Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Success at Last!

WooHoo!!!   Today was a good dyeing day and I ended up with an even better color than I first dyed.  I couldn't believe all the colors that now show up and the only thing I did different was add more non-iodized
salt to the dye mix.  It really seems to separate the colors in the dye beautifully.  Now I just have to figure out how to quilt this one.   I see an edge to edge design...how do you think I should quilt this one? It maybe awhile before I get to it as the kids are now out of school, we have a family wedding on the weekend, and my husbands parents are celebrating their 50th Wedding Anniversary the week after.   So I'll be focus on family events the next couple of weeks.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Good Thing I Learn From my Mistakes

...just wish I didn't make so many. Here is the dyeing story.
I decided to try dying some beige fabric to see how it would look for the backing of my beach quilt .   Well from the above picture you can see it was somewhat a success with a .5m piece of fabric.  I really like this color, yes it looks a bit grey but it has some peachy tones as well.  Now the real challenge....dyeing a 5 m piece and having it turn out like this.   I had a 2.5m piece already cut so I just cut another 2.5m piece ( first mistake).  Since this job would take a lot of water i had to find new containers to mix dye and soak the fabric in.  I found one large bucket so thought I would just mix the dye and water and then add the fabric into the bucket (second mistake).  So dye is mixed, I grab the first piece and put it in the bucket then grab the second piece and put it in the bucket...no problem (that I know of) so far.  Wait 2 hours and then once I had the fabric dry I realize one is much darker than the other one....WHAT???  How could this be they were in the same bucket.  After talking with Lori she said what probably happened was I added one piece of fabric into the dye first which absorbed a lot of the dye so by the time ( 5 sec) the second piece was added the first fabric had taken in a lot of the dye since there was so little dye in the water to begin with. So lesson 1 - dye backing in one piece and lesson 2 pour dye over fabric.
Then after much deliberating I decided to re-dye the light ( third mistake).  I get everything ready, grab the fabric, put it into the jar first and then pour the dye over ( mistakes 1 and 2 fixed).  I turn from admiring my accomplishment to see the a piece of beige fabric on my counter, double take......AHHH ....I dyed the wrong piece (I have lost count of my mistake by this time).  Sigh....okay get another jar place the light colored fabric in jar, pour dye in....oh no I'm almost out of non-iodized salt ( one of the key ingredience in the dye process) I have about half of what I needed....that should be good enough right???
Wait two hours and this is what I got... 

The fabric on the left has the right amount of salt, the fabric on the right does not.
 I now have a lot of beige fabric that is too dark for my quilt.
I can't dye anymore as I am out of salt, I can't go to town to buy any because my car battery is dead because I left the interior light on when the kid were vacuuming it out for me yesterday!!
So what did I do today?   I made a bag out of my leftover blocks that will one day hold my beach blanket :)
P.S. I used my redyed fabric to line the bag!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Summer Break

This is the last quilt I needed to finish for a client before taking a break for the summer.  The quilt pattern is by Amelie Scott Designs and it was definately a pretty quilt to work on as I love batiks!!  I used the Whirlygig pantograph and Rainbow thread (Opal).
Even though I am done quilting clients quilt for the summer I will still be posting pictures of my own quilting projects and dyeing adventures and disasters...see next post!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Black and White Baskets

This is one of the prettiest Black and White quilts I have ever seen and I was also lucky enough to be asked to quilt it.  I cross hatched the borders, quilted a feather wreath in the setting squares and did a free hand feather motif around the baskets.   My client has made the special birthday in her family the 40th and she will be giving quilts for those birthdays.   
Yes... that is white thread on black fabric....I was being brave and really like how it turned out.  I know my backtracks on the feathers are more noticable on the back but I told myself that is okay, they look just fine.  After all at my age I've learnt to not be so hard on myself.  (36 day to the big 40...not that I'm counting)

Forest Fires

This is what I woke up to this morning.  The local fires are getting dangerously close to the town of Cranberry Portage...8km was the number last night.  We are 30 km from Cranberry but I can't help worry about my friends near the fires.  The town is on voluntary evacuation so I have a friend and her daughter staying with me as her husband is a volunteer fire fighter and wanted them out of the town.   I hope she will beable to return to her brand new home in a few days and have all this behind her.  It has been a scary and stressful time for a lot of people around here.
Here are a few pictures I took Tuesday night of the smoke clouds from the Scenic Tower at Bakers Narrow Provincial Park.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Which One??

