Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Creating Away

Hello friends! It's been a while. I guess I was taking a bit of a blog break. While being absent here, I have been keeping very busy. 

If you regularly read my blog, you may remember that last fall I purchased a loom. That loom, a rigid heddle loom, awakened a new creative journey for me. Rigid heddle looms are a somewhat simpler loom. It didn't take me long to realize that I wanted to do more than that loom could offer. More in the way of patterning and consistency in woven fabrics. So when a "can't pass this up" opportunity happened my way, I bought another loom. One that would do what I wanted to do. 

I purchased the second loom, a Schacht Baby Wolf 4-shaft, in January from a local friend who had gotten herself a new loom. I've been weaving away ever since. Below are several of the projects I've woven since January. They are all towels with the last photo showing some placemats. I've been learning some new weave structures and tweaking my weaving techniques in order to learn how to create well made and error-free products. Many of the towels below are not hemmed yet as I'm waiting for my new labels to arrive so I can sew them in while I'm hemming.

I've also been doing some painting lately. Here are four of my recent ones. They still need a coat of varnish/sealer on them.

I do still make quilts. In case you were wondering. In fact, I'm ready to get started on one today. I've printed my pattern out and it's ready to tape together.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Keep On Researching

On February 4, earlier this month, there was a fabulous fundraising event that benefited the American Cancer Society. You may remember it...

This is the quilt I made and donated to THE 100.

Just yesterday I received a wonderful email from the patron who donated to this fundraiser and was selected to receive my quilt.  Here is Allison with the quilt:

Allison Church Bird in her lab with art quilt made by Terri Stegmiller

The most wonderful thing about Allison is that she is a breast cancer researcher at Auburn University. She told me she will be displaying the quilt in her lab and from the looks of her lab it seems she loves quilts as you can see more in the background. Thank you to Allison and all those who do this important work.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Art in My Journal

This year I decided to try something different. Since I'm always wanting to spend more time creating mixed media art in my journals, I thought I would join some groups to inspire me.

The first group I joined was Soul Food and that one just started at the beginning of February. I haven't started any of those lessons yet.

Then, after a friend was telling me she enjoys Life Book, I looked closer at that one and decided to join that one as well. Life Book 2015 started in January. 

I've created these four pages in my journal so far. The lessons aren't necessarily created for journal pages, but I decided from the beginning that I would do all my work from the two groups in my journal. That is the only rule I have given date.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Blog Hop Winners

Yikes! It was lunch time and suddenly I remembered that I needed to draw two winners for the blog hop. I am so glad I remembered.

It was slightly challenging to go through the comments as there seemed to be some sort of glitch and several comments were duplicated. So I needed to go through and count everyone and number them manually, excluding the duplications.

Without further ado......

The first name drawn wins a copy of Fabric Printing at Home:

Sew Quilt Embroider

Beautiful fabrics and interesting techniques! I will look for this book!

The second name drawn wins the three pieces of fabric:

I'd have a lot of fun figuring out how to use your fabrics. Can't say which I'd like more -- the book or the fabrics. Probably the fabrics. Reminds me of the story about the woman who was forced to choose either her husband or her only brother to save from the vicious kidnappers. All were surprised when she chose the brother, rather than her husband, whom she loved dearly. She explained, "My parents are dead so I could never get another brother, but I expect I could find another husband to love."

Congratulations to Sew Quilt Embroider and Brenda!!!!!  I will be emailing you soon. Thank you to all who stopped by and left a comment.

Friday, February 13, 2015

BLOG HOP - Fabric Printing at Home

There's a new book in town and I think you will like it. Fabric Printing at Home by Julie B. Booth is a great guide book on so many methods for printing designs on fabric. Everything in the book is very accessible and the techniques are easy and doable.

I was thrilled when Julie asked me to participate in her blog hop to celebrate the recent release of this book. I have been a long time fan of printing my own fabrics and there are so many ways to go about it. Julie covers all kinds of printing tools that you will most likely already have at home. From found objects and recycled objects to fruits and veggies, it's in there! Everything shared in the book is made using fabric paints--no dyes or chemicals, although you could use fiber reactive dyes if you wanted to. 

The next photos are some ways that I have printed on fabrics. Up first is a recycled cardboard tube that I hot glued some jute twine onto. I brayered a layer of textile paint onto my plexiglass palette and rolled the tube over the paint. Then I rolled the tube over my fabric. 

In the second example, I cut off a piece of our snow fence material and used it as a stencil. Just roll over the top with your foam roller.

And next is an example where I repurposed an empty sticker sheet. I had purchased a set of heart stickers and when I had used all the stickers from the sheet, I used a craft knife to cut the heart shapes through the bottom layer of the sheet. Instant stencil!

