Tag Archives: just for fun

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

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

A good picture, finally

Remember this picture of the clay piece that Stacey made for the art/music recital?

BL 16 20

I finally got a picture of the real thing today!

BL art music Stacey

Pretty cool, right?


Filed under surface design

Blue Lake recital

No, no, no—I did not have a recital. But one of the musical artists, Katie, did have a recital as part of the performance venue here at Blue Lake. She had the idea of asking art department faculty if they would like to have a cooperative art and music adventure. Kim, Stacey and I decided that working in our preferred medium, to live music would be loads of fun.

And it was!

Katie’s main piece of music was titled Red, Yellow, Blue and Green, so I immediately planned a fabric piece with those colors. Then I added ribbons and embroidery. Of course, I didn’t get it finished in the 50 minutes of her recital, but it will get done and will hang somewhere in camp.

Recital art 1

I’ve decided that I look like an ornery toad while working on this…but it is what it is!

These are the other two artists. Stacey is a wonderful ceramicist and her clay slab was painted and prepped for the kiln at the end of the concert.  Kim is an art teacher and she chose to do a large acrylic painting.

Recital art 2

The campers had a choice of coming to this recital or going to a choir concert outdoors in the bandshell. We aren’t sure if it was the thought of air conditioning, or seeing their art teachers, but there were a suprising number of our students in attendance. And they were so complimentary today when we saw them. It was really nice!

Recital art 3

We had such a good time! Katie loved having us as part of her recital and we loved working to her big trombone sound!


Filed under Art Quilts, Learning New Things!, Life

Blue Lake reports 2

Halfway through this year’s Blue Lake experience and the students are making progress on their projects. On the first day there is an open house type period where students and parents can find their classes and meet their teachers. We were ready with samples and explanations.

BL16 1 BL16 2

And our classroom building still has the best view from the porch! Kids are always eager to work out there.

BL16 4 BL16 3

Here are a couple of the projects in process…the ones that were easiest for me to take a picture of!

BL16 5 BL16 6 BL16 7 BL16 12 BL16 11

And an example of how much students learn in just a few days…

BL16 9 BL16 10

He’s headed for an awesome finish!

BL16 8

This is such a “feel-good” experience for me. Sure, I’m sharing what I’ve learned in a lifetime of playing with fibers, but I am always awestruck by the creativity and imagination and design skills of these youngsters. I’ll show you some pics at the end when we hang their artwork in all media at their show.


Filed under Learning New Things!, surface design, Teaching

Done and eaten!

The ‘done’ part is the sample for Blue Lake.

BL project done

I could have added a lot more ‘stuff’ to it, but I really wanted to hit a level that I think all the kids can easily attain. I’ll leave the ‘over the top’ ideas for them to discover on their own. Done!

Eaten! We do have a lot of deer around our neighborhood all the time. We are on a path, probably ancient, between two good watering holes for them and there is enough habitat that they have never needed to really leave the city. Consequently, we are also on their munching route.

My hostas this week went from this…

Full hosta

overnight, to this…

Hosta eaten

And it’s not just the giant hostas they like. They are happy with the small plants for appetizers.

Small hosta eaten

I always joke with people that they come up and ring my doorbell when the plants aren’t watered and juicy for them! Seriously, these plants are steps outside my door! I really don’t mind sharing my plants with the deer, though. There are a lot of plants that they don’t seem to care for, like peonies and iris and the decorative grasses. They don’t bother my daylillies, roses (Ouch–thorns in the mouth!), hibiscus, lavendar, coreopsis…there is a reason I try to only plant perennials. Even if they munch the plants waaaaay down, they are not killing them, so no permanent damage.

But that giant hosta was sooooo pretty!


Filed under Designing Quilts, Life

One step ahead

Sometimes my teaching style only keeps me one step ahead of the students! I do try to explore all the possible issues the students may have with whatever I’m teaching, but in some areas I will readily admit to limited experience.

That is true for weaving, which I will be teaching in a couple of weeks. I’m exploring and learning just enough to get a sample to show the students I’ll be with. Fortunately, I can do this because I’ll be teaching with a woman who is a very experienced weaver and she can handle all the hard parts! My sample will be very similar to the level of the student’s work, except that I have a few years more experience with fibers in general!

The plan calls for the students to work with a frame loom that they will make. There are several ways to make these and we will demonstrate and give them the choice. This one is made from push pins in the back of the frame.

Frame loom 1

Evenly spaced along the top and bottom and then the ‘string’ (I’m using a bamboo yarn) is wrapped around the pegs.

Frame loom 2

Small nails are often used as well, but I think push pins will be easier for students to use.

When weaving, a bobbin is often used to get the warp threads over and under the weft threads. Doesn’t that sound like I know what I’m talking about? I don’t really know the warp from the weft, but that’s what the dictionary and google are for, right? Anyway, a simple shuttle bobbin can be made out of a bit of cardboard.

Frame loom 3

Check out the fancy ‘bridge’, I think it’s called, that separates the strings for easier over and under. That does give you an idea of the size of this project, though.

I found using the bobbin difficult, perhaps because the project is so small. For an alternative, I used a yarn needle and simple pulled the yarn through.

Frame loom 4

One of the choices the students will have to make is how tightly to weave. Since my plan is for these weavings to remain in the frame as a background, I thought I would do this loosely so the sides remain mostly straight, not pulled in. It may be easier for the students to pull things in a bit more snugly. One more design decision for them!

I haven’t progressed very far on this, but at least I will have learned the basics a couple of weeks before I need to “teach” them! I will have this small sample finished!

Without knowing that I could rely on the expertise of my co-teacher, I never would have embarked on this type of a project. However, I expect some really outstanding results from these middle school aged students. They have no fear and wonderfully creative minds!

I do have another sample to show them–wild and crazy and not at all the recommended way to make a weaving, but an example of multiple fibers and an alternate way to work.

India challenge 1

India challenge 2

I’m really looking forward to this experience!


Filed under Art Quilts, Fabric, Learning New Things!, Teaching