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.
I made it to Emerald Isle, NC yesterday. It was a very easy drive even though it was raining most of the way. Everyone on the road was on good behavior. At least 10% of all the cars were from New York.
I am always loathe to have photos taken but this look was so funny that I had to share it as a contrast to the snow photos of yesterday. We left the house for our walk and I was wearing 2 jackets, a hat, gloves and shoes. On the way back I had shed the gloves, one jacket and the shoes. It was a little chilly at 46 but it was marvelous to feel the sand under my feet. It's supposed to be warmer tomorrow but also pretty windy so we'll see how tomorrow's walk goes.
I really feel for everyone in Texas and all the central states. I hope you are finding ways to stay warm and I hope this horrid weather passes for you soon.
We haven't pulled out the sewing yet but I'm within a few rounds of having this baby blanket finished. It's been a little extra work to plan out the colors instead of letting them roll out however they fell in the Mandala yarn. I think it's been worth the little bit extra effort and I'm likely to do it again. I will have yarn leftover from this so I'm planning a hat or 2 to donate. The blanket will be a donation too and, yes, it will get blocked. It really needs blocking. It was a lot of work to get it to look this good!
I also got my baking and cooking done for the week today so tomorrow we will likely get the fabric and sewing machine out. But first a trip to Michael's for some knitting needles that Kim needs for her project.
I'm so grateful to be here. I know I'm not the only person who needs a break right now and I intend to take full advantage of this great opportunity!
I feel like I was busy all day but I don't feel like I accomplished as much as I wanted. We are watching the weather because (as I write this Thursday night) it looks likely that our sewing days might be canceled.
Not to worry, I have plenty of things to work on at home if that happens.
I did make progress on 2 fronts. I have 2 more veterans quilts loaded. and I'm about to start on the second one. Peg made both of these and I think I might make one of the log cabin ones out of a scrap bin of symmetry fabrics and set them with black.
These are the arc blocks for my Summer Sunset star quilt. You can't even imagine how many times I started these blocks wrong! A lot of my time yesterday went into ripping out seams. but not that they are started the rest should be pretty easy. There's enough trimmed leftover fabric from the big arcs to do the small arcs.
I'd like to get these done before I leave Sunday morning. Then I can come back and start putting the top together!
Saturday is the first lesson in Bethanne Nemesch's feather quilting class and I'm really looking forward to it. She's a wonderful teacher and it will get me motivated to quilt my 2 big custom quilts.
What a great weekend. We had snow again and it only stayed long enough to be pretty and then moved along. I didn't have to go anywhere so I got lots done.
The first thing on tap for the weekend was folding over the hems of the floor cloths. It's it amazing how many times we use our rotary rulers for things other than quilting?
I got them folded and used the glue gun to stick them in place. We tried E6000 glue but it really didn't stick all that great to the latex paint. A consultation with my brother was in order and he recommended the glue gun. He was right and I had just enough glue sticks to get the job done. Now it's up to Chris to do the rest.
While cleaning up I found the missing gear! I knew it was in there somewhere.
I got all of the star blocks done too!
Next up are the rings. These should go pretty fast if I can make a decision on how I want to order the colors.
I ended the weekend with some crochet during the game.
All in all, no complaints here.
This week I have a few appointments and errands and then we have quilt club sewing days Friday and Saturday. But I should be able to work on the rings for my quilt in between. Then on Sunday I'm heading to North Carolina to the beach for a few days! A friend rented a house there for the month and invited me down. I'll never say no to any day that I can wake up to the sound of the ocean and the opportunity to walk on a beach.
Mom stayed with us this weekend but we didn't have any particular activities planned. She's been relaxing and doing some sewing, some reading and playing on her iPad. We pretty much did our own things and waited for Chris to ring the dinner bell.
It's a good life.
So I got busy on several projects. First I made about 14 pounds of soap. These will get unmolded later today and then will need 6 weeks to cure.
I got started quilting the veterans quilts that I showed you Friday. One is done and I'll get the other done one day this week when we have the wood stove going in the basement again.
I cut out another doll dress in pink for the RSC challenge. It would be nice if the February color is purple and then I could knock two color challenges out with one outfit!
Of course I worked on the floor cloths. I'm particularly fond of this design that got added this weekend.
I've been flummoxed by this big circle with the star motif and made myself finally deal with it. First I added a ring around the star and that made the final design easier to choose. It was that star that was holding me up. It's lacy and small enough that trying to put a design behind it might just create a confusing blob. The ring fixed that problem.
Here it is all done and I'm happy.
