It's not for Vicki or Vacation. Sigh. Vacation is over.
We came home Saturday from one of our best vacations ever. When we go to Maine my allergies go away almost immediately and I don't take much medicine at all while I'm there. I've been home less than 48 hours and I'm already back on high Benedryl doses. But I'm lucky that I get to escape for a bit and it won't be much longer before the seasonal mold dies down here.
I didn't post after the 31st because my friends arrived in Maine to help me celebrate my birthday. It was great to have them there and I did meet my goal of hiking Cadillac Mountain on my 60th birthday. It was me, Chris and my friend's husband and we hiked the North Ridge Trail. Anne, Lora and Dale actually got up at 4:00 that morning to drive up and see the sunrise but, sadly, they were clouded in and didn't see anything. The same thing happened on the hike. We got to the top and had a great view of mist! I didn't care, I've seen the views from there before. I just wanted to complete the hike and I did.
Then I came home and took a nap.
Many of you probably know that my favorite bird is the vulture and "V is for...." is the name of this quilt that my friend, Anne, made for me. The vulture pattern is from Sally Trude.
I've had "Make a vulture quilt" on my wish list for a while but now it's magically done! I had actually been a little worried about my friend since COVID started because every time I talked to her she was working on some bags and making absolutely NO progress. I couldn't figure out what was wrong. She's usually so productive. Now I know that she's actually been really productive, she just couldn't tell me!
One of the coolest aspects of this quilt is the stamped border. She actually carved these stamps!
She even bought some vintage linens, dyed them and stamped them too. I can't wait to use the placemats.
You wouldn't believe how much vulture art I have around my house now. You might be wondering why I like the vulture so much.
It all started when we first moved to this house on 10 acres. The whole idea of 10 acres was overwhelming to me at the time and nature kind of freaked me out. One day during the first year we were here a giant pregnant beaver died at the edge of the pond. It was disgusting and I nagged Chris to do something about it. He knows nature much better than me so he naturally ignored me and the beaver. Low and behold, 3 days later there's a wake of vultures cleaning up the mess for me and they cleaned up every speck of it. From then on I started paying a lot of attention to vultures because they are nature's perfect vacuum cleaner.
Fast forward about 10 years and we started having a serious raccoon problem that we needed to take care of. Over one weekend we had to dispatch a number of them. That time I kept an eye out for my friends and they put on quite a show for me. I've loved them ever since.
I like collecting vulture art because there isn't very much of it so I can't get too out of hand. I can't wait to sleep under my vulture quilt.
I'm glad to be home. The laundry is done and everything is put away and it will be nice to be back in my routine this week.
So we made it to beautiful Acadia Friday evening. This truly is my happy place. The weather is lovely with highs in the mid-70s.
My sewing space is all set up. We have a friend visiting through tomorrow so I haven't done a ton of sewing. If you are familiar with Acadia, we've hiked Norumbega, Flying Mountain/Valley Peak/St Sauveur. Chris and Dave hiked Beehive yesterday while I kayaked the lake. I don't do ladder trails. We're conditioning ourselves for Cadillac next Wednesday.
I was originally planning to make the block on the left but when I started seeing the first one together I decided it was too complex for vacation sewing. I'm now doing the one on the right. It's pretty mindless.
So far the only casualty of the trip are these glasses, my favorite glasses! They are not repairable but this tape should hold until my friend gets here with my spare pair this weekend.
Oh, the crochet bkanket is almost done!
I don't feel like I got tons done this weekend but that doesn't mean it wasn't a good weekend. We had a family birthday party for Mom Saturday and it was the first time in a very long time that we had so many of us together at the same time. We don't have a large family but we do like each other's company and we don't have any drama so it's always nice to get together. We had all 4 of her children, their spouses and 3 of 4 of her grandchildren. We wouldn't expect to see the 4th grandchild so this little get together was 100% successful! We had it at my youngest brother's new house that's almost perfectly in the middle of the rest of us. They bought a house, sold a house and moved in March right in the beginning chaos of covid. My middle brother and his partner did the same in May. Both of them went really smoothly all things considered.
On Friday I did get the crosshatching and borders done on the flower quilt so I zipped it off and basted on 2 of my veterans quilts. I want to get these quilted this week so I can deliver a fresh stack of quilts to the VA contact by next week.
