The quilting is done on the postage stamp quilt! I took this photo yesterday evening so the lighting is crap. The point is that it's off the quilting frame! I have to inspect the back and make sure I don't need to make any repairs, but otherwise it's ready for binding!
Here's a sneak peep at the back where you can see the quilting texture. The fabric is much darker than it shows in the photo but you can see the miles of continuous curves that I've been working on.
That's all the news that I have for today.
I did not get too terribly distracted this weekend and stayed focused on the postage stamp quilt. I'm getting so close now that I'm going to have to start thinking of a name.
Look, you can see the end! You can also see all the chalk that I drew all over this quilt. No worries, this one will get a good soaking when it's done. I made this before I knew how to handle bleeding fabric.
The yellow line marks the last row that I quilted. I thought I might finish it yesterday but football started so I had to come upstairs to watch games and iron.
I also made this hat yesterday. When we had lunch with my cousin recently she mentioned that she walks in the morning so I decided to make a hat for her. The pattern is a combination of a couple of BagODay patterns (Youtube). I'm including the basic pattern for myself. I don't expect anyone else to understand it.
Starting with 12 DC in a magic ring or chain loop
Round 2: 2 DC in ever stitch (24 DC)
Round 3: 1 DC in 1st stitch, 2 DC in next stitch, repeat (36 sts)
Round 4: 1 DC, 1 DC, 2DC (48 stis)
Round 5: 1DC, 1DC, 1DC, 2DC (60 sts)
Round 6: 1 DC in every stitch
Round 7: 1SC, 1DC, alternating all around
Round 8: 1 DC in the previous SC, 1SC in previous DC
Repeat 7 & 8 for 9 rows
Next round DC in every stitch
FPDC, BPDC in alternating stitches for 2 rows to make a rib
FBSC, BPSC in alternating stitches for the last row.
The skein of yarn was 115 yards and I had only a few yards left over. Perfect. The hat fits me really well so I might make one for myself.
I know that this hat doesn't look particularly impressive in the first photo but look what happens when light hits it! My cousin walks in the morning when it's dark so I thought a hat made of reflective yarn would be cool to have. It's Lion Brand Basic Stitch Reflective. I don't think it's available anymore but I'm sure someone has a reflective yarn.
(Yes, there is a little spot at the top that doesn't have the reflective fiber around it. )
This week I will get the quilting on the postage stamp quilt done!
There's nothing like a good podcast or book to help keep me focused on my sewing projects. The past couple of days have been great for sewing. Nothing is done but there's been lots of activity.
I'm working on the nest set of 8 blocks for my Flora's Stars quilts. Sometime in the next couple of weeks I will do a post dedicated to this project to explain what it is. This is one of the 14 sets of blocks that I took on vacation to put together. I think I got 8 of them done so I'll work on these a little every day until they are done.
My priority now and for the foreseeable future is getting the postage stamp quilt done. I've started on the little blocks and I'm doing continuous curves in them. My CC stitching path isn't perfect but it's good enough for my bed. I can do this for about an hour at a time and then my hands and back need a rest. I'm going to try to get in 2 sessions every day so I can get this wrapped up soon.
It is fun to revisit all of these fabrics. I started this quilt in 1998 so these fabrics are from older projects. A lot of the are from the collection of novelty fabrics that I used in that dreadful Cathedral Window quilt. I also recognize lots of fabrics from long forgotten quilts and from projects for my nieces and nephews who are all now 24 - 32 years old.
Having a very wide quilting area from the biggest machine isn't really a benefit for small scale quilting. It's most comfortable for me to work on this section 6 - 8 rows at a time. The ruler shows where I finished up yesterday. You might get tired of seeing this update over and over for the next week or so! I am determined to get this quilt off the machine as soon as possible. I'm really excited to get it finished and ready to put on my bed this winter.
After my sewing and quilting sessions I was straightening up the sewing room and was going to put away the upholstery fabric scraps that I picked up last week. Remember that when Mom and I delivered quilts to her former neighbor that he wanted us to take some of his wife's fabrics. I took upholstery and batting scraps because I knew I could use them pretty soon. The batting has all been dealt with. Instead of putting the upholstery fabrics in my cabinet I decided to go ahead and cut out kits for walker caddies. I got about halfway through the fabric last night. Here are the first bases and ties that I cut.
These are pockets for the fabrics in the previous photo and the rest of the fabrics that I need to cut. I'll finish with all of this today.
