The fun part of my weekend was delivering the Minnie Mouse doll dress to Ella. She loved it and then I spent the rest of the visit tethered to her little brother playing with a bottle of bubbles. Who knew that a $1 bottle of soap would be so popular? You never know.
The rest of the weekend was much quieter. I had the time to get the big green quilt together! Now, I know that most of you are not to sure about this one. Frankly, I'm not either. But my college roommate LOVES anything green. She's seen this and says that she loves it. But just in case I'm going to dye a really pretty back for it so that it will be two-sided.
Here it is spread out flat on the back porch. It's 108" square to fit their king size bed. It's growing on me. For a quilt that wasn't planned at all, it's not too bad! It started as a desire to empty fabrics from my green hand dyed drawer and to use some of the waste fabrics. It accomplished both of those things. The pattern is Club Noir from my favorite quilting book, Colorful Quilts for Fabric Lovers by Amy Walsh and Janine Burke.
This will head to the to-be-quilted pile now.
On the longarm front there's been no progress. Innova tried to call me Friday but I was out running an errand. I expect I'll hear from them today.
Tomorrow I'll be working the Virginia Primary election. It will be really slow so I'll have to take a book to read or some crochet or hand sewing to do. It's a Democratic primary and Virginia Democratic elections are pretty much controlled by national organizations so everyone already knows who the candidate will be. I don't personally know any Democrats that are bothering to vote. It's going to be a long 12 hours in my largely-Republican precinct. The people I'm working with are all nice so it will be fun to reconnect with them.
I have 3 brothers and no sisters. Growing up that was a great set up. I'm the oldest and set all the rules. I was pretty sure the whole house would have fallen apart without my leadership.
Yes, I was THAT kid.
But after becoming an adult I realized that a sister might have been a good thing. Instead I have 3 sisters-in-law that I love. Last year I set out to make each of them a quilt. I made Penguins on Ice for Carol and Corona Cats for JJ. She was also supposed to get Where In The World Is My Cat, but we know what happened to that. Turns out it's the most appropriately named quilt EVER!
With those 2 quilts done I still had one more to make for Karen. Karen is a decorator. Everything in her house looks perfect (completely unlike my house where everything is cluttered with one project or another). I wanted to make a quilt that she would want so I asked for her input. She loves animal prints so that sent me on a mission to fine animal prints there weren't juvenile or just plain tacky.
Fortunately those geniuses from Lunn Studios had just designed the Serengeti Artisan batiks for Kaufman and they were absolutely perfect for Karen's quilt. I bought too much of all of them so there are some charity quilts coming soon.
I wanted to focus on the fabrics and eventually settled on the same pattern that I used a few years ago to feature some vintage Indonesian Batik fabrics. This was made easy by using Jamie Wallen's nested triangle design rulers.
It's a really simple quilt design wise, but I think it's really effective. I could have moved a couple of the triangles around but it looked good when it was laid out on a design bed and that's what I sewed together.
I suggested Minky for the back and she agreed. I had to get the extra wide "Cuddle" version and I found it at Big Sky Quilts. I got very fast shipping from this veteran owned business. The pantograph is called Ebb and Flow. I've never used it before because to get the water effect that it's meant to be you have to load the quilt on the short side. But for this quilt it's a perfect motif to run the length of the quilt. I never want Minky to be quilted too close together. I know some people are afraid to quilt with this fabric but it really is so easy. I've never had a problem with it. The Cuddle version is even more stable than the "regular" Minky so start with that if you are unsure.
I used Superior Magnifico on the front and So Fine on the back.
I dithered over the label for a while. First, I didn't want to hand stitch a label on that thick backing fabric and second, I know this will be a display quilt so I didn't want the label to stand out. I settled on hiding the relevant details in one of the zebra print blocks. I'm sure I'll never be able to find this again and that's A-OK with me.
This quilt reminds me of a very valuable lesson that all of us makers need to always remember. We must keep out recipients in mind. I've heard so may sad stories of quilters gifting quilts that they feel that the recipients didn't appreciate properly. It's not the recipients responsibility to love a quilt that you made in a design and color that you love. It's our responsibility to make quilts that we know will feed the soul of the recipient. I would have never purchased these fabrics for myself, they do not speak to me. But when I see them in this simple, yet elegant, design, I see Karen and I think she will love the quilt.
I'm now out of sisters-in-law so I think it's on to a lot of charity sewing for the rest of the year.
It's always good to be invited to the river and it's especially good when it's designated as Craft Week! It was a beautiful drive here yesterday because all the Bradford Pear trees are in full bloom.
As soon as I got here we went outside with Ginger and she proceeded to find something rotten to roll in so her Craft Week kicked off with a bath.
We eventually made it to her sewing room where I started on the animal print batik quilt for my SIL. It's going to be a smaller version of my Indonesian Batik quilt. Today I will start by cutting the the sashing. By the time I finished the diamonds I knew I had spent too much time on my feet so I took a break at this point and started crocheting a hat.
