Sunday, December 8, 2013

It's My Birthday!!!!

As a birthday gift, my youngest daughter took me to the Smoky Mountains for a couple of days to relax and rejuvenate at a really nice resort.  This was the view from the living room balcony.  I loved these tree's---they looked so graceful and wise.  It is winter so the grass is brown---but it looks like sand to me.

At any rate, I had a wonderful time!  I got a 50 minute massage---the masseuse had to wake me up and tell me "our time was over."  We shopped and ate at some great restaurants.  I did lots of walking, and enjoyed the time out even though it was cold and rainy.  I got lots of bargains and we spent time laughing and exploring.

The time away gave me an opportunity to really think and take stock.  I have reached an age that my mother didn't reach and one sister didn't.  I think I have accomplished a lot and realized some real successes although I rarely share them with others.  I have made a promise to myself to really try to enjoy life and to really worry less and to just "let it happen."  .  I am going to work really hard at being happy.  Now I know that happiness is a state of mine and is defined differently by everyone.  My happiness is really perhaps more like a peaceful state---I love peace!  That is what I am working toward.

On a less "heavy" note-----This will be the first Christmas in years that all five of our children will be home for Christmas.  This gives me something else to be thankful for.  I am so looking forward to all the laughter and "cutting up".  All the childhood adventures and tales that will be shared around the table.  Just thinking about it makes me smile!  I am busy making REAL napkins for our Christmas dinner.  That really sounds sorta weird, since our plates and eating utensils will be plastic (but it is "nice" plastic).  I am using my embroidery machine and they are turning out nicely.  I have completed ten and have ten more to make.  The grandbabies and I will also be making Christmas  ornaments  for the "kids" tree.  I have assembled everything and next week after the Guild Christmas Party we will begin.  I think I am more excited than they though---:)

I am so very thankful and feel especially "blessed and highly favored" when I look at my life.  I plan to enjoy it even more!   Happy birthday to ME!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Checking In!

I have not been a very responsible blogger I know, but I haven't really had anything really interesting to blog about.  Life has been going on and I have been trying really hard to keep up and maintain my head above the fray!

I have though managed to do some quilting---that is what has helped me "keep up."  Every Christmas I make pillowcases for my grandchildren.  Last year I embroidered their names on them, not so this year.  The material is rather busy and I think the letters would get lost.

These are for the "Grands"---The little snowmen are for the girls, the reindeer for the boys, although really they would work for either I think.  Both of them have the peppermint for the cuff---you see how this might be too busy.  I made a total of seven.

These are for my bed and the guest room.  A total of six.  The print is scrap.  I put it on the back of a quilt I made a couple of months ago and the scraps were enough to make the cuff on the cases.  The other fabric was from my fabric closet so the only fabric I purchased was the fabric for the kids pillowcases and the cuff.  A total of 13 pillowcases!!!!!

I also cut out and finished three more donation quilts.  I love making these quilts and in the process using up some of my stash!  I even have enough batting scraps for the three quilts.  As soon as I quilt them I  will post a picture.

I am going to be spending this week-end cleaning my house.  I have company coming on Monday and didn't want to start too early since from experience, it will just get dirty again.

Well I just wanted to "check in".  Have a great week-end!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

A Finish!

"String Fling" is all finished.  I quilted it with a simple and quick meander.  The quilt is so busy, anything fancy would be lost.  The back is a Kaffe print I got on-line in a great sale.  I am a little disappointed since the print is paint, not weaved in, but it wasn't a problem to quilt (maybe that is why it was such a sale).  At any rate, it will do for a back.    I put a narrow binding of green---again a scrap!  Everything about this quilt was machine---including applying the it was FAST!

I have wondered at times why I continue to quilt----can you get enough quilts or better yet, too many? When I see a quilt though made entirely of scraps and to me at least, is beautiful in it's randomness, I decide that I "need" quilting!

***  you can see just a little of Coal.  When I put down a quilt, he absolutely MUST find a reason to walk across it.  In the picture below, you see my grandson's knee.  Why is it so hard to take a picture of JUST the quilt at times :)!

Sunday, October 13, 2013


Completed Quilt

Large and Small Circles


Coal Loves the quilt as well!

