This weekend was a weekend of finishes. I've finished my weeks of dyeing 100 yards of fabric and I finished Stars At Sea.
On the dyeing front, except for some Shibori and ice dyeing, I'm mostly ready for the AQS show. I can go on vacation without having that hanging over my head. I know myself well enough to know that I'll probably dye a few more Shades Packs and Gradients in September but, technically, I only have to do the ice dyeing. Shibori is happening this week.
Between ironing, folding and packaging I also got the binding on Stars At Sea. You can read all about the quilt in the gallery. There's information there about the pattern and fabric that I used.
I even got the hanging sleeve done because this quilt will be one of the display quilts in my booth at AQS in October.
Yes, I did a fast machine stitched binding. If you visit the booth please just look at the front of the quilt!
I accomplished something that doesn't involve dyeing hundreds of yards of fabric!
I finished quilting Stars at Sea and got it trimmed. Here you can see the pretty light purple backing. I used Wonderful Master Quilter thread for the first time. I love how it looks. It's not as flat as So Fine and not as glossy as Glide. It's a good in-between. But I did have some breaking issues with it. With some advice, I finally figured out that I needed looser tension and then it ran just fine.
The quilt is made with a fat quarter set and the binding will be from strips that I cut from the FQs before cutting out the stars. If I have any energy left from dyeing today I'll get started on this tonight.
Don't forget about the gradient sale this week! All Gradients are 20% off through Friday, July 27! Use coupon code GRADIENT20
I so look forward to my family's annual beach trip. It's funny that we all get along really well but we rarely see each other because we are all a bunch of homebodies. It seems that renting a giant home is enough of a draw that we can all still be anti-social but also be together.
A couple of family members couldn't make it so I was able to invite two of my favorite introvert friends. They fit in perfectly.
As usual I couldn't make it a week without an injury. I had a "shower mishap" that again reinforces my lack of grace and stability. The shower in the master suite is a demonic shower connected to a tub with steps up and down to get in and 2 doors. It's best suited for really tall people. I was standing on the edge of the tub to hang my bathing suit when, predictably, I fell forward. I now have my right upper arm covered in KT tape and enjoying frequent ice packs on a probable torn deltoid. It would be a freaking miracle if I could make it one day without a bruise or cut or some sort of muscle pain. I'm already feeling better but it means another week away from dyeing.
But there's good news too! This house has a indoor balcony from a partial 4th floor and that motivated me in another way.
I finished the quilt! I knew that balcony would be the perfect place to hang it for a photo so I took it along with me and finished it Monday. Don't fret over the look of the lower left corner. The quilt does lay flat but that's the last corner I worked on and it was still a bit wrinkled. I wasn't about to get an iron out at the beach!
Frankly, finishing it was kind of sad. Now I'm at a loss for a new handwork project and we all know that's something of a crisis. I can't watch TV without having something to work on or else I'll eat myself through every show.
Here's the last blossom. This was a coincidence but quite poetic that the last blossom was in my Grandma Dove's favorite color: purple.
Now to commence agonizing on how to quilt it. But there will be no quilting going on this week either!
Last weekend was sewing weekend with Country School Quilters. I look forward to it every month. We go to our meeting place and are able to set up our machines for 2 days. Sometimes there's more talking than sewing but it's a good time regardless. This time Mom went with and we had a fun time chatting and sewing with everyone. We only got a few hours in each day but I made some good progress on Antelope Canyon.
I pulled it out this morning to cut the gradient for the borders and see how it looks so far. I'm going to pack this to take on vacation in case we have any bad weather days next week. This is the layout that I planned for the quilt and I'd align the gradient with the blue in the quilt and gradient adjacent....like I'm trying to show in the bottom of the photo.
I love this gradient and may make a modified version for the shop. I love how it looks with the quilt too. This pattern finished at 74" square which, in my humble opinion, is useless for a queen size bed. I need this one to drape over the edge to cover the sheets and mattress. Gradient borders was the answer.
