Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Felting surface design class

I enrolled in an on-line felting class that started this past weekend.  These are just a few of the small samples I've made since Sunday:

It's fantastic so far--I highly recommend it to anyone interested in learning more about the different roving types out there (merino, gotland, alpaca, icelandic and more) and learning how to create all these great textures.  The instructor is Fiona Duthie, and since there are no felting classes anywhere near me, this is a great way to learn.

Still waiting for my grandson to be born, hopefully it will be this week!  I know my daughter is ready.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Spring may be here--finally.

One reason I like to blog is that it gives me a chance to look at what I've actually gotten accomplished.  Even though some days it seems that all I do is go to work and come home late, I still am able to complete some projects.

One is a baby blanket for a soon-to-be born grandson:
And a baby blanket I made for my sister who needed it for a baby shower.  I haven't bought fabric for a specific project in quite a while--she wanted something with monkeys on it.
Lots of free motion stitching went into this.  I wonder if the recipient will even think about all that work?  I'm sure not.
And even some dyeing, now that it's warming up a bit.  These two pieces were pretty awful looking at this stage--
 But they evolved into these pieces afterwards.
 I just love the look of shibori!
 And more, always more...
I've opened an Etsy shop and am selling some of my fabrics (or trying to--no sales yet!).  Gotta get rid of some of it so I can keep making more.  Hope to get these posted up there today.

Linking up with Nina Marie today--Off The Wall Fridays!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

First Day of Spring

I was on a roll for a while in February, posting quite a few times.  Lost some of my momentum over the past few weeks, though!  Part of that was due to an ice storm earlier this month when I lost power for a few days, it was a slight setback, but things are better now!

Last weekend I dyed some yarns that I bought at a fiber show in January from a wonderful lady from Heelside Farms.  This was white when I bought it, now look at the wonderful colors:

Do you like my professional drying rack?

So, I dyed all this yarn and needed to use it for something--I got out some burlap and started hooking some small pieces (about 7" x 10").

 This one is a little bigger (about 8" x 11").  

And, I have been doing a little bit of sewing, too.  This is what's on my design wall now.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Bye Bye February

This month I've been a guest blogger over on And Then We Set it on Fire a few times, and have been doing a lot of dyeing related to the Ann Johnston DVD.

Here are three fat quarter pieces that I dyed Turquoise (for a Fire blog post), then I batiked with an egg carton dipped in beeswax, and overdyed.
I like how they turned out, and I think they'll make some cute pillows.
And I also finished up a crib bumper set for my daughter who is having a baby in April, this time a boy.  Got this whole set in the mail to her today.
What a mess! I had to get these out of the way because I just don't have enough room...
 And for two Saturdays in a row, I went to a quilt-as-you-go class at my LQS, Quilting Quest in Lexington.  I had some blocks made already, so I used them to learn the technique of joining the already-quilted squares.  Very easy, and I'll definitely use this again, probably to make a baby blanket soon!

Monday, February 17, 2014

Real Snow for Snow Dyeing!

Last Wednesday & Thursday we had about 8" of snow (and some ice/sleet) where I live in North Carolina, which is extremely rare.  Ok, there aren't any snowplows to speak of, and the schools all close in anticipation of storms, and so I was lucky enough to have Wednesday through Friday off of work.

So, on Friday, after the snow stopped falling, I did some snow dyeing.  I used blue, turquoise, and some yellow orange.
 For these pieces, I poured liquid dye concentrates onto the snow.  Purple, orange, and yellow.
Then I tried a couple using the dye powders instead--I think this was Sapphire and Blue Violet.  
I used Avacado & chartreuse dye powders for this.  The yellows in this piece below didn't melt down very well, they turned a little "gooey" instead.  I didn't take a picture of the finished version, but I ended up overdyeing it on Sunday since I wasn't 100% happy with the results.
Here are some of my results from Friday.  (The piece on the right is from the bottom of the tray that soaked up the leftover drops).
 I think this is my favorite:
So, on Sunday morning I realized there was still some snow out there, so I took a few more pieces and put them in soda solution, then poured on the dye concentrates.  This time I went with summery pastels.
This piece below was the green/chartreuse one that I didn't take a previous picture of, but once I overdyed it, I love it.
What a nice way to spend an unexpected "mini-vacation"!

Friday, February 7, 2014

First Friday in February

More low water immersion (LWI) dyeing experimentation- 

These pieces were dyed in small bins, all scrunched up, using the same two colors (Chinese Red and Warm Yellow).  The darker one was dyed using a stronger solution, the lighter one was watered down (sorry, no exact measurements).

Same with these two pieces, they were both dyed with Boysenberry and Intense Blue, at different strengths.

