My weekend plans went awry. I was looking forward to 2 sewing days with my Country School Quilters friends but when I got to the meeting room it was clear that someone had recently cleaned it. That's all good except that they used about a gallon of Pine-Sol. It's mold season here and I'm having enough allergy challenges. The Pine-Sol was just too much. I visited for a little but packed up and came home.
Not to worry, I had plenty to do! At the club meeting last week members gave me 13 more veterans quilt tops! Then I got 2 in the mail from my friend, Patty. With the 3 that were already there I now had 18 quilt tops hanging in the guest room closet. The ones on the left are paired with backs. The ones on the right need backs. I got those backs dyed last week. So I decided that instead of poisoning myself I would come home and work on these veterans quilts.
I quilted 2 quilts but realized that I can only share one. The other is a sample quilt for an upcoming Barbara Brackman block of the week/month. Becky does sewing for Barbara and the new quilt finished at 48" x 60" so she turned it into a veterans quilt.....a REALLY nice veterans quilt. All I can tell you is that it's a really cool quilt for those of you looking for a challenge!
I have so many quilts to quilt that they are getting the fastest possible quilting. The Loose Leaf panto is perfect for that.
This one is another one that Gwen mad with 4-patch blocks. This is the 3rd I've quilted for her and there are 2 or 3 more!
Then I was able to start making dog blocks. Is this puppy cute or what? I don't buy a lot of patterns but I'd surely buy more patterns from Sew Fresh Quilts. This one is really well written. The fact that I had to unsew something in ever block is only commentary on my sewing skills. I have 3 of them done.
These blocks are big, 18" x 12" so the hand dyed fabric makes a nice impact.
I made some more progress on moons too. I almost have another set of 4 ready to share.
Today and tomorrow I'll be sewing with my quilt club and that means I'll be working on my 4th of July quilt again. I'll have an update on that Monday but for today I'm excited to share what I've been working in all week. I can't hold off any longer. I need to start a new project.
Just like you I have a dozen pattern and ideas for new projects. But my friend, Lora, has been not very subtle about her "need" for a quilt. She volunteers at Richmond Animal League and she is also owned by 2 dogs and 2 cats. So the quilt had to be about dogs and cats. Plus I was interested in doing a quilt with some sort of animal block. I like Elizabeth Hartman patterns and her Penguin parade quilt is also on my list. But Lora loves Pit Bulls so this pattern from Sew Fresh Quilts was perfect. This quilt is 60" and I wasn't really interested in a queen size quilt of only dog heads. So I picked up her cat pattern with the idea of doing cats in the border.
Look at that blackbird quilt. Isn't that cute too? I'll just add that to the list too. Lora knows that I'm making this for her. I knew as soon as she saw the first block in Instagram that she would know the quilt was for her anyway.
Since it's not a surprise she got to pick the background color and she picked blue. I didn't have a true plan last week but I had enough of an idea to go ahead and dye fabrics. The background of the dogs will be the light blue, then a 3" border of medium blue and the outside border in the dark blue. The fabrics for the blocks will be my "waste" fabrics that I love so much. The dogs and cats will have a tie dye look. Then it was time to put this in EQ and see how it looked.
So I started with the center and, of course, the dog s look great. But then I got to the border and I didn't get very far before I realized that these cats would not work. Egads, that hideous! The cats look menacing.
I tried dozens of really bad border ideas. Here are just a few. I tried several ways to keep those cats but Lora and I eventually realized that they just didn't belong. The bones were just too juvenile. That zig zag at the top was a border block from EQ and we liked that one.
We both liked this one so I let that marinate in my brain overnight.
In the end I decided that there was too much white in the border so I took off the outside white triangles. After I get this together I might consider adding a 2" dark blue border at the end but this is what I'm going forward with for now.
The pattern instructions for the dog blocks are very well written so I'm looking forward to jumping into this project next week. Dogs and cats are going to sleep on this quilt so I'm not going to stress for perfection. I just want it to be fun.
I mentioned Monday that before starting a new project that I wanted to see if I could get something else off the UFO list. This quilt is what I picked.
The original plan was to use this on a bed in the guest house after appliqueing some giant sunflowers on it. You can sort of see that I have a few rows of predominately green tumblers at the bottom. I drew out lots of ideas that I liked but I eventually realized that the quilt wasn't quite big enough for the twin beds in there and I wan't motivated to cut and sew more tumblers.
This being 4th of July week I though maybe I could turn it into a couple of veterans quilts. Of course the easy solution would be to cut it in half, quilt then and call them done. But the quilt wasn't quite wide enough for that easy solution.
But it would work with a border. I remembered that I had a veterans quilt upstairs paired with a green backing so this predominately green end of the quilt and a green border would mean I'd have 2 more quilts ready for quilting.
