Monday, August 21, 2017

The Eclipse, Vote for Me - and a project

Today was the day - eclipse 2017.   As I was in the path of 95% totality (approx.)  it was on my bucket list to see as much of the eclipse as I could.  Cha-Ching!
Here is what happened:
I made a pinhole viewer by punching a hole in cardstock.  I tried it - ugh!  there were "artifacts" from the cardboard in the projection. So I made a bigger hole in some matboard and taped a curtain rod holder with one of the holes over the hole in the cardboard.
First look:
You can see the beginning of the eclipse here.
Oh, the viewer?
Fancy huh?
Here are some other photos -just so you know, it is hard to take a photo while you are holding the viewer to make the projection.

At one point this big old mean cloud covered the sun and blocked my view. (Disclaimer - I took the photo "blindly" by roughly aiming the camera without looking. Hey, it worked!)
I went inside and pouted until I saw sun on a building to my north. Then I went back out and watched some more with my pinhole viewer.  (Another disclaimer:  I know I am a geeky science nerd.)

And I am telling you that voting is open on the Pets on Quilts competition.  My quilt is registered as Pet Themed Quilt #4 Cat and Butterfly  Vote here http://lilypadquilting.blogspot.com/2017/08/and-now-voting-begins.html
Also I did actually do some sewing/quilting.
I made this quilted cover for a composition book.  I plan to make some various designs for a sale in November. This was my "test the size" sample - and it is less than perfect - so I will keep it.  It did help me to perfect what I will be doing, so that is a big plus.
Yes I did use some of my hand dyed fabric for it. 


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Friday, August 18, 2017

Rolling, Rolling, Rolling

Today's block, the Rolling Nine Patch, was published in the Fat Quarter Shop's blog.   My version is different a wee bit.  I needed a 9" block instead of the 5 1/2" block - so I improvised.  To do that every 1 1/2" measurement I changed to 2 1/2"  AND on the rectangle parts I made 4 1/2" long.  Do not assume that I am a math guru - far from it. I drew it up in Electric Quilt first as a 10" block.
Then when it was sewn I cut it down to 9" so that it will work in my Pineapple Surprise quilt.
If it looks a bit skewed, I think that is more the photo than the actual block. But if it is the block, it is okay for this quilt.
Notice that I used a hand dyed lavender along with a batik.  I had already used a bit of that batik in some other blocks, so it will add a little continuity.

By the way,  Craftsy is having a "Maker's Black Friday Sale" through Sunday at 11:59 MST. I saw some good deals on batting and even a great deal on Kaffe Fassett fabric collection.  There is also a Free Spirit Mystery Fat Quarter collection on sale - 50 FQs for $49.99.

If you don't hear from me a lot for the next month, here is why.  Our local community theater group is doing Mel Brooks' musical Young Frankenstein.  So, learning the music and choreography is going to take up a bit of my time.  Rest assured that I will be having a blast. If you are close, or going to be close by on September 29th thru October 1st,  I hope you will consider coming to see it.  It just so happens that the 30th of September is my birthday - so the Saturday show will be my way of celebrating.

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Saturday, August 12, 2017

Eight Blocks-The Fun Way!

I wanted to do some more non-pineapple blocks for the Pineapple Surprise quilt that I am working on.  This will be my own design although it is not pre-planned.  I needed some blocks that are somewhat calm to add places for the eye to rest when it is being viewed.  All but one of the fabrics in the eight blocks are all hand-dyed fabrics.  The oddball is a batik that was a 10 inch square.  I knew that since I am making nine inch square blocks it would work perfectly.
I used a lot of bits and pieces scraps in these blocks. It is a great way to eliminate wasting those pieces that are "too big to throw away, but really too small to save."

I think I could do an entire quilt of these blocks. They are really fun to make.  But I would have to cut up pieces to use as "scraps" for it.
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Thursday, August 10, 2017

Cat Quilt - Pets on Quilts 2017

The Pets on Quilts online quilt show is starting today. Thanks to Lilypad Quilting,  and her "minions" Padsworth and Dragondrop, for hosting the show.
For my entry, here is my Cat and Butterfly quilt. I am in the "Pet Theme Quilted Project" category for this show.   The background is made of woven strips of hand dyed fabrics. The cat and the butterfly, as well as the binding, are all of hand dyed fabrics.

