Happy Thanksgiving!  I am so thankful today to have had a relaxed joyous day with my family, as well as being able to do many of my projects.  My sweet husband did much of the cooking, to help keep me out of the kitchen, as I’ve worked very hard this year to get down to my goal weight by losing 30 lbs (and keeping it off.)  I do love to cook, but I knew I’d be tempted to taste all day long!  He did ask my support in one thing, however… clearing some space in the freezer for the leftovers.

Well, that meant that it was time to get into my dye studio- I had to use up the snow I’ve had in the freezer since last winter- time for snow-dyeing!  It’s also a great way to use up some left-over old dyes.  While the colors may not come out quite as rich or vibrant, I’ll always be able to over-dye or do additional surface design on the fabrics.  So I prepared 4 separate yards of cotton, put each in it’s own container, packed the snow on top, and poured 3 colors of dye onto each one.  It looks like giant snow cones! 

Ryan, my Viking warrior

Since I was already dyeing, I also mixed up a fresh batch and dyed a couple yards of linen.  I’ve never tried dyeing linen before, nor is it a material I use in my artwork.  The things we will do for our children!  My son, now 17, is fascinated with Viking culture and hopes to go into anthropology and/or archeology.  He’s found that there are Viking re-enactment groups, similar to the ones that put on Renaissance fairs, and has talked me into going to a holiday “Good Yule” celebration in full Viking dress.   Of course, it has to be authentic!  Last week I taught him basics of sewing on my Bernina (ok, not so authentic that we’re going to sew it by hand!) and he made his own Viking tunic out of wool.  He’s still deciding if he wants me to dye it or not (it’s currently a beige-brown.)  The linen I’m dyeing will be for a Viking apron, the style which they wore around the tenth century.  I’ll make sure to post the pictures when we have our outfits complete!

I’ve been working on encouraging my Mom to start back to sewing again, so she brought over her machine and a Christmas table-runner project which she had started.  She was having some problems with mitering the binding.  It’s easy to get confused with a mitered binding if you are used to making a mitered border on a quilt.  The process is a bit different, since you’re turning the finding to the back side.  She also some a 60 degree angles, which I admit I had to look up how to bind.  Thank goodness for Google!

Once I had my Mom going, I started working on some freemotion quilting samples from the wonderful collection by Leah Day on her FreeMotion Quilting BlogIf you are interested in improving your quilting stitches, I can’t recommend Leah’s blog highly enough.  Here is theCalm Sea” design which I stitched this afternoon.  I have several notebooks of practice samples such as this, which I  keep adding to on a regular basis.  Then, when I am ready to stitch a project, I can look through my samples and think about what would work best for the piece. 

Tomorrow I’m taking off with my husband for a few days, so I’ve packed my sketchbooks and look forward to looking for new design inspiration, as well as working on thinking through some of what I’d like to accomplish in the year ahead. 

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