It's late Thursday evening while I write this and my allergies are messed up but I want to get this posted before I turn in so pardon me if it's a little disjointed or full of typos. But as a consolation there are lots of photos! I spent the day getting the cat quilt ready for quilting and that turned into quite the grueling task.....because, you know, I get IDEAS.
The cat quilt has 3 borders. One blue border was already added, then there's a print border and finally another blue border. Simple, right? It was until I got the great idea that the print border had to be totally symmetrical. These 2 photos are of the same print fabric with strips of the blue positioned to highlight stripes so I could choose what I wanted. The left is lengthwise and the right is crosswise. I chose the left one in the right side photo.
I needed 8 strips, 2 for each side. I think those 2 spots look like cat eyes. This border had to be planned from the corners to the middle so that meant that the whole border had to be constructed like a frame and then stitched onto the quilt. It was a little overwhelming but I just took it one step at a time.
First I made all 4 corners and they are stitched to within 1/4" of the inside corner so that I can stitch it onto the quilt like a Y seam. Next I had to do a bunch of math, some of it really bad, to figure out how long each leg would need to be to meet up with the next corner so that the join was a symmetrical design. My brain was hurting during this part and I made a bunch of mistakes and I completely forgot to take more photos. I was smart enough to make all of my join seams with a long stitch length until I knew that I had it just right. I even stitched two wrong legs together once and wound up with and S shape instead of a frame.
Here's I've finally got it all the frame seams basted and the frame pinned to the quilt top. As I sewed the frame in sections I'd stop to stitch the join seams and trim the excess fabric.
Here are the joins: corner, top/bottom and sides. It's PERFECTLY symmetrical. I will admit that this border ended up a little wavy but I was able to reign it in with the final blue border and a good steam press.
Aside from some early morning grocery shopping, this is ALL that I accomplished Thursday. I'm really thrilled! I'm glad I took the extra time to do a symmetrical border. I may be the only person who actually notices it but I don't care. I now know that I can do it. I can't wait to get it quilted and bound and I hope that happens in the next week.
Today I think I'm going to load 2 veterans quilts to quilt up really fast and screen print some tea towels.
I'll admit right up front that making masks isn't a fun task but it's also not fun to be a nurse, delivery person or store cashier right now either. Calls for masks started coming in last week and have continued all weekend. I made this group of 30 Friday night and Saturday morning and they were all gone by Saturday afternoon. 12 went to our local pharmacy and the rest went to family and friends and families of friends. I give one to every delivery person who comes to the house too. Many of these were mailed but we actually got to "visit" with some friends who came to pick theirs up. It would have been funny to watch us all dance around in the driveway passing off a bag of masks but is was good to see friends and chat for a few minutes.
But this batch didn't sate the need so I got back to cutting Saturday night and sewing Sunday morning.
Saturday night I cut out 60 more and got 30 of then sewn together Sunday. I'm down to using tshirt strips for ties but they work just fine. I think people are starting to accept that wearing a mask is the new reality and will be for several more months to come. I'll keep making these as long as they are needed and I know many of you are doing the same. It feels good to be able to do SOMETHING/ANYTHING productive. The next 30 are all in that leaf print fabric. My batik fabric collection is actually getting pretty skimpy.
Over that past week I was able to set aside some time to start the a new quilt.
Now that the penguin quilt is done for my SIL, Carol, it's time to make a quilt for my SIL, JJ. JJ LOVES cats and she liked my cat wall hanging that I made last fall. So I'm doing a large version for her.
First I had to work out the pattern. These are going to be some giant cat heads.finishing at 8 x 10. The pattern that I used for the wall hanging is on the left but I wanted to avoid the trapezoid between the ears. I re-drafted to the one on the right. This way I can cut squares for all the HST pieces.
I split the face into 3 pieces on each side and the symmetry will be straight down the middle on all of them. I'm not going to get into any complex piecing. Here are the pieces cut for the first cat.
Here's the first block. JJ's favorite color is blue so the background is a blue Marbella fabric, also designed by Paula Nadelstern. This will be a total Paula quilt.
Here are the first 4 blocks just placed on a length of the background fabric. I sent this to JJ to get approval before proceeding. She loved it, Mom loved it and Chris loved it so I'm moving on this week to focus on this between mask making sessions.
While I have these fabrics spread all over the sewing room I'm also cutting pieces to finish this quilt that I started a few years ago. All the blocks are supposed to look like they are spinning. This will be a larger version of my Pleiades quilt.
