The feather quilting class that I'm taking with Bethanne Nemesch ends today. We will have access to watch the videos again throughout May but today is the last class. I have really enjoyed this format so much more than an in-person class. I like being able to watch the lessons and practice on my own schedule and to be able to do it on my machine. I started practicing on just plain fabric loaded on the machine but I've always hated practicing that way. I have a strong need to make everything I do "useful". So I switched to practicing on the veterans quilts. Three of them have now been done very fancy with feathers!
Here's the latest one. The block format of this quilt made it a natural for square feathered wreaths.
Bethanne says that she uses this ribbon feather motif on many of her Quilts of Valor and, now that I've used it, I'd say it's perfect! I believe that I've now quilted about 20 feathered wreaths WITH CENTERS! I'm pretty darned pleased with my wreath centers now.
Here's the back. I alternated the direction of the feathers and I think that created a cool pattern where the edges of the wreaths meet.
I was in a little more of a hurry to get the second one done so it got a continuous curves treatment. I got them quilted, trimmed and photographed before we left for dinner with friends.
Here's how the CC quilting looks on the back. The secondary patterns created with CC quilt are always cool to see.
I also won an bobbin chicken. It was a good day all around!
Well, I didn't make it to sewing with my quilt club. I started having some big allergic reaction Thursday and decided not to go because I didn't want to freak out anyone with my sneezes and sniffles. How do I know for sure it was allergies? Hives and abnormally low temperature (97.0). That's allergy. It was mostly cleared up by last night and it didn't keep me from being productive although there were a couple of Benedryl naps.
The biggest accomplishment of the weekend was getting Mom's quilt quilted. The quilt was started by a friend who passed away a couple of years ago. It was supposed to be a Yellow Brick Road. After getting the whole quilt together she didn't like it. She took it apart and added the 3 sold borders and the coins border on the edge. It finished at 102" square and this is how it looks on a queen bed.
The color in this photo isn't quite right. I love the backing fabric hat she picked but I had to add another few inches on one edge because the backing fabric was exactly the width of the quilt. I'm glad I don't have to bind it!
I also got back to the floor cloths after more than a month away. I can only do this about an hour at a time because I'm so sensitive to the Sharpie fumes. I wear a respirator and run a fan but that only helps so much. It's just as well because crawling around on the floor isn't the most comfortable thing to do at 60. During this session I added the 2 small motifs on the left and added 2 squiggly motifs on the right. I have some elements that can be snapped together for different shapes and that's how these were done. In some future posts I'll try to remember to take some photos of the set up for some of the special shapes.
Because there were good football games to watch this weekend I decided to finally tackle this mess. It's my dye binder with all of my recipes and it's become a huge mess.
During the games I alternated between working on the book and doing some crochet. Once I get the book cleaned up it will save me a ton of time on Wednesdays. This chore should have been done 2 years ago.
The crochet blanket is over half done. My goals for this week are to work on Summer Sunset and the floor cloths.
Actually it was the same word three times....loudly. Then I laughed.
After inspecting the quilt for anything that needed to be fixed, I removed the zippers and within 30 seconds found this!
Seriously, how did I quilt 4 blocks around this diamond (because the diamonds were what I quilted first) and not see that I had an incomplete block?
Back to the quilting frame. I was able to roll the quilt on the back bar and use the PVC clamps on the front to hold it steady enough to get that section quilted. I knew there was a reason I hadn't loaded another quilt yet!
Now it's trimmed and the binding is ready. I'll need to clear off the Summer Sunset blocks from my sewing table so I can stitch this 5 miles of binding. But that will wait until we get back from hiking.
The next crochet project is this gingham blanket pattern from Daisy Farm Crafts. I did this first swatch using the hook sizes recommended in the pattern but I don't think it's going to work. This swatch feels like it would make a better rug than blanket. So bought a "L" hook yesterday to try another swatch and see if I like it better. I've got the new swatch started but I can't quite tell yet.
Today I'll get next week's giveaway posts scheduled and maybe get another quilt loaded or maybe make some more progress on the Spirograph. Tomorrow will be food prep for the trip and we leave Sunday morning. By Monday night I might be regretting the trip all together after a 10 mile hike! Enjoy the giveaway posts while I'm away and I'll see you in 10 days with all the winners!
Well, here it is off the frame and spread over a queen size bed.
It's really, really big! I'm please with the way it looks on the bed. Kim says that if it's too big for her bed she will buy a new bed. She would actually do that.
At this point the zippers are still attached in case I need to do any repairs.
Inspecting the stitching on the back was not easy! I liked this backing when I bought it but I didn't like it much yesterday.
So far the only thing I've discovered is this little pleat which will stay exactly where it is. I don't think I'd ever be able to find it again! Next I'll trim it and start the binding. I'll hand stitch the binding so that might take MONTHS.
Next up for quilting is something simple. This is a quilt that Mom made to give someone who works in her apartment building. It's going to get an easy pantograph. After that I have over 14 veterans quilt tops needing quilting!
Don't forget to check in every day next week for daily giveaways!
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!
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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.