Monday This And That

Good Morning!

I was hoping I’d have a new tutorial ready for you today. I had ordered a tool I needed to complete it, but it was damaged in the mail.  However, I found out that our local Joann’s store had it in stock. As I walked into the store yesterday, I stopped by a bin shouting 75% off. Well, you know I love bargains and I had to stop. Here is what I bought. These beautiful wood block stamps cost $1.74 each! The stencil was 99 cents! What a bargain!

joannhaulHere is a sneak preview of the project that needed that tool. It includes a piece of my indigo fabric and dyed clothesline.

indigotrivettobeTalking about indigo, here is another shirt I dyed a couple weeks ago. I like this better than the other one I showed on this post.

kohlindigoDave and I went to Nashville this past weekend to see Brian Wilson and his band in concert at the Ryman. Words are hard to describe the concert – knowing about his history with mental illness and all – just seeing and hearing him on stage (although it was very evident that he was not comfortable being there) – what a gift it was for all of us present. Al Jardine’s son Matt blew the crowd away with his falsetto, bringing back the sound of the Beach Boys. In addition to their popular songs they played the entire Pet Sounds album. The talented band of 11 played over 30 songs taking only a 20 minute or so break. I feel blessed to be able to see and hear him and his music that I loved and that brought back some great memories.

brianwilsonOn the way out of town we saw this sculpture! Love it!


I recently made a couple cat toys for Ace and Puddin. I sewed long tubes of fabric and stuffed them with fill and fresh catnip.

newcattoysPuddin was so excited about her new toy. I shot this video when I first gave it to her. These toys were so much easier to make than the mice and they both seem to like them better.

Hope you have a wonderful and creative week!



Posted in cats, haul, indigo dyeing | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Sewing little bags

I have this love-hate relationship with sewing. Really, I’ve always thought of myself as sewing-challenged. Maybe not anymore.

mygroupofzipsMy mother was a wonderful seamstress. She made most of my clothes. She made my sister’s clothes too. Often they would be matching so when Sis grew out of hers, they were passed down to me and I was again wearing the same dress. I say dress because back then we wore dresses even to play in.

In high school Mom would buy a dress pattern and make me at least five dresses, all using different fabrics. As you can imagine, I always had lots of clothes. She also made my formals. Before sewing those beautiful dresses, we’d go shopping. I’d try on lots of them until we found the perfect one. Then we’d go home empty handed. Before long mom had gone to the fabric store, came home with fabric and notions,  and made her own version of that dress. It was always prettier than the one I had tried on. Another thing too, none of the other girls was wearing a dress like mine.

During those years growing up I’d talk about sewing, but mom was insistent that if I really wanted to sew I’d have to learn on my own. Her mother, my grandma, was a great quilter who never taught her to sew. Mom felt that if she could learn on her own, so could her daughter.

So I’ve spent quite a few years trying to sew. My first sewing project was shorts. They never did fit. After college I took a class on altering garments. I don’t remember much about my results. I also tried to quilt, but couldn’t quite get that 1/4 inch seam and all of the perfection.

In the past several years I bought a couple of machines – a Brother sewing and embroidery machine and an Elna serger. It funny that when I sit down at the serger, I don’t have any anxiety. The sewing machines make me so nervous.

However, just in the last year I have been sewing more and feeling more comfortable. I love sewing those clothesline bowls that I make on my old Elna. I’ve also sewn some journal covers in the past. Recently I signed up for the Craftsy class, The One-Zip Way, with Joan Hawley.

screen-shot-2016-09-14-at-4-18-00-pmFirst of all, I am an online class junkie. I learn best with videos. Also, I am not being paid to review or give any good feedback on this class which I paid for. I wanted to tell you about it because I think it was one of the best Craftsy classes I’ve taken.

When a class motivates makes something, then I know it’s a good class. Joan is a great teacher. Her instructions via her videos are easy to understand. We make three different bags and the carrying strap in this class. She is available to answer questions, and when I posted pictures of my finished projects she commented almost right away.

First I needed to buy some long zippers and zipper pulls. I love all of the beautiful colors.


