How's this for cute? I'm making the doll outfits to go along with the Rainbow Scrap Challenge colors. February is yellow month so I made this sun dress Monday night. I had just enough of that fabric to make the dress. It looks like it would be easy but the dress is fully lined and you have to turn it through the shoulder. It was a pain but I did it. I hope it fits Ella's doll.
Yesterday we finally had a beautiful sunny, warn day so I decided to get a start in trimming bushes and cleaning up beds. If the ground ever dries out I'll start bringing in and spreading 8 or so truckloads of mulch. My trimming method makes mulching easy! There are Barberry bushes. They don't mind this harsh treatment at all and I won't have to tend to them again for a few years.
Then I came in and started sewing my star blocks together. These are the blocks for the small stars. I thought I'd get all of the star blocks together yesterday but it turned into more work than I expected.
This quilt is made on foundations that you leave in. That's generally a great idea but it leaves way too much bulk in the seams so I'm spending a lot of time tearing out the material where seam allowances are pressed. It's a pain but it's necessary.
In the evenings I'm making progress on this blanket. One ball of yarn is done and I've started the second one. This pattern has a border and I will not have enough yarn for the border. I bought what the pattern called for but my gauge is different because I crochet pretty tight. As a result I think I'm using more yarn. I had to run an errand to Lowe's yesterday and Hobby Lobby is nearby. I thought I'd see if I could find something that might work for a border. Pretty much everything looks awful. White is too bright, ivory makes it look old and dirty and every pink clashed.
In the end I decided to go bold and see if this will work. It has the peach and pinks from the blanket plus every other color. It might look like crap but crochet is really easy to pull out. It's a low risk experiment. The blanket can always go without a border and I can make hats from this yarn if I don't use it on this blanket.
The storms at home weren't bad yesterday so I'm able to go home today. My last day at the beach was marked by heavy rain. Things cleared up in the afternoon and, instead of a beach walk, we checked out 2 fabric shops in the area. I found a collection of firefighter fabrics and decided that it was time that I make a quilt for my cleaner. Pretty much everyone in her family, including her, are firefighters. It was meant to be.
On the making side of my beach life, I've been working on some crochet hats. I want to find some projects that I make that will use up leftover yarn. I'm not quite ready to make a big scrapghan. I'm cool with scrap quilts but I haven't been very enamored with scrap afghans. Hats seem like a good option and I can donate them.
The one above was started a week or so ago and now it's finished. This one is probably best for a chemo center. The yarn is so soft that I think it would feel great on a bald head. This is the pattern I followed. I like the pattern and her instructions are good but making my first hat out of velvet yarn probably wasn't a great idea.
Then I decided to find a pattern for 3 weight yarn so that I could use the Mandala yarn that was leftover from the granny square blanket.I picked another pattern from Bag-O-Day on Youtube. This was much better pattern for a beginner. I made it complex by changing colors for the ribbed rows but it still only took a few hours to make.
This one is made large with the intention of donating it some place that serves men. It would fit a big head! You can see that it's pretty big on me but it turned out much better than I expected.
Then I made a smaller size from more of the leftover yarn. I'm please that these turned out at all but, now that they are done, I don't think 3 weight yarn is great for hats. I'll probably try to find another project for future leftover 3 weight yarns. These hats might or might not find homes. I'm not sure if they would be really useful but I'll ask a friend who would know. Either way, I now know the basics of how to make a hat and that was the original goal. Also, I actually enjoy making hats!
While Kim was out for an appointment I made 4 of the string blocks just to see how they will look. It would probably be more striking if the center string was bolder but I think it's going to work fine.
Lady might or might not approve. It's hard to tell.
and another day at the beach! It's hard to tell in this photo but it was windy as heck yesterday. The night before was worse. We had a storm come through after midnight that was wild. I could feel the house AND my bed shake. Yesterday morning I learned that there was a tornado in a county south of us so I've decided to consider us lucky. The wind did calm down a bit in the afternoon for another barefoot walk on the beach with jacket and hat. You can easily identify all the New Yorker's here because they are on the beach in shorts.
I remember ages ago when I graduated college in March. A group of us headed to Myrtle Beach to celebrate. It was freezing cold to us but the Canadians were all swimming in the ocean. We never took off our sweaters on the beach.
