Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Beautiful Day For Dying!

I have been meaning to do this for a long time but was waiting for the right weather. I purchased some acid dyes and some wool yardage and thought I might try my hand at dying some wool.  I have dyed cotton before but acid dyes are a little different. You have to soak them in a pot of dye solution heating and stirring until you get the desired color.  I got a hot plate from the cottage and set things up in the backyard.

Outdoor dying studio

Wool Before Dying
  I recruited my partner in crime (my daughter) and we went to work. She mostly tie dyed some of her wardrobe, but I went to work cutting up yardage into manageable pieces.
Katie, My Dying Partner
  I am taking a class with Sue Spargo in the spring and I have a very limited wool stash.  Wool dying is a little more labour intensive than cotton dying as you have to stir constantly if you want an even coloration. but well worth the effort.  I love the results!
First Batch
The Finished Product

  I even dyed some silk thread for embellishing.  I found the wool gobbled up the dye the fastest and the velvet color didn't get quite as saturated. In the next batch, I put the velvet in first and let it soak for 10 minutes and then put everything else in. That seemed to solve the problem.  The only thing that I wasn't happy with was the wool felt (one on the far right).  Not quite sure what went wrong.  It didn't take the dye evenly and it came out much lighter.  I even tried dying some on it's own full strength, still no difference.  I did the burn test and it seems to be wool, so I have a little more experimenting to do. At this point I think I have enough to get me started. 

Final Results
I am pretty happy with the results over all.  I even managed to do some cotton gradation dying as well.  If anyone has had better success with dying wool felt I would love to know what you do.

Bye for now....

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Coming Full Circle

I never thought it would happen, but I have come full circle.  After finishing Art College I got a job with Toronto Board of Education teaching arts and crafts to Seniors.  I lovvved my job!  For 13 years I came up with craft ideas to suit my various classes, until one day one of my students introduced me to quilting.  She took me to  York Heritage Quilter's Guild and  I was hooked immediately.  I joined the guild and then began to convert my crafting students into quilters.  After many years of quilting the industry is returning to crafting.  I quite enjoy doing some smaller projects once in awhile.  You get such a feeling of accomplishment, and they work up quickly.
Small Pouches

The first one took the longest, but once I got the hang of it the rest worked up very quickly.  I thought they would make great gifts with a gift card inside.  It was the first time I have sewn with clear plastic.   You need to use your walking foot for piecing otherwise your foot will get hung up on the plastic.  This is another pattern by Atkinson Designs.  Their patterns are well written and easy to follow.

Bridget's Bagettes  By Atkinson Designs
I must say it is fun starting and finishing a project in an evening.  Happy sewing everyone!

Monday, January 6, 2014

Happy New Year!

Hi Everyone!

     It has been a very long time since I have posted, I am ashamed to say.  Sometimes life gets in the way.  I must say this year it really did.  Just before Christmas we along with about 300,000 others lost power  during the ice storm.   The Christmas game plan was to finish wrapping Saturday and then begin some small sewing projects on Sunday, and then do the final clean-up of the house.  Saturday evening the lights went out, and they didn't come back on until Christmas Eve.  No lights, no heat, no stove, no electronics, but worst of all no sewing machine for 3 days!  That's what I get for leaving the sewing till the last minute. Anyway we survived it and Christmas came and went, and it is all a distant memory.  As I sit watching the weather channel preparing for the next storm that is on it's way,  I have decided to focus on Spring.  I made a road trip to Lee Valley Tools (One of my very favorite stores) to spend a gift card that I got for Christmas.
Gardening Supplies
My Mantle

 At this time of year I usually crave colour, so once again I hauled out my KaffeFassett fabrics.  I have a few ideas that I have been working on using EQ7, so stay tuned.  In the mean time I thought I would show you the last Kaffe Fassett quilt that I finished.  I haven't photographed the finished quilt yet, but here is the top.  I just love working with his fabrics!
 Log Cabin Quilt
I would love to hear what you are up to and what your next project is going to be!  I promise I will blog more often this year.  Bye for now.  Jeannie