Thursday, December 03, 2009

Quilt for Lancaster almost done

Hi - just wanted to post a picture of the quilt detail showing the great colors that resulted. All that remains is to finish the binding. After the Christmas projects are done, no doubt.

Oops - updated website

My earlier post about the book - forgot to mention that I have both Artful Applique II and Applique Takes Wing for sale on my website, And today I even put quantities into inventory so I CAN sell them. Thanks for being patient! A picture of the cover is at the right. The block is one Jane stitched - originally on fabric I dyed, but it was cropped out for the cover. The background shows on the Amazon 'zoom' page - the 7th image. Yep, still excited!

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Early resolutions - getting all introspective

Well, inspired by the weekly notes from Morna Golletz of The Professional Quilter & International Association of Professional Quilters, I got the book 'Your Best Year Yet!' from the library today. I've never been a huge fan of self-improvement books, because they often seem like I'm kicking myself lower down. So far this book is really different. The two coolest things about it: the 'how to use this book' section in the front says 'it's ok to go ahead and start with the exercises in the back.' The other is from the meat of the Values chapter - the two basic life pursuits models. One model is 'What can I do to prove myself? To be good enough?' The other is 'What can I do with the gifts I have?' Not going to spend a lot of time quoting from the book, but they are two very different approaches, the latter being focussed outward, not inward. (I confess I'm still surprised when people are impressed by something I do.)
Another book I borrowed from the library earlier this year was Chris Gardner's 'Start Where You Are'. He's the author of 'The Pursuit of Happyness' as well; the Will Smith movie of the same name was based on a portion of that book. And a couple years ago I borrowed 'Getting Things Done' by David Allen, after hearing a short bit about it on NPR. That one I now own, after the test-drive of the borrowed copy. All three books tend to have a lot of common sense in common. My goal for 2010 will be to make use of that sense and be more productive. That may sound somewhat silly for a 'sweet little old ladies' craft' (SHRIEK!); if this can be my life's work, I need to be treating it professionally!
One realization I've come to over the past year is that while quilting show and tell is wonderful, whether I'm showing a quilt, experiment or dyed fabric, it's not the same as serious feedback. The Boyertown Guild was kind enough to commission a value scale of blue fabrics for the monthly raffle, and it was very gratifying to see the reaction. When the members saw me holding up the fabrics at the front of the room, a lot of them jumped up to buy their chances. And the guild made a bit of money, even though hand-dyes are normally twice the cost of commercial fabrics. (I did cut them a break on the price.) So the objective reporting - that the guild sold more chances - was good feedback for me. I hope to do more of the same by getting together to do some serious critiques with a friend. At any rate, I've learned to place more value on serious, considered review of my work. But I still enjoy the oohs & ahhs!
OK, enough for tonight. Tomorrow I will be putting the plan in motion!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Book is now available!

The long-awaited day is finally here! Jane Townswick's new book, Artful Applique II, is now in print, and for sale on my website. It's very exciting to see my work in the book, including on the 'Tools & Supplies' page, plus the back cover. That's because of Jane's great design. All but one of the design chapters are illustrated with work by her students; my Crown Imperial happened to be the one chosen. But the shape of it is so neat that it appears in the other locations too! Here's a link to Amazon's 'Zoom' page; my block is the furthest to the right, on the top row; the one in the middle row on the right below. The background I dyed, and the stamens are discharged black overdyed with fuchsia; doubtless there are other fabrics in the block that I dyed. And finally, here's a picture of my finished quilt:
Thanks for looking!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Catching Up part 1

Hi - have been cleaning up in the studio after all the last minute work for the shows in September and October. Since then I have dyed a bunch of Radiance fabric in deeply saturated colors, spray-adhered them to black Radiance and cut many triangle pairs out on the shop AccuQuilt machine. They are now sewn together into a top that is going to Barbara Persing for quilting next week, and then will be entered in the Lancaster 2010 show where I will be a vendor again. Not posting a picture until after that time. Still have to locate the rest of the black so I can make binding. At right is a picture of the small pieces while in process.

