Monday, August 3, 2015

More Mandala Dyeing -- Lots More!!


Well, still at it and having soooo much fun!!  However, they are more than unpredictable!!  I never know what is going to work well and what isn't.  I can't even figure out whether the fabric I am using now is mercerised or not!  The colors seem lighter but they still look good.  This one batch came out really well.  I have pieces from two different batches here and won't attempt to put them all up!

This is a collage of six blue/green pieces from my second day of dyeing.  All are the smaller 22" x 22" size.  This time I used the "drop" cloths underneath and did scrunch them a bit instead of letting them lie flat.

These used a combination of brown, black and some orange.  Can't see much of the effect of the black though!

 These next three pieces are the drop cloths that were underneath the mandalas.  These were random pieces of Egyptian cotton left from my old Joanns purchases.  It was great fabric and too bad they don't have it anymore as it dyed like a dream!





 These following pieces were done together in one batch and I think are among my favorites.  I threw on all sorts of color!








This is just a half yard of one of the drop cloths from this last batch.  You can see how bright the colors are!



This is also showing another half yard section.

Monday, July 27, 2015

UFO Project Time - I am a Compulsive Finisher!!

I found quite a number of half finished projects from classes and leftover blocks from quilts finished years ago.  This was one from an one of our club fall retreats.  I have the original quilt down at the beach.  I had intended this to be a comfort quilt (quilts the club donates to various charities) but may keep as a quilt for the beach.  All basted and ready to machine quilt.  I did feather wreaths in the other one and can't decide what to do in this one -- maybe the same!

This and the following quilt are definitely comfort quilts.  I have been using up all the random pieces of batting that I have accumulated for years on these projects as well.  This one has zoo animals in the stack and whack hexagons.  They are both all machine quilted and bound (dark green binding as well).  The border is made up of the fabric used in the stack and whacks for both as well.

This one uses a flower print.  These last two pictures were from my phone so not as good as some of the others.

This was a top donated by someone in the club many years ago for Katrina victims.  I sent a whole bunch of quilts down but didn't get this one done so it will now be a comfort quilt.  You can see simple cross quilting and I have yet to sew the binding down (yes, I still do this by hand as I really like doing it that way).

These are the leftover blocks from a quilt I did probably 20 years ago.  I am going to put a black and white border around it. These quilts are all about 44 inches wide and 54 inches long.

This was a pre-cut set put together by our Comfort Quilt people.  It was in the estate of another quilt club member and I finally got around to putting it together.  It had solid light pink fabric for the border and it went terribly.  This isn't a lot better but is an improvement and from stash fabric I was giving it away!  I still have to iron it, baste it and then machine quilt it.  I am going to do feathered hearts in the centers (they are large).  I will use white thread in the pink and pink thread in the patterned fabric.  I will also do stitch in the ditch to hold it together.  

This is the third quilt I did out of blocks I cut using "5 Easy Pieces".  I have started the machine quilting on this one. Basically I am free hand quilting circles in each of the four block areas.  If you look closely, you can see the starts in the corner blocks.  I wasn't sure whether I wanted to do this in all the blocks but after putting it on the design wall, decided it was the best choice.  Have no idea what I will do with this one as I have two already and was contemplating giving one of those away.  It looks a little bright for a comfort quilt!  I do love the fabric I selected for the back -- a bright tulip fabric with lots of lime green in it.  I also have a large bag of lime green to dark green variations of this block as well that aren't quite finished!  

There is still at least one more comfort quilt that I have to baste yet that is not pictured here so you can see I have been busy!!

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Another Mandala Dyeing Day!

I found a stash of extra wide fabric (110 inches) that I found could make 5 mandalas across in the size I had been making (22 x 22 inches).  I decided I really liked the ones that I had only folded in fours basically.  This one used purple and a lot of a very old  black which ended up being greener rather than black!  I think all the reds had disappeared from the mix!

 The next two are also the four folded ones.  I used a lot of yellows and brown in this one and also the next one.




I used a thinner fabric for this one and can't figure out how it looked so different from all the others.  It was also a four fold (although it may have had an additional fold to make it an 8 sided one).

This and the next four are all hexagonal folds.  I tried turquoise again and even though I let them sit for a day and even nuked them at the end, I got very poor coverage.  I think the turquoise just goes through the fabric without bonding at all as the ice washes it out.  I used "drop" cloths under all these pieces which I laid out flat.  Without the these drop cloths, there would have been patterning from the grid.  I am contemplating adding a top cloth as well so that any solid specks of dye won't spot the mandalas (although this hasn't really been a big problem).








 This was one of the pieces of the sateen (that I wasn't sure about) that I used as a "drop" cloth.  I am very happy with it!  Looks like one of my sunsets.  This and the next piece are about 36 inches x 44 inches.  I scrunch up these drop cloths so they kind of look like a bumpy cushion under the carefully folded fabrics.


This was a random piece of cotton I found.  I am pretty sure it is some of the Egyptian cotton that I used to get a Joanns but which they no longer carry (and I have used up all that I had, sigh).


