Friday, 1 February 2019

Piece for Summer Fibrations

I made a piece that will be in the Summer Fibrations show at the Mississippi Valley Textile Museum in Almonte June 22 to July 6, 2019.   It measures 8"W X 6"L and will be in the Soft Green section.    It was difficult to work on such a small scale!  I'm used to making much larger pieces.  The fabric is hand painted and printed.  I did some hand embroidery for the grasses at the bottom.  I attached it to a painted canvas.  Thanks for having a look!

Tuesday, 4 December 2018

Stittsville Library show

So we hung up the Stittsville  Library display on the weekend and it looks very good!  The theme this year is "Favourite Quote".  The show will be hanging up until December 31st.  Some of the items are for sale and have prices on them.   Below is an overview of the pieces on the walls.

Here's a closer look at one side.

Here's the other side. ( My piece is on the top right hand side).

Here are some photos of the display case:

Thanks for having a look!  If you can, do drop by during the month of December.  It will be up until the 31st.

Thursday, 29 November 2018

Piece for Stittsville Library show

I'm organizing the Stittsville library show again this year for Out-of-the-Box.  Our group has a display at the library every year for a month.  We're hanging it up on December 1st.  The show will be there until December 31st.  I've finished my own piece for the show.  The theme was "Favourite Quote".   My quote is "If you truly love nature, you will find beauty everywhere"  by Vincent Van Gogh.  Here's a photo of my finished piece.  It measures 20-1/4 inches by 22 1/2 inches.  The eco print in the centre is one I made in the summer (see two posts ago).  I took a piece of rusted white cotton and eco printed it with sumac branches.  You can see I included wild grapes in the print.  The gold fabric in the borders is cotton that I dyed with onion skins.  Photos of the show hanging up to follow!

Sunday, 4 November 2018

Sun printed tote bag

I've been wanting to post something but work and life has gotten in the way:)  Here's a tote bag I made with some of my sun printed fabric.  There's a pocket inside it and the bag is about 12 inches square (30 cm X 30 cm).  I used fusible stabilizer to create stability.  This one will be a gift for someone but I'm thinking of making more.  Thanks for having a look!

Sunday, 16 September 2018

Eco printing on fabric in August

I had some time at the family cottage again at the end of August and did some eco printing.  Here are some photos taken of my process.  This post shows some printing on rusted cotton and a silk scarf which I had  pre dyed in natural indigo.

Here you can see I put some plant materials on a rusted piece of white cotton.  I used red onion skins, sumac branches, wild grapes and rose leaves from my bush at home on this one.

Here are my plant materials spread on a silk scarf I had pre dyed in natural indigo.  I used wild grapes, sumac branches and wild raspberry branches on this one. Looks promising doesn't it?!

Here are the fabrics wound around rods and put in the steamer.  I learned last year that it's better to protect your rod with a layer of cling film as well as put a layer of cling film on top of the plant materials so that when you wind up the bundle the colour doesn't bleed through to other layers.

Here's the cotton fabric on the washline afterwards.  I particularly like this one.  You can see the blue from the wild grapes and because one sumac branch faced up and the other faced down, the prints are different.  The fabric was folded in half, giving a double print of each.

Here's the silk scarf afterwards on the washline.  The indigo faded quite a bit but you can see the purple from the wild grapes (in the presence of vinegar) and the leaf prints.

Here's a closer look at the scarf afterwards.  I'm going to try eco printing first and dipping in indigo second and see how that works out as well.  Thanks for having a look today!

Tuesday, 21 August 2018

Natural Indigo Dyeing

This summer I wanted to learn to dye with natural indigo.  Michel Garcia is an expert at natural indigo dyeing so I learned his method called the 1-2-3 method.  You use one part indigo powder, two parts lime and three parts antioxidant.  In my case I used fructose as an antioxidant.  I did a lot of reading and I watched videos online to learn how to make the vat.  It's a bit tricky.  You have to get the ph right and the temperature right.  Anyways I finally made a vat a few days ago.  I wore a dust mask to mix the ingredients.   I made it in a large jar so I could see if the colour was right.  At first it didn't seem to be separating and changing colour.  I then put the jar in a bowl of hot water.  It warmed up to 50 C and then it worked.  I saw the layers separating and the top liquid looking green/brown.  Here's the jar with my indigo mixture in it.

Here's a close up of the "flower" in the top of the vat.

I decided to transfer everything into an asparagus steamer pan I bought specifically for this.  It has a steamer basket that you can put inside the pan.  That way you can keep fabric from touching the bottom where there might be sediment.

Here are some fabrics after I pulled them out of the vat.  They look bright green at first, then quickly get darker green and finally turn blue as they oxygenate.

Here are some of the fabrics on the washline afterwards. I washed them in hot water and rinsed them out. The two on the left started out light yellow that's why they look greenish. The one on the right started out white so the colour is all indigo.

And a few more...  It's fun to tie the fabric and bind it to get designs.  I want to experiment more with this.  Thanks for having a look!

Monday, 30 July 2018


Okay, so last time I posted, I mentioned that I was eco printing two silk scarves by steaming them on the deck in ziploc bags because the weather has been so hot.   I made bundles with the scarves soaked in alum overnight and the plant materials on top were sumac petals, coreopsis flowers and some rose leaves from my garden.  After a few days on the deck I opened the bundles and they came out showing lots of red and pink from the sumac, some yellow from the coreopsis and really nothing showing from the leaves.

So after a few days I took one of the scarves and after rinsing it out dipped it in white vinegar.  Then I put leaves onto it again this time dipped in iron water.  I put it on the deck again for a hot day.  I saw that it was getting very dark and the reds and pinks were being overtaken by the dark colour.  But I decided to open it after just that day.  If I had left it longer I think I would have had leaf prints but the entire scarf would have been very dark and I didn't want to lose the red colour of the sumac petals.  The lesson I learned is that you shouldn't put tannin rich things with iron and vinegar if you don't want to have only very dark (black) colours.  The onion skins worked well because they don't contain a lot of tannins and so retain their colour when there is vinegar and iron.

Below is a photo of the second stage where I'm putting leaves dipped in iron water on top of the sumac dyed silk scarf.  You can see a little coreopsis yellow in there too.

Here are the two scarves below.  I like them although I would have liked to have some leaf prints too.  As you can see the iron "saddens" the colours in the second one.  I'm enjoying the process and learning a lot.  Thanks for stopping by!