Thursday, October 31, 2013

Weekend Shibori Class - Final Reveal

We finished up dyeing Sunday afternoon with 2 dye baths - one of Brazil Nut, the other Black Cherry.  Both of these dyes produced wonderful results. Since the colors are a mixture of other colors, you see some of those component colors separating out in the dyed fabric, making them look like they'd been in multiple dye baths instead of just one.

The picture below is actually 3 strips side by side that were clamp-resist dyed, first in kingfisher blue, and then the 2 outside pieces were over-dyed in black cherry.  I really like the 3 pieces together.
This piece was originally pole wrapped and dyed yellow, then accordion pleated, banded and over-dyed in Brazil nut.

We dyed several different silk scarves throughout the weekend including this one that we started Saturday morning with a direct dye application, allowed to batch over night, then washed and dried before pole-wrapping and over-dyeing in Brazil nut.
The next one was pole-wrapped and dyed twice - first in sea foam, and then in kingfisher blue.
This scarf was also pole-wrapped first and dyed in scarlet red.  Then it was folded, clamped with a large square, and over-dyed in black cherry.
The last scarf we worked with was a silk charmeuse, wide and long enough to be used as either a wrap or a scarf. There were some very beautiful, dramatic results with these.  Below is Alice's scarf; she used a variety of techniques for some interesting patterns.  I think this was done in emerald green, but see how the blues separate out.
Kathy spent a lot of time stitching her scarf, but it really paid off with the results she got.  Click on the picture so you can zoom in closer.  This was dyed in Brazil nut, but you can also see the blue components of the dye.
I decided to accordion fold and bind my scarf - it was one of the faster techniques, but still can create amazing results.  I dyed it in black cherry; it's hard to believe it was only in one color!

This was a fabulous class and I thoroughly enjoyed the weekend in Lancaster.  I would have enjoyed having time to explore the shops and art galleries as well - I guess that means a return trip!  Props to the PA Guild of Craftsmen and Kachina Martin for a great workshop.  I highly recommend it!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Weekend Shibori Class - Part 3

Here's what happened next with the homework pieces from day 1, and the results after dyeing on day 2.  All the stitching was pulled really tight to gather up the fabric and knotted off.  The top picture is a scarf with Mokume Shibori, or stitched wood grain.
 The piece above is called Orinui, which means undulating lines.  This is the wavy stitched piece from yesterday.  The one below is Karamatsu which is a Japanese larch and gives a circular effect. The stitching is 3 concentric arcs to make each patterned circle.

This is what they look like after dyeing and removing the stitching.
This is one half of the scarf, dyed in scarlet red.
The Orinui was originally yellow and overdyed in scarlet red.
The larch was originally rust orange, overdyed in brazil nut. 

Another technique we learned on day 2 was clamping.  The fabric is first folded and then wooden shapes are placed on the outsides (and in between in this case because there are 3 pieces of fabric) and held in place with clamps.  The dye comes in contact with the exposed fabric while the shapes act as a resist to prevent the dye from penetrating. 

This is one of the pieces from the clamping resist, dyed in kingfisher blue.

Come back tomorrow for the final reveal!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Weekend Shibori Class - Part 2

We learned a few other methods of binding and wrapping and other resists on Saturday as well, and had some homework to get pieces ready for dye baths on Sunday.  We actually did 4 different colors both days.  Some items went in only one, others were overdyed.  Our first 2 were rust orange and bright yellow, followed by sea foam and emerald green later in the day.

Some of the methods we learned in the afternoon were the spiderweb, accordion folding and tying, and tying "bundles" around small rocks and pebbles.  The top two were in emerald green; the bottom one is sea foam.

I'm glad I have this picture of the sea foam (rock resist); I ended up overdyeing this piece so most of this pattern is obscured in the next step.  I also pole wrapped a scarf that was dyed in the sea foam.

