29 November 2013

Happy Dance

Cottonwood and Aspen Yellows

Another "use it or lose it" vacation day, and another quilt square done!

I doubt the quilt will be ready to ship before Christmas, so I may have to convert it into a birthday present, but I'm now two-thirds done with the Leaf Me Alone quilt top. I was surprise how quickly this block went together, even though I procrastinated off and on throughout the day because yellow just doesn't do much for me in sewing.

As I measured and cut pieces for this block, I cut the orange pieces, too, for the next block. It will go together even more quickly with all the cutting already done. Then I will have to do the purple square, and purple is SO fun to work with, I may be able to do two squares in one day.

Leaf Me Alone detail

One of the distractions I faced while trying to get this square done was my new thread caddy. I do not have a sewing studio or even a sewing room. My sewing machine is in the bedroom, right next to a very big window, to take advantage of as much daylight as possible while I work. Yes, I kept my thread on the floor next to the simple, inexpensive rolling desk that has held my sewing machine for at least 20 years now.

working thread stash

The blue spools have been on the floor like this ever since I began working on Snowflake Heartburn again about three years ago. And yes, that's my sewing trash can. I indeed do put thread scraps and tiny fragments of fabric too small to work with in a Broncos cup.

Snowflake Heartburn thread options

totally tweaked

Now, my working thread collection is organized and much more attractive! And perhaps we won't be stumbling over rolling thread spools anymore. Ha ha!

eye candy

Thanks to winter's paralyzing grip last week, my dye pots froze, so no new yarn colors. But a summer and autumn full of dyeing resulted in a backlog of hanks needing attention. First, I untangled 24 hanks and rolled them into balls. Then I caked them. Every last one.

Mission: Nearly Accomplished. Eleven more hanks to detangle...

What a mess!

Making Progress

Hue Shift Replenishments

19 done, 4 to go

The hand-dyed snowflake batik dress is ready to wear just in time for the holidays, too! I had cut the pieces for the dress last summer, and then The Lizard attempted to help me hold the panels and about 120 snowflakes on the ground outside in the sun during my first attempt at solar printing on fabric. The wind decided to join the party once I got everything just where I wanted it.

Needless to say, my first attempt at solar printing on fabric was not a success. The supposed-to-be blue dress pieces had the appearance of expensive handpaint, but no white snowflake patterns, and the final color was more green than I'd anticipated or wanted.

Solar-dyed Fabric

So last month, on my last forced day off, I tried batiking by hand with wax for the first time. After hand-painting about 20 snowflakes each on the front and the back of the dress with melted wax, I did a quick stinky indigo dip, and I couldn't wait to finish this dress and wear it. I love the color I achieved by overdyeing teal with indigo!

teal and denim snowstorm

denim dip

partial snowflake

I finally finished the hem and attached the facings this week on my second forced day off. It was after 10 p.m. when I finished the machine sewing, so I didn't get the facings tacked down. I do that by hand.

I really wanted to wear this dress the day before Thanksgiving. It's not the first time I've worn a dress to work before I've finished tacking down the facings! And it was worth it. All my co-workers (and my husband!) love the dress and much as I do!

(Oh, and I dyed the turtleneck over the weekend, too. This wasn't natural dyeing; I used commercial dye and was trying to get bright lime green, like the yarn above, which was successful. I'm kind of glad most of the color in the turtleneck washed out because I think the seriously dated Ocean Mist green, which is still a favorite hue of mine even though it's decades out of style, is much more attractive than a loud neon would have been!)

hand-dyed coordinates

one of the most successful snowflake imprints


  1. Wow always creative at your sea and plenty of thread at your sea, those use it or lose em days can be grand

    1. Thank you! Yes, Pat, use-it-or-lose-it days are quite exciting once you get enough of them...

  2. Darling Snowflake quilt in progress:)

    1. Thanks, Sara! It is my heartburn quilt project...

  3. Love your quilt square and all the other lovely things you've made as well. :)

    Blessings always

    1. Thank you, Stitchy! I hope you are having a wonderful break!

  4. Happy holidays and all good things to you!!! I still want to know where do you find the time??? You are one incredible gal and so talented. I haven't been around in a while but am back and becoming ever so inspired by you again. Blessings.

    1. Happy holidays to you, too, Glor! I have missed you, and I'm glad you're back!

  5. Wow, Deb, you are a whirlwind of productivity! (Not sure that metaphor makes sense but I hope you get my drift.)

    I'm not a huge fan of yellow either, but have learned that just a bit in a quilt can make it sparkle. (Just like black.) Purple is ALWAYS great to work with!

    Your fabric came out beautiful - really like the images you got. And I think the turtleneck is the perfect shade to go with it. :)

    1. Thanks, Sue! Whirlwind, yes, I've been called that at work a time or two...


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