Carol R. Eaton Designs

Carol R. Eaton Designs

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Intoducing New Felted Purse Designs!

I've been busy creating and playing around with some new felted purse designs! The wool is hand dyed and very soft yet durable. The flowers are a fun element and I plan to make more in a variety of colors! Let me know what you think!


Connecticut Fiber Arts Collective presents another group show!


Noah Webster Library of West Hartford

Presents

“Fiber Harvest”

September 1st – October 15th

The main library at 20 South Main Street



A collection of unique art quilts

Created by the

Connecticut Fiber Arts Collective

Please join the artists for a reception

September 8th from 6:30 – 8:30



For directions and information please visit:






Thursday, August 25, 2011

Dying Fabric with Natural Products - Tansy!

Tansy has beautiful bright yellow flowers; it grows tall and full in my gardens without much effort on my part! I understand its edible but I've never given it a try - the strong smell is enough to let me know that it will be bitter. It was time to harvest the flowers so I thought I'd try dying cotton and silk with the flower heads. The end results were a sweet, soft yellow... here are the steps so you can try it too!

Here are the flowers all ready for cutting!



The flowers heads were first placed in a pot with enough water to cover. I simmered the plants products for about an hour before adding the fabric (cotton and silk). I left the fabric in the dye bath overnight but wasn't really happy with the results in the morning. I removed the fabric and added a couple of teaspoons of alum to the dye and put the fabrics back in. I left everything alone for a few hours and when I checked again I was much happier. The small amount of alum allowed the fabric to absorb much more color.




I wrung out the fabric and let it air dry. You can still see little bits of plant material clinging to the fabric. Once the fabric was dry I ironed it with a hot dry iron; only then did I wash the fabric with Woolite to remove all plant particles. It's important to set the color with a dry iron before washing so the color is not rinsed out.




Here are the final products - silk on the left and cotton on the right. Give it a try!


Sunday, August 21, 2011

Creating a Design - from concept to completion!

The "Fruits of Our Labor" started as an idea I'd been thinking about... I'd like to walk you through the process so you too can put your ideas into action!


Start with a rough sketch (very rough as you can see!)


Clean up your sketch to create a working pattern. The background is more of a guide so I didn't make actual patterns for this step. When you have more detailed elements such as the woman, chair, barrel and wine bottle you'll need a pattern. I traced my sketch onto paper and this became my pattern.




Lay out your larger focal elements moving them around until you're satisfied with the layout. Remember balance is important for overall design appeal.



Once you're happy with the placement and color combinations you can sew the background into place and tact down the chair, arbor and woman.  You don't want to completely fuse the chair etc. into place now because the design is a work in progress and you may want to tweak their positions as you work.


OK - the foundation is in place and now you can have fun designing your fantasy garden! I use the "snippet" technique for this part. I apply a fusible webbing to the wrong side of my fabric. I cut tiny pieces of colorful fabric (any shape you need) to use in the garden. Here are the only tools you'll need - the coffee is essential for me!




Since a picture is worth a thousand words I'll let this photo explain the placement process.



Once you're happy with the placement press with a hot dry iron. This will fuse the pieces in place.



You're now ready for free-motion quilting! The goal is to stitch over the majority of your snippet pieces. Because they are so tiny you'll need to secure them into place or eventually they'll come loose and fall off. Free-motion quilting is really fun... just remember to relax and stretch often!




Note the embroidered flowers... I felt the design needed more texture.




Here is a detail of the grape arbor. You can really take a soft element and give it a pop with your quilting. 



The "Fruits of Our Labor" will be showing in the upcoming Fiber Harvest show at the Noah Webster Library in West Hartford, CT September 1st through October 15th.



Sunday, August 14, 2011

Hand Painted Silk

I love the feel of silk and enjoy working it into my art! It's a great fabric to paint as it gives instant results. Once the paint is applied it quickly moves around and tangles up with other colors; the end result is always a surprise!

I was in a colorful mood and used a number of different paints to bring my mood to life... I hope you like the results!

Getting Started:





Watching the paint dry!





The end results... I think it will make a lovely scarf!




Cotton + Paint + Ice Cubes = Fun!

Last week my husband, son and I went hiking in the White Mountains... in the rain because that's what we do! It was a wonderful hike despite the weather but as I was looking at the colors in the woods and hearing the rain on the canopy of leaves my mind began to wander. I wondered how to recreate the idea of rain drops on fabric... this is what I came up with!


I used Seta Color fabric paint from Dharma Trading Company. I chose to leave the cotton dry before painting the fabric. I plopped a couple of ice cubes directly onto the fabric with large salt crystals sprinkled around.


The fabric was placed in the sun... I had no idea what would happen!


Ah... the magic is complete!



What interesting results! The ice cubes seemed to push the paint out causing some fun migrating of colors and the salt captured some of the paint creating spots.





Why don't you give it a try and let me know how your fabric turned out!

The "Ice Cube" fabric is for sale; please click on the Hand Painted and Hand Dyed Fabric Tab at the top of the page!





Monday, August 8, 2011

Stamping Pine Needles and Pine Cones onto Natural Dyed Fabric

This stamping project is part of my "Weekend Walk Series" (see the above hand painted and hand dyed fabrics tab for more creations). This weekend I found myself enjoying a walk in New Hampshire with my mom. This walk has been special since I was a small child... when I daydream of New Hampshire I think of the rugged granite mountains, the pristine lakes and the beautiful pine trees. On this particular morning I collected some interesting pine cones with pretty colored lichen.


I have an ever growing collection of fabrics I've dyed using natural products vs. powdered commercially made products. I love my powdered dyes but wanted to learn how to use items from my yard and gardens. In today's series I used fabrics dyed with Dandelions, Bladderwrack (seaweed) and grape concentrate. The inks are produced by Speedball and I purchased them at www.dharmatrading.com. 

Step one is to apply ink to one side of the pine needles:


 Step 2 is to gently press the pine needles ink side down onto the fabric. I covered the needles with a paper towel and rolled a Brayer over the top for even pressure (you can also use your fingers).
  

Next up I simply pulled the pine needles away from the fabric to reveal the print:


 I wanted to include the pine cones but had to work through the obvious challenges of their lumpy texture! I applied the ink directly to one half of the pine cone surface.


Next I placed my hand underneath the fabric to "cradle" the pine cone as I rolled it gently over the fabric.


I was happy with the end results! I love my "Weekend Walk Series" as it gives me an excuse to collect things when I'm out enjoying my walks... decompressing from the rigors of my work week.

For details and information on purchasing any fabrics from the "Weekend Walk Series" or other creations please visit my Hand Painted and Hand Dyed Fabrics tab at the top of this page.

1) Fabric is hand dyed with Bladderwrack (seaweed)


2) Fabric is hand dyed with Dandelion flowers and leaves


3) Fabric is hand dyed using grape concentrate


If you give stamping a try please let me know and share your results... it's so much fun!