Yes, I am slow as molasses at quilting but I do eventually get to the finish line!
I'm not quite done yet but I'm closer. All the pink blocks are quilted!
That includes the border sections as well.
I know these photos are so incredibly boring and, yes, I am having some regret over my thread choices but I remind myself that this is a bed quilt, not a show quilt. It's going to be just fine and I know that Kim will love it. I know that because Anne told me that Kim is excited about getting the quilt. I'd love to get this wrapped up by the end of October. Now that I've thrown that out as a deadline maybe I'll be just a little more motivated.
Today is dyeing day and I'm really excited that shibori is finally on the schedule again!
I finally got a little focused and got some things done this weekend. The weather has also finally started to turn cool so we were about to get out Saturday for a brisk 5 mile walk. Chris is a foot taller than me so all walks with him are brisk for me! But after the walk and breakfast I was ready to get down to some work.
I finished the 3rd set of blocks for my Summer Sunset quilt so 3 of 8 star points are done. This is not a fast project but it's great to work on while listening to a good book.
I got 2 more rows of the pink blocks quilted on Kim's Garden. I have one more row of flower blocks and the pink border blocks and then I can move on to the yellow blocks. I'm very happy with how this is coming along. But it's also a slow project. So for the next few weeks you are likely to see nothing but these two projects. It's probably going to get a bit boring around here.
The 4 bolts of wide backing fabric that I ordered for veterans quilts came in so yesterday I cut one bolt and dyed 7 quilt backs. That will make 14 quilts. I already have tops for 4 of them! I'll get these washed today and started soaking. They need to be done by the time that I start dyeing again Wednesday.
I don't have any big plans this week so I hope to keep making progress on these 2 projects.
I got the flower quilt loaded back on the longarm this weekend and started quilting the flower blocks. Yay! I'm going to do 2 different fills and this is what I'm going to use in the pink blocks. This quilt also has a new home now! My friend Kim loves it. I got to hang out with her Saturday for a while and this is now her quilt. I think it's going to be named for one of her grandmothers but I don't remember the name. But I'll get that straight before it's time to put a label on it. My goal is to get the pink blocks quilted before we leave and then I can finish it in September.
I've also officially started a new quilt! I've been wanting to make a quilt based on the Summer Sunset gradient for a very long time. I bought this pattern 2 years ago so it's finally time to start it. I'm going to take this on vacation too but I'm going to try to get at least 1 sample block made this week and cut some of the strips for the foundation piecing. I'm going to use the gradient as a border so that the quilt will be big enough for our bed. The pattern calls for a LOT of fabric. There's a total of 26 yards there so when this quilt is done there will be a few "leftover" projects to follow. The pattern is Mardi Gras by Vector Quilts. The printed foundation are done on fabric that can be left in the quilt so no papers to tear!
My focus this week is getting ready for the trip. I want to get the car crochet project started so that I'm not fiddling with the foundation chain in a moving car. I also want to get this quilt started. Otherwise, I'll be packing.
I was not nearly as productive this weekend as I planned. I "relaxed" a lot! But first I stacked more wood. I don't have a photo to show but we now have almost enough wood to get us through winter. Today the chimney people are here re-lining the flue to the wood stove. I'm glad we get it inspected every year, otherwise we would not have known that it was cracked. It's about 9000° outside but we are ready for winter! I feel really bad for the guys working on the roof but I've been trying to get as much home/car stuff done as possible during covid to give our local businesses as much work as possible.
I didn't waste the entire weekend. I got this top together. It's a veterans quilt top and the print fabrics are Kaffe Ikat fabrics leftover from a project my friend made. I barely eeked this quilt out of those scraps. The purple and green hand dyes are leftover from other projects that I made. I didn't have enough of either for the whole quilt but, now that it's done, I think I like it better with the 2 colors. I think it looks manly enough for our veterans. It's in the to-be-quilted pile for now.
I also got in a few solid hours on this quilt. I have 2 rows (out of 8) of the cross hatching diamonds done. But doing that I inflamed my left wrist again. I talked about it back in March when it flared up while doing crochet. I did most of this quilting on Friday and I couldn't do any Saturday. My pinkie finger was swollen and, well, everything from my wrist down hurt.
This is why. I love ruler work best of all kinds of quilting but if I do it too long my old broken wrist flares up. I wanted to quilt some yesterday so I decided that I needed to figure out a way to change how I quilt.
