If you’re Rhinebeck-bound, we would love to see you at Jill Draper’s studio in Kingston on Saturday night–details here.

Whip Up Whiplash

Dear Ann,
I had an exceedingly crafty weekend, how about you? But first, I need to announce that my conscience is free of all bonds and obligations undertaken with respect to my Olympic 16 Hats For Dulaan pledge. I give you:
The Final Four.
As you can see, the corrugated rib groove carried me all the way through. I love how 2-color ribbing highlights the striping of the Noro. In hat 14, the somber shades of the Noro Silk Garden rescued an insipid pale blue and white Rio de la Plata (yummy yarn, just don’t know why I picked that pasty shade).
I especially love the woven look on the wrong side. It gives me all kinds of ideers. Why is this magnificent technique so seldom seen outside of cuffs and edgings? (Um, because it’s slow and tedious? Is that a very good reason? I think NOT.)
A fond goodbye to an Alp of hats. I had a great time making them.
Crafty Sunday: The Chroni-What-Cles of Darn-ia
Now, you know about Whip Up don’t you? A group of the bestest, most craftiest bloggers, updating constantly on every aspect of making stuff by hand, by all means and in all media? Whip Up makes me dizzy with crafty longing. I cannot walk through my apartment without seeing something that needs whipping up. I start to think about branching out beyond knitting, beyond log-cabinning on borrowed sewing machines, beyond……the pale.
Whip Up is totally to blame for what I did yesterday. What I did yesterday involved a Cherished Wedding Gift and this:
Be afraid. Be very afraid.
The Cherished Wedding Gift in question is what I call, with no pejorative connotation, a Catalog Quilt. I have quite a few Catalog Quilts. I buy them, well from catalogs of course, because I prefer cotton quilts to regular blankets and down comforters and stuff like that. You can wash them and hang them on the line and they are so dang cuddly. When I started, I didn’t have any ‘real’ quilts to compare them to, so I didn’t mind that their quilting is kind of …. sketchy…. or that their color schemes can be bland or matchy-matchy. Even with my more educated appreciation of craftsmanship, I still enjoy scoring a nice quilt in the Garnet Hill super-duper middle-of-the-catalog-70-percent-off sale. This particular quilt was a wedding gift from 4 sibs who are beloved cousins-in-law. They asked me what color I liked (being the bride and the only person whose color preference mattered), and I said blue (surprise!), and they gave us this:
We got married in 1991. So naturally there are a few spots that are worn-out and busted. In the quilt I mean.
I love a Matching Pillow Sham, and this quilt was my very first experience of it. I felt so grown up. I would invite people to visit: “Please stay with us,” I would say. ‘We have Matching Pillow Shams, you know.’ I don’t ever want to get rid of this quilt, or any quilt, but Whip Up got me started thinking I could IMPROVE this quilt. So yesterday, my helper man (Joseph) and I set to work.
Although I’ve read of Kaffe Fassett painting dye on the strips of a quilt that were too light, one look at Joseph, and the Rit box warnings about staining, convinced me that I should go the Washing Machine Route.
First you mix up some salty dye soup.
Euw. Second thoughts occurring now. Joseph is hell-bent, though.
So we washed, we soaked, we re-set the machine 6 or 7 times, we rinsed and at the end of it all we pulled this out of the dryer:
Mmmmm, denimy! (See the sham to compare the original color.) The pattern still shows–yay for that. I might give it a second treatment to deepen the blue when I restore the shams to their original, intended matchy-matchiness. A successful project, thanks to a bad case of Whip Up Fever. I wonder what’s going on over there today. Hmmmm?



  1. Rock on with those blues. I’m glad you’re continuing according to the plans my fantasy has for your life, and your role in this world: Kay Paints the World Denim.

  2. …and didn’t we love old Larry McMurtry in HIS denim at the OSCARS!
    Garnet Hill and Land’s End Sale quilts are my favorite too…….

  3. That’s pretty danged CUTE.

  4. Wow, that first picture just knocked my socks off. What an opening blast of colour!

  5. I am so glad there is a name for that overwhelming exuberance for all things made out of other little pieces of things! I am a sequential crafter: first needle point,then there was counted X stitch,followed by quilting, rughooking and now knitting. WHIP UP, I love it!

  6. Great crafty weekend! Sometimes I have the urge to dye something and I start sideways glances at the cat. A beloved quilt is a much better option. Maybe I’ll reconsider some of the ones my grandmother has made me over the years with her questionable color-matching skills. Long live denim!

  7. man, that is fabulous!
    how did the washer fare?

  8. Your hats got more and more complex, no wonder you needed a little extra time! Congrats on finishing the Olympic challenge!

