January 2016

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Is it Spring yet?  Today is wonderfully sunny, although also below freezing.  I’ve added some bright colors of yarn to my shop.

In one of my quilting groups, we all received a length of floral panel (many yards of which had been donated to the group) and had to make something from it.

DSCN0599Here is what I made:DSCN0670

That was my first free-motion quilted project and I am pleased with the result.

I subsequently took a class, “Modern Broderie Perse,” from quilt artist Maria Shell.  My resulting project was definitely NOT modern–not what she was teaching.  Her idea, which I liked very much, was to use graphic prints and to cut modern flower shapes from them, as you can see here if you scroll to the very bottom of her list of classes. However, the fusible webbing I was using turned out to be a few decades old and did not stick, so when I got home I started over.  I happened to have a few florals in my tiny fabric stash and decided to use those, going the traditional route.  The result, shown in progress, is here: DSCN0639

The black vase and red roses are from a pair of silk/linen pants I bought at the Salvation Army a while back just because I like the fabric. The other florals are from a scrap bag I purchased online from Hawthorne Fabrics. I used invisible thread because my free-motion quilting is of course still not the best.  I had a lot of tension problems, so the back looks bad; I subsequently learned that Viking machines (like mine) typically have this problem.  Aargh!

Below are a few tidbits that may interest you.

Fear of failure

“You must not think really of reaching an audience.  You must think first to express yourself.” Pierre Boulez, quoted here.

 

Museum at Prairie Fire linkMuseumAtPrairieFire

 

Almost December 2015

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I added a new colorway to my shop, Alaskan Rainbow.  Use coupon code Nov2015 now through the end of the month for 10% off all items.

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My son has just opened an etsy shop featuring DIY kits to create wall art such as the item shown above.  He only has a few items in the shop now and will have more in the future.

A podcast you may like is Krista Tippett  On Being. Another is Meighan O’Toole’s; I especially liked this post.

Happy Post-Thanksgiving Weekend!

 

 

Indigo Dyeing

DSCN0458I finally broke out the indigo dye that I purchased from Dharma Trading Company a while back.  It’s a processed, somewhat easy-to-use formulation.  DSCN0454

I used the basic shibori techniques that can be easily found on the internet, along with plain old dyeing. One thing that’s fun is that when the items are removed from the indigo bath, they are blue-green.  They need about 15 minutes’ exposure to the air to darken.  Here is a photo of the back of the shirt fresh from the dyepot:DSCN0456

Just as with chemical dyeing, you’re going to have irregularities unless you agitate the item a lot in the dye bath.  Agitation is discouraged in indigo dyeing because it introduces oxygen, which can ruin the indigo bath for future use.

Here is some yarn and fabric that I dipped in the vat without tying any type of pattern.  (Yarn for sale here)

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To achieve the darker shade, you just repeat the process of dipping and leaving the item out for a while to oxidize. The darker-colored items were dipped about 3 times and also suspended beneath the surface of the dye once for about 15 minutes.

I dyed an additional skein, shown below, and was knitting it for 2 hours at the Spinners’ and Weavers’ Guild meeting.  I noticed that the color was coming off on my fingers, especially the left index finger where the yarn passes across (I’m a continental knitter.).  I asked a natural dyer how to prevent the dye coming off and she said, “Indigo does this.”canvas

I will certainly rinse the heck out of the cowl after it’s finished and hope that my neck doesn’t turn blue!  (Yarn base is Sterling Silk and Silver.)

And now for some links that you might find interesting:

How failure helps creativity article  from BBC.

“If one wants to be active, one mustn’t be afraid to do something wrong sometimes, not afraid to lapse into some mistakes.” More on Vincent Van Gogh’s quote here.

Folt Bolt on Facebook provides multiple bits of artistic eye candy per day in your feed, from ceramics to jewelry to textiles, all with links.

Really good thoughts on this blog,  zenhabits.net

A blog about running a craft business and lots of other fibre-y information, including a weekly podcast, www.whileshenaps.com

Jonathan Fields has a weekly podcast with guests who have thought-provoking commentary.  For instance, this week’s guest, Bronnie Ware, is the author of a book on the 5 major regrets that dying people express.

Have you ever said, “I wish…”?  There is a free, online book with super-practical ideas for turning your wishes into reality:  Wishcraft.

New yarn and two links

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On Sunday, November 8, I will update my etsy shop with 4 skeins of each of the self-striping sock yarn colorways shown in the photo at left.

 

 

 

In Italy I went to a Steve McCurry photo exhibit on an island off of Venice. It was about workers and their families in coffee-growing regions of the world. Amazing photos. He has a Facebook page, but I haven’t seen anything in the past couple of weeks since I “liked” his page.

www.textileartist.org   This site has excellent articles about textile artists and related info.  I “liked” the page on Facebook some time ago, and every couple of days an article shows up.

 

Color Inspiration from Italy

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I took over 300 photos on my trip last month to Italy.  I will share just a few selected photos that pertain to COLOR.  The first photo is a mosaic at St. Mark’s Cathedral in Venice; the second photo is the Duomo (cathedral) in Milan.  I love the subdued colors and I dyed them up recently in sock yarn–photo and link at end of post.

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The colorful homes pictured above are on the island of Burano (not to be confused with another island, Murano) that is near Venice.  They must have a covenant or code, because all of the houses were bright. So fun!

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I brought three of those cups home–couldn’t resist them!  The coat I surreptitiously photographed in a glove shop is, I suspect, from Desigual, and I love all of their bright fashions.  The gloves are beautiful, too, but not exactly what I need for shoveling snow and running errands in Anchorage.

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I followed this woman (photo on left) around a museum for 5 minutes and finally took this poor-quality photo surreptitiously.  I translated the colors into the yarn I called “Italian Colors” that is available in my etsy shop.

The following links are not related to Italy, but I wanted to share them.

If you enjoy reading, check out Brain Pickings weekly email.

Fabric printing and painting video — 60 years ago!

Zen Habits — tips for having a daily creative practice

Elizabeth Gilbert (author of Eat, Pray, Love and Big Magic) now admits on Oprah’s “Super Soul Sunday” show that most people do not have a compelling passion and that it is O.K (with her, anyway). That’s a welcome change from the usual (and her previous) “Follow your passion!” message.