Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Beautiful Day For Dying!

I have been meaning to do this for a long time but was waiting for the right weather. I purchased some acid dyes and some wool yardage and thought I might try my hand at dying some wool.  I have dyed cotton before but acid dyes are a little different. You have to soak them in a pot of dye solution heating and stirring until you get the desired color.  I got a hot plate from the cottage and set things up in the backyard.

Outdoor dying studio

Wool Before Dying
  I recruited my partner in crime (my daughter) and we went to work. She mostly tie dyed some of her wardrobe, but I went to work cutting up yardage into manageable pieces.
Katie, My Dying Partner
  I am taking a class with Sue Spargo in the spring and I have a very limited wool stash.  Wool dying is a little more labour intensive than cotton dying as you have to stir constantly if you want an even coloration. but well worth the effort.  I love the results!
First Batch
The Finished Product

  I even dyed some silk thread for embellishing.  I found the wool gobbled up the dye the fastest and the velvet color didn't get quite as saturated. In the next batch, I put the velvet in first and let it soak for 10 minutes and then put everything else in. That seemed to solve the problem.  The only thing that I wasn't happy with was the wool felt (one on the far right).  Not quite sure what went wrong.  It didn't take the dye evenly and it came out much lighter.  I even tried dying some on it's own full strength, still no difference.  I did the burn test and it seems to be wool, so I have a little more experimenting to do. At this point I think I have enough to get me started. 

Final Results
I am pretty happy with the results over all.  I even managed to do some cotton gradation dying as well.  If anyone has had better success with dying wool felt I would love to know what you do.

Bye for now....

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Coming Full Circle

I never thought it would happen, but I have come full circle.  After finishing Art College I got a job with Toronto Board of Education teaching arts and crafts to Seniors.  I lovvved my job!  For 13 years I came up with craft ideas to suit my various classes, until one day one of my students introduced me to quilting.  She took me to  York Heritage Quilter's Guild and  I was hooked immediately.  I joined the guild and then began to convert my crafting students into quilters.  After many years of quilting the industry is returning to crafting.  I quite enjoy doing some smaller projects once in awhile.  You get such a feeling of accomplishment, and they work up quickly.
Small Pouches

The first one took the longest, but once I got the hang of it the rest worked up very quickly.  I thought they would make great gifts with a gift card inside.  It was the first time I have sewn with clear plastic.   You need to use your walking foot for piecing otherwise your foot will get hung up on the plastic.  This is another pattern by Atkinson Designs.  Their patterns are well written and easy to follow.


Bridget's Bagettes  By Atkinson Designs
I must say it is fun starting and finishing a project in an evening.  Happy sewing everyone!

Monday, January 6, 2014

Happy New Year!

Hi Everyone!

     It has been a very long time since I have posted, I am ashamed to say.  Sometimes life gets in the way.  I must say this year it really did.  Just before Christmas we along with about 300,000 others lost power  during the ice storm.   The Christmas game plan was to finish wrapping Saturday and then begin some small sewing projects on Sunday, and then do the final clean-up of the house.  Saturday evening the lights went out, and they didn't come back on until Christmas Eve.  No lights, no heat, no stove, no electronics, but worst of all no sewing machine for 3 days!  That's what I get for leaving the sewing till the last minute. Anyway we survived it and Christmas came and went, and it is all a distant memory.  As I sit watching the weather channel preparing for the next storm that is on it's way,  I have decided to focus on Spring.  I made a road trip to Lee Valley Tools (One of my very favorite stores) to spend a gift card that I got for Christmas.
 
 
 
Gardening Supplies
 
My Mantle

 At this time of year I usually crave colour, so once again I hauled out my KaffeFassett fabrics.  I have a few ideas that I have been working on using EQ7, so stay tuned.  In the mean time I thought I would show you the last Kaffe Fassett quilt that I finished.  I haven't photographed the finished quilt yet, but here is the top.  I just love working with his fabrics!
 
 Log Cabin Quilt
 
 
I would love to hear what you are up to and what your next project is going to be!  I promise I will blog more often this year.  Bye for now.  Jeannie





Friday, February 22, 2013

Starting Something New!

It must be winter, I am dragging out all my colourful fabric.  It is the time of year that I crave colour.  Last week  I helped a handful of customers pick fabrics for quilts  and they all were quite bright.  I thought that would have cured my colour craving.  Well I came home and hauled out my Kaffe Fassett stash and started organizing it.

Kaffe Fassett Fabric
      I thought it would make a great log cabin quilt.  As you can see my pile at the back is all of the Kaffe Fassett lights that I own.  So I will have to cut up a lot of it.  I am starting WITHOUT A PLAN.   Just piece together a bunch of blocks and see where it takes me.  Once I got a few blocks done I had to lay them out.  The red blocks were so bright,  I just love them.