Another item that made me laugh and may make you snicker too is the following tag that I, the consumer, removed from a carpet purchased for the floor of the show booth. I couldn't make this up! (Check out the content notice on the last line.)

OK, time to make some supper and start putting the dratted paperwork away so there will be room for work again in the studio. Next post will have to include the light box God sent me. Not my words, but doubtless true. Saw part of it going into a dumpster, so I went diving! - Later, all.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Dyeing with Kate

Here are the results of the dyeing Kate and I did. The first picture
shows all the finished fabrics; the second picture shows a different view of all the fabrics, and the third picture shows a detail of the less than stellar results on a few of the pieces. Not bad altogether. These fabrics are all going to be used in Best of Strip Piecing I & II with Nancy Crow in October.

Friday, July 31, 2009

What I learned at the Hershey Show

Went to the Hershey, PA show as an attendee and tried to learn more about this crazy business. Took notes, and took some photos to share with the ladies at Quilters' Remedy. We're both going to be selling at the PA National Quilt Extravaganza in Oaks in September. The more good ideas we can get, the better! Hope we'll see you there!

Pods for fabric bolts, with handle cutouts to make them easier to carry.

Halogen track lights with goose necks. Problem with these is how to mount them if you don't have overhead bars.

Overview of a booth with great antique quilts, and a good view of the use of skirt hangers. Booths at this show are 8' deep.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The advertisement is up! (click this title)

Yikes! the long-awaited day is here. The video ad on-line at for DippyDyes is up and running. Bless them, they found it interesting and educational enough that they even super-sized it! It was loads of fun to make, plus you get to see the quilt I finished earlier this year. (OK, the binding is still only basted.) Make sure you click on the little 4-way arrow button next to the slider to make the picture full-screen. Woo-hoo!

More credit where credit is due: the quilt blocks are designed by Jane Townswick, and will be included in her upcoming book 'Artful Applique II' due out in the fall. The quilt was quilted by Barb Persing, and the setting was found in the book 'Setting Solutions' by Sharyn Craig.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Inspired by Daily Visuals

Took a look at Jane Dunnewold's Daily Visuals blog again. There's a picture of hostas on it that reminded me of a picture I took several years ago. Here's the original picture, plus two cropped versions. The white bits are apple blossoms, mostly. What do you think? Thanks!

More on flat dyeing and other things

A big thank-you to the folks who commented here or by email regarding the flat dyed samples. Just to clarify, I'm not taking the class with Nancy, I'm just helping friends with their dyeing. Doing the work did prompt me to get her two recent books 'Nancy Crow' and 'Crossroads' out of the library. I enjoyed looking at her work, and especially seeing her inspirations translated into cloth. Last year I took 'Dyeing to Discharge' with Carol Soderlund at Nancy's, and got to see her students' work in process upstairs when we took breaks. (Click on the subject list, below right, for links to my posts on that class. Then sign up for it!) The small samples were done with proportions from the Color Mixing I class, but only two primaries. Looking at the recipe book reveals that if you disregard value differences there are about 11 different ratios for two colors mixed together. Because of my fondness for discharge, I was trying to flat dye the darkest samples I could. I did get a question about the texture; it's the result of putting the dye on with a plastic pipette. It struck quickly in the center of each pool, with white/light areas around it. I used a squeegee to move the colors around, out from the areas where I applied it. That was an effort to minimize the white areas. The other thing I want to try is an 11-step color gradation, using those different proportions, and pure colors at either end. Then try the same thing with mixtures. Oh, to be able to dye all day, every day!

On a sad note, the dog is no longer with us. He got almost five months which he seemed to enjoy before illness caught back up with him. So we have a less hairy, much quieter house. Here's a picture of Dudley that captures a bit of his silly nature.

On the up side, another friend is coming in to dye on Thursday & Friday. And she recently returned from Color Mixing 2, so I'll get a preview of that class. If I do OK at the fall shows, I hope to take a disperse dyeing class; will post on that if it happens.
Thanks for looking!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Dyeing solids

Got some work done a couple weeks ago with a friend, helping her dye some yardage for an upcoming class with Nancy Crow. Am I being too obsessive? The solid shade dyeing seems a bit uneven, but it also doesn't look like commercial fabric. The rosey piece is the worst one of the bunch - click on it to see a larger view. Those of you who have taken strip piecing with Nancy Crow, please let me know what you think.

