Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Vacation Starts Tomorrow

Yep, it does, although its not a full week it's still a vacation. We are headed to New Orleans, to visit history, taste some good food, and support the area in tourism. After the devastating hurricane Katrina, New Orleans has been rebuilding and getting back on her feet again. I am very excite to revisit a place that has many good memories for us. I'll post lots of pics when we get back.

Yes vacation gets in the way of sewing but its a well needed break.
See Y'all real soon!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

6 Color Rainbow Fabric Dyeing Tutorial

To get started you will need:

  • 3 Primary Colors in Procion Dye (I used Lt Red # 12, Golden Yellow #3 & Cerulean Blue #23 from Dharma Trading)
  • 1 1/2 yards of PFD cotton fabric (rip the fabric into 6 fat quarters, this gets it on the strait of grain)
  • Rubber Gloves
  • 6 Plastic Containers (similar to the Glad 4 cup containers)
  • 3 Plastic cups and plastic spoons
  • 1/2 cup measuring cup
  • 1 tablespoon and 1 teaspoon measuring spoons
  • Paper towels
  • Some large plastic containers (I use two 5 gallon buckets)
  • A workspace near water where you have no worries if the dye is spilled (I do this in my garage or if its nice outside I will go in my backyard)
  • Soda Ash is also known as Sodium Carbonate. Soda Ash is found in the pool section and is used to up the PH in pool water, it can also be found in the laundry isle as Washing Soda (I prefer the pool chemical type). In dyeing it is used to cause a chemical reaction between the fabric and the dye, making the dye permanent. Do not use Baking Soda; it will not create the chemical reaction needed.
  • Dish washing soap, this is used to help remove the excess dye from fabric. Some dyers use Synthrapol, I have found I get the same results with dish soap and very hot water. Do not use the type with bleach added.

    *Do not use any containers for foodstuffs after using them for dyeing!

Making the Soda Ash Fixer

Wearing gloves mix 1 1/2 cups Soda Ash to 2 gallons of warm water in a large container (this can be saved and used over and over). Place the 6 fat quarters into this soda ash water solution make sure the fabric is thoroughly wet and let set for 15 to 30 minutes.

Dye Concentrates

While the fabric is soaking we can mix the dye concentrate. Take a plastic cup and add 1/2 cup of room temp water (do not use hot water as this can effect the dye), add 1/2 teaspoon of the red dye powder. Mix well with the plastic spoon there will be a few lumps at first, set this aside - a little time will help with the lumps. Clean and dry the teaspoon measuring spoon (make sure it is dry before moving on to the next dye color, you do not want to get water into your main jar of dye powder as this can effect the life of the dye).

Repeat with the blue dye and then the yellow dye. Let the three cups of dye sit for 15 minutes and then mix well again, this time try to mix in all the lumps. You want a well mixed dye concentrate.

Mixing the Colors

Label the containers 1 through 6; this will help you keep track of where to add the dye concentrate. Using the 1 Tablespoon measuring spoon add to each container as listed:

4 Tbls Red
2 Tbls Red and 2 Tbls Yellow
4 Tbls Yellow
2 Tbls Yellow and 2 Tbls Blue
4 Tbls Blue
2 Tbls Blue and 2 Tbls Red
To each of the 6 containers add 1/2 cup of room temp water.

Adding the Fabric to the Dyes

Remove each fat quarter from the Soda Ash solution and squeeze out the excess liquid. The Soda Ash solution can be saved and reused. (I keep mine in a 5 gallon bucket with a lid in the garage.)
Add a fat quarter to a container of dye liquid, move gently and squeeze the dye into the fabric. I do this and then turn the fabric over once and squeeze again. Rinse you gloves and set this aside.
Repeat for each of the colors and let rest for at least 4 hours or overnight.

Rinsing the Fabric

Rinse the fabric first with cold water to remove the soda ash and dye, not all of the dye will come out. (I do a quick cold water rinse for each color, leaving it in its container.) Then get my large container (a large bucket is what I use) and with the hottest water I can get (the hotter the better) add some dish soap to soak all the fabrics. Yes, they are all in the same bucket, but the very hot water helps to 'kill' the dye and the soap helps to 'capture' the dye. I leave this to soak for and hour or over night (sometimes the longer the better as some dyes can be slow to remove).

After the fabric soaks I rinse once more in cold water and then add all the fabrics to the washer. I let the fabric go through one wash cycle and check for color fastness, usually this is all that is needed. Then a run in the dryer and a pass with the iron and the fabric is ready to be used.

Email me at kira.bell@yahoo.com if you would like a PDF File of this tutorial.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Christmas in July: Day Three

The last day of embroidery fun...
Love this wall hanging that Susan Zellers did. It speaks to all us sewers in the world!!

