Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Cheryl Brickey (Ferris Bueller) You're My Hero.

The title reference is for those that may have not seen the movie Ferris Bueller's Day Off and maybe a few that are young enough to not even know what it is.....cough cough.

Getting older is a natural progression of life, but remembering things from my teen years helps keep the youth in me.

And with age comes wisdom...and a little bit of insanity I suppose, thinking that every time you see fabric you like...thinking that would make a pretty quilt...that you can easily justify the expense.

So it goes....I found some fabric that I liked once upon a time and mentioned it to Tish  and she took note.  It was a set of fabrics that I felt screamed...Civil War. Although they really didn't, that was the way that my mind interpreted it.

Enter this selection by Marcus Fabrics
Some of these colors were not in my bag :(

Not being content with all of the colors, I had I added these to the group.  Being the usual me and not sticking to the pattern completely with the lay out...These are in-fact Civil War repros.. I obtained these at the good old local in Morgantown, WV. Country Roads Quilt Shop

Put it together and what have you got...Bippity Boppty Boo....

Oh sorry...cart before the horse.  So, I got my fabrics....now what to do with them??? I like the dark/dirty look of the civil war colors.  However, when you start looking at Civil War Quilts you get one of two things...Either small wall hanging and single blocks or super large quilts.  I didn't want to commit to a large quilt yet....but I didn't want to do something "modern" with the fabrics. It just didn't make sense.  So I thought...what is something that could translate....

A small back story...I see "plus" quilts everywhere...and I ask Tish "what's up with all the pluses?" She said it was kinda the "in" thing and I thought...yeah I am not going to do the "in" or popular thing....little did I know.

In walks Cheryl Brickey of Meadow Mist Designs....back into my life through the happen-stance of looking at a quilting magazine...her first published pattern Check Plus

Here was her first entry into my life....

So, I jumped in....hook line a sinker, committed to make a non-civil war...Civil War-esque quilt.



 Daddy's little helper
 If it fits I sits (not just for boxes)
LAYOUT (and there were alot of replacing processes)

Once I settled on a final lay out I began creating rows....this is not for the faint of heart and I am glad that I had another quilt or two under my belt.  This is by far not a hard pattern to put together, but a little experience helped.  This is certainly a beginner friendly quilt. However, I don't recommend going crazy with the colors like I did.

I didn't want to leave the quilt just pluses. I felt mine needed a border..especially with the fact I was going for that Civil War(ish) look. So back to the local shop to get border fabrics and a binding color.

Border colors... The way it is actually done...and you will see Darkest closest to the top, then the lighter brown and the bottom color which kinda looks brown is actually a Dijon mustard yellow.

and Viola!!!!
Artsy Fartsy ^

I feel like it could have turned out better and I have one corner (all mitered) that turned out like poopy....I had every intent of giving this one away, but the person I was going to give it to was not enamored by it so I guess I will keep it.  I have a few ideas for quilting this one and I CAN NOT wait to get the binding on it. I think the binding will tie it all together.

Needless to say, when it is completed I will do a follow up short blog on it.  I love the pattern and may do another one of this with other colors.  Cheryl has a real knack for designing. Though I have not done alot of her patterns. I love the simplicity of the design and the complexity of the look! Cheryl has been kind enough to allow me to do a giveaway of her pattern.  She offered to allow me to do a giveaway for this pattern which is now available in multiple sizes and another pattern she recently released.  I think I will take her up on the check plus, however, I will decline on the second one as I want to see Cheryl excel and make some money from her designs.  PLEASE, go over and visit Cheryl. Pick a design...they are available through Craftsy too....and support her with a "financial gift" in which you will in-turn receive the gift of a wonderful pattern....Reap what you sow, Karma, Give and take....etc.

Like Tish...here is how to win!

1)  Leave a comment below... any comment.  Maybe tell me if you've made one of Cheryl's patterns   before or participated in one of her QAL's.

2)  Leave a comment letting me know you visited Meadow Mist Designs and left Cheryl a comment to celebrate Check Plus's release.

