Tag Archives: just for fun

Creating fabric

Had a marvelous time at the class I took this weekend on creating fabric. Started out with blank white fabric and ended up with printed magic.

Of course, not everything we print is awesome, but the fun comes from the playing and making!

And the magic with this class is that we learned so many different ways to put the paint on the fabric. It was so full of information that we didn’t even have time to try everything, but that info is filed away in my brain for future reference!

My buddy Carol created fabric in different classes all weekend and as I came and went, I admired a piece that she made. The little devil slipped it into my bag and I discovered it when I got home. What a sweetheart and now I get to have it and use it!

QU fabric 6

My fabrics were truly experiments in using different tools and I certainly will be working into some of them with more ideas. I also think there may be some cutting into smaller pieces and collage work using these.

QU fabric 7 QU fabric 5 QU fabric 3 QU fabric 4 QU fabric 2 QU fabric 1

Our instructor has an unbelievable collection of stamping items that she has collected and used over the years. And now there is nothing safe and we can’t ever throw anything away, because it might be good for printing someday!!

The only saving grace right now is that I have to order some supplies!


Filed under Color, Fabric, Quilting, surface design, Thinking About Quilting!

QU2015 Is Done…

…and I’m done in! Lots of fun and great classes–so much wonderful information! It all started on Thursday, with set up of the hospitality room.

QU2015 1

Teaching on Friday, and Patrice getting goofy early in the day!

QU2015 2

We really did get some dyeing done…

QU2015 3

And the hardest part is waiting for the dye to process before we can see how it turns out!

QU2015 4

Chatter and laughter at lunch, as well as door prizes! Hooray!

QU2015 6

And there are three days of this! If I stopped to take pictures of everything, I wouldn’t have had time to go to class.

Lots of people put in a lot of hard work to make this successful and I’m truly grateful for all that they did. But right this very moment, all I can think about is putting my feet up and doing nothing!

Ooooops! Only 1 day of that and I’m off to Blue Lake. Guess I’d better get packing…

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Filed under Life, Quilting, Teaching

Enough for now…

Punishment sewing is over because a plan has emerged! I found some more green fabric to add to what I already had, but I felt the need to organize a bit before I proceeded.

Scrap strips 12

I cut all my strip sets into 12″ lengths. Surprisingly, I really didn’t have much in the way of odds and ends, so it was a lucky guess on that length. Then I cut the extra green fabric to the same length and it seemed much less tedious sewing those strips on.

Put a few of the sets together because I thought I might make squares and then recut and resew to mix things up and make a cool design. Then I came to my senses! Why would I do all that extra work for stuff I’m trying to use up quickly so I can go back to my fun fabrics?

Now the plan is to make a strippy quilt with 12″ widths and call it good. If I don’t keep it simple, I won’t follow through and USE those scraps.

Scrap strips 13

And I have plenty of other fabric to use for the sashing between the strippy bits. So, the “what if” is solved, the plan is in place and fresher, newer, cooler fabric will be coming up soon!


Filed under Designing Quilts, Quilting, Use Up the Stash

Backyard summer

This is what I love best about summer…

Working on a project…outside

El Dorado? 1

Looking around the yard to see what’s blooming…

El Dorado? 2

I love lavendar…note: plant more!

El Dorado? 3

This is the best this coreopsis has looked since it was planted!

El Dorado? 4


El Dorado? 5

Project almost finished…

El Dorado? 6

And then we fire up the grill! Yummmmm!

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Filed under Art Quilts, Beading, Life

Easy improv lesson

I decided that I had been away from my sewing machine for waaaaaay too long and needed some machine therapy! I’ll show you what I’ve done and perhaps you can play with some of your scraps the same way.

You might remember this pile of scraps from a while back. A large pieced block, a few dyed and painted blocks and two colorways of hand dyes that coordinated with it all.

Scrap strips 1

Took the big pieced chunk and I cut it into strips and then 4 print pieces that I stacked and cut into uneven quarters. Those were my basic building blocks. And because most of my scraps were strips, that was what determined how I would construct my quilt.

Each block quarter had a pieced strip sewn to one edge. Press and trim–the method on this is to always have a straight edge to sew on.

Scrap strips 2

The next step was to sew a strip from one colorway onto one side of the block. Didn’t matter which side and didn’t matter what the width of the strip was. Press and trim again. And a little tip: have your ironing board and cutting surface away from your sewing machine. That way you have to get up and move around a little while you’re working. Helps to keep you from getting too stiff!

Scrap strips 3

Guess what the next step was! Yep–sew a strip from the other colorway onto one side of the block. Again, didn’t matter which side or how wide the strip. Then I chose the blue/green/turquoise colorway and added strips until each block had a complete frame in that color.

At that point, it was time to put the blocks up on the design wall and take a look at what I had.

Scrap strips 4

Oh, yeah–liking it a lot. I ran out of time to complete the next step, which will be to add a complete frame of the other colorway around each block. I’ll show you that and talk about connecting up these odd shapes next time!

Scrap strips 5

It felt really good to spend some time with that sewing machine again!



Filed under Art Quilts, Color, Designing Quilts, Quilting, Use Up the Stash

Do you dye?

Whenever I post results of a dye day here, I wonder how many people do their own dyeing. Do you feel like you know everything I’m going to say because you’ve been there and done that? Are you a meticulous dyer who records every gram of dye powder and every ounce of water? Or do you dip and dump, scrunch and twist and love the wildest pieces that come out of the dye pot?

To me, there is no reason to be a detailed record keeper unless you intend to be in the business of dyeing and need to have repeatable, consistent results. For the amateur like myself, basic “how to mix it and how to make it stay in the fabric” are the essential instructions and the rest is all fun and playtime.

Educating yourself on processes, materials and safety measures is never, ever a waste of time. The more you know, the more you can push the limits. Sometimes a little more carefulness and knowledge would prevent some do-overs and some “Can I save this?”  questions, but where’s the excitement in that?

I have learned that this is not my preferred rinse out procedure…

AJ rinseing

but when you have a helper, you work in the best way to utilize that help!!

For the first time, I tried dyeing some embroidery floss. I love variegated floss and wanted to try it for myself. Unfortunately, my helper and I did not have time to rinse that out today. I’ll show you those results next time.


Filed under Color, Dyeing Fabric, Fabric, surface design

Another dye day!

I love to invite lots of people over and dye stuff together! I try to do it once or twice a summer and this week–it’s happening!

I’m going to try something new. I “inherited” a bunch of embroidery floss and the majority of it is black–no dye love there! I’m taking the rest–pale green, pink, white and an unattractive brownish burgundy–and playing with color. Variegated colors are like heaven to me so I’m going to throw on some colors and see what happens, try to make them attractive at the same time! Experiments are just that, though. We’ll have to wait and see what happens!

Dye floss 1

I have lots of other dye failures that I want to play with also, to try and rescue them. I’ve never been able to make nice, light airy colors and these are no exception. So, as long as they are already dark and ugly, what do I have to lose? I could end up with a lot of black, but this is also a good way to remind myself of what colors do to each other, how they blend and overdye and I could end up liking these!

Redye fabric

I have some white fabric ready for dyeing, too, but I’m thinking that might interest me more when I’m ready to do some more deconstructed screen printing. Love doing it, but I still haven’t tried it on my own and I’m not really sure what I’m doing so that will be another big learning day…hope I get a chance to do it soon.

In the meantime, the dyes are sitting on the table, ready to go…

Back soon with the results!


Filed under Color, Dyeing Fabric, Fabric, Quilting, surface design