Sunday, November 27, 2016

Sunday's dye bath

Unfortunately, this dye bath was less successful than the previous one. The rectangular piece, again 18" by 24" doesn't have much that would make it distinctive.  

The most interesting part is the blue on the right side.

There are areas showing the distinctive Shibori tying.  Most of this will probably end up as pieces in a quilted hanging or a charity quilt.

The mandala shape has even less to recommend it.  This will certainly be re-purposed in some way, even if the distinctive Shibori tying is also obvious in a couple of places.  I really don't like this one.

I plan to link this with The Needle and Thread Network, and Off the Wall Fridays with Nina-Marie Sayre

More Shibori-Saturday's Ice Dyeing

My experimentation with ice dyeing continues.  This time I have tried a combination of nui Shibori and tesuji Shibori, and I'm well pleased with the results. I have done a long narrow piece and a mandala-based piece, using only grey and teal Procion dye, in the ice bath. All of these were photographed lying over my ironing board, so there is some distortion.  Sorry about that, but my design wall, where I usually take photos, is covered with another project.

Here is an overall photo of the long narrow piece ( about 18' by 24")

 And here is a close-up, showing the distinctive lines produced by the string used to wrap the fabric prior to dyeing.  This is sometimes considered desirable, as it proves that the technique is true Shibori.  I also love the way the dye has separated into some of its composite colours

This is an overview of the mandala-based piece--about 18" square

And again a a couple of  close-ups showing the distinctive lines of the wrapping, and the way the dyes have separated.

While the result is beautiful, and I'm going to keep dyeing, the question has been asked  "What are you going to do with it?"  I guess this is always a problem when one becomes obsessed with a technique.  Well, when I have removed my pieces from the dye bath, I often use the leftover dye to colour a LWI dye bath.  This will give me fabric that can be used either for backing or binding.  I have also made dye baths for some, or each, of the colours used in the ice dyeing bath.  This can be used in piecing a hanging, that utilizes the ice-dyed fabric or pieces from it.  Yes--I am willing to cut into these beauties.  The end result is truly "one of a kind".

Here is the larger LWI dyed piece.  The top picture is truer to the actual colour.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

A cautionary tale or serendipity?

I have been attempting to create a stylized sunset using complex Shibori folding techniques, and ice dyeing.  This is the first step in creating a finished piece for a themed gallery show to which I am committed.  I bought some over wide muslin, labelled as plain unbleached muslin, and carefully manipulated and wrapped two large pieces, so as to have two potential pieces to work with.  One was very tightly wrapped and the other more loosely.  I thought everything  had been carefully planned, was under control.

Imagine my shock when I opened the dyed pieces and found this.
instead of this, which is close to what I was anticipating.  ( This is the back of the fabric, and the final dyeing pattern is somewhat different--lighter, IMHO)

Now, I have arthritis, in my hands, and the folding and wrapping is a major chore for me.  It took three days to do these two pieces. 

I was PO'd.  Taking another look at the fabric, I cannot detect this pattern, but regardless, the labeling was false.

My husband wandered in to see what the bad words were all about, and fell in love with the patterned side of it.  So I took another look, and thought about it, and decided--what the heck?  Why not use it and consider it more abstract than stylized.  So what if I've got a starry sky behind my sunset?  I think it could be a lot more fun this way.

I plan to link this with The needle and Thread Network, and Nina -Marie Sayre's Off the Wall Friday

Sunday, November 13, 2016

More traditional work

As part of my "Clean out the Crap" activities, I've gone through several of my big plastic totes of commercial fabric, and selected the smaller, or scrappier, pieces to cut into hexies.  I hand stitch these while watching tv, or whenever the need to pass time arises. 
( I basted over 100 of them yesterday at a craft sale.) I've posted about the few project bags that I've finished, and even sold a couple of them.  But now I've been overwhelmed with hexies, and needed a better plan.  They are very much multi-coloured, and I've struggled for a while now, trying to figure out how to put them together in some way that my artistic heart approves of.   There are just too many to limit myself to project bags.  So I've decided to see if I can produce a single bed size quilt, using the larger hexies ( at this point I've basted over 400 of them, but only need 68 for a large tri-angular project bag).  Considering the number of dark brown, dark blue and black pieces there are, I decided that Grand Mother's Flower Garden was not in my future, but maybe a "lozenge" design might be.  I did a bit of a trial run, and think I've found my solution.

I may have to do some "compensation" around the edges, but I think this is going to work, and will make good use of the various colour groups, if each "lozenge" is made up of very similar colour and value.

Yesterday was the craft show I've posted about previously.  Not very successful, although I did sell enough to make expenses.  My husband and I have done a lot of these in past years, and have taken the attitude that this is our recreation, and as long as we meet expenses, the day can be called successful.  In addition, I did get those hexies basted!

Sunday, November 6, 2016

New work

 Several years ago I received a large shoe box packed full of cotton Damask table napkins.  Some appeared to have never been used, others appeared well used.  They were not all the same pattern, nor the same size.  They had come from the estate of an elderly lady--well into her nineties when she died.  I know little about her other than her last name, and that she liked to collect salt and pepper shakers.  Her Daughter-in-law, knowing that I sometimes liked to experiment with dyeing cotton Damask, gave them to me.  One of my most recent dyeing experiments produced a very beautiful blue-grey, and I have matched it with a red-orange of a very similar value, in this piece.  I'm calling it "Remembering", thinking, not only of this anonymous woman who obviously treasured her napkins, but also of the many of her generation who equally treasured their cloth napkins, wedding silver ( usually silver plate), and good china--all things that now appear to have lost any value in today's society.  I have aimed at a fairly peaceful mood, in using the muted colours, as I  think life was more peaceful and more slowly paced for much of her lifetime, especially for women.  ( I have not forgotten that many of these women lived through both the Depression and the Second World War, I'm thinking more of their lives as wives and mothers.)

Here is the full view.  The piece is 20" by 20", and "gallery wrapped.

Here is a close-up.  Working with cotton Damask in this scale is very tricky, because of the very loose weave of the fabric, so every piece had to be interfaced for control. Trying to do the satin stitch, around the tear drops, by machine, was a horror.  Just not feasible. So I did them separately, then cut them out and fused them.  

The back is enclosed, and labelled.  The edges had to be sewn, by hand, using a curved needle.  That job took about 3 hours.

I plan to link this with the Needle and Thread Network, and Off the Wall Fridays with Nina Marie Saryre