Sunday, August 27, 2017

Eco Printing Workshop

Recently, I had the great fun of taking an eco printing workshop from Vickie Bennett. I've known Vickie for a while and have always been a big fan of her finally it worked out where I could sign up for her 1 day workshop.... packed full of information and fun!
 One of the techniques we used was layering leaves and plant material on top of silk noil or a scarf blank.
 Everyone brought lots of things to share...a great variety of plants and all were anxious to see how each one would print.
 We had pvc pipe or copper tubing for wrapping our fabric/leaves. I chose the copper to see if the metal would have any effect on the didn't seem to.
 This scarf turned out lovely and picked up a lot of the color from the plant material.
 This is my scarf...I like the results but would have liked more color. The lack of color is a result of  spritzing iron water to the piece before steaming. The "ferny" type leaves are Sumac...the good kind that doesn't make you itch.
 I think the Sumac had a powerful presence...
 and another pretty scarf with good color.
 And our instructor's beautiful scarf in which she also used a "color carrier" to get more color on her fabric.
 and a detail....
Another fun technique we learned was the use of color carriers to create more color on the piece. 
 For this exercise we used silk noil which takes any kind of color beautifully
 with great results.
 and my piece...a little more subtle than some of the others. I can't say I'm in love with it...maybe in like with it but more important I'm happy to know how to do this...will be doing lots of practicing in the future.
 and another very successful piece..
 Our class with Vickie in the middle.
What a fun day and we learned so much in such a short time. Out of respect for Vickie and all the hard work she did in creating this workshop, I shared mostly results...which hopefully will wet your appetite into taking a workshop from her...You will be happy you did.....til next time.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Eco Printed Art

Last month we had the opportunity to do some eco printing at our Fiber Junkies meeting. We used hand made paper and leaves from our garden along with some fresh Eucalyptus from Trader Joes. I was pleased with the results...
 but what to do with them....2 ideas came to mind...size being a factor.
 The smaller ones I thought would work up nicely into some notecards. I've always done notecards as they are fairly good sellers and people always seem to need them. They also make great gifts.
 I used 5 x 7" blanks and glued the eco print in place using a double bond created with rubber cement. To make a double bond, glue each surface and let dry thoroughly. Carefully place the eco paper on top of the blank..once it's's turning back so this step I do very slowly and with great care. I remove any excess rubber cement that might be beyond the print by gently rubbing.
 The envelopes have a stamped leaf in the upper corner and a short blurp about eco printing on the label. Both envelope and card are placed in plastic.
 Onto the bigger prints...both sides are printed and often not the same depending on what was touching them during the process.
 I like this side which uses Eucalyptus leaves and a rusted flat gear of some sort. I thought it might need a little darkening in places so....
 I used a spray on color wash....diluted and applied with a brush for more control.
 The eco print was backed with a fusible web.
 I thought a silk noil in natural color would work well as a backdrop for the print. I love silk noil and the wonderful texture it provides... I marked off the area to quilt, sandwiched it with batting and light backing and dove in.
 I did a simple free motion stipple stitch in a rayon thread the same color as the noil. I then fused the print down in the center and secured it permanently with a monofilament thread.
 I used 8 x 10 blank canvas's to mount the piece. I laid it down with wrong side of print up and facing the right side of the canvas. I then brought the whole thing to the back. I stapled it in key areas...checking each time to make sure it wasn't off center...
 then went and filled in the gaps with more staples.
 And a look at the finished piece.......which is large Eucalyptus leaves...
 and the back which is finished....
and the other print.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Blue and Green

Back in March, we had our annual PTA retreat....PTA stands for Piecers, Talkers, Appliquers OR Professional Textile Artists. This wonderful group has been together forever and once a year we treat ourselves to 3 days of sewing, eating, drinking champagne and laughing our sides off. We usually have way more projects than we can finish but heaven forbid we run out of something to do. I was way off in La-La Land with the expectations I had for myself...My first project was pieced hexagons which I recently finished (click here) and had this as a backup..What was I thinking.
Well, I am not a piecer as I have commiserated about before...although I love pieced quilts. Here is a prime example of why...After making blocks, I was to cut them on the diagonal to put back together.  I discovered early on...I was cutting them on the wrong the first 2 blocks went into the trash...
It took months (grabbing moments here and there) to get to this point...ready to sew everything together.

After getting them sewn, it was time to sandwich it and quilt. I loved the circle prints and thought this would be a nice quilting pattern. I found around 7 - 8 different size circles. The table in my studio was covered with dishes, pot lids, plastic lids etc.....lots of sizes to choose from.
I started at the center drawing around dishes etc...quilting it and then moving to next circle. I did a few at a time and then laid it down to draw more circles. I used several threads...a 30 weight rayon which was more subtle and Madeira's Lana which used to be called Burmilana and one of my favorite threads. It's quite heavy but will thread through a "topstitch size 16 needle" using an old fashion needle threader. Lana is a wool and acrylic blend but has the appearance of the threads used in Crewel embroidery...remember that? I thought a combination of both threads worked well together.
For the binding I used a polka dot....
and here's the finished piece...looking for a name.