Next projects on deck
Yesterday was dyeing day (the last until after vacation) so I didn't get a lot of other things done. But I was really pleased with myself for getting the firefighter quilt loaded and basted.....until I took this photo and realized that I loaded it UPSIDE DOWN! If you look at the takeup bar you can see that the backing is a gradient and I want the top of the quilt to be at the yellow end. I didn't have the energy to take it out and re-do it. That will be on today's agenda.
But the first order of business is to spread the last load of mulch! This is either #8 or #9. I've lost count. Once it's done I will probably be done with mulching for about 18 months, maybe 2 years. I do enjoy doing it so don't be surprised if I do a touch up next year.
After this is done, I'll get into the basement and fix the firefighter quilt.
Oh man, it sure was nice to be back in the dye studio yesterday! I didn't do a full session but I did enough to make a dent in the backlog.
We were talking over dinner last night that we aren't sure if the cold lingered a long time or if we just transitioned immediately into allergies. My car would seem to indicate an allergy overlay. We have a lot of pine trees around the house and they are bursting out. But I went out and sprayed half the driveway for weeds. I'll need to get the other half this weekend. It's barely gotten warn and the weeds are already taking over.
I also made it into the sewing room to start thinking about the next projects. I vacuumed all the detritus left from making the bear and organized 3 new projects. These fabrics are for a new set of placemats.
This will be for a couple of birthday postcards for my Hokie friends. One was due yesterday but I already let he know that her card would be late.
My last project will be a new hiking backpack. I've been using this one for several years but it's time to make something a little sturdier.
I have these old hiking pants that no longer fit and the fabric is perfect for a lightweight pack. These are the kind of pants that have zip off legs so they can convert to shorts. I love them, they wear like iron and I just bought new ones that fit from REI.
This is one of the lower legs zipped off and there's plenty of fabric. I want to add an exterior pocket for my cell phone too and there's lots of pockets/zippers/velcro in these pants that I can use for other features.
I'm supposed to be at sewing with my quilt club today and tomorrow but I have a doctor's appointment today (that was scheduled 4 months ago) but I'll pack my gear and be there for sewing tomorrow. I kind of miss people, it's been a long week!
Another day with no sewing
It was a beautiful day here yesterday and that meant that it was another day of spreading mulch. This was the 4th truckload. I started this big bed Tuesday and used a third of yesterday's load to finish it off. These areas are going to look so good when the grass starts turning green. We are lucky to have found someone new to mow for us. Our last guy retired after 20 years. We were spoiled!
I should plant some things here to use up some of this space but I'm just not into gardening. I like weeding (a lot) and mulching and that's about it. Sometimes if I'm listening to a really good book and want to concentrate on the book I'll just go outside and pull weeds for a while so I won't be distracted from the book. I pulled a whole grocery bag full Tuesday when I was finishing up my most recent book.
This is the same bed from the other side of the cedar tree. Last summer we went around the property and took a bit of an inventory of the tree varieties that we have. We were surprised to count 26 different varieties of trees! I have read that the Appalachian area, specifically the Great Smokies has one of the greatest variety of trees in the world. The Great Smokies has over 100 varieties of trees. We benefit from much of that here with our climate and proximity to a pond and river.
This photo is for Patty. She does lots of gardening and often posts about her Lenten Roses. I didn't know what they were and was never really interested in finding out. But recently I sent a photo of these to my Mom and brother. Mom planted them a few years ago and they must be hardy because I don't do anything with them: no watering, no feeding, no trimming. In a text conversation I found out that they are Lenten Roses. So I've had some of my own all this time!
The next area to tackle is this one with a Holly and a Sycamore. I emptied the rest of yesterday's truckload at the back edge. It will take one more truckload to finish it off. After that I basically have 10 standalone trees to do and I'll be done. It looks like I'll have 2 good days this coming week and then I'll be off to the beach for a week to hang out and sew with my friend, Kim. Like I said, I enjoy mulching so I'm not in a huge hurry to finish. By the end of April will be good, before it gets too hot.
