Sunday, November 30, 2008

more adventures in dying...

Well after a bit of a break I pulled out the dye pot again yesterday and got going on the last 2 colors of my original order...pale cocoa and Midnight purple. I figured the cocoa would be a nice latte colored wool with a tinge of peach in it. Just like the sample showed.

It was apparent in the first few seconds that latte was no where on the menu! Orange is what I got. ORANGE! Not light primitive pumpkin ladies, but bright, shocking, pumpkin pie O-R-A-N-G-E!!

The top left if the jacket wool dyed and the top right was pulled early to be lighter. Okay, so I' m set for wool needed in any quilts made for next fall. Not that I don't like orange, but I was just expecting a different color. I really think the dye got mixed up a bit cuz this would never be a version of the pale cocoa in any form. It's really okay though. I'm still learning how to adjust for each color. Some dye quickly and others like these dark ones take longer to pull up all the dye.

Remember the first brown plaid jacket? Well I grabbed a bunch of that wool and used it in both dye baths. Here's how they look out of the dye and dried. Original wool in the middle and how the colors look after dying.

I also realized that this process doesn't felt the wool either. It does fluff it up some because I go from the hot dye pot into cold water to rinse and wash but it doesn't really felt into that thick wool that hardly unravels. Since the jacket wool was really thin, I threw it all in the super hot wash/cold rinse and then into the hot dryer to felt. Worked great. It also removed a tiny bit of the dye color and made it a deeper color wool too. SO let me ask your opinion:

Do you like felted wool better than thinner? The wool from the bolt is not felted. It gets thicker from dying, but certainly not super thick felted. I've bought both types of wool from stores and online places.

Now the midnight purple wool...turned out wonderful and dark. I pulled a few pieces earlier shown below: the jacket wool is on the right.

The rest stayed in for about an hour after turning off the heat, soaking up dye color.

I also tried something that worked pretty well. Since I like the dark spots, I took a dropper and pulled up some concentrated dye from the pot before the rest of the water gets added and poured it on the wool that I pulled up out of the water. All those spots stayed super dark and I got a deliberate mottled effect. It's still cool to play with new techniques and see what happens!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

as promised...

...lots of pictures. We hauled out the super big ladder and hubby stretched it up nice a tall and climbed up to switch out the quilts. I'm not as super fast as some at getting the decorations out, so they will be done slowly over the next week or so. Now if I could fly Kim out here and let her loose I'm sure in under 2 hours the house would be totally loaded! She seems to fly!

First up in the dining room section is the newly finished Nativity Quilt by Cheri Payne. Don't laugh but see the thread tail hanging off the lower right corner? I'll have to send hubby up the ladder with scissors. Geez!

Next is hubby's favorite, what I call Log Cabin Angel. She's up in the living room at the tallest point of the room.I haven't a clue who made this pattern as I saw Libby's version and made mine from her picture. I did goof it a bit because on my computer her red touches in the black background made it look like a BROWN background. Heck brown works for me, so I like it.

Last of the biggie's is another Cheri pattern! The Christmas Sampler. I will say that it's smaller than I thought when you see it on the wall. Seeing it now I would have added to the size a bit had I know that. But nonetheless I love it still! It hangs right behind hubby's chair. I love that hanger but it never gets easier to use. Lordy it's an all out fight to get those rollers to drop down and engage.

***Cheri's Christmas Sampler isn't currently on her website so if you want one, I'd email her personally and ask if it's still available. Buggy Barn is currently doing a BOM of that quilt so they probably have the pattern too....Or you could try Country Loft.****

Right after getting all that done hubby's sister and brother stopped in for a visit so we talked with them for a while and then I settled onto the couch for dvd's and applique! I've gotten 2 of the blocks done for the new Pokeberry quilt that I just had to start after drooling over Kathie and Juliann's blocks. No, I do not need another project but too late. Had to be done.

I think rather than add more to this post, I'll make a second post in the morning with the new dye pieces and the new block finishes. It's late and I have a lovely block crow waiting for me to sew it down.

still playing...

