Posted in knitting, painting, quilting

Catch-Up Friday

Since I didn’t finish any of my fiber objects this week, I have decided to write a progress report. You see above about ten inches of the Weaver’s Square pattern, which will become a colorful vest for my daughter. This is the back of the garment. The front I have planned will be much more subdued. While working with seven strands of yarn each row has been a challenge, the satisfaction of the work and the excitement of seeing the color emerge has more than compensated for any difficulty. I have chosen to switch out the vertical colors at a rate of two or three for every band of horizontal color. As a result, the pattern has a more vertical effect.

Log Cabin Mini Quilt

Another work in progress is picture above. The quilt sandwich is constructed and some stitch in the ditch took place. At that point, I decided to work some embroidery in the flower squares and add hand quilting to the strips.

Blue block nearly finished.

I also felt that a border was essential to provide balance between the light and the dark sections of the piece. Going further, I plan to hand-paint this border in multiple hues. It will be exciting to see how well that goes, and it will take me more time.

Last week-end I started a tutorial on painting with water color on paper. This class was offered on Bluprint.com. Despite a little trepidation, I am sharing my work today. Keep in mind I am a rank beginner and be kind.

Seascape at daybreak with birds.
Color Block using primary colors, salt, colored pencil and micron pens.
Realistic style chickadee

Such a fun week. Sometimes I have to pinch myself to remind me that this life is real.

Posted in knitting

Butterflies In My Lap

Not the usual place one finds butterflies. These little twisted pieces of yarn are called butterflies, wound up in pursuit of knitting multiple colors at once. I am attempting to make a colorful vest for my daughter. Here is what I have so far:

This is the start for the back of the vest. The concept is to create a riot of color while keeping the front very plain. Back interest is a tactic that I use frequently in my knitting designs. Sometimes I use a dramatic over-sized cable, sometimes a fancy lace panel. I like to make a good impression both entering and leaving the room.

In the picture above you can see a chart that I made for this project. The actual concept, however, isn’t mine. I have to give credit to Irishman Kieren Foley, the creative force behind knit/lab.

https://www.kieranfoley.com/index.html

I have been a fan for years. The first project I made inspired by his work was a skirt. I incorporated one of his fair isle designs into the hem area. Completing this project really helped me to gain confidence as a knitwear designer.

The next project I made was men’s scarf. I actually made two of them – one for my dad and one for my husband. The pattern, available for free on Ravelry, is called Fair Isle Rapids. Here it is on the knit/lab site.

https://www.kieranfoley.com/knit_lab_fair_isle_rapids.html

The design I am aspiring to follow for daughter’s vest is called Weaver’s Square. Here is how it looks on the Knit/Lab site.

My version omits the lace trim and adds another vertical band of color, so that I can achieve the width I need.

Foley’s website offers detailed charts of his beautiful designs in the form of pdf files, for a very reasonable price. If you like color work, I encourage you to visit knit/lab.

Posted in painting

DIY Fabric Colors

Recently I ordered a LOT of Dye-na-Flow fabric paint from Dharma Trading Co. https://www.dharmatrading.com/ Now that I have the quilting bug, I want to create my own fabrics. I know, there are thousands of beautiful quilt fabrics out there in retail world. But most of them are just not for me. And the ones I do like are kinda pricey. So here I go, making my own.

I had purchased several yards of white and light gray solid fabric specifically for coloring. I have an idea for designing a sunset scene. So today I am coloring the white fabric with warm colors such as yellow, orange, gold, and pink. Here is my swatch fabric where I tested a few combinations.

There’s also a little bit of ecru in the mix.

I plan to use 4 inch strips in my project, so I cut the fabric into 13″ wide pieces. This will yield three strips per piece, and incidentally, be a workable size for painting. Here are the results of today’s work:

Stripes of sunset colors. The orangey stripe should fall into the center of the 4 inch strip.
This gold turned out very well. I added some orange stripes and splatters. The stripe will go across the strips.
This was the tail end piece. It may be enough for one strip. It looks a bit blue in this photo, but I assure you that it dried pale pink.

It was a relaxing and productive afternoon. I look forward to working on the gray fabric. It will be interesting to see how it reacts to the sheer fabric paint.

Posted in colorwork

Salty Squares

Rain, rain rain. It just doesn’t want to stop. So today I decided to stay indoors and play with my Dye-Na-Flo paints again. The goal is to color up some fabric that can be sewn into a nine-patch quilt square. Thinking about the design principals of using light, medium and dark colors to create good design, I chose pink, orange and white for one swatch, and pink, purple and black for the other swatch. I will use the salt technique on top of the color washes. Salt has the effect of moving the pigments around in the drying phase. So here are my before and after photographs:

Light colors after painting, with rock salt sprinkled on top.
Light swatch after drying, salt removed.
Dark swatch after painting. I used broad stripes, then moved the paint side-to-side before sprinkling with the rock salt.
Dark swatch after drying.

Due to the damp weather, it took all afternoon and the application of a little blow-dryer heat to get the fabric dry. But what interesting results have happened!

Next time, I cut the patches and sew.