Before I went outside yesterday I did iron some pretty new fabrics that will make it into the shop next week.
At the end of the day I was too tired to quilt so I sat and worked on this blanket. I'm on the last skein of yarn so this one will be done soon. Maybe by Monday.
Today it's raining and that means it's a perfect day for sewing. It's also sewing weekend with my quilt club so I'm going to be getting this veterans quilt top done, if all goes to plan.
Not much quilting
There wasn't much going on in the fiber world for me this weekend but I still got lots done. Friday started with my brother and we put up his new backsplash. He had called me to ask if I had a wet saw and, surprise, I did! Since I've worked some with cutting glass and had all the glass cutting tools, I offered to help.
He laid the field and I did all the cuts. Honestly, I was surprised at how well my cutting worked out! I didn't go back Saturday to help grout. I told him that I was confident in his skills. Plus I know, from doing my mosaic walls, that grouting is an unholy mess. He confirmed that with several messages during the day. Mom and I went over last night to check it out.
His name is Tim and I told him we could start a business and call it VicTim. Something in me wants to start a business just so we can see if we could register that name.
The other big job of the weekend was mulching. I actually enjoy doing this. I can listen to a book and get some great exercise. Chris would help if I asked but I've not needed help so far. This was Sunday's work that I finished before we left to visit my brother. The first bed I tackled is this area around the magnolia tree. First I had to rake up a wheelbarrow FULL of seed pods. I still need to trim the suckers and this will be done for the year.
Our truck is so old that it now has antique plates. That means that it doesn't have to be inspected anymore. It does limit how far you can drive (250 miles) it but we only use it for local trips. It's not reliable enough for any distance.
We have 6 Sycamore trees lining the driveway and four of them are in standalone beds like this. The rest of that truckload took care of three of them. There are irises planted under these two trees. The next bed that I will do will use an entire truckload. I hope to get to that one Tuesday before the weather turns cold and rainy again.
It wasn't a totally fiber-free weekend though. I got 4 of the little child cuddle quilts quilted on Saturday and got the binding cut. This week's tasks will include getting these finished. I also have a baby quilt that I need to get quilted for Mom. It's for my cousin's son's first baby. I'm making the baby a teddy bear out of a special vintage quilt so I hope to get that made this week too.
I hope you had a great weekend and have some fun things planned for your week.
A weekend for staying in and making
Yesterday was our knit/crochet group at the library and I made great progress on this shawl. I'm almost done with one skein and will use about a third of another. The best thing is that I now have a pattern to make it. I'll eventually post it just so I have it saved somewhere for myself. I'm no pattern writer and it will not be a "real" pattern.
There's not a lot left on this and it will probably be done this weekend.
I've made progress on the placemats too. I love how the printed fabric looks as the final border. I've gotten started on quilting the first one and hope to get all 4 quilted and bound this weekend. I can also report that I've already picked out fabrics for the next set but I'll sew up some more little quilt tops before I start the new placemats. Oh yeah, I'll finish these first.
The weather is supposed to be crummy this weekend so I should also have time get Becky's quilt loaded and quilted. If I get all three of these projects done I will consider the weekend a huge success.
But I'm starting off the weekend today with a day trip to the Mid-Atlantic Quilt Festival. Who knows how many projects that will inspire me to start this weekend.
More veterans quilt tops
When I went to sewing at quilt club this weekend I took these two projects with me to work on. When I got there I discovered that the pack on the right had enough pieces for 2 quilts and that's the one I started with.
By the time I left Saturday at 3:00 I had both tops done! These were really fast and easy because the block size is 6". Using the Go! Cutter really helps too because the pieces are cut accurately. I'll work on the other quilt next month. That one has 4"blocks so it's going to take a while longer.
