Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Cyanotype Sun Dyeing (Etsy)

A post on Tuesday! How odd! Not to alarm you, but I just wanted to share the results of my latest dyeing experiment.  I made 3 sets of onesies using flowers and plants from the Texas spring bloom and Sun Reactive Dye.  I've put them in my Etsy shop if anyone would like one (or two!)

You can see in this image how the dyeing process works.  I work inside in low-light conditions, similar to developing photos, to apply to dye and place the botanicals where I want them. The dye goes on completely clear.  A pane of glass helps hold everything in places while it is exposed to the sunlight for ten minutes outside.  

Where the dye is exposed to sunlight it "activates", fading slowly from clear to tan to purple and into a deep indigo.  Wherever the sunlight is blocked the dye remains invisible and is able to be washed out with a special detergent.  Using objects that are taller or more 3-dimensional can create shades  with different degrees of blue-ness.

This is a really fun method of dyeing. I like all the variables that the "natural" elements bring.  If a cloud passes over while I'm exposing the blue may come out lighter, or later in the day when the sun moves fast the edges of the image become less distinct.

For some of the more delicate images, like these pink flowers, I placed them down with tweezers.  The cats were *way* too helpful with this as you can imagine.  The presence of plants inside the house was too much for them to pass up.  

If any of you would like one of these for your family or as a gift I made 12 in a variety of sizes and they are listed for sale in my Etsy shop.  (FYI - Sales from Etsy don't support CiL (except indirectly, as they support me)).  I have ordered some more dye and looking forward to playing more soon!

Thursday, April 15, 2021

Spring Has Sprung

Yes, it's officially definitely Spring time here in Texas! Those infamous April showers are in full effect. This is the time of year when Texas gets about 80% of our rain for the whole year.

I've been on a quest to make serious progress on all the quilt tops that have been donated to CiL. These three with the beautiful spring colors and patterns came from Christine! Maybe someone can recognize the fabric line with the cute bees and geometric patterns?

Obviously I was struggling to take these pictures, but with 20+ quilts piling up pictures had to happen somehow.  Honestly pictures have been a struggle ever since a bad storm took out the tree that shaded my good spot on the wood pile.  I haven't found a satisfactory alternative yet. 

So many of you sent in fabrics when I asked for help with background yardage last Summer. Thank you so much to everyone who did and continues to! I have used a lot recently with finishing so many donated tops. More often than not I have the perfect backing to match each top!

I love this sweet little sampler quilt, and Christine included binding for her tops too, making them even easier to finish.

We did get one sunny day last week, unfortunately blinding sunlight is just as bad or worse for photography as overcast.  It's perfect however for Sun Dyeing so I captured some of the spring flowers in cyanotype. More pictures of these coming later! 

Covered in Love is a 501(c)(3) charity that donates quilts to patients dying in the hospital, over 700 so far! During March/April we are supporting the Hands2Help Challenge instead of our normal block drive.  Check out the main post HERE if you want to get involved. 

Linking to  Confessions of a Fabric Addict and Finished or Not Friday

Thursday, April 8, 2021

Louise and Friends

Hello quilting friends and Happy Easter, Happy Spring, etc.  I recently sent Louise a great big box (nearly 50lbs) of UFOs and other goodies, and she has already returned 4 quilts

This neutral top from Meg was in the box since it called for fancy quilting and Louise is much better at that than I am!  

The top has piecing, applique, and other techniques to create texture with tone-on-tone fabrics.  It was hard to take pictures of but it's a stunner in real life!

Louise added a thin flange of golden brown fabric and a neutral checked border.  Her custom quilting on all the blocks really shows them off. 

(I took lots of close ups since it pretty much just looks white in the big picture.)

This basket of flowers right in the middle of the quilt, with the ribbon handle and yoyo flowers, is a showpiece.

Louise hasn't posted on her blog yet about Meg's quilt, so be sure to keep an eye out there for her comments about finishing it.  

These other three quilts Louise posted about HERE.  The first one used up some leftover blocks from a past block drive.  

Next, two quilts that use a bunch of blocks from Priscilla, one more masculine and one feminine.  

I've been very busy here finishing up donating tops and turning them into quilts.  I tend to work in cycles. Several weeks ago I made a bunch of backings, and now I'm quilting quilting quilting.  So, more to come soon!

Sundae, displaying her innate talent for sitting on top of the tallest quilting pile in the house. 

Covered in Love is a 501(c)(3) charity that donates quilts to patients dying in the hospital, over 700 so far! During March/April we are supporting the Hands2Help Challenge instead of our normal block drive.  Check out the main post HERE if you want to get involved. 

Linking to  Confessions of a Fabric Addict and Finished or Not Friday

Thursday, April 1, 2021

More String Quilts

Three more string quilts to show you this week! I got these done and needed to get them photographed in time to take them up to the hospital last week. Unfortunately that meant photos on a cold windy day! Sorry you can't quite see the entire quilts, one row was folded over.  

I really really love the color combo in this first quilt. It was inspired by a set of about 10 blocks set in with blues, brows, coppers, and maroon.  I pulled complimentary blocks to match and make an entire tops out of them.

Next, this one has pink and light brown stripes.  And last, a vibrant rainbow quilt! I will definitely be making more quilts with a rainbow palette because I LOVE how this one looks. 

The sun is out bright this week, flowers are blooming and bees are buzzing, and we've started the annual cycle of planting the garden.  

