I live and craft in England (or perhaps “live to craft...”?). I love colour and I love pretty things.
I must have been a magpie or a butterfly in a previous life, such is my attraction to colourful and shiny stuff (aka, pretty, shiny things).
This blog is my attempt to make sense, and keep track, of what I make.
confessions of a fabric obsessive
Category Archives: fabric
Although I’ve always admired quilt with circles in and Cathederal Windows blocks in particular, I’ve never done them in any quilt before because circles or curves of any type scare the *** out of me.
I’ve got to say the Amy is a fabulous tutorial writer, but then I should have know that because I’m following her Craftsy Block of the Month course (which I’m hopelessly behind on, but we won’t go there).
Viola, one Cathedral Windows Bathmat, started and finished within 24 hours and I slept for some of that!
I had to wash the print fabric because the cotton towelling I was using was upcycled from a spare bath sheet. I ironed it all properly, and used a dinner plate to cut out the circles. I cut too many circles, it turns out I cut 12 towelling circles when I only needed 9 and I still don’t know what to do with the 9 circles I cut from the stripe fabric.
After posting about this project yesterday, I decided to use the batik print that I love so much (please ignore the state of my bathroom tiles, this is a sewing blog not a diy blog after all!):
Note to self: get larger dinner plates, this would be fab with bigger circles! Also, sewing this with towelling as a backing is harder than I thought, that’s probably why it’s a little wonky. It also probably needs ironing, but is that going to happen?
I’m glad that I decided to do this. I love my new bathmat and I don’t care what anyone else thinks (although if you think it’s lovely too, I wouldn’t mind being told).
I love my new bathmat 🙂
Random quilting posts I like on other people’s blogs
…but only a little bit.
Ages ago I rescued an old wooden clothes airer. I stripped off the disintegrating webbing “hinges” so that I could clean up the wooden frames, replace the webbing and have a new clothes airer. Simple job, you might think, but I wanted the new webbing hinges to be pink (I had to make it complicated!).
Can you buy pink cotton webbing? Not online, and not in the shops.
I already had white cotton webbing, so I thought, “Ah, I’ll get a pack of pink dye and dye some of the white webbing pink”. In theory it should have been easy, just follow the instructions and I’ll have some great colour webbing. While I’m at it, I could drop in a few other white cotton things and have them bright pink as well.
When I was a teenager I used to dye fabric (mostly t- shirts and jeans) quite often. Mum wouldn’t let me dye them in the washing machine, so I got to be a dab hand at dyeing by hand.
Cotton absorbs dye really easily and takes the colour quite strongly: most synthetic fibres don’t.
This is the colour of the dye I bought, flamingo pink. (I don’t do things by halves. If I’m having pink, I’m having bright pink!)
According to the instructions, one pack would dye up to 250g of cotton to the full colour, so I worked through my stash, picking out cotton trimming and cotton fabric to make up to the 250g weight limit.
I followed the instructions, stirred and stirred for the first 15 minutes, and then every now and again for an hour.
This is what I got:
See that pale pink wide webbing at the back? I was sold that as 100% cotton. Needless to say, it isn’t. If it had been it would now be the same colour as the narrower stuff.
There’s another length of white tape (not in the photo) that is still white. I was sold that as 100% cotton too. It’s so white after the full time in the dye solution, it can’t possibly have any cotton in it at all. In fact it’s so incredibly day-glo white that I didn’t even put it in the photo.
Cross isn’t the word. Well actually cross is the word, along with very.
Having paid a premium for 100% cotton, I find out that it’s actually less than 50% (in the case of the wide) and 0% cotton (in the case of the un-photographed).
Then I panicked that the twill tape that I am selling on Ebay and Etsy at the moment might not be cotton after all, so I dropped some in the used dye solution just to check. It’s fine, it didn’t take up as much colour in the same time as the 100% cotton tape in the first batch, but it did colour up and I’m satisfied that what I’m selling as cotton is cotton. Phew!
I’m not going to go into dyeing as an extension of my sewing (with natural dyes or tie-dyeing), but it is nice to know that I can still do it fairly easily, and that if I really want a colour that I can’t buy anywhere dyeing it myself will be fairly simple (although I did google “hand-dyeing” for this post and found some really interesting blogs and started following Nancy Guchte’s hand-dyeing board on Pinterest and Wild Onion‘s blog).
Back to my clothes airer refurb. Almost finished but I need to hammer the tacks in and it’s too late (I’m writing this in the wee small hours of Thursday night, as usual for a Friday post) because my neighbours need their sleep.
I’m glad I took the time and effort to dye the webbing pink for the hinges. It looks exactly how I wanted it too. It will be displaying some of my quilts, eventually, as well as my laundry!
Happy Claire Bear