is what I'm worked on yesterday. I almost have all the pieces pre-cut for the new quilt. I'm having to create templates (like Judy Neimeyer does for her patterns) but it's totally worth the time. The sewing is going to be (almost) easy.
I am really flailing around for an idea for my next quilt project. I don't have a specific need in mind and don't really have any patterns or ideas that I've been hot to try. So until inspiration strikes I'm happily sewing and quilting veterans quilts and that's most of what I did this weekend.
I miscalculated the number of 4-patch blocks I would need for this quilt TWICE! Seriously, how hard it it to count blocks? Fortunately I had tons of leftover 2.5" print blocks so I only had to cut black squares. this quilt is on the frame for quilting now.
My project this week will be to put this veterans quilt together. These are blocks that I had planned for a wall hanging that I eventually decided that I didn't like so they are going to be a veterans quilt instead.
This veteran's quilt was made by Ellen and I got it quilted last night. Quilt club is going to have a picnic meeting Tuesday at a picnic area near our meeting place so I'm trying to get some things done to deliver there. Then later this week I'll get a stack of quilts delivered to our VA contact.
This week I want to get 2 more veterans quilts quilted and the one at the top bound so it can be delivered this week. I'm going to spend a couple of days with my SIL so I'll take my crochet to do there. I'd like to get the grey/white/yellow blanket done by the end of July.
I also started another crochet project! Chris and I are taking a little road trip soon and I need a really simple project to work on in the car. This yarn requires a bigger hook (I) than I usually use so it will be perfect. I had to get it started before the trip just to make sure I'll like it enough. I like it just fine.
While I was at Hobby Lobby buying that yarn I also got some lobster hooks to finish off these crochet marker beads that another SIL made for me. I know that I should have gotten silver but they didn't have this size in silver. The gold will be just as functional as silver and they will be very cute stitch markers!
We got my brother and SIL moved into their beautiful new home Tuesday, my tea towel project is about to wrap up and after one more trip to my brother's Friday I believe that I will have the weekend to myself!
I didn't keep track of the tea towels proceeds (I collected checks in 2 batches and some checks were mailed directly to the charity) but I think the final total was about $1000. I'm really happy with that. I had about 20 towels left over and I gave them to a friend who works with another food bank and she will probably get a few hundred more for her pantry. All-in-all, I'm really happy.
I've had a few minutes here and there to sew on this double 4-patch veterans quilt. I'm assembling it in rows and I got this far and realized that I had completely miscalculated the number of 4-patch blocks that I needed. I was short 36!
I already had a stack of 2 1/2 print squares and only had to cut some black squares and I was back in business.
Last night I was back to putting rows together. I might be able to get this together by tonight if my clay shooting lesson and errands don't take too long. I haven't been able to practice shooting since covid started and I'm anxious to get back out to the practice field. Hopefully the time away will not have set me back too far. Virginia is officially moving into phase 2 Friday, although with the allowed protests it seems to me that, for all practical purposes, we've already tossed the covid restrictions aside. I hope that means that my quilt club will get back together soon!
My family (Mom, brothers and their families) take a beach vacation to Hatteras, NC every year. We always go the week before Memorial Day, mostly because it's a lot less expensive for a house the size that we need. This year we were pretty sure that we would not get to go and were making plans to reschedule for the fall. Then we were surprised and thrilled to learn that the North Carolina beaches were opening May 16, the first day of our reservation!
We eat all but one of our meals in on a regular vacation and we were still able to do pizza night as takeout so, for the first time in 2 months, we all had a NORMAL week and it was fantastic. I've never needed a vacation more and we didn't even mind that we really only had 3 beach weather days. We enjoyed the rainy days with puzzles, books, shopping, games and just being near each other. My nephew introduced us to a fun card game called Phase 10 that's a variation of Rummy. I'm totally addicted now.
But now it's time to get back to "work". That started with a lot of ironing yesterday getting more kitchen towels ready for my local food pantry fundraiser, prepping quilt backs and new fabric for the shop tomorrow.
I didn't take any sewing to do on vacation for the first time ever! But I did take crochet and this pretty blanket was finished.
The pattern is called Wrapped In Love and I really enjoyed making it. You can get the pattern on Etsy. I've bought a few patterns now and the quality is just as random as sewing and quilting patterns. Some are great and some are awful. This is one of the good ones.
I think that this one is going to be gifted to the daughter of a friend instead of donating it. Sarah got a quilt with her first child but I think a crochet blanket would be a nice change for baby #2.
Then I got started on a new blanket using 2 balls of this Lion Brand Cupcake yarn. I've tried a few different patterns for this yarn but eventually settled on a close scallop stitch. I even learned how to do a foundation single crochet for this blanket.
I love the stitch, the yarn and the colors of this one! This is the first ball done. I worked the first one from the center out and I'll work the second ball from the outside in so that the colors reverse. I only did a few rows of the orange for the center. That ball is the leftover outside orange from the first ball. I'll tie on and add the outside orange from the second ball and use that for a simple border.