Red Block

Blue Block
 


Green Block

Lovvve the blue blocks as well.  The green blocks are a little bazaar.  I have a funny combination of green fabrics.  We'll see, hopefully they will work.  Then I decided to mix them all up.  Wasn't fond of that combination.


Multi-Coloured Block
I have these large mirrors by Jan Krentz.  http://jankrentz.com/store.php?cat=8.  They are fantastic!They allow you to get an idea of what your blocks will look like in multiples.

Jan Krentz Mirrors
 
Red Blocks
Multi Colour Blocks
The first layout was a little boring.  I thought the red wasn't as noticeable in the border and it was my favorite of the blocks,


First Layout

I like the second layout better.  I will have to make more blocks for this one, and the green looks okay.


Second Layout
I think I will finish up the blocks and try a few other layouts before I make my final decision.
 Back to the sewing machine. Thanks for stopping by.

 
 


Monday, January 21, 2013

Happy 2013!! Better Late Than Never

One of my New Years resolutions was to blog more often this year.   I finished my blogging on the http://sewsisters.blogspot.ca/ at the end of December.   I was doing a weekly tutorial for the Fundamentals block of the week program.  We did 52 blocks (50 were used in the quilt) and another 50 secondary blocks.  This is the finished product. I forget the finished size, but I had to hang it sideways on the design wall so it wouldn't drag on the floor. I am really pleased with the outcome.   It was created using the Stonehenge line of fabrics by http://northcott.net/index.cfm


 It really got my feet wet blogging every week.  Now that that is over I plan on putting a little more time into my personal blog.

  Wellll, what can I tell you.  I thought I would start off the new year by trying to purge my studio.  It was starting to resemble a hoarding episode which really hinders any kind of enthusiasm to create.  First to go, MAGAZINES...
 
     I have a rule.  I must like 3 things in the magazine before I can justify buying it.  Clearly I am very enthusiastic because I went through 4 bins like this ripping out ideas and inspiration.  I hope our garbage man has a good breakfast this week because our recycling bin is really HEAVY!!!   I still have a lot of clutter to organize but I am getting there.  I am also working on my UFO Challenge for my guild  http://www.yhqg.org/.  It is an English Paper Piecing project using reproduction 30's fabrics which I will machine quilt in order to meet the May deadline.

   
      Thanks for stopping by....

Thursday, December 27, 2012

I Am So Very Lucky!


     This is what I woke up to on Christmas morning.  Let me  backtrack a bit.  I went to Houston Quilt Festival this fall and while walking around the merchants mall I saw a booth that had beautiful trunks to display your quilts.  Well, there was no way that was something that I could cram in a suitcase and bring home.   But I do have a very handy husband,  so I grabbed a brochure and when I got home pinned it on the fridge as a subtle hint.  I have done this many times and things sit on the fridge for years, so I really didn't have my hopes up.  The thing that floors me is that I had no idea he was doing this.  Mind you I haven't been home much lately, but he really was good at keeping it a total surprise.  Needless to say I had it filled in no time.  It will hold a dozen quilts comfortably.



Quilt  Display Trunk


Another View Of The Display Trunk
     When it reaches it's final home I will post a picture.  Bye for now!

Monday, July 30, 2012

Quilts By The Creek



 I went to a  fabulous quilt show yesterday.  York Heritage Quilters Guild  www.yhqg.org/ partnered with Black Creek Pioneer Villagewww.blackcreek.ca put it on. What a great place to display quilts.  The majority of the quilts were hung outside (Thank goodness it didn't rain). 

I had two quilts hanging in the show.  The first one I call "There is a Snowflake in My Kaleidoscope"

There Is A Snowflake In My Kaleidoscope

This quilt is an original design that I designed in EQ7 using the traditional kaleidoscope block worked from the centre out. I made the quilt entirely of  Kaffee Fassett Fabrics (one or two Brandon Mabley fabrics might have slipped in).  The second quilt is made up of Northwind blocks.  The fabrics used in this quilt were from a fabric exchange where 3 women including myself exchanged fabric squares for a year.  I have seen beautiful  Northwind quilts made up with small  traditional prints, but these fabrics were mostly larger kind of funky prints, so I was a little nervous about how they would work.  Some of them had to be discarded, but the majority of them worked out quite well.


Northwind Block

Just seeing the quilts hanging from railings, blowing in the breeze just felt like you were stepping back in time.

The Doctor's House Pioneer Village
                                                                             
Quilt by Sandy Lindal


Beautiful Quilts Blowing In The Breeze
Quilt By Shirley Dawson

More Quilts

Black Creek Pioneer Village
Quilt By Linda Hemming
Quilt By Shirley Dawson
More Quilts
Quilt By Joan Lester
Town Hall
Cabinet Maker Shop
 Val Prideaux and Jane Cramer 
Thanks Val and Jane for making it happen, you did a great job!  There were many more quilts than I could possibly photograph.  It was a lovely show.