After a day in the basement dyeing fabric yesterday, I decided I needed a little walk outside in the evening. The first stop was the bird box to see the new batch of baby bluebirds! They hatched Saturday. So cute. They look the same every year but I still get excited to see them.
We checked on the iris. There are loads of them in bloom and lots more getting ready. I don't know the story on that last one. I don't know if it's a hybrid that's gone bad but it's not something I planted!
We also saw that in just the right light that weeds can look like grass.
Now back to our little trip. When Anne and I got to Lancaster Sunday evening we decided to check out one of the outlet malls. I really hate shopping but I seem to do great at shopping when I'm traveling. Otherwise my shopping is almost 100% by mail. I've lost a couple of sizes this year so I'm in desperate need for new clothes. I lucked out and found some shorts, pants and tops and everything was on sale. Don't be diverted by the ugly maroon and orange sweater. That's specifically for cheering on my Hokies during football season! I can't believe that Gap ever thought an orange and maroon sweater was a good idea. It's no surprise that the clearance rack was FULL of them. I even picked up one for my best Hokie buddy.
Then I saw the Minnie Mouse fabric! Last week Pixie Fairie offered this shirtwaist dress as a free pattern. I didn't plan on using it but I downloaded it anyway. This fabric is so perfect for it and Ella is going to Disneyworld for the first time this month.
Then we went to Ruthie's Tees (next to Log Cabin Quilts) and I saw THIS!! It's supposed to be an adult coin purse. For $6 I could not let it pass. I see the dress with red collar, cuffs and belt with this awesome plaid bag as an accessory.
Now, on to a crochet update. I took this yarn with me and made this chemo cap on the trip. I've taken to buying some yarns in single skeins to try out. I've been learning a lot about yarn from a few YouTube channels and have started venturing out a little. I actually like making hats so that's a good way to test out new yarns with single skeins.
After making the gingham blanket that I liked so much, I ordered some different brands of yarns (on sale) for 2 more gingham blankets. One set was some Herrschner's yarn and the other was Premier Basix. I didn't like the Herrschner's yarn right out of the box so I'll donate that. The Premier yarn seems nice so I'll make that blanket. But for basic worsted weight acrylic I'm probably going to stick to Hobby Lobby. I like their yarn best of all that I've tried. Red Heart and Herrschner's are definitely out. I still need to try Lion Brand and Premier Anti-Pilling yarns but Hobble Lobby is 15 minutes away and it's always well stocked and they have a sale every other week.
The yarn I used on the gray hat is Lion Brand Feels Like Butta and it's pretty much the same as Premier Bundle Up that I used a couple of months ago. I think this yarn is incredibly soft and perfect for chemo hats. But I have a feeling that it might pill a lot. Does anyone have any experience with this yarn?
While Anne was at her appointment I did a little retail therapy at the nearby Michael's. One yarn that I've decided that I absolutely love for baby blankets is Caron Baby Cakes (see below) so I bought 3 cakes for one more blanket. I figure this stuff (like Hobby Lobby yarn) is on sale enough that there's really no need to stockpile it. But it was on sale so I picked up 3 cakes. Here are the other yarns that I've bought to try and I started a new hat with the Flecks. That yarn is really soft too! This ball probably has 3 hats in it. I got the Basic Stitch Reflective to make a hat for my brother. He's a cyclist and I thought he might want it for winter rides. It really is very reflective!
Meanwhile, here's where I stand on the current project. Once this ball is done I'll add a pink border. This yarn is so soft and squishy.
I am taking crochet in short bursts at the moment. I seem to have a bit of tendinitis in my hands. It's getting better so I should be back in full gear in a couple of weeks.
Today, after spreading a 4th truckload of mulch, I hope to spend the day quilting veterans quilts. We have quilt club sewing this weekend so I want to have quilts ready to return to the quilters. I won't get them all done but I can make a dent if I just focus and don't overcomplicate the quilting.
Yesterday was dyeing day and that usually means that not much else happens. Wednesdays evenings I can usually be found sitting with my crochet and listening to a book. It's all the energy that I have left.
