I’ve taken two great classes in the last week and my head is spinning. After each class I was so excited I felt like I was vibrating!
I took a fabric dyeing class from Linda Waddle at The Tin Thimble in Loomis. The shop is located inside an old fruit shed, a funky location which has attracted a variety of artsy shops, a great cafe and an art gallery. The Tin Thimble is a fun shop with a variety of vintage and contemporary fabrics, vintage linens, lace, buttons and trims, and hand dyed wool and roving. The proprietor’s grandson was there that day and made this adorable sign.
I was thrilled that talented local artist, Linda Waddle, was offering a dyeing workshop at The Tin Thimble. Linda is a skilled artist and a delightful instructor. She came loaded with 25-ish colors of prepared Procion, had 4 pots of simmering color, many silk screens, 3 microwaves, stencils and all the miscellany equipment you need to dye animal fiber.
I thought she was going to teach us how to mix our own dyes so I was pleasantly surprised to see that the workshop was really about dyeing as much fabric and fiber in as many processes and colors as you could muster-all in a 6 hour workshop. Wahoo!
I brought along silk velvet, chiffon, batt, organza and some fun jacquard silk from Dharma as well as wool batt, felt and fabric. I was almost in an aerobic state, trying to get as much dyed as possible in 6 hours. It was an exhilarating day. Now, to figure out what to do with my treasure trove of hand dyed fabric and fiber…
Sharon Schamber was a guest at my local quilt guild, the Folsom Quilt and Fiber Guild. She spoke to a packed house, as there was much interest generated over this incredibly talented, internationally renowned artist, author, and teacher.
She did not disappoint! She brought a substantial collection of her work and allowed us to photograph and examine her quilts without reservation. She has a unique background, having run a high-end garment factory for over 20 years.
I took her one-day class on “Feathers, Corners, Borders and Blocks”. It was jam packed with information, tips and tricks. I came out of the class with a whole new way to teach feathers which I will use in future classes.
One of the things I picked up from her class I put to immediate use. I’ve had a queen-sized top in my UFO stash for a couple of years. I have started and ripped out my work once already, but during Sharon’s class I decided to approach that quilt again and baste it “the Sharon Way”.
Working a queen sized quilt under a standard domestic machine is a tough go. How you baste it can significantly affect how well the process goes. Sharon has devised a way to baste quilts using hand basting instead of pin basting. As a result, the sandwiched quilt is lighter (no safety pins!), the pins don’t get stuck under your presser foot and you can correct wobbly seams easier than with pin basting.
This quilt top, “Meet Me In Paris” was finished when my piecing skills were still “developing”. As a result, the top is a bit wonky. I thought Sharon’s Way would be a good solution to that problem.
I first rolled the top, batt and backing onto individual boards that were just a tad longer than the fabric. That allows you to control
the piece and keep everything taut without distortion or stretching.
Then I stacked them atop each other on my dining room table and unrolled them in sequence, creating my quilt sandwich. The tools needed are simple but specific: quilt basting needles and
embroidery or tatting thread-no substitutions!
I rolled out just enough to comfortably reach from a sitting position, and began to put in herringbone stitches, 3 fingers apart. I moved in a “u”, starting at my belly, working stitches towards the boards, then 3 fingers across, then worked towards myself, continuing on until I completed a section. I then unrolled another section and continued on in the same manner until I was done. It took me about 10(?) hours to complete.
Using this method I found it easy to correct wobbles as I went along-or so I think I did-we’ll see. I will take out the basting thread section by section as I begin to quilt. It’s so nice to have this quilt top all sandwiched up and ready to go-without safety pins. Now the fun part begins-the quilting-yipee!!!!