Design Wall Up

Fall Harvest (scrappy baskets), Handful of Scraps, quilts

The portable design wall that is – I wanted to get the baskets up to see what I had and if more needed to be made.  I thought I was happy with the scrappy patchwork but I am not happy with the light squares that are in most of them.  It was one of those things that look ok until you take a photo and look at it on the computer screen.  I don’t like the design the white squares create next to the baskets.

scrappy baskets

But I am not going to rip them apart –  instead I am going to make a strong tea bath for them and dye all of the four patches – all of the four patches that have a light square or two in them I mean (which is most of them) – will come down off the wall and go in a strong tea dye.  That will make them at least a medium color beige and won’t change the color of the others all that much.  Then rinse, dry and press and back up to the wall they will go.   This will not change the pattern I have on the wall – just the color.  Have you ever done a tea dye before?  How do you do yours?  I make mine with about a gallon of steaming hot water and 6 -8 tea bags . I experiment with it until it looks dark enough –black tea – hate it to drink but Mike likes it so there is usually a box hanging around the pantry.  I drink green tea or herbals.

Two rows of hexies are just about added to the bottom of the hexie quilt – one more row to do before I start the sides.  Besides the tea dye I will work on hexies today for Slow Sunday Stitching with Kathy.  (I will link to her blog as soon as I get up in the morning, I write the night before and schedule) Also linking to Quilting is More Fun than Housework .

handful of scraps

I have been asked what other quilts are in the works – I know I haven’t show some in awhile.  So here is my list of my 4 WIP – (works in progress – they are not UFO’s because I know what they are I just haven’t worked on some of them in awhile lol) – and this is it – no others started or waiting in line other than the two I am working — on the baskets and the hexies.  None hanging in the closet or stashed away in boxes besides these.  I do have 5 tops waiting in line to be quilted though.

Melanie’s Bird Brain quilt – I need to get back to work on this one soon – it is intended to be a couch size quilt and I only have about 7 blocks done so need to get busy.

bird brain

Midnight Garden – a wool applique project – a wall hanging size.  9 blocks – one finished a second started and it has sat in the box for near a year now!

midnight garden

Love Entwined – now this one I suppose technically could be called a UFO as it has been untouched for several years – but I do intend to the finish the center block – but when – started this about June 2013.  Seriously a long time ago I started this quilt with good intentions and really like it and then after I started it I just lost interest in it which surprised me.  Like I say I do want to finish the center to make a wall hanging out of it at least or maybe make this a center of a medallion quilt – but most likely  it will be a wall hanging.

love entwined

Granny’s Gone Crazy – 1/2 inch hexies – will probably be a table topper – doubtful it well grow too much more.

granny's gone crazy

Of course I have about 3 more quilts in my head that I want to get started on  – one I got the pattern for last week, another I have the pattern for but waiting for a new fabric line to come out in the fall and I’m actually buying some when it is not on sale – unbelievable but true.  And I say 3 because I know there is another in my mind some place that I just can’t think of at the moment.

Craftsy Sale – Maker’s Black Friday – get all your supplies & classes that you need to make Holiday Gifts – final day – ends at midnight.







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49 comments… add one
  • Barbara Aug 20, 2017

    I agree that the design needs it, but I would have done the ripping out and replacing, what a great idea it is to tea dye. Looking forward to seeing the end results. Happy stitching.

    • Karen Aug 20, 2017

      thanks Barbara – if the dye doesn’t work it will be more patchwork to be done

  • Carole Aug 20, 2017

    Brilliant idea to tea dye!!
    Carole recently posted…August This and That, Etsy Sale and Studio SaleMy Profile

    • Karen Aug 20, 2017

      I have only done it a couple times but each time I was pleased with the results

  • maxine lesline Aug 20, 2017

    Good idea to try the easiest remedy first… the tea dye, especially as strong as you make it, usually does the job. Quieting even a little of the white might be all that is needed… a lot of beautiful color in other blocks.

    • Karen Aug 20, 2017

      yes that is what I thought, I hated the thought of working with the seam ripper unless I really needed to – and with none of the rows or blocks sewed together it is the easiest way I think – just take the offending 4 patches off the wall and deal with them

  • Katy S Aug 20, 2017

    That’s a very clever idea! Can’t wait to see the “after” picture!
    Katy S recently posted…A Visit From ZeniaMy Profile

    • Karen Aug 20, 2017

      me too LOL – hope it turns out ok!