I've been thinking about some possible sewing projects to work on when football season is over and I retreat from the TV room. Last week a friend and I delivered some things to From The Heart and we got to better understand some of the things that they always need. I'm not good at responding to needs with quick due dates, like baby hats for Valentine's. I would rather work on projects that are needed year around. Those things include shawls, drain bags, fingerless mitts (for dialysis patients) and blankets of all sizes. The child and wheelchair blankets are requested to be 27 x 36. That made me think of this bin of fabric so I spent some time this weekend thinking about what I might be able to do with these. I'll have an update in a few days.
During football I worked on all 3 of my crochet projects but made the most progress on the new one. This one will be a big blanket that will hopefully use up this yarn that I don't like so much. I think I have plenty of yarn to make it 40 x 60 - 72. They like that size for the dialysis and chemo patients. This pattern stitches up fast and uses a lot of yarn.
It should be a good making week as I don't have many outside obligations.
A bunch of chores
'sI usually like to focus my posts on one particular project but yesterday was not a project day, it was an errand and chore day.
After exercising and stacking wood for this weekend heating, I headed to Walmart to get a new microwave for the studio. I have a microwave in the basement to use for making soap, lotion and heating my soda ash solution in the winter. The one that I had was a free one that I received from a friend over 10 years ago. I think it was 10 years old when she gave it to me. It lived a good long life but eventually gave up the ghost. I was offered another free one but I had already purchased one from a thrift store for $30. By the time that I actually got around to using it I discovered that interfered with the bluetooth signal to my headphones. That didn't seem to be safe so it was sent off to the landfill.
Next I went shopping and you can't imagine how many stores I went to and how much time I wasted to save $11. I'll spend $80 on yarn that I don't need but I'll drive myself insane to save $11 on something that I actually need. This is probably why we aren't rich.
I finally picked out one from Walmart yesterday for $77 and I came home and immediately tested it making a new batch of lotion.
There's one item off the to-do list. Now I still need to shop for a new tax accountant.
I'm not going to share photos of laundry, bread making and sweeping the basement but here's the fabric I dyed yesterday ready to be washed out. It will soak for 40 hours and will be ready for ironing Sunday.
Wednesday night I spent some time checking out different patterns to figure out what I want to do with the two green Pound of Love yarns. I have enough of that yarn to make a big blanket and I want a pattern that also uses a lot of yarn. I don't want any of this stuff left! In the end I decided to make another blanket like this one. It works up really fast and is mindless for watching TV.
I also pulled out the cardigan that I was working on and finished the next step so it will come back into the mightly rotation of projects.
Today is a no chore day because it's my sewing weekend with my quilt club. I pulled out 2 more kits and I'll start on one (or both) of these this weekend. The one on the right is in patriotic batiks and the one on the left is hand dyed scraps with 2 shades of gray. Both will be fun to work on.
I hope you get to do whatever you want this weekend.
Busy with not much to show for it
Yesterday was a really busy day but I feel like I didn't really accomplish much of anything tangible. I did some laundry, made some bread and delivered some food to the local food pantry.
I probably spent most of my time timing my longarm. I'm not good at doing that so it usually takes me a few (or 10) tries. I think I have it but I wasn't in the mood to load a quilt and give it a go.
I packed up a box of soap for a local charity.
I've made a little progress on the next set of pieces for Red Sunset but, honestly, this project has been mostly ignored the past few days.
Yesterday, I mentioned that I was going to start a hexagon sweater with Lion Brand Jeans yarn. This is the third start with this yarn. I really like it a lot but it's difficult to see the stitches in this dark, speckled yarn! I think this pattern is going to work out just fine. There are about 500 different video tutorials and patterns for hexagon sweaters but I've settled on this one. I like the cuffs and edging that she designed and her video tutorial is really thorough. If I can't get this yarn to work for me in this pattern I will give up and donate the yarn to someone else! I really should have picked a lighter color of this yarn.
During my meal breaks I'm reading up on my training for working the election polls next month. I had training Tuesday afternoon and this is out homework. I really enjoy working the polls but it's a really long day.
So I guess I've been pretty busy but today and tomorrow I'll be at sewing days with my quilt club. If I talk less and sew more I might get another veterans quilt top done!
Busy 2 days
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!
What a difference 24 years makes
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!
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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.