The time has come.
I can't procrastinate on my oldest UFO anymore. Yesterday I got it loaded and basted. I have a general idea of how I want to quilt it so I'll likely start with what I know for sure that I want to do and figure the rest out as I go along. But, for sure, there will be stitches in this quilt by Monday. It is huge at 95" square but I was really happy that it was square and flat and basting it was easy.
In the black areas I want to do some feathers and I'm thinking about one of these threads. I want the black to stay predominately black but I would like for the feathers to show a little. I'm sort of favoring the dark green on the left. What's do you think?
In the last couple of days I also got my placemats quilted. As I was doing these on the Juki I noticed that the tension is acting up in just the way it acted up the one time it had to be serviced. So I'm taking the machine to my brother this afternoon so he can clean it up and fix whatever is worn out.
Today is also the day that I finally get to deliver the fancy doll dress to Ella. Her birthday was in July but I haven't been able to see her since June. I'm anxious to see if this thing fits well.
I'll be OK without my Juki and I can bind all of these projects on my Brother machine while I wait for the Juki to be repaired. These projects should keep me out of trouble for the weekend.
I so love our monthly sewing get together with my quilt club. We usually have 6 - 10 people and we get to leave everything set up Friday might so we can show up Saturday and just start sewing. This weekend we had 9 both days. 7 people came both days.
I finished this veterans quilt top and I love it so much! It's all scraps. The blue center is leftover from a veterans quilt back that I dyed and the color strips are leftovers from the Big Green Quilt. Trash to treasure for sure. The blocks are rectangular and finish 8 x 10 so the top is 48 x 60. I just love how the waste fabric scraps sparkle. I'd make one of these in a bed size. Some day this will get quilted.
I fired up the longarm for the first time since vacation and quilted these two tops that I pieced on vacation. I just did some simple wavy line quilting. My approach to the veterans quilts now is fast and easy. There are too many to be quilted to spend a lot of time on them. I think this motif works well with the strong geometric lines of the design. I like both of these quilts a lot and they were easy to cut with the Accuquilt Go.
Last week I got this backing fabric dyed for my postage stamp quilt. That's the next thing going on the longarm - FINALLY! My oldest UFO is going to be quilted.
I was going to do a black backing but I decided on blue and black. It just needed to be dark because the batting is black. I'm excited to finally get started on that one.
My goals for this week are:
- load and baste the postage stamp quilt
- bind the veterans quilts
- finish the current crochet blanket
- start working on enlarging the vulture quilt
The past couple of days the weather has been spectacular. I'm writing this post Thursday afternoon. Yesterday I kayaked while Chris went on a guided fishing trip and then our from from Boston arrived to hand out with us the rest of out stay. Today we took a hike on Beech Mountain as a warm up to an 8 mile hike up Cadillac Mountain (1500 feet) tomorrow. Beech Mountain is on the lake where we stay and the house we rent is right at the point of the yellow arrow.
You've got to love a park where they can create sections of trails with granite steps! There's lots and lots of granite around here.
This is just a photo that I took while I was out kayaking Wednesday.
I doubt if I'll post tomorrow. Our hike will likely take 5 -6 hours and I expect a long nap when we return.
I haven't gotten a lot done on the sewing front because we've been busy visiting and catching up. Next week we'll get to meet up with some other friends who will also be in the area. We haven't seen them in 3 years so I'm really looking forward to seeing them again. I do have 2 more sets of blocks done and have started a third.
On the crochet front, I've finished off 1 skein of yarn for my baby blanket (no photo). Yesterday I snuck out for a couple of hours to shop in Southwest Harbor. There's a nice quilt/yarn shop there. I picked up 2 skeins of yarn to swatch up to see if I'd like them for a pocket shawl that I want tp make.
The Remix is nice but not particularly snuggly enough for a pocket scarf. I could see this for a very loose crochet summer cardigan or shawl or maybe tightly stitched for a tote.
