What a great project to be working on at this time. I can't look at my penguins and not be happy. The pattern is called Penguin Party but I'm going to call this one Penguins on Ice. I'm determined to get it quilted and bound so it can be a March finish. I love the clamped shibori ice sheets. I think it looks better than just penguins floating on a background.
The backing is my new favorite swirl in the same blue as the background.
Here are the second set of coaster done. The strips were left over from the fabric for this Hunter's Star quilt. I used fat eighths and the the die left about a 3/4" strip of each fabric. That was enough to make a bowl and 4 coasters. I stitched them with a variegated Superior Rainbows thread in "rock" colors.
I had a little strip of the binding fabric left over to use as a bow. I'm getting a bit of a head start on gift making for the year!
Baby penguins! Look at that cute little heart penguin.
Here are all the penguins arranged the way the pattern calls for. I'mm look at them a little and see if I have them all in the right place. Then I have to figure out how to make it longer. The patter size is 60 x 66 which I find to be pretty useless for a quilt to use. I like something closer to 60 x 80 for a sofa quilt. I don't know what I'll do yet. I might add some sort of shibori border top and bottom or just make the sashing rows wider. That's my problem to solve for the weekend.
I've also made more progress on the baby blanket. I've added the first of 4 sections of the variegated yarn. Yes, I do realize that the purple doesn't really "match". I went to 3 stores looking for the right color to use as an accent. Purple turns the variegated blue and blue turns the variegated purple. I finally just picked the purple and hope that repetition will make it all OK. It's a donation blanket to it's fine. I do not like this yarn so I want to try to use it all in this blanket so I never have to use it again. I'll take a photo and show you next time why I don't like it.
To finish out the week it seemed like a good idea to make start another set of coasters. Why not?
I have this pile of scraps left over from the Hunter Star veterans quilt. That quilt started with fat eighths and I used the Hunter Star Go! die. That left strips that are about 3/4" wide, perfect for wrapped coasters. It's hardest for me to toss hand dyed fabrics so this pile has been on a shelf for a few months. (I think we have a hint as to why my sewing room is always so cluttered!)
I love how these fabrics look in the coasters!
I've got 2 done and hopefully enough fabric for 2 more and a bowl. This is going to be a really pretty set.
I think I have enough things to keep me busy this weekend!
Now there's no confusing these for anything but penguin heads!
All the bodies now have wings.
Here are the 4 papa penguins! The cuteness slays. I think it might be hard to give this one away but I know that my SIL will love it.
I've also been sewing on the coasters in bits of time and finished 4 coasters and a bowl. These are made with the strips that I tore from the Fireworks quilt backing when I was squaring up the fabric. I forgot just how much fabric these projects use up. It's nice. I think I only had 1 strip left over and I really did toss it in the trash. But I have a ton of cording left over so I'll dig into another stack of strips that I have littering my sewing room.
I went ahead and wrapped these up so they are ready the next time I need a hostess gift.
Now back to the penguins.
I got bored with binding but I finally finished the placemats and I'm really pleased to be down one more UFO. For the first time in forever, I'm below 10! Not to worry, I'm about to start another new one.
I broke them up onto 3 sets and Mom got this set. Here are the other 2 sets.
I may keep both of these or I might gift a set. I haven't decided. But, either way, they also have matching napkins! I didn't make napkins for Mom's because she doesn't use cloth napkins.
The napkins were screen printed with Color Magnet, my favorite screen printing medium.
Now that these are done I can start planning some new projects. This weekend I want to get my Hunter's Star quilts quilted and do some reorganizing to make way for new projects!
I haven't finished the placemats but I have made great progress on my first crochet project. I'm working on the edging now so it will be done by Monday for sure. I really enjoyed working on this while watching movies and relaxing with out friends. The crochet blankets will be great travel and TV projects for a while.
