The big green quilt isn't done yet but I only have the binding and label left to do. I'll have it finished by Monday for sure. Big Green started with my drawer of green hand dyed fat quarters. I had already made quilts from the purple, yellow and brown drawers so it's time to start looking for the next project. The blue drawer is pretty packed so I think I'll head there next and start looking for a project.
My favorite quilt book at the moment is Colorful Quilts. I've made more quilts from that book than any other. In fact, Big Green, is the cover quilt. I did a little internet search and found that the authors had another book. I picked up a used copy of In Love with Square and Rectangles. I flipped through it last night and I think there might be a couple of candidates for a scrappy blue quilt.
In crochet news, I'm so much better and am back to this big project that I can't share. I've purchased every type of brace and tape but I think the magic solution has been these gloves. I've never bought into the Copperfit hype but I was wrong. I've been using these for about a week and the improvement in my hands has been dramatic. I can crochet about an hour at a time now.
Today will be focused on binding Big Green and washing out the 50 yards of fabric that I dyed yesterday doing some crochet!
I got back to clearing off the cutting table this weekend and I didn't start any more drawstring bags. That's a big win!
A couple of weeks ago I unearthed a bin of these fabrics. Long time readers might remember that I started these as yet another travel project. I used a bunch of them in the Penguin quilt that I gave to my SIL. I still had a stack of fabrics ready to be tied, stitched or clamped and decided that I'll pack them up again for the car ride to Maine. That will give me 3 different types of projects that I can work on for 32 hours of riding and, hopefully, the variety will be good for my hands.
I bought these stencils from Cindy Needham a few years ago and they are perfect for marking fabric for Shibori stitching.
In an hour I had all of these fabrics marked. I marked one with each stencil. The cool thing about Shibori stitching is that you could mark 10 or more fabrics with the same stencil and stitch all differently. I'll just use the grids as guidelines and make my design decisions as I pull each fabric. I used Crayola Washable Markers and I only stopped when I ran out of ink in one marker. This will give me plenty to hand stitch for many trips to come. The small sizes are very manageable and they are a perfect size for a feature block in a quilt.
My Shibori project bag is perfect for this project and the zipper pouch is perfect for my threads, needles and little scissors. I'm ready to go!
Back to clearing the table I found some doll patterns that I printed off so I cut out 2 dresses, a sparkly t-shirt and batik shorts. I also found a bin with all the leftover animal print batiks from the Safari Quilt. It went into the batik fabric bin. I just don't have a good idea for using it at the moment. I'm getting close to the dustiest edge of the cutting table.
My friend, Brenda, came over for her first quilting lesson. She's going to buy a longarm soon and she's hoping to help with the veterans quilts. Helping her become comfortable with quilt if of great personal benefit to me! She was fearless and now she's alreay quilted her first quilt!
I finished off the weekend with some repair work. It annoys me so much that my pillowcases fray while the sheets are perfectly fine. In the past I'd toss them out and buy new ones. But I just got them to that perfect soft cotton feel so I don't want to throw them out. Plus I'm trying to do more repair and less tossing. My first though was to take off the cuff all together and add a new one in a print fabric but the serger was out and I decided to take the easy way out. Function over form.
I love having a serger! I just turned under the edges and did a really quick cover stitch. Good as new.
I also made some postcards this weekend but I have to wait until Thursday to share them because one of them is for Mom's birthday. They are pretty cool, though.
Today, the big green quilt will get loaded and basted!
My main accomplishment yesterday was working with Innova to get the timing fixed on my machine. I haven't technically quilted anything yet but the practice piece worked and the problems were what I thought they were. I just didn't know how to fix them. This experience is why I love Innova. Michael (the "M" in ABM International, parent company of Innova) is the person who helped me and he was incredibly patient with me! We worked through it with a series of texted photographs and phone calls. Innova is AWESOME. When I had my APQS I could barely get anyone on the phone to help with anything and that was especially true when the problems were caused by the maintenance they performed. That experience is what made me shop for a new longarm in the first place.
I love Innova.
It took a couple of hours to fix the machine took a couple of hours and between dyeing wash out and other chores I didn't get much else done except to start the new blanket. I tried a couple of patterns but decided that it was time to try a corner to corner. With a K hook this is going to go quickly. I'm kind of hoping that this will be big enough for a wheelchair lap blanket. I bought the yarn for a baby blanket but it's not looking very baby to me. The photo of this yarn online looked mostly light blue but it seems to be more dark green. But CtoC is a fun stitch so far.
The other big event of the day was delivering 25 veterans quilts to our VA hospital contact. I'm really fortunate because she has just moved over to my side of the county and is only 4 miles away. Look at all those beautiful quilts! Now, with the longarm fixed I can get busy quilting more of them. That's what I want to focus on this weekend between meeting up with friends and going to Eli's birthday party. I'll probably need a drink after attending a party full of 4 year-olds.
