Monday, June 29, 2015

Eco Printing - Day 1

Last week, myself and 2 girlfriends headed off to Folly Beach to have several days of playing with Eco printing. Mary had sent us many articles and blogs to read in order to get a handle on this process but all had such different information. I had done a lot of natural dyeing years ago and had a little awareness about mordants etc., but this was a whole new world.
The first thing to do was soak our fabric in a mordant - some suggestions were soy milk and alum. We had several buckets going..
and filled them with all sorts of natural fiber fabrics.
We knew we needed some foliage for printing so while our fabric was soaking, we went on a hunt for plants and flowers. Pine needles were suggested and we found a tree with branches fairly easy to reach standing on a golf cart and using a rake which our youngest and most fearless pal Kate did with gusto!
All our treasures were placed in a community wheelbarrow.
As soon as our fabrics were dry which was very quickly in 90+ degree weather..
we laid them down flat and began placing greens and flowers on top.
I had brought lots of silks including China, noil. shantung, crepe du Chine, broadcloth and organza.
Mary brought some light green noil which ultimately turned out to be one of the most successful pieces.
This is flowers and some small palms.
A lot of greens didn't print, but these little ferns did very well.
We rolled our fabric very tightly onto dowels and secured them in place with string or rubber bands. We found using 2 sets of hands really helped make tight bundles, allowing a good contact between plant and fabric.
It was suggested we steam or boil in water for several hours. We found the steamer not as effective as the boiling water. In went our wrapped fabric - our excitement was mounting.
We could hardly wait to open our beautiful fabric and see all the wonderful prints...well gulp...that beautiful orange is all we got and that was a petal that hadn't been brushed off yet.
A little disappointed for the moment but we also had a good laugh and vowed to figure it out the next day. So not to keep you in suspense, we all wound up doing happy dances at the end of Day 2 and will report on our results tomorrow.
Til then...

Friday, June 26, 2015

Garden Path

Sometimes a packet of samples can go a long way. I love blue and yellow as a combo so this was fun to work with. It was basically a no-brainer as the squares were all cut and color coordinated so just a matter of putting them together.
I did pull out my hand dyes to find fabric to use as the center squares.
I used a machine buttonhole stitch using rayon decorative thread around each center square and sashed everything with white tone on tones.
I used a binding that was a yellow - slightly printed batik that worked well as a backing also. When the piece was done, I was wishing I had bound it in a darker color. I think it would have made it more contained, but it will have to do and it is a happy piece with such bright colors. So another UFO finished and that's reason for a happy dance. It will be in a show at the NC Arboretum next year;  they encourage us to use nature themes.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Birthdays, Birds and Pillowcases

It's been one busy and fun week with my granddaughter and daughter here visiting. My granddaughter will be three (free) the end of July and is beyond adorable.  We had a great week but I admit to being a tad bit exhausted. It was also her pop-pops birthday so we had to have a celebration.
 Choosing an activity that a 3 year old likes can be a challenge, also being anywhere outside this week in 90 degree heat is even more challenging. We settled on the NC State Fish Hatchery which has lots of woods, an indoor mini fish and reptile exhibit and of course lots of fish. Audrey loved seeing them, they really are pretty.

 I spy with my little eye a birds nest up in the corner...
 and so there were.
 We headed into the woods which was at least 10 degrees cooler and delightful.
 It was a beautiful walk even amongst the stuffed bears.
 Back home we had a Carvel cake. Growing up in New York, Carvel was the ice cream to have. I've always had a policy that when I teach or visit NY, I will not leave until I get my Carvel soft serve fix. Well, here in downtown Asheville, they do have the cakes, not quite as good as soft serve but we gobbled it down.
 Dear hubby, pop-pop and dad holding the newest addition to our furry family - Fraggle. he's only 4 months old and already huge!
 And with our daughter Jill, son Mike and Audrey.
 Well on another note, I did get a little sewing done this week and managed to finish them up as they pulled up the driveway - pillowcases for Audrey's big girl bed.
 She loves Monster's Inc....
 and this is the Princess and the Pea.
The fabric was darling - all in all a wonderful week.
And today being Father's Day - wishing all dads a great day!
Til next time....

