I've been working on a little bit of everything but the most noticeable progress from the last 2 days is the floor cloths.
This new motif too FOREVER because of having to work it under 3 other designs and having to change holes on the gear and move it 2 spaces every time around. There is a mistake but I don't think it's noticeable enough to "erase" it and start over.
Then I added this design and I did make a a mistake that had to be erased. Erasing here means painting over with a tiny paint brush. This one was particularly complex to draw to get under and through the other designs. I had to go very slow.
This is after fixing the stray mark and coloring in part of the design.
Here's that last design added to the small floor cloth that will go in front of the refrigerator.
Here's one of the long ones with it's new design in place. I really feel the end in sight now.
In other news, I got a photo of Ella happy with her new doll outfit so I'm cutting out a jumper and hat. I think I'll try to do a couple each month along with the Rainbow Scrap Challenge colors. January is pink. I, thankfully, don't have a lot of pink fabric but at least this one has pink in it.
The next set of star points are underway too. Soooooo close.
Yesterday was dyeing day and that usually means several hours straight in the basement but the plan for this week was shibori. Shibori takes a lot more elapsed time (about 8 hours) but there are some breaks while the fabric is on the dye bath. I probably should dye shibori more often but, frankly, it's just too fatiguing. Once every couple of months is a good pace for me. I do love seeing the color combos develop.
In between sessions I'm working on Summer Sunset. The 5th set of star points are almost done.
And here's the surprise pink RSC project that I did this week! My SIL's granddaughter, Ella, is 7 and she's delightful. She is also obsessed with American Girl dolls. Personally, I've always hated dolls. They creep me out no end. But I have always liked doll clothes. I tried making Barbie clothes for another little girl once but Barbie clothes are way too tiny and really hard to make. After spending some time with Ella I thought I might try to make some clothes for her collection of TEN American Girl dolls that includes her mother's AG dolls. I ordered a pattern off Etsy and this is the first piece. The fabric is a cute vintage feedsack fabric and the pattern is a nightgown and sleep mask. As I was sewing it I found some unforgivable flaws in the old fabric that I patched as best I could so I consider this one a prototype and will send it to Ella just to see if this pattern fits. Has anyone made anything from 18" doll patterns? Do they generally fit OK?
I even added some vintage buttons as decoration. I learned a lot making this little dress so I'm better prepared for the next outfit.
Back to dyeing, I found this photo that I forgot to share last week. When I was doing the impromptu sewing room cleanup last week I found a box of linens that a friend had given me. She used to haunt thrift stores and find all kinds of cheap linens. I've decided that I need to just start dyeing them. I dyed these in the bin with the Coleus Gradient and they turned out really nice. I have a friend who is now big into carving stamps and printing on fabric. I'll give these linen cocktail napkins to her for to add the final decoration.
Tomorrow I finally get to share the project that I did for Paula Nadelstern last year!
Yesterday was a day to catch up on some chores and a day to devote a lot of time to wrapping up this coaster adventure. I started with a plan to make 4 coasters (no bowl) out of a pile of green scraps. You'll see in a minute that plan did not work out. It produced 1 ugly coaster that will probably be put by my sewing machine because we always keep the ugliest things we make for ourselves.
I switched gears and combined a small pink/red pile with some of the green ones to make some rose inspired coasters. There weren't any of the pink strips left so this set did not get a bowl. They are tied with a bow and put away for future gifting.
I had this much clothesline left. Not enough for a set of coasters but maybe enough for a trivet.
I rolled it into a coil to see. Compared to the ugly green coaster that looks like just about the right size for a trivet. My biggest pile of strips was a mix of greens and blues so that's what I went with.
It actually doesn't look too bad! It's pretty darned heavy and sturdy. I used cotton thread so that it can tolerate hot pans. Would you look at that? I have a whole other roll of clothesline! What was I thinking? I'm putting this away for now. I'll use it as I make quilts and need to use up trimming strips. For reference, I used 2 packages of clothesline (200 feet) for all the things I've made the past couple of week. One package goes a long way. I didn't need 3!
Honestly, the biggest news for me lately is that I've found a great new (to me) website with wonderful vegan gluten free recipes. Gwen from Delightful Adventures makes the best GF/Vegan recipes that I've ever found on the web. I've made several of her recipes but the latest are these Ginger Molasses Cookies. They taste like the Ginger Snaps that I haven't had in ages! Look at that, they even look like real cookies. In my world that's a miracle. The things I make rarely look like the recipe picture. Even Chris likes these cookies.
I'll probably take most of the rest of the year off. The main project I'm working on is one that I can't share. I'll stop in when I have something new, otherwise, I'll be having fun, relaxing and will be checking in on all of your blogs.
