Sunday, August 24, 2008

All around 'blog land' I keep reading rumblings of fall approaching. I'm happy to jump right on board the Fall Is My Favorite Season bandwagon. While we don't get the fall weather that many experience, I more than compensate by decorating the house and preparing foods that bring the fall feel at least to the indoors.
Some of that will have to wait for just a few more weeks as we enjoy the last bits of summer. The sun has been shining bright and hot the last few days. That makes perfect conditions for coffee dyeing quilts and I have been keeping a little stash of quilts for just such an occasion.
First I put I put the quilts in the washing machine to get them wet. Then they were spread out on the lawn.
I mixed up a strong* solution of hot water, instant tea, instant coffee and vanilla and poured it on the wet quilts.
*if you want lighter color make it less strong or even omit the coffee all together.
Then I scrunched them up to help distribute the solution a little better. Next they are left like this to bake in the sun. The parts that are exposed will become much darker* than the rest of the quilt.
*if you want a more even color, just make sure the solution is evenly distributed and don't fuss with the scrunching.
After a few hours, I hung them on the line to finish drying completely. You can use your automatic dryer if you like, but beware the solution will come off on the drum - be sure to clean it thoroughly before you dry garments. What will wash right out of your quilts will NEVER come out of your favorite shirt.
There hasn't been much sewing going on, the Olympics continue to take the majority of my attention. With all that time in front of the television, I have basted a half yard of aged muslin into 1/2" hexagons for my star project. There is plenty more fabric cut to keep my hands busy during closing ceremonies tonight.
I also have repurposed a couple of blocks from an abandoned BOM project into pillow slipcovers for the couch. I have three more complete or nearly complete blocks that may get the same treatment or become little, individual quilts. Only time will tell.
Last, but not least, there is a picture of my naughty little friend in action. She jumped up on the sofa right behind me the other day when I was catching up on emails. Then yesterday when I came home from doing some errands, The Princess presented me with a picture of the very same naughty girl on a chair in the living room. We have a follow-up appointment this week with her veterinarian, I hope we are given the okay to resume all normal activity . . . seems that someone is ready.

38 comments:

dot said...

Interesting, but I don't think I could bring myself to do anything like that. You are a brave girl.

Carol said...

Libby they look wonderful! Love the look! Oh Miss Harper...the good news is that you know she's feeling better. The vet says they won't do that if they hurt. Hope the appointment goes well.

Joyce said...

I've never tried tea or coffee dyeing but I like the results you got. What does the vanilla do besides making it smell great? It costs an arm and a leg around here.

Susie said...

Hi Libby,
I've seen a few leaves falling and the air is a bit cooler at night. We still have Indian summer ahead of us though. I enjoyed reading about your coffee/tea dying. My daughter did that for a Halloween costume and it gave it an aged look.
Hope Harper gets the "all clear" on his vet visit!
xo

Quilt Hollow said...

Just about every small quilt I make gets a tea bath. For most people it seems insane to have done all that work and then "ruin" it with itentionally staining it. I've always said that my quilts are just shy of running them behind my car too. Thanks for sharing your secret....I just might try your way next time!

Kim said...

Feels like Fall coming on here in Minnesota, but the A/C is running as I write this. We'll have a toss of weather conditions here until winter sets in. Love the richness of Fall color and foods, oh my gosh...

This tea/coffee dye looks good on your quilts. I am going to use a Tan dye on a small quilt to see what comes of it. Didn't realize that there was scrunching involved in the process, thought the entire quilt is soaked in the coffee or dye. ?????

You sweet dog is looking pretty happy with herself. They always do when they think they are getting away with something real good!!

Rabbit Stitchings said...

I have never thought of using Instant tea or coffee before!!

Harper says oh Mom realllllly I am okay ... I will be careful getting up here :O) look at that smile on her :O)

I am very ready for fall as well, we never know what the temps will be...hopefully cooler of course I am thinking after this run of 100-107, 90 would feel good LOL... and please let this humidity go down!

Karen said...

I think my heart skipped a beat when I first started to read your entry. But, I must say, they do look wonderful. What do you think would happen if you put the quilts back in the washing machine for a little rinse to get out the excess solution? Then dry it on the line or in the dryer.

Stephanie D. said...

I can appreciate the tea/coffee dyeing, but I am not ready to take that plunge yet--nor do I think my choices of fabrics would show well.

But I have to say, yours look great!

The Quilt Buddy said...

Thanks for sharing your technique for tea dying quilts! It looks easier than I thought!

I just finished cutting up my squares to make more hexagons for my quilt, plus I am watching the Olympics and blogging at the same time! Talk about multi-tasking!

