Saturday, January 05, 2013

SNOWDYEING :Big pieces!!

almost 3 yards of undyed fabric on top of 3 yards of previously dyed fabric (see side layered view)and the snow starting to be added..
Fiber reactive dye powders sprinkled on top of the snow. later in the process I sprayed the yellow powder with a spray bottle tomake sure it was hydrated enough to "strike" on the fabric. For some reason the pure Lemon Yellow doesnt dissolve or hydrate fully sometimes.
This piece of previously dyed 3 plus yards was placed at the very botton of the container to absorb the dye liquid run off.
The end results of that over dyed piece.I really liked the muted look.. and so did my friend Jane. Right after I posted these pics of the ironed fabric on Facebook she decided to snatch this one up for future kids clothing projects. She has an Etsy Shop ( ) makes really cute custom kid clothing and does craft shows in the Chicago area.I cant wait to see this fabric made up!

Tuesday, January 01, 2013


WOOOHOOO! It finally snowed earlier last month.We didn't get a lot.. but I was determined to try this for the first time.Turns out there was just enough on my car to make it happen!
I kind of followed the instructions for "ICE DYEING" from the "DHARMA TRADING' site. I knew there was going to be plenty of run off from the melting snow and I wanted to utilize all of the dye in that melted snow.
I soaked my PFD Muslin in my soda ash solution, wrung it out by hand and crumpled my half yard piece into the bottom plastic shoe box sized container . The top 2 smaller baskets got smaller pieces. Both sizes of containers were packed pretty tight with the crumpled fabrics.
Normally when I dye, I use only a handful of diferent "pure colors". Turquoise, Scarlet,Fuschia,Lemon Yellow, Gold Yellow,Mixing Blue plus 2 different Blacks provide what I need to mix ANY color.Its is the most economical way to purchase and mix colors.I keep these mixed as stock solutions and use them throughout the summer when I am dyeing outside. At "Art Quilt Farm Camp" this past summer I taught the basic color mixing class with these few basic colors in the stock solutions.
For SNOWDYEING I am using these same basic colors in POWDER form.This is more hazardous and requires the use of a DUST MASK as well as dampened paper on your work area. This keeps any stray powders from flying around, becoming airborne and accidentaly being inhaled. Dharma's Ice dyeing tutorial shows them using Pre-Mixed colors(such as browns ,purples and greens available from them), which break down into more interesting "components". I will be ordering some of these "pre-mixed" colors to test out before the Snowdyeing season is over. I think it would be nice to have a Brown and a Green on hand as a stock solution for faster mixing too.
In the Summer when I dye its pretty easy to get my dyed items up past the 70 degree mark and keep them there for several hours. Thanks to my 2 newly installed dye sinks in my laundry room this year, this winter is the first time I have been able to continue dyeing INSIDE!!! My Laundry room is in a poorly insulated porch that is attached to a breezeway that connects my Studio (which is a renovated Garage). My Studio stays pretty toasty and the heat travels up to the laundry room but I know it doesnt stay 70 degrees in there. I thought I would experiment with last years heated throw ( because I am impatient and I wanted that snow to melt so I could see what was going on!) AND because I knew I had to hit the 70 degree mark if anything was going to take any depth of color.
This worked out so well that I have since dyed 2 more batches,experimenting a bit differently with each. The most important thing to remember is that you want to keep the heated throw DRY!!!!SAFETY FIRST!! AVOID ELECTRIC SHOCK!! All of my fabrics have been in plastic containers and Ive made sure they had no trace of moisture on the bottom. To take it a step further, you might want to wait till all the snow has melted before placing the dry plastic containers on the heated throw.I covered my containers with plastic and then covered them up on top with what was left of the throw. I did this on top of my dryer.In my very last batch I added an extra piece of soda soaked fabric to the TOP of the snow as well to see what would happen.
I used a plastic lid from an under the bed box and then 3 lids from the shoebox sized containers are on top of it with the fabric/snow+dye powder/ and then fabric on top. Since these lids were really shallow I packed the snow down hard on top of the bottom layer of fabric before adding the dye powder.
Dyeing in the shallow lids was a bit akward and I dont think I'll use them again this way. I liked the open baskets with the handles on top of the plastic shoe boxes the best.
My next attempt will be to dye BIGGER pieces as these all have been half yard pieces or smaller. Small pieces worked great for the first 3 efforts and I got a lot of variety!!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Thread Emergency!!!!!


Pretty darn excited to be quilting this BEAUTY!!
I was really surprised to find out that it was a KIT (!)
My customer, Mary has excellent taste in Antique quilts as well.
I dont think the picture on the website does this justice ,IMHO.

I really love this one!!

I had 3 different Aurifil Mako Brown threads I was considering using. I SHOULD have used the 2 on the left. One on top and the other in the bobbin. But Noooooooooooooo.

I decided to go with the one in the center because I already had 3 bobbins wound that matched it and thought that would be enough.( duh!)

I was wrong. I am one third of the way through quilting and even with changing the top thread to the other color when quilting the 9 patches, I
still wont have enough .

If the backing fabric had been a PRINT I may have been able to substitute the other color without it being noticable.

I called my usual thread place "Bigfork Bay Cotton Company" and spoke with David who was crazy helpful , even giving me the name of other shops that carried Aurifil when they didn't have what I needed.

