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.
Yesterday I got 4 more cat blocks cut out and I'll get them sewn together today and get the last 4 started. This weekend is supposed to be sewing weekend with my quilt club. I usually work on veterans quilts when I am there so I might pull out one of my kits and work on it this weekend. I miss my quilting peeps.
I also did a lot of ironing yesterday to get a bunch of tea towels ironed and photographed. I've been thinking about what I could do to raise money for my local food pantry. I recently had an opportunity to buy a lot of very high quality tea towels and the idea was born. I'm going to dye all of them and sell them locally with all of the proceeds going to WHEAT (Western Hanover Emergency Action Team). I feel like their resources are going to be pretty stressed the next several months and probably the rest of the year. Before I share these with you I have to tell you that, for the moment, I have NO PLANS TO SELL THESE ON LINE. The logistics of accepting payment and shipping and having to pay taxes and fees on the sales is more trouble than I want to deal with at the moment. I may change my mind later. We'll see.
But here's the first batch. I'm doing some with screen printing and some with shibori techniques. I have lots more colors and designs planned but I'm happy with this start.
I'll see how the interested in these goes and if they sell and then I'll decide what to do next. They are a LOT of fun to make!
In other news, the purple crochet granny square is done! The granny square blankets are soooo much fun to do and I am sooooo glad to be done with the Caron Simply Soft yarn.
I'm very glad that I saved some of the white yarn so I could add a border. I actually ran out of white and had to splice in a short piece of another white yarn to finish the last 10 stitches.
This little bit of purple is all that's left of that yarn.
Next up is this Lion Brand Ice Cream yarn. The color is called Lemon Meringue which makes no sense. The stitch is the blanket stitch that I did on an earlier blanket. It's pretty mindless and I like that. I'm not sure I'm going to like the color patterning but I do like working with this yarn.
I think I talked recently about a quilter's estate that was given to my quilt club recently. She had a roll of batting that I've cut up for veterans quilts and the stash is being shared throughout the group and several people are making veterans quilts with them. She also had a partial quilt on her design wall. Mom took those blocks and made two veterans quilts with them. This is one of them. We are fortunate that Pamela loved Kaffe Fassett prints! Another quilter is quilting the second one but I pieced a leftover piece of wide backing and pieced some batting that's made this one of the most economical quilts ever!
I quilted it with straight lines to complement the architectural print of the tan fabric. The turquoise backing looks nice with the Kaffe fabrics.
I've also been playing around with dyeing some tea towels. These are done by screen printing Jacquard Color Magnet on the fabric before dyeing. The screen areas pick up a lot of excess dye.
I even did some with shibori. I sent several of these to my friend, Carole, and she's using them as prizes for an event to collect placemats for Meals on Wheels. You can check it out on her blog. Doing these got me thinking that I might be able to do something as a fundraiser in my area for our local food pantry so I spent part of yesterday getting some tea towels screen printed, tied or clamped and read for dyeing. I'll have them to share early next week.
The granny square crochet is going very quickly especially while I"m listening to a book that I like. This is all of the partial purple skein. Next I'll add the white.
This weekend I need to do a lot more weed control but I want to spend most of my sewing time working on the cat quilt. Of course, we don't have plans to go anywhere......
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.
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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.