Thursday, May 27, 2010

Soy Wax Batik

Soy Wax Batik 
 Why? Why did I take this workshop? I love what I am doing with parafin. The batik is fun, I get the results I am looking for and it's working for me. But soy wax? It is a weird beast. It does act as a resist, but it is also water soluble. You can wash it out with hot water. This is easy compared to boiling regular wax out over the hot steaming stove. I don't have much experience with soy wax though, so I could use a primer. And then, Jane Dunnewold was teaching it. I said YES before I even found out if I could go. I didn't know what to expect, but I was going with friends, I just love Jane's work and the books I have gotten from her. They have taught me so much about surface design and are so inspiring. I was completely unprepared for the joy that was about to come my way. Jane is on the cutting edge of a completely new way of making batik. She has been experimenting for over a year and a half to come up with this new technique. She puts the dye right in the wax!! Then you can stamp or brush on many different colors in one pass, and then dye the background. It is an incredibly important and significant difference than the batik of olde. And she has formulated a recipe to make dye crayons with the soy wax too. So, you can color with them (see the bird below), and you can use them to do rubbings for texture. I am in awe! Jane Dunnewold and Lisa Kerpoe (both of our teachers!) These are the trays of soy wax on the hot plate with dye in them. This is one of the two cats that live in Art Cloth Studios. Very cute! This is an inspiring piece, lots of wonderful colors! Sorry I can't remember who made this one. Quick someone email me with the appropriate reference! This one is also wonderful. It was made by Lisa Kerpoe. Actually I spent a lot of time browsing all the fantastic samples that Jane and Lisa had out for us. I got so caught up I forgot to take pictures of them. This is a double layer done by Sherri McCauley. There is a silk piece underneath, and a sheer piece on top. These look marvelous together! This is another sample from Sherri showing the textures from rubbings with the soy dye crayons. They are processed with steam and the colors really come alive! This is one of my favorites by Leslie Jenison. I love the combination of colors she used in this rubbing! Very pretty! This is a sample of mine. It is cotton and I thought I had ruined it. The low water immersion dye bath dissolved a lot of my soy wax and I thought I lost a lot of detail. Upon processing, a lot of the colors were still there. It is my favorite piece that I did during the 3 day workshop. I never would have picked the muddy neutral background color. It just happened by accident, and I LOVE the way it turned out! This is another of my favorites. In addition to using the crayons to capture texture with rubbings, you can also just color with them. I sat on the floor and felt like a little kid again. Pure bliss! Jane and me. Fun class! I would highly recommend Jane as a teacher. She shares a ton of information, is very patient with students' questions, and offers a lot of inspiration and expertise! Thanks Jane!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Quilt Market

Well, Quilt Market is this weekend in Minneapolis and I won't be there. Clothworks will be very busy trying to sell my new fabric line, Urban Landscapes. I have sent my quilt, Urban Circles, for display, but am feeling a bit sad that I won't get to see it there. Not to worry, I will be busy learning new batik techniques with Jane Dunnewold, and I couldn't be happier!

Meanwhile, I have been dreaming up ideas of what to do with my fabric. These are some sample projects made with practice runs of the fabric before the real stuff is printed. Apparently, the colors are off just a bit but can be corrected with Photoshop, but my skills are not advanced to that point yet. These projects will be available to shops that order Urban Landscapes. Cool!

The first is a ruffle skirt and pocket T-shirt. The skirt has 3 tiers and an elastic waist, super comfy and easy to adjust for growing kids! The T-shirt is from Target. I shortened the hem and then fussy cut the pocket and stitched it on. Then I appliqued the hearts and hand stitched the stems.

The next project are two pillows for my couch. I love the way they look. Pretty, simple, and graphic. And the backs have a slightly wavy edge around the big buttons. So if you want a change, you can just flip the pillows over, effectively making them two-sided.

Here's a close up of the hand stitching on the red one.

Here's the quilting of the blue one. After stitching the pillow, this side is now hidden inside the pillow case, but I just love looking at the quilting lines, so I had to share!

This is my tote bag made from some of the Urban Landscapes fabric. You may have seen this tote bag in Quilting Arts Gifts magazine last fall?
Now here it is with my new fabrics, and a slight improvement. My original bag had a simple open pocket. I have altered this to have a zippered pocket so that my credit card won't fall out again!

Here are some closeups for you. I love this project because you can use it to practice your machine quilting skills on a small sample. This is the side of the tote bag. I typically use one quilting motif on one side of the bag, and then a different motif on the other.

How to make a zippered pocket? I didn't know either until I tried, but this is what I came up with. First, cut the pocket and turn under a seam allowance along the place where you will sew in the zipper. Then stitch the zipper in place, like in the photo. And trim off the long end of the zipper, flush with the pocket

Then turn under the edges of the pocket, pin to the lining of the tote bag, and stitch in place. It is easier if you open the zipper half way to do the ends. And, though simple, it's very functional, and looks pretty good too. And, though probably not everyone's taste, I love the contrasting colors!!

Monday, May 10, 2010


 I made this fabric for a specific quilt I have in mind. Okay, the quilt hasn't gotten very far yet...what with painting the house, and repainting my daughter's room (and scraping the popcorn off her ceiling, bleh!). But, in my spare moments, I decided to try this quick experiment. I pleated the fabric with the iron, in a skewed pattern, and then rolled it up, secured with a tie, and then dyed it. It's lovely and well, very green!

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Rainbow Pixel Project

Rainbow Pixel Project 
by Kathy York, Connie Hudson, Sherri McCauley, Leslie Jenison, Frances Holiday Alford, and Barb Forrister 
This is a sneak peak at our group quilt for this year. It has truly been so much fun! The guidelines were simple, 2 inch blocks, in rainbow colors. Any color could be used in each block as long as the entire block "reads" as a color. When we finished, we had over 600 blocks to put together!! Each one is it's own unique little art quilt. It is awesome! At this stage, it is just barely constructed. It still needs some work to finish it up. I'll post the entire picture when it's finished. Wait til you see the back!! Ask us what techniques we used? You are likely to hear everything. And we had blocks left over, so there will be two auction quilts for this year, one for IQA, and one for the Austin Quilt Guild! Hurray!