So, I forgot to post yesterday! But I have an excuse. Tuesday morning right in the middle of printing shipping labels my printer died. I spent much of the day trying every hack I could find on the web to fix it but after several hours of work I had to give in a declare my 10 year old Canon dead. I give it credit, it lasted 3 times longer than any of the 3 previous HP printers.
So I went to pick up Mom for our quilt club meeting and decided to go buy a printer on the way back to my house. All I'll say about that unfulfilling expedition is this. Local stores bemoan the fact that we prefer online shopping. Well if they want to fix that they need to think about their products and our needs a little better. A printer is something that always breaks at an inconvenient time and people usually need one right away. So if I were an electronics store I'd have those babies right up front and I'd make sure that some members of the staff actually knew something about them!
Our program Tuesday night was about our resolutions for 2020. I don't make resolutions but I occasionally make an attempt to clean up my language. I'm married to a sailor and sailors are nothing compared to restaurant workers. I picked my bad habit up from all of the years of waiting tables. I always fail to clean up my act but I do try. It's a good thing I didn't make that resolution this year because my Mom can tell you that printer shopping would have broken that one into a million pieces.
I finally just called Canon and asked them which printer replaced the MX870 that I had loved. I need a rear tray that holds more than 1 piece of paper so I can feed in fabric sheets. I also need and ADF scanner and the ability to reduce and enlarge from the copier.
This is what I came home with and I spent yesterday morning setting it up before heading to the dye studio for the afternoon. The one cool new feature is that I can now print from my phone.
Now I'll get on to what I wanted to accomplish yesterday and that was to do some planning for projects over the next few weeks.
First up, veterans quilts! I stopped taking tops in October so the Country School Quilters have been building up a quilt top inventory. There were 8 more than this stack! Other longarmers took 8 and I brought home this stack. I had a few already so I think I have about 14 to quilt over the next couple of months in between other projects. First I have 2 that Mom made and then....
I'm going to quilt this old UFO. Anyone remember Barbara Brackman's Grandmother's Choice? I made 2 and after they were done I realized that I had made one for each of my Grandmother's. I finished the first one, Lura's Choice, and this one has languished mostly because I don't like what I did with the borders and can't come up with a quilting plan.
Last month my uncle died and I've decided to finish this and take it to my cousin at the memorial service in 2 weeks. It's going to get a swirly pantograph so I can get it done in time and I hope she will like it and use it.
Then I decided that I'm going to do something with these. I appliqued these blocks a LONG time ago. My friend, Becky, and another guild member, Dot Holloway, taught me how to applique and I practiced on these blocks. Originally I thought I'd make a quilt from these but I'm not at all inspired by them. Well, you know what that means. Placemats!
I had put aside all of the fabrics that I used in the applique so I'm cutting then into strips to frame these blocks.
I do have a new project I want to start soon but I'll wait until Ian and Laura go home. We are easily sharing my sewing room now but if I pull out my symmetry fabrics for the next project things could get rough in here! These projects will keep me busy enough and I always have quilting time in the basement.
I am allergic to literally dozens of foods with the big ones being wheat, dairy, eggs, soy, onions, garlic and the really big one, chlorophyll. I pretty much can't eat any vegetable that grows above ground or any fruit with a green rind or peel. My food selections are very limited and that's one reason that I don't enjoy cooking. But I've never really enjoyed cooking, I'm more of a baker. I have a few gluten free vegan dessert recipes that work for me but it doesn't get a little boring. Periodically I get a new cookbook or scour the web for some new dessert recipes. It's always an ordeal because invariably they call for 3 flours that I don't generally stock but once ever few years I give it a try.
That try was this weekend and, as usual, it was about 90% failure. My goal was lemon meringue pie. The meringue part is easy. Aquafaba has solved that for everyone. I needed a lemon curd that didn't rely on soy or cashews. I tried 2 different recipes that had rave reviews and after a day of cooking I ended up with 2 slime pies. They were so gross and I made them EXACTLY to the recipes. But I did get a better pie crust so that will help a couple of my other recipes.
I moved on to looking for gingerbread. The gingerbread cookies tasted like metal (which happens a lot with GF vagan baking) but I landed on a big winner with a Gingerbread Loaf. I didn't add the chocolate chips, that seemed a bit much. But the loaf was delicious. I haven't had gingerbread since I was able to eat the one that my Mom used to make.
So after a weekend of wasting a lot of food products (which is necessary from time to time) I do have one more great recipe to add to my small recipe folder.
