Monday, June 14, 2021

Overdying old fabric

I got another box of old fabric from a fellow quilter.  Since our quilt guild is always looking for charity quilts that are appropriate for a man, I decided to overdye most of this box with blue dye.  First, it all had to be washed to get rid of any sizing.  Here is the pile:

YouTube is so great!  Whenever I want to try something new, I always look there first.  Somebody has almost always posted a video on how to do something.  So, when I wanted to learn how to overdye fabric, that was where I went.  So many people have posted videos and almost all of them recommended Procion fiber reactive dyes and soda ash.  I've shopped at Dharma Trading and Blick Art Supplies many times before, and decided to order from Blick since they offered starting kits.  My friend also loaned me her dying supplies.  I ended up using navy blue, royal blue, turquoise and black in different mixtures.  The Dollar store was a good place to shop for dye containers cheaply and I purchased 5 dye tubs, measuring cups, rubber gloves, and squirt tubes.  I repurposed a gallon jug and a few quart sizes pop containers.

The process was fairly simple.  Wet your fabric.  Dissolve the dye powder in the plastic cups (and mix with urea if needed).  Dissolve the soda ash with water in the gallon jug.    Scrunch the fabric in the dye tub.  Dilute the dye concentrate with water.  Pour the dye over the fabric and manipulate.  Wait 15 minutes.  Pour the diluted soda ash over the fabric and manipulate again.  Let it sit for one hour.  Rinse the fabric thoroughly to release the excess dye.  Wash the fabric in hot water with Synthropol.  Dry and iron.  

Of course, I failed to take pictures through the entire process!  Ugh.  Well, anyway, here is the finished pile of fabric. 

I found the book "Color by Accident" on low-water immersion dyeing immensely helpful.  The book was written and published by Ann Johnston of Lake Oswego, Oregon.

I like the end results, don't you?

Sunday, June 13, 2021

Quilt Sewing Day with the Undercover Quilters

One thing that the COVID-19 isolation created was a huge need to get together with some long-time quilting friends.  The Undercover Quilters has been going strong for at least 25 years.   We've seen each others' kids grow up, get married and have their own kids.  Some of us have moved.  Some divorced.  Some of our kids have been divorced.  Some are just about to get married.  Through it all, most of us are still making quilts and still trying to see each other as often as we can.

Once the isolation and restrictions lifted, and we all got vaccinated, we started meeting once a month for a day of sewing and friendship.  Here's a picture of us in June 2021.  I'm so thankful that the group still includes me, even though I've moved away from the Portland, OR area several times.  And it was so nice to see them all again.

Here we are:

I hope you all have good friends like I do!  

Monday, June 7, 2021

Crocheted hot pads

My mother used to make crochet hot pads by the dozens.  Everyone in the family has several and we all use them.  Totally washable, they are useful and colorful.  Nobody seemed to have a copy of the pattern.  Then, viola!  My youngest sister found two copies in a box of stuff.  She set out to make them, but didn't know how to crochet.  She asked me to help her.  Little did she know that it would be the blind leading the blind!

We both struggled with the first couple of rounds of crochet and discovered that our tension was too tight, or too loose and we had "bowls" and "flowers".  I tore mine out and started over.  She kept going.  We both learned a lot from each other and YouTube.  I quit counting my stitches and developed a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants method.  My sister kept going with the pattern.  In the end, we were able to make only one hot pad that was of any use.  

I decided to rewrite the pattern to make it easier to crochet and easier to count stitches.  It's not the original star pattern, but simply rounds of single crochet and double crochet.  Good enough for me.    


