Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Rewinding Summer: Ice Dyeing

Summer is winding down -- it always goes too fast for me -- so in an effort to slow down time, I'm updating this blog but post-dating each addition close to the actual date it happened.  Some of the best experiments of the summer included ice-dyeing (my first time!) during the 4th of July weekend.
Ice-dyed with Raspberry Procion MX dye.

I started with the ice cubes from my freezer, not really knowing how much I'd need (or how fast they'd melt in the over-90 degree  heat).  I scrounged around for something to suspend the ice in, since I'd read that it works better if  the ice and dyes aren't directly placed on the fabric.  I placed the ice in a discarded fan cover and set that over the tub that held the scrunched fabric (soda-soaked).

For the first batch, I decided to use some dyes left over from a class I taught the previous weekend, so the following dye concentrates were drizzled over the ice:  Scarlet, Fuschia, Raspberry.  After a few minutes, I decided on MORE COLOR, and added just a touch of Peacock and Bright Yellow, then a few drops of Cerulean.   I got a second container going, and drizzled Cerulean, Turquoise, Peacock, and jut a few drops of Bright Yellow dye concentrates over suspended ice cubes.

Raspberry-pink-red ice dyes, melting quickly.

Oh yeah, did I mention it was really HOT that day?  Before starting another batch, I decided that I'd need more ice . . . LOTS more ice!  So I grabbed the car keys for a quick trip to a convenience store, where I was surprised to hear they'd run out of ice.  The clerk warned us that "everyone's run out of ice" and that the nearest grocery stores were also sold out.   Ice cream sandwich in hand, I drove to a smaller local grocer (read: higher-priced)  and was thrilled to find they had ice for sale.  I brought my bag into the front seat where the AC could keep it cool, and returned home.

For the next batch, I found some scraps of tulle and clipped it over the tub to hold the suspended ice. I decided to follow all the written directions I'd found for ice-dyeing, which called for sprinkling dye powder (dry, undiluted) over the ice.  (Yep, I wore protection:  mask and gloves.) It does make more sense to do it this way, because as the ice melts, the dye powder dilutes and slowly drips onto the fabric, producing lovely color variations.

Dye powder over ice cubes, suspended above tub by white tulle.
For the next batch, I wanted to experiment with black, and used Dharma's #300, New Black dye powder, later adding 1-2 drops of Bright Yellow dye concentrate. (Suspended using a storage rack and tulle.)

Ice-dyeing with New Black dye powder.
Some of my results:
The pinks-reds from liquid dye concentrates, rinsed but not yet washed.
The same pink-reds after washing.

My favorite of all, this one says SUMMER to me!
The blues . . . the darkest piece (top left) was on the bottom of the tub and soaked up the most dye, while the lightest one was on the topmost layer.  It only caught the dye as it melted and passed through all the layers to pool at the bottom of the tub.
From the Cerulean, Turquoie, Peacock dyes, rinsed only.

The same blues, post-washing.
The mystery pieces from smaller batches, unidentified.
And finally, the blacks. . .

New Black, rinsed only.

After washing, the black lightened considerably:
New Black, washed & ironed.
 Can't wait to do more and try some other variations!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show 2013

I thoroughly enjoyed this year's quilt show in Sisters.  The weather was perfect (not as hot as it usually is) and all the quilts I wanted to see were close together, within 2-3 blocks of where I was staying.  Where was that?  Just two blocks from the Stitchin' Post!  My son's girlfriend, Brandi, offered her apartment, so my daughter and I stayed there for two nights.  The 2nd night, Brandi went out of town to visit a friend, and since she needed someone to bunny-sit her rabbit, E.B., we were able to do that for her.  But I digress . . .

I met Fiberexplorations friends Torrie and Deb on Sat. morning and we started the show with a special exhibit from the Portland book and quilt group, Cover to Cover.  Their theme this year was from the book The Invention of Hugo Cabret.  Here are three of those quilts:

"Connectivity" by Dianne Kane, Camas WA.
I'm glad I caught Dianne's quilt in the morning with the sun coming through it.  Isn't that beautiful?
And the next one features circular motifs attached together with real gears.
[9/16/13 UPDATE:  Thanks to Dianne Kane for providing more info on these three quilts!]
"Suspended in Time" by Dianne Kane, Camas WA.
And one of my favorite quilts from the show . . .

by Judith Phelps, Battle Ground WA
You may have missed why the above quilt is so spectacular.  Go back and click on it a few times to enlarge it.  Do you see it now?  All of the scenes are ENTIRELY thread-painted!  No markers, pens, pencils, paints, dyes, etc. were used, not even on the shading.  It's done entirely with threads ranging from white, plus many shades of gray, to black.  Simply amazing!

Next, in the outdoor courtyard/deli of Clearwater Gallery, we saw quilts made by students of Jean Wells, using her improvisational style of quiltmaking, inlcuding pieces from two Fiberexplorations' members:
"Under the Canopy of Autumn" by Deb Sorem.

and this one by Erika Close (title to be added).

At that time of the morning, a layer of shadows fell across these quilts from the trellis above.  When I returned later in the afternoon to re-photograph them,  the sun was behind the fence they were hung on, putting them in complete shade.  Oh well, just IMAGINE that their colors were more vibrant!  For example, here's a detail shot of Erika's taken in the morning, in a section where the trellis shadow didn't fall:
Detail of Erika's quilt.

On the other side of Clearwater Gallery, just after we ran into Erika, we found our Fiberexplorations' challenge quilt. 
Fiberexplorations "Painted Canvas" challenge quilt (with morning shadows!)
The four of us posed  for a photo, not realizing that we stood in the same order as our quilts, all four of which just happened to be in the middle row!

L to R: Torrie, Joanna (me), and Erika, Deb

The quilt show organizers thoughtfully arranged another quilt by Deb to hang next to our group's challenge quilt.  As Deb explained previously, "I took my granddaughters' names and worked them into kaleidoscopes. The traditional Grandmother's Flower Garden pattern was a favorite of mine, and my mother made one for me as a wedding present.  I repeated the shape of the hexagons in this contemporary version."

"Grandmother's Secret Flower Garden" by Deb Sorem.

To see it in more detail, click on this link for the Dec. 2, 2012 post about this quilt.

Thanks for visiting!  Comments are ALWAYS appreciated.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

4th of July: Sparkly Stuff!

In honor of today's holiday, I'd like to share my latest experiments with the Gelli print pad (i.e. the modern twist on homemade gelatin plates for monoprinting).  The Gelli website & blog continue to add tutorials showing new ways to use their product, and this one was taken from their blog post, Gelli Transfer Prints, and Gilding the Gelli.

I didn't have cold laminating film on hand, so I used cheap-o packing tape to get this result:

The finished product (on packing tape).
Detail shot. (Click to enlarge; that's where it
looks the best and you see the transparency!)
Another detail.
And another . . .
And a final one.
I have a few ideas percolating for this.  What do YOU think?