Monday, May 25, 2009

Cat Ornament

Here is a picture of the cat I have been working on. At one point she had some of the background stitched, but I made a mistake and had to rip. I now must wait and order more thread from my LNS to do her ruffled cuff and her background. Sigh. I was so hoping to get her done and work on something else.
Yep. I am anxious to start playing with my new dyed threads. It is raining so I can't even take a picture of the threads. I don't dare start a new project for fear of not finishing this one! Sigh. I bet I have a Mill Hill bead kit that needs beads somewhere in this house...Or I could work on my crazy quilt square....I 'm not even sure what month I'm supposed to be working on!
Hope everyone is having a great Memorial Day and getting a little stitching done.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Bad Pictures of Dyed Threads

Here are some photos of my threads as they dried in my basement. They look so lovely in person! The colors are vibrant and have so
many hues.

I hope to start on my project soon. But I must

finish my cat ornament. Why is it taking me so long? Maybe it is that I want to be dyeing threads and working on a different project...

Friday, May 15, 2009

Dyeing Questions

I don't have any pictures of my threads yet, but hopefully will be ready next time I post.

For those of you who haven't dyed before, the salt acts as a reactant with the dye to force the dye into the fabric or fiber. There are other more expensive products out there, but my friend who does this a lot uses salt.

Soda ash is commonly used to set the dye, but my friend said I could use baking soda. I always have that around and it is very cheap! I used it on my threads yesterday and I will find out if it worked. If not, I will add vinegar to the bags and set my dyes that way. It should work.

My local library has a big meeting room that several of us gather in and do art. We are making floor cloths with canvas this month along with dyeing fabrics and threads. Th local quilters also meet there monthly.

I had lots of extra dye from my experiment even with a friend using some to dye background for a wall hanging she is making. So I ran out and bought some t-shirts for the kids and we are dying those. I spent $11 at the quilt show for the dyes and instructions. Well worth the money!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009


Today I finally took time to dye some threads with the dyes I bought at the International Quilt Festival in Chicago. It took more time than I planned, but boy, was it fun.

First I had to mix three dye baths:yellow, red and blue. From them I measured 30 different dye baths of shades of the three colors. Below is the picture of my 30 baths. By the way, I made this mess at my local library. I do not have this kind of space in my house.

After mixing the baths, I started dyeing my threads. I used DMC floss and #5 pearle cotton in white. I had raided all the craft stores in the area to get enough thread. I am sure the clerks thought I was a little nuts!
I added a few spoonfuls of dye to each bag that contained my treads. Then I squished the dye into the threads so that the dye was incorporated into them. I wanted the treads to be completely dyed, but not a solid color-more a variegated look. I decided not to mix colors within the threads, but let them be a single value of one color. I had to leave before they were done, but mixed in some salt so the dyes will react overnight. Tomorrow I hope to return and add the baking soda and start rinsing. I will take more pictures when I am done
Yes, I do have a project for all these threads. Hopefully I will have enough as it will be hard to recreate the exact threads again...The dyes are from ProChemical and the dyeing idea came from Melanie Testa. She is the author of the book Inspired by Quilts.
ProChemicals website is:

Friday, May 1, 2009

Mystery in a Corner: Framed

I finally had a minute and decided to post this picture of myself and my MIAC by Gay Ann Rogers. My framer did a great job. When I was picking it up she noticed a piece of lint and took it apart and took it out. How nice is that? I did put glass on it as I get a lot of dust in my house and I hate to dust!
Hope spring has arrived wherever you are! It has arrived in Central Illinois. I love all the tulips and daffodils I had my kids plant last fall.