Thursday, July 20, 2017

Weekly Post...a little late this week.

Last week was a whirl of excitement with grand baby # 1 being born.
What's a grandma to do but take every opportunity to help out. So we spent time holding and cuddling, baking and cooking and spending time as a family!

This week I have still managed to sneak in some cuddle time but also brought out the MX dye on

My friend Karen was up for an impromptu dye day with me. 

Here are some fabrics placed in a baggie to create some leaf fabrics. 

Karen made up a bunch of baggies of her own mixtures of dye combo's . 

Then we tried some ice dyeing.   Hot summer day resulted in the ice melting quickly. 

We remembered to take a picture of what dyes we put on our ice. 

I wanted to make some ice dyed scarves. I used Sea Glass MX from Dharma Trading. 

And I used Pewter from Dharma on some others.

All in all I have a number of pieces made. Next I have to add the after pictures. 
I really need to write down what I try to see what works and doesn't . 

Today I am going with leaves that are in my garden and echo printing on Silk Habotai , Rayon and Cotton Jersey scarves.  

Part 2 of this weeks post will be after the bundles are unwrapped and dry. 

Other sewing this week included altering hems on a friends daughters wedding dress and some hand quilting on # 1 baby's crib quilt. 

We are taking a few days holidays so my sewing machine will come with me so my daughter and I can work on some projects amongst the trees (on the covered porch) at the lake. 

Slowly but surely I am getting some of my goals reached for the year. When I am at the lake I tend to get reflective about life at home. 

How about you? Do you get reflective when you get away for a few days of down time? 

Have you any projects like dyeing you tend to do in the summer when your studio becomes your back yard? 

I am too late for the Needle and Thread Network this week but I am managing to keep up my posts to once a week. Soon I hope to be more intentional and post twice a week. 

Have a great week! 


Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Weekly Post, Discharge Dyeing 2 and Homefront news.

This past week has been an exciting week.

On the regular sewing note I made this little bassinet quilt out of left over blocks from our grand baby to be quilt. (which I am still working on... hand quilting)

Due date was approaching so I made the top on Thursday/Friday and decided to tie it with a yellow pearl cotton and large quilting stitches in the borders.

I finished it Sunday night at 11 pm

I also cut and sewed binding for a large queen size quilt over 450 inches long and the binding for this bassinet quilt and the crib quilt. It takes a while to make it all. But now I have it ready to sew on. 
This little quilt was not on my list of to finish or make but will be a bonus. They did not have a blanket for the bassinet. 

Discharge Dyeing Part 2 will be able to be found on the page at the top of the header marked Discharge Dyeing. I figure if I do it this way it will always be a easy way to find the information and I can do edits and additions more easily this way every time I find new information or do some experiments. 

On the Home Front... 
We went to a wonderful wedding for one of my nephews. He spent a good deal of time here as a child and it is a blessing to see him be married to such a wonderful girl. 

This leads into our next part of exciting news. The above bassinet quilt could go yesterday to the intended recipient. 

After us all dancing up a storm Saturday night,  including our DDIL who was due that day, we got to meet in person our first grandchild. 
Little Abigail Heather
8 lbs 8 ozs
22 inches
2 hours old

Proud loving Grandma

Adoring Grandpa

Happy Family!

I have been told it is Amazing to have Grandchildren but it was such a joy to see them all well! 

I can see many cute outfits in Abbie's future! 

For the rest of the week I am not sure much will get done. I am babysitting the grand puppy  a 10 month old goofy Husky/Shepherd and combine that with my energetic English Shepherd I have two crazy dogs. When they do sit down for a few minutes I don't dare move or it will brake the peace! 

I am doing laundry for my DS 1 and my DDIL, some mending and some planning for next week to get in some dyeing. We also plan to go to the cottage for some R and R so I imagine we will be trying to help out our fair share  with the family next week. Our DS1 started a new job and his boss is great about him taking some time off. But it is building industry's busy time of year. 

