Sunday, April 30, 2017

What Happens in Folly..... know....but honestly - myself and 2 wonderful girlfriends, Mary and Kate headed off to Kates beautiful home in Folly for 3 days of fun. We always have so much planned and never get to do even half which is fine; there's always next time. We unpack the car and are off and running.
 On the agenda this time around is ice dyeing, acid dyeing and Rit dyeing....along with great food, champagne and watching beautiful sunsets.
 An hour after we got there and Mary is diving right in with ice dyeing. Ice dyeing involves laying down wet and scrunched up fabric treated with soda ash, a layer of ice cubes and dye powder on top of that.
 As the ice melts at different rates, so does the dyes striking the fabric at different times giving a very crystal like affect. We used all sorts of fabric...not just white. We were on a mission to use up many of our "not so pretty" fabrics to save them from the trash.
 In our excitement, we laid down our fabric...
 and with great enthusiasm, started spinkling the dye powders....OH...wait a minute, we forgot the ice!
 So we went back and added ice and lots more dye...
 We decided to take a serendipitous approach and let whatever happen...happen...not keeping tract of colors...
 But then we thought better of it...what if we get this amazing piece and have no idea what colors we used...Between the 3 of us, we had tons of the easy way out - to take a picture of the dyes as a reference.
 Years ago when I first ventured into dyeing with procion MX, I made large swatches of all the dyes I had. It has been one of the best investments of time and energy. I never dye anything without referring to these swatches and possible color combinations. I have also bleached 3 areas on each piece to see how that particular color will discharge. I used regular household bleach - diluted, soft scrub and discharge paste. All bleach out differently as you can see in the swatches.
 I have also over the years collected over 100 dye colors...many of which I find I don't use so I'm trying to get rid of those colors. I didn't succeed with too many but those that did, the swatch went into a batch for over-dyeing.
 Kate had some fabrics that were blends and not good candidates for MX dyeing so she was anxious to try Rit dye - good for any fiber except nylon. I remember years ago before I knew what procion dyes were, I would dye bathroom rugs to give them new life.
 Kate had tremendous success with a large quilted piece of fabric, good for a backing.....
 turned out great.
 Well, Mary always has a problem with bugs...They LOVE her although the feeling isn't mutual. Kate fixed her up with a clip on system that turns on and off with a little switch...and keeps those little buggers at bay....
 And speaking of happy hour approaches...we take our wine and walk the long walk out to the boat dock at Kates house...yes... this is the view she is magical and wondrous.
 The grasses, the sun on the water and beautiful sunset...
doesn't get any better. Well, this was just day 1 so please stay tuned for more ice dyeing and acid dyeing....and caramel sauce and homemade chocolate chip cookies...and.....and....

