Thursday, January 27, 2011

Bali Pop Quilt

I bought this Bali Pop a few years ago and used it to make a Stacked Coin quilt.  I just quilted it today with a new free hand design for me.  I saw this design on Pieceful Kwilters blog and just fell in love with it.  She calls it Topo quilting because it looks like topographic lines on a map and maybe that is what drew me to it as I majored in Geology in university.

I actually had no idea what I was doing at first but I guess looking at all those maps many years ago must have stuck in my brain as this one came very naturally. Glad I pushed myself to try something new.

I used Rainbow varigated blue to purple on the top and light blue Bottom Line in the bobbin.
Snow dyed fabric for the backing.

Think i'll make a scrappy binding for this one with all the left overs.
The weather man says we are in for 25cm of snow tonight so I'm sure I'll find time to get the binding finished this weekend.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


My husband informed me that I am a Mompreneur.  Oh that sounds good... so what does it mean? 
The defininition of a Mompreneur from the website Investopedia is:

A slang term describing women who run their own businesses while also acting as a full time parent. Mompreneurs are more likely to run a business out of the home than out of a commercial building. Because of family obligations, mompreneurs have to balance the requirements of running a business with the demands of their children, and may do the bulk of their work during the time when their children do not require as much attention.

The next time I am asked what I do for a living I think I know my answer.
So are you a Mompreneur too?

I can't have a post without a picture.  This weekend my husband built a frame for my snow dyed fabric so I could hang it on our bedroom wall.   I just couldn't cut that piece up.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Scrap Basket Blues

Eileen finished her Scrap Basket Blues quilt that she started at the guild Retreat in November.  This pattern is out of the book Scrap Basket Surprise which is designed for quilters with a large Eileens.  I know, I've seen it!!  Puts my few drawers of fabrics to shame... maybe that is why I was in the mood to dye fabric all weekend.

Eileen didn't want the quilting to show too much since it is a scrappy quilt so I picked the Happy Times pantograph and used a beige thread.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Asian Quilt ...Plus a Surprise or Two

This is Lorna's Asian Quilt and I love the fabrics she used and the pattern.  She knew she wanted the Dragonfly Pond design and gold colored thread on this one and I completely agreed.  Something about this panto gives it a real asian feel.  It is designed by Irene Steele of Timeless Quilting Designs.

Now to my good news, actually there are two things I want to mention. 
First our little town is getting a new fabric shop!!!!  *Happy Dance**  We have been without a fabric shop for two years and lets just say that was torture!!  I am so excited and can hardly wait to fondle bolts of fabric again when I'm in the mood :) It's going to be pure bliss... Bliss Fabrics and Gifts that is. 

The second bit of news can be found on Jenny's blog here.
I follow both of Jenny's blogs and I would highly recommend you check both of them out, they are great!! Thanks Jenny for the great surprise and putting a smile on my face!!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

30 Below

Well I have totally abandoned any notion of taking pictures outside today as it is -30'C ( or more like -40'C with the windchill).  I frozen my hands taking pictures for my last post so I think I'll use more common sense this time :)
I just finished quilting Lynn's Treasure Box batik quilt, the second one I have quilted for her ( I made two for myself as well, one of my favorites) so you would have seen this one on my blog before but it is definately worth showing again.

I used the Whirlygig pantograph and So Fine beige thread.

I also quilted Lynn's Black, White and Red Circle quilt using the Dragonfly Pond panto and a medium grey So Fine thread.  This is the same quilt Yvonne just did as well as my Beach quilt from the summer and I used the dragonflies on all three quilts.  That panto just suits the Circle quilts that we all made from acrylic templates from Elisa's Backporch Designs.  They were at big seller at our Quilt Show's merchant mall in the Spring.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Alphabet and Circle Quilts

This is Yvonne's adorable pink Alphabet quilt.    I used variagated pink King Tut thread and Heart's In Bloom pantograph.

This is also Yvonne's Circle quilt using a fabric collection from Connecting Threads.  The fabrics have a oriental print so we decided to go with Dragonfly Pond for a panto and beige thread to blend into the bright fabrics.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Block of the Month

So I have put away the dyeing gloves and am back into quilting full swing.  This is Darlene's quilt and it was the local fabric shops BOM project from 2005. I have quilted a few of these and this time I did a combination of custom quilting on the borders and a panto in the center. 

The outer border is a free hand feathers in Navy thread, the inner border is my favorite quilting design the feather feather swirl in red thread and the centre pantograph is called Rhapsody, quilted with beige thread.  The backing fabric was white... so white bobbin thread it is for a nice wholecloth look on the back.