The best option is to quilt with my right hand controlling the ruler. It's awkward but I'll get used to it with some practice and it's a skill worth developing if it gives me more quilting time.
To make it work for my left hand I needed the handle to be bigger so that my grip wouldn't be tight. Here's my kluged answer! I actually covered it with a cardboard tube so that I don't mess up the thread. I got 2 more blocks quilted after I rigged this up and I think it's going to work fine. From past experience I know that it's going to take weeks for my left hand to calm down again but that's OK now.
My goals for this week are to finish a baby blanket and quilt on this quilt a lot. Our quilt club is meeting tomorrow (outside) and I can't wait to see everyone again.
Virginia heat and humidity are here for the summer and that means a lot of staying in the rest of the summer. I don't garden (indoor or out) so I can focus my time on sewing, quilting, crochet and glass. this weekend was sewing and quilting-centric with a little side trip to visit my brother. It sure is nice having he and my SIL closer so that I can make quick afternoon visits. I also got to visit my friend, Marcy, to pretend like I was helping her upgrade the tensioner on her longarm. Really, we just visited and chatted because she had it all done already.
While there Marcy pulled out a box of (mostly) acrylic yarn. I brought it home to see if there was any that I could use. I'll box up the rest and take it back to her. She uses it when she teaches knitting. I don't really want to build a yarn stash but a few extra skeins will be OK, right?
I got this veterans quilt to together. This is the last of the Paula Nadelstern scrap fabrics for now. The next one is another Blockade with hand dyes and Kaffe shot cotton.
When I used to teach longarm quilting I spent a lot of time trying to help people get over their anxiety about starting a quilt. I had a few points that I wanted to make:
- remember, it's just a quilt, you aren't going to kill it
- if it's a bed quilt, it's more important to get it done than that it have the most absolutely perfect design
- save your anxiety for show quilts
I had to coach myself through this one. I had to remind myself that it isn't a show quilt. In fact, it's not really a quilt that I like all that much. I hate pink. I made this to occupy myself while watching football and traveling. It will most likely be gifted.
With that little pep talk I reminded myself that I like 2 kinds of quilting: ruler work and dense fills. So I just started and I got 2 corner and 1 border done. Those empty triangles will have the same fill patterns that I put behind the flower blocks. The empty diamonds will have 1/2" cross-hatching. I'm trying not to quilt too densely even though my tendency would be 1/4" lines.
I'm happy to be moving along on it and now I look forward to time at the machine. No more stress!
I won't be quilting a lot this week because I'm going to do some mosaic! My friend build a pizza oven and we are going to mosaic it this week. I should be able to post our daily progress but if not, you'll hear from me Friday when I return.
but I'm getting close.
Honestly, my primary accomplishment the past 2 days was getting a homeowners claim made for some chimney repair on the woodstove chimney. We get it cleaned and inspected ever year because you never know when something is going to happen. This is the "something" year and the something is a cracked liner. I have to say that I've never had an easier claim! USAA is THE BEST insurance company. The chimney people had supplied me with great documentation and from filing to check issuance took less than 2 hours. I once got mad at USAA when we first started doing Airbnb and I tried to get quotes from other companies to switch carriers. Not one other company would even give me a quote. Most wouldn't even return my calls. Now I know why. They have always been great with auto claims but this was our first homeowners claim. It's nice to know they will be there if we ever need them for a serious (expensive) claim.
I've been doing a bunch of other house administrative things too but I think I have those distractions covered for a while and it's back to quilting and other pursuits.
I did get all the Blockade blocks pressed and trimmed and I'm ready to put this together. The cleaner comes today so I need to get it off the floor before she arrives.
I have gotten the purple air erasable pen out and have started working on some ideas for the flower quilt. I know what I'm doing in the blocks and I have the thread picked for that. It's the borders that I need to figure out. They are 13" wide so there needs to be something big in there. I don't know what that is yet but I feel like the idea is starting to gel.
Today is dyeing day though and I'm off to do some new shibori!
The plan was to do my fabric dyeing yesterday. Mom left around 2 and I got busy prepping all the fabric. Then a friend came by to drop off things for the food pantry and we sat outside a talked a while. The grass had been mowed in the morning so that might be why I had a monumental allergic reaction as soon as I cam inside. Now my allergies aren't nearly as bad as they were 10 years ago but it did take 4 Benedryl in an hour and 1 every couple of hours after that to get it under control. That much Benedryl is nothing for me, there was a period of about 15 years when I took 16 every day. But the combination of the allergy and the Benedryl impaired my math and concentration skills so dyeing was off for the day.