This quilt really turned out nicely!  I LOVE the circles!  It really made the quilt special I think!  I have to cut the threads that lead from each circle, and because of the high contrast thread, you can see my sew overs, but from experience, once I wash it, it will not be as noticeable.  This is for a 5 year old, and was a "sorta" practice piece, so all in all I think it turned out okay.  I am going to make one "for real"---I think using solids like this.

Hope your Saturday was a great one!

Friday, October 4, 2013


Although I am "chatter box" on occasion, I am basically shy and often hesitant.  Since I am a professional in a world that, if I obviously displayed how I really feel, I would be in trouble and not taken seriously, not many people know that.  It comes out though (strangely enough) in my creative side.  I am almost always anxious when it comes to doing something for someone else (like quilting) or even when I am trying something out and no one will really care except of course me.

Several years ago I made a significant financial commitment in getting a Circle Lord quilting system.  I originally did it thinking I would begin quilting "for money", and when I retired, I would have a little extra money to support my expensive habit (quilting).  I talked to "professional quilters" who talked about how much they enjoyed it.  I tried it and hated it---I found it to be a very stressful process.    All it all it wasn't fun at all and I was tired of my feelings being hurt---so I gave it up and only quilt for Diane now!  It just wasn't worth the stomach pain and headaches I was getting.  I still though had this expensive system I needed to at least use for my quilting.

This long story has brought us to this blog post.  I pulled out my system, got out my book, and decided I would use it to quilt the little quilt I was making as a gift.  I am "sorta" using it for practice, since the other thing about me is I hate to use a "practice piece" that will not be used in some way....hence I rarely practice on just pieces of muslin, but rather quilts.  I love concentric circles!!!!!  I got out my circle maker and the picture is what I have at this point.  I am using a blue thread and so you see my "sew overs".  I am "eye balling" the placements, so the design isn't really symmetrical, but I think it is not bad.  I anticipate that by the time I get to the end of the quilt, it will be pretty good!  At any rate, I am proud of myself.  Although I am a bit anxious, I keep reminding myself, that nothing is perfect!  Even prize winning quilt have "oops" areas but that doesn't stop them from being prize winners.  I am really working to "enjoy the process".   It is especially fun since there isn't another person who will be looking for every little imperfection and not appreciating the fact that for this one row of simple circles, it took me over one hour!

You can see the trailing threads as I move from circle to circle, but of course these will be cut once I finish.  One lesson I am learning is when I quilt a "not quite practice" quilt, I will invest in a really fine top thread to decrease the thread build-up and use a color that isn't a great contrast.  I really though wanted to see the stitching so this contrast is fine, plus I really like the looks of it!  "Modern quilting for a modern quilt"!

It is my hope the finished project will not be bad at all!

Well have a great Friday and week-end!

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Bogged Down!!!!

Life has been getting in the way and I have been a really neglectful "blogger".  Every time I have thought of blogging, either it was the end of a very long day, or I had nothing to blog about.

I have been quilting though---I try to make sure nothing stops me from doing that, if only for a few moments a day.  I am making a very time intensive quilt---one I am thinking about entering in a show.  As what often happens when you are doing anything that is time consuming, your brain gets tired after a while, so I decided to relax it by doing something that didn't take a lot of thinking----

It is a string quilt-----I simply went into my string bag and pulled out strings sewing them together in no particular sequence.  I was simply trying to not put two like ones together---they are all different sizes and after sewing them together I then cut them even to make rows.  I found my inspiration on a quilt on Pinterest, although mine is more colorful I think.  At any rate, it will be a sofa quilt---something to wrap up in while watching TV.  I think I will put a flannel backing on it.  I love the looks of it.  I think I will need to add two more rows and I will be finished.  The funny thing is my string bags don't seem any smaller although this quilt should be making a dent in them.  I am not going to cut more, so there will be some repeats, but I really don't mind.

I also finished the quilt for my DD Significant Other's little boy.  I made one for his sister, so really felt I needed one for him as well.  I had a simple pack of 10 inch squares in blues and beiges and put them together on point.  It is a simple quilt, but will do to wrap up in while watching TV.  I think I will quilt it in concentric circles and back it in flannel.

