Saturday, January 31, 2009

Paint Mines

This is a picture of the paint mines. My husband and daughter and I went for a walk here this afternoon.

This is a picture of the paint mines. My husband and daughter and I went for a walk here this afternoon.

Sumptuous Start Round Robin block pieced!

I finally finished piecing my block for my first Round Robin in Crazy Quilting International Group. It is going to be a book cover when it's done. I can't wait to see what the girls will do on it! I always feel like I make it up as I go on piecing. I do fine for a little bit and then get stuck and have to do whatever works! It is by far the most intimidating part of crazy quilting for me.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Purse Contest

I have started on my purse for Crazy Quilting International contest. I have the pattern , fabric choices, and embellishments all selected. After I finish piecing my round robin block for sumptuous starts, I will work on "the purse".

Western Quilt Progress

I haven't done much with my western quilt, but I have a feeling that if I just sit back a bit and wait, my friends will finish it for me. The pick shows some machine embroidery motifs that Leslie made for me along with some charms she gave me. Then Shari got me some charms in a Christmas swap too. I got the buttons (see I am making minimal progress). Well, with the round robin I just signed up for and the purse contest, this will just have to wait.

Paints on lace

These are the fabric paints that would work when nothing else would. They do add a stiffness to your lace. I also used textile glitter that I got at a quilt fair, but you can get it at It is called Galactica and I have the Moss and Penny Copper colors. It seems like glue with glitter in it, but whatever it is, it is especially made for textiles and adds the glam we all love.

Last of the dying days!

These are the Jacquard Silk Dyes and the tools I used to dye much of the lace. It is ready to use and you just mix the colors the way you want them to be and add water to make it lighter or don't and it is dark. It came with a resist which I tried once without great results. It also came with a solution that you mix with water and then soak your died materials in for 5 minutes to set the die. This says it causes cancer in lab rats in California. I avoided dying lab rats and wore gloves myself. Really handy for this task were:

1. the dyes (-:
2. a couple of plastic containers with water in them (one for rinsing the brush and one kept clean to add water to lighten the color of the dye)
3. Several eyedroppers - one for each color
4. Several small containers - I bought jars for this purpose, but found using the lids worked best (Shari's idea)
5. tweezers to move the soggy died pieces around
6. Drying rack
7. lot's of paper towels
8. Larger plastic container for rinsing in the setting solution.
9. Brushes - I used some I got at goodwill that were designed for some other purpose I can't remember now. I liked them because they are stiff and you can't shove the dye in where it doesn't want to go.

It is really hard to paint an item just the way you want it because the dye tends to run, especially when the fabric/lace gets wet, which it does. I got really good at making my mistakes look like they were on purpose! Better just to let them run! (Shari, you will notice some of the butterflies and flowers that you gave me in the first photo. I will trade you many more shells for some more roses. (-: ) I liked using several colors to add shading. I liked having both the Jacquard Acid dyes for the larger items and the silk dyes for the smaller items. Some materials couldn't be dyed by either, so it was nice to have the paints too.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Day 4 - Dying

I'm done with the Jacquard acid dyes for now. I ran out of silk velvet! I only had a yard of it to begin with because it runs $20 per yard. Acid dyes are definitely a good way to go for immersion dying.

All you really need are:

1. your materials for dying (I used silk velvet, dupioni silk, laces, and white silk ribbon),
2. a sauce pan (I bought one at goodwill special for dying),
3. a measuring cup to get an idea of how much water works,
4. the acid dyes (all I had was red, blue, yellow and black),
5. measuring spoons (again I bought some especially for dying),
6. some plastic gloves and some large flat plastic containers, and
7. some vinegar.
8. Paper towels and a
9. drying rack come in handy for letting them dry.

