Sunday, May 30, 2010

What Have I Been Up To?????

I haven't posted in a week!!!!!! It hasn't been because I haven't been busy or checking in every day to read other's blogs---I have just been lazy! I am determined though to not let that become a habit---that is how you end up not being current with your blog and then before you know it you lose followers and then you stop blogging all together. I really like this process---so I am going to get it into gear.
Now for news---I have been dyeing of course. Last week my brights really weren't very bright. I think it was because I didn't use salt in the water and I put them out in the sun. Some dyers have good results without salt and the sun seems to set the fabrics. I ended up however with these light spots---like they had faded in the sun. As I thought about the process I used, it was probably because the entire fabric piece wasn't submersed in the solution and the part left sticking out was what was faded. I redyed those pieces and added salt and didn't put them out. They turned out much better. The picture above is of the ones I have ironed and the pieces left in my basket that still need ironing. I am going to dye more brights next week. The batch I redyed was in deeper jewel colors. BTW---the picture gives the impression that the basket is a regular size one, it really isn't, but a small one, almost minature. I haven't really been dyeing that much...:-)
I also have pictures of the quilts I have started and my goal is to finish these before I start another one.....the blue/neutral applecore; strip tube quilt; and the paintbox quilt. I figure if I post a picture and I can see first hand what I need to accomplish, I will stay on target. Of course I have found another quilt I want to make---but I can't keep starting all these quilts and never finish one. I think actually I am going to finish the "Peaches and Berry" first. I dyed more orange and plum for that one and actually I have quite a few blocks done, so maybe that finish will be my catalyst to complete the others.
I am also going to take that white binding off the quilt I showed a picture of. It looks "tacky" and because of that I haven't been able to force myself to even begin to sew the binding down. I will take it off tonight while watching TV and put on another one tomorrow, as well as finish binding the other quilt I finished. I only have about 3 more passes on the quilt I am quilting and then I will be finished with that and will not have any tops left that I need to quilt---so I am making some headway in that area.
It is going to be really hot today---a perfect dyeing day, but I worked yesterday and am pooped so I will stay in and finish some of my quilting chores. Have a great Sunday and we'll "talk" later!

Friday, May 21, 2010


The top three pictures are of "Fantango"---I decided to not use the polka-dot but the white/black swirl. I think it looks much better and plays better with the other fabrics. I used a plain tea-dyed muslin for the back that really shows up the quilting design well. Although I initially was concerned since this panto had more open space than I ususally like, I think it turned out well and the circles are a nice contrast to the "sharp" edges of the layout. I think when I wash it because of the open areas, it will be very soft and make a perfect "nap" quilt.
The next two pictures is of the current quilt I am quilting. It is hard to get a good picture since the white really glares. It really has the look of an antique quilt (don't you think) with all the 30's and the white (a tone-on-tone). I saw this pattern in a smaller quilt and EQ6'd it to a larger one. I am using a more "involved" panto called "Wandering Daisy's". I think it fills in the large open spaces pretty well. I am proud of myself (at this point). I am lining it up well, and my tension is great! I have been able to keep get a great combination of speed and movement so my stitches are even (I don't have a stitch regulator on my machine). It is a king-size quilt, so I have a "little" bit more to go....then I have to try to find the fabric I had for the binding (I completed this quilt last year). If I don't find it, I think I have something else I could use---or it is to the "quilt shop I go"......
Since I am easily distracted, I have also investigated starting another quilt. I purchased a book at Puducah about making blocks from a "tube". It calls for a special ruler (which I didn't get since it was $16) so I am trying to improvise. I found a ruler I can use among my "collection", although my blocks are 8.75 rather than 8.50, even though I am suppose to be cutting out a 8 inch finished block. I am not going to "sweat the small stuff"---I will just have a bigger quilt. As long as the blocks are consistent in size, I should be okay. I am using a couple of jelly rolls with a few other 2.5 inch strips thrown in (I need 87 strips) so it will be another scrappy AND will use up my stash. Of course I still have a couple of other quilts in several states of completion that I really should be working on to finish rather than start yet another one. I really envy those quilters who completely finish one project before beginning another. In the other parts of my life, I seem able to stay focused and complete a task but when it comes to my quilting----I am often "all over the place"---wonder what that is all about? It is just I have so many quilts I want to make and techniques I want to try! Plus there is my knitting, and the small art quilt I am hand quilting---gosh, if I allowed myself to think about it I could really get overwhelmed!!!!
Well, I am not going to worry about it---I will try to keep the PIPS to a low number (notice I didn't name a number) and forge on! Have a great week-end!


Monday, May 17, 2010

Design Wall Monday!

My wall is a sorta non-traditional one I guess.....I am using my dyed fabs today as my wall----The camera washed the brights out a bit, but as with everything there were lessons learned. This time I didn't use salt and soaked the fabrics in soda ash water rather than add it to the dye solution. I didn't soak the fabric in a dye solution, but rather put the fabric into small amounts, squeezed it through the fabric, and then let it "cure" in plastic bags--(you dissolve 2 T. of dye into 4 cups of water and pour specific small amounts into a large dish pan and put your fabric pieces in that---directions from a new book). I really didn't like this method as much. Although the fabric colors look really bright initially, once you wash them, they seem to fade out, although the darks seemed to look better. I also didn't like how this bolt of 200 ct fabric took the dye. I made the mistake of not writing down the type of fabric I had washed and cut up, but the weave looked almost like a synthetic---but I know it was cotton. I don't know where I got this fabric---I don't remember ever buying it--I am sure it didn't look that way when I purchased it last year and prepared it. At any rate, that may have been why the dye didn't take as well. I am going to dye more this week and use the bamboo/cotton as see how that works. I am also going to order more cotton and get some Kona cotton from Joanne's--it always seems to take dye well.
So---my "Design Wall" this Monday are my newly dyed fabric that is truly a "design" wall. Check out Judy's blog to see some great "walls".
Have a great Monday!