I'm slowly getting the binding done on the 12 placemats. Sometimes I edge placemats really quickly on the serger but this time I'm doing an almost real binding.
It's "almost" because I don't actually join the ends together. I fold under one edge and jsut tuck the other end under the folded edge.
The tucked in piece hangs over the edge a bit so I cut it flush to the edge once I've stitched.
Only a few more to go but I'm really bored with then at this point!
I don't think I shared that I sewed all the leftover strips together and now I have about a half mile of fabric that will probably become even more placemats!
Well this didn't take long and I have to say that it's nice to work on some bright colors during the gray days of January. I've decided to call them my Spring placemats and I'm making them into 3 sets of 4. This red/orange set has all flowers on stems. The border colors are just random reds, orange, yellows and purples pulled from the colors of the blooms.
This set has all big blooms.
The third set is all in purple and green.
I'm ready to start quilting these but I'm quilting Jackie's Choice first.
It's loaded and I'm quilting it in a bronze colored thread and I'm loving the effect so far.
I have a great group of former co-worker friends. We have been getting together almost every month since I retired over 9 and a half years ago. Now 3 of the 6 are retired with one schedule for next year. I enjoy coming up with a handmade gift for them each year.
This year I ordered these Grocery Totes from Dharma and screen printed them with different designs using Jacquard Color Magnet. I absolutely love using this stuff. You have to dye the item a light shade so that the printed area gets nice and dark. This technique works best with colors other than yellows and golds. Here are all of the results. I was really happy with them. If I had more time I could have added some painted details but the 88 postcards took most of my time!
Everybody got 2 bags. Some had different designs front and back. It was all about the screens I had and how I could put them together.
One of my friends made a special request for new potholders. Since she makes Chris the most amazing peanut brittle I was happy to oblige! I use this tutorial to make my potholders. These are really popular and I know I've made over 100 of them over the years.
I'm not into gardening at all. It seems that with everything you plant that there's more work associated with it. I like trees and shrubs because they are relatively low maintenance. That leave my "gardening" to activities that I actually enjoy doing: weeding and spreading mulch. Those things only require sporadic effort. I skipped most of that last year so I'm in catch up mode. The weeding (spraying) was done a couple of weeks ago and the weather has been totally uncooperative for mulching until this week. So that's what I'm doing. We aren't talking about a few beds around the house, we're talking about 7 truckloads. It's great exercise but it's going to take a while but at least I've started!
Looks like those boxwoods that I "pruned" are going to live! They won't need any attention for a few years for sure.
But this means that inside the sewing room there isn't so much going on. Yesterday after mulching I decided on a quick and easy project: dog beds.
All those veterans quilts created a lot of batting scraps. I store then in this bin until it gets full. I actually started with this overflowing plus a bucket full of scraps. The only fabric bits that I include are fabric bits attached to batting. Too much fabric makes the dog beds heavy and dense. I know that Richmond Animal league washes them and I don't want them to take 5 days to dry.
The fabrics are whatever I get free from donations. There's always someone showing up at quilt club with fabric that they want to divest and occasionally there's a bolt of heavy decorator fabric. I still have fabric pre-cut for 5 more dog beds when my bin fills again. I use this tutorial to make them.
I'm not going to share any more photos of mulch but my posts might be a little thin this week.
that's going to take a lot of planning but I think it's going to be worth it.
This project starts with my finished kitchen. We basically got new counters and backsplash. The cabinets are still in great shape even though they are 20 years old. We wanted a couple of them to be reconfigured but that's it. New hardware was enough to make them look new. We also finally got faucets that don't drip! The black sinks were a risk but so far I love them.
The other catalyst for the new project are the Wild Gears that I've been playing with. Here's a new set that came in last week.
