hand dyed fabrics

Summer – Over Ice

My first ever SAQA challenge is finished. I wrote about the piece in progress and it is now complete. My inspiration was a glass of Gin and Tonic – a tall cool summertime drink. I picked out a selection of hand dyed fabrics in all shades of blue from deep indigo to turquoise, to pale aquamarine. The texture of the fabrics range from soft silk velvet, metallic cottons, linens and canvas. I love the addition of the greenish-yellow metallic linen. It’s the perfect wedge of lime!
SAQA mini quilt challenge Summer - Over Ice quilt by Doris Lovadina-Lee

Summer – Over Ice
2018 ©Doris Lovadina-Lee
12 x 12 inches
fabric, thread, dye

Detail of Summer - Over Ice quilt showing quilting and fabrics by doris lovadina-lee I hope you have all had time to enjoy your favorite summertime drink!

Ice dyed shibori tops for Flora

Purple and pink are her favourite colours and mine too! so it wasn’t difficult selecting the dyes that I would use to create some special gifts for a little girl.

Ice dyed cotton top in purple hanging on black hanger back of child's ice dyed top by dorislovadinalee

The tops were white to begin and with some folding, ice and time they became colourful, fun and summery!
Racer back t-shirt shibori ice dyed with purple and fuchsia back of shibori hand dyed t-shirt using ice by doris

They will look great with the shorts and leggings in pink, blue and purple. For extra flair the blue leggings are sparkly! Just what every little girl wants!

ice dyed shibori cotton top on hanger by doris lovadina-lee back of ice dyed girls t-shirt in pink and blue

I can’t wait to see these on her. She will be the best dressed, most colourful child on the playground this summer!

Monetizing your craft aka selling your stuff!

The Toronto Modern Quilt Guild asked me to participate in a panel discussion with Bobbie of Geeky Bobbin and Claudia of Fabric Please! The three of us are all fairly new to having an online business. Bobbie has been at this the longest at about one year and a half. Claudia has been running Fabric Please! for just under 2 months! She talks about her jump into selling online in this blog post. It was a lively discussion and I hope members came away with an appreciation of the time that is needed to having an online presence.

Doris Lovadina-Lee behind table with hand dyed fabric and snow dyed scarves at the Toronto Modern Quilt Guild meeting June 2018
Photo courtesy of Laura Henneberry

We were encouraged to bring samples of our craft to show the members and to sell to them too! I brought a selection of my snow dyed scarves and hand dyed quilting cottons. I was so caught up in preparing for the panel discussion and setting up my table that I totally forgot to take any photos. Thank you so much Laura Henneberry for taking great photos and allowing me to share them here. 

Indigo fat quarter kumo shibori handdyed by Doris Lovadina-Lee toronto arist
Photo courtesy of Laura Henneberry

One of the most repeated lines from the members was that the hand dyed fabric was beautiful but they didn’t know how to use it in a design. So, I thought I would show a couple of examples. The piece above is a fat quarter dyed in indigo. The circles were created by wrapping the fabric around a small object and holding it with a rubber band. When the bands were removed the white circular design appeared. In the quilt below, the dark strip inserted on the right hand side was cut and pieced from a fabric similar to the fat quarter above.

Atmosphere by doris lovadina-lee hand dyed kumo shibori indigo fabric made into an art quilt
Atmoshpere by Doris Lovadina-Lee

Atmosphere was created from a large piece of indigo dyed cotton. I loved the pattern that was created and I didn’t want to cut into it. This minimal modern design evolved from this.

snow dyed mandala by doris lovadina-lee
Photo courtesy of Laura Henneberry

Over the winter, I dyed a few pieces of cotton with snow creating mandala shapes! Again, I didn’t want to cut them up into smaller pieces. Cosmos was created with one of these mandala dyed cottons. The quilt top was simply spiral quilted to reinforce the circular design. Above is a detail of a brightly dyed mandala that reminds me of a bright tropical fruit.

Cosmos quilt made by doris lovadina-lee using snow dyed mandala quilting cotton
Cosmos by Doris Lovadina-Lee

Don’t be afraid to use these unique pieces of hand dyed cottons in your design. They can be combined with commercial cottons and can enhance any project. I will be adding some of my hand dyed fabrics to my online shop shortly. 

