Sunday, June 14, 2009

More Adventures from the Bonehead Fiber Studio


I'm almost always working on some kind of textile project, usually knitting, but there's the occasional quilting that happens as well. I almost never follow someone else's pattern or directions. I get a strong image of the finished project, I read up on technique, and I just sort of go for it.

This method gets me in a Lot Of Trouble.

Back in 2005, Robb and I took a vacation on the island of Kauai, in Hawaii. It was a wonderful trip.

We explored the island and snorkeled.

We ate all sorts of insane tropical fruits that we bought at roadside stands.

We went kayaking.
(The misadventures of that outing are a story for another time)

We marveled at the flora.

And the fauna.

And we brought home some really awesome quilting fabric. Hawaii has a very interesting textile history, particularly in terms of the islands' unique form of applique quilting. (I bought a one pillow-cover in this style, which was a bit of a splurge.)

The fabrics I bought were inspired by the lush tropical patterns of the Aloha shirt. I made my niece an exuberant baby blanket, and I started work on a quilt for Robb.

Somehow the work on that quilt did not proceed very quickly. It wasn't particularly interesting, in terms of the actual work to be done, and I picked away at it, from time to time. (I machine piece my quilts, but I always hand-quilt them. I'm a slowpoke, under the best of circumstances.)

When Robb broke his back, I folded the quilt up, and shoved it in a bag on the bottom of a bookshelf in our living room.

I've been feeling domestic lately, and decided to pull out the quilt, to see how much work was left to do.

My total lack of conventional technique and general slackiness jumped off of that quilt and bit me in the ass. ( Who knew that quilts had such sharp pointy little teeth?)

Because the pattern of the fabric was so out-of-control, I had decided that the quilting stitches would be a series of parallel lines. And because it was hard to see any marks made on my boldly-printed fabric, I had the "brilliant" idea to stick big piece of masking tape across the quilt, and draw my measurements on the tape.

This might have been a good idea, if the tape was going to stay in place for a week or two. I had left the tape on for months, before abandoning the quilt. Although I had removed the tape before sticking the quilt in storage, the tape left behind stiff, sticky adhesive residue. And it stained the fabric a depressing dingy orange.


Yesterday afternoon, I spent more time than I would like to admit, soaking the fabric in rubbing alcohol, and scrubbing the quilt with Comet and a nail brush. Most of the staining has come off, but there's still a weird stiff stickiness. Hopefully this can be removed with a solvent.

I'm such a bonehead.


Anonymous said...

It's lovely! You'd want to test it out for discoloration, but Goo Gone is a great & inexpensive adhesive remover. I haven't used it on fabric but it says you can.

- spencer

Kellyann Brown said...

...and I thought I was the only person who came back from Hawaii with more fabric in my suitcase than clothes!

Anonymous said...

My Mom and i were discussing hawaiian quilting last night! i love applique and the crazy colors. my favorite color combo de jour is bright orange and magenta. it's delicously muppety and a little bit dunkin donuts.


Lisa said...

I'm holding off on strong solvents like Goo Gone, because of the toxicity.

My rue of thumb is to start with the weakest least dangerous solvent and then work my way up.

I think the next thing I'm going to try is vodka.

. . . Lisa and Robb . . . said...

Oh, and that quilt in the photo?

That was from a few years back. It was a gift to a co-worker's new baby.

Robb's quilt is even louder than that.

yosemjd said...

I checked with my other quilting buddies and had Grandma's Secret Spot Remover recommended. Non-toxic, and available at quilt stores.

Fellow letterboxer and quilted,
Yosemite MJD

. . . Lisa and Robb . . . said...

Why do I think that Grandma's stain remover will be vodka?

They use it all the time for theatrical costumes.

2007 said...

Your first two photos would make amazing art quilts! I hope you'll try one of them and show it off to us in the future. You can do 'thread play' instead of the long, slow process of hand-quilting them too.

. . . who's tried her hand at art quilts but is mostly a piecing/traditional quilter


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