Saturday, June 24, 2017

Fiber Junkies - Printing and other Good Stuff

Come rain or shine, nothing stops the Fiber Junkies....For the last 2 meetings, we've been wanting to do deconstructive screen printing but it's best to have a sunny day so the screens dry quickly. Forecast - rain expected...so we came prepared to do other things. Val who is our wonderful hostess...gets a little nervous when she sees ALL the stuff we bring ! How long do we plan to stay !
We get an early start...coffee, goodies and then playtime...but before that, show and tell. There's always so much to take in...such a creative group! Val showed us some beautiful eco prints she had done on paper...
Mary had her latest, wonderful wall hanging made with some very special batik fabric her son brought her from one of his trips.
Kates latest books created with fabric Kate had made.
We all brought back our fabric pieces from the last meeting...this is one of Denny's...
who is without a doubt....
The "Queen" of layering imagery...She does have a wonderful eye for doing this...all of these are from Denny...
and this one...
and in her spare time, a quilt made from leftover blocks. She placed colored circles throughout the quilt to break up some of the stronger black and white sections.
Gen with her beautiful alcohol ink cards....
And now on to our playing...As luck would have it, the sun did come out but we were prepared for anything. Denny brought her sponge rollers which were so much fun last time.
She also prepared lots of screens for printing..
I loved the roller brushes..
but had the most fun with stencils and thickened dyes...It was a "3 for 1" deal. The stencil was laid down on the fabric, then a blank silk screen on top of that to keep the stencil stable. Thickened dyed was applied with a squeegee.
And the fabric....Don't love it....but then...
A second piece was laid down on the silkscreen which picked up some of the dyes in the process....Using my hands and gently pressing the fabric into the screen, produced......
This....really liked it...
and the third print....the stencil with the excess dye was laid on top (face down) of fabric...
and pressed gently to get this...Really like this!
There always seems to be a favorite "thing" at each meeting and this time it was Denny's tree. It was a little fragile and had to be used underneath a blank silk screen.
The dye was applied to the stencil and then laid face down on the fabric. Next came the blank silk screen to protect the stencil....A squeegee was gently pulled over the top
and the results...
Kate did some deconstructive printing...her colors!
and Denny who uses a lot of masks as a resist...
and Vals beautiful work...a great day and more to come on Eco printing...I am linked to Off the Wall Friday and Whoop Whoop Friday.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Decorator Fabric

Recently at one of our PTA meetings, one of the members had lots of "unwanted" pieces of decorator fabric samples. I took some of the larger ones with not a clue on what to do with them. 
 They sat and sat in my studio when one day, the lightbulb went on...not a genius idea lightbulb..but a lightbulb just the same. All these beautiful samples would make great placemats...certainly sturdy enough and each one different....what fun to put on a table.
 Each person can sit at their favorite placemat and hopefully everyone will want a different one.
 I used a purchased placemat as a template, and traced around each fabric sample on the wrong side. I cut them out leaving around 1/2" beyond the marked line. I bought buckram at a local chain sewing store and cut out pieces a little smaller than the placemat.


 The buckram was stitched in place using a white thread on top and a monofilament in the bobbin so the clear thread would show on the right side. I sewed a line of stitching around 1/4" from the marked line (photo above)




One of the really fun parts was finding different backing fabrics for each decorator fabric. I used cotton fabric...some were batiks, some prints...somewere very dated but worked well. Each cotton backing was cut the same size as the decorator fabric. It was then placed right side to right side of decorator fabric and stitched around on marked line. The buckram was not caught in the stitched line.

 I switched to using neutral thread in both top and bottom for this stitching. I left an opening of around 6" on one side to right side it. This was not difficult but it was cumbersome as the buckram is stiff. The opening was stitched closed by hand. The original stitching to hold the buckram in place was left and not visible because it was a monofilament and guaranteed no shifting of the buckram (during washing etc.)
 I wound up with 18 placemats...didn't even realize how many as each fabric was so much fun and I just kept going. So here are some of the results...
 and the backing fabric used on the 3 above ...
 The Egret is my favorite one in this bunch..
 with the pretty blue tulip print on back...
 I loved the flowered ones and will probably hold up better ...
 and the backs...
 


I loved the dragon......
and the back.. A fun project....I am linked to Off the Wall Friday and Whoop Whoop Friday.

Friday, June 9, 2017

Clever Idea

While teaching at the NC Symposium a short while back, I came upon a very clever idea from a student. 
This gal had as a carrier of sewing supplies, an old suitcase...even had some stamps like the ones of years ago.
When she opened it, the fun began...all of her sewing tools neatly displayed in one place (mine get thrown in a ziplock bag). She started with an insert for the top which she made, covered with batting and fabric. It fit very tightly so it couldn't be removed easily. Next, a long piece of elastic was placed underneath and across the width of the back. Small openings were made on the insert in order to pull the elastic through in a small loop. It was then secured in place with stitching and then continued underneath until it reappeared for the next opening. She said it was really quite easy to do. The main part of the suitcase was for cutting boards, fabric and other large items.

Suitcases used to have a ribbon to hold the top upright; this one was replaced with a colorful grosgrain ribbon. It was such fun to see and goes to every class. I love the people I meet while teaching; they fill me with so much inspiration.
I am linked to Off the Wall Friday and Whoop Whoop Friday...check out these fun sites to see what other fiber artists are doing.

Friday, June 2, 2017

Printing with Thickened Dyes

Our Fiber Junkies group met a little while back to do some deconstructive screen printing. It should be sunny in order for the screens to dry....however, Mother Nature had other ideas...knowing that the plants needed water more then we needed sun. But not to worry, our group will always have a way to play and have fun. We used the thickened dyes to print on our soda ash prepared fabric.
 I brought lots of "misfits"...those fabrics close to being tossed and figured they couldn't get any worse.
 Like this piece printed in fuschia ....
 was laid on plastic and a thin coat of thickened dye rolled over it using a brayer.
 An inexpensive, spongy stamp from a craft store was used to "reverse print" and remove color when stamped on top.
 I like what is happening and hope it washes out to something pretty and useable.
 This also used a checkerboard stamp (same type as above) to remove color...
 and this piece used a sponge roller with raised dot shapes to roll the design on top...We all loved this tool.
 Here is one of them washed...think it needs a silk screen on top to finish it off.
 This was dye applied to crinkled plastic and then
 this wonderful fabric that Kate's husband got when he bought "healthy shoes" was gifted to me to use....
 which I did and anxious to see the final piece.
 Denny was wearing a wonderful work T- shirt she printed on and also used as a clean up rag. I must remember to do that next time.
 This very ordinary piece was printed with ferns.
 I coated the leaves with dye and printed on top of the fabric.
  This piece already had paint on it but needed something more so using an old printing block with the letter J, I printed with dyes. The dyes will not take in the areas of the paint as they can't permeate the fabric so it makes for an interesting affect.
 This piece used the ferns as a resist...
 laying them down, placing a blank silk screen on top and pulling dye over it. Removing the leaves shows the original fabric.
 I liked this one where the fern served as a stamp.
 A very wispy, light look to the piece.
 This had quite a bold base to start with so putting the fern on top was a good idea, I think....will find out soon.
 This was some kind of metal stencil Denny brought which was bold and quite effective.
 One of the pieces created with it....
 Of everything I did, think I like the botanicals the best...
And this one.....We had a wonderful day...I didn't get to take pics of my girlfriends work.....just kept forgetting...but they did some great stuff and we're all to bring our pieces to the next meeting. I am linked to Off the Wall Friday and Whoop Whoop Friday...Check out these wonderful sites to see what others are doing.