But wait, there's more!
When cutting into the symmetry fabrics the fabric is left looking like Swiss cheese. When there are bits left hanging on the edges that aren't really useful I'm cutting them for a Blockade veterans quilt.We'll see how this goes.
I've also been doing some crochet but just haven't gotten around to taking photos.I'm almost done with the ripple blanket so might get motivated to at least take a completion photo later this week.
Today Chris is going grocery shopping early and taking some masks to the grocery store and then I'll take groceries to my Mom. Her apartment complex is locked down pretty tight. They had a confirmed case last week but, so far, no others. They said that the resident didn't use any of the common facilities (like the restaurant) so I'm guessing that she had some in-home health care. There are a couple of nursing homes here that have had serious infections. Mom is staying in except for a daily walk outside and coming to the gate to get groceries from me. I got her an r95 mask from my craft supplies and goggles.She was a nurse so she knows how to protect herself and she's doing really well and sewing a lot. I'm not feeling very optimistic about the family vacation in May. Although it's a dedicated beach house and there's only 10 of us (in a giant house) I don't know if North Carolina will have the Outer Banks open by then. There's no need to worry about it.
The pollen has been horrendous around here. It seems like everything came out all at once. I'm hoping for rain tomorrow so I can get out in the kayak Wednesday.
I hope you and your family and friends are all safe and well.
This quilt was so much fun to make and I'm not even a cat person! But after making the puppy quilt I felt that the cats needed some representation. The only hard part about this one was deciding where to place the template on the fabric.
This is the second quilt that I made for Paula Nadelstern and this one is for her Where in the World fabric line. You can see more photos and get drafting information for the block in my gallery.
I like this quilt so much that I'm going to make a sofa size one for my sister-in-law, a full-fledged cat lady. I've already purchased the blue Marbella fabric for the background.
Quilt market has finally started and I can now share the quilts that I made for Benartex for Paula Nadelstern's new fabric lines. She has 2 lines this year and this quilt is from one called Artful Snowflake.
It's acutally a quite simple quilt made with 9 9-patch blocks. All of the work is done by the fabric. They have produced that border fabric in other colors in previous lines and it's so wonderful to work with because that's just a simple "slab" border made spectacular with her fabric.
If you want to see more details about this quilt you can check it out in my quilt gallery.
I have seriously accomplished almost nothing the past week while I've been dealing with this jaw pain. I"m not surprised that I'm having the problem. I seem to always have some sort of muscle/tendon pain at all time. Sometimes it's my right knee, sometimes my feet, sometimes my left hip or left wrist or, like now, left shoulder and jaw. Some of it's genetics and some of it is bad habits. I think my current problem is mostly bad habit in the form of my cell phone and tablet so I'm weaning my self off those tools. Maybe if I can get myself to spend less time on the technology tools I'll get more constructive things done!
Over the past week I've spent most of my time holding ice packs to my face and stretching my neck and shoulders but I have made a bit of progress on a couple of projects and one is Pleiades II. Here are a few more block sets that I've cut out this week.
This is, more or less, the layout that I'm going for. The finished quilt might be smaller than this one. It all depends on the number of block sets that I can get out of my current stash. I am not buying more fabric!
Here's how many block sets I have cut out so far. I think this is about half what I need. They aren't arranged in any way yet. I'm just slapping them on the design wall to see how they look so far. A few of these won't make the final cut either. It's slow, but it's coming along.
Because I don't have enough projects in process!
In 2015, Paula Nadelstern asked me to make a quilt for her new book and Pleiades was the result. I like this quilt a lot but I've been wanting to make a larger one with a smaller block size.
I even have a layout that's sort of a swirl effect and cut out a few blocks last year to get started and then haven't touched it since. I've decided that I need to work at it a bit as my "at home" sewing machine project. That's not to be confused with all of my recent "travel" sewing machine projects, longarm quilting projects, mosaic projects, applique project, glass projects and my new garment-making projects. What's one more project?
The block size for the new version is 2" x 4" and I love cutting a bunch of holes in my fabrics.
And I have lots of fabric to choose from! This is my collection of symmetry fabrics and most are Paula Nadelstern's. These are pretty much the only commercial fabrics in my stash.
My cutting station is right here in the floor in front of the fabric cabinet. It's easy to pull things out and put them away between sessions.
I even have this tiny diagram taped to one of the cabinet doors to remind me the direction I want my pinwheels to spin.
So with each fabric I'm looking for a curved line that will give me a spinning effect.
