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virquilt's picture

I am trying to find comparisons of Baby Lock, Husq Designer etc electronic top of the line machines. Is there anywhere on the internet where such reviews can be had?

ThreadKoe's picture

(post #30407, reply #55 of 55)

Thanks.  I figure that a bit here and a bit there for interest is fun.  Cathy

Josefly's picture

(post #30407, reply #24 of 55)

That is an amazing quilt, thank you for showing it. And yes, it is similar to the one(s) I saw, though I remember shades of blue and green. I wish I could remember the creators' names - one or all of the similar ones I saw may have been created by Carol Bryer Fallert. When I saw that jacket pictured in the Threads article, these quilts were the first thing I thought of.

I continue to be reminded how much engineering skill sewers have. This kind of 3-D fabric manipulation just wows me. Then you put the color into it - mind-boggling.

And thank you for the notes about batik fabric - I think I understood the process of batik to be resist-dying, usually with wax as the resist agent. So many of the batiks I saw had floral and/or leaf designs - so I assumed that those designs were "printed" on the fabric with a resist agent at some point before or during the dying process. I know the fabrics I saw at the quilt shop were extraordinary. But I'm wondering if some of the less expensive "batik" fabrics I've seen at other shops aren't made more like the standard printed cottons, resembling genuine batik only in the style and colors of the prints? I suppose an indication of that would be that the selvages would be left unprinted and the colors wouldn't completely penetrate the fabric, unlike the fabric I purchased. I'll look more closely when I'm in the store.

damascusannie's picture

(post #30407, reply #25 of 55)

The quilts in the museum are often ones that won awards at the AQS show. It has a purchase award, which means that if you want the cash prize, you basically sell the quilt to the museum in exchange. I believe that one of Carol's quilts, in the colors you describe, was a winner in its class a few years back, but she's not the only one using this sort of fabric manipulation.

Yes, batiks are a made with a wax-resist, and the commercial batiks are made with big blocks that have a raised design carved into them. They are dipped in the wax and then stamped on the fabric. I remember reading an article about this not too long ago, probably in Quilter's Newsletter Magazine.

A true batik is easy to identify because it is dipped into the dye vat, so that the color saturates the fabric, including the selvedges. You are right in that there are "faux" batiks being made using printing processes, but I much prefer the real deal.

Annie in Wisconsin, USA
~~Doodlestein Designs Quilt Patterns
~~Finely Finished: Machine quilting worked on a treadle sewing machine.
See patterns, quilting, and National sewing machines at: http://community.webshots.com/user/damascusannie

Annie in Wisconsin, USA ~~Doodlestein Designs Quilt Patterns ~~Finely Finished: Machine quilting worked on a treadle sewing machine. See patterns, quilting, and National sewing machines at: http://community.webshots.com/user/damas...
Josefly's picture

(post #30407, reply #28 of 55)

Faux batiks. Much better description than "batik prints". Thank you.

I'll be on the lookout for more of these sculptural quilts. I think they're wonderful.

ThreadKoe's picture

(post #30407, reply #26 of 55)

The beauty of a true batik is that it can almost be considered double sided.  Because the colour saturates the fabric, it is as beautiful on the wrong side as it is on the right side.  This means that it can be hard to tell right from wrong.  Just make sure you cut all your pieces the same way (unless you want a special effect from using the wrong side of course.) 


You are correct in checking the selvedge.  A true batik will not have white edges.  A batik may have a print overlaid on it, as part of the design.  However, it should still seem almost the same on both sides of the fabric.  When cost is a factor, there is nothing wrong with a batik style print-as long as it is sold as that.  As always, buyer beware, but be informed.  Cathy

Josefly's picture

(post #30407, reply #27 of 55)

Thanks, that affirms what I suspected about the cheaper "batiks". The fabric I bought, though, from the quilt shop, is just gorgeous. As I said earlier, I believe it's woven tighter, and straighter, than any other cotton I've seen in a long time, and the selvages are undetectable, both visually and tactilely. I think I could've used the selvage edges easily without worrying about puckering, etc, in the seams. And you're right - I had to be careful cutting out and sewing the pieces together, because it was so difficult to tell "right" from "wrong" side. There were some small "spatters" and "cracks" of dye that didn't show on the wrong side, and that had to be looked at closely. But I suppose someone might've liked the "cleaner" look of the wrong side. I just can't praise this cotton fabric enough. No wax residue on this stuff, though.