I still have not tired of the colors and playing in the dyes! Nope, not one bit. I got my new order from Dump 'N Dye just today and was thrilled with the lovely bolt wool and the new brighter colors of dye. **I have to say that some have said the site isn't easy to navigate. I know it's not the easiest, but the best way to reach them is to either write down what you want and send them an email or use the onsite order form. They will respond and let you know how much your order will be so you can send a check. Remember it's two gals who love making hooked rugs. I've been super pleased with all my dealing with them.**

Check out the beautiful wool to over dye. Yum! They don't have all the plaids I had before but they had two new ones and it should be fun to see what the colors look like on the white wool. From what I understand you get a clearer coloration on natural and white, whereas the oatmeal color is truer to a Primitive coloration in the end. Oatmeal is in the center of the pile. I know the colors I dyed before were lovely in oatmeal. I still have the Midnight dark purple and the Pale Cocoa to do too, but these are the new colors!

From the left:
Raspberry Sherbet
Granny Smith
Forest Fire
Dusky Mallard
Burnt Orange
Molly's Blue (teal)

I plan to play some today dying and I'll make sure to take loads of pictures of how these wools and the jacket wool turned out!

On another note, Friday was spent getting all the quilts out and ironed for hanging. I was so excited to get my newly done Christmas Sampler and the Log Cabin Angel on the wall. I have to thank Libby for showing that quilt...I think it's my most favorite of all! I'll take pictures of them on the wall and post them later today. I also got a few new blocks sewn together and some other works finished as well. I think a nice new LIST is in order soon to get me back under control and working smartly towards getting more quilts finished. to sew, more pictures tomorrow!

Friday, November 28, 2008

serious obsession...

I have a very bad feeling that I am developing a thing for these tiny Japanese craft books. Not to mention the cool packaging and sesame street box tape that they get sealed with on their journey from Japan! I saw one of these on a blog a few months back and can't remember where but I followed the link and found myself in the coolest place! Since that day I have placed another order, this time for 3 books. The two on the right are from the same collection of Patchwork Books. I think there might be 10 or 12 of them. While I certainly know my way around squares and log cabins, it's the patterns for the most fun bags that get me interested. The larger one I had to get after seeing the subject matter! The most fabulous book all about purses, cases (for makeup, pencils, keys, needles, glasses, etc) and sewing kits. Just look at some of these cool things!

I really need to find a source for zippers with the little metal ball on the end...seriously nice for these projects. Look at these two sewing kits! Simply to die for! The inside is in the right lower corner shot.

This gal has pages and pages of books at very low prices...or what seems low to me. I also like how she shows you several pages of the inside of the book so you have some knowledge of what you are buying. I think I'm gonna love collecting these little books very much!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Have a very Happy Thanksgiving today with your loved ones around and give thanks for all you are grateful for in your life.

I'm grateful for a loving husband whose is not only a good provider but my very best friend in the whole world. Two beautiful cats who make life fun and who adore every thing we do. A roof over my head, enough to eat, and peace to live our lives and enjoy the simple things.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

lying in a manger...

Finally dug in and got the Nativity Quilt all done, quilted and ready to go on the wall for Christmas! I enjoyed quilting this one in a very tight elongated stipple. Believe me, it could stand on it's own!

I ended up putting none of the writing on the quilt after all. I couldn't decide what to put on, so I just left them all off. If I want something later I can always add it. If you're careful you can sew back stitching from the top and leave no trace from the back! I really love how this turned's one of my favorites of Cheri's patterns.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

I hate interfacing....

Man those jackets are full of lovely wool. But I lost the whole front panels of the jacket to yucky interfacing that looked like rubber and burlap! More on those later. Right now, looky at the lovely new Cheri Payne patterns that arrived today at my door! Yippee! a reason to use more of that lovely wool!

I can't wait to get sewing next year for Christmas. Some are more elaborate than others, but it's not always the need for the pattern that makes me buy them. Heck it's rarely the "need" for the pattern. I think of these as a collection. Libby and I have discussed this before. I have a whole magazine holder rack with these little brown envelopes!

Now back to the wool jackets! I only cut up one today and I would guesstimate I got about 1/2 to 3/4 of a yard of wool...based on the Dump N Dye gals way of determining wool yardage for how much dye to use. Good deal! No worries about the loss, I got plenty! Those lapels and sleeves were great finds. Here's the pictures of the pieces. First are the front pieces...the inside lapels, and the sleeves.

