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.
We had another great weekend with our friends visiting. Ian and I took a city hike Thursday night that was about 4.7 miles with almost 900 steps! It was quite a workout and had some great views of Richmond. We found the hike through a local hiking meetup group. We had a visit from our friend's dogs Friday, a party Saturday and 4 football games. It was a busy weekend. We always have a lot of fun when Laura and Ian visit.
But I did get in a bit of quilting time while Laura was knitting and I finished quilting Groovy. I'm glad I decided to do a simple pantograph so it wouldn't take a ton of work or, more importantly, thought.
Here are 3 of my favorite blocks and, if you click on one, you can see the pantograph design. We all love this quilt I look forward to using it this summer once. But I have to get the binding and label done first. The binding is my task for today.
Meanwhile, Laura and I have been working in EQ to design a quilt for her newly-redecorated bedroom. This is the design we settled on. The center is from an old book called Shadow Quilts. The fabrics have been dyed and we are just waiting on finishing the processing to get started.
But she has another quilt project too! Mom is coming over tomorrow to teach her Stack-N-Whack. We bought fabric for that this weekend too. One was a turquoise batik and it's been soaking 48 hours so far to get it to stop bleeding. Turquoise always bleeds at least 48 - 72 hours. She might start this one later this week. The SNW will probably be her first priority.
For me, priority is binding.
We are having a great time with our friends here from England. They will be here until the first week in February so I'm not stressing myself to actually get things done. But when Laura is sewing or they are out hanging out with other friends, I get in a little quilting or something. My next focus is on getting Groovy done. I'm loading it on the longarm today and will start quilting it this weekend.
I'm going to use the same pantograph that I used on the first Groovy quilt.
But I'm using a different batting. This quilt will be our summer quilt so the batting is a flannel sheet. It makes for a nice, lightweight quilt. There won't be any real definition in the quilted surface because it will be so flat but it will be perfectly comfortable in July and August.
We're also designing a quilt for Laura to make and once we have the pattern and colors settled I'll share it.
Mom's hand surgery went really well and didn't take nearly as long as we expected. We think that they tell everyone to arrive at the same time and then just call people in on a first come, first served basis. The procedure on her knuckle took all of 5 minutes but she had 30 minutes of prep time including making her totally undress! Bizarre.
While I waited I worked on my EQ lesson book and learned a few new things. I'll share after I finish teh second lesson that I was working on.
Back at home I have the Groovy quilt loaded. I forgot to take a photo of the spiral tie dyed back so you'll have to wait until it's done to see that.
The recipient of this quilt is my friend's husband, Jamie. He loves tie dye and he really, really loves green. The backing is shades of green so I also picked green threads.
This panto might be a tad feminine but I like the swirl effect with the spiral of the back so I'm going with it. The quilt is loaded and ready for quilting. Tomorrow and Saturday are sewing days with my quilt club but I might be able to get some quilting done in the evenings. During the day I'll be working on the Hunter's Star veterans quilt. There's a possibility that I can get the top together in 2 days of sewing.
One I finished all of the marbles on my quilt I was doubly inspired to get it finished so I jumped right in to work out background quilting.
of course my nature is to quilt something really dense but I ultimately want this to be a bed quilt and I had to take that in consideration. The quilting also had to be simple and fast because I really want to get it done. I'm tired of looking at it.
I decided in a mix of pebbles (to continue the circle theme) and wavy lines.
The quilt is a diagonal gradient of light to dark browns. I picked 3 shades of brown Wonderfil Deco-Bob thread for the quilting. It will completely blend into the background so the quilting will just show as texture.
This is the best photo that I was able to get to show off the texture. I"m really happy with it and am excited to get it finished. I got through about half if it this weekend and am about ready to start with the darkest thread. I can't believe that this quilt is going to be wrapped up soon!
Well, except for blocking, binding and a label. There's still all of that left to do.
I should have a lot of time to devote to this quilt this week. I only have a dentist appointment tomorrow and shooting practice Thursday. At some point I need to go shopping for a suitable tile to finish off the dye sink backsplash. I don't think I'll find the exact blue penny glass but I should be able to find something reasonably close.
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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