Sunday, December 11, 2011

Christmas stuff almost done

I spent all day yesterday, and most of today sewing frantically. Most are done now, just one more binding to put on a table runner. These are all gifts--(so I don't want to show more than a small portion)
Part of a table runner:

Another table runner:

Baby shower quilt (for December 26th shower):

And for baby Madelyn:

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Frustration in dyeing

Yesterday before work I took some of what I thought was Cerulean Blue and Tangerine dyes that I already had mixed up a while ago and left a piece of fabric in a dye bath all day to get a yard of BROWN. This is what I ended up with:

Yes, it looks like it's khaki-colored green with some lavender in it. Not exactly what I was hoping for. So, last night, I mixed up some Black and Strong Orange dye powders and dyed two small pieces, hoping again for brown. It really looked good in the dye bath this morning, I was hopeful.

But this is what I ended up with after washing.

One piece is a grey-ish purple, the other is a light grey. It's like the orange completely left the fabric after washing. If anyone has any suggestions on what I can do to get a good brown, please leave a comment. Otherwise, I'll have to take a trip to Joann's...and waste my day off today on the road.

Monday, November 7, 2011

All over the place

I haven't posted for about 3 weeks now, kinda feeling like I'm all over the place (not focused at all). There's the little granny squares I've been crocheting for a baby afghan:

And some cute little headbands and hats. I found some directions on-line for making these flowers, so easy it was amazing.

I also have been working on these pieces, clamping plexiglass circles on fabric then discharging with bleach and re-dyeing them. Last week I took pictures of the whole process, but the pics don't seem to be on my camera this morning.

Also, have been sewing on some scrappy strips to use with the circles.

In addition, I'm working on some crib bumper pads for my niece who is having a shower the day after Christmas, finished up a quilt for my LQS challenge that had to be turned in on Saturday, and have about 6 other projects in some stage of the completion process. If I didn't have to go to work every day, I might get a few things done!

Is it any wonder that my stash never seems to get smaller?

Monday, October 17, 2011

Pumpkin farm

Madelyn visiting the pumpkin farm yesterday--

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Shibori again

Friday evening I wanted to dye a cool color rainbow set, so I got out my fuchsia, yellow, and turquoise dyes. After mixing the required 12 colors, I dyed half-yard pieces using low water immersion and checked them out the following morning. No pictures, but the dye had separated in almost all the red/blue pieces and they looked awful. So I decided to shibori them all instead!

I stitched the pieces into a tube shape, and put on a pole, then dyed in navy blue.

Then I did the same with some other pieces I had, stitching them into a tube, but dyeing in a walnut brown mixture (black & rust orange mixture).

The pieces above are actually more orange/tangerine than pink, they'll make some great autumn leaves.

Over on And Then We Set It On Fire, I posted some results of my tyvek painting & melting experiments. Check it out!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Quilt Show & Cotton Fields

Took a short drive to Concord, NC this morning to go to the Cabarrus County Quilt Show. The drive was scenic, on a beautiful & warm fall day, lots of fields of cotton getting ready to harvest.

Yes, I took these from my car as there wasn't a good place to stop on the side of the road.

Lots of cotton, on each side of the road. Maybe some of this will end up as fabric at the quilt show next year.

Here's the Cabarrus County Event Center--

Some of the quilts I loved. Karen Stone New York Beauty--every time I see this, I think I should make one, too.

And circles, a theme that I seem to be very attracted to. This was done with gorgeous hand-dyed fabrics and fabulous quilting!

Interesting 3-D veggies on this one:

And 3-D sunflowers, too.

I only bought some Presencia threads and a 2-yard piece of silk dupioni. Good deals on both, it was a good morning. Now to go mow my lawn.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Granddaughter Pics

I just got back from an exhausting week at my daughter's house following the birth of Madelyn Elizabeth on September 6th.

Here she is just after birth:

Four days old:

One week old:

And 10 days old:

She is my first grandchild and she is wonderful!! It's going to be hard to be in NC while they all live in NY. Anyways, no art for me for the past week, I'll be getting back into it now that I'm home. Love you, Erin & Paul!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

No Garden Inspiration Here

Depressing showing you what constitutes what's left of my garden this summer here in Thomasville, NC. We've had practically zero rain for the last 2-3 months, and what has been struggling has given up, and so have I. Even Hurricane Irene only brought us about 5 minutes of rain on Saturday evening.

This was a hosta...

And these were zinnias...

I think these were daisies...

More former daisies...

And here is a sage plant, with the dead remains of tomato plants in the background.

Believe it or not, I used to be a prolific gardener, growing enough food to can and freeze, and enough flowers to regularly fill large vases and generally enjoy. But that was in another climate that had abundant rainfall. Not here in central North Carolina. Yes, I'm depressed. At least I can stay inside and sew and ignore all of the dead flowers.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Table runner is done

Table runner is finished, lots of FM quilting on this one. I think I'm obsessed.

This is the back:

And here's the finished round robin fabric (Jenny's piece) from And Then We Set it On Fire that I'm putting in the mail to her today!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Another hot week almost over

Not doing too much blogging lately, but doing lots of sewing & quilting. What else can I do when it's 100 degrees or more every day and all I feel like doing is sleeping when I get home from work?

This is a table runner I'm making, using some hand dyes and some commercial fabrics. I love the template set I bought a few years ago and have used lots of times. The half circles are so easy to sew, I don't even use pins.

This is all ready to be quilted tonight when I get home from work!

And this is a wall hanging I'm making for my soon-to-be-born granddaughter (as soon as I know her name, it will be incorporated into this). Due date is September 8th!

And yet another quilt top sandwiched and ready to be quilted!

Not being able to work outside in my garage and make new fabric has caused me to be a lot more productive in finishing up some of those UFOs, so I guess this weather has been good for something.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Free Motion Quilting again...

This quilt I've been working on for two weekends now is nearly done. But it's actually GREEN, not purplish like in these pictures.

What the heck--I guess I must need a new camera. I have NO idea why all the pictures turned out like this--but whatever the reason, it just fits into the way my day is turning out already.

Anyway, I've been quilting for about 5-6 hours a day on this for the past two weekends--

I always use fusible batting, it makes the quilt sandwich quite stiff, which makes it easier to move around in the machine while sewing. This was all done on my non-electronic Pfaff machine, which I really like to use more than my more expensive machine.

The thread I used was Aurifil Mako 50, which comes on a pretty good sized spool so I don't have to keep replacing the thread when the spool runs out. I always try to wind about 2-3 bobbins at a time when I sit down and get ready to free motion quilt, that way I don't have to stop and do it in the middle of quilting. (I think I've probably used about 8-10 full bobbins on this already).

I generally use Sharp Microtex needles, size 70 or 80 (depending on what I have on hand) and don't get any thread breakage or problems. It also helps to change your needle after sewing for about 4 hours with it, you'll really see a difference if you keep a fresh needle in your machine.

Another tip is to take that little brush that came with your sewing machine and check the bobbin area once in a while for lint that might build up from your thread. Even with Aurifil thread, which has less lint than practically any other thread I've tried, some still builds up and you need to get it out of there before it affects your machine's sewing ability.

Some people use quilting gloves when doing this type of work -- I bought a pair of rubbery palm gardening gloves at Lowe's a few years ago and find that I like using only one, on my left hand, and keeping my right hand uncovered. Most of the moving and sliding is done w/my left hand, apparently, it's not something that I really think about while I'm doing it.

My arms are definitely sore today!