Then the two back panels and the big section of the kick pleat. Man that was a great find!

Here's the whole pile ready for dying. I know some of you must be tired of seeing wool, but I am having so much fun seeing how this turns out and those new patterns will need lost of wool...glad I can get it cheap and dye it myself!

Friday, November 21, 2008

nativity quilt...

A few people have emailed and commented about what the Nativity quilt was and who made I thought I would post an update and some info.

Like I told's a Cheri Payne pattern! I'm "all Cheri, all the time" at the moment..or seems to be, although that's gonna let up soon! Well except for finishing the SLOL and starting the ABC sampler. Well okay, maybe not, but heck I love her stuff, so why fight it.

All the wool is down and I have to decide what wording to do on the top, copy that and stitch. But today I am making the border and getting the green vines and flowers that go across the bottom edge done so I an sew them on tonight.

o man...

This is just too much fun. Can't stop myself. Looky what I found at the Goodwill today. I stopped at 4 men's wool jackets because my hands were on fire and I need to leave some for the men who might actually need coats. 100% wool jackets in the loveliest plaids and patterns. I'll keep a section of each as is, but then I'll over-dye the heck out of them. What did they cost, you might ask??? At DAV they would have been $25 each. Guessed? $6.99 each!! And one was 1/2 off because the lining was ripped. That's roughly 1/3 yard easy of wool in each one. Lovely patterns and I can't wait for my new dye order to arrive!

Thursday, November 20, 2008


I'm still sewing my Nativity quilt and it's almost ready to quilt, but the other day I got my snowman background done and some of the wool piece sewn on too. Just a few more to sew, but after the nativity is done. These are such fun quilts to do and you never need to follow the exact directions.

Thought I'd show a better representation of the green color...the bundle before looked really brown and it's a very nice green color. Here's the stack for yesterday. I skipped today but then purple and cocoa tomorrow!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Hey she sews!!....

Did you think I stopped sewing and went into dying?? Heck it could be a nice sideline business, it's totally fun and I had a blast again today with green and red!

BUT FIRST!! Some actual sewing that I can show! My Trees Up! Lights ON! Christmas quilt finally got it's binding on and sewn down! Yippee! It's hanging folded on the back of the rocker at this very moment! Don't mind the hands of the quilt holder...or the fact that I left the pantry door open on the left side. Oops!I'm one shepard and one sheep away from getting the appliques done on the Nativity Quilt and once they are done I have to make the borders and sew on the flowers and vines across the bottom....then quilting! I've also got the snowman's top done too and waiting to sew down the applique's after I quilt. The mad dash for Christmas quilts to display will come to an end for this season. I'm pooped.

Now onto the fabulous cool thing I now do in the mornings....DYEING WOOL!!!Today I did Weathered Barn (red) and Forest Floor. Weathered Barn red isn't true bright red but a rather pinky dark rustic red. Very hard to get a correct picture with the right color. I had to use the Ott light for this one!

The top row is all the pieces left for about 30 minutes for full color. I played with the bottom pieces...
...far left was removed after 5 minutes to get a medium raspberry color.
...Next over is the lg plaid removed at 8 minutes
...the next 2 were put in at 8 minutes and you can see the dye didn't make it all the way into the wool. Notice the second from the right? It was light blue to begin with so it turned more purple-y. This is very cool to do...have I said that?

Next came green and wow the colors in the dye are really neat. Greens, browns and some red. They mottled a lot more. Enlarge and look at the lower has greens in the top right, and some brown blotches around with strands of red almost. Neat colors in this dye.

Well two more colors to go...Cocoa and Purple.... and I run out of both wool and dye, but I did place another order today for some different colors...teal, granny smith apple, orange, pinks. Should be fun.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

IT'S SNOWING!!!!!!!!!!!


and now it's done....... 3:30 PM! Okay that was cool and way too fast. But hey snow!

I wanted to include these earlier but the wool pictures took up all the room, so double posts day. Last year when Kim started this class, a bunch of us ordered the package of patterns and vowed to begin the quilt. I think Carol did one block. I did none. Truth be told I forgot the whole thing. Now Kim's quilt is done and I am still looking at the pattern. But she inspired me so much that I went on a little shopping spree for lovely Christmas fabrics!