I encourage you to visit the Pets on Quilts show. And if you choose vote for Cat and Butterfly I will be most happy.
Comments are welcomed. I will reply when possible unless otherwise stated. Of course if you are a "No Reply Blogger"- I can not reply. Links in posts may be affiliate links for which I am compensated if you click through and purchase.

Wednesday, August 09, 2017

Dyeing and Sewing

At some point, the realization came to me that if I am to keep dyeing fabric, I need to use what I am dyeing.  I also have a "stash" of hand-dyed fabrics from Vicki Welsh and even a few from others who dye.  
I pulled out a selection and started cutting strips of various sizes - some cut on slight angles also.
Then I sewed for a while.  I played around with the log cabin block for a bit and made four of those.
Rules?  Nah, as long as the seam is stable it is good. 
Then I took some leftover strip pieces and made this (sorry about the photo quality -it is raining and I am inside taking the photo.)
Yesterday I had managed to do a bit of dyeing also.  I have several pieces of fabric and two skeins of weaving yarn dyed.  But the only photo is this one- because I love it best.
How did I do this?  I wish I knew. I stuffed the fabric into a container with a little dye in the bottom and then poured other colors down the sides.  But the result is pure happy luck.

We have family visiting this week so I am creating in spare time. I sewed while the laundry was going. I dyed in the early morning.  You can always squeeze in a few minutes for creativity if you really want to do it.   Go create something!
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Saturday, August 05, 2017

Playing with Strips

Wow, this week has passed quickly.  I have been doing some extra things for Mom and working on a project that I can't post yet.  That is why I haven't posted since Monday.  I also volunteered to work as an usher for the local community theatre production of Smokey Joe's Cafe for three nights.  The opening night was wonderful. I work again tonight and I am really looking forward to it.

There are a few blocks that I have sewn to go in with the pineapple variations and the other random blocks I am making for my Pineapple Surprise quilt.  Here are four of those.
Many of these strips are hand dyed fabrics.  In the two "brighter" blocks there is also a batik that I love.  It just seemed to go with the other fabrics I had chosen for the blocks.  These are all take-offs on the log cabin/courthouse steps block. Of course, I stayed true to my personal style and let them be wonky.   There are also some strips that were pieced together to be long enough.  I do that as a leader/ender as I am sewing the blocks.  It saves the pieces from the trash pile while making the block more interesting.

I have dyed some more fabric also, but I don't have photos of it yet.  I even tossed in a stained t-shirt to use up some excess dye.  Now I want to dye more of my t-shirts that are "aged" to spruce them up a bit.  I also have a white kitchen towel that has a chocolate stain - I consider that a good reason to dye it in bright colors too.

What are you doing that makes you happy and makes your eyes shine?



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Monday, July 31, 2017

A Quilted Pillow with HandWoven Fabric

A couple of my friends asked if it was possible to use my  handwoven fabric to make a quilt.  I didn't want to make an entire quilt to find out - so I decided to try a variation.
Making a quilted pillow cover would allow me to play with the idea without a huge time investment. I considered some possibilities and did a lot of research.  I have played with several ideas and methods.  Finally I settled on a way of combining the two that works wonderfully and makes me very happy.
Today I took a pieced pillow top that I had shown once before and finished it into a pillow.
The combination of the hand woven fabric, some hand dyed fabrics and some commercial quilting fabrics really make this a fun pillow. I love the quilting method that I used for this.  I am sure I can even teach a beginner to quilt a pillow top this way.
I have worked this method up for a class that is planned for August in Peachtree City Georgia.   Now there are three complete samples - I showed the other two on this post.  I have made some other "pieces" to use as examples in the class.

Planning a class like this is a good bit of work, but it certainly helped me to refine the technique for this.

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Saturday, July 29, 2017

Piecing Wildly (and Wonkily)

Precision piecing?  Most of you know that it is not my strong suit or my style. "Let's just see what happens!" is more my style.
I have a Kaleidoscope ruler that I got a few years ago when I was still trying to do precision piecing. I thought it would be fun to make a kaleidoscope block with hand dyed fabrics.  My plan was to strip pieces and cut from the strip set.  But I decided to make a "simple" one first.
Yes you are seeing correctly - the points are a bit of a mess.  I even pressed the seams open thinking it would be more precise.  Oops.
So I decided to just play.  I had four pieces left from cutting off the "waste" when cutting the triangles. So I sewed them all together.  Then I used that as the center of a log cabin type block.