3)  Leave a comment if you are a follower of DavetheQuiltEngineer and let me know how you enjoy following me.

4)  If you are a no reply blogger please make sure you also leave your email address to that I can contact you to let you know you have won.  I do my very best to respond to every comment, so if you do not hear back from me, that is probably why...I can't contact you :(

On Sunday, I  along with Tish will pick one winner.  The winner will recieve a PDF copy of Cheryl's Check Plus.

This is the giveaway pattern!

 This is another pattern available from Cheryl

 Thanks for stopping by and please support my friend Cheryl in her quilting escapades!

Thanks again to Cheryl for doing what she does...and it seems to be what she does best :)

Today I am linking up with Main Crush Monday

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Sunday Stash and Keytah 2.0

Short and Sweet

And as I write this, I get blamed for a non-basted project due to holding Keytah 2.0 all weekend.

So, this past week I went to my wife's (and I guess it is mine now)  Quilt Guild.  Tish and I presented our dyed fabric, our Meadow Mist (up-to-date) pieces and I presented my mom's finished quilt.
Basically an uneventful process for the most part.  I found out (and feel that I already kind of knew it) that, at best, my MMDesign quilt along is going to be processed with cotton/poly blend...blah!!! No wonder that pretty fabric was not only a cheaper price point, but so dag-gone soft. I will make it through it, but am not looking forward to the rest of the process. We got to look through a small amount of fabric that was given to the guild. Someone was (sadly) moving to a smaller place and could not take their stash, so they donated it to our guild.  I feel bad for that person, but we will put it to good use making quilts for those less fortunate.

Anyways, at the guild, they usually do a fabric give-away. They pick a color scheme (next month is Halloween blacks, orange, and purples).  This one was fall colors. Everyone that brings a fat quarter is assigned a number, and Tish uses her random number generator and picks a number of winner....THAAAT'S MEEEEE!

Please ignore the stained ironing board.

The one agreement you must make is that you make something with the fabrics won and bring it in and show the guild what you have made.  I am going to look for some green that matches the leaf fabric as well as some evergreen colors and make a table runner that will given to my mother-in-law.  I have a couple ideas but then again I may just add-lib it and see what I come up with. May also try and find a deep red to throw in there too.

Now, on to bigger things. As I said prior, my wife blamed me for spending to much time doing nothing.  We ended up with a second cat (actually a third), but this one is from the litter of Keytah 1.0 which we found a home for. This one was on its own for almost and entire month longer.  Although it looked healthier, it is still skin and bone. It was much harder to catch, but actually became more friendly and quite a bit faster than keytah 1.0.  I will be glad when it gets a clean bill of health and can be released into general population with the other animals.  We wormed it and the poor little thing did in fact have worms.  We are in debate, as it is small and much more fuzzy, but Tish thinks it is a male.  I am not convinced. As she said apparently we are bad with biology/science 1.0.

So, without further ado....
Ignore the double chin

If male...probably name him Junior, but not 100% on it....female...no clue.

Needless to say, I am a little more excited over Keytah 2.0 than the stash, but none the less it was a decent week.  Aside from the truckload of driving that I had to do...and there is more of that to come.

No quilt work this weekend. Hope to finish up my Plus quilt  chassis/top/flimsy this coming weekend.

Tonight I am linking up with Molli Sparkles Sunday Stash.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Snowflake Shimmer...AKA Snowflake Blizzard Blindness

Hurry up and wait.  Word synonymous with US Government and the US Military.

I had the fabric idea as soon as Tish and I decided to do a dual quilt.  If we were smart we would not have posted any pictures and left it for the people to decide who pieced which quilt.

Yvonne gave us this free pattern and we pushed forward with choosing fabrics. Tish had a little bit harder time deciding on her fabric.  The link I have posted is the finishing part of the snowflake shimmer QAL.  No offense to Yvonne, but I was not anywhere near sold on the dark background.  Tish decided she was going to stay with the original intent of the design, but I wanted something different and in the end, something different I indeed had.
So this was my palette.