Friday, May 14, 2010

It is Dyeing Season Finally!!!!!!!

It is finally dyeing season in Middle TN!!! I also finally have some time!! Today I dyed three 12 step graduations. Bright, light, and dark (adding black to the initial colors). I used a slightly different technique. Where I usually don't really manipulate the fabric much, since I like the mottled effect, this time I went for a solid look. Some of the colors were so nice, I dyed several FQ's in the left over dye. The second FQ was always just a little lighter, a different tone I guess you would say. I enjoyed myself, but it really took all morning. This process is very time intensive---I can appreciate the price when you buy them from the store. Above is my "dyeing studiio" AKA a corner of my garage. I have a sink there, an outlet to play music and the door open brings in a nice breeze! What more could a girl want?!?
I have also been doing some quilting (of course). I have finished quilting one quilt--the one pictured below. I am so glad I went ahead and stippled! It really looks nice. I have put on the binding and low and behold, I find that the binding is white while the sashing is more of a off-white. I figure that is okay----I sorta like the look of spontaniety., what would the early quilter's do---use what they had--right!
I am now quilting the Amy Butler print quilt (there are others in it, but honestly, I don't remember the name of the other line). On that one I am using a Panto. It has lots of open spaces which is different for me since I really like dense quilting, but we shall see. The challenge is to find the right binding fabric. I think I will use a black/white polka dot. You can't go wrong with black/white and since it is so "wild" anyway, it should be okay I'll post a picture of course when I am done.
What is in the plans? I am washing 12 yards of 50% bamboo/50% cotton to dye some more fabric. The fabric is really very soft so I am not really sure how it will look dyed, but people dye silk which is just as soft so it should be okay. This time I am going to dye in 1 yard pieces. I find that when making my quilts I often want to use the same colors, but usually don't have another FQ in that color.
Well, just wanted to update you! Thanks again for stopping by!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

I Love to Stipple!

I was originally going to use a panto, but when I looked at this quilt again, I saw that there were places that were a bit stretched out (you can see them in the picture). If you have ever tried to quilt a quilt with these type of spots in them, you know things can disintergrate into lots of tucks and need for "frogging". I decided then that I would do my favorite quilting pattern--stippling! I honestly haven't seen a quilt that didn't look nice with a stipple pattern. Often it allows the pattern/fabric to take the at the front of the machine, you have a lot more control, and can "quilt out" bad places...who hasn't done that :-)

If you look at the picture, you can also see my other "tool" that I use to help with "those" places. A can is wonderful!!! (full of course). It puts just enough weight to pull out the wrinkles and allow you to use both hands to "steer".

It is another beautiful day!!! and the Cumberland River has crested!!!! Hopefully Nashville will be back to normal soon!

"Talk" to you later!!!! xoxo

Monday, May 3, 2010

Design Wall Monday!

I have completed my "Barn Rise" setting quilt. I really like it!!! It was tedious though because the orientation of the blocks is so important. The other picture is what is on my wall currently. It is going to be a blue/neutral Apple Core Quilt. I am using CW reproductions and again I am liking how it looks. Because I used my GO! to cut it out, the pieces are all uniform and have little orientation notches to help with putting the pieces together. It is going to be a little slow going I think (even though I have all the pieces cut out), so I will probably work on one of my UFO's as well. Go over to Judy's blog to check out the other "walls".
On another note---now that it is daylight, you can really see the flooding devastation. The Cumberland River is over it's backs downtown and so the tourist district of Nashville is threatened. The Opreyland Hotel where the AQS Quilt Show was held is flooded as well as the shopping center! When you look at the pictures it is hard to imagine. We though are safe and dry and the day is going to be beautiful! School is closed for the kids (as well as for me), so I may clean a little and then prepare some fabs for dyeing.
Have a great day!!!!

PSS--Doesn't the apple cores look like female figures :-)

Sunday, May 2, 2010


Remember that little rhyme that we use to sing as we jumped rope or looked out the window at rain. Well, here in Middle TN many of us are singing that song! The area is flooded!!! Places that had never experienced this type of flooding before. My neighborhood is on a hill (thank goodness), but we are sorta boxed in. Any low areas are flooded and it is really unsafe to go into them. My Grandson's school is flooded and one of the pre-fabs has literally floated away. Interstate 24 and 40 are now closed. I was at work last night and left about 20 minutes early because of rising water. I did make it home safe and sound, but many houses I passed had lakes for front yards. Many little lazy streams were raging rivers! My daughter was on an errand with my granddaughters for things for the oldest ones Prom (it was cancelled) and was caught in rising water on the Interstate. She was able to drive up the side and escape, but 2 people drowned.

It is really bad---no pictures---not going out to get them. Hopefully the fatality toll will remain small (now at 7) and people will be able to savage important items. At this point we have received 13 inches in this area--the rain is to continue through the night!

Send us much prayers and positive thoughts!!!