Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Tension and discord in the sewing room!

My plan was to spend some quality hours in the sewing room today. Yesterday I made this. It was fun and fairly quick (if you don't count fabric selection time). I decided to get some more made today and put them away for xmas gifts. Perfect for co-workers. Know what it is? A quilted folder!! Pretty cute huh? You can find the tutorial here. I used a pretty sturdy interfacing and Heat n Bond fusible. I think that might explain why somebody named Bernie, as in Bernina, was in a major snit this morning. She behaved yesterday and I had no trouble stitching this folder.

But look at this mess! This is the back of the second folder I tried making today. There was frequent jerking, skipped stitches, two broken needles, and little rats' nests on the back. I cleaned out my machine, rethreaded everything, put on new needles, and what did I get?

This mess!Loot at that awful edge! It seems Bernie and I are fighting. I got the last word in though.......I turned her off, heh heh! I decided to iron up all of the fabric that I dyed the last two days. By the way Bernie, you aren't the only machine in the stable you know. So I plugged in the iron and started on my mountain of purty colored fabric. That's when I discovered that it was Me against the Machines, argh! As my steam iron heated up....all of a sudden - blurp! - my iron spit up a splatter of brown water onto the ironing board. Gross! Luckily it missed my fabric. If you recall this post, you know that I am hard on irons. They are expensive too which is why I only spent $35.00 on the current 'barfing' iron. Ya get what ya pay for dontcha ?
Let's move on shall we? How about I show you a few snaps of my fabric dyeing? First of all, I soaked my fabric in soda ash and hot water. When I ordered my dyes from Dharma Co., I also ordered 10 yards of 'ready to dye' Kona cotton. I cut this into half and quarter yard pieces.

I set up a table outside, lined it with damp towels , and lined up everything I would need. The book said to mix the dyes in a blender and then pour them into containers, so I did just that. My understanding is that the dyes will keep for a while as long as they don't get contaminated with any of the soda ash. I mixed shades of blue in these canning jars and let some cuts of fabric soak for some time. I learned that you need to add more water than you think to get a significantly lighter shade.

I squeezed the dye out and let the fabric sit for a while.

Then I lay them out on the grass to dry. I tried sprinkling some rice on one panel to use as a resist, it didn't do much. Oh well.

This is a view from the upper deck of the second day's work. I discovered the hard way that I needed to use a new patch of lawn. I draped a wet yellow panel on some grass that had blue on it from the day before. Oops, a few blue spots. (I meant to do that, lol.)

So check these out! Yummy! Not bad for my first attempt.

And while I was at it, I scrounged around and picked out some black and white and white on white fabric scraps to try overdyeing. Very cool! I really like the blue on the far right and the yellow. Both were white on white fabrics. I put a couple of black and white pieces into dark dye baths and that was a mistake. The black design just disappears. It works much better in dilute dyes.

And finally!! The promised extra peeks at my sewing space. I swiped this unit out of my daughter's room. It holds a LOT of fabric.

Too bad the bottom compartment has shelves in it. I really wanted to put Bernie in time out with her friend the iron.

Previously my fabrics have been kept in these wire basket units. I've lost interest in them, some times they fall out. I have four of these units, two holding up my cutting table and two under my Big Board ironing surface. I am pondering new uses for them. They also add to the cluttered look in the room, maybe I should put a little skirt around them. Yeah, maybe next year.
Okay, this was a long post. I hope you made it to the end without snoring. If anyone has any ideas for making Bernie behave, please let me know. Thanks and good nite!


  1. hey! great job on the hand dye's! the little bird quilt is sweet too! your stash is looking good with all your new brights!

  2. What - No Cheddar??? Seriously though, you make the hand dye process sound fairly easy. I think I'm going to look for a September "staycation" and try my hand at it, too!