Yes, it was a very productive weekend here. On top of the sewing projects I got done I also got the first 2 truckloads of mulch spread. usually I start in late February and go through March. I was delayed first by a ton of rain and then I hurt my foot. Now it's going to be really warm for the next 6 - 8 truckloads. I guess I'm going to have to try to get up early and get my work done before the day heats up too much. It's a ton of work but it's great exercise and it really does look so much better when it's all done.
But, let's get back to sewing. First, I got the gradient border on Summer Sunset. Now the quilt will finish about 96" square, exactly the way I wanted. You can see how huge the star is and that you lose some of the effect on the bed. Oh well, It will still look great in my dark orange bedroom. But for now, it's going to relax on the guest bed until I'm ready to quilt it. I'm expecting an order of cotton sateen wide backing in a month or so and I think I'll ice dye some of that for the back and see if I can make this a reversible quilt.
While I was finishing up, I pieced the back, cut the binding AND made the hanging sleeve for the small version. I want to get this one on the quilt frame soon and have it finished by the end of May.
I kept going and cut the binding for the big quilt and put all the leftover fabrics away and I have an empty bin!
Remember the animal print quilt I started earlier this month? The wide cuddle minky backing fabric arrived Friday so I decided to get it loaded and quilted. It only took a couple of hours and I think this Ebb and Flow panto is perfect. I'll have this one bound and finished to share by Wednesday!
Now I can officially start something new!
That something new is going to be adding a border to my vulture quilt that my best friend made for my birthday last year. I LOOOOOOVVVVVEEEEE this quilt and want it on my bed this summer but I also want it a little bigger so I'm going to add a piano key border in the colors of the vulture block frames. We found more of the same fabric that she used for the backing so this should be a really straight forward project to do.
I've even got the fabrics dyed and ready to go. These are all from the Color Wheel collection of fabrics.
But first I'm going to take a little diversion and do some serger projects. There will be some donation things, some pillowcases for gifts and some doll clothes for Ella. It's going to be very nice to do some quick projects this week. I'm starting with the mastectomy drain bags that I cut out a couple of weeks ago.
I'm trying to stay away from crochet for the week. My hands are bothering me a bit because I've been overdoing it. I've got a little road trip to Connecticut (with a pit stop in Lancaster, PA) coming up this weekend and I want to be able to take my crochet to do in the car and hotel. To do that I've got to get the tendonitis calmed down some. Maybe playing on the serger instead will help. I could also take the vulture quilt with me and work on removing the binding.
The plan for yesterday was to do a lot of cutting because the piles on the cutting table are out of control.
I started by cutting 2 more veterans kits from my patriotic batiks. I have 6 kits cut now and am waiting on some more beige batik to cut one or 2 more. After that I'll just have a small bin of scraps to use up when these quilts are done.
Then I decided to tackle the corners of the Summer Sunset quilts. I was able to tape 3 rulers together to get the length I needed for the diagonal cut. I don't know why I've never thought of taping rulers together before. It works great!
So here's the big star!
Next I will add a 5" gradient border to get it to the size I need. We decided that we prefer it with the yellow end on the corners and the purple in the middle. I will get this done by the weekend for sure because I really want to move on to something (anything) else!
Here's the little one done. I want to get this one quilted soon although I know it's going to be a huge challenge where so many points meet. There's SO MUCH BULK in this quilt. The quilting is going to be much simpler than I originally planned.
But before I do any quilting I will remove all the paper from both quilts. This paper was supposed to save a ton of time because it's "leave in" paper. If yo are familiar with the applique papers that you leave in, this is basically the same thing. It works great for applique because the paper isn't caught in layers and layers of seams. I may not have to remove ever single piece but I will remove it where there are seams.
I will never use this paper for foundation piecing again. It seemed like such a great idea but I think this needs to in the applique toolbox. Thank goodness I still used the tiny stitch length that I usually use with foundation piecing!
I hope everyone had as nice a weekend as I had. I got to hang out with some friends Friday night and have a scotch tasting evening with another friend Saturday. In between I did some quilting things.
This is a baby quilt that Mom made and I got it quilted for her.
It's a baby quilt so it got a simple Happy Times pantograph and lime green thread.
The backing is yummy minky. Minky doesn't want to be over quilted so this panto was just right.
But here's the big news for the weekend. The Summer Sunset star is together! I still need to add corners and the border and remove the paper from the back. That's another story for another day. I can't wait to get this quilt finished and on my bed.