Have a great week! 

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Weekly Progress and Discharge Dyeing

Sewing this week has been limited to making nursing covers for soon to be arriving Baby V. Our first Grandchild. I also am making a quilt but I haven't even touched the hand quilting yet.  No pictures of the covers because I gave them to my DIL last night. 

The second amount of sewing I have been doing is curtains for my main floor. These are hard curtains to make and no pictures yet of them because they are boring. I am making panels and suspending them on curtain clip rings. 

So I thought I would share with you some pictures of samples I made for a group of friends who came once a month this past year to learn and play with me. I learn best by tackling a project and learning as much as I can about it. 

Discharge Dyeing with deColourant, deColourant Plus (no longer made) and a Bleach Pen. 
deColourant Plus on various fabrics using a wooden Stamp and a foam stamp.
I can't say I was impressed with the deColourant plus. The purpose of this paste is to remove the colour from the fabric and then to add back the colour of the paste. In this case blue.
Back row fabric: Commercial Batik, Hand dyed black, blue hand dyed flannel, hand dyed red/pink on cotton
Front row: Two commercial cotton fabrics.
The foam stamp was the stamp that shows up the best. 

This was the same fabrics (mostly) using the same stamps and used the deColourant. deColourant is a product that removes colour from a fabric in a past form.
Back Row: Batik, hand dyed black, commercial cotton
Front Row: Hand dyed blue flannel, hand dyed cotton pink/red
Here the deColorant worked on all but the flannel. 

deColourant Plus in Silver (discontinued) It seemed to work on all the fabrics but not as well as the flannel.
Back row: Batik, black hand dyed, blue flannel, red/pink hand dyed
Front Row: Two commercial cottons. 

Here I use the Blue and Silver deColourant on the first two pieces and the plain deColourant. All were the same commercial cotton. But this time I used a stencil and applied the deColourant with a brush.

This was a piece of commercial fabric that I played with a bleach pen with.
The bleach pen removes the colour well but a halo effect can be seen. It is hard to get the bleach to flow evenly.

I have some more experiments with the bleach and deColourant, some conclusions, sources and things to try with the products next post.

Until then I am off to sew my curtains.

I am linking to needleandthreadnetwork

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Eco Printing/Dyeing....

A couple of weeks ago some good friends and I visited a local Crafters Spring Market. It was a fun day out! And of course seeing many of the items for sale in my head and out loud I say I can do that or I have read about that....

Information. I am an information junkie! This is a good thing and a bad thing. Good thing because I am not afraid to try new things. Bad thing because I find it hard to focus on what things to do. I am like a squirrel running around trying to do it all!

So after our day out I offered to eco dye some scarves with my friends.

I hadn't done it before but of course had read about it. Followed the andthenwesetitonfire blog posts on the subject, googled you tube clips and checked out India Flint' s website who wrote a wonderful book on the subject.

I already had some blank silk scarves and had been collecting rusty metal and had an old canning pot that had seen better days.

I went to the local re use it store and supplemented my rusting metal collection and bought some old pails.

I was ready!

I invited the girls over after I had got the equipment ready and tables covered.

We watched a few you tube video's and I answered a few questions.

Now remember that we are total newbies to this process and they have never done any kind of dyeing before.

Here my friend Alice is setting up a piece of treated cotton with her chosen plants. She is a very knowledgeable plant person and came with many different forged plants. 

This is my friend Caroline. She also is a very knowledgeable plant person and worked as a florist. The flowers she choose came from some beautiful left overs from her son and daughter in law's wedding. These are treated silk scarf blanks. 

Here are the four of us. Alice, me (Jo), Caroline, SueAnn poising for prosperity sake! 

My re purposed canner is filled with rusty water silk scarf bundles on copper pipe and branches. The cotton bundles went in too! My kids did not think that this looked at all appetizing but it did smell quite nice with a vinegar and eucalyptus smell!