Fortunately my boss is easy and the schedule can change. Today is now dyeing day but since everything is ready to go it should only take a few hours and then I can get the everything ready for my brother's arrival tomorrow and get some quilting in.
There was a time in my life when an allergy attack would last days and take a phenomenal amount of drugs to resolve. I'm lucky now that it's usually a few hours at most and most times it's just an annoyance.
Even in a drug fog yesterday wasn't a loss. Last night I loaded and started quilting 2 veterans quilts. These are 2 that I cut out and Peg sewed. I should have these finished tonight.
I have 2 more sets ready to quilt. Once I get these done I'll be caught up.
This week has turned out to be a lot busier than I expected. Yesterday started with a 5 mile walk. The rest of the day was shuttling 2 cars back and forth from the mechanic, then Mom and I washed her car and I had to photograph all the tea towel sets and send out the email. But Mom is going home today and I really wanted to get one of her quilts quilted before she left. That meant it needed to be easy and fast.
At about 10 last night this one was finished and trimmed. Of course I love this quilt because it's made with a bunch of hand dyed scraps! The blue border was left over from another project. She based the design on my Catena quilt that hangs in my living room (that's really my Spirograoh studio right now.)
It was fun to reminisce as I looked over the fabrics. This one is left over from the border of my Crossing The South Anna quilt.
There are several bits of my "waste" fabric in the quilt. This one is from the making of the Sundance gradient.
This purple and green fabric is leftover border fabric from one of my favorite quilts that Mom made. I quilted that quilt so I have photos of the whole quilt here.
I decided on a spiral motif because it's fast. I don't really like quilting spirals. For me they are difficult to travel with and to space evenly but if I don't fuss over it too much they move along and make a nice overall texture. The top thread is Superior Rainbows and the bobbin thread is So Fine. Mom is happy with it so that's all that matters!
The backing is a batik that was given to her by the husband of a sewing buddy who passed away last year. Rita was such a nice lady and I'm sure she would be happy to know that some of her VAST fabric collection is being used!
Today is dyeing day so I may not have anything to post tomorrow. If not, I'll be back Friday with the May book reviews.
My big chore for the weekend is to get the taxes together. For an accountant, I dread this chore a lot more than I should. I stopped doing our taxes years ago when I did the state taxes wrong 3 years in a row (we kept getting a second check) and I couldn't figure out what I was doing wrong. Even in college I would complain to the Dean (a restaurant customer of mine) that tax accounting belonged in a whole separate curriculum. I still believe that. It's not accounting. It's completely illogical.
Anyway, it's my chore and after that I'm going to immerse myself in penguins and yarn de-stashing.
This week I've been making a little progress on the next baby afghan. This granny square stitch is rally easy and fast. I now know why it's so popular. It would be great for working on a plan or in a car.
This is how much yarn is left. I intend to use every inch of it so I'll splice in those bits of pink and green on the side. I really don't think it will take very long to finish this, it's going really quickly.
I've also been trying to figure out how I will quilt the postage stamp quilt. I don't intend to enter this quilt because it will be so huge but I'd like the quilting to be nice. I don't need to be in a hurry though because finding a king size black batting is next to impossible. I've found one place to order it but I'd have to get 2. I found another shop and did place an order but they canceled it a refunded me. I'm now trying to see if a local shop will order it for me.
Meanwhile I ponder the quilting.
I printed off a pale copy of the quilt and slide it into a page protector and can do my drawing on the page protector. This is the idea that I've had in my head all along. Spirograph circles floating behind the postage stamps. It didn't take long for me to realize that this is a really bad idea. There's just too much going on and it would take FOREVER to quilt.
I'd like this quilt on my bed sometime before I die.
So then I started thinking more traditional, focusing on the black spaces.
The first idea was the wreath. I envision it in bright colored thread to stand out on the black. I'm planning to CC the postage stamps and I could carry that in the black to the edge of the wreath. I like that OK but then I thought about using the edge of the black diamond instead and I really like that. I'm thinking I could even do a connecting diamond in the postage stamps too.
This is where I left off with ideas. You are welcome to give my your ideas too! I've got plenty more thinking time before I start this quilt.
It's quilted and trimmed! I'm starting binding today.
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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.