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


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.

Friday, July 15, 2016

A Little This & That

This is the Linen Stitch Colorblock Wrap from Purl Soho, which I started back in May. I used I Love This Yarn and knit each color for approximately 12". The finished wrap is 18" x 66", which makes it tricky to photograph! I'm happy with how it turned out and it will be donated to our prayer shawl group at church. 

This last week, I met up with friends from our modern quilt guild to finish our heart quilts for the Orlando MQG's Quilts for Pulse. Our guild donated more than 60 heart blocks!

I sewed the top together on this one, Sarah quilted it and Kristie sewed on the binding. Go team! I so enjoyed working with these ladies and can't wait to mail our THREE heart quilts to Orlando! 

Monday, July 11, 2016

Butterfly Blocks

I had a great time visiting family last week. After dropping Melissa and Jamie off at the airport on Wednesday, mom and I spent another day together. We did a little thrifting, fabric shopping and lunch in Grand Island. Fun!

Mom's garden is in full bloom and I was so happy that I got to see the tree lilies doing their thing! I need to get some of these, they are so beautiful and they smell good, too. 

Mom has a jar of caterpillars on her kitchen window sill right now. We were amazed to see that some of the caterpillars changed into their chrysalis over night! 

How cool is that? I can't wait to see if these hatch into butterflies! It's going to take a couple weeks though, and I'm feeling impatient. Once I started thinking about butterflies, I remembered that I have some butterfly blocks pinned on my paper pieced board on Pinterest. 

 I chose to try this free Butterfly Charm Block Pattern from Lillyella. It took me a minute to remember how to paper piece, but once I got going, I had a couple made! They're small blocks, only 5", but since they're small, they only use little bits of fabric. I think they're designed to use with pre cut charm packs. I dug into my scraps drawers for these. I do wish that they were a bit bigger though, because making each one takes some time and then in the end the block is small. I suppose the pattern could be enlarged on a copy machine. So what do you think, what should I make with them? Mini quilt or a pillow? I'll probably make a few more, I've got a couple more color combinations in mind!