Archive for June, 2008

Shibori Part IV

June 17, 2008

Not one to give up easily, I decided to try another pole wrapped piece over the weekend.  This one was a piece of cake to make.  I learned what not to do with my earlier attempts, and this time my pole ties were already in place, the container was large enough to cover the fabric, and the weather cooperated.

You can see my work area here:

It’s a lonely clothesline pole in the middle of my lawn, but it works.  That’s all that counts, and it’s free. 😉

The fabric came out exactly how I hoped.  I am thrilled.  It might not look like it in the picture, but it’s a lovely seafoam green – perfect for my project. 

I am much happier selecting colors I want to use. Yes, that container of navy is the oldest dye powder I have, and I was trying to use it all up, but it’s the oldest container in the house for a reason.  I don’t like a lot of the colors I get when I use it.  It’s so nice when my subconsious speaks up and makes itself known.  That navy will be good for creating lots of colors in the future, but it can go back onto the shelf and be used when I need it.  

There will be lots more shibori dyeing this summer, but the next couple of weeks are totally filled with workshops, meetings and family gatherings, so it will be a while before more pictures are posted.  I can use that time to wash, fold and seam some pieces though.  This is officially my Shibori Summer!!!  I can’t wait to try some clamping, more folding and stitching, and twisting – I NEED to get some of that great plastic rope.  Wrapping fabric around that rope will be sure to create some fabric gems.


Shibori Part III

June 14, 2008

The sun came out, it got hot and very humid, and yippee!!! 2 of the pieces were overdyed.  I selected navy to overdye these pieces, and wish I hadn’t.  My instincts were to use yellow, and I should have listened to them.  

While I don’t dislike the overdyed pieces, they don’t sing to me, so I’ll make more next week that will sing – loud and clear – and have yellow in them.  😉   

I did keep half the original pieces intact.  It’s very good to have the fabric as a visual reference for all the steps along the way to the finished cloth.

I used .5 grams of navy dye powder to 8 cups of water.  The original fabric had 5 grams to one gallon of water.  Yet the navy overpowers the turquoise and fuschia.

Here’s the first piece:

You can barely see the original turqoise diagonal lines, but they are there and I like this piece. 

And here’s the second piece:

This was the fuschia 2 pole technique from yesterday.  As you can see, my blue eyed beauty Coco, decided this passed muster, and would not get off it.   The minute I placed it on the floor, she inspected it, then decided it would make a lovely sitting surface. 

Notice, these pieces are nicely ironed?  I’ll be using them for a workshop I’m taking with Rosalie Dace later this month.   Lots and lots of lovely textural stitches will be added to them.

I used 2 different types of fabric for this experiment.  Dirt cheap Roc-lon muslin and Robert Kaufmann’s Kona PFD.  They both take dye beautifully.  The Roc-lon muslin is very rough to the touch and would be perfect for casual, rustic type of work.  A hand sewing needle glides through this fabric. The Kona is soft to the touch, but it requires more hand strength to hand sew with it.  It will be wonderful next to the skin and perfect for machine sewing.

These beginning efforts creating shibori style dyed fabric were a lot of work and a lot of fun.   I’m intrigued by the folding, stitching and clamping styles more than the pole wrapping techniques.  That could be because of my set-up, but I don’t think so.   

I liked the turquoise pattern the best, but used the longest pole for that and between it falling over, having the string break, and then unwrapping it in the house and hitting the ceiling soffits – multiple times (That’s between you and me.  My husband doesn’t need to know about that.) I realized I do not have a natural affinity for using poles to dye fabric.  In orther words, I’m a klutz.  A happy, cheerful klutz, but a klutz.

There will definitely be more shibori dyeing in my future.  I do love the pattern effects, and will focus on smaller pieces over the next few weeks.  More to come….

