Dye day results Aug 2016

Since I’ve posted the results of so many dye days here, it seemed to need the date added! And d’ya know how some bloggers draw things out over several days to make sure you keep coming back? Well, that’s not me. I’m gonna tell you all about it, right now!!

First off, I was anxious to see how my stitched shibori pieces came out and it’s something that I think I will explore further. The simple curved lines showed up best.

Stitched shibori dyed 3 Stitched shibori dyed 4

The piece where I only stitched on the ends and then folded and clamped a shape on the middle came out all right.

Stitched shibori dyed 2 Stitched shibori dyed 1

The stitched leaf outline had a mixed result. Some of the lines showed up very well and some did not. Can’t state a definitive reason why, but I think it’s usually due to not pulling the threads tight enough.

Stitched shibori dyed 5 Stitched shibori dyed 6

There will be more experiments with stitched shapes!

I’m thrilled with the wine-bottle shibori! Click on the link for more details.

Wine bottle shibori 3

It opens the door for me to do small batches of shibori, multiple colors–no more big buckets, PVC pipes and single color for efficiency. I probably should say that any large bottle will work, but it’s more fun to think about drinking the wine before you use the bottle for shibori.

Had a couple of failures…disappointing. Previously dyed damask napkins, and I didn’t like the color. Then I tried some soy wax patterns on them and went with a dark overydye. Yuck!

Damask failure 1 Damask failure 2

Don’t know that there’s anything I can do to save these. But I was completely in love with these next two pieces. Again, previously dyed, and now waxed and overdyed.

Waxed planets

This was simply wax splattered on the fabric before overdyeing! I’ve always loved paint splatters, so I really love this one!

Wax splattered

Love ’em and can’t wait to use ’em!

AND I finally remembered to locate and use my packages of cheesecloth! I’ve been wanting to get some dyed up and either put it where I couldn’t find it when I wanted it, or forgot I had it. I thought I had a disaster on my hands, though, when I first took it out of the dryer. A pile of crunched up threads…

Cheesecloth crunched

But it opened up just fine and now I have a wonderful rainbow of dyed cheesecloth.

Cheesecloth opened

There were some other pieces, of course, but nothing that I particularly loved OR hated.

The real gem of the day however, was a reminder by my friend, June, that you never really have to USE the fabric that you dye or paint or screen or marble or manipulate. The joy is in the process of creating!

And this was such a joyful day!!!


Filed under Dyeing Fabric, surface design, soy wax dyeing, Fabric, Color

Boring, boring, boring…

The background pieces for my damask pieces will be all the same. However, it will NOT be the lovely plaid of my original idea. Nope–the background needed to be a solid color and I happened to have the perfect color of teal……………….lots of teal!

Boring background 1

And I’ve already used yards and yards of it in a drapery project for an office! Don’t know for sure what the fabric content is, but it doesn’t wrinkle. I layered it with the light turquoise wool, of which I also have lots and lots! No batting–a simple straight stitched thin and drapey ground on which to put each beaded napkin. Hope to actually do that this weekend.

But I have to tell you, this was the most boring stitching I have ever done in my life! Four large squares of simple, straight-ish lines, up and down, up and down, up and do…..zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz!

Boring bakcground 2

I really don’t ever want to do that again! But I know that I’ll be happy with the finished product because the color really is perfect–and I’m all about color!

And today was dye day! I will have things rinsed out tomorrow or Saturday and I’ll let you know if anything exciting comes out of the buckets.

BUT I couldn’t wait to see how my wine-bottle shibori turned out. Yes, that’s right–wine-bottle shibori! I had a piece of fabric that I wanted to wrap with string but the only pipes I have are very long and buried in a storage hole that I didn’t have time to crawl around and get. So, improv is my life! I used an empty wine bottle and wrapped the fabric and squished it down and it looked just the same as using the PVC pipes. I filled the bottle with water to make sure it wouldn’t float in the dye bath and used a coffee container for the bucket. Easy and it worked!!!!


This isn’t rinsed out yet, so it will most likely end up lighter, but being able to do this on a small scale is great.

Always good to end the day on a high note!


Filed under Art Quilts, Color, Designing Quilts, Dyeing Fabric, Quilting

Dye day prep

As if I didn’t feel like my to-do is too long to get to-done…I’m trying to squeeze in another dyeing day with my friends. Do I actually need to dye more fabric? Of course not. I just want to have fun!

Stitched resist shibori has captured my attention so I’m going to try some of that on dye day. It’s not something that you decide and do immediately, because the stitching does take a bit of time. These pieces of bright, bright yellow were headed for some soy wax and overdyeing but they are taking a detour to stitching.

Shibori yellow stitch 1

I’ve read just enough about this technique to know that I don’t know much about it, but here goes! I drew a leaf outline with vein lines on this piece and stitched around it.

Shibori yellow stitch 2

I know enough to make the vein lines separate threads from the outside line and that you have to pull the threads very tight! Here’s what it looks like now, waiting for the dye pot.

Shibori yellow stitch 4

Then I looked at some techniques and patterns online and thought I’d go for basic plain lines and see how that looks.

