double crochet stitches. Doing three of those stitches in each corner with this bulky yarn was a bit of a challenge bit it worked out.
I can't recommend Daisy Farm Crafts patterns enough. They are so well written and they have great tutorial videos to go along with. One of the gifts my friend bought me for Christmas was their lovely new book. I will make one of their gingham blankets soon.
You can see in this photo just how thick this blanket is. I'll likely not donate this one. It will be a good one to keep around for a gift should any of our friends or relatives have babies arriving.
I've already started the next blanket. I needed easy and there's nothing easier than a granny square.
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!
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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.