Wednesday, 13 July 2016

An attempt at a modern quilt

I thought I would make an attempt at a modern quilt - one that uses colours that are a bit bold and a pattern that references traditional quilts, but used in a modern way.   I came up with this block.

I then wanted to only use it twice in a 40 x 40 inch quilt.

I have selected 4 colous of fabric, that I will dye my self - while this pattern is solid colour, it will be dyed using a low water technique that will give the fabric some texture.   This I hope will be a very bold (and dark) baby quilt.  

This weekend, I will dye the fabric for this quilt and will post the results - the binding and backing will all be the dark purple.  I am thinking of calling it something related to an hourglass - maybe The running hourglass,  or even Mangled Geese.

Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Getting caught up on some UFOs

Well, I had my first public sale of fabric at my local guild.  It went really well, the ladies seem to really like my fabric.  Now that that is over and most guilds are on summer break, I am taking this time to catch-up on some UFOs.  Almost two years ago a good friend of mine got married and I wanted to make him and his husband a quilt.  I started it months before their wedding in hopes to get it done before... Well we all know how well that goes.... So today, I finally dug out all the blocks I had completed and tried to figure out what I was doing when I put them away.

The quilt is called Totally Square and is in Kim Schaffer's book Quilts from textured solids.   One thing that bothered me about this quilt was that the final quilt was in its self not square.  I counted up all the blocks I had completed and realized I did many more of each of the first 4 blocks needed, so I decided to stop there and make the top from what I had.  So, the quilt is not exactly as the pattern indicated, I also am adding an extra column to make the final project square.

Here are some of the strips of blocks completed.

One thing, I noticed that I thought I was using a scant 1/4 inch seam, however it seems I was doing a bit larger than 1/4 inch seams - thus, my blocks were not 8.5 inch square.  I decided to cut them all down to 8 inch squares.  To make sure they will go together well. But ended up with a pile of narrow strips of fabric on the sewing room floor.

Tomorrow I will finish putting the top together and will post it.  Then, I will need to get a back for it and get it on my long arm.

Thursday, 19 May 2016

Been busy dyeing.

I am getting ready to take an exploration into selling my fabric in June at a local guild meeting.  I am excited and a bit nervous.  I have had some good feed back from people at the guild on how much they like my fabric.  Now, I hope they will like them enough to purchase some.  But, in any case - I have been having a great time dyeing the fabric.  When I get to the ironing stage, it is quite exciting to see how the fabric has turned out.  Look at this pink, it has some great texture/patterning:

I have been playing with how much liquid I leave in the fabric after I soak it in soda ash solution.  This pink was soaked then spun in the washer to get most of the liquid out.  I can see that the patterning is somewhat different that when I just squeeze out as much water as I can after soaking it in soda ash solution.  

This is a range from yellow to a redish orange (each fabric has a different formula for the colour)  I am going to bundle it as a group.  I think this would make a great Bargello Quilt.  Will have to do up some designs and sew it up this summer as an example of what you can do with my fabrics.

Here is a different view.

I have also done a gradient of orange:

Each of these fabrics has the same formula for colour, just a different concentration of dye to fabric for each step.  The yellow and orange play well with each other.  Again, this is very low water dyeing and the yellow has broken out of the orange.

Not as vibrant as the yellow to red above, but just as pretty.

Sunday, 15 May 2016

Playing with colour

Since I got back from my colour dyeing course, I have been dyeing a lot of fabric.  My goal this month is to get 50 to 75 meters of fabric dyed for an event in June, that I will have a table at.

I am really happy with this yellow/green gradation.

I am bundling them up as a unit - 

I have some orange and red gradients soaking/rinsing.

Today, I set up to do some teal -

I have measured out for 6 different values of teal.  I soaked each meter in a soda ash solution then spun them in my washing machine to get most of the water out.  I then added the measured dye to a volume of water I wanted for each value, so that each meter go the same amount of fluid, the only difference was the amount of dye available for each meter of fabric.