Then to make the bags. I decided to start with the largest bag – Becca. I love this bag and attaching the zipper this way, was so easy. These were both made with my ice dyed fabric. I love the carrying strap.

beccawithwristletanotherbeccaThis is the Small Becca. This is made from my soy waxed fabric that I ice dyed over. This will go in my purse.

babybeccaThis last one is the Sweet Pea made with my marbled fabric on the outside and ice dyed on the inside.

sweet-peaWhat a fun class. It’s sure a great way to get practice adding zippers. I highly recommend this class to even beginners.

That’s all of the zip bags I’ll be making for awhile. I need to take a break and work on some other projects.

Do you like to take online classes? Do you have any favorites? Here is a link to a couple other online classes I’ve really enjoyed.

Posted in Craftsy Class Reviews, Sewing | Tagged , , , , | 12 Comments

Dyeing scarves with silk ties revisited

Last year I wrote this post on dyeing silk scarves with silk ties. I thought it was time for an update especially since I was going to be demonstrating the technique on one of our local television stations.

Here I am on the set of the WEHT Local Lifestyles with Ange, the host, yesterday before my segment.

angeandmeIf you’d like to see my dyeing silk scarves with ties tutorial on WEHT, here is the link to the segment.

Hubby was also on – making mustard!

img_1970Ron and Ange taste the mustard while Dave looks on. Here is the link to Dave’s segment:

So let’s get to the tutorial on dyeing scarves with silk ties.


First of all, you have to use silk ties. Be sure and check the small end of the tie which shows the fabric content. Polyester ties will not work. You can find lots of ties at thrift stores.

menstiesNext, I highly recommend testing your ties before you use them. Follow the same procedure I’ve outlined below, but just cut small pieces of the ties and use a piece of silk. Here is an example of how different ties look when dyed. This will help you in designing your scarves.

sampletiesresultThe black and white tie at the top printed mostly light with some green. The purple and blue tie ended up bright blue circles. It’s amazing how they dye.

Here is a list of what you will need:

  • silk ties
  • silk scarf or fabric (
  • cotton fabric cut a little wider and longer than the silk  you are dyeing
  • scissors
  • string, rubber bands, or sinew
  • dowel, stick or skewer
  • pot for water
  • water
  • white distilled vinegar
  • weight for holding down fabric in pot
  • towel

Let’s get started. Cut your cotton fabric a bit longer and wider than your silk piece. It will serve as the carrier for this project. This “carrier” can be used over and over again so hold on to it after you are finished dyeing. Place silk scarf or silk fabric right side up on top of the cotton carrier.

silkoncottonFold the silk scarf  in half and put a pin on the carrier at the fold. This will show you how far you will be placing the ties.

pinningcenterUnfold the scarf, cut your ties and place on the silk scarf.


Continue placing your scarves until you get to the halfway mark and your pin.


Now cover the cut ties with the other half of the scarf.

silkcoveringtiesThen cover that part of the scarf with the other half of the carrier fabric.

coveringwithcottonNow take your dowel or skewer and slowly rollup the fabric.

rollingTake your time doing this. The ties will shift, but the slower you roll, the less shift. (I need to add here, if you are into perfection, this is not the art for you. It’s pretty impossible for the ties not to shift a bit when rolled.)

Once rolled, tie to keep together. I use artificial sinew, but you could use string or rubber bands.

tieingupRemove the dowel.

removingdowelTie a few more times and the bundle is ready to be dyed.

tiedupbundleAdd water and 2 – 3 tablespoons of distilled white vinegar to a pot and bring it to a boil.

addingvinegarOnce you have a boil, add your fabric bundle.

dyeingwties1Use something to push it to the bottom of the pot so it’s completed covered with water. I use a piece of pvc pipe I also use for indigo dyeing, but you could use a spoon or a stick.

pushingdownIf the bundle floats, put something on top of it to keep it under water. I used a glass pie plate and a glass measuring cup.

panontopBefore I go any further, any thing you use for this technique – pan, glass pie plate, measuring cup, spoon – never can be used in the kitchen again. They will be part of your dyeing equipment.

Now let this bundle boil for 20 minutes. Of course, you can go longer if  you’d like, but I found 20 minutes was adequate.