I did finally start doing some cutting for a veterans quilt last night but mostly I've been crocheting. When I get near the end of a project I like to get it done and this one was so close. I love how it turned out. Here are the details:
Granny Square about 32" square
Yarn is Lion Brand Mandala in color Mermaid, 3 balls
Hook size H
This will be doanted to a local charity
For this one I managed the color changes instead of just stitching the yarn continuous and letting the colors fall wherever. It meant that I rolled a lot of balls of the individual color but it was so worth it. I had a bit of yarn leftover because I didn't want any partial rounds but I have plans for that yarn.
I finished it off with 2 rows of single crochet. There wasn't enough of the light turquoise or white to do double crochet. I like the extra structure that it added to the blanket and I wanted the white as the final row. I think it worked out really nice.
I do still need to block this when I get home.
Here's the leftover yarn and I'm already working on beanie. I expect I can get 3 from this and I'll donate all of them somewhere.
Today will be more about sewing but I might get one of these done.
No bin news today. Chris has started the front of the floor cloths. He'll do one coat a day so they will be done this week. We will probably leave them in the guest house for a week to get all the polyurethane smell out of them.
Yesterday I took Mom to a Dr appointment, picked up a big stack of veterans quilts and quilt tops from one of our club members and took my oath to be an elections official for the next 3 years. In between, I've made a little progress on a few things.
A few more rounds to the baby blanket. The coloring in this photo is horrid. Take my word for it that it looks better than this. It will get 4 more sections in the 4 blue colors and I'll probably finish it off with white.
As I've been working on this I realized that I'm going to have some yarn leftover and I thought I might try my hand at some hats to donate. Maybe to community organization or to hospitals for chemo patients.
That side-tracked me to this yarn leftover from the last baby quilt. I have 2+ balls of this left and I thought that it might be really soft and comfy for chemo patients. I found a pattern at the Bag-O-Day YouTube site that I'm giving a try. If it works I'll share a link when this is finished. It it works it's going to be a REALLY soft hat.
I have yarn from 2 other projects that I think I might make into scarves to donate. I do not like having leftover yarn hanging around!
Yesterday afternoon I finished quilting this pair of veterans quilts. I'll try to get the cutting table cleared today so I can trim them and share them tomorrow.
...because I don't have anything else to share. I was on such a mission to get the floor cloths done that I haven't done much of anything else. But in the evenings I've been doing a little crochet. This is Lion Brand Mandala yarn and this time I'm actually managing the color changes. I bought 3 balls so that I'd have enough to do that. It might be the last time that I go to that much trouble but so far it really hasn't been a hassle and I'm loving the look. The color is called Mermaid.
After a dentist appointment this morning and meeting with a contractor this afternoon, I hope to get back to working on my stars this evening.
January is turning into a good month for veterans quilts. I finished 2 more for a total of 6 so far. If all goes to plan I'll have 2 more by Sunday to finish out the month. I also finished a long tern crochet project this week.
These are the 2 veterans quilts. Betty made the disappearing 4-patch. I love how she arranged the grays in a gradient of sorts. Mom made the scrappy one. She's really trying to empty her bin of 2.5" squares but it doesn't seem to be working all that well! That's good news for the veterans.
I was tired of my 2 or 3 normal pantographs so I pulled out this one for a change of pace. I don't remember what it's called but it goes fast and creates some really nice texture o the back.
I also finally finished this crochet project! This is the most involved (and most expensive) project that I've done so far. I started this blanket in August. Per the pattern, Daisy Farm Crafts Crochet Ribbed Diamond, I needed 3 balls of the Bernat Baby Velvet. I went to Michaels and bought them. The pattern is worked in sets of rows to make diamonds. I have 8 sets of diamonds in the length of my blanket. Well, I got through one ball of yarn and was only through 1 set of diamonds. Something was really wrong! I had bought small balls, I needed big balls. Isn't that always the case? The balls are never quite the right size.
I put the blanket aside for a few months because I realized that to finish it, this blanket was going to cost over $45. That's a lot more than I want to spend for a donation blanket. But I also didn't want to have a partially finished blanket around as a UFO. I think it was in November that I pulled this out and decided to finish it.
It finished at about 30" x 33".
The pattern is worked in front and back post double crochet and the pattern is easy to follow after the first few rows. There are a few mistakes but this yarn is so forgiving that I didn't bother to undo anything to go back and fix them. Besides, it's a baby blanket that will likely have bodily excretions on it so a front-post-instead-of-a-back-post stitch isn't of any real consequence. What's important is how incredibly soft this blanket is!
