Monday, July 4, 2011

Prelude to a Dyeing Day

I apologize for the long silence on this blog.

Since I last posted, I spent a weekend doing what I call "scut sewing" for the quilt guild. There were some items that will be given away at the guild's biennial weekend of workshops, and I offered to sew some of them. It was boring, tedious, and soul-sucking (yes, I know that I promised that I wouldn't do any more soul-sucking projects, but I felt sorry for the gal who is organizing the giveaways, etc.). I simply could not bring myself to take any pictures that weekend.

The following weekend (last weekend), I spent on retreat at Our Lady of the Pines Retreat Center in Fremont, Ohio. It is a wonderful facility, just south of Fremont, high up on a hill in the midst of a piney woods. The facility has walking paths, a brick labyrinth based on the one in the Chartres cathedral, comfortable rooms, and a pretty decent cafeteria. There were ten of us on an art retreat, and another ten or so in another part of the building on a quilting retreat. Of course, there was a lot of socializing between the two groups, and I came home with a bunch of free fabric (most of which will be donated to the guild's stash of fabric for SAFE House quilts). I had a lot of space in which to reflect and regenerate.

Anyway, this weekend, I did some organizing in preparation for a dyeing day with some friends next weekend. I decided to work off Mark Sherman's instructions in the July issue of American Quilter magazine. Be sure to check out Mark's incredible quilts while you're on his website. I had the privilege of seeing his butterfly quilt "live" at the National Quilting Association show in Columbus, Ohio, last summer, and I was truly amazed at his workmanship.

Here is the backing for the Cone Nebula quilt, scoured, soaked in soda ash solution, and ready for next weekend:
(The orange color is from the lid of the box in which it's resting this week.) Next, we have bandanas that I folded, loosely stitched, soaked, and dried. I figured it's easier to do the fancy folding in the evenings the week before than when I'm standing under an awning on a hot day fighting fatigue and heat exhaustion. The bandanas are thank-you gifts to folks who volunteer during the workshop weekend.
Finally, I soaked and dried some random bits of fabric just in case I get done with the rest of these early and still have energy. (cue maniacal laughter)
So, these are the "before" pictures, and I'll post "after" pictures early next week. I probably won't have anything else about the Cone Nebula quilt until some time in August. My other big July project is that we will be moving my sewing room from the smallest bedroom to the medium-sized bedroom. That room is currently a deep red (which is why the sewing room is not already there). I'll show pictures of that project as I go along.

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