Pull the bundle out of the hot water – be careful – and put on an old towel.

bundleoutofwaterAt this point the bundle is really hot. You can let it cool down, but if you are like me you want to see it right away!

Cut your strings.

cuttingstringsAnd then unroll your surprise.

unveilingscarfLet the scarf dry and then iron. With the ironing you have set the dye so it’s safe to wear. However, I like to hand wash it in mild detergent, rinse, let dry and iron again.

newsilktiescarves1Here is the above scarf on my mannequin.


That’s it – easy peasy! As I mentioned in the beginning of this post, do a test dye with small pieces of your ties. It’s well worth the time and effort. Otherwise you might end up with a scarf like the one above. It’s pretty, but too light.

Lastly, if you have a silk scarf that you don’t particularly like, you could dye over it with these ties. Here is a scarf I had dyed green and really hated it. Then I dyed it with ties and it changed completely.

greentiescarfThis is such a fun technique. It would be a great gift and a good way to recycle those unwanted ties. Thanks for dropping by.

Posted in dyeing, recycling, silk ties, tie dyeing | Tagged , , , | 6 Comments

Indigo Play Date

Two years ago I taught an indigo dyeing class. Connie wasn’t able to attend that class so we decided one of these days we’d have our own indigo play date. This week we finally got together and played.


Here is the dye pot I made from the Jacquard indigo kit.

indigopotOnce the pot was ready, it was time to fold and bind our fabrics.

I love using clothes pins. Here is how this piece looked before the indigo dip.


And how it looks now.

indigopinsAnother one


My favorite piece


I love the spiral so I added a couple to this gray thrift store shirt. I really liked the shirt but didn’t like the gray color, but knew when I bought it I’d eventually dye it. Love it now!

indigodyeshirtOf course I had to dye some rope for a rope bowl.

indigoropeAt the very beginning my right glove must have had a hole in it. I ended up with a blue hand.

bluehandAt the end I notice that my fingernails also were (and are still) blue!

indigofingersConnie and I posed with a couple of our pieces.

ConnieandmeindigoNow I have more indigo clothespins to add to my collection!

indigoclothespinsWhat a fun day! Thanks for dropping by.

Posted in dyeing, Friendship, indigo dyeing, Jacquard Indigo | Tagged , , , | 6 Comments

Ice, Paint, and Water

Good Morning! Can you believe it’s almost September? This summer has really flown by.

Last week I spent a little bit of my time ice dyeing.

icedyedpieceAug25When I showed Dave this piece he asked if he could have a shirt. Sure!  Here’s his shirt!

davesnewshirtI also tried a couple more folds and ice dyed them.

worm hummingbirdWednesday night I taught my Wind Wishes: Inspirational Flags class at Gilda’s in Evansville Indiana. What a great group of women. They had fun painting and stenciling some beautiful flags.

IMG_1927Everyone painted four flags, one of which they left to hang at Gilda’s. Here are the ones they left behind.


Then I got out on the water at Bluegrass Fish and Wildlife Area. It was a hot day, but it was perfect for kayaking. After not kayaking for 10 years, this summer has been great to get back into this activity again.

kayakinginaugustDave and I also made ketchup. He had made a batch the week before, so we should be stocked for the winter. Nothing like the smell of cooked tomatoes. It reminds me of my grandma’s house.

cookingketchupWe also got a treat. Our Master Gardener friend Jane emailed me that she had a couple Pawpaws ripe and wanted to know if I wanted them since she knew we had never tasted them. We planted several trees on our property a couple years ago without knowing how they tasted! They are native to this area, but I’ve never seen them in the store or ever known of anyone who grew them. They are so good! The only way I can describe them is they taste like a vanilla banana. Looks like we’ll have a couple more years before we’ll have these lovelies on our trees. Now that I know how they taste, I really am looking forward to them. Again, thank you Jane for giving us a taste of this wonderful fruit.

pawpawaug16Now to this week. Hope it finds you healthy, happy, and colorful!

Posted in fiber reactive dyes, ice dyeing, stencils, surface design, teaching | Tagged , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Sunday Roundup

Happy Sunday! Here’s a Sunday roundup of what has been going on here this past week.

