27 February 2011

An Afterthought

After making all that fabric using the kemshall batik techniques, I finally put the pear design and purple and green/yellow fabric together and finished the small quilt. I used a pen (brown) to shade the pear and colored thread to do additional shading then made half square triangled to surround the pear and the tjanting fabric to bind it.

I recently bought the world ugliest coffee cup - mat black with a grey lid. I decided to make a dress for it to pretty it up a bit. The coffee cup dress is attached to itself with Velcro like a wrap. I bound it with the color catchers I threw in the washing machine for the final wash of this fabric.

19 February 2011

New Digs or Digs Redux

My brother came up from DC to visit. It was my parent 68th wedding anniversary. He lives a stones throw from an Ikea store and asked if I wanted him to bring anything up. He drives the only car minus the Smart Car that is smaller than mine; however his is a hatch back. He brought me up an Expedit book case/storage unit, a full bed and mattress. I also ordered two 6'3" tall, 5 shlef storage units for my "office" area. I had a ball not only putting together the Ikea units but organizing/purging my room. What a blast. Here are pictures of the outcome. It looks great but for those who have been in my studio before, you know how much more spacious it is.

 Starting at the far wall and looking down the longest wall you can see my TV (gift from brother), an empty sewing machine table, my "actve" sewing machine table, short bookcase (back to) and my desk. Straight ahead is a fabric portrait of my brother, Eric and the door to the bathroom/art gallery.
 Close up of the empty sewing machine table. I sold my Janome P1600, insert, New Joy quilt table and stitch regulator. I will eventually be getting a Janome 7700 for this table.
 This is my active table with my Brother Innov'is 4000 and my thread collection (or is that thread obsession). I did buy the entire collection (80 spools) of Madiera Lana a la the Kemshalls.
 This is my Bernina serger (old), desk (VERY old - a wedding gift to my parents from my Uncle who painted it) and my dog's bed- lower right.
 This is the end wall and business end of the studio. I've got my Epson printer, storage shelves and silk screens
 Better view of hidden shelf and silk screens. I stack my tall items in that corner.
 These are the 2 new sterilite shelves with supplies. Lots of white fabric to dye!
 This is my new bedroom space. The King bed is gone and in it's place is a full with four huge drawers built into the bed frame. That is Gabby, my dog shadow.
 You can't tell from this picture but there is a 5 foot space between my bed and this section of the room. There is my home made ironing board for ironing, printing and batiking. There are 3 storage drawer systems under the end of the desk and my Epson wide format printer. You can also see parts of the Expedit storage shelf and my green book case. Deceptively, that desk is 10 feet wide; ironing board 2'X4'
Good view of desk. I love siting under those skylights. At night I lay in bed and gaze at the stars from my bed.
 The Expedit in all it's glory.
 The other end wall. The long wall is 33 feet long and the room 23 feet wide along this wall.
 Pile of newspapers for ironing out wax, storage shelves and file cabinet in corner. This is also my cutting table.
 In front of that area is our "TV viewing" area. On the shelf behind are my art DVD's
 TV from my Brother, Eric and the door to the knee walls that run along that long wall. My son who lives outside the US stores all is mementos there not to mention some of my stuff too.
 This is looking back at the entrance from the bathroom and my bedroom storage area.
And yes, I do know how fortunate I am to have such wonderful space. I worked hard for everything I have and I'm still paying for this new section of the house. My parents live in the apartment on the floor below. I'm really grateful I could have the apartment built for them and that they are still so able at 90 (this year). They just came back from the YMCA where they went to walk the track. My dad still drives and is actually a great driver. I am daily grateful for every blessing in my life.

18 February 2011

One last batik ( of sorts)

I found this in my archives as a draft. I am going through all my posts and adding labels - after 3 1/2 years!! Thought I would publish it ah, a bit late

These two shirts were in the rag bag. They were beige and mint green (what was I thinking) linen. Nice shirt but pukey colors. I was going to get some shirts from Goodwill but found these while purging my studio during the re-design of my space.
I was going to do a two color dye but ended up liking these colors so I stopped here. The first one was beige and was dyed dark navy.

This next one was mint green. I was going for a nice deep green but it ended up this color. I may over dye it in the future but mean while, I kind of like this eye popping color.

