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.
This weekend was supposed to be quilt club weekend but this interfered just as I expected. I was really bummed to miss my friends but I did have this view outside my sewing room and I made the most of the weekend, including spending time packing for my little trip.
My first goal was to quilt 2 more veterans quilts. Both of these were made by Peg. Peg, Karen and my Mom are geniuses at scrap quilts. Just a few HST blocks sprinkled around makes this more than just jsut a scrap busting quilt.
Here's the big news form the weekend. All of my blocks for Summer Sunset are done! I had the arcs left to do and I wanted them done before I left. This will give you a little idea of how this quilt is going to look. If you need one of these for yourself you can get the pattern here.
Here are all the pieces and parts ready for me to start assembling when I get back. I am soooooooo excited about this quilt!
My goal is to post every day this week but I might not. It is a vacation after all. So don't worry if you don't hear from me. Have a great week!
Today's post is going to be just as boring as yesterday. Yesterday was filled with dentist appointments for me and Mom and grocery shopping. Then some chores in the afternoon. Last night I got back to working on my Summer Sunset star points. This is the 7th (of 8) sets and my big goal for the weekend is to get all the star points done and start in the foundation pieced ring around the stars. I'll also do some crochet and maybe work on another doll outfit.
Chris is ready to work on the floor cloths so I'll get the hems turned for him.
I've got another set of star points done. Only 2 left to go.
I've got both quilts arranged differently now so I can start to think about how I want them finished. The big start is arranged with red for the center.
The little star is arranged with gold as the center. Do you have a preference? I think I do but I'd love to hear your thoughts.
I also cut out the next doll outfit that will be included in the RSC for pink month.
Boy, the color in this photo (taken from my phone) is not good. But it's good enough to show that I finished another start point. I've taken the blocks into a guest room where no one will be staying for a while, so I can leave them on the floor as I get the rest of the blocks done. I'm seriously going to love this quilt!
This is the little star. The lighting was better for this one.
I didn't get any quilting on Kim's Garden done this weekend. I got side tracked with a little family project and in the evenings I'm taking a free online philosophy class. I'm even taking notes because there are quizzes! I've never taken any philosophy classes so it's been an interesting introduction but those philosophers are some serious deep thinkers.
Here's the family project. This is going to take some explaining.
Years ago my paternal Grandmother (Ottaway family) gave me this cape. She said it belonged to my Grandfathers "grandmother from Ireland". At the time my grandparents were divorced and being the petty people that they were, she kept a bunch of his college and family stuff. Most of it came to me but some wasn't found until she died because she hid a lot of things and then forgot what she did with them. Craziness...
Somewhere along the way I was told either by my Dad or my Granddad that it belonged to his Grandmother from Ireland and that on a visit to the family in upstate NY, that she might have strong-armed his mother for the cape. She liked having possessions that she thought were important so that's a very plausible story.
Anyway, because I was a sewing person, she gave me this cape well over 30 years ago. She had kept it on a metal hanger in a plastic dry cleaner bag. (Ugh). I got an acid free box and acid free paper and have had it stored like that ever since. I once took it to a textile museum in Charlotte NC and they verified the timeframe and gave me some advice on caring for it. It's been my lightly pursued goal to find a proper home for it. My nieces and nephews didn't even know my Grandfather (his fault, not theirs) so none of them will want the burden of having this.
Before covid I had started looking for museums in the upstate NY area that might want to have this but I stopped when everything shut down. Meanwhile my friend, Becky, offered to do research on my family tree and she found that not only was my Grandfather's mother (Mary Haugh) an Irish immigrant (which I knew) but his Grandmother (Mary Donovan) was also! So I thought the cape has belonged to the mother of M Haugh, but now I think it most likely belonged to M Donovan. Cool!
The next thing you know Becky gets a message from one of my distant cousins. Her Grandmother was my Grandfather's sister. We've been chatting some. She and another family member are the primary keepers of the family history. Yay!!!
So I spent some time this weekend getting the cape out of storage and taking these photos to send to her with the story. I am very hopeful that she or the other family historian will want the cape. Nothing would make me happier that to see this returned to it's proper home.
The cape is really beautiful black wool with incredible passementerie braid designs on it. The lining is silk that's almost completely disintegrated but the outside is in pretty good shape.
Let's all cross our fingers and toes that one of my relatives in New York can't wait to be the next owner of this family treasure.
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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.