Missy and Susan did a demo on continuous borders, what a great help!! Missy showed how to fancy up a coosie, I am making one this weekend!! Here Missy is showing us her beautiful embroidered quilt.

Love this embroidery design by Anita Goodesigns, its all done with 12 squares and then sewn together. Its so pretty in person, the photo does not do it justice. Chris DeRoss did a demo on stained glass using 12 gauge clear vinyl and colored organza - soooo pretty!!
I spent too much, had so much fun, met new friends and learned way more than I will ever do (my mind is so full of projects right now). If you ever get the chance to go to a sewing event in your area, GO!!!! Have fun and enjoy as we did!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Christmas in July: Day Two

More embroidery fun!!!!

Sue Zellers, Missy Billingsley & Chris DeRoss were our teachers for the day. We learned about fast smocking and faux smocking. In the hoop projects - even ones that included inserting a zipper, yes in the hoop!!!

We even got to hear from Rose, the district rep. for Babylock. She did a show and tell with beautiful quilts.
We had a fashion show, and even I got to join in as one of the models. (silly me)
Again - I am wore out. Gotta get some rest, for one last day of sewing fun!!!!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Christmas in July: Day One

Fun fun fun.....................
The speakers for the day was Chris DeRoss from Anita Goodesign and Missy Billingsley from Babylock.

Chris did a great step by step for the Fleur de Li from the Glamor Rocks set.

Lovely trunk show too.
Missy did a demo on making a zippered bag. (sorry I was taking notes so I didn't get any pics)
Check out Missy's get pdf on a lace bonnet.
Lunch was delicious and we had some great conversations. I will try and take more pictures tomorrow. I am beat, so its dinner and off to bed.

Wrap skirt

I have picked out this fabric for my test skirtIt's a silky from JoAnn's , I got all that was left on the bolt 2 1/2 yards. It was just barely enough.

I used Connimom's toot . As soon As I get the hooks sewn on I will post pictures and a review on Patternreview.

But for today I am going to Christmas in July at Ruthies Notions. Lots of sewing and embroidery fun!!!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Slow down Sunday..........................

Yep it's a slow down Sunday, something we all need. The chance to slow down and take time for ourselves. I have almost finished the wrap skirt test and will post it (hopefully) tomorrow. We made some fig (fresh figs from greatgrandmother's) and strawberry jam, yummmm and listened to some great jazz.

I have a lot going on and I know you do to, so take today and spend a moment on yourself. Even it is slowly sipping some of your favorite tea or taking a walk in the neighborhood - take a moment to smell, taste and view the day as it is 'true and fresh'. Everyday is a New Beginning, don't forget that!
Peace to all!!

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Happy Birthday!!!!!

Happy birthday Evan!!
God gave us the most precious gift on July 5, 15 years ago today. You were a beautiful, sweet, happy and loving baby. Then you grew into a thoughtful, caring child always showing how much you loved your parents.

We took you to cities far away from your friends and grandparents and you enjoyed every moment. You were my little prince who with the innocence of youth taught us how love can help us through some of the toughest times.

Our pride as parents is overflowing - for you showed us what strength and determination you have to try an be your best and take pride in what ever you do.
As you grow up remember your family loves you and will always be there for you, no matter what life may bring.
What can be said that has not already been put to song, written in poems and stories; how can you tell your child how very much they mean to you. I don't think there are enough words in the dictionary to say what I wish I could each and everyday to you. As a parent you hope for the best, dream for it all and love like there is no tomorrow!!
Happy Birthday!!!!!

Friday, July 4, 2008

Happy Fourth!!

While everyone is celebrating the Fourth of July we are visiting out family in Alabama. I have some of the most loving family. I wish them all the best. And to all of you ----- HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY!!!!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Thoughts for the soul.............

Thoughts for the soul.....................

Or food for the soul if that's what you'd like to say, but it's really your soul you feed with words.

  • Reality is something we live in -- NOT a TV show!! Jerry Springer you SUCK!!!
  • Your pain may feel like it's the worst ever, but remember everyone has pain in their lives, -- no pain games!!
  • Assumptions can hurt; don't just think its ok, make sure.
  • Be true to yourself, yea its cliché - but do it or you'll suffocate your soul.
  • Don't punish yourself for wearing your heart on your sleeve, more people should the world would be so different!
  • No matter how much you want to lock up and close the doors try hard not to lock away your heart no matter what the world throws at you.
  • Always remember someone cares, even if it feels that no one does.
  • Everything looks better in the morning light, even if the night before was the worse night in your life.
  • Look up the word empathy in the dictionary, its something we all need more of!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

God's candy.......................

Saturday we went blueberry picking at a friends home in the Florida panhandle. I can say I had the best time I've had in a long time!! It was hot and humid but being out in nature picking the sweetest berries was a thrill for me. (pardon the pun, lol). But it truly was a great thrill on blueberry hill!!!
(if you want to see more picking pics go here )

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