Speaking of "on the bed", this is how huge this quilt is! It's actually going to lose some effect once it's on the bed but I don't care. These are my colors and it's going to make me happy to see it every day.....once it's done.
I also got caught up on my Bethanne Nemesch class and started another veterans quilt for practicing. I'm getting really comfortable with feathered wreath centers now. This quilt has 20 blocks and I've got 16 more to go. But I'm really getting faster with more confidence and that's cool.
This week I want to get both Summer Sunset tops completely together, quilt 2 veterans quilts with feathered wreaths and finish cutting out a bunch of veterans quilt kits.
Chris left for his golf trip this morning and I got busy on my home alone weekend.
Look! Thanks to a little prodding from Mom, I've got the star points sewn into pairs now. She always knows best. Tomorrow I'll get the rest of the seams together. It's getting really unwieldy at this point. I meant to load and quilt a baby quilt for Mom today but I was more in the mood for cutting. So I cut.
I started tackling my bin of patriotic batiks. I just want to get them all cut out and ready for sewing on vacation this summer. First up I cut fabric for 2 rail fence quilts. I even cut the binding. That's 6 yards down! 17 yards to go.
Next up was this quilt. I cutout tropical versions of this one when I was at the beach in February. I've got the red and blue parts cut out for 2 quilts. I still need to cut the background but I have to get more of the background fabric for that step. I'll pick out a couple more patterns this weekend to use up more of the fabric.
Meanwhile THIS arrived in the mail today! There's a story to go with it.
Do you remember this quilt that I made a few years ago? It's one of the samples that I make for Paula Nadelstern to show off her new fabrics each year. This one was made with the line called "Where In The World". Ironically I named this one "Where In The World Is My Cat?" Well, Paula and I have been asking that question of Benartex for several months. The quilt is gone.
I believe that a cat lover saw the quilt and decided to take it home. I received a very kind note from the President of Benartex apologizing for losing the quilt. Paula had told him about the work my quilt club does and he offered to send fabric for our veterans quilts. Their generous contribution to our veteran's quilt project arrived today and I've already started cutting fabric for members to pick up. I can't wait to see how many different quilt designs that they all come up with.
My weekend plan is to quilt Mom's baby quilt, start quilting 2 more veterans quilts, finish that darned star and cut out some more kits from my patriotic batik fabrics.
I'm heading out this morning to go to the river for 5 days of sewing (and whatever) with 2 of my friends. I'm going to be starting a new project and I'm really looking forward to it. I'm getting a little fatigued by the Summer Sunset quilt so a few days away will be a good thing. I'll try to be good and blog about what we are up to every day.
Meanwhile, this weekend, I had a good number of chores so didn't get quite as far along as I wanted on my projects, but each is moving forward and that is the ultimate goal.
On the longarm I'm practicing feather quilting on a veterans quilt. That feathered wreath center isn't perfect but is is 1000 times better that what I was able to do a month ago! I was hoping to have at least one of the veterans quilts done but I have been having an issue with my top thread snapping at the tension disc. I figured it was related to the last time I replaced the check spring. Thankfully Renee Haddadin has some great videos on Innova maintenance topics and I was able to fix it with this one. It did take a while but when I get back I'll be ready to go.
In the big version of Summer Sunset I have all 8 star points together with the ring sets. I am seriously tired of working on this quilt. I think it's because I have realized that I am not going to be able to do any fancy quilting on it. There are just way too many bulky points so SID work will be out of the question.
Here's an example. Look at the big photo above and see where the triangle on the ring touches the star point. You can see the close up here. From an engineering point of view it's perfect. But from a quilting point of view it simply creates too many layers. Add in the "leave in" foundation paper layers and the bulk is out of control. I'm pulling the foundation paper out of the bulky areas but there's still simply too many fabric layers to get in there and do nice quilting. By the time I get back from the river I'll be over it and will be ready to wrap it up and will be resolved to pantograph quilting. It's a quilt for my bed so it really doesn't matter how I quilt it. I have 2 other quilts that I can devote excessive time to quilting.