Shibori yellow stitch 3

Hmmmm…how about trying some pleats and making a double line? That might be more interesting and if it doesn’t work out quite right, it will still have some kind of curvy line!

Shibori yellow stitch 8

And it doesn’t look like much when it’s all gathered up either!

Shibori yellow stitch 9

This technique often combines stitch and clamping, so I’m going to try that–in a very simple way, of course.

Shibori yellow stitch 5 Shibori yellow stitch 6 Shibori yellow stitch 7

And just for fun, I tied knots in the corners of this piece and we’ll see what happens there!

Shibori yellow stitch 10

Hope to get some appealing results. If I do, I might actually do a bit of serious research on the technique and try to intentionally create an interesting pattern.

Learning new things is always such fun!


Filed under Art Quilts, Color, Dyeing Fabric, Quilting, surface design

Next in the series

Continuing on with the damask napkins, I’m at a point where input would be appreciated! I need to remember that the point of this was to combine traditional quilting designs, non-traditional colors on the luscious damask, hand stitching and beads.

Damask scroll 1

Notice how the thread on the edge has picked up the turquoise color? That will be finished off with a much darker color, no matter what else I do with this.

Now, what do you think —does this area need more beading?

Damask scroll 2

And there’s overall too much empty green space. Here’s what I’m thinking–cut a square out of the top right area, which I’ll mark with the little glow sticks before I actually cut! Add more beads in one of the following configurations, dark stitched border around each piece, mounted on a dark teal background. Ready for your opinions and comments–go!!!

Damask scroll 3 #1

Damask scroll 4 #2

Damask scroll 5 #3

I have done a lot of self-talking on this one and I have reasons and opinions on each configuration. I’m very interested in how others feel about them.

In the meantime, I have one more of the smaller ones to bead and then one larger piece, same colors, different fabric, to bead before I move on the final finishing decisions. I feel like I’m making slow but steady progress and that feels good!!!



Filed under Beading, Color, Designing Quilts, Non-traditional Quilts

Beading–slow, but finished!

All that whining about how long the beading was taking, was just that…whining! It really didn’t take that long to finish the piece, a few days, off and on.

Damask multi 1

Then I started playing with background choices. This was my original plan, for all the damask pieces.

Damask multi 3

There is barely enough contrast for this to work, but I easily found a better choice, which-alas!-didn’t photograph particularly well! I didn’t set up any good lighting!

Damask multi 4

Much better and now I only need to decide if I want a simple quilted background, or plain fabric and whether or not it will be mounted on canvas or left as a tapestry. I’m leaning toward quilted and mounted.

I took another look at the first piece I beaded also.

Damask leaves 1

It totally fades into that background and even a strong teal outline on the napkin would not be enough.

Damask leaves 2

This is much better, but I’m still thinking that perhaps just the beaded strip might be better than the whole square.

Damask leaves 3

Or maybe that strip and the cut off portion mounted with a gap between them…but I’m not ready to make that cut yet!

I’m feeling good about making some real progress. Finishing decisions are only a few steps further along the design path and there will be totally finished pieces soon…I’m gonna challenge myself to have 3 of the 5 done in two weeks and all 5 done before my next teaching trip in 5 weeks.

Uh-oh–that quick look at the calendar made me realize how close my Artisan Showcase really is. It sounds like a lot of time when you say October 22, but when you look at the actual days and the pile of unfinished pieces…uh-oh!


Filed under Art Quilts, Beading, Designing Quilts, surface design

Beading is slow work

My largest damask piece is getting a lot of teeny, tiny beads. Not for a specific design reason. Nope, just because I had ’em!

Guess what? Beading takes a looooong time, especially with teeny, tiny beads!

Damask brights 1

I keep stitching and stitching and stitching and I don’t feel like I’m making any progress.

I’m posting this beginning picture again, so that I have the visual evidence!

Damask projects 1

It’s gonna be a while before this is done!


Filed under Art Quilts, Beading, surface design

Dithering decision dilemna…as usual

There is always a point in a project when I can’t easily make a decision on what to do next. Well, truth be told, usually there are several points like that! I’m trying to work down a pile of almost finished projects and I keep hitting that decision wall. Aaargh!

I did manage to get the labels and sleeves put on this pair of pieces.

CS sewing day final

Still not sure if I made the right decision to not put beads on them, but I think that was the best look.

I also got the Blue Lake art/music project finished and mounted. Ready to get it delivered to Ron, the art director, so that it can go back to camp.

BL art project final

And the beading is done on this next piece. My original plan was to mount these on 16 x 20 canvases with the plaid fabric wrapped and as background.

Damask projects 3

The damask is actually bigger than 16″ across, so do I go bigger with the piece? Not mount it on the canvas and just make a tapestry of it? Trim the damask and show more of the plaid?

Damask projects 4

See—decisions! And I have 4 of those napkins, planning to mount them all the same way….hmmmmm!

And then I started beading the second napkin

Damask projects 1

with this pile of mixed beads

Damask projects 2

and I’m dithering on how much beading to fill it in with! And the design for this one doesn’t lend itself to cutting down the size of the napkin to fit better on the canvas.

And THAT’S why I have a big pile of unfinished pieces waiting for me!



Filed under Art Quilts, Beading, Designing Quilts, Handwork