Monday, February 25, 2013

Anyone can Doodle

That is what I set out to prove in my latest article for The Canadian Quilter. The spring edition is out and in this issue, I challenge quilters to explore their creative side in a different way.

I provided a line drawing of what could be the quarter of a fairly simple applique block and quilters are welcome to use it in that manner, but I hope others will try the exercise I lay out on those pages. Many of my quilt designs have come about, not from a set idea, but just putting pen to paper and seeing what happens.

I set out to prove that even if you think you can not draw, you could do this. If you can hold a pen, print the letters of the alphabet, make basic shapes, dots, lines....then you CAN do this.
Take a close look at the example.

Wouldn't this be fun to do with a few quilting friends?  Turn it into a round/row robin of sorts

I doodled a number of these flowers in different ways and laid them out to visualize how a quilt block might look.

Then, using my computer I created this digital quilt.

Okay, so who is going to doodle today?

Friday, February 22, 2013

Modern Quilt e-book review

Free Modern Quilt Patterns from McCall's Quilting

I was recently asked if I would review a new e book available from McCall's Quilting & McCall's Quick Quilts called Modern Quilt Patterns.
This e book is a free download, it's beautifully presented pages are loaded with every bit of information you'll need to create 3 terrific quilts.
I found the book to be so well laid out. You are guided through the steps, fabric requirements and cutting instructions, along with assembly charts and great photos take you from start to finish.
Each of these projects would be great "stash busters", (like you really need an excuse to start a new project)
Baubles and Beads caught my eye right away, I think I would love to use my hand dyed fabrics for it.... but wait!.....Lemon Squeezy uses a super fast technique I have not yet tried....oh and Rainbow Rhythm is begging for my batik scraps. Why not take a look and see what inspires you.

You don't need to take my word for it, why not see for yourself by downloading your FREE copy here

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Dyeing Threads

Besides experimenting with snow dyeing fabric, I also snow- dyed some threads recently.
I first mixed the dye into the snow....kinda like making snow cones.

I created some"skeins"
Then I placed the coloured snow on top of my thread. Up until now, I had been letting everything sit in the soup once the snow melts, but this time, I pulled 3 of the skeins out as soon as all of the snow melted and then, stirred the soup, leaving one skein to soak in it. The others were placed in plastic bags to continue batching. 

I rinsed the skeins but did not want to toss them in to the washer, so once I was fairly certain I had removed any excess dye, I placed them all into a bath with a few drops of Retayne. The towel I left them to dry on did not have any staining so I am confident that the dyes are set.

I LOVE the colour variations I was able to achieve here.

 Below,is a look at what the "soup"  gave me.


I see some hand stitching in my near future

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Monday, February 11, 2013


Last week, I posted more results of my snow dyeing experiments. I mentioned that in some pieces, you could just make out a bit of extra patterning.  A few of  the pieces shown, were over-dyed prints.
You know, sometimes you pick up fabric and later wonder why.....other times, the price is just too good to pass up. These are generally fabrics that are good candidates for overdyeing.

In this photo, the piece far left, is the print as I purchased it, the middle shows the same piece after batching in the snow dyeing process.....the piece on the far left was actually dyed a second time. I prefer the new colours, but also like the layering that happens when the original print is still visible.

Then there was this fabric...clearance priced...a cotton twill, almost a denim. It was the perfect weight for the project I had in mind...but the colour?  Oh No!  I don't do pink.....EVER!

This is what it looks like now, all cut up and ready to stitch

Also last week, I was interviewed for the Canadian Quilter's Association.....if you are interested, you can read it here

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Warming up to Snow

I really dislike Winter, yes, I am Canadian.....but still......not my favourite season. Up until now, I could not think of one good use for snow, that is until I began experimenting with the technique of snow dyeing.
Earlier, I did some dyeing using snow and ice, this time around, I kept the process super simple. Soda ash soaked fabric, scrunched into the bottom of a plastic dish pan was covered with a layer of snow. On top of the snow I sprinkled my dye powder directly from the envelope. Because the powder remains dry and does not react until the snow begins to melt, I kept my mask in place until I could slip the whole works inside a large plastic bag to be certain I would not be breathing in any of those particles. I left it to "batch" for 24 hours. (that is a tough wait)

Here is a look at some of the resulting pieces, the first 2 are my absolute favourite....(they are about a half yard/metre  in size.)

along with a collection of others that are roughly the equivalent of a fat quarter in size. You might be able to detect some "extra" patterns happening in a couple of them, more about that in another post.

I also tucked a bit of size 5 cotton threads in with the fabric and got some terrific variegated results. now I have found one good use for that white stuff.

Copyright Jill Buckley