Next day was the reveal after everything had cooked and cooled. Notice my old wash tub comes in handy and my dog lurking behind in the next picture. 

We hosed the fabric off with my garden hose to remove the remaining leaves and debris. 

Again Moe the wonder dog had to be underfoot the whole way!

Cotton piece


All in all it was a great project. For the ones of us that went with just wing it  mode it was a great surprised  to how the scarves turned out. For us who wanted a controlled outcome were surprised and trying to analyze what and why happened. 

Lessons Learned

Learn more about the process... so I can understand what causality. 

Buy more scarves and fabric... so I can experiment more. 

Do some controlled experiments... so I can be more intentional about placement and effects. 

Record results I can remember what I did in the experiments. 

Buy India Flints Book Eco Colour: Botanical Dyes For Beautiful Textiles .... so I can do all of the above! 

I did order India's book while at my sisters in the US last week and spent a good time reading it. Now I need to go back and make some notes as to what experiements to do from the plants in my own back yard. Today I also plan to order some more silk and cotton to play with. So you may be seeing some more experimentation in the next few weeks! 

I am linking up with 

Mid Week Makers

Have a wonderful week.


Wednesday, June 21, 2017

WIP Wednesday.....and thoughts on blogging

I have all kinds of things to post about until I sit down to post. Then I think who wants to hear this or are they interested in that... ?

So I have been reading a bit about blogs and what would interest people. There is a whole lot of advice to get more readers or increase your following. Does it become a numbers game of what makes you more in to read.

So I thought why do I read the blogs I do?
In no special order it is
- work I am interested in
- a story
- developments
- experiments
- learning something
- someone who asks questions and really takes the time to listen and reply to comments

I guess I feel like it is a community a give and take.

My favourite Blog for sharing, learning and experimentation is andthenwesetitonfire Judith and Beth are wrapping up the blog this month. The commitment these and  the other  co- bloggers have put in is amazing and for no benefit really to them accept the joy of doing it. They are going to leave the content up so you can go there to still see all the wonderful work that has been done.

If you have enjoyed their blog please do use the link to leave them a thank you for the work they and others have done.

Another blog I enjoy is Elizabeth Barton She is a wonderful author, teacher and artist! She talks about her work, teaching and asks questions! I enjoy reading her blog very much. Please check her out if you like to learn more about art quilting and you can also take her classed at academy of quilting
Sample I did in an Elizabeth Barton class online. 

Over the next while I am going to write why I like the blogs I do.... It would be great if you would share some great blogs with me.

Another thing I am going to try to do is finally document some of the experiments I have done on certain subjects. Usually I find a topic that I want to investigate and research. Often I take pictures and plan to write up what I have done. I like to learn this way. It gives me tools for my toolbox. I hope to point you to the books, DVDs and resources that I have come across.

Then my other goal will be to document my own journey. This may be my own Fibre Art or my more run of the mill sewing for home, family etc. I still love to traditional quilt for my family and think I will continue to do so.

So what I have I been up to this week? It is working on not much. I had great intentions but have spent the time with my sister and her family. Watching live soccer games, movies, and just hanging out.

I have been trying to do some hand quilting on the baby quilt for our first Grandchild due in 3 weeks. It won't be done for the shower next week but the baby will be in a bassinet for the first few weeks anyway.
Picture on phone.....uggh

I also finished up this for the Art Gallery of Burlington for a call for blocks for the 150 year anniversary of Canada. Of course this is  on my beloved peach blossoms of Niagara. Growing fruit in the area of Niagara I grew up in and still live is near and dear to my heart.
Peach tree in Niagara 12"x12" block for AGB

I am starting to update my experiments with Lutradur so I have created a page on my header. First done is the references I used. 

Hope you have a great week. I am linking to

Please share your favourite blogs with me! 

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Thats What Friends are for....

Today is a wonderful day. I sit and hear the birds singing, the sun shining and only a few tasks on the to do list. None of them items I  hate....well maybe the dishes.

