Saturday, 26 January 2013

Scary zips!

Despite the snowy conditions here I managed to get across town to Stitchcraft Studio for a workshop yesterday.  For years I have avoided any project that required having a zip installed as I was put off zips by my domestic science teacher at school - she was of the dragon school (no offence to my friend Dilly!)  

The tutor was Hilary Taylor Kench and she was a charming and gentle teacher.  She demystified installing a zip completely and taught us various ways of inserting and dressing a zip.  Not only that but we came away with two completed and useful purses.

The pink purse is made from the first snow dyed fabric and the blue purse combines a panel from a thrift shop find and some more snow dye.  

The pink purse had the zip inserted without any fussing and the blue had the ends 'dressed'.  I'm sure many of you don't think twice about including a zip in your projects but I have been scared of them for years so I am really chuffed to have got this far.  I can see lots of zippy bags in my future and maybe even a cushion!

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Snow Dyeing Results

I thought these results looked better than the last lot when I batched them up last night and, after a night in the warm, I was not wrong.

 This top one is a shirt sleeve with some lovely stitching texture on it and I've got some lovely runs from the snow.

I like the effects on this broderie anglaise (the bright bit is the ironing board cover)

Finally this is the damask drop cloth piece that was low immersion dyed in a bag.  The computer has shown the blue much 'bluer' than it really is.  The fabrics are all much stronger in the turquoise.  I shall look forward to playing with these!  OK, snow, I've had enough playing, you can go now LOL

Monday, 21 January 2013

Are you bored yet?

This morning we woke to a fresh fall of the white stuff and happily we didn't have to be anywhere.  Although the snow that came down seemed a bit light and not the big flakes type I thought I would have another crack at snow dyeing but this time using dye solutions.  

The fabrics were soda soaked and then piled up on inverted foil dishes to keep them out of the melting snow.

Procion MX dyes were prepared using a piece of the soda soaked fabric as a drop cloth to catch any loose powder and I wore a mask to save me inhaling any dye powder.  I used Bright Scarlet, Turquoise (which doesn't take well in cold temperatures but I like it) and Warm Black.  I was hoping that the warm black would split and give me some other colours.

I poured the colours on, scarlet first, then turquoise, then black but didn't use all the dye as I didn't want to get solid colour.  I forgot to put the dropcloth in the bowl so I bagged it up and poured the surplus turquoise and black carfeully onto it so that the colours mixed as little as possible.

I had a small accident with some spilt dye on the doormat so quickly soaked it up with a colour catcher.  I was really pleased with the pattern that the dye made on the catcher.

I left the fabric sitting under the snow until about 5 o'clock this evening and it's now out of the cold environment and batching in my warm studio in plastic.  We will have to be patient until tomorrow when I will rinse it all out.  So far the results look very promising but I didn't take any piccies of that stage, sorry.  

While the dye was doing its thing DH and I decided to take advantage of the lying snow to go for a  walk and take some photos.  

You can see why I didn't fancy taking the car out, our side road is a bit slippy and there's a slope to negotiate at the bottom.

A bit of inspiration in car tyre patterns,

and paw prints and sled tracks.

We didn't go very far, just across to a neighbouring housing estate which, at the moment affords a view across fields to Great Gonerby.

DH looks like one of those scarecrows that villages put out for scarecrow festivals :-)  If things go to plan these fields will soon be lost to 99 houses.  They just have to find a way of bridging the railway line.  

I havn't tweaked the light in the photo too much as the atmosphere was very muted.  There were some lovely lines and potential stitch marks in the views.

What do you think?  This year we have to choose a theme for the Journal Quilt challenge in the Contemporary Quilt Group of the Quilters Guild and I think I am going to choose 'Marks' as that should allow me enough latitude for the year.  I didn't do the challenge last year but I am excited by the 12" x 8" horizontal format this year and 'Marks' will enable me to continue the work I started with Jo Budd, Shelley Rhodes and Dionne Swift.

Sunday, 20 January 2013

Snow day(s)

Or should that be snow week?  We have had more snow down but so far it hasn't tempted me to any more snow dyeing.  We were promised more today but it is slow in arriving so, despite the snow dyeing, I am hoping that maybe it will miss us.

On Friday, when the latest lot of snow came down, I ventured out to Stitchcraft for some 'Friday Fun' with a mini workshop making Pin Cushion Baggies with Wendy Coyne

Altogether nine baggies were made and despite keeping an eye on the accummulating snow out the window we had a happy couple of hours.  There are going to be a lot more of these mini sessions and I am planning to go along to a few more.  If it hadn't been for the snow I would have stayed for a cuppa and a natter/cake.  As it was I got home safely but the drive up our side road was 'interesting'!  (My DH rang me as I was about to leave to drive home to warn me the snow was drifting across our road and covering it in.  Bless!)

This was the view in our garden Saturday morning.  

Instead of more snow dyeing I have been working on my quilt for the International Quilt Challenge Group and for the Sue Ridgwell Challenge at the AGM of the Quilters Guild GB.  Last time I talked about these challenges I had got as far as making a paper collage to explore my ideas.  I have since been busy piecing the landscape.

This is the start.

I've spent the last few days disecting and inserting darker strips to describe the field walls.    I think it may need one more diagonal line across the foreground.  I've been experimenting in Photoshop with the added insert and with possible quilting lines:

What do you think?   I still feel it lacks some pazzazz so decisions may be made about thread colour and possible beading.  I need to get my skates on!  As the challenge group piece it needs to be finished by the end of the month! 

Wherever you are in the world and whether you're freezing or boiling have a good week and keep safe.

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Snow dyeing

I didn't manage to wash my farbics out until late yesterday evening and finished ironing them dry just before 11 last night so the pics had to wait till this morning.  As I feared I had used too much dye powder and I didn't get quite the results I had hoped for.  However, I'll show you the best bits.

This piece above started out as a self coloured cream fabric with printed dragonflies.  The feathers were screen printed in a previous play session and the snow dye has randomly coloured the background and made the dragonflies 'pop'.  I could have got this result with low immersion dyeing too as you cannot see any real effect from the snow.

 These blue pieces have more of the marks I would expect from thawing snow but some of the areas are more solid than I would have liked.

I like the marks above which came from batching the doillies lower down against this fabric.

I think all three of the fabrics above had some polyester in them so the effect is more muted.

As the only colours I used in the red pieces above were lemon yellow, cold red and terracotta I think the dark patches have come from concentrations of the terracotta dye that did not dissolve.

I love this broderie anglaise fabric above and as it's a lightweight cotton it has taken the dye well.  I wish I'd dyed a bigger piece now.

I think this is a tiny piece of lightweight linen above.

 These doillies could have been dyed in any dye bath, snow wasn't required but I love the spread of colour in them.

And finally,

Two areas from a damask napkin with a good variety of colours and marks.  

There were quite a lot of other pieces that didn't come out too well so I havn't shown them and I didn't dye any yardage, just fat quarter pieces and smaller. 

If I had known the very old Hungarian dyes were going to strike quite as well I would have been a bit more sparing with them and maybe then the dye would have had more room to create its patterns.  There is a rumour of more snow later in the week so if it arrives in enough quantity I'll probably have another go but with dyes already mixed with water.  If anyone would like to volunteer to rinse it all out for me just give me a call!  I hate that part!