Saturday 28 January 2012

Still Swooning...

This is fun.....

Hope you are collecting all those little 1/2 square triangles to use later, if not on this quilt then on another?

I just uploaded photos to the Flickr group...Can you believe there are now 709 members????

Blocks #2, #3, #4 and a small mosaic....

OK, I feel like I have caught up some but now need to do a little quilting, coz it's what keeps me sane!!!

Sunday 22 January 2012

Hand Warmers!

I have been having a play with Peggy Martins' 'Quick Strip Paper Piecing' technique, it's a fun way to make pieced blocks and keep the points 'pointy' but it is fabric hungery!

So, it's about time to put the Christmas 'handwarmers' away and try out the new ones.....

On a cold day you can come in and warm your hands on the very hot hobs.  The 'hob covers' also protect the stainless steel covers from getting scratched when you warm your plates....You all know I love my Aga and like to keep it nice and shiney....

It was a fun little project and I think I'll be trying out this technique again in the future when I need to be precise!

Tuesday 17 January 2012

Jane's Jelly Star....

This is a quilt I quilted recently for Jane a new customer, Jane used the Log Cabin Hidden Stars pattern from Jelly Roll Quilts book by Pam and Nicky Lintott.

Jane chose an open pantograph called Monstera, I love the shape of this leaf. I used Metro thread in Khaki Sand in the needle and bobbin, this colour toned in with the front of the quilt but showed the design well on the back.

This quilting design leaves a softly draping quilt. It's already gone back to Jane for the binding!

Sunday 15 January 2012

Fierons Cushion....

This is my Granddaughter Fieron's first project on her electric DSM. Fieron pieced the top and I quilted and bound it for her, didn't she do a good job.

Have to say we have packed it away to be one of those Christmas heirlooms we all love to unearth every year!!

Tuesday 10 January 2012

Snow Dying....

Seems like a long while ago now but before Christmas we had some snow, just a little. I had been intending to try out Kathy's tips and techniques for snow dying.  Well, what do you know, leading up to Christmas was a busy time?
I decided in the afternoon to collect a couple of buckets of snow ready for later in the day when I might have more time to follow through.  The snow was actually ice and I had to scrape it from the grass but I did manage to collect two buckets full which I left outside until later. I left my fabric soaking in the soda ash solution.
So, the intention is to pour the dye over the snow, the temperature of the snow slows down the dying process allowing the dye to break down into it's various mix of colours and grab to the fabric at different rates giving texture to the fabric.

By the time I was ready to proceed my snow/ice had frozen into one big ice cube, as I had already mixed my dyes all I could do was tip the ice out on top of my fabric and add my dye, the ice just sat there on top of the fabric in a big hunk!
My PFD (prepared for dying) fabric is 60" wide so I had nearly 2 yards on each tray.
I used Procion MX dyes.

Tray 1....
1 tsp currant + 1/2 tsp sodium sulphate + 1/2 cup water
1/2 tsp purple + 1/2 tsp sodium  sulphate+ 1/2 cup water
1/2 tsp cerulean blue + 1/2 tsp sodium sulphate + 1/2 cup water
I placed this fabric on a refridgerator shelt over a deep tray.

Tray 2...
1 tsp avacado + 1 tsp sodium sulphate + 1 cup water
1 tsp turquoise +1 tsp sodium sulphate + 1 cup water
This fabric was place in an open basket from a vegetable trolley over another deep tray.

You can see the extra vegetable matter collected when I had to scrape the ice from the grass....

So,  as this was around 9pm at night all I could do was leave everything here in my utility room overnight and hope that there would be no avalanch before morning and all dye solution would stay either in the trays or drain off into the sink.

I need not have worried as by morning I still had big chunks of ice but there had been some migration of dye down through the fabric....who knew my utility room was so cold through the night? So I moved my fabric through into my kitchen where it was warmer and left it there for 2/3 hours to allow the ice to melt and the fabric to warm through hoping that the colours would set.

After a good rinse until the water ran clear and then a quick wash in the machine with Retayne, here are my results.  Although not a controlled scientific experiment the results are quite interesting, I was trying to use enough dye to make sure it soaked through all of the 2 yards of fabric in each tray.  The avacado/turquoise mix is more subtle but with lots of texture.....

The currant/purple mix is more dramatic with quite a bit of solid colour (wonder whether that's the currant or the purple, I'm thinking it's the currant) but lots of interesting ice textures, there is really no white on that piece it's more pink in colour but very interesting all the same.

There didn't seem to be any difference/marks left from using the open shelf or the basket and as the dye didn't dye the veg basket maybe next time I'll try two baskets instead.
That same day the snow/ice outside thawed and we have had no more snow falls since but watch this space, now that I have a little system in place I will be having another try to see how this works with proper snow with a quicker melt time?

Tuesday 3 January 2012

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year to all of my family, friends and customers!

Are you like me, I get ready to be back in a regular routine?

I'm feeling rather sluggish after too many family dinners and Christmas chocolates but I think a good time was had by all.
We had a visit to Edinburgh, had a ride on the big Ferris Wheel over Princes Street and the Grandkids went ice skating in the Princes Street Gardens......

Photo taken by Brendan Macneill

My nine year old Granddaughter received her first electric sewing machine from Santa, her first project is this Ten minute wonder cushion in Christmas fabrics, so she will always remember the first project on her new machine. I'll get it quilted before next Christmas, I'm sure!

We fussy cut the centre insert.....

Hopefully, normal service will resume shortly????