Friday, February 24, 2017

My Snow dying attempt

I tried snow dying last week. Since I was in a rush, I didn't wash my fabric in synthropal nor did I measure the soda ash so I'm not surprised the results were not that great. Not a waste, I can use but not as vibrant as they should be.


Here is my scrunched up fabric with snow and dye sprinkled on top. I used black on the left and blue on the right. Set on racks so the fabric won't sit in the dye.


As you can see, the blue didn't hold the dye hardly at all. I didn't let them sit overnight which probablly would have helped.


So I said the heck with it and put it the fabric into the leftover dye in the bottom of the bucket.

Threw on a little red dye, sprayed with a bit of water and for good measure threw on some rock salt.

Going outside to get my mail I see the rock salt bucket I use for my sidewalk to melt the ice. Why not throw some of that in the mix? What do I have to lose?


Much better results but still not vibrant. It is sort of faded. Kind of looks like the cheap batiks that they sell at Joanne's. Now these started out as pillowcases so I think it might be the fact that either the pillowcases might have a blend of poly or since they have been washed many times have detergent and fabric softener in the fabric thus screwing up the dye process.

Still it's usable, just not great.


Now the black came out better and the fabric used here was right from the bolt and either never washed or maybe once. Who knows since its been in my stash for awhile. It's cool how the colors in the black break down since we all know black is a mesh of all colors. If I had left this overnight it would have been better.

What did I learn?

Wash fabric first with synthropal.

Leave it alone for 24 hours.

Don't be afraid to just " go for it"



Friday, February 17, 2017

FMQ practice and landscape WIP


Practice on a mug rug - I think I like the back better than the front. Quilting got lost in the brown print.


Landscape ready to quilt


Loosely based on this pic of camels hump ( the mountain in the distance)

I haven't got anything finished


Because I've been playing in this!

We finally got some snow - all at once.

It is simply magical.

One more day before we go back to the 40's and it all melts so I'm off with the dogs for a romp.


Friday, February 3, 2017

How I wish upon a starfish

Made with this easy pattern for immediate download here or here

The pattern as printed was enlarged 150% to finish at 11" by 14"

You can check out last weeks post to see the basic beach scene made which is the pattern and then you can embellish as much or as little as your heart desires. With this one I fused on a mermaid cut from a novelty fabric in my stash.

Added a starfish bead for gazing


A fabric " rock" and yarn fibers for grass


Some real shells from a beach vacation.


Sewn on using shank buttons and glue


And the grasses with embroidery floss I don't really like that much but they are staying.

Life is to short to spend time trying to get perfection.

Thank you for taking the time to look - have a great week!


Friday, January 27, 2017

Winter blues at the beach

Another non winter like year for us in Burlington Vermont with dark, dank rain, sleet and mush has got me dreaming of the beach. So yesterday I printed out my easy beach quilt pattern and started to play with fabric. I put on the new episode of PBS's Sherlock and thoroughly enjoyed an afternoon of fantasy.


This is as far as I got yesterday. The pattern as printed makes an 8" by 10" making it easy to print but I like to enlarge 150% making it 11" by 13". It's still small so goes pretty quick.

Quilting is done. Next binding.

Auditioning binding here this morning. I always take a photo when undecided. Values stand out so much better. Now I can see that the one on the left looks best ( to me at least and its my fantasy, right?)

Some would call it done but I consider this now a blank canvas.

Let the embellishments begin!!

Stay tuned next week for the finish




Monday, January 23, 2017

tree hugger - with no fresh snow

There is a blog hop today hosted by seams to be sewn. The challenge was to do something about winter and to use at least one fabric that is not cotton. I live in Vermont and this is the 2nd winter in a row that we have gotten little to no snow. It is grey and brown around here. So I made this:

Tree hugger - 13"x18"
I love snow - it seems to insulate trees and wildlife from the cold temps.
This year it's so cold the trees have to hug themselves and are shivering to keep warm!

I realize this is an unusual quilt but I had so much fun making it. The only cotton used was the muted background and the hands and face. For batting I used felt (not cotton)
What got me going on this was burning or melting polyester sheer fabrics.
You CAREFULLY take your fabric, in my case strips of brown sheer and hold it over (not in) a candle flame. Hover over the flame until it starts to melt and curl. Keep a bowl of water handy because it probablly will catch on fire but just blow it out or dunk it. Not all fabrics will melt - some will just catch on fire but the ones that do curl and or get this beatiful torn edge effect. It must be polyester and I seem to have the best luck with sheer fabrics so keep that in mind if you try this.
Perfect for tree bark!

So to make my tree I first cut a tree like trunk and laid out some velvety strips down first and then kept adding more and more, using the melted and burnt strips, sewing them down as I went. First I tried glueing them down but the poly sheers do not stick well so, sew it down I did. I found a background that was muted and no snow winter looking and laid that out.
The hands were first sketched out with pencil and then a fine black sharpie. Fusible pressed to the back, paper taken off and then pressed to a wool felt. In hindsight I should not have used the felt. It made the hands to thick and the dark felt shows to much if you look closely at the hands.

The face is a purchased fabric that has faces already painted on so I traced around the head to get the size for the hole and cut it out. Then placed the hands and pinned down for quilting.
The hole ended up being to big - mistake? Hell no! Not in art quilting land!
A design opportunity!
I then proceeded to add to that face area that was to big - all kinds of funky yarns and wool fibers that I have in my stash. 
All of this was sewn down on my sewing machine and the hands were sewn down as well.
The background was free motion quilted and a facing was added to finish.
I love how he came out and thank you to Marian at Seams to be Sewn for having the blog hop or this tree hugger may never have been born.

Click on the button on the top right of this blog to go see the other bloggers for today.
and there is a giveaway!
a cute kit to make this felted wool block
this may be the only way to see snow this year is to make it - lol!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, January 20, 2017

A fresh snow blog hop

On Monday 1/23 I will be participating in a blog hop hosted by seams to be sewn. We are free to do whatever we want as long as one of the fabrics is not cotton. I decided to use some sheer like polyester and some velvety like scraps.

I am still working on my project so will just give you a sneak peek today.

The velvety scraps


Sheer poly strips after being melted / burned - gives a texture like tree bark.


If I want to finish by Monday I will need an extra hand so I made two - lol!

Stop by on Monday to see the finish and a more detailed explanation.

The blog hop starts today ( Friday the 20th) then commences again on Monday.

Go here for a list of the blogs today. She also had a giveaway for a wool block kit and a free pattern for the cutest groundhog applique block.

Or Click the button on the right sidebar to get links to the participants. I am looking forward to seeing what others are doing. Remember to stop back in on Monday!

There will be another wooly block kit giveaway then as well.