I'll have an update on the mosaic tomorrow so for today I'm going to catch up on the crochet projects.
First, I'm calling this one done. I tried 4 different borders and they all looked awful. Then I went back and looked at other blankets made with this pattern and saw that none of them have borders.
I think the problem is the bobble part of the pattern. No matter how many rows I added to the border it just wouldn't really straighten out. I know that an expert could have helped me but then I remembered that it's a baby blanket. It was time to call it done!
Next I'll finish this one that I started on our trip to Gatlinburg. It should go pretty quickly and a border for this one should be pretty simple.
The project after that will use these yarns. I'm looking forward to this one!
Yesterday morning I had a lesson and then was out running errands for a couple of house so I didn't get settled into doing things until late afternoon. But I made a little bit of progress and set myself up for the weekend.
I drew more designs on my quilt but at least committed to a structure so I got that quilted and the basting removed. Today I WILL quilt something in some of these spaces! I don't know why I get so worked up about quilt, it's going to be a bed quilt after all. I don't really know what I'm going to do with it because pink isn't my color but I will find a good home for it.
Thank goodness I decided to sample the border that I picked out for this blanket! It's the one in the left and it's horrible. Don't pay attention to the base single crochet row, I was just trying to do a quick start for this sample.
The second idea isn't really any better. I think this busy blanket needs a simpler border. I'll get that figured out this weekend for sure.
I'll also get the veterans quilt top together.
I hope you have a great weekend. Get out and get some sun and soak up some vitamin D to help you fend off any and all viruses.
Nothing much happened yesterday except dyeing. Chris and I did his 5.6 mile walking route in the morning and then I dyed shibori all afternoon up until dinner. It takes a long time and I don't really make money from it but I love doing it. Plus every time I dye a half yard for the shop I add a fat eighth for my own stash. Now I have a hefty bin of shibori goodness to work with and by Monday I'll have 11 more pieces! But by the end of the day I was beat and only had energy for a bit of crochet!
The center of the blanket is done! It is square although it looks like I dropped and added stitches on the right. the edge is tucked under a bit. I had to be real careful with this one to make sure each row ended with 126 stitches. The nice thing is that it is now pretty much perfectly square. That should make it easy to add a border by also making 126 stitches on each side, that's 14 stitches for each section.
The original pattern had this border but since the directions for the body of the blanket couldn't have been right I'm not willing to fiddle with the pattern instructions for the border.
Instead I went to this book that I bought a couple of months ago. It has dozens of borders, many are very fancy and complex but the instructions are really clear so I think I could do any of them. I picked the border on the right because the stitches in purple are the same cross stitches that are in the blanket. I will use gray where the dark purple is, yellow for the light purple and white in the middle. I may try a small section on one edge just to see how I like it. I've got tons of leftover yarn that I can experiment with. This will be a weekend project.
I also got the Blockade blocks out of the floor so that the carpet could be vacuumed. Piecing this might be my afternoon project.
We had a fabulous time in the Great Smoky Mountains last week. We did some really nice hikes and took a day to drive out to Cades Cove to see the old settlement. It was in Cades Cove that we spotted our first 2 bears. Every time you get in a big traffic jam in the park you can be sure that there's a bear somewhere nearby! The first one was in a field but the second one (above) was along the side of the road. You should be able to tell from the poor quality photo that I was a distance off and using zoom. I made sure I was behind 2 other people in case she decided we might look tasty. As we were passing a stupid teenager got out of her car and got entirely too close. People (not her parents) tried to tell her to back off but she wanted her photo. Luckily it turned out fine but it was still really stupid as this bear had 2 cubs with her.
Out last bear sighting was the morning we left. Chris was inside about 4 feet from the door when he saw a bear come up on the deck. It looked around a bit but didn't find anything interesting and then left. I expect that it still smelled the remnants of the chicken on the grill. But it was fun to see it so close up.
