We're almost packed and ready to go to a friend's house for a small Thanksgiving celebration. So I probably won't be posting again until Saturday. Yesterday I did a bit of baking to take with us. My baking is all gluten free and vegan (medically required, not philosophical) so they won't be particularly appealing for anyone but me. Every time we travel, whether overnight or for 3 weeks, I have to plan my own food.
But before baking I got in another session on the floor cloths.
I got 4 more designs added to the floor cloths. The one in the upper left is HUGE. It's about 16" wide I think. The one in the lower right is pretty small, about 7" across the widest side. I love how it's coming along.
I'm also working on some other postcard ideas. I'm not sure this one is going to work out but I'm going to leave it for a couple of days. I'll revisit them this weekend. I need to get these things wrapped up in the next week!
I wish you all a very Happy Thanksgiving. We still have a lot to be thankful for.
I don't have a new customer gallery quilt to share today so I'll catch you up on the floor cloths. I actually got to do lots of things yesterday. Mom's quilt is half quilted and the tree postcards have half the stitching done but I didn't get photos of either of those. I got 2 sessions on the floor cloths in yesterday and it was warm enough in the afternoon to leave the door open for more fresh air. Here's where they stand at the moment.
As a reminder, these are canvas pieces primed with gesso and then painted with satin finish house paint. When I finish the spirograph designs I'll fold under and glue a hem and then they will get a couple of coats of polyurethane. They will hold up on the kitchen floor for years.
I started with some small designs. I'll add big designs "behind" these for a layered effect.
These 2 medium sized designs show how I do the layering. It requires drawing slowly and carefully. Fortunately mistakes can be erased with the tan paint and there have been more than a few slips to cover up.
Below are all 3 floor mats and how they look today. There's still lots of drawing left to do but I do love them so far.
Yesterday was a really good day. I ran errands in the morning and found almost everything I needed between Walmart and Wegmans. The only think I need to order is printer ink. There seems to have been a run on printer ink lately because it's been out of stock for weeks. I also noticed that there's another toilet paper run. My friend in California told me about it there so I looked down those aisles today. How much more toilet paper do people really need? Isn't everyone stocked for a year now?
Back at home I now have 36 postcards ready for stitching! These will be done in no time and then I'll need to think about the next design. I quite like how these are turning out and I think the simple stitching that I have planned will look really nice.
I also spent a couple of hours on the floor cloths. I'm sorry that these photos are a bit chopped off. I uploaded them from my phone and I might have selected the unedited images so the blog software cropped them for me. I'm writing this late at night on Thursday and don't have the human or cell battery to reload them. You will see loads more photos to come but here's a peek at what I did yesterday.
This the second of the 6 foot rugs and you can see that I'm starting to layer the designs. It takes more time but it's so worth it, don't you think? I've got lots more space to cover. I'm working no more than and hour and a half at a time and I do wear a respirator but some of the fumes still sneak through. I'll be back out there this afternoon to finish the inside of that big circle and to add more elements to all three rugs. It's so zen and relaxing to work on these. You have to concentrate so you have to purge everything else from your thoughts.
It was sewing weekend with my quilt club Friday and Saturday so, of course, it was a great weekend!
This is the project that I am working on. I'm using every green from my green hand dyed leftovers drawer and a lot of my favorite "waste" fabrics. I like having one project dedicated to sewing weekend so that it's always ready to go and I don't have to do too much thinking to get ready. This is likely to eventually be a king size quilt and I'm contemplating a couple of different layout options. One would include sashing. I love the effect I'm getting with the waste fabrics in the windows. I have a lot more to make before I have to make any decisions.
At home I'm slowly working on the floor cloths. I'm so sensitive to the Sharpie marker fumes that I can only work on then about an hour at a time and that's with a respirator. I can get 2 designs done in an hour so this is going to be a long term project. I'm totally cool with that because I love working on them and spend a lot of time thinking about how I want to do each one. I still need to add something in the centers of the 2 on the bottom row.
As a reminder there will be 2 6 foot by 2 foot rugs and one 2 x 3 foot so I've got a long way to go! In fact I'll be ordering a lot more markers today. They don't last so long when you start coloring in!