I had an incredibly busy weekend but I don't feel like I have much to show for it. I got 2 more truckloads of mulch spread. I think I have about 5 left to go. But it's really killing my hands and wrists. They were already inflamed from doing too much crochet and playing games on the phone. They are getting better but raking tons of much is slowing down the healing process.
Ugh, the adventures of getting old!
Friday and Saturday were sewing days with my quilt club. I'll admit that I did a lot more talking than sewing this time. But I did do SOME sewing. I got all the green blocks made for my college roommate's quilt. This think is going to be a huge king size quilt. I'm pausing this one to work on at home where I can find a space to spread out the blocks. Organizing the blocks by the value of the green is going to be really important so I'll take the time to lay it all out.
Instead of continuing on with the green quilt I pulled out one of the many veterans quilt kits that I cut out. I'm going to like this one a lot!
I also got started on 2 more veterans quilts so I should have those to share by Wednesday with maybe 2 more. This week my goal include finishing up my serger projects so I can put all that mess away. I also want to get some more things cut out so I clear off the disaster that is my cutting table. It's time for a clean up!
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I got off on some weird tangent yesterday. I've been thinking about a few different things that sort of came together.
I think I mentioned that I found this wonderful local organization that seems to serve every type of community group/organization from hospitals, assisted living, shelters....you name it, they serve it. They collect just about every type of handmade thing possible. I found out about them when Mom had surgery a while back and was given a drain bag made and distributed by this group. I think I've read the entire website and have an idea of the types of things I make that they can use. So that's one thing.....
The other thing I've been thinking about is what doll outfit I want to make for Ella next. I decided on a gardening apron get-up that will have jeans, shirt, apron, hat and gloves. I want to use the serger on this one and that means getting it out and setting it up. Well, if I'm going to set up the serger I should try to have some other things ready to go and just have a serger day. I don't remember what I originally planned for yesterday but I did all this instead.
Mom passed this fabric on to me last week and I decided that it was a great candidate for the drain bags. These will go together so quickly on the serger.
Next I dug out a bin of leftover dyed denim. Some if this is from the guest room project from about 10 years ago and some is from the denim sunflower pillows I made last year. I cut it up into kits to make 9 walker caddies. These will also be very speedy to sew up on the serger.
I also have a surprisingly large (and old) collection of Ultrasuede. Those are in danger of becoming walker bags too. It's not likely that I'm ever going to use it for anything else.
There were some small pieces of denim left so Ella's doll can get some new jeans.
Then I moved on to the gardening outfit. I found a really cool vintage fabric in my stash to make the apron from. It had borders that I was able to fussy cut for certain elements of the apron. I thought I had taken a photo of the fabric but apparently not. Trust me it was really cute and absolutely perfect for this little project. You'll see soon.
So, all the serger projects are ready to go!
I needed to empty that bin of denim because I needed a place to put these fabrics! Hancock's has this collection of patriotic batiks on sale half price! I bought a yard of each and 2 yards of a few. It's a lot of fabric! I'll get them cut into kits to take for my vacation sewing. This should keep me busy for a year or so.
I plan to get a lot of veterans quilts quilted soon so I needed to empty the batting bits bin. It only took about 15 minutes to whip up 2 more pet beds.
Today is dyeing day so I don't expect that I'll get much of anything else done but I might have a crochet update ready for tomorrow.
As I write, I have a few more hours left in craft week and plan to take full advantage but here's a quick summary of yesterday's accomplishments.
First we went fabric shopping. Amazingly, there are 2 quilt shops in this little area. They are both very different but both are good. I bought a couple more panels for veterans quilts.
I got the center of Karen's quilt done. Yay! I'll take it home and give it a good press then trim it and add the border. I think tomorrow I'll go to Joann and get some chocolate brown Minky for the back. This one could be finished really soon!
The doll dress is underway. This one is really involved and has a lot of hand stitching because hand stitching, in some cases, is easier than machine stitching. While I'm at Joann tomorrow I need to get an invisible zipper for this little project. If I make it through, it will be beautiful!
I've been doing some crochet too. This is the second hat I've finished. This yarn is Bernat Bundle Up and I bought it specifically to make chemo hats. This might not look like much but it's actually a cute hat on and it's incredibly soft! I've started a third hat with the same yarn but different pattern.
I expect that eventually I'll settle on a few hat patterns that I like and then will use over and over. I'm not quite there yet!
It's chilly at the river today but it's beautiful and sunny and I'm going to enjoy my last few hours before I head home this afternoon. This has been a wonderful break.
I would normally post my month summary today but I'm going to wait until Monday. That post takes a lot of time and I don't want to do it right now. I'm having too much fun to stop for that.
