Wednesday, December 30, 2009


And with today's picture the alphabet has reached it's end. For some characters it was a real challenge to find a technique/material to use. I am happy that my surfacing group came up with this idea and I can say that I will miss this project. It was challenging, but also gave me inspiration. And not to forget I had a blogpost available when I could not show you other projects I was working on :-).
Back to today. For the Z I decided to use my heatgun and zap zome organza. If you don't zapp to close or to long, the fabric starts bubbling and does not - yet - burn into holes. To prevent the fabric from fraying I held the edges briefly through the flame of a candle. Next step was to stitch it to the background fabric. As always size is 4"x6" (10x15 cm).
Next time you see these pictures again, will be when I am putting them all together into a quilt. I will be using a Wordle design for it.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Happy Accident

Some time ago a couple of friends and I had a complex cloth round robin. In case you are not familiair with this, it goes like this: 4 people worked on the same piece of fabric after each other. Each added a layer or changed (for instance discharge) something to it. I don't remember anymore who participated in this ccrr or who exactly did what. What I do know is that one participant emailed me in distress writing me that the fabric got afire while it was in the microwave. Well accidents can happen. After all it was not done intentionally. We decided to let the fabric continue it's route. When it came home I needed quite some time to figure out what to do with it, but here you can see the result.

Normally I put a ccrr fabric in my stash and cut it up when I need something. This one got a special treatment :-). I decided to make a whole cloth quilt out of it and added dense quilting. On these two detail pictures you can see that I used several different quilting designs.

Size of this quilt is 21"x18" (53x45 cm) and I called it 'Happy Accident". I think this is a suitable name.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

journal quilt

The last journal quilt for the CQGB this year is about snow. Not really a surprise, isn't it? Background fabric is a sunprint on which I placed freezer paper snow flake cut outs. Applied white paintstik on it and let it set for a couple of days. In my stash I found a quilting design with snowflakes which I did with a white thread. As always - at least this year - the size is 6"x12" (15x30 cm). I have no idea whether the same size will be used next year.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

and some more snow dyeing

Some more results of the snow dyeing I did earlier this week. All pieces are approximately half yard's pieces of fabric. I did not keep notes on all of them, but I know that the top green one is Aventurijn, the purple next to it is Dharma's plum. The blue one is a mixture of 2 different blues. Of both I had a little bit remaining in the container and I just mixed them up. One was bright blue and the other might have been peacock. The reddish to the left is also a mixture. It is probably Chinese red with nickle.
Temperature has gone up a bit and the snow is melting. Maybe this was the last dyeing I can do this winter with real snow?

Monday, December 21, 2009

snow dyeing

Having snow is not that usual here, but since Thursday the world here is white. It looks very pretty, but I can't say that I like it. The good thing is that it gives me a chance to dye with real snow - instead of having to crush ice. Here are two pieces of fabric I dyed yesterday. On both I used a high percentage of dye concentrate. I did not measure it exactly, but it is around 15%.

As I was dyeing for fun I did not record which dye powder I used for which piece of fabric. On purpose I used mixed dyes, because with them you can see the breaking down of the different colors so well. I presoaked the fabric, scrunched it and put it into a colander. On this I put as much snow as the colander could take and poured the dye mixture over it. This I put on my kitchen sink. It took about 4 hours before the snow was melted. To boost the colors I microwaved each piece of fabric for 2 minutes. I noticed if you do not do this, the colors are much paler.

Sunday, December 20, 2009


For the Y I decided to go with yarn. Some time ago I had bought a collection of different decorative yarns on Ebay and going through them I found a matching color. I cannot say that this one took a long time to create :-). I draped the yarn into the shape of the Y and zigzagged it to the black background fabric. As always size is 4"x6" (10x15 cm).

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Bunbury quilt

My Bunbury quilt is finished and this is how it looks:
As you can see the compulsary fabric got a dominant place this time. The quilt is not really big - it is downstairs at the moment so I do not have the exact dimensions at hand - I am guessing that it is approximately 16" x 20". To the pink fabric I added several of my own hand dyed fabrics. Title of this quilt is: 'A brand new day'. After I have used the lint roller on it - my cats love my fabric - I can send it to Australia.