Little did I know I had my work cut out for me.  So the cutting instructions came.
  Over all, the color cutting process was not to bad.... the background on the other hand was quite difficult.  Having a standard size ironing board and a 3 foot cutting board made for a tough process.  Ironing went slow.  With the white on white print it was not only hard to iron, but the stiffness of the fabric led to reoccurring wrinkles.  Once I was done with my cutting I felt a sense of relief.  However, work got very demanding...busy...and I had some "occurrences" happen during this time frame that not only burned me out mentally, but also exhausted me physically.

Piecing....my first attempt at square in a square...it was not easy Tish helped with explaining a folding a process and how to nest them together to get good points though it was time consuming and I had to rip a few, due to my lack of attention...overall they turned out well

This last picture has a real Nautical Flag feel!

So then I had to sew rows. this was tough.  Why, you may ask?  Because Tish was sewing at the same time and we have an approximately 6 foot dinner table with two sewing machines on it. Two machines running near high speed....vibration....it was like a small earthquake. Tish wasn't stopping her process and neither was I.  The dueling Husqis were in full swing...cue the dueling banjos song and see us standing waiting in between on each other to iron....sigh.  It really is here space...she was here first...Squatters rights and all.

Rows!!!! and there was a small snag on the last row I pieced the red and blue backwards...Tish caught the simple fix of ripping at red (which is now where the blue is) and flip flopping them!  You can see a bone to the right there is a vent there. I had to shut the AC off to get a good picture. This was where the day had to end, though I was excited to get this baby together.  A completed "chassis" was in my sights.

Friday eve....Tish allowed me to stay home from the HS football game to get this one together.  It was LATE when I got it together and I had just a glimpse of sunlight to grab a couple pics with my cellphone....

I intentionally took the angle picture to capture the descending sun into the background.  I have another shot but I like the exact placement.  I really hope when I get this thing sandwiched you don't see the seems....Sigh
So, Saturday we had a fabric dying class.  I am going to do a separate post which will actually get posted prior to this one, but getting the fabric done....which was a major process, we took the fresh fabs and this flimsy....(uhm yuck, I mean chassis) outside for some pictures...Flimsy just doesn't taste good rolling off my tongue.

Let there be light!!!
This was taken in the day time, though it still looks dark.
From my iphone

Tish took these.

You can almost see the white on white stars in this last one.

Tish's for comparison again...she took this one. Two totally different reads on the same pattern.

So, why did I call it Snowflake Blizzard Blindness???
The white background can represent a blizzard or full blanket of snow.  If you have ever been out in the snow in a total white-out/blizzard condition...or you have been out in the bright sunlight in snow, the amount of snow causes a big disparity on Rod/Cone function of the eye and many things will appear dark or shadowy because your sight has been "blown out" by all the white...it is referred to as snow blindness. From a distance my "flake" appears dark or shadowy......

I also toyed with the name Firework Shimmer for the patriotic colors.  Needless to say, mine has turned out more different, than anyone else. I do march to the beat of my own drum.  I am not sure how I am going to quilt it....it feels huge!!!!! I was thinking simple meandering in the white to keep it soft and supple.  Not sure about the other.

Thanks for stopping by...Hope you didn't go snow blind.

Also, I forgot to put in my blog yesterday...Get kids involved!!! I think they would love fabric dying and any that are detail and goal oriented would love quilting...Kids need to be producing something with their time....not so much wasting it online!

Today I am linking up with Beth at Main Crush Monday

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Sunday Stash: Dying to Dye....well not at the beginning anyways

It was some 3-4 weeks ago (at a minimum) that I was told we (Tish and I) would be attending a fabric dying class.   Each week I would ask "what's coming up this weekend", knowing that the dreaded day of dyeing was approaching. I knew this would be a waste of my time as it did not sound fun in the least.  I also knew that I had other projects to work on including a second QAL.

Just a small note on this....if you can look my HST are terrible.  This is BY FAR the softest fabric I have ever worked with. The fabric was very stretchy and my 5" squares...well they weren't...but that is a story for another post...Just remind me to tell you the story.

