Friday, September 2, 2016

Strings Quilt

I finished a quilt! It's about time. This one is just fun. When I organized my scrap boxes awhile back, I realized that I had a lot of blue and pink scraps that were already cut into strips. I gathered them up and started sewing them together. My only vision was to have long vertical strips. 

I didn't square anything up as I sewed and eventually, things were becoming pretty wobbly and wonky. I wanted it to be that way but I did have to take in some seams to avoid a bulging center. 

Originally, I had machine quilted this but I ended up hating it. I ripped out the machine quilting and hand quilted it with perle cotton thread instead. I love how the quilt looks and feels now! Finished size is 55" x 66". What a fun scrap busting project! 

Monday, August 22, 2016

Prayer Shawl

I finally finished something! This is the Bargain Matinee Shawl from Alice's Embrace. I began knitting it back in June for the prayer shawl ministry at church.

I used four skeins of I Love This Yarn in the color Ocean. The yarn is doubled to make it a bulky weight, which makes a very wonderfully warm and squishy shawl! I had to bug Gary to take this pic (thanks Gary!) but I wanted to show how big it turned out, 22" x 66". I might have to make one for me, it's super cozy!

This was an easy pattern to memorize. I was able take it with me and work on it in lots of places. I'm really happy with how it turned out and I hope it brings comfort to whoever receives it! 

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Experiments With Dyeing #3

So far, I've had fun making tie dye and sun prints. Wanting to continue my experiments, I got out my acrylic paints and was curious if I could dye fabric with them. Since I still had some fabric left, I decided to give it a try!

 I clicked around online and found out that yes, I could! One of the tutorials I found used acrylic paint for sun printing. For these squares, I mixed up the paint with fabric medium and water, then painted the paint onto the wet fabric squares.

I really pressed the leaves into the paint then set them out in the sun on my driveway. It was a perfect hot and sunny day and these were drying out when suddenly, a random thunderstorm rolled through and drenched my squares! Luckily, they had dried enough to make the print!

The fern is my favorite. Even with the fabric medium, these turned out a little stiff, like the paint on a t-shirt design. I heat set the paint in the dryer and then pressed out the fabric with an iron.

Next, I watered down the acrylic paint with more water to do a small tie dye.

I like this! I wish the turquoise would've come out stronger, though. 

I didn't want my leftover mixed up paints to go waste, so I grabbed some rocks from outside to try this shibori technique and slapped the paint on the fabric. 

It took quite awhile for this to dry, this also was drenched in the downpour. 

Look at how fun this turned out! I heat set the paint in the dryer and then ironed out the wrinkles. This is what it looks like after being washed. 

So that's the last of my dyeing experiments! I'm glad I tried using acrylic paint because I already had them on hand and was able to create something I like without having to buy anything new. I think the acrylic paint with the fabric medium works best for painting on fabric rather than dyeing because it does sit on the surface of the fabric more than evenly soaking through like a dye. Although, I was able to get a subtle dyed look on the tie dye piece by adding more water to the paint. I'm looking forward to trying more fabric dyeing in the future! 

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Experiments With Dyeing #2

Ever since I was a kid, I've wanted to try sun printing. I love the blue color and how the images seem to appear magically! Recently,  I had been looking online for photo reactive dye but then my friend Kristie told me that they sell some at Joann's. They sell packets and full size bottles of Inkodye in several colors. I was only interested in the blue, but this kit contains full size bottles of red and blue dye and a bottle of detergent, which was a much better deal with a coupon! I also bought the roller cap that attaches to the bottle. 


I had to wait a day for the sun to come out, but here's what I've made so far! 



I didn't fully read the instructions and went ahead and put the dye on the fabric, full strength. The dye is stinky, it smells like hair dye. For my image, I used feathers. The dye turned out streaky and the feathers needed to be pressed down more, I think. Still kinda neat. 


On my second attempt,  I diluted the dye and really pressed the ferns down. This image turned out really sharp!


Then I thought I'd get fancy and make a stencil. This is freezer paper, which I thought would stick to the fabric enough but I wasn't sure. 


The result isn't horrible, although, I don't like that it bled underneath. 

Since I already had those letters cut out, I thought I'd try using them, too. 


The letters did not want to stick down, the fabric was too wet. But isn't it cute? Ha! I'm wondering if the fabric can be prepared with the dye and then dried before it's developed? Or maybe I need a piece of glass to hold everything down ? Hmm. I'll have to investigate.



The places where the leaves really stuck down around the edges came out great. I'm disappointed that the words did not come out clearer. 


Look how awesome the back came out though! Maybe next time I should try to lay out the words backwards? 


I'm really having fun with this sun printing. There's lots of possibilities, can't wait to try again. If you have any advice for me on this technique I'd love to hear it! 

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Experiments With Dyeing #1

I've been itching to try fabric dyeing all summer, so now that school is only 5 days away, I figure I better get to it! I picked up some inexpensive cotton fabric from Walmart and a couple packets of fabric dye from Joann's.

Here is my first ever attempt at tie dye. I watched a bunch of videos on how to fold this and then I folded it wrong! The part at the top should be in the middle and then mirrored. I still like it though, I like the blue color and the distinct shapes. 

Doesn't it sort of look like an xray? 

I used Jeans Blue for this tie dye. 

I had to fix my folding mistake from before, so I tried again. But, when I folded it correctly, the fabric was much thicker than before, which meant the dye did not penetrate to the inside folds very much. 

The pattern is subtle and light. I'm thinking a baby blanket would be nice from this piece.  

I also tried a little shibori, which I think turned out pretty! 

I would like to experiment with this technique some more! 

I used Ocean Blue for this tie dye. It looks bright purple in the dye bath but dries into this soft periwinkle color. 
I'm having lots of fun playing, stay tuned for more dyeing experiments! 

Friday, August 5, 2016

Dad

It's been three weeks now since my dad had a heart attack. Two weeks since he had quadruple bypass surgery. And five days since he's been back home.
 
 Before this, I haven't spent much time in the hospital and I must admit, I'm not good at it. All the waiting in a small room with uncomfortable chairs. Waiting for test results, waiting for the littlest bit of news from the doctors. All the distressed people in the hallways and elevators. Overhearing a stranger's phone call as she bursts into tears saying she can't do this alone, again. Ugh it was just too sad and too much sometimes.  



We've had a tough few weeks. There  are so many things I am thankful for, though. The doctors and nurses who took such good care of dad. All the family who came to see dad. All the family and friends who prayed for us and who checked in with us with text messages, phone calls and hugs. Thanks to those who prayed for my patience! My sisters, brother and mom who were a shoulder to lean on and still are. Thank you.


I've spent  the last week with dad, now that he's home. They've put me to work mowing, gardening and watering! I'm happy I had some summer left to be able to help out. As we sit here watching the opening ceremony of the Olympic games, I'm thankful that he is getting better, a little every day. I'm happy we can spend this time together.