I bought a yard of white silk fabric, a yard of silk velvet, and a roll of every width (2mm, 4mm, 7mm, and 13mm) silk ribbon I wanted ahead of time. The acid dye worked best on silks and not so good on some of my laces - probably all the synthetic laces. Luckily for me my Jacquard paints and Jacquard silk dyes worked well on them. So I started with 4 cups of water which I brought almost to a boil, then used a color wheel to select my mix of dyes (just got an estimate - nothing scientific!). I poured my die into my plastic container, added a little dye (less than 1/8 tsp for light colors and more than 1/4 tsp for dark colors), and a little less than 1 Tbsp vinegar. Stir and add your dying materials, then let sit for 30 minutes. Rinse in warm water. I saved the dye by pouring it into another container. Then I added a cup of water and reheated to a near boil to get a lighter version of the same color. That worked better if I started out with a fairly dark dye the first time. Some of my second dye attempts turned out very light. So, then I squeezed them out and laid them out to dry on my drying racks. (Shari - turns out I do have some - wasn't sure that was what you were talking about!) Anyway, I'll tell you about the Jacquard silk dyes and paints another day.

I did try to dye beads and they turned out really nice - one I dyed red and the other blue using the Jacquard silk dyes and they have a slight red and blue glow to them.

I also tried to use a resist, but I have to wash out the resist yet, then I'll post a picture.

I also tried to use salts on fabric to get a burst of color. First the instructions tell you to paint some Jacquard silk dyes on your silk fabric, then sprinkle on the salt and let it dry. They do warn you about using too light a dye and they are right about that! I'll have to try again with a darker bit of dye.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Day 3 - Dying

I have arrived! I got my peach! I'm having the most fun doing this.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Garden of the Gods Camera Shoot

This was the perfect week as far as I'm concerned. High levels of creativity and quilt stash building! This is a departure from my quilt life - although some day I may make silkies of my photos! I'm learning to take pictures with an SLR camera and am having some major learning curves! Last Thursday we (a real camera buff & I) went to Fountain Valley Nature Center and I got some training (got the pic of the cat (Oreo) warming up before the trip and the water in Fountain). Evidently I learned very little, because yesterday we went to the Garden of the Gods for a couple of hours to shoot and I got very few usable pics. Why? My camera had no card in it! Arghhhhh! Luckily, I brought my Canon digital (cause it has an awesome zoom and the lens on the SLR I am using is wide angle) and so still came home with some pics (the top two). I am planning a return trip to get some shots with the SLR though!

Day 2 of Dying Adventure

On this day I used acid dyes to immerse several items. I was dying silk, silk velvet, silk ribbon and various laces. I used anywhere from one to four cups of almost boiling water, then added the dye and a little vinegar and the dying victims! I let them sit for 30 minutes and then rinsed in warm water. The silks dyed marvelously (no surprise since I believe acid dyes are geared for silk), but some of the laces came up in unexpected colors.
I started with the golds because I didn't have to mix dyes to make the colors for those. (I had 2 different gold powders, a black, ecru, and the primary colors. The golds were find if not a bit vibrant(!) so I ventured on to color mixing. The green turned out exactly how I wanted it to. I was so thrilled! There were a couple of rogue laces that decide to go more of a lilac color than green - go figure! Then I decided to go for a soft peach and came up with the vibrant reds and pink above. Not exactly what I wanted, but they will go nicely in a Valentines quilt I'm going to do one of these days! I saved all the dyes and today I think I will split the dyes into different pots and add a little black or water to get varying hues of the same colors. I may try some blues and purples if time permits! And I'm going to modify those reds to get some peach! Did I tell you I was having fun?!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Dye Day with Shari

The laboratory and Shari!

Shari came over yesterday and we spent the day dying! We used a couple of different kinds of dyes and came up with some really nice results. Shari had to return to life at 4:30 (something about sloppy Joes to make), but I stayed up and dyed and dyed until 10:00 when my back was bent and broken! First thought this morning was things I forgot to dye, so I'm pretty sure the plan for today is dying!