Monday, May 31, 2010

Can’t let this one go

Well, spent a lot of time yesterday doing discharge. That’s in the washer right now, but I wanted to post a picture of this fabric. It turned out really neat, and I’d like to do more with it. I could make a whole-cloth wall hanging out of it and it would be just cloth and stitching. Or I could add more layers of complexity in surface design, or add appliqué  - circles, probably. But I did hang it and placed some circles that are already made on it, and didn't like it. So I’m posting this here, and sending a message to the Quilting Art and ComplexCloth folks. FYI – this started out as a dark purple mixed from Turquoise & Fuchsia, and was discharged in bleach (I'm pretty sure.)

Monday, May 24, 2010

More discharge – on bamboo rayon

These fabrics came out a lot nicer than the Kona. Part of that is because the fabric is thinner, and part is because I like the more organic nature of the patterning on at least two of them. The third, while more geometric, is a whole-cloth piece that hangs together well, IMHO. All three were discharged in Thiox, which leaves a nice pale color behind; the first piece, which measures 28” x 60”, was pole-wrapped and overdyed.

The second was done with what I call 'onion bag on steroids’ followed by purple overdye and the third was folded, discharged and dyed a coral color on two edges; green on the other two. Sorry to sound vain, but I’m pleased with all of these! Thanks for looking.

More on the booth & business

Thanks to everyone who chimed in in comments below or by email. The majority liked the hanging idea, and in searching Store Supply Warehouse I found a rolling rack that measures 4’ wide x 2’ deep and folds flat for transport. We’ll have that in the next month or so; hopefully will pick up when we are in the Harrisburg area and save freight costs. Will post pictures after the show at York, PA in June.

Regarding business, I contacted a SCORE counselor with questions about setting up at Houston. That won’t be this year, but I will be learning more in the next weeks and months, and hope to be able to go to Houston in 2011. So far, while the counseling has been a reality check, I’m not yet ready to throw in the towel – rather, I’m energized! “Watch this space!”

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Reworking the booth

Hi – have done some boring, but eye-opening number crunching in the past couple days. I've figured out, with the help of a SCORE counselor and, how much I need to do in sales in order to just break even at the shows I’m doing the rest of the year. If I Lancaster 2010 boothwere to add Houston, I’d have to double that number. That won't be happening this year, alas. Because I have to be serious and business-like about this whole venture, I just plain have to sell more. In order to do that, I have to make my fabrics more accessible in the booth. To the right is a picture of a recent booth setup. It’s not bad, but the inventory is spread out on the tabletop and is difficult to sort through. The pieces range in length from 1/2 yard to 4 yards, and vary in width from 44” to 60”. So I think I have to go vertical, maybe with some sort of mini-bolts. Probably something like some quilters use to store their stash on - it needs to be easy to sort through, and show enough of the fabric to attract interest. It also has to pack away quickly and not weigh a lot. Foamcore or Corruplast are a couple ideas we discussed. I think for the sake of the budget that I will start with clean cardboard destined for recycling and cover it with some clean fabric to protect the hand-dyed goods. Then if it’s a useful system, mess with the shape and size a bit, then commit to a more permanent product. What have you seen? What do you think? Thanks!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Discharge on black Kona

Have gotten some more discharge done. Here are some pictures of some ho-hum items, compared with some of the others at least. Each of these were done on Robert Kaufman’s Kona cotton, purchased black. (Click on the link at right to shop DippyDyes.)

Follow-up: a couple people have had questions: these were all dyed in an immersion bath of Clorox diluted with an equal amount of water. The amount of clamping and the amount of fabric exposed to the bleach makes all the difference.

P5130055 P5130057 P5130066

Friday, May 14, 2010

Classes on website

Finally! I have scheduled classes in dyeing, discharge and appliqué and posted them on my website. Appliqué is a monthly evening class held on the second Monday of the month.P6140095 Well, this isn’t the usual picture of a quilt in progress, but I couldn’t resist. The quilt is done now, and the dog is gone, but he always makes us smile. The blocks are from Jane Townswick’s Artful Appliqué II book, which students can work from if they choose.

The dye class is an introduction for folks who haven’t dyed before and the discharge class won’t teach dyeing, but for people who plan to discharge only commercial fabrics, the dyeing step is not absolutely necessary. They are being held the first and second Saturday of June, and class size is limited to 4 people. Classes will be held outside; in the event of rain we will be in the basement or the garage. Here’s a link for a little more information.

That’s it for now; back to putting products on the website. Thanks for looking!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

For my sister

Hi Sister Sister (think little Ronnie Howard)– here are the pictures I promised months ago! The main blue fabric is on the right side. Each piece is cut off at the top a little. Thanks!

Snow1Snow2 Snow3