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May was a full month! When things slow down, it is always surprising to look back and see how much happened. Where did May go? One of the fun and new things that I squeezed into the month was the opportunity to lead a workshop for my local quilt guild!

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Our guild offers free workshops for members once a month. Mostly, guild members volunteer to teach a workshop based on a skill or project they want to share. Several months ago, a guild member had been asking me how to dye fabric, and our conversation made me wonder if other quilters would be interested in learning too.

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After approaching our workshop chair, and talking with the guild, it sounded like indeed they would! I was signed up to teach the May Saturday workshop. I decided to do a twelve-step color wheel, one of the chapters in the Dyeing to Quilt book, where I learned most of what I know about dyeing fabric.

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From yellow, red, and blue dyes, twelve colors are made by mixing in varying amounts. I started the workshop with a brief explanation and demonstration. I wasn’t sure how long it would all take, but the timing worked out perfect. My teaching part was about an hour, and the dyeing part for participants was a second hour.

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And just to keep things interesting, I threw in a new technique which I had never tried before! When I dye on my own, I do it next to the kitchen sink, where I can constantly rinse my gloves and tools in the running water. For the workshop, we were working outside on tables, and had buckets of water to rinse in. I wanted to minimize the mess and need to rinse. I think that’s the great part about teaching a workshop. Not only was I sharing what I know, I learned something new too!

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In another of my dye books, the Fabric Dyer’s Dictionary, she shares a technique of pouring the dye into a ziploc bag with the fabric, and closing up the bag with dye and fabric. The main difference with this technique is that it is less messy, but the fabric needs to be agitated every ten minutes or so, depending on how mottled and variegated you want the patterning to be. You can see in the above two photos, after mixing the dyes, it was easy to pour the dye into the bag, and massage around. I was super pleased this technique worked since I tried it on the fly in the workshop! And am excited that I now have a new technique in my toolkit.

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It was a beautiful sunny morning to be outside in the garden. After my demonstration, all the guild members jumped right in to mixing and measuring their dyes. There was lots of laughter and chatting while mixing, and the morning passed most pleasantly.

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Everyone went home with their wet fabric in bags and instructions on how to rinse and wash after curing. Here’s my rainbow, I was pleased with how it turned out!

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It was my first time doing something like that; sharing about what I know, and talking about what I love to do was so much fun! So often, my craft is done solo at home. To play and share with others felt like a gift. It was also really informative to prepare for the class. Mixing and dyeing have become habit for me, so it was neat to step back and read my books again to think about the why and how to be able to describe the process and answer questions.

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And of course, I got a few fabrics out of the morning activities as well!

One last exciting update, my husband has been working on a dye counter in our garage for me, next to our washer/dryer/sink set up. We were gifted a counter top from a neighbor who remodeled their kitchen. Aaron just finished installing and building the counter and shelves and I can’t wait to move in and arrange all my supplies and start dyeing in the space! I will be sure to post pictures and share how it is to have a designated dye space soon!

And thank you to Marilyn, who shared with me the photos she took of me during the demonstration part of the workshop. Thanks Marilyn!

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As Kristine shared in her note for May’s selection of fabrics for the Pressed Seam Club, California experienced an extremely wet winter after four years of drought. Rainy days are just now turning to hot sunny days, and the opportunity to get outside and enjoy the green has been lovely this month!

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The fabrics included are an array of greens and blues, in varying textures and thicknesses.

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Of interest to me was the double gauze from Japan, the green grass print. I’ve seen double gauze fabric for sale online, and this was the first time I’d felt it in person. It is lightweight, but I think possible to incorporate in quilts and other sewing projects.

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I have a lot more I want to say but it might have to wait for another blog post where the whole story can be told. I used a couple of my pressed seam fabrics in my most recent in-progress quilt! It is neat to start to dig into my stash and find the perfect pattern for a project from this selection of new fabrics I’m receiving from the club.

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I think the months got all mixed up for everyone. April’s package arrived for the Pressed Seam Club, and the introduction card started with “Happy March Everyone!” And now it is May, and I’m sharing April’s fabrics with you!

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Kristine shared in her note that the collection started with the Jubilee print with lots of multi-colored polka dots, and went from there.

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There is a very geometric feel to this collection, with circles, lines, and solids. Some fabric is from Japan and some from India. Wow!

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Toward the end of March, a friend and I experimented with dyeing shibori. I tried a running stitch pattern, and chose this brilliant maroon color to dye with. When I returned home and opened my Pressed Seam shipment, I thought my dyed piece complemented the other fabrics quite well!

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So many intriguing, interesting, and neat fabrics! Such colors and designs. I can’t wait to make something with them! Maybe adding in my dyed shibori swatch to the mix …

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P.S. This mini photo shoot included scone, strawberries, and a cuppa tea. Heaven!

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The fabric delivery for March from A Verb for Keeping Warm’s Pressed Seam Club is the most scrumptious of them all.

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Loving this selection probably has to do with my fondness for blue and purple.

img_2692Kristine shared that she chose the March palette around one of Caroyln Friedlander’s new prints – Sage (seen in foreground of photo). It is a beautiful pattern, and my mind hums with ideas on what type of project to use it in!

img_2695 These six fabrics would look lovely together in a quilt. But really, who knows where they will end up!

