30 July 2014

First Strike experiment

The phenomenon of first strike has always fascinated me. For me the first color to strike the fiber "takes" even if you put other colors over it (not soaking). I "use" this  phenomenon when I make my free style fabric with thickened dye and a credit card. Here is an example.

All of these colors were applied then had another color scrapped over it with a credit card but look at how "intact" each color is. First Strike!

Judith wanted some of my embroidery threads to give to her daughter for her birthday. I wound up 30 skeins and put them downstairs. Then I thought, "Hum, I wonder what would happen if..." and so started the experiment.

Nineteen skeins of mercerized cotton embroidery thread (like Aunt Lydia's crochet yarn size 10)

Wetted with just enough water to make them damp.

Color added

Below with soda ash added

Washed out by hand

In four lingerie bags for machine washing with color catchers and hot water

Out of the bags

As an experiment, it was pretty good. Each section stayed pretty much the starting color except the yellow which never stands a chance when red and blue are around! Dried. They went home with Judith

28 July 2014

What am I going to do with all this fabric????

The first thing I had to do after a WEEK in the chaos of paints, dyes, thermofax screens and stamps was CLEAN UP!! I can't stand chaos and it was only the excitement of creating those 5 pieces that saw me though the mess!! But now...

About five or six years ago I "painted my first piece of fabric. I used lots of techniques similar to the past self round robin that I just finished. I used some of the painted fabric to cover a small (4 X 6") lined notebook that I carried in my purse. It got so much abuse in my purse that the beaded edge came of in a small area. In addition to the surface design techniques I used on it, I also attached a small Shisha mirror. The embroidery technique was very complicated and I could never remember how it worked. I found a fabulous and EASY method for attaching shisha mirrors.

Here is my little book

You'll recognize some of these stamps. You can see the reflection of my finger in the mirror.

I also made a pencil case which I have put on my blog at least once or twice. I love it and the little fabric beads with glass beads on them!!

Next is a short story. When I was a kid, my grandmother used to buy me the "Doll of the Year" every birthday/christmas - within a week of each other. So this one year I wanted a doll called Poor Pitiful Pearl. She came with a dark dress, black socks and shoes and a babushka.

She was SAD

She also came with a pretty white party dress, white shoe and socks and YOU could save poor pitiful Pearl and bring her joy!! I loved that doll but my mother hated it and threw it away. As an adult, I bought another one.

Pearl and me!

So and this is where the story is taking us, I bought two of the ugliest to-go coffee cups that were the best at keeping coffee hot and NOT SPILLING even if turned upside down EVER.  Solution: I made pretty dresses for my poor pitiful coffee cups.

 Over the course of time the binding which I made with used color catchers wore out. This material which is like a spun polyester was made to absorb dye during a wash load NOT last for years with daily use.

Opened up and waiting for new bindings

These two will get new bindings and return to active duty, dressing up my pathetic coffee cup!

This one still looks OK. The fabric was a clean-up rag. Always the best looking fabric (sigh)

Now I have loads of new fabrics to make new dresses from. I will wait until after the giveaway to make the new frocks. But just to give you a few ideas about what you can do with this fabric:

  1. coffee cup dress
  2. book cover
  3. small purse - I'm making one tomorrow
  4. make-up bag
  5. pin cushion
and I'll leave you to your own imagination!!

26 July 2014

25 July 2014

What can I do with this?

When I was going through my fabric stash looking for likely victims candidates for the self round robin, I came along this old piece which was a "failed" deconstructed silk screen on linen. The fabric was so scrumptious and the pale colors so appealing That I had hung on to it thinking there might be a place for it in my life one day. 

I badly needed a new purse and if I folded this is half it was just about the perfect size. Hum...let me see. There were bits of these colors.  

So I decided to thermofax screen some ginkgo leaves in all three colors.

This is an old thermofax screen I had made by Lyric Kinard 

Now I need a lining fabric. I think mint green is one of the ugliest colors ever created!! BUT, I needed a light colored fabric so my old eyes could actually see inside the purse, plus I had it in my stash so....

Fabric trimmed square, horrible green about to be trimmed to size and a binding color needed to be chosen. Second from top I think!


Heavy quilting done. This is just so relaxing to do.

Quilting on lining side.

I stitched it up with my new Baby Lock Eclipse which I bought myself for living through chemo and radiation. It threads itself by vacuuming the thread through the lower loopers. Be still my heart!!

I made the box seam on the bottom then...

Cut, ironed, folded, and ironed in half both the binding and the handle fabric

I cut a half inch wide strip of warm and nature cotton batting for inside the handle for heft, strength, and a dense surface for stitching.

 Binding was attached with the cut edge (top) of the purse like binding on a quilt. I started the binding with about 4" unattached so that at the end I could get a perfect fit. You can see the seam in the center top edge of the picture.

After ironing the seam open, I stitched it down with a double row of stitching.

Now the handles could be attached.

I also tacked the "corners" of the box shape to keep the purse square and not so floppy.


 I was out of magnetic snaps so I just ordered them from ebay. I usually use the poke through kind. I have various ways of hiding the metal plate on the outside but

This time I also ordered some sew in kind. First I will use some E6000 fabric adhesive then stitch them down as well.

Snaps in with stitch and E6000