Monday, October 8, 2007

La Veta Retreat

I am back from some of my travels and the Ricky Tims retreat in his gallery in La Veta, Colorado. I have had the good fortune of this being my 2nd time there. It was wonderful. I went this year with the intention of making a Rhapsody quilt which I had sketched out prior to my arrival. I was also determined to use all hand dyed fabrics (mostly mine). With help from Ricky, I got all my designs to fit the designated areas and was able to cut out all the background pieces and start the appliqué pieces. I have most of them cut out. Picture at right shows about 1/4 of the design. It will be repeated in all 4 quadrants. I don't even want to think about quilting it yet. I have drawn out the designs for the border but have not cut them out. I want to see what it all looks like before I add them.... I may have to add more or take something out when I see how it all balances. Justin has named this piece Bullwinkle and Miranda.

Before going to Colorado, I had the chance to do some traveling in Croatia, Slovenia, and Italy. My SO's company is headquarted in a small town in Italy named Butrio. It is about an hour and a half north east of Venice. They call themselves the City of Wine. There are vineyards all over the place and the grapes were just being picked for the early varieties or just ripening for the later ones. It is very picturesque. Croatia was spectacular. We only had a few days there and I would go back for an extended vacation in a flash. It was all postcard gorgeous, clean, and the people were friendly. In Slovenia we stopped in Lipica which is the home of the Lipizzaner Stallions. This was the original Hapsburg farm for breeding these awesome horses but most of the world is now more familiar with the farms in Austria and other places that were part of the Hapsburg empire. The horses are magnificent and it made me yearn to own a horse again. Been there, done that, and I cannot handle another expensive hobby! For those of you who do not know, the horses are born black and turn white as they mature. Some remain black always but their offspring can be white.
I will not be home much until the beginning of December when I hope not to see a plane or a suitcase again for a long time. I am going to Houston and hope to get to meet new friends there.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

By George I've done it.

Woohooo, Dance! is done. It will not win any awards for quilting but at least I did not screw it up. I am happy with the results and may just have to buy this back at auction!!!
This is my last project for a while... I am leaving on vacation tomorrow morning. Hope to post some good photos. We are going to be driving through parts of Croatia and Slovenia. I have never been there before and I am looking forward to it.

Thanks to everyone for the public and private notes of encouragement. I am a neophyte at this but I love to try new things.

Saturday, August 11, 2007


This is a quilt I am making for a charity auction.....probably the only time someone will be willing to buy something I made! I have some stray stitching to do and then I have to quilt it. I will probably screw it up. Quilting stitches do not talk to me. I loved playing with the Tyvek and of course I had to use some of the fabrics I dyed.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Tossed the leftover dye onto a yard of fabric and this is what I turned up with. My photo abilities leave some thing to be desired as the colors are much duller here. That green is BRIGHT.
Dyeing is on hold for a while. I am actually working on a project and then I have company for a week.


Monday, August 6, 2007

In the limelight

Today has been a good day. My limes came out the way I wanted them to... I got them on the 2nd try. The first one is a bright Kelly green...... hmmmmm, also not one of my favorite colors but that is ok... I actually learned alot from that one. I also did up a multi color from some left overs I didn't use.... no picture yet... it just came out of the washer.

I am also celebrating today. I am 10 years cancer free. Whoooopie!


Breaking the rules

OK, so I was frustrated by the results I got from the browns and was upset to see all the used dye solution about to be poured down the drain. I said to myself...... "self, what do I have to loose by combining these into 3 new ones, even though I have been told you cannot use the solution again once it batches with soda ash?" So I did!!! I tossed in some more fabric and added more soda ash and let it marinate for about 4 hours. Boy, was I in for a surprise. I got the perfect brown out of one of them!!!!!! I was a very happy camper. The other two came out green. One was a medium fatigue green the other a shade lighter than that. I may over dye the lighter one eventually. So much for rules.

I have some (hopefully) Lime green's marinating.


Sunday, August 5, 2007

Chocolate? Well, not quite

Today was not quite as successful as yesterday :-( . Did I mention that I am dyslexic? I decided to make some browns today... I needed them for a project, but I think I reversed the tablespoons and teaspoons. I made the mix up using the Chocolate Brown color I bought pre-mixed, however, it looked too red to me so I tossed in some black... 1 tsp each of the 2 I had. Ok, now the color looked better. I also decided I would experiment with technique a bit... why not? This is how I learn. I used a 200 ct bleached cotton that I soaked in Soda Ash solution for a while, wrung it out and tossed it into the containers. I also decided to see if salt did anything, except I added it at the wrong time. Silly me, I added it to the water I poured into the dye powder instead of making up the concentrate and then adding the salt... I did say I was dyslexic! Oh well... I can try it out another time.
I did not add any more soda ash and let it sit for about 4 hours and went through the usual routine of washing it out, drying and ironing. The gradation did not quite work because my concentration was too deep.
I am not happy with the color and I do not like the effect of the mottling. I think I will not soak my fabrics in the future. The color ranges from what looks to be a very purplish cast to a reddish cast. I wanted chocolate!!! Oh well, I am sure I can find one of my friends who will adore it.

Lime green is next but no gradations this time...


Saturday, August 4, 2007

Luscious Color

Well, I have gone and done it, I have created my first blog! I am in love with color and finally got around to dyeing fabrics. I am in heaven! I did it the way I do everything else... I jumped in and I am relieved to report that I did not blow anything up ( that is another story). I am still waiting for my Ann Johnston book but in the meantime I was anxious to play. I started with some premixed dyes that I had bought a few years ago and never used. I got hooked fast. Even though I did not pick the colors I was very pleased with the results and of course I had to order my own dyes to mix. I never do anything the easy way so yesterday I decided to see what I could "cook" up. I bought red, yellow, and blue as primaries and some black along with Chocolate Brown and Chartreuse. I took the Berry Sorbet recipe from a Procion MX Color Mixing Chart I found on several websites as I was limited to the colors I had on hand. Now, most people would test out a sample to see if they liked it...... well of course I didn't. Not only that I decided to make a 9 step graduated color run. While I was at it I decided I would test out some fabrics to see what the results would be using the same dye solution on each. I made up my batch of color and tossed 2 fat quarters (1 of each fabric) into a baggie and proceeded to do my graduated color. The results are spectacular (at least to me). I used unbleached muslin from Roc-Lon PFD (Nature's Way) and some sort of bleached cotton that I bought way back when I bought the original dye kit. I haven't a clue what it is but I suspect it is Dyers cotton. I doubt if it is mercerized. The results are interesting and I like how both the fabrics took the dye. The muslin has a deep, sultry,sueded look to it ( it is the same fabric that Ricky Tims uses..... I bought a bolt from him), the cotton has a richer look to it and the dyes dispersed differently. Both finishes will have a place in my quilts. OK, so I have bored you enough... I am posting some photos.