Wednesday, March 30, 2011

First Post Card Swap

I recently participated in my first ever fiber postcard exchange. Vicki from 3 Creative Studios organized it and it was so much fun. I enjoyed creating my postcards and receiving these wonderful creations in the mail. There were two groups so to see all the cards check out the photos are flick river.
I tried out two other designs before I settled on my final set of cards to mail out. The inspiration word was "Guilded" or "Guilded Age". I immediately thought of the Canadian  book "Bird in a Gilded Cage" and also the many paintings and sayings depicting the same saying. Hence my first card.
Then I thought of simply a cut and past look of a color scheme including some golden tones. I then did some research into the Gilded Age and discovered how the domestic sewing machine had a big impact on the lives of women. So I  finally settled on something that was fitting with the style I have been using most often, including some bits of nature. I chose some yellow petals to fit in between the pieced work and some tulle. This was my tribute to the domestic sewing machine. It made it's first big impact what back before and during the Gilded Age but it has come a long way and it's use has expanded way beyond what I'm sure those in Gilded Age ever imagined.
Cut out my patterns.

   Press, stitch and trim.
Cut out and add some tulle.
  Stitch, add some petals.
Over to my old Bernina 830 where I don't worry about bits of petals etc getting into the machine. I load up the bobbin with gold thread (for Guilded) and do some stitching from the back side.
What do you do at the corners? Anything? I've started making a tiny trim at each corner. I think it helps me finish those corners a little better. Or maybe that's just my wishful thinking.
My finished cards and I had some scraps left over to make a couple ATC's. Thanks Vicki and everyone who participated in this fun swap!
PS I'm sorry about the first photo - Vicki's "All Aboard" card was supposed to be horizontal in the first row. The train is headed down a 90 degree hill the way I have it!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Using My Workshop Fabrics

At Linda's dyeing workshop I learned about pre-reduced indigo! If your last dyeing experience was thirty some years ago like mine your indigo dyeing was more involved than what we did. The pre-reduced indigo available now makes it much easier to create your beautiful blue fabrics and yarns with no need for lye!
Yesterday I couldn't wait any longer to do something with at least one of my newly dyed fabrics so I chose the shibori stitched cotton that I had dyed in the indigo pot. I made a folder for a little yellow pad. I've been wanting something to take to meetings and to keep in my bag for school.
I started out writing down the measurements I was using but ended changing the design as I moved along so will include a little tutorial if anyone is interested when I make another. I'm sure the next one will be a little different as I try to improve it.
I'll leave with a photo of this little guy who visited our garden last week. I followed him and believe he may live under our house!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

I'm Hooked!

I just spend a fabulous long weekend up in New Smyrna Beach at the Atlantic Center for the Arts' beautiful campus taking Linda Dawson's Shibori Dyeing workshop. It was one of the workshops offered before the week long Focus on Fiber Retreat. Kathie Briggs taught the other workshop, on doll modifications. You can learn about the retreat at Mary McBride's blog.
Linda is a fabulous teacher, very patient answering all our questions and coming up with solutions for our silly mistakes like me forgetting about the soda ash. She was so flexible too as she easily changed her plans to cover any areas where we had more interest. And she covered WAY MORE than just shibori dyeing. We painted on paper and transferred to polyester, tried out her pleater, silk screened, used several different dyes and techniques such as vat dyes, decolorant, fiber etch, burn out and others. Below is sheer fabric coming off the pleater.
The indigo pot was such fun. Below is a scarf shortly after unfolding and exposing it to the air. That neon-like green turned blue as we watched!
Next is one of Sherryl's beautiful pieces done on rope.
 Kay Sorensen was in our class and has been doing a series over at her blog so head over if you'd like to see lots more photos and learn more.
 What a great weekend, meeting so many wonderful fiber artists, learning so much about dyeing and enjoying such a gorgeous setting. The only problem is I'm now hooked on dyeing and will have to figure out where I'm going to dye, probably outside, an advantage of southern living and where I'll find the time! Sorry clay, I love you dearly but I have to share my time with fiber. That said I need to get back to the clay this week.

If you're interested in learning about Shibori, this month 3 Creative Studios has guest artist Brenda Gael Smith and Serendipity Shibori.