September 28, 2015

Other summer projects

Starting in May of this year, the main project I worked on was Accident 2, still in progress.  On a large, difficult piece like this, I need smaller projects to give me occasional relief, and there were also stretches where I was waiting for a dyed piece to batch for a week or two when I could turn to other things.  This post will give you a glimpse of the variety of other things I've worked on this summer.

I needed bandanas for myself and some friends going on a camping trip, so I decided to dye some of the ready-made bandana blanks sold by Dharma Trading Company.  I really liked six out of these seven, and dyed several others after this as well.  (Double-click on any photo to enlarge it.)

I used two different thermofax screens (done from photos of tree bark) to see if I could print on a T-shirt.  Came out quite nicely, although I like the back (blue/black) better than the front (red/black)

I made a few baby quilts, starting with a Cobblestones quilt from Kevin Kosbab, The Quilter's Appliqué Workshop.  I stayed close to the color scheme shown in the pattern, which I liked very much.

The back is hand-dyed fabric, made by pinning the fabric to a clothesline, and dripping two colors from the top.

 Fun to get a photo of the baby on the quilt!

I miscalculated how many squares of color I would need for the cobblestones, so I had a lot left over.  I used them in a "disappearing nine-patch" technique, that yielded the central column for a second quilt, with side panels using other leftover fabric.  When I started, this was going to be the back for the first quilt, but I liked it enough to make it the front of a second quilt.

And its back is another piece of hand-dyed fabric, this one shibori-dyed around a large piece of plastic pipe left over when our main sewer line had to be repaired earlier this year.  Dyers are always on the lookout for tools!

When I was on Whidbey Island earlier this summer, visiting my friend Mary Beth, we went to a quilting shop where I found this lovely turquoise fabric for the background of another cobblestone quilt.  Mary Beth encouraged me to "shop her stash" for some small pieces of novelty fabric, to use for the "cobblestones."  I decided that circles of these fabrics looked better than the improvised squares.

For the binding of this one, I put on a "faux-piped" binding, orange for the piping and light blue for the binding, both fabrics I happened to have on hand.  I like the way this finished.

I also finished the hour-glass quilt that I started this spring (see this post for details on the pattern from Modern Quilt Studio and some early choices).  I finished this with a "pillowcase binding," no batting, as I made it to use as a tablecloth for the large table at my synagogue where we gather for Shabbat prayer when we have a smaller group.

Here's a glimpse of the backing, which is one large piece of hand-dyed fabric.

I saw a pattern for a small zippered pouch on the Crazy Mom Quilts blog, and it looked like a fun way to use up small pieces of some favorite fabric.  I actually made six--I sent one away before I thought to take a photo.  I think I have to make a few more. . . 

That got me in a sewing mode, and I decided to try an Anna Maria Horner dress pattern that I'd bought a while back.  I've tried making a few garments in the last several years, but am usually disappointed with the fit or how it looks on me.  But this one came out quite presentable!  I used only fabrics I had on hand; the color of the side panels is not optimal.  But when worn, they're less visible.  Great pockets, and a comfortable fit overall.  

My favorite part was learning how to do a loop buttonhole with pearl cotton (back neck closing):

Moving over to knitting, I finished an afghan I started about 6 months ago.  Since retirement, I've been watching an hour (sometimes two) of TV in the evenings, so I've been getting a lot of knitting done!  I don't think I could watch TV without it.

 When I finished that, I needed another knitting project.  I found a modified log cabin pattern in Mason-Dixon Knitting, their "Moderne Baby Quilt."  I've changed the colors and dimensions a bit, otherwise following the pattern.  Here it is about one-third done.

And finally, I'm in search motifs to use with stamping or screen printing--something I've been wanting to do for a while, but have yet to settle into.  One thing I did this summer was to take some sketches of mugs that I did a while back, import them into Photoshop and try some arrangements and colors.  I would like to take these further at some point.

So, along with Accident 2, that's how I spent my summer!

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