 First color:
Chain 4, join.
Row 1              Chain 3, 16 DC’s in circle, join (16)
Row 2              Chain 3, DC in same space as Chain 3, 2 DC’s in each of 16 DC’s. (32)  Join. Cut yarn.
2nd color
Row 3              Attach yarn. SC in 4 DC’s, SC in same as last stich (adding a stitch), SC in next 4 DC’s, add a stitch and continue in rest of row in same pattern.  Adding 8 stitches total.  (40) Join.
Row 4              Chain 3, DC in each stitch.  (40) Join.  Cut yarn.
First color       
Row 5              Attach yarn.  SC in 5 DC’s, SC in same as last stitch (adding a stitch), SC in next 5 DC’s, add a stitch, and continue in rest of row in same pattern.  Adding 8 stitches total.  (48)  Join.
Row 6              Chain 3, DC in each stitch, 2 DC every 6 stitches, adding 8 stitches. (56)  Join.  Cut yarn.
3rd color
Row 7              Attach yarn.  SC in 7 DC’s, SC in same as last stitch (adding a stitch), SC in next 7 DC’s, add a stitch, and continue in rest of row in same pattern.  Adding 8 stitches total.  (64)  Join.
Row 8              Chain 3, DC in each stitch, 2 DC every 8 stitches, adding 8 stitches.  Join. (72) Cut yarn.
First color
Row 9              Attach yarn.  SC in 9 DC’s, SC in same as last stitch (adding a stitch), SC in next 9 DC’s, add a stitch, and continue in rest of row in same pattern.  Adding 8 stitches total.  (80)  Join.
Make 2 pads the same.
Joining the pads
Place the two pads together with all the loose yarn in the middle. 
Using same color as row 9 (First color), Attach yarn.  SC in one SC.  Skip one SC, make shell
stitch in next SC.  (Shell stitch is 5 DC’s in same SC).  Skip next SC space and SC in next
stitch, skip SC space, Shell stitch.  Repeat all the way around.  There should be 20 scallops on
the outside edge.  Join. Cut yarn.  Bury yarn ends.

Here are a pair that I crocheted from the revised pattern.

Nice memories.


Monday, May 31, 2021

2nd Lunch Box quilt for charity

I liked the "Lunch Box" pattern so much that I decided to make a second one with the brown and tan fabrics.  This time, I used turquoise scraps that I had in my stash to supplement the brown and tan scraps that were donated to me by a friend.

Here is the finished top which is 64" x 72".

I hope you like it.  And thank you Bonnie Keller for donating the fabric.

Monday, May 24, 2021

More fabric donated and the first Charity quilt from the stash

One of my quilting friends called me this week and asked me if I wanted some of her old fabric collection.  They were mostly fat quarters and I ended up with a huge box of browns, greens, and blacks.  After sorting them into dark, medium, and light values, I went to my favorite scrap quilt book, "Charm School", by Vanessa Goertzen, for inspiration.  

I picked  "Lunch Box" to make this quilt.  All I needed to add was about 2-1/2 yards of my own fabric to give the quilt a cohesive feeling.  Well, I had jus the right red fabric and in just the right amount to pull this pattern off.

I cut the fat quarters of the dark fabric into 5" squares and 2-1/2" x 2-1/2" squares.  The light fabric was cut into 5" x 2-1/2" rectangles.  The red fabric was cut into 9" squares.  Super easy and fun to make, I made the 9" blocks and using half of them, layered them with the red fabric and sliced them one way; and the other half were sliced as a mirror the first half.  

And here is the finished top, which measures 64" x 72".   Perfect size for our charity quilt group.

I hope you like it.  

Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Black and white squares and log cabins blocks for charity - Charity quilt #12

I made a second black and white charity quilt, but instead of doing stripes, I made square in a square type blocks and offset them with log cabin blocks.  This is a super easy quilt to made with scraps.  It's 60" x 72".

I hope you like it.

Monday, May 17, 2021

Wonky log cabin blocks made with scraps - Quilt #13

This is the final quilt made from scraps donated to our charity quilt group.  I started with 5" squares then will nilly added scraps, any width to the squares.  I kept adding pieces until I had a large enough block to trim to 12-1/2" x 12-1/2".  I used 30 squares for this quilt, which is 60" x 72".  It was fun and freeing to just grab the next piece and keep sewing.  I listened to a lot of music and rocked out!

I hope you like it.