Prep for New Project

July 16, 2017

I recently purchased a few of Jen Kingwell’s patterns, and haven’t decided if I’ll start It’s a Small World or Queens Cross yet.  Both use circles, so I thought I’d look into making applique circles.

One of my friends – Sue – lent me her sets of  Perfect Circles.  These are made of some sort of plastic in different sized circular shapes, and designed by Karen Kay Buckley.

Okay, I watched Karen’s you tube video, plugged in my iron, turned it on, cut my fabric circle, stitched around the edge, pulled it tight with the circle shape inside, and painted the edges with sizing.  Plopped the iron on top, and walked away for a minute or so, came back, lifted the iron, and the fabric was still soaking wet.

Hmm, I looked at the iron, and saw it wasn’t actually turned on.  Turned it to cotton, put the iron on top, walked away for a minute or so, came back, and the fabric was still soaking wet.  What the heck? Is my iron broken?

Traced the cord to the electric outlet, and it wasn’t plugged into the electric strip.  Oh there was an iron plugged into the electric outlet, but it wasn’t the one I was using. LOL

You see, I keep two irons in my sewing room: one small travel iron, and my larger one for yardage.  Seems I had plugged in the little travel iron, turned it on, but picked up the other iron to use instead.  This was definitely a “duh” moment.

Laughing out loud, I picked up the little travel iron, plopped it on top of my little fabric circle, and waited the recommended 20 seconds.  Lifted the iron, and this time I was rewarded with a nicely dried circle.  YES!!! Success!!!

circle 1

Lesson learned, love the templates, will purchase a set for myself, and have only about a few hundred more to make in my future.

Hugs…

 

 

 

 

Delilah Shooting Stars

July 9, 2017

I’m all caught up with my Delilah TOM and had a great time sewing these 2 blocks:

Block 3 a mine

Block 3 b mine

I’m really trying to use the fabric from the fabric kit, but find myself using lots of fabric from my collection, and altering the fabric I do use.  12 fabrics from the kit, and 20 from my collection in the above two blocks.

I’m pretty sure this situation has developed because I am not going with the flow.  I am approaching each one of these blocks with an idea in mind – like changing values.  No way could a fabric kit meet specific goals like that, especially since I change my mind with each month’s blocks.

I’m loving the fabric I receive each month, and am using colors outside my comfort zone, so am very satisfied with the fabric kit, and this entire project.  I’m learning something new, and having fun interacting with the Facebook community.

Now back to the blocks.  The first one went together quickly.  The second block not so fast.  I was attempting to do a color value with the lightest in the center, and gradually going darker towards the edges.  I found out there are not a lot of light orange fabrics.  My solution?  Dye some.

That little piece of light orange fabric came from my friend Beth – thank-you Beth – and had a stark white background.  First I tried changing the white, so I vanilla dyed it.  I use vanilla instead of tea as tea is acidic, and I’d really like this quilt to last awhile.

The vanilla solution darkened the background, but it just looked sad.  Out came my textile inks and clear aloe vera gel.  This is my favorite medium to use to color fabric – quickly, easily, and it’s washable after being heat set.  Well, it took me a good long time to mix the correct orange from my blue and yellow inks, but I got it.

That second block also has a piece of fabric from my friend Sue – thank-you Sue – the green and yellow squiggly fabric on the upper left.  This block will hold lots of good thoughts as I will always think of these two friends when I look at it.

Then I did a bad thing.  I cut one of the corner pieces of fabric off grain – as I really wanted the words to go in one direction.  It’s on the right side of the block, and I’ll have to make sure the block that goes next to it, will be on the straight of grain, because that triangle walks to a different drummer – not a nice precise drummer in a drill band, but a drummer who has a mind of his/her own, and wants to go on a walk about after having too much to drink.  😉

Hugs…

 

 

Dyeing Again

June 22, 2017

It’s been 10 months since I’ve dyed anything, and it felt really good to get the MX Procion dyes back out again.  To be truthful, a bunch of them were on the top of my dryer from my last dye session of August 2016, but a broken wrist does impede one from cleaning up.  I’ll grasp at any excuse for being bad about cleaning up my laundry room/dye studio.