Sunday, December 13, 2009


To find a technique or a material that starts with an X proved to be a difficult one. For a while I tought of using an old Xray - I happen to have a few of those at home - but working on a black background would make it difficult to see what was going on. So I settled on the shape of an X instead of the technique or material. The technique is plain cross-stitch, but anyway it looks like an X :-)

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Bunbury quilt

The Australian Burbury Patchwork & Quilting Group has an annual show. This is one of these shows in which it is compulsary to use a specific piece of fabric. Well, most of the times those fabrics don't belong to my favorite type of fabric :-), but this year it is doable. The theme this time is 'Magic Moment'. I have to admit that I had this fabric in my studio for a couple of months before I started working on it. The finished result has to be in Australia February 22 at the latest, so I really had to start working with it. This picture shows the pink - compulsary - fabric and some of the fabric I decided to use with it.
And here are some pictures of details:

As you can see I am still working on the quilt :-). Pictures from previous shows can be seen on this link.

Monday, December 07, 2009


I have not been very creative lately, but fortunately there is still the alphabet :-). Today's picture is the W and for this I decided to use wax. Soy wax to be precisely, as I like this more than traditional wax. To create the design I used a small tray in which chocolate biscuits had been packed. Isn't that a great excuse to buy/eat chocolate? I applied the wax with a brush to the tray and placed this on top of the fabric. By repeating it - sometimes rewaxed, sometimes not - I filled the whole piece of fabric. Added dye - mixed with soda ash - with a foam brush, let it batch, washed and ironed. The washing I did in a bucket so that I could avoid that the wax went down the drain. Next step was to cut out the shape of the W and stitch this to the black fabric. Size is 4"x6" (10 x 15 cm).

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


Both the year as well as the alphabet are getting to the end. Today it is time for the V. I decided to go for velvet which I embossed, but I must admit that not much of the embossing shows. For the embossing I used a wooden stamp. Because of the shape of the V most of the design got lost. As always size is 4"x6" (10x15 cm)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Slow progress

For my goddess quilt I am making a separate background quilt. For this I dyed half a yard of fabric first with nickle and than again with intense blue till it got the very dark blue color I wanted. To keep the quilting theme matching with how I quilted the goddess I decided to stick to spirals and I knew I wanted the quilting lines close to each other. I copied this spiral design to the size I wanted and traced it to Golden paper. I prefer to work like this because this way I am certain that my shapes stay the same size. Without the guidance of the paper I tend to get bigger and bigger spirals the longer I quilt . This pictures shows you a part of the quilted spirals with the paper still on it:
And this is how it looks with the paper removed:

I am using the same thread which I used for the goddess. First the dense quilting and now the removing of the paper is taking a lot of time. But I like the result.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

journal quilts

Every month this year I make a small journal quilt (6"x12") for the CQGB challenge. I got a bit behind so this weekend I made two. The first one is Autumn poppies:
Printed on fabric, discharged/overdyed fabric and free motion quilting. This one is for October.
For November I made this one:
Both the background and the blackbird are medium transfers with additional free motion quilting.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Look what I got

Look what I got!! At the moment they are only a couple of boxes being a nuisance in the middle of the living room, but when they are unpacked and assembled they look like this:
I got a HQ 16 longarm!! (I borrowed this picture from the internet). My house is not big enough to have room for a frame, so I settled for the sit-down model. My studio has no room for it, so the guest room will be my quilting room as well :-). In total 4 boxes with a total weight of 120 lbs which have to be carried up one floor. That is not something I am looking forward to, but the result will be worth it.
This machine has been on my wish list for quite some time and last month when I was in the US I was able to buy it.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Spirit of life

