Saturday, June 13, 2020

Digital fabrics

Another great day! I know - don't you get tired of me saying that? How overly optimistic can one person get? But what's with the weather? One minute we're sweating and the next minute, we're freezing.

Yesterday, I went out with the dogs, and there's this one section of the walk where we're facing into the wind. It was COLD and WINDY yesterday. I had a big sweatshirt and shorts on, but I could have used pants. This young girl passes me (she's going in the opposite direction). She's wearing shorts and a skimpy top, and she's SWEATING. The sweat was dripping off her face. Now, I've seen her before, and she always sweats, but still. And then a lady on a bike passes me, and she's wearing a sleeveless top!

Granted, the moment we turned the corner, it wasn't as cold and not windy. But still!

I made significant progress on my mini-quilt for my swap partner. Not as much as I would like, but I did get over the worst two blocks, so that was an accomplishment. It's looking adorable, but I can't share it with you yet! I also made progress on some sample making. I can't say enough about sample making. I swear that I should do a class on how to make samples. They are the BEST way to learn a sewing machine or a new technique.

I believe a lot of people don't make them because they think they are dull or they don't need to. Well, I've been sewing for over 20 years with a wide variety of sewing machines, and I LOVE to make samples. The more I make, the more questions or options come to mind. It would appear that I'll never be finished making samples. I LOVE what I did yesterday, and I'll share it with you when I get them finished. Well - this grouping finished!

I'm in a wee bit of a bind. I have a bundle of fabric that I'm supposed to be making a quilt from. I've put the fabrics in a safe place. Now, where is that safe place??? Seriously??? It sat on the worktables for a while - then I put stuff away. Did I put it away? I can't believe that since I knew it had a deadline. Oh well - something to ponder in the next couple of days!!!

I had to photograph the corner of one of the quilts on the Princess and the Pea bed. Yikes - that was an ordeal! There are a LOT of quilts on that bed. But I managed to get the photo. Thank goodness, I didn't need the quilt! Perhaps I should have thought about the order in which those quilts went on the bed. Oh well - it'll be easy as pie to just roll the quilts and dump them on the floor to get what I need! Or if someone comes to stay!

Peeling back the quilts to get a picture

I was back in the laundry basket, trying to put some more stuff away. I found a green bag with things in it. And two receipts. Oh boy - this is from 2015. NEVER UNPACKED. Can you tell me why???

Receipt from a quilt store

And look at the receipt from Fabricland. I bought John Deere fabric - that was in my tractor phase, and I still have a couple more of those quilts to make. But look, what else? HAIRY fabric - that must have been that wild fun fur stuff that I got rid of last week. Seriously???  I had a serious problem. Thankfully, it's under control now. Did you see the price of the hairy fabric?? $26 a meter!!!!

A receipt from Fabricland

What was in the bag?? Obviously, there was a theme going on here! Pink and yellow. I've no idea what I was going to make. Not even the faintest idea. But I suspect that we were at the Retreat (the quilt store was in Orillia after all) and someone was making something, and I thought it was a great idea, so I went shopping for supplies. And then I never made the project. Heck - I never even unpacked the stuff.

Pink and yellow stuff for a project

I suspect the project was some form of a zippered pouch since I found a zipper in the bag and Velcro. Anyway - it's all filed in their respective homes. EXCEPT for the pink thread, which was perfect for my samples I was making last night.

I finished another quilt yesterday for a customer.

Customer quilt - DONE

The next quilt is loaded and ready to go. We do have our virtual Retreat today and tomorrow. I'm not sure I'll run the long arm in the background. I might - just to get one more done. The list for June is LONG.

I've been working with a ton of different fabrics over the last couple of weeks, and there is some stuff  I want to share with you. The quality of what you buy is NOT the same. Not by a long shot. If you see fabrics and you think - OH MY - that's a bargain - it might just be that - a cheap bargain.

It's hard to see, and I'm going to try to make this a bit more scientific. But this is a sample of a fabric I had out, and while there's no ruler set against it, this is a VERY THIN fabric. Notice how far apart the threads are woven. Both the warp and weft are very far apart from each other.