  1. Robert Kaufman – Carolyn Friedlander – Friedlander Sage
  2. Free Spirit Fabrics – Anna Maria Horner – Mixed Signals
  3. Kokka Co. LTD Fabrics – Ellen Baker – Framework
  4. Robert Kaufman – Classic Threads – Grape
  5. Nano Iro – Freeway
  6. Free Spirit Fabrics – Heather Bailey – Momentum Vibe

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What a joy it is to receive fabric in the mail that is a surprise! As the first days of February passed, I looked forward with anticipation to receiving my package of February’s Pressed Seam Club from a Verb for Keeping Warm.

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In her note, Kristine shared that she wanted to pick bright primary colors to brighten up the gray days of winter. There have been a lot of gray days this winter, thank goodness for the rain and snow, so a little pop of sunshine and color is much appreciated despite how much the water is needed.

img_2489There are such a range of textures to each piece of fabric. One is more of a heavy canvas, and another a lightweight almost transparent weave. None are fabrics I would necessarily pick up on my own, but now that I have them, I can’t wait to use them in a sewing project!

img_2491Fabrics included are:

  1. Moda Fabrics – Mary Jane Butters – Glamping
  2. Liberty Art Fabrics -Bloomsbury Collection
  3. Art Gallery Fabrics – Folklore Sunray – Tule
  4. Kokka Co LTD Fabrics – Trefle
  5. Cotton & Steel – Alexia Abegg – Print Shop
  6. Cloud 9 Collective – Anna Graham – Rain Walk – 100% Organic Cotton

Linking up with Sunday Stash.

“Sunday-Stash-with-Molli

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I am excited to be participating in A Very for Keeping Warm‘s Pressed Seam Club. I have long loved the Verb for their yarn and natural dye materials, but haven’t really taken advantage of or browsed their fabric selection. I’ve had my eye on their Pressed Seam Club since I first heard of it several months ago, and subscribed this January for the first time.

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I always love opening packages and seeing what’s inside, especially since the six fat quarters they send each month will be a surprise! Their note shares that they wanted to include fabrics that “bring to mind daydreaming and doodles” for the New Year.

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I think what I will enjoy most about this subscription is expanding my stash to include fabrics I wouldn’t ordinarily pick out myself,  but once I have in my toolkit, will enjoy using.

img_2281 So in addition to doodling and daydreaming, here’s to stretching comfort zones and being more creative with new fabric! Happy New Year all, I’m looking forward to what we all quilt in 2017.

Linking up with Sunday Stash.

“Sunday-Stash-with-Molli

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Planning for 2017

 

Looking forward to 2017 makes the world feel full of possibility. This is often the point at which I over commit myself, dream big, and imagine that my time is limitless. They say shoot for the moon and you will land among the stars, so it is off to the moon I go!

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My number one top priority will be … making quilts! Of course. The new part is I’ve been invited to participate in a show locally with a few other artists this summer. This means it is time to start sewing! The show is led by Ann Piersall; if you haven’t heard of her yet, take a moment to check out her work. Absolutely stunning. She has been invited by our local brewery to have a show, and she thought it would be more fun to have several artists participating! The theme will be to share our unique East Side landscape, from the sage covered valleys to the high mountain peaks.

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I’ve also signed up for Elizabeth Barton’s Master Class. The class is hosted on a private blog, and Elizabeth posts one assignment each month. We submit our designs and quilts, and she provides guidance and critique. I am looking forward to seeing what everyone in the class designs and sews, and to see how my own designs develop. This class will be a challenge for me to keep up with, but I’m hoping to set aside small bits of time to devote to it. Like I discovered with my poppy quilts, a lot can be accomplished when you even just set aside ten minutes a day!

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I also want to continue to be involved in our Out of the Box group, meeting up to share techniques, and hopefully having another show at the Mammoth Lakes library again next fall. There are also rumblings from the group that we might have another collaborative project together. We will have to see what that turns out to be!

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And then, if there is any more time left, I want to dye more fabric. I want to play with dyeing gradations and sewing transparent designs. I want to learn how to sew curves and incorporate the technique more in my work (nothing to do with dyeing, just something I want to learn). I want to paint more fabric, more sunsets and skyscapes. Part of the dyeing goal is to also get a permanent place set up for me to dye in our garage/laundry room. There is a wall next to the washing machine and sink that we’d like to install counter tops and cupboards (if anyone locally is remodeling their kitchen, let me know! We are on the hunt for around six feet of counter top). Then I could have all my dye equipment ready to use, and a dedicated space to dye in.

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And let’s not forget to mention my personal health and wellbeing, hanging out with my family and friends, getting outside and being active, and cooking good food. I’d also like to sew up a couple of baby quilts for babies that have arrived and will be arriving. My blog could use some attention, organizing some background pieces and cleaning up a few things I’ve been thinking about.

Here’s to a productive, creative, and fun 2017! Let’s go see what happens.

2017 Planning Party
P.S. And I’m linking up with my first link party! Thanks to Yvonne at Quilting Jet Girl for hosting the #2017planningparty.

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