Sunday, June 23, 2013

Yeah! Two Hand-dyed Quilts Finished

Yesterday I finished up two quilts that I am planning on entering into our Cutting Edge group exhibit for the Pacific International Quilt Show this next October. Both quilts still need to titles and labels. I'd love some suggestions for titles, so please send me a comment on any ideas you have.

This one is made from three arashi shibori fabrics.  I wanted the fabrics to speak for themselves and did not want to take away from their strong designs by adding a lot of stitching or embellishment.

The one below is made from two ice dyed fabrics.  The side borders have embroidery and the top and bottom borders have fabrics with rubbings made from one of my linoleum blocks using oil based paint-stiks.  The top corners have angelina fibers and the bottom corners foiled designs.


Ok, now help me come me come up with some names for these two quilts.  Thanks for your help.

Saturday, June 15, 2013


There's a lot of buzz in the surface design world about printing on Gelli plates.  I've been wanting to get one but just can't really afford the $30 to $70  they cost. First there was printing on a gelatin plate that you made yourself from cheap, unflavored gelatin, which gave a textured surface for a more interesting print.  I first tried that after reading Rayna Gillman's great book, Create Your Own Hand-printed Cloth.  It was a lot of fun, but you had to plan ahead and make the gelatin a day earlier and store it in your fridge. After using it for awhile, it broke down and you had to throw it out. With both kids back home, it's hard to find room in the fridge and planning ahead, when I want to create art, is not one of my strongest points. So I got to thinking about what would have a similar texture and be less expensive than the Gelli plates.  I bought a package of three assorted sizes of white, acryllic cutting boards at Target for a mere $12.  They work great!  They are lightweight and clean up well and have a wonderful texture.  Here are pictures of some prints I made on the cutting boards, using Setacolor paints, dried leaves, assorted stencils and stamps.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Marbling Fabric

Yesterday, I marbled some fabric.  I've marbled paper with my middle school students using different supplies and methods than what I used for doing the fabric, so it was definitely a new learning experience.  For the paints to stick to the fabric, it must first be soaked in an alum bath for up to 20 minutes, then allowed to dry naturally, so I did that first.  Then I prepared the methyl cellulose sizing, which is a thickened surface to which you apply the thinned out paint.  With my students, I had always used carrageenan, which I'm going to use the next time I do marbling.  I just like how much easier it thickens up, and you don't have to use ammonia, which is just too toxic for me.

 Here is a great post from someone who took a class taught by Elin Noble, a fabulous artist,  where all the steps are explained very well   Both Dharma and Prochem also have great information on their websites and of course there's some great books out there.  I'm dying to get Jo Fitsell's DVD but my budget is pretty tight right now.  She had a great article in August/September 2011 Quilting Arts issue.  Check out her  website too for some great examples  So here are some pics of my better ones.

 Below is a detail

Monday, June 3, 2013

Beautiful Block Print

Sorry I haven't posted in over a week.  I've just been pretty exhausted.  This was one of my most difficult years of teaching and the end of the school year is always just way too busy, what with getting in all the grades, packing up the classroom and returning all the students' projects, yada, yada, yada.  This year, we also had a number of wonderful teachers retiring, so there's been a multitude of party planning and gift making/buying as well.  Today is my first true day off and I'm taking care of paperwork and 'stuff' that is way overdue. I'm hoping tomorrow some new energy will kick in and I'll be creating up a storm.

I did get a picture of a beautiful block print sent by Elizabeth, who took my block printing class. She used thickened dye to print this on fabric, which she has already pieced into a quilt.  She made a lovely, delicate carving as you can see below.