I’m teaching my Wind Wishes: Inspirational Flags class this week at Gilda’s Club so I’ve been preparing for this fun class which involved cutting and sewing up flags. I have enough now for everyone to paint four – three to take home and one to hang in the clubhouse.

whiteflagsI finished cutting stencils to use on the flags. Here is a tutorial on how I cut these.


My blackberry-dyed bowls set is complete!

blackberrybowlsDave likes to use these on his blog for photos of his harvests. (If you are interested in gardening, here is a link to his blog.) I made that real small bowl to put my jewelry in when not being worn. Thanks to Dave for these photos.

handbowlI really love making these bowls. I dyed some cord last week and I’ll be making some bright-colored bowls soon.


Dave has requested a new apron so I’ll be ice dyeing him one this week.

Talking about ice dyeing, my Icy Delights online class is going strong. I love seeing all of the beautiful fabric created from my students. Here are a couple t-shirts by Lisa M. Aren’t they beautiful?

Lisa'sshirtsAnd Deb Donnell made a collage of some of her beautiful fabric. Ooh La La!

Deborah DonnellIf you are interested in learning how to ice dye and/or joining in the fun, check out my promo video HERE. Once you sign up for the class, you can join our Facebook group where you will meet Lisa and Deb and many of the other students. It’s a great community to share and learn from each other.

Last week, we had some utility shelving built for our basement. I have been so looking forward to this project so we can get organized. Many of the boxes have not been opened since we moved here almost 10 years ago.

Here are the shelves with some of the organized boxes back on the shelving, but there is so much more to go through.


From the stuff I went through, I ended up taking a couple loads to the local thrift store and filling up the recycle bin! These four quilts are just a few of my grandma’s quilts that I inherited. They had to be washed since the container I stored them in wasn’t water tight.


Grandma had quite a few quilts that were split between the four of us after she and mom died back in the 70s. When my brother died, I went to retrieve his quilts and they were not in good shape at all.  In addition to holes and tattered, they are pretty stained. He really used his share. Most of mine have been stored away for some day in the future. As the years roll by I need to really think about what I’m going to do with them.

Below are two of his that really need to be cutters. The star quilt on the right is in real bad shape while the other one still has a lot of good areas. I always said I wouldn’t cut up a quilt, but these will see my scissors soon.

cuttersI’ve seen all kinds of things made with these quilts from little wall hangings and ornaments to pillows and notebook covers. What would you do with these quilts? I’d love to hear your suggestions.

As always, thanks for dropping by and I sure hope this will be the start of a great week for you.




Posted in clothesline bowls, dyeing, ice dyeing, Sunday Roundup | Tagged , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Tub Dyeing with Wonder Washer

When I’m not ice dyeing, I usually low immersion dye which often produces uneven color which I love. Here is an old blog post on low immersion.

However, there are times when I want uniform or solid color. For those of you not familiar with dyeing, the best way to get uniform color is tub or vat dyeing. The only problem with this method is you need to keep with it and stir it a lot. It reminds me of making ketchup, but a much less intense process. You can also dye in the washing machine which I don’t even want to go there. However, there is an alternative, the Wonder Washer, a portable washing machine.

WonderwasherI bought this little machine over a year ago, but just hadn’t gotten around to using it. Saturday was the day! I wanted to dye some napkins to go with these placemats I bought this Spring. I’ve been thinking all summer that I wanted to have napkins that matched instead of all of the mismatched ones.


Here is one of the original napkins. I found these at a second hand store. I love how they feel and when I saw them I knew they were destined to be dyed and used in our house.


Here is what they look like now.


So let’s get started. I use the directions on Tub Dyeing from Dharma Trading. You can find the info here. On that page on the right is a link to download a pdf.

Per Dharma Trading instructions, since I’m dyeing around a half pound of fabric (yes, I weighed it!) I added a total 1.5 gallons of water. A little of that water was held out to dissolve the salt, soda ash, and the dye.

So first I poured in the warm tap water into the Wonder Washer.


Next was to add the dye. I mixed the 1/2 teaspoon of fiber reactive dye (in this case, Dharma Avocado) in the extra water and then added it to the washer.


