Monday, August 31, 2015

August Intention Review Whew!

Did this catch your attention? It's from #10 way at the bottom. But I like seeing pretty things when I open up my email and thought you would too. 

Writing down my intentions is one thing. Making them available to the general public is quite another!
At the onset of August I had a list of ten main areas and what I wanted to see accomplished in each. I knew the list was extensive and there was not enough energy in my body to get everything done. But still I committed to write them down. In July I had 3! intentions that didn't get a lick of work done on them. So, a list of ten with even 1 progressing along would be an improvement. I was correct. I also found that the energy that builds from one item getting crossed off the list encouraged me more than I thought it would. 
Here's how the month has gone:
#1. ✅ Follow a blog posting schedule. I have accomplished this and tried to keep everyone informed of what was going on when I came across some 'dyeing issues'! 
#2. ✅ My plan was to finish binding four charity quilts. This was revised to: bind two charity quilts and make quilt backs for two tops that were given to our guild. I also quilted them with my new longarm. 

#3. 💤 Princess quilt top. 
#4. 💤 Canberra tree quilt. 
#5.  ❓ Deconstructed screen printing fabrics with lots of white background. This one was loaded on the longarm. I did a different design in each of the screen printed blocks, and then I just couldn't think clearly what to do next, so it's about 50% done and waiting it's next trip to the top of the list. 
#6. 💤 Poppy field quilt. 
#7. 💤 Improvisational pieces are still waiting. 
#8. 💤 Three table runners made from hand dyed fabric. 
#9. ✅ get at least 2 pieces out of the mending basket. I actually got 5 mended and decided a few others weren't worth the effort.
#10 ✅✅✅✅ this was where an enormous amount of my time went! I started out wanting to dye up a few small color wheels of fat/eighths of fabric. It ended up being 4color wheels having 15 steps (each 1/2 yard), a lavender & grey 7 piece group, and one giant color wheel/pyramid of 68 pieces that used 18 fat quarters and 40 fat eighths. I also did quite a bit of 'insurance' soaking and processing. This was precautionary but I needed to be sure things were done well. 

I have had a very full month. Did a lot of other activities and all those mundane "housework" things we all do. 

I want to share a little something special next. When I purchased this yarn I had no reason other than it was 8 skeins of a lovely variegated golden color. I often say that I don't know where, or to whom, something I am making will go. But I trust that God will get that part taken care of when the time is right. So as I started this little afghan I figured it would go to someone for warmth or comfort. I just trusted, started it, and kept on going. I put it to the side and left it for a couple of weeks. Then one Saturday, as we were leaving for a 'ride to the beach' I grabbed it and as we traveled that day, my fingers literally flew through each row. Usually they took almost 8 minutes per row, but I got more done than the trip's time could have given me. I just figured, things are going great, and I'll be done shortly. 
As I finished the last row, I realized where it was meant to go. Our neighbors had lost their Golden to cancer that weekend.  I never thought about it bringing comfort to someone that had lost a dog. But, it was her colors! As soon as I finished that last row, tied the ends in, put it in a small bag, we walked it over to them. I hope it brings them comfort. 

Riley, you will be missed. 

May God bless you with comforts,

Friday, August 28, 2015

Giveaway Reminder

Just a quick post to remind you that I will announce the giveaway winner(s) on Sept 1, 2015. 
Each comment you have made is counted. So, you can always drop by and just say, 'Hi'. 
I'm anxiously waiting to find out 'where in the world' I'll be posting things out to. 

My week has not gone as planned. The intentions are being worked on, but not to the extent I had hoped for. Only 'hand dyed fabric' got a lot of attention. Here are some pictures of 3 days of dye-workshop!

There are 4 color wheels of 15 steps each. Below is an image of this week's 4 batches and stacked behind them are several others that I worked on last week. 