Last night I finished the last few rows on this hat that I've been working on. I'm just trying to use up some leftover yarns and hats seem like fine projects especially now that I've found a local place to donate all of them: men's, women's, children's, babies. You name it, they collect and distribute.
This pattern is from Crystal at BagODay on YouTube. The written pattern is in her Etsy site and this particular one is called the Chocolate Bon Bon Beanie. I like it because the increase rounds at the crown include front post stitches and it makes it a lot easier to keep up with the increase counts. I'm still not very good at keeping toe right stitch counts on each round. I tend to add extra stitches. This pattern also has a nice decrease at the base so that the hat will stay snug on the head.
The local charity also takes yarn donations and I think they will get the whole skein that's left of this yarn. I really don't like it and don't see a need to make myself work with it.
Earlier in the week this group put out a call for premie hats. I've never made a tiny hat so I decided to give it a try. They like them a little long so that they will stay on the baby's head so I added an extra row. This little thing took only about an hour so I can see making more of these. I've got some leftover yarn in peach, white and turquoise and those should work fine for the little hats.
Today I'm planning on some longarming of veterans quilts and to work on the border of the giant Summer Sunset quilt. Once that's done I can get the serger out and work on my stack of serger projects.
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.
As I write, I have a few more hours left in craft week and plan to take full advantage but here's a quick summary of yesterday's accomplishments.
First we went fabric shopping. Amazingly, there are 2 quilt shops in this little area. They are both very different but both are good. I bought a couple more panels for veterans quilts.
I got the center of Karen's quilt done. Yay! I'll take it home and give it a good press then trim it and add the border. I think tomorrow I'll go to Joann and get some chocolate brown Minky for the back. This one could be finished really soon!
The doll dress is underway. This one is really involved and has a lot of hand stitching because hand stitching, in some cases, is easier than machine stitching. While I'm at Joann tomorrow I need to get an invisible zipper for this little project. If I make it through, it will be beautiful!
I've been doing some crochet too. This is the second hat I've finished. This yarn is Bernat Bundle Up and I bought it specifically to make chemo hats. This might not look like much but it's actually a cute hat on and it's incredibly soft! I've started a third hat with the same yarn but different pattern.
I expect that eventually I'll settle on a few hat patterns that I like and then will use over and over. I'm not quite there yet!
It's chilly at the river today but it's beautiful and sunny and I'm going to enjoy my last few hours before I head home this afternoon. This has been a wonderful break.
It's always good to be invited to the river and it's especially good when it's designated as Craft Week! It was a beautiful drive here yesterday because all the Bradford Pear trees are in full bloom.
As soon as I got here we went outside with Ginger and she proceeded to find something rotten to roll in so her Craft Week kicked off with a bath.
We eventually made it to her sewing room where I started on the animal print batik quilt for my SIL. It's going to be a smaller version of my Indonesian Batik quilt. Today I will start by cutting the the sashing. By the time I finished the diamonds I knew I had spent too much time on my feet so I took a break at this point and started crocheting a hat.
Anne is working on some yoga bags for friends.
Cocktail hour was beautiful, as always.
After dinner I finished up this hat. The yarn was one skein that I bought to try out for a scarf for my Mom. It didn't work for that so I out the one skein in my hat yarn bag. The yarn is Lion Brand Hometown and it's a 6 - super bulky. This pattern was designed for this yarn and there was very little left over from 1 ball. In the end, this hat is a kids hat. It's quite small but it's done! I probably wouldn't work with this yarn, or any bulky 6, again. It's a perfectly fine and soft yarn. I just don't like handling yarn this bulky.
Today I'll focus on the sashing for the animal print quilt and maybe start crocheting a chemo hat.
I'm heading out this morning to go to the river for 5 days of sewing (and whatever) with 2 of my friends. I'm going to be starting a new project and I'm really looking forward to it. I'm getting a little fatigued by the Summer Sunset quilt so a few days away will be a good thing. I'll try to be good and blog about what we are up to every day.
Meanwhile, this weekend, I had a good number of chores so didn't get quite as far along as I wanted on my projects, but each is moving forward and that is the ultimate goal.
