Sunday, May 15, 2016

Spot Dyeing a Maine night sky~

While working on my rug "On The Edge of a Dream" I realized that I needed quite a bit of nighttime sky to hook in and around the fireworks...so off to the dye pot I went....I thought I would share the process with pictures to help or inspire those who love to hook and dye~

I have plenty of medium blue 100% wool but the color is too flat for my taste to capture the dark blue almost black swirly skies of Maine when one looks over the cliffs on a beautiful summer night....

So for starters, I ripped about one yard in total (per recipe....) into manageable pieces. 6x8, 8x10, 8x5...however you want to cut it up to scrunch it into the pot....I like the pieces to start smallish so I can hand cut as I hook....

So, scrunch all your wool in your pan...I use an old roasting pan....
Cover with water and let soak overnight....Its important that your wool is wet all the way thru so the dye will reach the center~ otherwise you will have light or whitish lines when you cut and hook....

plain medium blue wool below....

 
Here is the spot dyed wool next to the plain.....#love right?
 

 As I said cover your wool with water and soak, soak,soak......You can add a splash of liquid dish detergent to soften the water...

 I use Cushing dyes....I chose Black~Peacock and Cardinal to spot dye over the wool. I used 1/4 tsp in 1 to 1 1/2 cups of boiling water. Three jars.....three dyes prepared to spot over the wool that is now just at a simmer....a very small simmer on the stove.....
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Here are my three dyes all ready.....in jelly jars from Agway......I use my Grey dye spoon but you can measure your dye with any measuring spoon...even "eyeballing it on the tip of a plastic spoon....This is "relaxed" dyeing, remember?
Now as I look at this picture you can see my countertops are all white.....and this dye stains....so don't do what I do......use an old cookie sheet under your dyes or something for goodness sake......lol!
 
So with your wool at a slow simmer just pour in spots (careful its hot) the black dye, the cardinal dye, and the peacock dye....I pour (separately)1/2 of the mix of a the three dyes then I add 1 cup of white vinager and let the dye absorb...no stirring!!!
 Then when the colors are absorbed (slow simmer for abour 30-40 minutes) I pour the remaining dye in spots again over the wool in the pot, (no stirring)I add a few more glugs of vinager and simmer for another 30 to 40 minutes till the dye absorbs.
 If it needs more time just let it simmer...keep the water level above the wool....
 

Now...when the dye has absorbed take your wool off the heat....I dump mine in the kitchen sink...Its really hot so be careful...Let it cool down before you rinse it with cool water..you don't want to felt it.
I rinse it good and squeeze out the excess water and hang it out on my clothesline or on a clothes rack on my porch..
I suppose you could rinse it again in a cool wash and put it in a "fluff" dry in the dryer. I have always hung mine outside~

Look.....Maine night skys for days.....

Ready for cutting....yum...

I really like the way it looks~ Its hard to get a true read on a small bit of the rug but its really going to be just what I wanted....phew! You never know for sure!
I hope this helps or inspires! please feel free to ask me any questions! xoE

Monday, April 18, 2016

Sewing Weekend!

~Ironing my lemonade layer cake quilt~
 
 
First time quilting a quilt of my own on the long arm, I just have to learn to relax!
 

Pinning the entire quilt to the machine is a lot of under rated prep work
 

Pinning the backing is a lot easier than the front, the batting is really easy to tear
 

Pinning my favorite section of the quilt
 

Weekend at E's watching Anne of Green Gables, listening to The Storyteller, rug hooking, sewing, quilting, and
relaxing. Starting a Back Door Donuts inspired rug from Martha's Vineyard and its amazing so far!
My quilt is nearly done and I cant wait to see the final project!
"Kindred spirits aren't so scarce as I used to think. It's splendid to find out there are so many of them in the world"-Anne of Green Gables 

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Hooked on Hookin'

We had a great vacation in the "Avonlea" house in Maine and I finally had a chance to really "look" at the landscape of sky and ocean, rocks and houses that Deanne Fitzpatrick has so beautifully presented in her Women and the Sea workshop. I was now more than ready to tackle my "On the Edge of a Dream" rug that has been waiting for me since last summer~
 
 
 
Landscape....water...sky....houses...which houses? how much water? how much land? rocks? 
 

We had the very best place to figure it all out.....


I took my sketches of some of my grandies so I could try and figure out the colorway and how I would translate them into wool strips...


Deanne has some really terrific classes about hooking people.....

more drawings to study....
Hooking.....unhooking....lol!

These are my nine grandchildren with me on the cliff in Maine last summer watching the 4th of July fireworks~ As I said to my granddaughters, the drawing is of me and the children but in reality all of the parents were there as well....I would never sit on a cliff with 9 children other than in a drawing~lol...


This is the Women and the Sea project I am finishing up which was Deannes "winter" hooking class this year...a class filled with information about hooking landscape and movement.....



