Saturday, March 22, 2014

7 Days Until StashFest!

scarves and yardage dyed with onion skin!
Just one more week until StashFest!

I'm having such fun creating beauty in silk, I don't want to stop! Every piece is more beautiful than the last!

And in just one week, I get to show off my silks and offer them to you! They will be for sale at StashFest.

La Conner Civic Garden Club
Across the street from the Museum
622 South Second Street
La Conner, Washington

Saturday, March 29 11am to 5pm
Sunday, March 30 10am to 3pm

To raise money for the Quilt Museum's operating expenses

How much?
Free to get in

Special preview (you get in an hour early for first picks of the amazing fabrics and unique wearables) $12

See you there!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

The Welding Pot

The weld dye looked like a really muddy yellow green in the pot.

But on the line, the dyed silk is a vibrant yellow!

Friday, March 14, 2014

Painting Water and Sky

14 Days until StashFest
Seagulls, a Bridge Over Calm Waters, and Fishy Fun--unfinished
Between dipping silk in indigo, cochineal, etc, I'm painting on silk, working like a mad woman--a joyfully mad woman--to get ready for StashFest,  Allison gave me a silk frame big enough to do 2.5 yards of silk, pieces big enough to make something with! The silk frame has rows of tiny nails to hook into the silk. So now I've a new "canvas": silk pieces 2.5 yards by 45".

Water draws me. Salt water especially. Living on an Island in Puget Sound, my fingers are webbed like a duck and I have salt water in my blood. So of course I paint water. Even how I paint is watery. Painting with dyes on silk is like painting on water. I am in love with the way the dye drips and flows, the way colors diffuse into each other. Sometimes the dye flows like waves pushed by the wind,  sometimes like raindrops on a window. I love the blues and greens of a sunny day.

And sky! White clouds marching across the blue silk, or purple and gold sunset colors, pink and lavender for sunrise. The water birds, the seagulls, the eagles, the herons, and the ever-present crows who keep me company when I do Qi Gung on the beach.... These all find their way into my work.

Then on to reds and browns. Greens and redbrowns for a forest floor. Floral colors for gardens.  All to be ready for StashFest!

Monday, March 10, 2014

Making Madder Redder

some people will love this color!

Just 18 more days until StashFest!

Still trying to get a good rich red from natural dyes. Will madder work? The sample on linen at Botonical Colors was exactly what I want. Only, I want it on silk. With MY water.

So far, the madder gives me the one color I that makes my skin crawl. It's the orange of my dad's flight suit during that very scary time the U.S. faced off with Russia over missles in Cuba.

Some people, who don't have that memory, will love this color, but for me, please, please make it redder! I tried adding calcium carbonate, and the vat nearly bubbled over! It didn't even change the color much, though the slightly pinker shade is one I can live with more easily. 

Do you have any ideas to make madder redder?

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Cochineal purple? Who Knew?

I was trying for that rich cranberry red--I got purple!

22 days until StashFest, and I'm spending every waking moment in the studio. Every available space has silk drying, Some are dyed in natural dyes such as madder, indigo, cochineal, weld, onion skin, and madrona bark. Some were stretched and painted with a brush, using commercial dyes that are then steamed.

 Surrounded with the rich beauty of color, design, and texture, I am in heaven! And OMG am I learning!

For example, I learned that, yes,  cream of tarter will make cochineal less purple and more red, but don't leave the cloth in the vat overnight. Cream of tarter crystals were stuck all over my silk and would not wash out! It's like they were glued on! They wouldn't brush off either. Finally, I soaked the silk in hot water in an attempt to dissolve the crystals. That worked....but..... the color turned back to purple or a brownish purple in some cases.

It seems my water has a lot of iron and perhaps other minerals in it, and that's what made the cochineal purple.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

What do you do with a Fat Quarter?

these are dyed with onion skin and madrona bark

Such beautiful pieces of silk! They are for StashFest, where they will be sold to benefit the Quilt Museum in LeConner.

Some shimmer with the colors of water and sky. Some are dyed with onion skins, cochineal, madder, or indigo, then dyed again with another of these natural dyes after folding and blocking them itajime style. I'm using the luxurious charmeuse, the more wabi sabi silk noir, and the oh so luscious silk velvet. 

Working in fat quarters and half yards I can create special pieces of silk for your enjoyment. What will you do with them?

I am collecting ideas.  Do you have favorite projects using a piece of cloth 18" by 22", or a half yard?