The past few days have had 1 chore sewing project but also 1 fun project.
Chris goes off for his annual hunting trip to Nebraska and he came to me with a plea to do an alteration on his heavy hunting pants. He wanted them let out a little but I also noticed that there are also a lot of holes in the pants.
I did all the things that I felt needed to be done and I "only" broke 2 needles. Both of those were broken when I was reattaching the belt loop. Belt loops are brutal!
It was a couple hour chore but I got the alteration done, patched all the holes and even replaced a button pocket with Velcro. He's ready to start packing and I earned some good wife points.
But then there's the fun stuff! Over the past several days I've been working on my test floor cloth and I LOOOVVVEEE it! I've learned so many lessons about which designs that work best. Designs that have a wheel in a wheel in a wheel really don't work well, for example. I learned how to layer designs and I've learned about drawing speed to prevent smudges. I will go ahead and turn this one into a floor cloth but it's time to start on the real ones! Chris got the paint for me today so I'll be doing the painting on these probably starting Thursday.
I also loaded some veterans quilts to start quilting, maybe tomorrow evening and I'm making good progress on finishing the crochet afghan. Today is dyeing day but I might be able to finish the crochet blanket tonight.
First, thank you all for your lovely comments yesterday on Kim's quilt. I am really pleased with how it looks on the bed. I didn't like it all that much on the frame but I like it a lot better now. Maybe this afternoon I can get it trimmed.
Last night I finally finished this little crochet project. I started it while we were on vacation in August and worked on it a little at a time in the evenings. The main body is shell stitch and I used 2 balls of Lion Brand Mandala in the color Gnome. If I had started it out wider I would not have needed to do the border. I like to do these Mandala blankets with a color meeting in the middle and gradating out to the edges. The center should have been yellow/gold/orange/red/orange/gold/yellow. But when I got to the first yellow I realized that the blanket was going to be too narrow (or too long depending on your perspective). So I made the center yellow and wound off the other colors to use on a border. I think it worked out fairly well.
Next up I will start on a gingham blanket from Daisy Farm Crafts. I'll share more after I get started.
I've also made a little progress on my test floor cloth. One side was painted with flat paint and the other was painted with semi-gloss. The semi-gloss (this side) worked much better so now I know what kind of paint to buy for the "real" ones. this one will be a real one too. I'm going to keep drawing on it and make it into a rug too. I'll gift it to someone. I think it's going to be pretty cool!
Today I have a clay shooting lesson and then will run some errands. This afternoon I need to get the prize packs together for next week's drawings and get Kim's quilt trimmed and ready for binding.
Yesterday was dyeing day but I saved some time to get the last 5 marbles quilted on this quilt.
I had the idea for this last one for a while but I saved it because I thought it was the most appropriate last design since it uses the most rulers.
Now it's time to start quilting the background and that means it's time to start agonizing about the background designs. I think I'll pick a few filler designs and just start quilting and start mixing them up in the background.
I got one more truckload of mulch spread yesterday (only 3 left to do) and even got some clay shooting practice in. My shooting skills have really struggled the past year but I recently invested in getting my gun fitted (shortened stock) and I switched from using both eyes to just my left and now I am finally seeing some good results. I have a lesson tomorrow that I'm really looking forward to.
I had to switch to one-eyed shooting because we discovered that my eyes were switching dominance in the middle of my shot. I've learned a lot about my vision with shooting practice which was my main goal. We quilters spend all of our time looking up close and I noticed that distance vision kind of fatigues me. That's why I started shooting practice and it's really helping. Like many women, I don't have a dominant eye at a distance and by distance I mean 2 feet! Apparently it also explains why I sometimes get a little vertigo walking down stairs.
Growing up I probably should have spent a little more time outdoors and a little less with my nose stuck in books! Do you find that because your hobbies are close up that your distance vision is more difficult? Or are my eyes just naturally messed up?
But of course after some long distance vision practice I went right back to my happy place and started quilting more large marbles! Here are 5 that I did yesterday and I only have 5 left to do. These large circles are such a challenge. Less than half my rulers cover the diameter of a circle this big.
Doing these is mentally exhausting so 5 is about my limit but I'm going to chain myself to the machine a get the last 5 done today.
More progress on the big marbles this week. The end is in sight! I'm starting to get the hang of the big marbles. I can use 2 or 3 thread colors to make them more interesting. The circles that visually fall behind other circles are the most challenging. I tie off every place where the design ends against the next circle and that takes a bit of time. Trust me that the thread shows up much better in real life!
I started the big marbles this week and I'm really happy to finally be at this point. One of the challenges that I had on the little marbles was dealing with the fact that my circles aren't really perfect circles. It shows on some of them and, no surprise, it REALLY shows on the bigger circles! I decided not to sweat it. But I know that for the next quilt I will need to applique the circles, not piece them.
I also discovered that I have less ruler options for the bigger circles. Most of the "shapely" rulers done reach across the width of these circles so I have to use those from the center. But, so far, it's going OK. Here are the first 5.
It's official. I'm tired of this project. It's been fun to come up with new designs for each circle but it's also been a little tedious and stressful because I'm running out of ideas. Now I just want to get it done and I'm OK with that. This was never intended to be a "special" quilt and I have no plans of ever entering it in a show or anything. It will ultimately be a bed quilt. The sole purpose of the quilt was to a learning exercise and it's certainly been that! I've really explored by ruler collection and have dozens of ideas for using then on new projects. So now I'm determined to get this wrapped up and move on.
This week I've been working on finishing up the small circles and next I'll start the 18 04 19 big circles. Here are all of the rest of the small circles. I'm excited to have them done and I think I came up with some good new designs with them.
Now to get started on the big circles!
If I could make myself focus on one project at a time this one would be done already. But that's not my nature. My fabric business keeps me really busy (and I like that) but I try to set aside an an hour every day to do something and I let my mood decide what that that thing is. The marbles quilting requires me to be "on". I can do mosaic a bit tired and I can applique in front of the TV but the marbles have to be done when I'm able to focus. That's why they are a bit slow coming along but I am just fine with that.
Someone asked last week if I plan these out. I wish!
I think we all know by now that I'm not good at planning my quilting. So with these I do keep track of what I've done but I don't really plan them. Maybe that's one reason they are taking so long to do!
Here are the latest 6.
Time for a few more marbles!
The thing about this quilt is that it's turning into a wonderful "class" for me. By making myself do something different in each of the 100+ circles I'm having to explore some things that I might not otherwise. Like this heart template that I've had in my collection "forever" and possibly have never used. It turns out that it's a pretty good ruler!
Here's a peek at how they are looking on the quilt. I'm in love!
Let's sneak in a few more marbles this week! These 6 make me 46% done with the small circles.
To subscribe click the RSS Feed button and copy the URL of that page into your blog reader.
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.