Heirloom Bear is done!
The teddy bear is done and ready for delivery! I'm very happy with the end result and I think my cousin will appreciate it for her new grandchild. I decided to create a separate page just for this project so if you want to see more photos you can go here.
A new baby blanket for donation
You thought you would see a finished bear today didn't you? Well, it's close! Mom and I had dentist appointments yesterday morning. I came home from that and procrastinated for a couple of hours and then buckled down to get working on it. I will finish it tonight because I have to deliver it tomorrow!
Meanwhile, I've worked on this blanket some at the beach and have been working on it each evening since I got home. I finished it last night after I got tired of the bear.
I got the pattern for this one on Etsy from Nancy Said. It's a nice one to work on because there are 2 sections that alternate so I didn't get bored doing row after row of the same pattern. There's a sedge stitch section and a section with alternating SC and DC2TOG/DC rows.
The yarn is EYB Babe Freckles that I got on sale at a shop on Maine last summer. It's a 3 weight and very soft.
The border is two rows. One is alternating DC and CH1/SK1. I did the final row different from the pattern alternating DC in the DC and DC2TOG in the CH1 spaces. It worked out OK but I think it needs to be blocked.
It finished about 29" x 35". I'm going to wet it and block it before I send it off for donation. I will probably make this one again because it was so fast and easy.
I have almost a full skein of yarn left so I'm going to use it for some baby hats before I start a new donation project.
Tomorrow will be bear day!
The sweater is done!
I was so close to finishing the sweater that I just had to power through and get it done yesterday. I'm really happy with the way it turned out. It fits well and I know I will use it a lot next fall and winter. It's too late to use it now because this is a very warm sweater.
Here are a few notes:
Pattern is a YouTube tutorial from LaDria LaVey. The hexi cardi is very popular right now and there are dozens of version on YouTube and other sources but I thought hers was a little more stylish than some of the others. The yarn is Jeans from Lion Brand. It's a 4 weight acrylic and very soft. It's a little splitty and this dark mottled colorway is a little hard to see stitches. I tried a couple of other patterns with this yarn first but got frustrated trying to see stitches. A granny style cardi was a perfect solution. I used a J-6mm hook.
I made a number of adjustments as I went along to alter for size and sleeve length. With this pattern, changes are easy to do on the fly.
The front edge has bobbles and I used my trim stitches to draw the front edge up a little. Again, it was easy to adjust on the fly.
Now I can go home this weekend and look through my little stash of garment yarn and pick something new to make. While here, I have the baby quilt to get back to.
But that's not all!
I also made some good progress on the firefighter quilt. The pinwheel borders are together. I need to do some measuring and make some coping borders so that these will fit. It was late enough last night when I finished these that I thought it was a little late to be doing math. This will be my project for today.
But it wasn't all inside work. I didn't take as long a walk yesterday but we did get out for a walk on the beach once and went out other times just to feel the sand. It was warmer, about 70 but the wind has really kicked up. For exercise, it was yoga day. Today it's supposed to be about 72 with pretty high winds. I am planning for a long walk in between quilt sewing sessions.
It was a great day!
Last project before vacation
I am so excited to share this little project. It's got a backstory so have a seat and I'll tell you all about it.
My Mom's Grandmother, Flora, was a quilter and we got all of her UFOs. I've quilted many of her tops and those have been gifted to various family member in Mom's generation. Mom has made several quilts from her blocks and I've made a few myself. My favorite project is this one, where I saved the quilt she made for me using blocks from her UFO pile.
This is another of the Flora quilts. It is a baby quilt for my cousin's first grandchild. There's probably a good chance that this might be her only grandchild.
Flora was best known for her double wedding ring quilts. She made them for every newly married couple. When she died in 1968 she left a pile of arcs. Mom has tried over and over to fit them together for a DWR quilt but the arcs weren't consistent sizes. After a group discussion in quilt club, she decided to applique them to blocks. She's made two veterans quilts with them and still had lots left over. Once we found out about the new family arrival coming in May, she decided to make a baby quilt with them. She folded under the raw edges of each arc and appliqued them to a square of fabric. I think it made a great design.
