Claire developments: Coordinating Fabrics Ink Dyed

The flour sack fabric has been Ink-dyed using Tsukineko Inks, rinsed and heat set. I am pleased with the results so far:

Flour sack fabrics have been ink dyed, rinsed and heat set.
White flour sack fabrics have been ink dyed, rinsed and heat set.

Next, my plan is to apply some Shiva Paintstik rubbings to these fabric pieces for texture.  I’ve been reviewing my Paintstik Inspirations with Laura Murray DVD today–it is a FANTASTIC resource.

Stay tuned to see how my Claire Handbag progresses.

Out on the trail today in New Mexico…

There are several multi-use trails around here…for walking, hiking, biking and running. Lately I’ve been spending a lot of time on my bike, but today I found myself in a funk and in need of a hike.  So, I picked up my pack and tossed in a water bottle, then grabbed the walking stick and camera.

Here are some of the things I saw – click images to open larger image in a new window

Larry the Lizard:

larrythelizard
Larry the Lizard is playing hide and seek with me.

Isn't Larry a pretty fellow?!
Isn't Larry a pretty fellow?!
Run Larry RUN!!!
Run Larry RUN!!!

Cane Cholla Cactus plants are starting to bloom!

Cane Cholla Cactus blooming
Cane Cholla Cactus blooming
Wild Flowers
Wild Flowers
Storm clouds start to build.
Storm clouds start to build.
A pretty cluster of cane cholla cactus blossoms
A pretty cluster of cane cholla cactus blossoms
A storm is brewing...I'm heading home.
A storm is brewing...I'm heading home.

I feel better now!

Formulating a plan to make my LazyGirl Claire Handbag

The  just released Claire Handbag pattern from Lazy Girl Designs arrived earlier this week.

I am SEW excited to make my new girl, but I was facing the ‘what fabrics should I use’ dilemma.  Oh I have plenty of wonderful fabrics in my stash, just not enough of the right ones that want to play nice together AND–more importantly–ones that suit my fancy today.

What’s a crazy fiber art and fabric loving girl to do? Well, I could buy more fabric but then I’d just have to wait longer to get started.  I’ve scheduled some “creativity for me” time for tomorrow and I can’t put that to waste.  SO, I selected the one fabric that spoke loudest to me–great.  NOW what.  Well, I’ll just make my own coordinating fabrics, of course.  How am I going to do that?  I don’t have any fabric dying supplies.  Hmmmm….think, think, think. Oh I have just the ticket: Tsukineko Inks.

Butterfly fabric and Tsukineko Inked coordinates
Butterfly fabric and Tsukineko Inked coordinates

Several weeks ago I purchased several pieces of flour sack cloth.  I didn’t know what I was going to do with it at the time, I just knew I needed to buy it.  I’m glad I did.  This seems like the perfect opportunity to play with inks and things to develop my own special fabric. I selected inks that closely coordinated with colors in the butterflies.

I poured approximately 1/2 of each bottle into its own gallon size freezer bag.  I lightly but thoroughly dampened the flour sack cloth (which had already been pre-washed and dried). I carefully placed one piece of flour sack cloth in each freezer bag.  I carefully let out all the excess air from the bag and sealed the top then proceeded to work the ink through the cloth.  I am allowing the cloth and inks to sit in the bags for a full 24 hours.  I periodically squish, squash and turn the cloth.  Tomorrow I will air dry outside then heat set with pressing cloth and hot iron.  To be sure the color is set, I will do a thorough rinse until the water is clear.

I already know I’ll want to add some textural design on the inked fabrics once they’ve dried and the color has been set.  Tomorrow I am planning to apply some Shiva Paintstik using rubbing plates.

Yes, that sounds pretty good… and then maybe I’ll add some _________.

Stay tuned to see my Claire progress.

Teaser: Fascination with Fasteners

I’ve always been fascinated with fasteners — from staples to binder clips to snap clips to carabiners and more.  So, when I was in Home Depot with Jeff (DH) this week and I spotted these giant carabiners I felt like I’d struck gold!

Huge Carabiner from Home Depot
Huge Carabiner from Home Depot

I just couldn’t pass them by, so I purchased two of these mega-cool carabiners.

Now I’m brainstorming a new sewing project using one of these babies. I’ve been working on a “necessity is the mother of invention” idea for several months and this clip may be the solution I need to make it work.   I’m scheduling some sewing time for myself this coming week.  Hopefully I will have something good to show you next weekend.  Stay tuned to see what I come up with.

In the meantime, if you are as fascinated by fasteners as I am…these giant carabiners  should be available at your local Home Depot or at Home Depot online, currently for just $2.99 each:  http://www.homedepot.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?storeId=10051&productId=100522297&langId=-1&catalogId=10053&ci_src=14110944&ci_sku=100522297&cm_mmc=shopping-_-google-_-D25X-_-100522297

NOTE: If you visit the link above, you’ll notice the Home Depot description says it is 8″.  I’m not sure what points they are using to get that measurement, but you can see by my picture with the ruler above that they are closer to about 7″.  Yes, I did verify the product number of the one I purchased is the same as the one they have listed online as 8″.  It’s a small clarification I thought you should be aware of.  I still love the product — it’s a huge clip with gigantic potential.

Finally quilting again!

It’s been MONTHS since I’ve been quilting.  There have been so many distractions since right before the holidays 2008.   No more excuses, today is the day.

I picked my panto:  Meandering Daisy from Urban Elementz

Urban Elementz Meandering Daisy Panto
Urban Elementz Meandering Daisy Panto

I loaded my top fabric, muslin backing & wool batting.

The longarm is locked & loaded--ready to quilt!
The longarm is locked & loaded--ready to quilt!

Full frontal view:

loadedquiltandreadytogo

I selected a gorgeous Fil-Tec Glide Thread and started quilting…yahoo!

Close-up of Meandering Daisy quilting
Close-up of Meandering Daisy quilting

I’ve completed 5 passes…just about 4 more to go. I haven’t had many problems with breakage or tension.  However, thanks to Ginger’s antics (50 pounds of English Bulldog slamming into me) I did need to stop and pick out a couple of times.

My favorite gadget for this is still the Superior Snippers.  This tool is fantastic for digging in to carefully isolate just the right thread to pick out and then snip–if desired–all in one smooth movement.

Stay tuned. I have plans to add some “over” quilting using at least one different thread color for increased dimension.  If all goes well I’ll have pictures of that to share with you next week.

Happy sewing & quilting!!