Julie's book will spark all kinds of new ways that you can print on fabric. And you can also use the ideas to print on paper too. No limitations here!

How would you like to have your very own copy of this book? If you leave a comment on this post you will be entered into a drawing to win a copy.

I will choose two names randomly, and the first name I draw will win a copy of Fabric Printing at Home and the second name will win the three pieces of fabric I printed here. Be sure that your comment has contact info so that I can contact you if I draw your name.

Deadline to enter is 11:59 p.m. Central Time on Sunday February 15. I will draw the winning names on Monday, February 16 and announce them here.

Please be sure to check out all the other blogs that are participating in this hop:

February 1 - 14: Julie Booth
February 2: Lisa Chin
February 3: Lynn Krawczyk
February 4: Jane Davila
February 5: Carol R. Eaton
February 6: Judy Gula
February 7: Susan Purney Mark
February 8: Teri Lucas
February 9: Jennifer Coyne Qudeen
February 10: Deborah Boschert
February 11: Lynda Heines
February 12: Cheryl Sleboda
February 13: Terri Stegmiller
February 14: Jackie Lams


Wednesday, February 11, 2015

My New Favorite Thing

I have found a new toy and I am in love with it. It is Jacquard Color Magnet.

This product is used with fabric dyeing and has been available for some time now but for some reason I just hadn't been inclined to try it. Well better late than never and now that I have I am totally hooked. The first jar I bought was gone in no time. 

For my Color Magnet trials I used both Thermofax screens and stencils. The first piece of fabric was my first trial and I mixed my dye slightly too dark, but I still love the result. It is much easier to see the results of this one in person.

What I don't love about this product is -- it is slightly too runny. I wish it was just a bit thicker right out of the jar. Also, there is only one size available. Yes, I want to buy a gallon, please!

Have you tried Color Magnet?

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Shibori Fun

Last month, I went over to Sandy's house and we had a Shibori session. I had been wanting to do some clamped Shibori for some time and since Sandy has done this before, I asked if she would teach me how she does it. She has the perfect set up for dyeing--a second kitchen area that is dedicated to her fabric dyeing. She also had all the tools and supplies. So all I needed to bring along were a few things like fabric and dye and gloves. 

Sandy let me choose two colors of dye that we would work with. The dyeing method was not the low water immersion technique but a bucket full of color in which we submerged our clamped fabric and let them soak up color for over an hour. Below are the results from the pieces I did.

Out of all these pieces, I think the first three shown are my favorites. Some of the results were a bit less than exciting but that's how you learn, I guess.

The second to last photo was not a clamped piece, but a pole wrapped piece.

The last photo shown was a piece of fabric that Sandy gave me to play with. She had already applied some dye to it and let it dry. The dyes she painted on gradated from yellows to reds as you can see in the piece. Then after the dye is dried, it is clamped and them submerged in the dye bucket with the other pieces and the end results are pretty cool, even though I wasn't thrilled with the results of the shape I had clamped on it. She showed me some wonderful pieces she had done this way and I am anxious to try it on my own.

I've been collecting some tools for doing my own Shibori dye sessions and I have acquired quite a few now and I've also bought some clamps to hold everything together. I want to also try this with a low water dyeing technique and see what I think of that.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

What's Happening

I just wanted to remind you that tomorrow, February 4, starting at 10:00 am Central, 
THE 100 will begin.  Click here for all the details.

100 Artists + 100 Patrons + One Day = $10,000 To Fight Cancer
THE 100 opens 10 a.m. Central on Wednesday, February 4

This is the quilt I made and donated to THE 100. Anyone can participate, just be one of the first 100 generous people to donate $100 (following directions in the link above) and you will receive a piece of art from one of the 100 artists who donated their work. Easy peasy, right?!

Also going on around the Internet is a fun blog hop that is celebrating Julie Booth's new book, Fabric Printing at Home.

The blog hop started on Sunday, February 1, (click here for the kick-off post) and it will continue through February 14. Please visit Julie's blog every day during the hop as she is having daily giveaways. And be sure to visit all the participating blogs in the hop because there is an opportunity for 14 people to win a copy of Julie's book on fabric printing.  Here are the participating blogs:

February 2: Lisa Chin
February 3: Lynn Krawczyk
February 4: Jane Davila
February 5: Carol R. Eaton
February 6: Judy Gula
February 7: Susan Purney Mark
February 8: Teri Lucas
February 9: Jennifer Coyne Qudeen
February 10: Deborah Boschert
February 11: Lynda Heines
February 12: Cheryl Sleboda
February 13: Terri Stegmiller
February 14: Jackie Lams

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Don't Be Hogging All the Snow!