In between frustrating cooking sessions and massive cleaning up sessions I needed a little peace and got started on the third set of Christmas cards. The first step was screen printing the cards.
Using the leftover edges of my Groovy quilts I'm making peace trees. I"m getting all of the cards to the edge stitching stage and will do that all at once on the serger.
During football yesterday afternoon I fused and cut 3 yards of fabric for postcard backs. This is what's left after I fused the cards that are ready so far. I like keeping a stash of pre-fused backs. It makes the process so much faster for the next set.
These are all ready for the finishing edges and maybe a little bling of crystals.
I have 12 more cards to make with these little Hardanger embroideries that I made years ago. They were meant to be ornament gifts for my family. Now they will be postcards for my family instead. Last night I started planning the design.
I think it's going to be something like this. I had this old cross stitch angel and turned it into a card too. It's better to make something with it than letting it continue to languish in a bin. I think she turned out pretty cute.
I won't be posting much this week. Maybe tomorrow or Wednesday and not again until Saturday or Monday. If you are in the US I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving.
Yesterday was "dyeing day" and I usually don't get much done on Wednesday other than that. But I had these 2 veterans quilts loaded and one was already quilted so before dinner I finished the second one. The one on the right is folded to show the backing color. For quilts that were conceived just to get another UFO off my list, I'm really happy with these 2 quilts. The binding fabric is in the dye bath so I should be able to get these bound next week. That means at least 2, probably 3 and maybe 4 finishes for November.
Today I'm going to work on some Christmas cards and do some stitching on the Groovy binding. I might even get a row or 2 of Big Groovy together.
It was quite a productive weekend around here. I didn't actually finish anything but I made some progress on several things.
I loaded the last 2 veterans quilts for the year. These are getting done because they are mine and they will knock one UFO off my list!
You can see that I got one done. I'm using a simple leaf pantograph so it's quilting up quickly. I will not finish it today though. I need to get a label on Fireworks so I can take it to Mom tomorrow and she can deliver it to Patrick over Thanksgiving.
I spent some time Saturday evening playing around with frame ideas for Fireworks and Groovy quilt labels.
I spent my football watching time (Go Hokies! Boo Eagles.) stitching the Groovy binding. It's slow because my hand is still bothering me some. As long as I don't do too much at one sitting I'm OK.
I also started putting Groovy II together. It's going to take a little while. I have to lay it out after every row to decided the placement of the colors for the cornerstones. But I'm having lots of fun working on it.
This week I have to get a label on Fireworks, need to make some serious progress on Christmas postcards, do some screen printing on Christmas gifts and, hopefully, grout the dye sink backsplash.
After playing around with more sashing ideas and sending a dozen photos to my friend and making Chris look at all of them....
we decided in dark sashing with bright cornerstones. It's not really where I wanted to head with these quilts but it doesn't show off the blocks best. I dyed the fabric yesterday so might be able to start sewing Sunday.The small quilt will be the darkest shade of Jungle and the big quilt will be a blue similar to Royal. Now it's always possible that I get these fabrics dyed and then decide that I don't like them. That's OK, I can always dye more.
After dyeing yesterday I decided to focus on the Christmas cards a bit. I came up with a hippie-inspired card for the ice dyed trimmings. I ordered a silk screen to use with these strips that I fused to Wonder-Under. Now I'm working on an idea to use my Paula-quilt cut offs.
But honestly, I'm not working on much of anything. My dear husband brought home a cold from his Canada hunting trip and now it's my turn to enjoy it.
I made major progress on the "Paula" quilts this weekend. I got both quilted (maybe) and got the cats bound and the hanging sleeve sewn on. All I have left on that one is the label. I quilted the blue one too but I'm considering doing a little more quilting on it. I had a heck of a time with it. The best thread choice was a navy blue Bottom Line thread. I decided to use it in the needle and bobbin and it was nothing but trouble. I changed needles, re-threaded, played with tension.....everything. I finally got through the 9 9-patch center blocks. I switched to Invisifil for the borders and didn't have any problems at all. I've had issues quilting with Bottom Line in the needle before and hopefully I will remember not to try it again.
In other news I got the first vetnerans quilt top done! For something made completely random and really fast, I'm quite pleased. It will be quilted with a leaf pantograph probably in green or brown thread because I want the quilting to really show up on these quilts. The quilt is what will make it seem more "whole" if that makes sense. I think I'll dye some dark green for the binding.
For the second one I do need to cut some more strips and I'll get on that today.