  • Mary Aug 20, 2017

    Thank you for sharing how you tea die. I have often thought about doing it. Is the color permanent to withstand being washed?
    Mary recently posted…Hot Weather Equals Quilting WeatherMy Profile

    • Karen Aug 20, 2017

      it has stood up to numerous washing over time – I have a few patches here and there in quilts where I remember tea dyeing a piece – I do not wash my quilts frequently but just on occasion once they are finished. Most of the time I put them in the dryer to freshen up, get the dust out etc. Mainly I wash them after I am done with a quilt and rarely after that. But I have always checked the tea dye patches and they are still beige in color

  • Angela Feldbush Aug 20, 2017

    I was thinking tea dye too as I started to read your post. It sounds like a great idea. So many fabulous projects in the works!

    • Karen Aug 20, 2017

      thanks Angela – I hope the tea dye will work, I have only done it a couple times – if not I guess I will be ripping

  • Jayne Aug 20, 2017

    I have never tea dyed before, but what a great solution! I’ll be watching to see how these turn out! Good luck!

    • Karen Aug 20, 2017

      thanks Jayne – I too hope it will work!

  • Deb Aug 20, 2017

    I like the tea dye solution / I wouldn’t want to be ripping all those apart for sure!
    Deb recently posted…Scrappy Granny FinishMy Profile

    • Karen Aug 20, 2017

      that is what I thought – if it doesn’t turn out right I guess I will do some ripping then

  • Diann Bottrell Aug 20, 2017

    The tea dying is a great idea! I’m curious to see what will happen. Loved the peek at all your other projects, too!
    Diann Bottrell recently posted…Stripes in the WildMy Profile

    • Karen Aug 20, 2017

      lol I’m curious as to what will happen too 🙂

  • Gail Aug 20, 2017

    I hope tea dying does the trick. Those lighter squares are a bit distracting as is. You have some lovely projects in progress. We all just need a bit more time to work on our UFO’s/WIP’s!

    • Karen Aug 20, 2017

      I thought they were distracting too, and of course didn’t notice it until it was on the wall and photos taken
      Karen recently posted…Design Wall UpMy Profile

  • Susan Aug 20, 2017

    I have tea dyed, it sure does help tone down the whites. I hate when you get to that stage and it doesnt work the way you want. I also hate those ecrus that look dirty or yellow! Yuck!

    • Karen Aug 20, 2017

      yes tea dye should work to at least not make them so white

  • Dottie bishaw Aug 20, 2017

    Boy, those white squares really stick out when you put them on the design wall. The tea dying is a good idea. I wonder if the fabric shrinks any after dyeing? I have never done any tea dyeing, so in your experience does it shrink enough to affect the size? You are really doing a lot about your WIP and will be done with them soon at the rate you’re going! Enjoy your slow stitching Sunday.

    • Karen Aug 20, 2017

      I am not planning on putting the squares in the dryer to dry and the tea water will be cooled off when I put the squares in the water so they shouldn’t shrink. I make the tea bath first and let it get seeped good then I put the squares in the water and will check them every couple minutes for awhile and see how it goes – I think I left some in once about 5 or 10 minutes and another time closer to 30 minutes – it is a wait and see and keep checking kind of process

  • Sarah Aug 20, 2017

    Yes I have tea dyed before but never (ever) been brave enough to do what you are going to do!!!! But I think you are right to give it a go. Your eye is drawn to the light colours. Your projects are beautiful though, a real inspiration.
    Sarah recently posted…‘1 year of stitches’My Profile

    • Karen Aug 20, 2017

      🙂 so far so good – the squares have been in the tea dye for 10 minutes now and are more of a light beige – letting them soak more – the darker squares seem to be the same but I’m sure they will be slightly darker – I will show tomorrow how they turned out!!

  • Quilter Kathy Aug 20, 2017

    That was fun to visit some on your WIPs and UFOs!
    Love those baskets and I think the tea dying will help you like it even more!
    Enjoy your slow stitching today and thanks for linking up!

    • Karen Aug 20, 2017

      thanks Kathy – I always think it is nice to get the WIP’s out now and then to remind yourself what you have waiting to work on before starting another – not that it stops me from starting but one would hope it would 🙂

  • Teresa Aug 20, 2017

    Although I have died fabric with both tea and coffee it has been so long ago that I probably wouldn’t have thought of it, but that will be so much faster than remaking the blocks. Good idea
    Teresa recently posted…Another WeekMy Profile

    • Karen Aug 20, 2017

      I have them out of the dye and laying on a towel to dry – I think it worked – well need to wait and see after they dry and put them back on the wall — how do you do it with coffee? does it pick up the dye really well?

