Saturday, December 18, 2010

Christmas Greetings

I've been putting it off as long as possible but now I really have to get ready for Christmas. It's our turn to have DH's side of the family at our place in the evening, which is a lot of people. Lunch will be at our daughter's home with my parents and our other daughter will be home from Japan too which will be wonderful as I haven't seen her since I went to Japan in April.

I've been doing some work lately, the above fabric is one I've shown before but it looks a lot different now - I think its finished. It is mostly printed and painted with Procion dyes and some discharge with a little fabric paint as well.

Above: I received these beautiful decorations made by Juliet at our Designing Women Christmas breakup lunch. We make a decoration to swap each year - the one I made is below - it went to Liz.

Best wishes for a very happy Christmas to those who celebrate it and hope everyone has a safe, happy and peaceful holiday season.
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Wednesday, December 08, 2010

I'm in print!

Above: the last covered sketchbook for the year.
Below: Embellish (a newish Australian textile magazine) asked me to to write an article on how I did the fringe on my scarf which won 2nd prize in a competition they ran earlier this year. Well, Fabulous Fringes & Embellished Edgings is published so I'm now in print! The fringe below is the one I used to photograph the steps of making it and the magazine cover is below that. It is great to have a new Australian magazine promoting textiles, artists and related businesses.

Some more exciting news - I've been invited to be a tutor at next year's Fibres West, a week long retreat held at Bunbury every 3 years. I went to the 2008 one as a student and very much enjoyed the experience and the workshop I did with Jane Dunnewold so it will be quite a thrill to be a tutor this time. My workshop is entitled Mark-Making on Cloth - Extending Dye/Print Techniques. For more info on that and the other great workshops on offer, visit the Fibres West website.
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Sunday, December 05, 2010

More covered journals & exhibtion pics

Left: Journal fabric hand painted with procion dyes & stitched. Right: fabric scraps bonded to background with fibres and metal leaf flakes trapped under a layer of organza then stitched. The flower is appliqued on top.

Above: opened out journal made from dyed fabric pieces with stitching and an ATC on the front.

Designing Women's A Whiter Shade of Pale challenge works in our exhibtion - below is mine, Flourish, which sold. This is the only photo I have of it finished.

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Monday, November 29, 2010

Rich in Stitch Exhibition

Our exhibition finished yesterday so here are a few pics. It was a great gallery space and the work was beautifully displayed.
You probably can't see the individual pieces very well but top left are 2 of my favourites. They're by Juliet and are both felt pieces.

Another, I liked very much was Margaret's 4 canvases on the theme of 10 - above right. On the far left is the group piece we did last year for the WAFTA Naturally exhibtion. Looking through to the gray wall you can see some of the Whiter Shade of Pale framed works.

Above: looking from the front corner, back into the gallery, and below a closer view. The 2 second from the right on the white wall are mine - the top one was sold on Sunday. The sales were slow to start but by the end we had done quite well. I'll post a few more pics next time.

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Friday, November 26, 2010

New covered sketchbooks

I was asked to do some more of these for a gallery shop. These are the first 4. They were photographed tonight so the colours might be slightly off but I'm going to take them in tomorrow and won't have time then. Top: commercial fabrics pieced and stitched with some block printing and beaded braid added. The middle 2 (opened out) are dispersal dyed and stitched.

Dyed and printed fabric, quilted and embroidered.

An update on our exhibition which finishes on Sunday: It's been quite successful - quite a few pieces sold, including one of mine. We had a big sale on Thursday while I was on roster - a woman brought 7 pieces which was great. Her Christmas shopping I think! The only problem has been that several people said they had trouble finding the gallery. I'll post some pics after it's finished.
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Monday, November 15, 2010

herb garden & holiday

This is our herb garden - DH is a supplier of herbs for our local vegetarian restaurant: Genesis in the Hills. It is great to have fresh herbs available when cooking.

We recently had a short break down south at Dunsborough - the red kangaroo paws above are outside the Margaret River Chocolate factory. Kathleen & Ryan came down too. Here they are at Samudra Cafe, a very relaxing place that has raw foods, yoga classes and retreats. We didn't have a meal but the smoothies, juices and snacks were delicious and we bought some supplies to take home.
This area has so many great beaches, galleries, restaurants, and wineries, it's a beautiful place to visit and we always take home lots of goodies. Also had a lovely swim in the ocean which I should do more often.

Designing Women's exhibition opened on Friday - it looks great with some fantastic work on show. I ended up naming my piece shown in the previous post Windows and Shutters. Thanks everyone for the helpful suggestions.
I've decide to concentrate on sewing myself some clothes now that most of my work for the year is done. I really need some new things and I find it very hard find much suitable to buy in the shops. Today I've almost finished making a top and hopefully a few more to come.
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Friday, October 29, 2010


Here are a couple of my canvases (theme of Ten) for the DW exhibition - the top one: 10 Leaves, I photographed before sealing the silk paper background and I may also change the finish on a couple of the copper leaves.
Below: is finished apart from the hanging wire. It has 10 cut out pieces which I've then added on top. I need a name for this - any suggestions?

