Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Amusing Myself

I took the dogs for a walk yesterday for the first time this year.  We still have quite a bit of snow on our roads and I thought our tracks were pretty funny.
Ours weren't the only tracks.  You can see there was quite a bit of bunny activity here.
The dogs made the most of the walk, running full out, sniffing everything and on occasion throwing themselves onto the snow to make doggie snow angels.  My old camera was too slow to catch that action but we had fun. The snow is going to be with us for a while until days get warmer.  Nights will be 9 degrees for the next five days.  We should have a spectacular wildflower spring.
There's our little frozen house, hidden smack dab in the middle of the gray landscape.  What a January it has been so far!
My son was in town so I drove in to have lunch, but first I drove out to Jimmy Beans to buy a piece of fabric.  This is Gus.  He retired, started making quilts six years ago, began going to trade shows, took a quilting class from Kaffe Fassett and decided it was time to go back to work.  He knows fabric.  That's one of his quilts on the wall and some of the fabrics he dyed. 
I bought this to make a blouse for blue jeans.  The manufacturer is Moda.  He explained why that's important.  Mills run the dyes three times.  The first two runs are the finer cottons that go to quilting stores and specialty shops.  By the third bath, the dyes have begun to exhaust so they add chemicals to enhance the dye uptake.  It is hard on the cottons, making them harder and more crisp, and these are the cottons that ship to Joanns and Hancocks.  My cotton is soft and has a nice hand and will be fun to work with.
I asked Gus to explain the difference between the designers and the cottons.  It turns out that Kaffe has a line of cottons and this bolt just fell into my hands.  And then to make the trip even more expensive, I bought the Schoolhouse Tunic pattern from Sew Liberated.  I got to visit with some friends there - it was fun.  Amy asked me recently if I was still sewing and I said no.  How quickly things change.
There's more than this.  The prices are about $8.50 a yard though one of my bolts was on sale for $4.50. That's more than reasonable.

Oh and while I was there, Terry asked me if I might be interested in teaching a two-hour rigid heddle workshop.  They now carry the Schacht Cricket Loom. and would like to offer some instruction to help knitters transition into weaving.  I'm not sure what can be communicated in two hours but I'm looking forward to exploring the options.  It will be fun.


Nina said...

Well, comparing prices, at a quilt store or comparable type shop, our fabrics would be at least double or likely close to two and a half times your prices. I only find fabric on sale for those prices at the discount fabric shops. I'm utterly amazed as I hadn't realized how huge the price differences were. Sometimes I wonder if our prices are so much higher just because they've conditioned us to expect them.

Cindie said...

How interesting on the dyeing - I would have never known that's why those cottons at nice shops feel different than the ones at the chain fabric stores - I just assumed it was cheap cotton. That looks like a very fun place to shop!

Laura said...

The Stitchin' Post in Sisters has beautiful fabric, and most are in the $10-12/yd. range. You got a deal!

I really like that pattern. So, today, I'm not working on work, I'm going to organize the fiber room, cut the dog off the loom, and get crackin'. I bought the mangle. I need to set up the sewing nook, and get the loom situated...

Benita said...

That fabric looks awesome! And so does that man's quilt.

We are supposed to get cold starting Sunday, but we won't stay there.

Glad you were able to get out for a walk. said...

Those really are great prices! Yes, the greige goods do make a difference, but dyes affect so much. Nice to know they are still teaching that stuff to people... few vendors seem to know all that much about the details anymore. Three years of bad crops in Egypt and India have sent prices soaring... don't guess they will be going down any time soon, either. Lovely stuff!