What a year this has been, update!

Or trying to maintain a home business while moving to a new city.

I am looking forward to the new year. My new sewing studio and creative hub of the house looks out over a stand of Douglas Fir and other maple tress that provide amazing color in the fall. The birds chatter, as flocks of them vie for the seed at the feeder. I think the birds have declared the back yard a safe zone. So far we have seen no cats in the neighborhood. This is a great place to let the creative ideas and inspirations percolate, until the finished product is accomplished.

The view from our new office. We never noticed the seasons changes so marvelously in the city.
The view from my new studio window on the second floor! I can hear the neighborhood children laughing and giggling in the park. It is such a happy sound.

My most recent activity for getting back into the swing of dyeing fabric was to tie up some Kona cotton for shibori fat quarters. Indigo blue is the biggest attraction in my business, and yet I really love playing with other colors and combinations…

but here we go with a few examples of what one can find in a fat quarter bundle of indigo blue Kona Cotton.

The typical tie dye around a marble.
One of my personal favorites – using all sorts of clips or clothes pins to create different textures.

And then there is the honeycomb technique. I love the unpredicatbility of the dye flow through the folds of the honeycomb.

The results: a fat quarter bundle of shibori hand dyed Kona cotton fabric on a bed of rust dyed linen/cotton fabric. I love this combination of blue and rust. This is such a great combo for a quilt top.

Until next time. I have made a vow to myself to not let the distance between blogs be so great !!! We will see, but I appreciate those of you that read this!

Unti next time .

Dyeing in denim.

The last month has seen a number of custom requests for my dyed 10 ounce bull denim, so last week I embarked on a series of experiments with the denim. I folded several pieces using shibori and itijame methods. I also wondered what ice dying heavy fabric would do. Off we went on this experiment. I choose four colors: indigo blue, Pagoda Red, an emerald-green and a jade green. I had done a few yards in indigo blue and in a black, also a charcoal gray.

I was pleasantly surprised with the new colors. The blue was fabulous – lovely irregular stripes. The red piece in 3″ itijame squares just popped! The greens were pinned and tied more intensely than the other two pieces. This resulted in softer, more ethereal color.

Having gotten the shibori pieces under way and in the dye bath I set some fabric up for ice dying. As I had a piece of cotton duck from another project, I decided to see what it would do in the ice too. I must say the cotton duck is marvelous. The denim is softer and more muted. There are many reasons for any of these results. It will take further experiments to determine what works best for me!

New Directions: Hand Dyeing Fabric.

The deadline for Christmas gifts is over for another year and we launch right into a plethora of January and February birthdays! However, in the weeks in-betweenI have returned to a craft that has fasinated me for forty years – the art of hand dyeing fabric.

Recently, I came across two scarves that I had done in a master class on Shibori – the art of hand dyeing with indigo. Our instructor was a Japanese Dye Master, from the sister city of where I was living at the time. We spent several days learning the art of sewing our designs into the fabric and then playing in the indigo dye. the results are stunning.

I took that knowledge and did some research on shibori. My take away from my results is that the more precise I am with my folds and the tighter I can make my resists, whether using blocks and clamps, clothespins, or rubber bands, the better I like the resulting designs. Also, I can control the dyeing by varying the thickness on my folds. Smaller pieces of fabric result in more uniform design throughout the fabric. Larger pieces (because the dye does not travel so far) result in a more random design.

Here is a gallery of last last few weeks:

Accordian pleated, folded into triangle, bound with sticks becomes this:

IMG_0720           IMG_0721

Accordian pleated, using a triangle block and clamps resulted in these two:IMG_0734

IMG_0731             IMG_0737

 

Same technique with the circle block (this one needs some experimentation to get the circle shape more prevalent ):

IMG_0704       IMG_0722

And perhaps my favorite so far – wooden clothespins:

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Next up: The resluts of these dyeing sprees. Stay tuned!