But then I remembered
"That Thread Shop" located in LeMont, IL, which is so much closer to me .I called them right up and lo and behold they had my color !(1318) in the weight I needed! ( 40) and were super friendly .


We chatted about the the next quilt shows they were going to be vending ( Lancaster.Pa , Bloomington,In and Cincinnati,Oh)

and how we were both bummed about the International Festival moving from Chicago to Cincinnati.( Chicago is so much closer for us both) an added this saga... that SATEEN..... is looking pretty darn GREAT!! IMHO!! LOL!

Who knew?! Now I can say "Sateen is my friend!"

Saturday, January 01, 2011

Secret Squirrel Santa revealed:Project #1

December was the month for commission quilts!
Besides the usual "Quilt for Hire" routine, I had agreed to custom build 2 quilts for former classmates. Because of Facebook they had seen examples of my work and had inquired about the possibility of making custom quilts.

(name can be seen upside down on the back of the quilt in the front upturned corner)

This first one was decided upon early in October but was to be made and delivered at the very last minute before Christmas as a surprise gift. The fabrics were picked by the recipients Mom ( dyed with this project in mind)via secret Facebook messages and photos, as was the entire process .Each stage of creation was documented and she was excited to be able follow along with the progress.

Fabric choices and shadow waaabits...

Chosen fabric layout..

Deh Puppeh heps....

Hand dyed Fabric pieced for top..

Variegated thread choices ( all King Tut cottons)


More Quilting..

Christmas message detail..

This was made for her daughter Kara, who is attending college in California. Her name and Christmas message from her Mother and the date are all quilted within the design of the quilting.


Finished quilt detail shot..

Finished Quilt !!

It was really great to get reacquainted with my old friend and classmate!We realized we had not seen each other since once a long long time ago at the grocery store when her daughter was just a pre-schooler and before then, High School graduation! We both felt and agreed because we had been friends, the meaning, the making and the gifting of the quilt was even more special for the both of us!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Shhhhh...... Secret Santa Squirrel!!

Lots of extra secret quilting activities this past month down on the Farm!!And...... it's all been business related!! Longarm quilting AND Custom Quilt Building!!
The custom quilts are super classified TOP SECRET SANTA SQUIRREL STUFF... so I cant show any pics till Dec 26th.
Through the magic of Facebook, I have been reconnecting with old classmates from Kindergarden to College. Two of these friends asked me to build custom quilts as Christmas gifts for their loved ones. This was pretty exciting because ; I had a personal connection to them as friends and I was adding to the list of items and goals I had intended to accomplish this year.
Big Fat Wooty!!!!
I CAN show some pics of a T-shirt quilt I quilted for a friends son who graduated from college this year and landed an awesome job in his field.
He is a major dude and a real character.
Unfortunately he is also a KISS fan.
This quilt also led me to implement a new policy for 2011.
Because I was around back in the late 70's and nothing has changed. I still dont like them.

..... with a bonus "Rudy"
It's the "No KISS T-Shirt " policy..because I can't deal with the instant "Ear Worm".
"Keep on Shoutin.. You keep on Shoutin!!! What!?""

Friday, October 22, 2010

GFG Raffle Quilt Ticket info!

I just heard from the ladies in charge of the raffle and they have sent along this information . The quilt measures approx 95"X80"
( complete info at bottom of page.. and Good Luck!)

Send SASE and check made out to "Nativity Prayer Shawl Ministry" to :
Sue Leimbacher 6047 Old Porter Rd.Portage, IN 46368
Drawing is December 19th!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


Let me start off by saying I "drove " the Millennium with the new BLISS SYSTEM at the Chicago show this past Spring and was FLOORED. I MUST have this new upgrade. It's like driving a "hot knife through butter!!!"
So here's the DEAL on the Houston Demo Models SALE:
( ...before it hits the general QUILTING public)
A $500 fully-refundable deposit is required to secure a machine--and they are limited--so act fast. All customers must take possession of the machine before November 30, 2010, or the order will be canceled and deposit refunded. Machines are sold on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Demo Millennium with Standard Table
Machine value is $20,000
Customer gets
* Choice of 10, 12, or 14 foot table
* Full 8-year warranty
* $1,500 cash off
* Free Quilt Glide ($1250 value)
* Free Motorized Fabric Advance ($1350 value)
Customer pays only $15,900

Demo Freedom SR with Standard Table
Machine value is $19,400
Customer gets
* Choice of 10, 12, or 14 foot table
* Full 8-year warranty
* $1,800 cash off
* Free Quilt Glide ($1250 value)
* Free Motorized Fabric Advance ($1350 value)
Customer pays only $15,000

Demo Lenni with Standard Table
Machine value is $10,900
Customer gets
* Choice of 10 or 12 foot table
* Full 8-year warranty
* $1,000 cash off
Customer pays only $9,900

Any of these DEMO machines can be put on a Bliss table for an additional $1000
New Machines ordered at this time can also get the BLISS upgrade for the crazy sale price of 1000!!
CALL ME @ 219-575-4276 OR EMAIL ME... to place a deposit to secure your DEMO machine.. or order a NEW ONE UPGRADED WITH BLISS for only $ 1000 extra!!