The needle calls

Lately it is always calling. I havent had time! I am so crazy busy with dyeing I don't have time. I need the time though. It is my sanity. Those long quiet hours pulling the thread through the cloth. the calm repetition. The feel of the cloth and the magic of the thread, my paint, building the image. I need it, it's as simple as that!

SO I am busy with dyeing, and I continue to be busy with dyeing. So I must come to a balance with the two. I want to fill my shop as full as I can so I can maintain it with more ease. Then I can devote at least part of my day to my stitching...my evenings more likely. I just received a huge order of fabric. Dupioni, habotai, charmeuse, linen, bubble cotton gauze, silk ribbons, so many goodies to dye. I will be adding new things as I can but....I will be stitching too!

This is a quick pic of some of the ribbons I just finished. I am really loving these velvet ribbons. The bias makes them so versatile and the colors are so rich and gorgeous. I cant wait till my needle meets these new lovelies!

Where I learn how delicate silk can be.

One thing I have learned working with all these amazing fabrics is just how strong silk is. It is amazingly strong. I was always taught when I was young that silk is very delicate. That it is a very fussy fabric. I have not really found those things to be true. I iron it on high and it turns out beautifully. I twist it, scrunch it, smash it..oh the things that poor fabric goes through to get the results I want. It always holds up beautifully. Well that is, until yesterday. I have to admit right from the start though...it was MY fault. I was busy. I was distracted. I had grown complacent with my silk.
I came home from the doctor in a bad mood. I was sore and tired and wanted to get this last dye batch washed quickly so I could sit in my chair and iron ribbons all afternoon. Doc said I had to sit so that would be the perfect occupation while I did so. In my hurry and distraction I put my machine on the strongest setting. When it was finished and I opened the machine I knew there was something horribly wrong. My lingerie bag looked gray. I unzipped it and dumped the contents onto my cutting table. Here is what I found:

All those pretty little 1/4" ribbons had been decimated. No matter how strong my silk is...little bias cut ribbons cannot hold up to the fury of a turbo wash. Poor babies! I could see that they were going to be so pretty too :(
All is not lost though. I learned a good lesson yesterday. That no matter how strong you think something is...sometimes you have to be gentle. These ribbons are so beautiful and under normal circumstances they are strong too, but even strong things can be abused.

I will make more tiny ribbons but I doubt I will go that small anymore. Although I do know the reason I lost them is the machine, I will feel more comfortable sticking with 3/8" and bigger. I have a pile now waiting for dyes and soon they will be going in the wash too..but on a much gentler setting!

I am finishing ironing and packaging my other velvets I dyed yesterday. This rainbow set brightened my day. It was such fun to iron it and place them side by side to see this beautiful rainbow emerge. I am making this into 7" silk square packs. People seem to like being able to buy these packs. They are great for making art quilts. Having a little bit of several colors to embellish with. I know I enjoy my big drawer of silk velvet scraps. Whenever I am sewing it is so nice to be able to reach down into that drawer and pull out a rainbow of bits and pieces...hunting for that perfect piece, that treasure, that will fit right where I need it!

more fun stuff

So I wanted to show you a few new things I have been working on. This is my latest project. I dont really have the set up I need to do this properly yet, as I dont have a good 80 cm straight edge so I have to go buy one before I really get to work on this but...keep your eyes peeled. I will soon be offering bias cut hand dyed silk velvet ribbons in the shop. I am so thrilled with how they are turning out too! The edges are nice and tight with no fraying at all. I expected a small amount of feathering but this velvet is so tightly woven it isn't noticeable. I also cut the ribbons all the way down to 1/4 inch thickness without any loss of integrity. This is very exciting to me. I see wonderful hand dyed velvet borders in our future!

I also finally got my moon bone piece for the choker I started long ago. I will be beading this onto the choker and then who knows where I will go with this after...I have ideas ;)


Full Speed Ahead

So my shop has been taking up a lot of my time lately. I am not complaining. I do love playing with my fabrics and the dyeing. I have had little time to stitch though. Administrative tasks can be long and drawn out with little to show for it. I have several new things that I will be adding soon to the shop. Also a few I am going to play with to decide if I want to add them or not. One thing I am definitely adding is linen. I have a big order coming in soon and I cant wait to start experimenting on it. Also I just bought the mat and cutter to start cutting bias velvet ribbon. I am quite excited about this as I know a lot of it will be going straight into my stash! I will be playing with some silk dupioni and deciding if it is something I want to add also.

I spent a a little time last week making up a nice batch of yummi valentine pinks and reds to cut up into valentine velvet square packs. Those are available now in my shop for all those little valentine projects.

I also for the first time started listing some larger pieces of gauze and habotai, for people who want more than just a little taste. I will start slicing ribbons this week. Not sure which sizes I will be cutting but will probably start with 1 inch.

The only thing I have been stitching on is my table runner. It has been taking a lot longer than I expected but I do like how its turning out.

I ran out of black embroidery floss part way through this next section.

I am doing two sections with the black tshirt material with multi-colored threads over it and then the new section has multi-colored t-shirt material with black thread over it. I love how they look.

The sections are separated with velvet pieces with shishka mirrors and embroidery embellishments. I can't wait to finish this and put it in my livingroom. I am quite happy with how it's turning out. I have a lot of ideas for my next projects and will be starting on some of them soon. I've been sketching ;)

Have a creative week!