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Entries in Amy Gropp Forbes (3)

Sunday
Aug262012

Amy Gropp Forbes of Eclectic Mom: Braided Cowl for Kids

Although it is hard to imagine, fall is right around the corner, and nothing beats a cozy hand knit cowl for keeping you warm. I particularly like cowls for kids; they look great and somehow seem easier to manage than a scarf.

This is a perfect project for a weekend away... it takes just one skein of yarn and only a few hours to knit. The chunky yarn and simple braid add lots of texture, and I just love Blue Sky Worsted with its subtle hand dyed variations and super soft touch! Enjoy! - Amy of Eclectic Mom

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Thursday
Jul262012

Amy Gropp Forbes of Eclectic Mom: Inkodye!

As a child I loved making sun prints, and as a mom I have bought sunprint paper many times for my kids. So when I discovered Inkodye Light Sensitive Dyes, I couldn't wait to try them! Instead of paper, Inkodye harnesses the power of the sun to create images on fabric. For me this is definitely an exciting development!

I knew my kids would enjoy trying Inkodye too, so we set up a big table, gathered our supplies, and got ready to experiment. I cut a yard of Moda's Muslin into about 16 small pieces, knowing that I would probably patchwork them back together again. Having a lot of scraps to work with eliminated the pressure to get it "right" on the first try and kept us all loose and creative.

We started out by testing Inkodye's colors with a few simple stripes. It was magical to watch the very pale dyes come alive the moment we stepped out into the sun. I really responded to the warm red tones that we got doing this first test, so I used red and orange dyes for my project. Sometimes I mixed the two together or added a little water to get a variety of shades. (For a similar sun bleached look, Purl Soho also suggests Inkodye's Color Extender. It lightens the dye's color while preserving its thick consistency, and it also gives you a whole lot more dye to work with!)

The next step was to get printing! We knew we wanted to play with botanicals and so snipped a few blossoms, leaves, and stems from our garden. Ferns and Japanese maple leaves made particularly nice prints, but we also tried hydrangea leaves, a clematis vine, and some other flowers too. We all loved watching as each print evolved in the light, surprising us every time!

Some designs I started by brushing on a color and exposing it before adding any leaves. After letting the fabric expose for ten minutes I brushed on a second color and placed the leaves for a second exposure. Even layering a lighter dye over a darker one created some pretty, subtle prints. For a few pieces I did not use any leaves but instead just experimented with brush strokes and pattern using a special comb (above). 

When we were finished dyeing, I started to think about what I could make with our fabric. I had plenty of fabric for a quilted bag and so with some Quilters Dream Cotton Batting, I got busy. To read all about my piecing and quilting process, just visit my blog, Eclectic Mom!

Once I had created a lovely piece of quilted fabric, I turned to Molly's fabulous 40 Minute Tote pattern. I used my own fabric for the outer layer, 3/4 yard of Shot Cotton in Watermelon to line the bag, and Gutermann's Cotton Thread in color 4930 to sew it.

Get the whole scoop, including more construction details and a few modifications, at my blog, Eclectic Mom. Just click right here! Thanks, Purl Bee, for hosting me this week! Can't wait for next time! - Amy

Wednesday
Jul112012

Amy Gropp Forbes of Eclectic Mom: Woven Felt Pillow

Meet Amy Gropp Forbes, one of our dearest friends and author of the delightful blog Eclectic Mom.  We are thrilled to announce that Amy will be sharing a handful of her many talents and skills with us this summer on The Purl Bee!  For everything else she does, including being an amazing mom, chef, photographer, graphic designer, knitter, crafter, sewist and more, you must visit her beautiful blog Eclectic Mom.  Check out her first guest post below!

I was delighted when Joelle and Page asked me to do a guest blog post for the Purl Bee. Every time I visit their shop, Purl Soho, I am drawn immediately to the beautiful wool felt so it was natural that I went there first for my inspiration. Not only are the colors beautiful, but it is a fantastic material to work with. Sewing is so much easier and less time consuming when you don't have to worry about finishing every edge and seam! 

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