Our homework was to complete the stitch resist pieces we were working on - one was creating a wave pattern, and another was concentric half circles - the Japanese larch - and anything else we wanted to have ready to dye on day 2.  The straight stitched piece below is another scarf.

I spent several hours Saturday evening doing the stitches on these 3 pieces.  Results tomorrow.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Weekend Shibori Class - Part 1

What a great weekend in Lancaster, PA, taking a workshop at the Pennsylvania Guild of Craftsman.  It was a full 2-day workshop learning techniques of Japanese shibori dyeing - methods of wrapping, folding, stitching, binding and clamping to create beautiful patterns and textures in fabric. 
Our instructor was Kachina Martin, who is a public school art teacher as well as craftsman and juried member of the Pennsylvania guild.  We started off learning about direct dye application on a scarf and allowing it to "batch" or cure, wrapped in plastic, overnight.

   This project would get a second technique and dye applied on day 2.

We also learned several stitching and binding techniques.  On this piece, rows of running stitches are pulled to tightly gather the fabric, then the thread is knotted to keep it pulled tight before dyeing.

Here's what it looks like after dyeing and removing the stitching.

Another technique we learned was pole wrapping.  Using pvc pipe, the fabric (or scarf or item to be dyed) is wrapped around the pipe.  As it is wrapped, it is bound with cord and scrunched together, so that a large amount of fabric takes up very little space.  Several scarves or pieces of fabric can be wrapped on the same pole.
This is the first piece of fabric that I pole wrapped.  You'll see that parts of this piece later have other techniques applied as well. It was folded in half lengthwise and positioned diagonally on the pole to get the chevron effect you see here.
That's what we did in the morning of day 1.  Look for another installment tomorrow!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Shibori Fabric Dyeing

Elizabeth and I are taking a shibori dyeing class this weekend.  Shibori is an ancient Japanese fabric dyeing technique of creating shape resists that utilize a variety of methods – wrapping, tying, stitching, folding, twisting – to create richly textured patterns of color on fabric.  Here is a Quilting Arts video on You Tube that will give you some background on shibori dyeing.

In our quilt camp summers we have experimented with shibori. Elizabeth has done more than I have.  I feel very much a novice at this technique.  Here are pictures of a few of our past experiments.

 In the top picture, the red/yellow/blue piece and the shirt in the above picture were done by folding and then applying the dye in specific places to create pattern.

The piece above is done by wrapping the fabric around a PVC pipe, tying with cord, and then scrunching together before adding the dye, as you see in the pan above.

Hopefully we will have some beautiful creations to post pictures of next week! 

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Recycled Project Update

I've been working on the recycled clothing quilt project in between other things.  First, I made 30  blocks like this.
 I also needed some smaller squares and rectangles to get the dimensions I need for width & length.
Today I spent time on the layout and am working on putting the rows together.  Here's a peak at how its shaping up.
I'm happy with how it looks and the progress I made today.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Quilts as Ambassadors

Walking into church this morning I was pleasantly surprised to see a quilted banner hanging in the sanctuary that was made by our small but mighty quilt group.  There were 3 of us who came up with the concept for this quilt; the other 2 contributed fabrics and traced hands, but I put it together and did the quilting.  And other than seeing it hang each fall, I forgot about it. So it was nice to be reminded today.  And to look at it and be happy with the work.

That got me to thinking about how the quilts we make and send out into the world - as gifts, charity projects, donations in support of a cause - are ambassadors.  They embody the care, time, dedication, skill, comfort and love we put into each one.  Almost like a child you have nurtured and watched grow, until they are ready to go off on their own.  And wherever they end up, we have faith that they are providing warmth and comfort, and surrounding their owners with the love that went into making them.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Another Fun Screen Printing Class!

