I haven't put one stitch in the postage stamp quilt yet but I kind of have good excuses. Tuesday I took Mom to Farmville to visit her former next door neighbor. The wife (a quilter) died a couple years ago and Mom made two quilts from her stash for her granddaughters. We went to deliver them, The husband was anxious for us to take more fabric back with us and I'll have that update at the end of this post.
Yesterday was dyeing day and I dyed over 50 yards of fabric so I didn't do anything at all (except a little bit of crochet) before heading to bed.
But, in little bits of time I got the 4 safari scrappy placemats done! I love making placemats from quilt scraps. It's a great way to use them, it's a nice memory of the quilt and I actually use them! These are made from the scraps of the Safari Quilt that I made for my SIL. I used the scraps whatever size they were and just pieced giant crumb blocks. I got 4 placemats out of the pile of scraps.
I've mentioned before that I use old (clean, of course) flannel sheets as my batting so that they don't wad up too bad in the washer and dryer. I like quilting them pretty heavily too as another way to control them getting out of shape. For these I did lines 1/2" apart, more or less. While I was quilting them I was thinking about what color to dye napkins and I couldn't stop thinking about the possibility of shibori dyeing them.
Well, imagine my surprise to find that I can shibori dye napkins! These turned out much better than I expected.
They don't match the placemats on color but they do match in spirit so I'm keeping them. The reason that they don't match in color is that my color recipes don't work for immersion dyeing. They work perfectly for the low water immersion dyeing that I developed them for, but they don't translate to immersion. In my normal dyeing that blue/gray would be a deep chocolate brown. There will be more shibori napkins in my future. Some dyed with clamped designs would be really cool. Next time I might dye the napkins first and then pull fabrics to match but that would kind of defeat the "use scraps" purpose of placemats. Quite a dilemma.
So, back to the Farmville visit. Mom's friend really wanted us to take a lot of fabric and supplies. Mom did take a bag of mostly batiks but I don't really do much with commercial fabrics and I don't like to take things that I am not sure I can use. But I did clear out a small drawer of heavy weight fabric scraps to use for walker caddies or dog beds and I took this bin of batting scraps. If the scraps are big I'll piece them together for small quilts or I'll chop it all up for dog beds. He was very happy to have a little spot on a shelf emptied out.
I know, I promised this tutorial over 2 weeks ago! It has taken some time to get the photos edited and the tutorial written up but it's finally here. I have outlined the process that I use for ice dyeing but if this is something that you are seriously interested in please take the time to read/watch how other people do it as well. There are as may processes for ice dyeing as there are family mashed potato recipes. It's good to check them all out.
In this tutorial I also show how I create the Galaxy fabrics as a by-product of the ice dyeing process. I don't like to waste dye and ice dyeing is a huge dye wasting process. Creating the Galaxy fabrics is a great way to use that wasted dye. T shirts would be awesome dyed in the bottom of an ice dyeing bin.
Get the tutorial here and have fun ice dyeing your own fabric. If you see any typos or if anything is confusing, please let me know. I'm happy to fix the document.
Yesterday was "dyeing day" but it was also cleaning day. When the cleaning lady is coming I try to at least get the piles of things off the floor so that she van vacuum the space underneath. While doing my "maid preps", as Chris calls them, I tripped over a pile of things that I dyed last week with the Crystals and Galaxies. When I ice dye I want every inch of the screen covered so I often add whatever dyeable things I can find to the mix.
These are 2 sets of napkins. I had 2 boxes of thrift store napkins that a friend gave me. I still have a ton of them left but I always dye a set to go with any new set of placemats. At the moment I have a bin of dyed napkins that need placemats. Maybe my next obsessive sewing weekend can be a placemat weekend. I do use them a lot and have several that are in need of retirement. These will be fun to work with to design matching placemats.
I always seem to have a bunch of aprons around and I think I've given some to all my friend and family. I heard about a charity collecting them recently so these might go there.
There are some of the leftover golf towels that I dyed for my husband and his high school golf buddies in March. I'll save these in the gift closet.
