Sunday, October 30, 2011

Cooking and Baking

A new crop of eco dyed fabrics from last Thursday's brew.  Some of these are do-overs, the first go-round was a few months ago and the results were rather nondescript.  No more.

This one's not so obvious ~ it's oak leaves and onion skins, wrapped on an aluminum pipe.  The big piece had those strips (one at right, one on top) placed over the plant material on the big piece, then it was bundled up.

Onion skins on silk habotai.

Two pieces of old linen, one on top of the other with euc leaves in between.

The spiral/curlique things on this piece are brass ornament hangers!

Lastly, I baked apple pie and turnovers again today ~ I even remembered to peel the apples this time!  I do have to gloat that for some reason my pie crusts lately have been better than ever even though I'm using the same recipe I always have.  Go figure. 


Friday, October 28, 2011

Thursday's Brew Fest

I hadn't done any new eco dyeing in close to a month, so I brewed up a batch of bundles last night.   Thought I'd try some of my usual-suspect local plant materials now that it's fall, see if I get any different results than I did in the summer.   Although I started with a pot of tap water, I added a few bits of brass and some brass water that had been sitting for a couple of months.  Two of the bundles were wrapped around aluminized steel and 3 or 4 pieces around blackened rusty pipes.  Each bundle was generously spritzed with vinegar as it was wrapped.

I have a theory that I haven't gotten very good/dark prints from the local oak, maple and eucalyptus varieties possibly because the seasons in northern California are quite different than elsewhere.  Meaning since the trees and shrubs don't suffer the climatic extremes that they do in other places, possibly whatever it is that carries the color is different in the species we have here, doesn't color as well or as deeply.  I do realize that species, variety, location on the globe, time of year, local water quality and other factors play into eco dyeing results as well.  But I'm thrown to wanting to figure these things out for myself.

This is a cold bundle I wrapped yesterday, with rose petals that have been in my freezer for months.  I decided not to steep it as the petals started coloring the fabric right away.  I did use vinegar here, otherwise no other mordant (the fabric was premordanted in soy milk).

I finished the Fiberactions "structure" challenge quilt earlier this week.  Mum's the word on this until the reveal on November 15.

I'm nearly finished with another machine quilted piece.  Actually, I did complete it, then decided I'd do more quilting on it and further texture the surface with paint and paintstiks.  Whether or not I would do this has been a question for this piece from the getgo, so I figured I'd just make it, then decide where to go with it (as opposed to not making it at all because I wasn't sure what to do in the end).

I"d love your input on something, if you have some ideas to share ~ I'm considering how to wall mount the handstitched work I'm doing.  If it's a big piece, like the Dalai Lama quilt I did recently, then I have no problem turning the top over to make a casing for a bamboo pole.  Attaching a fabric sleeve to the back of lighter weight handstitched pieces, and using a slat with eyescrews feels like overkill for this softer, more fluid kind of work.  Stitched-on tabs at the top don't always work for the appearance of the finished piece.  And I simply can't afford to frame them.  So I'm considering options.  Do let me know if you have any good ideas.  Thanks!

Hope you have a wonderful weekend!


Sunday, October 23, 2011

New in The Shop

These are three of eight fabric packs just listed in my textile shop ~ all reasonably priced.  Hope you'll check them out if you're looking for unusual pieces of eco dyed fabric to add to your own textile work.

The first piece shown above is the front of a big cotton pillow sham, dyed with onion skins.  The second photo is two pieces of cotton ~ the piece on the bottom is actually 26 inches wide, tucked to fit into the image.

The last photo is three pieces of silk.  The big piece was printed with eucalyptus leaves, the little piece in front on the right with tan oak leaves.

It's warm and sunny today, and I'm on my way back outside to soak up some of it.  Talk soon.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Better Late Than Never

I've had this denim jacket for 20 years.  Even though I hardly ever wore it, it consistently made the cut through every clothing purge I've made since then, and there have been many.

The jacket is warm, fully lined with flannel, and still fits well despite the fact I'm quite a bit larger than when I bought it.  The sleeves are longish and there needs to be a cuff, which I prefer on long sleeved things.  What I didn't like about it was that I hated the flannel lining -- a pale blue, white and beige plaid -- showing at the cuffs.  Never went with anything I wore.

I knew I'd eventually remedy the situation ~ and eventually was yesterday.

I replaced the bottom third of the sleeve lining with eco dyed linen.  Now the cuffs are wonderful!

And although I didn't need to cover or replace any of the rest of the lining because it doesn't show when the jacket is being worn...I used the rest of that eco dyed piece to cover the upper lining in back so that I can see that fabric when the jacket is hanging.

You can bet on my wearing the jacket now!


