Sunday, August 30, 2009

Hand Dyed Rainbow Fabric

This summer, I have been dyeing a lot of fabrics, as you have seen a glimpse of in a couple of previous posts. This technique has become one of my favorites--making a rainbow type gradation from one color to another.

The top 2 pictures are detail shots to show how the colors blend. The other pictures are of the full pieces--about 36 x 44 inches--so you end up with quite a large piece of fabric to work with. I love how the colors blend into each other. Even with planning the colors and order, the end result is always a surprize how they blend--like a unique fingerprint. I can't tell you how many trips to the fabric store I have made this past month for PFD (prepared for dye) white Kona cotton! Total fabric addict here!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Shibori Hand Dyed Fabric

As I was loading the pictures for the last post, I saw these pictures that I don't think I posted before. These were done with my dye group friends--the top ones are batiked and dyed fabrics, and the bottom one are various fabrics done with several traditional shibori techniques--fabric folding, pole wrapping, etc. I have had too much fun dyeing fabrics this summer!

200th Blog Post

Apparently, this is my 200th blog post! Wow, who knew I had so much to say and share!

I am just popping in to post a couple of little canvas projects that I recently made, inspired by Alisa Burke's cool free-wheeling style. I simply painted plain duck canvas with acrylic paints, drizzled more acrylic, and added a little glitter (who can resist?) and a little faux graffiti writing with black sharpie. I turned them into a reusable notepad and pen mini portfoli and two simple bags with a zipper closure--about 6 x 10 inches or so. They are turning out to be great travel bags for little bead/ wire work projects or for sewing notions.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Weekend Sewing Retreat

Catching up again. A couple of weeks ago, a friend invited me and another buddy to her cabin in the Jemez mountains, about 1.5 hours NW of Albuquerque. We spent a long weekend there, working on our quilting projects, watching the hummingbirds on the porch, taking a small hike here and there, and all-in-all having a totally relaxing girls weekend.

Mind you, I have a 3 year old and a 6 year old, so they got to spend some quality time with Daddy, while I enjoyed some much needed peace and quiet.

I was also very productive. Got 3 full quilts assembled (I had all of the blocks done before I went up). Here are two of them:

Party's almost over. School starts for one kid on Thursday, so its early mornings and rushing around time again. I think that this is the first summer that I haven't been looking forward to back-to-school. I've been having too much fun dyeing fabric in the back yard while the kids make mud pies, and "chocolate milk", and lakes, and moats, and snail habitats. My longarm quilting work schedule kicks into high gear when the kids go back to school, so I guess I'm just not ready for that yet. Oh well, it is coming, ready or not!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Parfait Dyeing

I do have one more vacation to post about, but I thought that I'd get some art stuff on first. This is the other thing that I like to do during the summer time when the kids are home: fabric dyeing. I can set up the tables in the back yard as dyeing stations, and be out there with the kids while they play.

This time, a couple of friends and I played around with "parfait dyeing", which is a layering method of one fabric and color on top of another. The colors seep down to the bottom layers to create wonderful effects!

I am totally addicted, and have another trick up my sleeve that I will show in a couple of weeks when I get some new supplies in. Meanwhile....check these out! Which is your favorite?

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Next Stop: Carlsbad Caverns, NM

Our second trip for the summer was to southern New Mexico visiting Carlsbad Caverns. My father in law, sister in law, and brother in law all came here to celebrate my FIL's 70th birthday. I had never been to the Caverns, and was a little bit apprehensive, as I am quite clausterphobic, but I am telling you, these Caverns were AMAZING!

We went on Friday night to the Bat Flight, where something like 20,000 bats fly out of the cavern in a spiral pattern to go out for their nightly hunt. No pictures allowed there, so you'll have to use your imagination.

The next morning, we went to their once annual Breakfast With the Bats--to see the bats fly back into the cave after their big night out--and as part of the first 100 people there, we were able to go on a lantern light tour of the caverns. These caverns are huge--we went 800 feet down, in sprialing switchbacks through different cave "rooms". During the lantern tour, things were VERY dark! Not fun to carry a terrified 3 year old through! But a very unique experience. So, afterwards, a couple of us went through again with the trail lit up this time.

I would definitely encourage all of you to go check them out one day--and as a bonus, you can stop in Roswell, NM which is about an hour away, and see the UFO capitol!

Summer Vacation

This summer is just flying by! Particularly last month. The kids are out of summer school, and we have been gone for 3 weekends in July, so I am recapping finally. The photos are in somewhat random order, because I don't feel like wrestling with Blogger to get them rearranged.

We spent the 4th of July weekend in Iowa for a family reunion. The weather was very atypical for July in Iowa, thank goodness, and we spent a lovely several days with overcast skys and light rains.

One of my favorite sites was seeing quilt blocks painted on several of the barns throughout the countryside.

My grandparents were farmers--this is a picture of their old barn. Its seen better days, but still has so much character. I remember going to that barn as a little girl to help Granddad feed the cows and the barn cats!

And who can resist a little bit of Nature's Color Palate?