I was a little stressed about quilting it but I needed to get it done before I leave for the beach Sunday. There's nothing like a deadline to make you stop dithering and get to quilting. I haven't had an opportunity to quilt feathers in a while so I had a great time quilting this little quilt.
Mom's mother's, my Grandma Dove, favorite color was light purple so I dyed the back to match the light purple colors in the blocks.
So when the baby receives this gift it will be labeled that it was made by his/her Great-great-great Grandmother, Great-Grandaunt and First Cousin twice removed. I think that's pretty cool. We hope that the baby will actually use the quilt and not put it away to "save" it.
There's another project for the baby that I'm doing and I'll have that to share in a couple of weeks, I hope.
In other news, I got the binding on the placemats! I still have to dye some matching napkins so I'll save this project to save until the napkins are also done.
I'm packing projects for the beach getting ready to leave Sunday. I'll be back on Monday with a beach report. We aren't expecting really great weather so there should be lots of sewing and crochet with a great view.
The 6th "dude" blanket
The first blanket that I made like this was for Chris. Then I made 3 more, one for each of my brothers. I bought enough yarn to make 8 blankets! By the time I finished the ones for my brother these had become blankets only for the men in my life. Number 5 was made for my cousin's husband. This one is #6. It doesn't have a destination yet but I'm sure it will. I only have yarn to make 2 more. I'll kind of miss them when the yarn is gone. I've really enjoyed making them. One of the next two is already assigned but it will be nice to have 2 in the closet for emergency need. Of course, there are loads of yarns that will work for this pattern. Premier Puzzle comes to mind right away.
This one finished about 48" x 64"
Cascade Cartwheel Yarn, 7 balls, color 3, Seattle.
Pattern from BagODay Crochet, pattern repeat is 8 stitches plus 3
I used a K hook and chained 147 stitches (with an L hook)
I do not like having scrap yarn so when I finish a project I immediately add the scrap to one of 3 corner-to-corner scrap projects. This one might end up being good enough for a wheelchair blanket but I expect that most of them will be pet blankets. Anything that will avoid having a bag of scrap yarn bits. I have an overload of scrap fabric. I sure don't want the same situation with yarn.
I haven't quite decided on sewing/quilting projects but I'll get that figured out Friday.
I thought I'd share this photo too. This is the first delivery of 29 veterans quilts for 2023 from my quilt club. It's so nice to be a part of this amazing group of ladies.
4 more cuddle quilts
As a refresher, I'm making a group of small cuddle quilts from some dye sample fat quarters that have been languishing in my sewing room for years. Many years. From the Heart uses these 27" x 36" as cuddle quilts for kids getting cancer treatment. They aren't meant to be blankets. More like "blankies". I've made and delivered 8 so far and these 4 will make 12. I have enough fat quarters to make about 28 of them. They aren't all playful colors so some will be donated as wheelchair blankets, which are the same size.
Because they are 36" long, I can use standard fabric for the backing so I'm using this as an opportunity to clear some yardage from the stash too. I try to coordinate the back to the tops so that I can use the extra backing fabric for the binding.
This set of quilts started with this batik. I bought 5 yards of it at a quilt show many years ago and, I think I remember that it was a bargain fabric. I think I thought of it as backing fabric but I've never used it until now. Each of the 4 quilts have this as the backing and binding.
Here are the 4 little quilts.
They wanted bright quilts and that's what they are getting! The two photos below show the quilting a little better than on the quilts. I will not be using these for my botanical class practice anymore. I determined that these need to be as soft and cuddly as possible so dense quilting isn't optimal.
Next up is this baby quilt that Mom made. It's for my cousin's son and has a cool story about it. One I get this quilted I'll tell the whole background. I'm going to get the backing dyed today if I can settle on a color. I hope to get it quilted this weekend so I can get it to Mom Tuesday.
