Almost everything I crochet is donated to charity but not this one! This one is for my nephew's daughter who will arrive in November. The parents, James and Ashley picked the colors and pattern so.hopefully, they will love it. When I got the yarn I made a swatch and washed it a few times to see how this yarn would perform and, I can say that it's going to be a really soft blanket and should hold up well to multiple washings.
The blanket finished to 34" x 47" so it might be a little too big but it will be big enough for the baby and the dog to share on the floor.
Pattern: Even Squares Blanket from Daisy Farm Crafts except that I used half double crochet instead of the pattern stitches. I did the pattern in 4 row sets.
Yarn : Brava Worsted from Knitpicks in White, Marina, Cornflower and Seashell. It was the first time using this yarn and I liked it a lot.
Hook: I, 5.5mm
Daisy Farm Crafts is known for their gingham and other patterns that carry two colors along on one row. You can see the blue in the white section and the white in the blue. Once you get the hang of it, it's quite an easy technique.
I didn't really know what I was doing when I ordered the yarn and I seem to have some leftovers! I only used about half a ball of each color.
When we were discussing patterns, Ashley mentioned that she likes the traditional chevron pattern too so I might make a striped chevron a little smaller than this blanket. Then I can make a donation blanket with whatever is left.
Who knew that orange could be a neutral?
This is my last finish before vacation. This is also a veterans quilt and I love it.
I really enjoy making these quilts. I can piece a top in one weekend if I have the strings and foundations already cut. You just have to remember that half the blocks need to have the diagonal in the opposite direction.
I didn't pay attention to my block count when I made this quilt so I had to remake one block.
I know that orange isn't appealing to everyone but it's my happy color and I love it in this quilt.
In between travel preps, Chris and I got in some kayaking one evening. It was beautiful out on the lake.
We leave today for a 2-day drive to Maine. I probably won't post again until Monday.
It may look like one quilt here but you'll see below that I made 2 identical quilts. I cut out veterans quilt kits all at one time and they usually hold me for a year or more. I had enough of these fabrics to make 2. I worked on piecing them over 3 months of quilt club sewing days and got them quilted and bound this weekend. I really like the look of this quilt and will likely make more in the future.
See, I did make 2!
I also got 4 quilts ready for the quilt exhibit in September. One of them is Mom's. Three of them needed labels and 2 needed sleeves. Luckily, I had 4 hanging rods just the right size! I really wanted to get these ready before I leave so I didn't have to worry about if after vacation.
Otherwise, it's just laundry, packing and a little evening crochet going on here this week.
This is the last time you have to see this quilt because it's officially done! It even has a hanging sleeve. I'll get a label on it this weekend and it will be ready for the exhibit in September.
All of the history and details are on the Goldfinch page but I'll share a few notes/observations:
Don't forget to check out the Gradient sale! The sale ends July 25th!
This is the 7th blanket that I've made with this pattern and line of yarn. It seems a little insane but I love the yarn and bought a ton of it on clearance and I'm going to keep making blankets until it's all gone. I think I only have yarn left for 1 or 2 more blankets. I will not start another until the weather cools down. This one got a little hot to work on but I wanted to finish it before vacation as I want to use the project bag for my travel projects.
I've been calling this my "dude" blanket because, so far, I've given them all to men in my family. But this one has a more feminine look so I'll probably give it to a deserving woman. Maybe someone not in the family but someone that has done good things for me.
Here are all the details:
Cascade Cartwheel Yarn, 6 balls
Pattern from BagODay Crochet, pattern repeat is 8 stitches plus 3
I used a K hook and chained 131 stitches (with an L hook), all of the others have been 147 stitches but I wanted this one a little smaller. 6 balls made a blanket that finished 46 x 64 and that's plenty big.
The best part is that on the last row I had this much yarn left!
It was sewing weekend with my quilt club and that means I worked on a veterans quilt. This time I made blocks using scraps from all of my Paula Nadelstern projects. I love string blocks!
The veterans quilts are 48 x 60 so I make my blocks to finish 8" x 10" so that I get 3 diamonds across and down. These were easy to sew and I got all the blocks done by the time we wrapped up Saturday afternoon. But with this approach you have to be careful to do half of the blocks angled left to right and half the other way.
I was so close to being done that I decided to keep going when I got home. I trimmed and layed out all the blocks and got this.
Oops! That was enough for Saturday.
Yesterday Chris left for a bucket list trip to Alaska to go fishing and my friend Kim came over to hang out and sew for a few days. The first thing I did was make a new block and get this top put together.