Doris Lovadina-Lee standing behind table covered with hand dyed scarves and fabric at the Toronto Modern Quilt Guild meeting
Photo courtesy of Laura Henneberry

Check back often. If you see a fabric in the photo above or on my Instagram feed that you are interested in, contact me and I will be happy to send it to you. Are you inspired to use an original piece of hand dyed fabric in your next project?

 

Indigo studio!

Sunday

Since the snow is gone (yeah!), I began indigo dyeing. It was finally warm enough during the May long weekend to set up an indigo vat. I happily spent much of the weekend dipping: two tablecloths, a dozen or more napkins, cotton/rayon scarves, linen handkerchiefs, and quilting cotton. Not ready to throw out the indigo vat, I stored it under our deck. 

trestles with board holding indigo vat and equipment for hand dyeing fabrics

A couple of weeks went by before I could get back to dyeing. I pulled out the indigo vat on Sunday to see if it was still viable. I tested a piece of pfd cotton and was surprised to find the indigo vat still had some life left! So I set up a makeshift indigo studio in the laneway.

indigo vat with fabrics floating on top in toronto ontario canada

I experimented with some small pieces of wool suiting, pfd cotton, linen/rayon crinkle scarves, cotton voile and double gauze cotton. The last two are new scarves that I am excited to be adding to my shop.
white cotton prepared for dyeing fabric dipped in indigo on fence
This pfd cotton has been dipped a few times and the colour is deeper than I was expecting.

wool suiting dipped in indigo oxidizing on tree toronto canada
One of the wool suitings scrunched and dipped. I didn’t expect the indigo vat to be viable so I didn’t have my drying rack set up. Instead, I used the bushes in our laneway.indigo dyed wool rolled up and tied with string by doris lovadina-lee toronto dyer
Another wool suiting rolled and tied.

yellow wool suiting dip dyed in indigo hanging from clothes hanger on fence post toronto ontario canada
This pale yellow piece of wool has a few moth holes, but I love the yellow and blue together.

metal stand with two pieces of indigo dyed cloth hanging toronto ontario
My neighbour showed up with this rack that she was going to throw out. It is perfect to use for hanging up the indigo dyed pieces. It just needs a little duct tape and will be a good addition to my dyeing supplies.

white cotton indigo dyed fabric and yellow wool fabric dyed in indigo hanging from metal stand

Here are a few of the pieces I’ve dyed during the second round of indigo dyeing drying on my new rack!

Monday

On Sunday, I left a piece of pfd cotton and a nui shibori scarf in the indigo vat overnight. On Monday, I pulled out the scrunched up pfd cotton and was happy to see a rich blue colour. 

cotton fabric dyed with indigo draped on bush

I recently read about an experiment where the dyer left pieces of fabric in an indigo vat overnight and compared those pieces to fabric that had been repeatedly dipped in the indigo. There was no difference in the depth of colour between the two, suggesting that repeated dips in indigo are not needed to dye a fabric, just a longer time in the vat. I haven’t washed these out yet, so I know that the colour will be lighter. I am happy to have had more time experimenting with this fascinating process.

 

When is black – blue, red, green and yellow?

The most recent batch of cotton scarves were snow dyed using a fibre reactive dye in black. I was persuaded by my mother to create some black and grey scarves because “they go with everything”. Itajime shibori scarf snow dyed doris lee

I decided that I would use up some of the last bit of snow from the ice storm and see what would result from using only one dye colour.nui shibori cotton/rayon scarf snow dyed with black dye by doris lovadina-leeRaven Black, Better Black, New Black, Hot Black and Jet Black are the names of a few of the black dyes available. Some are better for hot water dyeing and others are best for low immersion dyeing. But, none of these are single hue dyes, rather they are made up of a mixture of two or more dyes.
snow dyed shibori scarf using black dye by artisan doris lovadina-lee

So I wasn’t surprised that the black scarves were not black at all! After I washed and dried the scarves and could see the variation in the colours, I decided to try an experiment. I took the black dye powder and dissolved it in water and sprinkled it on snow to see what colours would appear.

tsp with black fabric dye dissolved in water

Red, blue, purple are all visible in the teaspoon and table. In this photo, a pinch of dye was sprinkled with water and instantly, you could see the variation in the  colours.

