While the Minnesota State Fair was taking place, I received a phone call from the our local community television station asking for an interview.
Fabric Dyeing has been a fun, creative way to make unique fabrics for my quilting. This spring, I spent some time playing around with stitched shibori. I wanted to figure out how to create drawings in the dye. I also wanted to try hand painting before and after dyeing the fabric.
So, I set out to do a few experiments.
Experiment #1. Nui Shibori flower and over-dyeing painted fabric
- Draw pattern on the fabric with a water soluble fabric marker
- Stitch the drawn lines with polyester thread
- Dissolve Dye in 1 ml Urea Water, Add 2 T Print Paste, 14 ml Urea Water, 1/8 tsp Mixed Alkali, Mix well
- Dark Pink = ¼ tsp Mixing Red
- Light Pink = 1/16 tsp Mixing Red
- Dark Blue = ¼ tsp Mixing Blue
- Light Blue = 1/16 tsp Mixing Blue
- Green = 1/8 tsp Evergreen
- Paint dye on fabric areas within the shibori stitching
- Paint dye in sections for over-dyeing
- Allow to dry for 4 hours
- Pull center threads and tie off
- Place in 1000 ml of 0.15 mg/ml Mixing Blue Dye (with Soda Ash)
- Batch for 5 hours
- Wash with Blue Dawn, Dry and Iron
- Shibori pattern turned out well
- Dye painting turned out well, but the the color edges were too crisp – use less Print Paste next time
- Over-dyeing does not change the underlying painted color very much
Experiment #2. Whole Cloth Pattern:
- Design quilting using QuiltCAD program
- Stitch section outlines on long arm with polyester thread for pattern placement when quilting
- Draw shibori pattern by holding water soluble marker in the needle position and running pattern on trace
- Hand stitch shibori sections
- Dye Paint:
- Mixed Alkali: ½ tsp mixed with 8 ml Urea water
- Yellow: 1/8 tsp Golden Yellow in 10 ml Urea water; Combine 1 ml concentrate with 6 ml Print Paste, 3 ml Urea water and 0.6 ml Mixed Alkali
- Green: 1/8 tsp Evergreen in 15 ml Urea Water. Combine 7.5 ml concentrate with 15 ml PP and 1.5 ml MA
- Dark Pink: 1/8 tsp MR in 15 ml Urea water. Combine 7.5 ml concentrate with 15 ml PP and 1.5 ml MA
- Light Pink: Combine 3 ml MR concentrate with 15 ml PP and 1.5 ml MA
- Paint on Fabric sections of shibori stitching
- Allow to dry for 4 hours
- Pull center threads and tie off
- Stitch Floss “Ties” to center of fabric to help with lifting in/out of water
- Make Dye Concentrate: Mixing Blue 10 gm in 100 ml Urea Water (100 mg/ml)
- Place in 4000 ml Soda Ash solution in bucket
- Add dye concentrate at 5 minute intervals (10 ml, 10 ml, 10 ml, 10ml, 40 ml) = 0.25, 0.5, 0.75, 1.0, 2.0 mg/ml to create an ombre effect
- Lift fabric a small amount after each dye increment
- Prop fabric up on support dripping into empty bucket, cover with plastic bag
- Batch for 4 hours
- Clip and remove all sewing lines
- Wash with Blue Dawn, Dry and Iron
- Quilt as planned
- Paint center dye before pulling tight the outer threads – easier than having to paint on a bubble
- If you forget the first step – sealed air packs work well to fill the bubble for painting
- Fabric will trap air, creating a bubble, in the middle – easy to keep the center section out of the dye bath.
- Use a color of thread different from the color of dye – makes it easier to remove the threads.
- The fabric dye paint did not turn out as well as I had hoped. So, after quilting, I repainted the fabric dye without Print Paste for a smoother look
I entered this quilt in the Minnesota State Fair on a whim to see what the judges comments would be regarding the shibori and hand painting technique. Boy was I surprised that it was awarding a blue ribbon!
The weather has been absolutely beautiful the past couple of days, mid 70’s and sunny. Perfect weather for the start of the Minnesota State Fair. The first two days of the fair set attendance records for their respective days. After just three days, the attendance is over 500,000 – perhaps we may even surpass Texas this year!
On Friday, I went to the fair with a few friends. It was a fun day. Since my boys are grown, the past couple of years I have gone to the fair by myself, mainly to see the quilts and other crafts. Of course, even with friends, the first place I went was to see the quilts.
This year, I entered my “Fractured Tree” quilt hoping that it might do well at the fair. Unfortunately, I was disappointed to learn that the quilt did not ribbon this year. Fortunately, it was displayed in a spot where it was easy to see.
Interestingly, this was the only quilt this year that I originally planned to enter in the fair even before making it. The other quilts I made were not made with the fair in mind.
After making my son’s “Moonscape” quilt, I realized it was such a unique quilt that I thought I would enter it in the fair and see how well it might do. I did receive a ribbon and look forward to reading the comments after the fair is over.
When I was finalizing the registration of these two quilts for the fair, I decided to include two other quilts.
One of these was a shibori and hand painted wall quilt. I will describe the technique used for this quilt in another blog. I was pleasantly pleased to see that this quilt received a blue ribbon!
