This past weekend was sewing weekend with Country School Quilters. I probably should have stayed home to do more prep work for the AQS show but I preferred 2 days hanging out with Mom and our quilt friends. I took my Indonesian batik quilt to work on. I got started on this while we were on vacation and could have probably finished it there but I didn't bring my diamond ruler to cut the edge pieces.
As a reminder, this is the layout for the quilt. I bought the fabric at the Mid-Atlantic Quilt Festival. They were pretty expensive.....more expensive than my hand dyed fabric...so I didn't want to cut them up too much. That's why I chose this design and I used the Diamond Design Ruler from Quilter's Apothecary. These design rulers are specifically for cutting, not for longarm ruler work.
I got all of the rows stitched on vacation and this weekend I got all of the edge triangles cut and these 4 rows put together.
Putting rows of diamonds together turns out to be very tricky! The method I used in the end was to chalk a seam line across the sashing to help line up the next row. It's fiddly but it works. I started with the longest rows and there's only one more this long and then I start going up each side.
The edges are not necessarily on straight of grain so I'm stay stitching them as I go along. The quilt will have a solid purple border to finish it off. I expect I'll have this one done in November.
While we were on vacation we established a routine pretty quickly. We learned that, in Acadia National Park, if you want to find a parking place in the park you better be where you want to be early. From about 9:30 - 3:00 the place is a beehive of activity and parking is nearly impossible. We weren't staying on the bus route so driving was a must for us.
We would be out of the house by 7:30 for whatever hike were were doing so we were usually back around lunchtime. 7:30 is REALLY early for me but it gave me a lot of afternoon time for sewing, reading, napping or floating in the lake with a tasty beverage.
I honestly didn't have a lot of confidence in my hiking abilities. I had no plans or ambition to hike any of the taller mountains. But we set a strategy of starting off with some easy, but long, hikes and worked out way up. By the end of vacation Chris and Ian convinced me that I was ready for Sargent Mountain, the second highest peak in Acadia. It tops out at 1373' and I was thrilled to make it. Next year we are doing Cadillac Mountain for sure....via the easier South Ridge. I wore my celebratory Eagles cap all weekend and met lots of other Eagles fans. I even met someone who went to the Super Bowl to see it live. That's Chris in white and our friend, Ian, in blue. Laura passed up this hike and enjoyed a day alone sewing.
One day the three of them went out to eat and I took that opportunity to stay home, take over the machine and work on Antelope Canyon.
I was able to finish the Antelope Canyon quilt! A absolutely love this quilt and pattern. Laurie Shifrin designs very unique patterns and they are very well written. I think that I will likely make this one again and I love one of her other patterns, Mirage. Just Google the pattern names to find several sellers that carry them.
I'm making this for the guest house bed and I needed it bigger to have a nice overhang for that bed so I dyed the custom gradient for it and I love the effect of how the gradient sort of washes out the edges of the geometric pattern.
After the AQS show in October I want to get a quilt back dyed and get this one quilted and done before the end of the year.
Today and tomorrow are sewing days with Country School and I hope to make some progress on my Indonesian Batik quilt.
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 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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