Windy City #6 (9″ x 12″) by Laura Wasilowski
A few days ago I asked if you could estimate how many hours it took me to make this small quilt, Windy City #6. And, as an experiment, I tried to keep track of the time to complete it. But honestly, my skills at time keeping stink! It seems I go into a zone when making a quilt and lose track of time.
Below are the stages of creating the art work and an estimate of the number of hours to complete each stage. Let’s see how close you were in guessing the total time.
- Hand-dyeing the fabrics- .5 hours
- Fusing the fabrics- .5 hours
- Designing the quilt- 1 hour
- Adding hand embroidery- 6.5 hours
- Machine quilting and binding- 1 hour
- Photographing and documenting the quilt- .5 hours
Windy City #6 (detail) by Laura Wasilowski
The total is about 10 hours from start to finish with most of time spent on hand embroidery. Now, what you don’t see in this list is the hours of enjoyment I got from making the art work. That’s really hard to measure.
Happy Earth Day! In celebration I’d like to show you three ways to reuse all those plastic containers we encounter every day and how to use them in your studio. My geraniums came in these cute little baskets (above) from a gardening store. Perfect for thread storage, fat quarters, or sewing tools.
The flowers from this plastic planter are long gone but I’ve been using a set of these for dyeing for years.
And here is why drinking orange juice can pay off. Not only do you get lots of vitamin C but a container for your dyes as well. Any other ideas? I’d love to hear them.
And just so you know. This post was also recycled from years ago.
I dye fabric with Procion MX fiber reactive dyes and rely upon consistent dye formulas made by the manufacturers. But if they no longer make a certain dye color or change the formula, then my colorways must change too.
The famous Spice Road.
That is what happened with a purple dye that I used for years dyeing such wonderful colorways as Avocado Squash, Black Orchid, and the famous Spice Road. The search for a replacement purple is on meaning that my threads and fabric colorways will change slightly. Stay tuned. I’ll try to update the colorways in the Artfabrik Store as soon as I can.
It’s been cold and snowy here in Illinois but I’m safely tucked into my basement studio dyeing. This time of year is a good time to catch up on the 63 colorways of fabric I dye for Artfabrik. After its dyed, I have the thrill of ironing yards of fabric while watching bad TV. Happy to say that I’m almost done dyeing and the shelves are packed.
At last my dyeing marathon ends! For the past 2 weeks I’ve been dyeing fabric and thread every day. And I mean every day.
My goal is to have every yard of fabric and skein of thread ready for class kits, the Artfabrik booth, and to stock the Artfabrik Store. Why dye it all now? Because soon I’m off traveling and most hotels don’t have dye facilities next to the fitness room. See you on the road!
One of the fabrics I’ve dyeing lately for the IQF Chicago and AQS Paducah shows is cheesecloth. Yep. Cheesecloth, as in making jam cheesecloth. People often ask how to use it for art work so I’ve made up a short tutorial for you. You’ll love how it adds texture to another fabric. Here’s how:
1. Apply fusible web to one layer of the cheesecloth. I recommend Misty Fuse, a light weight fusible web that won’t clog up the gaps in the cheesecloth with glue as much as other fusible webs. Use parchment paper to transfer the glue to the fabric.
2. After the fabric cools, remove the parchment paper. Place the fabric back on the parchment paper and fold and squish the cheesecloth as much as you want.
Apply parchment paper to the top of the fabric so it is in a sandwich of parchment paper. Fuse the folds in place using a hot iron.
After it cools remove the papers from the cheesecloth. Then you can place the cheesecloth onto another fabric background.
Or you can work directly on the fabric background instead of the parchment paper. Isn’t that texture terrific? We have lots of colors in stock. Give it a try!