I absolutely loved stitching the Cumulus yarn and loved the way it looks but I was concerned about this one pilling. A scarf gets a lot of wear and friction so I rubbed this swatch a bit and found my concerns validated. I'm glad I only bought one skein of each of these. I'm not sure what I might make with either of these but I certainly won't be buying more.
There are a few more quilt and yarn shops around here that I'll probably check out Tuesday when Chris and Dave are away on another fishing trip.
If I don't die on the hike tomorrow! We did the steeper version of this hike last year for as my birthday goal so I expect we will be fine as long as we pace ourselves and take plenty of water. I know for sure that I'll hold the boys back and I'm fine with that.
This was yesterday (Monday) so that means it was sewing and crochet day. We squeezed in a 4 mile walk in the neighborhood between showers but that was the extend of our outdoor activities.
This is today! Today was hiking and floating in the lake day. This morning we headed out early for a 6 mile hike on a path called Aunt Betty Pond and the return path would be by Eagle Lake for a total of 6 miles. A good challenge but not a killer. We got about 2/3 way through the hike and found out the the return path was closed so we had to return the way we came for a total of 8.2 miles! That was a little more than we planned but it was doable. When we came back we got the floats out and tied up to the dock and floated in the lake for about an hour. It's possible that I napped a little. When we went out the lake was flat as glass and the wind only came in after we got out of the lake.
The coolest thing happened when we got out. A family of black ducks came around the dock and it was clear that they were expecting some food. I stuck my left hand in the water and all 3 of the ducklings (almost adult) came up for a nibble on my wedding band. That has happened to me once before when I was floating in the lake so it wasn't totally unexpected. I don't know why they are attracted to the gold band but it was really cool to be so close to them. Sadly, I disappointed them.
On the sewing front, I finished the 4th veteran's quilt top. I like this one a lot.
Then I geeked out when I reached the end of this 500 meter (547 yard) spool of thread. It was brand new when I arrived in Maine!
Next I'm going to work on a couple of blocks before I pull out another veterans quilt kit. I pulled out one block set yesterday and got it about 1/4 put together when I realized that I didn't cut out the right number of pieces. No surprise there.....
The crochet blanket is making big progress. This pattern is really easy and fast. I've made a couple of errors but they were easy to fix in the next row so I didn't have to frog too far. I've been anxious to see how far one ball of yarn would go to see if I'd have enough and now I know that I do. This will be about 39" wide and, based on where I am now, it should be at least 48" long using all 4 balls. That's perfect so I'll keep hooking. I'll crochet until I run out of yarn and that's how big it will be.
The gloves are helping so much. I can crochet for a couple of hours a day. I have overdone it a little today so I'll stop and rest my hands until tomorrow. But I'll say that the Copperfit gloves are still magic for me.
Now, on to a funny story that we still can't figure out. This is the dock that we kayak and float off of. We park the kayaks here on this bridge. When I took this photo Chris was out on the one that I used our first day here.
These are my headphones that I wear all day every day to listen to books. I remember packing them somewhere when we left Greenville but I didn't remember where I packed them. When we arrived here I could not find them. I went through every bag twice and they were no where.
The first day Chris and I kayaked and I didn't take anything with me. No phone, no towel, no water.....nothing except the life vest. The next day Chris went out to fish and found these tangled in the seat of the kayak that I used.
Absolutely no idea. I don't even know how they stayed in the kayak since we store them on their sides. They should have fallen into the water. But I am so glad to have them back.
We've made the move to the Acadia area and we have internet again. It's truly sad how dependent I am on the internet all day. I really need to work on that. I like to look things up all the time. I was reading a book last week about the recovery of a shipwreck and I so wanted to get on the web and see the recovery photos and watch the interviews and documentaries about it. Plus there's all the time that I waste on crochet porn on YouTube. But the big thing is blog reading. As of now I have 376 posts in my reader to catch up on. We're expecting rain from Henri at some point so I expect I'll have time to catch up.
