Thursday, February 11, 2016

Making Quilts

I've been working on some quilts lately and having fun at it too. I recently came across the block in this first quilt on Instagram. Instagram user @alittlegressica shared how she made this block and then several quilters on Instagram participated in a quilt along. If you are an Instagram user, look under the hashtag #insideadditionquiltalong to see lots of variations of this quilt.

My Inside Addition quilt top is finished, the blocks finish at 8" and I made mine 56" x 64". It now goes onto my pile of "to be quilted" tops. Yikes, I need to get busy.


The next quilt top will finish at 20" square and become a pillow cover. I joined an online pillow cover swap and this is what I am making for the partner assigned to me. It's been many years since I've taken part in a swap and I thought it would be fun to try again.


The block in this quilt is from the pattern A Wild Ride by Jen Kingwell, which I purchased recently (by the way I love love love all of Jen Kingwell's patterns). I needed my block to be a different size and I wanted to paper piece it, so I created it in Electric Quilt and printed out the papers for piecing. Quilting on this one is next. I'm not sure yet what I will do, maybe an allover simple design.

Monday, February 1, 2016

My Own Fabric Line

For a long while now I've had a dream to see my designs on fabric for quilting/sewing. I recently had an eye opening jolt after seeing a designer from overseas doing something that I can actually do (but never thought of)...and she is very successful at it. That designer is Karen Lewis and she has a wonderful line of screen printed designs that she has created. You can see her site here.

So over the past few weeks I've been researching and planning and executing my plans. I've created several screens using my Thermofax machine and here are my first couple of printing tests. 


These fabrics are hand dyed by me and while I will offer screened designs on hand dyed fabrics, I also plan to use commercial solid fabrics with my designs screened on them as well.

Below is my new set up for screen printing larger fabric pieces. My husband helped me create a padded board and t-square so that I can easily set up for repeat printing. I used it for the first time this morning and am thrilled with how well it worked.


My studio space has become too small for me over the years as I've developed my likes in what I love doing. It gets a bit crowded in the room with this screen printing table set up...so I take it down and set it up when I need it.  Another goal/plan I have is to move part of my sewing space into an unused room in my house (living room). We never ever use that room, so I plan to sell some of my furniture and turn it into my sewing space and then use my current space for my printing/painting work. It's a plan that may take a few months or more to actually execute, but I look forward to it.


I am very excited to start creating more screen printed fabrics and hope to have them available soon in my Etsy shop.

Another fabric item I plan to add to my Etsy shop are my hand dyed batiks. I'm having so much fun playing with this technique. I recently learned how to use batik wax, which is different from soy wax. I much prefer the batik wax as I found the soy wax much too slimy and hard to remove the final traces of it.


Thanks for stopping by. I hope my hand printed/hand batik fabrics are appealing to you.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Hearts

Guess what day is fast approaching? About one month from now it will be Valentine's Day. I was just looking through my stencils, wondering how many had hearts on them. I found six. If you are thinking about creating some Valentine's gifts for your loved ones, the following stencils would work for you.


Floral Swirl

Heart Flower 6

Love Postage

The Heart Within

Inky Hearts

Heart Grid

Find all these stencils and more at StencilGirl Products. I love stencils!!!

Friday, January 1, 2016

Happy New Year

Wow.....2016. It's a new year. Can you believe it? It seems like just yesterday we were entering the new millennium. I don't know about you, but time is just flying by.

Over the past few days I've been playing with fabric batik'ing. Here are three results that I'm happy with. I am going to be playing more with batiks in the near future. Just waiting for my supplies to show up. I ran out of batik wax so I had to get some ordered.


A couple weeks ago, I shared a quilt top that I had pieced, using all hand dyed fabrics. I've been thinking about how I will quilt this top and I'm sort of thinking about doing some hand quilting with these threads. The perle cotton was actually dyed with these fabrics so the colors are a match. I've seen some wonderful examples of big stitch quilting with heavier threads on the Internet and I like the look of it. So....we shall see about this. The good thing is that this quilt top isn't overly large, so hand quilting shouldn't take me forever.


And here is a quilt top that I'm currently working on. I found the central improv blocks recently in a storage container. I had pieced them some time ago...I have to say at least two or even three years ago....maybe. Well I decided it is time to create something with these so I'm slowly building the quilt top.


I plan to add more to this top but need some time to think about the next step. I have lots of scraps and pieces from other projects that coordinate with these colors so I am hoping to use those somehow. I have an idea floating in my head but just need to work it out.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Quilting with Stencils

Today, over on the StencilGirl Talk blog, I am sharing how I use stencils with free motion quilting. I invite you to check out the post....Click Here.




Thursday, December 24, 2015

Winter Photos

I find it difficult to get good photos in the house during the winter months. Usually the days are overcast and the lighting inside isn't great for photography. So I decided the next day there was minimal wind I would hang my finished quilt top on the clothesline and snap a shot. Today was that day. Even though it is overcast the lighting outside is so much better.


