Sunday, November 19, 2006

Color, Color, Color!!!

Despite feeling under the weather (I've been trying to catch a cold for a week, and I think it is finally winning), I decided to try something new (for me) with dye. My son Sean gave me a copy of Ann Johnston's Color by Design last Christmas, and I've been reading it off and on ever since. Saturday I jumped in with both feet.

I'm lucky to have dedicated space for dyeing- I have a sort of wet studio right next to my sewing studio. Cement floors, a large laundry sink, a nice large counter with room for supplies underneath, and room for a largish table. It feels cramped sometimes, but it sure beats taking over the kitchen to dye, which is what I did in our last house. Courtesy of DD Shannon, here I am in my glorious dyeing attire mixing dye concentrates and print paste.

First lesson learned- dye concentrates for painting go a VERY long way. I mixed a half recipe, and still ended up throwing more out than I like. I think I mixed about 8 colors, some single-shade dyes, and some mixed dye colors.

I used foam brushes, foam rollers, a big syringe. I love texture, and you certainly can get wonderful texture this way. It's also very different from the texture effects I get on my low-water immersion dyed fabrics.

I'd put about six fat-quarter size pieces to soak in soda solution the day before, and took out half to dry overnight. When I realized I would have tons of dye left over, I got more fabric soaking- but was too impatient to let it dry. So I have a good idea of wet on wet effects, less experience with wet on dry. That will just have to wait for another day.

Here's some of the first pieces ready to be rolled in plastic and left to batch.

With the arrival of cooler weather, I've had to come up with a way to keep the fabric at 70 degrees while it batches. I've used a heat lamp, cheap and available at Wallyworld. One has worked, but I think I will be getting a second to put on the other side= then I won't feel the need to move the lamp around to make sure all the fabric gets under the lamp at some point. Here is all the fabric rolled in plastic, before I cleaned up the mess in the studio!!

Today is my favorite part, washing out the fabric to see what I have. As I expected, I got some dogs and some that I like. Some look like they will be usable with some further surface design work- if nothing else, it will give me something to practice on. I particularly like the ones I've posted below:

And now that all the pieces are ironed, folded, and ready for the stash- I am going upstairs to bed. Hopefully with lots more tea and Nyquil, I can feel like a human again.

Friday, November 17, 2006

FFAC postcards. . .

Just a quick post before I go into work for half a day. I'd posted before about getting my postcards from Houston- thanks to Linda T. Minton, who was a "personal shopper" for many, many QA members who weren't able to go. Linda did a fabulous job of choosing for people she only knows "virtually."

First is Purple Passion, by Lynn Majidimehr of Woodinville, WA. I love the effects created by the hand-dyed fabric and beading.

I had only mentioned one artist for Linda to look for, and knew that I might not get it. So I was thrilled to find a Liz Berg card, Gone Dotty 10. I have admired Liz's work since I first saw it in Quilting Arts magazine, and I was not disappointed. The color is vibrant, and the attention to detail is- well, awe-inspiring.

To say I'm very happy to add these cards to my small but growing collection would be an understatement!!

Fabric cards have turned out to be such a nice way to see what others are creating, and to try new ideas on, that I've joined a group on Art2Mail. Judging from the group membership, I will have 24 more magnificent cards added to my collection over the next few months!! I'm planning to start work on mine this weekend, with some dye painting and printing.

And, while we are talking about postcards to exchange- I still have 3 spots left on the ArtShare Meme. Look at my November 8 post if you don't know what this is. Sign up and pass it forward!!

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Back home. . .

after two very nice days in St. George- where the sun was shining, and the weather perfect! I was there with a friend for a professional conference, but also had the chance to visit with my brother Paul, who lives there. All in all, a nice getaway- even if it did include work.

Before we left, we stopped by my brother's place to visit. He gifted Robyn with a number of items, which she is showing off-

Here I am with Paul- someone I am always glad to spend time with, whether it be in an art gallery or hiking in the mountains.

Work on the house quilt is progressing quite nicely- I got the borders on today. I'd originally planned to do a mitered border, to imitate a picture frame- but my brain was not in gear when I measured them, so I ended up having to do cornerstones. Oh well, one day I'll remember to measure twice and cut once!

All the landscaping is done and added, all I have left to do is the quilting. So I should have this ready to give to the intended recipient by Thanksgiving. Here it is just before I took it off the design wall to pin baste--

I also need to be kicking it into gear making postcards! I've got two responses to the ArtShare Meme, so three left! And, speaking of postcards, I received mine today from Houston, thanks to Linda T. Minton. She chose two beautiful ones for me- Gone Dotty 10 by Liz Berg, and Purple Passion by Lynn Majidimehr. I love them both, they are wonderful additions to my small but growing collection.

I can't believe it, but we will probably wake up to snow tomorrow. I am not ready for winter!!

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

 ArtShare Meme

I'm participating in a fun way to share art among bloggers.  The first five people who comment on my blog will get a fiber postcard from me.  All you have to do is post this same message on your blog, and make art for five other bloggers.  So, join in the fun!  

Not a lot of time to post today, I'm off to St. George for a professional conference.  Fortunately,  I'll also get to see my brother, and have some nice down time relaxing.  If there's anything arty going on in St. George, my brother will know about it.  So, I'll be looking for comments, and posting more this weekend.

It's a good day to be blue!!!