Saturday, June 29, 2013

More Indigo

I'm still on a roll after my last batch of Indigo and am anxious to try some more. I checked the Indigo pot today; it's been a while as I've been in Atlanta with my daughter. I had no idea what to expect; I know you have to check it every other day or so to keep it active and adding thiox if needed.  I took the cover off and no "flower" so I thought...okay I blew it, but thought I would give it a stir and add more thiox - couldn't hurt It seemed to revive it. I have to let it stand a bit longer until I know for sure. 
 In the meantime, I started folding and clamping and twisting and tying. I'm using some fabric that were misfits to see what would happen.  Since the above piece has blue lines, thought it might be a good candidate.
 This is a piece of deconstructive screen printed fabric. It's a bit bright and thought it might be pretty over dyed with Indigo.
 Both were folded and clamped using pieces of plexiglass on both sides as a resist.
 I have some wonderful friends who are very good to me and often bring me old table linens for dyeing.  They are cotton, tone on tones and take a dye beautifully. I pulled out one of the napkins
 and using giant lima beans.
 I wrapped the beans in the napkin using gimp.
 Gimp is a very strong, thick thread. Using a thick thread leaves a larger resist line.  I've always been able to get gimp at any high end sewing store.  It's mainly used for corded buttonholes.
 I also used corks wrapped inside a piece of rayon.
 While at Walmart, I scoured the aisles for things I thought would be good resists and found some big washers, outlet covers and wood screws.
 I used a mercerized cotton, something I haven't tried with Indigo yet, for the washers
 and the outlet covers.
 I'm most excited about using the wood screws  - wrapping was time consuming but I'm hoping for good results.
 I also tried more deconstructive screen printed fabric....
 as well as silk organza.  I sewed large basting stitches by machine...
 and then gathered them up.  I wasn't able to get it really tight so I'm not sure how this one will turn out.
 I had a 36" China silk scarf blank just begging to be dyed so I ironed and folded it and then clamped it.  The thin fabrics do well with lots of layers as the dye can penetrate more easily....will keep you posted....

Monday, June 24, 2013

Indigo Fabric

I made my Indigo pot last week and had a good time with it. I've always heard about Indigo forming a "Flower" on top which is where the concentrated Indigo was; I never knew what that meant.
 So here is the beginnings right after mixing;  I covered it to prevent oxygen from entering the mixture.  Oxygen weakens the strength of the Indigo.
 I let it set for hours, not knowing what I would find...and oh that's a "flower". It looks like a concentration of bubbles on top.
 The "flower" must be removed and set aside (I used a styrofoam plate) until after you've finished dyeing and then it's returned to the pot.
 I was surprised at the short amount of time the fabric is in the dye solution - around 3-5 minutes and then it's removed.  You can see the greenish yellow color which immediately starts turning blue when exposed to the air.  That's the "bobbin piece" I'm holding - most anxious to see how that comes out.
 I hung them outside for a short time while still wrapped and then thought, maybe I should unwrap them so the air can get to every part.
 It was a bit tedious to get all the string off but also exciting to see the results right away.
 I didn't dye too much to start as I wanted to see how this panned out, but I was loving the results and depth of color.
 This was the silk organza which was folded and clamped, being so thin, the dye was able to penetrate through the layers.
 This was a silk chiffon that I scrunched with a rubber band. I love the results and probably the easiest one to do.
 This was a piece of deconstructive screen printed fabric where I used a triangle shape piece of plexi-glass to clamp in place.  I think I'm going to try more on already dyed fabric as the other colors showing through are nice.
 This was a piece of silk charmeuse. It originally had lots of white areas and tiny lines of dark blue - you can see the skinny darker lines.  I thought the white needed toning down, so I went back and dipped it for under 10 seconds...honestly...10 seconds and this is how intense the white areas got.
 The same thing happened with this piece of crepe de Chine. The circles were stark white so I dipped for a few seconds which darkened them a lot.
 This was a piece of silk broadcloth which I wrapped on a pvc pipe -  I liked the results
 This piece of rayon was wrapped using lots of old bobbins. It was time consuming but I love the results - probably my favorite.  I had no plan for spacing - just wherever!
 You can really see that it was a bobbin. Now I'm working on corks, lima beans and nail screws to see what happens...til next time.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Indigo Dyeing

I've always wanted to try Indigo dyeing. I had the opportunity once in a Yashiko Wada workshop. She was in Asheville for an art related event and did a one day deal but covered many of her processes so our time with the Indigo pot was limited.  I worked frantically to get some pieces done but never saw the actual process of how the pot was set up. I've done some reading and the real deal uses lye which does not appeal to me.  Pro Chemical came out with pre-reduced Indigo - no lye is involved, only Thiox and soda ash - things I'm more comfortable with. 
 I gathered up fabrics I wanted to try - natural fibers only were recommended.  I used all kinds of silk and some pfd cotton.  I also used a piece of deconstructed screen printed fabric to see what would happen.
 I did the wrapped Shibori using silk broadcloth on a pvc pipe. My friend Kay who is a master at this would know the correct term for this type of Shibori.
 Some of the thinner silks (organza) I wadded up and wrapped with rubber bands.
 I used some pieces of plexi glass and clamps to manipulate a piece of silk charmeuse.
 This was a wadded up piece of silk chiffon held in place with rubber bands.  The thinner silks work well with this type of manipulation.
 I had a lot of bobbins left from an older machine.  I knew they would come in handy someday.
 I used gimp cord and wrapped around the middle as well as the bottom of each bobbin.  I kept the thread continuous instead of cutting and ending off each time It's easier for removal.
 The old plastic outlet covers should give an interesting shape.
 Here is my pile of treasures ready to be soaked in a bucket of water for at least 30 mins.
 I added some new clamps to my bucket of resist tools. I found these at Home Depot. They are plastic but strong enough for clamping fabric. The man told me they weren't good for clamping wood...well not too worry, these are not going anywhere near wood.
 And a good deal - 22 of them - all sizes for $8.99
So while the fabric is soaking, I'll start on my bucket of Indigo. Stay tuned...

Friday, June 14, 2013

PTA - Community Quilts

Our PTA group met yesterday at the home of Janice M and as always a day of fun and productivity.  We started with show and tell before an early lunch and heading down to the studio to work.
Kate makes lots of philanthropy quilts.  She inherited these cute little kid friendly blocks and coupled with her own fabrics, made this very happy looking quilt.
Kate is also an incredible marble-er and works a lot with whole cloth prints.  The quilting on this piece is wonderful, wish I had a close up to show.  It's not yet finished but looking good.
Gen joined our trio at our annual retreat to work on a project with us.  Kate, Mary and myself always do the same thing, have a community pool of fabric and a very "brainless" project. I'm embarrassed to say I still haven't finished mine but Gen brought hers to show - quilted and bound and looking great!
Lynne had the starts of a philanthropy quilt to show and also
Linda has become a knitter but still the "class clown". While showing us her latest scarf, we were all reminded of the judges from years ago who wore the long Linda, you know the rest - had us in stitches.
So after lunch, it was downstairs to Janice's beautiful studio with lots of room to spread out and work.  We all brought 'already made' 9-patch blocks to be sliced down the middle in both directions.
We had enough to do 4 quilts.
On the wall they went ......
and the floor to see the patterning and do a little tweaking.
We had sewers, pressers, talkers, supervisors, wine drinkers and just stand by and "gopher" this and that.

And the whole time, Janice's dog looking from the outside in.....longingly, to be part of our group! meeting, we'll tie them and then present them at guild for the ongoing community quilt project.