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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.

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

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

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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.

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Yum.

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

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

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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.

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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.

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

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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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