I love it! It's in the to-be-quilted closet awaiting it's turn on the longarm.
Kim is working on a quilt project of her own. This one is called Scrapbooking or something like that. I'll show you when there are more blocks but I think it's going to be really cute.
After I finished my quilt top I didn't really want to dig into something else so I decided to clear out the bags of batting scraps. I had enough for 7 pet beds to donate to Richmond Animal League. The are all different sizes because I use whatever fabric I get for free and make as big a bed as I can from the fabric. Different sizes for different animals.
That's one more item checked off my July goals list!
Today Kim is going to work on her quilt more and I'm not sure what I'm doing but I might start planning my project(s) for Maine or I might start some placemats for my brother. The Goldfinch quilting will come this weekend after Kim leaves.
The holiday weekend was very productive for me! Aside from Mom's quilt, I also wrapped up this blanket. In all fairness, it was close to being done.
The blanket is square, the narrow top is due to the camera angle.
I intended this one to be a donation baby blanket but I think it ended up being a bit big at 34 x 44. I'll donate it and I'm confident that they will find the perfect home for it. I love how it turned out.
The pattern is Woodland Heather Baby Blanket. It's free from Daisy Farm Crafts. I used Hobby Lobby I Love This Yarn and an I (5.5mm) hook and cast on 95 stitches. The resulting blanket is sturdy (from the stitch) and very soft.
Now I can start new projects!
First up is a baby blanket for my new Great Niece arriving in November. I'm making another Daisy Farm Crafts pattern called Even Squares Baby Blanket. My niece picked the colors on the left and I'm trying Brava Worsted for the first time for this project. So far, so good. It's really soft.
I worked up a swatch testing 3 stitches. The bottom row uses the stitches from the pattern. The middle row is double crochet and the top row is half double crochet. I like the half double crochet best so that's what I'm using.
I mentioned before that I was not going to finish the tank top that I was working on so I put that project in time out until I think of something else to make with the yarn. Instead I started the project that I really wanted to do anyway. This will be another hexagon cardigan. I gave Mom the blue one so this one will be for me. When I did the last one it worked really well to make both halves at the same time so I'm doing that again.
I still have the big blanket going so will alternate these 3, switching each evening and they should keep me busy for several weeks.
With the Goldfinch top done I needed to work on something quick and fun. I also needed to make some postcards for the guys in my life.
They started with these fabrics. They are leftovers from the backing of my Corona Cats quilt. It was a wide panel called Stargazers. I don't know if it's still available but it's a super cool fabric and I saved every little scrap knowing that I eventually wanted to use it in postcards.
I've played around with a couple of ideas over the past year or so but nothing really stuck until the recent "news" talk about UFO reports. The idea started to percolate and had to come together quickly since one card needed to be in the mail by today. I played around with a spaceship idea but that seemed to be too complex, then I thought about Martians!
I found a free clipart image online and resized it to fit my cards. I traced around the image on Contact paper and then cut it out. I adhered the Contact paper to a silk screen and screened all of my little green Martians.
The next task was to add the eyes and I needed a stencil for that. I stuck clear Contact paper to both sides of the printed image so that the paper wouldn't get destroyed with the wet paint before I could finish all of the cards. I cut out the eyes and the cut away the top of the head, each side of the neck and part of the hand.
I used the cutaway sections to line up the stencil perfectly. As long as I didn't see any green around the edges I knew it was lined up correctly. Then I could use a pounce sponge to do the eyes. I wiped the back of the stencil clean after every use so that my edges would stay crisp.
All that was left was to fuse on a back and serge the edges.
These cards make me so happy!
Next on my list is to get back to quilting my Mom's quilt. I'm allowing myself a week and a half to get it done and then I'll quilt the Goldfinch.
I mentioned last week that I had a second pair of old hiking pants th recycle and I did it this past weekend. I had to buy cording to make the straps. I got the new backpack finished Monday night. This one is for our friend, Ian. He's taller than me so I didn't make this one adjustable. The full size pack will fit him great. I'll give it to him when he and Laura join us in Maine.
I worked very diligently Monday to get another block made. I think this one has the most pieces. To get an idea of scale you can see a straight pin in the peach colored piece near the top. There are a lot of tiny pieces in this one. I'm a little worried about how I'll quilt this with all the bulk in the seams.
Seven more blocks to go.
Settle in, this is going to be a long one.