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

PTA - June

I'm in this wonderful group - PTA which I've talked about probably every month. We meet at different homes, go on field trips, work on group projects, have retreats and also the best holiday party around. This month, it was at Lynne Harrills home - a new home for her after her husband retired and they returned to the Asheville area after being in Greenville, SC for many years.
 They bought their home for the view and 2 great studio spaces on the lower level. I don't think I would ever get down to my studio with a view like this - outside their family room window.
 Also beautiful forests everywhere.
 We had lots of chatter, a yummy dessert and goodies to go with our lunches and a small show and tell. Mary B showed off her painted sneakers. I especially love the heart on the flap of the sneaker with her and her hubbies initials on it. Happy feet.
 Connie showed us another piece she made in the style of the artist she used for a challenge several years back.
 It's a beautiful piece, the stitching is perfect.
 I was intrigued by Mary S latest piece that she has stuggled with as she didn't like the fabric. She started with a peachy felt, did something to it which she really didn't like - on right, although I really thought it was quite nice...
 than did something else over it - again it might have been sun dyeing but Mary was still not happy..
 until the Ah..ha...moment when she stenciled it and she had her piece. The black flowers are beaded and it's just lovely, one of my favorites I think - perserverence pays off!
 Mary B brought this older scrap quilt she was rescueing by sewing applique leaves over bad areas - a clever idea.
 Connie is a quilt appraiser and loves all old quilts and stories. She found this old book which I thought was wonderful. It included projects for making socks and the proper kind of stitches to use when knitting so they would be comfortable for the men to wear.
 And the back of the book - just as charming.
 As an appraiser, and while attending the AQS show in April, she was invited to visit the vaults at the American Quilter's Society Museum in Paducah, KY. What a thrill to go down into the depths of this building to see how and where they store all the quilts that are part of the permanent collection.
 She took this picture and handed it to me and I was so taken looked familiar...
It was my quilt (#52) which the museum had purchased many, many years ago and I had forgotten about. Well, nice to see they are all taken good care of. It also seems like a really good and organized way of doing it.
Till next time...

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Fiber Junkies June - Painting on Fabric

Well, we met at Vals for our June meeting of Fiber Junkies. Her wet studio is so perfect for outside activities and she's such a darling person to put up with us, making us feel so welcome with every thing ready to go.
 This month we painted on fabric using procion dyes both thickened and not. Kate had learned so much about this in her class at Pro Chemical some time earlier - she was our leader and helper.
 We did all kinds of techniques working on a flat surface, with fabric treated with soda ash. We also had a bucket of soda ash mixed up if you wanted to work wet which I preferred.
 Denny did lots ot writing using a thickened dye and a neat little tool; we later all went on the internet and bought many of them.
 Denny also brought along some wallpaper trays for doing striped effects.
 Stencils were used with thickened dye on dry fabric with great success.
 Val as always was creating masterpieces. I always stand next to Val hoping some of it will rub off on me, hasn't happened yet - so from the starting point at the top...
 to more developed, it's going to be a really great piece.
 Kate loves circles and was madly making circles using non thickened dye...
 and then added that beautiful pop of green!
 Gen's stormy sky might have been my favorite piece. The plastic underneath created such great effects in the paint.
 also a plaid by Gen.
 I tried doing a stencil using thickened dye on wet fabric -  it was an afterthought, but it worked just fine....
 and the after - not too much wash out.
 This was my version of Gens which I tried to recreate - a little more subtle, also this is after it was washed.
This was my piece done in the wall paper tray - interesting but not as good as I had hoped for.
 This was an old piece I had given to Kate to rescue which she loves to do and does quite well, but when I ran out of fabric, she gave it back - it's a little better, think I'll have to give it to Kate again.
 I did some folding and dipping with non thickened dye on dry fabric, I think it would have been better done on wet. I like it, just not sure how I'll use it.
My granddaughter just arrived and it's crazy-ville - she does get excited. She's almost 3 and at the age when they ask "are we there yet"?gets old after 3 1/2 hours of driving, but we are going to have a fun week.
Till next time..