Here's one of the last sunsets from our place in Greenville. It was really beautiful and peaceful there and we hope to go back next year. It's a lot less developed and more remote than Acadia, of course, and that's really appealing.
Chris had some really good fishing there. One trip was a guided bass fishing trip on a lake and he caught at least 60 fish! He said is was the best day of freshwater fishing in his life. He's ready to go back for sure.
Out last hike was around Big Moose and Little Moose ponds. There weren't any moose but it was a really good hike with lots of varied terrain great views. My one note for next year is to double spray the bug spray.
Since my last post I switched from my vintage blocks to work on veterans quilt tops. These 2 were cut as a set and I sewed them at the same time. Having pre-cut kits is so nice! I need a cutting genie for all of my sewing projects.
I suppose the Accuquilt is sort of a cutting genie because this one got cut fast using the Accuquilt and it sewed together really fast. I have another set of HST blocks and will work on that next now that my new space is set up.
Before we left Greenville I also finished these 3 hats. I'll sew on the toppers when I get home. They have elastic strings that you are supposed to just feed through and tie off but the heads are too floppy. I think a few stitches will make them better. I hope the boys (Ella's brother and cousins) like them.
I forgot to take a picture of my sewing set up here but I'll get one tomorrow. It's got the best view! All of my projects are on a guest bed that will not be used until our friend gets here later in the week. For now, this is my attempt at organization.
The first crochet thing I'll work on is getting the border on this baby quilt. This is my car crochet project and I finished the body of the blanket on the drive. The border required some trial and error and math so I couldn't do that in the car. I can get this wrapped up by the time Henri has passed through and then I can move on to something else. Of course, there's another project bag just waiting to be opened!
I'll leave you with moon rise over Long Pond last night. We are so lucky to be able to be here.
Yesterday's post was written Sunday and I haven't had a chance to get to the internet spot again until this afternoon (Tuesday). We are still having a wonderful time. I haven't seen any more moose but we have been on a couple of really good hikes.
This is Moxie Falls, a really beautiful little place. Generally I don't take a ton of photos on vacation is this photo is the reason why. It's impossible to show scale. There's no way to really convey the vastness of the Lamar Valley in Yellowstone or the grand scale of the Grand Canyon. Chris and I laughed when we looked at this photo because it looks like a little waterfall. But like everything in nature, it's better in person!
Yesterday we hiked Mount Kineo at the West end of Moosehead Lake. You take a little water shuttle to the island and then hike 900 feet up. This view was near the top. There's no view at the top unless you climb an old fire tower. Chris did and said the view was spectacular but you couldn't pay me to walk up open stairs that sway.
I have been dong some crafty things every day, mostly in the evenings and not as much sewing but the next few days should have more sewing time. On the loom knitting front I finished the scarf and hat that I worked on in the car on the way up. I'm finally learning this gadget and am happier with my results. Both of these were made on KB Looms and theses are my favorite things so far.
The hat was made on the Flexee loom that allows you to decrease the crown instead of gathering it. It takes a little longer but I like it much better.
I've got my next 2 project started. The hat will be like the blue one above except that there's a little purl pattern going through it. The other project will be a scarf. I saw a scarf with rib ends and thought I'd give it a try. This one is flat knit in a pattern of knits and purls. I've got plenty of yarn for it!
Here are all of the hats and scarves I've made so far: 5 hats and 3 scarves. I brought all of them with me to Maine hoping to find a place to donate them. They are much more useful here than in Virginia. I did find a place here in Greenville so these will be donated before we leave town.
