Saturday, October 22, 2011

Prayer flags for Andy

I got up this morning with a plan.  My brother's wife is having surgery next Friday so I wanted to make her some prayer flags.  Since the ink I print with takes a few days to dry, I needed to get it done today.  I only photographed 2 of them as I was working today, but will take a picture of the string once they are done.  I made a string of 7, colors running from yellow green through red-violet, each with a different image and word on it. 
It is silly, but it makes me feel like I am doing something to help the person in need-good thoughts... 
Then, sincer I had the ink out, I printed some terns, crabs, and kingfishers for future quilts.  I love the crab and kingfisher but the tern stamp need some work.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Adventures with DeColorant

In my last post I mentioned that I had been playing around with DeColorant.  this was one of the successful experiments.  I used some of my ugly scarves-the ones that I had kept trying to no avail.  Since this one, I have done some with leaf stencils that worked well.  I also took the scarves that were not sucessful and boiled them with dye remover, the aplied soy wax and over-dyed.  they are in the wash now.  will give an update tomorrow.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Kodiak Bear Paw Quilters Annual Quilt Show

The Kodiak Bear paw Quilters hold a quilt show every year.  The show is Saturday and Sunday, October 8th and 9th, at the Kodiak High School auditorium Foyer.  These are my entries. The photo above is called Big Dipper.  It is 21.5 x 20.  This piece started out with a piece of hand dyed fabric.  I had a block left over from a reduction print I made in Liz Mitchell's print workshop, with which I printed the distant mountains.   I decided to extend the mountains beyond the silk border.  The gradations in the border are hand dyed.  I originally printed the stars with gold Lumiere paint, but they weren't  as bright as I wanted, so I stitched with gold metallic thread.  This is the quilt that led me to a thread crisis about a month ago.  I ran out of thread with only 12" of the border left to quilt!  I asked the wrong daughter to quickly send me thread!
 This quilt is 15 x 20 and is called Joy.  The print is an Alutiq petroglyph.  She is actually the only recognizable female figure.  Arms upraised signifies dancing.  Although I am not Alaskan Native, she is my Goddess.  The people who carved these images in the rocks many, many years ago, came to this island from someplace else and made it their home, just like I have.  I was not born here, but after 35 years, I am from here.
 Alaskan Sky is 21 x 12.5.  This piece shows one more stage of the reduction print.  The stars and the Northern Lights were printed first, then that was cut away, and the mountains were printed.  I really like that the red border does not extend into the mountains, making them look more authentic.  The gradations in the border are hand dyed.
 Kings is 15.5 x 20.  One morning, I just decided to start cutting this print up and inserted strips thinking sea grass.  I was happy with the layering effect, and though everything matched up quite well for freeform work.  I don't normally do alot of hand embroidery-I am pretty much hooked on beads, but the stitching on this piece was fun and I am pleased with the results.  I used 3 stands of red embroidery thread on the distant blades, and  hand dyed purple Size 5 pearl cotton on the closer blades.  I will not try that again-multiple layers of pimatex is not easy to pull that thick of a thread through.  I used hand dyed size 12 pearl cotton to outline the starfish, which turned out great.  I bought both of those thread at Visions in San Diego last Spring.  Then, of course the required beads and buttons were added.  I used higher contrast thread than I normally do.  I have thought that my stitching gets lost when i use lower contrast thread, but I am not all that great of a stitcher.  Of course, when my thread really show is when my sewing machine started misbehaving and eating the thread.  I tried new needles, rethreaded, put on some thread treatment.  She just was angry with me that day, I guess.  Our first bad day!
 A close-up of my starfish and button creatures.
Over the Mountains is 12 x 12, with a portrait quilt measuring 4 x 6.  I posted about this piece several months ago.  i wasn't happy with the placement of the mini quilt.  I moved it around for months, then I read somewhere to leave blank space in the upper left corner, which works for me.  This is my donation for the silent auction.

I have been playing with Decolorant and paint with stencils this week, as a means of procrastinating binding and hanging sleeves!  I had some ugly scarves that I experimented with.  I used spray decolorant on one which was a mistake-it crept under the stencil.  Then I did three with plain decolorant paste.  I was working on a table with batting, covered with plastic.  I guess paper or cotton underneath would be better.  The paste went through the scarf and seemed to just sit there on the plastic.  You can't move the scarf until it is dry, also.  Anyway, one of those is beautiful.  Then, I used yellow Decolorant and a leaf stencil on a red scarf.  That one is pretty awesome.  Finally, I printed Lumiere paing with a stencil.  those turned out OK, but it is hard to apply the correct amount of paint.  Tomorrow, I will take some photos and post them.

And I almost forgot-my SAQA Auction quilt sold for $250.  Of course, there was family politics involved-it was purchased the Aunt of my daughter, Kristin's, fiance.  All the same it sold for a good price and I wasn't shamed by having it sent back like last year. 

Thursday, September 29, 2011

What I am Working On

I haven't posted much lately-not because I haven't been doing anything, but because I have been to busy to take pictures and post.  Then, it took hours to upload the pictures!  The two pieces on the left were bound with clamps, and on the right with rubber bands.  The fabric was originally goldish, rustish, green, then overdyed in cobalt.  They are actually alot more brown than they appear in the photo.  I am very happy with these pieces.   A closeup shown below.

I like these starbursts but too much of the fabric was bound.  I have to figure out how to spread the color.


More leaves or maybe trees.

I am really pleased with the patterning and the vlow of value and color across these pieces.  They were rolled on a string or rope then i tied the rope in a donut. I wan to try rolloing from the other direction then overdying in a different dolor.

