Friday, May 29, 2009

Quilt Du Semaine

Another unusual little weekly quilt -- this one 21/52.2009 ~ Sticks & Stones. It's a piece of heavy cotton, handprinted several times, bordered with a sample of upholstery fabric that I was not sure I'd ever find anything to do with!
I'm about half finished with the larger quilt I uploaded earlier this week. I'm kicking around several possible names, likely something desert oriented.
My cat escaped again today! Check out his blog this evening to see if he's dropped a line from wherever he is.
Have a lovely weekend!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Just Do It!

It occurred to me this morning that I have quite enough dyed and printed fabric to keep me happy for a while, that I need to be spending my time actually making quilts! I think making more and more fabric has become something that keeps me from the goal -- to make quilts from this fabric I've been dyeing and painting. There's only so much time in a day, a week, a month -- and now I want to be making finished work.

So today I blocked out and basted this piece ~

What's interesting, is that I've got three or four other potential pieces on one or another of my design walls, while this one came together on my work table today. This piece will be the largest quilt I've made yet, at 23 x 34 inches. I'll start quilting it tomorrow, and it promises to be great fun.

Monday, May 25, 2009

A Summer Sale

I'm having a Big Sale! ~ All wearable art listed at my Etsy shop is now on sale at 30 percent off. If you're a regular reader, you know that my focus these days is on studio quilting and art cloth, that I'm no longer weaving (for now, anyway) and no longer producing scarves and shawls. So I decided to put everything that's left on sale. If you contact me through my website for these items, instead of Etsy, the same offer applies.

And for the WOW factor, these four fabrics were part of two shibori batches I did on Saturday. Many of the fabrics I dyed had been handpainted and printed several times each, a number of months ago. I wasn't happy with them, they felt incomplete -- but shibori finished them off!

And my stacks of cool fabric continue to grow!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Homage to May

Here's this week's quilt, 20/52.2009, and also my ode to the month of May...entitled Beltane Fire. Likely you know that Beltane is the Celtic/Pagen festival celebrating the beginning of the pastoral summer season, more commonly observed as May Day on May 1. During Beltane, great bonfires would mark a time of purification and transition, heralding in the summer season in the hope of a good harvest later in the year.

The fabric is a piece of linen that was printed with one of the last pulls of a deconstructed screen, and recently shiboried. In fact, I sorted out a bunch of early printed fabric this week, which I'll be shiboriing in the next day or so.

If you're interested in this piece, it's now listed at Etsy and on my website. Have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

A Quilting Coup

I just received a batch of brochures from Studio Channel Islands for Focus On Fiber II, their four-pronged fiber show currently open through July 3. The featured small quilt on the first flap of the card is mine! How delightful. The piece in question is one of my first weekly quilts, Tropical Dream. I'm really stoked that it made the brochure!

If you're in Southern California, check out the show at Studio Channel Islands, located on the campus of California State University, Channel Islands, Building #18, Ventura Street in Camarillo.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Mojave Sunrise

This is the new digital quilt, the back of which I uploaded yesterday. I'm calling it Mojave Sunrise, and it's 15 x 21 inches. In case you missed the first quilt in this series, which I uploaded last weekend, click here to see it.

I was in the studio for at least 10 hours yesterday, and I loved it. Today I had errands to do in Eureka and didn't get as much studio time as I wanted. But tomorrow and Friday I'll be back at it. I'm enjoying my new studio immensely and am happy with what I'm producing, more and more all the time. So I'm wanting to spend as much time there as possible right now. A very good thing, indeed!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Rear View

This is the rear of the quilt I finished today ~ I'll post the front tomorrow. It wasn't completely done when I took this photo, although it is now. I love this shibori fabric for the backing. And I love the finished piece. So look for it tomorrow!

The Perfect Olive Green

All of my dyeing last week consisted of various attempts at mixing a good olive green from the primary Sabracron fiber reactive dyes I had on hand. Olive is generally not difficult to mix. I was, though, using formulas I devised years ago for acid dyes with the reactive dyes, and I've deduced that the fiber reactive colors in themselves react differently than acid dyes do when mixed in certain proportions.

