Dyed & Screenprinted Quilt {tutorial}

*Tutorial by Catherine @ CathGrace for her win of the RIT Dye challenge of season 14*

Oh my goodness you guys, thanks for all the votes this last week, I was so excited to win this week, and I am so excited to be here to share my tutorial for my quilt with you!
Because I am here in S. Korea, I can’t just go into a store and buy RIT dye, but luckily I had dye supplies already on hand. (I didn’t have any RIT, but I figured the brand didn’t matter!) The dyes I have are not an all in one like RIT is, so I had to take a couple of extra steps to dye my fabric. (The dyes I used were Procion cold water dye, by Jaquard.) I had to make up some chemical water (click on the link for a recipe) and then I thickened the chemical water with sodium alginate, in order to make a pudding textured goop. After letting the thickened chemical water sit for a bit, I put half a cup of the chemical water into a cup, and mixed in brown dye (made from 2 tsp. of dye powder mixed in about 2 Tbs of tap water) and then just a sprinkle of soda ash (the soda ash activates the dye so it will actually permanently stick to the fabric. RIT dye doesn’t need to be activated, and would in theory only need to be thickened) OKAY now I am ready to begin putting color onto fabric!
Just kidding, I am totally not. First I had to pin my fabric to my print table (a board covered in thick industrial felt, and then canvas, in order to give me a pin-able surface.) The fabric came from one 3 yard length of white cotton fabric that I ripped into 1 yard sections, and then used t-pins to pin the fabric to the surface of the print table. NOW we are ready to dye!
For the first yard, I used a picture frame (I use the glass as a pallet,) a foam paint roller, and a Lego base plate.
I began by sliding the Lego plate UNDER my fabric, and then I loaded my paint roller with the thick brown dye (don’t forget to activate it with soda ash!)

And then gently roll over the Lego base plate, you can get a feel for the amount of pressure you want to place on the roller, as you go. I moved the plate around randomly so that sometimes it was skew, and overlapping where I had already rolled. I covered the whole yard of fabric this way. (My other two base textures, not pictured here, are the suction cups on the bottom of a $1 store, rubber bath mat, and just rolling on the surface of the fabric with the foam roller, alternating the amount of pressure.)

After laying down all of my brown, I mixed up 12 other colors (one at a time actually) in the same tap water, powdered dye, thickened chemical water, soda ash, mix as the brown dye. I ripped all of my yardage into four fat quarters per yard, (for a total of 12) and pinned 2 fat quarters to my print table surface. (does that make sense?) I laid my color down, by smearing it onto each fat quarter by hand in a swirling motion. (I definitely recommend the rubber glove unless you want a very excitingly colored hand)

Here’s what the pink and green fat quarters look like once smeared and waiting to dry. By the way, the print table has a couple of old flat sheets pinned to it, so that my canvas surface doesn’t get [Read more…]

Modern Denim Quit Tutorial

*Tutorial by Autumn @ It’s Always Autumn for her win of the Season 13 Finale!*

Thanks to everyone who voted! What a tight race! I made this quilt in four days, cutting and sewing madly to get it done in time, so anyone who has a couple of weeks to work on a project could definitely do this. As a quilt goes, it’s really rather simple. Here’s the rundown:

1. Gather denim. I purchased all my denim at three different garage sales the morning I wanted to start making the quilt. Garage sales are the best place to get denim cheap! If you want to make an ombre quilt you need to pay attention to the color of the jeans you are buying – be sure to get some that is quite dark, some that’s medium colored, and some that’s lighter. I kept all the denim I had bought in hand as I was looking for more, to make sure the colors all looked like they’d go well together. I only purchased adult jeans because I wanted strips the were a full 6 inches wide. Also, pay attention to how distressed the jeans are – if the dark jeans you buy all have really light areas in the bum/knees you’ll have to end up cutting some of those out. I think I purchased about 18 pairs of jeans and had at least three or four more than I needed. I got all my jeans for $1 or less per pair.