True confession: I am that quilter who has never made a log cabin block - or if I did I don't remember it.

My usual wonky style prevailed. I ran out of dark strips that were long enough so I pieced one.  Okay, there was more fabric but I didn't want to get up from the machine.

As I started the block above, I realized that making two would allow me to chain piece them.  On alternate strips, I pieced this one.
It is a bit more traditional - but still wonky - and I used a square of a dark for the center. Don't judge me - it was play time.

The kaleidoscope was supposed to come out to nine inches. Too late, I realized that it was nine inches finished.  That is why the outside edges look chopped off - they are.  I needed nine inches that finish at  eight and a half inches.

These will all go into the quilt that I am planning to make with the pineapple blocks.  It will be decidedly scrappy and a bit crazy and completely imperfect.  I am sure I will love it.

Several of you asked me to report back when I use the bamboo batting that I got from Fat Quarter Shop.  If any of my readers gets to try it before I do, please report back to me.  I know that it feels delightful right out of the package.  I love bamboo and cotton together in my weaving, so I thinkI love this just as much. Since they are both plant fibers, and the bamboo is a longer staple fiber, I think it will possibly be better than just cotton.  Bamboo is considered a luxury fiber and is very eco-friendly.  Fabric made with bamboo has a beautiful drape and is soft to the touch. Bamboo is also a breathable fiber similar to cotton.


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Friday, July 28, 2017

This and That Friday

In Alabama this past week, it has been hot every day.  The daily high has been in the mid 90s (Fahrenheit) for more than a week.  I haven't been overly motivated to create as much this week.  But I have played with a few things.

My loom for weaving is a two harness loom. This means that using the loom as designed creates a very even surfaced cloth.  I would like to weave some kitchen towels - and they are usually woven with texture added - on a loom with at least four harnesses.   I decided to play with some  string heddles to make a third shaft for my loom. I did this on threads that were already on one of the other two shafts. It is a bit "fiddly" but it works.
As you can see, I didn't do it all across the warp, but just in a few places as this was an experiment.  I hope you can see the texture that was created in those areas.  It made me happy.

I also saw that the Fat Quarter Shop has a new batting line.
Happy Cloud Quilt Batting by Fat Quarter Shop
There are several choices: All Cotton, Cotton Poly blends in 80/20 and 50/50,  Wool, and Bamboo/Cotton blend.

I have never used a Bamboo/Cotton batting, so I had to have one.  I also ordered the 24 Hour flash sale deal.
Here is the batting I received. I almost always order queen sized battings and this time was no different.
I haven't used it yet, but I did split the plastic to feel it. Ooooh, it has a very soft and lovely hand.   I am thinking that this will make a wonderful quilt.  The package says that it is naturally anti-bacterial and eco-friendly.  That is also a great plus.
Then, in the box underneath it was this:
Yes! When I saw that the Flash Sale was Batik squares I could not resist.  Plus the price was amazing! Tip of the day - when shopping at the Fat Quarter Shop, always check the Flash Sale.

Until next time - remember to change the needle in your machine regularly so you can sew sharp.

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Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Trapped Pineapple and an EQ Tip

I am still playing with Pineapple blocks in my spare time.  I decided to use a trapezoid shape for the center this time.  Again the edges started to converge after are few rounds so I just trimmed as best I could and made it work.
The edges converging also led to the extra strip on the bottom to make it size correctly.  I think it is a fun scrappy "pineapple type" block.

For those of you who use Electric Quilt,  the Behind the Mouse blog is a great resource.  Today's Quick Tip Tuesday post is on setting your snapping options when you design a block.   This was a great "tip/lesson" for me.  I now understand how to get my blocks to be more exactly what I want.

Until next time,  keep your bobbins filled and your machine cleaned out!


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Saturday, July 22, 2017

More Sun Print Results

While the weather is so hot, sunny and almost intolerable, I am making prints while the sun shines.  I love the experimental nature of this artistic process.   It is fun to use stencils, fabric folding/wrinkling, and objects as masks.

