Quilts and...Eggs?

"Irish Lass" has been trimmed, rinsed and pinned to the industrial carpet we have in the basement where I blocked it and left it to dry.

Wet quilt, stretched out to dry.
Better pics to follow, I promise!
After the first wash/rinse/extra rinse cycle (no soap), she sat in the washing machine for an hour while I ran errands. I'd thrown a couple of colour catchers into the mix because I couldn't be sure the batiks had been pre-washed, and I wanted to prevent colour bleeding into the white.

A little tip. Attend to rinsed quilts immediately. Do. not. run. errands.

The rust batik (lower, right in photo above) had apparently not been previously washed.

While I was out, it had time to lay against the white border fabric and get acquainted, leaving several orange splotches where they touched! EEGAD!

After the second wash/rinse/extra rinse cycle (no soap, two more colour catchers), the splotches rinsed away. Whew.

After I recovered, I tackled customer quilt #2.

"Drunken Feathers" pantograph suits this quilt.

"Friendship Stars"
Its owner inserted extra blocks into the backing fabric. 

Back of "Friendship Stars"

I took extra care to center the blocks left to right, and top to bottom as that is how they were positioned by their maker.

Oh, and here's a beauty shot of Margaret's stained glass quilt, fresh off the frame. I'm sure you understand why I want to show the whole quilt this time. Talk about perfect fabric choices!

"Flirtatious" pantograph and a quiet gold thread add the finishing touches to this glowing quilt.

What is going on here?

Easter eggs!
When I was a child, my grandmother taught me how to dye eggs using onion skins.

Here, we didn't even take the sticker off the onion.
We had only one red onion, so were using every bit of skin it offered.

Now I am the grandmother sharing with my grandchildren. (*sniff*)

Unwrapping an egg boiled in yellow onion skin.
The red onion skin was disappointing. We liked the eggs dyed using yellow onion skins better. There was more variation in colour and pattern than with the red.

While the eggs were boiling, we made stands for them by recycling the cardboard carton they came in.

We planned to set an egg by each plate at the table, adding a special touch to our Easter dinner.

The more we made, the fancier they became!
That was fun!

Pretty eggs, ready to go in the fridge until dinner time.

If you'd like to try this, here's what to do:

  1. Wrap bits of onion skin around each egg.
  2. Wrap a rag snugly around each egg to hold the onion skins in place...we used j-cloths, cut in half.
  3. Tie with a cord like you would tie a package...though we ran short of cord, so did a single wrap on the last two eggs, and it worked just fine.
  4. Immerse in cold water, and bring to a boil.
  5. Boil for about 15 minutes. The water will turn rusty orange, and that's okay.
  6. Drain the pot and refill with cold tap water - the colder, the better.
  7. Let the eggs cool in the water until you can safely remove the wraps.
  8. Unwrap, and enjoy the amazing colours!
  9. Rub with a tiny bit of cooking oil to make them shiny, if desired.
  10. Refrigerate, if planning to eat them. Alternately, they could be put in a bowl and displayed...but not eaten!
Linking up with:
Needle and Thread Thursday, at My Quilt Infatuation
Whoop Whoop Friday, at Confessions of a Fabric Addict
Fabric Frenzy Friday, at Fort Worth Fabric Studio
Show off Saturday, at Sew Can She

Try, Learn, Grow!

P. S. I've added a new page to my blog detailing my longarm services. Click here to see it.

Comments are welcome. Thanks so much for looking around!


  1. Your second customer quilt looks great. Drunken feathers was the perfect choice!

    Do you always block your quilts or are you doing it with this one due to the density of the quilting? And what happens if one does not block the quilt.... Does it turn into a gnarly mess? . . .

    Thank goodness for color catchers! SO glad the splotches came out!!

    1. Thanks, Judy!
      No, I don't block every quilt. I usually fluff bed quilts in the dryer on low heat to take most of the moisture out, and then lay them flat to finish drying. I think this extends their life (by not "cooking" them over and over), but have no proof of that theory!
      I did block this one because of the dense stitching. The amount of work put into it deserves respect. It was definitely not square when it came out of the wash...it was a ripple of gnarly-ness! It was worth the hour of fussing, measuring, pinning, and patting it took to get it back into shape. I'm so glad the splotches came out, too!!!!! !!!

  2. the drunken feathers is one of my favorite pantographs, it's fast and easy and looks great! I love the back of the quilt. How did you get both ways centered? I can usual get it centered in one direction but not the other. Looks great.

    1. It's one of mine, too. I just love the texture it produces.

      For the backing, I used the piecing to determine the left/right "center". It wasn't the true center, so I had more fabric on the right than on the left, but I could work with that. The top would still fit on the backing, and I felt the piecing was the important thing. The side edges were not even, so I made darn sure to measure everything and check the shortest spot to be SURE the top would fit.

      Once the backing was loaded to my satisfaction, I measured up from the center of the pieced backing strip...half the length of the quilt top... and marked where the top edge of the quilt top should go. I stitched a horizontal guideline at that point. (I'd made tiny tic marks on the inside of the backing fabric with washable marker so I wouldn't lose my place as I rolled. I also made DARN sure the backing was long enough to accommodate the bottom half of the quilt before I committed to doing this.)

      It was a bit of extra measuring, but I'm happy with the result.

  3. Thank you for making my quilts look so gorgeous! So happy to have these UFO's finally completed!

    1. My pleasure. Thanks for your faith in my abilities!!! Your quilts were already gorgeous - I just tried not to get in the way of that. I'll bet it feels fantastic to check these off your list and get them into circulation.

  4. So glad you were able to get the dye removed with the second washing. Your quilting is just amazing and the drunken feathers look like they would be fun to make.

    1. I'm so relieved. It would have been a huge disappointment if the splotches hadn't come out. I usually rinse batiks before using them, but missed one, I guess. Thank you for your lovely comment, Linda. The drunken feathers are my favourite to do - so swirly and curvy!

  5. Whew! I'm so glad you were able to remedy the running colors on your quilt. It's so pretty! and WOW- that stained glass quilt is absolutely stunning. Thanks for showing it.

    Thanks so much for linking up to Needle and Thread Thursday!

    :) Kelly @ My Quilt Infatuation

    1. I usually pre-wash fabric, but obviously didn't catch them all this time! I was in a hurry to dive in and start sewing, I guess. I'd like to say it won't happen again, but...it's possible...! Thanks for popping by and commenting, Kelly.

  6. Irish Lass is gorgeous. I'm going to have to try the colour catchers. They sound like a great idea if you forget to watch your quilt, in water, carefully. You're already on to your second customer quilt...yahoo!!!....I hope they keep coming in. Thanks for sharing the egg dying with onion skins....it might be fun to try it on fabric, as well.

    1. Yes, the colour catchers are wonderful. I'm so thankful they exist...whew.
      Hmm. We used to wrap the eggs/onion skins in rags when I was a girl, and they would come out an insipid rusty colour that wasn't very pretty. I wonder if there would be a way to get more mottling and depth of colour? If you figure something out, please let me know! It would be really cool.

  7. Wow ... I am always amazed by long arm quilters. Your talent is really a gift.

    1. Thanks, Chelsea, what a lovely thing to say. :-) I think in my case it is mostly determination and practice with just a pinch of talent! I'm working hard to improve my skills, and there is much to learn!


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