Wednesday, 30 October 2013

A new product- well, to me!

I am still working on the Hydrangeas and I ran out of Steam a Seam II so tried to get some more!! Hah! I DID manage to get 6 m locally but , in the meantime, have learned that it will NOT be around for a while- or ever again- until they fix the paper situation??? Also in the meantime, I discovered EZ Steam II. Have YOU tried it? No idea how long it has been on the market but it is by Pellon and is supposed to be a replacement for SAS II. I was given a chunk to try - and LIKED it :-) It is a bit tough  to get the backing off the fabric once pressed but I find that if I cut a little graded bit with the fabric longer than the paper, I can squidge my thumbnail between paper and fabric and it peels off easily. It is VERY sticky so stays in place and can be moved around, though not quite so easily as SASII. It irons well and still leaves a nice soft hand to your work.

This is all as a result of my working with the veins on my Hydrangea yesterday. Normally, I do this whole process in reverse with the vein fabric underneath but I changes this time as I did not have enough of the  SAS, I did it with veins on top. SO, here is the result...
Two pics as I still cannot get the right white balance. 

The right colour is somewhere between these two.
The little yellow patches are the centres of each bloom but are only place markers right now. My next job is to create the centres- quite complex structures .


Neat, eh! I am going to post to the needleandthreadnetwork.blogspot.com This is definitely still a WIP!

Sunday, 27 October 2013

The dried hydrangeas

This is coming along, but slowly. Both DH and I are REALLY dragging- VERY tired and lacklustre . We have, however, persevered with our respective tasks and here is where I am "at" to date. These are only the ground colours . I am at the "stare at it and change things" stage. It IS fused down but I used Wonder Under so it IS moveable. The little gold centres are only temporary and just pinned in place. Without them, it does not make a lot of sense to the untrained eye, but its Mummy knows what she is looking at.



Here we are to date. The colours are not dead accurate but close.

Now it is time for veins, detailed centres and shadows and highlights. That will be a tedious, slow, picky job but well worth the time . I hope it works for me. I have been "out of it " all week so it has been a tough slog. When I feel that way though, I just think of "happy thoughts" ;-) and that perks me right up!!
Just to remind you. I chose not to use the bright green .
I hope you have all had a good weekend. Ours has been VERY quiet but we have an exciting week coming up so that will be a nice change. Cheerio, all!

Monday, 21 October 2013

As promised


Here is my next endeavour- my Aunty's glorious hydrangea! Are these not colours to die for!! Well, at least they were colours to START dyeing- for making this quilt:-)

I spent much of yesterday testing and recording colours, came up with a palette of colours and started dyeing. Here is where I am to date.
A few pieces for this quilt , including the test piece where I dropped my colours. It was intended as a throwaway, but LOOK at it!

The photo, the pattern and the fabrics so far.


Just a different view including the graduated piece. More on it later.
I have recently purchased a DVD and book by Ann Johnston, American Art Quilter and Dyer of note. VERY exciting and informative. Both are called "Color By Accident". In her DVD , Ann shows how to dye a solid piece of fabric with graduated colour(s) , either one colour from palest pastel through to a nice intense colour, or by blending one colour into another or others. VERY useful!! I used a pale Ecru enhanced by Golden Brown, fading out to a combo of Lilac, Wisteria and Violet. Sadly, I forgot to use the soda ash BEFORE adding the colour but , in a stroke of brilliance, I put soda ash into a spray bottle and SOAKED the piece before allowing it to dry flat on the table. The whole piece was wet, smoothed onto my dye table and then colour spread around by gloved hand. I have not pulled it out flat to show you but have folded it carefully so you can see the gradations of colour. The colours are very pastel so it is hard to photograph out full.





This is sort of a boring series of pictures but I have shown you both sides and both ends by folding and turning it all over. COOL, eh!
Now I will do another series , same kinds of colours but deeper values and another deeper graduated one more along the brown to violet line. It will be a fairly large piece, 24 inches along the short side, so it will take a fair bit of fabric in many colours and values. Most of the pieces here are fat quarters. The grad piece is about half a metre wide by the width of the fabric.

Tomorrow, I plan to post this to the needleandthreadnetwork.blogspot.com. It is only Monday now, so ... Maybe by then I will have more pieces to add.

And- I DO!! I have started a new batch, sort of mid value colours for this same project.
Here is a new graduated piece still lying wet on the table. I DID remember to use the soda ash FIRST!!

My table slopes a little, like a mortuary slab!! ....

...so... the dye runs and drips off the plastic cover into a basin full of old newspaper. This will stay here for a couple more hours before I rinse and dry it.
The remaining eight  fat quarters batching on the dryer.
OK, NOW when the time is right, I shall post to WIP Wednesday! Enjoy this week's posts.