I also had two appointments with clients. 
Went to the beach yesterday. Did the grocery shopping today! 
In 10 minutes I leave for the Salon to get my hair trimmed! This hot and humid weather is making me welcome a short pixie look!  

I'll do a review of August intentions and forward look at some for September on Monday. 

Don't forget to check back on Tuesday for the giveaway winner(s). 

May God bless the work of your hands,

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Fun with Color Wheels.

I've been working on some specific color wheels for hand dyed fabric.
Here's my favorite group of 30 steps. They have a deep saturation, lots of texture, and are jewel tones. 

These 21 were created by combining the same three primaries that I used for the 'jewels' above. They are more muted and earthy looking. They still have a lot of texture, somewhat like cracked ice. 

I also put together a small group for a customer. She wanted a special color collection for a project she is working on.  

It's so encouraging to have clients that request a color palette be made for them. They know I will be very meticulous with the record keeping. If she decides she likes the top one but wants a more subtle blending of colors I will be able to make those for her this week. The 'dye lab' is always calling my name, and I love answering the call. 

On the more mundane side of things, I purged a large basketfull of clothes that wear just 'hanging around' and 'taking up space'. It is such a mood lifter to get rid of unused items. BTW I love the hat sitting on top of the pile, but in SC it's too warm to wear it. 

That's the update for this week. 

May God bless the work of your hands,

Remember to post a comment for another entry into the giveaway. 

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Weathered Inspirations

George went to McLeod  Plantation on Tuesday morning. They hoped to take some sunrise pictures but the overcast skies didn't clear in time. He did capture some other very interesting shots. He said I could use them on the blog to inspire us in our creative adventures. 

And this last one is of a live oak tree with Resurection vine growing on it, and moss hanging from it. 

There's a live oak tree not too far away that is believed to be over 1400 years old! I typed that correctly! It's called The Angel Oak. Can you imagine the events that it lived through? 

Remember, every comment gets you another chance at winning the giveaway. 

Have a wonderful day


Tuesday, August 18, 2015

A Craftsy Overview

First off let me tell you that I am not getting paid in any way to write this overview of 'CRAFTSY'. 
I have taken many classes with them and I just want to share what a great opportunity they offer. 
What I like:
You can join the site for FREE. 
There are, at present, over 40 FREE classes/workshops that you can sign up for. 
They have a FREE wish list feature so when they run a special you can easily find your previously chosen items. I've shown my current one above. 
You get access to your class on a 24/7 basis. I really like this because I haven't enjoyed much on the television for quite some time. I can review a class that I went thru a couple of years ago and glean another tidbit of information. 
They have several features on their purchased classes that are invaluable. For instance, if you post a question, your teacher will generally respond within a day. Note taking right on the app so you can bookmark a specific point and come back later. A 30 second repeat button enables you to listen to a more difficult concept, or see a process, over and over until you feel you 'get it'. 
There's a lot more that you can check out. 
I want to show you some snapshots I took of available classes. I typed in a word such as crochet, modern, or wood and then did a snapshot of the top few items. 

And a few of my favorites of the moment. 

I encourage you to check out Craftsy. I know that my gift of the Artisan Bread Making class was well received and continues to be enjoyed by my friend Sandy. 

Let us know, by leaving a comment, if you are a Craftsy user, or if you have another platform you are enjoying for online learning. Only two weeks left to get your comments entered into the giveaway. 
Somebody's going to be getting a special package in their mailbox in September, will it be you?

May God bless the work of your hands,

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Update on Those Intentions

Today's post is about fulfilling my intentions for August. I put the original list up at the beginning of the month. It's the 15th so I'm half way thru. Here's how things are, or aren't shaping up. 

1 - Put together and follow a schedule for this blog.   Currently on schedule. 

2 - Charity quilts. I got bindings on two that I quilted over a year ago. I wanted to have four done by now. I'm still going to consider this one to be 'on schedule' because I put in over 10 hours making backings and quilting up two quilt tops for my local guild. 