Then I finished this shawl. I've been looking for a pattern for a shawl that would be good for donation to senior organizations. The organization I donate through likes horseshoe shaped shawls because they stay on the wearer better. I do not like the pattern that they have and have been looking for another. One of the Youtubers that I follow posted this pattern recently (search for Carrie Penny shawl on YouTube) and I thought it would be perfect. I had a single ball of Mandala yarn to test it out with. This worked up really fast and I love how it looks. This is a short shawl that will just cover the shoulders and that makes it perfect for someone in a wheelchair. The color changes in this particular yarn (I think it's called Chimera) is so pretty. I'll take this one home to donate. I think this basic pattern would be easy to add in patterning for some variety but I do like the speed of straight double crochet. This is TV work so I like for it to be simple.
Next on the crochet front I'm going to get these hats done. I bought the kits months ago but we were heading into summer and I wasn't motivated to make them yet. These should be done pretty quickly.
At my little sewing station I'm working on a pair of veterans quilt tops. These are going together quickly so I may have a photo to share tomorrow or Thursday.
For the rest of this week I may just post photos from my phone. Text in a blog post is a total pain on the phone. I'm not sure how much internet time we will have because we have lots of things we want to do before we leave Moosehead Lake. It's possible that I won't post again until Saturday when we are on Mount Desert Island and have internet at our house there.
If you are reading this Friday or Saturday you can be pretty sure that I'm in a car. We will not have internet or TV at the cabin where we will be for 2 weeks. We will be able to go into town to get some level of public internet service. Sometimes the App works to let me post but sometimes it doesn't!
Fortunately I have a backlog of fabulous customer projects and I'll use next week to share those. Every day next week will be Customer Gems day and you are in for some real treats!
Today I thought I'd share the projects that I decided to take with me.
On the quilting front I have a lot of pre-cut projects. I've been slowly working on these all year. I like having the kits for my monthly sewing days with my quilt club and I like having them for travel. Cutting often takes more space than I have so kits are ideal for travel. On the left I have veterans quilt kits. Most of these are going to be really fast so I packed enough for 10 quilt tops. On the right are blocks for a big project that I'm going to call Flora's Stars. I'm go into detail about this project later but I'm planning on scrappy 9-patch blocks using as much of my vintage and feedsack collection as possible. There will be 8 quilts when this project is done. I've pre-cut 14 block patterns and 8 of each block. When I get tired of veterans quilts I can switch to these.
We don't have guests with us this year so I should have a lot of glorious sewing time.
On the crochet front I have 3 projects packed. In front is a shawl called the Half Circle Eyelet Shawl. I've been looking for a pattern for a "horseshoe" shawl that I can easily make for donation to assisting living and nursing home facilities. This shawl is very easy and the way she designed the increases makes this a perfect shawl that will stay on and not slip to the back. The yarn I'm using for this one is Lion Brand Mandala. My friend gave me a skein of this and I think it will be just about the perfect length for someone in a wheelchair. I'm also taking the blue yarn for a wavy baby blanket and 3 kits for Sesame Street hats. If I run out of projects I can always go to the nearest craft store or Walmart for more yarn. I make donation projects and the are all in acrylic yarn so if I buy yarn I will not feel bad about not bringing my stash. I can get yarn for any project for less than $30.
The loom knitting projects are primarily car projects. If anyone has any interest in loom knitting I have found the best video series on YouTube. GoodKnitKisses has a great beginner series. She also has knitting and crochet tutorials and patterns for all three crafts. I'm taking yarn for hats and scarves.
Done and delivered! It's no secret that I haven't liked this quilt. I started it with no purpose other than to use up a lot of green hand dyed fabrics. I showed a progress photo to my college roommate (who lives in the same county) and she fell in love with it. We delivered it this week and she was sending me these photos before we even got home 20 minutes later. As much as I have disliked this quilt, I admit that I love it on the dark wood bed. I'm happy, she's happy. It's all good.
You can read all about A Big Green Quilt and see more photos here.