But that is not what makes it a wonderful day. Today is the day when at 5:30 or 6 pm DH walks through the door and is officially retired. My best friend will be spending a lot more time with me and also doing the things he has wanted to do for a long time.

In the worlds standards he is young to retire.... 57. But he has been a smart guy all these years with our finances despite my fabric habit and my book habit. It is actually me that worries about finances. My mom said it best when she said Jake wouldn't do it if he knew there was a risk.
Jake at Canada's Wonderland the summer before we were married. Always has been up to do what I ask for a laugh. 

It is interesting to hear peoples comments from joy for us to I think a bit of envy. And if I know my hubby he will be humble and down play the whole event. We celebrated with our wonderful kids on Saturday at his favourite restaurant. And he said you can have anything on the menu. My beloved did not choose a steak but his favourite a Panzorotti.
So happy to be a Dad with each one of our 3 children but here he is in 1990 shortly after our DD was born. 

When asked at work if they could throw him a potluck he declined it. So it is cake at 3pm in the lunch room. My guy just goes quietly about his work with a lovely quirky sense of humour.
Here in 1995 we posed at my sisters wedding. Our family.

He even worked a full week longer than his notice date given last December because there was more info to pass on and work to get done before he left. And has suggested he go in a couple days a week after we take a few weeks to visit the cottage and my sister.
On his 40th birthday with his mom! Year 2000

He is a good guy and I am so blessed to have him. I look forward to having my best friend around doing what he likes, what I like and what we like.
Always leaning into a pose! Year 2005

Playing on Vacation in his beloved Vacation shirts! Year 2010

So we are in another phase of life. Kids grown and well on their way. Grandchild on the way. And some time to be together a bit more. Many don't get this chance.
See that love of the Vacation Shirt! And the spirit of fun ! Year 2015

It is my hope and prayer we use it wisely, to value it's worth, to help others as opportunities arise and support those who come in our path. And I know this man who I have been married to for 31 years will do it as he has done his work life, quietly, diligently, lovingly, with honour and with a quirky sense of humour.

Doing what he loves! 2017

Love you hunny! 

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Another Wednesday has rolled around. I have missed a couple of weeks posting because I have just been incredibley busy! I feel like this is my first day at home where I can give myself permission to do a task that is not time sensitive.

I have decided to take a leap of faith.

As my blog will show I bought a Babylock Tiarra over a year ago. This is a great machine. It is  a sit down midarm machine for quilting. At the time is was a good fit for me because I felt it would be a boon for my art quilting as I could use the large throat space to thread paint and quilt larger quilts then on my domestic machine. And it is/was.

My problem came with my severe headaches and back problem issues last year in April. Since then I have had a fall (balance issues) and found out I have disc deteriation in my spine in many of my vetebrae and that is normal they say for my age... (54) but I also have a stenosis in my C4/5 area and a disc problem in my lunbar area. Add in a dash of arthritis and curved spine with Fibromyalgia and I have become a bundle of inflamation.

I am working on the things to do to make life more manageable but I have to limit my sit down sewing. And I love my sewing!!!!

An hour is about all I can manage before pain rears it ugly head.

So an opportunity came up to buy a stand up long arm on sale and my wonderful husband said you need to get this so you can keep on with the work you love!

The Tiara makes the work easier but makes the quilting of the larger quilts that I was sending out even easier for me. No strain on my neck from bending it and no slumping of my shoulders.

So now I have my Tiara 2 Babylock up for sale.

If you know anyone who may be interested in Southern Ontario it is a deal. It really works like a charm. I have it posted on Kijiji and Craig's List or message me for details.
Please pass this on to anyone who may be interested. They have come out with the Tiara 3 but there is very little difference and I had added the Tru stitch regulator and the overlay table.

I am not panicking about selling it but the funds do have to go toward the new machine. I can't work at my secretarial job anymore because I can't sit at a desk and work on the computer for an 8 hour day.