Tomorrow I will report on all the "found" projects in my sewing room.  I have been ironing, finishing, basting, and binding like crazy!!  I have reorganized all my fabric so it looks like books on my shelves and for some reason it makes it a lot easier to find pieces to use for backs and you can fit more on the shelves as well!  I am also donating a lot to various charitable groups.  There is still a lot I can't give up though!



Friday, July 17, 2015

Some Backyard Birds and the Design Wall!

I always have my camera outside when I am reading in the driveway and try to keep my eye open.  The other day this pretty House Wren visited just a few feet away.


I have seen tons of Goldfinches at the feeders but this one was up front in a nice spot.


 I really liked this Nuthatch which was flittering around on the tree nearby.

I visited my friend Janet and she had quite a few Orchard Orioles that were visiting her feeder -- they like the Hummingbird feeder best.  This was taken through her window!

This is my extra cluttered design wall where I try things out and just throw things up and sometimes see new combinations.  Since taking this picture I have already disassembled the green and brown scrap blocks and am now thinking of combining them with four bird applique blocks that I  bought from a fellow quilter during a quilt club sale.  The molas were some I uncovered which I had fully forgotten about and they are probably some of my favorites!!  I found a whole plastic bag filled with more molas to add to the ones I already had.  I may be having my own sale at some point!  The red piece at the bottom was a study done in a class many years ago where we were to use a gradation and do an improvisational piece.

 I found many bags of finished blocks, finished tops complete with backing, class studies.  I think there will be quite a few "comfort" quilts for giveaway before the year is out!  I had completely forgotten that I had some of these which I had carefully stored in plastic bags.  I know the reason I didn't finish them before was because I had already made one or two quilts using those blocks -- I tend to overachieve when making scrappy blocks!!!!  I also found three or four good sized bags of strips of varying widths as well as finished striped "yardage" made out of these strips.  Oh my....

Thursday, July 16, 2015

A Treasure Trove Uncovered!

As I mentioned, I have been trying to clean up my sewing room.  I have a lot of stuff stored there and in cleaning I have found things I forgot I had!!  Among these things were several hand painted batiks which I probably bought at some quilt show.  I really liked this penguin one the most so decided to combine it with a bunch of the Dear Jane blocks that I still have (and probably still have another couple of hundred).  I like using them as borders and here I have set them all on point.  I seem to do that a lot with these blocks.  These were from an internet block exchange I participated in probably 15 years ago.  We were recreating the colors of the original quilt.  I could have made that quilt but didn't see the point anymore!!  I have made three of these quilts already (not like the original however).

I decided that it really needed the blue repeated so made this border of two blue strips and one alternating squares strip.

Then I decided I really needed to calm down the blue with a little touch of the gold and a charcoal grey patterned border.

Here is the top finished.  I didn't have my camera so this is from my phone so not as good as the above pictures for sure.  Now to machine quilt it!  May save it for the beach but will definitely baste it up here as I found piles of batting left over from other projects -- small pieces which I will stitch together for these smaller projects.


Wednesday, July 15, 2015

The End of the Petal Quilt and some RAFA Pics

 It has been awhile since I posted as I have been very busy trying to get some order in my sewing room.  My dear husband decided to clear out our guest bedroom of everything I had stored there and I am left trying to find homes for tons of "stuff" sewing related of course!!  I have already given away 100s of paperbacks, sold fabric and vintage quilt tops.

I did finish the petal quilt though on my Bernina and I was relatively pleased with how it turned out.

This shows a closeup of some of the quilting I did.  There are feathers in all the dark green and purple areas as well as some of the white areas.  I did big suns in the setting triangles.

 A group of the ladies from RAFA got together and had an indigo dyeing day and this and following pictures show just some of the many pieces they did!  It looks like a lot of fun and I may just have to try it some time!


 Donna did a matching jacket and tshirt!

A couple of tshirts in the middle here!

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Progress on the Petal Quilt

As a quilt associate said, if it appears in my backyard, it gets its picture taken and I love Pileated Woodpeckers.  He started on our wood pile and then moved next door to sit on the top of this tree stump.  I was quite a distance away but the picture came out pretty well!!  So far this season, I have seen Red-bellied, Pileated and Downy Woodpeckers in the backyard.  Years ago, I saw about every kind of woodpecker native to our area back there in the wintertimes.  We have a LOT of trees back there and our neighbor keeps his feeders full!


I have continued to work on the Petal quilt, trying to get in some machine quilting each day.  I had a mild recurrence of an old whiplash injury which bothered me for a couple of weeks and that kept me from doing any quilting as I was trying to be gentle on my poor neck and was wearing a cervical collar.  I am back at it now and hopefully will be done before next week rolls around.  I am doing a LOT of quilting in this piece!  This is basically a quarter of it.  It is a queen sized quilt and I don't have a nice wall big enough to show the whole thing!!


This is a closeup where you can see what kind of quilting I am doing.  All the extended hexagons are getting feathers in them.  The background of the stars is swirly lines and the backgrounds of the flowers (the orange pieces) are getting arches.  In all the square pieces I have quilted more flowers.  Doing the feathers is my favorite part!



This is a random ice dyed piece from last summer that I found and hadn't even ironed yet.  It was made when I was doing just folds (but not around a center point like I do with the mandalas) and is about a yard and a half long.