Saturday, April 29, 2006

There is a Package at My Door

Today I received a package from Dharma Trading Company.
Can you guess what it is?
Not only a blot of PFD pima cotton but 24 more silk scarves!!! Let the good times roll!!!
(I sold another three scarves today so I really do have to start making some more.)

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Not Wasting My Time

No picture today. I am not out of film but out of fabric. I am not wasting my time while waiting for more fabric to be delivered. Yesterday I finished quilting the king size Double Wedding Ring quilt commission . That was a relief!!! Today I started quilting my piece for the PAQA Water Challenge. I must say it is easier to quilt an 18" square than a 110" square, like I have been doing for the past three weeks. They asked me at Mad City Quilter's Guild meeting on Monday how do I quilted that on my home sewing machine? I replied "With lots of ibuprofen". The lady from Door County came today. Along with some other things she bought 4 Rust-Tex scarves. So if you are in Sister's Bay, WI this summer be sure to stop in Domicile and look them up.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Mono-printed Scarf

Here are some scarves drying on the line. The second one from the left is a mono-print using a spring from our old lawn mower. DH says I am getting better use out of this spring than he did as it was a cheap lawn mower and never did work very well. The first scarf is a multi-print of the same spring. I just folded the scarf and placed it on the spring, then I smeared what I call sludge on it, added a bit of tannic acid, vinegar and water. I let all that sit out over a hot night and voilĂ ! A beautiful scarf emerges the next day out of the debris described above.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Good News

I did a presentation today for a Red Hat Group about my quilt, Ground Zero. As usual I took along some things to sell, my greeting cards, some small wallhangings and the recently dyed Rust-Tex silk scarves. I sold several things including one scarf that was from the same dye tray as the one pictured here. Click on it for a bigger picture.

Monday, April 24, 2006

A Lesson from the Dryer

Here is a close up of the scarves hanging on the line in the basement. I had dried the first ones in the dryer in mesh bags. When I was ironing them, I couldn't get the creases out. So I rewetted all the ones I had already ironed, hung them to dry, and reironed them. It was a lot of work but I am much happier with the results. Click on the photo for a more detailed image.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Hi-res Picture of Scarf from Yesterday's Post

Click on this picture to see a higher resolution picture of the scarf from yesterday's post.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

The Scarf, The Steel Wool Pad and The Copper Wire

Once upon a time there was a plain white silk scarf. It wanted to be a beautiful color with interesting patterning on it. It went down to the local tavern and while it was drowning itself in pity and wine it was befriended by a steel wool pad and some copper wire.
They all became pretty drunk and began to dance with the empty wine bottle. When they woke up they were all tightly bound together and doused in vinegar.
They sat bound this way for several days.
When the silk scarf was finally able to free itself from the copper wire it found itself transformed into a richly patterned golden color. It was the happiest scarf in the world and live in contentment the rest of it's life.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Enjoying Nature

I am wondering who enjoys the rust dyeing studio more, the squirrels or me? They like to drink the salt water. I hope they are not getting too much iron or salt in their diets. I don't mind as long as they don't take any bites of fabric. Last year there was a tiny hole in one of the silk scarves. I am pretty sure it was a squirrel bite. It was a total loss because I can't sell damaged goods.
There are some big bumble bees hovering around the dye studio flying into holes and trying them out as possible homes. I don't think they eat silk, cotton, or linen. So as long as they don't take a bite out of me, I am willing to share the space with them.
This is the best time of year for me to enjoy the birds in my yard. I can easily spot them as the trees have not leafed out yet. I saw two different kinds of woodpeckers last week.
Only one of the scarves I left out over night was good enough to keep. I tried new strategies on them today. I am sure they will be much darker and have more interesting patterning. After a few minutes I could see I was getting good effects. I REALLY had to resist washing them out after dinner. Some times I just have to sit on my hands to keep them off the Rust-Tex!!!

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Finished Fabric

Here is the promised "Stormy Skies" piece all washed and ironed. The 11 silk scarves are wash and ironed too! And there are 6 more setting out in the dye studio (my deck) overnight.
It may or may not rain later tonight. I am hoping it will. Tomorrow starts the garage sale season here in Madison. DH and I are all ready to go. Rain in the morning will dampen our spirits but it won't keep us from going. We find it just keeps the crowds down.
I will be looking for some replacement cookie sheets. They just don't last my entire rust dyeing season. (April- early October). As the iron oxide molecules move from the cookie sheet to bond with the cloth molecules it makes cookie sheet...go away. I know I need to replace one, as the hail last week punched some holes in the rustiest one. The second rustiest one got heavy use this week.
To anyone else garage sailing this week-end happy hunting!