So, when we put the kitchen back together I put the floor cloths back down. These were made to match the old counters and tile. This was yet another project that my friend, Anne, got me into. In the summer of 2014 we made fabric floor cloths using this book. I dyed these fabrics to match the kitchen and I love how they turned out but they were a HUUUUGGEE paint in the @$$ to make. I do love the floor cloths because they can be mopped and they last so much longer than rugs but I vowed that I'd never make another with decoupaged fabric. (You can see a couple more photos of these here.)
Now that the kitchen is done I do need to make new ones so why not painted floor cloths covered in Wild Gears designs!
I know! It's brilliant and, you know me, it will probably take just as long as the fabric ones. But they are going to be awesome.
For the new ones I've decided that they will be painted to blend in with the flooring and all of the spiral motifs will be done in black Sharpie marker. I'll paint a base in a mix of these 3 browns to completely blend in with the floor. So hopefully it will look like spiral designs directly on the floor.....which is yet another idea to possibly do somewhere.
You can't just start drawing on the painted canvas. I needed to have an idea of the patterns that I would get from the gears. So I started drawing and I make notations on the gears that I use as I draw. That blue one is one of my favorites.
I quickly figured out that a fine point Sharpie wouldn't work. The drawings are going to be 5 - 6 feet from your eyes so I need bold lines and that means a fat Sharpie. I will need to use the big holes in the gears and that will change what designs I can do. The gears have fewer large holes than small holes, as you would expect but that limits the designs too.
But I can't use Sharpie markers for practice, I'm too sensitive to the fumes from the ink. Crayola Washable Markers worked out to be the right answer. The back of the kitchen counter cutout for the stove gave me a perfectly smooth surface for drawing (my cutting table mat was too uneven) and a pack of large newsprint from the craft store gave me cheap practice paper.
The Crayola marker give me a good idea of the thickness of line I'll get with the fat Sharpie. Some of the coolest designs come from running a gear in a gear in a gear.
Oh yes! I might or might not put these 3 designs together. I'm just making as many designs as I can on a sheet. I use different marker colors because I make my gear notes on the side in the color that the design is drawn in. I'm going for a library of designs.
It will be a month or so before I can start on the floor cloths. I will have to paint, draw and seal them outside because of the fumes so I need to wait for more comfortable weather.
Meanwhile I'm practicing and here are some of the practice pieces. Some are winners. Some are losers. You will see that I'm also playing around with ideas for filling in some of the designs.
I'm going to need a case of Sharpies for 15 feet of floor cloths!
More to come!
With the remodel on hiatus until the countertops come in, I didn't have any big chores for the weekend so I was able to do some of my own projects...like quilting 2 more veterans quilts. Both of these were made by Betsy, This one is very much her style with red, black and gray reproduction prints.
The Half square triangles in this one are very much a Betsy-style but the batik fabric was a surprise. The mixed taupe shades work so well with it.
The cool think about this quilt is that all of the batik patches came from the same piece of fabric. I quilted both with a taupe thread color and this overall pattern.
I actually used this pantograph but you can see that I really just used the path and did not add the frills. By doing the pattern more simply I quilted I saved a lot of time. So it's OK to simplify a pantograph if you want.
When I trim the quilts I chop up the batting and backing bits and store them in a trash bin until it's full. Well, it was overfull after these 2 quilts and it was time to make some dog beds.
I have decorator fabrics that people have donated to me that I use for the covers and I even use this opportunity to finish off spools of thread.
I use this tutorial to make them.
I also chop up old (but clean) sweats and tshirts and add them to the stuffing mix for these beds.
That big pile of scraps made a small, medium and large bed. One of my friends is on the board of a local rescue agency so I take them to her and she delivers them to the organization. I know that they eventually will end up in the garbage but at least all these things get one more life before they become trash.
But here's something that's going straight in the trash. My friend, Patty, motivated me to finally replace the cover on my ironing table.
Ahhhh, much better.
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.
To subscribe click the RSS Feed button and copy the URL of that page into your blog reader.
In Bloglovin you need to search "Colorways By Vicki Welsh" to find the blog.