Now to follow up on my last post, I have washed out and ironed the flat-dyed fabrics I was sampling. This picture shows several of them overlapping. The top one has the most varied areas; they're all textured more or less, but none have the usual crystalline LWI effect. What about these for the strip piecing classes?

Thanks very much!

Tuesday, July 07, 2009


Have spent some time over the long weekend experimenting with disperse dyes on polyester (a post for another day) and flat dyeing, using a different set of primaries. Also trying to resurrect a barker, using the same primaries. And a new fabric that turned out pretty nice!

Here's a picture of 11" samples I did using the flat dyeing technique written about by Robin of QuiltAntics at Thanks, Robin. The primaries are Turquoise, Golden Yellow, and Boysenberry (Pro Chem names.) The pictures show the fabrics batching under plastic. I was going for a deep depth of shade, and started by measuring how much liquid the dry fabric could hold. Then I mixed my recipes and applied the colors - a total of about 15 ml of dye for each 11" square. When they have had their final washout and ironing, I will post again. Did find a hole in the new vinyl that I used between the layers. I get about 10 yards at a time at JoAnn with the coupon.

Here's a before and after in one shot photo of the reviving attempt:
The section on the left is fabric I flag-folded between wooden triangles, tied tightly and dyed with a mix that included the creepy turquoise. Not very nice, in my opinion (or fugly, if you'll excuse the expression.) On the right is a half-yard section I tore off and did LWI in a mix of equal parts of the above primaries, aiming for 10 -12% DOS. I rather like the crystalline LWI markings with the bound shibori showing through. Again, it hasn't had it's final washout, but it's good enough to test for discharge. If I decide I want to!
Finally, I have a picture of a 100% cotton Jacquard weave from Robert Kaufman that I dyed - same primaries, no surprise there, but just golden yellow with a hint of boysenberry. This was done full immersion. I think it's a little warmer in person than in the photo, and the flash really highlighted the weave more than in person, too. But it's lovely stuff. I will be adding it to the 'PFD' category at - anything to make a buck to support this habit! It's not technically a PFD, but I did nothing to it before dyeing - no scouring, prewash, whatever, and I think it came out fine. Haven't done any LWI on it yet; I think the two kinds of patterning might fight each other. That is, the crystalline markings from dyeing and the woven pattern.

So, that's it for tonight. Please post a comment if you have one! Thanks.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Website update in process

Well, the video ad editing by is nearly complete, so today was the day to upgrade the website version and upload all the items I have photographed. That is turning into a major disaster. So now I have to wait for their tech support person to get back to me, which is why I shouldn't try this on a Saturday. Maybe I can print thumbnails of fabrics and fill out the important details, in a spreadsheet even, so when I can get back to it, I can do lots of cut and paste. Sounds like a good use of time that is otherwise filled with grumbling and nail biting.

Have created some new items, but I haven't taken pictures of them yet, so I can't post them here. I did order more PFD fabrics from Robert Kaufman, and should see them in about 10 days. Before they show, I will be getting another order from Pro Chemical & Dye - new dyes for cotton and polyester. I hope to make some fabrics for garment sewers that won't need as much ironing, and will be unique. And I'm dreaming and scheming about the next new process, but have to pay for:
Quilt Show booth fee - I'm going to be at the show at Oaks in September
Fabrics & Dyes I just purchased
Tech support for the $%#%(@ website shopping cart software

On a positive note, I will have enough white and black stuff to keep me busy all summer. No excuse not to have enough inventory in September. Hope to see you there! - Lisa

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Idle thoughts

Hi - had a couple nice emails from Kit Vincent, textile artist (for real). Wandering around her blog and ran across the following posts that I'd like to share: Scroll down a bit on this page to see the GIF animation.

