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Archive for November, 2010

‘Tis the Season

I have Christmas gifts on the mind, and inspired by a stash busting pattern in one of my quilt books, today I got busy. The beauty of this pattern is no measuring! The pattern calls for approximately 1 1/2 inch strips, no rulers allowed! It took a little getting used to, but after a while I really started to enjoy it. The finished result has a wonky folksy feel that I absolutely love. I might never measure again!

scraps and scraps

A journey in color! Scraps and more scraps.

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Giving Thanks

Today, my boyfriend built me a sewing table. I am so thrilled – thank you! I can’t wait until tomorrow, to start arranging my things, and sewing . . . It is such a beautiful room, full of windows where the sun just comes shining in. It is beautiful. And thanks to our neighbor Eric for letting us raid his wood scrap pile.

New Sewing Room

Sunlight streams in the windows of my new sewing room.

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Dye Transfer – Silk Ties

Margaret and I were inspired to try the dye transfer technique, featured in the October/November Quilting Arts Magazine. For the last month, Margaret has been visiting thrift stores looking for 100% silk men’s ties, in colorful and interesting patterns. This afternoon, we met to give it a try.

First – lay out the silk scarves in an interesting pattern.

First step

White silk scarves are layed down on top of muslin, then silk ties placed on top.

Fill up half the scarf with silk ties, then fold scarf over. Because the ties are two sided, the scarf will be dyed from both sides.

Fill up entire scarf.

Working in a sunny kitchen, Margaret and I happily snipped and cut, arranging our silk ties in fun patterns.

When scarf is full, roll up inside muslin into a tight bundle. Tie with string.

Scarf Roll

Silk Burrito!

Put in non-cooking dye pot with water, and 4 tablespoons vinegar. Boil for 20 minutes.

Scarves being dyed.Rinse with cold water, and open up to reveal pattern. It is almost as good as Christmas morning opening gifts. You never know what color will transfer. For example, a black patterned tie transferred as a beautiful green. The scarves fairly shimmered in the sunlight.

Finished scarves.

Finished scarves - only one more step of heat setting the dye with the iron.

What is next? We need more 100% silk ties!

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Christmas Bliss

I spent a lovely Saturday, stretching my box with Kim Frey of Follow Your Bliss Quilting. She was teaching a class on her most recent pattern, Christmas Bliss. My friend Kimberly joined me for our all day, snip-n-tear, crinkle cut, timed adventure.

The first step – get some color down! Kim pushed us to not think, just do. No cutting allowed. Only tearing. Follow your instincts.

First step

First step - block out major shapes with fabric. No cutting - only tearing!

From there, we added details. To put together the fire, we used the Krinkle Cut method. Here’s Kimberly’s vibrant warm fire.

Kim and Fire

Kimberly in front of her in-progress Christmas Bliss. Stepping out of the box is such fun!

Then came the part that challenged me to step out of my box: the tree. Kim Frey pushed us by setting a time limit, forcing you to do not think. I stepped out on a limb and went for it, and to my surprise, at the end of the five minute cut and place frenzy, I had a beautiful tree.

Christmas Bliss Tree

My Christmas Bliss tree - five minutes of frenzied cutting and placing.

After six hours of cutting, tearing, gluing, placing, cutting, tearing, placing and gluing, we were ready to begin quilting. Using the most sparkly gold metallic thread, we began to quilt the boxes, adding such decoration as this lovely bow.

Metalic gold thread quilted bow

My first ever, metalic gold thread quilted bow. Isn't it cute?

And at the end of the day, Kimberly and I both had lovely Christmas Bliss quilts. What’s next? Many hours at the machine quilting, and hopefully more Saturday’s of stretching our box and blissfully quilting.

The finished quilts.

Kimberly and I display our finished work - blissful quilts.

Check out Kim Frey’s website here: http://fybquilting.com/. And special thanks to my friend Kimberly for going on this adventure with me 🙂

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