Both of those designs are on this floor cloth. I'm getting soooo close! Only a few more designs to add and then I'm done.
I finished the weekend with some crochet during the football games. It's hard to tell here but I'm on the border! This one will be done soon and I'm glad. I'm getting a little tired of working on it. But I can't wait to share it, it is a pretty blanket and very soft.
Later this week I'll finally be able to share the photos of the gifts that I made my best friend for Christmas. We exchanged gifts last Thursday. I just need to get the photos edited. My main goal for the week is to make a lot of progress on the floor cloths, finish the crochet blanket, work on the Summer Sunset quilt and quilt some veterans quilts.
I was out most of yesterday. I had a clay shooting lesson in the morning. I wasn't very good. I was having allergy symptoms and when that happens the floaters in my eyes are more prominent. I don't know why that happens but it does. Floaters make it much harder to track the clays, especially when they are presented on the back (black) side. But it was still great practice and having to train myself to see beyond the floaters is part of the purpose of all these lessons anyway. My distance vision really is getting better and that helps my driving.
I also got to see my instructor's 8 week old puppy, Lacy. They will train her to be a hunting dog so she brings her to the range just so she gets used to hearing gun shots. It doesn't phase her at all and I get puppy kisses.
That reminds me of one of the dogs that used to visit our house all the time. Stanley was a beautiful yellow lab and was the pick of the litter. The owner wanted him for a hunting dog but it just didn't work out. He was afraid of the sight of a gun and the sound of thunder. He was the sweetest dog ever but he wasn't the sharpest blade in the drawer.
After the lesson I ran a couple of errands. One was to my local Innova longarm dealer that is no longer a longarm dealer! Their business started as a quilting and machine rental business and they are going back to their roots. Covid gave them to opportunity to really understand the amount of time that they spent traveling to shows in 9 states. They decided that more balance in their lives needed to be a priority. Everyone really seemed happier. I'm happy for them all although I'll miss being able to drive a few miles for supplies but, let's face it, the chances that I will ever buy another longarm is close to zero.
I came home in the mood to quilt so I added 2 more rows to Mom's quilt. I'm over halfway through now. I should have this ready for her by Monday easy.
After dinner I sat down to add some more rounds to my Summer Sunset quilt blocks. I'm working on the 5th star right now. It's really good to be back working on this.
I'm linking up to Alycia's Finish (or not) Friday.
I had no intention of doing a clean up in the sewing room. All I wanted to do was to get my Summer Sunset project set up again and start a new project (more on that later). But after all the Christmas sewing I finally actually looked at my space and it was a disaster. There wasn't a free flat surface anywhere. I could not tolerate it anymore.
I didn't do an actual full deep clean but I grabbed a trash bag and cleared out the three areas that bugged me the most. My fabric cabinets still need some attention but now I can work here.
These are the project shelves. I realized that I didn't know what was in a couple of the bins. See the green bin on the right side of the middle shelf? It had a project idea from 2007! I think it's clear that I'm not going to make that particular miniature quilt. Now that bin will hold my travel crochet project between trips. About 5 more bins were emptied. The bins with blue tags are the ones that I've designated to work on this year, hopefully the first half of the year. I got everything off the top of the cabinets and even have a few empty bins/baskets on the left side of the top shelf. Ahhhh, breathing room. It's not "pretty" but when it comes to my work spaces I'm totally function over form.
Before and after are really obvious here. I hate when my cutting table gets full. Now I just have the binder to replace my worn out dye binder and the materials for the upcoming online quilting class. Perfect.
Now Summer Sunset is set up again at the Juki and the Brother is all cleared off and ready for my new project. What is it? I've decided to do the Rainbow Scrap Challenge this year. I've been wanting to do it for a while but didn't have a good plan. I'll share what I'm going to do tomorrow. Of course, it's kind of involved.
Another project on the future/wish list is to make a 3-D quilt. I just got this in the mail last week and I think it will be a fun project. I'm not pulling fabrics or anything yet. I just added it to the wish list.
Aside from cleaning, I got Mom's giant quilt loaded and started quilting. It's 102" square. The backing fabric is exactly 102" wide including the selvedges so it needed a little more width. I found a fabric in my stash that I could add on. She will have about a 4" strip of blue on one side. If she decides to use the quilt back side up (it's a really pretty fabric) she can put the strip edge under the pillows and no one will be the wiser. One row quilted and about 45 more rows to go!
Well, it seems like 45 but probably a good dozen. The pantograph is wide and uses almost a whole bobbin in one row.