Saturday, 19 October 2013

Sick:-(- but a very new adventure!!

My DH and I have been as sick as dogs for a couple of weeks now. I am not asking for sympathy as I know that the World and his Dog all have IT! I will say YUKKK! though! I think we have single handedly kept the facial tissue manufacturers in business. Ah, well! Could be LOTS worse. We SHALL survive .

The Dear Lord is looking out for us though. I have kept this under my hat for about as long as I can stand it but it is my GREAT pleasure, my GREAT and VERY UNEXPECTED pleasure to announce that, contrary to medical opinion , our Dear Daughter and her husband are expecting a babe next spring!!! The Lord DOES work in mysterious ways :-) We are all thrilled and especially as everything appears to be going splendidly. Healthy Daughter. Strong healthy Babe- a wee boy !! She has just passed the halfway mark so I have been brave and am announcing it publicly. A few of you knew before but now, you all know.

SOOO.... I recently came across a very nice pattern for a bag which I thought would be easy to adapt to a diaper bag. It is a pattern by Indygo Junction called Grids and Grommets and it uses huge, oversized grommets for the strap to pass through. I have made it up exactly as the pattern suggested and when we go south to visit in a month or so, we shall confer regarding the best size and placement for pocketses!! anyway, here it is- a rather sharp departure from what I normally do, but fun, quick and easy.

I shall take my colour cues from Herself in Tennessee!!

Just pinned closed to show you the look of the finished bag...

...and, Ta Da!! The Finished Bag. Grandpa says the baby should fit in there just fine! Goof!
I am finished that little project now and am about to do some pastel dyeing for my next venture-

My Aunty's gorgeous hydrangea. I will not use the green at the bottom . I will intensify a deep taupey purple and use that at the bottom right corner- I THINK!

So now, I will make a nice hot cup of tea and wallow a while longer in this plagued bug we have . Hope everyone else is hale and hardy?


Sunday, 6 October 2013

It pays to PERSIST!

It is finished ! Well, the stitching is finished. I still have touchups, facing, sleeve and label to do but to all intents and purposes, it is DONE! Are we a nappy camper? We believe so!! Not fully satisfied, but relatively happy.
Here it is , all stitched and the background quilted. 

Closeup of the biggest bloom
These pictures were done hand held in bad light but I DID want pictures just to prove to myself that I am finished most of this piece.
Detail shots to show you WHY I am tired

More detail

And still more.
The first of the three detail pictures shows the little pebbles I did to suggest the gravel driveway on the original photo. The rest is all straight or slightly curved lines where the twigs and branches of the overhanging Berberis are in the photo. Now, I am ready for my bed. Poor me!

This is Wednesday now and I am no further ahead with this but I do have a sample almost ready for a class I am teaching in November. I am sick !!! :-( I have a sore throat and a cold and I am scheduled to teach for three hours tomorrow AM! Poor me!! Anyway, I AM posting this to the needleandthreadnetwork.blogspot.com This is a lazy man's way to do it because I posted this earlier this week and some kind people have already commented. However, I decided I would show the rest of the people that it IS finished , all but the actual finishing- i.e., facing, sleeve and label. Please forgive for a lazy post this week.

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Little shopping trip and a few extras

Needed a couple of things at the grocery shop this morning so we went to Waterdown, ON along my favourite local road. I have been watching the Virginia Creeper and the Wild Grape along there for weeks waiting for the right amount of colour change. ALMOST there today so I took a few pictures. One of these days, you may see one of these done in fabric:-)
I really like the chartreuse leaves against the slatey blue of the little grapes. The fruit is PROLIFIC this year!

I also like the flat blue with the shining red leaves of the Virginia Creeper.

Shot into the sun on a breezy morning but what a glorious brocade of colours!

Love this but I would tone down the emerald green background to a softer, yellowish green.

How do you like the little grapevine hoop!!
I also photographed a most marvellous hydrangea given to my Aunty at Easter. Here are a few photos I did of it. ALSO quilt material!
Am I having fun??

You betcha!

Isn't this colour amazing!!
I have LOTS to keep me busy now. I am quilting the Gloriosa and will post some pictures later this afternoon on this post when I add it to the posts on the needleandthreadnetwork.blogspot.com I will just add the Gloriosa pics at the end as you have seen the quilt recently. I AM enjoying some VERY heavy thread painting. Hope YOU like it too.

As promised, here are a few pics of Gloriosa at her current state, partly thread painted. L O N G way to go to finish but this is a start!
A few shots of the thread painting to date. 

Just starting on the big bloom.

The petals on the smaller bloom.

Centre of the smaller one...


...and the whole, untrimmed piece this afternoon waiting for me to get some energy to finish the stitching on the rest.

NOW it will go to Needle and thread network!