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Stormy Skies

This in my favorite pan this season so far. It is a little cast iron frying pan just the perfect size to make "Stormy Skies" fat quarters in. Stormy Skies have swirling gray coloring and highlights of white and touches of gold. (It is actually just rust colored but when you talk and think about rust all day, you are willing to take any chance you can get to expand your vocabulary.)
Below is the piece that came out of the little frying pan. Yummmm..........
It still needs to be machine washed and ironed, but I wanted to show you what I am so excited about!!!

Monday, April 17, 2006

Easter Vacation

I dyed several silk scarves on Friday and rinsed them out on Saturday. (This picture is not them. It was too windy to take any pictures on Saturday. But I thought you'd like to see this one.) I decided the scarves had WAY too much white space and needed to be over dyed. I really should take better notes of what works. That way each time the season starts I am not straining my brain to recall what works and what doesn't.

Sunday, after church we drove to the In-Law's, spent the night and came back Monday. YD and DH had the day off. There was no rust dyeing on those days for me. I did set out several bottle wraps on Saturday. They are taking much longer than the ones I started last week because the temperature dropped 10-20 degrees. These might actually take the entire week instead of three days!!!

Friday, April 14, 2006


Here is the "trees" pattern that I got from unwrapping one of the bottles I started on Tuesday. It is unseasonably hot here so the rust is transferring to the cloth faster than I expected.
Today I unwrapped the rest of them. There is one that I will keep for myself. It has it all; trees, pond and a grassy spot in front of the pond. On the one I am going to keep, the trees don't go endlessly into the sky. I had a hard time dealing with that in my original attempt at "Autumn Glow". I was so excited about defining the pond with stamping that I didn't see what was going on at the edges of the piece and it is only 11" x 18"!!! I did learn a lot about working with Rust-Tex colors by doing that piece I will never regret the time I spent on it. Question: Since I never finished the first one should I call the new one "Autumn Glow 1" or " Autumn Glow 2"? Just wondering...

Why I didn't post yesterday

I didn't post yesterday because...I had just finished getting the photos ready for posting when my youngest daughter comes into my basement studio and asks me to come outside and watch the weather with her. Then my dear husband calls down that I better turn off my computer as there is a BIG storm approaching. So I turned off my computer and went outside with YD and DH to watch the weather. It was amazing. We sat on the porch and saw lighting all around but heard no thunder. The only thing we heard was one of the neighbors playing their violin outside. After 15-20 minutes of this we heard a loud windy noise. After the tornado came through this neighborhood two years ago we are cautious of loud windy noises. Then we heard cracking tree branches and then things hitting the house. DH said it was debris, so we RAN to the basement. It turned out it wasn't a tornado, it was hail. Great big hail!!!

Each piece was being hurtled toward the earth. I was afraid it was going to break the bottle wraps on the deck, my so called dye studio. They came through ok.What did break was my favorite plastic pan. YD says I can get another. We will see. I had to go to a lot of garage sailing to get that one!!!
So the Rust-Tex photos are all ready I'll try to get them up later today.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Here is the picture of the bottle wraps I set out yesterday. I took this photo about 6:30am before I left for Chicago to go to the Professional Art Quilters Alliance meeting in Glen Ellyn, IL.
I took this picture when I got back around 5pm. You can see how the color is developing quickly. If I give them another day or two they will get even darker and the dark lines near the copper wire will be more pronounced. I am very tempted to unwrap one tomorrow just to see what it would look like "unfinished".

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

The first day of the season

Today is not the first day of spring but it is the first day of the rust dyeing season here in Wisconsin. The best weather for rust dyeing is in July, August and Early September when it is HOT and humid. But starting in mid April, I set up the rust dye studio on the deck just off the kitchen. Today I set out 3/4 of a yard of the "trees" patterning. They need to be kept wet for several days and with rain in the forecast, me going to Chicago tomorrow, and my taxes in the mail, I thought today was the perfect day to start. Mister Wind had other ideas or I would have done a whole yard. I'll post a picture tomorrow.