snow with melting black dye showing mulitcoloured pigments

I also sprinkled a small amount of dye powder on the snow and bright spots of vibrant purples, greens, yellows and blues appeared.

shibori black dyed cotton scarf snow dyed by toronto artist doris lovadina-lee

 

The itajime shibori scarf above is predominantly green on one end changing to soft purple and grey on the other end.nui snow dyed cotton/rayon scarf detail by doris lovadina-lee toronto

The nui shibori scarf above has strong stripe effect that is green, while the scarf below is more blue and purple overall with a touch of green as an accent.

nui shibori scarf hand dyed toronto artisan doris lovadina-lee

While the colours showing in the snow and teaspoon included yellow and red, none of these appear on the scarves. It seems that these dyes were not present in sufficient amounts to stand on their own, rather they combined to create the purples and greens that did appear. Even though the scarves are not black and grey, the variations in colour and pattern are very pretty. In order to achieve the colours my mother suggested, I will have to try again using the more traditional low immersion dyeing. 

What has your experience been when dyeing? 

New textile painting in the Fineline series

It’s been a while since I’ve sat down with the intention of creating some artwork. I was able to do so at a quilt retreat I attended recently. I went to the retreat with the intention of playing and trying something new. The result was this small minimal modern textile painting created with Oakshott Fabrics and one of my hand dyed linens.

small textile painting being quilted by doris lovadina-lee

doris lovadina-lee's machine quilted textile painting

fineline textile painting with oakshott cottons

detail oakshott minimal modern fineline series textile art

It was so much fun to sit and create without expectations! The shot cottons have a beautiful sheen as does the linen. The fabrics add a lot of depth and the machine quilting provide texture. This piece doesn’t have a name yet. What would you call it?

Liberating Linens!

I love fabric in all its forms, especially linen. With age and use, linen becomes soft and drapes beautifully. Linen is extremely durable, it is absorbent, strong, doesn’t abrade and is stronger when it is wet. Linen or flax has been used for clothing, bedding and other household uses for many thousands of years.

Vintage linen hand towel textiles with crocheted monogram Doris lovadina-lee found in Guelph Ontario Canada

Although linen has had a resurgence in popularity, it’s been primarily in the clothing industry. It makes me sad to see beautiful linen napkins, hand towels and tablecloths in thrift shops. Some have beautiful handwork – tatting, crochet, embroidery, cutwork. Someone has lovingly and painstakingly created these precious and useful items.

detail of crocheted edge linen towel Doris lovadina-lee

So, I recently liberated a few pieces of linen from a thrift store. The bureau scarf above has a few small holes but the crocheted monogram and the detail around the entire piece is still pristine.

Doris lovadina-lee vintage bureau scarf white linen with edging
This hand towel with the beautiful deep crochet edge is in excellent condition and just needs to be pressed.

vintage hand crochet textile edges on linen tea towel dorislovadnalee.com

The tatting on the linen hand towel below has a little damage on one end. If it can’t be repaired, I will probably dip it in indigo this spring and then use it in an art project. I could also remove the damaged end, hem the towel. It is just to beautiful to toss!

tatted edge tea towel vintage find Toronto Ontario Doris lee

The hand embroidered flower garland is made of a coarser linen. I’ve washed it a couple of times to remove some stains, but they are stubborn. I will probably cut this one up for a project I have in mind.

vintage textiles tea towel with garland flowers embroidered on edge Toronto doris lovadina-lee

The puppies are also stained but too cute! This too will be cut up into a project.

hand embroidery puppy dogs on yellow tea towel Doris loading-lee

Liberated Linens

Liberating linens is not a new endeavour for me. Whenever I find napkins, towels, table runners or any other linens, I can’t help but bring them home with me. But, I can’t keep them all! 

hand dyed vintage cocktail napkins doris lovadina-lee shop online

The cocktail napkins above are dyed a beautiful purple. The set of 6 would be a fun addition to your next tea party. They are embroidered with a small flower on the corner and hemmed with a beautiful scalloped edge.

vintage napkins hand dyed shibori green repurposed doris lovadina-lee online shop

Two shibori dyed green cocktail napkins. Best with a dry martini!

for sale Thrifted textiles cotton napkins green and blue shibori handdyed by doris lovadina-lee

This set of 2 cotton table napkins in blue and spring green are just perfect for a fun luncheon with your best friend.

doris lovadina-lee online shop blue shibori set of three vintage hand-dyed damask table napkins Toronto

Three elegant napkins are shibori dyed in blue. Enjoy take out in style!

