Getting Back To It

May 9 2017 013

Crepe de Chine

Been busy this spring focusing on things other than my botanical printing. Have printed a few since the end of last year but some of them ended up looking like I had completely lost my ‘mojo’. The leaves I had dried or frozen just didn’t look like they were coming through for me. There were a few gems, however, that I was very pleased with.

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Silk Habotai

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Silk Habotai

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Crepe de Chine

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Silk Habotai

I just started using crepe de chine. I like the softness of print that you can get with silk chiffon but sometimes it is too soft. Crepe de chine still results in soft images but they are a bit bolder.

Also acquired some silk charmeuse. Have printed one and am very pleased. It is still resting before the wash. Will post the results later.

Indigo Project Complete (Almost)

Project Complete

Finally, all the dyeing (for the items I had) is done for the ‘big project’. The picture shows them still wet and they took over 2 days to dry. Fortunately, I had a nice large plastic cover to protect them from my feathery visitors. Now they just need to be untied and let rest for several days before their first washing. I’ll try to remember to take a few pictures to share the results. They can then join the others, already done, for their final wash and pressing (groan – I know there are those who think ironing is a great way to get instant gratification but I’m not one of them). Anyway, I now look forward to working on my personal projects; shibori and indigo dyeing is included.

Japonisme

Another wonderful workshop at the 2016 International Quilt Festival. This one was with Houston’s own Ginny Eckley. What a talented artist she is as well as a great teacher. Our topic was ‘Japonisme’: the Japanese influence on art nouveau. This was my first foray into silk painting and silk screening. These things are way outside my comfort zone. I was, however, determined to give them a try and see what happened and what techniques I could, perhaps, transfer to my current endeavors.

Below is my test piece. The goal was to find out what colors worked, the required saturation and their effect on one another.

Below is my second and final piece. I decided to go for minimalism: color and details. Someone in our workshop had done, for her test piece, a sample using dark grays. I liked the look but wanted the colors even lighter. Because my colors are so muted they were difficult to photograph. The upper left corner is a green gray. The lower left corner is gray. The fabric was then washed with a pale yellow. My butterfly had a little too much ink on it but it turned out okay after I added a few bits of yellow and orange to the body.

IQF 2016 Japonisme 2

Not sure these processes are in my future but, who knows, I may be able to combine techniques in a way I hadn’t considered as yet. And the workshop was worth getting up at 5:30!

Mandala Magic!

International Quilt Festival Houston 2016 is about to begin. The workshops started yesterday and I braved getting up at 5:30 so I could get to my first workshop on time.

Glennis Dolce didn’t disappoint, as usual. We were supplied with 3 packets of folded silk (along with instructions on how to fold our own fabtic). We were also supplied with some dissolving thread and instructed to draw and then sew our designs on each packet of silk. Once that was done, we were given some silk dye (which doesn’t require heat setting) and a couple of pipettes. Thus armed, we began to paint our designs. After the painting was done, we dissolved our stitching and opened up our “masterpieces”.

I am very fond of my “firstborn”. Glynnis only let us use 2 colors for our first piece.

My second piece was a bit overwhelming to me. I had intended for small sections of black but the black dye has a mind of its own.

IQF 2016 Mandala Magic #2

My very favorite was my final sample. I like the colors as well as the resulting shape.

IQF 2016 Manadala Magic #3

Next workshop is in a couple of days. It is with the very wonderful and talented Ginny Eckley. Looking forward to it (even if its another 5:30 morning!)

Getting Ready for the CHH Annual Sale

I was gathering together the items I had selected to be in this year’s sale. When it was time for me to pick out a few of my eco print scarves, I came across one that I kept going back to look at. Many eco printers strive to have perfect prints of each piece of foliage they place on their fabric. Their results are very stunning. I, however, like to have a few identifiable leaves in my work but enjoy the shapes and subtle colors of the other botanicals (not all will produce color or distinct patterns) that are also used on the same piece of fabric. To me, this gives the piece a great deal of depth.

This shows the outline of pine needles to the left and the leaf ribs on the bottom.

More leaf ribs and subtle color.

Leaf shapes everywhere especially a magnificent oak.

16-4-1-1 A

A sweet gum drifting in the background.

The more I looked at this scarf the more I knew it was not going to go to the sale. It has moved to my closet where I would be able to select it to wear whenever the muses strike.

P.S. The CHH Annual Sale is November 17 – 19 at the Guild House. Check http://www.weavehouston.org for more details.

Printing with Hamelia

The leaves of the hamelia (hummingbird bush) have always been a reliable source of green when printing.

This piece was printed with only the leaves of the hamelia and a few annatto seeds.

Add some eucalyptus and a bit of tannin (with a small assist from a bit of iron) and the hamelia still peaks out with a bit of greeen.

Add a bit more tannin (with an iron assist) and the green is still there.

How can anyone help not love this plant(its also a favorite of bees and hummingbirds).

P.S. Always use a bit of copper when printing hamelia. It helps bring out the greens.

New Textile Book

As soon as I saw this was available, I treated myself.  It was all I expected it to be. There were no ‘little projects’ to be found.  There are just some interesting ideas to get me thinking about how I could expand my eco printing and natural dyeing projects.

In the book, Alice includes ideas about collecting found objects. I know there are a lot of books containing that subject but it is good to be reminded periodically. She talks about collecting ‘colors’, how to make natural ink, how to select items for rust printing, weaving and twining with natural materials, combining techniques and more. In addition to all that, it is a pleasure to look at. It is one of the books I don’t store on the bookshelf but keep out to review.

I recommend this book for anyone interested in using natural materials and found items in their textile work.