I have a great group of former co-worker friends. We have been getting together almost every month since I retired over 9 and a half years ago. Now 3 of the 6 are retired with one schedule for next year. I enjoy coming up with a handmade gift for them each year.
This year I ordered these Grocery Totes from Dharma and screen printed them with different designs using Jacquard Color Magnet. I absolutely love using this stuff. You have to dye the item a light shade so that the printed area gets nice and dark. This technique works best with colors other than yellows and golds. Here are all of the results. I was really happy with them. If I had more time I could have added some painted details but the 88 postcards took most of my time!
Everybody got 2 bags. Some had different designs front and back. It was all about the screens I had and how I could put them together.
One of my friends made a special request for new potholders. Since she makes Chris the most amazing peanut brittle I was happy to oblige! I use this tutorial to make my potholders. These are really popular and I know I've made over 100 of them over the years.
I watched football last night so I was able to finish the binding on the first Groovy quilt. Click over to the Gallery to read more and see the cool tie dyed back.
Yesterday was an abnormal day for me because I spent a lot of it in the kitchen. That's not really my "milieu" but periodically I get in a baking mood and I'm in the mood to try out some new gluten-free vegan desserts. About 80% of GFV dessert recipes are disgusting but you have to give them a try to find the one or two gems. I did find a great bread recipe recently from this book. It's amazing and will do nothing for my desire to lose 5 pounds. (It's only a desire, not a requirement.)
But trying new recipes means finding the 45 different GF flours that the recipes call for. I had most of them but needed 2 new ones. I struck out at both places I went to yesterday so will try on the other side of town today where I'm going to, hopefully, buy a new chair. If you are short you know how difficult it is to find comfortable chairs. My favorite is a Stressless chair that I bought about 20 years ago. I'm hoping to easily replace it with pretty much the same chair without the cracked leather effect.
Aside from making (and eating) bread, the only thing I really accomplished yesterday was to get these shopping totes washed out. These are for gifts for a group of friend that meets each month. Only one of them reads my blog and she already requested potholders instead so it's OK if she sees them. They don't look like much here.
But each one was screen printed with Color Magnet before dyeing. Where the Color Magnet is applied the dyed concentrates. Each pair of bags is different and I'll show them after they are ironed and I've determined that they are actually finished. You can see a tablecloth that I dyed with this method by scrolling down to the Other Projects in my 2015 Gallery.
My primary goal for the weekend is to do no more shopping. After that I want to get Groovy 2 together, finishing binding Groovy 1 and work on the Christmas postcards.
"Groovy" is what I've decided to call these quilts. This one will be Groovy #2 and it went together really quickly yesterday. I'll work on Groovy #1 this weekend. I know I fought using a dark sashing but, of course, it was the right answer.
Next week I need to get a back dyed for this one. I'm thinking a tie dyed spiral because I've decided who is receiving this quilt and a tie dye spiral will be perfect.
There still isn't a lot going on around here but I got my sashing fabrics dyed last week and started cutting them last night. The smaller quilt will have this deep green (Jungle).
The big quilt will have this blue. I'll use bright cornerstones on both quilts. These should go together pretty quickly so I will try to get a back dyed fror the green one this week. I already have the back for the blue one.
The ice dyed fabrics turned out great. I'm going to show you the backing fabrics first. This one I Anne's from the red/blue/purple bin. When I load the backing fabric in the bin I always leave it folded in half so that I will get a mirror image effect. I think it's a little better than just all over mottled.
I put my fabric in the "rainbow " box and I expected a lot of brown but was really lucky to get this.
I had a couple of questions on Friday's post about the process and I thought I'd answer here for everyone.
We soda soaked the fabric before we folded it. For the backing fabrics I arrange them in the bins and then pour over enough soda ash mixture to dampen the fabric. I generally leave my folded, wet fabric overnight to dry out a bit before dyeing so we did all the folding Wednesday and the dyeing Thursday.
For dyeing I layer some ice, then sprinkle lots of dye (you have to wear a mask for this) and then add more ice. Then for a boost I sprinkle soda ash powder on top. I don't know if that actually does anything but I do it anyway.
There are a total of 106 of these squares! I don't think we will have any problem picking winners for our quilts. I expect there will even be some left over for a baby quilt or two.
Now I have to decide on a sashing color. I originally thought black but now I'm thinking gray or a grayish blue might be better.
Of course there were some losers and that's OK. It's just more hand dyed fabric scraps for another project.
Meanwhile, in the sewing room, my batting trimmings bin is overflowing so during the night game last night I started cutting out some fabric for dog beds. I like it when I can divert something from going straight to the landfill.
I was just relaxing and scrolling through Instagram when I saw a simple, but very cool, quilt made with ice dyed mandala blocks. It was really simple like this layout. The mandala pieces seemed to be about 12" square and it was sashed and bordered wiht solid fabric.