I turned the Program knob to standard and the Timer to 5 minutes, although you could do less or more. I just wanted to make sure the dye was mixed real well with the water.

wonderwasher7Now it’s time to dissolve and add the non-iodized salt. I added the 1.5 cups of salt to some of the reserved warm water and dissolved it before pouring it into the dye bath.


Now it’s time to add the fabric. In my case it is four napkins. Turn off the machine. Do not add the fabric when the machine is running.


Place the cover over the washer and set the timer for 15 minutes. At the end of the 15 minutes add another 5 minutes for a total of 20 minutes.  I had to take a peek.


Now we need to add soda ash. If you don’t add soda ash, the dye will wash out. Dissolve the 1/6 cup of soda ash in that reserve water.


With the machine off, use something that can help you push the fabric to the side. I used a clean paint stir. You want to make sure when you add the dissolved soda ash that it doesn’t come in contact with the fabric.


Add the soda ash solution slowly, but not all at once. I added about a third first, and once I added it to the area without the fabric, I stirred that area to distribute it. Then I put on the lid and turned on the timer for 5 minutes. After that time, I added another third again being careful not to pour on the fabric and then repeated the process one more time. So this takes 15 minutes.

Now it’s time to set your timer for 30 minutes (for light colors), 1 hour for dark colors. Since the Wonder Washer can only be set for 15 minutes, you need a regular timer to keep track. When the 15 minutes is over, just reset it for another 15 minutes until you are done. My time for this was 35 minutes since I was looking for somewhat dark, but not deep dark.

Now just take the fabric out and rinse in cool water until the water runs clear. I like to do a soap soak for 30 minutes before I throw them in the washer. I believe it helps get out the last of the dye so I know at the end of washing the loose dye is gone. Then the fabric goes into the washing machine set on hot with two rinses. Dry, iron, and you have some beautiful evenly dyed fabric.

Now let’s see how they look with the placemat.


A note about the Wonder Washer. You can use it on a table which I did. However, make sure that it’s a wide table and there is no chance that it will “walk” off. I also didn’t feel like I could leave the dye studio during that time for fear that it might take a dive off the table and create a real big mess! Operating it from the floor is probably a better idea.

Even though it’s a long process, when I want uniform dyeing this is the way I’ll go from now on. I was really pleased with my results.

As for the butterflies, I created a couple stencils on my Brother Scan and Cut from scanning the place mat. I usually would not scan someone else’s artwork, but since this is just for our use here at home, I see no problem with it. I stenciled with deColourant. For the dark butterfly I used deColourant Plus Bronze. If you’re not familiar with deColourant, here is a post about it.


I’m so happy to finally have matching napkins. Now I need to dye some of those vintage napkins I have stashed.

Oh, and for those of you who like videos, below is my video of this process. Thanks for dropping by.



Posted in dyeing, fiber reactive dyes, recycling, stencils, tutorial, tutorials, vat dyeing, Videos | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

How To: Cloth Dolls

This is another one of those projects I’ve been wanting to make for quite awhile – cloth dolls.

moremusedollsWhat a great way to use up some of my fabric stash!

I came upon a video from Barb Owen and it was time for me to play! Barb reminds me of  Carole Duvall. Do you remember Carole? She could do anything craft related. I absolutely loved her, her books, and her TV show. I believe Barb has stepped into her shoes. Here is the link to that video where she shows how to make these dolls and includes a pattern. If you want to dig even deeper into making art dolls, Barb has a new online class here.

Here is the process:

After printing out her pattern, (I printed it out on heavier paper so I could use it multiple times) trace around it on a piece of your fabric with disappearing ink pen. This will be the front of your doll.

clothdoll1Set that cutout piece on top of the wrong side of the fabric that will be the back of your doll, and just loosely cut around it.

clothdoll2Now to the machine – or you could hand sew – and sew these two pieces of fabric together, about 1/8 inch from the edge of the top piece. Be sure and leave an opening to stuff the doll.

clothdoll3Below you can see where I left the hole to stuff.

clothdoll4Now cut the back fabric even with your front piece.

clothdoll5clothdoll6Now stuff. She recommends using a hemostat. This is a slow process – great while  watching TV.

clothdoll7Now he’s all stuffed. Sew up the opening and you’re done.

clothdoll8And the whole crew again.

moremusedollsBarb also gives directions in her video for faces. I’m not sure whether my dolls will ever get faces. For now I will just imagine how they are feeling.