I didn't use a pattern, but mocked it up in EQ6.  It looks very plain now, but I think will look nice quilted.  I am going to use a blue thread to give it a fun look.

At any rate, this is what I have been up to.  The weather is getting cooler here---I really want to dye some more fabric.  I will have to get myself in gear or the weather will be too cool.

Just wanted to check in!  Thanks for "stopping" by!

Thursday, September 5, 2013


I washed, dried and ironed my latest hand dyes.  Although the indigo color wasn't as intense, I am satisfied with this first attempt.  I am going to prepare fabric tomorrow for more dyeing while my "pot" is still okay.  I will dip the fabric bundles in at least four times though and see what the results will be.   I wonder what would happen if I added a little salt to the water I wet the fabric in before wrapping?  I also wonder what would happen if I also added a little soda ash?  Soda ash is already added to the pot initially, I don't want to ruin the mixture.  I will "study" on it a little tonight and decide what I am going to do.  What I may do is make those changes to my last batch of fabric I dip so if I ruin it, it will not impact all the pieces I dye.

Anyway---following are the ironed washed pieces that I particularly like.  If you click on the picture you get a close-up and  can see the "texture" much better.

The "solid" piece.  It reminds me of a ice dyed piece.

The piece was fan folded and placed between the two pieces of wood, held together with rubber bands.

Twisted with wide rubber bands attached.

Twisted with large and small rubber bands.

What did I learn?----This fabric has a wrong and a right side!  I will have to be mindful of that as I fold it to make patterns.  It has a "fractured" look.  Almost like ice or glass breaking (the camera doesn't really catch it).  I really like that effect.  That is what makes  the pieces  so interesting I think,  even though the color isn't as intense.  I didn't notice this on fabrics I saw on-line.  I am not sure what I did to make it happen though.  I do know that I notice an almost metallic covering before I washed it.

Well, as I said, I am satisfied with this first attempt.  More to follow!  Oh yea---the shirts also came out nice although like the fabric, the colors are not as intense.  Certainly, I will wear them.  Unfortunately, other than making the pieces into "solids", there isn't anything I can do about it since over-dyeing and maintaining the patterns would be impossible.  I will "live" with these results.

Indigo Dyeing Adventure!

I really enjoy the dyeing process!  It is involved, takes a LOT of time, is messy and sometimes disappointing, but ALWAYS fun and interesting!  There is nothing like (at least to me), taking fabric out of the dye bath and being surprised at what you find!

I love research, and so have been spending some time researching different dyeing techniques.  My "snooping", took me to indigo dyeing.  Clearly as I read, getting the "real" indigo and preparing it for dyeing wasn't an easy task.  You have to use lye----and since I am a nurse (who has witnessed physical disasters from "adventures") with asthma, and a clumsy one at that, I didn't think that was a safe technique for me to try for the first time.  I was going to be doing this alone, and it just seemed a risky venture.  I searched some more and came upon this "kit" for indigo dyeing.

You could purchase it in two sizes, but in reading the contents of each, they honestly seemed to contain the same things, so I opted for the "mini".  The literature said you could dye 15 t-shirts, so I was sure I would have enough "stuff" for my first try.  I couldn't find it at any local stores, so I ordered it from on-line.  In the meantime, I continued my research to make sure I had everything on hand for my first attempt.

You needed a "indigo pot", so I again searched for sources and found that my local Home Depot had just what I needed.

I got the 5 gallon size (actually I got 4) with tops.  They will be great to dye large pieces of fabrics and the little $1 store ones are tearing up.  You must have a bucket (suggested 5 gallon) with a top because it is important to not allow a lot of oxygen to get into your "pot".

The day finally arrived (yesterday) and my kit arrived!  I had a small bolt of PFD fabric that I prepared and tore into half-yard pieces.  I also had some t-shirts left over from a dyeing adventure last summer that I put into my pile.  I purchased new gloves, made sure I had a long stick (you must have that) appropriate for my large "pot" and out into my dyeing studio (AKA the garage) I went.

You really need two people to help you since you must stir and pour the chemicals in at the same time (remember I am clumsy).