It's really hard to get the color right in these photos but this one is probably closest. The faux-ribbed border is also just a series of front and back post double crochet stitches. Doing three of those stitches in each corner with this bulky yarn was a bit of a challenge bit it worked out.
I can't recommend Daisy Farm Crafts patterns enough. They are so well written and they have great tutorial videos to go along with. One of the gifts my friend bought me for Christmas was their lovely new book. I will make one of their gingham blankets soon.
You can see in this photo just how thick this blanket is. I'll likely not donate this one. It will be a good one to keep around for a gift should any of our friends or relatives have babies arriving.
I've already started the next blanket. I needed easy and there's nothing easier than a granny square.
We had some really beautiful weather Saturday and we had a lovely walk in light jackets. The weather is what I love most about Virginia. July and August are mostly miserable with heat and humidity but we get some breaks of mild weather and, where I live, we don't get a lot of hurricane or tornado activity. September - December is generally very pleasant. January and February are cold, but like the summer, there are mild days that often get up to the 60's, like Saturday. The are great days for taking walks and catching up with the neighbors. March - June in Virginia is generally glorious.
The rest of the weekend was pretty darned focused for me and I got lots of things done or started.
I got an immediate start on veterans quilts. My goal every year is to quilt 40 of them. I only have 38 to go! I have several other longarmers in the group to help out now so we should be covered if they have another year of 100+ quilts. This one was made by Mom. She keeps trying to deal with her bin of squares but she doesn't seem to ever use them up.
I'm not sure who did this one. I couldn't really see the pattern when it was on the quilting frame but once I hung it up and stood back I got it! That's quite a "wow" of a quilt.
I have certainly gotten my money's worth on this pantograph. It's one of my 3 favorites to use on veterans quilts for obvious reasons.
I had planned to load my postage stamp quilt next but I've decided to wait on my two custom quilts because I've given myself the gift of the Freehand Feather class with Betheanne Nemesch. I know that I want to feather both of those quilts so I'll concentrate on mostly veterans quilts for a couple of months. Next on the frame is this big quilt that Mom made. I think it's about 95" square. With both the busy front and back the quilting will never show on this quilt so it's getting a pantograph.
I haven't checked in with a crochet update in a couple of weeks and I do have some things in progress. This blanket is my "car" blanket. This is the third blanket that I've made in this DC/chain combo pattern and it's easy to do in the car. I added a few rows last week when we went to Amherst VA for a hike with friends.
In front of the TV I'm working on this blanket. I started it in Maine but quickly realized that I had not bought enough yarn. I bought more yarn so it's back in progress. The pattern is from Daisy Farm Crafts. It's front and back post double crochet and is easy to do once you are past the first few rows. The yarn is Bernat Baby Velvet and I really like working with it.
The color is closer to this. It's kind of a seafoam green and it's sooooooo soft.
I love the patterns from Daisy Farm Crafts. They are so well written and the video tutorials are easy to follow.
I other news I've decided to participate in the Rainbow Scrap challenge this year. I'll have a post about it later this week when I've gotten organized. I expect that I will start 2 projects this month and I'm cool with that.
We had a lovely Christmas week last week. We got to spend some time with different family members throughout the week and got to see a few friends. It was lovely. Chris made a wonderful Christmas dinner for me and Mom and we're still consuming some of the leftovers. In between I made a lot of progress on my last Christmas gift and might even finish today and I finally got back to doing some crochet in the evenings.
I had to take a crochet break for several weeks because the joints in my left hand became very inflamed from likely Lyme disease. Three weeks of anitbiotics seems to have fixed my hand and now I'm trying to replenish the microbes that the antibiotics destroyed. Nothing is ever "all good" is it? Everything is a tradeoff. This tradeoff allowed me to pick up my crochet hook again and finally finish off this blanet.
The inspiration for this blanket came from Mary. I had purchased some of this Mandala Ombre yarn and I loved how her blanket looked using the same yarn. The stitch is called linen stitch or seed stitch and if you go to her post you will see links to tutorials for doing the stitch. But it's simply alternating single crochet and chain. The single crochet is done over the chain of the previous row. The color that I used is called Balance. I absolutely love this yarn. I think it's my favorite so far. It is soooo soft and so easy to work with. It does make a heavier blanket but it feels fabulous.
