I Love Ironing

Really-I love ironing. Maybe because when I iron, it’s new fabric that I washed or newly dyed fabric. I use the time for planning and plotting new projects, and in the winter, I love the warmth of the fabric and the iron!

Today I ironed the newly dyed fabric. There really is not a huge difference between snow dyeing results and regular dyeing results, EXCEPT when using anything other than pure colors. The cold makes the colors split and sometimes give cool crystal effects. These are the two very best pieces that I got this time.

But there was a bit of weirdness when I started to iron them. They stretched. Like legging fabric. Totally NOT my quilting cotton. They were in a stack of fabric given to me so I just threw them in the dye pot without paying any attention. They are really beautiful, but I don’t even know what to do with stretch fabric anymore!

One stack was previously dyed and came out mostly brown and teal. I threw some bright colors of dye in that tub and I was surprised by how much color showed and how it really perked up that whole bunch of fabric.

Some reds, and one larger piece from the tub that was too pink even for me, and I like pink!

Yellow, bronze, orange, lemon–with a bit of turquoise that flew over from the next tub–came out great!

And it’s a very large piece!

But the gray that I was expecting…not so great. I used gray, raven and better black dye powders on muslin and thought it would come out as shades of gray from light to charcoal. Not so much–gray, green, lavendar, black and even a touch of blue!

It’s very mottled and a good use for it does not immediately spring to mind. Perhaps it needs another overdye with only the gray to pull it together a bit more.

And I ended my day with pics of a couple of finished pieces. I never took a final shot of Gypsy Garden, so here it is.

And Lakeside is finished, too!

The decks are cleared to begin something new! Hooray! I have a project that’s been nagging at the back of my mind since last summer. I think it’s time to get to it!


No sew Monday!

It was supposed to be a day to finish up my Lakeside piece, but, as usual, I got distracted. However, it wasn’t for anything fun. Nope–it’s that time of year to get the rat’s nest of paperwork organized for taxes. Really wish I was more organized throughout the year, but at least the stuff is all in the same drawer/pile/folder–that’s what the messy desk area is for, right?

It’s something we all have to get done, and I’m almost there, so it wasn’t a totally bad morning.

It’s snowing, too. Soft and beautiful. So what do we do when it snows and we spent the whole morning on paperwork?  SNOW DYE!!!!!!!!!!!!! HOORAY!!!!

When I look at the picture, I feel like it’s a big waste of dye powder, because it seems like I put it on a little thick this time. Oh, well…I have a lot of fabric in the tubs and we’ll just have to see how it turns out!

That’s the excitement of dyeing…the unknown! And now I do have a bit of time if I want to sew a bit…but I know better than to try that anywhere around that dye table. So I think the rest of today is Designated Couch Potato Day, TV time and laziness. Ain’t retirement grand?!!!

By the way, have I ever told you that you can follow what I post on Instagram, too? I’ve only been doing that recently, but it’s easy, so I’m sure I’ll do it a lot more.  https://www.instagram.com/quirksltd/

Next time we’ll see what this snow dye day produced!


Ooooo nooooo—-background

I was so totally sure of the background I wanted to create for Lakeside. I even had a hard time sleeping last night because I was planning my construction options in my head.

Navy and cream striped denim, the fabric I used for deck chairs–what could be better?

Doesn’t that look great? So lake-y…………..until I decided to try some of the dyed wool I have!

This one piece gave me three different looks, and I have yards and yards and YARDS of wool! Subtle differences, yet conveying different moods, more noticeable in person, of course.

I think I like the subtlety of the wool much better now than I like the stripe, but the stripe conveys more of that lakeside feeling to me.

I would really like to get your opinion on this……….really!

Okay, I tried it.

I tried alcohol inks and they are not going to be part of my regular work. Nope.

Quite a while ago I showed you my clean out of a container of inks put onto deli paper and they were very interesting. Last week we played with the inks at art group.

Playing with them is super fantastic fun and the end products that I got are very pretty.

On tiles–they were beige, so the colors didn’t stand out as much.

On Yupo paper–nice and bright.

And on a canvas–I really like this one.

I did not try it on regular fabric, either plain or treated with a coating. And I have decided that I am not thrilled enough to devote the amount of time and study that would be required to become proficient with them–to try to control the uncontrollable. I will admire and enjoy the results others have and continue my experiments in other areas!