On the longarm I'm practicing feather quilting on a veterans quilt. That feathered wreath center isn't perfect but is is 1000 times better that what I was able to do a month ago! I was hoping to have at least one of the veterans quilts done but I have been having an issue with my top thread snapping at the tension disc. I figured it was related to the last time I replaced the check spring. Thankfully Renee Haddadin has some great videos on Innova maintenance topics and I was able to fix it with this one. It did take a while but when I get back I'll be ready to go.
In the big version of Summer Sunset I have all 8 star points together with the ring sets. I am seriously tired of working on this quilt. I think it's because I have realized that I am not going to be able to do any fancy quilting on it. There are just way too many bulky points so SID work will be out of the question.
Here's an example. Look at the big photo above and see where the triangle on the ring touches the star point. You can see the close up here. From an engineering point of view it's perfect. But from a quilting point of view it simply creates too many layers. Add in the "leave in" foundation paper layers and the bulk is out of control. I'm pulling the foundation paper out of the bulky areas but there's still simply too many fabric layers to get in there and do nice quilting. By the time I get back from the river I'll be over it and will be ready to wrap it up and will be resolved to pantograph quilting. It's a quilt for my bed so it really doesn't matter how I quilt it. I have 2 other quilts that I can devote excessive time to quilting.
On the crochet front I decided not to start another project until I get back. Instead I have come up with a plan for using up my scraps of yarn. A rectangle granny square seems to fit the bill fine. As I finish projects I'll use what I can for hats and will add the rest to this. It can take ages to grow and it will be pretty ugly. But it will be a fine car or camping blanket for someone or a donation to a shelter of some sort. This will be for leftover 4 weight yarn. I'll probably start a separate one for 3 weight or I can use it double in this one. I'm not a big fan of crocheting with double strands because I always seem to keep losing one of them.
I'm taking a couple of balls of yarn to the river to work on some hats this week. Or I might just sit around for 5 days and watch the river flow by.
Yesterday was a great day for finishes. I'm heading off to my friend's house at the river Monday for a few days of sewing and yakking so I'm using that as incentive to wrap a few things up.
First up is the baby blanket. You know how it is. Once the end is in sight you just have to motor through and finish and that's what I did with this yesterday. The blanket finished to about 36" square.
Here are the details on the blanket for my future reference:
I used the Purple Gingham pattern from Daisy Farm Crafts. It's really well written and they have nice videos to help out. Don't like this one? They have over a dozen gingham blanket variations. I'll be making more for sure.
The yarn is Hobby Lobby I Love This Yarn, 4 weight acrylic. I bought 2 skeins of the peach and 1 each of orange and white. I d love this yarn. It's really easy to work with and is very soft. It makes Red Heart seem like sand paper.
Hook size K for the body and J for the border
This border design is in the pattern. It's 2 rows of SC and a row of shells. Each side was 1 stitch short to make it work out perfect so I just put in a fudge shell (using one less stitch) somewhere along each side. The shorter shells aren't noticeable at all. My first round of SC on the sides is a bit messy but I do have trouble getting the sides to look good. It would have been better if I could have used white for the border but I didn't have enough leftover white yarn. I had to go either orange or peach. I think orange looks best.
This is what's leftover. I have a few small balls of leftover yarn now and it's annoying me so I'm going to start a granny rectangle that I can use up all the scrap yarn on. As I finish each project I can just add the leftover yarn to the "scrapghan" and someday it can be a donation or camping blanket.
But that's not all! I also finished the toy bags for the boys. I found the tutorial online but I've lost the link now. There are dozens of tutorials for bags like this. They are so nice that now I want some for myself.
The bags even have fancy boxy bottoms.
They are lined.
And they have tabs made of faux cork. I bought this bundle of cork fabrics over 2 years ago and this is the first time I've used them. When I showed the dino bags to Chris he immediately noticed that the tab was dino teeth. He wins extra credit points.
I'm also quilting and practicing my feathers. I forgot to take photos but there are a couple of veterans quilts getting a lot of fancy feather quilting!
Thinking toward Monday, I'm packing up projects. I've decided that I can start my SIL's animal print quilt. It's going to be made exactly like my Indonesian Batik quilt, just smaller. She want's a sofa quilt.
