A group of creative women gathered together on Sunday at Amy’s Handmade Place to make their own hand dyeing silk scarves. Peggy (@peggythompson) listened attentively while I showed examples.
I demonstrated how to fold scarves to create different shibori designs. These pictures show glimpses of Amy’s beautiful studio space, located in the back of her shop: Amy’s Handmade Place. There is even a small deck outside the back where we enjoyed showing off our scarves.
Wendy (Pook & Thy) mixing up the dyes – turquoise and fuchsia for her scarf.
Scarves were rinsed but not yet washed and dried. They couldn’t resist showing off their handiwork!
Washed, and ironed. Lovely and soft. It was a fun day showing these eager students how to dye silk scarves.
Ginnie, Peggy and Amy wearing their very stylish scarves.
Amy and I in her store, can you see another one of my hand dyed scarves in the background?
There is another workshop scheduled for June 11th, join us!
I am very happy to be teaching two afternoon workshops at Amy’s Place Handmade at 155 Main Street, Toronto, Ontario. Working in a sunny, bright studio, we will be dyeing a one-of-a-kind beautiful silk scarf. The dates are Sunday May 28, 2017 and Sunday June 11, 2017 from 12-3.
Step 1: Folding, twisting and preparing scarf.
Step 2: Applying dye
Step 3: Rinsing and washing scarf
Step 4: Admiring scarf!
Below are a few scarves I have dyed using very simple techniques that create beautiful textures and designs.
I hope that you will join me at Amy’s Place Handmade. Take a few hours for yourself to learn a new technique, make some new friends, have some fun and go home wearing your own original silk scarf.
Early in the new year I began working on a new piece for the International Textile Art Contest, held in Verona, Italy. My piece, The Fever was accepted into this juried show. When I was notified of my acceptance, I decided to attend Verona Tessile 2017.
Verona Tessile is organized by the Ad Maiora Association, in collaboration with the Verona Municipality to promote textiles as an art form. This year, the theme of the International Textile Art Contest was: Love, the red thread that unites. Thirty-four works were accepted into the show, one of which was my piece: The Fever.
The international exhibit was held at the Palazzo dei Mutilati in the historic centre of Verona, steps from the Verona Arena a Roman amphitheatre. Eight other exhibitions were held around Verona, highlighting quilts and textile arts. More photos on these will come later!
Last year I made Spiral, a small quilt for the Crossing Borders Art Group. I knew I wanted to try the same technique to make a larger work. The Verona Tessile International exhibit provided the perfect opportunity. I began with a selection of fabrics in black to grey, burgundy to pink in hand dyed and commercial cottons, linens, and silk and pieced a large log cabin block.
Once the log cabin top was completed, I drew a spiral freehand, coming out of the centre square. With my hand dyed cotton, I made a narrow bias strip which was pinned and pressed into the spiral shape I had drawn.
Next was the scariest step – cutting the spiral!
The bias strip was carefully stitched from the centre square out. I love how inserting the bias strip caused the log cabin to twist around, distorting the block. The central portion was layered with wool batting over cotton quilt batting and machine quilted in a spiral.
In submitting my piece into the Verona Tessile show, I need to write a description of the techniques, materials and motivation behind the work. This is the what I wrote:
In my piece, The Fever, the bright red thread of love emerges from the central square of a log cabin block. Traditionally this center square was made out of red cloth representing the heart and hearth of the home. In The Fever, the central square contains both reds and black because love can be pure and selfless or false and egotistical. The block was constructed with strips of fabric ranging from pale pink to deep burgundy and from gray to black. As the red bias spirals through the log cabin quit, it cuts through the dark shadows and the bright sunshine, just as love changes and evolves. This piece continues my exploration of the symbolic log cabin block to make a piece that is modern and contemporary. The Fever is machine pieced with hand dyed fabrics, commercial cottons, silk, and linen. It is machine quilted with a walking foot in a spiral pattern through three layers of batting in the central portion of the quilt.
It was exciting to be able to attend the Verona Tessile show in person. So many talented quilters created beautiful pieces with the theme: Love, the red thread that unites. The next post, I will highlight some of these spectacular quilts.
I have fallen in love with dyeing fabric! Each time I dye fabrics I am amazed at the results. Each piece of hand dyed fabric is unique. This beautiful mandala was snow dyed along with a few other pieces of cotton and I wanted to use this piece without cutting into it.
I auditioned a variety of hand dyed fabrics for the outside edges. I decided to quilt as you go, keeping the borders separate from the mandala.
The mandala was machine quilted in a spiral with a walking foot, once I got close to the edge, I stopped, added the borders and continued with the spiral.
I also quilted the corner block in a small spiral, echoing the larger mandala.
This is one of the snow dyed shibori fabrics that was dyed at the same time as the mandala, so the colours worked well together. I cut into this piece to make the corner block.