I once saw a video of batik-making, where, instead of stamping waxed designs onto the fabric, and then vat-dyeing, the fabric was colored with dye being poured or dripped on from containers with very narrow openings, so that tiny lines and designs could be produced. The images were thus "drawn on" free hand. I have a couple of wall-hangings from Israel, and one from Iceland, done in that way. I imagine wax was used somewhere in the process, to keep the dye from spreading into unwanted areas of the fabric - perhaps the color being poured out of the containers was actually colored, melted wax. Not sure of this, though.

ThreadKoe's picture

(post #30407, reply #29 of 55)

The designs could have been drawn with the dyes, and then covered by wax to keep the pattern before overdying.  There are many ways of doing the patterns.  They can even be painted on with brushes, or dabbed on with fine quill like sticks.  Block printing as well.  Like many artistic mediums,  it is whatever the artist prefers to work with, and what traditional methods are used in the areas that the artist learned the craft. 


Because the batik is a multistep dyeing process, with several dryings inbetween, plus the removal of the wax, they are pretty well preshrunk.  This is why the weave is so tight. The grain is so straight, because they are not going to put all that work into poor quality cloth.  Batiks should still be prewashed, even though there will be little shrinkage.  There may still be some dye run off, or wax residue.  Most quilting cotton, and the rayon batik will not have these problems, but there is no guarantee.   Cathy

damascusannie's picture

(post #30407, reply #30 of 55)

I've found some batiks to be terrific bleeders and others very little. No rhyme or reason to which ones bleed and which ones don't either. One of the worst I've ever had was a light blue and then I've had bright reds and purples that were perfectly colorfast. It really depends on how carefully they wash the fabric once the dying process is over.

We are discussing this on a quilting forum as a prewashed hand-dyed fabric (not a batik) has bled into the white areas on a lady's quilt and the dye stains seem to be permanent already. I fear that it's a fiber reactive dye and she'll never get the stains out, which would be a terrible shame since it's a hand-appliqued project. This is why I ALWAYS prewash every fabric in my white sink before it goes upstairs to the studio. I have two bags of fabric sitting on the counter in the bathroom right now, waiting for me to get to washing them. Until that water runs clear, the fabric stays downstairs!

Annie in Wisconsin, USA
~~Doodlestein Designs Quilt Patterns
~~Finely Finished: Machine quilting worked on a treadle sewing machine.
See patterns, quilting, and National sewing machines at: http://community.webshots.com/user/damascusannie

Annie in Wisconsin, USA ~~Doodlestein Designs Quilt Patterns ~~Finely Finished: Machine quilting worked on a treadle sewing machine. See patterns, quilting, and National sewing machines at: http://community.webshots.com/user/damas...
ThreadKoe's picture

(post #30407, reply #31 of 55)

Oh My!  I could just cry for her.  How badly did the dye bleed and what colour was it?  What has she tried, if anything yet?  I ran into a similar problem like this once when I was working at the fabric shop.  I am trying to remember the product that removes dyes.  It is painted onto the areas that have bled only, and then rinsed out.   Hair colourists use a similar product to remove excess colour from the skin when dyeing hair.  Perhaps that might work as well? 


I prewash everything as well.  Straight from the store to the sink or the washer.  I do not have time to 2nd guess if my stash is washed or not.  So it gets washed before it goes upstairs.  I am also a bit sensitive to the smell of some fabric finishes they use on fabrics, so I always wash them well. 


I had a lovely piece of fuschia fabric that never seemed to rinse clear.  It just kept fading.  I ended up throwing it out.  No matter how hard I tried to set the colour, it still bled.  Not worth the effort to keep even for a muslin, as it left marks on everything.      Cathy


 

damascusannie's picture

(post #30407, reply #35 of 55)

Bleeding fabric: She's tried rewashing it in Synthrapol but was afraid to try anything else. We sent her to Paula Burch's website, which I think is probably the best site on dyes and dying on the internet.