I also did a 6 step gradient of indigo -

Again I added water to bring up the volume to my desired level for low water dyeing.  You can see that each beaker has the same level.

You can also see the fabric soaked with the teal in the background - These are currently in a warm place batching.  I will rinse them tomorrow after work.

Will post the pictures of them after they are rinsed and ironed.   I have plans to do a purple and a plum later in the week.  By next weekend I should have 152 fat quarters done.

Before the end of May, I should have 75 meters of fabric dyed.  This will mean I have to purchase more fabric, but watching a roll of white fabric turn into all these fabulous colours is exciting.


Wednesday, 4 May 2016

Colour Mixing for Dyers!

Last week I was in Fall River, Mass taking a workshop at ProChemical and Dye,  Color Mixing for Dyers by Carol Soderlund.  From when I first started dyeing I have heard that this was a workshop I should take.

I left early on Saturday, April 21st to drive the 9 hours to get down to Fall River.  It took me a bit longer – I stopped at several quilt stores to have a look around. I then went to Boston Sunday to have a look around.  I found that of all the places I have driven, Boston had the worst drivers.  I spend the day looking around and doing a bit of sight seeing. Then drove to Fall River and checked into the hotel and tried to get a good night sleep for the first day of the workshop.

Monday morning got to ProChem early and grabbed a table up front to make sure I had a good seat.  The rest of the students arrived and we met Carol and got going.  The morning was a bit of introduction and a direction to the workshop.  Monday afternoon we got into dyeing.  Adding labels to layer cakes of PFD fabric.   Water, salt, and dye were measure, buckets were set up, soda ash solution prepared and away we went.

Yellow variations were done Monday afternoon,

Red was added (over dyed) Tuesday morning

Then Blue was done Tuesday Afternoon. (Look at those colours)

Look at all the colours that were produced.

The stacks of each colour family were cut up and distributed for our colour reference books.  I have two more envelopes to go before my book is complete.

Thanks Carol and it was wonderful working with the other students in the workshop.

I could not wait to get another colour family done,. So I have the yellow set dyed and will get the red added tonight.

If you have a chance to take this course I would highly recommend it. Not only because  Carol is a great instructor, she has put together a wonderful method for learning about colour and setting up a great reference.

I have a feeling I will have many colour families done in the next few years, using all the fabrics I use for my dyeing.

Sunday, 17 April 2016

Finished - Diamond 25

I am getting ready to go to a fabric dyeing class in a weeks time.  I will be posting more about that as the time gets closer.  Last Tuesday at the RCQG meeting I submitted my challenge quilt - I am very happy with how it turned out.  You can see it below, I did a meander quilting pattern all over.
This picture was done at the church with no flash, it is a bit warm- when I get it back I will take some better pictures of it and post them.  At the May guild meeting will be the voting by the guild members for the awards, I hope I do well.  But I will be doing more Bargellos in the future.  It was quite fun to put together.  Will have think about designs for another one and get working on that when I am done with my dye course/workshop.

Tuesday, 22 March 2016

Top is done.

I was finally able to finish the top to the challenge quilt tonight.  I needed to put together a strip of pieces that run horizontally - to join the top and bottom sections together.  I should have sewn individual squares on the bottom of the strips before I put the top and bottom together, I am not totally happy with how this looks, however, I think it will look okay once it is quilted.  Had to pull and scrunch a bit to get the seams lined up.

Overall, I think it looks good.  Will have to finish a quilt I have on my long-arm before I can get this one on it.  But that will give me time to think about what quilting pattern I will want to do on it.  I am open for suggestions. 

Wednesday, 16 March 2016

On schedule!

Well, I am on schedule with this challenge quilt. I have the top half pieced and pressed.  Little bit of a scare with a black mark on one of the lighter squares, however, it came off with a bit of water.