 

I’m part of the MXdyers Yahoo group and Barbara issued an Indigo Challenge.  She vat indigo dyed some fabric, didn’t like the grey she was getting, so offered fat quarters to members as long as we added at least 2 steps to the fabric, using only MX Procion dye.
First off,  I loved the fabric as I received it.  I so wanted to use it “as is” in a project, but refrained.  It is gorgeous, is it not?

Original

Sooooo, I started with masking the white pentagon lines with painters tape, and stenciled a design across the fabric using the formula for color #19 in Playful Fabric Printing.   I made a boo-boo at the bottom, and stenciled in the wrong area.  It happens, sad but true.

Unmasked

After removing the blue painters tape from the centers, I really, really wanted to stop here.  I know – from past experience – that I usually love what I do after one change, and hate what I do after the second change.  True to form, I hate the second step.

Sun Yellow

I used a 10% dye concentrate of Sun Yellow, adding soda ash to the container, and experimented with it.  The bottom half of the designs had 8 drops of uncolored soda ash water put on it, and then 8 drops of Sun Yellow dye concentrate.  The top half had 8 drops of Sun Yellow dye concentrate only put on it.  I wanted to see if there would be a difference between applying dye on dry vs wet for this project.

I honestly can’t see much difference between the two, and I really, really, really hate the sun yellow on this piece of fabric.  I was going to go with violet, and was afraid the color wouldn’t have shown up enough.  I should have gone with the violet.  And after I put the drops in the middle, I thought about putting the drops along lines so a star burst effect could be created.  Obviously, my  brain needs to work a little faster than my hand.

It did feel good to get a little dyeing done, and I threw in a couple of fat quarters to use up the black print paste I made, and the Sun Yellow dye concentrate I made.  Nothing goes to waste in my dye studio, and because I had added the soda ash to the containers, they had to be used up quickly.  No pictures of them, but the black print paste yielded a very dark shade of eggplant when I added water to cover the fat quarter in its container, and the Sun Yellow fat quarter is blindingly Sun Yellow.  Trust me, 10% dye concentration gives a very strong yellow.

It’s all good. I learned a lot, tried different ideas, and got my brain back in an MX Procion kind of mood.  😉

Hugs…

Delilah Beach Balls

June 10, 2017

I received my templates and fabric last Friday, and have been concentrating on getting my two blocks completed.  Only 8 days later, and success.

 

The first block uses 10 fabrics from my collection, and 6 from the kit, and I feel that is the scrappier of the two blocks.  The second block uses 1 fabric from my collection, and 5 from the kit.  It’s what I’d term organized scrappy.

I’m a Gemini, and can usually see two sides to every issue.  It’s no surprise I’m trying 2 approaches to this project – a scrappy version, and an organized scrappy version.  It should be interesting to see if all the blocks will play nicely with each other.

I have a master word document with a photo of Delilah in greyscale, and I insert the blocks in the same position made by the designer – Jen Kingwell.  So far, I think what I’ve made will happily co-exist.  What do you think?

Master quilt after 4 of my blocks have been inserted:

Master quilt block 1 n 2 for blog

Hugs…

 

 

Delilah TOM

May 6, 2017

I got very lucky recently, and was able to enroll for the Delilah TOM – Template of the Month.  This is a quilt that was designed by Jen Kingwell of Australia, and 30 some quilt stores were authorized to offer the program to their customers.     In Town Quilters  in Atlanta, GA is the store that fit me in, due to someone cancelling.

Block 1 – Rising Sun – was mailed to me last week.  It contained the instructions, plastic templates, and the light fabric kit.

We were instructed to make 2 of these blocks, and they were a dream to machine sew.

Block 1 mine first 1

 

It seems I’m incapable of working with a fabric kit though, without including additional fabric from my vast fabric collection.  The green, blue, purple polka dots, and black canvas looking fabric came from the kit – 4 colors.  All the others were mine, and the yellow was used on the wrong side.  Fabric has two sides, so why not use the side that looks  best for the project?