I don't trust the washing machine to remove dye completely after seeing how much some pre-washed fabrics can still bleed. I had one client make a quilt with some beautiful purple fabric, which she prewashed as she always does. Well, the first time she washed the quilt, the purple bled into the white sections, even though she'd used cold water and a mild detergent. So, now all my fabrics are washed in my white sink and they aren't allowed into the studio until I can't see any more dye leaching into the water in the sink.

Annie in Wisconsin, USA
~~Doodlestein Designs Quilt Patterns
~~Finely Finished: Machine quilting worked on a treadle sewing machine.
See patterns, quilting, and National sewing machines at: http://community.webshots.com/user/damascusannie

Annie in Wisconsin, USA ~~Doodlestein Designs Quilt Patterns ~~Finely Finished: Machine quilting worked on a treadle sewing machine. See patterns, quilting, and National sewing machines at: http://community.webshots.com/user/damas...
Josefly's picture

(post #30407, reply #37 of 55)

I love this thread! What fun. Tucked away and hidden in "new machine review"! Batiks, wax in the washing machine, mud and manure - what else?

The Batikbutik site is great. Looked for a retail outlet in my state, and there is none, so I'd have to order online. I saw the patterns you mentioned, and there are several I would like to have, including the sarongs. Which one are you planning to make?

ThreadKoe's picture

(post #30407, reply #38 of 55)

I think you meant to address this to me.  Tee hee,  but Annie will not mind.  I have the pattern for the Kusamba Dress, Tunic and Pants.  When I was at the show last year, almost all the ladies in the booth were wearing the same pattern, and it looked great, and different, on all of them, even tho they ranged in size from very very petite to very rubanesque.   I had a knit only dress pattern that I love that is similar, but no darts.  One lady was wearing almost all the pieces layered as a coordinated outfit with several colours of the batiks.  Beautiful.   There are two shops within a half a day from me, so I am going to take a trip soon!   Cathy

Josefly's picture

(post #30407, reply #41 of 55)

Yes, you're right...sorry I lost track of who mentioned the Batik Butik. The pattern you have looks very versatile. All the patterns look loose and comfortable, just right for rayon. Very nice.

You and Annie are making me envious of farm life.

ThreadKoe's picture

(post #30407, reply #42 of 55)

There are two sides to every coin Josefly, and as idyllic as it sounds sometimes, the other side is a lot of hard work, bad smells, and long hours.  But I wouldn't trade it for anything.   Cathy

Josefly's picture

(post #30407, reply #43 of 55)

As I wrote that I was envious, I started to add that I don't believe I could ever have managed the long, hard physical work. But I didn't want to detract from the fun just thinking about the kids' freedom and opportunity to "make mischief."

ThreadKoe's picture

(post #30407, reply #45 of 55)

Sorry Friend if my reply seemed a little short tempered!  I was going to edit it after I posted but got called away to bring wood in for the woodstove. 


Where I live is bordering on a large urban area.  Many people move out here expecting a certain quiet, idyllic, private lifestyle.  What they do not realize is the pretty cows and corn they gaze at are actually a working farm, with all the inherent noise, smells, dust and late hours.  It may look like the country side, but is actually an industrial workplace. 


And we have to live there.  We look after one another, and look after each other's habits and routines.  Anything out of place or routine is investigated.  A tractor sitting idle in the field, running too long, can mean someone is in trouble, and needs help.  Despite the wide spaces, we are in each other's backyards more than our urban neighbours are.  We have to be.  Privacy is a premium, and the gossip vine works quickly for good and bad.  The newly rural often cannot handle it. 


If I seemed a little sharp, I am sorry, as I have often had to explain to people that yes it is pretty and peaceful, at times.  But you cannot just let the kids loose.  They must be watched like a hawk.  It is more dangerous than a city street if you do not know it, and the places they are not allowed, strictly enforced. 