This is the funniest part. I dyed 3 pair of socks but I can only find a pair and a half. Hopefully the others will show up at some point.
Then there were some white tshirts left from the ones that I dyed for Eli for his birthday. He'll get these too.
Finally, just for me, I dyed some 12" squares. I feel a 3rd Groovy quilt coming on.
Yesterday was a very long dyeing day so in the evening I just sat and did some crochet and loom knitting and listened to a book. I have a finished crochet project and some thoughts on loom knitting that I'll probably share tomorrow. Today I might get a quilt loaded to quilt but first I have a little bit of dyeing to do for a custom order. It's a little complex so fingers crossed that I get the effect that my customer wants.
This weekend is sewing weekend with my quilt club so I'll be packing up my veterans quilt sewing tomorrow morning and heading to our meeting place. Yay!
Yesterday wasn't ALL ironing, but it was close.
I started off the day visiting (and sewing) with my friend, Marcy. She also has an Innova and we provide moral support to each other when things aren't going quite right. She helped me when I tried timing my machine the first time and I went over yesterday to help her with tension issues. I took this quilt kit to work on using her machine. I started this in February when I got to go to the beach with Kim. I'll take it to Maine to finish putting together. I think I'm going to really love it. It's got kind of a soothing vibe. If this one works out to my liking I'll make more with my hand dyed scraps.
Eventually I had to leave Marcy and come home to the giant pile of ironing. Here are all of the ice dyed fabrics except for the quilt backs and the few pieces that are already in the shop. My plan is to get all of these in the shop by Monday. I'll work on the quilt backs next week.
Aside from editing fabric photos I think I will tackle the bin of batting scraps left from the June quiltapalooza. I'm seeing my Richmond Animal League friend tonight and it would be nice to get these made and out the door today.
I haven't done a yarn update in a while but I have been slowly plugging away on my projects. The blanket is almost done! In this photo it's folded in half and there's only the upper left corner to finish. I let myself crochet twice a day for 30 minutes each and I have 3 left hand fingers taped up (thumb, pinkie and ring). It's working and my hand continues to improve. I absolutely love this Cascade Cartwheel yarn. It's a bulky weight (great for my hands right now) 100% acrylic roving yarn. It is a little splitty but it's so beautiful that I don't mind the sporadic splits. I want all of the colors!
Once my crochet session is done I switch over to loom knitting. I'm working on my first scarf and I will make a hat to match. The scarf will be blocked. It's not the best scarf in the world but it's good for a first try. The yarn is Premier Serenity Chunky and it got it because it was on clearance. It's super soft and easy to work with. I'll talk more about my thoughts on loom knitting (good thoughts) when this scarf is done.
It's time to get busy on some dog beds.
I started moving at 8am yesterday and I didn't sit down until about 6. It was a long day but a really, really good day.
First off, I did get 2 more veterans quilts quilted but I ran out of energy when it came to trimming and photographing them. You'll have to wait until Monday for that.
I started the morning washing out all of our ice dyed fabrics. It took about 2 and a half hours to rinse everything and put them in various soaking bins then the water was changed several times during the day. We are both thrilled with the results.
Here's one of the big quilt backs. I spread it out in the driveway to let it dry a bit before I carried it through the house and to the basement for soaking. The color isn't quite true. It's not turquoise, it's more of a sky blue but I and over the moon with this one. Actually I'm over the moon with all three quilt backs from this batch. This one will be in the shop soon.
Anne came over about 11 and she got started quilting her picnic quilt. It's a small quilt so it only took her a couple of hours. I had gotten it loaded and basted the night before so she was ready to jump in with quilting. She used the Happy Times panto. It's a great panto for beginners.
Look at this awesome backing fabric! isn't is perfect for a picnic quilt?
While she was quilting I got the great idea to do ANOTHER batch of ice dyeing today!
Total insanity. But, why not.
I've gotten a few question from yesterday's ice dyeing post so I'll answer them next week as I'm pondering a brief tutorial on how I do ice dyeing.....which is different from the way some other people do it. There are lots of right ways to ice dye. It's good to experiment.
