Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Work on Wednesday 22nd June

Hi everyone, hope you have all had a great week. I have and it's all been working on LE. I was a bit sad to think all the applique was finished but I am finding quilting her myself is just as rewarding.
First though I have been asked how I dyed my background fabric with coffee. There are plenty of sites on google easily found by searching dying with tea or coffee but all of them referred to small quantities of fabric using the stove top and with 3 metres of wide backing that wasn't going to work for me so I followed the basic guidelines using my washing machine.
First a quick warm wash with no detergent to throughly wet my fabric and remove any sizing if there was any, there may have been because my fabric was fairly stiff.
Next took fabric out and refilled machine with warm water, while filling I dissolved 1 cup of instant coffee powder in boiling water and added it to the machine. put fabric back in and set a soak and quick wash cycle. the soak cycle agitated the fabric every few minutes for half and hour, of couse I kept checking to see what was happening- as you do, my fabric was turning a lovely soft brown so I let it go straight on to the quick wash again with no detergent. Quick wash had only one cold rinse cycle, water was perfectly clear at the end so knew all the coffee had rinsed out. put in the dryer for about half an hour and then ironed it  and put over a clothes horse to finish dryng completely.

The perfect colour for my backing fabric.

I knew which shades I wanted for my outer borders but I did have a debate with myself over the middle one as I discovered Spotlight had the range of Arabian Delight in stock and on sale. Considering I bought my fabric in 2013 it really surprised me and I was very tempted to buy a metre of my inspiration fabric until I thought will I ever use it again!! However there was a floral and a border print that I wondered about using.
Put my mauve border on and laid the other two in place and any doubt was gone, my center border needed to be light and what I had planned initially was perfect.

Not sure what my border fabric is as it came from my late Aunt and would be about 1950's 60's but in a magazine the other week I saw an article about the styles of Damask Linen and there was a photo not unlike this so to me that is what it is.
Borders in place it was time to get my batting, another thing I had tossed up on as the original was a coverlet so no batting and I thought maybe it would be easier for me to just do something similar as LE is so big and I have never attempted quilting anything this size. Shows how far I have come as a few years ago I wouldn't have considered it at all.  Went to Country Dawn and we were soon all sitting on the floor with LE spread out between us and being joined by customers all enjoying the details and the story of LE, it was a great feeling I have to admit. After a call to John ( a well known quilter ) about my not wanting to do close quilting I came home with a light weight 100% cotton batting. His comment, cotton on cotton on cotton would be his choice.
Taking my machine off my sewing table gave me a bit more room to work but LE is soo big I wondered if I was going to be able to get a good result from my pinning as don't have a big enough floor space without moving furniture, then would have to contend with the inevitable dog hair and sore knees Lol

After a couple of hours of flattening, pinning and repinning I was able to stitch around my center and the compass. at this stage I had only roughly pinned the outer edges to hold them together

Border 1 ditchstitched on both edges and compass stitched.

Love how my compass looks.
I had padded it before stitching to my top and now with edge stitching and it's center stitched it has just popped off the background.
After this I pinned and ditch stitched each border in turn working my way out and have ended up very happy with how this worked for me.
Before doing more work on my center I decided to add my binding, get rid of the excess fabric and protect my edges while I continue quilting was my reasoning. but what colour to use?
Tried all sorts until finally I had two choices, find a really dark purple or use my existing purple and add a peeper, either way I had to buy fabric. Thought Country Dawn had a dark purple with the gold overlay but it wasn't right so a pepper it was.

I like it, what do you think?
Unfortunately I do have some unpicking to do as my stitching down of the binding is not as good as I hoped it would be and I have a few wiggles in my binding width, they are marked with a pin so I can go back to them as I work through my quilting.
Yesterday I edge stitched all the main elements in the center and also the inside edge of the zigzag.

Standing on a stool to get this photo.
It's sitting pretty well so will work on my borders and then come back for another look.
Raining this morning so ideal for another days stitching.

Linking now to Esther's WOW.
Cheer's Jenny


  1. Jenny, I want to thank you for your decription of coffee dying. I have read several versions on the Internet but have been lost as what to do. You were very clear. I tried to tea dye a quilt a few years back, not well, and when I walk by it now, always wish I had done a better job. Will try again with your directions. Your LE is beautiful!!!!

    1. You are welcome Ginabeth, I was fingers crossed while dying my fabric but it came out perfectly even and I think that was the agitation while it soaked, hope your quilt comes out good this time. PS Glad you like my LE. Cheers Jenny

  2. WOW . . . How many ways can I say WOW?

  3. Oh Wowww Jenny what a mammoth task, it really is big isn't it? Not for the faint hearted thats for sure. It is incredibly beautiful and I do like how you finished the boarders love the wee touch of blue. Thanks so much for all the photos so lovely to see how you worked your way through it to this stage. You are so good at sharing and I for one really appreciate it. Hugs Glenda

  4. Thank you for sharing the process. Love the blue on the binding, too. What a nice pop! That looks like such an overwhelming task. Since I'll be hand quilting mine when I finally get all the applique done, I'm enjoying watching how you handle it.