Archive for March, 2014

A few weekends ago I transformed my kitchen into my dye studio. Someday I hope to have a designated dye studio (hey a girl can dream!), but until then, my kitchen suffices.

After the first day dyeing several yards, I couldn’t stop and continued dyeing several more colors the second day.


It was a long weekend of dyeing and rinsing and washing and playing with color!


I dyed four nine step color ways, from the left: blueberry to lime green, mermaid’s dream to golden yellow, turquoise to line golden yellow, and amber wave to lime green.




More yum. Must have had spring on the mind with all the greens, yellows, bright blues and purples I was dyeing!


I’ve also spent my free time dyeing more yarn! Several friends joined me in my kitchen last weekend for more fun.


I covered the kitchen table with a plastic table cloth and voila! – the playing begun! Lesley had purchased a lot more colors to play with, and we had fun inventing different color schemes.


I wanted to dye five skeins for a sweater. I think it was too much for one pot, as it was challenging to get the dye on all the yarn.


I must have still had spring on the mind, selecting several greens and a splash of pink and orange.


I also diluted the dye to get softer colors then full strength. After re-skeining post-dyeing, the colors blend and mix together quite nicely! A pale springtime bouquet of color.


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I’ve spent the last month working on the leaves for my cottonwood tree. I raided all my scraps, and combed them for my greens, and cut the greens into hundreds of little pieces.

IMG_7948I then traced my tree trunk onto solvy, and then sandwiched my fabric leaves between two pieces of solvy.

IMG_7949I pinned the layers together in many places as possible, to help secure the fabric leaves and keep them from moving or shifting.

IMG_7951I wanted to free motion quilt the leaves, so played around with sketching a few designs I wanted to quilt the leaves with. I settled on a type of feather leafing design.

IMG_7953I drew the design onto the solvy with marker, and then quilted the lines I drew.

IMG_7955After rinsing the solvy off, I was left with leaves and stitches. I thought it looked quite nice on the tree branch!

IMG_7968After my test run, I went to work on the whole tree. The solvy is quite easily torn, and soon I was super frustrated as every few minutes it would tear. I finally found a couple of solutions, dropping my feed dogs so they wouldn’t tear the underside, and double layering the solvy. After using these two tricks, the whole thing stitched up easy.

IMG_7970With our monthly March meeting approaching, I also worked on creating my quilt sandwich, and started playing around with quilting bushes.

IMG_7976At our meeting today, it was thrilling to see all the panels come together. Here’s my panel next to Cathy’s. The tree is really coming together!

IMG_7973I love the detail Penny added to hers, flowers, rocks, and a little rabbit!

IMG_7974More detail coming together.

IMG_7975Bushes! So many different techniques and colors.

IMG_7979And the entire quilt! Stunning. Except. For. My. Panel.

I’m at a complete loss – how did I completely miss pick the right green color! My panel stands out like a sore thumb. We discussed the light shade of my panel. We came up with a few solutions, that could help, to bring elements from Cathy’s onto my panel.

IMG_7980But I’ve known this for awhile, and it just isn’t going away. I don’t want everyone’s reactions who see the quilt to always be, what’s up with the light panel on the left? I think I may need to recognize the mistake, and despite the work it might take, start all over. After all, I dyed lots of green fabric last weekend (pictures to come!), so it was like I knew this was coming. And it isn’t starting over, I just need to pick new background greens, and transfer all my embellishments on top, and then start quilting.

I also had this moment today, when my ancient Kenmore sewing machine seized up for the millionth time when trying to free motion quilt, I need a new machine! I don’t want or need all the bells and whistles of computer or fancy stitches, just a sturdy machine that can piece and free motion quilt. What kind of machine do you sew on? I’m in the market!

{This post is part of a series. To see other posts in this series, please click here}

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