Cleaning up the sewing room really helps the creative juices. I'm excited to get back to Summer Sunset this week. I'll also get back to the floor cloths and get those finished up. But Friday and Saturday will be sewing days so I'll be back working on the king size green quilt.
Yesterday was dyeing day so I didn't really get much sewing done.
I don't share much of what I dye because it's boring to look at bins of wet fabric. But I am really looking forward to opening this tomorrow.
I also dyed a backing for this quilt. Our quilt club doesn't just make veterans quilts. Every other year we make a quilt for our local food pantry to raffle for a fund raiser. The most recent one raised over $2000. This is the next one. All the members made the crazy quilt blocks, another member sewed the top, I'm dyeing the back and someone else with quilt it. It's a true collaborative effort.
I'm starting to think about what I want to be working on starting in January and one of my big goals will be to quilt my oldest UFO. I started this in 1998 and I still love it. When it's done it will be mine!
But first I will probably quilt some veterans quilts and this blue/yellow quilt for my Mom. Mom's quilt is HUGE and I have 13 veterans quilts. I don't know when I'll get to quilt hers. The backing fabric that she ordered is taking a long detour to get to her. She's having fun tracking it's travels. I'll get backs dyed and will quilt some of the veterans quilts myself. Other members have volunteered to help with the quilting so I won't have to do all 13. That green quilt I'm working on might become a few veterans quilts. I'm dithering too much with the layout and that's a true sign that it might no be the best king size quilt idea.
I also have a new quilt planned for 2021. I've made quilts for 2 of my sister-in-law: the penguins and the cats. My third SIL loves animal prints. I found these batiks and will start on her quilt in the New Year. The layout will be simple and might be exactly like my Indonesian Batik quilt. I think these fabrics would work great in that format. The fabric on the right would be the sashing and binding.
First I have to get things cleaned up in the sewing room and that means dealing with this pile of strips. I might make some trivets or more coaster sets but my time limit is Sunday. Whatever is left on Sunday gets tossed or put away.
Time to get off the internet and get to some sewing.
I had to take a break from the floor cloths. Between the VOCs from the Sharpies and all the mold outside from the biblical rains, my asthma/allergies went a little crazy. So I'm working on some other things.
I got Mom's quilt loaded on the quilting frame and started quilting. This is a huge quilt and she made it for someone who works in her apartment building. It's a really pretty quilt. This is the second quilt that she has made with this pattern. The person who's receiving this had seen and loved the first one.
Quilting is going to be fast because I'm using a simple pantograph.
It's also time to start the Christmas postcards! I'm going to try to get one set done by this weekend so that I can then spend the weekend working on a new Paula Nadelstern sample quilt. These threads always inspire me! I use these in the bobbin or couch then with a narrow zigzag.
In my first prototype I used the threads in the bobbin and stitched from the back. I did a couple of versions of this prototype and I didn't like either one. I'm going back to the drawing board for this one.
But that one did give me an idea for the 3 December birthday cards that I need. I can't show the designs because 2 of the recipients read my blog. But I'm excited to have at least one thing done ahead of time!
My big mission this week was to get the binding done on Kim's quilt. Monday afternoon I discovered that the Downton Abbey movie was on HBO so I quickly finished my "work" for the day and sat down with my binding and the movie. Monday night I watched some Holiday baking contests on the Food Network and hit the binding again. I really wanted to finish it but my left hand was too annoyed.
Yesterday I got up and finished the binding right after breakfast. Aside from a label, the quilt is done! In a minute you will know why there are no photos, I was too tired. I'll get photos Thursday.
After I finished the binding I realized that it was too beautiful outside to be inside so I headed out to blow some leaves. I have a battery operated leaf blower so I do it in shifts.
After that I decided to get the power washer out and clean the filthy walkways. We've had so much rain this year that everything seems to have turned black....or green.
I finished both walkways, the front steps and the disgusting front pad of the garage. It seriously was green on black. It's north facing so it's in the shade all the time. I don't power wash often but it sure is rewarding with immediate gratification.
Then I figured I wash my car. It's something that probably should be done once a year or so. It was due.
Then I went all "good wife" and washed Chris' car! He came home from his 10 day hunting trip just as I was in the middle of it. It was even grosser than mine and that's saying something!
That was the end of me for the day. No Spirographs on floor cloths or crochet. The weather will turn cooler with more rain (ugh) today so I'm probably done with any major outdoor chores until I start mulching in February. We're going back to regular programming. Time to get the last 2 veterans quilts quilted!
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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.