Monday, August 7, 2017

Quilt Camp Day 10

We promised to do something different today and we did!  It was Sue's last day at quilt camp so we tried to squeeze in as much as we could.  Of course, just when we get in the groove, one has to leave.  We watched several episodes of a Quilting Arts DVD over the past few days and one episode featured Julie Booth and her process for using liquid dish detergent as a resist.  We know Julie because she also teaches at Artistic Artifacts, and knew about this technique from her book, Fabric Printing at Home, but had not tried it yet.  (Yes, we're a little behind.  Julie's book has been out a couple of years and the DVD is series 1700 from 2015.)  At any rate, we had fun playing with this resist. 
The first step involves mark making with the dish soap.  Here Elizabeth is using a stiff brush to make dots.  After the soap dries (about 30 minutes), the next step is a wash of diluted transparent paint.  Julie used black in her demo; Sue used peacock and Elizabeth used navy blue.
After the paint dries, you heat set the paint, then rinse out the dish soap.  Of course, if you want your design in white, you could stop at this point.  After letting the pieces dry again, the next step is adding color with diluted textile paint.  At this point, it's kind of like water color, letting the colors blend where they overlap.
These are our pieces drying on the line.  And close ups below.
Sue's pieces above.  Elizabeth's pieces below.
It was fun to experiment and we learned some things we would do differently next time.  More details in a future post.

Sue also did a bit of thermofax printing.
Our puff ball screen is a little tricky - very easy to get too much paint.
On this piece, half is the puff ball and the other half is ginkgo leaves.  (The intent was to cut in two.)
And this one uses the mum screen in 2 sizes.   This is our favorite of the 3 prints.  And just in case you're missing indigo, here's one more that Elizabeth did, a pillow cover (purchased as a blank.)
Sue will be traveling on Tuesday, so it will be up to Elizabeth to share more tomorrow!

More Indigo

We hope you're not totally tired of indigo and shibori posts yet.  Just one more day of indigo results, then we'll move on to other things - at least that's the plan!
We watched a video by Charlotte Scott that showed more ways to fold, wrap and tie the fabric.  Above are 2 of Elizabeth's pieces, on the left was rolled up like a sushi roll; on the right was folded in half and then loosely formed into a bull's eye and tied with string or rubber bands.
Becky's scarf is done with a variety of items - the wiffle golf balls, floral marbles, 3-d small triangles.  Because it was folded in half, you can see the different results between what was on the inside and what was on the outside.
Molly was resurrected from the loft to display Elizabeth's t-shirt, done with accordion folds and rubber bands.
These are the 4 pieces Sue did yesterday; top is the bull's eye, then a stitched circle piece, the small one is the sushi roll, and the bottom left is spider webs.
And the results, left to right: sushi, spider webs, bull's eye, and stitched circles.  Enlarge the photo to see better detail.
And to prove that we have done other things, Sue started these 2 earlier in the week, trying to get something useful for a desert background.  The piece on the right is bronze, the one of the left started with mocha, and then she added yellow.  Mistake!  Should have left well enough alone, also should have used a different container.  Oh well, lessons learned and it can always be over dyed!

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Indigo Round 2

On Saturday we dipped some more prepared pieces in the indigo dye pot, trying different folding, tying and resist techniques.  We also thought we'd show what the "bloom" or "flower" looks like that forms on the top of the pot.  When you want to use the indigo, you first remove the bloom and set it aside, then replace it when you are finished.  As long as the bloom lasts on top of the pot, your dye is still active.  If it disappears, the pot will need to be refreshed.  You can read more about maintaining an indigo pot at the ProChem or Dharma websites.
Sue used some acrylic shapes that were clamped to the folded fabric to create a resist.  In this photo you can see the fabric still oxidizing from green to blue.
Here's the piece after washing and drying.  The shapes came out really crisp.
Elizabeth did this piece which was accordion folded, first in one direction, then the other so it was a small square and held it together with rubber bands.
This one was folded in half (see the dark line down the middle?), then accordion folded and banded.
This was a standard flag fold (triangles).
Sue decided to use the zigzag stitching technique on a t-shirt.
And a few more pieces are hanging on the line today!