The crochet cape "pattern"
My second version of ths shawl is complete!
From The Heart organization specifically requests wrap around shawls for donation to assisted living and nursing home facilities. The shawl that seems to be most popular is a free one by Susan Coes. That one is OK but I wanted more wedges.
Then I found this one by Carrie Penny. That was great except that I wanted a neckline so that the shawl set more forward on the body. I also thought that it wasn't necessary to keep increasing for the full length.
I melded what I learned from those two and created my own pattern that also happens to be pretty fast to stitch up.
I also wanted it to have a bit of a decorative edge and a single crochet neck edge for a little nroe neck stability.
I have written up the "pattern" and you can download it here.
I am not a pattern writer and it has not been tested so try it at your own risk! If you find errors please let me know and I'll fix it. Once you get going it's really simple and it's easy to make up for an missed increase on the next row so you don't have to frog much.
If you do try it out please let me know if there's anything I can do to make the pattern more understandable.
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.
4 more lap quilts
I got the binding on the 4 lap quilts so I can deliver them to Beth, the From The Heart contact, tomorrow. These quilts finish at 27 x 36. It's the size the asked for for a children's cancer camp and I hope this small size is really what they need. They are fun little quilts to make and I'm so happy to be using up these fabrics and lots of batting scraps. This makes 8 finished ones and I have 7 more ready for quilting. The goal is to make 30 because that's how many batting pieces that I have and it will use all of a bin of dye testing fat quarters.
I used this set of quilts to practice what I'm learning in the Blooming Botanicals class. This is the first flower and leaf motif that I practiced. I made the flowers big on this one. It was also nice to use some pink thread from my stash. I never have the opportunity to use pink in my own quilting and certainly not for the veterans quilts. I'm using the thread stash too!
There are two quilts in pink and purple. I practiced a daisy and wavy leaf on this one.
The third quilt is turquoise and pink and I practiced an oak leaf with a flower with a dogwood-like petal. On this one I added side view flowers and buds.
For the last one I did a corner to corner leaf motif. This one went really fast.
I hope there are 4 children who will love these little quilts.
Now I'm going to take a break to make a new set of placemats and quilt a quilt for a friend. Then I'll be back to the lap quilts.
I'm linking up to Midweek Makers
When I left off last week I was starting to make some hats with the leftover blanket yarn. I ran it double with another 4 weight yarn to make it equivalent with a bulky weight. This has become my go to masculine winter hat for donation. I ran out of the green (halleluiah) on the third hat and I found some leftover brown to finish it off. I got one medium and 2 large hats and they will go in a bag for donation next winter.
We had our sewing retreat days with our quilt club Friday and Saturday and I made great progress on a new veterans quilt. I have half of the blocks made so I'll get this one wrapped up next month and another one started. I really like this pattern a lot. The blocks are made as 9-patches and they are all made the same. The pattern comes in by setting every other block upside down.
All of the half square triangle blocks are sewn and sorted into 9-patch sets so the rest of the sewing should go pretty quickly next month.
Saturday evening I put together another of the little lap quilts. I thought this would be too obnoxiously bright but I actually like it a lot. A friend gave me some vintage Laurel Burch fabrics to use for backing for more of the little lap quilts. These bright fabrics will look great on the Laurel Burch fabric.
Yesterday I finished quilting these 4 lap quilts. I used these to practice my botanical motifs from the quilting class I'm taking. I got the quilts trimmed and the binding cut so I should be able to get these 4 little quilts done pretty quickly. When they are done I'll show some close ups of the quilting motifs. I'm trying to pick pretty backing fabrics for these quilts so that if the kids don't like the front of the quilts they can flip it over and use the pretty backside as the front.
This week is a busy week so the only goal I'm setting is to get these 4 quilts bound by Thursday. Sometimes someone from From The Heart comes to our stitching group and she's happy to take the donated items back to HQ. If I can get them done and she attends it will save me a 45 minute round trip.
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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.