Sunday, January 24, 2010

Field Trip to Hidden Valley Farm in Valders, WI

Yesterday, 3 fiber friends and I took a field trip to the other side of Lake Winnebago to visit the Hidden Valley Farm and wollen mill in Valders, WI.

In the postcard/flier above, you can see the jackets their sheep wear to keep the wool nice and clean. I remember commenting when I bought my 2 bags of raw wool how clean it was. The jackets make a huge difference when it comes to picking the grass and seeds, etc., out of the wool on the processing side.

Here's a picture of the giant carding machine--with bags of wool waiting to be carded. People can send them their wool to be carded. There were bags of beautifully died colors there waiting their turn at the machine. Gorgeous!

Upstairs is a fiber shop and weaving / spinning studio with balls of died roving ready for spinning. I bought some from her a few years ago at the show in Jefferson. This would be a good day to sit by the fire and spin or weave!

2 alpacas outside the shop.

Parfait Dyes - January 2010

Colors : Antique Rose, Stormy Skies, Sky Blue, Jet Black, Orange Tourmaline

This one might be my favorite from the day's dyeing. I was looking at images from the Hubble Space Telescope Nebulae Gallery as inspiration when I was picking colors to mix up.

Here you see the orange tourmaline I mixed and how yellow it got in the snow dye in the previous posting. The dyes are fresh and they worked beautifully in the parfaits.

I think this one was the sop cloth. Not bad, huh?
Looks more like the snow dyes I was after.

Composed Fabric : Mardi Gras

I made this composed fabric by using the scraps from trimming and sizing up the Spools blocks, along with thread tails and other scraps. See it pays to keep all those scraps for a rainy day!

Here's the basic technique :
1) Lay out a base fabric. It can be anything, ugly or not. It will be covered up with scraps and snippets anyway.
2) Sprinkle the snippets, scraps, yarns, threads, whatever, onto the base fabric. Arrange them however you please.
3) Cover with a layer of netting. In this case, I used black. Pin baste it.
4) Free-motion stitch all the layers together.
Voila! I have a groovy background for ATCs, fabric post cards, blog banners, or anything else I want to do with it. Maybe even a journal cover ...

Tyvek Rust Dyed

These are the Tyvek envelopes I rust-dyed with Purple Missus' Alternative Rust-Dyeing (Dip Method) last summer. I had taken yet another wonderful class from Lynda Monk and Carol McFee at Fibre-in-Form. These have been hanging to dry for about 6 months now. They had a powdery texture, and I wasn't sure how I would use them ... until I gave them a layer of matte medium to seal in that wonderful texture and color. Now I think these would be great covers for journals!

This one was crumbled up and lightly flattened out before dipping. I wanted to see how the hills and valleys would hold onto the rust ...

I think this one would make a nice banner for the top of this blog.

The rest of them were just dipped. These are tricky to photograph due to the shine from the Tyvek, but I think you get the idea.

See--it really is a mailing envelope!

Rust Dyes from Fall 2009

This is the last batch of Rust Dyes from last fall. I finally got around to washing them out ...

For this one, I think I sprinkled a very strong tea on the rusty-object-wrapped in fabric. That's where they iron gray coloring comes from.

This one kind of looks like a map of the world. ;-)

On this one, you can actually see the shadow of the trivet I used as an iron source.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Millifiore Quilt Completed!

I finished the Millifiore Quilt for my sweet husband. He calls it the Millifiore Quilt because the 4-patch posey kaleidescope blocks look like millifiore glass to his eyes. It never ceases to amaze me that so many interesting blocks come out of a single fabric. The fabric I started with (the border fabric) was Oriental vases.

Here are some detail shots of the quilting from the back--done by me, on my little Husqvarna domestic sewing machine. The middle swirls and border loops were done free-hand. The border motif was traced to quilting paper and sewn through and torn off. I like using Hobbs 80/20 batting because it washes up to look like an antique quilt.