Speaking of which—I have a boatload of fused, sheer strips that I cut for a project and did not use up. I thought I’d throw a few onto the piece I’m playing with to see if that’s the direction I want to explore.

I don’t know yet, but it’s not a total negative! My problem right this instant is that the piece is very large and will require a lot of time and work. I might not be ready to commit to that, but I don’t want to do a quickie something just to have it done. This may be sitting and marinating for a while………..

Always distractions…

The top for my grandson’s quilt is done and I got to show it to him. He loved it! He knows nothing about quilting and thought it was ready for him to use. Bummer! Now he’ll have to wait until I get it quilted, but it was so wonderful to know that he can’t wait to use it.

I got it basted today and it’s ready to go. My self-imposed due date on this is his birthday at the end of the month. No problem, right? I should be quilting on it right this minute, but I got distracted.

My friend Linda, in my Wacky Quilters group (aka Knot Even Quilters), gave us all a package of ‘stuff’ for a challenge. We are not good with deadlines, so we extended our Dec. deadline to Jan. and I still haven’t started! But the package was laying on the table and I had to move it to start quilting……………..and that’s where things went off track! I’ve known since I opened that package exactly what I was going to make. Sometimes these projects just leap out of my brain, fully formed and the components in this package were just right. Or almost just right…they needed some specific colors, and the dye was only a step away, so it seemed only natural……………

And you can’t waste dye, even when you only mix up just a little–

So now I’ll have to clean up all the dye stuff tomorrow before I start quilting.

But…but…but….I have another challenge that I have not worked on, that is due in two weeks. I wasn’t sure I was going to do it, but as I bent over to get the tray for the dyeing, my eyes fell on the snow dyes that I did last week and another idea was sparked.

Look at these fabrics! Aren’t they gorgeous? Even prettier than they were last week! Of course, that’s only because I have a project for them. Otherwise, they would just be filling up the shelves!

I’ve barely got a start on this idea, but I think I’m going to like it!

Ordinarily I’d plan a lot of extra embellishment as this progresses, but it IS due in two weeks! I think it will be machine work all the way…………..but who knows?

My goal now is to finish all three of these projects, by their due dates! At least they are all started, and they WILL all get finished. It’s that ‘due date’ thing that might present a problem or two. However, I am even willing to give up a nap or two to finish on time—that should tell you a lot!


Playing with thread!

Dyeing is so much fun! The threads came out so beautifully. It takes forever for them to air dry, but eventually they do get dry!

They needed straightening out so I had some delightful fun with that.

Cool colors…

and you can (maybe) see that I had several different weights of thread.

Warm colors—where does raspberry fall on the spectrum?

And there is always a skein or two that get tangled, but I even enjoy getting those straightened out!

They look so nice all gathered together and ready to be used.

Of course there is probably more here than I will ever use, but I’m not in the thread dyeing business, so I’ll share with my buddies. I’m just happy that I can make unique thread with which to play!

Multiples, always!

No chance of me ever having only one project at a time! I had all kinds of dye stuff scattered around the studio from my snow dyeing, including my “thread of unknown content.” You may remember when I first found this and wound it into small skeins.

I decided to dye them up while I had everything out. Variegated colors…I’ve tried to do this using various methods, with varied success. This container method worked very well.

Wasn’t sure how it would work, but I used a cluster of warm colors and a larger cluster of cool colors and hoped for the best. Here they are hanging to dry and I think this method worked pretty darn well!!!

I do not throw these in the washer and dryer because no matter how you tie them down, they get tangled. Doing this by hand and hanging to dry makes it easier to separate the skeins and keep things smooth and pretty….so far, so good anyway!

And even after 24 hours, I couldn’t resist trying to use all the dye left in those cups. According to all the dyeing info out there, this dye should have been exhausted after that much time and with the soda ash in it. I used the drop cloth and then a bunch of muslin that I had, hoping for at least a pale gray with spots of color. This is what I got…………..

Lots of rust color and soft spots of mostly greens and blues. Very nice and I’m so surprised that there was that much oomph left in that dye!

I’ve also started auditioning fabrics for the space marine quilt for my grandson.

With thoughts of no orange so it doesn’t look like Halloween, this seems to be getting pretty dark. I’m not sure, but perhaps I’ll start over with more blues. And AJ loves purple, so that would work. All I know is that I’m not happy with these choices, so I’ll need to keep looking!

Pause and maybe no posting for a few days…………it is Christmas and I will be relaxing and enjoying time with my family. Hope you will be, too!