What else is new in our house... my husband is retiring.... so we have to learn to live with each other more hours in a day. I don't think we will find this to hard. We miss each other after a long weekend. Up until last April I worked in his office for 3 years and we loved it!

He will have some new adventures and probably will do some work or consulting in a year. He is head tired and needs a sabbatical but in his line of work you can't get one. lol

So I have no sewing to link with this week to the needleandthreadnetwork but a sewing machine instead.

The sewing room is changing looks... I have to take over the whole  basement now which we had stuffed with stuff. Slowly I am reclaiming space to sew. I need to start on baby sheets etc for our first grandchild coming in July!

Time to get to work and work smart so I am not in pain for days after.

Have a great week! And what if anything did you find indispensable for your children, nieces/nephews and or grandchildren to have sewn by you?

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

WIP Wednesday

This week I have a finish! At least a finished top.

Most Canadian Quilters will have heard of the Canadian Quilters Great Canada Quilting Bee for Canada's 150th Birthday this year. They have been asking for slab blocks with Canada 150 fabric in it to make Quilts for Ronald McDonald House.

I belong to the Canadian Quilters Association who is hosting the Bee at their annual Event held this year in Toronto, Ontario.

I might not make it to the Bee (more on that another time) so I thought I would make a whole top to send. I hope to have the second one done this weekend as I go to retreat with the Stoney Creek Quilters guild.

As a child my dad spent extensive time at Sick Children's Hospital from the age of 5 to 17. I also did part of my nurses training 34 years ago. Having sick kids is not easy. Dad was left at the hospital for days sometimes weeks at a time while his parents had to go back and run the farm in St. Catharines Ontario. This Bee for quilts for the Ronald McDonald houses touched my heart. Dad is 85 and was never expected to live this long.

There is still time to make some blocks. The link is above.

Here is the picture of the finish top.

I used fabric from the the stash of scraps I had left over from several quilts plus one fat quarter of Canada 150 Fabric. 
I hope this top becomes a comfort to someone who needs it. 

I am linking up with the Needle and thread network

Exciting and changing times coming up at our home this year. After a year of many trials and sorrow it is good to feel the sunshine. (However the forecast for the weather is rain ironically for the next 4 days! ) 


Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Sewing for Baby!

This past week I was sewing for Baby... My daughter in law's sister had a baby girl in March.

It was fun to go back to sewing for a new baby. I was invited to her shower so I made some crib sheets and a Baby cuddly bear.

I used the matching blanket to wrap the gift which my daughter contributed to as a joint gift. A baby bear cuddly blankie was made with zebra striped flannel and minkie. 

Now I need to get back at it for our first grandchild due in July. More sheets and blankies to come!

I am linking up to the needleandthreadnetwork for my WIP Wednesday although I was ahead this time and this is a finish!


Thursday, April 6, 2017

WIP Wednesday and Printing on Fabric

Last week I organized my paper load...

I do have a piece I am working on but I am waiting a bit to post the pictures.

Not sewing related but prepping for sewing I explored printing on fabrics with my printer. This was for my monthly group working on the book Fabric Embellishing The Basics and Beyond by Liz Kettle etc.

What fun I had! Here are a few pictures of what I printed. Now I have to think of how to use them in my work.

Dover clip art design printed on my home printer on "fabric and tissue paper"

Snow on Big Hollow Road. Picture taken by me in Vermont in November. Printed on "fabric and dryer sheets"

I am linking up with WIP Wednesday!
My challenge to myself is to post everyweek. 


Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Organizing Paper Part 2

Organizing the chaos took longer than I thought... Doesn't it always!
Years of collecting interesting articles and printing them out. I have always grouped them in a clear page protector but had no way to find where was where.
Recently I did a bullet journaling workshop at our local library so I took an idea from the class and created a simple index listing the articles I have. No order just a number on the page protector and a corresponding number on a Index I created in an excel spread sheet. 

