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Monday, 6 December 2010

What's involved in making these quilt squares / blocks?

One of the first things I do when I get to a new country is head for their fabric stores. I love fabric and can spend hours walking around feeling, stroking and sniffing the stuff. I know, absolutely nuts, but then it takes all types to make a world.. :-D Anyway I search out the cotton fabrics buy some and go out in search of a laundry. After the fabric has been washed I test dye it, bake it and wash it again. THEN I have a good look at the samples and decide which of the fabrics I'm going to buy to do my work on. Some of them have a more open weave, but after washing, it shrinks and the weave tightens up, and then again sometimes it doesn't. :-)


Once I have made a decision, I go back to the shops and buy several meters of my choice. Living on a yacht makes it rather difficult to dye fabric aboard, so I take our dinghy and all my supplies and row over to a beach. The dyes are mixed and hey presto the fabric gets dyed. Sometimes we are allowed to build a fire on the beach and we sit into the evening toasting sausages and such. Lovely.


Occasionally the fabric ends up looking different to how I imagined it, but most of the time I can get it to behave. I used the same colour dye on two different types of fabric once, and got two totally different looks. Rather interesting.
Plain Fabric after washing.
 I have washed this piece in a machine and now it's ready to be dyed.

This piece was dyed with left over dye lots.
 The piece above will be used to create a totally random set of squares. They will be "one off " because I don't think I'll be able to reproduce this randomness again. I'm thinking of designs for it now....maybe African style decoration...I'm not sure.. I'll have to see how the inspiration grabs me. :-D

This is another piece created with leftover dye.
The bowl of shells were collected off various beaches, whilst waiting for fabric to dry. If anyone has any requests, let me know. ha ha..no not for shells........

This is part of the "Boys Range" fabric. I don't have much left.
Yes, after this colour is finished, I'll be going onto something new...if I don't do it this way the pieces I create will no longer be exclusive. So in fact there are only going to be about 10 of each square in that range produced on this background.

Some of the fabric for the Orange/Green Range.
The demand was such that I had to try and re-dye some more of this fabric. The end result was that the newly dyed fabric was slightly darker than the previous, but all in all I was happy with the way it turned out.

This is the fabric for my new still to be introduced "African Range".
Yes, I'm designing a new range of Wild African Animals. It's a rather laborious process and so is taking time. I'll be including a Rhino, an Elephant, a Giraffe, a Buffalo, a Lioness and her Cub, and a Leopard.

Tomorrow I'll post on how they are created.
See you then.

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