Saturday, April 23, 2011

Hand Dyed

During some of my days off this week, I dyed!  Kristal, too!

Dyeing in Process
Photo courtesy of dawnkristal

Kristal had some hand-dye kits that yielded 30 fat eighths each.  There are several stages in the process, but most of them are not active stages.  Mostly, after mixing and applying the dye, there is a lot of waiting around.  At the end of the process-- spread over two days-- we had 60 fat eighths of beautiful fabric plus a few pieces that we experimented on.

I think my favorite are the reds and pinks, but the purples are not bad either. They are all so vibrant!  Some of the pieces are more mottled-- those cups were not stirred as vigorously, and therefore the dye did not saturate evenly.  Others are fairly solid with natural variations one can expect from a hand dye.

Dyeing in Process
Photo courtesy of dawnkristal

The dye process is not very intuitive for me, but I did enjoy the experiment.  Now that I have learned the underlying process to hand dyeing, I'm interested to experiment with mixing different colors of dye baths and dyeing yardage, as well.  I'm not fully comfortable with the process-- I'd like to master a few color recipes before trying anything too crazy-- and I'd like to do more hands on experimentation.

Once I'm comfortable with the general process of mixing dye baths and dyeing the fabrics, I'm going to start experimenting with wax resist techniques.  I have several patterns that I want to try and many color combinations, as well.  It may take a while to get there, but I'm okay with that.  I've got time.

Most of what I know about this process comes from Kristal, but I've also watched Malka's Quilting Arts DVD and read her book, Color Your Cloth.  If you're interested in the topic, I highly suggest you start there!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Wedding Quilt Update #1

Things are chugging right along on the wedding quilt.  I can't believe that I am lucky enough to have friends willing to do such a special thing for and with me.  Check out all the stars hanging on Kristal's design wall!  

Wonky Stars

I must admit that most of those stars are from Kristal, but a few of them are mine!  If you roll over the above photo in flickr, I've made a note about which blocks are mine.

It seems like a lot, but it's not really much, or at least that's what everyone else is saying.  This is supposed to end up a queen sized quilt-- as of right now Kristal maintains that we've only got enough for a crib sized quilt.

No big deal, though, because I am really enjoying making these blocks.  I've dug into my stash for grays-- I hoarded a million a couple years ago during Fat Quarter Frenzy at Quilting  Adventures--  and am trying not to mooch too many beautiful batiks from Kristal.  I've had to buy a few blues, and have swapped a few, too.

The wonky star is much easier to make than I thought it would be.  Now that I've done several I hardly have to think about the process anymore.  Of course, that's how I've always felt about "improv"-- it's not as improvisational as everyone would have you think.  There's actually a fair bit of planning and consideration that goes into it.  Or maybe that's just my brain.  Thoughts?

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Rainbow Baby Quilt


The photo above shows Nickolas chilling out maxing relaxing all cool on the quilt I made for him recently. Is he not the cutest almost-nephew baby you've ever seen?

I made this quilt using the block that Solidia chose for her month in The Incredible Shrinking Quilters' Bee.  I have no idea where that block pattern came from, but when I saw this I knew I had to use that block to make a baby quilt.

I'm especially proud because I made not one but two quilts like this, and almost all of the materials came from my stash.  I had to purchase one or two pink prints and about four orange prints.  Kristal gave me a few black and white prints from her stash.  I pieced the batting out of scraps and made backing and binding from several yards of fabric I had in my closet.  I did, however, buy some nice thread for quilting.

Overall, I'd call the project a success.  Cute!