Well, I don't know about you but I had a great weekend! It was pretty much sewing focused because this was sewing weekend with our quilt club. Mom stayed with us for a couple of nights and we visited with my brother and his family Saturday night.
Yesterday my brother sent me a photo of his dog, Lulu, playing with the lobster that I brought her from Maine. She only likes toys that are as big as she is and she absolutely destroys them. Before we left yesterday she had already removed one tentacle and one eyeball. She still has a lot of appendages to work on.
One of my accomplishments for the weekend was getting the rest of the curved blue pieces attached to the spike pieces. I've got pieces laid out for the next 2 steps.
But I spent most of my time this weekend at sewing and working on a veterans quilt.
I finished one of the 2 quilts in the kit I pulled Thursday! If I had not talked so much Friday I would have started on the second one but I was happy to visit with everyone again and to get one top done.
I love quilts made totally out of scraps. The light blue squares are cut-offs from dyed veterans quilt backs. The dotty batik is left over from the patriotic batiks that I bought for all the kits that I cut and the hand dyed pieces are all from my scrap bin. It's like getting a free quilt.
I also picked up 5 finished tops from other members so I need to get some quilt backs dyed soon. I expect I'll get a few more Tuesday night but I got these paired up so I can pick colors for the backing fabrics.
This week I want to make some good progress on the Red Sunset quilt. That's really my main goal.
Groovy III is done and I can take it on vacation! Because of my fragrance and bleach allergies I travel with my own linens as much as possible. This quilt will be on our bed every night in Maine. By the title, you will probably know that this is the 3rd in a series of quilts made with ice dyed fabric. You can see all of the Groovy quilts here. This is the first one that I made using the larger Crystal fabrics. I used one on point for the center and anther cut in quarters on the diagonal for the corners.
Here's how it will look on a bed. It's got a nice wide overhang.
It's quilted with Superior Magnifico and SoFine thread using the Star Swirl pantograph.
The back is soft and shiny cotton sateen dyed with the Oasis gradient pattern.
I'm very happy to have this one done!
Yesterday I got 2 more veterans quilts quilted. These are the last two for the month. My quilt top closet is empty!
I not only got this one quilted, I got the binding on it too. It's now moved to the finished quilt pile. I really love this quilt. I think it's very happy and it's made totally with leftovers!
Of course, I quilt veterans quilts in pairs so the second one is this one made by Betsy. I think it's a very masculine quilt that's perfect for many veterans.
Both of these were perfect for the quick and simple wavy crosshatch.
With the trimmings and another stack of batting scraps, I was able to get one more big dog bed made to take to my friend this evening.
I knew if I would just focus some time that I could get this top done quickly and I set aside yesterday for that and for preparing food for a long, hot hike that we are on today.
I started by deciding on which of the ice dyed squares I wanted in the border and how I wanted them arranged. I decided on the dark purple blocks for the border. They were trimmed to 12.5"
That's a yummy pile of trimmings!
There was some math to figure out the sashing sizes. The border around the center medallion is 3" finished, the sashing between the blocks on the sides is 3 5/8". The outer border is 4" for a finished size of 97" square. I think I will dye a dark blue (like in the center) for the binding and I think I will dye a gradient for the backing.
I really love how this turned out!
I have over a dozen blocks left over for another project or maybe an upcoming giveaway.
In other news, we have a new clutch of bluebirds! I think they had just been fed when I checked on them because they were pretty lethargic and their bellies are pretty plump. Look at the Don King hairdo on that one on the left!
I got busy Friday making more kits. I started by starching these fabrics because I knew I was going to be cutting a lot of bias edges. This will make 2 quilts and the cutting was really fast with the Go cutter. There are lots of extra blocks in case I want to play around with the layout.
This took the future quilt count to 14.
This was a satisfying sight and, no, I did not save them!
I didn't have any other planned quilts so I started looking through the pre-cut scrap bins and realized that I had enough 4 1/2" hand dyed HST pieces for a whole quilt. In the backing scrap bag I found enough gray scraps to cut for the other half of the quilt. This will be some really easy chain piecing. This gave me future quilt 15.
Finally I had a bin of 2 1/2" strips of various blues and patriotic fabrics. This isn't a complete kit but I think I probably have enough pieces in here for 2 quilts and there will be more quilt back scraps coming to eventually cut the setting triangles. When I pull this one out I'll just star piecing 9-patch blocks and see where it gets me.
This could be future quilts 16 or 17.
I know that this all seemed a bit crazy but it was very satisfying.
This is my away-from-home sewing shelf. Aside from the pressing ham, this is my travel notions case and all of the kits that I've put together. I expect that I'm good for a couple of years of veterans quilts and easy getaways.
Even better, I have some breathing room. My two pre-cut scrap bins are at least half emptied and there are easily a few more quilts lurking in here.
This bag was stuffed to overflowing with scrap backing and now all of that will be in new quilts. All-in-all it was 4 days well spent.
I didn't have as much sewing time Saturday and Sunday as I anticipated because we got to have friends visit as a better activity. But I did get the center of Groovy 3 together and I love it! I'm doing some math to figure out the size of the border blocks and sashing but will get started on that this week. This quilt should come together really quickly now. The lime green sashing makes me very happy.
I know that many of you think that this kit-making exercise is a little crazy (or boring or tedious) and I agree a little. But having these kits all cut out and ready makes packing for my sewing days with Country School so much easier. I will only use these when I'm sewing with CSQ each month of if I am taking a short trip and want a sewing project. I have a travel sewing machine and travel notion set so I can be ready to go in about 10 minutes without having to disturb any project that I have underway in the sewing room.