So, Friday night I worked diligently to finish my top for the Snowflake Shimmer QAL ....to late for the link-up...but hey life happens and work does too.

 Mine is on the left and Tish's is on the right....could you have guessed that if I had not told you???

Still not looking forward to Saturday, I went to bed and figured, I'll just deal with it when it gets here.

Saturday came, and we were late getting moving, almost late for the class....well at worst..."fashionably" late. Always make sure you are properly fueled up (Tudor's Biscuit World) before undertaking any stressful process/project.

So, we rolled in to the local art store called Artistry on Main and met Suzan Morgan (suzanmorgan@suddenlink.com).  Also there was a local lady from the quilt guild...and so began a very private half day of instruction.

We received a brief introduction into what our process, Low Water Immersion, and how it relates to the both the type of dye and the type of fabric we were using.  I won't go into deep detail...1) because I am sure if you google it, you can find more than you need to know...and (2) It would not be fair if it were possible for our (soon we would find out ...WONDERFUL) instructor to make money from teaching. Needless to say, we jumped right in by first selecting our two choices of colorways. I didn't know exactly what to expect so, I was neither surprised nor disappointed by any part of the day. So we started looking at the book.  They had a wonderful blue on the table, so I knew that was where I wanted to be a deep Navy/Ocean Blue.  But a pleasant surprise befell us.  We were allowed to have one that goes from basic to basic line (6 total colors) and one that dealt with brightness of a single color (6 total values).  I knew the Values would be the Blue and the Base color I would Start with would go Yellow to Red.  I knew it...no hesitation. I love yellow because it is a warm and fun....VIBRANT color. But, if I was to pick a favorite color....it would be a Navy Blue....and our Value colors were in an Earth tone....ALL THE BETTER!!!!!

The colors you see to my right are exactly what we were going to be doing....this fabric here would be later involved in an accident.

Needless to say, she wanted to know who wanted to go first...being in Special Operations I knew initiative based tactics are a necessity so I jumped in and said me...So we mixed "Soda Ash" with a gallon of water....mixed a small amount then added the additional needed water.  Little did I know this is what makes the color stick to the fabric. And it takes special untreated natural fabric to do this process...just any old fabric won't do....and OF COURSE, me being the need to know it all resident expert (jack of all trades and master of none) I immediately began asking question.....1) Rit Dye?....don't go there, don't even do it....the main thing she said...it will never stop bleeding color....so NO...JUST DON'T DO IT....not her words......mine.

We divided the gallon water up evenly and then got our base colors....mine being Yellow and Red....well Tish and I talked it out and it really is Magenta....I will let Tish explain that though. we then began our mixing process adding the dye to the water...this was our first incident....I dropped magenta dye from to high and it splashed on to her pre-made fabric samples. Tiny spots but I felt bad none the less.  Everyone took their turn in mixing ash then colors. We got to our pans and mixed exacting amounts of color and cross mixing each.

Then we "scrunched" our fabric up and placed it in the dye Temps have to be no cooler than 70 for the dye to work correctly so once the dye was scrunched in the bag (scrunching gives the pattern) we set the bags in the dish pans out in the sun.....Special Mental Note...though some recommend 3-4 hr soak...1 hr at correct temperature is all that is needed.

Suzan asked if we wanted to break for lunch....Not this guy I had been asking dozens of questions by this time and was becoming quite engrossed in the process. Suzan brought books that I looked at during short periods she was helping Tish and the other participant.  During her initial help with Tish she actually spilled the Magenta/Red on those pretty blue fabrics that were above.. I was shocked and she handled it like a pro...she said she was pretty sure that all that would come out...I wasn't convinced.  She said because of the reacting "ash" was not in the fabric it should easily wash out and there should be no evidence....again...NOT CONVICNED!!!!