This is what is in the kit.  I preferred to purchase better gloves since the ones inside the kit are thin latex.  I didn't want to risk making a hole in my glove and ending up with indigo hands, or worst yet, a reaction to the dye.  There are rubber bands and two pieces of wood as well.  My husband poured chemicals while I stirred (complaining about how bad the smell was) .  Although the directions don't say you have to wear a mask, I did because of my asthma.  I continued to wear it  as I dyed the fabric because the husband is correct, the solution has a horrible smell!  It is a natural dye, but I suppose the reaction with the chemicals make it smelly.

After I followed directions and stirred, I prepared my fabric and shirts.  I used rubber bands, some shapes and clamps--trying to vary the way I folded and secured the fabric to get a variety in dye patterns.

The directions say allow your pot to rest for about 30 minutes.  I think mine was longer but I really wasn't looking at the clock.

I took off the lid and had a perfect "flower", at least compared to the pictures I found on-line, mine look like the one pictured.  The directions say you should scoop the flower into another container.  I tried but didn't get the whole thing, so you have to push the "stuff" aside as you add you fabric or the directions say you will get dark spots on you finished product.

Unlike the other dyeing, you can't just drop you fabric into the pot or let it touch the bottom.  You are suppose to gently lower it into the solution and manipulate it gently keeping everything under the fluid line.  The solution is warm, so this was a very "hot" process and I wished I had turned on a fan before I got started.

When you first remove the fabric, it is a bright green that slowly turns blue with exposure to the oxygen in the air (oxidation).  The directions give you the impression it is an instantaneous process, but it does take time.  If the blue isn't deep enough, you can return it to the solution which I did.  I put all but two of the pieces in twice.  I wanted to see the difference, if any.

After they had set (the directions say 20 minutes) again mine sat longer---until I saw only a little if any green color.  This is where the directions get a little skimpy. It says to rinse, which I did in cool water.  As I unwrapped the pieces I noticed green inside, but it also turned blue with exposure.  I decided to rinse them all and then lay them out on the grass to make sure all the reaction occurred with all the pieces.

This is actually my favorite piece. It was originally a green dyed piece I didn't like.  The solution turned the green a really pretty yellow and then with the indigo, it is really an interesting piece.

  All the pieces lying in the yard.  I dyed one piece a solid indigo----I like the effect, so next time I think I will dye a couple more pieces a "solid".

I found that there wasn't a lot of color run off when I rinsed them as it is with the traditionally dyed fabric.  I hope that means most of the color will stay.  The pieces are wet so I know the color will fade a little in the wash.  The directions say use a "mild" detergent but I used synthrapol like I do with my other dyed fabric.  Some where I read to put vinegar in the final rinse, but I forgot to add it so I will just wait and see since it appears not every one does that and still got good results.  I did put in a couple of color catchers to protect the areas that have white in them.

Well, I am excited about my first venture.  My pot is still good!  When my husband saw the shirts he wanted one, so I am going to Wally World tomorrow and get him a shirt and my grandbabies each one.  I also think I am going to stop at Goodwill and get a white shirt to dye.  It would look smart with jeans I think.

I will let you know how they looked after coming out of the wash, drying and then with a good ironing.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Dye Job!

After church I followed through on my plan to dye some fabric.  I am trying to use up all my older dyes, so I used blue, yellow, red  and khaki to make greens, blues and dusty oranges.

In total I dyed 15 yards.  I looked at some of my earlier dye attempts in my "dye book" and decided I would try some of the old ways since I seemed to get more intense colors.  The difference was adding soda ash to the dye solution as well as soaking my fabric in soda ash.   The colors sure looked intense, we will see how it does when I wash them.  Next I will use some of the pre-mixed dye powders---a orange, green, and a color called "black cherry".

I am going to quilt on "Chop Sticks" and wash some clothes.  I nice stress-free Sunday afternoon!

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Busy Saturday!!!

I had planned to dye today, but got "way-laid" and quilted most of the day.  I completed quilting, binding and washing the quilt for my daughter's SO's daughter.  I love crinkly quilts for a lot of reasons, but especially because they hide flaws wonderfully!!!  Once washed, the areas where I had small tucks didn't show at all.  I used my latest CL giant templates of two size circles.  I had some "oops", but again, once washed you couldn't see them.  I found a piece of remnant in my stash that works well for the binding, used some flannel I already  had for the back, and one quilt completely finished without buying anything other than a twin batting (on sale).  Pretty good!

