Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Taking a look back at 2009... Textiles!

I spent a while the other evening looking back at the year, giving some thought to the water under the bridge. Some of my favorite moments along the way include the winter months at the beginning of 2009, I was buried in my textile studio exploring the world of art quilting in a whole new way. I remember a visit to a local quilt shop where I saw a calendar on their wall, I snatched it right off its hook because I’d never seen such quilts before. I was completely taken with a quilt by Kathy York and I came home and googled her name and found her blog, which led me to a world of blogging quilters that I never knew existed. I fell in love with the aesthetic of Simply Robin, her art quilts are rich in color and design excellence.  I also discovered the amazing Melody Johnson, who has become a real source of inspiration on many fronts! I love her work, and I ever bought a painting from her this year.  I drooled over one and a friend of mine wondered aloud how a piece of my soul ended up on her canvas!  That painting is now one of my treasures in my home!  With inspiration from Melody, I began to dye my own cottons, linens and silks and that’s addictive! I’d dyed fabrics before but never with Procion dyes, and that opened up a brave new world! (Add dying textiles to my list of art media that I work in! Score!) I also learned to make a kind of bread that takes 18 hours to raise and is baked in an oven with steam - Yum! I even tried knitting a sock, inspired by Melody, but that’s rather dismal since I never finished and it’s a little wretched looking, but it was fun! Te he! I’d fused fabric for banners for years, but I’d always preferred piecing when working with quilts, but my latest quilt was entirely fused! I'm tellin ya, I could get used to that! I have learned SO much from this amazing group of phenomenal artists (too many to mention, just check out the blogs I follow!) and they are among the best treasures of my year! Oh, and in there somewhere a representative of Hoffman saw my blog and sent me a couple yards of some DELICIOUS batik! That was fun! I have created more quilts in 2009 than ever before, and even between all the other production work and the other media that I work in, working with fabric was a personal favorite. And when (if) I get my kitchen makeover complete, I hope to spend some quality time in my quilt studio again, the ideas are brewing and it's that time of year again. Plus the wood stove is going full tilt, and I love being in the toasty studio with my fabrics!  Here are some photos from my latest batch of hand dyed fabrics. I was going for the most difficult color to dye of them all: PURPLE!

I like dying white on white commercial fabrics, the white printing on the fabric takes the dye differently than the body of the fabric, creating any number of cool effects. 

A little more white on white.

These are all squares of gradient tones, and each was folded in half when I dyed it creating roughly 20 x 42 inch pieces of fabric that are like photo copies or mirror images... that was a fun experiment!

A closer look at one of the dyed tonal pieces.  The process is simple.  I put the fabric out on the kitchen counter on a trash bag.  Fill the squeeze bottle with dye solution and squeeze some on the prepared fabric, add a little water or dye and then squeeze out the solution on the next row and continue on like that.  One can make various gradations of the same color, light and dark blue for example, and one can morph from one color to the next like I did above.  My lines show but if you don't want them to it's possible to do it more gradually!  I <3 color!

This large chunk of fabric turned out looking like I tie dyed it, but that design was entirely accidental.  A few shades of purple went into the can along with the fabric, and it was dramatically forgotten for a day or two and then washed.  Don't ask me to repeat that color, it was just the last of all the purple dyes just thrown into one can along with some fabric.

I've got a bunch of these fabric chunks in a wild combination of blue, purple and fuchsia and everything along the way in between. 

Oh, and a few more of these white on white pieces, the more pastel ones to the left and the darker majenta purple ones on the right.

Yay for the color PURPLE!
Happy dying, Happy New Year

"For auld lang syne, my dear,
for auld lang syne,
we'll take a cup of kindness yet,
for auld lang syne."

1 comment:

  1. Oh yeah, LOVE THAT PURPLE! Your fabrics are beautiful.


Related Posts with Thumbnails