Saturday, June 25, 2011

Appliqued baby quilt

appliqued baby quilt

A friend asked me to make a baby quilt to give as a gift and we agreed on a design from a Flickr photo. The flowers are from this tutorial at the Don’t Look Now blog.  Misha (the Flickr girl) generously gave me permission to share the design that I snagged from her! Off topic, but if you click over to her Flickr page, you’ll see photos of a pileated woodpecker that did a header into her window and lived to tell about. They are amazing birds!

baby quilt applique2

I am pleased with how well the fabrics mix. Now to piece the back and make a label. I haven’t appliqued for a while and it felt good to put those skills back to work.

All waxed and ready to dye!

waxed patterns

waxed drops

waxed diamonds

waxed zigzag

Any color suggestions?

Check out what some others are doing at Sarah’s Whoop Whoop! party. Thanks for letting us share, Sarah!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011


I love tools. Not just the wrench variety, but anything that makes a task easier to accomplish. One of my favorite tools is a dolly or hand truck. Even a weakling like me can moves things with a dolly.



These are tools I’ve been using a lot lately.

drywall tools

We’ve been plugging along at installing the new drywall in our kitchen and the last of it went up over the weekend. There were 5 ceiling pieces to put up and instead of renting a drywall jack or bribing a couple of muscular friends to lift it, Mr. DJ engineered this drywall jack.

hoist jack

hoist jack2

We just happen to have things like engine hoists laying around and with the addition of a hinge and some 2x4’s…there you have it! Mr. DJ built the engine hoist in his stock car racing days.

drywall finish

drywall finish 2

This gets us one step closer to getting those cabinets installed. I won’t know how to act when I don’t have to store things in totes.

Clamps are pretty useful things to have around.

clamp resist2I had dyed a fat quarter blue to try out a new color and wasn’t thrilled with it, so I stuck a few clamps on the folded fabric and over dyed it with yellow.

clamp resist (2)

Interesting! This technique is called itajime shibori.  Very intricate patterns can be achieved with this, but I don’t know how to do the fancy folding… yet.

pink and purple

The bias tape maker was the tool of the day. It’s been in the drawer for a while and I finally had a chance to try it. Very cool tool!

bias tape

Do you have a favorite tool?

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Wax on!

There’s a good reason not to get rid of everything you no longer use. My chicken frying days are over, so the electric fry pan is now the wax melting pot. I’m using soy wax that melts at a fairly low temperature. What I don’t use is left to cool for the next time as you can see here.

electric fry pan2

This is my second attempt at batik. My first was a big fat fail due to the fact that I left out the important step of adding the soda ash to the dye bath. The soda ash acts as a fixative so the dye becomes permanent and usually the fabric is soaked in it prior to adding the dye. But soda ash tends to break down the soy wax, so it needs to be added after the wax has been applied and the fabric is in the dye. Then the fabric needs to be removed and rinsed after a fairly short time.

Anyway, these are the tools I used to apply the wax to the fabric. The little cutter was originally used to cut shapes from polymer clay and was round. I bent it to the shape I wanted and used a pair of pliers to dip it in the wax. I don’t look at common household gadgets the same way now. Anything is game to be turned into a dyeing tool.

batik tools

The pop can and the altered cutter made the flowers. The wax was applied on white fabric and dyed once.


batik flower

The square bottom of the glass vase was used here. I dyed the fabric very diluted black, batiked it and over dyed it with a stronger black solution. It’s a little darker in real life than in the photo.

batik squares

This fabric was dyed light yellow and over dyed after the wax was added.

batik circles

Drying outside! I really enjoy the batik process and will hopefully improve with some practice. The other two pieces were from a different experiment. 

hand dyed on the line

On the H2H front, this is what I have accomplished so far. Remember when I said I was going to use a pattern? Yeah, well I just couldn’t make my brain conform to that. It’s kind of like Captain Picard and the Borg. I just won’t be assimilated. I already had started to cut 2 1/2 inch strips, so I gave in to the flying geese urge. It was one of those days when I just wanted to sew and not think much and the result was a heck of a lot of flying geese. Then I made big flying geese and had HSTs left over to use. I’m pretty sure it will all come together somehow.


This is the start of a baby quilt I’ve been asked to make. There will be appliqued flowers (already cut with the fusible applied) in between the rows. This needs to be finished next week!

pink baby quilt

And just for giggles, chickens crossing the road. The people who live across the road and one house down from us own these chickens, but lately the crazy things have been exploring the neighborhood.

Question: Why did the chicken cross the road?

Answer: To show the possum it could be done!

That’s one of the four jokes I know.


And from Pinterest:


Hop on over to Sarah’s for the Whoop! Whoop! partySmile

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