The bins were all set up and ready to go by 5 pm yesterday and then I didn't do much of anything else after that except to look forward to crawling into bed.
Today won't be quite so strenuous. I won't be doing prep work and wash out on the same day. I might even have some quilting time today.
Aside from ironing and photographing fabric, my weekend will be devoted to veterans quilts. The race is on to get to 20!
Yesterday was a really good day. To start off the weather was spectacular. For Virginia it was cool (high 70's) and low humidity. It was a great day for ice dyeing because the sun was still hot on the dye bins but we weren't burning up. But I'll start the day backwards with the 2 quilts that I quilted last night. That's 8 for the week so far and I've identified the two that I plan to get done tonight.
My friend, Anne, came over to ice dye with me and she brought this picnic quilt to quilt. We got it basted yesterday and will get it quilted today. This fabric brings back great memories. We both bought packages of these beautiful sun printed fabrics the first year that we went to the Houston Quilt Festival. That was probably sometime around 2005. We both treated them as precious until we learned out to sun print ourselves. I finally made a quilt I called Autumn Leaves with mine in 2014 and gave it to the guy who cuts our yard. (Yes, mine is a yard, not a lawn. It doesn't receive enough care from us to be called a lawn. We live on a river so I don't use fertilizer. We have weeds that mostly look like grass right after mowing.) Anyway, Scooter got that quilt and loved it. Anne made this fun picnic quilt with her leftovers of the fabric. She's coming back over to quilt it today. Can you see the perfect backing fabric that she used?
The real purpose of our day was ice dyeing! I haven't done this in 2 years. I sort of enjoy doing it but it really is a huge waste of dye powder and it's a lot of physical work. But you can't argue with the wonderful and unique textures that you get from the process. We set up 8 bins/trays in the driveway and Chris brought us 150 lbs. of ice.
Half of the ice is put directly on the fabric and the we sprinkled the dye powders over the ice.
The rest of the ice is spread over the dye and I sprinkle more soda ash on top just for good measure. I have fabric in the bottom of every bin because I love the texture on those fabrics created from the dripping dye. My Antelope Canyon quilt is made from one of the "bin" fabrics. You can see the plastic collars that I set up to keep the ice from rolling off.
Here are the 8 bins at the end of the day. They stayed out all night and we will wash the fabrics out with a garden hose this morning. Unfolding the fabrics is the best part of the process. It's always a surprise!
Most years I try to make some sort of gift for my family for beach week. One year I made a bunch of fused glass things and one year I had commemorative t-shirts printed. The best gift so far was the year that I dyed beach towels. I was in the mood to do that again this year and I decided to give beach bags a try. The bags are from Dharma Trading.
The last time I made shibori I decided to add a few bags to see how they would dye. They dye great! The stitching thread dyes too.
I also had a few aprons left from previous gift giving and I threw some of those in too. Someone might prefer an apron to a bag.
These bags have a pocket on one side so with this group I decided to do something large on the plain side and just do the pocket on the other side. I was going to do a lot more with the Color Magnet but these look entirely too feminine to be appealing to the guys. I didn't want to do too many like this but I love how these turned out.
This is another Color Magnet one. I would have done more of these but it took FOREVER to print because I had to do it in sections and let it dry between adjusting. This one might be minee.
Then a few more straight up tie dye. The sunrise colors were supposed to be on the blue one and the blue one was supposed to be on the orange/yellow one. I won't tell anyone. Of course I always have to make a patriotic version of everything.
Again, with the guys in mind, I tried a couple of gradients and some "solids". I'll spread them out on a table and they can decide pick their favorites. I even ironed them all.
I made more than I needed so one of these might be included in a giveaway next week.
Our family beach vacation is coming up soon and I decided that I'd make gifts again this year. After perusing the Dharma Trading website I decided on beach bags. So far, I'm really pleased. They are sturdy enough for toting all sorts of things but supple enough to be able to tie for dyeing.