This week I'll get started quilting Mom's quilt and I will finally start the Christmas postcards. I've got the first design figured out so I'm ready to go. I also need to get photos of Kim's quilt but it's sooooo big! The idea of photographing is is kind of daunting. Maybe I can get some people to help me photo it at the quilt club meeting Tuesday night.
and it's still raining! I apologize to all residents of central Virginia. I knew it was bad luck to wash 2 cars on the same day and here's my punishment. Before I explain this photo know that our house is perched , basically, on a cliff so that grassy edge you see there is actually a drop and I'm taking this photo from the second story. So there's absolutely no chance of water getting anywhere near our house. The black line should be the edge of our property but you can see here why we call that area the flood plain.
Here's one edge of the property. Both side property lines are basically drainage ditches that are often dry. Not today! We actually have a waterfall.
I actually hate drenching steady rainstorms like this. It reminds me too much of the rain that we got in 1972 from Hurricane Agnes when our neighborhood was flooded. It rained heavy and for hours. There were fears of the dam breaking so they had to open the flood gates and it surely flooded. We got 2 - 3 feet of water in our basement and an entire beach full of sand dumped in our backyard. What was a little 15 foot wide creek behind our house turned into a river about 200 yards wide. It was miserable and I have hated steady heavy rainfall ever since. I can't sleep through it, I have to wear earplugs. It's the reason that I always will try to live on a hill. Give me a thunderstorm any day. I sleep like a baby during thunderstorms.
Plus we have satellite internet and TV and it's been hit and miss for 2 days. I was finally able to get in to do this post. The weather should be clearing up later today. Virginia is definitely not in a drought this year. Chris, my personal climatologist, says that we have received about 160% of our annual average rainfall this year. I believe it because the yard has been a mud pit all year. I'm glad my hobbies are mostly inside!
Yesterday was dyeing day so I didn't get a ton of time at my hobbies but now that the quilt is done I'm back to the crochet. Let me just say again that I LOVE this Lion Brand Mandala Ombre yard. I'm almost at the end of the first of 4 balls. I'll be able to put a border on this one.
Here's my first Spirograph design on the floor cloths. I've done more but it was raining too hard to go out and get photos. More to come on this project.
My main goal today is to get the last 2 veterans quilts quilted. We have quilt club sewing days tomorrow and Saturday so I'll take the finished veteran quilts to the owners for binding. Most of them will be at sewing tomorrow or the meeting Tuesday.
Yesterday it was beautiful outside and was a perfect day for my shooting lesson. For those of you who know clay shooting, yesterday was a BIG day. I've finally gotten where I can do report pairs. Woohoo!
I came home and got back to my sample floor cloth. I wanted to get this one done so I can work on the real ones this weekend.
So first I added a last element. I'm not thrilled with this. It needs something else and I'd love to add some color. It needs to be be transparent color and all I have to work with is Tuskiniko Ink. It would be great if I could finally use this stuff for something!
I had to test it first to see how it would work with the polyurethane and you can see from this sample that the ink isn't going to work at all. So back to figure something else out.
I decided to add dots! I like it. Next I will turn under the hem and glue it in place.
It will finish off at about 24" x 36" and this cropped photo give you and idea of how it will look. Not too bad for a sample!
I also made progress on the next 2 veterans quilts and am halfway down the second side of the binding on Kim's quilt.
I didn't accomplish a lot yesterday. The morning was exercise and chores and the afternoon was training to be an elections officer. I've been wanting to do this for a while and with covid and this particular elections I figured that they might need more staff. They are doubling staff on our county precincts this year! They have had early voting going on for a couple of week. With that and absentee ballots, about 20% of our registered voters have voted already. Should be an interesting day on November 3.
I did have a little time yesterday morning to work on the practice floor mat. I learned that for the real floor cloths that I want semi-gloss or satin finish paint so that the pen will mover more smoothly. This paint was eggshell and it's a little grabby for the giant black Sharpie that I'm using. But I still LLOOOOOVVEE how it's looking! Much of these edges will be folded under so some of the design will be cut off. That's exactly the effect that I wanted.
I've been taking some free online classes in the evenings. I'm on a Jane Austin class now (don't love the lecturer but it's still interesting). While listening I do get in some crochet. I finished the body of this blanket and now I have these bits of yarn left over to possibly add to the border. Usually when I make blankets with the Mandala yarn I use it all in the body of the blanket but as I got toward the end of the first ball I realized that this blanket was going to be proportionally too long or too narrow, depending on your perspective. I decided to stop with the yellow in the center and to wind off the oranges and red. I don't know how it will look to add these colors to the border but I'm going to give it a try. If I don't like it I can undo it. I started with SC of the fuchsia and HDC of the yellow. Next I'll add the gold and then orange. If I don't like it I can undo it back to the yellow and call that row the finish. We'll see.
