Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Ice Dyeing...

Recently I have become a fan of the mottled look of ice dyed cloth so I wanted to try it. Dharma Trading Co (where I got my procion dyes) has a tutorial HERE.

So last weekend when I was visiting my friend Leslie we did some ice dyeing.

It amazed me that even when it was 103 degrees outside the ice lingered.

A very bright t-shirt (still electric after washing).
Interesting note: the white you see are the threads which obviously were not cotton. Procion dyes do not dye synthetics.

 A piece of fabric also very bright. Perfect for a burst of color on a quilt piece! Thanks Leslie for holding it up!

And the blue-greenish ones I took out early and rinsed out to get some more or less pastels. Will be great as blendables on a quilt piece!

All in all the ice dyeing was so much fun I want to do it again! I think I will do it in a smaller scale though, maybe a small tub at a time since I do not have a lot of work room outside. I could use some blues into turquoise ranges next.

All of this was on plain old cheap muslin. I like the more coarseness of the fabric and the occasional bits of brown or other nubs in it. Plus it is so much cheaper than something like a Kona white PFD (prepared for dyeing). But I also have some of that so I will be trying it in the coming weeks as well.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Recent projects and plans to visit quilt shows...

I haven't made anything yet with the indigo fabrics although I did wear the tshirt to yoga the other day! I need to alter it a little though. It is a women's XL but the neckband is a little tight and it is not very well fitted. I think I will cut around the neck band and then maybe change the sleeves or even cut them off.  But for now, it was fun wearing the indigo tie-dye shirt to class!

So in the Modern Block Party class at Country Sew we did the Uneven Coins Block from the Modern Quilting Bee Block Party book we have been going through. I decided to turn mine on it's side and ended up with a small hanging. I still have the sides to finish.

I am also still working on a piece from the Out of the Box class at Country Sew. I still have a lot of stitching to do!

I decided a while back to try to make travel plans with some sort of event (quilting mostly) in mind. So in late September I am going to go to the NW Quilt Expo in Portland and then when I visit my sister the next week, to the Emerald Valley Quilt Show in Eugene.

My big decision now though is.... do I want to spend the money and go to the big big Tokyo International Quilt Show in January next year? I haven't been back to Japan since 1983 so I am sure it has changed a lot. Part of me wants to keep my old Japanese memories and part of me wants to just go and see what's new and the quilt show. Still thinking about this one!

Sunday, July 10, 2016


Well I guess there isn't a better way to get back to my blog than showing some of the results from an indigo vat I made this morning!

I have dyed with indigo many times in the past but this is the first time in many many years. The vat making process is much easier these days if you do a kit, and although it isn't the same as the long slow involved process of days past (which some die-hards, still do -- get it? hehe ).  It is still indigo in my book.

So I started the other day by making up some bundles.

The Indigo Kit and a variety of cottons, tshirt, muslin squares, etc.

More folded, twisted, and otherwise scrunched muslin.

Then put off making the vat until today since this was supposed to be a cooler day (well, ok 89 compared to 90s or 100s).

There are a gazillion instructions for and information on indigo vats so I will not go into it here. I will list a couple of my favorites below or you can just Google it.

The indigo vat before use.

Things look green when they come out before they have oxidized into blue.

 Some of my shibori folds and ties.

 More designs. The white rectangles were made with blocks clamped tightly on the fabric.

A few more results.

I got the indigo dye kit from Dharma Trading Co. HERE is their shibori (Japanese tie dye) info page.

HERE is one of the many Internet references you might enjoy to learn more about shibori.

These colors will be a bit lighter after I wash them which is fine. I was mainly testing out the vat making and how easy (or not) it would be to work in my backyard.  Well and I wanted a few shibori pieces so I could make something. Been sewing a bit lately (more to follow on that).

So once again I have come full circle (hence blog title)... enjoying again some of the crafts I started out with in my 20s. Who knows, maybe now that I am no longer allergic to wool like I was for 40+ years I can get another spinning wheel and loom and really start over!

For now I have just found another thing that gives me joy to do in my retirement years. When did I ever have time to work?