Here's how I cut that fabric.
Some are more successful than others. That one on the left will likely be a reject in the quilt. I don't like the weave effect . I'm happy with the others.
One of these fabrics will be the background and I will need about 55 pinwheels for the design I'm doing. The finished quilt is planned to be about 60" square. I work on it in small bits of time and will share my progress again in a couple of weeks
After I finished Beware of Lust I had some fabric left and was inspired to make something else. I wanted to use 2 backgrounds and 2 of the colorways to create a quilt with a transparency effect.
Wondering Star is simply one star block in EQ blown up to 36". I didn't have enough fabrics left to be fussy about how I cut them. That was actually a good thing because with limited options this quilt came together quickly! I cut the pieces from whatever I had with no concern to how it would look next to it's neighbor.
In this closeup you can see the nice effect of the 2 colorways of prints. The fabrics in each section of the star are cut from the same motifs of 2 of the colorways. I loved this effect and want to do a larger quilt like this.
It's finished off with a Zentangle label and I'll admit that this one idea is totally taken from a Zentangle that I saw on the web.
Now about the names. Every year that I make one of the sample quilts for Paula I try to make some reference to the fabric line name. For Palindromes I named my quilt a palindrome: Murder For A Jar of Red Rum. For Chromazone I found a band name Chromazone and name the quilt after one of their songs: Time in Place.
Clearly, I spent way too much time thinking about names!
For Wonderlust I decided to split the word and use part in the name of each quilt. Wondering Star came first because it was easy. That left me with Lust. The easy answer would have been "Fabric Lust" but why do easy? The I focused back on the quilt.
I had 9 moons.
Nine moons could translate to 9 months.
Nine months makes a baby. Ah ha!
The result was Beware of Lust!
Now don't try to read anything into this. I'm not pro or anti baby. It was simply a train of thought that let me get to the end of these 2 quilts.
I really should simply number my quilts. Life would be so much easier that way!
Quilt Market has happened and Paula Nadelstern's new fabric is out so now I can share my quilts! I have one for today and one for next Friday. Paula's new fabric line is called Wonderlust and you can see all of the fabrics here. Cotton Club is taking pre-orders here.
When I make quilts using Paula's fabrics I rarely use the mandalas or the background fabrics. This year I challenged myself to focus on those specifically.
This quilt could not have been simpler to make. The pattern is the Moon Over The Mountain block. A friend made a MOTM quilt several years ago and that block has always stuck with me. She made hers with hand dyed fabrics before I ever dyed my first piece of fabric. The moon and the mountain are fused and machine appliqued with a zig zag stitch!
Each block is 12" and I used 3 of the Marbella colors for, of course, a gradient effect Each mandala panel has 3 designs and there are 3 colorways. Each colorways is represented in a row and each mandala design is a column. I think it shows off the mandalas really well and I had this together in 2 evenings.
You can see in the first detail shot that the quilting is straight lines with metallic thread.
Of course I had to have a Zentangle label!
Now, for the name. I told you that I made 2 quilts and I like referencing the fabric line name in the quilt make. This one uses the word "lust". You've got a week to think about why I named this quilt "Beware of Lust". The first person to figure it out will win a little prize. I'll explain it next Friday when I share the second quilt.
Those of you who have followed me for more than a year know that I've been making sample quilts for Paula Nadelstern for a few years. I don't get paid. I do it because I love working with her fabrics and I love the challenge of having to create a quilt in a few weeks with a very limited fabric palette.
September is always the time that I work on this and I can't share what I do until Quilt Market is over at the end of October. You can see my previous quilts in my Symmetry Gallery. My favorite of all of the quilts so far is the Zombie Ball Quilt. This year I might be making 2 quilts for no reason other than inspiration.
She always has a fabric of printed mandalas like this one from a couple of years ago. There are also some great texture fabrics. I've never used the mandalas so this year I set a challenge to use the mandala fabric for my quilt.
I can't show you the actual block but this is one of the prototype blocks that I made using last year's fabric. I've always loved the Moon Over The Mountain block and have wanted to make a quilt with it. These mandalas are perfect for it.
I'm formulating an idea for a second quilt (and I can do that because they are only 36" square) so will be working on that the rest of this week and next week. then I will need to get both quilted and bound. They are due mid-October but my self-imposed deadline is September 30. I'll take some breaks to do some other things but if I miss a few days posting over the next 3 weeks it's because I'm working on these quilts....and having a grand time doing it.
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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.