And how about the fussy cutting of that flower against the black background.  I’m thrilled with how well that turned out.

It’s not very scrappy looking though, and Jen’s achieves her great looking quilts by being a lot more free with her fabric choices than I am, so trying to go for it, I made the second block for the month:

Block 1 mineThis time I vowed to only use the fabrics from the kit.  Did I do so?  Noooooo!!! Is it scrappier looking than the first block?  I think so.  Textures abound – stripes, geometrics, florals and grids.  I really tried hard to not be Miss Matchy-Matchy for this block.

I only used 4 of my fabrics this time, and 2 of them were scraps I purchased from a quilt store.  Yes, I actually purchased a package of fabric scraps from a store last year.  I’m not even going to try and justify or defend that purchase.  I got some great scraps in that package – the black geometric, and the gridded fabric used in the large triangles were from that purchase.

The fussy cut tulips were a gift from a friend who passed away about 10 years ago, so a little bit of Faith – she was a dear friend with a kind and caring soul – is in this quilt.

And how about those fussy cut underwear fabric triangles?  I purchased that yardage while on vacation in Arizona.

This is why I love scrappy quilts.  They are repositories of memories.  A dear friend, a great vacation, a little bit of this, and a little bit of that.  This quilt will comfort me physically and spiritually.  It doesn’t get any better than this.

Hugs…

 

A Very Late 2016 Wrap-up

April 16, 2017

Insert for email

Long time no blog. What can I say? Lots of health issues in December – all  resolved with good results – and then 3 months on vacation with very unreliable internet. I had a lot of fun, ate lots of good food, did some sight-seeing, and sewed a bit.

Now for the 2016 wrap-up. Another 239 pounds out of the house for a total of 3,888 pounds out. Am I making progress or what? Sad to say, the answer is what. You see, I’m still purchasing fabrics, books, threads and incidentals.   It makes me happy, and while I have more fabric than I will ever use in my lifetime, I don’t care. I’m fueling the economy. That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.

Currently I’m making a red work quilt. Yes, you read that correctly. I’m hand embroidering 12 Santa blocks and 20 corner stones, then making 60 four and one half inch blocks consisting of 12 different block designs. The embroidery is completed, and 45 of the small blocks are pieced. Some are paper pieced, some hand pieced, and some are made with freezer paper templates. Next will be the block borders, sashing, another border, and the whole shebang needs to be basted, quilted and bound before the end of May for my quilt guild’s quilt show. Wish me luck. I need it.

For my friends who celebrate Easter, I hope you are having a blessed, and happy day.

Hugs…

I’m Back

November 12, 2016

Yippee!!!  I’m feeling better, and can actually use my sewing machine again.  Everything takes a LOT longer, but I’m sewing.  There are improvements every day, and I’m focusing on each and every forward step, like being able to open a Ziploc bag again, and opening up the refrigerator door.

We so take our bodies for granted.  I am grateful that if I had to break a wrist, at least it’s my left wrist.  I am mega right-handed, and since I now know I’m not going to get full mobility back, at least it’s not my dominant hand.

The first project I completed was Comfort Quilt # 15:

comfort-quilt-15

This is the light colored version of Comfort Quilt #14 that I posted about earlier, and I’m happy with how it turned out.

Comfort Quilt #16 was started, and I’m rethinking the design.  Way too many seams have to match block to block, and I’m not sure I’m up to it.  I can’t pin anything easily right now, and I doubt these seams will match well without being pinned.

I also have two complicated, time consuming hand projects in the works – ones that require tracing around templates, and cutting the shapes out by hand.  They will probably take me a good year or two each to complete, but I’m downright dangerous with a ruler and rotary cutter at the moment.  The only way I can stabilize the ruler, is to bend from the waist, place my entire forearm and hand on the ruler, then carefully roll the rotary cutter along the ruler edge.  I can’t help but think this is not something I should be doing.

