Friday, September 13, 2019

Plenty to Go Around: Part 4
project: approximately 80" x 80"
follow progress on Instagram with #plentytogoaroundquilt

It has been a long hot summer.  In Austin, we have officially broken the most number of days of 100 degrees (or hotter) ever recorded.  We have also not had any significant rain during that time.  I think we went 60 days without rain, and then Austin got a few very short lived and isolated spots of rain.  I didn't get any of those until this week, and even that rain wasn't enough to get the grass under my trees wet.  

And, though I need those hot temperatures for dyeing my blues the most intense ever (especially for turquoise), it has been a bit too much.  Standing in the garage and dipping into the hot and melted wax pot has been a morning only activity, paired with a large glass of ice water.  The dyeing sessions in the afternoon were almost unbearable.  It was so hot, I just wanted to finish each fat quarter as quickly as possible, however, this work required finesse, patience, and attention to detail. Does art require suffering? 

This week, I have four flowers to share with you. The first one is large, as in, I could only fit one on each fat quarter sized frame. And, I needed 4 of them, so that used up all 4 of my frames.  You may also notice some little flowers in the corners.  I did not space these flowers correctly when I was making them and needed some extra ones.  So nice that this big flower design accommodated me and allowed some extra space to use for something else!

Here is the sharpy sketch, with a few of the poppies on tracing paper and arranged on the corners.
Next, the beginning of adding the wax lines:
After the dyeing, this set is rinsed on my zip line, using the garden hose.
The final product, after it has been appliqued to the quilt top:
So lovely!

Next up, the white petal flowers:
The wax is protecting the white areas from the dye.  In this next shot, I decided to play with the background to add a more interesting pattern.  This is basically play time, because none of this will be used or even seen for the quilt.  Each flower will be individually cut out, so the background will not be used.
After dyeing: Also, I feel very curious about how it would have looked if I had put dye inside those little diamond shapes between the flowers...?
These are waiting to have the wax boiled out, which happens in my kitchen!  I have not sewn any of these on yet, so you will have to wait to see the finished product!

Next up: the 8 petaled flowers.
You may notice something a bit different about this design.  It has no white on it.  I began by dyeing the background fabric a nice shade of solid light blue.  Solids (and I mean REAL solids and not fabrics that have any mottling on them) are so hard to do.  To get an even dye, you have to keep the fabric moving.  How do you keep fabric moving for 2 to 4 hours (the time it takes the dye to completely or mostly penetrate the fabric)? I use a portable table top washer.  Unfortunately, it only has a 10 minute timer, so I spend a lot of time running up and down the stairs to turn it back on.  Great exercise, no? And, I have also experimented with time schedules to answer questions like, how long after the 10 minute cycle is over, can I leave it off without affecting the dye? 

After dyeing the background and waxing the lines of the flowers, I added the dyes, I used a different color inside the center circle, and then I painted the inside of the flowers, and then I painted the outside of the flowers the same color.  When I say "painted", I am referring to just dye, water, and soda ash.  It is very, very drippy, like painting with water.  Painting inside the waxed areas is easy though, because the dye sort of runs to fill the space and stops itself at the wax line, going no further.  It is kinda fun and interesting to watch.
Here are the frames sitting outside and being rinsed with the garden hose.  
Here is the flower, shown appliqued on the quilt top. I love the way these look, but they were difficult to make and they are difficult to applique.  I wish I had picked a design that allowed for less of these. I needed a total of 56. As of today, I only have 12 left to applique! Yay!

The last one is the page of spirals.  These will be cut into circle shapes and have a small stem added.  I love the color contrast of the blues in this one!  And, I am guessing that if you have been reading along, you will already know how I made these! 
Thanks for stopping by.  Just wanted to mention that I am making progress with the applique of these elements on the quilt, and am hoping to post a full view of my progress next week! 

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