The last 2 days have been a bit unusual, but all in a good way. I didn't do my normal Monday and Tuesday things but I feel like I did a lot.
I made a 3rd type of bread and it was another success! I forgot to take a photo but I need to make more today and will get a photo of the new one. I think I'm about to gain 20 pounds with all this new bread but it's going to be really tasty.
The first thing that happened was getting Chris' truck towed. You might wonder why we would bother with a truck that's 30 years old. Well, we need a truck for hauling trash, taking the kayaks to the lake and other things for country life. If we can get it fixed for less than 5k it will be a bargain compared to the cost of a new/used truck.
I don't know why, but it's always a little sad seeing a vehicle towed. We've had this truck for most of our marriage!
We had friends coming in Monday afternoon from Nebraska and Arkansas so we killed some time putting up this address sign that my brother made for me. Because of the placement of the mailboxes, people often get confused about which of 3 houses is ours. This should fix that situation. It's a big darned sign!
Then Lawrence and Damien arrived. They are in town to go deep sea fishing with Chris at the Outer Banks but we had Monday evening and Tuesday morning together. Lawrence is a hunting friend that Chris visits in Nebraska every November. I had not seen him since he visited us in 2001! Damien is his son, who I have never met. We had a wonderful dinner and visit and it was nice to have our routine broken. Damien is a really nice and interesting young man who serves in the Air Force. His said that his son was not happy that Dad got to go fishing but he had to go to school.
In my last dyeing session I got some veterans quilt backs dyed so yesterday afternoon I was able to load a couple of veterans quilts. I think I picked up 9 from the last meeting to get quilted. I didn't get very far because my hands were a little sore from my visit to the chiropractor yesterday. I knew when I went to the chiropractor that I needed my wrists and hands adjusted and I certainly did! She has really helped me with my hand problems from crocheting and I've responded to that by crocheting even more. I'm better today and will be able to do some quilting and crochet today after my other chores.
The last thing I worked on last night was cutting out and organizing the papers for the border of my quilt. I determined that I need to dye 6 more yards of the dark red and 2 of the gold and then I can cut out all of the pieces. I will get those fabrics dyed today.
I think I need to sit down for a minute and make some lists of things I need to get done this weekend but also a list of the things I want to get done over the next few months. I feel like there's a lot of partial lists rolling around in my head and I feel kind of disorganized. You know that I hate that!
I'll get to a little bit of sewing in a minute but first I thought I'd share this photo that we found the other day.
Before being developed, the property that we live on was part of a large cattle farm. In the right light in the evenings you can still see the cattle trails to the pond. This is a photo that I too in December 1998 looking from the garage to the hillside. The yellow arrow points to a Sycamore tree that were were told a few year later was diseased and would die within 4 years. The white arrow points to a lonely little walnut tree and the white x is a pine that split and had to be removed a few years ago.
This is what it looks like now. We live in a jungle! The original lonely walnut is now just a stump but it's in the middle of a walnut grove. We have walnut trees everywhere. Can you see the yellow arrow? That's just a couple of branches from the Sycamore. It's at least 70 feet tall now. So much for being diseased and dying - that diagnosis was from a professional arborist.
We used to be able to see 5 houses from our driveway. Now we can only see the house across the street in the winter. It's a lot of work to keep the jungle at bay and that's what we worked on yesterday.
I actually enjoy what I call "chainsaw day". He cuts and I clear. It's pretty good exercise and the other edge of the yard really needed it. We cleared a huge mass of holly under this tree and then worked out way up the whole edge to the road.
There were lots of little Sycamores and Russian Olives growing around the pond so we removed all of those and a massive amount of stuff on the wood side. We left one Dogwood on the pond edge because we love the Dogwood trees.
It doesn't look like we did much but the guy who mows is going to be very happy. In the middle of this we got some bee up out bonnet about tree varieties and Chris started doing an inventory of the tree species that we have on the property. We're up to 24 with at least 2 unidentified. Trees are much harder to identify than birds!
So that was most of yesterday.
I decided on the brown buttons for the sweater. I thought that the lacy pattern of the button went well with the open knit pattern of the sweater. They certainly look better than white buttons.
I did some sewing last night and the HST quilt is half done now. The end is in sight!
There's no newsletter this week because I was so busy this weekend with my social activities that I didn't get all of my fabrics processed. All I got done was restocking the Sundance and Woodlands gradients. The two new Stash Packs will have to wait a week.