In other crochet news my friend sent me this pic of her grandson with his blanket that I made earlier this year. This baby is only 2 weeks old and never had the typical raw newborn look. He cam out looking a month old!
Today is dyeing day and I feel more stash packs coming on!
The quilt labels for both quilts are done! There was a time crunch because I needed both quilts ready for delivery Saturday. This one was a lot harder than it looks! It took a lot of tries to find a good wheel combination for the ears and then to set up alignment marks on the wheels and the paper so that the ears would be mostly symmetrical. I'm pretty pleased though and I know that this will lead to more experiments with layering spirograph elements.
This one really doesn't have anything to do with the quilt design or theme. It has everything to do with my desire to play with a different set of gears.
I've had this set for a while but haven't really started to explore the possibilities with them. You can see on the left the pieces that I out together for this label. I just needed a little project to kick start my exploration of these and that's going to start happening soon.
In the evenings I've been making quick progress on this blanket. This is the last round of hearts so there's only the border left to do. I think 2 skeins of Hobby Lobby I Love This Yarn is going to just enough to finish this blanket.
I will be away from the blog for the next week. Usually when I take a break I schedule out some posts, even if they are just giveaways. But we're heading off for a family vacation, something all of us probably need about now. I've decided to give myself a break from everything - home, business and quilting. I'll post a fabulous Customer Gem tomorrow and then I'll be back May 25.
There once was a time when I labeled my quilts with a Pigma pen and date with my name. Then I started making labels in Powerpoint with images and printed them to fabric for stitching to the quilt. Those were certainly the good ole days. Now my labels are multi-day and, sometimes, hours long processes. Here are the 2 most recent ones.
First I started with the Groovy quilt. I decided that I would do this one in color and see how well it holds up in the wash. I've had good luck with color photo labels in the past but they do fade a little more than black and white. I printed the text (using a new font that I spent 30 minutes finding and downloading) and then started drawing small Spirographs all around it. I didn't take any more process photos because I was too caught up in playing with the gears.
For Jackie's Choice I wanted an oval label because the family name starts with an "O". I know, it will be sideways, but that's the idea I fixated on so that's where I went. I started by trying a lot of different gears in an oval gear to see what pattern I liked best.
Another 30 minutes on the font website and I finally had the label printed and was ready to draw out the design.
I was able to get them both printed on one sheet of fabric! You can see that I colored in some of the sections on the Jackie's Choice label. I thought it needed a little extra.
Here they are done!
In other news, the placemats will be done later today so I can post them tomorrow. Tomorrow is also quilt club sewing weekend so I'll have the second Hunter's Star quilt together by Monday.
I decided to start off the new year but finishing up the puppy quilt with the label. My plan was to give it to her today when she visits but that plan has changed a bit. I was visiting a quilt buddy yesterday and she asked if I was bringing the puppy quilt to show-and-tell. I had completely forgotten my obligation to show my quilts at club meetings first! My friend will have to wait a week or so before she receives her quilt, but she will get to see it today when she visits.
I used to do very simple printed labels that I created in Powerpoint. They took less than an hour to design and print. Then my sister-in-law taught me to Zentangle and then I found Wild Gears and my label-making turned into one more hobby. You can see the labels that I've made in my Zentangle gallery.
Anyway....Wild Gears has a set called Strange Shapes and it has a gear that looks like a dog bone and I had to use that as the base for the label for this quilt. I always start by practicing with different gears to pick the pattern that I want. I settled on the blue one.
The next step is to print the wording. I generally spend way too much time here playing with fonts and searching for new fonts on the web. But, for once, I kept it simple. I keep the file open on my computer in case I mess up the drawing and have to print another.
I was good this time and got the drawing right on the first try! No fancy pen here. This is my favorite black pen from Dollar General. The base gear is the dog bone and the traveling gear is a triangle.
Usually I'd stop here but then I remembered that I might have a stamp I could add. I headed to the basement to search through the bins of stamping supplies.
My memory is not totally shot. I did have a dog paw stamp!
My ink pad is a little old but I just went back and inked in the print with a fine point Sharpie to get them totally black.
Now I'm happy. The next step was to photocopy the label to pre-treated fabric. I use Bubble jet Set on Pimatex for my printable fabric. I usually prepare 2 yards or more at a time so I have a stack or printer sheets ready to go.
I line my labels by fusing a piece of white fabric to the back and then turn the edges against the lining. That blocks the backing fabric color from showing through. This is ready to be stitched on today or tomorrow.
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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.