Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Fun with Napkin Rings

I was shopping for a D shaped napkin holder, which I never found....but I did find these two others, and one napkin holder (the yellow fabric). I see the world differently now. The first thing that comes to mind when I see ANY new object is....how can I dip that in hot wax?? And then quickly followed by, what color will I paint it? The last photo is with the wax still in and freshly painted with dye (mixed with print paste). Even with the print paste, I am still having issues with the dye running under the batik. I am painting on a glass surface. I think I need to try a stretcher frame.

with wax and dye painted in between the shapes

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Dive Right In...Shibori!
I saw an example of this type of shibori in the book, Shibori, The Inventive Art of Japanese Shaped Resist Dyeing, and thought I'd give it a try. I planned to use it as a training exercise for the back of a quilt I am working on. It took an hour to do about one panel, and before I invested multiple hours in sewing the entire cloth, I cut out this strip and dyed it to see what it would look like. It is about 60" long and 10" wide, and has a total of 6 circles. I like it so much I don't want to sew it back on to the original now. It is hanging on my studio door, a simple cloth, beautiful in it's simplicity.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Fun with Backs

Problems photographing outside on a windy day? OR....A fabric too happy to stand still? I pick the later.

It is time to start thinking about quilting the auction quilt for my children's school fundraiser. Only problem, I forgot to make a back for it. I was planning to tie dye a whole cloth, like a rainbow. I did that once before and was quite happy with the results. Plus, children love rainbows, so I thought it would be popular. And this one was supposed to be a rainbow, but an accident happened and it totally changed the color scheme. It seems like every time I think I know what I am doing, something happens and I learn something new. This time I learned that if you are dye painting on a table, and your cloth is much bigger, it can slip off when you turn your back! Thus the warm tones, already painted on, landed on top of the white half that had yet to be painted in cool colors. I decided to go with the flow and camoflage the serendipitious 'error' and paint the rest in warm colors. See if you like it!

The other thing is this. I don't know why, but before I started, I decided to do batik instead of tie dye. I love all the circles. They look so happy and seem to have so much movement. The real trick after dyeing is of course getting the wax out. I do this by boiling. And since this is a large whole cloth, 60" x 72", it is really quite a trick to get the wax out. And I don't know why I insist on taking an easy project and making it harder on myself. Art? Some creative vision that needs expression?? Regardless, I have added an image for you to see the pots I use for boiling out the wax. The one on the stove (on the left), is my old 'Big Pot' for boiling out wax. I use it for fat quarters, half yards, and maybe up to a yard. The really big pieces won't even fit in this pot, so I had to get a bigger pot--it's the one on the right. It was a cheap steamer I found at the grocery store. It is not meant to boil multiple gallons of water. I found this out when I tried. It is made of aluminum, and when you fill it with water, the top of the pot looses heat so quickly, even when the lid is on, that you can't quite get the water to boil. However, it does get hot enough to get the wax out.

Little Fish Prototype

I knew this fabric would look great for fish!! This first image is before the fish was stuffed (and before his mouth was painted). The second image is to show a close up of his mouth. I finally figured out how to sew an open mouth. And it happened quite by accident....I couldn't quite turn this tiny tube inside out. Then I realized that it was much better this way!

I am also getting better at quilting the fins using tweezers. If you would like to see the quilting, be sure to click on the photo for the close up. The pectoral fins are made from putting fusible webbing on organza. When you cut the organza, the webbing sort of seals the edges and keeps them from fraying. And, as an added bonus, it is very easy to attach the fins to the fish. I used a tiny clover iron and just pressed briefly at the forward edge of the fin. This fish and his other friends will be debuting on a new quilt called Little Fish. But, due to the nature of that quilt (ie., very tedious and large), it will be many months before I have a picture to post.