Anne is working on some yoga bags for friends.
Cocktail hour was beautiful, as always.
After dinner I finished up this hat. The yarn was one skein that I bought to try out for a scarf for my Mom. It didn't work for that so I out the one skein in my hat yarn bag. The yarn is Lion Brand Hometown and it's a 6 - super bulky. This pattern was designed for this yarn and there was very little left over from 1 ball. In the end, this hat is a kids hat. It's quite small but it's done! I probably wouldn't work with this yarn, or any bulky 6, again. It's a perfectly fine and soft yarn. I just don't like handling yarn this bulky.
Today I'll focus on the sashing for the animal print quilt and maybe start crocheting a chemo hat.
The best part of this weekend (besides the beautiful weather) was being able to sew with my quilt club friends Friday and Saturday. I missed the January meeting and February was canceled for weather so I was really needing a fix. This is my project for sewing weekends for the moment. I've got all the blocks cut out and only 40ish left to sew together. I've been really iffy on this one but I'm feeling better about it now. Imagine that 2 of the 6" x 12" blocks makes 1 12" square block. That's how it will be constructed. It will be king size so if you look at this as the lower left corner is the center block you can see the gradation from light to dark in one quadrant. It will be 9 blocks by 9 blocks so there are 4 more columns to the left and 4 more rows below. All 4 corners will be dark and the center will be light. I think my friend will actually like it and not pretend to like it just because I made it. She's one of those people who would love a pile of sculpted garbage if she knew that you made it for her. She's absolutely batty for the postcards that I send to her. Green is her favorite color so that's why the green frames.
I sure do love the effect of the waste fabrics in the windows of the green blocks!
After sitting on my backside for 2 days I needed some exercise. Chris has chopped a lot of wood so I got my workout in by stacking all of it. This is just the start of what we are gathering to put in for next winter.
I also almost caught up on my videos for Bethanne Nemesch's feather quilting class. I'm on the one where we learn feathered wreaths, setting triangles and borders. I have NEVER been able to do a feathered center. These aren't "perfect" but they are perfect for me. This class was worth it just to learn to do these! I'm going to practice feathers on some of the veterans quilts that I have coming up. I really hate practicing on practice fabric. I need a purpose with my quilting. I prefer to practice on real quilts and I have a few good candidates in the veterans quilt stack.
Sunday morning I delivered 22 veterans quilts to our VA contact. She lives on the other side of the county from me so it's about 45 minutes to get there and back but I learned that she's moving about 5 minutes away next month. Future deliveries will be very easy.
That trunk that they are stacked on belonged to my Grandmother. She gave it to me before I went to college and it's been everything from a coffee table, foot stool and end table for 40 years. It's now a suitcase rack for guests and display for finished veterans quilts.
After running errands Sunday afternoon I finally sat down to finish piecing the corners for the big star.
Then I started on the little star. That inside curve is a beast! But if I can get 4 done a day I'll be able to start putting the quilts together this weekend.
The weather this week is going to be pretty crummy so sewing seems the best plan of action.
This weekend was sewing weekend with my quilt club.
These are the blocks that I'm working on and this is the layout from the book. I love making the blocks but I'm not loving the quilt so far. But I persevered and made even more blocks this weekend. I'm thinking of this quilt as a possible king size to gift to a friend who loves green.
The other quilters and I talked about some different options. One was to make a square block instead of the rectangle from the pattern. I laid these blocks out alternating the orientation of the block and arranging them in a light to dark gradient based on the green frames. If it becomes king sized then this would be 1/4 of the quilt with the lower left corner as the center.
This is sort of the same thing but in columns. I kind of like the columns.
I then took both of these photos and roughly cropped and arranged them to see how it might look as a whole quilt.
I think this has some possibilities and I think I like the one in alternating squares better than the vertical stripes. What do you think?
I'm going to play around in EQ a bit. I'm getting to the point that I do need to know how many blocks I need to make. Although extra blocks can always be made into veterans quilts.
This week I have a few more coaster sets to make and them I'll get on to working on the last Christmas gift that doesn't actually have to be done by Christmas.
But first, a couple of photos from Thanksgiving. The day started off a little rainy and overcast but by the time the mashed potatoes were underway this is the view we were blessed with. It was a lovely day on the Rappahannock River. We always do Thanksgiving as a small group so, for once this year, there was no change for us. As usual we had too much food for too few people! Absolutely perfect.
It's possible that Ginger even got more treats than she was supposed to have. But don't tell anyone that. Sometimes I get in trouble. But she always seems so hungry and does pitiful to perfection.
My one goal of the trip was to get Dale and Chris to hold the quilt up for me to get a full front photo. I didn't have any place where I could do it here. It was a little breezy but we got it done and now Kim's Garden is officially finished! I will now wash it and make the label and get that done soon because I know that Kim is waiting for it.
You can read all about the history and making of this quilt here.