Yesterday we started our day by having to get mew military IDs. In the past this has been a long and painful bureaucratic process that has taken a very long time. Part of the issue is that we either had to go to Ft. Lee or Quantico where there are a lot of staff changes all the time and active duty people, rightly, get priority over us retired folks. I even took my crochet bag so I'd have something to do while we waited. Imagine my surprise when both of us were in and out in 20 minutes and the 2 people we interacted with were very pleasant and cheerful! The good feelings were for naught as we got stuck in a 45 minute traffic jam on the way home. A trash truck had sideswiped the median and dumped garbage on both the north and south-bound lanes. I'm guessing that someone on their cell phone wasn't paying attention and came over into the truck's lane and the truck had no choice but to ride up against the median. At least I had my crochet bag and added a few more rows to a donation shawl.
Back at home I ironed the two gradients and then got to do some sewing. I've got 4 of 15 rows together on this veterans quilt. I don't have any more appointments or activities (except a chiropractor appointment) for the rest of the week so I expect this to be wrapped up really soon.
Back in May I shared my Paducah report and showed two hand-dyed cotton sweaters that I bought. They are great for wearing over tank tops in the summer. I wore this one Sunday to the museum. It was hot as hades outside (tank top) but artic cold inside (sweater). This worked perfectly. But I realized that the white buttons don't really work. I went through my vast button collection and found 3 possible buttons that will work. Today I'm going to make a decision and replace the white buttons for one of the 3 on the left.
I'm also going to get the next 2 veterans quilts loaded. I think it's going to be a good week.
Yesterday I got the veterans quilts quilted and one is bound. Today, after dyeing, I hope to get the other bound and to have both to share tomorrow.
Today I thought I'd answer a question that Gene had. He noticed that I was piecing the half square triangles with blue thread. Since one of the fabrics is gray you would expect that I'd use gray thread. Gray is what I use (and probably what you use) most for piecing. That has been my habit and I buy a lot fog ray, white and black piecing thread.
But I have another thread problem that needs to be solved and that's what I'm trying to do here.
When I started longarming I bought a lot of thread without really knowing if I would use it or not. Most of the thread I bought I like and I use. I didn't love King Tut but was able to give some away and used most of the rest on the veterans quilts. One thread that I bought but don't like on the longarm is Masterpiece. Of course, it was never intended for the longarm but I thought I'd want to use a thin cotton yarn for quilting. Turns out, I don't. Of course I bought ALL of the available colors before discovering this.
About a year ago I decided to move that thread into my sewing room and use it for what it was intended: piecing. I've got it divided into light, medium and dark groups and I basically treat it all as shades of gray. I use pink and yellow as white or cream and I use purples, greens and blues as dark grays and browns. If the tension is good on the machine it all works out fine. Dark green and dark/medium purple are great gray substitutes! Pink is a great substitute for cream.
Some of the bright colors I use for basting on the longarm and sometimes I actually match the thread color to my project.
I'm determined to use these threads and avoid buying new thread as much as possible. I do still purchase a little gray and black and white but not nearly as much as I used to.
So that's why I'm piecing with blue thread on this project.
In other news, I'm getting ready for the upcoming annual family beach vacation and that means I'm planning for a giveaway week for you! So keep your eye out for giveaway week coming up soon.
For those of you who are here expecting quilt photos, I'm very sorry, I'm going to disappoint you. I stopped taking photos at quilt shows because I never really go back to visit them so for this trip I just promised myself that I would relax, have fun and enjoy the blog break.
So mostly what I'm sharing today are photos of my purchases and my overall impressions of the show.
We left Tuesday, spent Tuesday evening in Knoxville, TN and arrived in Paducah Wednesday afternoon. We were in Paducah 3 nights and the had a 2-day ride home with an overnight stop in Bristol, TN.. We listened to a couple of good books in the car which made the ride more pleasant. But driving interstate 81 in Virginia is grueling and, just because of the length of the drive, I doubt we will go back to Paducah again. It was a lot of driving for basically 2 days of the show. That is not a reflection on the show at all.
Paducah is a lovely town and everyone there is SOOOOOO NICE! Kindness abounds there. The quilt show is in 2 buildings and there's also the Quilt Museum and at least 2 large fabric stores to visit. The quilts in the show were amazing and better than the ones we usually see at the Mid-Atlantic Quilt Festival. That's expected because the AQS show is so much bigger.
When we arrived Wednesday afternoon we checked in to our hotels and headed over to the show, only 4 miles away. They had shuttles from the hotels but we didn't have any problems finding free parking near the venue. Wednesday afternoon we walked through the Pavilion building and a building nearby that hosted a discount fabric store. I think all of the fabric was $7.99 a yard and there was a lot to choose from. Mom and Anne got fabrics here.