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!
Yesterday was "dyeing day" so I really didn't expect to get a lot done. In the end I surprised myself. I got started on the dyeing earlier than usual so I finished earlier than usual too.
I finished off this set of coasters. You can see a strip of the fabric that I used in these. I think this set turned out really pretty. After this I took a break to address some Christmas postcards.
Then I went back to coaster making. This set of 4 (no bowl) are made from batik scraps from one of the veterans quilts that I made this summer. There weren't enough for a bowl. That's OK because some people aren't getting bowls and they won't know what they are missing. After I finished these I addressed some more postcards and I have 24 ready to go out tomorrow. That's about a third of the addressed ones. Of the 79 cards, I give about a dozen to the people who work in my post office. I don't have to address or stamp any of those!
Here are all the sets that I have ready so far. I'll make a couple more but I have all I need for Friday gift giving. Tomorrow I have to get the label on Kim's quilt so that it will be ready for Friday delivery too. Then I'll make another set of coasters.
I'm looking forward to Friday and Saturday sewing with my quilt club so I can work on something else.
First a shoutout to Pauline. She's the MIL of a new friend and new quilt club member, Brenda. Brenda told me that Pauline likes reading the blog so I wanted to say Hi!
I have a small group of friends that I used to work with and we still get together regularly. We exchange small gifts at Christmas. Two of them make awesome treats that Chris loves (Rum Ball cookies and Peanut Brittle). I try to do something handmade too. Last year, I think, was dyed tea towels. This year it's coaster sets. I made a couple of sets during the year in an attempt to not have a last minute panic. But here we are again, just a few days away from gift giving and I'm catching up!
I decided to use some of my waste fabrics for these. Each set takes 2 pieces (about 7" wide x WOF) and I cut the strips to about 5/8" wide. My friend Estelle makes lots of these as a fundraiser for the Virginia Quilt Museum and she's right, making them is very addictive. Once you get going it's really relaxing to make them. This set is made with waste fabric from the Beach Walk gradient.
This set is made from the waste fabric of the Barrier Island Gradient. I really love how these fabrics are working out in the bowls.
The set I'm working on now is made from the waste fabric of the Georgia Peach gradient.
So now you know everything I'm doing this week! I will start addressing cards this evening too. All my Christmas stuff should be done by this weekend.
I don't have a new customer gallery quilt to share today so I'll catch you up on the floor cloths. I actually got to do lots of things yesterday. Mom's quilt is half quilted and the tree postcards have half the stitching done but I didn't get photos of either of those. I got 2 sessions on the floor cloths in yesterday and it was warm enough in the afternoon to leave the door open for more fresh air. Here's where they stand at the moment.
As a reminder, these are canvas pieces primed with gesso and then painted with satin finish house paint. When I finish the spirograph designs I'll fold under and glue a hem and then they will get a couple of coats of polyurethane. They will hold up on the kitchen floor for years.
I started with some small designs. I'll add big designs "behind" these for a layered effect.
These 2 medium sized designs show how I do the layering. It requires drawing slowly and carefully. Fortunately mistakes can be erased with the tan paint and there have been more than a few slips to cover up.
Below are all 3 floor mats and how they look today. There's still lots of drawing left to do but I do love them so far.
It was sewing weekend with my quilt club Friday and Saturday so, of course, it was a great weekend!
This is the project that I am working on. I'm using every green from my green hand dyed leftovers drawer and a lot of my favorite "waste" fabrics. I like having one project dedicated to sewing weekend so that it's always ready to go and I don't have to do too much thinking to get ready. This is likely to eventually be a king size quilt and I'm contemplating a couple of different layout options. One would include sashing. I love the effect I'm getting with the waste fabrics in the windows. I have a lot more to make before I have to make any decisions.
At home I'm slowly working on the floor cloths. I'm so sensitive to the Sharpie marker fumes that I can only work on then about an hour at a time and that's with a respirator. I can get 2 designs done in an hour so this is going to be a long term project. I'm totally cool with that because I love working on them and spend a lot of time thinking about how I want to do each one. I still need to add something in the centers of the 2 on the bottom row.
As a reminder there will be 2 6 foot by 2 foot rugs and one 2 x 3 foot so I've got a long way to go! In fact I'll be ordering a lot more markers today. They don't last so long when you start coloring in!
This week I'll get started quilting Mom's quilt and I will finally start the Christmas postcards. I've got the first design figured out so I'm ready to go. I also need to get photos of Kim's quilt but it's sooooo big! The idea of photographing is is kind of daunting. Maybe I can get some people to help me photo it at the quilt club meeting Tuesday night.
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!
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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.