Not a very high thread count

As a matter of fact, it was so thin that when I was pressing it and held it up, you can see the lights in Studio B shining through. And if you look, you can see my bookcase (the dark blob) in the background of this photo. YES - it's that thin.

Almost transparent because of the low thread count

This is another fabric, and it's held up against those same lights. You can't see the lights and certainly not the bookcase. Like I said - I'll do a blog post on more of this stuff because I think it's crucial that we realize that not all fabrics are the same. Not by a long shot!!!

This fabric has a much higher thread count

So I'll mull that in my head and come up with a much better post so you can really see what I'm talking about.

But what I really wanted to chat about is digital fabrics. First off - what does that mean? Well, most fabrics are either dyed or screen printed. Or they could be dyed and then screen printed. Solids, for instance, are dyed fabrics. I think we all know that. Oh, shoot - now I'm thinking of a whole bunch of other photos that I should have taken to describe this. OK - so this is just a teaser for a much better post!!

Screen printed fabrics are limited by the size of the screen and the number of colors that can be printed.

A digital print is printed with a dye on a machine that looks just like a giant ink-jet printer. The number of colors is unlimited.

How do you know the print is digital? If you can't tell by eye, then look for the SKU number on the selvage. See the DP??? That stands for digital print.

DP stands for digital print

Now, this is not always the case, but MANY screen printed fabrics will have the color come through to the back of the fabric. See the colored lines and the dots? And the main color on the front is black which shows through to the back.

The back of a screen printed fabric

However, the dye from a digital print is sitting mostly on the front of the fabric. This is the back of a digital print. Can you tell me what color is on the other side? Nope - you can't tell at all, nor can you see the print design.

The back of a digital print

Now here's the problem that can occur. It doesn't always, but it can. When the needle goes through the digitally printed fabric, it can rotate the threads so that the backside turns to the front. We used to see a lot of this when people ripped fabrics.

In this example, you can see along the edge of the quilt how some of the threads turned so little white threads are now on the front.

Some threads turned along the edge

Shoot - these pictures were taken when my camera was on the wrong setting. But you can see some white spots where the needle turned the threads. Even a BRAND NEW needle will do the same thing.

Threads have been turned by the needle

Obviously, it shows up more on a darker fabric than a lighter fabric.

Shows more on a darker fabric 

Not as noticeable on a lighter fabric

Oh, shoot - those pictures weren't good at all and I had time to take new ones. GRRRR!!!!

OK - so I promise to show you a wee bit better in another post. But just to show you that what you think you're getting isn't always what you want to get. So beware of the "BARGAIN" fabrics - they might just be a bargain that you don't want. I'm not talking about digital prints as they are more expensive than a regular screen print. Well - you get the picture. I'll be posting more info this coming week.

Gosh - I was running around, getting two more kits ready for Rose to pick up! The volunteers are going through those kits like a hot knife through butter! I'd better get myself together and get a few more kits assembled. Oh - that won't take long. I've got a plan! I'm good until July when I hope to take a day and get the rest of the stuff organized into kits.

OH -- and after a couple of comments on the blog from yesterday about those transformers and the power bag - I have a few more things to stay, but not today. Thanks to Kate and Linda for the information.

Today and tomorrow is time for the VIRTUAL RETREAT. I can't wait - I've got a ton of piecing and quilting sitting by the sewing machine waiting for me. Since I won't be going far and I'll be entertained by the others, I should be able to get a lot done. No slacking off!  Make sure you sign in with the correct link. I wonder who will join me today???


Here's the Zoom link for today, JUNE 13th 
The Retreat starts at 9 AM EST and runs until 8 PM EST. 

Join Zoom Meeting


Here's the Zoom link for Sunday, June 14th
The Retreat starts at 9 AM EST And runs until 8 PM EST.

Meeting ID: 827 9514 0672 Password: 928966

Join Zoom Meeting Meeting ID: 874 9764 6724 Password: 879533


Feel free to drop in for a few minutes to say hi or stay for an hour or stay all day. Your choice and it's free for you to participate. You don't even have to be sewing - just come and chat. As I said yesterday, it's very close to being right there with everyone. It's a lot of fun. 

On that note, I'm out of here. I've got an early morning porch pick-up, but everything is ready!

Have a super day and come say HI!!!!


No comments:

Post a Comment