Thursday was started at the Museum and then to the main show building where we made it through all of the booths and saw all of the quilts. We also had time for an initial visit to Hancock's of Paducah and then went back to the show for the auction. I don't know how this auction has worked in the past but this one was not run well at all and I don't think they made much money. I'm sure they will take lessons from it and have a stellar auction next year.
On Friday we went back to Hancock's then headed downtown to check out some of the local shops and scenery. It's a really nice town with a lot of cute shops. We ended the day with one more pass through the show.
So let's get on with the purchases.
I did not plan to buy much and I stuck to that plan for the most part. I think that I've just been quilting long enough that I don't really want any new gadgets, especially specialty rulers. There were lots of booths selling massage products, home care products, jewelry and other non-sewing things. I wasn't interested in any of that (except for one little thing below).
I did purchase a t-shirt from the quilt museum and I got the Accuquilt die that I was looking for. Some black and gray thread and needles rounded out my intentional purchases.
Hancock's was packed every time we went there. If you have ever been to the old Mary Jo's in Gastonia, NC, that's kind of what Hancock's is like except that Mary Jo's was bigger. It was running very efficiently and the customers and staff were all in good spirits. I don't really buy fabric anymore unless I need something specific for a project but I took the opportunity to pick up these patriotic batiks for more veterans quilts. These were on sale for $6.99 a yard! I had a couple of these in that last big batch of patriotic batiks that I used last year. I'm happy to work with them again.
At the show I found a new craft project to do with Ella! These are diamond painting stickers. We'll work on them together. I'll do the dinosaur sticker for her brother while she does the other pack for herself. These were only $12 a pack.
This is going to be my new pattern to make!
I'll use that pattern to make a replacement quilt for the guest room bed and it will be in the same Red Sunset color palette. I like the quilt I made for this bed but when I added a foam topper the quilt is now too short and my sheet shows! It drives me nuts.
The pattern quilt is only large enough for the top of the bed so I'll add a border. I don't know yet if the border will be pieced or if it will be a wide gradient border. I've got a lot of planning to do before I get started on this project.
I had two really cool finds in town and the first were these 2 sweaters. I've been looking for some lightweight cotton short sleeve sweaters that I can wear over tank tops in the summer. I do not wear tank tops in public anymore. No one needs to see that!
These came from a cool shop named Tuscan Rose. She sells hand dyed yarns, fabric and clothes. I got these for $21 for both! She had all clothing half off. We talked for a while about her process and where she sources the clothes. They are all new and she gets overstocks in bulk so she can offer them quite inexpensively. Her yarns are beautiful too. While we were talking she figured out that she had ordered fabric from me before so I was glad to return the business!
I am soaking these to get out the excess dye so that going forward I can wash them in the laundry. I knew they would bleed because there's no way she could do the soaking process and sell these so inexpensively. I was happy to take that job on myself.
My last find were these cute little wobbly neck toys. When I make Ella doll dresses I always take a gift for Eli and it's hard to come up with ideas for a little boy who only loves dinosaurs. These were $4 each and I think Eli is going to love collecting them.
All in all, we had a lovely time and we were so happy to finally check the Paducah box. All quilters should try to get there at least once!
The biggest basket of scraps were the hand dyes and now they have been reduced to this. I have strips for a couple of string quilts and lots of blocks.
Next I tackled the symmetry scraps and ended up with this. I think that I might be able to make some cool quilts mixing the symmetry and hand dyes together in a few quilts.
I will plan some quilts another time. For now I'm just happy to have things organized.
I also got all of the papers off this quilt so I'm ready to load it today and think about the quilting. I'm still leaning towards a pantograph so I don't have to deal with the seam bulk.
I've gotten a little sidetracked.
The main thing I want to accomplish this week is to get all the papers off this quilt and get it ready for quilting. I'm about 75% done but it's tedious work!
Country school meets tonight so I hope to bring home some veterans tops for quilting. Once I do a few of those this quilt will go on the frame.
But I've gotten a little sidetracked because my scrap bin is out of control. I've decided to spend a few days and see how far I can get reigning this in.
I started off easy by putting together some new Mystery Packs.
I have a bin of pieces that I cut with the Go Cutter so I'm going to add to this and, later this year, will try to make some quilts from them.
It's a start...
But there's lots left to do! Plus I have another bin of just symmetry scraps and I want to get those cut up too.