Also this week I bought a new book  just out called Digital Alchemy. I took this picture because I couldn't believe my batiked quilt was the exact same colors as the book cover. Check this out!

06 February 2011

My birthday present

This is a raku fish I bought myself for my birthday. Since it is a piece of art, I thought I'd share it with you on my blog. I bought it at my favorite store, Brambles, in Belfast. It's about 16-18" long. I'm too lazy to go down and measure it but the point is it is large. I love the metallic and verdigris coloring. It makes me happy.

05 February 2011

stuff from our play date

Today the FIVE got together to play. Kathy brought her cousin, Claire , who got to play too. Mostly we did snow dyes had a lunch and then tried our hand at the "Kemshall Technique" (see the last tutorial). Here are my two and I hope Judith will post her two also. We were in two-tone heaven.

04 February 2011


OK. Now before I get any credit at all, remember I totally stole all this info and even the pear design from Laura Kemshall. I watch shows on DMTV Design Matters TV and it is SO worth the yearly price. Can you imagine studying with Linda and Laura Kemshall all year?

First I brought my 2'X4' ironing board down which I made on the painted batik tutorial and placed it on my folding table in my wet studio (a.k.a. kitchen)

Then I covered it with the heavy heavy poly film I use for monoprints maybe 6mil.

Then I cut open a trash bin bag and placed the fabric on it. I should have pre-soaked the fabric in soda ash and hung to dry but nooo, I'm in too much in a hurry so I'll need to add the soda ash to the print paste.

Next I use a brush to make a basket weave design on the white cotton
I set this aside on its bin bag to cool and dry in another room

This on I messed up a bit but whose judging - it's a demo! I also plan on re-waxing and over dyeing later in the week so lots of blank spaces for future batiking.

This is the pear batik that Laura did so I am copying her design all in a good cause.

I used print paste (see ProChemical website for product and directions) Since I rarely follow directions I won't confuse you but I mixed this print paste up and added DRY dye powder directly to the print paste. Use a mask since your lungs are like gold. I mixed mine too dark since I don't measure.

Now the fun begins. I dropped a glob (about 3 T) of thickened dye onto fabric and scrapped, not spread, but scrapped hard across fabric. I scrap up all the excess and put it back in the cup.I decided I wanted to dye the other side of this fabric another color so I turned it over when I'd finished this side and used the other color dye paste on the reverse. Laural did this so It wasn't an original idea. I never would have thought of it. The thickened dye is so thick, it doesn't penetrate to the other side.

green side down, naked back facing up then I did purple on the back.

It doesn't look like the front because of the way the wax penetrated the cloth. It looks even more interesting!!!

A piece of fabric with wax designs that I did with a tjanting then scrapped dye onto.

Now the neatest one of all. Laura did this design with the pears. Her signature designs are pears and dried poppy heads. Watch this....

First I applied purple to the "table"

Then olive to the top with interspersed drops of purple to break up the two tone monotony. I finished off with olive over the pear which was almost completely covered with wax. I meant to scrunch the wax on the pear to get crackling but I forgot. 

First I covered each piece of fabric with the other half of the bin bag and rolled it into a tube. Then I folded each in fours.

I heated my trusty rice bag for my neck in the microwave and placed on the four "packages" of dyed fabric for one hour.

I washed the dye out of the fabric after an hour with hot water to melt the small amount of wax

Then I popped them in the washer for a 30 minutes fast wash with HOT water , Synthrapol (Prosapol) and Shout brand Color Catchers - very important. Not only does it aid in preventing dye back as does the Syntrapol but you end up with a cool piece of color catcher in great colors.  I always put 2 in each wash out.

Here are the washed and ironed pieces. I could make a quilt with fabric I created with 2 or three uniting colorways. I think this is so wonderful. Check out the 2 toned basket weave piece. That's two colorways for the price of one.

Later in the week I will do the shading Laura showed and quilt this pear. I will also take a picture of some of my dyed color catchers. They have amazing texture when put in the dryer.

I hope you are as blow away with these techniques as I was. This was a "must do" or is that "must copy" for me. Unfortunately the dyes were VERY darkly concentrated so if I were to do this again, I would start with less dye powder and add more if necessary. I was going for a chartreusey green but ended up with an olive because of my heavy handedness.
Please try this. It is TOO much fun especially the "picture" like the pear. Maybe buildings or a landscape...