Rhapsody is a Willow Leaf Studio design.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Snow Dyeing - Day 3 The Experiments Continue

Day 3....the screen test. Okay it is more like the lack of screen in this experiment.  I needed a backing for my Jelly roll quilt  and I snow dyed this piece the same color that I used in the sashing of the quilt.  But this time I tried just putting the fabric in a bucket with no screen to see what happens. Here it is a few hours into the melting.

And the result is the same great texture as with the screen...

So why use the screens if it give the same texture as without? That led me to my next set of experiments.

I wanted to snow dye two pieces of fabric the same color with the only variable being the screen/ no screen to truly see if there is a difference.  I went through my hand dyed samples and picked this color to try.

Snow dyed one fabric in the bucket and the second one on the screen.
The results where quite different. The fabric on the left is the no screen has a darker intensity and has what I texture similar to Immersion Dyeing.  The fabric on the right is with the screen and has the softer texture and more muted colors that have separated more.  So it basically comes down to the look you want.  I like both but find the screen dyed one more pleasing to they eye and I would likely pick that one to put in a quilt over the more intense one. But that is just me :)
Hope you enjoyed my experiments but now I hear my longarm calling...

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Snow Dyeing - Day 2

I am having way too much fun with this snow dyeing and the results just keep getting better and better.  I'm addicted!!  Yesterday I decided to try mixing Teal and Brown, my two favorite colors at the moment, and was just thrilled with the results.  I use Procion MX dyes from G&S Dyes.  I have two brown dyes, #611 Soft Brown and #615 Brown so tried them both with my teal recipe. 
Here they are on the screens with the snow just after pouring the dye on.

  I cut all my dyed fabrics that I have the recipes for (all 172) with my 6 1/2" Square Go cutter die last week so I have nice size samples to refer to when needed. 

 Here are the samples of my teal and #611 Soft Brown...

...snow dyed they made this piece, my new favorite!

My teal and #615 Brown...

...snow dyed made this piece.

And here they are together!  So pretty!

I might get Tim to build some wooden frames so I can stretch these and make wall art.  He received a new uphostery gun for his air compresser this xmas so that would be a great project for him to try, right dear :)

I have two more fabrics in the works down in my dungeon (crawl space) at the moment and I am comparing the difference between snow dyeing on a screen or just dyeing it in a bucket without the screen.  The results I have seen on a few blogs without the screens look very similar to the results with screens so I thought that was a worthwhile experiment.  Are you starting to realize I am quite the GEEK!!!  LOL!

I started working on my clients quilt again on Monday, I haven't abandoned quilting for dyeing....yet!  The nice thing about snow dyeing is it takes 5 hours for the snow to melt giving me lots of time to quilt.  I have a large semi-custom quilt on my machine so should be done that one soon.

Oh, I made this placemats for myself over that holidays and just finished hand stitching the binding on all 10 of them!  I bought a fat quarter pack from Fat Quarter Shop called Honeysuckle Bali Batiks from Hoffman Fabrics, I can't resist a bali sale!!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Snow Dyeing

Snow dyeing is a technique used to dye fabric using snow and since we have a lot of snow I thought I would give it a try. Actually Lori kept emailing me all week to say she was going to try and that I should too!  She knows I need a kick in the pants to try new things and since I didn't want her to have all the fun I gave it a go :)   This is a very cool dyeing technique and I love the results. 

The basic science to this is the cold temperture provided by the snow cause the dye molecules to slow down their ability to attach to the fabric giving the dye time to separate into their original colors if your using a mixed dye, not a pure dye.  Some colors will move a bit faster and attach to the fabric first creating the really cool patterns on the fabric. This is shown really well on the fabric dyed with the color Chino.  It almost looks like burnt paper the way the colors separated.

This post is just about the snow dyeing process and if you would like to learn more about fabric dyeing using the low immersion technique as well as what dyes and supplies I use see my tutorial post here.

To start I got my husband to build me two mesh screens to hold the fabric above the buckets that will catch all the melting snow. My fabric was presoaked in Sodium Carbonate ( Soda Ash) for a few hours.

I then piled as much snow as I could on top of the fabric

I use Mx Procion dyes and mixed 1/2 tsp yellow, 1/2 tsp salt with 1/2 cup water, and the same for the Fuchsia and Cerulean Blue.   I then pour the three dye mixtures on top of the snow on the first fabric. 

I poured Navy and Royal Blue on the second.

Here is Chino on one and a Scalet/Red mix on the other.

Once all the snow has melted I rinse the fabric with TNA soap and then soak the fabric in Raycafix for a few minutes to set the dye.  Then a quick rinse and spin in the washing machine, a trip to the dryer and voila!!

Here are more pictures of the end results

Here are a few links to some of my other snow dyeing posts.

Snow dyeing Green fabric and Purple fabric
Snow dyeing Orange fabric

I have started snow dyeing quilt backing as well.

Close up of the texture.

I also like to mix the dye powder directly into the dry snow to get very bold colors.You can see that post here