Carol R. Eaton Designs

Carol R. Eaton Designs

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

SAQA Conference Here I Come!

I'm off to the SAQA conference... I'm having studio withdrawals already! I'll come back with energy and inspiration to dye, dunk and manipulate fabric! I ordered 2 bolts of white fabric which should be waiting for me when I return.... swoon! 

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Combining Techniques = Confetti and Ice Dyed Fabric

I love creating textured fabric and the confetti dye technique lends itself perfectly to this effect. Incorporating ice dyeing in the next step adds a depth to the piece that I find really unique. 

I began by making gentle vertical folds in damp fabric. Don't forget to soak the fabric in soda ash and water for at least 30 minutes before you start! Next shake dye across the surface of the fabric with a strainer, (I used black). I like to go back and spray the fabric with soda ash and water just to get the dye to meander more deeply into the folds of the fabric. Once dry I rinsed and washed as usual and then tossed it back into the bucket of soda ash and water to prep for the ice dye bath. I could have stopped here because the fabric had the suggestion of birch trees but I decided to go for the ice bath! 


After 30 minutes I wrung out the excess water and scrunched the fabric into a bucket. I  covered the surface with ice. Next I sprinkled dye powder over the ice, (I used brown). This step requires more patience because you need to allow time for the ice to melt. Once that happens you can rinse and wash your fabric to get rid of the excess dye... viola! 

Try this combination of techniques with any color palette that appeals to you - the textures are wild! 


NOTE: ALWAYS WEAR A MASK WHEN WORKING WITH DYE POWDER! 

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Upcoming SAQA National Conference = Fabric for Sale!

I'm delighted to be participating as a vendor at the upcoming SAQA "Capitalizing on Fiber" national conference next week! The vendor mall is open from 12 - 5 on May 1st so please be sure to stop by to say hi and fondle some fabric... you know you can't resist the textures! 

The conference is May 1 - 4 with exciting speakers, workshops and time for networking. How cool to have so many fiber lovers in one place to chat and share ideas!

Crown Plaza
Alexandria, VA 
May 1 - 4

Monday, April 21, 2014

Green Circles.... Mmmm... What To Do?

I created a 3 yard piece of ice dyed cotton. I had this idea about sponging varies shades of green circles cascading down the length of the piece. So... it's not quite resembling the image I had in my head! I'm going to keep it on the design wall to see where it leads to next. 

Any suggestions?


To be continued...

Friday, April 18, 2014

Art Cloth vs. Art Quilt

I've been experimenting with my style as a fabric artist and seem to be gravitating towards producing Art Cloth vs an Art Quilt. As an artist our craft needs to appeal emotionally and be so exciting you can't wait to keep going! I feel that way when I'm creating fabric. I like the way the cloth hangs and flows with a slight breeze and it's less taxing for me to complete a piece. 

Don't get me wrong - I also love designing Art Quilts and when the textures come alive with the quilting it is without question a fabulous treat... but... I have to go where my passion takes me and at the moment it's with Art Cloth.

The below piece is titled, "Pond Ice" and is 41" X 16.5". I began with 100% cotton and painted the fabric surface and then ice dyed. To achieve the crackled surface I used the flour resist technique. I made the leaf stencils by tracing leaves from the yard and I lightly sponge painted the leaves. To create depth I added a few layers of tulle to the completed piece. 
Pond Ice - detail

Pond Ice
41" X 16.5"

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Morning Sky Inspirations!

Over the weekend my days started with a beautiful view of the morning sky. It's such a luxury to lay snuggled under the quilt and slowly start the day - the opposite of how I start my weekdays. This was calm and meditative allowing time to contemplate the projects for the day.

I created a number of fabrics over the past few days including this pink and blue painted piece. This was the morning sky I woke up to .... calm and soft!

I began with 100% cotton painting pink across the surface. I scrunched up the fabric and skimmed blue paint across the peaks and left it in the sunshine to dry. Once dry I pressed with an iron to heat set and voila - a calm and peaceful morning sky! 

This fabric is 100% cotton and was dyed combining the confetti and ice dyed techniques. The day was nice and warm so I brought the fabric outside and sprinkled dye powder across the treated surface. Next I hung on the line and sprayed with treated water allowing the dye to run down the surface. Once it was dry I stuffed the fabric into a bucket and ice dyed it. The result was a stormy look which is how this morning started!

What sky's inspire you?

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Combining Techniques to Add Depth!

I get SO excited when creating a design on fabric! I wake up with an idea and boom... I'm off and running. Because my mind is racing forward to put my ideas into action I sometimes have to remind myself to slow down!



During quieter times I go through my stash and pull out pieces that don't quite feel fully developed. The color combination of this blue, red and yellow sunprinted fabric wasn't working for me so I decided to rework the fabric by combining other surface techniques. 


I began with an ice dyed bath of bright green. Next I used a thermofax screen of a pine branch with green fabric paint and then decolorant. The paint color was so similar that it didn't really pop the way I was hoping and I'd forgotten that the decolorant doesn't work very well with paint. It is best with dye but I didn't have enough in the fabric to make a strong impact. That was disappointing but as an artist I try to learn from each step. 


I added more screens; a feather and a bird. The piece was still not quite flowing... I stamped some bubble wrap across the surface and then splashed it with black. It wasn't until the splashed paint that I felt the piece was "done". 

So, if you have fabric that doesn't quite have the impact you were hoping - keep working and combining techniques until it speaks to you! There are no rules... go for it! I'd love to hear your stories and see you fabric photos! 

For purchasing information please click on the Mixed Techniques tab at the top of the page.

We Have a Winner!

Thank you to everyone who left a comment to win the beautiful Woodlands fabric collection! Using www.random.org - number 92 was generated making pippirose the lucky winner!

pippiroseApril 6, 2014 at 2:27 PM - The collection is gorgeous! Thanks for the fabulous giveaway!
Don't despair if you weren't the winner. Each month we will have more custom fabric to give away! 
I encourage you to follow the Printed Fabric Bee blog. The artists will share techniques used to create the fabrics sharing tips you can incorporate into your own work. 
This month the bee is happily buzzing about creating fabrics for artist Jackie Lam who asked for Art Nouveau. The fabrics should be truly amazing... stay tuned! 


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Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Give-Away Starts NOW - The Colors and Textures of Woodlands!

I am so thrilled to be this month's "Queen" for The Printed Fabric Bee. For those familiar with the group you know that each month a Queen determines the theme and the other artists design a custom fabric collection interpreting the Queens vision.

As an artist I draw daily inspiration from the woodlands surrounding my Connecticut studio. I asked the other artists to create a design based on the colors and textures they see in their local woodlands. The artists live scattered across the country so the interpretations are diverse and unique!
To share the joy The Printed Fabric Bee provides an opportunity for one lucky person to win a 6" X 6" custom fabric pack just like the current Queen's! All you need to do for a chance to win is enter a comment below or on our newly published Printed Fabric Bee blog

Leave a comment below and a winner will be randomly chosen on April 12th. The name will be published here... so mark your calendars and be sure to check back to see if it's YOU!

Be sure to follow both blogs so you don't miss future giveaways!

Getting Ready for the Give-away!

The custom fabric collection pieces are arriving daily! It is soooo exciting to open the mail and find a treasure... I feel like every day is my birthday with each package bringing another fabulous treat! 

Here is a sneak peek at some of my woodland collection... 

The artists who send fabric so far are (upper right and clockwise):
2 pieces by Gerrie Congdon, Lesley Riley, Lynda Heines, Lisa Chin and Jackie Lams
Please stand by for the start of the give-away... just waiting on a photo or two!