On the crochet front I decided not to start another project until I get back. Instead I have come up with a plan for using up my scraps of yarn. A rectangle granny square seems to fit the bill fine. As I finish projects I'll use what I can for hats and will add the rest to this. It can take ages to grow and it will be pretty ugly. But it will be a fine car or camping blanket for someone or a donation to a shelter of some sort. This will be for leftover 4 weight yarn. I'll probably start a separate one for 3 weight or I can use it double in this one. I'm not a big fan of crocheting with double strands because I always seem to keep losing one of them.
I'm taking a couple of balls of yarn to the river to work on some hats this week. Or I might just sit around for 5 days and watch the river flow by.
Aside from Friday starting off with really crappy weather, this weekend ended up great. It's still a little chilly but it was sunny and beautiful. My toe injury (turf toe from moving heavy furniture) is getting better so I should be spreading mulch and stacking more wood very soon. I was mostly inside this weekend and I got a lot accomplished.
I got the center of the small version of Summer Sunset done and I'm thrilled! I'll be working on the big start this week. This isn't the flattest quilt ever but it's not bad and any wonkiness can easily be handled during quilting. There are a lot of thick seams so I had to press the bejesus out of it. It needs corner triangles and then I'll be ready to ponder any additional borders.
I practiced quilting spineless feathers. They aren't perfect but they are markedly better than ones that I have done in the past. I now have 2 veterans quilts loaded and I might be quilting all-over feathers on both of them.
I had to run an errand Friday and I was near Hobby Lobby and they had there 30% yarn sale. I stopped to pick up a few things and saw this. Now, I'm not really interested in crocheting wash cloths. I did one last summer and used it just about 24 hours before I decided that I hated it. But, for $3, I was willing to play with this yarn designed to make dish scrubbies. I found a tutorial on YouTube and made this one in about 20 minutes. I knew that I was taking Mom and her friend for their vaccines Saturday so I thought this would be a fine car project while I waited on them.
But I needed a car project bag which led me to a Missouri Star bag tutorial. The fabric is some denim that I sun printed a few years ago and I had a red zipper in my stash. I tossed in my yarn, hook and instructions and I was ready to go.
While I waited in the car I got one more made and one started. They were very fast getting their shots and I gave each of them a scrubbie as a prize for successfully completing their task. They were amused.
I made one of these for myself too but I can't see making any more. This yarn is like sandpaper on your hands and scrubbies are $1 at the Dollar Tree. I'll put hat yarn in my car project bag the next time.
Yesterday I pulled out the feedsack fabrics again and cut my March RSC blocks. As a reminder, I'm picking 2 blocks each month and I cut eight of each block. I select the fabrics based on the RSC challenge and March was green.
Here's the stack of what I've cut so far. I'll take these with me on vacation in August. This is a very long term project. I have 8 large 8-pointed scrappy stars that my Great-Grandmother pieced. I will uses all of these blocks with a star to make 8 quilts lap quilts for family members. This is a long-term project.
This week I'll be sewing on the big Summer Sunset star and cutting out another American Girl outfit and some little gifts for all the boys in the family. I feel bad just making things for the granddaughter and leaving the 3 grandsons out. They will get some drawstring toy bags and pillow cases.
The weather is so crummy here that I couldn't even think about doing things outside so I got in a few hours of good sewing time yesterday. I finished all the arc blocks and started piecing the small version of Summer Sunset. This part is a little slow because I'm actually unpicking a bit of one seam in the star pints so that I can reverse direction and avoid what seems like 25 layers of fabric. That's the think about foundation piecing. You don't have much say over seam directions so seams get really bulky. But it's looking good so far and I'm just pressing the heck out of the seam areas.
This weekend I'd like to get the centers of both quilts done and have a plan for borders. I expect that I'm going to want to due more of the dark purple fabric. I don't think I have enough for a narrow border around the center before adding the gradient. I still have to cut the 4 corners and I'll see what's left from that.
I also want to cut out my green feedsack blocks for the month and make some sort of green outfit for my American Girl friend.
The weather is supposed to turn to real Spring by Monday. I sure hope so.
I'm really happy that we finally have someone here to do all these jobs around the house and that we are lined up to get a generator installed, but it sure does create a lot of little chores for us. We've got a meeting with the generator installer and the gas installer this morning to, hopefully, get a project plan together. Things almost went off rail last week due to a lack of communication. I can't handle projects without plans so I got things reigned in pretty quickly and put a stop to any work until we could all meet and agree on the schedule and details. It's a little hassle now but it will save a lot of hassle later.
