Monday, November 16, 2009

Dye Dumping Day

I hated to do it ... It looked like perfectly good dye powder. This was dye I purchased back in 2005-06-07. I've been getting disappointing results in recent batches. This stuff has a definite half-life to it's shelf life. It was time to start over.

Some of the dye that over-splashed the basement drain. Pretty.

Now I have a whole pile of clean jars waiting for Godot, I guess.

Now I have a better idea of how much dye and fabric I tend to use in a year. No need to purchase the 8-oz. jars, unless I'm splitting them with someone else.

My friend Lynda and I recently put in a large dye order. Because we split the costs and the 8-oz. jars, we each got 4 oz for the price of 2 oz. jars. We also got to split the shipping costs. What a deal!

The dye kitchen is open!

No snow yet, but I did drive by an area ice rink and saw piles of "snow" pushed out the side door ... "want ... want..." Alas, I was too far from home and with other obligations to scoop up a few buckets for snow dyeing. Guess I'll just have to wait for it to fall from the sky! Shouldn't be long now!

Simply Salt : First Experiments

Windsor and Newton Inks (Vermillion, Carmine, and Black India Ink) after drying with the application of salt.

My own "ink" made from Procion dye (no soda; no salt) in black and fire red seemed to work well so far. The lutradur was not laying flat as it dried on this piece, so the salts and inks could run a bit, making this lovely coral patterning. The irregularities caused or allowed for movement as it dried. Nice! Even though I brushed off the rock salt, there's still a sparkle to these pieces that doesn't show in the pics.

Here are some detail shots for the coral piece :

Salt crystals formed on the blotter board on which the lutrador pieces were drying.

Velvet Scarf a la Gay Feather

Sew Savvy invited Conversations-in-Cloth to attend a program in which Virginia from Gay Feather in Madison, WI, came to show us her patterns and store samples at a house party in Appleton. Visit the Sew Savvy post to view a photo montage of Virginia's fashion show. You'll see some unusual patterns, and beautiful fabrics. All the patterns are for sale through Gay Feather. Feel free to ask Gay Feather questions on anything you see there.

She opened a shop in Madison just as I left and moved to Oshkosh. My husband even likes her shop because she sells REAL linens and silks and woolens. It's a texture-lovers paradise! If you are ever in Madison, WI, stop in to see what she has for sale, and on display. The button collection alone is worth a stop!

When I was looking for fabrics to make my wedding dress, I had to trek to Chicago to get linen and silk. At the time, no one sold those nice (real) fabrics in Madison. Virginia is filling a niche there!

I don't sew clothes anymore, but if I did, I'd likely make this jacket out of this gorgeous double-sided linen. Mmmmmh!

I did purchase a kit of silk and burnout velvet to make this yummy scarf.

Beading with Fannie

Samplar with stacked and encrusted beads.


Detail of encrusted beads.

Last weekend, I took another class with Fannie Weurach. Here's the samplar from the class. Now I know how to encrust my work, too! Thanks, Fannie. I need to get a picture of us together!

Fannie is known for her bead-encrusted art quilts. I met her at the Oshkosh Public Museum at the Meet the Artist Event back in March. She was a fellow artists there, working on a new piece. She's just a delightful and interesting person! The more we talk, the more we seem to have in common--from spinning yarn, to working in health care, to hand-dyeing fabric, to Newfies, to Goddess History.

I have a few pieces begging for beads, but felt I needed to take a class to get over my fear of the tangled bird nest syndrome on the back of beaded works. (At least my beaded works wind up with tangled bird nests on the back.

I also LOVE Larkin Van Horn's work, and have great intentions of actually using some of my very own snow and hand-dyed fabric with beads to do something inspired by her beadwork.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Spools Quilt Top Done

I finished the Spools quilt top last weekend.

See those 2 polka dot blocks? They were so powerful together, I had to separate them. Otherwise, your eye would be drawn to that alone ... As I look at it now, those 2 batiks read as dark-dark.

Thinking Out Loud :
Now ... how to quilt it? I'm thinking just some simple wavy lines across the diagonal. It needs some curves in the stitching to soften the geometric piecing.