 While the eastern part of the US is getting hit with lots and lots of snow....I've got nothin'. No snow here. It has all melted away with several balmy days, which seems so weird to me because this is usually our kick ass cold time of the year. So you know what no snow means? No snow dyeing for me. But........

I have been keeping busy with my fabric dyes. I seem to be on a fabric dyeing binge lately and that is good because I want to build up my stash of hand dyed and painted fabrics. 

Since snow dyeing was on my list of things to try and I've now checked that one off, I also had another fabric dyeing technique to try that I hadn't ever tried before--stenciling and screen printing with thickened dyes. To date, all the stenciling and screen printing I had done was with fabric paints.

So here are a few of my thickened dye stenciling and screen printing results.

I'm quite happy with how these have turned out. Especially since after I stenciled and stamped the thickened dye onto the fabric, I pretty much just let them dry. I was worried that this process might not work so well since it's best if the dyes stay wet as long as possible. But I'm happy to report that my easy peasy method works and I don't have to do any fiddling with trying to cover them up or keep them moist for long periods of time. Yes! I'm a lazy dyer.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Snow Dyeing with Rubber Band Resist Tutorial

I've finally prepared a tutorial for you on how I do my snow dyed fabrics. I did not invent this fun way of dyeing. Many many other fabric dyers have done this before me and for some reason I am just this year jumping on board with this fun technique.

There are many ways you can approach snow dyeing and this is just how I have found that I most enjoy doing it. The fabric can be manipulated many different ways to achieve a wide range of results.

Please note: I do not go into the basics of working with fiber reactive dyes in this tutorial. If you have never used fiber reactive dyes before, you should search the Internet for tutorials, classes, or books on how to safely and correctly work with these dyes.

The equipment I use for my snow dyed fabrics are in the following two photos. The containers/trays I use have sides on them so that any melting snow/dye will pool in the bottom and not slosh out the sides. I elevate my fabric off the bottom of the container as I don't want the fabric to sit in the melted snow. If you don't have a grid or something that the snow will melt through, you can place a smaller container inside the larger container with the smaller one flipped upside down. The grid shown here is cut up pieces from a piece of gridded ceiling tile. I found it at my local home improvement center. I have about three layers of the grid in the bottom of the container, as one layer was not allowing enough clearance.

I use cotton PFD fabric and small elastic bands. My fabric is usually cut at half yard sizes.

I start in the center of the fabric by pinching up a portion between my thumb and forefinger. Varying the size of this pinched section will result in larger or smaller rings on your finished fabric. 

I give the pinched section of fabric a slight twist and then start winding the elastic band on. For the bands I'm using, I think I wind about 6 to 8 times until the band is tightly wound. You want the band to be tight so that the fabric dye cannot penetrate that area when the snow/dyes are melting on the fabric.

Move to an area near the first banded section and create another. You can space these any distance you like.

Continue banding the fabric working outward from the center.

Here is my half yard of fabric, completely banded and ready. Once all the elastic bands are on I put this into my bucket of soda ash mixture and let it soak for about 20 to 30 minutes.

Take the banded fabric piece out of the soda ash mixture and squeeze as much of the fluid out of the fabric that you can. I squeeze it right over my soda ash bucket so it goes back in and can be used again.

I place the banded fabric on the grid and arrange it so it is somewhat flat and not hanging over the edges of the grid.

Snow that is wet works the best. If you can make a snowball and it holds together, that is good! I mound the snow on the fabric making sure that it is completely covered, edges and all. I try to mound it about 1.5 to 2 inches high.

I have my dyes premixed and in squeeze bottles. I use a concentrated dye mixture, 1 Tbsp. dye per half cup of water. I like to use two or three colors on one piece. I start by squeezing the first color of dye on the snow.

Then add the remaining color(s). Once all the dye is on the snow, I set the container aside until the snow has melted. I usually set my container near the wood burning stove so that it can get warm and melt faster. Even in the warm environment I put it in it can take around 3 hours for the snow to melt.

Here is what it looks like when the snow has melted.

I carefully lift the fabric out of the container and place it in a ziplock bag. I seal the bag and then place it in another container, in case of leaks. Then I place this near the warm wood stove again so that it can batch overnight. 

The next morning I rinse the fabric in cold water and start removing the elastic bands. Then I continue with the washing out process to remove the excess dye. Below is the finished piece from the tutorial. The dye colors I used were Aquamarine, Watermelon, and Pewter. These dyes are from Dharma Trading.

Here is another piece I worked on at the same time as the piece above. This one is a piece of cotton jersey fabric and the colors on it are Red Violet, Bahama Blue, and Pewter.

Thanks for visiting. I hope you enjoyed the tutorial.