Friday, May 1, 2015

Homemade Laundry Soap

Last May I found information online about making your own laundry soap. I gave it a try and I'm happy to say I'm hooked.

When I was researching recipes on making the laundry soap, I sort of combined and tweaked several to make my version. The batch I made lasted me one year and just the other day I made my second batch for the coming year.

Here is my recipe, in case you are interested.

Homemade Laundry Soap

3 bars Fels-Naptha soap, grated
1 76-oz. box Borax
1 55-oz. box Washing Soda
1 4-lb. box Baking Soda
4 to 5 lbs. OxyClean
Scent crystals, optional

I learned it is easier to grate the soap if it has been microwaved. I do this in my garage with all the doors open because it really has a strong smell. Yes, I learned this the hard way when I made my first batch. It's a good thing hubby has that extra microwave sitting out there in the garage for me to use.  I cut the soap bar into quarters and place two quarters on a paper plate. In my microwave it takes a little under two minutes and it will puff up and feel lighter in weight. Let the microwaved soap cool well. Once it is cool, you grate it. I grate the soap in my food processor which has a shredding blade. Oh my, did that work great and so quick.

Next I mixed all the ingredients together. I guess on the quantity of OxyClean because I usually buy an 11-lb. container of it. So really, the recipe is no exact science and a little variation is okay. I wear a dust mask while mixing everything because some of this stuff is very powdery.

Next I put the mix into containers. I use a small scoop, which is about two to three tablespoons in size and I use just one scoop per load of laundry. If a load is heavily soiled I may add a bit extra or just toss in some extra OxyClean. I figured that the cost to make this was about $20 to $22. And that lasts me for the year. By the way, I buy all my ingredients from Walmart, except for the OxyClean, which I buy at Sams Club. 

Monday, April 27, 2015

License Plate Quilt

Last summer I participated in making a license plate quilt block for my state, North Dakota. The block was made with American Made Brand fabrics and there was a quilter from each of the 50 states that participated. Here is the resulting license plate quilt.

I love how this quilt turned out. You can see the block I made in the third row from the top and smack in the center of that row.

Here is where I first blogged about my making of my block:

The quilt has been exhibited at several quilt shows around the country and is scheduled for more shows in the future. Maybe you had or will have the chance to see it.

Read more about the quilt on the Clothworks blog here.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

New Table Runner

I was recently inspired by a YouTube video to create some Cathedral Window blocks.

In the video the quilter also made a table runner but set her blocks differently and made a longer and narrower runner. This was my first time creating the Cathedral Window block.

Here is a close up of the quilting. I like how this turned out.

Here is the link to see the video on YouTube:

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Need to Blog More

It seems I continue to have trouble keeping up with blogging lately. So I'm going to try something new to see if it helps with posting here more. Today I installed the Blogger app onto my iPad. This is my first post using it.

Today I am weaving. I really enjoy spending time with my loom. This is a view of some towels I'm working on. I've currently got four of eight towels woven.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Creating Away

Hello friends! It's been a while. I guess I was taking a bit of a blog break. While being absent here, I have been keeping very busy. 

If you regularly read my blog, you may remember that last fall I purchased a loom. That loom, a rigid heddle loom, awakened a new creative journey for me. Rigid heddle looms are a somewhat simpler loom. It didn't take me long to realize that I wanted to do more than that loom could offer. More in the way of patterning and consistency in woven fabrics. So when a "can't pass this up" opportunity happened my way, I bought another loom. One that would do what I wanted to do. 

I purchased the second loom, a Schacht Baby Wolf 4-shaft, in January from a local friend who had gotten herself a new loom. I've been weaving away ever since. Below are several of the projects I've woven since January. They are all towels with the last photo showing some placemats. I've been learning some new weave structures and tweaking my weaving techniques in order to learn how to create well made and error-free products. Many of the towels below are not hemmed yet as I'm waiting for my new labels to arrive so I can sew them in while I'm hemming.

I've also been doing some painting lately. Here are four of my recent ones. They still need a coat of varnish/sealer on them.

I do still make quilts. In case you were wondering. In fact, I'm ready to get started on one today. I've printed my pattern out and it's ready to tape together.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Keep On Researching

On February 4, earlier this month, there was a fabulous fundraising event that benefited the American Cancer Society. You may remember it...

This is the quilt I made and donated to THE 100.

Just yesterday I received a wonderful email from the patron who donated to this fundraiser and was selected to receive my quilt.  Here is Allison with the quilt:

Allison Church Bird in her lab with art quilt made by Terri Stegmiller

The most wonderful thing about Allison is that she is a breast cancer researcher at Auburn University. She told me she will be displaying the quilt in her lab and from the looks of her lab it seems she loves quilts as you can see more in the background. Thank you to Allison and all those who do this important work.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Art in My Journal

This year I decided to try something different. Since I'm always wanting to spend more time creating mixed media art in my journals, I thought I would join some groups to inspire me.