3 - Princess quilt still needs to be put on the machine and quilted. I'm second guessing every idea I have for doing this. I've never done any stitching on a face before, and I really like the way she looks right now. I may just do all background and let her have a beautiful smooth skin, like any happy Princess would have!

4 - The Canberra Tree is listed for Monday, but there's something else still on the longarm at the moment. 

5 - Deconstructed Screen Prints quilt is currently on the longarm. I have custom quilted a unique design in each of the printed squares. I just need to fill up all of that white background space. I found that I didn't have enough of the color I wanted to use. Instead of running out, I will wait for my thread order from Superior Threads to arrive this upcoming week. This was on next week's schedule, so I'm ahead on this. 

6,7&8 - These are all due to be on the longarm after the 21st of the month. So there aren't 'up' yet!

9 - 2 pcs of mending out of the basket. I have 5 out, and another 3 that I've decided I'm not interested in keeping anyway, so they are out as well. I give myself a big high-five on this one! It was scheduled for the 26th and I did more than I hoped for!

10 - This one was to dye up some specific color wheels and color combos I've been working on the formulas for. If you've been following my posts for this past week or so, you know I ran into a situation that put this project on hold until I could feel confident that I was properly processing my cloth. After much reading, and re-reading I got busy with some extensive laundering of all dyed fabrics in my possession! Dyed by me or friends, didn't matter, everything was getting some 12 hour hot water soaking. I can't say just how much yardage was processed, but I can say that it took up 6 laundry baskets to get it all up to my ironing area!! Thank goodness I actually enjoy ironing. And the benefit of all of this is that I put together one laundry basket full of cloth to give away. Anyone getting it will not have to be concerned about bleeding of any sort. If time allows, I will get at this before the end of the month. 

#11 (added) Make fabric samples for my surface design group. Each month we send a 12" square to everyone participating that month. It's been a lot of fun and I've received some awesome goodness! We do this thru Stitchinfingers. 

I also got all business permits and licenses applied for, invested 2 quality trips to the beach with my hubby, drove 4+ hours to pickup and return with a ruler base, ruler and a 'glide' foot for the Fusion, finished knitting an afghan, and made a fun batch of pages for my journal. 

I almost forgot, I ate well, slept soundly, walked a few times, and chatted with friends online, via email, and in person!!

I have a great life! God has blessed me tremendously. 

What does He have you busy doing?
Leave a comment for another entry in the giveaway. Only 2 weeks left until those surprise packages start going out again. 

Anyone interested in old tissue paper patterns? Perhaps for your mixed media projects? Let me know,,,

May God bless the work of your hands,

Thursday, August 13, 2015

An Art Quilt, Rita's

Here are a some pictures taken last week on our early morning trip to the beach. 

I can feel an art quilt coming on.  I could do an abstract one. I haven't done this  but would enjoy the adventure. 

What draws your eye the most? Is it a color, a texture, a specific spot in one of the three images?

Please leave a comment, each one gets you a spot in the drawing at the end of the month. 

Drawing items:
Hand dyed shibori piece
Hand dyed multi-color piece
Hand dyed trims
 Some teaser images,

Hope all is going well in your day,
Remember to leave a comment for additional entries into the drawing,

Monday, August 10, 2015


 Have you received any hand dyed cloth from me?  If so, please read this post. First off I want to make sure that you take any hand dyed cloth and give it a proper 'very hot' water soak for 12 hours!! Yes, you read that correctly. Put some blue Dawn dish soap in a container big enough to be able to fully submerge your fabric under the water. Then add very hot water. You may want to put a winter glove on under your rubber gloves, that's how hot you should start it out at. It's going to cool over the next 12 hours of soaking, so you want to 'start' at HOT!  You can put the cloth in when it's partly filled and swish it a bit, then finish filling the container with HOT water. You need to put something on top to keep it submerged. In 12 hours, pour the water down the drain and rinse your cloth thoroughly to get all soap residue out. Then dry and press as usual. 

