Thursday, February 4, 2016

Combining Surface Design Techniques!

While waiting for my snow dyeing fabrics to cure I switched my energy over a different kind of experiment! I wanted to create something with screen collage. One thing lead to another and I ended up combining a few techniques: color magnet, thermofax screens, screen collage and hand carved stamps... take a peek at the journey
I started with Terri Stegmiller's wonderful Fern thermofax screen (available on Etsy). Rather than screening with paint or thickened dye I used Color Magnet (from Dharma). The idea behind this product is wherever you apply the color magnet it will grab the dye more intensely creating a tone on tone affect. 

Once the color magnet was dry I screened thickened dye across the surface of the fabric. I left the dye to set and then washed it out.The color magnet didn't show as dramatically as I had hoped so I decided it needed more! 

Next I pulled out a couple of hand carved leaf stamps and Speedball fabric paint. I really wanted to highlight Terri's Fern design more so I screened again with burgundy. 

Here is the completed 1 yard piece. The full photo looks a little washed out compared to the actual fabric. It's fun to combine techniques and let the design evolve organically without a specific plan - it's very freeing! 

Monday, January 25, 2016

10" of Fresh Snow = Snow Dyeing Fun!

Finally we got a dumping of snow! It's already late January and I thought this snowfall would never get here... but it came and I'm all smiles! The studio is now geared up to dye as much as possible while the snow lasts... the meteorologist say rain tomorrow. 

Check out these easy steps for your own snow dyeing experiments!
If you live in snow country you just have to try this!

First soak your fabric in a mixture of soda ash and water. This will allow the fabric to really grab onto the dye for a strong color. Next organize your fabric for dyeing. The beauty of snow is that you can use all kinds of 3-Dimensional items to create an interesting effect. 

Put a layer of snow across the surface of your fabric. If you have lumpy items under the fabric do your best to cover everything with snow. When sprinkling dye you MUST wear a respirator - your lungs are important so don't mess with them! 

Here is where you need patience. Wait for the snow to melt and set before rinsing and washing. I find it hard to wait so the easiest routine for me is to layer the snow in the afternoon and let it set all night. When I jump out of bed in the morning the fabric is ready for rinsing!

This piece was folded and clamped.

This snow burst effect is from placing recycled containers under the fabric! 

Here is another piece folded and clamped.

These snow bursts were created using whiffle balls tied into the fabric.

This final piece was made by slipping old hotel keys into the folds of the fabric and clamped. 

Let me know how your snow experiments come out... what did you learn... what will you try again... what won't you try again!




Friday, January 8, 2016

50' Collaborative Art Quilt Project!

The CT Farmington River Quilt Project is made up of 25 quilt sections created by 25 different art quilters! When displayed together the installation will be 50' long! The premier exhibition will be April 23rd & 24th at the Winchester Center Congregational Church annual Quilt and Needle Arts Show. At the close of the show the installation will be donated to the Farmington River Coordinating Committee located in Squire's Tavern, Barkhamsted, CT. 

The enormous project was spearheaded by MaryPat Leger. She assigned each artist a specific section of the river and provided a map for where each river would intersect the next creating a continuous river flowing across the full 50'. My section is the Black Bridge Pool. MaryPat supplied the fabric for the river and I hand dyed or painted the rest of the fabrics. I gave this project a lot of thought prior to sketching a design. The Farmington River is a valuable resource shared by wildlife and the local communities. I wasn't sure if I should add people enjoying the river or animals frolicking on the riverbanks... what season should I represent?! My heart told me to create a peaceful scene which would allow the viewer to think about the serenity and joy the river brings to them individually. The goal of the project is to heighten awareness of both cultural and environmental forces that affect the river... so, in the end I left out people and animals with the hopes that the viewer focuses on the river and how they can best advocate on behalf of it's needs. 

Please come to the exhibition to see the installation and perhaps learn more about the Farmington River Coordinating Committees efforts!  
Black Bridge Pool - Detail

Black Bridge Pool
24" X 21"
Please "like" the FRCC Facebook page to keep up with the latest efforts to 
maintain a healthy river environment


Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Look What Kate Themel Did!

The awesome Kate Themel completed another commission piece recently. Don't you just want to reach out and give this pooch a pet!I'm thrilled Kate choose a piece of my ice dyed fabric as the background. 
Finished size 15x15
©2015 Kate Themel

Sunday, January 3, 2016

The Printed Fabric Bee = A Year of Surface Design Tutorials for YOU!


GREAT NEWS- The Printed Fabric Bee is continuing in 2016!

The Bee in moving in a new direction this year...and we hope you'll be as excited as we are about that new direction! Instead of monthly fabric collections for our members...this year the focus in on YOU!


Each month a member of the Bee will post surface design tutorials on The Printed Fabric Bee blog. Imagine 12 months of free mini-classes from national and internationally known surface design artists and teachers! BUT....that's not all!!! Each month, the artist-of-the-month will offer a fabulous giveaway that will range from custom designed fabric to art supplies to books and DVDs. All you have to do is leave a comment on at least one of the blog posts during that month to be eligible. The artist-of-the month will draw the winner at the end of the month.

The first artist of 2016 is Julie B. Booth author of Fabric Printing at Home! 

JULIE'S BOOK IS HERE!!!

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Silk + Sharpies + Isopropyl Alcohol!

I've been working with Silk, Sharpies and Isopropyl Alcohol again = yippee! The more I experiment with this technique the more I learn and look forward to expanding my approach!  
After some trial and error I decided the best way to stretch the silk was to use the largest quilt hoop I could find. 

Using permanent Sharpie Markers I colored across the surface of the silk.

It's a very slow process as I move the hoop around to fill up the fabric surface.

Here is a detail shot of dropping the alcohol onto the colors which gets them to move and mingle! As you can imagine this is why the technique takes so long. After dropping alcohol across the surface I let it dry and repeat the step multiple times until I'm happy with the end result. 

Here is the completed orange, brown and green piece!

Detail - orange, brown and green 

This finished piece combines blue, purple and yellow!  

Detail - blue, purple and yellow
When you try this technique please be sure to have a fan in the room. The Sharpies tend to be smelly - not toxic - but not pleasant either! The good news is they dry super fast and you can keep going.