Cutting these kits also gets my scrap bin a little more under control for a few months. BY the time I'm done today I'll have enough veterans quilt kits to probably last me through 2023.
Here's yesterday's progress.
This one is using up more of the pre-cut hand dyed HST stash and some 4.5" scrappy hand dyed squares. The border in the drawing is white but my quilts will have a hand dyed border in that green and brown print (orange dot). One quilt with have tan and the background and one will have blue.
These are kits 9 and 10.
Kit 11 is alternating 4-patch blocks with solid blocks. The 4-patch blocks are made from pre-cut symmetry scraps and the gold is the leftover from one a couple of veterans quilt backings. The alternating blocks are from a fabric leftover over from the Pleiades Quilt that I made in 2015.
These are some tasty leftovers!
Then I discovered yet another bin of precut fabrics! That one had 2.5" strips and 4.5" square. All are various shades of blue from leftover veterans quilt backs. There were enough light blue ones for this quilt. The 4-patch blocks are made from hand dyed scrap squares and just enough leftover dotty fabric from one of the other kits.
That's 12 kits so far.
Today I'm making a couple of patriotic kits like this and I have the bin of 2.5" blue strips to figure out something for.
I've been making great progress on my crochet project too so I'll have something different to share next week.
Yesterday was dyeing day so I didn't have a lot of time for cutting kits but I did get a kit for 2 Chandelier quilts cut out. I've been seeing this pattern a lot and have quilted a couple of them. I'm going to do one with a blue border and one with a red border. For all of these kits I also cut the binding at the same time. Also because I have made some cutting errors in the past I include some extra pieces of scraps of fabric too.
This brings my future quilt count to 8.
Today I have more time for cutting and this one is done except for the background. I'll work on finishing it off today.
I pulled a stack of pre-cut squares with scrap backing and another leftover fabric for another kit to cut.
There's also all of these patriotic fabrics left too! I've got plenty of options for today and tomorrow.
I have two projects that I want to actively work on this week. Those are cutting out veterans quilt kits and getting started on Groovy 3.
I decided to start with veterans quilt kits and since I had to pull out all of this I'm going to focus only on these through Friday and just see how far I get.
I have 2 binds of precut scraps and the stack of patriotic fabric that I bought in Paducah. I learned an important lesson with the last group of kits that I made. That lesson is that I need variety. I had way too many patriotic quilts in that stash and I got a little fatigued with them. This time I'm going for only half patriotic so I have more variety. Here's what I got done yesterday.
I started by fixing this kit. When I originally cut this one I didn't have a layout plan and when I started trying to fix a layout plan I didn't have enough of a few of the colors. So I went into EQ, worked up a color plan and cut out a couple of additional colors that I needed. I think this one might look pretty cool.
This plus the one other leftover kit makes 2 future quilts.
I saw this block somewhere and liked it a lot so I cut enough to make 2 quilts for this one. The dotty blue will be the stars and the bold print will be the sashing and border.
This brings the future quilt count to 4.
One of my favorite quilts from 2021 is the string quilt that I showed in this post. I've cut out two more. One will be in strings left over from my symmetry quilts and one will be another hand dyed one. YOu can see that I positioned the center strip on 2 foundations to remind myself that I have to do half in each direction. I almost got in trouble with that on the last one!
That brings the future quilt count to 6.
I have 2 more kits (4 quilts) almost cut out. I'm starching some fabric for the backgrounds. I have so much scrappy backing and blocks that I would be happy enough to get more than 15 or 20 kits cut out by Friday evening. I won't get much done today because it's dyeing day but Thursday should be a good day.
In April I shared that I switched to the Microttex needles to help prevent fabric shoving down into the bobbin when I start stitching pieces. The needles helped a lot but it didn't eliminate it. What I needed was a straight stitch plate but I don't piece on this particular machine very much and didn't want to buy a straight stitch plate to use occasionally. Plus, I don't like those plates because inevitably I'll set the machine to zig zag and break a needle. I decided to see if I could hack my plate to be a straight stitch plate and it worked! I cut two tiny pieces of masking tape and placed them over the edges of the hole. It did require a tweezer to place them but it works perfectly. If I happen to switch to a zig zag stitch it will only break some tape and not my needle.
After I did that hack I pieced all of these sets and not one corner jammed into the bobbin.
So I've started working on Groovy 3 a little. Mostly I'm just in the planning stage.
But first, I have this random photo of a shirt that I dyed last week. I picked up this shirt on vacation and dyed it in beachy colors. I love it! I have a sheet set that I want to dye and it will be done using a similar folding pattern but in a mandala format. I think it will be awesome.
Back to Groovy.
I'm doing a medallion format for this one so the first thing I did was create a center in EQ so I could see what size I need to cut the center pieces.
Next I ironed the new fabrics I sunprinted and did some layouts to see which ones I want to use.
I don't mind this center with the one on the loser right for the corner but I don't care for the two darker corners.
I love this center, I don't like the lower right corner and don't love the upper right one either. The boobs in the upper right stand out too much. The upper left corner isn't bad at all.
This is probably the best center choice and I'd probably pair it with the upper right corner.
What do you think? Next I have to make a final decision and pick a sashing color so I can get it dyed next week.
Here's another fun surprise from my ice dyeing day. This was the fabric that I put under the dyeing tray to catch the drip through dye. I LOVE how this turned out and Chris loved it too. I'm thinking about what I want to do with it but one idea is to use it as sashing for a quilt made with scrappy blocks made form solid-ish hand dyed fabrics. Imagine a bunch of star blocks on this background. I think it would be cool and look kind of like a galaxy.
I'll try to work on this more this weekend after my Country School sewing days sessions.
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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.