Category Archives: Process Pledge

Jewelweed Quilt and a Hand Dyed Disaster

A couple years ago, my mother in law gave me a beautiful stack of fat eighths fabric for my birthday. She had gotten it at the Lancaster Quilt Show. I had had an idea for a quilt block rolling around in my head, and so I brought the fabrics with me on a sewing retreat and began cranking out blocks.  I called it Jewelweed, because that is a pretty flower, and I liked that the blocks were kind of jewel like, with all the butterflies around them like they were flowers.

I used up EVERY LAST BIT of the butterfly fabric making this. I don’t think I have any scraps larger than a half inch. I was definitely sweating by the time I finished the last few blocks – and I had to piece together some of the pieces there at the end.

But, I made it! And I used every last scrap I had to make up the back, which I love as much (more than?!?) the front. And here is a photo of it, new and pure!

Jewelweed Rainbow Quilt

And then what happened? I set it on the coffee table next to the couch. As I was watering a plant next to the quilt, a few drops of water got on the quilt. And the dye bled like crazy. From a few drops of water, the dye was suddenly everywhere.

I panicked, called every fabric store in town, found some synthrapol at an art store thanks to a savvy member of my quilt guild, and set to bathing the quilt over and over to try and pull out the dye. I also used dawn dish detergent and some oxi-clean based on internet advice.

Jewelweed Hand Dyed Fabric Quilt

I took a picture of the bath full of dye on instagram months ago when the whole disaster happened – this was probably several rinses in. I have never seen fabric bleed like this – it was like they never rinsed out the original dye! Every color was bleeding, not just the reds and blues. The green and turquoise and brown were terrible too.

Luckily (for them) I lost the tag naming the person who dyed the fabric, as I am very amazed at the shoddy quality of their work. I suppose I should have known to pre-wash the fabric, but with fat eighths I was worried about pre-washing those small cuts. And I just forgot.

Jewelweed Hand Dyed Fabric Quilt

Anyway, here is how the quilt is today. You can’t really tell in the photos, but the butterfly fabric is muddy in color with lots of blue splotches.

Jewelweed Hand Dyed Fabric Quilt

I might try one more wash and scrubbing with some shout to get out the really bad parts – in particular this turquoise marking on the back. I mean, come on, this quilt has been washed about 15 times at this point.

Jewelweed Hand Dyed Fabric Quilt

Speaking of the back, I love the effect of the leftover squares of fabric I had on the back.

Jewelweed Hand Dyed Fabric Quilt

I used a Kaffe Fassett shot cotton for one side (the tan) and a bit of organic sheet from Target on the other. As a bit of trivia, the sheet picked up much more dye than the shot cotton.

Jewelweed Hand Dyed Fabric Quilt

Anyway, as I learn over and over in life, try the best you can and then count your blessings and get over yourself! There are worse things in the world than some a little color where it shouldn’t be! I bound it in this old purple sheet fabric that I have used on several quilts now. It has a satin finish which I can not resist.

Jewelweed Hand Dyed Fabric Quilt

 

Hemming with Maxi-Lock Stretch Thread and Another New Dress

I am incredibly excited about a very wonky sewing thing. Where to start?

Let’s see, for years I sewed on an older sewing machine that did everything from knits to quilting to embroidery until it broke. Sad face.

I decided to get a more sturdy, more metal, straight stitch only Brother 1500  which I love, but is no good for sewing knits, because you can’t do any special stretch stitches.

Then two years ago, I ran across a Brother Serger for $60 (which is an amazing deal) So now I have a serger, and can sew knits, but I CAN’T HEM THEM or do any top stitching unless I buy a fourth sewing machine.

UNTIL NOW! I recently discovered Maxi-Lock Stretch thread, which allows you to sew on knits using a straight stitch.  This blog by Made by Rae  has a lot of great tips on how to use it.

Hemming with maxi lock stretch thread in the bobbin

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Neutral Linen Baby Name Quilts

More baby quilts! When I was a kid, I had a baby quilt with my name on it, and I LOVED THAT QUILT. So I try to always add a name onto quilts I make for kids. In this case, I was making two matching quilts for some little brothers. I struggled with the placement of the names. I had it set in my head that I had to use these dots. Now I regret the dots.

First I had just one dot, I loved the one dot, I made the quilt and it was finished. But then I thought it looked like Trumano. Not what I was going for. In retrospect, I should have, at this point, removed the dot. But it would have been a mess, as then the name would have been off center, and everything was already appliqued down with fusible webbing.

Baby Name Quilt - Neutrals and Linen

Then I thought I would add a dot on each side. but it was off center. I hated it. Two dots was worse than one!