The backstory is that I like to use a lightweight backpack when hiking. I just want to carry some water, my phone for photos, some snacks and some small supplies, like bandaids. I've been using this purple pack that I picked up from Quilter's Apothecary several years ago. It's very lightweight and I've shortened it to the length that I like. But it's not really made for the wear of hiking and I've had to do a few repairs. I've been shopping for a couple of years for a replacement but I couldn't find exactly what I wanted. Most of the commercial ones are heavier and bigger than I need.
At the same time, I've needed some new hiking pants. I have 2 pair of these REI Convertible Sahara pants that I love but they just don't fit anymore. The pants wear like iron and are still in good shape. I was going to donate the old ones but I had made some alterations and didn't think they would fit anyone. Then the idea struck to use the lightweight fabric from these pants to make a new backpack.
I had a few features that I wanted in a custom backpack:
- a pocket on the outside for my phone so that I could get at my phone easily without taking off the pack
- a way to keep my water bottle vertical because I had an incident last summer with a bottle laying sideways. I didn't notice the bottle was leaking until my rear was soaked.
- an inside zipper pocket to keep my id, tissues, Benadryl and other smalls
In the left photo above, the purple pack is against an unzipped pant leg. I was able to cut the body pieces from the legs and used the hem as the top casing for the pack.
This is one of the body pieces. The yellow pins mark the finished size that I wanted but I had an idea that I could make an option for a pack that would convert to a larger size.
First I had to do a lot of seam ripping and, let me tell you, these pants are made REALLY well and it takes some work to take them apart.
I cannot overestimate the time I put into this project. It's insane. I spent a lot of time figuring out the best parts to use for my elements and exactly how I wanted them placed.
- the upper right is the cell phone pocket made from one of the hip pockets with an extension added.
- The upper left is the other hip pocket. Can you see that it has a little pocket stitched on the inside? It's the perfect size for a few bandaids!
- The large piece will be a sleeve for the water bottle. In the end it needed to be about 12" long. I used the fabric that I had available, hence the seam and hem folds.
- The two pieces on the right are shoulder straps for padding. They are made from the waistband.
First up was the cell phone pocket. It's a simple patch pocket on the outside of the bag. The bottom of the bag is marked by the red arrow on the left side so this pocket is placed with the zipper on my left side for easy access. It's on an angle so that the phone will naturally sit back in the pocket, away from the zipper opening, that will keep pressure off the zipper and keep it from opening accidentally.
On the inside I sewed the water bottle sleeve into the right side seam. The smalls pocket is placed about midway down the pack. That will keep the bulk of the zipper and flap from interfering with the drawstring closure and it's high enough to be out of the way of snacks and things in the bottom of the pack.
I don't have photos of the steps of the rest of the construction because it took a lot of thought to get the right order and I was on a time crunch to finish it so I could use it yesterday. But I did something really complex with the bottom of the bag. It has a zipper sewn into a pleat and there's extra length if it's needed. Here's the outside of the bag and that cell phone pocket worked perfectly on our hike yesterday. I was able to easily access my phone and put it back in the pocket and zip it up, all without taking off the bag.
This little Velcro tab came from the hem of the pants. On the pants it covered the end of the zipper and I used it for the same purpose here. It covers the zipper pull at the bottom of the bag to keep the zipper from opening accidentally.
With the zipper open the extra length give me more packing space if I need it.
Everything, except the cording, came from one pair of pants.
Here's what it looks like on the inside with the water bottle in it's sleeve. The sleeve worked perfectly on the hike!
Chris took this photo for me at the end of the hike. I am thrilled with my new backpack and with the new REI Sahara pants that I bought. In it I have a water bottle, snacks and a light weight jacket. It was very comfortable for 3+ hours.
We hiked the Ragged Mountain Trail near Charlottesville, VA and it was a beautiful day for a hike. The trail is 6.7 miles around a beautiful reservoir.
We saw some geese on the lake.
But the real treat was finding 3 wood carvings along the trail. We think these owls are pretty new. One of our friends who hikes this trail had not seen this one before.
The nose on the mama bear of this sculpture had fallen off so Chris held it on for me to get a photo.
The mountain man was the last surprise on the trail.
I mentioned at the beginning that I had TWO pair of pants so I'm planning to make another of these packs to give to a friend. The first one seemed to take about 50 hours. The second should go a little faster because now I know which parts I want to use and I now know how to put it together. Since I have backpack mess spread out in the sewing room I'll probably get that done before I get back to the Goldfinch.
To subscribe click the RSS Feed button and copy the URL of that page into your blog reader.
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.