I had planned to start quilting them yesterday but I spent most of the day ironing fabric.
This week I'll focus on the 2 veterans quilts and maybe start cutting some more veterans quilt kits from all the patriotic fabric I bought a few weeks ago.
It was easy to get stuff done this weekend because it's entirely too hot and humid to be outside. The mold is up so my allergies are insane. I'm averaging one Benedryl every hour and a half. (No, it doesn't make me sleepy because I've been taking it daily for over 30 years. Nothing else works as well as the Benedryl.)
I also deleted a game off my phone that was wasting entirely too much of my time.
I'm making progress on the quilt crosshatching the background diamonds and doing the ruler work in the border blocks. I set a goal of doing a row a day and now I only have 3 rows left. After I finish this ruler work I'll take it off for a bit to quilt a couple of veterans quilts and then I'll put this back on to quilt around the floral blocks.
Limiting myself to one row a day and quilting left-handed is keeping my left wrist happy so I'll stick with that mode.
I started making blocks for another veterans quilt. I did spend some time in EQ looking for my next big project but nothing is striking me yet so I'll keep going on veterans quilts. I do enjoy making them especially knowing that they are truly appreciated. Once I get this top put together I'll get busy making kits from all the patriotic fabrics that I bought a couple of weeks ago.
After 2 false starts I finally got going on this baby quilt. I love doing double crochet, it goes so fast! This one will be done in no time.
I also made a new and really cute postcard design but I can't share it until Mom received it for her birthday this week. We'll go to my brother's this weekend to celebrate with the whole family.
I don't have a lot to share today because yesterday was a busy dyeing day. I'm very grateful to my customers for keeping me so busy lately! Yesterday was a particularly long day but all the fabric is happily batching and waiting to be washed out this evening. I"m lucky to have my husband's abandoned sauna for batching so I get very consistent temperatures every week.
I'm slowly making progress on the quilt. I've finished 3 rows of 8 of the cross-hatching and border blocks. My left wrist has mostly healed itself but I'll continue to quilt with the ruler in my right hand for a while.
After the Direct TV repair person comes today I'll be right back on this and, hopefully, get another row done.
I don't have a lot to report today. The only maker thing that I got done yesterday was to get the veterans quilt quilted. Because it's bigger than our regular veterans quilts I couldn't do it on one of our wide backs with another veterans quilt so I pieced this back out of some black yardage that didn't dye to an acceptable shade of black for the shop. It worked just peachy for this. Quilting never shows up on these Paula Nadelstern fabrics so it got the quick fans pantograph and was done in about an hour.
In the evenings I sit and crochet for a while so my new blanket is growing. I think it will have a total of 10 blocks and then it will get borders too. I didn't do the bobble rows correctly. I was supposed to do HDC between each bobble but I did DC instead. I was in the white section before I realized it. I wasn't about to rip it out so I'm just continuing with the mistake. Consistency is more important than accuracy sometimes!
There will be no quilting this weekend. I'm spending most of the weekend with my SIL so this blanket will get some attention. We are leaving Monday for a few days of hiking so there's probably no posting next week either. So if you don't hear from me don't be surprised!
I'm not quite sure what happened to yesterday. I do know that when I start my day off doing something out of routine that the whole day seems off. Yesterday the trigger was a morning trip to WalMart. I like to go there first thing in the morning because it's the best chance of finding my favorite chocolate (Sam's Choice Swiss Dark 72%) in stock. I had not been there in a few weeks but they had the chocolate and almost everything else I wanted. Toilet paper (which I didn't need) was fully stocked but the yarn aisle (I also didn't need but always check) was decimated. It was a successful trip but the rest of the day was kind of haywire.
I had to pick my car up from an unsuccessful 4 days in the shop ("A/C is fine" - no, it's not, but it won't break again until the warranty expires). I delivered 21 veterans quilt to our VA contact and had a nice long chat with a friend on the phone. I also made some lotion bars which are so easy and they are great for dry feet. There are loads of recipes on the web if you want to make your own. Google will be happy to help you find a good one with simple ingredients.
