Saturday, June 23, 2012

Off the List!!

I love days when I check lots of stuff off my 'to do' list.  I don't mean laundry and grocery shopping, I mean art stuff.  This weekend I've managed to get several projects that have been on that list done, and on their way to new owners!

I already posted my Green piece, the last challenge for the Tangled Textiles group.  I was happy with it, but wanted to add a little hand embroidery.  And then I decided it would have more presence if it were mounted on a stretched canvas.  The 16 X 16 size fits perfectly on a 20" canvas, so I bought several.  I got acrylic paints, and messed around mixing colors that I thought would compliment the fiberart.  I was really happy with the end result!

I did not want a solid paint color, but something more like my hand dyes.  I did an undercoat of dark green, then painted yellow and brown on top, purposely letting the green color show through in some areas.  I love the effect this gives, and how well it frames the quilt.  It is now on its way to my son in Chicago, a present for his 30th birthday.

The hand embroidery turned out to be pretty subtle.

It follows along the pathway I quilted, kind of like the greenery that borders our walking trails.

I got the ugly green-orange fabric from last week overdyed in turquoise.

They came out fairly different.  The one on the left has much larger patterning, and more turquoise showing.  Both remind me of underwater imagery.  And, I am much happier with them now!

And this quilt is done!  I got it trimmed, bound, sewed on a sleeve, and got it labeled.  I am so happy to have this one completed.

I learned a lot of lessons with this one.  I'm happy with the effects I got with the Shiva paintstiks, that part of the quilt finally has the emphasis I wanted.

I thought about making the outside edge curvy, to mimic the curves of the hand dyed fabric.  Turns out I didn't like it, so the only curves are on the corners.  I did cut back the black a fair amount.  This one will be delivered to its new owner tomorrow!

I think tomorrow will be a day of rest.  After church, we have tickets for a minor league ball game.  I just hope they aren't on the side of the stadium facing west!!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Weekend Dyefest

I'm finding it harder to blog on weekends, because I'm spending more time in the studio creating.  That's what the studio is for, right?  Last weekend I decided it was high time I used up some dye solutions I've had in the studio frig for a few months.  I also decided I wasn't going to mess around with fat quarters- I dyed half-yard pieces or larger.  I need to start making a dent in the 75 yards of PFD I bought last year when the price of cotton started rising.

I had no plan, no idea of what colors I'd end up doing.  I just wanted to use up the dyes, which were mostly primaries in the three color families Carol Soderlund teaches in her beginning dye class.  Here's an overview of a lot of what I ended up with.

Then some blues, and a color parfait using two yellows on the first two fabrics, and a blue on top.  I do love my greens!!

 The blue with red on the left looks much better in person than it does in the photo.  I was glad to get a red that wasn't fuschia!

These are going to be overdyed- the two on the left have already spent the night in a bucket of turquoise dye.

I also fanfolded three pieces of fabric and put them in the same tray container.  Each piece got a different blue on it, then I flooded the bottom with fuschia.  I liked what happened.

I like the texture I got on these, and think I will be doing more fan-folding and less scrunching in the future.  I already have lots of yardage with the scrunch texture.

My hands-down favorites are these two spirals.

The one on the right was originally more lime green with purple, but I got impatient and rinsed and washed it before the turquoise dye had been on the cloth for 24 hours.  So, it turned out to be more acid yellow, and a lesson in patience for me.  

I was successful in using up most of the dyes in the frig, I only have a bit of a couple of colors left.  I've got a length of cotton knit soaking in one bucket now, waiting to be washed out, and the two that have been overdyed in turquoise.  I still have to figure out what I'm doing with the other one, that turned into insipid yellow and puke green.

All in all, a very good weekend in the dyepots!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Lunch with Del!

Del and I have been cyber-friends for a few years.  I enjoy reading her blog, and her photos of southern Cal, most of them only a few miles from where I spent my teen years.  I drool when she posts pictures from her sizable collection of art quilts from all over the world.  And I drool more when she posts about eating at southern Cal restaurants, especially my long-time favorite Rutabegorz!

So I was thrilled when she wrote me that she would be driving through Utah, and wondered if we could meet.  I was in Reno when she was heading north to Montana, but home when she was driving back home to Placentia.  So last Friday we met for lunch, and I had a wonderful time talking with her and enjoying a great lunch.

I thought and thought about where we could eat, and then my daughter reminded me about a place she took me to lunch once- La Jolla Groves.  Perfect!  We both had a salmon salad- a lovely moist filet on baby greens with a fruit salsa.  Yum and yum!  We split a piece of lemon cake- and I got a picture of both Del and the dessert.

Isn't that a fantastic Rayna Gillman scarf she's wearing?