I'm a pretty horrible passenger so I've learned to keep myself busy on car rides and this is the project that I worked on this time. This one is really easy and this yarn is almost bulky so I use a larger hook. Both of those things make it good for a car project. I used a skein in each direction. I'll use most of the 3rd skein to finish it and then I'll use the rest with some white for a border but, for now, this one is getting put away until I finish the Crow blanket.
Speaking of the car ride, we found a fun podcast to listen to called No Such Thing as a Fish.
It's called the Crow blanket because that will be the baby's last name. I worked on this one in the cabin in the evenings. It can't be a car project because it requires a lot of counting to keep the rows even. But I made great progress at the cabin and only have one block of yellow left to do. The yarn is Stylecraft Special DK and I really love working with it. After the last yellow bar it will be about square and then will get several borders. The pattern is a popular one (on Instagram) called Hugs and Kisses. It's usually done as a chevron but I wanted straight stripes. It's possible that this gets done in the next couple of weeks.
By the time I got home I was tired of crochet and wanted to sew. I had quilted this veterans quilt before I left so I got the binding put on this pretty quickly.
These are blocks that I was going to make into a wall hanging a couple of years ago but I lost interested. I'm happy that I could salvage those blocks into a veterans quilt. The batting was a freebie too. A few months ago we got a deceased quilter's stash. She had a design wall made from quilt batting. I hate to throw out good batting so I washed it. It was still covered in threads but it was clean and it was perfect for a dark quilt with a black backing! You can't imagine how many threads are trapped between those layers! Recycle and reuse.....
After that was finished I started making blocks for the last of the precut kits made from the Paula Nadelstern scraps. I still have a bin of scraps that I can sew together into crumb blocks if I want but I also have 3 more veterans quilt kits cut out so I have plenty to keep my busy for a while.
I'm still pondering my next big project but until something inspires me I'll continue making veterans quilts. I know how much they are loved and wanted by "our" department at the VA and I sure have plenty of fabric!
This week I will get one of the vintage flower quilts loaded and make myself start quilting. I've got to stop being paralyzed by how to quilt my quilts. I'm just going to load it and start doing something. I have no plan.
I am really flailing around for an idea for my next quilt project. I don't have a specific need in mind and don't really have any patterns or ideas that I've been hot to try. So until inspiration strikes I'm happily sewing and quilting veterans quilts and that's most of what I did this weekend.
I miscalculated the number of 4-patch blocks I would need for this quilt TWICE! Seriously, how hard it it to count blocks? Fortunately I had tons of leftover 2.5" print blocks so I only had to cut black squares. this quilt is on the frame for quilting now.
My project this week will be to put this veterans quilt together. These are blocks that I had planned for a wall hanging that I eventually decided that I didn't like so they are going to be a veterans quilt instead.
This veteran's quilt was made by Ellen and I got it quilted last night. Quilt club is going to have a picnic meeting Tuesday at a picnic area near our meeting place so I'm trying to get some things done to deliver there. Then later this week I'll get a stack of quilts delivered to our VA contact.
This week I want to get 2 more veterans quilts quilted and the one at the top bound so it can be delivered this week. I'm going to spend a couple of days with my SIL so I'll take my crochet to do there. I'd like to get the grey/white/yellow blanket done by the end of July.
I also started another crochet project! Chris and I are taking a little road trip soon and I need a really simple project to work on in the car. This yarn requires a bigger hook (I) than I usually use so it will be perfect. I had to get it started before the trip just to make sure I'll like it enough. I like it just fine.
While I was at Hobby Lobby buying that yarn I also got some lobster hooks to finish off these crochet marker beads that another SIL made for me. I know that I should have gotten silver but they didn't have this size in silver. The gold will be just as functional as silver and they will be very cute stitch markers!
It may not be officially summer but summer is here in Virginia. As I was driving to my shooting lesson yesterday my car thermometer said it was 95. It felt like 95 on the course but it was so nice to be back out there again. I was pretty rusty but I had fun. My car goes in the shop this morning to fix the A/C. It has a temporary patch for now but the compressor needs to be replaced and there are only 4 weeks left on the warranty. The fix wouldn't be expected to hold very long anyway so it's time to get it taken care of. We'll head to my brother's after that to help with a few remaining moving chores.