I eventually sat down for a few hours of sewing and I got the rest of these blocks together for the next veteran's quilt. I'm really glad I didn't make these into a wall hanging. I wouldn't have liked it. I'm happier with it like this but after getting these on the wall I didn't like 2 of the blocks.
Here it is with the 2 substitute blocks. I might get this together tomorrow and I'd like to get Mom's quilt loaded so I can get it quilted by Saturday.
It's hotter than Hades here so staying inside seems like a good idea.
Now that the basement is clean I can start doing some quilting without worrying about ruining a quilt with grout. I think the first thing I'm going to quilt is the 2 Blockade quilts made from symmetry scraps. The one in the left is the first one that I made and the one on the right is the one I got together yesterday. My friend, Wanda, suggested cool colors for one of them so that's what I did and I like it a lot. I expect they will get a light blue backing because I have one dyed and ready to go.
Next I'll do these 2 quilts that Mom made. There's a batik backing for the one on the left and I think I'll dye a gold backing for the one on the right. Both of these are pretty big quilts. My Mom sure knows how to tame a scrap quilt.
I ordered more tea towels for my fundraiser and the package got lost in the mail. It only took a couple of days for the post office to find it and get it to me yesterday. I think they delivered it to a nearby house that's currently vacant, I should have known to check there. Our neighborhood is 10 acre lots so you can't see neighbor's houses from the road but I should have known to check across the street. All's well that ends well and I spent most of today screen printing with Color Magnet and dyeing 16 towels. I also decided to do some white ones with straight up screen printing with fabric paint. I know that some of the towels are sewn with polyester thread so they would dye leaving the thread white. That's not a really big deal but since I have fabric printing paint I've decided to leave some white. I'll be printing and dyeing towels for the next week and then get them posted on some local Facebook pages to sell them next week.
That's pretty much what I'm going to be working on the rest of the week. After my standard dyeing today I'll be quilting and dyeing towels.
Yesterday was dyeing day so I didn't get a whole lot accomplished but I did get all my stuff organized to make the coasters and worked on one for a few minutes. I setting up to do these at the Brother sewing machine and will make them until I run out of fabric or cord. There's really no reason to keep a big stash of cording laying around and I have a pretty good size stash!
But I did do a little bit of organizing.
This is my travel sewing kit. I think I bought it at Wal-Mart in the tool department for about $6 and it's really perfect for holding a complete set of sewing notions. But lately it's gotten a little difficult to close so clearly I've added in a few too many things over the past few years of using it. Time to reassess.
For one thing there are way too many markers and seam rippers. A few of these markers have never been used so they can go in the trash. I wouldn't use them at home either.
I sure don't need 2 tape measures, a pin cushion and 2 boxes of pins. Surprisingly that little spool of Wonder Under fusible does come on handy from time to time.
I had 3 times as many hand sewing needles and twice as many machine needles. I don't know how I accumulated so many but downsizing was in order. I do like to have extras in case anyone else needs one but this is at least a 3 year supply.
With a chalk wheel I really don't need any of the other markers but the glue stick and tape really do come in handy. The tape was necessary the day that I broke the spool holder off my machine. It held it until I could get home and apply the duct tape for a "permanent fix".
All organized and ready for another few years.
Now it's time to stop getting distracted and work on the penguins some more. I'm also progressing on the new crochet blanket in the evenings and I"m starting to plan the quilting for the postage stamp quilt.
Now that the quilting on Jackie's Choice is done I'm no to the 12 placemats. There aren't going to be a January finish but they should be done in a couple of weeks. I found some floral yardage in my stash for the black ( you can see that on the back roller). I split it in half and sewed the 2 pieces together. I can quilt 3 across the width.
I'm quilting in free motion straight lines and it's going surprisingly fast. I like for the placemats to be quilted to death because it makes them less of a mess after washing. I do iron my placmats and these will require less pressing.
Between quilting sessions I'm working on hand stitching the binding for Jackie's Choice. I'm hand stitching this one since it's a memory quilt and it's for a cousin that I don't know well so I want it to be extra nice.
In the sewing room Laura has been busy on her Stack and Whack quilt and the top is done! She'll take it back to England to have it quilted and it will be a quilt for her lounge.
This week is all about finishing Jackie's Choice, finishing quilting the placemats and starting to quilt a giant stack of veterans quilts....and visiting my very cute dentist.
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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.