It wasn't quite as easy as cutting it in half and adding a border. I added a step to remove 2 of the green rows and sewed them to the other side for a little more balance. Truthfully, in really life you don't see the distinction between the green and blue so much.
Most importantly, I've 1/2 a UFO down! For the remaining half I wanted to see if I could do something different (more interesting). So off to EQ I went to work up some designs.
I checked my stash and I had at least 2 yards of 4 different blue fabrics that I could work with. I love a good stash!
I unsewed the rest of the quilt into 2-row sections. The finished width of these is 6" so that was easy to work with in designing a very simple pattern.
Voila! Two veterans quilt tops! These took longer than they should because I made some ridiculous cutting mistakes. Fortunately, most of the cuts were too large. I was thinking that this would be a great way to use some of my waste fabrics or even a bold print. I'd only need about a yard of the feature fabric. You could even do crumb blocks like this. I might write this up as a pattern just so I have the instructions for future use. Anyone else interested?
The nest part is that this is all that's left of the original quilt top!
Now on to some quilting. I'm so glad that my quilt club makes veterans quilt because they are such a great way to use scraps and bring new life to old UFO projects.
I put the last stitch in the label this morning. I'm really happy with the quilt. The one criticism that you might have is that the motifs don't show up well. Selecting the thread for this quilt was a real challenge. My original idea was to use gold but it looked terrible. I settled on 3 shades of orange-brown. I'm actually really happy with it. Some of the motifs stand out more than others so it invites you in to look closer.
You can see more photos on the Lost My Marbles page.
I'm happy to have this 5 year old UFO done. Now I can start something new!
The end of the kitchen work is in sight! Counters are coming Thursday and the tile guy should have the backsplash done a week from today. I have to admit, it hasn't been bad at all so far. We've gotten pretty comfortable eating at the sewing room cutting table and the kitchen is still functional so it hasn't been much of a hardship.
The hardship has been in Chris. For some reason I've decided that a new countertop means that every appliance and cabinet must be deep cleaned. It took a day last week to clean all of the cabinets and change all of the hardware. Fortunately a friend had a kitchen that needed the old hardware so that was a nice recycle bonus. The fridge is now spotless and the oven has been cleaned. All that's left is the stove and I've convinced Chris to clean the carpets when everything is done. After that we should be able to blindly ignore everything for at least a few years!
But I did get away for 2 days to do some sewing. It was our monthly sewing days with Country School Quilters and this is my project. I got 1 block done last month and one more started. This weekend I finished the second block and cut 4 more. The components are done for are 4 and I got 2 of the blocks sewn together.
I may put these blocks together here. The curved seams will be easier on my Juki with the knee lift. Cutting the parts would be easier here too where I have more room to spread out so I might make kits that I can just sew there.
I know many of you will think I'm insane, but I forgot just how much I love foundation piecing.v
This week I want to finish all of the little circles on my Marbles quilt and make some more progress on the wall. I also need to make some more postcards for birthdays and Airbnb guests. I'm running low. It's supposed to be crummy weather all week so it should be good for sewing.
Its' finally done!
Actually it's been done and on our bed for a week and it's a perfect, warm, winter quilt.
It all started last February at the Mid-Atlantic Quilt show. Anne and I love shopping with Usha at Handloom Batik and we were very excited to find these vintage Indonesian Batiks in her booth last year.
You can read all of the details and see more photos here.
It's been a few days since I've posted and that's because I spent most of last week finalizing decisions on countertops, sinks and faucets. We are going back to the tile store today for the third time and we will not leave until we've made a decision. That's the last decision to be made. So far, the project is going very smoothly so I have no complaints.
But we are watching TV in the sewing room and for the first time in a long time I've actually been looking at the shelves on the TV wall. There's a major decluttering about to take place here! Oh, the stuff that we keep......
Another decision that I've needed to make is what to do with these fabrics. This is a stack of gradient samples that I used for display in my booth at the AQS show. I could just store them in my stash but I really wanted to make something with them. There's one of almost every gradient that I have.
I've had this pattern for a long time and it was even on my wish list of project from last year. It turns out that I need a new project to work on for my monthly CSQ sewing weekend. Since all of the veterans quilt kits that I made up for mast week were taken, I needed something to start working on this past weekend. I decided to give this one a try and use it with the stack of gradients.
I don't love the medium blue background of the pattern quilt. Instead I searched through my stash and pulled every dark fabric that I could find for a scrappy dark background. I'll use the mediums and brights from the gradients for the star points.
This is a Judy Neimeyer pattern and you know that they have a lot of prep work...most of which I did not do. But I had to do some and that took some time. I got one block made and 3 parts of a second block. I'm going to make a few and see if I like how it's going. This project might be a 4 block wall hanging.