The kitties are enjoying baking themselves in front of the windows in the warm sunshine :)

Covered in Love is a 501(c)(3) charity that donates quilts to patients dying in the hospital, over 700 so far! During March/April we are supporting the Hands2Help Challenge instead of our normal block drive.  Check out the main post HERE if you want to get involved. 

Linking to  Confessions of a Fabric Addict and Finished or Not Friday

Thursday, March 25, 2021

Red, White, and Blue Quilts Delivered

Linda and I (but let's be honest, mostly Linda) are still chugging away on last year's RWB blocks.  We've just got a few quilts left to go from these, which as many of you know are perennial favorites at the hospital. 

These went up with a delivery last Friday while I there with my first level students.  In order to make the drop off work Chaplain Perry actually had to take my keys and go load the quilts from my car into his since I'm not allowed to leave the building while my students are there. So kudos to him. This brings our total to 781!

I love teaching nursing school. I love first level especially because of the rapid changes. The students come in as regular college kids and end the semester as baby nurses.  It's like watching a baby go from rolling over to crawling to walking.  


One of my biggest goals for them is to learn to Talk. To. Patients. And get comfortable interacting with people. You wouldn't believe how many 19 and 20 year olds don't have much experience talking to adults outside their own age range. We've actually had to drop students before and send them to work in some kind of customer service job for a year (ie McDonalds cashier) before trying again.

Of course some of them take to this better than others.  I was proud of one student this week, our first week out of the lab, who spotted a military tattoo and immediately engaged with the patient, asking what branch he was in and talking about her own family's military service.  

There are so many veterans and family members of veterans in the hospital, and although they don't universally want to talk about their service it can be a great way to connect. As is, of course, these patriotic quilts.  The chaplains always describe these as some of the most cherished and well received quilts CiL gives out.   

Same quilt as above, just flipped over

My students all survived their first hospital day, and most of them even enjoyed it! I hope your own week went well and Spring is springing wherever you are!

Future nurses of America

 Covered in Love is a 501(c)(3) charity that donates quilts to patients dying in the hospital, over 700 so far! During March/April we are supporting the Hands2Help Challenge instead of our normal block drive.  Check out the main post HERE if you want to get involved. 

Linking to  Confessions of a Fabric Addict and Finished or Not Friday

Thursday, March 18, 2021

Four Finished

Four finished quilts, that came in the mail already finished!  My favorite kind.  These are being dropped off at the hospital today along with a couple dozen others.  

Alice sent in this pink and green diamond pattern quilt

I was getting some papers signed at the hospital the other day and made an impromptu visit to Chaplain Perry. They're made a serious dent in the 50 quilts I dropped off right after Christmas!  Perry said that a lot were given our during Snow-vid week and the week before.  Lots of deaths, and a few people just stressed beyond their wits who needed comfort. 

The green ivy reminds me of St. Patrick's Day this week!

As you might have seen already, in lieu of our usual bi-monthly block drive I am directing CiL's participants toward the H2H quilt drive during March and April.  

One of Mina's famous scrappy house quilts

Sarah had a neat idea for the H2H drive this year: in addition to selecting several charities to benefit she is also encouraging people to try to think of "Hometown Heroes" who they could gift a quilt to. A Hometown Hero is someone who was under extra stress or danger due to the pandemic but kept serving their community.

Everyone can probably think of someone they know, at least on friendly wave-and-smile terms who fits that description.  Sarah suggested mail carriers, teachers, or pastors as a start.  I want to suggest one more who have suffered this past year but might be forgotten: funeral home directors and staff.

Amy A. sent in her QAYG courthouse steps quilt

There was a day at work when I was taking care of post mortem arrangements for a patient.  We're supposed to have 2hrs to get a body moved so that the room can be turned over to admit another patient, but on this day the morgue was full, not just the fridges, the overflow too.  This happened more and more during the Covid surge and eventually we got a refrigerated 18-wheeler trailer, but this was before that.  The frazzled house-supervisor directed me to call the chaplains, who were helping to handle the body situation.  

I was trying to get a picture where you can see the cool stairstep quilting

I was then told that a local funeral home was offering transport, free of charge, using their vehicles to move our excess bodies to another hospital with a larger morgue until the receiving funeral homes could come get them.  The friendly young man who arrived soon after to pick up the patient said they actually called in in on his day off to do pick-ups.  

Love this bird backing Amy used. 

This funeral home paid an employee extra in order to help the hospital out of a bind.  So that an ambulance wouldn't be tied up transporting a body, so that a hospital room could be cleaned and a patient get out of the ER that much sooner, in order to help their community cope with the pandemic.  They did it just because they had the tools and resources and wanted to help, I don't think they got any other recognition.  

Linda made her string quilt in a blue and green pallette

Dealing with the increase in the number of funerals, as well as the bio-hazards associated with Covid deaths has placed funeral homes under a lot of stress this year.  If I can make a few extra quilts for Hometown Heroes I definitely know where I'll be taking them!

Shamrocks in the quilting! Again, perfect for St. Patty's Day mood

Sorry, no cat pictures this week.  Twice a year I have to drag their fancy Litter Robot litter box outside, disassemble it, and deep clean it and this was the week.  I remind myself that it's worth it for not having to scoop a litter box the rest of the year, but the cats are decidedly less cute when I've accidentally sloshed cold, sludgy, litter-pee-water over my shoes...

Covered in Love is a 501(c)(3) charity that donates quilts to patients dying in the hospital, over 700 so far! During March/April we are supporting the Hands2Help Challenge instead of our normal block drive.  Check out the main post HERE if you want to get involved. 

Linking to  Confessions of a Fabric Addict and Finished or Not Friday