Sunday, September 25, 2011

Ahead of the Game. . .

I had a lovely week working in sunny southern Utah- as far as I'm concerned, summer can hang on as long as it likes. I actually have some things from the studio to share!!

I bought one of those light rayon circular scarces from Dharma, and just got around to dyeing it.  I have some colors in the frig, but not the gray I wanted to go with the red I already had.  So I mixed up a .5% solution (so, so easy!!), and here is what I have marinating-

It's wet, so I should have some white left on it- fine by me.  Love that gray color.

I also got a gift quilt done and ready to mail.  My SIL bought these blocks on a trip to Oregon years ago, and asked if I would put them together.  I got it quilted before I left for St. George, thanks to a friend with a longarm who showed me how to use a wave ruler to get the quilting I wanted.

I hope she is happy with it!  I wanted a simple design that referenced the nautical or ocean feel of the quilt, and think that this succeeds.

She's also getting a pillow ready for a pillow form with another lighthouse block on it.  

And as for the title of this post, my next Tangled Textiles challenge piece is almost done, three weeks ahead of schedule.  I have mixed feelings about it.  I tried some processes totally new to me, and had fun doing them.  But I am just not sure if the quilt is 'me.' I do like, however, the way I chose to interpret the theme of 'tools.'

I can't post the entire piece until after the reveal on Oct. 18- but here is a corner preview--

I have one last thing to do to it, using this.  Something else I have never done in a like manner!!

I agonized over what color to use, after deciding that my first idea wouldn't work or give the look I wanted.  That idea involved metal, not fabric, and I still think it's an idea I could use in the future.  As for the color- I wouldn't have believed it until I auditioned it. 

With the challenge piece out of the way, I'm moving on to another hand dye I did that I want to use as a wholecloth.  I love the effects possible just with thread  But that is for later.  Off to ready for another work weeks, hope your week is a creative one!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Next Challenge

I started working on the next challenge with the Tangled Textiles group.  I am loving using words to spark ideas rather than pictures- it just seems to flow better for me.  And the words we have used thus far have lent themselves to multiple interpretations.

This time the word is 'tool'.  Lots and lots of directions to take that one!  And I have wanted to use my rusted fabric, without creating issues for my sewing machine.  I hope I have found a way to do that.

So here is your sneak peek at the very beginning of  the process.  Lots more to be done, so it is a good thing I'm starting way before our mid-October deadsline!

I'm really looking forward to finishing this one, I'll be doing processes and using materials fairly new to me.  I won't be doing anymore this week, I am leaving tonight on a work-related trip and won't be home until very late Thursday.  But I'm learning that I do a lot of my 'work' in my head, so I'll have lots of time for that!

Friday, September 16, 2011

A Lost Art

Or maybe it would be a lost skill?  I am continually amazed at how the ability to express oneself in writing, with good grammar and spelling, is eroding.  They sure don't seem to be teaching it in school!

The state of Utah recently painted off a section for motorcycles in the parking lot at the regional center in Provo.  Obviously those who did the work don't have access to spellcheck, a dictionary, or any other means of ensuring spelling accuracy.


I haven't had a lot to blog about lately, but I am off to Salt Lake to meet with my WAQ group, and also get a small gift quilt quilted.  If I can manage it this weekend, I might even have some quilty content! 

Monday, September 05, 2011

Winding Down

from a long weekend, and definitely not ready to go back to work.  Oh well.  

The cotton knit I had in the dyepot Saturday is now a tee.  Having cut the fabric on the fold limited the choice of patterns I had, so this is what I ended up with.  

It has a bit more white than I'd intended, but I decided against overdyeing the fabric.  I just didn't want to mess with the nice twisted pattern I got.  And, I really like the color.

I have another tee cut out from commercial fabric- I want to test the pattern before I use any hand dyed.  And, I have no more cotton knit to dye- I'll have to wait until I can get some more sent from Reno.

The weather here is cooling off, and the days are shorter.  I'm an early riser whether it's a workday or not, and it's dark now when I get up. I've been looking at the trees on the mountains to check for any color changes, but none yet.  It won't be long, though.

Saturday, September 03, 2011

Overdyeing- Leaving the Crapshoot!!

I haven't posted for two weeks, and you would think I have been busy in the studio, putting all my newly learned wisdom and knowledge to good use with fabric and dyes.  You would be wrong, unfortunately.

We've cleaned carpets, moved furniture, switched bedroom occupants.  I did get my dye bible completely put together in the midst of all that, and read through Carol's instructions multiple times.  I even did some formulas.  But not one bit of fabric, at least not until this weekend.

I dyed this piece of rayon/linen a few weeks ago.  

 You probably can't tell in the picture, but the pale color is not white but peachy.  I knew I wanted to change it, without drastically changing the red spirals.  And, I could not remember exactly what dyes I used to do this.

I used my dye bible to determine what color was closest to the background color I wanted to change, then picked the color I wanted it to be- a medium pale shade of grayed blue-lavender.  I did the math, and did two dye baths last night.  Since I was using fuschia and turquoise, I decided to do this in two separate dye baths, to avoid the dreaded color split that is so common with those two dyes.  After the first bath in red, the fabric looked like this:

I can see the very pale yellow under the pink, so I obviously mixed fuschia or light red dye with yellow to tone down the blue cast in both those dyes.  Next I overdyed it again, in a slightly darker value of turquoise.  This is how it came out of the dryer this morning:

It is hard to tell, but the fabric is definitely a grayed blue lavender- and the red spirals still look red.  In some places the orange is still easily visible.

The color in the pictures is not quite right, and I couldn't get it right in PSE.  But it is very close to the color in my book, and I am happy with it.  I am also ecstatic that I now have a tool to give me more control and predictability when I overdye!

I finally got around to doing something with the last piece of cotton spandex knit that I got in Reno.  I cut it in half lenghwise, and twisted the fabric tightly after soda soaking it.  I'm hoping to keep some of the white in this piece, so I added the dye while it was wet.  I'll pull this one out tomorrow- I've already chosen the pattern I'll use- another simple design that highlights the fabric and can be sewn in a couple of hours.

I'm really developing a preference for colors that teeter between two.  This one- is it green?  Blue?  I like the way a paler value of the color is wicking out.  More tomorrow after the washout!