Monday, August 30, 2010

Rock River

This is one of the best pictures of my husband and I that has ever been taken.  Chrissy took it while we were sitting on the stone breakwall at Rock River.  We had a really good time, Pat and Terry were with us on Sat and Sunday, which was a lot of fun, and Don's friend came over for a couple days too.  We had intended to move Chris into her apartment in Houghton on Monday, but Don got a call saying that he had a telephone interview for an intern job on Tuesday and then we couldn't get to Houghton until Wednesday.  That meant we couldn't use the boat until Thursday, but fortunately the weather was spectacular and we fished all day on Thursday and Friday.  Chrissy and I also found time to bind our quilts on the way up, and I appliqued 2 more blocks of the CWBQ, so it was a lovely vacation.   I am so glad that Star Light, Star Bright is done.  I have enough wonky log cabin blocks done in the batiks to make another quilt and now that this one is done, I want to put it the other one together too.  This one, of course, is personalized, but the other one I'll probably do as a charity quilt or give away or something.  Or maybe I'll do wonky log cabin houses, that might be fun.  I'll see.  The last photo is of my annual garden in the front of the house.  The shorter marigolds don't seem to like the heat, they have almost stopped blooming, even though I have been deadheading like crazy.  The zinnias and petunias however, are doing great.  I put more zinnias in the house today.  I so much enjoy having the color in the kitchen.  I haven't been over to the veggie garden yet.  I gave every ripe tomato to R last week and I'm a bit afraid that every other tomato in the garden is now ripe and must be immediately dealt with.  Between those, and the peaches on the counter, and the pears in the fridge, I need to be putting stuff in the freezer, and instead, of course, I'm going to Maryland this weekend.  Good grief.     

Friday, August 20, 2010

Rx River

We are off to Rock River for a week.  We are totally full this year since Chrissy is moving into an unfurnished apt at Tech.  We have the desk, bed, lazyboy, lamps, dresser, fish tank, and everything else imaginable packed into the truck and on the boat trailer.  Hopefully it will be much cooler up north, it's hotter than crap here.  We have heard that the lake's temp is unbelievably warm this year.  We will see.  Have a fabulous week.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Dyeing Fabric

Another day of dyeing fabric today with Joetta. The fabrics on the table are from today and the ones on the line are fabrics that I folded, dyed, and/or screen printed last weekend. Those have been washed and dried. Last weekend, I did several techniques. Some of them are screen printed, very fun, I used leaves and grass for the resist and you can even see them in one out of three of the pieces. The other two are just green and blue pieces of cloth, and they would look really great if I didn't know they were supposed to be leaves and grass. One of them I just splattered dye on and that one looks remarkably like someone had splattered dye on it. I also used the sewing machine and tried to use thread as a resist to create a pattern on the fabric. It worked, somewhat, but getting the thread out of the fabric after it had been washed and dried was very hard on the cloth. I punched several holes in the fabric trying to get the thread out and would not be able to re-use this fabric in anything that needed structural integrity. I think the ones that have been folded are the coolest ever. It is called folded shibori, a japanese word meaning (surprisingly, right) folded dyed cloth. That is why all the ones that I did today are folded or wrapped around things, like the vacuum cleaner hose. I hope to be able to get the corrugated effect on the fabric. I used a new roll of contact paper (in the center of the photo) and scrunched and tied fabric on it too. I'll let it dry like that and hope to get the scrunched pattern. The other pieces I folded in triangles, at right angles, squares, or pleats and put different dyes on different areas of the fold and am letting them stew in dye for a couple days before putting them to dry on the line. I love the idea that I don't really have any image of how they will turn out when I am doing them. It's a surprise every time. A wonderful by-product of drying the wet fabric on the line is my new collection of fabulously colored clothespins. You can't even buy these. Aren't they great?

Saturday, August 14, 2010


I am working on the bride and have 7 more leaves to applique and some embroidered stems to finish.  I may get a photo tomorrow.  I washed and dried more of my dyed fabric today, so that needs a photo too, and tomorrow I am going to go to the weaving studio and maybe felt a little wool.  I also sent a new fabric postcard to my swap buddy on the Liberated Quilts group.  I mailed one to her on July 29, but it hasn't gotten to Wales yet, so she gets a new one.  Of course, I had to have the one postcard that didn't get to it's destination.  I hope she enjoys her new one (and the old one too if it ever shows up).    

Monday, August 9, 2010

CWBQ Block #1

Block #1 is done.  I am working on the bride tonight, but it's slow going.  I had to re-do the bloomers 4 times trying to get them even, the sleeves once, because 1 shoulder was higher than the other, the lace twice, to get it even, and her neck twice to get it to look right.  I knew it was going too well.... We did more fabric dyeing over the weekend and it is still all wrapped up in saran wrap and sitting on the deck.  Joetta said that I got fading because I didn't leave the dye on long enough, of course she was right, I dried, washed and pressed within hours, too impatient... so I will show it in a few days.  I did a couple screen prints too and brought home dye to overdye the prints.  I'll have to do that this week too.  Also a garden meeting, more tomatoes from the garden, a Red Cross meeting, and I really must go to work again this week. damn.  I want to applique....

Friday, August 6, 2010


Well, after a year of lurking on the CWBQ blog, I have finally joined and added my first blog contribution tonight.  It is so much fun to be able to see and read about everyone's progress on this quilt.   I also now understand that I am not the only person "obsessed" with applique, or with this quilt.  Who would have believed that I could so much enjoy something that seems so unlike me.  A few years ago, I, and those who know me best, would have laughed uproariously if someone had suggested that I would enjoy hand sewing.  It just goes to show that you are never to old to learn new things about yourself.  The CWBQ blog is listed in the Inspiration box on the right hand side of my blog for those of you who might not be familiar with it.  Check it out, you will recognize my post by the photos.   

Thursday, August 5, 2010


This is part of the color palette for the CWBQ.  I say "part of" because I purchased the background and 3 more colors today and added another 10 or 12 from the stash.  I'm at about 60 fabrics that might find their way into the quilt.  I also prepped the first block, 17 colors and 43 pieces on a 12x15 piece of background.  This one is going to be busy!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Civil War Brides Quilt

I am choosing colors for the CWBQ (I will be using this acronym often in the next few months).  The CWBQ is an applique project, relatively daunting in size and complexity.  The pattern, by an Australian woman, is modeled after the Bird of Paradise Quilt made during the time of the Civil War presumably for a marriage, but the groom square is missing, so it is supposed that the marriage didn't occur.  No one knows why or who put all the work into the original quilt.  The original quilt is in the American Folklore Museum in New York City, a definite stop if I ever get back to New York.  I will be using the pattern as a guideline.  I'm making my squares slightly larger and want to include a house, groom, vegetables, trees, and a cornucopia, in addition to the flowers, birds and nests, animals, fruit, and bride included in the pattern.  I have had this pattern for months, but the time never seemed right to start it, but now is the time.  It will take longer than anything I have done before and I'm nervous about being able to maintain momentum, but if I don't start, I won't ever finish, right? 

Monday, August 2, 2010

Dye workshop

The results of the dye workshop on Sunday. As usual, as much permanent dye on my hands as on the cloth. The cuticles are even worse, and when I asked how long to get it off, after I had it on, of course, Joetta said that it took her long enough to cut her fingernails 3 times, that's at least a few weeks. Oh well, here's some of the turned out pretty cool.