Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Update on TeaDyeing, English Piecing and More

Had some questions about the tea-dyeing I wrote about in my previous blog.    Experiment with scraps if you are really apprehensive about it!  I teadyed the 3 Hexagons (they are about 4" x 5") using a teaspoonful of powdered tea mix that I found in my cupboard in a cup of boiling water.   Not sure how long I left them in the tea but it was a little while......2 or 3 hours maybe.  When you take the fabric out of the tea, it is darker than it will be when it dries.  I wanted only to soften the stark white backgrounds.  Interestingly, "tea ground" was a background color in the early 1800's fabrics......chintz for one.  Time will tell if it fades tho I plan to experiment with a couple scraps to see if washing removes the tea color.  I have overdyed fabrics and small quilts often in the past and have never been disappointed......might have come out differently than anticipated but I always liked the results.  Most of the time, I used Rit Tan dye for those projects.  Don't be afraid to experiment with it!
 I thought I had taken a photo of the Hewson panel Center Medallion Quilt that I have started but could not find it so will use this one from my booth at a quilt show I vended at in Oct.  The choices are in the next photo.  Regan is the only one who choose the same one I did!!
 These were my blue choices and I used the second from the left.  I Love the second from the right (quite a few others did too!) and will use that in the next blue border.  Will be a while before I get border is Half-Square Triangles.
 Now as to the English Piecing (not English Paper-Piecing), it is essentially the Same as EPP but without the paper!  While documenting quilts here in Maine, we occasionally found the technique used.  I could not find the small 4-patch blocks I wanted to show you but I will keep's fun to go through boxes of fabrics and blocks....just need to find the Time!  I  remembered this runner I made using an antique found in an antique shop.  It was a long, skinny runner with a 1940's rayon dress fabric for the backing!  I took it apart (that took a long time!) and reassembled it in a different configuration.  Hope you can see the tiny whipstitches in the seams of the 4-patch below.  It is accomplished by creasing the seam allowance of 2 patches, placing them right sides together and whipstitching the creased edges together.....much the same as is done with the hexagons popular today.  

Block is 1870's fabric made in 2 colorways.

 Four rows of my Hexagons are sewed together!  I think I will work in five sections of 4 rows to make assembly less cumbersome......this is my TakeAlong project that needs to fit in my lap!  I have another couple rows sewn together but want to find time to go through my fabric and make sure I have lots of choices when sewing rows!
 And I have taken on another project.....thankfully, I love to make log cabin blocks and over the years have accumulated enough strips so that I can just sew (well, after I iron the strips!)whenever I have a few minutes.  I will need ninety 10" blocks to make a queen-size quilt for a customer request....have until next summer to get it done but have a good start with more than 30 blocks made already!  Hope I can keep up the momentum!
 I work with about 30 blocks at a time just as I do with my little 3" blocks.....strip-piecing a different fabric each time, rather than cutting strips the exact length needed for each round.  Trim and square each block as I get 4 sides done and start all over again till I have completed 4 rounds!  The stack shown on the left below is all trimmed with one block left untrimmed so you will see what I mean.
 Love this little Jo Morton quilt I just finished.....last one for Club 12!  Waiting for Club 13!!
 And one more thing........ For years I sewed in silence and I still love the Sound of Silence but if I listen to an audiobook, I feel I am accomplishing two things at once!  I read a review of Kate Morton's "The Secret Keeper".  When I went to purchase it, I found 3 previous books so I am listening in the order in which they were written.....English castles, mystery, unusual little twists and Secrets!  "The House at Riverton was her first, followed by "The Forgotten Garden".  Currently listening to "The Distant Hours".
And one more One More Thing......will chose the winner of the Scrap Box Giveaway on Friday!  Thanks for all your comments!

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