Posting here from an iPad isn't the easiest thing, that's why I haven't been doing much of it. I'm in several Facebook groups and tend to post there, just because it's easier with the hardware I have at my disposal now.
First day of spring wasn't too springy.
My perennial garden
And here is a quilt I finally quilted after finishing the top it right before moving in the fall of 2014--
Vintage linens are hot now, at least in my vintage quilting Facebook group. Good place to practice those feather stitching skills! I sure do love quilting on my Tiara.
Here is the view from the path where I walked my dogs yesterday, hope the snow goes away soon!
To prepare for this blog hop, I found a lot of images online of artwork that appealed to me. Looking at all of them in a group, I realized that it was the sky in all of these that really caught my attention.
It's pretty obvious when they're all together, isn't it?
So instead of cutting up lots of bits of fabric, I thought I'd use thickened dyes to try to create my own pictures. Mixing Procion MX dye powder with sodium alginate, a thickening agent made from seaweed, allows you to "paint" with dyes. Most of the time I use a credit card or other hard edge to scrape on the dyes.
Here is my work table, it can be quite a messy process.
I scraped some dye across a piece of fabric that had already been soaked in soda ash to activate the dyes.
My first attempt, still unquilted
I used Stormy Grey and Bronze dye on this piece. The dye kind of stays where you want it but blends a bit before it dries. I left it to dry overnight, then washed in the washing machine.
After ironing it, and making a quilt sandwich, the dilemma was "how do I quilt this"? It was harder than I thought it would be to convey the look of a sky, either with fluffy clouds or with stacked up rows of storm clouds.
I made a couple other pieces to practice on.
First, I quilted some swirls in the sky because I really like quilting swirls. But it didn't work the way I thought it would. (I didn't take a picture of the piece before or during quilting, forgot to).
I ended up screening some circles on it and I'm going to use this piece to make a purse....
So, back to the drawing board--I tried quilting again on my next thickened dye piece, this time using lines and a contrasting thread that showed up better. I'm happier with this one! And I do think that the sky did turn out nice, which was my original intention.
I had this other picture, by artist Filomena Booth, that I thought I'd try to work with next.
I scraped on an assortment of dyes in the general color scheme used for Apricot Morn, but it seemed kind of boring. I had a screen that I had put some lines on using thickened dye in a black, then let it dry overnight that I thought I'd use. (This is called deconstructed screen printing or breakdown printing if you want to google to find out more).
I mixed some red dye into my sodium alginate mixture, then squeegeed it across the screen all over my piece, let it dry, then washed it. I ended up just quilting it with straight lines.
This one attempt led to so many different things for me, is anyone else out there like that? I didn't like my original idea so kept exploring until I ended up with something I liked.
I pretty much lost the ability to post pictures to my blog when the default photo use thing for Blogger, Picasaweb, became defunct. Since I'm not great with technology, it was easier to not blog at all than try to figure things out!
I use an iPad and have enough trouble with that! The app Blogsy is also now gone, which several people rave about and that I never got around to downloading...
My guild, Warwick Valley Quilters' Guild, is having a quilt show Oct. 15-16 in Warwick, NY. Here is a quick partial picture of one of my three entries in the show:
I will be posting regularly again, hopefully. Also, there's a blog hop coming up in October that I'm participating in--- Art with Fabric Blog Hop !
After dyeing the orange to blue gradation the other day, my results were so awful that I did another whole set yesterday.
I mixed Strong Orange and Intense Blue dye stock, then dyed a standard gradation. The first one I did is shown on the bottom here:
The fabric I used wasn't my usual dyeing stuff, it was some that I found in a bin in my cellar a while back. It hardly took the dyes at all. So my next one was done with Testfabrics 400, it turned out better, but the orange is definitely washed out. Maybe my dye is just too old?
Not sure if I'll dye another set and mix up my own orange, using red and yellow, or just use these pieces for the project I have in mind...
It's been a while since I've dyed any fabric. I had made a pact with myself not to dye any more fabric until I've used at least half of what I had on hand...but I just had to do some today. It's been really hot, but it's cooled down to the 70s so I actually felt like doing something productive.
Here are my dyeing projects, a color wheel and a blue-to-orange gradation. I'll post finished pictures tomorrow after washing!
And flowers, all selected for their attraction to bees and butterflies, and can't forget the hummingbirds.
I finally finished quilting my quilt top, the NY beauty blocks were the last ones!
I was quilting fairly late (for me) Saturday night, around 7:30, when I realized I had quilted one of the edges down somehow and caught a bunch of it in my quilting. Too tired, I guess...so 15 minutes of stitching meant 3 hours of unpicking Sunday morning. But it's fixed now, that's all that matters.
And the other day I saw something on Carol Eaton's blog that looked interesting so I thought I'd try it. Wrap some whiffle balls in some fabric, then use fabric paints to color it.
I used some Pfd cotton topped by some silk gauze, then Dynaflow and Setacolor paints. They looked pretty awesome at this point.
It took over two days for it all to dry, finally unwrapped it all Sunday, and it was a dismal failure.
This is the silk gauze:
And the cotton piece looks even worse, all the paint collected around the whiffle balls.
So I'll probably dye this piece with procion dyes...if it ever warms up enough here.
And a picture of my poor old sad man Leo, who gets SO scared when I try to take a picture of him
I pretty much spent the month of March in a daze. It started out ok, but went downhill fast when I got the flu about a week in. That lasted about a week, then I started feeling ok and got hit by a sinus infection. Thank goodness for antibiotics! But I physically felt so awful that I didn't sew at all, it was hard to work up the energy to take a shower occasionally...
That crap is over now, and I've been finishing up a quilt I started earlier this year. I've spent yesterday and today free motion quilting, and I'm so happy!
Just an all-over swirly design, using a light grey thread, Superior Bottom Line in the top and bobbin.
Love quilting on my Babylock Tiara, it's so great not having to wrestle the quilt into a small throat space. Hope to finish this up tomorrow!