Thursday, July 26, 2012

Sale weekend

Last weekend was my first art sale in almost two years, and quite successful.  My booth location was good, and there was enough room to display everything nicely.  Because I like to display a range of pieces, I took one major piece with me, with a price tag to match.  I know my "bread and butter" is in smaller pieces  with price tags below $20.00, but this was an art show, not a craft show, so I wanted to have "art-y" things.   Within the first hour, I could have sold that piece three times, with no dickering over price. It went to a good home, someone I know, who has bought my work before.  The next day, I took another major piece to replace it in the display.  That sold, as well, although I had discounted the price, before taking it out.  I was still pleased with the price I got. I also sold three of my framed pieces.  Overall, it was one of the best sales I've ever had.  But no-one showed any interest at all in my two Shibori pieces.

The Thursday before, I judged quilts a a local agricultural fair. I worked steadily from 8:45 am until 9:00pm with a half hour for lunch, in a Quonset-type curling rink without A/C, and with a concrete floor, in +30 heat. This was a very interesting experience.  Such a variety of skill levels and types of work!  I could tell when I was judging a quilt belonging to someone  known to the volunteers present, as they would all subtly gather around to hear what I would say, although no-one ever gave away whose quilt it might be.  Nor did they make any comments on what I said, until after all of the judging was over.  Then a couple of them challenged me on my decisions.  Thank Goodness, I was able to explain to their satisfaction, more of less.  Overall I can see how such events can prove an excellent learning situation.

Knowing what an exhausting weekend it was going to be, I had put off several projects, and now deadlines loom.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

More Dyeing

Part of the class work involves creating small samples of the various dyes, by dropping a small amount of dye powder ( a very small amount) and them spritzing it with a bit of moisture.  If you do it right, those dye colours that are created by mixing pure dye colours, will split, and you can see the various component colours. After doing this I saw a couple of mixed colours that I wanted to try.  One was a very strange colour that had been labelled burgundy, but showed almost no red when it split.  I created a flag fold piece with grey ( it didn't split) and then overdyed it with this strange burgundy. 
There was a second piece that had been originally dyed with sky blue, then overdyed with fuschia, then navy, and finally yellow.  I'm not thrilled with this, but it shows that four separate dye baths may be feasible. It also shows the lines where the bundle had been originally tied, which I think is neat.
More and more fun!  But now DH is asking what I'm going to do with all of this fabric I've created. I checked supplies and realized that I've been through about 10 meters, so far.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

new venture

Yesterday, I signed up for an on-line Craftsy class with Jane Dunnewold on Fabric Dyeing, then spent most of the afternoon and evening watching lessons and dyeing fabric, ( since I already had most of the supplies).  I was thrilled to find out that I didn't really need triangular pieces of plexiglass to create a triangular dyed pattern.  So here is a picture of what I accomplished and close-ups of the individual pieces.

The upper two pieces were from the last batch I did with the Sky Blue and Fuschia.  They really needed something, and I think this may be the first step.  I had said I might do the one on the upper right, again, with flour paste resist and create a dark crackle pattern, and now I think I might do that with both of them.  I absolutely love the one on the bottom left.  I pleated the fabric two ways and then clamped it between two large metal washers.  I tied it, as rubber bands don't work well with circles, and even got some evidence of the strings in the dyed pattern.  I tend to like that, as it confirms that it was created by hand.

The last piece was simply pleated one way, then rolled the other way, and then secured ( tightly!) with a rubber band.  This, too, shows the hand of the maker through the pattern left by the rubber bands.
My next step ( should have been the first one) will be to create small samples of all of the dyes I currently have available for me.  However, I will have family visiting over the next couple of weeks, and may not get much more done during that time.  But, since my sister has promised to bring her camera, I should be able to post a picture of anything I accomplish.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Cameras and frustrations

I told my husband that I had arranged to borrow a camera to take some pictures of my shibori work, and this gave him the incentive to actually play with my camera, and see if he could get it working.  He did!  But then acknowledged that it probably won't work again and we need to start looking  for a new one. So here is a picture of the first Shibori piece I finished, and a close-up.  This piece has the basic structural lines machine quilted, but the decorative quilting is done by hand, using hand dyed #16 or #20 DMC embroidery cotton ( not floss--this is the stuff used in very fine white work embroidery.  It's similar to Danish Flower Thread)  This piece is about 26" wide by 37" long.

I've also finished the second Shibori piece, which has been entirely machine quilted, some done freemotion. I put as very narrow border on each side to stabilize the half-square triangles, while I was putting the top together, and now see that I should have balanced that with a similar border on top and bottom.  The final size is 26" by 33".

The last picture is of the fabrics that I have selected--so far--for a potential third piece.  I'm struggling with figuring out how to put these together so that they will work.  The upper left piece is a disaster, and I'm considering over dyeing it, using a flour paste resist, to create a crackle pattern. I think I would use navy rather than black, as it works so well in the piece on the bottom, second from the right. The two pieces on the bottom left came from the same original dyed fabric, but the one second from the left has been overdyed with the fuschia.  This pattern involves a very labour-intensive process, as the tying took me almost a week, of working a couple of hours a day.  I very much like the pattern, but don't think I want to go through that too often!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Sometimes quilts talk

The first shibori piece worked out very well, and I'm quite pleased.  The second piece came together beautifully, and was sandwiched quickly.  Then it refused to allow me to hand quilt.  I had dyed thread to match and was ready to go, but it demanded that I machine quilt it.  I even found a spool of thread by the machine that matches beautifully, and I'm sure I didn't put it there!  So the machine quilting is almost done and this piece works quite well and pleases me.   I have dyed fabric for a third and last shibori piece and have it all up on the design wall, but the individual pieces don't seem to want to play nicely together.  I think the problem is too little value difference between them.  I first used Sky Blue Procion dye and then overdyed with Fuschia.  The Fuschia was probably been too strong for the lighter Sky Blue.  There is one piece that was first dyed with Navy and the Fuschia looks quite good, but there is a stronger value change between the two colours.

This all makes me ask myself why I think I need a third, finished piece.  I have a lot of scraps of shibori fabric that could be worked nicely into some sort of "scrappy" quilt, and putting the blue/fuschia pieces in there would give it a focal colour.  Hm-m-m.  Have to think about that