Today Elizabeth & I taught thermofax screen printing to a  group of 6 creative ladies.  It's always fun to hear each one's story about what led them to art quilting and wanting to create their own fabric.  And also to see the wheels start turning as we share ideas for ways to use screen printing in their work, whether its the main technique or used in combination with other methods of surface design.  The more layers, the more complex the cloth becomes.  It really is addictive to those of us who are compelled to make something from a blank canvas.  What we eventually do with it doesn't matter - its the making it and the process that's most gratifying.
Joan, in the foreground, is using some of her hand-dyed shibori fabric.  She's new to dyeing and these were some of her first attempts (!).  She wasn't particularly happy with them, but they look pretty good to me!

One of the things Therese does is make felted hats, which she wants to try embellishing with screen prints.

Everyone learned to tape their own screen in preparation for printing.

We used 4 different types of textile paint to make comparisons, and also experimented with discharge paste and thickened dyes.  Our students loved having a large variety of screens to print with and try before deciding which, if any, they wanted to buy.
On Nov. 2, we will be teaching again at Artistic Artifacts - the class will be Turn Your Photos into Thermofax Screens.  We teach you to use Photoshop Elements to take your own photos and convert them to black & white high contrast images that can be used to make a screen.  You can find out more about the class here.  Hope to see some of you there!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Screen Printed Pottery Update

A couple of weeks ago I shared some photos of screen printed pottery by Reents Pottery.  Michelle bought some custom screens from PGFiber2Art in order to try this technique and promptly went to her studio to experiment as soon as she received the screens.  She posted pictures that same day of the first step in her process.

This past Friday she did a follow-up post of what the mugs look like after some additional glaze and firing.  Here's the mermaid mug:
I think it looks really cool!  You can see her complete post here.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Recycled Clothes Quilt

I'm currently working on a commission for a friend, who wants a quilt made from her 7-year-old's clothing.  The saved treasures also included a crib sheet, and child's chair cover.   I've spent a few weeks (off & on) taking things apart to be able to cut the fabric into usable pieces.
These are some of the shirts, cut apart into fronts and backs. 
Here are some of the other pieces - some cotton knits, flannels, and part of the chair cover, which yielded a surprising amount of fabric.
 And some of the cut pieces, ready to be sewn into blocks.  Stay tuned to see how this evolves!

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Quilt Exhibit at Sewing Expo

Today I attended the Original Sewing & Quilt Expo held in Fredericksburg, VA.  My friend Kathy accompanied me; she had not been to this particular show before, so it was interesting to have a "newbie's" perspective.  I usually go with Elizabeth, but she had another commitment today.  When you go to a show with someone who has similar interests, you tend to gravitate to the same vendors and perhaps overlook some others.  If your friend has somewhat different interests, you may discover new things, so there are advantages to both scenarios.  Kathy was surprised at the number of machine embroidery vendors at this show - there were quite a few.  Also, there were lots of machine vendors, both domestic/embroidery machines and long arms.  And the usual fabric, thread, and art quilt suppliers.

Over the years I have attended, this show has gradually been increasing the size of its quilt exhibit.  There were several traveling exhibits that make the rounds of Sew Expos in various locations around the US, and I thoroughly enjoyed them.  My favorite was an exhibit by Studio Art Quilt Associates, called "Deux", in which quilters shared their artistic point of view through 2 art quilts that were displayed side by side.  Here are 2 pieces by Frieda Anderson.

There was also a very interesting exhibit from the Chicago Modern Quilt Guild in which each artist selected a piece of artwork as inspiration, and then traded with another member of the group who made a quilt to interpret that person's inspirational art. 
The descriptions included a picture of the original inspiration artwork, so you could see what the maker used as inspiration.

Another group of quilts was donated to the Quilt Alliance and will be auctioned after touring, several by nationally known quilters.  The first below is by Jamie Fingal; the 3rd is by Lisa Ellis.  I didn't get a name on the middle one, but like the lively colors and movement.

This last is one of my favorites.  This was another group of SAQA quilts, from the Georgia/South Carolina region.

It was an enjoyable (though tiring) day viewing the quilts and shopping at the vendors.  Also chatted with quilting friends from other areas, so that was a nice bonus.