Sunday, October 21, 2007

I'm not dead, honestly. I've had a couple of things happening. I certainly didn't mean to worry anyone.

Until I can get back posting like normal, here's a preview of my pumpkin block for the swap. Let me know what you think!

Monday, October 8, 2007

This is not my month!

As you know I've been battling being sick, first the flu then bronchitis. Now I was a total klutz and dumped water into my laptop. I've let it dry out in hopes it would still work and unfortunately, it won't even turn on. Now I have to get it repaired and my posts may be few and far between. I still have my desktop (yes, I know it's sick but my house has many computers), it's just not so convinient. I lost another laptop to hard drive failure last week, so that leaves just my desktop functioning now.

Anyway, the point of all my moaning is that I will post when I can.

Back from the (mostly) dead

I haven't been posting because unfortunately I ended up with bronchitis and was pretty sick.

I'll try to catch up on blogs and post something with pretty pictures soon.

But one thing I finished up yesterday during my enforced rest period was one of my practice quilts. I sewed the binding on and so now it's finally finished. The first quilt I've ever actually finished.

I have some questions though for anyone who might know.

The quilt used all cotton fabric and cotton batting and I was hoping for it to be softer and a bit more drappy if you know what I mean, but it's a bit stiff even after washing. I think it might be due to both the amount of quilting on the thing and the stitch length I used for the machine quilting. I quilted it about 1 to 2 inches apart in a grid pattern over the whole thing.

Here's the quilt before it's bound.

What stitch length do you use for machine quilting? I am going to look through my books, but I thought I'd ask here too. I didn't adjust my stitch length so I was using the same I use for piecing and I'm pretty sure that was too short.

Anyway...I hope you all had a great week and weekend. I'll post more later.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

My weekend recap

So, Jason wanted me to take it easy this past weekend.

Here's what I did instead. (Please forgive the photography my design wall is still being taken up by a Halloween quilt.) Most of these pieces are much larger than what is shown (they are doubled) and again, the photography distorts the color some, so you don't get a true idea of what they are like but,'s what I have. :)

This particular series was in honor of Mar who once mentioned she liked brown.

This first one is all three of the browns I had. Basically I just poured a different brown on various areas to vary the color. I ended up with a lot more lighter areas than I would like the next time.




This is PR35 : DARK BROWN

Next I tried for some blues. I had a new blue PR26 : SKY BLUE


This one is just the sky blue and the turquoise that is the primary.

Here is just some playing to get purple. I wanted to get both the blue purple and red purple on the same piece of fabric.

I really liked this yellow PR4 : DEEP YELLOW

And this orange PR6 : DEEP ORANGE

I also wanted to do some black PR44:BETTER BLACK and gray PR41:CHARCOAL GRAY.

Then there was the red PR12 : LIGHT RED

Here I was playing with green

And trying for teal

This piece is proof you never know what color something will be until it's dry. This is the leftover black, brown and blue dye:

And finally an experiment gone horribly horribly wrong. This one is for the dye again pile. I was attempting to get 'fall colors'. It just ended up ugly!

I had a lot of fun. :)

Monday, October 1, 2007

I love the smell of cotten in the morning!

For those of you who need pictures in a post, this one isn't going to have any. I won't feel the least offended if you stop reading now. Really I won't...not in the *sniff* least. ;)

Part two of the disclaimer is this is likely to be long and rambling. Jason isn't home and I feel like chatting.

Now that all of that is out of the way! As you can probably tell if you read more than a couple of my posts I really like dyeing. Well, I could skip the mess and the hassle, but since I need it to get to the fabric I will deal with it. It's really the fabric that has me hooked.

When I first started quilting I bought the fabric I needed for the project I was working on. I couldn't understand why these women would walk around the quilt store holding bolts of fabric they were petting with this odd sort of look on their face. You know the one, someplace between the look of having sex and taking a Valium?

Well, something, somewhere happened to me and suddenly it was as if I'd been struck by a bolt of lightening and all was clear. Fabric was good. Not just good but wonderful! I am sure at that point my face too reflected the wierd combination of peace and excitement I get from possessing fabric.

That's when I knew I was well and truly lost.

But we all know that all fabric is not created equal. There is a certain texture when you run your hand across the 'good stuff'. There's a snap to when you give it a sharp tug and an evenness in the way it takes the print. I'm finding that the fabric available for dyeing varies just like that available at the quilt store. Some of it's okay, but some of it is great.

I order this wide muslin, that is really nice. It will make great backings I think and I love how it feels, but I hate the way it frays when I wash out the dye. I wish I had a serger. If I did, I would run it through that before I dipped it into the dye vats.

Anyway, someone asked me if I would post the patterns I have for what I will make from this fabric. I honestly have no patterns in mind at the moment. I'm just playing. I feel like a kid again.

The only problem with that is everything I've made so far is definately one of a kind. I know that all hand dye is unique but because I've kept no notes on what I did and just went by instinct re-creating some of this will be next to impossible. I've decided that's okay however. I can always say they are original one of a kind pieces. My art, that can't be recreate.. birthed from some viseral place inside me.

That means that once these pieces are cut up, that's it... they are gone forever. Some people might feel that is kind of sad and hesitate to use the pieces. After all, some of them are beautiful just in their own right, in their whole form.

However I think that's just a good excuse to make more, don't you?