This cold is supremely annoying. It's not horrible like the one I had last year that lasted 6 weeks. It's just a normal cold that prefers for you to be a complete slug and watch bad TV and that's mostly what I'm doing. Although I did play with EQ some yesterday on some ideas for a quilt made with Shades Packs. But I also had an energy spurt in the afternoon and took full advantage to finish my Maine placemats.
While we were on vacation I, of course, visited the local quilt shops and picked up a dozen fat quarters of Maine-themed fabrics. These aren't my style of fabrics but it seemed like a requirement to buy them. I knew they would end up as placemats or some other small project. I also left them on my cutting table so that I'd be forced to deal with them soon.
Once I got home I spent a stupid amount of time trying to come up with ideas where I could use all 12 fabrics. Seriously, I bet I spent 3 hours on this and, as you would expect, nothing really worked. Some of the prints are way to big for little 4" pieces, like the image above.
I finally decided that my Fat Quarter Placemat pattern was the best option. It uses 6 fabrics so I picked the 6 that went together best and moved on.
I wanted a set of 6 placemats so I needed 6 fabrics even though each placemat only has 5 fabrics. With this pattern you can make 5 or more. But the big pieces really show off the fabrics well and they go together quickly. When I made these the last time I didn't even do any quilting and that worked out fine but I did a lot of straight line quilting on these because they will be easier to iron and will look better longer. The quilting was very zen and was nice to do as I listened to my latest book.
I even did traditional binding (topstiched on the front) which I rarely do on a placemat. generally I take the raw edge and turn it to the back and stitch it with a twin needle from the front. But these needed the brown binding to rein those prints in.
Today I'll dye napkins to match.
Here are all 6 together. I'm really pleased with how they turned out and I think the Fat Quarter Pattern worked great for these novelty prints. They would be fun to make for kids in character prints or for your table in Holiday prints....any holiday. They are nice because they are fast to make.
I had 6 fabrics left over and I know myself well enough that I'd also spend way too much time trying to figure out something to do with them. That's why I used those fabrics for the backs. Now all 12 fabrics have been used and I can move on to something else.
Maybe I can get through next year's vacation without bringing home another project!
Ahhh because I got everything packed for the show on Saturday and I actually had some sewing time!
When I get home from the show the first thing I'm going to do is deep clean all of my work spaces. Things have gotten completely out of hand.
I could have started doing that cleaning Saturday but I wanted to sew something.....anything. My Maine fabrics have been stacked on the cutting table all month and that seemed a good place to start. The fabrics were already grouped and I didn't have to think very much. I've always intended to make placemats with these fabrics and I settled on my very easy Fat Quarter Placemat pattern.
I bought 12 fat quarters but only needed 6 for this set of placemats. Just to keep myself from trying to come up with another project, I used the other 6 fat quarters for the backs.
I'm not finished but 4 of 6 are pieced and quilted and I love how they look. This pattern is perfect for scrappy big prints. It was very therapeutic to hear the sound of the sewing machine for a few hours and I'll get back to them when I return from the show.
Today we pack the cars and get ready to depart about 7 tomorrow morning!
If you are coming to the Virginia Beach AQS show this week please stop by booth 1730 to see us. Tell us a joke and get a free mini roll of fabric.
I will post photos from the show. I'm not sure if I'll post every day but I will take lots of booth photos to share and hope to get photos of some of my favorite quilts in the exhibit.
Show preps are going along great this week. Every piece of fabric is ironed, tagged and packed! I'm down to working on some computer things and one of those things was to draw up the templates for my fabric flowers.
EVERY person who has come in the house to see them has said that people will want to either buy the flowers (not for sale) or make their own and that I needed handouts.
I have the basic tutorial on the web and I really don't want to print out multi-page instructions. Instead I've updated the tutorial to include downloadable templates for all of these flowers. I'll print off some stickers with the web address and hand those out. Plus I wanted you to have the templates too! After you make a couple of them you will start designing your own unique flowers. They are a lot of fun to make and quite addictive.
Get the tutorial.
You know how it is. You go on vacation and find yourself buying all kinds of vacation-themed things like shell art, antler light fixtures or, more likely for us, regional-themed fabric. It seems like a great idea at the time and then you get it home and wonder what the heck you were thinking. This fabric doesn't belong in any decor of my house!
But they are so cute and I wanted to have something made from them.
Yesterday was the day to do something with them. I needed a break from show planning but not so much of a break that would require serious concentration or time. I just needed a diversion and this was perfect. My Potholder Tutorial was the perfect answer. Chris does almost all of the cooking and he loves these potholders.
I selected lobster red thread for all three so I wouldn't have to change thread colors.
I got all three of them done in less than 2 hours and it felt like a vacation to have my mind on something else for a short time.
Chris likes these because they have pockets for hand holds. I had fat quarters of the lobster fabrics and had to add another fabric for the lining. If I hadn't been lazy I might have had enough lobster fabric left to piece the lining but piecing scraps was a bridge too far.
I've made these for Christmas gifts several times and they are always popular. You can set up an assembly line and made a dozen in no time. Get the tutorial here of you want to make some.
Now I can enjoy my Maine memories with my tasteful lobster potholders.
How am I so sure that these are the last of the flowers for my booth? Because I ran out of HeatNBond and I'm not buying more!