Shibori Part II

June 13, 2008

Surprise, surprise, the fabric didn’t turn out as badly as I thought.  It didn’t turn out like I expected either.  I was totally happy by one piece, satisfied with the first layer of the second piece, and disappointed with the third.

None of the fabric has been ironed because I haven’t decided which ones will be overdyed yet, so please excuse the wrinkly fabric pictures.

Here’s the first piece:

I folded a small piece of fabric into a square and randomly sewed some curved lines with my sewing machine.  It was dumped into the bottom of one of the buckets and I wasn’t expecting much from this piece. 

It was close to be tossed as it took forever to remove the stitches from the wet bundle.  And yes, I did use a large basting stitch, but it’s not easy removing wet thread from wet fabric.

I was surprised by how nicely the stitch resist created a mandala effect.  It looked nice wet, and it looks even better now that it is dry.  It’ll be better yet after it’s ironed.
And here’s the second piece:

This is the one that was wrapped around the pole that fell over and the bottom string broke.  You can tell that one side is nicely patterned, and the other isn’t.  The section that is almost solid, is the part that fell off the pole.

This piece would have gone up in my opinion to totally satisfied, if I didn’t have that big area of solidly dyed fabric on one side.  I really like design – nice flowing intersecting lines – and if it stops raining, I’ll overdye it today.

And last and least liked is the third piece:

This piece used 2 tubes and I sewed a line down the middle of a piece of fabric overlapping the side seams to make 2 tubes.  One tube could slip over one pipe andthe other over the other pipe.  I didn’t push the fabric closely enough together, and thefabric tubes were a little too loose on the pipes.  I’d try this again with a closer fittedfabric tube and smooch it all together harder. 

I’m not sure if I’ll overdye this, or discharge it.  I’m leaning towards discharging.  MXProcion Fuschia is a pretty strong pink.  It definitely needs toning down somehow but I’m not sure how I’ll accomplish it. 

Tomorrow, I’ll hopefully have more pictures.  Rain, rain, go away,  Come again anotherday.  I want to dye again today.

Shibori Part I

June 12, 2008

No pictures today, but I am busy dyeing fabric.  I’ve been wanting to try some shibori style dyeing, and after Pat’s mini demo at last week’s RAFA meeting, I purchased some sewer pipes at Home Depot Saturday night.

Monday I washed all the fabric in synthrapol and let it air dry – my part for trying to conserve energy when I dye fabric. 

Tuesday I sewed some fabric tubes, and folded and sewed some curved lines in a fabric bundle.

Wednesday night I wrapped my poles. 

Do you get the idea that shibori dyeing is not a quick process?

Finally this morning was dye day!!!

I mixed my dye powders at 5% – 5 grams of MX Procion dye powder to 100 ml of water and they dissolved beautifully.  So far so good.

My soda ash solution was rather low, so I mixed a new batch.  Put the lid on my gallon container and proceeded to shake to dissolve the soda ash.   That bottle started leaking from every which way – the lid, the sides, the bottom.  I got soda ash all over my kitchen and laundry room floor, my sandaled feet, my clothes.  You name it, it got a soda ash bath.  That’s what happens when you use a plastic milk jug to hold soda ash for a year.  I’ll never do that again.

Okay, I dumped what I had left of the solution into another container, rinsed my nice leather sandals (they are my dye sandals, but they are still nice comfy ones with arch support), my feet, my legs, washed the floor, washed the floor again because I have a cat who thinks she’s a vacuum cleaner and licks the floors all the time, then ate some breakfast.

Fortified by a bowl of Cheerios, I mixed the salt solution, then made multiple trips outside to carry buckets, fabric wrapped poles, dye concentrate, soda ash, string and scissors.

Got the first pole in the bucket and realized I needed a larger bucket.  By the time I got back outside with a larger bucket, the first one had fallen over.  Half the liquid was now in the grass, the pole was rolling around in the lawn, and I was not a happy camper.