I send the link to my friend, Anne, with a "we should make this"
She replies "yes, I'm available this week" and here we are ice dyeing on the last hot day of the year (hopefully).
Of course if I'm going to make a quilt like this it's going to be for my bed so it has to be a queen size. If the blocks are 12" I need 36. But what if I have to cut them down as small as 10"? Better make 49 just in case. But what if some are duds? Better make 60. That should do it.
Anne wants a lap size quilt so she settled on 45.
So we spent a few hours Wednesday folding lots of little fabric bits. She also had some bandannas and added in a few of those. We ended up with well over 100 items to dye.
By Wednesday evening we had 4 bins ready to go. There fabric in the bottom of the bins too. Two of them are quilt backs that we hope will be the backing for our quilts.
Here's one of the bins right after we set it up. The layers are ice, dye powder, more ice and finally a sprinkling of extra soda ash.
By 4 in the afternoon they were about half melted. One bin is blue/red/purple, one is red/orange/yellow, one is blues/yellows and the last is a rainbow. The rainbow one has my quilt back so it might be brown but I'm hoping to see some of the individual colors in the backing. We'll see. It will be good either way.
Today we are taking down the CSQ quilt show and then going with Mom to see the Downton movie. After that I'll come home and wash all these gems out. We'll see the results next week.
Today is "dyeing day" and that reminded me to share a new top that I dyed for myself last week.
This is a top that I dyed a couple of years ago. It's the Flower Power Top from Dharma Trading. It's got several things going for it that I love. It's soft cotton knit, it's very comfortable, it's manchine washable and it's long enough to completely cover my hiney. I love wearing it with cropped leggings. The only thing I don't love about it is the sleeve but that's a minor complaint. This year I ordered a couple more with great plans to get them dyed and they have been sitting on the shelf for over a month. I finally got motivated last week.
Last Tuesday I was invited on a road trip to the Virginia Quilt Museum and I didn't have to drive. I took along one of the tops, a bag of glass florist marbles and my waxed sinew. In the car I wrapped marbles in the lower half of the top.
I did not tie each individual marble. I just wrap each one a few times and pull tight. That hold the marble in well enough.
I usually do low water immersion but I wanted the color in this top to be smooth solid so I did a full immersion dye and I'm really happy with the way it turned out. What I love about Dharma clothing is that the thread used for construction is cotton so it dyes too.
It took a lot less time that I expected to tie this dress and I'm glad I remembered that I had it to work on during the car ride. Now I need a design idea for the second one that I bought.
There's a little shop across from the Viginia Quilt Museum that sells kind of Bohemian clothing. I usually find something that I "need" in there. One of the things I needed this time was this tshirt that seemed to have been made for me! If you need one you can get it from Tie Dye Dan, a business in Harrisonburg.
Gene commented on the Tuesday post about doing a Color Magnet tutorial. No need! There are several really good tutorials around the web on using this product. Before I share the list I will share some personal tips/observations.
1. I like this product best for screen printing. You get really sharp and crisp images. I think it was developed primarily for screen printing. It will work with stamping and stenciling but it will require a little more practice.
2. The magnet properties are really strong and it keeps working during the first rinse and even sometimes through the first wash. I generally washout my dyed fabrics with all colors together but when I use Color Magnet I do the first wash with like colors only. The magnet will continue to pick up loose dyes from the water so you have to be careful.
Here are some tutorials to get you started.
Videos from Jacquard, the makers of the product:
Immersion Dyeing with CM
Using the Color Magnet Pen with a stencil
Color Magnet with Discharge Chemicals
Screen Printing Tutorial from Artistic Artifacts
Stenciling Color Magnet from Dharma Trading
Stamping Color Magic with Tjaps from Dharma Trading
I hope you will give it a try. I love this product. It's so easy to use and I love the effects.
Before the bowl hot pads became my 2018 gift idea, I had planned to dye kitchen towels for everyone. Someone in one of my dye groups imported a bunch of them and offered them for sale.
I decided to order a dozen but by the time I talked to myself about it and wanted to have "enough just in case", I bought 3 dozen! So it could be that I have a head start on my 2019 gifts.
I dyed 2 past week just to see how they take they dye and then are wonderful. They are made well and even the thread in the hems dyes. I used Jacquard Color Magnet to screen the images. The Color Magnet causes the fabric to absorb more dye where it is printed. I could simply screen print the images after I dye the fabric and I will do that when i want the image in a different color.
I've used Color Magnet before. You might remember this tablecloth that I printed with Color Magnet and the dyed . It took a lot of time to print that cloth but the effect was worth it.
Through the next year I'll use the new hand towels to play with different techniques and I should end up with a great stash of gifts.
I'm Vicki Welsh and I've been making things as long as I can remember. I used to be a garment maker but transitioned to quilts about 20 years ago. Currently I'm into fabric dyeing, quilting, Zentangle, fabric postcards, fused glass and mosaic. I document my adventures here.
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