It never ceases to amaze me how the internet has broadened our horizons.  I have been able to get to know people from all over the world, see artists' work that otherwise would not have been possible to see, and learn from some fantastic artists.  This was a simply delightful afternoon spent with another quilt lover and artist, made possible by the marvels of modern technology.  What could be better!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Ice Dyeing

After reading the article about ice dyeing in the current issue of Quilting Arts, I decided to give it a quick try this past weekend.  It helped that I didn't have to worry about mixing any dye solutions since you use the dye powder dry, and that I have some colors that were gifted to me several years ago.  I wanted to use mostly mixed colors, because I've read from multiple dyers that mixed colors split in interesting ways when used for snow dyeing.  And, ice dyeing can't be that different from snow dyeing, can it?

So I ended up with two containers, with four fat quarters in each.  One container I left downstairs in the studio for 24 hours; the other I set outside in the sun all afternoon, then brought it inside.

Looks like interesting dye soup, doesn't it?  The one on the left has Pro Bright Blue on the bottom, then Pro Pewter, Pro Lemon Yellow, and finally Dharma's Chinese Red on top.  The container on the right has Dharma Fire Red on the bottom, then Pro Gold Yellow, Dharma Rust Brown, and finally Sabrecon Yellow F-11 on top.  That yellow looks nice and bright, doesn't it?

Twenty four hours later I washed them out.  Here's the container on the right after washing and ironing.

The bottom fabric (Fire Red) is on the upper left, then they go clockwise to the top yellow fabric on the bottom left.  Not much yellow on that bottom fabric, is there?  That one will definitely be getting overdyed.  I like the Fire Red, even with all the white; the others, I'm not sure yet.

Here's the other container-

The bottom Bright Blue fabric is on the upper left, then follow them clockwise to the Chinese Red on the bottom left.  I like the blue, and the reds have possibilities.  Who would have thought this fabric would come from pewter gray dye?

My jury is still out on ice and snow dyeing.  The top fabric especially doesn't seem to get as much color with this method.  Sometimes the patterning looks pretty unique, other times it doesn't look any different than I get with regular LWI dyeing.  I suspect I'll be willing to play with it as long as I have old, mixed dyes that I wouldn't use otherwise, but I'm probably not willing to experiment with my single shade primary dye colors.

I just thought- maybe I'll try these parfaits again, only using Ann Johnston's parfait method that I've done before.  Could be really interesting to see how different (or the same!) they are.

I don't know if it was because of the dye colors or the temperature, but the container that spent the afternoon in the sun seemed to have more intense color.  It would make sense to me that the temperature would have something to do with it, since it would be much more likely to reach the optimal temperature for MX dyes.

This was a fun experiment, and one way or another, I'm sure I'll find a way to use these fabrics.  Now I need to decide what colors I want to dye this summer to replenish my stash.  I can see a few dye weekends in my future!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Two weeks

have come and gone since I last posted.  I spent the first week camping in the eastern Sierras of California with my brother, and the second at work recuperating from the first week.  Photos?  I have enough photos from the trip to write months of blog entries.  Really.

That was one of the 'goals' of the trip- get familiar with shooting in RAW format, and learning how to edit those.  I also got to play with some lenses for macro shots, and get more comfortable with my tripod.  I'm at the beginning of the learning curve with editing photos from RAW- but hey, I have 900+ photos to practice on.

We camped at Robinson Creek, near Bridgeport.  My parents took us camping here when we were young, so my memories of the place go back many years.  My sister and husband, brother, me and my kids all came back here in 1990 for the Fourth of July celebration.  Bridgeport may be a small town, but they are serious about that holiday.  We had a blast, including my then twelve-year old son who got to play mud volleyball with his uncles and their friends.  I thoroughly enjoyed visiting the area I hadn't seen since then.

Most of the campground held trailers and RV's- we were one of only a couple of tent campers.  And yes, one morning we had steak and French fries for breakfast!!

I have lots of shots of wildlife- some not so good, some I am really pleased with.  This chipmunk and Stellar jay spent an afternoon paying us visits.  Yes, I tempted them with sunflower seeds and almonds.

This little guy got brave enough to check out my fanny pack with some trail mix in it- after I was dumb enough to leave it on the ground!

But the shots I'm happiest with were taken the morning we hiked along the creek with our cameras and tripods.  I was on a trail cut into a slope that goes down to the creek.  That meant I was at eye level mid-way up some trees growing along the side of the creek.  I first saw a gray squirrel on the trail, and stopped cold.  He got curious, jumped from the ground up to the tree, and kept getting closer to me while I shot away with the camera.

We went hiking, drove lots of dirt roads, and visited a ghost town not to far from Bridgeport.  It was a wonderfully relaxing and fun week with beautiful weather, gorgeous scenery, and good company.  I'll have lots more pictures to share as I get them edited.

Oh, and I had fun with some out-of-the ordinary shots- like, how about this closeup of our campfire one night!  I thought it made a cool abstract photo! 

Now I am off to iron out some ice dyes I did yesterday.  I'll have pictures of those later this week- hope yours is a creative one!