But yes it is a riot of fun also, and a great experience as well.  And like I said before, I grew up in the city, and would not trade my life for the world.  Cathy

Josefly's picture

(post #30407, reply #51 of 55)

"Sorry Friend if my reply seemed a little short tempered! I was going to edit it after I posted but got called away to bring wood in for the woodstove. "

No explanation necessary - I wasn't offended in the least. Y'all have made the life sound wonderful, but I'm aware of the trade-offs - at least intellectually if not from experience. Still, I hope those delightful stories keep coming.

miatamomma's picture

(post #30407, reply #44 of 55)

Rubanesque-sized is a much nicer word to use instead of "plus-sized" to describe either yourself or someone else.  Thanks for using it.


Sue

ThreadKoe's picture

(post #30407, reply #46 of 55)

You are most welcome Sue.  I have found it to be a pleasing description, that rolls off the tongue nicely.  I always found plus-sized to be some what confusing myself.  Plus size,  Plus what?  And it is not even descriptive, nor very uplifting.  I vote we change it.   Cathy

damascusannie's picture

(post #30407, reply #39 of 55)

What else? How 'bout cockleburr grenades. The day we were moving onto the farm, some friends were helping us move in, along with my parents and my in-laws (NOT a good idea!) Anyway, our kids and our friends' children decided to have a cockleburr fight. I don't know if you know what these are, but if I tell you that they inspired Velcro, you'll have some idea of how they work. The kids had the wonderfully creative idea (NOT!) of making grenades from hands-full of burrs to throw at each other.

My father-in-law came in the house to tell ME that I should be watching the kids more closely, even though the fight was taking place right under my husband's nose. Then my mother-in-law chewed me out when I scolded the kids for it! I had to cut the burrs out of the girls' hair and Matt's mom had to shave his head because they had gotten so imbedded in his naturally curly hair.

Annie in Wisconsin, USA
~~Doodlestein Designs Quilt Patterns
~~Finely Finished: Machine quilting worked on a treadle sewing machine.
See patterns, quilting, and National sewing machines at: http://community.webshots.com/user/damascusannie

Annie in Wisconsin, USA ~~Doodlestein Designs Quilt Patterns ~~Finely Finished: Machine quilting worked on a treadle sewing machine. See patterns, quilting, and National sewing machines at: http://community.webshots.com/user/damas...
ThreadKoe's picture

(post #30407, reply #40 of 55)

ROTFL  You are gonna make me pee my pants!  Are your kids related to mine?  or are kids just kids? 


  The Girls used to go help DH with chores at night, even at a young age, and then when they were done, would help throw down the hay from the big round bales.  If DH was in a good humor, he sometimes would let them blow off steam on really cold nights up there letting them play.  They had a rope swing, and the bale wagon to play with, and would make forts from the small straw bales. 


One night, he had a calf dropping, and needed straw.  It was about midnight.  He climbed up to get the bales from the back of the mow.  It is not well lit, and had forgotten his flashlight.  Suddenly, he felt something brush across his face.  He reached up, and got tangled in a piece of baler twine that was tied between two large haybales.  He turned a bit, and got tangled in some more, tripped, and fell, getting tangled in a literal spiderweb of balertwine.  It was tied to the bales, the rafters, the strawbales, the bale wagon, everything!  He ripped what he could apart, fortunately he always carrys a pen knife, and grabbed two straw bales.  He couldn't lift them!  They were tied together!  And then tied to the other straw bales!  By this time he was swearing a blue cloud!  He couldn't even move!  Then he started to laugh.  He had stumbled into the girls "Fort" in the hay mow!  No wonder they wanted to spend so much time up there!  It took the girls two nights to cut and wrap the twine up, but they missed a bit, and Dad had to be careful to check to see if the bales were still tied together before moving them all winter! 

MaryinColorado's picture

(post #30407, reply #49 of 55)

Those kids must've had a blast!  So creative!  That's one I've never heard, bet they made wonderful grenades!  Bet the one who had his head shaved will never forget.  Loved the reference to velcro. 


