Sunday, June 23, 2013

Fast Food Shibori

I learned something new this month- a way to do shibori that does not involve string and trying to get arthritic hands to wrap and shove fabric down a pipe.  It's as simple as roll and push- really!

My first piece was done with charcoal gray.  I got some splitting, but not a lot- which made me happy.  Then I tried another with navy blue- which, since I messed up with my calculations, came out a medium blue.

This was nice, but I wanted more depth.  So, I took the blue piece, rolled it again so the light end was on top this time, and overdyed with a red.  I was feeling lazy and not wanting to mix up dye solutions, so I used some that I had stored in the frig.  And this is what came out of the second dye bath--


I am really happy with this.  It got me thinking about possibilities for another tree quilt- think snowy, stormy night in the forest.  I think this is one I will have to plan out carefully, both with fussy cutting fabric and planning my layout.  I don't think slash and stitch would do justice to the fabric.  I also want to be able to control the direction of the lines on the shibori fabric.

I am planning some time off work to dye fabric, and this will definitely be part of what I do.  Our temperatures are heading into triple digits this week- perfect for dyeing!!

I'm linking this post to Nina Marie's Off the Wall Friday.  Head over there and take a look at what the other artists are up to!

Waiting for the Muse

It has been a dry month creatively- no surprise, given the events that have impacted our family over the past two months.  Until last weekend, I hadn't spent any time in the studio, except to clean.

I know, having been down this road before, that just the act of sewing can help get my creative juices flowing again.  So I have been working on a tee shirt quilt for my daughter, a gift to help her heal from the loss of her fiance.

I cut and backed the parts of the shirts that I'm using, and played with layouts on graph paper and on my design wall.  I learned again the wisdom of the adage "Measure twice and cut once!"  But it is all pieced, we have gone from this. . . 

to this. . .

Now I just have to add a border around the outside.  I'm doing simple straight line quilting, probably on a diagonal.

I hand dyed the fabric that I used for the sashings.  I wanted a medium gray- there was already enough darks in the tee shirt blocks.  That was another lesson on the many variations of gray!  I think this has a green undertone- which, fortunately, works.

I'm already planning for some time off work that I'll spend dyeing fabric.  I want to have a selection of fabric to use in the discharge workshop I'm taking from Carol Soderlund in September, and I have another tree piece that I want to start- probably using shibori fabrics.  Just the thought of spending several days in the dyepots makes me happy!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

It has been a slow month creatively- aside from the show now on display, it's been almost non-existant.  It's hard to be creative when you are feeling both emotionally and physically drained.

I'm trying to get back into it with a simple project that will nonetheless be very appreciated by the recipients.  I spent some  time over the weekend cutting up tees, hoping to get a couple of lap-size quilts.  I have twenty-five good size blocks, and plenty of plain fabric to fill in where needed.  Here's the first set up on the design wall--

First step is to get the blocks squared, then play with design options on graph paper.  Then I'll know what I have to cut out to fill in.  Add some medium gray sashing between the blocks, some simple straight line quilting- I'm hoping to get this done quickly (for me!), and hoping that this will get the creative juices flowing again.

I also chose some fabric and ironed fusible on it, hoping to play with some postcards.  Can you tell I'm craving some bright summer colors?

Another simple, quick project.

I had some learning moments while getting my pieces ready for hanging- but I'll need time and energy to collect my thoughts in a coherent manner.  So I'll leave you with this, and hoping for positive thougts that my muse and energy start visiting me again!