I’m terrible at choosing!

This weekend I will be taking a couple of classes as well as teaching one. For the one I’m teaching, I could not bring myself to select a single fabric and make identical kits for the students…so I’m bringing a boatload of fabric! And that’s not so bad, because I won’t have to make the final decision of what to choose.

However, the class I’m taking has choices and decisions that are up to me.

Choose a focus fabric, the teacher says. HA HA HA! Typical dilemna for every class I take–whatever I bring is the wrong stuff for what we are doing. How do I know today what I’ll be inspired to work with on Sunday? Oh, well—here goes nothin’!

Went through the stacks of fabrics on the shelves and managed to get my selection down to less than a dozen. That’s a success.

Eliminated the very bright and the very graphic–oh, then found one more that I’ve had for a long time and I gave it some serious thought.

Nope–here are the final four.

Each has pros and cons—this one has the bright colors I like yet it’s very representational. I am NOT representational.

This one has lots of color, is muted, but might be ‘mushy.’

I really like the way the colors dance and flow across this piece, but it might be too directional and better used in a larger chunk. And it has purple…mmmm, not so much into purple.

I love the mood and soft colors of this one–perhaps not enough of a focus, though.

So, I chose the first one with the flowers…but I’m bringing the second one, too! And now we are supposed to pick 4 or 5 fabrics to go with the focus fabric, making sure to have both light and dark. HA HA HA again!!

I have 17. I think I will survive.

That only took all morning…………………………but I was a little bit distracted because these blocks went missing…nowhere, and I mean n.o.w.h.e.r.e. to.be.found!

I started looking for them last night and they did not mysteriously reappear this morning. I gave it up for a lost cause and went to get a canvas to check size on another piece and guess what was hiding in the stack of canvases…ooooh, you guessed it!

But that meant more choices, because I have decided to mount them together in one piece rather than small and separate. Which fabric will support them the best? I will spare you the dozen or more picks that I started with and only show what I am dithering between now.

Which looks better–number 1

or number 2

That’s the point where I quit for the day. Could not make even one more choice! It would be nice if I were swift and decisive,  but I simply am not. I tell myself that being thoughtful results in better work, but sometimes–no, most of the time–it would be better if I spoke sternly to myself and said, “Just pick one already, for goodness sake!”

Maybe tomorrow.

 

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No discipline at all!

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I have absolutely no self-discipline when it comes to fabric. I try to avoid going to fabric stores anymore for just that reason!

My goal is to only use fabric for which I have artistically created the design. That’s why I dye, paint, stencil, stamp, print…

But I love, love, love fabric and commercial designs keep calling my name and I keep answering.

There is no hope for my addiction–and I obviously don’t care, ’cause I keep going to those darn fabric stores!

I now need to spend more time sewing and less time wandering to those stores!

Ahead of myself…

I published two posts on the same day, and it’s not because I’m doing so much or have that much to show you. It’s just that I didn’t pay attention to the dates on the scheduler. I knew I’d miss a day or two while I painted the bathroom and did some yard work, so I thought I’d be smart and space things out…does not work if you don’t pay attention to details!

Last night I could not stand it any more! I haven’t done any sewing or quilting to speak of for quite a while, so I headed down to the studio to do something–anything–with thread and needle or machine! I’ve been making things with the same pile of scraps for so long that I couldn’t face them anymore, but I had a small piece all set to be quilted, so that’s what I did!

I felt like I was learning how to quilt all over again, so I stuck with what was easiest. All over spirals and spiral squares make me feel very comfortable. I can almost do them in my sleep.

I used a new variegated thread, since there was already every color under the sun in the top, and my favorite lime green in the bobbin. Of course my hubby always likes the back of a quilt when you can see the quilting very clearly!

So simple and yet so satisfying when you are hungry for a bit of sewing! I’m not sure, yet, but I may hang onto this one unfinished. There is a possibility that it could grow into something larger, since I have that huge pile of scraps that I would like to use up. The sad truth is that the scrap piles continue to grow and I’m just trying to fool myself into believing that I will ever in my lifetime use them all up!!! I guess the fun is in the trying, though, isn’t it?

Done dyeing yet?