Monday, I see my physical therapist, and I’m bringing, fabric, a ruler, a mat, and my rotary cutter with me so he can help me figure out a better way to accomplish cutting fabric.

Hugs…

 

 

Missing in Action

September 4, 2016

August 8th, I managed to fall off our new front porch.  I did a real number to my wrist, and had to have surgery on August 17th.

I’ve had 4 different casts/splints since August 8th, and will be out of commission for a long time to come.

I’m now bionic – multiple screws and plates, and  let me tell you, they might be stabilizing my wrist, but they hurt like the dickens.

I won’t be posting again till I feel lots better.

My new mantra is “This will pass”.

Hugs….

Comfort Quilt # 14

July 10, 2016

I finally completed Comfort Quilt #14 for my local quilt club, Genesee Valley Quilt Club. It’s hard for me to believe I’ve made this number for donation, but am very glad I started taking pictures of them in the past few years. I sure as heck don’t remember my earliest donations, let alone have photographs of them.

 

This photo is truly horrid. I had to use the flash – in broad daylight no less – and the colors are dark. It is what it is, but I loved making this quilt:

Comfort Quilt 14

 

Judy Simmons shared this pattern (That’s a direct link to the pattern.  It’s free.), and it is oh so easy to make. I adore the woven effect you get. It looks like it was complex piecing, yet it isn’t.

It took me forever to make this quilt though. First I injured my shoulder, followed up by another injury on my knee – on the leg I use for my sewing machine pedal. Even with a few delays, this quilt was a joy to create.

All is better now, and the quilting and binding went like a breeze. I used decorative stitches for the quilting, and buttonhole stitch for the binding. I wanted to try both ideas out, and am glad I did.

I learned don’t bother with either of those ideas if you’re sewing on black fabric with black thread. Nothing shows. If you’re going to take the time to sew decorative stitches, let them shine. Use a contrasting color, or better yet, a metallic.

I actually thought about using gold metallic as the floral fabric has a touch of gold metallic outlining the motifs, but realized these quilts were going to get hard usage, and the metallic thread might not have held up. And honestly, metallic threads can be scratchy. Scratchy doesn’t fit with the concept of a nice cuddly quilt.

I’m going to cut the fabric for another one of these quilts using the same print, but a different solid color – a nice rich creamy gold.  I’m still deciding if the skinny strips will be the print, or remain as the rectangle shape.

This will be kitted up and brought with me when we travel back to Arizona. It will be very nice to have all the fabric cut, and just sit and sew. I’ll bring the backing and batting with me too, so I’ll be able to totally finish this on vacation.

Isn’t that oh so organized of me? 😉

 

Hugs…

Ice Dyeing Again

June 27, 2016

I was supposed to be with my friends today making covers for our electronic devices, but the heat and humidity got to me. I opened the garage door, and my stomach let me know to stay put, so I did.

On the plus side, I got to photograph the last two ice dyed fabrics:

Diane mandala

Diane 60 degree

A simple twisted mandala, and more complex to create, a 60 degree equilateral triangle. I don’t like the triangle piece at all, and the jury is out about the mandala.

I used a lot, and I mean a lot of Pro Chems Sun Yellow 108. Then placed some of Pro Chems Turquoise 410 next to it. I was hoping for some nice greens, and was worried the Turquoise wouldn’t ice dye, so added a little smidgeon of Dharma’s Cerulean Blue 23. Next to that, I placed some of Pro Chems Deep Purple 8147, reconsidered the purple next to the hoped for green, and added a thin line of Pro Chems Black 629 between them.

Where oh where did the black go? Can you find it in these pieces? I can’t.

Next up is transforming a pink t-shirt. Somehow food spills manage to hit my t-shirt, before they hit the napkin on my lap, so I’ve got 3 that need ­­a little assistance.

For sure, one will be dyed, and the others? I’m thinking stamping with thickened dye for one of them, or maybe applying some lace shapes, or a little embroidery. All I know is I would like to be able to wear these t-shirts in public again.

Hugs…