Now that we made it to everyone being done with the "hue" process, we opted to skip lunch and jump straight into the value...This was what I was excited for....that DEEP blue!!!! So we did the same process as before, only this time there was no two parts to mix....when it came to scrunching...I did mine on diagonals and Tish did hers' on horizontal but a straight line. I wanted a different look so again working outside the box, I threw caution to the wind and went all out with a different process of scrunching.

We placed the this set outside also in the wonderful sunlight.  We had major discussion and first and foremost of my questions is...when can we do and advance class with stenciling and advanced dyeing techniques...She said she could do it, but only two at a time and in her home because she has special platform/boards she uses. I told her...well let's get it schedule.  I scoured the books for tidbits and asked questions as they came to mind....I can really see me getting behind this process. I even used my GoodReads app to scan some books to look at buying.

So now it is rinse time.

This is emptying and squeezing out the excess dye/water, The yellow looked SOOOOO Orange... I was scare to death that it wouldn't be yellow. I rinsed each piece an average of 1-2 minutes under fresh flowing water then a quick swish in the right side fresh water. This neutralized the "ash" so there would be no further bonding process. This important because ALL colors went in the same 1 gallon ziplock bag for transport.

Needless to say...my yellow.....was YELLOW!!!!!!

The process of rinse happened for hues and values two separate bags but hey you need space when you are getting 3 yards hue and 3 yards value of fabric...that is right I got hand dyed fabric...dyed by DavetheQuiltEngineer and it was less than $10 a yard....what a deal.

We got some wash instructions and were sent on our way.

Next stop...Walmart to buy a kettle to boil the fabric in...a $60 22 qt boiling kettle...for you guessed it...FABRIC....what the hell has happened to me????

We get home to do 2 washes on hot in the washing machine, then boil till virtually no color bleed off....

I should have taken a picture...my yellow...was orange...as orange as the "B" symbol for Blogger...I was scared. Suzan assured us not to worry..with the Ash neutralized, there would be no bleed across.


So wash and boil...and boil and boil and boil.. I boiled, each time adding a very light detergent provided by Suzan and then adding the fabric...

We threw it all in together, trusting Suzan for the non-bleed statement.  Many times we boiled over...a couple of which I had Tish standing beside me going "uhm, uhm, uhm" because so much water was spilling onto the stove top from boil over.  Once I got her focus off the problem and on the solution, she quickly got me a few hand towels and we cleaned up...This process continued about every 15 minutes till almost 10pm. Tish said it was closer to 11:30pm

This morning I did 2 more boils and we called it good....Now to take the finished product out to get pictures.

Look at the bugs ...all those little black dots

Tish's were on the front row and mine are on the back...hers' purples and mine oranges...our hues are scrunch patterns and the values...here's perpendicular lines that are pretty symmetrical and mine are corner in/corner out fan pattern on the values...Two different looks, from almost identical processes. AMAZING!!!!! I'm sure people were driving down the main road wondering what was going on at the house!

And the bugs LOVE yellow...see the middle picture.

Suzan, even though she was excellent in instruction and guaranteed us that we would not have bleed through called today to check on the status of my yellow.  We told her we would be stopping at walmart and the heat in the car was a concern about ruing the yellow into orange.  Tish and I both wished we would have taken a picture of the yellow pre-wash...it was ORANGE!!!!! And Suzan, not having left fresh dyed fabric in a car in heat called just to verify she was right on the cross-bleeding of orange....and SHE WAS RIGHT...the pictures prove it!!!

Shew...long post. Needless to say I ABSOLUTELY LOVED this process but was not looking forward to it initially....I am so ready for the advance course and you can BET YOUR SWEET FANNY that I will be doing this again.

Not only am I quilter but may soon be a fabric designer/engineer...LOL.

What a wonderful way to spend a weekend...well except for being steamed do death every 20 minutes while completing the final/boiling process for fabric dying....Now I know how crabs and lobster feel!!!

17 years after marrying her...who woulda thunk it....Quilting and Fabric dyeing....

Initiative Based Tactics....Any Where, Any Time.

Tonight I am linking up with Mollie Sparkles Sunday Stash