Okay, I picked up the pole and the bottom wrapping string broke.  My beautifully wrapped fabric started gracefully unfolding from the pole.  By this point you’d think I’d be swearing.  Nope, I started to laugh, which I truly believe is a precursor to hysteria.

Okay, I shoved that pole into the bigger bucket trying to catch as much of the wet, dripping, pooling tube of fabric as I could under the pole, and tied that pole to a support.  More salt water was added and then the soda ash.   Last I checked, it’s still standing.

Onto the second bucket.  Filled the container with salt water, added the dye concentrate, put in the poles and the container wasn’t deep enough again.  Obviously, I have real issues with gauging what size containers I need for shibori dyeing.

Okay, went inside to get a larger one and you can pretty much well guess what I found by the time I got back outside.  There were my 2 poles, upside down, with the fabric saluting the sun.  sigh

The saddest part about that was it had to go back into the same small container because the 2 pole arrangement I had tied, didn’t fit in any of my deeper dye containers.  The openings were all too narrow.

Okay, so an inch of this fabric is sticking up out of the dye bath.  If dye wicks up, fine; if it doesn’t, tough toenails.  It can always be overdyed.  The good news was the string didn’t break when it fell out of the container, so there is a prayer I’ll actually get a shibori look on this piece.

Tomorrow, I’ll take a picture of the fabric so all can see, but for now, I’m going to read some email, put my feet up, and not look outside.  I’m a wee bit afraid of what I might find next.  😉

Karen’s FFTs Round Robin Block

June 8, 2008

My work on Karen’s crazy quilt block in the FFT’s Round Robin is completed.  The fabric she chose is wonderful and it was a joy to work on this block. 

My contribution was adding a button cluster composed of cloisonne, painted and metal buttons with a beaded sequin and charm added to mix it up a bit.  The painted button was attached with some rayon floss and a wrapped stitch.

The tatted heart motif was made was Sulky 12 wt cotton thread, and I also embroidered three seams.

The first one was a 3-step seam.  It started off with a hand dyed (Tentakulum) thread in Cretan Stitch, then Oyster Stitch in DMC rayon floss, and as Karen likes beads, I added one to each of the Cretan Stitch points.

The second seam was made with Lion Brand’s Incredible ribbon yarn (Color 205) ruched and folded, then sewn into place with Blue Moon glass pearls.

And the last, but not least, seam was a counted cross stitch floral garland.  It was the first time I used waste canvas and it worked beautifully.

You can add cross stitch designs to any fabric by using waste canvas.  It comes in different counts, and I selected the 14 count for this project.  Cut the canvas with an extra inch around the design size, tape the edges and sew it on top of the block.

After finishing the cross stitch, I cut the canvas closer to the design, then removed one strand of the canvas at a time.  The package instructions say to wet it then remove the canvas strands, but it pulls out perfectly well dry.  Tweezers were helpful at this stage.

The pretty flower was found in an old cross stitch book and I added 2 smaller flowers on each side with some leaves to gently curve around the seam edges.   2 strands of DMC floss created a nice full look and some Kreinik #4 Very Fine Braid in the flower center adds a bit of sparkle.  
I hope Karen will like what I added to her block.  It was pure pleasure working on it.

RAFA June meeting

June 7, 2008

The regular meeting of RAFA – Rochester Area Fiber Artists – was this week.  Show and Tell was wonderful and one of the members – Priscilla Kibbee brought some molas she had purchased in Panama.  This one just so happened to come home with me:

I’m not sure what I will do with this one, but they are wonderful pieces of art all by themselves.  

Much progress is being made on Karen’s FFT’s round robin block.  It should be finished this weekend and mailed out ahead of the June 15th deadline.  

Our electricity went out this week.  High winds were the culprit.  A telephone rep at the electric company told me there were lots of mini tornadoes in the area, and my husband said there were a lot of trees blown over.  I was very grateful to hear all the beeping clocks and see the lights come back on Friday.