  9. You… you can do that? You can throw things in the washer with dye and… and they turn out like that? Brilliant!
    I think I shouldn’t have read this while sitting on an old, faded rug.

  10. sew happie ewe R still hooked on fabby fabrics. long live the quilting Bees! you’ve put me in such a “scrappy” mood…..thanx!

  11. Wow, aren’t you adventurous? What a great idea for a faded quilt!

  12. Kaaaaaaaaaaaay, I just love this blue thing you’ve got going on. A kwestion: why do you put salt in with the dye? Does it, like, make it better? Tastier?
    Did helper man turn blue, too? I can hardly imagine how he could escape it.

  13. Clooney. That’swhatI’mtalkinabout.

  14. ooh, i must learn how to do 2-color ribbing; though 2-color anything scares me.

  15. The cleverness of Kay! Hats and refurbished quilts. i could just dye!

  16. is there a corrugated rib instructional video?????

  17. You young whipupsnapper! I love a new, blue life for that quilt. Way to reduce, reuse, recycle, Kay.

  18. kay, i will be holding you personally responsible for my unscheduled hour-long detour to the WhipUp extravaganza. and the resulting unfolded laundry. too many interesting things to read about, too little time. grrr!!! cannot (yet) justify hiring babysitter to make more crafts…

  19. First, Kay, each of those hats is a perfect little jewel.
    Second, I’m not sure whether to thank you or blame you for the steady stream of brilliant web links that devour my free (and not-so-free) time. Whip Up — what a great new site. And the vintage clothing site puts me into a swoon everytime I look at it.

  20. Great stuff, Kay. I very much like that corrugated ribbing too. Also the boxy look of those hats. As for the dyeing, I can only add to the chors: what happened to the washing machine? Will it denim-dye the next many washing loads? Also, did Joseph behave or does he now have a few Denim spots?
    Ann, regarding the salt, I’m not 100% sure, but here is my explanation: the salt serves to ‘crowd out’ the dye from the water into the fabric. The colour molecules, being those blue-blooded snobs they are, want nothing to do with those lowly, common salts crowding the swimming pool, so they instead go and have a party on the fabric instead. A more scientific explantion would be that the salt acts as an osmotic agent. The dye molecules without salt would form ionic and hydrogen-hydrogen bonds with water, coat itself with water, and not bind to the fabric. With salt, the salt ions (sodium+, chlorine-) compete with the dye for the water, pushing it towards adsorption onto the fabric. Also, salt helps the solution to penetrate the fabric fibres better.
    And yes, I’m a showy knowe-it-all. 😉

  21. Lovely! It gives me ideas for other things….

  22. Cool blues!
    Hot hats!
    Did you use a pattern for those lovely hats? I love ’em all!

  23. Congrats on the hats! And the quilt is loverly. I am personally trying to steer away from the blues, but oh, how they pull me. Your quilt makes me want to rethink that whole green bedspread idea….
    I also love Whip Up! Thanks for the heads up.

  24. I love what you have done to your Log Cabin quilt! May you enjoy it for many more years. Also love the hats and encourage you to tell us how you did them. In the meantime, I’ll brush up on corrugated rib.

  25. Let’s see, I’m guessin’ … needles 10 1/2.. cast on 60 stitches? about 7 inches>? decrease/ was I close? as you can see, I am not the only one with hat interrest. nancy, your dulaan hat pal.

  26. Let’s see, I’m guessin’ … needles 10 1/2.. cast on 60 stitches? about 7 inches>? decrease/ was I close? as you can see, I am not the only one with hat interrest. nancy, your dulaan hat pal.

  27. that’s some bluesy goodness right there…
    whipup is addictive. i love the dulaan hats!

  28. wait! it’s too early in the morning for flashbacks!
    i was recently seized by a similar notion — that A) I needed something to go with a sweater I knit that didn’t go with anything and B) in the DONATE box were a pair of corduroys that i actually really liked except that they were a pale color and now too stained to wear in public.
    aided by my box of purple RIT quickly snatched from the drugstore shelf and my two able assistants (aged 5 and 8), we boiled the pants atop the stove. (i failed to grasp the machine dye wisdom.) soon, having splashed the dye onto the outfits of said able assitants, things broke down into sort of a tie dye party. the 8 year old is totally miffed still as she won’t wear anything not-pink. the 5 year old’s wardrobe, therefore, has undergone significant enhancement, but was expecting garcia-inspired rainbows from the pot of purple when i said tie-dye rather than a darker purple shirt.
    me, i was reminded that RIT dye washes out a lot. my pants are fading with each wash. and i have some nice purple and blue checked kitchen towels now. which reminds me of some pathetically not-quite-black clothes in the early 80’s.


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