I do want to make more of these. However, I have some other projects I want to work on right now. Have a good week.



Posted in cloth dolls, crafts, Sewing, tutorials | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

Painted Zippered Bag Class

We had so much fun yesterday at my Painted Zippered Bag class. They created some lovely bags.

PaintedzipperbagclassUnfortunately, I didn’t get pictures of all of the completed bags. They were amazing! Here are some pictures from the class.

The classroom – all ready for the students.

paintedzip7We used  mostly Jacquard Textile and Lumiere paints. I like that they are thick enough for stenciling, but not too thick to spread over the canvas. Of course, they also can be watered down.


paintedzip1 paintedzip2 paintedzip3 paintedzip4 paintedzip5 paintedzip6

What a fun class. We plan to schedule another one soon. If you are local and interested in this class, email me at lheines at wowway dot com.

I caught Puddin standing up the other day. She did it several times and stayed standing, but by the time I got the camera I didn’t get a great shot. I was just so surprised.

puddinstandingupWhat was she looking at? The only thing we could come up with was the Limelight Hydrangea that is right outside my window. This is the first year they have bloomed that tall! Several times I’ve thought someone was out there looking in.

hydrangeaoutwindowThanks for dropping by. Have a great day!

Posted in Fabric paint, stencils, surface design, teaching | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Dyeing with Blackberries

Lots of harvesting going on here and that means I need to inventory and clean out the freezers. I meant to do this earlier in the summer when the produce was still in the garden, but I just didn’t make time for it.

While cleaning out the freezers I found a couple bags of old blackberries. These were vintage 2012 and 2013. Since we have a bumper crop this year, I decided to try dyeing with blackberries.


First to make the dye pot. I poured all of the frozen blackberries into the dye pot and put them out in the sun to thaw.


After thawed, I crushed them with my hands. You notice I am wearing gloves!


After I felt they were crushed enough I added just a little bit of water. I heated the blackberries and juice on high until they were hot, but not boiling. Then I turned the heat to low and let it cook for 30 minutes.


After the 3o minutes I removed the dye pot from the heat and let it cool down over night. The next day I strained the pot to get rid of the seeds.

blackberrydye6Now I needed to prepare the fabric. I’m using silk, linen, cotton, and cotton clothesline cord.

I dissolved one tablespoon of Alum to a gallon of hot water. Once it cooled to warm, I added the fabric and let them soak for 30 minutes.

blackberrydye5Now it was time to add the fabric to the dye pot.

blackberrydye7I let the dye pot heat to just under a simmer for 30 minutes and then moved the pot out to the dye studio to sit overnight.

After 24 hours I remove one of the silk scarves and a piece of fabric. Here is how they looked after washed, dried, and ironed.


As you can see, the cotton piece is barely dyed. So I decided I’d leave the rest of the fabric in the pot for three days.

Here are the results of the other silk scarf and two hankies. The top hankie is linen which did take the dye better. The spots on the bottom hankie are probably from berries that I didn’t get out of the dye sitting on the fabric for three days!

blackberrydye10Here are two pieces of cotton fabric.

blackberrydye11And a bandana for Dave. It’s the spiral design but I folded it in fourths so you could see the design.

blackberrydye9And the clothesline cord. It’s not real dark, but it does have a slight purple and blue tint. I think it will make a lovely bowl.


This picture shows all but the cord. You can see the difference better in this picture between the one day verses three days on both the silk scarves and the hankies.

blackberrydye8From this grand experiment I found that silk dyes much better. Even after three days the cotton fabric and the bandana are pretty light.

Of course, if you’d rather eat the blackberries, check out my recipes here.

Want some other inspiration? Check out what others are doing for Off The Wall Friday.



Posted in art, dyeing, eco dyeing, fabric, silk, tutorials | Tagged , , , , | 5 Comments