2. Wash and cut. I would not recommend trying this without a rotary cutter and large ruler, as you see below. You certainly could do it, but it would take lots longer! I just sliced the legs off the jeans right at the crotch then used my ruler and rotary cutter to cut them into 6 in wide strips. I discared the knees of many of my jeans because they were stretched out and light – but that’s ok, because you end up with strips of different lengths, which is what you’re looking for.

As I cut up jeans, I placed them into one of four piles based on color, and I tried to keep the piles fairly even. NOTE: I actually decided I didn’t have denim that was quite light enough, so I [Read more…]

Winter Green Blanket

When I first thought about this week’s challenge, I know I could have gone two ways: go green by recycling or make something green. I decided to make something green.

This little blanket is perfect for when you want to spend a little time snuggled up on the couch to do some hand work. I wanted it to be cute and winter like, but not necessarily Christmas like, so I could keep it out longer.

I made mine smaller so I would finish this challenge on time, but you could easily change the size.

Little Mommy Quilt

Got a little one that wants to mimic everything you do?

well here’s the gift for that “little mother” in your life.

this little quilt is just right for your little one to baby her little dolly.

this quilt is also the right size to tote around anywhere, whether it be at home or on the go, this little quilt is perfect.

surely her friends will want one too, and would be the perfect gift for any “little mother” you know.

Manly Pillow Covers

*Project by Erin @ Erin’s Creative Energy for the Repurposed challenge of season 12*

This week I re-purposed my husband’s dress shirts that he can no longer wear into manly pillow covers.

I have been trying to figure out a great way to reuse my husband’s dress shirts.  One had ring around the collar and the other a small grease stain that wouldn’t come out.  The shirts are made of great material and I just couldn’t throw them away or donate them to charity.  So, this was the best idea I came up with.

This was probably the easiest sewing project I have done in a long time.  I cut out a rectangle, the size to fit a travel pillow, turned them right side in, sewed it and trimmed the edges with pinking shears.  There was no need to sew a zipper or other enclosure because the button down front of the shirt was already there.

Now I have some very manly pillows, to sit on very manly chairs in a very manly room of my home.

Patriotic Pillows

*Project made by Crystal @ Crystals Craft Spot for the Scrappy challenge of season 12*

I love to decorate for holiday’s but I don’t really have the budget or the storage space to go all out for every singe one.  My solution pillows and pillow covers.  They are quick to make, inexpensive, can be made for any theme, easy to change any time, and they are pretty easy to store.
The Fourth of July is coming up and I needed some decorations so I pulled out some red, white, and blue fabric scraps and went to work. I had just enough to make an adorable patchwork pillow.  If you can sew a straight line you can make this! add a little stuffing and it’s ready to go.
With the left over scraps from the first pillow I was able to make a cute bunting design to add to this envelop style pillow cover.  Again minimal sewing, an old pillow, and a clever way to make the perfect letters (quick and easy of course!) completes this pillow.  With the basics of these two pillow styles and your choice of fabric, it makes decorating for any room or holiday easy and fun!

Twisted Picnic Blanket

*Project by Brittany @ BK’s Craft Blog for the Sunshine challenge of Season 11*

What better way to enjoy a sunny day but to have a picnic! I made a picnic blanket backed with a Twister board! The Twister board keeps your blanket from getting damp should the ground not be it’s driest AND you can flip it over to play the fun group game. There is a sewn pocket between the comforter and plastic that holds the Twister spinner and a Frisbee (which was, by far, the best thrift buy of the project at .09 cents!)!

Coloring Sheet Pillowcase

*Project by Mandy @ Sugar Bee Crafts for the Ink challenge of Season 10*

Ink is such a broad topic!!  I thought of all different ideas, but kept coming back to drawing with Sharpie.  I created the Coloring Sheet Pillowcase – my kiddos have been BIG into intricate coloring sheets lately, so I knew they’d love this.

The best part – if you use washable markers, it’s reusable!!  I thought if this were an infomercial there’d be a tagline song “Color It In, Again and Again!!”

It’s been fun to make it to the top 3!  Here’s hoping for your vote for the Coloring Sheet Pillowcase!