Artsy calls to me…

It’s very hard for me to concentrate on making nice, useful bed quilts when I am surrounded by fabulous fabric choices that make me want to be creative! The leaves I made yesterday don’t really want to be part of a bed quilt at all, at all. They don’t want to be separated into 3 individual pieces either. Sometimes you just can’t win an argument with your fabrics……… matter how crazy you sound to others!

This is my vision–a tree on the left, with the big leaves on the right.

My first ‘discussion’ with the fabrics was to decide if the leaves wanted a solid background or a bit more color.


At first, I thought the solid background was better, but when I stepped back, it seemed too blah. Boom! Decision made and leaf panel made! On to the second half of this big art quilt!

This panel is supposed to become a tree. I’m working on it, but I’m not so happy with it right now.

It’ll get there. Maybe I can blame it on the angle of the picture………………naw, probably not! Well, looks like tomorrow there will be more ‘discussions’ between me and my fabrics. But I’m not going to take any argument from THIS pile of dreary dyed failure!

So while I’m moving tree branches around, I’m going to be dyeing this and anything else I see that needs overdyeing! Playing with color always makes me smile!


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.

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


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!

The results are in…

Snow dyeing is something I haven’t done for quite a while so I wasn’t sure what exactly to expect. I used the dyes below: the top 6 are new to me and the bottom 4 are some that I had and wanted to throw into the mix to see what would happen!

I did some scrunching, some folding and a jar of parfait dyeing. I’ve discovered that I almost always like the pieces that are folded to give a radial design. Still true with these!

The bottom right design that looks black actually has quite a bit of purple popping through, too. The top left is called lime pop and it truly is eye-popping! I love it, but it needs to be used sparingly, I think.

I really wanted to see what the chile fuego, pumpkin spice and soft orange would give me, so I tried not to mix those in the little containers. I like them all very much.

There is not as much crystallization on the snow dyes are there are with ice dyes—I think. The next dyeing experiment will be to test that out. And I think I’ll fold all the pieces I use so that I get radial designs. Maybe then I will USE the dyed fabric!