Yesterday was a very productive day even after spending half the day in the kitchen making hummus and aquafaba. I finally got down to the fun stuff after lunch and I got 2 more rows of the DWR done. It's 75% complete now. It will be done by Saturday for sure. My friend's husband is coming to pick it up one day next week. This is the happiest quilt ever.
For the vulture quilt I got all 4 borders trimmed and got the sashing and bind cut. I'm ready to start sewing today.
I also got one more project added to the list!
When I de-stashed a bunch of my quilts to family and friends last year, my nephew and his wife took some of my symmetry quilts to decorate their new house. Yesterday he asked for another to decorate a room with dark teal walls. He likes the quilted wall hangings because they help with his music acoustics. I've been wanting to start another symmetry quilt and this is just the nudge that I needed. I don't want his quilt to take 10 months to make so I decided to start with a design from Paula's book and proposed this one. I think it would look great in a music room. I gave him the fabric choices below but he preferred the gold so that's what I'll do.
I've decided to turn this into a learning challenge and to figure out how to piece /quilt it all at once on the longarm. That's something that I've wanted to do for a while. I'm going to pick one of the other fabrics and make a sample to work out the technique. That sample will probably become placemats.
This should be a fun project and will get me back into my symmetry fabric stash.
All-in-all, it was a great day.
First off, this is a horrid photo. I took it last night and the living room lighting is not good for photography. So pretend that these colors are bright like crayons.
It was dyeing day yesterday and hair cutting day and then I got to do some sewing and pieced the two side borders. I didn't quilt on the DWR but that will be my focus for today. I want to get two more rows of the DWR done and start sewing these borders on this quilt.
I was thinking yesterday that I didn't have anything ready to put on the longarm after the DWR is done so I pulled this little quilt out to figure out what I might be able to do with it. You might remember that I also have a queen size version of this too and I pulled out (and washed) some fabric that I will dye for the back of it.
Back to this. I don't really use wall hangings so I thought about what else I might be able to make with it. Placemats are always my go-to but that would not be a good use of this quilt. A little more pondering and then it hit me that this is a great candidate for a Christmas tree skirt! I know it's not traditional Christmas colors but it's a pretty star and by making a tree skirt I can cut out the horribly bulky center. Now I'm finally excited to work on it.
Another project that I'm going to look at this weekend is another set of placemats. These are some napkins that I ice dyed last summer. I'm going to pull some fabrics and start another set of placemats.
All those should make for a very nice weekend of projects.
Having the power out for 2 days really got me off schedule and out of my habits. I've been pretty spectacularly unproductive this week and that's just fine.
I did go into the sewing room yesterday to clear off the table for my next project and I decided to salvage my 2 pair of fleece-lined pants. I was going to buy new ones because these are too big now. But then I saw that new ones are $89 and I really only wear these outside here or hiking. I could fix these for free and that's what I did. I opened the back waistband seam and added some elastic and now I have pants that fit again. You can see that the ones with the pink lining are bigger but elastic is like magic and fixed both of them. I still have a pretty good stash of garment sewing supplies including a big box of elastic in a variety of widths. An hour later and I didn't need to order new clothes.
I also ordered some fabric for the backing of a wedding gift quilt that I will be making later this Spring. Fabric.com had the fabric and also had a big sale yesterday. I put a bunch of yarn in my basket (it really was a great price) and them I made myself take it all out and I checked out with just the fabric. I don't expect this week's sense of financial responsibility to hold but I'll take small wins when I can get them.
In the crochet department I've been making progress on 3 projects. The dark blue duster is going to be slow going because the yarn is really hard to see but I'm doing a little each day. The back and sleeves will be easier since they are all double crochet. It's the front panels that are patterned. I'll get there eventually.
The bulky blanket (green and beige) is looking pretty nice I think and it goes really fast with that M hook. It should finish to about 52 x 60, a good size lap blanket and this yarn is really pretty soft.
The other project is a shawl and it's pretty slow going too. The yoke is all front loop single crochet. It's going to be very warm and sturdy and I think it will be pretty in the end. I don't feel any rush on any of these. They get a little attention in the evenings and that's about it.
Next in the sewing room is to add a border to the vulture quilt. I've been itching to get to this. I just haven't been able to decide how I'm going to about it yet. I will figure out that this weekend and get started. My best friend made this for me last year for my 60th birthday and I am going to enlarge it a bit with a coins border so we can use it on our bed. You know I love my vultures! I absolutely loooooovvvvvee this quilt. Some day I'll share some photos of all the vulture art that I've collected thanks mostly to my friends.
Here's one more photo from the pretty day of the snow storm. This was the sunset Tuesday night. We were still without power at that point but we were very comfy with our wood stove.
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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.