Spirit of Life or Inua is a show planned for 2010 in which I am participating. It took quite some time before I knew what I was going to create for it, but when I had dyed this piece of fabric:
I knew what I was going to do. By the way I used turquoise, basic blue and lemon (or sun yellow). For me it represented the blue of the water or air and the green of the plants. In other words the essential ingredients for life. But how to use this fabric? The theme of life circled a bit around in my mind and made the connection to birth or womenhood in general. I wanted to use the fabric as a whole cloth so I was looking for an image in which I could use it like that. The Venus of Willendorf was the answer. This paleolithic statuette symbolizes the female figure.
I enlarged this shape to the size I wanted and draw the outlines with a chalk pencil on the fabric. Batting was added and a backing fabric. Next step was the quilting. I always try to match my quilting with the theme of my quilt and this lead me to all kind of different (pagan) fertility symbols. These pictures show some of the quilting:
And this is how my quilt looks now:
Not the normal square or rectangular shape, but I cut it into the shape of a woman. Some stabilizer was added close to the edged of the quilt and I used a pillow case type of binding. The quilt looks finished, but I still have to work on it. This shape makes the hanging divice much more complicated than adding a simple sleeve. Also I want to add a - separate - background for it. Depending on where the quilt is on show, the background might be interfering with it. For those kind of situations I want to have the possibility to attach the woman shape - with Velcro? - to the background.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


The U is one of those characters of which not many materials or techniques excist. Utee - ultra thick embossing powder - is one of them so I decided to try this. My first attempt literally blew away when I switched on my heatgun. Second attempt was better. This time I started with applying some ink over the fabric before I sprinkled the Utee powder on it. The ink - or any other liquid - will hold the Utee to your fabric when you switch on the heatgun. I decided to combine the colors blue and green. Zapped it long enough so that the Utee melded. Let it cool down and finish it by stitching around the shape of the U.

Sunday, October 25, 2009


For the T I decided to use tyvek. I either recycle my envelops or I buy it. Depending on the type of tyvek there is a slight difference in the bubbles you get when you zap it. This piece of tyvek I painted both sides with different colors - don't ask me which type of paint or which colors I used because I have no idea. I did not keep any notes. When it was dry I used my heatgun to zap it. After this was done I cut out the shape of the T and stitched it to a piece of Black Kona.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

discharging to white

Although most black fabrics discharge to tan while using bleach, it is possible to discharge it to white. Thanks to Laura Kemshall I found the proper fabric to do this. It is called H200 and is sold by Whaley in the UK.
Here you see some of the fabric I discharged today:

All pieces were fanfolded and different clips were used for clamping. For bleach I used different types of household bleach. For the first two pieces I used Glorix, for the third Witte Reus toiletcleaner. Glorix discharges much faster than the other brand, even though it is at least 6 months old.

Saturday, October 17, 2009


Today is for the S. For this I made silk paper using blue fibers and some little flowers in between. I stretched the fibers over some plastic covered with netting, sprinkled the flowers over it and added some more fibers. Glued everything together with wall paper paste and let it dry. The next day I cut the shape of the S and stitched it to my usual black fabric background.
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Wednesday, October 14, 2009


I got a bit behind with my alphabet pictures so instead of one picture every two weeks, I'll be showing you a few more in a short period.
This picture is for the R and I used rusted fabric for it. I love this technique although I always have problems to find rusted material. The fabric was soaked in vinegar and wrapped around something rusty - sorry I don't recall anymore what I used. After a couple of days I got the color I wanted. Rinsed the fabric, let it dry and fused it to some Bondaweb. Cut out the shape of the R and stitched it to the Kona black fabric.
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Monday, October 12, 2009

home again

Today not a picture of something I created, but what I saw when I looked out of the window Saturday morning:
This snow is unusually early in the year, even for Minnesotans. Can't say that I was sorry to leave this white stuff behind. If you look at the pinetrees, you will see a male cardinal sitting in them. My journey home was a long one and now I am trying to catch up with all the news and getting over my jetlag.
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Wednesday, October 07, 2009