I chained 141 stitches and kept going until I had used up 3 balls. For these blankets I don't shoot for a specific size. My goal is to have no leftover yarn.
After I finished the 3 balls I had a width and length proportion that I liked but I also had an extra ball of yarn. I decided to simply use the extra ball as a border and after searching for border ideas for about an hour, I decided that continuing with the linen stitch would be best and I love the effect.
The blanket ended up being about 34 x 40" using 4 balls of the Mandala Ombre. I thin that's a pretty perfect baby blanket size.
This picture give you a better idea of how the color changes in the yarn. That one skinny purple row at the bottom is the first row of the border. I tried to make sure that the border color wasn't the same as the top or bottom rows.
That's my 14th crochet blanket this year. I'm really surprised that I made so many. I think they have mostly been donated to a local women's shelter and I hope that they have made people happy.
and it's still raining! I apologize to all residents of central Virginia. I knew it was bad luck to wash 2 cars on the same day and here's my punishment. Before I explain this photo know that our house is perched , basically, on a cliff so that grassy edge you see there is actually a drop and I'm taking this photo from the second story. So there's absolutely no chance of water getting anywhere near our house. The black line should be the edge of our property but you can see here why we call that area the flood plain.
Here's one edge of the property. Both side property lines are basically drainage ditches that are often dry. Not today! We actually have a waterfall.
I actually hate drenching steady rainstorms like this. It reminds me too much of the rain that we got in 1972 from Hurricane Agnes when our neighborhood was flooded. It rained heavy and for hours. There were fears of the dam breaking so they had to open the flood gates and it surely flooded. We got 2 - 3 feet of water in our basement and an entire beach full of sand dumped in our backyard. What was a little 15 foot wide creek behind our house turned into a river about 200 yards wide. It was miserable and I have hated steady heavy rainfall ever since. I can't sleep through it, I have to wear earplugs. It's the reason that I always will try to live on a hill. Give me a thunderstorm any day. I sleep like a baby during thunderstorms.
Plus we have satellite internet and TV and it's been hit and miss for 2 days. I was finally able to get in to do this post. The weather should be clearing up later today. Virginia is definitely not in a drought this year. Chris, my personal climatologist, says that we have received about 160% of our annual average rainfall this year. I believe it because the yard has been a mud pit all year. I'm glad my hobbies are mostly inside!
Yesterday was dyeing day so I didn't get a ton of time at my hobbies but now that the quilt is done I'm back to the crochet. Let me just say again that I LOVE this Lion Brand Mandala Ombre yard. I'm almost at the end of the first of 4 balls. I'll be able to put a border on this one.
Here's my first Spirograph design on the floor cloths. I've done more but it was raining too hard to go out and get photos. More to come on this project.
My main goal today is to get the last 2 veterans quilts quilted. We have quilt club sewing days tomorrow and Saturday so I'll take the finished veteran quilts to the owners for binding. Most of them will be at sewing tomorrow or the meeting Tuesday.
This is my biggest blanket to date coming in at about 40 x 55. I determine the size of the blanket I make by how much yarn I have. I don't like to have leftover yarn.
This one is made with Caron Jumbo Yarn, 2 balls in the color Easter Basket. I do not really love the effect of the color changing with this particular yarn. I think something more subtle like Baby Rainbow would have been better. I doubt if I would use this yarn again. It does crochet up really nice, no splitting, but it's a little stiff for my taste. But it's quite warm which will be nice on winter evenings for someone.
This is my car travel pattern because it's so easy. I put it against some yellow fabric so you can see. It's simply double crochet and chain stitches. It's done in sets of 6 stitches with a 3 row repeat. I don't remember where the pattern came from. I seem to have it memorized now since I'm already on my 3rd one.
What saved this blanket, in my opinion, is the white border. It calmed it down a little. I first did SC around the edge in the main yarn and then switched to the white. I had intended to do one more round of white double crochet but ran out of yarn. That meant that it was finished! Crab stitch in the Caron yarn completed it and made the white border look like it really was meant to be on the blanket.
With it now all done with the border I'm a lot happier with it. I'm itching to start another one but now I need to focus on the binding of the giant quilt first. I'll hold the crochet project out as a reward for finishing the binding.
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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.