Today I'm going to post a bunch of notes on loom knitting so that I have a place to refer back to when I need this info. Learning new things is a lot of fun as long as you are along for the ride and have the proper expectations. In other words, don't expect to be thrilled with your first projects! At this point I've made 3 of the blue hats, the green hat and 2 scarves. For these I used either the Boye looms (hate them) or Loops and Threads Knit Quick Kit (not as bad as I thought it would be). That's the purple one below. For $5 clearance, it wasn't a bad deal. The Boye looms are at the local thrift store already.
This hat pattern is the basic starter hat. I don't love it but it's a perfect way to start. It's fast and very easy and virtually every beginner knitting YouTube video is this hat. The scarf on the right was done on the round loom in a flat knit stitch. Big mistake, of course, it curled and required lots of blocking. The scarf on the left is the e-wrap double knit done on the Loops & Threads flat loom (purple one below). It was also fast and easy but is quite a bit too loose as you will see in the next photo.
Then I got the new KB Looms. This light purple one is part of the Adjustable Multi-knit loom. It can knit standard gauge or bulky gauge. I set this up for bulky gauge by removing every other peg. You can see that the KB loom rails are closer together than the L&S loom and that affects the gauge too. These two knits are done exactly the same with the same yarn (Premier Serenity) and the fabric is soooooo much better on the KB Loom with a tighter gauge. But I will keep the L&S loom kit too. I can see using it for certain things since the gauge is bigger.
Here are 2 swatches that I knit on the KB loom. The swatch on the left is a double rib and I felt it was a little too tight for a scarf so, until I try new patterns, I'll do scarves with the e-wrap double knit. It's going to be a great car project for our trip.
The other new loom is the Flexee bulky, also from KB Looms. I'm working on their basic beanie pattern that teaches how to decrease the crown so that it isn't gathered like the green one above. This is a fun loom to work on and the flexibility will make it easier to work on in the car.
So these are my current projects for the looms and I think I'm mostly ready for the car ride.
In other news, I cut out 4 more sets of 8 blocks for my Flora's Star quilts. Here's the stack of block sets (8 of each one) ready to sew and these are going on vacation with me. After I get these made I'll take a little more time to give some background in what these blocks are really for.
For travel, I have each block set arranged on a piece of cardboard and wrapped in plastic wrap so that everything stays together. Yes, one is wrapped in foil. I worked on that set at the beach but didn't finish them. I only had foil to wrap them up to come home.
I have so much stuff packed to work on during vacation! I feel like I'm taking too much but we aren't going to have the normal number of visitors this time. We essentially will be on our own for 3 weeks so I think I'm going to have a lot of sewing time. For the 4th week we will have one of Chris' best friends so I'll still be left with lots of sewing time.
The last thing I worked on was finishing the quilting on the big green quilt. I'm trimming it up and am ready for binding this week! I should be able to deliver this to Cheryl this week.
Quilting has commenced on the big green quilt. Cheryl wanted a very lightweight quilt so the batting is thin. To keep it soft and airy I decided on a giant swirl motif. She will use this on their bed so it needs to be cuddly. That's been a hard quilting lesson for me to learn. My tendency has always been to over quilt things but I know from my own bed quilts that I like the feel of lightly quilted quilts better. This one will not be over quilted for sure and it should be done this weekend.
All the fabric that I was soaking is hanging out to dry and I'll fold it and add it to my "safe" stash this weekend. I don't think I'll iron it since I have to iron all the fabric that I take out of stash anyway. There are some really cool fabrics in this batch and I look forward to actually using them.
Yesterday I also got some new knitting looms in the mail! After tons of research and struggle with the Boye looms, I decided to give KB looms a try. The Flexee is adjustable as you knit and I wanted to try it for hats so that the crown can be decreased. The other one can be standard or bulky (by removing alternate pegs). They both have some great reviews on YouTube. It was very cool to find out that this company is only an hour or so away from me in Fork Union, VA. I'll start some projects on these this weekend.
Tomorrow I'll share the new postcard design.
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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.