For instance, with acids, to get a good olive, I would mix Sabraset sun yellow with either royal blue or turquoise in a proportion of 7 yellow to 1 blue/turquoise, then add 1 part scarlet or magenta. The red in the green turns it toward brown, resulting in olive. Another option is to mix 2 or 3 parts of black into 6 or 7 parts of sun yellow.

None of the formulas for olive which included red worked with the Sabracron dyes -- I don't know whether Procion dye would be any different, it all likely depends on which red and which blue, and even which yellow you start with. At any rate, I did a shibori dye as well as several low water immersion experiments with the red-included olive green, and all turned out kind of a medium reddish brown.

So my last experiment was a shibori dyepot using 8 parts sun yellow and 3 parts black ~ and the upshot is that I got a really great olive green. Here are some of my results...

I've got so many projects going at the moment and so many things I want to do for the first time, or do again (like monoprinting, gelatin plate printing, deconstructed screen printing, ad infinitum) that I'm in a bit of overwhelm. I am working this week on the second quilt of three utilizing digital imagery.

I also have a solo show coming up in July and August that I'm starting to prepare for. This one will be at Cochrane & Associates, a brokerage firm in Eureka. I'll be hanging a mix of art cloth and studio quilts. Although all the pieces are complete, some need to be made ready to hang. July is still almost a month and a half away, but being proactive, I like to get a jump start on these things so I'm not slammed at the end, if at all possible. I also have two unfinished art cloth pieces that I would like to bring to completion to include in the show.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Keeps Growing and Growing...

While I was playing with collage images over the last hour or so, I decided to start yet another blog! The photo here is also the opening photo on my new collage blog, Collage Journey. All my collages will be there from now on -- hopefully one everyday. Check it out, subscribe, you know the drill.


In The Garden

This is the quilt I mentioned yesterday, that I worked on all week. It's entitled Overlooking Eden, and it measures 16" by 22". This is one of the pieces I'll be entering in that upcoming exhibition that I mentioned a week ago, fiber art with an obvious use of photography. (An aside, Gerrie let me know that the entry deadline is June 30, not May 30 -- thanks Gerrie!)

Doing quilts using digital images on fabric has been a direction I've been moving toward, so making pieces to enter has been a good kick in the butt to get going. The images that I'm most interested in working with are non-representational, photos of interesting patterns, or photos that together create interesting overall patterns.

I've got two more ready to quilt in this emerging series, that I also intend to enter. And more ideas in the queue.

Yes, that is a turquoise donut in the center, with a freshwater pearl inside. The backing/binding fabric is a recent shibori. I cut much of that out of the first photo above because I want to retake the photo with the quilt on black fabric, instead of the ivory currently on the design wall. And the design itself? A photo of a deconstructed screen before I printed with it!

Anyhow, back to the studio today, for more shibori and more quilting!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Rock On!

I spent most of this week doing a different quilt than the one pictured here, and I'll upload that other one tomorrow. This, though, is my weekly quilt, 19/52.2009 ~ "Rock On!" Another digital image along with recently shiboried fabric and commercial batik cotton.

It's been a wonderfully productive week, and I'm not finished yet! I got my new design wall up and covered, did some low water immersion dyeing experiments, made daily collages, started and completed a larger (~17 x 22") quilt (the one I'll upload tomorrow), basted another two 17 x 22" quilts, and have two or three other quilts percolating.

I'm in this space of not letting myself think too much about the quilts that are coming through -- by which I mean, I'm not talking myself out of them or finding reasons why they won't work. Anything goes, in this medium. Often I think I'd like to move in a particular direction, or produce something that is inspired by something I've seen elsewhere, or try things that other artists are doing (although I would never intend to and could never reproduce anyone else's work)...but then what comes out of me is what comes out of me. So I'm trying not to censor myself, if you will.

I have a feeling that what's being created without my overthinking about it is a better representation of my own emerging creative voice than what I might create if I were consciously trying to do something or going for a particular look. Does that make any sense? I hope so ~ it does to me, anyway!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Serious Studio Time

I'm settling in for some serious time in the studio. I finally feel as though I am getting the hang of operating in my new life, with new patterns and new rhythms.

