Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Two projects

Continuing on my list, experimented yesterday with dyeing fabric that had a white design printed on a white background. The first is a butterfly pattern, and I applied unthickened procion mx dyes to a piece of the fabric which had been soaked in soda ash solution, then dried:

I used a 3 inch wide foam brush to apply the dyes, creating some wavy stripes, slightly overlapping the colors. I call this "Waves of butterflies", and I used part of the fabric to create a cell phone case:

I actually started another where I was outlining the butterflies with free-motion quilting, but I realized that would be a lot more labor intensive, so I ended up just quilting along the flow of the color bars... much easier and quicker!
So I have now made 3 cell phone cases, and I have removed that from my project list... not because I won't be making any more, but because I feel comfortable enough with the concept to feel like I don't need to keep it as a 'to do' on my board.
Meanwhile, I also did another experiment with a different white-on-white fabric, and I'm not as pleased with the results:

I used my eyedropper here to apply the dyes to the pre-soaked and dried fabric. I had laid the fabric flat in a bin, and really don't feel that the dye worked well here... I love the fabric, but I think next time I will either apply with a foam brush or roller, and I want to try this fabric with a bronze dye with maybe a touch of orange. I will post more pix as I go... meanwhile, this item stays on the project board for awhile longer. I still have at least 8-10 different fabric samples to experiment with, including a number of black/white, and a white with gold print... fun!
On an unrelated note, I posted an item on my Facebook page that our semi-wild kitty, Shrekkie, actually spent the whole night in the house last night, comfortably perched on a chair in the living room! I think he gets it that life can be a lot more comfy in the house in the winter than outside, freezing under the house! He's such a sweetie! Looks kinda like a furry bear when his fur is standing out, see?

Monday, November 29, 2010

And another one!

Okay, so I'm now officially hooked on making cell phone cases! I have such a huge stash of fabric, and I'm also incorporating the project to overdye white-on-white and black/white fabrics, as well as using some batik squares I got this summer when my friend and I visited a bunch of quilt stores in the area. Here's the first cell phone case using the batik:

I hope to get several more of these done over the coming week before I post to my store. This one is 2 3/4 by 5 inches, which fits my phone perfectly. But I can make them in other sizes as well, so stay tuned... I'll update again when I have posted these to the shop!

One down...

So... I scrounged around in my fabric stash yesterday and found enough scraps of hand-dyed fabric to make a cell phone case yesterday! This is fabric I used earlier this year to make some sun visors, and I really love the colors and patterns... even the scraps! I started out with a 10 inch square of muslin and did a crazy quilt variation, starting with a 5-sided piece and building around that with other pieces until I had covered the square. Then I sandwiched a piece of solid color yellow lining, batting and the top piece, then just did stitch in the ditch to quilt. I was going to get all fancy with free-motion quilting, but decided to keep it simple. After all, this is a prototype, and I mainly wanted to test the pattern to see how easily it went together. I am pleased, and will probably make up some of these for the shop soon. Meanwhile, if you want to try the pattern, you can download it here, compliments of Susan Brubaker Knapp... thanks, Susan! Meanwhile, I'm going to leave this item on my project board for awhile to remind me to make some more, but at least I have made a start at working through the list!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

The list goes on....

A long time ago, I got into the habit of making lists. It's a great way to keep track of things - groceries, chores, projects. And as I take care of each item on the list, I check it off, line through it, or in the case of my project board, erase the item. So you would think that, sooner or later, the list would be finished, right? NOT! Especially in the case of my project board, I just keep thinking up new ones! Here is a picture of my current list:

First item: video clips. I have done 4 so far - demos of how to do various tie-dye techniques. I have them on youtube, and they are getting pretty good views! Trouble is, I keep coming up with more I want to do, so the item is still on the board.
Next: overdye white-on-white fabric. Several months ago, my friend Joyce and I visited several fabric stores in the area, and I picked up some white on white and black and white pieces to see how they would look if I dyed them. I'm almost ready to try this, since I have quite a bit of leftover dyes from other projects, so I may be able to knock this off soon.
Next: Batik on silk. I have actually tried this on a couple of scarves, but I'm not satisfied with the results, nor am I ready to stop trying, so it stays on the board.
Mounting fiber pieces to canvas... I gave a half-hearted try at this one last summer, but haven't had time or inspiration to try again. This one may end up being removed just to make room for something else, who knows?!
Indigo dyeing - this one will need to wait until warmer weather... I meant to get to it this year, but I just never had the time to devote to it! I have a starter kit, a 5 gallon bucket with lid... just need uninterrupted time to focus!
Cell phone covers... this was something I hoped to get to this year. I have lots of fabric scraps, and thought it would be a great item to add to my inventory, but again, lack of sufficient time to at least develop a pattern I like, so maybe this winter I can work on a prototype!
Taos A.Q. - this is an art quilt I began a few months back, but had to set aside to prepare for my last show of the year. It is patiently waiting for me on my design board, and I seriously hope to get back to it in the next week or two!
Try steaming silk! Well, this ties in with batik on silk, and I have tried it. I leave it on the board, because I was not satisfied with the results, so once I get back to trying more silk batik, I may try this again.
Last, Thermofax screens - fibra artysta. R0ssie mentioned getting a thermofax screen from Lynn , and this is something I have wanted to do for awhile! I have some ideas about designs I could use on my tie-dye, so I'm hoping to work a few up and have her make them for me.
So there you have it - a list that never seems to get shorter, in spite of the fact that I have accomplished a large number of items since I put this board up next to my PC and started using it!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

The verdict is in!

Well, after 2 days at the Mountain Campus Holiday show, the verdict is in... the scarves were the biggest seller of all! I sold 20 of them! I think maybe next year, I will leave most of the tie-dye at home and make lots more scarves! They have been good sellers for the past 3 years, but I made a lot more this year, and only have about a dozen left, so that's a sign! And of the 5 years I have participated in this show, this year's sales topped my best year, which was 2 years ago... maybe the economy is finally starting to come back!

Meanwhile, my friend Cinde who makes yummy beaded jewelry did better this year than a year ago, which was her first show ever, and that makes me really happy, since I practically shoved her into trying her hand at craft shows! She has been beading for about 20 years, but just kept what she made or gave them as gifts. Here are some closer shots of her booth:

My goal is to help her get an on-line store set up next year, so more people can enjoy her talents! Stay tuned...

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Mtn Campus Holiday Show - day 1

Yesterday was the first of our annual 2-day show at No. Az. University. This is my fifth year participating in this show, and it's the biggest show I do each year in sales and attendance. As usual, Friday attendance is lighter, since it is a work-day, but I had my second-best Friday sales yesterday, topped only by my sales in 2008! My scarves flew off the rack, as I expected... sold 6 to one customer for gifts!
Here are pix of my booth, and my friend Cinde's... we are sharing 2 spaces.

This is Cinde's second year at this show, and she did pretty good yesterday as well. She makes beautiful hand-beaded jewelry, and people are very complimentary about her pieces... very labor-intensive, but real eye-catchers! I will try to get some close-ups today to post. Meanwhile, I need to get ready to go... the show starts at 9am today, and I look forward to a busy happy day of it!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

A recent tie-dye order

I took an order from someone in Sedona last month for tie-dye shirts and romper for her grandkids... she posted a photo on her blog, and it's soooo cute! Any wonder why I still love to do tie-dye after almost 13 years? Right!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Coming attractions

I have been busy making some new items for my shop, but they will not be available until later this month. Thought I would put out a 'teaser' to let you know I will be offering a new gift item soon!

These are based on a pattern by Beth Wheeler, and utilize some of my hand-dyed and/or embellished fabrics. The note pad is 5" x 8", with a pocket for pens and a velcro closure. I'm trying to get a bunch done for my upcoming show at our local University, which is my biggest show of the year, so I am hoarding these right now along with the scarves I have been dyeing. If you plan to be in Flagstaff November 19-20, I hope you will stop by! The show is at No. Arizona University, du Bois Center. Hours are: Friday, 11am-6pm, Saturday, 9am-4pm. Hope to see you there, but if not, I will let you know when these covered note pads are available in my shop!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Busy... busy... busy!!!

I feel like I'm a crafter on steroids these days! Ramping up for the big show of the year, and my studio looks like a tornado struck! I got a bunch more scarves dyed last week, and sold 7 to a friend from CA, so I ordered a bunch more to dye before the 19th. Good thing they dye quickly! Here are a few I did last week:

I also did some custom orders from my last show and dyed a shirt for another friend in CA which is ready to ship. Then yesterday, I made up the second of (hopefully) a bunch of note pad covers out of some hand-dyed and embellished fabric. I would like to get at least 6 more made up for the show later this month, and once I get the various fabrics cut out, they should go fairly quickly. So as I said in my title, 'Busy...busy...busy'!