Party shoes.....
I finally have the correct combo of land, sea and sky so stay tuned.....xoE

Monday, January 4, 2016

New year...new quilts to begin...quilts to finish...old quilts to repair~♥

 
I am probably half~way home with my journal DWR quilt in memory of my grandmother...one memory triggers 99 more of course so maybe this will be a series of quilts~
 

I am quilting only my own quilt tops this year which is a BIG change for me....and an awesome change so I better get moving....I have as most quilters do, a pile of tops that I cannot wait to get quilted...

 Wonky Baskets....one of my favorites~
 
And our rug hooking group which will start hooking stair risers this year...
 
 
These are two beautiful quilts I rescued over the summer that need some TLC~


 

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Making Christmas Journal ornies~ "Pocket Full of Prosy"

Another full and interesting year to celebrate! ~ Time for my family to write their stories once again in these teeny tine journals and get them hung in their Christmas trees~
 
#pocketfullofprosy
#journalornaments
#handmadeisbest
#writeyourstory
 

I made some star shaped beads from paper clay and painted the gold with this years date.
 Sepia paint to get a vintage look...


One of my mother favorite sayings, "This too shall pass"   Recipes and angels and cats in doorways~


I made a couple for myself as I write my stories of my grandmother~ She deserves  a special place in my Christmas Tree each year....

On one journal cover is a copy of a photo of my grandmother sitting with purse in lap waiting to get "on with it", I'm sure...

And of course the clotheslines and the stray cats we all loved....the raspberries and me in her chicken coop for another little journal~


Roses, recipes, music paper, script and sparkles all mod podged onto the front and backs of the little journals with special people in mind....

 
The pages in the journals are soaked in coffee and hand sewn into the little books~ I then tore the edges of the pages and added just a few light pencil lines to get the everones story started....♥
 

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

"Back Porch Hookers"

So this Autumn we started a new monthly rug hooking group of new and old hookers! We are all working on our own projects at our own pace~ sharing ideas and dyeing wool~inspiring one another from one project to the next! We call ourselves the "Back Porch Hookers"

One of the designs a couple of us are hooking is from Orange Sink called "Merry Christmas".

Here are a few pictures to show you the process!

The design can be purchased at the Etsy shop on Cathy Greschners blog. BTW here are two great resources for wool~ One is Loop by Loop, right here in southern New England and the other is Heavens to Betsy♥♥ Another great shop is Deannes Fitzpatricks Studio~ I bought my Cheticamp frame and wool jersey from Deanne....♥
~
I dyed wool with onion skins for the background and played around with the border...I used some red plain and plaid wool for the letters~I used dk/light green plaid and turquoise plaid for the leaves~

Here is the design transferred to my cotton cloth~

 And off we go....



sneaking in my loops whenever I get a minute......#loopbyloop #grandsonnapping



 Weekend Zen time.......


I added some cotton fabric to the four sides so I could "hoop" it to hook. I machine sewed it on with a zigzag stitch so I put it back in my stash~
Just a few snips and it is ready for turning.....
 
I will get pictures next project of how I finish the backing. I turned the edges of the hooking cloth and sewed it down and then covered the entire back with a piece of complimentary cotton. Then I finish it with a label to the recipient who will get it in the mail tomorrow!!
 
In January we are starting our hooked stair risers!! Stay tuned....
 
 


Saturday, October 3, 2015

Every stitch is a prayer~

One year ago I made a promise to send a quilt to be raffled to Fill-A-Need Foundation.
I knew I would need a year to do it well enough~ all around and in between my busy days.

 I thought long and hard about a design and while thinking, I was busy working on my first DWR "20 Clinton St." which is a memory quilt of my grandmother.

This one Double Wedding Ring was going to be plenty in my lifetime, but I was really enjoying
the process of making a journal quilt using this new approach introduced to me by Victoria Findlay Wolfe.

                 

 Victoria Findlay Wolfe inspired me with her videos and her book to approach the design a little differently~ mix it up...make it your own....tell your story~

I felt the same JOY when I found that all I needed for my longarm quilting style was a piece of chalk...and my imagination.

So I began with a journal quilt of my grandmother and before you know it I was ordering fabrics for Katies quilt which would be my second DWR....oh my...


Two of them now!......curved seams....a million little gradations of color....How do you quilt a DWR? How do you bind a scalloped edge?

I thought I will cross that bridge when I get to it...or jump off ..lol..

So back to the auction at Fill-A-Need..I took a good look at the colorway of the webpage and the t-shirts and the beautiful motorcycle that Orange County Choppers did for them.

Red, blue,white and yellow.

I'll plan a solid yellow to represent the Bridge and then the reds and the blues all over~
White centers so I can quilt creamy" white on white" which is my favorite and then some quotes from Temple Grandin who will be the guest speaker at the auction~


These blocks really tickle my fancy. They give me a chance to slow down and just stitch....quietly.

A minute to think about the process and Katie and all the kids that will benefit from all her hard work~

And another thing happened here in New England last year that kept me in my sewing space...

Remember?

Mother of Mercy and all the Saints and the camel.......

And it just snowed and snowed...



So projects got done at Robinhill Quilts~
And today this pretty little thing is all but complete...the binding on the scalloped edge after two looks at the video on YouTube.

The only thing remaining is the label~

Going once....going twice....xoE