These are all pole wrapped shibori.  I see leaves and trees.  For some reason my closeups of these are up above.
I still have more dye mixed and stored in the refrigerator and about three more yards of fabric. My plan is to play with soy wax one day soon.

This is what is on my design wall.  The red piece is ready to quilt , binding is on the teal/purple piece.  Actually, I am progressing on all pieces.  I am hand sewing on the fish piece today.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

SAQA Auction

This is my donation to the SAQA Auction which is up on the block this week.  It is a great cause.  Please, someone buy my quilt!  To place a bid on my quilt, go to:

Thursday, September 1, 2011

End of Summer Art Walk

These are the four pieces that I am showing at the End of Summer Art Walk-Tonight 5-7 PM.


I do not know why, but it seems that I go through about 20 yards of fabric before I finally start getting results that I am really happy with.  If I was more consistant with my dying, I am sure that this would not be the case.  I forget everything I learned, when there is months between dye sessions.  Next year I hope to be moving into a new studio where I can work year round.  The photo above shows some pieces that were bound with rubber bands and dyed twice.

 I really, really like these pieces. I folded the fabric in half, then stitched half circles approximately 1/2 " apart.  First I dyed the one on the left in fushia and purple and the one on the right in teal.  Then I overdyed in a very dark cobalt dye.  I dipped the stitched portion first, then scrunched the remaining fabric in a container with dye, with the stitched portion sticking above the dye-because I didn't want much of the dark in the center. 
 A silk scarf that was pole wrapped vertically and two stitched piecec that I am extremely happy with.
 A Closeup of my bark fabric.  This was stitched about 1" apart, then dyed in green.  I then overdyed with a dark brown-just wanted a little.
 Another stitched piece.  this was stitched before I realized that I needed to use smaller thread.  There are parts that should be good for something.
 Silk Scarves-pole wrapped.
 Closeup of my circular piece.
Closeup of the other circular piece.

I had to come home on my dinner break from work last night to rinse these fabrics out.  Couldn't wait until I got home!  When I came home from work, I got several more pieces of fabric ready to dyd.  Success is very motivational!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011


I live in a very small house.  When something is not in use, it gets stowed away.   Once I got out all the gear for dying, I can't stop until I am done!  No dawdling about it.  For the last week, I have done some sort of task related to dying every day.  These photos show some of what I have accomplished.  I dyed several 6 step gradations.  I have been starting with dye and fabric, after 10 minutes add soda ash, then another piece of fabric, and so on, so that it gets lighter as you add fabric. 
 Some of them don't have as much variance as I would like to see.  The next batch I will try mixing the dye for each step.  More work, but if I get better results...These are all fat eighths.  Mixing each stage, I will do larger pieces of fabric.
 this piece started out as a light peach color.  I stitched the circles, then dyed it in red dye.  I dipped the stitched portion then submerged the fabric with the stitched part sticking out.  The center circles has the most definition,
 This piece started out yellow.  I had bound some stones before dying, but it really didn't show on the yellow, so I bound it with rubber bands and dyed it in orange.  What is weird is that the original bindings show better now!
 Small stones bound with rubber bands.  I like this, but I wish I had dyed it first.  Try again...
 Pole wrapped shibori.
 This piece was yellow, bound with rubber bands, then dyed in red and fushia, bound with rubber bands again.
Another piece of pole wrapped shibori.  I also dyed some scarves with this batch, but took no photos.  Nothing terribly extraordinary.  Now it is time to take todays work out of the drier and see what I got!

Thursday, August 18, 2011


I did my first dying of the summer, yesterday. I posted some pics of the scarves tha Olivia and I dyed yesterday, but I managed to be patient enough with my cotton to wait until morning to rinse everything out. I was so anxious to get started that I began as soon as I got out of bed. I got caught in my jammies, hair not combed, and very colorful hands, by some old friends who are visiting Kodiak.

My Northern Lights piece.  this piece was stitched.  I used to thick of thread which left thread marks which could have been avoided with thinner thread.  I think.  I had alot of trouble removing the thread from a wet piece of fabric.  Perhaps on the next stitched pieces I should dry it before I try removing the thread.  I ended up with some small hole that, although they are unfortunate, won't matter because the piece will be cut up.

Pole wrapped shibori.  Water...

I used aquarium stones and baby rubberband to bind this piece.  I tried to stitch the stem and leaves but that does not show up very well.

This is another stitched piece.  It didn't turn out as I had expected but I like it alot.
Pole and rope wrapped shibori.  More water...

And more water...

I came home from work and mixed up dye for tomorrow.  I am going to dye a 12 step colorwheel gradation.  I learned last year that if you want them all to turn out similar, you need to use the same size of container.  I had a friend in a restaurant save 1/2 gal sour cream containers for me and I found some pitchers at Walmart, so i am set.  I want my gradation to have the same mottled appearance.  I want to dye yards of fabric so I had to mix up lots of dye.  Had a near disaster.  I bought a cheap blender to mix my dyes.  Even though I had it in a washtub, I made a big mess.  For some reason turquoise foams up alot in the blender.  I had turquoise dye all over the place-including my new shirt that I wasn't smart enough to change when I came home!  But, I got the shirt sprayed and into the wash right away so it is fine, and the dye was cleaned up before Nick got home.  He would not have been happy!

I have been having trouble with Blogger tonight-doesn't want to upload photos, and stuff keeps disappearing, then when I preview, its is there more than once.  I need my bed....


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