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Transparency Transfer

It's that time again, our monthly gathering of Fiber Junkies where we love to play, share and drink champagne. We do our Show and Tell in the beginning, giving us a longer span of time to play with techniques. 
Kate has been trying to use up her scraps and made this very happy quilt with lots of colorful scraps.
She quilted it with her long arm using a floral pattern, adding even more charm to the piece.
Denny showed us a piece which was her last piece for her 10 year Masters Class with Hollis Chatelaine. I love this piece; it depicts the International Womens March back in January. I know Denny was a part of it and also remember it being a very rainy day which did not stop anyone from coming. It was a sea of umbrellas under which stood some incredible and determined women.
The background is interesting with silk screening used as an overlay on top of foliage type fabric. Fabric trees were also appliqued on.
If you remember my blog from retreat, Mary was working on a large quilt for her 4 year old grandson...and she finished it and brought it to share - lucky little guy!
Val brought another one of her beautiful handmade books...
The handmade paper features rusting and eco-dyeing....
each page a work of art...
Gen has been downsizing and in anticipation of that is finding creative projects that take up less space. She admits to loving collage and in particular, this book which has served as a wonderful source of exercises and inspiration.
These are some of the little pieces she has done using all kinds of techniques. What a great way to try out new things.
Onto the technique for the day - transferring with transparencies. You will need transparencies. I got these online and liked the fact that they have a paper edge at the bottom making it easy for the printer to grab and start printing. Use an inkjet printer as the inks have to be water soluble. You will also need an image to transfer. You can get the image onto your computer by scanning or from your camera. Any kind of image will work - line drawings or more solid imagery.
The other thing you'll need is an acrylic medium (I prefer matte finish) or a colorless extender. I didn't know about using an extender but Denny brought us each a container and it worked very well.
You'll also need fabric - either solid or patterned like the above. Keep in mind that the transparency allows much of the fabric to show through.
Mary wanted to transfer an image onto this rusted piece of fabric....
This image was scanned into the computer and than printed onto the transparency. I used the same settings as I would for anything I would print. Some printers have an option for transparency but most dont; use the standard - plain white paper setting and "normal" quality print. Many of the images were enhanced in a photo editing program first.
To transfer the image, coat the fabric with a thin layer of acrylic medium. Immediately place the transparency image side down and using a burnisher or the back of a spoon, rub over the entire transparency until the image is on the fabric. The "wetness" of the fabric will loosen the ink allowing it to transfer. This part may take a little "elbow grease". You can gently lift up the corner of the transparency to see how it is going.
Val wanted to use this picture of an elephant which was scanned into the computer, enhanced a bit and also enlarged. Your image will always be a mirror image of what you start with so if you're doing writing or something that you want to be in a specific direction, make sure you flip the image in photoshop first to get the mirror image before printing.
And here you can see the elephant is reversed...which was fine with Val. I do love the way the rusted fabric peeks through the elephant at different points giving it an eerie quality.
Gen had great success with pictures she found...
and transferred onto fabric.
Her daughter was playing with the negative setting on the camera to get some great looks...
which transferred very well.
Kate had a great line drawing which transferred very well.
She started with a mottled blue fabric.
Denny was doing something very unique. She found pictures of all the houses she had lived in, turned them into line drawings in a photo editing program...
and transferred them to fabric...Pretttty cooool....A great day as always.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Retreat - Pt. 2

Day 2 of our retreat.... Back at the community room,  lots going on. Marene, our newest PTA - er fits our group like a glove. She brought several projects to work on including a community quilt which is an ongoing thing in our guild. I think most guilds have philanthropy type projects where kits are available for anyone to make and donate. She finished this top - lickety split...and so onto the next project.....
 a gift for a friend she recently stayed with while in Florida...
 This will be a beautiful bargello piece when done.
 Linda has become an avid knitter; these are socks for Kate...I'm in line to get a pair but don't know if I can bring myself to wear them...too beautiful.
 Barbara was working on blocks and at this point up to 3 large pieces...a very interesting piece and I look forward to seeing it completed.
 Mary was working on a quilt for her grandson using plaids and checks....
 With leftover fabric from Mary's quilt, Kate made this piece. It's fun to see the very different looks from the same fabrics.
 Leigh Ann was working on the same quilt as Janice using the Maple Islands quilt pattern -
 Kate was also working on a community quilt, ran out of squares to make a 5th row and decided to make 2 blocks using scraps to make a 9 patch (opposite corners). Kate literally had a few threads leftover and we all thought the newest blocks really added an element of surprise.
 Kate is a fast and very good piecer...but when having so much fun with many distractions...seams do get sewn on the wrong side...what to do...

 take a break and do aerobics with our fearless leader - Georgia!

Well, 5:00 and it's Happy Hour time and back to the house.. ... lots of nibbles and bubbly and laughing!
 with good friends....
And as the saying goes....what happens in Lake Logan, stays in Lake Logan...For that we are all grateful.
 and into our jammies early on
and the socks that say it all ..."If you can read this...Bring me some wine"....Girlfriends are the best!