Yum I found some great pieces for backgrounds and pieces for all the other parts too. Oh I love to shop for fabrics! This first bunch came from the LQS. I was not thrilled to see that they had sold out of almost all the ones I went to go get, but slackers can't be choosy. I got some lovely ones for backgrounds on the right.

The next bunch arrived yesterday from Fabric Shack! I had a blast in the Thimbleberries Christmas group!

These with just a few more should get me more than done with this quilt. I'm starting way early next year with things for the holidays and this stack will fit my Christmas List quilt perfectly!

Someone stop me!...

Like I told my yahoo group...this is WAAYYY too much fun! I promise I won't torture you all week with hundred of pictures! Where is all this wool going? It was in the closet in bundles, so it might end up back there again. But I've got the colors and I might as well finish the dying process this week. So today I started with ANTIQUE GOLD and then did AGED BROWN. Yummy colors and I learned a lot about the process and changing the results. A big pot of gold...wool that is!

If you seriously want to use this product to dye with I suggest spending the $10 for a swatch booklet that includes the swatches of color. It's a much better representation of the true colors than the little square next to the online color. Those are done in what I can only assume much bigger pieces and they appear much lighter and weirdly brighter than what you really get in the end.

All the gold dry and pretty!

I also realized that what you start out with makes a huge difference. One of the gray herringbone wools didn't take the gold at all. It really didn't have very much light to grab so it just looked gray and ugly. SO I pulled it out covered it with water and saved it for the brown pot. **if you enlarge the FIRST picture and look in the center of the picture, you'll see a bit of the grey herringbone that's not at all attractive looking in gold.**
Quick change of the water and I went right into the Aged Brown. it really has a lot of red in it. it worked fantastic too! The two pieces on the bottom got pulled after about 6 minutes. I wanted them lighter. the top section was left longer. I think that brown spot was a bit of dye that hadn't dissolved quite enough before adding the wool. Cool!

Monday, November 17, 2008

dye job....

Nope, the hair's next week. Today I finally got everything together and decided to dye my first bundle of wool. Way back I bought two bundles of wool with textures from Dorr. Bought 6 colors of dye from Dump n' Dye, recommended from a fellow wool enthusiast and everything sat. SO why not try it out.

I got a FQ of each of 7 textures/colors in each bundle and I cut each into 4 parts so I had 8 sections of each measuring a Fat 16th each. I made those into 8 bundles. Today was the day to try Blueberry Pie!

The wool before dying!! Very cool in it's own right.
The wool after the magical dye job! Loving this so much!

These two are my absolute fav's...probably because the have the highest contrast of colors!

This was after only 10 minutes in the pot simmering. I loved it right at that moment, but I had NO idea how much color would come out after it got washed and dried, so I left it in the pot. It's really only a smidge bit darker. The next color batch I'm pulling a few early for lighter sections and seeing how well it works. Look at the rinsing wool piece, absolutely NO color drained out of that wool. I turned off the burner and let it sit about an hour before I HAD to pull it out.

Also this weekend I started getting my holiday quilt on the wall. Holiday Baskets by Cheri Payne was the first. I showed the top but now it's all finished and on the hanger.

The fuzzy pic of Cheri's Primitive Stick tree! I'm finishing on of her snowman quilts right now as well as getting the Nativity quilt moving, and putting the binding on the Tree's UP quilt. Oh and I found the coolest star buttons made from wood for the tops of the Log Cabin Angel's trees on her quilt! Must sew those on and the on the wall she goes!

If you want to see all the steps and pictures of the wool dying job today, you can click to my flickr account and they are all listed on there. Just click on the picture of flickr quilts on my sidebar!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

it's quilt give-away time again...

Dana at Old Red Barn Co. is again giving away quilts!! You have a chance to win one of three quilts listed at her site! All wonderful and yummy quilts as before made from 100% cotton! Please take the time to pop on over and check them out so you can see lovely pictures of each quilt.

Monday, November 10, 2008

wow a week went by...

I wasn't taking a break, really, just busy working. Hubby's been burning off his usual last minute, end of the year onslaught of vacation build-up. He always has this "oops I have 4 weeks of vacation and 6 weeks till the new year" thing happen to him. So he's been off most Fridays or at least half days. He'll be off this Thursday and Friday if all goes as planned too.