Thnks for sharing!

Catherine said...

I'm curious about the vanilla too -- what does it do? If you wash those quilts, will the tea-dying fade at all?
Hope Harper gets the all-clear and is back to her regular routine!

Stina said...

It´s an exciting progress to see how it will be when it has dried...many times I have wet them again and started over.. ;o)....but my heart always beat a little extra when I start the process!!
Love to see Harper getting better...:o)

May Britt said...

What a great way to dye the quilts. And love the photo of them hanging on the clothsline with the scarecrow behind.

dee said...

I just love reading how you do this. The quilts look wonderful and, of course, Harper is an adorable bonus.

Screen Door said...

Trying to pick out which quilt on the line is my favorite.... Your Quilted wardrobe took a big leap this weekend. We been doing some sorting and organizing. I'm with you-- never rush the seasons... all good things in time... :)

KCQuilter said...

Ooooh, thanks for the tute on tea/coffee staining quilts! What a great prim look! And, whew, good thing those Olympics are OVER--my sleep has suffered. And now--durn it--they are announcing the new Dancing With the Stars contestants. Sometimes TV consumes wa-a-ay too much of my time!!!!!

Marilyn R said...

Thanks for showing your tea/coffee/vanilla staining method. I may have to try that soon! This may be a goofy question, but after the quilts have dried do you then wash them again to get the excess dye mixture out of them?

Quilt Memories said...

Great dyeing technique, I would never do that cause I would be to afarid, I'm a chicken at heart, besides I don't make enough quilts to do all that!!LOL
Looks like Harper thought he had already been given the ok to do whatever he wants...heehee
Bobbin

Julia said...

I have never tried this but, I love the look of it. What happens when you wash them the first time, does some of it wash out?
I hope that Harper gets the go ahead to be back to normal. This has been a long haul for you all.

Did you try freezing your pest yet? I haven't done mine yet. I did shred up a few zucchini and put it in the freezer Saturday. So nice to begin the harvest stages of my garden.

Judy said...

Never underestimate the ability to shove one's body onto even the smallest amount of space showing on the "forbidden" zone!

Karen said...

I have never seen your coffee dyeing method. Interesting. And thanks for the tip about drying them in the dryer and what can happen.
Your repurposing an abadoned project is a good idea. Love the pillow you made. The whole quilt would have been nice. I checked out the web site to see what it would look like.

quilterpolly said...

I love how you do the tea dying however what does the vanilla have to do with it?

I love fall. I love the smell in the air and I remember when the kids were little how they would smell after coming in the house from playing outside and they would have bits of leaves on their clothes and they would have a runny nose but they played so hard. I don't think we really see anything different here in California. They don't have much of a change of season here. It does make me homesick thinking about it.

Mrs. Goodneedle said...

Hi, Harper!! I'm glad you're back to your old tricks! That's good news indeed.

The quilt aging process takes guts, the results are fantastic, Libby! well done.

Grazia said...

I like this dyeing effect very much!!!!
Your friend is lovely!!!!
Grazia

Chocolate Cat said...

What a gorgeous photo of Harper, think she likes the comforts of home!!!
You are so brave dying your quilts , they look great but don't think I could bring myself to do it!

Caron said...

LOVE LOVE LOVE the dyed quilts!!!
And your little daisey pillow is fantastic. Your blog is a regular read for me.

Carin said...

The quilts look wonderful with the instant aging I have never tried that.

Guðrún said...

Can you wash it out of the quilts?

sewprimitive karen said...

Hi, Libby, bravo on your quilt-ageing treatment, what great photos. They look great! As others are asking, what happens if you wash them?

Tracey @ozcountryquiltingmum said...

Oh dear, that just scared the heck out of me... yoy are so brave-but they came out well! Tracey

paula, the quilter said...

I've often thought of 'darken' some overly white quilts. Thanks for the tutorial.

paula, the quilter said...

O and after my little trip to the High Country, I can, with all authority, say that the aspens are NOT turning yet. Summer is still here.

Marcie said...

YOU are a crazy woman! Wow! Scrunched up quilts that you leave outside. I am in awe.

Carole said...

Thanks for sharing your method of aging. I had read your entry on the group and was eager to check it out! Well, okay, I'm always eager to see what you're up too! ;o)

Wendy said...

My hubby is always asking me why I like my quilts dirty, he just doesn't understand. I love how you do your tea and coffee dying.

yellowfarmhouse said...

LOVE IT - and love the look.

Hugs - Karen

Michelle said...

Wow...how interesting. I *love* the one on the gate!

Quilts And Pieces said...

Oh look at that face - what a sweetie!