I am also quilting "Chopsticks".  I am using a overall panto called "Bubbles".  It is a nice change up from the CL giant boards I have been using.  I am also using a Glide pre-filled Fil-Tec bobbin.  I love these bobbins as I have mentioned before, they are pricey (about $1 a bobbin), but I have no tension problems.  This is my first time using the bobbins with the poly thin thread in them, but I used my Towa and set the tension at the same I use for the cotton, and no problem!

On the first photo you can see the magnets I am using to hold the top more taut, since I "float" my tops.  I find that by loading my quilts this way, I am least likely to stretch the top and end up with a lot of fullness I have to work in on the last couple of rows.    The magnets really work, but of course only if you have steel rollers.  They are very strong!  Don't ever make the mistake of locking them together, it takes forever to get them apart (ask me how I know)!.  The backing is fabric I bought on a Christmas Fabric close-out about two or three years ago for something like 75% off the regular price.  They are poinsettia's, but I think it goes well with the quilt.  I love pretty backs, and even if it is a bit "holiday looking", I think it is a nice complement to the florals on the quilt top.  It has a nice soft hand almost like a thick lawn that is being used a lot on quilt backs.  I bought all that was on a bolt, and still have a little left that I will cut up and put in my scrap bin.  I was also very careful to load this quilt on straight, so hopefully I will not have some of the same problems I had with the previous quilt.

I do plan to dye tomorrow afternoon though!  I am not going in to school on Monday so I will get up and wash them and iron later.

I am going to "surf" the net a little and fold clothes.  Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, August 23, 2013


I completed my version of "Chopsticks" by JayBird Quilts.  It was a fun quilt, although the cutting was a little tedious.  It is a large queen so I couldn't get it in the entire picture.  My background is grey moda and the prints are a combination of Kaffe and Kaffe-like prints.  I haven't decided how I am going to quilt it, but it will probably be an overall panto.

I have been very delinquent in blogging---not sure why---just really laziness I guess, but I have been reading a lot of others and living "vicariously" through them!  I have several quilts on the horizon---although I really do need to complete some of these UFO's---but ...........

School officially starts next week, so this is my really last "summer" week-end!  Good for me, it is going to be really warm, so I am going to do some dyeing.  I think I am going to use up as much of the "older" dyes as possible while they are still good, so no telling what I will end up with.  Then my plan is to look at the UFO's I have, choose one to finish, and maybe start another one to take it's place.  There are so many quilts I want to make, and so little free time to do them.

I am also working on the strip quilt, quilting it.  It is not going so well----I don't think I got it loaded on the longarm straight, and so now as I quilt the rows the lines of quilting are crooked.  In addition, it has stretched on the sides so the rows are "catawompus".  At this point I am at the "point of no return".  I have to forge on.  I am misting it as I go and "patting" the fullness into place.  Letting it dry and then carefully quilting over it to avoid a lot of folds.  If I can prevail, I am pretty sure when I wash it and it crinkles, it will not be too bad.  It is for a 9 year old and hopefully she, nor anyone else, will be a member of the "quilt police".  This is a lesson learned for sure.  I will be much more diligent in lining up my quilts.

At any rate, I just wanted to check in.  Clearly I am not being a very responsible "blogger", but what can I say!  No excuses!

Thanks so much for stopping by.  I have been thinking that instead of feeling compelled to "write" stuff, maybe I will just start putting in a daily picture.  We'll see!

Anyway---have a great week-end!

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Nothing Exciting Going On Here!

My last blog entry mentioned my "well rested" state!  That lasted for all of one day---maybe two and I am back to feeling exhausted and overwhelmed!  Some of this I can attribute to the "time of the year".  It is the end of the semester and I am working hard creating final exams, reading term papers, planning for next semester and listening to students complain about their grades, as if I created them and they didn't in fact, EARN them! 

I did get time to also quilt a top I have had of Diane's for over a year.  She doesn't put any pressure on me, but I still want to get them to her.  Of course, as soon as I took it OFF the machine I saw some tension "issues" on the back, but hopefully when washed, it will "tighten up"---this has been my experience in the past so I am anticipating this will happen again.