I'm also going to attempt this. My friend, Kim, is bringing me some leftover silk fabrics and I'm going to see if I can pull this off. I think the color will be teal or red.
Later today, though, I'll get back to sewing the big Summer Sunset star and there's lots more practice quilting ahead of me this weekend.
Every day I have a list of things I want to get done but, generally, on Wednesday, the list is only dyeing. For some reason I thought yesterday that I'd get my dyeing done and get some quilting done or get the toy bags finished.
I started my dyeing prep at 10
and finished at 6. By then I was beat.
So the only other thing I did yesterday was work on the gingham blanket from the comfort of my chair. I only have 18 rows left for the blanket and then the border. The end is in sight for this little project and I think it's really cute.
Today I will plan to finish the toy bags and also do some quilting.
Aside from Friday starting off with really crappy weather, this weekend ended up great. It's still a little chilly but it was sunny and beautiful. My toe injury (turf toe from moving heavy furniture) is getting better so I should be spreading mulch and stacking more wood very soon. I was mostly inside this weekend and I got a lot accomplished.
I got the center of the small version of Summer Sunset done and I'm thrilled! I'll be working on the big start this week. This isn't the flattest quilt ever but it's not bad and any wonkiness can easily be handled during quilting. There are a lot of thick seams so I had to press the bejesus out of it. It needs corner triangles and then I'll be ready to ponder any additional borders.
I practiced quilting spineless feathers. They aren't perfect but they are markedly better than ones that I have done in the past. I now have 2 veterans quilts loaded and I might be quilting all-over feathers on both of them.
I had to run an errand Friday and I was near Hobby Lobby and they had there 30% yarn sale. I stopped to pick up a few things and saw this. Now, I'm not really interested in crocheting wash cloths. I did one last summer and used it just about 24 hours before I decided that I hated it. But, for $3, I was willing to play with this yarn designed to make dish scrubbies. I found a tutorial on YouTube and made this one in about 20 minutes. I knew that I was taking Mom and her friend for their vaccines Saturday so I thought this would be a fine car project while I waited on them.
But I needed a car project bag which led me to a Missouri Star bag tutorial. The fabric is some denim that I sun printed a few years ago and I had a red zipper in my stash. I tossed in my yarn, hook and instructions and I was ready to go.
While I waited in the car I got one more made and one started. They were very fast getting their shots and I gave each of them a scrubbie as a prize for successfully completing their task. They were amused.
I made one of these for myself too but I can't see making any more. This yarn is like sandpaper on your hands and scrubbies are $1 at the Dollar Tree. I'll put hat yarn in my car project bag the next time.
Yesterday I pulled out the feedsack fabrics again and cut my March RSC blocks. As a reminder, I'm picking 2 blocks each month and I cut eight of each block. I select the fabrics based on the RSC challenge and March was green.
Here's the stack of what I've cut so far. I'll take these with me on vacation in August. This is a very long term project. I have 8 large 8-pointed scrappy stars that my Great-Grandmother pieced. I will uses all of these blocks with a star to make 8 quilts lap quilts for family members. This is a long-term project.
This week I'll be sewing on the big Summer Sunset star and cutting out another American Girl outfit and some little gifts for all the boys in the family. I feel bad just making things for the granddaughter and leaving the 3 grandsons out. They will get some drawstring toy bags and pillow cases.
I'm really happy that we finally have someone here to do all these jobs around the house and that we are lined up to get a generator installed, but it sure does create a lot of little chores for us. We've got a meeting with the generator installer and the gas installer this morning to, hopefully, get a project plan together. Things almost went off rail last week due to a lack of communication. I can't handle projects without plans so I got things reigned in pretty quickly and put a stop to any work until we could all meet and agree on the schedule and details. It's a little hassle now but it will save a lot of hassle later.
But I did get in some sewing time and got half of the arcs sewn for the small Summer Sunset Star. Only 8 more. It took me a couple of tries but I finally figured out the trick for that tight inside circle.
In the evenings I'm making progress on the gingham blanket. I'm over halfway through with the body of the blanket and then it will have a border. I like how it looks and I like doing it. There will be more of these in my future.
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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.