Stencils

Folded and Wrinkled 

Stencils and objects as masks

Objects as masks. Also plastic canvas as a mask
In the last one, I used some colored wooden shapes.  Some of the color leached into the print.  I love the effect.  I hope it doesn't wash out.
These will not be washed until they have set for at least a week to ten days.  Even though I am heat setting them with my iron, I will give them the "passive" time to set also.

The plastic grid is designed for a type of needlepoint, I think.  Originally it went into my painting supplies as a grid to spray paint through in art painting.  As I was digging for texture materials to use with sun printing, I found this package.
There are several sheets in it.  After seeing how well the circle grid printed in my previous session, I wanted to experiment with it.
Today I have two more pieces basking the brilliant Alabama sunshine. One of them is largely covered with grid... but what if..... (those are magic words when you are being creative, you know.)
What if I put objects on top of the grid as a mask?
Later today, I will know.
I also cut a mask from a styrofoam plate, using an exacto knife.  My blade is a bit dull - so if this works, I will need to add exacto blades to my shopping list.

There are other objects around to mask also.  This photo shows that it was already working. Notice the lighter areas around those lower pieces?
For this I had two strips that I cut off the larger piece, so I placed them side by side and used them as one.  It is all a grand experiment - so why not?

I love playing with color and fabrics.  What are you playing with these days that is making you smile?
I am smiling every time I see these.


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Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Sun Print Results- and a Pineapple

The sun printing was pretty much a success.  The process pictures were in the previous post.  After the hot July sun had baked the paint into the fabrics and they were fully dry, I removed the texturing materials.  The pasta wanted to stick a bit but everything else was very easy to remove.  Note to self: Have containers ready to put all the bits in when you remove them from the fabric.
I was very happy to see that everything printed pretty well, even the transparent pieces.  So here are the results.

This fleur-de-lis stencil printed amazingly well. You can see the pasta around the edges of the fabric also.
These two stencils also printed with a delightful clarity. The glass stones, pasta, and buttons printed nicely too.
The colors on this piece didn't bleed into each other as well as I wanted, but everthing on it printed well. Just look at the plastic grid.
But the back side of the piece is better in my opinion.
The colors are a bit softer and you can still see the grid nicely.

I also added a surprise piece.  It was a surprise to me too.  While the others were out getting sun-baked, I took another piece of fabric and wet it, then I poured two colors of paint on it and rubbed it around with gloved hands.  I folded it, twisted it a bit and placed it on a bush to dry. (I didn't have another board ready - so I improvised.)  Here is that result.
Front. And yes that is silver sparkle on the fabric.
Same piece different orientation. Shown from the back.
I have a book called "Transforming Fabric" that says that you can sunprint the wrinkles in fabric. I had to try it - and I love it.  Of course as I was heat setting it, I kept trying to iron one of the wrinkles out - but it is just the color and not a real wrinkle. I would say that particular wrinkle sun printed perfectly.

So you can see why I say it was a success. The multi-colored piece with the grid is a bit stiff to the touch so I don't think I will use it for a bed quilt. But the hand is nice on all of the rest.
Will I repeat this?  I am sure I will.  I don't think I will use the Lumiere paints for it. They tend to leave a "glitter" on my hands. I am afraid that will rub off on things as it is used.

The Golden Liquid Acrylic artist paint did amazingly well. I have many colors in that paint.  I will eventually add a few Dye-na-flow paints to my tool box for this.

Now the pineapple.   I tried the "canned pineapple" again.  This time I made the rectangle 3" by 4" - last time it was 3" by 5".  I also used two widths of colored strips.  Once again the process was "interesting."
You will notice that I ended with white corners even though the strips that radiate to the corners are the colored strips.  The truth is - the white was right there so I used it.  I think I am working toward making a "Pineapple Surprise" quilt. Now what else do can I do to mix up the pineapple block?   Ha ha, wait and see what I come up with. For now it is a mystery to me also.
Comments are welcomed. I will reply when
 possible unless otherwise stated. Of course if you are a "No Reply Blogger"- I can not reply. Links in posts may be affiliate links for which I am compensated if you click through and purchase.