Now I need to go check out my niece's blog, to see how that's going. Possibly get some studio work in later this month - sooner would be better by far!

Go Phillies! (Sorry)

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Just got a look at Dyed & gone to heaven

A friend put me on to Lisa Walton's inspirational site. Go there and look (by clicking on the title of this post.) Got to go muck about with my website now. (Grrrr)

Friday, April 10, 2009

Lancaster show aftermath

Last weekend was my first big show as a vendor. I thought I'd post a picture of the booth taken before the show opened, and some pictures of discharged pieces that sold.

This is the booth, complete with the 'Casbah' look. The floor is actually the ballroom carpet, but it adds to the look, I think.
The remaining pictures are of fabrics that underwent various resists, then were discharged and overdyed. From top to bottom, they are Kaufman's Radiance,
a Moda batik,
Kaufman's Panda

and Sateen,
and a white broadcloth that was dyed several times before discharging the final dark purple.

The studio is at present a disaster; not wasting any pictures on that! And I have three weeks before the next show to restock. Gonna get DH to do some tyeing and ironing, I think. Thanks for visiting!

Friday, February 27, 2009

Happy puppy

Huzzah! Dudley came home this morning. He's understandably sore, but just about dragged me to the car for the ride home. Boy, a golden retreiver sure looks dreadful with his belly shaved. Just waiting on biopsy results. It's good to have him back. Thanks for listening!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Updated the blog

If you've visited before, you might notice a new look. I also added labels to everything, and was a bit surprised to note that the category 'Discharge' had the most entries, by 10 to 4. And I enjoyed looking back at my earlier work. It's supposed to be in the 50s tomorrow, Thursday, so I'm planning to fire up the hot plate outside & do more discharge. Tonight I must get more stitching & tying done in preparation. And it's time to mix up some new dye stocks, or else work on taxes. Hmmm - which will be better? Maybe my reward for getting taxes done will be to start dyeing again. Oh, if I had such self-control!
Time to mess with the black fabric.

Doggie recuperating

Keeping this brief -- spoke to the vet twice today. Dudley has had his spleen out, and two bits were sent off for biopsy. Getting fluids & checks on blood count, etc. Maybe home Friday with luck.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

More stress

Not a dye-related post, but had to vent. My poor puppy is in the hospital tonight. He barely got out the door to do the usual this morning, finished and then laid down on the spot. Long story short: a mass on his spleen, internal bleeding, hopefully he will be strong enough for surgery in the morning. So I posted this picture of his furry self with his pink piggy in his mouth, chewed-off tail & all. Prayers, crossed fingers and toes, touching wood all gratefully accepted. Thanks for listening.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Another discharged piece

Hi - not lots of time, just wanted to post this picture. It's black radiance fabric with some shibori binding & capping, discharged in Thiox and overdyed. The cotton side is on the left, silk is on the right. Thanks to Carol Soderlund for getting me to this point!

Monday, February 09, 2009

More discharge samples

We had lovely weather for February here in Pennsylvania - up into the 50s and 60s. So I got outside and did more discharge, including sampling the Robert Kaufman products in bleach. Here's a picture of the two:

The sateen is on the left - it's still very lustrous, the 'Panda' cotton-bamboo blend is on the right. The lines on the Panda are very crisp. No time for more. Hope these pictures inspire! - Lisa

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Discharge Samples

Just received fabrics from Robert Kaufman. The photo shows four fabrics, labelled by maker and fabric type. All were tied the same way and were discharged in a hot (but not boiling) Thiox bath for varying amounts of time. The Radiance (cotton-silk blend) is pinned back to show both faces of the fabric. The Panda is a cotton-bamboo blend. I sponge-painted a large piece of it (50+" square) with Thiox in print paste, and washed it out in the sink. It has a lovely softness, and I understand will get softer with more washing.

I have these fabrics on my website in both black and PFD white, except the Blank black, which is available from my local shop, Quilter's Remedy. See the links at right to go to the DippyDyes site or to their site. Robert Kaufman wants purchases of $1500 per year for me to keep getting wholesale prices, so if I can sell some yardage to other dyers, it will help - thanks.