The excel spreadsheet. Simple only two columns. 

I popped the index in the front of the binder and added a label on my binder spine. My daughter suggested to put another copy in a "Listings" binder I have already containing books I own and

I did not empty to many binders in the end... only two but I do have a system set up and no extra papers left over to file or search for.

It may seem like a waste of a couple afternoons but now I will be able to find what I want when I want it. I also found a whole bunch of pictures I had printed on fabric, inspirational pictures and notes on things I had made.

Tomorrow I hope to get back to sewing on my latest fibre project.

The Fabrigos have given ourselves a challenge to make a project based on a specific topic each quarter. I have until Monday to get it done.

So my WIP this week involves more paper than fabric but it does feel good to have a whole pile of stuff having a home!.

Linking up with the Needle and Thread Network!

Feeling good about a getting rid of paper!


Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Organizing.... Paper.

Are you ever like me? Do you find articles you want to read and save them? Do you save to computer hard drive? or do you print them out? or do you do both? 

I have a fear of not being to find everything.  I save the articles on my hard drive and I print them out. I have a pretty economical printer and paper is realitively cheap. So my problem is not so much of not saving it is finding. 

My main problem is I create systems to file stuff and I have years of stuff. I forget or can't find the stuff. So I reprint or look for new things. As part of my new year starting this month I have been contemplating stuff and how it makes me feel. 

I love stuff! I love my stuff! I love buying stuff! I love learning about the newest stuff! I lose stuff! I hate stuff! I feel guilty about stuff! I hate the mess the stuff makes! I hate how the mess the stuff makes and how anxious it makes me. 

That is a lot of feelings on stuff. 

I am working on my stuff and how it makes me feel. 

So I am taking it one stuff at a time. 

 My first stuff category is Paper!!!!!! 

Check this picture of Papers. 

 This is the binders, papers, loose papers I pulled from my sewing room only! 

I have a whole movable cart with papers and stuff from the kids. 
Piles of photo pictures half organized.
Scrapbooks started.
Bookshelf with Binders of saved quilt patterns. 
All paper stuff. 
We won't go into the scrapbook cupboard and talk about supply stuff. 

This is a shot of my kitchen table with the whole lot brought up from the basement. 

I don't know if I have the answers and I don't want to go looking for more systems. 

Out it all is coming from each binder. Sorted into category piles. With recycle box by my side for junk. Articles I don't want for my guild. And by the end of a couple of hours I want to downsize this mess! 

I am giving myself a challenge to downsize without moving. Use it up or loose it. 30% is my goal. 

When the basement is done being purged of my stuff and hubby has looked at his we are going to treat ourselves to removing a small wall, and ridding of three doors. This will open up the sewing family room to a bigger size and won't make me feel so confined! Trapped! Unable to breath! Guilty! 

No pressure purging! 

I will post an after picture of the the table, recycle bin and binders. 

Here is to an afternoon of favourite tunes and tv and moving a mountain of paper! 

Do you feel guilty about stuff? 
Do you ignore it or tackle it? 

Have a great day! 


Tackling her world one day at a time! 

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Rant, Rant, Rant....or maybe a mini melt down....

I try not to rant... but sometimes it is a way to let off steam. 😩

I officially want a redo... a restart, a jumpstart or something that can change the direction of me!

I thought 2017 would be that start but now it is March and the to do list I made in early January is lost. The goal list is lost and I look for things and can not find them.  2016 was a year of minor and major up sets in my family and with those I love. 😭 Care giving and support was the theme.

I did accomplish a finish but it has to remain a secret until I can reveal it . So while that is a big Win in the finish area it can't be public....

How do you reboot? Change paths? Shed the sad? Support with out running down? Just move on...?

The Fabrigos meeting yesterday was a good start. What a good group of friends who all have had their own challenges in the past year or so or even closer. I treasure that group!

Looking for change and energy.

March is going to be my January!