Just for grins I rotated the blocks and borders to see how this layout would work and I love the effect of the gradient on the edge. Of course that might be different once the blocks are full size. After I get them done I'll lay it out again and see what I like best.
It would be really cool to finish this next week. It's absolutely doable. There are only a few more rounds on each block and the borders are basically slabs. It all depends on whether I find a good book (a real paper book) to read next week. Last year I read The Gene and couldn't put it down. Plus it was about 900 pages. I haven't picked a book for this year so if you have a good non-fiction recommendation I'd love to hear it.
It was sewing weekend with Country School and the first thing I worked on was getting the Stars at Sea top together. I really love it but I'm thinking about removing a star in the right and replacing it with a red one but I think we all know the probability of that happening is about 10%. I made this quilt to be a sample showing off the Color Wheel Stash Pack. I used only one set of fat quarters. Now I just have the small task of quilting to do but I expect to quilt this one right after I finish Lost My Marbles because this one will be a simple all-over design.
Here's the pattern if you like this enough to make one for yourself. The original is done in bright batiks.
Before I made mine I planned out the colors. (My quilt above is hanging upside down from this image.)
Before I cut out my stars I cut 2 strips from each fat quarter to set aside for binding. I'm going to have a bright scrappy binding. Maybe this will be the right place to add more red to the quilt.
After I finished the Stars at Sea quilt top I was excited to jump in and start on Antelope Canyon. I think this is going to be a beautiful quilt and I'm excited to work on it more next month.
The move is over! Mom and I worked non-stop for 6 days and we had a 2-day yard sale, a day to finish packing, a day to move and start unpacking, a day to finish unpacking and a day to hang window treatments and art. That was all followed by yesterday which was entirely a day of rest. The only thing left is for her to finish setting up her sewing room and to build her new design wall. The apartment looks great and I think it's going to work out terrifically.
While I was at her house I knew we would have some time in the evenings so I took my Stars at Sea to work on. This quilt is made in 5 panels. This is the 3rd panel and it seems I made a cutting mistake!
Darn! I even cut one wrong in the 5th panel! If not for this I would have been able to finish this top.
Fortunately tomorrow and Friday are the CSQ sewing days for this month. I've cut new blocks and will be able to get this top together and start one of my other pre-cut kits.
My other task for the weekend is to get these 10 cases of fabric from the foyer to the basement so getting my exercise in will not be a problem!
Remember a couple of weeks ago when I cut my new Indonesian batiks into a quilt kit? Well, these were the leftover scraps and they've been on my swing table ever since just waiting for a home. I finally couldn't take it anymore.
I knew that they needed to be matched up with some other fabrics and I was determined that it would not involve dyeing or buying new fabric. No surprise, I have a drawer full of green dyed fabrics and I pulled out as many as I could find that went with greens in the batiks. Every batik has at least one green in it.
Now I needed a plan so it was off to play in EQ.
I wanted it to be something simple and thought I might be able to do something based on 2.5" strips. Here are the 2 ideas that I eventually landed on. I expect that I will do the one on the left. So I started cutting all of the scraps into as many 2.5" strips as I could. I'm not far enough along to have any idea how big the quilt will be. I'll make as many blocks as I can and it might be only big enough for a veterans quilt. I'm cool with that.
Then I matched up a green with each fabric and paired them. I didn't cut the green fabrics yet. I can do that whenever I get around to working on this project.
There were small scraps left over and, of course, I kept them too! They are on the bottom of the bin with the strips and greens and then the 2 quilt layouts printed off. I got that pile of scraps in this one bin and now I have FOUR travel sewing projects. That might be overkill but I'm OK with it and at least these fabrics are out of my way and I can work on the project that I want to work on here at home. More about that one later.
With the new fabrics that I've bought into the house lately I wanted to do something with the fabrics instead of just piling them into the fabric cabinet to be found again years from now. Plus I need some projects stockpiled for my monthly sewing days and for 2 vacation trips.
These Indonesian batiks are some of the fabrics that I bought recently and I want them in a quilt for my bed by next winter. I absolutely love them.