Maybe you’re tired of looking at the results of my dye-time playing, but if I don’t record it, I’ll forget what’s what!

Parfait dyeing is a favorite of mine, so I thought I’d do it again, in two ‘matching’ sets. I got everything all set up.

The plan was to mix a set of colors and then take a bit out of each dye cup and make a paler version of the same parfait set…which is what I did. Thought I knew exactly how much fabric would fit in each jar, but I was wrong! I put more liquid in each jar this time as I was loading them up and took a few less pieces/colors than the last time!

You can see a color difference from the start. Can’t wait to see the finish!

So I had color mixed and nothing ready to use it on…but I really like the results of this simple twist and tie, so that’s what I used.

One color for each—thinking daisy or sunburst shapes here.  We shall see!

I’ll report on how they turned out next time.

Wet surprise!

If you have ever tried sun printing with pre-treated fabrics, you know that you typically get results that look like these.

I was never too happy with them. I know there are other colors available now and that you can do this with paint, but these results never made me want to try anything further with this technique.

And then along comes a post of FB from someone, somewhere that I don’t even know…they put these pre-treated pieces between plastic and glass and wet them. I could not believe that a little water could make such a difference!

I had several pieces left from my original package and I figured I had nothing to lose. Wow! I love the results!!!

Nothing scientific about what I did…spritz some water and lay them out. I’m sure there is a corrolation between amount of water and results, but that doesn’t concern me. Here is a close up of each piece and I can’t wait to use them!

Of course I don’t know exactly WHAT I’m going to do with them, but I love them! What a fun and happy experiment!

Phew-dye day done!

This post will be picture heavy and word light!

Ready to iron!

Got my dye day fabrics all rinsed, washed, ironed and ready to use. There are a few that will need more ‘stuff’ done to them, but for the most part, they are ready to be added to the pile of dyed fabric already on my shelves that I’m still not using! But I will, I will, someday!

First off, the thickened dye stamping that I forgot the soda ash until after it was hanging on the line–most of the dye remained in the fabric! I’m happy with the runs and the fuzziness and want to add more to it.

Lessons learned: Don’t forget the soda ash, either in the fabric or the dye, if you want a sharper image. Don’t try to stamp in an area where the breeze can blow your fabric around! It’s easier to stamp on smaller pieces of fabric.

Took a number of oddball pieces that I thought were ugly, threw them all in a bag and added 3 colors of red dye that I had left toward the end of the day.

They came out looking all intentional and coordinated and I love them now!

Remember all the tied, folded and clamped pieces I had?

 

Here’s how they turned out—

Particularly love these two and want to do those folds again with different colors.

The fabric that I hung on the line and squirted dye onto–again with the forgotten soda ash, added later–came out very pretty. Of course not as intense as when it’s wet and not rinsed out, but I like it.

Before

After

And the parfait dyeing? Really like this stack of fabrics. I think they are a natural for a fall leaf quilt of some kind.

I’d like to spend all this week playing with more of this stuff, but I do have a couple of projects that I had forgotten have a due date. They must get done! Oh–just had a brain flash! I can add some stamping to both of those projects and it will work! Hooray! More stamp playing coming up!

 

 

Parfait dyeing

It’s not a new technique, but it’s been a while since I’ve done it…I most always love the results, but find them hard to use. Basic instructions, if you don’t know, are to layer fabric, dye liquid, soda ash liquid, fabric, dye, soda, scrunching and stuffing until the container is full. I like tall, thinner containers, but whatever container you use, the results seem better if you stuff it full and tight.

So here’s what my jar o’fabric looks like, full and processing.

That bright yellow at the bottom stayed like that because I stuffed this jar so very, very tightly! The rest of jar full looks a lot like mud, but it’s surprising to see when you take it out.

In order, from the bright yellow on the right to the gold-brown on the left. I did make a color ‘error’ and added yellow again after purple. Mixing complementary colors will always get you a brown or gray, but this one isn’t bad. Very earthy colors.

Here’s a little video close-up of these, so you can see the colors a bit better.

The colors mix more if the fabric is loosely packed into the container, but the whole point is to get this variegated effect, so when you try it, pack ’em in!

I have more to rinse out…..I dyed more fabric than I thought!