The first group I joined was Soul Food and that one just started at the beginning of February. I haven't started any of those lessons yet.

Then, after a friend was telling me she enjoys Life Book, I looked closer at that one and decided to join that one as well. Life Book 2015 started in January. 

I've created these four pages in my journal so far. The lessons aren't necessarily created for journal pages, but I decided from the beginning that I would do all my work from the two groups in my journal. That is the only rule I have given date.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Blog Hop Winners

Yikes! It was lunch time and suddenly I remembered that I needed to draw two winners for the blog hop. I am so glad I remembered.

It was slightly challenging to go through the comments as there seemed to be some sort of glitch and several comments were duplicated. So I needed to go through and count everyone and number them manually, excluding the duplications.

Without further ado......

The first name drawn wins a copy of Fabric Printing at Home:

Sew Quilt Embroider

Beautiful fabrics and interesting techniques! I will look for this book!

The second name drawn wins the three pieces of fabric:

I'd have a lot of fun figuring out how to use your fabrics. Can't say which I'd like more -- the book or the fabrics. Probably the fabrics. Reminds me of the story about the woman who was forced to choose either her husband or her only brother to save from the vicious kidnappers. All were surprised when she chose the brother, rather than her husband, whom she loved dearly. She explained, "My parents are dead so I could never get another brother, but I expect I could find another husband to love."

Congratulations to Sew Quilt Embroider and Brenda!!!!!  I will be emailing you soon. Thank you to all who stopped by and left a comment.

Friday, February 13, 2015

BLOG HOP - Fabric Printing at Home

There's a new book in town and I think you will like it. Fabric Printing at Home by Julie B. Booth is a great guide book on so many methods for printing designs on fabric. Everything in the book is very accessible and the techniques are easy and doable.

I was thrilled when Julie asked me to participate in her blog hop to celebrate the recent release of this book. I have been a long time fan of printing my own fabrics and there are so many ways to go about it. Julie covers all kinds of printing tools that you will most likely already have at home. From found objects and recycled objects to fruits and veggies, it's in there! Everything shared in the book is made using fabric paints--no dyes or chemicals, although you could use fiber reactive dyes if you wanted to. 

The next photos are some ways that I have printed on fabrics. Up first is a recycled cardboard tube that I hot glued some jute twine onto. I brayered a layer of textile paint onto my plexiglass palette and rolled the tube over the paint. Then I rolled the tube over my fabric. 

In the second example, I cut off a piece of our snow fence material and used it as a stencil. Just roll over the top with your foam roller.

And next is an example where I repurposed an empty sticker sheet. I had purchased a set of heart stickers and when I had used all the stickers from the sheet, I used a craft knife to cut the heart shapes through the bottom layer of the sheet. Instant stencil!

Julie's book will spark all kinds of new ways that you can print on fabric. And you can also use the ideas to print on paper too. No limitations here!

How would you like to have your very own copy of this book? If you leave a comment on this post you will be entered into a drawing to win a copy.

I will choose two names randomly, and the first name I draw will win a copy of Fabric Printing at Home and the second name will win the three pieces of fabric I printed here. Be sure that your comment has contact info so that I can contact you if I draw your name.

Deadline to enter is 11:59 p.m. Central Time on Sunday February 15. I will draw the winning names on Monday, February 16 and announce them here.

Please be sure to check out all the other blogs that are participating in this hop:

February 1 - 14: Julie Booth
February 2: Lisa Chin
February 3: Lynn Krawczyk
February 4: Jane Davila
February 5: Carol R. Eaton
February 6: Judy Gula
February 7: Susan Purney Mark
February 8: Teri Lucas
February 9: Jennifer Coyne Qudeen
February 10: Deborah Boschert
February 11: Lynda Heines
February 12: Cheryl Sleboda
February 13: Terri Stegmiller
February 14: Jackie Lams


Wednesday, February 11, 2015

My New Favorite Thing

I have found a new toy and I am in love with it. It is Jacquard Color Magnet.

This product is used with fabric dyeing and has been available for some time now but for some reason I just hadn't been inclined to try it. Well better late than never and now that I have I am totally hooked. The first jar I bought was gone in no time. 

For my Color Magnet trials I used both Thermofax screens and stencils. The first piece of fabric was my first trial and I mixed my dye slightly too dark, but I still love the result. It is much easier to see the results of this one in person.

What I don't love about this product is -- it is slightly too runny. I wish it was just a bit thicker right out of the jar. Also, there is only one size available. Yes, I want to buy a gallon, please!

Have you tried Color Magnet?