Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Indigo Fabric Dyeing @Whitney Lake

I dabble in dyeing, fabric dyeing that is.  It's in my DNA.  My college degree is in Chemistry, so it's rewarding to combine my academic knowledge with my love of fabric.

I just returned from a 3 day getaway with some of my quilting buddies at our lake house.  It's the perfect place to dye fabric outside because there's not a whole lot of grass.  The weather was perfect.  I was not sad that Autumn was not in the air.  It was really a summer extension.

Other than quilting and eating, indigo dyeing was on the agenda.  It has to be the easiest type of dyeing that I have ever done and it seems to be a non-discriminatory type of dye.  Every type of fiber we tried, turned blue! And indigo is such a rich, beautiful shade of blue.  Blue is my favorite color and it's making a comeback in Home Dec and fashion.  I've seen it in a bunch of magazines and in the stores.

Indigo is a plant based dye and the fabric comes out of the dye bath green.

 and as it is exposed to the oxygen in the air, it turns blue!

I made the dye bath up the day before.  We twisted and clipped, tied and stitched the fabric and then dampened it before placing it in the dye bath.  5-10 minutes was all that was needed.  Then the fabric was rinsed, untied and placed on the clothes line to dry.  Easy - peasy.

Everything we tried took the dye.

Denise even took the shirt off her back and dyed it! (It was a white t-shirt.)

Helen brought some very cool fabrics including some doggie bandanas for Bailey

and this sheer curtain type fabric came out beautifully.  I think I'm going to make mine into a scarf.

I bought my dye from Pro Chem as a kit.  It came with very clear instructions.

Make sure you wear gloves or your hands will be blue for days.  Click on THIS LINK, if you want to buy the kit and give it a try.

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Saturday, September 16, 2017

A Private Lesson and Key West Update

My trip to Denver had a Part 3, that I was really looking forward to after videoing a segment for The Quilt Show (Part 1) or visiting the Rockies (Part 2).  I had a 2 day private lesson with an amazing animal portrait quilter, Barbara Yates Beasley.

I was familiar with Barbara's art from the Internet. 
 Her quilts of dogs and other  animals are amazingly realistic.

 I would love to have a quilt like that of my girlfriend, Bailey. Barbara lives outside of Denver, so when I knew I was heading to  Denver for The Quilt Show, I thought maybe I could connect with her.  I always told my kids, "you don't know unless you ask", so I asked! I asked her if should would be willing to give me a private lesson.  She checked her calendar and we had a date.  She would provide all the fabric and the other supplies.  I just had to bring an enlarged photo of Bailey.
 I headed to Barbara's studio on Monday morning.

She has quite an organized fabric collection.  She uses small pieces so she has a big variety of many different types of cottons organized by color.

After prepping the foundation, Bailey was pinned to the design wall and the lesson began.

\Barbara starts with the most challenging parts of the animal first - the eyes and then the nose.  Wow! It already looked like her.

The Boulder area is really a hotbed of quilting.  We took a break after Day 1 and went to an exhibit at The Dairy Center.  The exhibit was to celebrate the birthday of a very well known art quilter, Judith Content.  She invited some of her quilting friends to hang quilts in the exhibit for her "birthday party".  There was quite a variety including 3 dimensional pieces.

I spent a second day with Barbara and then flew
 home kind of knowing what I was doing!

It was the perfect time in my busy schedule.  I was able to devote several more days and with a couple of e-mails and a phone call, I finished my quilt.

I think it looks exactly like Bailey and I am thrilled.

If you ever have the opportunity to take a class with Barbara and you have a pet you love, do it.  You can see lots of her pieces at

But, if you want to commission one, she does that too!

Key West Update:
We finally heard about our place in Key West.  It's good news.  There is a lot of plant debris everywhere, but our place is in tact and there is no water damage.
Thank you to everyone who were concerned.  It is such a relief.  Key West was spared the brunt of the  storm.  My heart goes out to those who lost their homes in other parts of the Keys.

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Wednesday, September 13, 2017

We Have A Winner and My Key West Home

I have received many inquiries about our home in Key West and I appreciate every body's concern. There have been bits of news coming out of the island, but there is no cell service  (nor water or power) and information is scarce.  It appears that Key West did not suffer the devastation that some of the other keys experienced.
From NOAA  we have been able to see satellite imagery of our courtyard.  It looks like the roofs are in tact.  That's good news.  Now we are anxious to hear if there has been any water damage.  I imagine it will be several more days or maybe a week, before someone actually checks our place.  

Key West has been the inspiration for much of my fiber art.

I am trying to keep myself busy while waiting for news.

On to happier news.  The giveaway for my Island Batik blog hop is over.  

And the winner is:
Sylvia Jackson
Congrats Sylvia.  The stack of batiks will be on the way to your fabric stash as soon as I get your address.  Many people commented and it was so fun to hear your back to school excitement.  By far, most of us looked forward to new clothes and that beautiful, big box of crayons!  
Thanks to all those that entered,   

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Back To School Blog Hop & A Giveaway

The summer seems to get shorter and shorter the older I get.  School has started for almost everyone already.  Since I no longer have children in school, it is not as stressful/joyful for me as it used to be. "Back in the day" I used to look forward to family dinners when school started, since during the summer we hardly ate dinner together with every one's active schedule.  It was great to hear what transpired during every one's day. Do you have a favorite Back To School Memory?