It was so nice to be able to sew with my quilt club again. Our group is sponsored by Hanover Parks and Rec so they are just now opening up the facilities for limited use. They were even there to take our temperatures on arrival. I'm not sure how helpful that is because my temp was 83 on Saturday. It didn't really matter. They had us set up 6 feet apart and there were only 7 of us there with a capacity of 15.
I spent mot of my time over the 2 days cutting out blocks. You can see that I was a little obsessive compulsive about organizing my workspace.
I'm thinking of making a king size quilt as a gift for a friend. For that I need 162 blocks. This is 51 blocks cut out and ready for assembly next month.
BI started by making these 18 just to see if I'd like it. You can see here how I'm using the mini gradient effect in the waste fabrics in my windows. I'm using pretty much every green in my stash and I'm happy with how it's looking so far. With these I have 69 blocks at least to the cut out stage. I think you can figure out here that piecing is a breeze. I do try to keep the 3 waste fabric pieces aligned properly.
This pattern is called Club Noir and is in the book Color Quilts For Fabric Lovers by Amy Walsh and Janine Burke. This quilt is the cover quilt on the book. This will be the 4th quilt that I've made from this book! The patterns are just great for scrappy quilts where the scrap fabric has some sort of theme. I'll give my version of Club Noir a different name because that name doesn't fit this fabric. My name will have "green" in it in some way.
We all stayed at the center as late as possible. No one wanted to leave!
Mom stayed with me Friday night so it was a good opportunity for my youngest brother, SIL, niece and new boyfriend (!) to visit. Mom can't have visitors at her apartment yet unless she needs some sort of medical or personal care help. We though we might go over with a enema one day and tell the guard that Grandma is stopped up and needs help. Wouldn't that be hilarious?
Don't worry, we would probably not to that.
New boyfriend received approval.
In between all that activity I finished quilting Kim's Garden! This is the last block. I need to inspect the back to make sure I don't need to fix anything and then I can get on with binding. Right now it's spread over the guest bed and it's HUGE. I'll get a photo when the rain stops and I have some decent natural light.
I'm going to have to switch gears a bit because I realized that I need to get started on Christmas postcards. It's time for some design work followed by some factory work around here.
Yesterday was dyeing day. I dyed about 60 yards including this Sugar Maple gradient. I didn't do much else except talk to my art advisor, Estelle. We talked about my floor cloth project. She is the person who eventually got me to learn to test things before starting big projects. It was a very difficult lesson for me to learn! After doing the test drawing on the florr cloth painted with eggshell paint I was all set to get satin finish paint for the "real" ones but we decided that I need to get a sample and test that too to make sure that the marker will not smear on the shinier surface. I'll pick of a sample jar today to test that out.
Meanwhile I need to get a new project kit together now that the county is letting us have our sewing days again! We will have a small group because some people still aren't comfortable being out but I'm so looking forward to having sewing days again! I like to have a dedicated project to work on there to make packing easier. I've done enough veterans quilts for the year and still have a few of the tops I made to quilt so this will be a totally new bed quilt. I looked through my books and decided that I liked these 4 candidates.
Next I decided on fabric. I've been wanting to make something with either my drawer of green hand dyed fabrics or the drawer of blue. So one of these will be pulled.
I've also been wanting to make another quilt with my coveted waste fabrics.
So I voted on the 4 candidates and this one won. I'll make the frames from the greens and the windows from the waste fabrics. It could look pretty cool or it could be a hot mess. I won't know until I make a few blocks this weekend.
Here are the fabrics that I selected so everything is packed up and ready for Friday!
I changed out the quilt on our bed this week and, for the first time, we are using the spirograph quilt! I love getting to see this every day. It's still a little stiff but will soften over time. It's so nice to finally use it.
I wasn't particularly productive Monday and yesterday. There seemed to be a lot of other things to do. I did get to spend a little time with my friend, Marcy, under the pretense of teaching her ruler work on the longarm. She didn't need the lesson but we had a fun visit.
In between I got the next star points done on both quilts. I've positioned them in reverse color order to see if I prefer one over the other. I don't have an opinion yet except that I'm really happy with the way it's looking.
Today is dyeing day so you might not hear from me tomorrow because there may not be any progress on any of my projects.
I did not get as much done this weekend as I wanted. I found entirely too many distractions to waste time. But I did make progress on the next set of 4 Mardi Gras blocks. Four more pieces on each and these will be done.
I don't know what the final name of this quilt will be but, for sure, it will not be Mardi Gras. Mardi Gras just doesn't have any personal meaning to me. I might default to Summer Sunset because that's the name of the gradient that the palette comes from and for now I'm going to use that name going forward. At least it will have more relevance than Mardi Gras and will do until I get some inspiration for something better.
I'm hoping to get some better focus and discipline this week and actually make some serious progress on some projects!
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In Bloglovin you need to search "Colorways By Vicki Welsh" to find the blog.
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.