Saturday, July 25, 2009

Working My Way Through the Rainbow--Dyeing Fabric Part I

Aside from quilting, I have another guilty pleasure--I love to dye fabric! Although I have had the girls involved in past dyeing sessions, opted to indulge myself while they were at camp. (That way meals/activities would not interfere with the process. My sweet DH could bring dinner home if he was hungry! LOL!)

Had taken a class on Quilt University with Marjie McWilliams and loved her excellent instructions and bonus lessons. With my fifth grade art project on the horizon, decided to incorporate her techniques to dye the donated muslin. While I had the dye out, seemed like a good time to add to my fat quarter collection, too.

Only have five vats, so I decided to breakdown the rainbow. Here are the first five colors in the vats resting:

The colors were so vivid!
Of course, I didn't have enough gloves to protect my hands--youngest DD operates or practices dentistry on her stuffed toys and "needs" them. My left hand was affected the most by the dyes and my sweet DH commented on "catching my red-handed"--groan!

Here are the final products:

Yardage for the fifth grade art festival project.

Fat quarters for my collection.

Very pleased with how the fabrics took the color and look forward to my next session! Will go shopping for more gloves before then so that my hands aren't "bluetiful."

Monday, July 13, 2009

Quilt As You Go

As Love Apple Quilters' workshop chair, I have the pleasure of scheduling the talented ladies from our guild to teach at our affordable Saturday workshops several times a year. Thankfully, the ladies are very vocal in what they want to take as a class and this project was one of those requests.
Having never made a "quilt as you go," had to conquer the learning curve before I could teach the class. Thought I would keep it simple by making a lap quilt. Used 1 1/2 yards of backing, comparable sized batting and a kit for a rag quilt that I got on clearance at the NJ Quilt Show. The rag quilt strips were cut in 2 1/2", 3 1/2" and 4 1/2" strips--perfect! The strips could run from selvage to selvage and be added easily to lengthen the quilt.
The hardest part of this lap quilt was stuffing it into the sewing machine while keeping the backing/batting from puckering. I used basting safety pins to keep the batting and backing smooth, but it seemed like spray adhesive would work well, too. And, since the kit was flannel, it was a bit steamy binding it in July.
Knowing that I haven't given my sweet nephew a quilt in the past month or two, this one is for him. It has little rocket men, stars and trains on the back. (Seems like a strange combination, but he just loves trains! Maybe some day, he'll like spaceships, too!)

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Green Fairy Quilts

Judy Madsen is having a give away of all sorts of goodies! Go to her blog, Green Fairy Quilts at and post a comment to be entered into her drawing for one of five quilty presents. If you blog about her contest, then you get five entries. She also has a charity she runs to help those less fortunate in Romania. If you make a donation to that cause, you will have ten entries.

Even if you don't enter her contests, her blog is exceptional and patterns clever. Enjoy!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

UrbanElementz Essential Elements Panto Club

The more I spent time on , the more I realize how valuable a resource it is. Patricia Ritter has an Essential Elements Panto Club--a must-have for any machine quilter. Every month you are sent a set of pantos--borders, overall designs, setting triangles and specific blocks--for a reasonable price. Here is this month's offering:

Isn't that gorgeous? You can find sign-ups for this club at .

Love all the detail that Patricia includes in her nature inspired designs and the inclusion of two rows of overall quilting to ease lining up. Would be nice to look forward to a gift every month that can be added to your quilting box of tricks!