I am sorry for this inconvenience! Please forgive me. I thought things were fine. I processed my fabrics, making sure that my washing machine's final rinse was coming out clear and thought things were fine. I did several hot water soaks before the washing out. But my energy efficient machine will only allow a 30 minute soak, so I did those soaks in buckets. Usually 2-3 hours of changing out all that water 2 or 3 times. By the end of the third hour things weren't showing any further color in the water. So I finished them out, with color catchers in the wash cycle, and a separate one in each of the two rinses that my machine does. I thought if these were clear any dye particles that weren't attached would be gone. Well, wouldn't you think that's enough? I sure did! Until, the loss of color on a top sheet brought me into the investigative mode. 
Many thanks go to Candy Glendenning from who pointed me over to Vicki Welsh's blog, and a very thorough investigation that she did. So,after reading several pages I'm making adjustments in my upcoming methods to include at least one, and perhaps two 12 hour hot water soaks. I don't want anyone to have back staining on their projects due to my fabrics. 
I've started hot water soaking the fabrics that I dyed several years ago!! Some are fine, a few not so much. Because there's no definitive answer as to which ones will give up more color and which ones won't I've decided to take the time and effort to do this 12 hour hot water soak of everything I have in my studio. 
As for the sheets? Well, it could have been any number of things. Sheets and cases that are sold as a set probably aren't cut from the same piece of cloth, considering that the measurements would be so varying for each piece. The cotton used could have been from entirely different fields and one field's nutrients could be very different from the next. Perhaps the soda ash wasn't as strong when the second sheet was added to the bucket. And on, and on, and on! So after giving all of the sheets and cases a 12 hour soak in the blue Dawn hot water,  I've decided to move on. I do not believe any fault is with the actual dye powders. They weren't old, hadn't been exposed to excessive heat or cold, and I trust the dye house I purchased them from. 
There's just one thing that still has me wondering,,,just what chemicals, and concentrations of them, are adjusted on a daily basis in the water supply? I wonder if I should have paid more attention in chemistry class, perhaps I was supposed to be a chemist!?!? 
As I said before, I am truly sorry for any inconvenience this has caused. I assure you that the longer soaking time is going to be a part of my process from here forward. 

Your comments are always appreciated,

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Important Dyeing Info, Inspiration Pictures, and August Giveaway

First and most importantly is the dyeing information. I was so disappointed when I experienced a major color loss of some hand dyed sheets. They had been properly processed, or so I thought. They'd also been washed several times. They looked like this, the colors were very saturated and we loved them. 

Well they didn't stay that way. About two months later, and many washings, the top sheet decided to 'go pale'!  So, I've been trying to figure this one out. I ended up asking Candy Glendenning, from Candied Fabrics, if she had any thoughts on the subject. In her response she pointed me over to Vicki Welsh's blog and the extensive experimenting and post about a similar situation. The address for this is  as follows.  
Rather than me going into the whole process, I will let you read it and decide for yourself if you will change anything in your dyeing methods. I am going to do an experiment with previously dyed fabrics and all of the sheet sets that I did recently. I'll keep you posted on how things work out. 

Now for the INSPIRATION. Here are some pictures taken on Folly Beach, SC at sunrise. First my recent art quilt. I'm inspired to make another one with quite a bit of color change. 

Aren't those incredible colors? And it really did look like this. The wet sand radiated with the orange glow from the sunrise. We were standing on the pier, it was breathtaking!

And just a reminder about this month's GIVEAWAY ! The studio has too much in it, and things are going to find some new homes! Trims, buttons, commercial cloth, hand dyed cloth, etc etc etc. 
Post a comment to be entered. The winner(s?) will be chosen September 1, 2015. Best of luck to all. 
And if you share about those creative things you like to do, the package will be more in tune with your activities. 

May God bless the work of your hands,