Posts Tagged fabric dyeing

Quilt With Me, Scrappy Lattice Quilt

As it often happens, I was inspired by several separate sources today.  Heres what happened.

As I am finishing the organization of my studio I am finding that one of the hardest things is deciding how small a scrap of fabric is too small to save.  I do use up small pieces in my applique projects, but I am ending up with a giant bag of fabric scraps that are too small for my new organizer boxes, but feel too big to toss.

I am also finishing a quilt repair today.  This quilt was brought to me by a local man.  He inherited it from his grandmother and it needed a few tears patched.  (Luckily it’s a crazy quilt, so the patches blend right in.)   I admired the way the seemingly disparate fabrics all worked together, this level of scrap quilting is something I have been a bit nervous about trying.

Thirdly,  I was looking at the blog of  Elizabeth Hartman, an amazing modern quilt designer, and my eye was caught by the photo in the banner, not so much the quilt, but the lattice pattern of shadow across the surface.  It reminded me of the lattice I have in my own back yard, and so I went out a photographed it.

These three sources have inspired me to make a scrappy lattice quilt.  I would love for any other scrap hoarder to join me. 

This is going to be a long-term project.  Heres the plan.  Every time you cut fabric, or find some scraps squirreled away, cut some 2 1/2″ squares.  These are going to be the holes of the lattice.  Don’t worry about the colours too much.  You will notice that you seem favour certain colours and tones anyway, so it should sort itself out. 

I intend to sew blocks as I get enough squares to form one, to make a sort of journal quilt, showing the different moods I pass though as a quilter.  So I need to make sure I have enough fabric for the lattice itself (otherwise known as sashing).  I want a soft marbled tan, to give the look of aged painted lattice.  So I am hand dyeing my own organic cotton.  I figure I will need about 3.5  yards for a queen.  (All the seams will eat up a lot of fabric).  Of course if you plan on making some pillows, or a throw quilt you will need less.  I plan on adding a border,binding and backing in a different fabric. 

If you want a custom hand dye too, I would love to make it for you.  Use the coupon code LATTICEQUILT to get 40% off!  (the color I plan on using is the marbled tan in the first image).  Otherwise buy an appropriate amount of yardage, or use some neutrals you have on hand.

So let’s get cutting!  To make one 23″ block you will  need 49 scrap squares and 14″ of solid / hand dye cut into 2″ strips.  A 14″ block will need 16 scrap squares and 6″ of solid.

I am setting the goal of a block per month, and completing this quilt by the end of the year.  If you want to join me, let me know in the comments.  I am happy to help you calculate yardage.

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Tulip Field Quilt

As I am slogging away at reorganising my space (yes still at that), I have been unearthing a lot of unfinished quilts.  I tend to jump around between projects mostly when I get tired of piecing, bored, hit a problem, get a new idea, well pretty much for any reason at all. 

However I didn’t realise I had such a major problem.  I discovered 10 different projects that I have been working on in the last month!  Needless to say this was a bit disheartening, so I stopped and finished one.

  It took me a grand total of 2 hours to finish this quilt, photograph it and list it for sale .

I started this quilt after my dad sent me a link to pictures of Dutch tulip fields, the amazing surreal stripes of colour across the landscape begged to put into a quilt, I immediately ran out to my dye station and dyed the fabrics.  As soon as they were ready to use I dived right in.  I quit when the quilting wasn’t going right.  If you look closely you can see it has a quilted motif of tulips.  When I sat down to finish it up I loosened up the shape of the buds, and it just clicked.

So now I only have 9 current works in progress, but I know most of them are only needing a few hours work, and that makes it seem so much more doable.

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Adventures In Dyeing

I have decided to enter the Project Modern Challenge 2.  And I am finding it more challenging than expected (no pun intended). 

The challenge is to make a quilt composed of only one colour, in all it’s varying shades and tones.  The different layouts I come up with seem to have a lack, that I know I could easily fix, with the addition of a neutral or contrasting fabric.  But finding a solution that is within the colour family is far more difficult.  So I decided to dye a piece of fabric the palest shade of teal blue (the colour I have chosen), to use as negative space in the quilt.  Easier said than done!

I am a relatively new fabric dyer of about six months, but I lean heavily on my background as a wood finisher, where I would routinely custom match the colours of existing woodwork something that you had to do by eye, as the underlying colour of the wood always varied.  Meaning that I mix by eye, and don’t write much down.   So I couldn’t remember how much I needed to water down blue dye to get a super pale shade.  I decided, quite arbitrarily, to go with one cup of full strength dye in 14 cups of water.  It looked okay when the fabric when in, and I swirled it around for a minute and put it in a bag to set.  I went to check on my kids in the back yard for a minute and came back to empty the dye tub, and it already looked darker!  Now the main ingredient in the dye was turquoise, which is supposed to take 24 hours to reach full strength.  So immediately into the rinse water it went.  I think that may be a record for shortest dye setting time. 

After washing and drying it is a relatively light shade, but not the pastel I was looking for.  It looks to homogenous with the prints I have chosen.  Fortunately in my panic I had forgotten to dump the dye, so I poured most of it out, added a lot more water, and dyed a new piece. 

End result: I now have a the correct shade, and matching backing several shades darker, and I still have no idea of what proportions I need to make a nice pastel.  I just know it is a lot more than 1:14

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