Friday, October 26, 2012


I spent last weekend piecing a quilt and finally got all the squares sewn together.  It was so easy!  First you sew some strips of fabric together, in widths of around 5" to 10", depending on the intended finished size of your blocks.  I was going with 12" finished blocks, so I made about 5 or 6 sets of strips of 2 different fabrics for each.  The strips measured about 14" wide x 42" long when I was done.  The widths of the fabrics used to make the strips were around 5-7" or so.

Then I took a ruler and placed the 60 degree line on the left side of the strip and cut some 60 degree angles.  Then I added another piece to make a roughly shaped square. 

Here are my "squares" taped up on the wall so I could get an idea what they were going to look like all together before trimming them:
I then trimmed each of these down into a 12" square, using my 12" square ruler, and then sliced each of the squares in half, making triangles, which I then shuffled and sewed back into squares.
The squares were then placed on point, and sewn together in a design that I was happy with.  This wasn't my idea, it came from an American Quilter Magazine (August 2012?) and was designed by Marcia DeCamp.  Next time I'm going to make one with bigger squares, maybe 16", if only to use up some of the piles of hand-dyed fabrics I have on hand. 
The only fabric that is 100% commercial is the orange swirley fabric, the rest is stuff I've made or other commercial fabric that I've overdyed to make it a color that I actually would use. 
This is going to be quilted this weekend, can't wait for two whole days that I can stay home and spend time quilting.   Also on my calendar is another quilt top that I've had in a UFO pile for a year now!  It is very simple, just needs to be quilted to make it look great.
I love having lots of solid space to do lots of fun, mindless quilting on.
This is a picture of part of the pieced back--the darker fabric on the left was formerly a 2 yard piece with big cream colored magnolia-like flowers on an orange/brown background.  I overdyed it in some orange and blue to make a warm brown, and it looks perfect for this project now.  It was a piece of fabric that I knew I'd never use, but it was too big just to give away or just have it sit there on my fabric shelf forever.

I won two DVDs this week (!), from Beth at SewSewArt who is celebrating her 3rd anniversary of blogging. One DVD is on Felting, the other is by Carol Taylor on Art Quilt Design. I don't have any quilting DVDs, so this will be a new thing for me!

Here in Central North Carolina, we're not supposed to be feeling the effects of Hurricane Sandy, except that it's supposed to cool down a bit and finally feel like fall.  I have family on the NC Coast, some up near New York City, some in Pennsylvania, and one in Florida, all places that are going to be affected by this storm.  Hope it isn't as bad as those weather people on TV make it out to be! 

Yikes, I forgot to link up with Nina Marie Sayre on her blog, it's Friday, and Off the Wall.

Monday, October 22, 2012

October FM Challenge Done

I enjoyed this month's challenge from SewCalGal--it was presented by Teri Lucas, and was a lot of fun to stitch. 
I used a satiny piece of fabric that I've had for years, and some YLI Silk thread.  Turns out they were both the same color, but since it was the only silk thread I had, I decided to use it.  It was a little difficult to see the stitching once in a while, but it was a bright & sunny day yesterday when I worked on it which made it a little easier. 
The shiny fabric really looks great when stitched up. 
I added my name like we were supposed to do, but as a little feature on the side, not as a main feature.
I think this is the back.
Joan at Leschenault was nice enough to create a video to show me how she made her nautilus shells.  (Her stitching is already good enough that she should be teaching one of these monthly challenges, in my opinion).  My shells didn't turn out great, but they're ok for a first attempt, and I definitely liked doing them, so I'll be doing more in the future, that's for sure.  Thanks, Joan!

I also finally sewed these blocks together from my Judy Niemeyer pattern, Raindrops.  Now to get it ready for quilting, what a job that's going to be!
It's so big that it dragged on the ground when I hung it on the clothesline to photograph. 
And I also started (and finished) this quilt top over the weekend.  It was a pattern I found in American Quilter's magazine, by Marcia DeCamp.  It's really easy, and has enough of a structured look but still looks contemporary.  I used up a bunch of my hand-dyed and batiked pieces that I've made over the last year or so. 
I think I'm going to make another one of these, still have lots of hand dyes and batiked fabrics to use up.  All in all, it was a very productive weekend.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Some good results, some not so good

Last weekend I took a bunch of older fabric--some that I had inherited when my mother died, and washed it all, then overdyed with dark colors so I can use them for quilt backs.  Some of the pieces are at least 2 yards, so I didn't want to waste it, but I knew I'd never use them "as is".
No pictures of the finished pieces, but now they are dark brown, navy blue, and a deep purple color. 

And I made up some sodium alginate resist paste, and used this plastic sink protector to "smoosh" the paste through, then let it dry.  It took almost 3 days for it to dry, probably because it's been kind of humid here. 

 When it finally dried, I used some of the sodium alginate paste and added tangerine dye and soda ash to it, covered with plastic and left it overnight.  This is what I ended up with in the morning after rinsing-- 

Also, I took a silkscreen that I had made last year, and added stripes to it with blue painter's tape.  Then I took more SA paste, added color to it, and used the thickened dye mixture to print with.
This is how it turned out on a previously painted piece I had. The color seems to have faded out, I think because I soaked it in soda ash before printing, and maybe the soda ash is too caustic for the paint?
This was done on a white piece of fabric that was first soaked with soda ash, then overdyed with grape colored dye.  The colors are a lot more vibrant. 
I used another screen to make a "squares" design, then over dyed it with either chartreuse or green, I can't remember now.  I'm really not sure how all of this red appeared on my finished piece, I wasn't even using anything with red in it that day!
So I have lots of usable fabric now, some large pieces for backings that I hope to get basted this weekend, some smaller pieces for another quilt I want to get working on, and some other pieces that will have to be re-dyed because they didn't turn out so well.  Working full-time just interrupts what I really want to be doing...

Friday, October 12, 2012

Raindrops Quilt

The only thing I've been working on this week is this Judy Niemeyer pattern, Raindrops, and I'm determined that I'm sewing all the blocks together this weekend and getting it ready for quilting!  The evenings after work seem to be getting shorter and shorter now, making me feel a lot less productive.
This is a great pattern, her paper piecing techniques make it really easy.  I finished up all the NY beauty blocks quite a few months ago, then put it aside.  Not sure why, maybe I was just tired of it at that point.  It was A LOT of sewing, flipping and cutting to get through.  
Now I finally have the blocks connected vertically, and am working on sewing the rows together into one big quilt top.  This will be fun to quilt, but sure do wish I had a long arm machine! 
I'm linking up to Off the Wall Fridays, check out Nina Marie's blog!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Linking up today

I'm linking up today with Nina Marie Sayre's Off The Wall Friday -- here are two quilts that I've been working on.

This first one is done, so it's officially off the design wall now.  I used my hand dyed fabrics, some shibori (that I just loved making) and I finished sewing the binding on this week.
And this is a piece I'm nearly finished working on.  Just have to hand sew the facing around it, hopefully this weekend.  Both of these are pieces that I might enter in "Art Quilts Water"--the deadline for entries has been extended until November 1st, which gives me a little more time.
The blue and rust fabric is some that I rusted by wrapping around the burn barrel in my backyard a few weeks ago, then dyed it with a Mixing Blue MX dye.   
It's pretty heavily quilted now, and I'm trying to decide if the orientation of the piece should be vertical or horizontal.   I took a picture of the whole thing, but it turned out too dark, so I can't post it.
So, that's it for me this week.  I know that Monday is Columbus Day, but here in the south, it's just a regular working day.  And it's Thanksgiving in Canada, so Happy Thanksgiving to all Canadians out there!