Monday, April 16, 2012

Grow a Garden (pouch) giveaway winner!

Thank you for all of the comments about my pouches!  I loved reading everyone's favorite things about spring.  Opening the windows, tiny buds sprouting and pushing up through the soil, sunny skies, shedding some winter layers...these are all wonderful parts of spring!

Mr. Random Number Generator chose a winner for me, and it is:



Congratulations Stephanie! I've sent you an email. Send me your address (woollykatquilts at gmail dot com) and I'll get this pouch in the mail to you!

Thank you to everyone who entered!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Grow a Garden (pouch) + a giveaway

At our monthly Ann Arbor Modern Quilt Guild meetings, we often have a swap of a handmade item or several fat quarters of fabric.  Items are to be wrapped or disguised but not labeled, so part of the fun is wondering what goodies are hiding inside the macaroni box, old tin, etc.

We conduct our swaps in a "Yankee Swap" format (like a white elephant swap). First we draw numbers, and each participant has a turn choosing a wrapped item.  The next person then has a choice of choosing an wrapped item, or "stealing" a previously unwrapped item from someone else.  If your item is stolen, you may choose to to unwrap a new item or steal from someone else.  The process continues until everyone has had a turn, and the first person to choose has a chance to steal any one of the opened items or keep what they have. Previous swaps have proven to get quite competitive; Emily's Christmas ornament and Jenna's Mendicino notebook cover provoked some very exciting swaps!

For our March meeting, participants were asked to make something with a "spring" theme.  Part of what I like about having a theme to work with is it encourages me to work outside my comfort zone.  In this case, I ended up using a color combination I might not have started with on my own.  I am very drawn to warm tones, but for the "spring" theme, I went looking in my stash for greens and yellows. 

The front of the pouch is a patchwork courthouse steps block.  I selected a number of prints and solids in yellows and greens, along with some black and white.  I included some fun text, ruler, and graph prints, imagining the process of planning a spring garden, planting seeds, and watching them sprout and grow.

natalie's grow a garden pouch

I chose Joel Dewberry's Woodgrain print in brown from Aviary 2, and lined it with a green solid. 

grow a garden pouch back

Natalie of Greenleaf Goods was the lucky recipient of this pouch at our guild meeting.  Hope you enjoy it Natalie! However, I had so much fun making it I had to make a few more.

grow a garden pouches

grow a garden pouches

One of these pouches is up for grabs, for YOU, one of my readers! Leave me a comment telling me your favorite part about spring. That's it, easy! If you're following my blog, I'd love to hear from you, and I'd also love it if you told your friends. So, for a second entry, let me know if you mention this giveaway on your blog, on facebook, or on twitter (you can find me there: @woollykat). International entries are welcome.  Giveaway ends this Sunday, April 15 at 11pm EST, when I will choose a random winner. 

I'd link up to {Sew} Modern Monday, but Megan is pausing it while the Festival of Half-Square Triangles is going on! Today's Festival of HST host is Erin at Two More Seconds. Head over there to check it out!

Have a great week!
~Anna :)

Thursday, April 5, 2012

A quilt for baby A

Back in January, my friend Brenda announced a quilt-along she was hosting on her blog.  With several baby quilts on my to-make list, I was eager to join in.

Bust Yo Scraps!

While she billed the quilt-along as a scrap-buster, I chose to use Sarah Jane's "Rocket Launch Club" print in cream as the "background" fabric, with solid colors matched from that print for the surrounding half-square triangles and flying geese. 

The solids I used were Free Spirit Solids in Red and Saffron, Moda Bella Solids in Robins Egg, and Robert Kaufman Kona Cotton in Blue Jay and Charcoal.

Quilt for Baby A
I backed the quilt in Just Wing It! by Momo for Moda in Light Turquoise, and the binding is Eliza Stripe from Sis Boom Basics by Jennifer Paganelli for Free Spirit.

Quilt for Baby A
I quilted it using straight lines in a crisscross pattern similar to here and here.

This quilt soon to be on its way to a dear friend who recently had a baby boy.

Now I'm linking up to Brenda's blog with all the other completed QAL quilts.  Be sure to check them out, there are some really great ones!

~Anna :)

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Fabric Dyeing with Rossie

Today Brenda, Ashley and I went over to Rossie's house, armed with gloves, buckets, and the most important ingredient: white fabric!

Annie's Seed Catalogue, by Holly Holderman for LakeHouse Dry Goods

After seeing the great results Jeni had dyeing the white-on-white Annie's Farm Stand Seed Catalog fabric, we wanted to give it a try too.

Rossie is an old pro at this dyeing business, and since she had all of the dye and other supplies, we headed to her place. (Note: this is not a complete account of all the necessary steps.  For more technical info about the dyeing process we used, check out Rossie's blog.)

Choosing colors

We prewashed our fabric to prepare it for dyeing.  Then we consulted this book to choose some colors we were interested in. We didn't try too hard to match any specific color.  We roughly followed the recipe for a given color, but part of the fun of this process is seeing what appears in the end!   

It is important to wear gloves and a mask when handling the dye.

Rossie prepares the dyes

Rossie and Brenda prepared the dyes (the pigments are in powdered form and then mixed into salt water to activate. (Again, check out Rossie's blog. If you are interested in trying this yourself, she has a lot of helpful information and many links to experienced in fabric dyeing).  Ashley and I cut the fabric into smaller pieces (large cuts of fabric can be bulky, creating extra folds/bubbles in the fabric, which can result in uneven dye patterns). We then dampened the fabric slightly before placing several pieces in each bucket.

Dyeing steps 
Dyeing steps

Rinsed fabrics
Rinsed fabrics

Following the dye bath, the fabrics were rinsed in cold water first and then hot and then washed in the washing machine.  We let our fabric air dry.

All washed and ready to go!
All washed and ready to go.

The finished product!

Many thanks to Rossie for hosting us and helping us navigate the dyeing process. It was a lot of fun!

Anna :)