Tuesday, October 18, 2011

New Work

This last silk scarf was posted to the shop yesterday.  It's crepe de chine, 13x68 inches, and after multiple dye jobs, I added leaf outlines with metallic paintstick.  This completes the series of previously UFO scarves.  I've sold one of the five already, so high tail it over to the shop before these beauties are all gone.  Incidentally, this scarf has leaves on both sides of the silk so that they're easily seen when the scarf is worn.

And just listed in the shop this afternoon, Eco Fragment 2.  This is a piece of linen that was shiboried with botanical dye, most likely eucalytptus.  All stitching, including the two rows of tiny French knots, is in metallic sewing thread.

And this last piece is something that just came together and was basted earlier today.  Although not eco dyed fabrics, it will be handstitched.  Behind everything you see is another piece of shiboried linen and that will be the backing.  There's no batting here, just multiple layers of fabric.


Sunday, October 16, 2011

Fruitful Days

I've been productive lately, and I like it.  I finished this machine quilted piece yesterday.  Called Autumn Moon, it is 21x22 inches.

The foundation fabric is a section of a recycled silk garment that originally was a purple-mauve color.  It was overdyed, discharged, and then printed.

I've finished two more UFO silk scarves and they were posted to the Textile Shop earlier this week.  The last one is curing from its treatment with metallic paintstik.  If you haven't been to the shop yet, please have a look.  I'm selling these recent silk scarves for a song ($25 to $35), and I've also got several handwoven scarves reasonably priced at under $100 each.

The turquoise scarf below is 32 inches square, silk chiffon, that was dyed, then rusted, then hand printed.

The second scarf here is silk crepe de chine, 13x69 inches.  It was originally black; it was discharged and then hand printed.

Finally, I finished up that silk noil knitting project that was originally meant to be a piece of yardage that I had intended to surface design somehow.  I'm kind of amazed at took me three years to knit the first 60 percent and only 3 days to finish it.  It was all about deciding to finish it as opposed to ripping it out.  The finished size is 30x54 inches (69,120 stitches!) and I have no idea what I'll do with it!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Labor of Love

This is the personal piece I've been talking about ~ another tangka to hang in my home.

The poster ad was in Shambhala Sun magazine early in 2010 and I digitized it knowing I wanted to quilt it at some point.  Another perfect confluence of elements happened recently with these wonderful botanically dyed fabrics I've been producing.

The image was printed on raw silk.  The two fabrics that the image is sitting atop are silks from two recycled articles of clothing, which I eco printed with oak leaves.  The background fabrics are pieces of the same old linen tablecloth.

I've got some really old silk floss in the mix, in the French knots that surround the image of His Holiness, in addition to rayon and metallic sewing threads.  The entire piece is hand stitched and hand quilted.

 I especially like the "boro" quality of this piece ~ old, worn out, like tattered rags.  The cloth that the tablecloth was made of looks and feels handwoven.  It pulls apart fairly easily, the threads themselves have a handspun quality.

After completing the piece I fused a raw edged piece of flannel to the back to give it a little bit of body.

And now it's hanging in the south room of my studio.


Monday, October 10, 2011

Up to Old Tricks

I spent some time this weekend on a stack of UFOs ~ silk scarves in the works that I'd never finished off, meaning I'd not previously applied the last layer or two of surface treatment.  These two silk chiffon scarves, now listed in the Shop, were the first.  Three more will follow soon.

I've worked on that personal piece I mentioned, for most of the last four or five days.  Hope to finish it up today and will post in the next day or two.  Then onto the next project, which will likely be a machine stitched quilt that's waiting for me.  Then another hand stitched piece...

Knitting continues ~ I showed you this black & white yarn a couple weeks ago being made into something else.  When I got ready to make another ball out of the next skein of this stuff, I realized that the remaining yarn, 3 skeins worth, were spun as a singles yarn, not a 2-ply as the first small ball I started with.  Then I remembered what I really hadn't liked about the didn't work for me at all as a plied yarn.  I recalled several unsuccessful attempts I made when I spun it with different thicknesses etc. to get a workable 2-ply.  So I ditched that little project and started in on another rectangle with the singles yarn.  I expect to get a finished piece that's about 15 by 54 inches.

This piece here was a wonderful natural charcoal raw fleece that lasted me for years.  I hand carded weaving thrums into the wool then plied it with turquoise rayon sewing thread.

The last piece is definitely a UFO.  Commercial silk noil yarn that I hand dyed several years ago when I was experimenting with larger art cloth pieces.  I fancied I'd knit a piece of yardage, essentially, and then do various layers of surface design on the knitted fabric.

I doubt that I'll finish it thus at this point ~ although I haven't a clue what I'll use it for.  We shall see.

Hope you're having a good Monday.  Talk soon.