But after a week away from fabric and thread I'm anxious to get back to quilting. Yesterday I prepared backs for 2 quilts that Mom made. One of these should get loaded and basted today. Both will get simple pantographs. I'll also put out a call for my quilt group to bring veterans quilts for quilt. Virginia is opening so slowly that I don't know when we will be able to have a meeting again so I'll offer for people to bring me quilts. The VA hospital still needs and wants the quilts!
Good thing I have so many quilt kits cut out for veterans quilts! I'll continue working on those. The only other project that I have on the horizon is a quilt for SIL #3. The penguin and cat quilts were delivered last week. SIL #3 has asked for wild animal prints! That means that shopping is on the horizon.
The cat quilt brother and SIL weren't able to come to the beach but we stopped by their house on the way home to deliver it. Later Saturday night my brother reported that "the Princess" approved. That's all we quilters wish for.
Every once in a while we actually get to live the weekend that we planned and this was one of those weekends! The weather was really, really unseasonably cold but the sun was bright so it was fine to sit outside yesterday to chat with some friends. They were my only social time this weekend the rest of the time I was doing things!
I got both of the Blockade veterans quilts quilted and bound. I like seeing them side-by-side to see how different they look just by changing the palette for the hand dyed fabrics. I like both of them a lot but I can see where people would have strong preferences for one or the other.
When I quilt the veterans quilts I am trying to use up a huge stash of King Tut thread and I was able to use purple thread on these quilts.
Two more veterans quilts ready for delivery!
I also screen printed some tea towels to get ready for my next fundraiser sale in a couple of weeks. I have a couple more dozen to dye but I wanted to do some in white.
I got in a little more crochet in the evenings. I'm really loving this pattern and I know I'll make it again. If you like this one just search "filet crochet baby blanket pattern" on Etsy and you will find it. This yarn is Hobby Lobby I Love This Yarn and I do actually like it a lot.
But the big news of the weekend is that the cat quilt is quilted! It was the last thing I finished so this was all I had the energy to photograph. Today or tomorrow I will get the binding done. Then I need to make labels for this and the penguin quilt. I want these done, done by Friday.
It's late Thursday evening while I write this and my allergies are messed up but I want to get this posted before I turn in so pardon me if it's a little disjointed or full of typos. But as a consolation there are lots of photos! I spent the day getting the cat quilt ready for quilting and that turned into quite the grueling task.....because, you know, I get IDEAS.
The cat quilt has 3 borders. One blue border was already added, then there's a print border and finally another blue border. Simple, right? It was until I got the great idea that the print border had to be totally symmetrical. These 2 photos are of the same print fabric with strips of the blue positioned to highlight stripes so I could choose what I wanted. The left is lengthwise and the right is crosswise. I chose the left one in the right side photo.
I needed 8 strips, 2 for each side. I think those 2 spots look like cat eyes. This border had to be planned from the corners to the middle so that meant that the whole border had to be constructed like a frame and then stitched onto the quilt. It was a little overwhelming but I just took it one step at a time.
First I made all 4 corners and they are stitched to within 1/4" of the inside corner so that I can stitch it onto the quilt like a Y seam. Next I had to do a bunch of math, some of it really bad, to figure out how long each leg would need to be to meet up with the next corner so that the join was a symmetrical design. My brain was hurting during this part and I made a bunch of mistakes and I completely forgot to take more photos. I was smart enough to make all of my join seams with a long stitch length until I knew that I had it just right. I even stitched two wrong legs together once and wound up with and S shape instead of a frame.
Here's I've finally got it all the frame seams basted and the frame pinned to the quilt top. As I sewed the frame in sections I'd stop to stitch the join seams and trim the excess fabric.
Here are the joins: corner, top/bottom and sides. It's PERFECTLY symmetrical. I will admit that this border ended up a little wavy but I was able to reign it in with the final blue border and a good steam press.
Aside from some early morning grocery shopping, this is ALL that I accomplished Thursday. I'm really thrilled! I'm glad I took the extra time to do a symmetrical border. I may be the only person who actually notices it but I don't care. I now know that I can do it. I can't wait to get it quilted and bound and I hope that happens in the next week.
Today I think I'm going to load 2 veterans quilts to quilt up really fast and screen print some tea towels.
...because there isn't anything else to do!
The first thing that happened is that I got this veterans quilt top together Friday night and cleared off the cutting table so I could cut the background pieces for the cat quilt. I have print fabrics cut for 2 more quilts like this and just need to cut the alternating solid fabrics. I need to decide if I'm going to do them multicolored fabrics like this or one color or some sort of pattern. I'm still pondering that.
Saturday morning I got up and tackled the mosaic wall first thing. Of course it took most of the day and I was exhausted when I was done. Grouting is a beastly job and I have to do it in a respirator because I'm so allergic to the off gassed VOCs. I don't have a photo yet because there are fans set up in front of the wall and windows open to deal with the off gassing as it cures. I'll have an official photo in a couple of days.