The other quilt was one that I was making for an acquaintance and finished sewing the binding on the day before I needed to drop it off at the fair. This quilt “Blended Cultures” was made to commemorate the birth of his first grandson. I was really surprised to learn that this quilt also received a blue ribbon. I am really glad I was able to complete it in time to enter it in the fair!
Sweepstakes Winner made by Mary Alsop. She has tremendous skill and is an award winner ever year. In fact, she was the sweepstakes winner last year as well.
I’d love to meet her some day.
Some other quilts that caught my eye:
After a day of exploring the fair, I think my favorite spot was the Horticulture Building. The flowers there were stunning!
I started gardening when my boys were very young. When they were playing outside, I needed to be there to watch and supervise them. While I would play with them, I found myself thinking of ways to enhance my landscaping and would decide to do something new to plant. When I were planting, I would have the boys help me. As young boys, their favorite thing was to haul mom’s supplies with their Tonka trucks. I would often have to walk behind them and pick up plants, rocks and/or mulch that bounced out of their trucks, or weeds that never quite made it to the disposal area. Now that my boys are older and no longer playing in the yard, I still enjoy the time in my gardens. Working in my gardens has become a relaxing and creative thing to do.
One of my more recent joys is to make art for my gardens. One of these yard art pieces was a beaded watering can that I posted about two years ago (July 12, 21017). Recently, I saw another watering can idea and decided to add it to my gardens.
So, another new project – a lighted watering can!
- Watering Can. Unable to find a copper one to match the copper art in my yard, I found a copper colored brass one at Target that I decided would work.
- Fairy lights. I originally tried using solar lights, but found that they did not last. After one week, and trying several different types of rechargeable batteries, they would not hold a charge. To replace them, I purchased battery operated lights that had a four hour timer. These have been in my yard for over a month and are still working well.
- Drill with metal drill bit.
- Support to hold battery case inside the watering can.
- GorillaWeld epoxy
- Brass wire
- Shepherd’s Hook
- To allow for water to drain, drill a hole in the bottom of the watering can on the same side as the spout.
- To help keep the battery case from getting wet, mount a support for the case to the inside of the watering can on the same side as the handle. The case will be protected by the metal of the can and less likely to be damaged by rain. To mount mine, I searched Home Depot for ideas and settle on a piece of CordMate plastic that was mounted with GorillaWeld epoxy. Follow the directions an allow the epoxy to set properly before proceeding.
- Carefully feed the wires of the fairy lights through the spout of the watering can. This is a slow and tedious step. I found that feeding two strands at a time was more successful than trying to push several through together.
- Insert batteries and place the battery case on the support piece inside the can.
- Detemine the best hanging spot and hang using a Shepherd’s Hook. I drilled two small holes in the watering can handle and used a piece of brass wire to keep the can at the angle that looked best. Depending upon what watering can you use, you may or may not need to do this step.
In honor of the day, I thought I would post some photos of my feline friends.
Our first cat, Squigglez, enjoyed 14 years in our house. This was much longer than we expected to have him. Shortly after adopting him, he was diagnosed with the cat version of Ehlers-danlos syndrome. EDS a connective tissue disorder that is caused by a genetic defect in the production of collagen. This weakens the skin, gastrointestinal system and heart. The average lifespan of a cat with EDS is five years. Even the slightest scratch can damage and tear the skin of affected animals, leading to scarring. Heart failure is the usual cause of death. Amazingly, his heart remained strong, but sadly his GI system was too fragile and deteriorated with age. But, we had many more years with him than we expected.
About a year later, we adopted another cat. Comet was a really young kitten that was abandoned in the ditch near a friends farm.
My second son, Sam, adopted him as his own. Comet was incredibly playful and loved to run around – thus the name!
Comet also got along with everyone, human or pet. Both Squigglez and Duke (our Yorkie who past away a few months ago) would allow him to eat and sleep near them. That’s saying a lot because both of them were very independent and did not get along with any of our other pets.
Eleven years ago, Comet got out of the house one night. Now this wasn’t too unusual for him. Comet loved to roam the woods behind our house when it was dark outside. Usually around 5:30 am I would be awakened by him meowing as he walked through the front yard asking me to let him in. Unfortunately, one morning he never returned. We searched the neighborhood and contacted Eagan Animal Control, but he was not to be found. Every Monday and Friday I would go by the South Metro Humane Society to see if he may have been taken there. After six weeks, he was not to be found.
Each time I stopped at the Humane Society, I would spend some time in the cat room playing with the kittens. After six weeks, I had fallen for one of the kittens that was really affectionate. I decided I would adopt her. However, this was early October and I was told that the Humane Society policy was not to adopt out black cats the weeks before Halloween (apparently there are some people that have done evil and cruel things to black cats at that time of the year). Sadly, I left without her but I would return and visit her several times a week. My plan was to adopt her after Halloween to take her home. Luckily about a week before Halloween, the staff decided that I was not going to harm her and allowed me to adopt her earlier than I had anticipated.
Onyx has since become my constant companion. She is close by me almost all the time. In fact, as I write this posting, she is sitting right next to my computer! Of course, she is sitting on the computer case because it is the softest thing near me.
Hopefully we have several more years to enjoy her companionship!