  • Karen Beigh Aug 20, 2017

    The Midnight Garden blocks look intriguing. How far do you have to go on that quilt?
    Karen Beigh recently posted…A Life of PlentyMy Profile

    • Karen Aug 20, 2017

      the wall hanging calls for 9 blocks – I have only one done 🙁 then after you join the nine blocks there is some embroidery embellishments to do that cross over the blocks seams in a places a border can be added also – I really want to get back to it – I don’t know what took me away from it – probably hexies!

    • Karen Aug 20, 2017

      the pattern is by Deborah Kemball – here is a link

  • Cynthia Brunz Aug 20, 2017

    I will be looking forward to hearing how your tea dyeing process works. I have never tried it. I love those baskets. Thanks for sharing with Oh Scrap!
    Cynthia Brunz recently posted…Oh Scrap! : Wanna Trade?My Profile

    • Karen Aug 20, 2017

      I will show the results on tomorrows post – I hope they are now dry enough, hard to tell when wet – well press them later and back up to the design wall

  • Dolores Aug 20, 2017

    I like your scrappy baskets and it’s nice that you found a solution to your dilemma. Listing one’s unfinished projects is something I haven’t done. They are in my head but then again, one pops up before my eyes that I had forgotten about. Have fun completing yours.
    Dolores recently posted…Another sneak peekMy Profile

    • Karen Aug 20, 2017

      thanks Dolores – yes the tea dying is done and I think it turned out ok – stitching begins soon

  • Karen D Martin Aug 20, 2017

    I’ve only tea dyed small cuts of fabric. If the tea doesn’t work out, try the tan Rit liquid dye. It’s pretty close to a tea dye look.

    • Karen Aug 20, 2017

      the tea dye worked good enough – these patchwork measure 6 inches so were pretty small to work with.

  • Belarmina Aug 20, 2017

    Karen tus son muy bonitas!!
    estoy de acuerdo que los cuadros necesitan un baño de t´e o café
    Es muy buena idea.
    Veo muchos proyectos bonitos

    • Karen Aug 20, 2017

      thank you! the tea bath worked – could have been a little darker but it looks much better now

  • CathieJ Aug 20, 2017

    I like the tea-dying idea. You are right that it needs it. I really like all those other WIPs/UFOs. I hope you finish some of them soon.
    CathieJ recently posted…Great GadgetMy Profile

  • Janice Holton Aug 20, 2017

    Hi Karen! what kind of portable design wall do you have? Did you make it yourself of purchase it somewhere? And how big is it?
    Janice Holton recently posted…May I Share My Photography With You?My Profile

    • Karen Aug 20, 2017

      hey Janice – hope you are doing well and your house is about finished. I bought the design wall from Keepsake Quilting years ago – it is flannel with sleeves on all sides that you put flimsy bendable rods through lol – I prop it against the wall when I use it but it does have “legs” and supports that let you have it in the middle of a floor for instance but I have never heard of anyone that had luck with it like that – this is very light weight. it works but best to have it against the wall. The flannel surface is 75 x 75 inches. I do not see it on Keepsake anymore but this one from Amazon it it – I paid about $75 for it years ago – price is higher looks the same

    • Karen Aug 20, 2017

      I thought it was 75 x 75 but the one on Amazon says 72 and I just measured mine and it is 73.5 – so close otherwise it looks like the same product

  • Jill Aug 20, 2017

    I have tea dyed, but on a much smaller scale. I made a big bowl of tea, not too light and not too strong and added my blocks to get the desire ‘antique look.’ It did not take long for the fabric to grab the color. May I suggest you practice on scrap fabric. Good luck.
    Jill recently posted…Relaxed KnittingMy Profile

    • Karen Aug 20, 2017

      thank you Jill for the advise but I have done tea dye several times over the years with good results. I got my project done this morning and it turned out well – I would have made the solution a little stronger but ran out of tea bags LOL it worked good enough though.

  • Evie H Aug 21, 2017

    Just a thought: Maybe you can move the blocks around so a white points to a white and aren’t placed so randomly?

    • Karen Aug 21, 2017

      I played around with it a little more but it stayed basically the same – I am beginning to sew blocks together today after all

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