A few weeks ago I played around with some designs and settled on sashed diamonds....which isn't going to exactly be easy. When I did the original design in EQ I didn't pay attention to the dimension of my diamond but when I printed the template I also realized that it was going to be a total paint to cut out too.
Instead I went straight to Quilter's Apothecary and bought their 60 degree diamond design rulers. Then I redesigned the quilt with this size of ruler. (I also removed the paper from the back of the rulers before I started cutting.) That's how I got the layout above with 77 diamonds. That means I need 8 from each of my 10 fabrics.
I wanted to get the best use of the motifs in the baitk so I first cut out 8 diamonds from paper and then arranged them on the fabric to 1) make sure I could get 8 diamonds and 2) get the best use of the motifs on the fabric.
Yes, it did leave some chunks but we know that's just another project, or 3, in waiting.
I should also mention that I starched all of these fabrics before I cut them. Too many bias edges to control so starch was a must. Here are my 80 (3 extra) diamonds. Oh, this is going to be a pretty quilt!
I bought this purple fabric for the background and, yes, I did soak it before I starched and cut it and, yes, it did bleed. I got all of the sashing and binding cut. I'll cut the borders when I'm done with the center. This is going to be a bed quilt for me so I'll make the borders to fit exactly the size quilt I want. If that means that the borders are different width, I'm going to be fine with that.
And then there's this! I see maybe a lap size quilt, some placemats and postcards. Lots of possibilities....for another day!
I'm pretty focused these days on quilting Spirograph motifs and blanket stitch applique. But this weekend was the monthly sewing retreat with my quilt club. I was only able to go on Friday but made some great progress on Stars at Sea for just one day. It's hard to tell on the white design wall, but this is 2 sections.
You can see from the diagram that I've done the center and Section 1.
Doing all of the cutting and organizing ahead of time made it fun to just sit and start sewing.
This week should be more Spirograph and blanket stitch applique plus a couple of little projects. But first a detour to the eye doctor. I got a GIANT floater in my left eye last night. Fortunately I was able to talk to my doctor and he talked me off the ceiling but he still wants to check it out today. Seems like it's just going to be an annoyance for a few months. I'll take that over other alternatives!
I rarely buy commercial fabric anymore but then a week like this one comes along and I bring home 2 collections!
This first set of fat quarters were free! One of our quilt club members is a sister of one of the head designers at Henry Glass and she graciously offered/agreed/was coerced into doing a little presentation for our group about the process of designing and producing fabric. She was a wonderful speaker and was very open and generous with information. She shared the design, selling and production processes and brought along dozens of the design boards of various collections. We were awed by the number of collections that her team produces each year.
We also got some inside news on the ultimate fate of the Free Spirit and Westminster fabric lines that was very reassuring for Kaffe Fassett and Tula Pink fans.
At the end of the meeting she generously gave us some patriotic fat quarters. I'm going use mine to make new placemats for my patriotic holidays.
Then Friday we made our annual trek to Mid-Atlantic Quilt Festival. I usually don't buy much there but Anne and I have a favorite vendor: Usha at Handloom Batiks. I safely passed the booth once but then Anne went there and bought a bunch of stuff and found out about these vintage Indonesian Batiks that I had missed. Usha said her husband used to collect these Indonesian Batiks with so much beautiful detail. They aren't made like this anymore. She found 2 boxes of them in a closet in her home and didn't want them to be given to Goodwill when she dies so she cut them into half yards and is selling them. They were quite expensive but the fabrics are as exquisite quality as the prints are beautiful. I had to have some.
Specifically I had to have 10 of them! I've washed them and they only bled a little. The colors are beautiful and I came home and planned a quilt.
The pattern needed to be simple to show off the fabrics and I bought so much fabric that I can easily make a queen sized quilt. I found the perfect eggplant print from one of Paula Nadelstern's collections in my stash for the background and fortunately The Cotton Club still has it in stock. So that's ordered. I even ordered a ruler to cut the diamonds. In the next week or so I'll cut this out as another kit. It will be a good project to take on one of my vacations because most of my vacations also include a sewing machine.
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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