I did some crochet Friday and Saturday nights and got through the second skein of this yarn. I have one skein left and it's not going to be enough. I should have made the blanket narrower but it's too late for that now. I don't like this yarn enough to rip it out and start over. I ordered another skein (plus some other yarn, of course). By the time I get through the third one the new one should be here and I can get this one wrapped up. While I don't care for the patterning in the yarn it sure does make a very soft blanket.
Meanwhile my SIL picked her 2 least favorite cats so I could get started on sewing the cat quilt together!
I cut all the sashing and borders.
Got the rows together.
By dinnertime Sunday I had the center of the quilt together. I LOVE it! There will be 2 borders: a 2.5" print border and a 4" blue border. I had a fabric all picked out for the print but when Chris and I saw a sample pinned on the wall we hated it.
I could do a scrappy border of a variety of prints but I really want the border to have symmetry too. We decided on this fabric and of course I didn't have enough. I found it at an Etsy seller and I've already received the shipping notice.
Until that comes in I'll go back to working on the veterans quilts that I cut from the scraps. One day this week I will clean out the basement now that my mosaic endeavors are over. That's going to clear a bunch of crap out of the basement and I can now get back to playing with glass instead.
The last of the cats are done! I even made 2 spares and have asked my SIL to pick her 2 least favorites for eviction to the local animal shelter (scrap bin). This last group really cracks me up. There are 2 means one, one that thinks it's a pig, a grandpa with whiskers, one on drugs and a raccoon.
Here's the whole group. If you were evicting 2 of them which would you choose? I hope to start putting the quilt top together tomorrow or Friday, as soon as I hear back from JJ on her choices. These blocks have been so much fun to make. I'm going to miss working on them!
I also spent a good bit of time the past 2 days preparing and dyeing more tea towels. That's going to be a continuing theme for a few weeks I think.
After the cats were done I wasn't in the mood to do anything new so I started cutting up fabrics in the scrap bin. Some of the fabrics in there crack me up, like this one.
I think you can see from the before bin photo above that I've made some pretty good progress. I'm cutting as many Blockade blocks as I can and with what's left I'm cutting 3.5 and 2.5" squares. Other chunks are going into the blue basket for possible crumb blocks. I'm not really committed to the crumb blocks yet but the other pieces will eventually become veterans quilts. It will probably take me a week to slowly work my way through this bin of scraps.
In the evenings there's crochet. This color palette is quite beachy and this is 1 skein of the Ice Cream yarn. I'm doing a simple blanket stitch because it's wonderfully mindless. I bought 3 skeins of this yarn but I'm not convinced that it's going to be enough. I'm going to get the second skein done and then decide if I need to find one more.
Today is dyeing day and I'm feeling like maybe some shibori.
Does anyone know what day it is?
Every morning when I wake up I spent the first 5 minutes trying to figure out what day it is. I don't mean the date, I've completely lost track of that, but the DAY. I swear I thought it was Thursday for most of yesterday. I really can't complain that all my days seem the same because I'm spending most of them doing things I enjoy. But I would like to have my Mom come over for dinner or just to hang out and to go have drinks in a real bar with friends.
I did actually get to catch up with a few friends in person this weekend. A couple came by to pick up tea towels (those things are selling like hot cakes!) and then another group of friends came over Sunday to visit. Everyone brought their own chairs and we sat outside in our big driveway keeping appropriate distance. We all needed it. All meetings were done recognizing the proper distance requirements.
I thought I was going to have all of the cats done this weekend but I have one more set to sew. I did get them cut out so I'm really close.
I had to get them finished because THIS was driving me nuts. I have to have all the fabric out in the floor when I work on these because I need to be able to see the patterns and colors in all the fabrics but after 2 weeks I'd had enough.
There we go. I feel much better. I have breathing room again.
As I was cutting the cats I've also been cutting pieces to finish up this Blockade quilt to use as a veterans quilt. The pieces are cut from fabrics that have been cut up so much that there are either chunks about to fall off the main piece or the fabric has so many holes that there isn't much symmetry left in it.
This is a bin of scraps that I've collected over the years that might be reasonable size chunks or who knows what. I'll go through it over time and either cut more Blockade blocks or squares or decide to make crumb blocks or something. The point is that I'm not going to just shove it back in the cabinet. I'm going to actually make a decision to do something with it even if that decision involves a trash can. You know me, it's unlikely to see the trash.
I've also made a decision about this. I just don't like it anymore for the original idea that I had for it. I'm not going to toss the pieces out. I will rearrange them and make another veterans quilt from them. Veterans quilts are my current go-to solution for all kinds of things I'm creatively done with.
I also screen printed a bunch of tea towels that I'll dye this coming week and there was some crochet happening in the evenings. I like working with this Lion Brand Ice Cream yarn. I'm not loving as much the patterning of this colorway but it's making a really soft blanket and works up very fast. This is most of 1 skein. I have 3 skeins but I think I'm going to want 4. I'll see where I am after the 2nd one before I order more yarn because there's no going to the store to find more locally!
This week Chris says that I might be able to grout that last mosaic wall Thursday! That would be a nice project to have on my April finishes list. I'll also get the last of the cat blocks done so I can start putting this quilt together. I have 10 days so I could get this quilt finished for April too!
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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.