I have been dyeing fabric today and have narrowed down the backing fabric for my Beach Blanket to these three colours.  What do you think? Is there one that you feel would make the best backing?  I am really torn between two so I am curious what you think. 

Saturday, June 19, 2010

It's Not Easy Being Green!

That's the name of the quilt pattern my client used for this quilt (she made the Monkey quilt too) and it is from an issue of Quilter's World.   Again perfect piecing and applique!   I definately had fun playing on this one too and based the quilting designs on the sample in the magazine.  I used a Rainbow varigated thread in the border and a sky blue Marathon thread in the center of the quilt. I love the look of rayon threads on baby quilts, they have such a beautiful shine.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Monkey See Monkey Do

This quilt belongs to a very talented member of our local guild.  She designed the center monkey and used some of her hand dyed fabrics to make this cute baby quilt. 
I actually looked like a monkey jumping around when I was trying to take pictures of this quilt on the dock this morning.  It is very windy today and trying to keep the quilt from blowing into the lake was a bit tricky and involved some quick reflexes!  All the smoke in the air from the local forest fire interfered with my lighting too. Hope they are able to get the fire undercontrol soon.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Alphabet Quilt

My client hand blanket stitched around all the applique on this adorable baby quilt.  I quilted tiny loops in the blocks, outlined the letters and did a free hand flowers and loops in the border.  The backing is a soft flannel so it has such a great feel to it.
The kids only have 12 days of school left ...or in other words I only have 12 days of quiet left :)  I have 3 more quilts to finish for clients then I am taking the summer off.  I think I might be out of commission for the next few days as I am watching my wrist turn red and the ache of Carpel Tunnel is starting ...sigh, good thing my attacks are quick.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Guild Retreat

This weekend our guild held a retreat and I was in  just a bit of a panic as I didn't have a project to work on....remember I don't have UFO's.  So I was waiting on a fabric order from my favorite online shop Fabric Depot and to my relief it arrived Thursday so I had time that night to wash it all.  The picture above is the two batik collections I ordered, they are Islank Batiks.
Now once at the retreat I was asked who I was making this quilt for....well this one is for me but I really don't need another bed quilt or wall hanging so I decided to make it my new Beach Blanket!  You know the blanket you have in your car all summer that gets dragged out for picnics and trips to the beach.   Yes I got strange looks....."Your going to use it for WHAT?"   Yup I'm going to drag it around in the sand and let my kids run around on it with sandy wet feet!   After all the pictures I have been taking of my clients quilts on the dock I thought I would be really nice to have a quilt of my own to lay on down at the dock.  So I am treating myself.
Here is what I made with those lovely fabrics and I had enough left over so I can make a bag to put the quilt in too.  The design took forever to arrange and I almost just gave up...good thing I have very helpful and patience guild friends who came to my rescue.   I am very happy with the end result.  Think I'll experiment and dye the backing this summer...after all it is JUST a beach blanket!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Batik Log Cabin

