Dyeing Is Messy! #1

It’s dye week in my new workspace, and I’m thrilled to be back in the studio! Isn’t it pretty? But I soon discover that the habit of years of dyeing fabric and thread in this space needs to be adjusted. First, I need to be cleaner.

I really want to keep the floors and cabinets free of dye stains. A patchwork of old towels covers my cute penny tiles on the floor. The tabletop is draped with layers of plastic, the old canvas from my previous worktable, and gussied up with a fresh cotton drop cloth.

All my dye equipment is taken out of storage, and I begin by mixing dye stock.
The dyes are Procion MX fiber reactive dyes, perfect for dyeing cotton fabrics and threads. My method is to weigh the dye powder (30 grams), measure the water (1000 mils), and mix them in a blender. Using this formula, I can get repeatable color and recreate the colorways of fabric and thread you see in the Artfabrik Store.

These plastic bottles are just the right size to hold the dye stock. (Yes, we drink a lot of orange juice.) Today I’m mixing colors ranging from lemon yellow to bright blue to fuchsia and beyond. This dye stock will last about a week and hopefully with be enough color to replenish the Artfabrik thread colorways.

One more thing.

I always wear protection.

More of dye week coming up. Be prepared to get messy!

Giveaway Tuesday #3!

It’s Giveaway Tuesday!

In celebration of my new online class on Creative Spark, called Little Bird and Daisies, I’m giving away fun items every Tuesday until the end of the year. Leave a comment below, and you may be the lucky winner!

Today I’m giving away the fabrics needed to make Little Bird and Daisies. A combination of hand-dyed and batik fabrics, they are already fused for your convenience.

Use them if you’ve already signed up for the class or for your own projects.

To win the fabrics leave a comment on today’s blog. The giveaway closes on Thursday and I announce the winner on Friday.

And don’t forget to check out my workshop on Creative Spark, called Little Bird and Daisies!

Queen Poppy: Cutting Out Shapes

Would you like to learn a very simple way to transfer the Queen Poppy pattern shapes to your fused fabrics? I call it the Miracle of Pattern Transfer.

With this method of transferring a drawn pattern shape to fabric, you do not have to worry about mirror imaging. There is no pinning or worry about shapes facing the wrong way. What you see or trace is what you will get when the fabric shape is cut out.

(Note that directions are first given here and then added to the Queen Poppy Stitch Along as we go.)

Step #4

  • Print out the Queen Poppy pattern by downloading the Queen Poppy pattern as a Word document or the Queen Poppy pattern as a PDF.
  • Place the silicone release paper (the paper you’ve just removed from the fabric) or parchment paper on the stem pattern.
  • Trace the pattern with the black Sharpie marker or a lead pencil. (Please note that any writing or numbers written on the release paper will also transfer to the fabric.)

  • Place the marker or ink side of the release paper onto the glue or fused side of the stem fabric.
  • Iron the paper in place for 5 seconds with a hot iron.

  • After the fabric cools, remove the release paper from the fabric.
  • The ink from the tracing will transfer to the glue. It’s a miracle!

  • Cut out the stem shape just inside the black line with scissors.

  • Repeat the steps above to make the 5 bud parts, bud crown, bud top, 2 leaflets, left and bottom leaves, and leaf and bottom leaf centers.