Saturday, February 28, 2009

The circle of life

Some more collage images of late summer flowers in my garden. Summer is officially over this weekend.
I love the clematis which I am training to grow up into my Kowhai tree.
Which brings me to this......under normal circumstances, a cat sleeping in a washing machine is amusing. But Grizabella is coming to the end of her life, and my little friend who has slept on my bed for many years is now sleeping in all sorts of strange places. For the last couple of weeks, I've been unable to let the dogs into the back yard as she was living in the garden by day and the woodshed by night. Prior to this, I took her to the vets because she'd lost weight . She had tests that cost me around $250, but showed nothing abnormal.

Griz was born on my bed, around 11 years ago, and is now clearly dying. It tears me up and I know I will soon have to take her on a one-way trip to the vets. For now, she is still eating (but not much) and doesn't seem too unhappy.

Life is tough.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

What the weekend holds

These are the fabrics for the 2nd quilt top that I'm making for the Australian bushfires victims. I'm making nine patch blocks alternating with plain blocks. I've already sewn the strips together for the first step of the nine patches. The weather looks like it'll be wet, so ideal sewing time.

Sunday, February 22, 2009


From this .... this.
And from this..... these.

I have a magazine with this design that I liked. There is no pattern so I decided to make my own, using leftover yarn from my stash. Here's the design - a shrug with added peplum knitted on big needles. Just the sort of thing to fling on at home when it gets a bit cold.
This is some of the wool I'm using which has been overdyed previously.

And here's the start of the work - I had to stop to do the dyeing and wait for the yarn to dry. It's knit from sleeve to sleeve.

Sunday, February 15, 2009


And here it is with the border added, which is a big improvement.

Bushfire quilt #1

I woke up yesterday (Valentine's Day) feeling quite depressed about my other business that I'm trying to get off the ground (and which hasn't taken off so far), and sorry for myself that I didn't have anyone to send me Valentines. So I decided that the best cure was to do something for someone else, and made the first of my quilt tops for people who have lost their homes and all their possessions (and possibly family and/or pets) in the Australian brushfires. This is Square Within a Square pattern, usually done with the same fabric all around the inner square, but as I was making it from scraps, I had to use 2 different ones. This changed the look somewhat, and I alternated the rows so that the long outside strips were horizontal on one row and vertical on the next. I have some fabric overdyeing at present to make a border. This is shown lying on a queen sized bed but the finished quilt will probably be a large single size.

I've also started to cut some fabric to make a larger quilt in a 9-patch pattern alternating with plain blocks. I may just finish cutting the fabric for this and then go do something else today - the lawn needs mowing after the rain, and garden is screaming out for some work.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Chez goodwin

Yesterday I met up with another couple of art quilters in an informal group. I did some layering and burning of fabrics with a heat gun, something I haven't done before.

The weather has been very hot so I had the poodles clipped to make them more comfortable. Then it rained which was most welcome as our fire risk in the area was extreme. Here are the twins in their morning position.
The rain also brought a southerly change which halved the temperature, so I have the fire on. This is where they are this afternoon.

Monday, February 09, 2009

Post #550

Well, who'd have thought I'd have written that many posts?

Above is the dried and ironed dye candy from yesterday.
And here are the salt-dyed pieces that I thought were way too dull, and overdyed.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Dye Candy (=eye candy for dyers)

After doing the rather pale and sombre salt dyeing, I felt I needed something brighter so I dyed some half metres, applying the dye in each case in the same way with one colour like a capital "I" and the other(s) filling in the sides. Top left is Lemon Yellow and Golden yellow; then Lemon Yellow with a dash of Bright Blue bordered by Lemon and Bright Blue. Bottom row: Turquoise/Lemon with Turquoise/Fuchsia; Bordeaux with Scarlet; Kiwi with Dark Green.

These are still batching, so the end results will be for next time.

Salt Dyeing

I've been interested to read the threads on various lists I'm on about snow dyeing, but as it's forecast to be 35 degrees C today (95 degrees F)in my part of in New Zealand, I decided to try something different - salt dyeing. I have a big bag of salt leftover from the days when I was erroneously taught that salt was a requirement for ALL dyeing, so I dug it out and mixed some Golden Yellow powder with it.
Then I sprinkled some on a soda-soaked fat quarter. I wore a mask throughout, and misted the powder/salt mixture once on the fabric.
I mixed a bit of red into the powder, and added that here and there, along with the odd bit of blue.
The result was quite muted in colour as there was far more salt than dye. The effect is different from LWI dyeing. Here's some other pieces:

Mainly blue with some red/yellow - Before and After I added some Warm Black to this one and like the effect - very like looking at mountains and rugged terrain from the air. We dyers are generally taught that spotting is bad, but this technique will produce some spots or considerable amounts of spots, and these can be used to effect.
This is Warm Black again, lightly dusted onto an already dyed piece of fabric. The multiple colours that blacks are made of makes an interesting effect.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009


Some images from the garden - clockwise from top left - nicotiana, Rose "Mary Rose", dahlias, lilies.
These Pink Cherokee tomato plants are as tall as me now. There are only 3 plants of this variety, but they have 8 stakes between them.
The peppers are getting to a good size. There are some purple ones on the plant on the left, just visible through the leaves.
While I'm not working with fabric, I'm still dyeing. I made this wool to make a baby cardigan. It's come out more "girlie" than I'd envisaged but never mind. The colours are Sangria, Terracotta, French Vanilla and Mustard.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Art takes too much effort

I haven't done any more work on my quilting as it requires a great deal of concentration and absorption. As I'm pretty much mentally absorbed in setting up my new business, I have stuck to knitting which is soothing and doesn't need too much thought. I'm well on the way to completing the second Primavera sock - here's the first on the foot - socks always look better this way.
This afternoon, I digressed and made a baby's hat.
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