Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Modern Strata Quilted Pillow

I used the leftover bits from my scrap solids quilt to create this cheerful, improv pillow (do scraps ever really get completely used up?). This random looking piecing is called strata, and I give detailed instructions on the technique  in a section of my book, Improvising Tradition. I never really noticed, but until now all my strata has been monochromatic. The riot of color from the multicolored scraps has a very different feel, but I think it works in small doses.

The quilting is an easy free motion swirl that creates such a fun, contrasting texture to the geometric piecing.

For a nice plump pillow, the cover finishes at 19 x 19 inches to be filled with a 20 inch pillow form. The pillow backing is fully interfaced and closed with my favorite finish for quilted pillows - the lapped zipper.

This happy little number is available in my etsy shop.

Tuesday, June 9, 2020

Shibori Face Masks

As promised, these are the masks I made with some of this week's shibori indigo dyed fabric. Are they cooler than plain masks? Maybe. Will they mark me as a textile nerd to others of that ilk? Definitely.

I've sewn over 50 masks in the past couple of months for friends and family (as well as some to donate). These are made from my favorite pattern, a free one by crafty passion. They are quick to sew, wash well, and have a versatile fit. The elastic can be made as two strips to wear around the ears or in a continuous piece to go around the head. I knotted the elastic so it is easy to adjust or replace.

Stay safe!

Monday, June 8, 2020

Shibori Fabric Dyeing

I was privileged to take a shibori indigo dyeing class a few years ago with Kim Eichler-Messmer. It was such a good time I always intended to do more at home but never seemed to have time. Being stuck at home has this silver lining, among others - the time to experiment with crafts.

I used a simple indigo dye kit I found online. You can see the blue isn't as rich as a real indigo dye, but you might be able to adjust that by overdyeing the pieces or leaving them in longer than I did. The kit comes with a few rubber bands and pieces of wood, and I supplemented with clamps and some acrylic shapes of my own.

The circles in the dark piece were the result of small rubber bands tied around chickpeas, believe it or not.

My attempt at arashi (wrapping fabric with string around a rod of some kind) was interesting. A larger dowel would be better, as it would allow more surface area of the fabric to be exposed directly to the dye. This result reminds me of a Rorschach test.

This was a fun experiment. It's a little messy but a great project to do outside in the summer with kids, if yours have not yet reached the age that crafts with mom are no longer appealing.

To bring the whole project to the quarantine full circle, I plan to use a couple of the pieces to make face masks. A couple of the half yard pieces would be nice whole cloth table runners.