Placemats and doll outfits and fabric
It was quite the creative and making weekend! On Friday, Mom, Kim and I went to the Mid-Atlantic Quilt Festival. The quilts were better this year than last year and I actually took photos this time. I might share them but I really only took photos of specific things that interested me like quilting techniques or design ideas. The photos would seem really random to anyone else.
The Covid years really decimated a lot of vendors so overall the show is smaller than it was in 2019 and earlier. I expect that many had just decided that it was as good an excuse as any to finally retire. There used to be an Indian (from India) woman with a business called Handloom Batik that no longer comes to this show. She was my favorite vendor but it looks like she is only doing a couple shows that are more local to her now. I am sure that over time the show will once again fill every corner of the convention center floor. As it is there was plenty to see and lots of opportunities to spend money!
There was one interesting new vendor this year called Legit Kits. They have big foundation pieced pictorial quilts with wonderful designs. I wanted either the big eagle or raven quilt but I wasn't sure what I'd do with the finished quilt in once I was done. I left the show empty handed but couldn't get them out of my mind. At home I perused the website and found this smaller pattern for a Goldfinch and ordered it. You can get full kits or just patterns. I believe the kits use Kona solids but you know that there's no way that I'm going to use solid fabrics for my quilt. As soon as I saw this one I knew that my Jenny Lake Gradient would be perfect for the background pieces. I'm excited to get the pattern and get started.
I didn't buy any fabric (or anything else at the show) and I didn't need to because I had just received new fabric in the mail this week! The new Paula Nadelstern fabrics are finally in the stores and I ordered mine a couple of weeks ago. I just love those dots! I could the best price at Hancock's of Paducah.
Saturday morning I got busy finishing up the placemats and I love how they turned out. These started with 4 embroideries that a friend did for me over 10 years ago. I added and sunprinted fabric (the blue streaky) and a screen printed batik. The napkins are some thrifted napkins that I overdyed and screen printed with the bird.
Here are all 4 embroideries. I can't wait to see which family member chooses this set when we are at the beach in May.
I already have another set of fabrics selected for the next set but I'm going to make a few more of the little lap quilt tops first before I make more placemats.
Mom and I talked on Friday about visiting my brother on Sunday so I thought I'd get these doll dresses made up for Ella. They have actually been cut out for a while and, let me tell you, they are kind of a pain to make. That keyhole opening is awfully fiddly. They are supposed to have elastic at the waist but my elastic was kind of dead. I improvised with a casing and a tie which I like better anyway. The casing on the green dress is actually red-purple, not black as it looks.
When making this one, I got the bodice all done and ready to attach to the skirt and noticed that I had cut through the bottom of the bodice. It had to have happened when I cut it out because there are 2 cuts mirroring each other. Well, I was so sick of these dresses by that point that there's no way I was going to remake it. By then I had put the ric rack on the hem of the skirt so I added some to the bodice to cover the cuts. Once the purple sash was added the cuts in the fabric were very secure. These aren't going to be washed so it will be fine.
As it turned out, we didn't go visit anyway but I'm ready whenever we do.
I didn't quilt on Becky's quilt but I got the backing loaded and have the batting draped over the frame to get the wrinkles out of it. I might get it basted today if I don't spend too much time outside weeding and prepping beds for my annual mulching exercise.
A new placemat project
Every year at the May family beach vacation I try to bring a handmade gift for everyone. I've done tie dye beach towels, coiled coaster sets, fused glass dishes, dyed beach totes and last year it was slumped wine bottles. I don't really plan to make gifts and no one expects them, but you know that I get on kicks to make things and once I start I want to make a lot of whatever it is. My family is a good place to distribute all of the stuff I make. They feel obligated and won't say no! When I made the fish placemats a couple of weeks ago I made for for my nephew. Then I remembered that I already have 2 sets of placemats in the "gift closet" and that, with a few more sets, placemats could be the beach gift for this year. I do love making them and I have a box of overdyed napkins that need to be used too.
The next set is going to be based on 4 bird embroideries that a friend stitched for me over 10 years ago. It's crazy how much stuff like this I have in my stash! Don't laugh, I know that you have these things in your stash too! I even had 4 turquoise dyed napkins in the napkin stash that can go with the birds. I started by pulling a bunch of fabrics that might work with the embroideries.
When I make placemats they have to be simple. I do not allow myself to agonize over them and I limit my design thinking time. Placemats, like postcards, are meant to be fun and they certainly aren't going to be subjected to any design judging. For these I started with a dark frame and then a painted fabric that has a "sky" feel to me. Next I really wanted to use the batik on the right because it's so close to the embroidered fabric but it looks so dull and bland. I really needed to bring that dark jade frame color to the batik.
Screen printing might fix that.
I need a color that comes close to matching this dark jade fabric.
That will do. I love mixing dyes and paints!
A little bird on the corner of the napkins will make them look more like a set.
I found a twig screen to do an all over print on the fabric and I think this is going to work great as the final fabric in these placemats. It doesn't matter that the printing is a little messy because the fabric will be cut into strips. I'll be working on these again this weekend.
Today I'll be crocheting with with the Ashland From The Heart Stitchers group. I started a new shawl when I finished the green blanket. This will come together a lot faster than the blanket. I made a shawl a while back with this "pattern". I kind of made it up as I went along and didn't write down any notes. Of course I liked it and now I'm trying to re-create it with notes.
Tomorrow is the Mid-Atlantic Quilt Festival. I'm looking forward to getting even more inspiration and ideas for projects that I don't have time for.
Some fishy placemats
On Monday I shared two more comfort quilts Monday and I used this fish fabric and the backing fabric. I had a little of the fabric left over and I really hate having scraps. That meant that I needed to come up with a quick project to use it and placemats are one of my go-to projects. Chris is big into fishing, especially off-shore. I got this fabric with because the fish are pretty accurate and I thought I might make him a quilt. I was just never inspired to make a quilt with it. Placemats are a fine tradeoff. He can see his fish while he eats his dinner.
I even used 2 fat quarters from that bin of fabric that I pulled out a couple of weeks ago. That's the yellow and gold trim. The ohter blue is a hand dyed piece from my stash and I used all of it too.
I make my placemats with flannel from old (but clean) flannel sheets as the batting. It adds just enough weight but doesn't make them fluffy. I also like quilting them pretty heavily so they don't need much ironing. I use a lot of straight line quilting because it's really fast but I wanted a little movement in the ocean and did overlapping wavy lines in the middle. It looks like a lot of work but it went really fast.
I even dyed napkins to match!
My scrap usage doesn't end with the front of the placemats. Especially when I make them for myself, I try to use my ugly fabrics for the backing. I remember giving some placemats to a friend and I use one of my "uglies" on the back. She sent me photos a few months later to show me how great the placemats looked in her new home. It was the ugly back that matched her decor! They didn't look ugly anymore.
I had enough fabric to make 8 for 2 sets of 4. I'll give the other est to my nephew because he loves fishing too.
This weekend I'll be back to practicing my quilting and making the lap quilts. On Sunday I will be totally focused on the Eagles and the Super Bowl and I'm likely to be a little loud.
I'm linking up to Alycia's Finished Friday and Confessions of a Fabric Addict
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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.