A few weeks ago someone else gave me rolls of fabric and lining. I'll use the lining fabric to cut lining for the caddies. The bolt of fabric will probably either be pet beds or will be passed along to another friend who has a friend who takes orphan fabric. I think the print is too big for walker caddies. Either way I will find it a home soon!
I've been doing crochet in the evenings but don't really have anything worth showing yet but I should have an update by Friday. I'm wrapping up September with very few finishes but I think October might be pretty amazing!
As usual, the time spent having anxiety over quilting is much longer than the actual time quilting. I knew I wanted feather motifs in the black areas of my quilt but I couldn't decide exactly what I wanted. I finally went back to my notes from Bethanne Nemesch's feather class. After all, I took that class with this quilt specifically in mind.
I settled on Nemesching style feathers and I couldn't be happier. I actually enjoyed my time quilting.
tI've actually finished all of the black areas and am ready to star the tedium of all of those little squares. Of course, that's my favorite part! I can put on an audiobook and just zen out. I'm going to do continuous curves on all million of those squares. I once calculated how many pieces this quilt has and I believe it was just shy of 4000. If I can't find my notes I'll have to do that math again before I create the label for this one. I cannot believe that this quilt is actually almost done!
I also started working on designing the new storage system for my beaded ornaments. My SIL will not have a closet to hang them the way that I store them. I'll create padded "shelves" in plastic bins but this bin is way too small. The basic method is settled, I just need to get the containers and all the materials. I'll make sure that there are 2 acid-free layers (fabric and batting) under the ornaments and I will drill air holes in the plastic bins so that any off-gassing can escape. There will be a layer of 1" foam with circles cut out and I should be able to get 3 shelves in each bin.
After finishing Mom's shawl I was anxious to start a new blanket. I pulled out this yarn that I got on sale and got this far with it and decided to stop. I know this is a popular yarn but I do not like it. It's stiff and no amount of washing will make this soften enough for a baby. I'm not going to work with a yarn that I don't like. That's why I buy my yarns on sale. I'll pack this up for donation. Someone can make hats or something else with it.
I pulled out more yarns and started TWO new projects. On the left is a baby blanket or lap blanket from Caron Baby Cakes. This yarn is soooo soft and easy to work with. On the right is a bulky acrylic, Premier Serenity. I don't know how I ended up with this yarn but I'll make a lap blanket with it for donation. Because it's bulky it's a little harder on my hands. That's why I started the other blanket. I can switch between the two based on how my hands feel.
All in all, it was a great weekend with the added benefit of spectacular weather. It's so nice to have the windows open to get some fresh air in the house.
When I write my blog posts now I take photos on my phone and use the Weebly app to upload them then I have to go to the computer to write the text because the Weebly app is kind of crap. Anyway, all that is to say that I've uploaded the photos and as I started writing this post I realized that I left a couple of things out and I'll share those later this week.
The first thing I finished was the binding on these 2 veterans quilts. I pieced these while I was on vacation from some of the kits that I cut out earlier this summer. Both of these are from the 6" HST Accuquilt die. They were fast to cut, fast to sew and fast to quilt. I love both of them. All I had left to do was the binding and that the first thing on my weekend list.
The quilting is very simple wavy lines. This motif is super fast and results in a very soft and cuddly quilt.
I also got the binding on the safari placemats. I forgot to take a photo of them. I may save sharing them until I get napkins made for them.
There was a lot of football watching this weekend so I did a lot more crochet (another missing photo) than quilting. I'm about half done with the pocket shawl for Mom.
I did get into the basement to make some final decisions on quilting the postage stamp. Here are the 2 threads that I was deciding between and, in the end, I didn't like either of them!
So I went back to the cabinet for more options. Please ignore the quilting motifs, the machine was pushing up against the zipper edge and I couldn't get a smooth feather. But this is on scrap fabric and just for the purpose of selecting colors. I've decided that I like the brown the best. It's actually darker than it looks in this photo. So the machine is cleaned, oiled, set with a new needle and ready to go this weeek.
I even worked out some ideas for the border. I've got to try to keep the quilting from being too dense. This is a bed quilt, not a show or wall quilt. This is what I want to focus on this week.
The other thing I want to do this week is to come up with a way to safely pack up these because they are going to be delivered to my SIL and niece. I won't have to display them anymore. I can just drive to their house and see them displayed there!
