Thursday, June 11, 2015

Do you have Electric Quilt software?

Not feeling totally confident with using EQ7 (or earlier versions)?  My beginners' class is about to start, so jump in and enrol.  The lessons feature screenshots, videos and plenty of helpful tips, and they can all be saved to refer to later on so if life intervenes, you don't miss out.  

And it's not all hard work - look at these 5 versions of a quilt pattern coloured in totally different ways.  Do all the designing before you cut into your precious stash.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

A spot of shibori

Or "tie dye", as some may know it.  In addition to dyeing colour gradation bundles of fabric for the Textile Emporium shop, I have been doing a spot of shibori.  Firstly, some silk scarves.

 The shibori effects were very subtle on the scarves as they are so thin and fine.
Above are the bundles of colour gradations - just plain colours here.
 Then I took 8 fat quarters of plan fabric and tied and bound them in various ways.  You can follow the progress of the various shapes below.
 Here's the first tray with the dye on.  The bags contain leftover dye that I have used to overdye some dull commercial fabric.
 The second tray.
 The reveal!  The green one had small unripe peaches tied in it.
 The blue one was rolled around tiny ceramic tiles.
The burgundy one was clipped and tied.
The purple one was pleated and tied.
The yellow one was wrapped and tied.
 The turquoise one was folded into triangles and clipped.
The coffee one was also pleated  and tied.
 The fuchsia one was folded and resisted with cardboard.

Here they all are ready to go to the shop.

Monday, December 01, 2014

Round the World Blog Hop

I have been invited by Clare Smith of to participate in this Round the World Blog Hop.  Clare is a Kiwi dyer and textile artist, and I love the work she is doing with dyeing fabric while in situ in a gallery.  The rules of the Blog Hop are that we have to answer some questions about our work, show what we are doing, and then nominate some other bloggers to do the same.

Here are the questions:

1. What am I working on? 

OK, this is a tricky one.  I have moved away from quilt art towards makings textile-related things for sale in the local Textile Emporium - in other words, I have gone from making stuff to look at to making stuff to sell. However......I have become very interested in eco printing, dyeing with plant material and Slow Cloth.  What is Slow Cloth?  It's my own offshoot of Slow Fashion, where I will create either accessories (eg cushion covers, scarves, bags) or garments from plain natural fibres (eg cotton, linen, silk) that I have transformed by slow methods such as shibori, dye bundling with plant material, solar dyeing, rust dyeing and so on.  

I am only just starting this journey, so haven't much to show yet except these 2 scarves:

2. How does my work differ from others of its genre? 

The Slow Fashion movement is still in its infancy, and slow cloth is even newer.  In many ways, though, it is older, as this is how cloth used to be made - when craftsmanship and artisans were valued and there was no mass production.  As far as I know, there are only a few textile artists embracing this style.

3. Why do I create what I do? 

Because it interests me.  I have always followed my own interests with cloth and dyeing.  My work has never been popular or trendy, but that doesn't worry me. 

4. How does my creative process work?

I sneaked a look at Clare's answer and positively chortled!  I have also gone to art school, but at an advanced age, so I write nothing down!  It is all in my head and I prefer it that way because it changes constantly.  I do my best thinking when I am lying down.  I think things through in quite a lot of detail this way.

Because I am somewhat late at getting this done, having been at work (unpaid) at the Textile Emporium all day and because I didn't read about it properly in advance, I am going to nominate 2 other bloggers without warning them - I hope they will be able to spare a few minutes to participate.

1. Liz Plummer  from Newport in South Wales.  Liz is a fellow blogger from the Quilting Arts blog ring who kindly invited me to stay for a few days when I was in the UK in 2010.  Liz is also a textile artist doing exciting things with fabric.

2. Dijanne Cevaal who flits from France to Australia and back again.  Dijanne was an early dyeing influence and will be known to many.  She will probably curse me for this as she is producing a book and doing a squillion other things.  However, I wanted to include her as she has also been a huge influence on my work - I love just about everything she does.  I stayed with Dijanne in the south of France when I was on my overseas trip and had a blast.  

Thursday, November 06, 2014

It's been a long time coming....

...I have been neglecting my blog in favour of posting on Facebook.  However, this blog has a long history and I have made many friends through it so I don't want to lose that.  Here's what I'm up to at present:-

Back to my dyeing roots.  I have just been accepted as a member of TOTE (The Oamaru Textile Emporium, based down in the Historic Precinct) so I now need to ramp what I have available for sale.

In addition, I have another class of EQ7 Beginners' Patchwork starting on 7th November (US time) - details are here  If you have Electric Quilt software, this class will help you get the best from your programme.  If not, and you love designing quilts, it's worth having EQ7.  Being able to test designs, colours and layouts before cutting into any fabric is hugely beneficial for quilters, given the price of fabric these days.

I'll post more soon about the things I'm making for TOTE and my new direction towards slow cloth.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

The reveal

 Those of you who have been following the last few posts about my new project will remember that the objective was to tone down the corner accents of hand dyed fabric.  Above is the original layout (not stitched).
And here is layout #2 - slightly different angle, sorry - but you can see what a difference the screen printing has made to the way the quilt looks.  I am much happier with it now.   I did not attempt to reproduce the original layout - I just started from scratch and tried to ensure that there was a pattern with the corners, and that no 2 pieces were the same where they adjoin.
The dogs are, of course, completely familiar with this sort of thing and don't mess it up :-).

I welcome your comments!  Please tell me which version you prefer, and why.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

A new project! Part 4

 One thing I've learned with screen printing is that paints don't behave like dyes.  Mix red, blue and yellow dyes, and you get brown.  Mix these as paints, and you get dark grey.  Not what I wanted.  I have had some comments about my approach to colour mixing :-) ...sometimes you have just to do it.  There are no exact recipes for this.
 Plan B was to make an orangey colour. At least red and yellow worked here.
 The design I made for the black triangles was a simple stylized sun.

 This was quick and easy to do.
 For the navy triangles, I did a far more difficult design.  This involved printing most of the triangle, so it was pretty tricky to line up.
 It didn't always work perfectly, and I had to touch up some triangles with a cotton bud, adding paint to areas that were missed.
To avoid getting paint on the rest of the block, I used a piece of waste fabric as a shield.
 Here's the results - the black with gold suns above...
..and the overprinted navy triangles below.  

I will probably leave the grey triangles as they are.  Next step is to lay all the blocks out on the floor, and see how they look.

Friday, March 07, 2014

A new project! (part 3)

For the Rust Orange triangles, I decided on a quite different design.  It started out to be leaves but it looks more trees.  I find it helps to not overthink your designs.   I started by drawing the shapes, but when I began to cut, they came out differently.

Here's the design on Contact paper on the screen.

 I had grey paint left over, but wanted it to look a little different, so I added black and red....
 ..and some yellow...

 and a bit of blue.  Because I love colour, it does not matter to me if the paint in completely mixed or not.
And here is the first print.  Again, perfection is not required - it is the overall look I'm aiming for.  Once the paint is dry and ironed, I'll post a group shot of the triangles, and then start on the Navy bits.