Yesterday afternoon I started phase 2 of the annual weed spraying. That always takes a couple of weeks because I can only take so much time in the sun covered head to toe.
After dinner Chris and I ended the day with a little paddle around the lake. It was really lovely yesterday evening. I saw a deer, egret, green heron, lots of swallows and a flock of geese.
On the sewing front I am almost done with the veterans quilt but I got this far and realized that I was still 6 4-patch blocks short! How could I do so much bad math in one simple quilt?
Hopefully this evening I can get this little quilt wrapped up.
Speaking of wrapping up, I delivered the last of the food pantry checks and some donated items today to finish that project off. There were some tea towels left and I gave those to another friend who will sell them to raise money for the food pantry that her church runs. My next task is to deliver a batch of veterans quilts to the VA hospital contact. Maybe next week I can focus a bit more on my projects!
On the crochet front I was ready to start the next project this week. The next blanket will be for my friend, Laura, from England. Their first grandchild is due at the end of summer. I picked this pattern and made sure to use the exact same yarn and hook size as the pattern. Unfortunately the swatch looks very little like the actual blanket. I'm really disappointed but after several tries it was time to accept that something is wrong with the pattern and I needed to move on.
This Hugs and Kisses blanket is REALLY popular on social media so I decided to try that but in straight rows instead of a ripple. This looks much better! It really does pay to make a swatch.
It will be yellow, gray and white and I think it will look pretty nice. I sent this photo to Laura to show to the new mother. If it doesn't appeal to her I will do something else but I'll still finish this one. There will be other babies!
I'm also planning a really simple project with a thicker yarn to work on in the car. We're heading to the Great Smokies soon for some hiking and our marriage is much stronger when I'm occupied in the car.
I hope you have a great weekend. I'm hoping for a lot fo quilting and sewing.
This week is busy helping my brother and SIL unpacking but I had a little time to sew some 4-patch blocks together for the next veterans quilt.
In the evenings I've been doing a little crochet and finished this baby blanket. The yarn is Lion Brand Cupcake in color Beach Ball. I used 2 balls. It's simple blanket stitch and it's a really soft blanket.
It finished 26" x 34". I bought both balls of yarn at the same time but you can see that one ball was a lot more mottled than the other. I'll know going forward to check dye lots! But it's still cute.
One more blanket for the donation pile and waiting for donation recipients to start accepting them again.
My family (Mom, brothers and their families) take a beach vacation to Hatteras, NC every year. We always go the week before Memorial Day, mostly because it's a lot less expensive for a house the size that we need. This year we were pretty sure that we would not get to go and were making plans to reschedule for the fall. Then we were surprised and thrilled to learn that the North Carolina beaches were opening May 16, the first day of our reservation!
We eat all but one of our meals in on a regular vacation and we were still able to do pizza night as takeout so, for the first time in 2 months, we all had a NORMAL week and it was fantastic. I've never needed a vacation more and we didn't even mind that we really only had 3 beach weather days. We enjoyed the rainy days with puzzles, books, shopping, games and just being near each other. My nephew introduced us to a fun card game called Phase 10 that's a variation of Rummy. I'm totally addicted now.
But now it's time to get back to "work". That started with a lot of ironing yesterday getting more kitchen towels ready for my local food pantry fundraiser, prepping quilt backs and new fabric for the shop tomorrow.
I didn't take any sewing to do on vacation for the first time ever! But I did take crochet and this pretty blanket was finished.
The pattern is called Wrapped In Love and I really enjoyed making it. You can get the pattern on Etsy. I've bought a few patterns now and the quality is just as random as sewing and quilting patterns. Some are great and some are awful. This is one of the good ones.
I think that this one is going to be gifted to the daughter of a friend instead of donating it. Sarah got a quilt with her first child but I think a crochet blanket would be a nice change for baby #2.