more bleach and experiment

Yesterday Kelly and I used some more bleach on black Kona and discovered something new. According to a recent workshop I took, Kona discharges to rust/orange when using bleach but we managed to discharge it to this color:
And I don't know what you call it, but to me this is close to white. Each strip of fabric is 12" x 44" and had 6 knots in it. Knotting was not so bad to do, but unknotting wet fabric is no fun at all.By the way, the Kona is from JoAnn's. On this picture you can see how light it is compared to an earlier discharged piece of Kona:
Of course we wanted to know how this light color was achieved and after some thinking we came to the conclusion that either the strength of the bleach bath and/or the time the fabric was in the bath must have had to do something with it. We had not timed how long our pieces were in the bleach bath. To have all the information, after the bleach bath, the fabric was rinsed and soaked in anti-chlor. All the time it was knotted. When we unknotted the fabric - we each had around 7 strips with 6 knots each in it - the smell of bleach was still present. Unknotting took quite a long time. Neither of us is a chemist, but we came to the conclusion that in spite of the rinsing and the anti-chlor the bleach had been active all the time, which must have been between 1 and 2 hours.
This called for an experiment. We cut strips of fabric and made 4 bleach baths. One for 100%, one for 75%, one for 50% and one for 25%. The time we left the strips in the bleach bath was 30 seconds, 1 minute, 3 minutes and 10 minutes. On this picture you can see that the longer the fabric was in the bleach bath (bottom row) and the strongest the bleach bath was (left column) the lighter the fabric discharged to.
On this picture you see a strip which we did not timed, but it was in the bleach bath for more than 1 hour. You can also see, that the centre of the middle strip - which was knotted - continued discharging after rinsing and anti-chlor.There is one thing we will only know after some time and that is whether anti-chlor is strong enough to stop the effect of a 100% bleach bath. For us this experiment was very interesting

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

gellatin printing

Kelly and I played with gellatin printing yesterday. I had done this before using gellatin in a small container and only made marks on the surface. This time we used different grasses and leaves and we had a container about 9"x13". Here are some of the results we got:
The fabric at the left is the first print. The one at the right is made when the leaves and grasses were removed. I love these second prints! The texture of the leaves and grasses shows so much better.

At the moment I do not yet know for what I will use these prints, but I am thinking of combining them into a quilt. Maybe with a light colorwash over it to get rid of the white. This is definately a technique I will use more often in the future. The jello we used for this was years over the expiration date. Probably not edible anymore, but still good enough to use for gellatin printing :-)

Sunday, October 04, 2009

rainbow fabric

Today's pictures show 2 one yard pieces I dyed last week during one of Carol's classes. For both pieces I used the same 3 pure primaries. Don't ask me which ones, because I don't have my notes with me. The dyes were mixed so that in total I had 12 cups of dye mixture. For the first picture I fanfolded the fabric lenghtwise, placed it into a 9"x13" plastic container - about 1/3 of the fabric fitted in - and started pouring the dye over it starting with yellow. In total 4 different cups. The next step was to fold part of the fabric which was still outside the cup over the other layer. First layer was done from the left to the right, the second from the right to the left. Again dye out of 4 cups was used. You can guess what the next step was I presume :-). The last remaining fabric was put into the container the same way and the remaining 4 dye cups were used. I did not scrunch the fabric, but only covered it with plastic and let it batch till the next day. Don't you love the result.
The 2nd piece of fabric was fanfolded lengthwise and placed onto a long piece of plastic. Dye was poured over it in the same sequence as above. Next step was to wrap it into plastic and leave it to batch till the next day. At the moment I have no clue for which project I will be using these fabrics, but I don't think I'll cut them up. They probably turn out into whole cloth quilts.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

discharged fabrics

Here are some pictures of fabric I discharged last week during Carol's class. For the first one a doormat was placed under the fabric - which was blue Kona - and than I used a foam roller to apply thickened thiox over it.

For both other pieces binder clips and rubber bands were used. The difference in pattern is because I fanfolded the fabric in a different way and probably placed the binder clips in a different fashion. The next step was to immerse the fabric into a thiox bath. Handdyed fabric discharged way quicker than commercial fabric does. After this bath I used different colors of Procion mx dyes.