My dogs have had their share of cockleburs and haircuts, somehow, my kids avoided getting them in their hair.  As far as I know anyway....


Edited 11/8/2008 12:59 am by MaryinColorado

damascusannie's picture

(post #30407, reply #50 of 55)

They were (and are) pretty creative--six girls with rampant imaginations and 100 acres to play on, they had a lot of fun. Plus we had a huge house at that time with one giant room just for them to play in and a mom who didn't mind them making messes in it. About four times a year I'd threaten to come in with a shovel and a box of garbage bags and "clean' and they'd get all panicky and pick everything up and it would look good for about a nano-second.

They also attempted to "float down the river" on the ice floes in the ditch one spring. Naturally, the youngest one fell off her floe and had to come squishing up to the house to dry off.

Years later they told me the story of the time the waterway was running hard and fast behind the house, creating a temporary river of spring run-off water. They put their youngest sister (poor Julie was always the lab rat!) in one of their plastic sleds and shoved her out into the current to "harvest wild rice". ( Don't ask me how they knew about wild rice, since the oldest was only about 8 at the time!) I guess they got pretty excited when they lost hold of the rope and the current started taking her down the ravine! They managed to rescue her on their own, and thank God none of them were hurt or drowned. Honestly, I don't think I was a careless mother; it just never occurred to me to tell them not to send their sister down the river on a sled! The experience was terrifying enough for everyone that they never tried it again.

Later that spring, a child in the next town was drowned when she slipped while wading in the normally shallow creek that was at flood-stage due to the heavy snow melt.

Some of our favorite books are those written by Patrick F. McManus, an outdoor humorist who has a column in Outdoor Life. Anyway, our favorite McManus stories are those about his childhood in Idaho. We'd take turns reading them out loud on butchering days and I swear my kids thought they were "how-to" manuals!

Annie in Wisconsin, USA
~~Doodlestein Designs Quilt Patterns
~~Finely Finished: Machine quilting worked on a treadle sewing machine.
See patterns, quilting, and National sewing machines at: http://community.webshots.com/user/damascusannie


Edited 11/8/2008 9:56 am by damascusannie

Annie in Wisconsin, USA ~~Doodlestein Designs Quilt Patterns ~~Finely Finished: Machine quilting worked on a treadle sewing machine. See patterns, quilting, and National sewing machines at: http://community.webshots.com/user/damas...
MaryinColorado's picture

(post #30407, reply #52 of 55)

Oh so many rich and wonderful memories you have!  Your children were so blessed to grow up in such a natural healthy environment.  It really stimulates the imagination to have all that "raw material".  I hope you wrote a journal or will write down some of these for your children and future family to share!  Thanks so much for sharing a little piece of wonder! 


(I was the "lab rat" too, so I can relate to little Julie!)  My mother, now in her 80's loves to tell stories about raising us, we have "shocked" her with a few admissions through the years too.  Mary

ThreadKoe's picture

(post #30407, reply #53 of 55)

I am so glad my crew did not read those books!  They imagined enough trouble on their own.


Our creek is a runs year round, 1 1/2 feet deep, spring fed, and COLD.  Even on the hottest days, it runs about 50F.  And it runs fast.  So we pile rocks around the culvert bridge to keep it washing out every spring.  We have been doing this for years as we pick rocks from the fields.  There is quite a pile on both sides, but mainly on the upriver side. 


One hot dry summer day, the girls and their younger cousins and some friends went back to the culvert bridge to go fishing.  There are a few suckers and brookies that breed there.  They might catch a few small fry.  But the kids mainly like to play around the culvert as the water is cool and shallow on a hot day, and the rocks are fun to climb on, and sit on and just hang out.  The culvert is large enough to play in and is cool also. 


Well I guess while they were playing around there, a few rocks got knocked down into the middle of the creek, and someone had the bright idea, "Let's build a dam."  They built a 4 foot dam in front of the culvert by knocking rocks off the culvert.  This backed up the water into the neighbour's cornfield and flooded it.  They were not too impressed.   It took  DH all day in 4 1/2 feet of freezing cold water to remove all the rocks by hand.    Cathy