I have three bigger (for me) quilts in the works, and several more in phases of development. I'll be putting up two more design walls this week. I just sold two of my small weekly quilts, which are now listed at Etsy and on my website (Thank You, Kathy!).

I'm trying to dye fabric at least a couple times each week, and planning to do some printing again in the near future. It's been hard to find time to do everything I want to do, but I'm hoping that more time spent in the studio will find me doing a wider variety of surface design processes again, and producing lots more finished work. That's my goal, anyway.

Saturday, May 9, 2009


I finished this new quilt yesterday. It's called Pomegranates and it's 18 x 10 inches. The top is a piece of cotton that I handpainted and then soy wax batiked, using a potato ricer! I was very fond of the fabric before I quilted it, and now I totally love it. I've got it listed on my website as well as at Etsy.

My big plans for the weekend are to wash my car (I've been waiting out the rain and wind) and to pull out some unwanted wild berry bushes on the north side of the house ~ to the best of my ability anyhow -- those things are impossible to get rid of completely.

Have a good weekend!

Thursday, May 7, 2009


I'm on a new roll, at least for the moment. I have a new, bigger discharge quilt on the design wall, that incorporates some of my recent shibori along with discharged fabrics. Today I'm printing digital images on fabric, for two quilts I plan to enter in an upcoming exhibition of fiber art that incorporates an obvious use of photography. Entry deadline is May 30, so I've got to get on it. I do like having deadlines, though, because they really push me forward ~ especially in new areas.

Thanks to all my readers for your recent comments on my posts and my work ~ always appreciated!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Something Different

This week's quilt, 18/52.2009 ~ Age of Pisces, is quite a bit different than what I've been doing. The top was a scrap of Osnaburg homespun cotton that I shiboried twice, then I stamped it with Lumiere textile paint, then quilted it, then beaded it. The backing is a piece of recently scrunch dyed muslin. I've had those serpentine fish for 15 years.

Emboldened by recently selling one of my Discharge Series quilts, plus the fact that two of my weekly quilts will be on exhibit at the Small Quilt Open in Camarillo, CA from May 16 through July 4, I've decided to sell my weekly quilts. I've been considering different ways to mount/hang them, though, before I make them available. Meanwhile, all the discharge and weekly quilts can be seen on my website.

After a beautiful day here yesterday, it's storming again. Hopefully today's inclement weather will finish it off for a while and we can get on with spring, proper!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Ah, Roses!

I'm feeling better today, despite myself. I really had the blues yesterday. Today's shining sun really helps. Maybe I'll even make some art this week! Actually I am working on things, but have been in one of those "what difference does it make" moods. I've got to snap out of it!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Something To Brighten The Mood

I'm having a less than spectacular day (way less)...maybe this will brighten my mood.

Friday, May 1, 2009

300th Post!

This is my 300th post ~ unbelievable! I never thought I'd have so much to say or so many things to share with you all. But like I said shortly after I began blogging, I have been far more productive creatively because of the blog than I would have been, I'm sure, without it!

So here are the results of yesterday's dye session. The color I used was kind of a bronzy green, but turned out a lot browner than I'd imagined. Apparently the red fiber reactive dye was a lot stronger in the mix than the red acid dye was in the original formula for the same color with acid dyes.

This first piece had been underpainted last week, then pole wrapped and shiboried with teal on Wednesday, followed by Thursday's bronze/brown.

Ditto for this piece. What you're looking at are the two opposite diagonal corners of the same piece of fabric, shiboried twice on a pole.

This was a fold 'n dye shibori, with only the bronze dye. It will get another layer or two before completion.

Oh this little piece! I shiboried it last week on a pole with chocolate brown dye, then pole wrapped it again this week and dyed with teal, then folded it and clamped on two washers and dyed it bronze. This piece is only about 9 inches square. It was a leftover from the fabric I used in last week's quilt, Mud Slide.

The last two got their first layer with the bronze dye, but they were wrapped on different size poles. If you look carefully, you can detect a slight variation in the size of the patterns.

Today, after a slow start, I ironed the pieces you see above. Then I took the afternoon off to do paperwork and read. Likely I'll be in the studio for much of the weekend.