I took a break from day time machine sewing the last two days and did some much need cleanup in the sewing room. It was a mess! All those things you think you need to save and 6 months later you haven't needed nor wanted them! Gone! Lots of plastic containers...emptied and in the attic. Stuff lying around? Gone or put away. I did manage to re-arrange my books and claim 2 shelves for my wool. Who knew I has so much wool?

I love to organize stuff. Top shelf: Browns and greens on the left....Blues, purples and pinks on the right.

On the bottom shelf I put the cremes, whites, blacks, light tans with all the reds and oranges on top. then I stacked my little stack of larger scraps on top of that pile. next to it is the re-claimed metal mesh CD holder.

I didn't need the CD's out anymore, so I thought it would make the perfect holder for all those tiny pieces that work perfectly with wool. These colors are so yummy!

I've been moving right along with my top border of the SLOL quilt until this morning when I realized that Christmas is coming way too fast! I'll never get all I want done if I stay working on this project. SO sadly, it will get finished in a few weeks. It can sit quietly on the board waiting for me. I have sewn down all the vines, berries, basket, stars and the word "Sweet". The bird needs to be turned and sewn as well as the rest of the words and the hand on the left side.

***Here's a tip for you...see the top of the border? It's above the stars?? That's because it's never a good thing to cut your borders the actual size before sewing on all that applique. Believe me it will shrink up. Now if it's the only thing to match up, no biggie...but it has to match the stars and no way would it still be 6.5" if I pre-cut before sewing. SO I left a good inch and will trim it even once it's all done *****

Now I have to get back to the Nativity Quilt so I can hang it this Christmas!! I think I have an allergy to wool...a tiny one anyway. All those teeny minute fibers that come off when you cut the wool gets between my fingers right where they join the hand and kill me. Look at your scissor blades next time you cut and you'll see them!! I have to run my fingers under water and then put powder on them to get the irritation to stop. So I've gone to wearing cotton gloves when I sew wool! It's quite comical looking. I took an old pair of cotton white gloves and cut off all the fingertips. Now it stays out of my finger joints and my finger tips are out for sewing. hubby says I look ridiculous...but hey I'm sewing wool, aren't I?

Stay's a nice 58 here today!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

I think I made a choice...

First let me just say that everyone who can find a way should make sure they....


Thanks to my pal Wendy mentioning a lovely variegated red perle cotton I have made a decision on how I'm going to proceed with the Vintage Snowmen stitchery pattern. Actually I found the color in the Valdani list about the same time Wendy suggested the color and once the spools arrived...YUM! They are so lovely looking. The solid red will be used for other projects.

Of course red is very hard to photograph so it always looks a bit more orange than in real life, but no amount of work in Picasa would adjust the color to exactly what it's true gorgeous-ness shows to the naked eye. In short..they are very yummy!!

I'm in serious need of binding duty this week as I have three...count'em 3, quilts done and waiting patiently for their bindings to be sewn. The Holiday Baskets, the Primitive Stick tree and another one that will go on the coffee table as a cat tummy warmer (or so they think). I was looking for something quick to make up when I came across the pattern for this that I printed off when Libby and several other made one a long time ago. I'll admit that you have to read this several times to get it and they still made a mistake in the directions. They keep saying use a dark strip for the setting diamond halves but they clearly show it as the lighter color. I also didn't realize until after I was done sewing the top together that I got one extra row when cutting triangles! I like the size so half setting triangles at that end work for me. Seriously, it's just for the coffee table and the cats will lay on it, so no "masterpiece" is needed.
*** I will give you the tip that using just 9 colors is really not enough to get a nice mix of colors. Use FQ's and do at least 14 or 16 colors for the dark section. It was very hard to get an even distribution of color and no overlap****

Hope you don't have to wait too long today in lines. I for one am sooooo glad it over! We live right in the South-eastern part of Virginia, which has been said by some to the the section of the country which will decide the race. Lord knows being a 'swing state' was bad enough. But 10 calls a day and 8 mailers a day is too much for any human to stand and not get sick of the whole thing!

This says it all! It was in our local paper today! Have a great day!