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A Quilt Saga

Years ago, I “finished” this Rainbow Derecho quilt, but was never happy with it. Here is another post about the progress of the quilt. The quilting, the puckering of the applique, the weight of it (too heavy and stiff), lots of little things. I tried to finish it in a rush and that was an important lesson learned – why rush to finish something just so you can spend years not liking it?!? Rainbow Butterfly Derecho Quilt

But, I have a friend who is the perfect recipient for this quilt, and I’m moving soon and interested in off-loading a few quilts that are just gathering dust. Even though this quilt isn’t perfect, it deserves better than sitting in a box!

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#OHCraft Sew-in and Finish Along

This weekend I went to the #OHCraft Sew-in, which is an awesome, low key, annual retreat for crafters across the state. It’s such a nice weekend and was beautiful with the fall weather. I’ll be honest, I spent most of the time sewing, and did not really make the most of my access to the beautiful Appalachian scenery!

However, I finished three tops that had been languishing in the WIP shelf for over a year!

Now I have a giant pile of quilts that need basted and quilted. That is going to be my goal for the finish along: To finish them by the end of the year! Yikes! Lucky a new bolt of Warm and Natural just arrived in the mail! I keep trying to find a batting I like more than Warm and Natural, but I come back to it every time. This is my third 40 yard bolt! I feel like that is some kind of milestone.  I also want to set the goal of finishing the Cardinal quilt this month! That’s my goal for October for A Lovely Year of Finishes. Here is the link up to all the folks who are part of the finish along!

I have something of a tutorial up for my Charley Harper Mosaic quilt here. I might decide to add another row of neutrals across the top – it’s not feeling quite balanced to me. I don’t want to get wishy washy with this quilt and never finish it like my Goldfinch quilt though!

#ohcraftsewin #ohcraft Finally finished my project from last year!

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How to Make A Really Scrappy Lone Star Quilt

Really Scrappy Lone Star TuturialTraditional Lone Star Overview
The Lone Star is a traditional diamond shaped block – traditionally you do planned colors so it makes a cool radiating star pattern. For an example of that, here is a cool tutorial! It requires really careful piecing, because if all your bias cut seams don’t match up just right, you lose some of the effect. The strips are all the same length and width and you have to carefully calculate your strip piecing and color placement to get the perfect effect.

Another option is the slightly scrappy lone star, which Better Off Thread has a nice tutorial  with examples for that effect! While her version uses a variety of colors with random placement, the strips are all the same length and width.

HOWEVER, I didn’t use either of these wonderful tutorials, because what I wanted to  do was to make a lonestar with different width strips, for an effect that is truly, madly, deeply scrappy.  So far my quilt looks like this – it has about 33 pieces per block which means it has about 2,770 pieces so far! Here is before I added the blue strips along the outside edge to square it up.Scrappy Lonestar

And one block looks like this – a strip pieced diamond with 45 degree bias cut edges. Using my math below, you’ll create a diamond block. You can certainly use smaller measurements for a smaller block!

Scrappy Lone Star Tutorial
So this tutorial is going to be how to turn a pile of string scraps of a million different lengths like this:
Scrappy Lone Star Tutorial

Into the quilt above! The quilt isn’t done yet, but I have made enough of these things to explain the process!

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Bird Mosaic Quilt Beginning

Making a plan. #yellow #gray #black #cream

This evening I pulled some fabric.

Stacks of half square triangles. Magic triangle method!

Then I cut it into 5.5 inch squares to make 3.25 inch half square triangles via this method.

And then I started laying it out.

Pretty bird! #charleyharper quilt.

I’m very excited. It’s based on the Charley Harper mosaic in Cincinnati. Which I’ve not seen in person, but I have adored it for years. I’m linking up with Needle and Thread Thursday and Thursday Threads and Sew Cute Tuesday. Ok, back to piecing!

Works in Progress

This Fall colored chevron piece hanging on my little design wall since the fall, and it fell off yesterday. Like it’s begging me to finish it.

Languishing #chevron
I’ve been thinking about either just finishing it off as a baby quilt OR totally different – putting a lot of white fabric around it and making it a twin size with lots of negative space. It’s just  the scraps corners off of this quilt, so I didn’t have a lot of purpose when I started sewing it. I like to take my extra corner triangle when sewing and make little things with them. It takes an extra minute while sewing, but hey, free quilt!

I also have this lingering quilt – a queen size sampler quilt made as part of this great sew along a year or two ago. It is lingering for a few reasons –

1. It’s queen sized and I wanted to do some pretty quilting with it, but blah, that’s a lot of wrestling around on my machine.
2. I messed up the paper pieced block (hey it was my first time) and I can’t decide if I care enough to fix it.
3. I don’t really know what I’m going to do with it when it’s done. At the time pink, teal and navy seemed great but that’s a lot of pink teal and navy for our bedroom.

Sew Happy Geek Quilt Along - Top is finished

Ok, linking up!