If you look close you can see that all my corners line up, I have been really trying to improve my sewing and being more meticulous with my scant 1/4 inch seam allowance.  I have stopped using my 1/4 inch foot as I can only get my needle to move over to the far right position and get an exact 1/4 inch seam.  I have taped a metal ruler to my sewing machine at the 1/4 inch mark and it has been acting as a fabric guide as well and made doing piecing much easier.  Will continue to use this method as it has made this quilt go together quite quickly.

I have the all the fabric dyed for the bottom half, 22 grey fabrics in total.  I have enough fabric to make do two quilts, but will see, maybe make a pillow or something.

Sunday, 13 March 2016

First quarter of the grey challenge quilt

I spent the evening cutting strips and sewing them together into two tubes and have cut them into the required widths for the top half of the challenge quilt.  Here is the layout for the upper left quarter of the quilt.

I am very much loving how this is turning out, there are a few prices that I might change around, if you look at the 9the column from the left rectangles 7 and 8 look like they should be swapped around.  I have the rest of the fabric soaking and should be ready to cut by Wednesday.   This top should be done by the weekend.  Then, to get the back dyed so I can get it quilted by the end of the month.  On that, I picked up 3 spools of thread, one solid grey and two variegated grey (one medium and one light), now just need to come up with a pattern to quilt.  I might just do a meander but will see. 

Friday, 11 March 2016

Spent the night dyeing.

I got home tonight and my husband made me a very delicious meal roast beef on a flat bread with roasted red peppers, caramelized onion, brie cheese, and tomatoes.  While he cooked, I sat down and planned my dyeing for the evening.

I decided to mix my own grey again, but this time I added a bit of the nickel dye to see if I can bring it to a match to what I have done.  I found that the charcoal that I did earlier was too cool for the warm grey that the nickel becomes.  I did 11 more gradients: 12%, 9%, 6%, 4.5%, 3%, 2.25%, 1.5%, 1.15%, 0.75%, 0.38%, 0.19%.  Once these are rinsed and ironed I will post the range.

My goal this weekend is to get the top half of the quilt pieced and if these match the greys, next week I will get the bottom half of the quilt pieced. Next weekend I will dye the backing fabric and the binding fabric.

Thursday, 10 March 2016

11 shades of grey and one purple

Well, I am very happy with this set of greys.  I am going to do some more on Friday.  I need to have 25 shades - while I think there are more than 25 shades within this set.  Not sure how specific they are going to get in the counting of them. I am thinking of mixing the Charcoal and the Nickel and produce 11 more shades.  That will give me 22 dyed shades (with variations).  I will then use at least 3 shades of thread to give me 25 shades.

These grey will be the top half of the quilt and the 11 more done tomorrow will be the lower half. I am thinking of using the first or second darkest greys as the backing and the binding.

Wednesday, 9 March 2016

first run

I love the purple on the left, I however might not use all the greys. But will see once I get the rest rinsed and dryed. 

Challenge Quilt

We here goes.  This will probably be a boring place for most people.  I plan on using this place to explore my foray into fabric dyeing.  I have started blogs in the past, however they have not been focused.

I am currently working on the 25th anniversary challenge for my local quilt guild.  I wanted to try doing a bargello quilt.  So I fired up EQ7 and made a plan.  I have dyed 25 different shades of grey (nickel and charcoal) and a grape.  The quilt will be about 43 inches by 63 inches.

My plan for the 25th Anniversary Challenge Quilt

I will post some pictures of the fabric I have dyed - it is currently in the washer after being soaked to remove excess dye.  I hope to get the top done this weekend and I will have to dye fabric for the back and print a label.

My thoughts right now are to quilt the quilt using invisible thread as to not take away from the pattern, but will put more thought into that once I have the top done.  

I am very excited about this quilt - it will probably be the jumping off point for a series of quilts that will use a monochromatic background with an accent colour.  

Yes, I am Canadian - I use an extra u in colour and I like an "e" in grey.