Saturday, 27 June 2015

Hung Out to Dry

After a day of rinsing, soaking and washing I now have 17 metere of fabric to iron! It all looks good hanging on the line with some results better than others. Some of the dull greens, heather and moss colours will be perfect for landscape quilts...

Friday, 26 June 2015

Left-over Dye Day

After the dyeing session last week we had a number of jars of dye stock left over which I brought home to use up ( waste not want not....). I bought some white homespun (15 meters) which was on sale and thought I would only be able to dye a few meters and have spare fabric left over for later projects. But somehow the dye stock kept magically replenishing itself and I used up all my fabric plus two extra meters I had in the cupboard! 
All careful measuring of last week went out of the window and I soon had a production line where I mixed colours with gay abandon. Not even the cleaning cloths were wasted-  as soon as one looked pretty I changed for a new one. I squidged, rolled, folded, tied and scrunched without making any notes of what I did and when or what colours I used. Completely unscientific!
So I now have a million bags of dyed fabric curing till tomorrow and then the exciting time of discovering what comes out of all the bags and the boring bit of rinsing and washing...

Monday, 22 June 2015

Chaucers' Magnus Opus

Doesn't it look fabulous? This is the first time I've seen it all finished. My block is the nearest one. The girls did a great job with the hand quilting...

Chaucer Quilters' Big Win!

Exciting news that our Chaucer quilt has just won 1st Prize in the group category at the UK National Quilt Championships, Sandown.  We did the appliqué blocks and borders before I left for Australia and since then the group have been busy hand quilting. Fantastic news ladies!

We all did a block and a border section.

I'll post a photo of the finished quilt at the show when my Chaucer friends get over the excitement and send one to me!

Saturday, 20 June 2015

Partner in Dyeing's Results

These are some of my partner's results...can't wait to see them all.

Dyeing Results

After going through the hoops to get the fabric as colourfast as possible, here are the results of my half of the process (we are going to split the batch next week...)

This is the first dyeing of a range from red to blue. They're a bit mottled but I like that effect.

This is the second dyeing done 30 minutes later. Strange that the red seems to have been taken up in the first dyeing leaving only blue dye for the second lot. 

This was the experimental batch, where we folded, scrunched etc. I just love the red explosion! 

Thursday, 18 June 2015

Dyeing To Quilt

Following a long day dyeing fabric I now have to wait till tomorrow to see how the different techniques work out. These buckets account for half the fabric that we dyed, as my 'partner in dyeing' has an equal amount in buckets at her house to rinse out. We reckon that's the worst part of the whole process...
Then we aim to split the fabric between us so we have a full range of colours.

Sunday, 14 June 2015

Amish Ugly

Yesterday we all got another 'ugly' fabric from contemporary quilt group as a challenge to use in a small project. Last time my 'Texas ugly' fabric transformed into a row of T shirts on a washing line but this fabric was too tempting to use for anything other than a miniature quilt. The Amish figures and pinwheels were scattered all over and had to be cut out sparingly to have enough. 
I think I could have made a full size quilt in the time it took me to make this one - 2 days of fiddling but I love how it's turned out! Those curved rulers came in handy for quilting too...

Tuesday, 9 June 2015

Privy Bag Challenge

Of all the mad things I've done lately this must be the maddest! Our guild president set us a challenge recently after reading an article about privy (dunny) bags, which were made in the days of outdoor toilets. These bags were used to hold the old newspaper sheets know what!
So here's my privy bag (a good place to keep those spare toilet rolls and marginally better than the crotcheted holders my mum used to make!) The picture was printed on photo fabric and then I free motion quilted the panel - not exactly thread painting, more thread drawing!

Wednesday, 3 June 2015

Practice, Practice, Practice on the Sweet 16

I've decided to try and spend half an hour a day on my new sweet 16, as I know that any teething troubles I've had (and there have been plenty!) are down to me rather than the machine. I think I've sorted out the thread breaking and tension issues now (thanks to Rhonda Bracey's At Random blog..) and am almost ready to work on a real quilt, but first I want to get completely comfortable with the machine. Here are my first practice pieces - ruler work and some feathers. 

Tuesday, 2 June 2015

Quilt Portrait in the Making

Now the show is over I can post some photos of my TV girl (title '...the World was Black and White')  and give some basic instructions on how to transform a photograph into a fabric picture.

1. Choose a photograph that has plenty of contrast and is of high quality and reduce it to a small number of layers (colours) using a photo editing programme (even basic programmes will have the option of reducing an image down to 4 layers - I used 8 for TV girl). This will simplify the image. Remember to crop the image as desired.

2. To enlarge the image upload it to (a free website). This will prepare the image into a multiple of A4 sheets to download ready to print out (this will be the master image). You will also need to enlarge a reverse image in the same way to use as a tracing pattern. 

3. Trace the design onto a clear plastic sheet (table cover or art shop acetate) using a permanent marker. This will be a placement guide.

4. To prepare the work surface lay out a thick towel covered with the background fabric (I used white). Lay the plastic over the top and pin to the background through the towel to avoid shifting.
Lay the reverse image to the side with enough space for tracing the shapes onto Vliesofix. Keep the master image nearby for reference.

5. Trace each shape onto vliesofix using the reverse image and iron onto the chosen fabrics with a HOT iron (vliesofix needs a hot, dry iron). Apply each piece onto the background fabric, lifting the plastic sheet to slide the piece under, checking that the placement is correct before ironing in place. Remember that some pieces lay partially underneath another.

6. As you build up the fabric picture check that it resembles the master image. It's interesting to see how the picture develops as you build up the layers.

7. Once all the pieces are ironed in position, stitch down using raw edge applique, add borders and quilt!

Monday, 1 June 2015

Bali Shots

Forgot to post about this little quilt that I made a few months ago, using my gorgeous shot cottons from Bali. It's a memory quilt with photos I took last year when I was on a yoga retreat in Ubud - happy memories of a relaxing and peaceful week surrounded by beautiful colours!