Monday, February 13, 2006

Starving artist is starting to sound good . . .

Well, there have been no posts here for a month, due to the three week job interlude.

Yep, I made it three whole weeks - a new personal best, er, worst. You name it, it went wrong. So, now I am thinking of re-thinking the whole thing, which is just putting major stress on DH. However, I think he was more stressed in those three weeks than I was, so he might not think it's so bad.

First, though, have to dye up some spring colors and get them into the two shops that have my fabrics on consignment. Then try another two local shops, but that won't happen until after vacation. Signed up last August for the Elly Sienkiewicz applique academy, which begins in 1 week!!!!! Then back to reality plus charge card bills.

As a result of travel plans and job changes, I've been cooking. The last time I cut up leeks, I thought "how neat;" this time I got a photo:
Sorry, it looks a little dingy, but the colors and textures are neat. Now to translate them into fabric.

Have also had GOOD results using the double needle with machine quilting thread at long stitch length for gathering. Beats hand stitching, and, either way they get stitched I love pulling them apart again. The one good sample I have I overdyed -- Black, which is a tribute to the job that didn't last. Well, I'll make another better one!

That's it for tonight - thanks for looking!

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Thanks for the surprise Karren

Decided to try discharge on turquoise Procion MX. Got this piece dyed yesterday and today I folded it and stitched circles in it following the directions in Karren Brito's Shibori book. Then I immersed it in 50% bleach solution - the bathroom exhaust fan and Darth Vader mask in use. Left it in a relatively long time - probably 10 minutes. Anyway, there was a general lightening, I think, but where the cotton quilting thread was left the bleach soaked in a lot. So, even though this looks like white fabric that was stitched and then dyed, it was largely turquoise that was bleached. Very fine detail - the circles are 4" if I remember the template size correctly.

Now I just have to figure out what next. With the detail, I suspect beads will figure into it, or the next one, somehow.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Snow hanging from the rafters

Wow - close to a month since my last post. Lots of good excuses - you know the story. So anyway, after the Christmas last minute projects were done, I got started on a piece of art cloth which I have entered in the 'Never Static' show. The juror is Jane Dunnewold -- nothing like aiming high from the start.

At left is a picture of the cloth in progress. I think it's attractive; anyway I like it a lot more than a lot of the art quilts I see. It isn't going to challenge anyone, I suspect, but I like it. I feel rather like I should apologize for it, but I'm not gonna.

There's a lot I've learned already in working on it -- especially the importance of keeping the stencil clean, and marking the front of the fabric at the start. I discharged several of the snowflakes before stencilling on paint, and because the fabric was wet, I couldn't tell which side was up. Naturally, the back has several discharge snowflakes on it.

The next thing I learned was about curing paint properly. Yes, it was pressed, just not long enough. So when I gave it another neutralizing rinse for the bleach, you know what happened.

The next picture shows it hanging from the rafters preparatory to taking pictures for the juried show. Some brilliant person on the Complex Cloth forum suggested using grey felt for the print table so it could be used as a photo backdrop as well. That works great! Just need a better camera sometime . . .

One good thing I tried on this cloth is the use of gel medium. The white snowflakes are a very small amount of white Jacquard paint mixed with about six times as much medium. I haven't yet tried just white paint alone, but the mixture has a lot more density than the other paints do, both in terms of value and thickness / texture. It also globbed off on adjacent fabric the most because of not being cured properly. I probably won't re-make the whole piece, but it has crossed my mind.

Enough for now - gotta find pleater needles to replace all the ones I broke. That piece of cloth has been pleated and dyed three times so far, and I probably have eight hours into it to date. Picture another time.