Sunday, August 23, 2009

Great Grandma's block, round 3

Round 3 consisted of Flying Geese blocks (triangle within a rectangle). This makes the quilt balanced again, and everyone can now relax.

Even though I am away from home, without quilting means, I do have my camera with me, and am able to post the most recent additions to my great grandmother's center (trip-around-the-world) block, a photo that I took just before leaving on my trip. The International Friendship Quilters' "Ostrich" quilt has only four more months (rounds) to go. I think I mentioned that it is called an Ostrich quilt because you are allowed (amazing that I would join in something so regimented) to sit out one round if you choose. The month you skip, you are an ostrich.

Great Grandmother's block wasn't exactly straight sided, and with each successive round, the lack of straight sides became more obvious. I couldn't trim the sides with the blocks I had on there (you can't cut off points of triangles, after all), so I decided to add the striped round, hoping to be able to unobtrusively trim the sides for round 4, the block design to be revealed to us on September 9.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Today's Write Prompt: Odd Plant

From the One-Minute Writer:

If you could plant something non-living and make it grow (such as planting a dollar and growing a money tree), what would you plant?

I desperately need a plant that grows already-wound bobbins. My plant would produce bobbins in just the right threads and colors. That was an easy question and took me only 30 seconds to answer, once I got my computer under control. What's the next?

Why, and why?

Why am I too embarrassed to show my recently produced ugly quilt? Maybe by the time I get home I will have worked up the courage to share it. Overdyeing, I think, will either rescue it or relegate it to the doggie blanket category. I decided not to make it overplush. Instead of batting, the interior will be flannel, washed, washed again, and rewashed, getting out all the shrinkage possible.

Why doesn't Blogger have an option where all the comments generated by all your posts are listed in order of when the comment was made? That would be so nice, and so easy, and help me so much in not missing comments, especially while traveling.

Traveling without fabric

I am going through withdrawal from busy-ness. Vacationing takes will power. No one seems to believe I can spend 6+ hours a day creating with fiber and enjoy it, but the answer is Yes, I can! Likewise, no one seems to believe I've spent that much time creating and not have made a single effort to sell anything. The answer again is, Yes. And I did!

That issue is soon to be remedied, the effort to sell part, that is. The family will soon be glutted with my gifts of quilts, and sis-in-law has proposed an online partnership. Definitely intriguing.

I shipped my last quilt to Grand Junction on Tuesday, arrived in Grand Junction myself after two fast hours in the air between Sac and Denver, then 1.5 slow hours going west again, to GJ, in a small plane that smelled suspiciously of failed urine neutrlization attempts. I mentioned this fact to my sister, and she said she has been on that plane and endured eau de vomit, so I guess I shouldn't complain.

The quilt will arrive in GJ sometime next week, having cost less to mail than to pack on United. I did not insure the quilt this time, because the man at the PO explained that to make a claim I would either have to have an appraisal, or receipts for the fabric -- impossible when you sew from a stash collected over a number of years, and especially in this case, where I sewed from a scrap box, not to mention the pieces I rescued from the wastebasket when a member of our Guilty Quilty Girls Quilting Guild and Friendship Garden Stitch and Itch Club discarded some cool blue scraps.

Yeah, currently separated from my fabric and busy-ness, spending more time with words and with prayer.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Dragged into rust dyeing

Rust dyeing, rust dyeing, rust dyeing. Blah, blah, blah. That's all I've heard about for months. I resisted it, like I resisted Facebook, like I resist just about everything that "everybody" is doing. And why? Because I don't like to follow the crowd, that's why. Then this class comes along, and this book (Fabric Art Workshop, by Susan Stein) for the class comes along, and here I am, rust dyeing, just to get my assignments done.

I go out to the pole shed and find the biggest, rustiest piece of metal I can find. It's -- oh dear, now I forget the name of it. I researched it with my guy friend, a reliable authority, and all I can tell you is that it is a rod used when pouring concrete, to keep the forms where you want them. No, not rebar.

So I wrap this yard-long, 3/4" diameter rod with my muslin, strap it on with fishing line, soak it with 50-50 water vinegar solution, wrap it in plastic and wrap again with fishing line (none of which is as easy as it sounds), and muster up the patience to wait 24 hours to see what happens. I have my doubts. I remember trying to rust fabric for Home Ec when I was 14, the purpose being to test stain removers on different stains. Couldn't get any rust to show up on my fabric, so to this day don't know if rust stains are removable.

But... there she is, tadaaa! -- or at least a part (12"x16") of the fabric I rusted. The darker area on the lower portion is the fabric that was actually touching the metal. It's washed and washed and rewashed, and still feels like it's been starched. Rumor has it that miniscule rust particles remain in the fabric, causing the stiffness. They say the rust will adversely affect my sewing machine needle. Remains to be seen.

So what am I going to do with this astounding piece of fabric? I don't know yet, but I think I might make more of it. Yeah, I'm joining the crowd. You can find me on Facebook, too, and I'm not in the market for rust removers at the moment.