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 was going to wait until I did my program next week before I shared these quilts but this is pretty much all I've been working on so it's all that I have to share!
I've gotten motivated to focus more on the veterans quilts because we have such a wonderful group of nurses at the veterans hospital that make sure these quilts are given to people who appreciate and love them. The nurses are so grateful to have these to give to their patients that really need a boost. I just want to make sure that they always have a supply.
We also have a great set-up at Country School Quilters to make these. We use our dues money and other fundraising money to purchase backing and batting. I used to get printed backing but now I only buy white so that I can dye the backs. Here are a few that I dyed in November and December that are all ready for some quilts. I used to do all of the quilting but now we have 4 longarmers in our group and we share the work.
I decided to do a program for January with 4 new quilt ideas and that's what I have been working on. I wanted projects that were easy and I'm even cutting a couple of kits out of each one for members who don't like to do the cutting step.
This first one is SOOOOOO easy. I decided to call it "Strength" because it's pieced in columns, or pillars....get it? I know, it's a reach, but it was late and that was the best I could do. The real point of this design was to make a quilt that would make great use of large scale prints or other "special" fabrics that just need a little framing to show them off.
For my version I used my "waste" fabrics and I think it created kind of a stained glass look. This could be easily adjusted to make a QOV or bed quilt size. I'm thinking about doing one using all of the Paula Nadelstern fabrics that I've collected with a black background. I think that could look pretty awesome. The kits I made have blue background, red bars and patriotic plaids as the feature fabrics. I think they will make a couple of really cute quilts. I could probably make about 30 kits just with my collection of waste fabrics!
The pattern, such as it is, is here.
We had a great weekend of sewing at quilt club and I got the last 2 of my new veteran quilt patterns made up.
I'm working on these because I'm doing a program on veterans quilts for our January meeting and I want to have 4 easy patterns to share. The colors in this photo aren't quite right. The background one of my Galaxy fabrics and I love these for backgrounds. It's actually a lot more purple than this photo shows. The greens are greener and the orange is brighter in real life. I think this would look really cool in scrappy tans for a background, blue lanterns and red squares with a red binding. I cut it out one evening and sewed it together in about 5 hours.
This is the last of the 4 and I love it. It's simply 20 12"blocks. I had an overdyed black -on-white that I used for the background, the dark is dyed navy blue and the centers are from the Midnight Stash Pack. One Stash Pack was plenty for this quilt. I also pieced this in about 5 hours.
Next I will write up instructions for them and will post them in January.
The weekend finished off perfectly with the lovely snow storm that hit the Southeast. (I refuse to legitimate the bogus habit of the Weather Channel of naming winter weather systems. It was just snow.) It's a rare event in Virginia but we were gifted the second highest December snow levels in Richmond at 11.5". We measured 10" in front of the house. That's the most in this area in December since 1908 and I'm glad we were here to see it.
I've been hoping for the opportunity to get these photos for 20 years! I even moved all of the cars out of the cars when the snow started so that I could take a photo without vehicles. Maybe I'll have to print them on fabric for next year's postcards.
Now that the Christmas postcards are done I'm spending the remainder of my December mostly working on veterans quilts. I'm going to do a program for Country School Quilters in January and want to design a few relatively easy patterns to share.
This current focus all happened because of this quilt that I made with the Indonesian batik scraps. It was so much fun to make a small quilt for a change that I decided to make a few more. Plus we've gotten some feedback from the hospital department that distributes our quilts and that really inspired me to focus on these quilts for a while.
Here are some of the design ideas that I'm working on. I'll make at least one top from each one and then cut up some kits to have at my program next month.
I sewed this one together very quickly yesterday. Once it's quilted I will use the orange fabric in the bars for the binding. The feature fabrics are my "waste fabrics" that I love so much! I'm thinking that this would look great in a larger quilt using shibori fabrics.
Here are 4 kits that I've cut out already. Today and tomorrow are sewing days with Country School so I hope to get the 2 on the right put together by Monday. If I can get those done I will have 4 quilt patterns to share in January. It will be even better if I get them quilted and bound.
We might even have a quilt-along on the blog next year for a veterans/QOV quilt.
I got the batik quilt loaded this weekend and started quilting. As a matter of fact, I had to do it twice because the first time I didn't use my centering tape measure and the quilt was 1" narrower at the end. I don't know why I didn't use it from the beginning. There's so much bias in this quilt because of the diagonal seams that I needed to be careful loading it.
I love the Longarm Centering Tape. I don't use the number marks on the tape, I only use the little flags to mark major seams. As I load the quilt and roll it forward I line everything up with the flags. The second time around I got it right.
I'm about halfway through the quilt and I knew very quickly that the maintenance that I did on the quilt was worth the effort. No more thread breaks and I'm using a pretty persnickety thread.
With this quilt I'm trying a new approach to my day. I usually I start my day with shop work. Then I work as long as I need to get through my list and I'm finding myself at the end of the day without any sewing or quilting time. I'm going to try to start my day with an hour of sewing or quilting and then get to "work".
I'm using a pantograph on this quilt simply because I want it done! It's going to be on my bed so it doesn't really matter.I picked a purple thread that was a little lighter than the fabric so it would show up. It doesn't show at all on the blocks.
I had gotten out of using pantographs much but when Marcy was quilting veterans quilts for me this summer she used them. That got me interested in them again. I prefer doing free motion from the fron of the machine but I quilt way too densely for a bed quilt. Pantographs are the best tool for me for bed quilts.
Thsi one should be done in a couple of days.
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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