There wasn't much accomplished yesterday at all. It was errand day. Mom and I had our monthly lunch with my cousin and did some shopping. Then we took a detour to check out a salvage grocery store that my friend has been raving about. I had never heard of a salvage grocery store but it's a cool concept. They get damaged goods and ungraded produce (the ugly but still good stuff) and sell it heavily discounted. It was an interesting field trip but it's too far of a drive for me to make to just to see what's there. My diet is so restricted that going to a store like that might only yield a couple of purchases. The only thing I might have bought yesterday was carrots. But it was cool to see the place very busy on a Thursday afternoon. Do you have one of these type stores near you?
I'll just stick with Wegmans and Kroger for my "special" foods. I used to have to go to Whole Foods (which I hate) so was thrilled when Wegmans moved to town. I'm pretty sure that the Richmond area has more grocery stores per capita than other place in the US. There seems to be a big grocery store on every block. (After typing that last sentence I asked Google and, as of 2015, I was right. We rank 3rd in the nation. We've added Publix, Aldi, Lidl and Wegmans since then.)
Anyway.......Today I will start quilting the "Paula" quilts. I want to have both quilted by tomorrow so that I can get them ready for hand stitching the binding during Sunday football. But I'll quilt this baby quilt that Mom made first. The printed fabric is kites so I think I will quilt loops and kites freemotion. I got it loaded last night so I should have it done in a couple of hours.
Isn't this a cute quilt? My friend, Anne, made it. She finished it a few years ago and somewhere along the line I promised to quilt it for her but I keep avoiding it because I'm at a total blank on HOW to quilt it. Well I spent the last 2 days hanging out with her at the river and she had it positioned exactly where I couldn't avoid it any longer. I'm surprised she didn't have it between the sheets of my bed but it was almost as obvious as that!
Don't get me wrong, I want to quilt it and if I had a remote idea I could get it quilted in a couple of sessions. I'm cool with figuring out the background quilting but I want to do something special to highlight the crab but I'm totally clueless....and idealess.
What do you think?
For those of you who want the pattern, this quilt was designed by Lisa-Marie Sanders and we had to get special permission to make this one copy. If you have to have your own crab quilt you might be able to get in touch with her here.
I've got two more veterans quilts ready for quilting and that's all I can do until I get more tops that will pair with the 3 that I have on the closet. So once these 2 are quilted today I need to get another quilt ready to load. I was a little surprised to find that I only have 3 quilt tops! Of course I have big quilting plans for all of these.
I have this one that I finished last summer (May 2018). I more or less know how I might quilt it but I don't have a back for it yet. I'm not sure I'm ready to tackle this.
This postage stamp quilt is my oldest UFO. I started it in 1998! I think I finished this top last year. I'm pretty sure that I'm going to do some Spirograph motifs on this one and I'm not really ready to do that again yet.
The third, and smallest, quilt is this one. It was done during Barbara Brackman's Grandmother's Choice block program. It's the sister quilt to Lura's Choice. Both quilts have the same blocks but they look completely different. I think this will be the next one. I'll spend some time this weekend thinking about quilting motifs.
But my #1 priority for the weekend is to piece the binding for Lost My Marbles. I really want that quilt done by the end of the month.
The past 2 days I really pushed and got the rest of the mulching done. I had projected 7 truckloads but it ended up being 8. The last one was brutal because it rained Wednesday night so the mulch was wet and extra heavy and I had to wheelbarrow all of it. Usually I can just back the truck up to the tree and rake it out but the canopy on the last 2 trees was too low for that. We've got to do some serious pruning on the maples this winter! I cold have waited to do the last truckload for a day or two but I really just wanted to get it over with.
I usually do this chore in February and March when the weather is more pleasant but we had so much rain this winter and Spring that I couldn't drive the truck in the yard. The weather was a little cooler this week so that's why I had to push to get it done. Today I'm exhausted and my allergies are a little crazy but I'm happy to be done with yard stuff for a white.
I'm not sure how much I'll get done today but I thought I'd at least organize my to do list.
I have fabrics for a new Stash Pack that need to get ironed, cut and packaged. These have been patiently waiting a week. Meanwhile there are yards and yards in the soak baths now that will be ready for ironing and photography later this weekend.
I got the cutting table moved out of the sewing room so I'm ready to block this quilt. But first I need to make the 2 repairs. That's first on my agenda for this afternoon.
After the Marbles quilt repairs are done I'm going to knock out a few veterans quilts before I pick my next longarm project. I have 3 "next projects" to choose from. They will all be very involved and 2 of them are huge.
But today I'm going to mostly relax!
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.
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