I have an idea for a packing and storage design, I just need to get on with doing it.
I know someone will ask so I'll say here that, no, I will not miss them. For me the joy is always in the making and I'm done making these. I started about 30 years ago and it's time for someone else to enjoy them. My SIL has a white tree in her new house and these will be beautiful displayed on her tree and other people will actually see them. No one sees them at my house. They will be loved in their new home in Newport News.
The time has come.
I can't procrastinate on my oldest UFO anymore. Yesterday I got it loaded and basted. I have a general idea of how I want to quilt it so I'll likely start with what I know for sure that I want to do and figure the rest out as I go along. But, for sure, there will be stitches in this quilt by Monday. It is huge at 95" square but I was really happy that it was square and flat and basting it was easy.
In the black areas I want to do some feathers and I'm thinking about one of these threads. I want the black to stay predominately black but I would like for the feathers to show a little. I'm sort of favoring the dark green on the left. What's do you think?
In the last couple of days I also got my placemats quilted. As I was doing these on the Juki I noticed that the tension is acting up in just the way it acted up the one time it had to be serviced. So I'm taking the machine to my brother this afternoon so he can clean it up and fix whatever is worn out.
Today is also the day that I finally get to deliver the fancy doll dress to Ella. Her birthday was in July but I haven't been able to see her since June. I'm anxious to see if this thing fits well.
I'll be OK without my Juki and I can bind all of these projects on my Brother machine while I wait for the Juki to be repaired. These projects should keep me out of trouble for the weekend.
Yesterday didn't go quite as planned but everything worked out in the end. I spent more time than I planned dealing with what I thought was a plumbing issue but is actually an electrical issue. The water pump on my dye sink has been failing. I thought it was the pump but now we know that it's something in the electric box. Yesterday they replaced the one breaker switch but it failed again sometime after they left. I plugged the pump into another outlet that feeds from another breaker switch and it ran great. So it's definitely inside the box. I'm guessing that something was reconnected quite right after the generator was installed. We have a supervisor coming out Monday to look at it. Meanwhile now I know that I can use the sink and run the pump from another outlet.
But the coolest part of all of that was that the electrician that came out yesterday was a woman! Yay!
While I was still worried about the pump I decided to bring some fabrics that I wanted to soak up to the bathroom. These are the rest of my collection of my first-ever hand dyed fabrics. They are serious bleeders but I'm solving that problem this week and can then I'll be able to start using them with all of my other hand dyed fabrics.
I eventually got to working on my other goal of getting the big green quilt loaded on the longarm. It's a complex process because I want the front centered in this ice dyed back. Just between us, I like the back a lot better than the front!
I have a tutorial here for how to center a quilt on the longarm but here are the basic steps. I load the backing and then roll it until the center is in the middle of my working area. Usually the batting has a pretty perfect fold in the middle so I line up the batting fold along the center line of the backing.
Then comes the hard part of lining up the quilt top with the center batting fold. There's a lot of bulk laying around and you have to ignore it and only worry about that center. I get that one line centered and then baste.
Once the center is basted I can spread out the batting and quilt for the lower half of the quilt and baste the rest of the work space. Then I loosely roll the bottom batting and top onto the roller so that I can focus on basting the top half of the quilt.
Once the top is done I go back to the middle, unroll the batting and backing for the bottom half of the quilt and finish the basting. After a little bit of dyeing today I will be ready to start quilting! I think I'm going to do free motion swirls all over it. That will go fast and will add some softness to the straight piecing.
This is a quick quilt that I quilted for Mom this week. When she lived in Farmville her neighbor was also a quilter. Rita and John were very nice, very funny and were really kind to Mom. Shortly after Mom moved away Rita died and, of course, left behind a packed sewing room and tons of UFO projects. Mom has taken on a couple of them to finish for the family. This quilt is one of them.
Rita was really organized and had her projects packed away with the fabric and pattern together so Mom knew that she planned this pattern for this fabric.
Funny story, when she brought the top over we put it up on the design wall and we both commented that it's not one of our favorite quilts. We aren't particularly fond of the fabrics or pattern. But just as we were expressing our opinions Chris walked through, glanced at the quilt and said that he really like it. So there you go, different strokes for different folks.
I quilted it with an Urban Elementz pantograph called Carnival and used pink So Fine Thread in the needle and bobbin. It was nice to do something a little feminine for a change.
Next on the longarm is the big green quilt.
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.
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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.