Sunday, May 31, 2009

A Quilt Show & More Dyeing

Ode to Gee's Bend by Cheryl Wittmayer

Yesterday I went to the Evergreen Piecemaker's quilt show. That was so much fun! I love going to quilt shows. So many wonderful quilts and so much inspiration for the price of admission. I took a ton of pictures, but I'm only sharing two quilts with you. These were my absolute favorites.

The quilt above, "Ode to Gee's Bend", was made with Moda's shot cottons and hand-quilted with perle cotton, I believe. I love the composition of this quilt and the free-hand quilting adds a whole extra element that makes it so much more exciting.

Here's a closeup on that wonderful quilting.

A True Patchwork by Jan Crawford

This quilt was made with antique blocks made by a family member, I believe. Ms. Crawford had a total of 3 quilts in this show, all done with antique blocks that she inherited. Isn't the yellow in this quilt wondeful? It just draws your eye around the quilt, and the indigo blues keep it all under control and unified.

Here's a closeup so you can see some of these great old fabrics.

Of course, I had to visit the vendors. I tried to resist, but they just called to me too loudly! *grin* I got the first DVD in the series by Patsy Thompson on machine quilting. Her web site is here. I haven't had a chance to look at it yet, but am anxious to see it. I also got some great buttons, and this gallon bag full of batik scraps. It reminds me of Wanda of Exuberant Colors' wonderful batik projects. The possibilities in this bag get my heart going pit-a-pat!

Last week I dyed some more fabrics while we had such beautiful weather. I found this book at the local library and it inspired me to try some of her techniques. These fabrics above (you can click on all the pictures to biggify) were placed underneath the tie-dye fabrics to catch the extra dye and not waste it. These pieces are fat 1/8's folded in half. I love this fabric that I used. It's an uninspiring white on icky tan to start with, but it takes the dye beautifully. I have one little fat 1/8th left. Sadness. . . .

This fabric above and the ones below were done with tie-dye. I haven't done tie-dye since high school, and I won't tell you how long ago that was! This book had not only great directions for how to fold, she also included pictures of what the fabric would look like afterwards. So I could decide on how I wanted to fold the fabric based on the final product.

All these fabrics are fat 1/4's folded in half. They've been ironed, even though they still look creased. That's just where the dye collected on them. The dye/paint I use is Setacolor Transparent Color and it's sun sensitive which causes the dye to intensify where the sun hits it. After 24 hours in the baggie with the dye, I took the fabric bundles out to dry out and they got "sunned". (I could have lessened that effect by keeping them out of the sun, or using the dye that isn't light sensitive.)

This piece didn't get enough dye squirted down in the folds, but I kind of like the white showing too. Now I just have to decide how I'm going to use these fabrics. I'm getting quite a pile of hand-dyes - enough that I'm starting to feel comfortable about cutting into some of them!

Here's Shade, testing to see if the hand-dyes are comfy enough! I think he likes them.

My "Woooo" from the previous post has arrived at Tonya's, along with many others. She's posted a picture of all the Halloween words that she has so far. Take a look! It's a wonderful sampler of fonts that you can do with the free-pieced words. Some of these just amaze me!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Wooooo. . .

is finally finished! Thank you to everyone who commented on my previous post and gave me such positive encouragement. It was a huge help. I still think that my "W" could be rounder, but overall I'm very happy with the way this turned out. This will be on its way to Lazy Gal Tonya on Tuesday.

This is Shade, testing out the fabric and helping me get into the Halloween spirit. Doesn't he look spooky?

I've been so busy working on my free-piecing. Here is HOME for Tonya's Happy 4-letter words quilt. This one was a lot easier to do than the "Woooo". The only hard part was staying within the size limitation. I ended up cutting down the letters quite a bit. I am amazed at how messy the free-piecing process is, at least for me. I have scraps all over the place. I go through a lot of fabric too. But I think it's worth it - what a great result and it's so fun to do!

Because it was so fun to do, I made a bonus word for Tonya. This one went really fast and I thought the K was a lot easier than I was afraid it would be. It only took one try! I think MAKEing things is happy - at least I'm happy when I'm making things, whether it's quilts or cookies.

Next on my list is a color challenge that is due in a month, so I have to clear the decks in the quilt studio, which has become quite a mess. At least I really like the color I have to work with. I promise I'll show you more on this later.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Today is brought to you by. . .

the letters "W" and "O".

I'm gonna try to do a short post here, while dinner is cooking.

Well, I've started my letters/word for Lazy Gal Tonya's Halloween Noises quilt. Here is my first attempt. It's only the 2nd "W" I've ever made, and I was going for round/curvy. OK, there's a little curve there, but not really what I had envisioned.

I do like my first "O". I think it came out nice and curvy. "O" is pretty easy though.

So, time to cut into the "good" fabric and see what I can do. I thought this was pretty good when I did it. Then I saw the "cackle" that Rachael sent to Tonya. Oh, despair! This "W" looked pretty darn sad after that.

Yesterday didn't go as planned and I never made it into the quilt studio. That was probably a good thing. I got to think this over a little more.

Today I went in the quilt studio and looked at the "W" with new eyes, and thought "I can just modify this a bit to make it more curvy". I just cannot fathom how to do what Rachael did, so I have to do my own thing. Well, I think this one is OK. Mind you, these are just laying on top of the background fabric, not sewn together yet, but I think this is gonna work.

What do you think?? Are they curvy/roundish enough? How could I make them more curvy without going nuts? I'd love some feedback on these letters. (Just please, be kind)

Gotta go. . .time to finish dinner!

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Helloooo. . . .

Yes, I'm still here.

Aren't these gorgeous colors?

I dyed these fabrics last Friday, May 1st. We had a beautiful warm day, perfect for dying fabrics. Not so good for sun printing though, as we had high winds. I tried a couple of times, but finally gave up after everything kept blowing off the fabric.

These are all the fabrics I got done that day - 14 fat quarters! A record for me, I think. It got kind of exciting a few times, when a big gust of wind blew through and flipped over the foam boards that the fabric was pinned to, and the plastic cups of dye blew over - all over the table. I finally got things under control. I tried some new techniques and got some good results. Some of these fabrics started as white-on-white fabric. I love how they come out! I was totally beat when I was done - 3 hours later - but satisfied.

This is what I've been doing for the last week. I had a commission to make about 2 dozen greeting cards. It's been a while since I made any, and it took me a bit to get up to speed. I'm pretty happy with most of them. They're all done and mailed, so now I can finally get back in the quilt studio!

I've signed on to do a "woooo" block for Lazy Gal Tonya's 'Halloween Noises' quilt, and also signed on to do another word for her 'Hope Is A Four Letter Word' quilt. I've been a little intimidated about doing "woooo" in a curvy font, but after thinking about it for a week, I'm feeling a little more like I can do it. I'm anxious to get in the studio and start playing with it.

And, in closing, here's a gratuitous cat picture. Dunkel had to 'test' the dyed fabrics during the photo shoot. Of course.

I wish all my friends a wonderful Mother's Day - enjoying your Mom or your kids (human or otherwise) or both.