Here's my little workstation for the week. I have a great view of the river, except yesterday afternoon when it was dark and rainy. Kim has been hanging out in the chair doing her knitting.
Anne works here. She's got 2 or 3 projects going.
One of the things we accomplished yesterday was dyeing some fabric for Kim. This is 3 yards of denim that she wanted in a solid buttery yellow. She's going to make some jeans. She has made quilts but garment making is her main groove. She is really, really good at it.....because she makes her own jeans!
After we loaded up the big bin with water and dye I noticed that there was a puddle of yellow on the garage floor. Turns out my bin had a tiny crack. I'd like to pause here and genuflect to the Duct Tape company for saving us a ton of hassle on this project.
Here's where I am on Karen's quilt. Just a few more rows and the center of the quilt will be done. I'll finish that today and add the borders at home when I can put it up on my design wall and measure properly. I am really please with how it's turning out.
ON Tuesday night I got the doll dress cut out and it has a ton of pieces for a doll dress. I might be crazy by the time I get this thing done. Last night I decided to start sewing it together. I got the shoulder seams done and the HAND STITCHING around the neckline. I still need to turn and stitch the armholes and center back but that will happen today when I have some natural daylight for my old eyes.
I'm on step 4 of 34.....
Kim worked on her sweater yesterday. This coloring is kind of bad. It's really a little more pink. Today she's going to cut out her yellow jeans!
Anne has started a double wedding ring for her step daughter. This is going to be an epic project.
We are pretty certain hat today is going to be another great day at the river.
It's been a buys 2 days but there's very little sewing to show for it. All I've gotten done is sewing these pieces together for Summer Sunset. Instead I got the basement put back together and ready for dyeing tomorrow. It's really clean in there for the moment.
I also did my stint at the covid vaccine clinic yesterday. I'll say this for the Chickahominy Health District, they know how to set up an efficient operation. They had people park in particular areas based on their appointment times and then let them in in groups every 15 minutes. I worked registration and no one was waiting in line more than 30 seconds. Then people took their forms and moved to a waiting area to complete their forms. They were seated in order and were taken to the vaccine stations (tables) in the same order. A vaccine table held up a "next" sign and the monitors sent in the next resident. After the vaccine they were given a tag with the time that they could leave and they were sent to a waiting area. They were able to commandeer a vacant grocery store so they had separate entrance and exits, loads of parking and plenty of space to keep people at distance. It's really well done. I expect to be working there every Tuesday for a couple of months.
Our other accomplishment was this. My brother's battery trimmer worked GREAT! Here are the before and after images. I'm completely aware that our results aren't exactly professional but it's good enough for free labor. I do love holly trees. Even I can't kill them.
Next we start cutting some trees and spreading mulch. We have lived here for 20 years and before moving to the "country", I would have never believed how fast trees grow. We didn't cut any trees for about the first 10 years living here but since then things started getting out of control. We have to thin things out before we find ourselves living in a forest.....with forest creatures. I'm not interested in being that close to nature. Everything we cut will be firewood for next winter.
I don't really feel like I accomplished a lot this weekend but I think I always feel that way after a trip. There's so much daily stuff to catch up on that I always feel a little disjointed for a few days. But the laundry is caught up, everything is put away and I'm ready to get back to my routine. I did work on a few things though....
We got all of the floor cloth detritus out of the guest house and cleaned it to be ready for our friend who will be staying a while. I can't put the floor cloths in the house yet. They are still off gassing. We put them outside on clear, sunny days. It's supposed to warm up tomorrow so we should be able to air them really well this week.
I started a new crochet baby blanket and this one will go fast. I ordered some single balls of yarn from Webs to test out for 2 projects (not blankets) that I have planned. I needed a little more yarn to get a discount so I found this bulky acrylic from Universal yarn. I haven't worked with bulky yarn yet so I thought I'd give it a try. It sure does crochet up quickly! The yarn is really soft and easy to work with. I don't know if it pills but but it makes a very squishy blanket.
Following the Rainbow Scrap Challenge, I cut 2 sets of yellow blocks (8 of each block) for my family quilts. I'm saving these to sew on vacation and suing the RSC to motivate myself to cut some each month so that I have a lot of blocks to sew by August.
Also, going along with the RSC, I'm making doll clothes for my little friend, Ella. Last month it was a pink nightgown and this month it's a yellow sundress. The purple pieces are to go along with a top that I made last month.
Here's the whole purple/pink outfit together. The t-shirt should have been dyed pink. It went together fast so maybe I can make her a pink one later.
The best part of the outfit is this sun hat. Too cute! I ran out of energy last night to make the sundress but I'll probably get it done today. I think Ella will like these. I hope the March color is one that I have some fancy fabric in so that I can make a dressy dress.
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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.