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Shibori and Indigo Dye Day

Friday we experimented some with our indigo pot by refreshing it with new soda ash, thiox and pre-reduced indigo.  When traveling to Lowell on Thursday, Elizabeth's sister drove which allowed us to both stitch some pimatex cotton fat quarters with gathering stitches so the thread could be drawn up allowing the folds to create interesting patterns and textures.  Elizabeth stitched half circles about half an inch apart on the folded edge of her piece of fabric. Here it is all drawn up.
And here it is after dyeing.  Since our indigo pot was fresh we dipped only once to get this amount of blue.
Sue stitched her piece in zigzag rows.  Here's the partially stitched piece.
The next photo shows it gathered up before dyeing, and the finished piece after dyeing.
Other items we tried out for creating our fabrics included wiffle golf balls, small marbles, flat marbles (like the ones used in flower arranging), some small plastic 3D triangles, small flat wooden discs and buttons.  Most items are held in the fabric with assorted sizes of rubber bands.  For the tiny items we used small "ouch-less" hair bands bought at the Dollar Store in packs of 500!
Indigo is interesting to use because as you remove it from the dye bath you can watch the blue color (think blue jeans) develop from the bright lime that it is when you first take it out of the water.          
Here are some of the finished items.  Below, Sue used the wiffle golf balls for the top piece, and the bottom piece had a combination of flat wooden discs and buttons.
In the next photo, the top was accordion pleated and rubber banded, and the bottom was created with the floral marbles.           
 We did some more pieces today, so stay tuned!

Friday, August 4, 2017

New England Quilt Museum

On Thursday we took a day trip to Lowell, Mass., to the New England Quilt Museum.  We started off the day with breakfast at Cup & Crumb, just a few miles down the road on the way to the interstate.  We got there just in time; when we left, the line was out the door!
Since Elizabeth's sister Becky was not with us in Maine when we shopped at the LLBean store, we made a stop in Concord at the outlet.
The quilt museum is located in a complex of buildings that were former cotton mills at the height of the industrial revolution, and is now a National Historic Park.  These mill stone planters graced the entrance from the parking lot.
We always like to stop in at the visitor center.  They have informative displays and a film about the textile mills, as well as a gift shop. 
Then it was on to the museum to see the Threads of Resistance quilt exhibit. They also are featuring a Summer Celebration of New England Quilts made by members of the region's quilt guilds, and admission is free for the month of August.  There are a few smaller shows around town as well.
Elizabeth had been to the opening reception for TOR with some of the artists but was happy to make a return visit so that Sue and Becky could see the exhibit.  The museum does allow photos, but does not allow them to be shared on social media.  Below is a photo of the cover of the exhibit catalog, to give you a taste of some of the quilts.  You can see all in the traveling exhibit, as well as all 500+ entries on the TOR website, but nothing compares to seeing them in person.  Apart from the subject matter, there is such variety of technique in these quilts.  In fact, not all entries are by quilters.  Some are collage or digital artists, one is completely felted, one is done with rug hooking; they are all amazing.  We strongly recommend seeing this exhibit if it travels anywhere near you.
A bonus on this trip to the museum was finding out about 2 other small exhibits in the National Park complex.  One was an exhibit of Japanese influenced quilts by Allison Wilbur, a Rhode Island quilter who incorporates Japanese textile traditions in her work.
The other show at The Brush Art Gallery & Studios in the park complex was called "Little Black Dress".  "Quilts reflect where artists wore their little black dress, where they would like to wear their little black dress, what adventures await wearing their little black dress, or what fabrics their favorite little black dress was made of."
Though not scheduled to open till August 5, the quilts were hung and we were able to see them all.  This mosaic was one of Sue's favorites, though it was hard to choose just one picture to post.
We had lunch outdoors at a wonderful restaurant that was across the street from an old fire station built in 1889, though it is no longer used as such, there is now a restaurant on the ground floor.
And since we spent a few hours in the car, Sue and Elizabeth both took advantage of the time to do some shibori stitching for indigo dyeing.  That is on the agenda for today, so look for results in subsequent posts. 
It was a very full day, and of course included a stop for ice cream on the way home!

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Quilt Camp, Day 3, 4, 5

Catching up on our last 3 days, we've spent some time on the business aspects of PGFiber2Art - blog, Facebook, newsletter, and listing new screens in the Etsy shop - and have tried to get back into the creative side of things.  So we don't have quite as much fun stuff to share as we'd like, but here's a glimpse of what we've been up to.
Elizabeth has been busy dyeing - both tie dyeing and ice dyeing.


She also did a sun print with some ferns and Queen Ann's lace.
Sue started off with some gelli plate printing.
And screen printing to test some screens.
She put together a nine-patch to show off some new screens we've added to the Etsy shop (more in another post).
And has also being experimenting with deColourant discharge which takes color out of fabric.
Wednesday we made a trip to Center Harbor and Keepsake Quilting, so that took time away from the "studio".

What else is in store?  More dyeing, of course.  The indigo pot is on the agenda for Friday.  Thursday we are taking a day trip to Lowell, Mass, to the New England Quilt Museum to see the Threads of Resistance exhibit.  Stay tuned for more of our daily quilt camp adventures.