Then I got started on a new blanket using 2 balls of this Lion Brand Cupcake yarn. I've tried a few different patterns for this yarn but eventually settled on a close scallop stitch. I even learned how to do a foundation single crochet for this blanket.
I love the stitch, the yarn and the colors of this one! This is the first ball done. I worked the first one from the center out and I'll work the second ball from the outside in so that the colors reverse. I only did a few rows of the orange for the center. That ball is the leftover outside orange from the first ball. I'll tie on and add the outside orange from the second ball and use that for a simple border.
But after a week away from fabric and thread I'm anxious to get back to quilting. Yesterday I prepared backs for 2 quilts that Mom made. One of these should get loaded and basted today. Both will get simple pantographs. I'll also put out a call for my quilt group to bring veterans quilts for quilt. Virginia is opening so slowly that I don't know when we will be able to have a meeting again so I'll offer for people to bring me quilts. The VA hospital still needs and wants the quilts!
Good thing I have so many quilt kits cut out for veterans quilts! I'll continue working on those. The only other project that I have on the horizon is a quilt for SIL #3. The penguin and cat quilts were delivered last week. SIL #3 has asked for wild animal prints! That means that shopping is on the horizon.
The cat quilt brother and SIL weren't able to come to the beach but we stopped by their house on the way home to deliver it. Later Saturday night my brother reported that "the Princess" approved. That's all we quilters wish for.
The quilt labels for both quilts are done! There was a time crunch because I needed both quilts ready for delivery Saturday. This one was a lot harder than it looks! It took a lot of tries to find a good wheel combination for the ears and then to set up alignment marks on the wheels and the paper so that the ears would be mostly symmetrical. I'm pretty pleased though and I know that this will lead to more experiments with layering spirograph elements.
This one really doesn't have anything to do with the quilt design or theme. It has everything to do with my desire to play with a different set of gears.
I've had this set for a while but haven't really started to explore the possibilities with them. You can see on the left the pieces that I out together for this label. I just needed a little project to kick start my exploration of these and that's going to start happening soon.
In the evenings I've been making quick progress on this blanket. This is the last round of hearts so there's only the border left to do. I think 2 skeins of Hobby Lobby I Love This Yarn is going to just enough to finish this blanket.
I will be away from the blog for the next week. Usually when I take a break I schedule out some posts, even if they are just giveaways. But we're heading off for a family vacation, something all of us probably need about now. I've decided to give myself a break from everything - home, business and quilting. I'll post a fabulous Customer Gem tomorrow and then I'll be back May 25.
Yesterday was dyeing day so I didn't do much of anything else. But I have a little update on the crochet I've been doing lately.
This little blanket is finally done. It's the blanket stitch and is such a perfect stitch for watching TV or riding in the car. Once you get going you barely have to look at it. The edges finish really nicely so it doesn't need a border either. I didn't use that particular tutorial, I just picked the first one I could find to link to but it looks right to me.
The yarn is Lion Brand Ice Cream in the color Lemon Swirl. I like working with this yarn a lot. I used an H hook and the yarn doesn't snag or split. It makes a really soft blanket. I don't particularly like this colorway. I remember picking it just because my previous blankets had all had pink in them and I wanted something blue. This yarn line has some variegated yarns in single color, like yellow, pink. blue or grey. I think those single color variegated yarns would look MUCH better in this stitch and I'd be happy to work with this yarn again for my next car project.....if we ever get out again!
Now it's time to start another project. I started with the one on the left. I've been wanting to try out a corner-to-corner stitch. It's easy to do but I think I might want a smaller hook so I have new hooks on order. In the mean time I had some of this Hobby Lobby yarn that I wanted to try out and I found a pattern form some filet crochet. That's another technique that I wanted to try so I started this one. So far I really like this yarn and pattern. So this is what I'm going to be working on for a while.
Today I'm doing grocery shopping in the morning and dropping groceries off for Mom. After that I plan to be quilting.
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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