This week was meant to be busy getting my work done for the exhibition, but I've had a bad cold and haven't felt up to doing much at all, but the 3 from this series are nearly there and I have another 3 pieces finished.
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Thursday, October 21, 2010

Product trial

There has been some discussion on the Complex Cloth Yahoo group about a new discharging product: deColourant Plus which was being promoted as a less smelly and safer alternative to the existing products. Dave very kindly offered to send samples to interested members so they could do their own testing. I didn't think he would be prepared to post a sample to Australia from the USA but 2 jars (a colourless & a dark purple) arrived last week and I've done a few tests (above)
I found it discharged very effectively, even on some fabrics that hadn't worked very well with other products. There is a smell - similar to Jacquard but not nearly as bad, however I would recommend wearing a mask - it does state on the jar to use it in a well ventilated area.

My samples are all done on cotton dyed with Procion MX except the red fabric wich is a purchased cotton/linen mix.
Top left: stencilled with purple. Top middle: block print with colourless (lightest spots - the tan spots were done previously - I think with bleach) Top right: colourless - block printed on rayon.
Bottom from right: fabric sample before discharging, next - painted with purple and colourless, red fabric - mono and sponge printed with colourless. Bottom from left: block printed, next - painted with sponge brush - watered down colourless.

I found the product quite thick and it still worked well watered down a little. This also gives some more variation in the final colour. All the methods I used worked well - I rather like the effect I got painting both colourless and purple very watered down with a sponge brush (bottom left) I ironed the samples when wet and dry and also left one sample to cure in the sun which worked well too. I did follow the suggestion to leave the ironed fabric 24 hours before washing.

I'm not sure why anyone would want the product in a dark colour - the idea is to add colour at the same time as removing the background colour, but dark colours would show up anyway without the discharge. My only thought would be that the fabric would look different from the back where the discharged areas would be lighter. I did like the purple watered dowm a lot but wouldn't buy it. I will certainly buy the colourless product. Neither changed the fabric's hand. I haven't tried it on silk yet.

Above: more deColourant on 1 metre of rayon. This was my fabric from a round robin last year - I'm liking it much more now but still not finished.
Below: a quilt top I made this week using some of my dyed/printed fabrics. I think I'll add a border but have to put it away for now and get on with my exhibtion work. This was a distraction that happened because I bought a reel of variegated cotton thread and was looking for fabrics that would go with it!
I discovered 2 new shops - Materialise: where I bought the thread and some bits and pieces of quilt fabrics (they have some gorgeous stuff - lots of Japanese fabrics too) Sophie, who owns it, was doing textiles at Curtin Uni the same time as me. The other shop was an outlet shop - Potters Textiles in West Leederville. They had some great fabrics - more for dressmaking but they also had bags of samples and remnants from $3 bag. I got a lovely lot for $19.

Below: a small piece using the left over scraps from the quilt, stitched with the new thread.

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Monday, October 18, 2010

Exhibition Invitation

Our exhibtion opens soon - here is the invitation. I'll be busy over the next couple of weeks getting my pieces finished!

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Friday, October 08, 2010

Dispersal dyes & a tidy studio

Above: some samples with dispersal dyes on poly satin. Before I teach or demonstrate I always like to re-visit the technique, while at the same time, test my dyes are still OK. I really like these quick pieces and will develop them further - maybe a large piece coming up!

I had to take some pics of my studio now I've spent most of the week tidying and re-organizing it - it won't stay like this for long!
I guess I should have taken some before pics but I wouldn't have been game to post them here. It makes me really want to get working - all that space.

Apologies, I forgot to answer some questions from a previous post on Breakdown printing. A couple of books I would recommend on the subject: Breakdown Printing by ClaireBenn & Lesley Morgan, Committed to Cloth and Rayna Gillman's book: Create your own hand printed cloth.

This process uses thickened Procion dye which has dried on the silkscreen. There are various ways to apply the dye - one is to print over something textured like bubble wrap. The dye dries on the screen, retaining the texture or pattern. When clear thickener or a contrasting colour is printed through the textured screen, the dried dye gradually breaks down, giving wonderful organic patterning. You can keep printing until most of the dried dye is gone - any that remains can be easily washed out. Don't try this with textile paints - if they dry in the silkscreen they are permanent!

Thanks everyone who comments - I love to receive them and do try to reply or leave a comment on your blog but sometimes when I get busy I may forget.

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Friday, October 01, 2010

Procion dye work

Some more sample pieces from my recent work with dyes. Top is hand painted & below: mono & roller printed.

Below: screen printed and lines applied with squeeze bottle.

A few silk hand dyes, all done in the same container - the dark ones are organza. A recipe for this method (Cram jar dyeing) is on Kraftkolour's website.

I ran a Procion dye workshop for Innovative Stitches last weekend. I used to be a member, so it was nice to catch up with people and some of them bought several pieces of my dyed fabrics which was very nice. Tomorrow, I'm doing a talk & demo on heat transfer dyeing for ATASDA and people can do some samples if they like - materials, paper & dyes provided for $5.
Next weekend I'm having an open studio for the local branch of the Australian Sewing Guild which of course, means a major tidy up - well over due!

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Wednesday, September 22, 2010

More breakdown prints

2 larger pieces after washing out. Detail pics following each one. Both Procion dyes on cotton. I was happy with these but may add more after contemplating for a while.

A couple of answers: Manutex is an alginate thickener for dyes so they can be used for printing.
What do I do with my fabrics? I use some for my bags, bookcovers and other items to sell. Some I'll use for quilts or wall pieces and some, hopefully, will work as art cloth.
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