I also finished putting on and stitching down (by machine) the binding on three charity quilts.  In moving things around, I found two more I had prepared with backing for quilting, so I will do those in the coming week.  That will make 8 quilts for the guild.  The quilts are so simple and quick to make and it is sorta nice to think a little one will use it and because they will know it was from a stranger, will perhaps, "move it forward"----do something kind for another stranger.   Okay, so maybe not, but I like to think so anyway.  I found some minky remnants at Joann's so the next one's I make will have that backing.  That will bring my total to 10 --- all made from fabric I already had including batting remnants.  Doing good and moving fabric is a good combination.

The weather is absolutely beautiful!  If I can stay focused and get everything done, I am going to dye more.  I saw another quilt that would be perfect for my dyes, but I don't have enough of a variety.  I also have to use up some dye whose shelf-life is coming to an end!

Wanted to check in!  Hopefully I will have something interesting to say soon!


Saturday, July 27, 2013

Back and Well Rested!

I got back from my little vacation in Baltimore actually last Sunday.  I had an absolutely wonderful time!  Love my son's new house and neighborhood.  When I thought of actually living in the city I always think of the television show "The Wire".  Well, this neighborhood is NOT the wire!  Stately brown and grey stone's; neighbors speaking to each other by name, they even know the dogs name; trees and neighborhood parks plus the ability to walk to a great restaurant; theater; or museum.   I could learn to love this city life.  It was so very HOT though!  Actually hotter there than here in TN.  I am so glad I took my straw hat (a fashionable one, not my garden hat).  I was quite the "Southern Bell". :)  Anyway, I am well rested and so very glad I have such a thoughtful son and daughter-in-law.

I can tell I am well rested because my creative juices were running today----I suppose it could also be the "little blue pill", but that is another story!  I finally finished quilting the "Yin-Yang".  Again I don't know why it took so long, but it is done.  I also quilted two baby quilts I am going to give to the Guild for distribution to the charity we have chosen this year.  I also made a quilt.  It is such a simple quilt and although I made a larger one like it last year, it was made a different way.  This way is much simpler.  I am going to gift it to my daughter's "Significant Other's" daughter.


Neither of the quilts have been trimmed yet.  The one above is a free pattern on the Moda Bake Shop site.  I had a couple of strip rolls I had purchased a while ago from Connecting Threads which was perfect for the quilt.  My goal is to use from my stash if at all possible.

While in Baltimore I purchased 36 yards of beautiful African fabs.  I would have loved to get more but my budget was restricted this time. I also got a Kantra coat from India.    I read about them on the Material Obsession blog and really wanted one!  So pleased I am!

Hopefully I can keep my productivity up!  I am really behind on the finished quilts compared to last year.  Now for the boring part---binding!

Friday, July 12, 2013

Just Checking In!

I haven't blogged recently but I have been reading blogs and making plans to post but-----.

I am getting ready to go on a little vacation.  I am going to visit oldest son and his wife in Baltimore and while there, attend Artscrape.  I am really looking forward to the visit.  These two spoil me wonderfully!!!  Already they have schedule an afternoon at the Spa as soon as I get off the plane.  They did the same thing last year and I had to be awakened to get ready to go.  That good smelling oil, the music (with birds chirping no less) and those warm rocks are the "bomb"!  I am going to also go to my favorite fabric store and stock up on african prints.  All in all, I intend to forget I am a working woman and pretend I am one of leisure with an unlimited bank account :)!

On the quilting front---I am dyeing fabric for a specific quilt pattern.  The colors didn't come out quite like I wanted, but that is okay!  It is sorta not my usual style, but then I think it is okay to "stretch" yourself.

I am still not finished quilting Yin-Yang!  I don't know what the problem is!  It has never taken me quite this long to complete a quilt before.  I have just about 3 more passes to go though and I will be done.  I committed to making some drapes for my son though a LONG time ago and am in the process of finishing them up to take with me, so no quilting this week-end!

Well, just wanted to check in!  More (with pics) to follow!

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Claiming My Blog

I thought I had already "claimed" my blog, but according to Bloglovin's directions, I haven't, so ----

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Hope this works!

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Finished Product!