Look for these napkins in my new online shop. If you have any ideas for my newly liberated linens, let me know.

Mid-century modern reupholstery project

Last summer on my way to an appointment, I spotted a mid-century modern two seat lounger on the curb. The upholstery was awful, but the lines of the piece were sleek and modern. When I reached my destination, I called my husband and asked him to look at the piece and to bring it home if he thought it was worthwhile salvaging it.

midcentury modern wooden sette teak doris lovadina-lee

When I arrived home it was sitting on our back deck. The upholstery fabric shouted 1970’s and called for shag carpet. The wood was in great condition, but only three strips of the webbing were not broken. Sitting on the piece was a very delicate matter!

mid-century moderntwo seater teak vintage sofa Toronto doris lovadina-lee

We purchased new webbing and easily fixed the seat. The wood was cleaned and waxed. The upholstery fabric absolutely needed to be changed! I decided that instead of four cushions I wanted to have two. That way I only needed to put in two zippers instead of four and two cushions would look more modern and streamlined.

doris lovadina-lee itajime shibori snow dyed handdyed canvas upholstery fabric

I had been hand dyeing fabrics and scarves and wanted to try dyeing larger pieces of fabric. I was certain I could create an interesting hand dyed piece to use for the cushions. I split the canvas into 2 pieces one for each cushion and cut off a long narrow strip that would be used on the sides. The piece above shows the two ends of the same long strip!

teak midcentury modern sofa snow dyed canvas upholstery toronto dorislovadinalee.com

I snow dyed the fabric and am so happy with the results. The cotton canvas was fan folded and then folded into a triangle. The result of the folding was a tall stack of fabric. I decided to rest the stack of fabric on the bottom of the plastic tub instead of having it suspended above the melted snow.

Danish teak 2 seater lounge chair itajime shibori snowdyed canvas upholstery doris lovadina

As you can see when looking at the photographs, there is a distinct difference in the fabric. The part of the canvas stack sitting in the melted snow absorbed more dye. In the photo above, the cushions show the portion of fabric resting above the melted snow. The design is sharper with more white visible.
hand dyed itajime shibori canvas upholstered mid-century modern two seat teak sofa doris lovadina-lee

In the photo above, the seat cushion shows the part of the cotton canvas that was eventually submerged when the snow melted. This created a softer less distinct pattern. In the photo below, it’s the back cushion fabric that was submerged.

danish style teak lounger snow dyed upholstery doris lovadina-lee

We will be placing this mid-century modern lounger outside on our deck when the weather turns warmer. This summer we will be sitting in style!

Best artwork of 2017!

Nine of my best liked Instagram posts from 2017. These were automatically generated by logging into: https://2017bestnine.com/.

Best hand dyed scarves, best artwork, best quilts by doris lovadina-lee instagram best nine toronto ontario canada

An interesting way to see your work in relation to how others see it. I was surprised at a couple of inclusions.

Instagram is such a great platform for capturing snapshots of your work. I use Instagram quite a bit in my work to:

  • record works in progress
  • record finished pieces
  • to help me ‘see’ my work at a distance
  • create a visual list take when shopping for materials
  • send information to others

How do you use Instagram in your work?

Yorkshire Rose Quilters’ Guild Holiday Market 2017

Finish up, or start your Christmas shopping at the Yorkshire Rose Quilters’ Guild Festive Market!

A selection of beautiful hand crafted items will be available from our members.

Hand dyed scarves, pyjamas, knit clothing for American dolls, soaps, pillowcases, book covers, preserves, cat toys, knit socks, and Christmas ornaments are just a few of the handmade gifts available.

 

for sale hand dyed scarves Yorkshire Rose Quilters' guild of Toronto holiday market doris lovadina-lee

Admission and refreshments are free for everybody, so bring a friend or two. Enjoy delicious Christmas goodies provided by the Guild Executives. Pick up a complimentary ballot to win a door prize. Bring your cash, as most vendors won’t have machines to accept credit or debit.

Date: Wednesday, December 13, 7:00 to 8:30 pm
Location: Danforth Mennonite Church, 2174 Danforth Avenue

Hope to see you tonight!

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