After I finished the other flowers I spread them out in the floor with my booth sign to get a general layout and to see what else I needed. I also still wanted to make a flower with a Shades Pack. The layout told me that this flower also needed to be a little smaller.
I really didn't think that a flower with 5 shades would look good but it turned out really cute!
In fact it was so cute that I used the rest of the HeatNBond to make as many as I could. I'm glad I didn't start with these because I might have made nothing but them. They are so cute!
Now I just have to figure out the best way to transport them.
With this done I feel like I'm almost ready. The rest of the list is manageable....until I think of something that I hadn't considered before.
I know that we are very lucky in the Richmond area that the only impact we had from Florence is gloomy rain and gloomy rain has pretty much defined the past 3 days. I had to get some bright color in my day so I made more flowers for my AQS booth.
I'm trying to make a fabric of a sample of each kind of fabric that I'm going to be selling. This is my shibori flower. The other small flowers that I made have 10 petals but I wanted fewer, but bigger, petals to show off the fabric better. I'm showing all of them flat but when they are hung in the booth the petals will be shaped so they will look a lot better.
The next one was a challenge. I wanted to make a flower to show off the Black Shades pack but I knew that the darkest petals would disappear against the dark backdrop. I had a couple of fat quarters of a pinkish red (I know it shows true red here but it's a very pink red) and decided to line the gray petals. I really love the effect.
This is another Crystal mandala but it was a fat quarter sized one. I had folded this small one and added it to the tray in my last dyeing session. I didn't make it for any specific purpose but I'm glad I had it. It turned into a pretty flower.
Next up was to make a flower from a Gradient. Since I use the Sundance gradient as my logo background I wanted to make a flower from the same gradient. Every part of this flower is from one fabric! I think It's going to look really cool once I shape the petals. The 6 petals in the center will curl in toward the center and the will allow more of the orange at the base of the petals to show.
Next I have to decide how to show off the Shades Packs. that might be a little trickier.
I'm hoping all of this rain moves out by tomorrow because I really need to do some ice dyeing Wednesday and that needs to be a outside activity. At the moment the forecast is for 85 and sunny so I'm keeping my fingers crossed.
The AQS Virginia Beach show is coming up quickly and I'm madly trying to finish off my to-do list. One of the big tasks is to finish the booth decorations. I've got some great quilts to hang and display but I'm doing a wall of fabric flowers at the back of the booth. I showed you the first ones here.
The point of these is to simply show off the fabrics. I've made ones using the Color Wheel fabrics and I just finished this one using one of the Crystal mandalas. This one is huge! It's about 36" across and I am THRILLED with how it turned out. The center and the large petals are from one Crystal. I think it's going to really stand out against the booth backdrop of dark blue.
Next up is one made from Shibori, one or two from Gradients, some from Shades packs and something from the Black Shades Pack. My goal is to have them done by the end of the weekend.
Wish me luck!
I showed you last week that Laura was working on some pillow covers using my stash of shibori. We leave for vacation today but she got these 4 finished so far. I absolutely love them!
We are taking my sewing machine with us so hopefully we will have several projects to share in a couple of weeks. Meanwhile I've left you with some posts to revisit some great customer projects and don't forget the Farewell to Summer Giveaway starting August 27!
For my booth at the AQS Virginia Beach show, I am displaying several quilts but I wanted another way to display the fabrics. After lot of research I discovered Martha Stewart's giant fabric flower. Fabric flowers would be perfect! But I needed mine to hang on a wall instead of filling a vase. So I set out to modify her instructions for my needs. My new tutorial, Big Fabric Flowers, is the result.
I'm going to make several flowers in different sizes and designs but this prototype was designed specifically to show off my Color Wheel fabrics that come in a set of 10.
Here are the 3 flowers for the Color Wheel fabrics and I love them! Color Wheel fabrics come in dark, medium and light shades so there's one flower for each pack. They will be shaped before they are hung but I'm keeping them flat for travel. I used 3 shades of gray/black for the centers.
I have more planned including a bigger one made with a Crystal and flowers of Shibori and Shades Packs.
Two weeks ago we had a great program at Country School Quilters with Lisa Loessel, one of the lead designers at Henry Glass fabrics, and the sister of one of our members. She generously gave us some great patriotic fabrics. I didn't want to hid these away int he stash so I decided to make some new placemats with some of them.
I'm not going to give a tutorial for these because I didn't take enough photos but I wanted to show you how I did the center wonky star. I wanted to do a stack and cut technique but I wasn't sure what size square I needed to start with so that I'd finish with a star big enough that I could trim to 11.5". I drew an 11" (finished size) square on paper and cut it apart. Then I spread the pieces out on my fabric allowing for generous seam allowance. That led me to cutting 14" squares to start with.
Then I cut the star out. I tried to make sure that my star points did not go to the edge of the fabric because I didn't want to end up trimming off points when I cut the block down to size.
They aren't going to set the world on fire from a design perspective but they are going to look just fine on my table for Memorial Day and July 4th.
This month at CSQ we are playing bingo and have to bring blocks to exchange for cards. I used the rest of my fabrics to make 6 blocks. These will be turned into veterans quilt tops that will eventually be returned to me to quilt.
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.
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