I finished my scrappy trip around the world quilt a couple of weeks ago. I have the backing fabric ready and now I just need to get it basted and quilted. I plan to quilt this one on my Bernina with simple straight lines (I think).

Below are the ornaments I made for the grandkids this year. Yes, it is a photo I took indoors and I'm not thrilled with it. But it records what I made this year and so it will do.


These ornaments are something I purchased a few years ago. They are interactive...you pull the string down near the legs and the legs and arms go up and down. They were unfinished wood when I bought them so all I had to do was paint and varnish.

Friday, December 18, 2015

Love/Hate Snow

Well we are finally getting some snow that seems to be hanging around and piling up. It was only after the second snowfall recently that I remembered that I'm supposed to have a new LOVE relationship with it. Last year I discovered I liked snow dyeing. And then I remembered that last year my snow dyeing days were numbered, because by the time I realized I was enjoying it, then we didn't get any more snow. By the end of that time period last year I had decided to try snow dyeing a white long-sleeved t-shirt. I had it all ready to go, with oodles of rubber bands wound onto it for some resist design and then......no more snow.

So I found my rubber banded shirt that waited for me to dye it and went to work. Here is what I got. I love it! At first, when it was still soaking in a tub of water to remove the excess dye, I thought I hated it. I was seeing murky muddy colors and thought the colors didn't turn out on the shirt. After the final rinsing and drying I found I was completely wrong.


I used three colors of dye on the shirt....Red Violet, Watermelon, and Aqua.

This past week I found myself wanting to create a quilt with only solid colored fabrics. In the past I have dyed many yards of fabric and over time they have sat on the shelf and not been used. So I pulled some and made this quilt top.


It is about 40 x 52" in its unquilted state. While I like the results and have always enjoyed solid fabric quilts that others make, I have learned something about myself....I much prefer to make projects with fabrics that have pattern/design on them. Silly huh?

Friday, December 11, 2015

Carving in December

I really enjoy carving stamps but for some reason do it very sporadically. I actually even think I enjoy designing/carving them more than actually using them.

Julie Balzer of Balzer Designs has inspired many to carve stamps in December. I know she did Carve December last year too. When she announced it again for this December I decided I will try and carve some stamps and join in. If you are interested in the specifics of Carve December, please see Julie's post here.

Below are the eight designs I've carved so far.









I haven't created a new stamp every day so far and I don't anticipate that I will have 31 stamps at the end of the month. I will do as many as I can/want to do. I have been thinking about using these stamp designs in other ways. One idea I have is to scan my designs into the computer and play with them in Photoshop. I may try making some Thermofax screens and putting the designs to fabric. I may have to wait and do that after the holidays, though.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Five Becomes Forty

Back in May of this year I shared a blog post with you about my English paper piecing project...a hand stitching project that I keep around for those times when it's enjoyable to work on something that is easy to take with me anywhere.  In that May post (click here to see May post), I only had five hexie flowers done. Well, I am up to forty now.



Lately I have been working on these in the evening, when hubby and I sit in front of the TV and relax before bedtime. I usually get about two done each evening.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Ice Dyeing with Resist

Oh My Goodness....I cannot believe how time has flown since I last posted here. I have had quite a busy past few weeks, but not in ways I really wanted to be spending my time.

Right at the end of October one of my outdoor cats sustained a head injury. The minute I saw her come home I rushed her to the vet. Luckily there was someone able to drive me there, because I was in panic mode. I had to feed her for about a two week period as she wasn't eating by herself. I'm happy to say she has made a fabulous recovery and we are so grateful.

Also during that time period I got really sick. I'm not sure if it was just a bad cold or a case of the flu, but I spent a lot of the time on the couch. Doing nothing.

I don't have a lot to show for the past few weeks. But in the days before my cat's injury, I had spent some time with local friends and we had an ice dyeing session.

In a recent issue of Quilting Arts magazine, Lynda Heines, of Bloom Bake & Create blog, had an article about ice dyeing with resists. In her article she used soy wax and Clean Line resist. My friend Sandy already had a bottle of the Clean Line on hand and she so generously shared with everyone. So a few days prior to our dyeing day, we each (at home) applied some Clean Line resist to fabric pieces. Then we met and applied soy wax to more pieces of fabric. And then we ice dyed.

Below are most of my results. I did not have success with the Clean Line resist. I think perhaps it dissolved on the fabric too fast. The only Clean Line resist piece that sort of turned out is the first one shown here. All the rest of the fabrics are done with soy wax.










I'm mostly happy with all my fabrics, except on some I wish I had applied more dye powder so there would be more color/contrast. However, with that said, who knows will happen as the melting ice is what decides where the color goes.