I was so thrilled when my client asked me to quilt her quilt as she is the one that taught myself and a few other quilters how to dye fabric using the low immersion technique.  Her quilt contains a combination of commercial batiks and her hand dyed fabrics.  It is just beautiful.  I wanted to keep the quilting simple and just add movement to it by using my Flourish panto.  Picking thread for this one was a challenge as I ordered many different threads but just not satified with what I received.  Then as I was going through my threads I came across a dark purple that just seemed to work like magic on this quilt and blend beautifully with the fabrics.
Tomorrow I am off to my guilds Retreat for the next two days and today I was very happy to received my fabric order in the mail so I have a project to work on.   I don't have many UFO's so I would have had to thrown something together tonight if I didn't get my fabric order today. I'll post pictures on Sunday of what I accomplish this weekend...I'll just say that it involves beautiful Island Batiks!
Here are more pictures of my clients log cabin quilt.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Back from Camp

On Monday my son and I pack up our camping gear and headed out to Camp Whitney with his grade 8 class.   The boys school have a camping trips for the grade 6 and 8 classes each year and this is my second time on this trip as I attended his grade 6 camp trip too.  My son has a severe peanut allergy ( along with another grade 8 student) so it was important I be in the kitchen to help cook the meals.  Last trip there were 4 cooks and that was great....but this time only two parents volunteers for the kitchen so to my surprise I was told I was 'in charge' of the kitchen.   Once over that surprise of....."I'm WHAT??".....and then given the meal itinerary I soon discovered that we were not sent the food need to make the meals planned.  To top that off, when reading the 'instructions' for the meals it often said "see recipe".   So I every so casually ask the teachers because I know things are going soooo well at this point "where are the recipes?" ....."recipes? We don't have any recipies".    Yup....no surprise, no recipes.   So once we were able to get lunch into the kids I took a good look at just what we had.  Chicken for dinner....but no chicken.   Seems to be alot of premade hamburger patties.....so Burgers it is.  Day one done (out of kitchen by at 11pm). Day two....taco's for lunch....no ground beef, no taco chips....so sandwiches again since we were sent enough lunch meat to feed us for two weeks.  Supper roast.....woohoo....we have roasts.   Dessert...Death by Chocolate ( see recipe)....okay cake mixes check, pudding check, whipping cream check, chocolate bars ( peanut free) check....I can wing that!     Day two ....huge success( 7am to 11pm in kitchen...but all worth it!!)   The packaged gravy they sent was no match for my homemade.    I can cook.....who knew!    Okay I have to say that the other parent in the kitchen was awesome ( his daugher has diabetes so he wants to be there for his child too) and he did a great job working the grill.  Definately a team effort!
So I am very tired tonight as I also had to bunk with a cabin full of 13 year old girls...need I say more.   And believe it or not I love going to camp with the kids and will be going back next year for my other son's grade 6 trip. Now to something quilty...while I enjoy a glass of wine!
I finished this quilting for a client just before I left.   It is a Thimbleberry quilt and I used the Bushberries pantograph.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Churn Dash

 It has been awhile since I used stencils so I desided it was time to get out them out and use them on my clients traditional style Churn Dash quilt.   I used a tulip stencil in the blocks and setting triangles then free hand quilted leaves in the outer border.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Milestone in Fabric Dyeing

We did it....148 colors, 45 fabric rainbows with 11 dyes.  And this is just the beginning!!!
What you see is 148 fat quarters, Lori and I were dyeing half meter pieces and sharing to lighten the work load and it worked very well.   The only down side for me is paying the extra for the septic tank to be emptied more often :)  
What am I going to do with all these you ask?  Well I'm waiting for a fabric order of Kona Black and Kona White and then I'll see what inspires me.  I definately see one quilt being black with the jewel toned dyed fabric just haven't found 'the' pattern yet.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010


The sun has finally decided to show up in Northern Manitoba, I was beginning to wonder if I would even get my garden planted this spring.  Think I'll be hitting the greenhouses this week and get cracking on my flower and vegetable garden.
It seems very appropriate that I finished my clients colorful mystery quilt on this beautiful day. So down to the dock to take some pictures.  This is our guilds most recent mystery project and Lori and I are leading the next one that starts in September....we are calling the new one " Your Just Going to Have to Trust Us" Mystery Quilt.  That doesn't sound scary does it?