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 finished up a couple of veterans quilts yesterday and saw that I had about 4" of batting and backing on one side of one quilt and decided that I would do some more thread trees.
I started with a stack of 4" x 6" pieces of white fabric. That's the size of a postcard so I knew if I kept my tree inside that space that I'd have the right size tree. I sketched a tree shape on the fabric but you will see that I didn't really follow that at all.
I liked the colors of this cone of thread and it's also about to run out so this is what I'm going to use until the cone is empty.
Thread sketch a wonky tree shape.
Start filling in and pretty much ignore the stitched outline.
Keep piling on the thread until a tier is finished. Move to the next tier and stitch some more. It's very meditative to do this.
Don't worry about the wayward lines. They will get cut away.
What a good use of the extra backing and batting. I feel so smugly clever.
And economical for using up 3 bobbins! The backs of these trees are pretty ugly but no one will see them.
Oh boy, do I like these! I have a head start on the 2018 Christmas cards.
With that I'm going to take a few days off the blog for Christmas. I'll be back Wednesday or Thursday of next week.
Thanks to a lot of football this weekend and last night, I can finally declare the ornament-making era over! This one is called Midnight Sun and, honestly, it was one of the most difficult. By difficult I meant that there was way too much gluing and too little pinning or thread work. This kit is still for sale if you want to make one for yourself!
Before you buy one just know that this hanger will drive you nuts. It is pretty, though!
Lots and lots of bling on this one!
I started making these in 1992 and Midnight Sun is #123. I'll put up the trees this weekend to display them and will share lots of photos.
I was very excited to start clearing this hobby away. I have worked on every one of the 123 ornament on this tray. It was really convenient. The very old Tupperware container was perfect for sorting beads and trims for each kit. That went in the garbage first! The tray is a great lap work surface so I'll keep it. Everything else was returned to it's proper spot in the sewing room.
I kept that tray in a drawer in the TV room so it was easy to get out, work for a couple of hours and then put away. As I was cleaning out the drawer I found these ornaments. I totally forgot that I used to make these with leftover beads from the kits. I don't even remember how these were made but my friend Google helped me find kits of you are interested. I'm sure that you could find free instructions with a few minutes of searching. Now I have to find a home for these and I get to fill an empty drawer!
The second of my 3 Cracker Box Kits is done! This one is called Fascination (although on their website it's spelled Facination. This one wasn't nearly the pain that the last one was so it came together faster.
Just because I say it wasn't as complicated as Discovery doesn't mean that this should be your first kit. It shouldn't! It took 2 hours of measuring and inserting, removing and relocating bast pins before the first thing was stuck to the ball. Even with that, mine is no where near perfect.
Perfection is not needed though when there are 120 other ornaments on display and with lights reflecting all of the sparkle. This one is really, really sparkly!
Only one more to make!
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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