I started a few weeks ago with a few to test while I was doing some shibori dyeing.
I also had a few aprons left over from a previous purchase so I added them to the mix. I don't usually dye light colors but I have to say that I really love the light blue one.
Yesterday, while dyeing 30+ yards of fabric for the shop I also finished the beach bags. I can't remember the final count but I think I dyed about a dozen yesterday. Some were tie dyed. These two actually got dyed in reverse. The blue one was supposed to be the orange and the orange one was supposed to be blue. They will be fine either way.
Some of them were stenciled with Color Magnet. You can see the darker areas in this piece and the Color Magnet absorbs more dye.
With some others I tried some gradient techniques and some all-over splatter techniques. I didn't finish up until about 8:30 last night so that's ALL that I did for the day. Later today I'll start washing out and see how they turned out.
Yesterday was dyeing day and it was a big one. Business has been booming (that a relative term based on my small one-woman-show business) so Wednesdays and Sundays (ironing day) have been long and I'm perfectly happy with that. Since I didn't do any sewing yesterday I'll catch you up on my crochet and a special dyeing project that I did this past weekend.
Last week I started a new blanket with this Caron baby Cakes yarn. I like the yarn and the stitch but once I got a few rows in I realized that it was too wide. So I spent one evening unraveling the whole thing and started again.
I've gotta say that frogging a crochet project is much easier and more satisfying thank frogging a sewing project.
Now I'm back in business and I'd estimate that I'm about a third into the first of 2 cakes of yarn. I think the body of the blanket (this part) will be about 30" square then I have a cake of pink for adding a border. They recommended an H hook with this yarn but I'm using a J. I think an H hook would make this blanket really stiff. It's coming out soft and cuddly with the J.
Chris is off for his annual golf trip today. He goes with a large group of guys from his high school. I don't know about you but I kept in touch with exactly one person from my high school and, sadly, she died a few years ago. Chris, on the other hand, has most of his close friends as people from high school and college. His high school colors are basically the same as Green bay Packer colors. I found some really inexpensive "utility towels" on Dharma and offered to dye them up for everyone. For no reason other than boredom, I tied 5 different designs. As you can see here I had no intention of pressing the towels before I gave them to him.
But I did stack them neatly. I expect that they are in some sort of ball in the bottom of his suitcase. I was just happy to get them done in time!
Well, you know what a golf trip means - FOUR DAYS ALL TO MYSELF!
I have so many plans. I have a baby quilt to quilt for Mom, I want to practice more feather quilting on some veterans quilts and I might spend some time on the serger projects that I cut out this weekend.
Mom was over yesterday and I was showing her everything I wanted to do this weekend and she had the nerve to suggest that I actually finish this quilt! So, I think I will finally buckle down and get the center of this one done.
Let the weekend of solitude commence!
I've been holding on to these photos for awhile and have been itching to share them. My best friend and I do celebrate each other's birthday and Christmas but we rarely celebrate them even close to the actual date. It's a winner of we celebrate in the month. Her birthday was in the beginning of December but we both had a bunch of stuff going on (and these weren't done) so we just got together yesterday so I could take these to her and, more importantly, spend some quality time with my favorite dog. I knew I wasn't going to be able to top the vulture quilt that she made for me but I gave it my best shot.
Anne is a big follower of Valorie Wells and had really gotten into carving stamps for printing. I decided to make her some shibori fabrics specifically to use for printing. The first 2 are 1 yard pieces. The top one was folded in quarters and then tied. I was so excited with how well it turned out. The second was folded and clamped.
The next 2 photos are all fat quarters or half yards. Some are tied and some are clamped. I was going for a wide variety.
I also dyed 4 monochromatic spirals. The first photo is one of the spirals and the second photo is the 4 colors that I dyed. The orange photo is quite a bit brighter than the actual fabric but that's what happens with computer monitors and orange. I hope she has lots of fun with these. I sure had fun making them.
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In Bloglovin you need to search "Colorways By Vicki Welsh" to find the blog.
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.