Saturday, December 13, 2014

Felting on the FeltLOOM

The seasons come a go so fast.  In November I finished these two merino and alpaca pieces felted on the FelLOOM, pole wrapped shibori dyed and delivered them the Appalachian Fireside Gallery in Berea, KY.  Now I want to make more but December is almost half over.  Spring will be here soon.  Oh my.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Be Daring, Take Risks, Experiment

Lacey as you want to be!  Wanting to create something beautiful out of all the silk fabric I shibori dye, I have been saving the serged edges to create lacey scaves.  Using Solvey and disposable medical waste bags, made out of a material that looks like Saran Wrap, I lay the edges on it, cover with another layer of the  Solvey and then sew it with gold thread.  The Solvey dissolves when rinsed with water leaving a playful and lacey design.

Friday, October 24, 2014

From Rocks to Rugs

During the summer I felted pole wrapped and shibori dyed several pieces of wool and dyed them in reds and orange.  The intention was to create truly wearable art out of the center and use the edges to create a rug/art for the wall.

When I had enough fabric edges I places them on a 4x6 felted wool rug mat and began running it through the FeltLOOM several times. 

Connecting Fiber Exhibit
Lexington KY

It was exciting to see the piece on the wall in the gallery along with five other amazing fiber artists.  A review expressed concerns.  Some I agreed with, others not so much.  However, being a writer I realize that it's the conversation that ultimately matters.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Eclectic, Experiments and Seconds

The problem with experimenting is that I get carried away, go off the deep end.  While I get excited about the results, I'm not always sure they are as great as I think they are.  Nonetheless, I share them with enthusiasm and wait for recall.  First comment, too short, so I made some longer.  Another said more lacy, another said less lacy. ( Hmmmmm.  This is starting to remind me of Writing Practice.) My latest is using every last remnant to create art.  I figure if it's fabric I shibori dyed it shall not be wasted.  Using a water soluble stabilizer I lay it out, sew it up and rinse.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Olve Green Chiffon Cape

It's been an amazing summer, not too hot, perfect for dyeing and drying pole wrapped shibori in the sun.  Well, maybe it has been a little too rainy.  As I expand my collection I add more chiffon.  This chiffon cape is 44" wide and 30" from shoulder to edge lengthwise.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Always a Project in Waiting

In between shibori pole wrapping silk, applying dye and waiting for fabric to dry, which is fast on hot days but takes for ever on rainy humid days I like to keep silk around to paint.  (Actually that's what I always wanted to be when I grew up, a painter, but, because of 4-H and learning to sew from my mom, sewing and hand dyed wearable art became my forte.) Oops, and I've created a new way to address stray paint.  Respond!  Just paint a little flower on top of it!

Thursday, May 29, 2014


The Shibori technique is based on manipulating fabric by wrapping it around a pole or rope, folding and clamping, or stitching. The fabric resists the dye and creates a pattern.     I always place at least three colors, or shades of one color of dye on the cloth.  This creates movement and depth.  The real pleasure attained using the Shibori technique is when you open each steamed package and discover the results!

  1. Make rules
  2. Choose a palette and stick with it
  3. Ask “What if?”

The secret to beautiful texture and blend of color is to not use too much dye by learning to read the flow of the dye in the same way a kayaker reads the river before descending over a 40 foot water fall.  The only way to repeat what you discover is to measure and make notes. (Sorta.  You can never really repeat with shibori. J )

Vinyl Sulphon Dye:   Turq. Yellow, Magenta, Black.  I like to use the color wheel and formulate my own colors.  That way I know what color every other color contains.
Urea water:  ¾ c urea to 4 cups hot water
Add 1 t Ludigol
Use 4 cups Urea water to 7 T dye concentrate
Make soda ash solution.  Add  ½ t Soda ash solution to ½ c dye
I use about 3/4 cof dye for one yard of fabric.  But it could be more or less depending on the fabric and whether or not I want any white.

Soak cotton, rayon, bamboo in soda ash solution til damp then drizzle dye on fabric.  Record differences in dampness before applying dye.

For wool, soak fabric in equal parts vinegar and water with capful of synthrapol.  Record differences in dampness before applying dye by drizzling dye on fabric

Let fabric dry completely before steaming.  Wrap in at least 3 layers of newsprint and muslin.  Place in canner with  about 2” of water on stove. Cover with towels.  Steam for 40 min.  Rinse in hot water with synthrapol til water is clear.

For Cotton, silk, bamboo or rayon:  Wash on delicate cycle, cold water and softener (Dharma).  Be very careful when rinsing rayon as it will tear.  Dry on delicate cycle.  Iron with hot, steam iron  For wool, rinse carefully pressing fabric to remove excess water and dye.  Lay flat to dry, drape or place in washer with drain rinse cycle.  Let air dry.  Iron