And I used the boysenberry/intense blue pieces with some ice-dyed fabric I already had.  Using a similar color pallet when dyeing is great--all your fabric is from the same (or similar) color families.

This quilt top only took about a day to sew together.  Adding it to the pile of UFOs ready to be quilted....

More dyeing, this time using the Parfait Method.  Read more about how I did it on And Then We Start it on Fire.

Linking up with Off The Wall Fridays today!

Thursday, February 6, 2014

A Dyeing History

I admit that I love to dye fabric.  I would dye fabric all day long if I didn’t have to go to my job Monday through Friday.  I also admit that it doesn’t always come out the way I had planned, hoped, or expected it to!  But I am learning a lot all the time about dyes and the way they react with each other.

One of the first things I learned is that everyone dyes their fabric in their own way, and most of those folks tend to think their way is THE BEST.   I don’t live near anyone else who dyes fabric, so I had to learn from books—these are my favorites: 

Book 1 – Dyeing to Quilt by Joyce Mori - It’s absolutely fantastic for taking you through dyeing color wheels using three primary colors.  Simple, clear instructions, just what a beginner needs!  It’s out of print now but available used on-line.

Book 2 – Color Your Cloth by Malka Dubrawsky - A great resource for a beginner—the directions are very clear, and she also describes in great detail how to do batik and also discharge.  Great if you want to create patterns on cloth, as well as try out some fun techniques.   

Book 3 – Fabric to Dye For by Frieda Anderson - She uses some key colors to create her cloth, and shows how to make gradients and other specialized fabrics.

So I tried dyeing and made some great fabrics that I was happy with.  Then I needed a specific purple color, and couldn’t figure out how to get it.  I signed up for an on-line dyeing course taught by Candy Glendening at Candied Fabrics,  where we learned to dye these “Tables” using 3 different primary colors and the low water immersion technique:

It was kind of tedious at times, measuring out tiny amounts of dye through a syringe, and creating over 120 swatches.  We did a warm color set and a cool color set, and this class helped me SO much -- one of the things with dyeing is that there are so many different dye colors, and it gets expensive trying to buy all of them, so why not learn to mix your own colors, and technically you can dye any color using a combination of Red, Yellow, Blue, and black.  

I can definitely recommend this class to anyone who wants more control over their dyeing results—and it wasn’t expensive, especially when compared to attending a 3-5 day workshop in another state.  A very economical choice, and great for someone who hasn’t dyed before and wants to try it out, as well as someone who has started to dye but isn’t always thrilled with the results.

When you get REALLY serious about dyeing fabric, the more you learn makes you realize how much more there is to learn.   Recently, I bought Ann Johnston’s DVDs Color by Accident, a set has well over 4 hours of information on them, and it’s almost like being at a workshop.  The techniques are being covered during February over at And Then We Set It On Fire, check them out!

Friday, January 24, 2014

A Cold Morning in January

Frigid cold (for North Carolina, anyway), 8 degrees this morning.  Which is enough to cause 2-hour delays for schools all over the area--yeah, I know, you "Yankees" think this is funny.  The temperature today where I used to live in New York (Ellisburg) is -12 degrees F, with a wind chill temperature of -20 degrees, so I know it could be a lot worse.

Last Monday, MLK holiday, I finally had the opportunity to dye some fabric.  I usually get a lot of fabric dyed during January & February, but this year the temps have been too cold to dye in my garage.  I'm trying to work through a DVD set by Ann Johnston, Color by Accident, so here are the first results:
Flat dyed piece with Grape, Golden Yellow, and some Aquamarine dyes.

The finished piece

Two pieces soaking in dye, one with the Grape, Golden Yellow & Aquamarine, and the other with Chinese Red, Grape, and Golden Yellow.

 And the finished pieces

During February, techniques from the Color By Accident DVD set will be the focus of the And Then We Set It On Fire blog, and I'll be one of the guest participants.  Tune in there for more details on the processes if you're interested, and stay warm!

Linking up with Off The Wall Friday today!

Friday, January 3, 2014

New Year

Happy New Year everyone!  Can't believe it's 2014, where does the time go???

Not much of a post today, just something to get rid of my previous post since it was a Christmas one.  I'm working on a new project, needle felting some sari ribbons that I ordered on ebay, incorporating them into a quilt.

This was the first sunrise of 2014 here in NC.

And here is a small rug that I hooked in about 3 days.  Two of them I spent in front of the TV watching the Walking Dead marathon, I had watched a few of the shows before, but didn't know where everyone fit into the plot.  Now I do.  Can't believe I like that show.
Cold and windy here in NC, but at least compared to the rest of the country, it's not too bad!