But it also might be queen size because I apparently bought a pack of extra foundations. I don't know how long I've had this one but it is discontinued now so it's been marinating here for a long time. I'll give it a few months and see how it goes. I do love foundation piecing. I've missed doing it.
Everyone should do some level of kitchen remodel every 20 years or so. I unpacked the cabinets this weekend while I was watching the football games and I can't believe some of the old stuff that I found. I've been gluten free at least 8 years and we still had wheat pasta in the cabinet. I thought I had been keeping the spice cabinet pretty cleaned out but I discovered that I was pretty wrong on that front too. We got a lot of good laughs out of the things we found.
We got it all done and today the work has started and given the Eagles win last night, there's nothing he could do today that would dampen my mood. He could play rap music and I'd be OK with it today.
Regiment is the 4th veterans quilt that I designed for my program tomorrow. the perfect block size for these 48" x 60" quilts is 12" so I decided that for this one I would do straight blocks with no sashing or borders. I don't know what this block is called but it's really just a variation of the Churn Dash, one of my favorite blocks. This is another one that's good for scraps. You could even do both backgrounds as scrappy tonals.
I have a pretty sizable stash of black on white and white on white fabrics. I bought all of them with plans to overdye them. Like the 10 year old pasta in the kitchen, these fabrics have been around at least that long. I'm trying to get them all dyed up this year to use in veterans quilts. The light blue background in this quilt was a black on white fabric. The dark blue was a flawed fabric that I couldn't sell. I dyed it and cut around the flawed areas. The centers are one Midnight Stash Pack of fat eighths. I would have used dark blue for the binding but I didn't have any if that left so I used the extra print.
So I'm all ready for my program tomorrow and I have 10 kits cut out for anyone who wants them. Now it's time to get back to some of my project, like the beaded mosaic wall and Lost My Marbles quilt. I've also got to come up with a project for the monthly Country School sewing days...unless I come home Tuesday night with a bunch of veterans quilt kits.
Well,, I survived the day of countertop shopping. I'm not planning to share photos of any of the work. It's just a kitchen and there's nothing particularly special about it. It's just that it's 20 years old and needs a little refreshing. While the contractor is here he's also doing a laundry list of things that have needed attention for a while. None of it is really photo worthy.
One of the things that we are doing in the kitchen is removing the over-the-stove microwave/vent combo. Doing that in the original design was a giant mistake. If you are considering doing something like that in your own kitchen remodel, you might want to reconsider. The vent part doesn't work all that well and it gets absolutely disgusting. I can't wait to get that thing taken out and replaced with just a vent.
We will be packing up most of the kitchen this weekend and getting ready for work to start Monday so sewing/quilting might be slow.
For now, though, I still have 2 more veterans quilts to share. Before I talk about today's quilt I want to answer a question from yesterday. The veterans quilts that we make are 48 x 60 so that's the size of these patterns. But any of them would be really easy to make larger. The size we make was recommended by the hospital. This size is goof for hospital beds because they don't get caught in the bed mechanism and for people using them while receive treatments, these are perfect for use in a chair.
I called today's quilt Redoubt. When I started working on this one I was looking at a 12" block as the foundation for the quilt.
The foundation of this quilt is this simple spool block. The lantern motif comes from placement of the colors and columns of blocks are separated by 3" sashing.
Now, I know that my version isn't going to appeal to everyone, but I love it. It's a lot brighter in real life and has more purple in it. I wanted to use one of my Galaxy fabrics as a background and I paired it up with lots of different greens.
Here are a couple of other colorways that you might like better. If you want to make one of these you can get the tutorial here.
Well, things are about to get pretty "exciting" around here. We are finally starting a mini kitchen remodel. The best part about it is that the husband of one of my best friends is doing the work. We've waited a long time to have this done because we specifically wanted him. His work is meticulous! So, I'm excited about that part. The allergy-girl half of me is anxious but hoping for the best. Fortunately we can block off that room really well so, at this point, I'm remaining positive. But if I disappear for a day or few over the next month or so, you will know why.
Today I'm doing counter top shopping after my shooting lesson. It seems like a natural transition, doesn't it? I just hope I get to end the day with some quilting or sewing.
But let's get back to quilting. Today's veterans quilt is one that I'm calling Blockade. I think this name actually makes sense since it's a square surrounded by a square. This quilt is great for scraps and jelly rolls because it's all based on 2.5" squares and strips. The finished block size is 6".
This particular one is made with the scraps from my Indonesian batik quilt. I pulled a variety of green hand dyed fabrics to go with it. The color in this photo is actually pretty bad. I promise that the real quilt looks a lot better in real life. The quilt top went together really quickly and I was about to do a lot of string piecing. Then I had fun in EQ designing some alternative layouts.
I think it would be cool to divide a huge variety of scraps into light and dark to make one of these quilts. If you haven't already figured out how to make it you can get the tutorial here.
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.
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