Sunday, 24 August 2014

Genesis of a Free Form Quilt

Making a free form quilt has been on my radar for a while. I've decided to use my new hand dyes and quit stalling!

I laid out all the fabrics for a look-see.

Should I plan a colour scheme, or randomly use 'em all?

They do look gorgeous together. 

Okay, I don't want to make a plan. I think I'll just have fun cutting and piecing as my mood dictates...truly free form!

Good thing I joined the Library Project Quilt Along, or I may not actually get on with it. The LPQAL has forced motivated me to do things I might otherwise have left on the list...maybe forever. (Like this and this.) Things I'd like to try, but never seem to get around to...ya know? That list.

For some reason, it's hard to cut into newly minted fabric. To get over it, I'll (close my eyes and) cut a chunk off each piece and make a pile of colour. Gulp.

To be continued...

Hey, want to give fabric dyeing a try?

You don't need much! Here is a shot of my equipment. The blender is optional.

  • a cheap, plastic dishpan holds wash water to keep my gloves clean as I work
  • an old towel dries my gloves after washing
  • I use a j-cloth (rag) to keep the counter clean as I work
  • dye powders (MX Procion fiber reactive dye)
  • measuring spoons (dedicated to non-food use)
  • dust mask to prevent inhalation of dye powders
  • plastic to cover my counter
  • containers such as old mayo, mustard, and ketchup bottles to hold dye concentrate once it's mixed
  • an inexpensive blender, also dedicated to non-food use (OPTIONAL - you can easily mix dye solutions by hand with a whisk)
    a measuring cup, if you don't use a blender with markings on it
  • NOT SHOWN - assorted plastic cups, yogurt and margarine containers, buckets, trays, etc. in a variety of sizes to fit your needs. I scavenge practically everything from my kitchen. IMPORTANT: Once something has been used for dye, it is no longer fit to use for food.
  • NOT SHOWN - soda ash to activate the dye
You also need access to running water for rinsing dyed fabrics. Dyeing is a great activity to do outdoors in summer, but can just as easily be done in a basement or garage.

Oh, yeah, and fabric to dye. That helps. Ha!
That's it! 

So, find a tutorial (I've linked to a good one in My Favourite Tutorials tab), take a class, or borrow/buy a book and give it a go!

Remember my kool kaleido quilt?

It's one step closer to being done! 

Here it is, laid out to dry before I finish the binding. I've spritzed (drenched) the black fabric with water to remove markings I'd made during quilting. 

I could have waited until the binding was finished to remove the marks, but was afraid they would set when I pressed the binding out from the front of the quilt (like a wing) before wrapping it to the back for the final stitches. It's best to remove marks before applying heat.

It should be dry by tomorrow. I'm excited to finish it and get it outside for some beauty shots! Woo Hoo!!!

Linking up with:
Show Off Saturday, at Sew Can She

Try, Learn, Grow!

Comments are welcome and will be answered by email where possible. Thanks for looking around!


  1. I saw a technique recently where a lot of strips were cut, thrown in a bowl, and sewn in the order grabbed out of the bowl. I am super tempted to give random luck a chance with that technique! Your fabrics look great together and I am looking forward to seeing where creativity takes you!

  2. Carole, those fabrics are absolutely yummy! I can't wait to see where they take you :) And your Kool Kaleido is looking fabulous, can't wait to see your quilting :)

  3. Your Kaieidoscope quilt is brilliant! Exactly like the toy I had as a kid, I loved those patterns.

  4. The Kaleidoscope quilt is outstanding. Thanks for all the tips on dyeing. You make it look easy.

  5. Oh...PS: I love the fabrics for your free form quilt. I'll be following that one closely.


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