Thursday, October 8, 2009

Thursday Fun

Today is windy, overcast, hot and muggy. Still, hand-dyeds on the line is a mortal lock for lifting my spirits.

This beauty is off a new bolt of muslin from Dharma Trading, and measures 36" x 54". Dharma calls this fabric "economy" and the price per yard (particularly if you buy the whole bolt of 15 yards) is absolutely economical, but the name also sort of implies that the fabric itself might not be of a particularly nice quality. However, the hand and sheen of this fabric can't be beat, I absolutely love it for dyeing. I was turned onto this muslin jewel by artist and blogger, Melody Johnson, she of the eye-popping, jaw-dropping fused quilts.

After it was pre-washed, soda-soaked and drip-dried, I ironed wide pleats into it and then accordion-folded it into a small, flat bundle. (NOTE: Be careful when you iron soda-soaked fabric! It will scorch easily and needs to be ironed at a lower temperature than you normally would. Ask me how I know.)

I placed the fabric packet in a shallow plastic dish, squirted it with fiber-reactive dyes in amethyst and lemon yellow, popped the lid on the container, and let it batch over night.

Also on the slate this week was some botanical prints. Fall is rushing up on us- it must be, despite the heat and humidity... it's October for goodness sakes- and I wanted to use some of the leaves and branches from my yard before they withered and fell off.

I used the leftover thickened dyes from last weeks' play session with screen printing and deconstructed screen printing, and stamped and reverse-stamped by applying the dyes to the leaves and twigs with a sponge. The results aren't bad.

For most of the rest of the week, though, I've been watching and learning from two video workshops I purchased access to over on The video workshops- one on silk screening and the other on deconstructed screen printing- were both taught by Rayna Gillman.

I highly recommend not only these particular videos, but this site in general, as well! The video workshops were broken down into easily digestible chapters and were furnished with handy .pdf files of written instructions for each chapter. The video stream never once hiccuped, the quality was excellent, and the price was fantastic. Get thee to LQuilt!

Also, since I am taking an all-day IQF class next week with Tracie Huskamp, I thought it might not be a bad idea to read her book, Nature Inspired. I'm so glad I did... I think it has prepared me well for what to expect in her class. I'm hoping to be able to take my nature photos and begin translating them into mixed-media quilts and this class will be an excellent help for that, I'm certain. I'm really excited!

Because of the quilt show next week, and the classes I'll be taking, I won't be around much to blog, but I'll be taking photos and copious notes so I can report back on the fabulousness of the Show.

(Standard ridiculous disclaimer we're all going to have to add to our blog posts, soon: Lots of link love for you all today, I know, but I promise that I'm not a paid sponsor for any of these artists or companies- I just love them too much not to sing their praises.)

Until then, happy creating!


Terri Stegmiller said...

That top piece of fabric turned out just gorgeous! Wish I was going to Houston this year...then we could have met in person...sigh! Maybe another year.

nidynoddy said...

I took a week long class at John Campbell Folk School with Rayna and it was WONDERFUL. She is an excellent instructor. First thing in the morning she did a demo then turned us loose. This was the quietest class I have ever taken. The fabric we turned out was unbelievable....just beautiful. What a week..... Betyann

Deborah said...

stunning colors, looks like fun

Jan said...

this is totally gorgeous! I want to make myself a tshirt like that. I missed several days of your blog but I sure like what you have been doing. That looks like something I might have to try, the deconstructed screen printing.
Thanks again for the great books. I can't believe no one else took you up on your offer.

Kay Koeper Sorensen said...

I'm so pleased to have found your blog.
I love what you are doing and I will be back again and again and. . . .

Gina said...

Good tips, beautiful fabric and now I can't get dinner made as I'm following your links .... places I didn't know about and are now in my favorites.

Have fun at your class next week!