 Unbleached Muslin

Redyed Muslin
"Ice Cube" (Ironed)
I don't think I will use unbleached muslin again to dye when I want really bright colors.  The colors appear more dusky than bright.  Hopefully the unbleached will work in my rust experiment.  The sateen is wonderful though!  Really takes up the color well!  I am anxious to try the print cloth and see how that works.  

A Box of Chocolates!

Creative energy is here for me!  All I want to do is "create"---not housework (who likes to do that anyway); not cook (some people like that I know); read (I once did); knit (I once did that as well)!  I want to create fabric and so I am doing what people my age have earned the right to do----I am doing it! 

This morning I got up with every intention of going to church.  My husband and I once would spend hours talking and planning. Not so much anymore----baseball has nudged me out, but this morning he wanted to talk, and so I did!  Before I knew it it was way past time for me to leave and be on time, so after ending our conversation and when he went back to his I-pad and games, I decided to go "create".
Last night as I was surfing the web, I read an article about "ice dyeing" using ice cubes, so last night I went out into the garage and tried my hand at it.  I also redyed the unbleached muslin pieces since the colors weren't as intense as I would have liked.  This morning I washed the color out and saw what I had.  It is a bit like opening a present---or as Forrest Gump would say, "opening a box of chocolates, you never know what you might get".  I LOVED the ice dyed piece and then it struck me that I would NEVER again dye this exact piece.  Certainly this is a technique I will try again, but this piece cannot be reproduced.  When I look at it, I see water, and sun.  I think I am going to quilt it as a whole cloth wall hanging.  If I cut it up I would feel like I was destroying it.

I also read a article on rust dyeing.  I did it once before but really didn't follow through.  I ended up just throwing the fabric away.  I still had the rusty nails though, and I decided to try out came the vinegar

I didn't take pictures as I was wrapping, but I am not going to unwrap it for at least 3 days.  I think my problem before was I didn't wrap  it in the plastic to keep it moist, nor put it in a sunny place.  I only used a yard of the unbleached muslin, since I don't have a lot of rusty stuff.  It it works, I will  purchase some steel wool and rust more.  I have an idea for this piece as well if it turns out well.

 And finally----
They are so pretty!  All the fabric is wet and so when it dries the color will be a little different, but hopefully they will still be intense.  I also washed out some reds and orange and a beautiful yellow.  As soon as they all dry and are folded I will post a "formal" picture.
Well, just wanted to share!  Thanks for stopping by--do come back!

Friday, June 21, 2013

My "AHA" Moment

I was sleeping quietly (I guess) when I suddenly woke up!  I had purchased about 7 years ago, a bolt of sateen.  When we first moved to this area from Florida, the Joanne's closes to the house was closing and having a giant fabric sale.  I purchased that fabric there for cheap -- like $2 per yard.   I don't know what I had in mind, but it was a good deal so (as most quilter do), I purchased it.  I got up this morning, looked for and found it, washed it and now my next dyeing project will be this fabric.  It has a really nice sheen and hopefully, will dye well (at least the dye references say it should).

I washed out the latest dye project this morning (forgot to take pictures but will when they dry).  This batch was unbleached muslin.  At his point it doesn't look like there is a big difference in color take-up.  What is different however is the "hand" of the fabric.  It appears much thicker and the weave is tighter.  I think it is because I wash in hot water and the fibers appeared to "puff" up or shrink.  The little dark specks that are present in unbleached muslin also adds a interesting addition, particularly in the lighter colors.  I will post pictures as soon as I finish washing and drying this batch.

I also investigated dyeing indigo and I think I might forgo that for a while.  It seems very complicated and  I am not quite ready for that this summer.  I do plan however to dye batiks, do some resist dyeing and make some special editions.  I have to give my hands and back a rest though.  They are both really sore, especially my hands from wringing out the one yard pieces.  They actually are hurting!

Now for pictures of my veggie "garden":


 Not a veggie, but isn't this fern pretty and healthy!  It was on the front porch, but I think it was getting too much sun!  I have another that is just as pretty! Excuse the basketballs---Grandson's store them there after "balling" on the goal in the driveway! 

Nothing going as well with my peppers, but I am gonna have some great tomatoes! 
Well,  "talk" to you later! Thanks for stopping by!