As an Island Batik Ambassador, I'm participating in a blog tour to celebrate Back to School and to showcase their new lines of fabric that will be arriving in the local quilt shops any day.  I was given "Country Dozen".  As soon as I opened my box filled with these wonderful batik fabrics, I thought of my DIL. She has a bunch of chickens and loves to cook their eggs.

The Country Dozen fabric comes in several colorways and the prints feature roosters, eggs, chicken wire, lemons and kitchen utensils.  Perfect for my DIL who also loves to be in the kitchen.Ask for it at your LQS.

 With that in mind, I thought I would get a jump on the holiday season and make a gift for my DIL. Shhhh - don't tell.  What would she get a lots of use from? Something for entertaining!  I created a tabletopper and a bunch of napkins for entertaining.
 The napkins were like potato  chips, I couldn't stop at just one.  They were so much fun to make.
I dug deep into my old blog posts for a technique that I used a while ago.  It was perfect for this. Click HERE for details to make the self-binding napkins.  I love how the miters come out in the corners:

I also enjoy napkin folding, so I've played with these:

Or just a plain fold
If you want to impress your guests with some fancy napkin folding, head to YouTube.

As part of this blog tour, I am having a giveaway of lots of the Country Road batiks. Island Batik has been so generous and I'd like to share that generosity.  Here's the stack:
It's a bunch of very generous fat quarters and assorted pieces of the Country Dozen fabric line.  The giveaway is open to anyone in the Continental US.  To enter the giveaway, leave a comment here about your favorite Back To School memory and for more chances head over and follow me on IG @CherylLynchQuilts and for even another chance, like my FB page @CherylLynchFiberArts. The winner will be chosen next Tuesday, Sept 12.

The blog tour has just begun.  There are lots of other blogs, fabric lines and GIVEAWAYS!!!    Here are the dates and links:


Tuesday, September 5 – Country Dozen
Cheryl Lynch Quilts • Inspired Layers
Wednesday, September 6 – Bonsai
Little Bunny Quilts
Thursday, September 7 – Sakura
Masterpiece Quilting


Monday, September 11 – Fresh Pick’ins
KISSed Quilts
Tuesday, September 12 – Lotus Blooms
Kathys Kwilts and More
Wednesday, September 13 – Olivera
Joan Kawano • Vicki’s Crafts and Quilting
Thursday, September 14 – Rise & Shine
Den Syende Himmel • Sally’s Quilting Corner
Friday, September 15 – Diner Days
Ark Angel Creations • Karen Overton


Monday, September 18 – Seas the Day
KISSed Quilts • Whispers of Yore
Tuesday, September 19 – Vineyard
The Inquiring Quilter • Inchworm Fabrics
Wednesday, September 20 – Abalone
PamelaQuilts • Yellow Cat Quilts
Friday, September 22 – Captain’s Anchor
Purrfect Spots Designs • Beaquilter


Tuesday, September 26 – Lobster Bake
Seams to be Sew
Wednesday, September 27 – Solstice
Bejeweled Quilts • heARTs Creations
Thursday, September 28 – Sour Apple
Seams Like a Dream • Kauffman Designs
Friday, September 29 – Zen
Lizard Creek Quilting • Quilt’n Party

Monday, September 4, 2017

Denver and the Rockies

The view of The Rockies when driving in Boulder is just jaw dropping.  It was hard to keep my eyes on the road. And the cyclists were everywhere.  The way they road up the mountains in that elevation amazed me.
The day after filming The Quilt Show, I headed into the mountains to an artists' open house.  I went to meet Barbara Yates Beasley who makes amazing animal quilts.  (She is actually my gift to myself.  Stay tuned for Part 3 of my trip.)  I have stalked her on FB.  Her dog quilts are just so realistic.

I drove and drove and drove, and then I hit a dirt road and drove quite a distance more.  I normally don't enjoy driving, but I could have driven for hours with that view.  I'm surprised there aren't more accidents.  As you are engulfed by the mountains, you're in the midst of evergreens and waterfalls and scenery that made me think about how great the forces must have been to create such geological formations.  

Photos cannot convey the majesty of these mountains.

I was on a mission as I left the open house. As I was driving into the mountains, I saw a sign for Rocky Mountain National Park.  A lightbulb went on. There is a Senior Lifetime pass to The National Parks.  Free admission forever.  The Sr age is 62.  My age! Sunday was the last day that it could be bought for $10.  On Monday the price was being increased to $80.  Where else could I get a pass with that deadline?

It took me a while to find the location where I could purchase one. I had no cell phone reception and was hoping I was heading in the right direction.   A ranger station where I stopped had quite a high elevation.

I couldn't buy it there.  The Park Ranger did tell me where to go and handed me a map. One hour later- success!!
Good for life and everyone who is in my car.  It was truly a great day.

Part 3 of my Denver trip has to do with Bailey and Barbara Yates Beasley.  Don't forget to come back!