But I did get in some sewing time and got half of the arcs sewn for the small Summer Sunset Star. Only 8 more. It took me a couple of tries but I finally figured out the trick for that tight inside circle.
In the evenings I'm making progress on the gingham blanket. I'm over halfway through with the body of the blanket and then it will have a border. I like how it looks and I like doing it. There will be more of these in my future.
The best part of this weekend (besides the beautiful weather) was being able to sew with my quilt club friends Friday and Saturday. I missed the January meeting and February was canceled for weather so I was really needing a fix. This is my project for sewing weekends for the moment. I've got all the blocks cut out and only 40ish left to sew together. I've been really iffy on this one but I'm feeling better about it now. Imagine that 2 of the 6" x 12" blocks makes 1 12" square block. That's how it will be constructed. It will be king size so if you look at this as the lower left corner is the center block you can see the gradation from light to dark in one quadrant. It will be 9 blocks by 9 blocks so there are 4 more columns to the left and 4 more rows below. All 4 corners will be dark and the center will be light. I think my friend will actually like it and not pretend to like it just because I made it. She's one of those people who would love a pile of sculpted garbage if she knew that you made it for her. She's absolutely batty for the postcards that I send to her. Green is her favorite color so that's why the green frames.
I sure do love the effect of the waste fabrics in the windows of the green blocks!
After sitting on my backside for 2 days I needed some exercise. Chris has chopped a lot of wood so I got my workout in by stacking all of it. This is just the start of what we are gathering to put in for next winter.
I also almost caught up on my videos for Bethanne Nemesch's feather quilting class. I'm on the one where we learn feathered wreaths, setting triangles and borders. I have NEVER been able to do a feathered center. These aren't "perfect" but they are perfect for me. This class was worth it just to learn to do these! I'm going to practice feathers on some of the veterans quilts that I have coming up. I really hate practicing on practice fabric. I need a purpose with my quilting. I prefer to practice on real quilts and I have a few good candidates in the veterans quilt stack.
Sunday morning I delivered 22 veterans quilts to our VA contact. She lives on the other side of the county from me so it's about 45 minutes to get there and back but I learned that she's moving about 5 minutes away next month. Future deliveries will be very easy.
That trunk that they are stacked on belonged to my Grandmother. She gave it to me before I went to college and it's been everything from a coffee table, foot stool and end table for 40 years. It's now a suitcase rack for guests and display for finished veterans quilts.
After running errands Sunday afternoon I finally sat down to finish piecing the corners for the big star.
Then I started on the little star. That inside curve is a beast! But if I can get 4 done a day I'll be able to start putting the quilts together this weekend.
The weather this week is going to be pretty crummy so sewing seems the best plan of action.
How's this for cute? I'm making the doll outfits to go along with the Rainbow Scrap Challenge colors. February is yellow month so I made this sun dress Monday night. I had just enough of that fabric to make the dress. It looks like it would be easy but the dress is fully lined and you have to turn it through the shoulder. It was a pain but I did it. I hope it fits Ella's doll.
Yesterday we finally had a beautiful sunny, warn day so I decided to get a start in trimming bushes and cleaning up beds. If the ground ever dries out I'll start bringing in and spreading 8 or so truckloads of mulch. My trimming method makes mulching easy! There are Barberry bushes. They don't mind this harsh treatment at all and I won't have to tend to them again for a few years.
Then I came in and started sewing my star blocks together. These are the blocks for the small stars. I thought I'd get all of the star blocks together yesterday but it turned into more work than I expected.
This quilt is made on foundations that you leave in. That's generally a great idea but it leaves way too much bulk in the seams so I'm spending a lot of time tearing out the material where seam allowances are pressed. It's a pain but it's necessary.
In the evenings I'm making progress on this blanket. One ball of yarn is done and I've started the second one. This pattern has a border and I will not have enough yarn for the border. I bought what the pattern called for but my gauge is different because I crochet pretty tight. As a result I think I'm using more yarn. I had to run an errand to Lowe's yesterday and Hobby Lobby is nearby. I thought I'd see if I could find something that might work for a border. Pretty much everything looks awful. White is too bright, ivory makes it look old and dirty and every pink clashed.
In the end I decided to go bold and see if this will work. It has the peach and pinks from the blanket plus every other color. It might look like crap but crochet is really easy to pull out. It's a low risk experiment. The blanket can always go without a border and I can make hats from this yarn if I don't use it on this blanket.
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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.