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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?

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Rowland Rickett’s Master Class in Indigo Dyeing

The Textile Museum of Canada in conjunction with the Contemporary Textile Studio Co-op in Toronto hosted Roland Ricketts in a sold out indigo dyeing workshop.

template for indigo dyeing with Roland Ricketts at the Contemporary Textile Studio Coop

Commonplace materials were used to create a template for stitching our design.

yukata cotton with dots showing the stitching pattern for indigo nui shibori

This chevron pattern was a challenge even though Roland very carefully explained the process! The design is transferred to the narrow cotton kimono cloth that is also used in making tea towels in Japan. The other end of the cotton is visible at the top. The edge has been marked and  gathered, ready for the indigo dye bath. These edges are held in place by 8 layers of folded cotton. This will give the design a continuous solid colour from edge to edge.

indigo tea towel sample by Roland Ricketts in the master class in indigo dyeing

I believe this is Roland’s example created in class. After being dipped in the Contemporary Textile Studio’s natural indigo vat three times, two stitches were removed and the piece was dipped into the indigo vat again. This gives the cotton a beautiful ombre effect.

set up for indigo dip dyeing to create ombre with roland ricketts

Another technique Roland demonstrated was how to create a gradient effect. The very thin poles are made out of bamboo and are inserted into the fabric edges. This easily allows the fabric to be held apart to facilitate the dyeing process.

roland ricketts demonstrating indigo dyeing technique in toronto ontario canada
My slightly blurry photo of this piece.

ombre sample dip dyed by roland ricketts in workshop drying

 Roland Ricketts’ work:

Roland Ricketts showing his indigo dyed table runner

Roland brought samples of his work. The designs, colour and quality of his indigo pieces are outstanding. I encourage you to view his much better photographs on his website: Ricketts Indigo. You will also see work by Chinami Ricketts. Chinami hand weaves beautiful cloth used in kimonos.samples of nui shibori indigo dyed samples by roland ricketts

folded indigo sample of stitched resist by roland ricketts

Chevron indigo fabric dyed by Roland Ricketts shown during the Textile musem indigo workshop in toronto canada

Wrapped in plastic to protect the handwoven cotton cloth is a kimono length woven by Chinami and dyed by Roland. This piece still needs to be overdyed before it is complete.Hand woven cotton by Chinami Ricketts and indigo dyed by Roland Ricketts

I took my indigo dyed pieces home and hung them outside to dry. The piece on the right is from the workshop. I dipped it three times and then removed two rows of stitching to achieve the lighter shade of blue at the top. The two handkerchiefs were brought from home and dyed with no resist.

Doris Lovadina-Lee's indigo samples from Roland Ricketts master class in indigo dyeing workshop by the Textile museum of canada

The scrap cotton that was used on the ends of the bound piece have an interesting texture. You can see the small dots, some with the threads still attached where the stitching was secured. These small bits will find a way into my work too!Scrap cotton from the roland ricketts indigo dyeing workshop attended by doris lovadina-lee in toronto canada

The indigo will need to be stored in a dark dry place for a couple of weeks before I finally wash and neutralize the fabric. I am looking forward to using this fabric in some new artwork.

I learned so much taking this indigo dyeing workshop and realize that I have so much more to learn. Making time for learning, sharing and meeting other artists is so very important. I hope you take the opportunity whenever you can.

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Indigo Shibori Scarves 2017

Italian Linen

This beautiful lightweight linen was purchased in Venice, Italy this spring. I only bought enough to make three scarves. This is the only one left! Linen has a lovely drape and is perfect for the summer. I love the dramatic lines in this scarf.

Silk

This pole wrapped scarf is a gorgeous satin back crepe. It has a lovely sheen and weight. It drapes beautifully. I wish you could feel it!

The next two scarves are dyed using a lighter weight silk, equally soft and luxurious.

Rayon/Linen

Once the linen/rayon fabric was washed in preparation for the dyeing process, soft crinkle folds appeared. I love the texture. These scarves are easy to wear and travel very well. This Itajime shibori design was first dyed in a soft blue before being dipped in indigo.

Italian Cotton Gauze

This soft as a cloud cotton gauze was also purchased in Italy. While in Verona, I found a fabric shop that had a beautiful selection including some designer fabrics.

 

The scarf below surprised me when I unwrapped it. I first dyed the cotton gauze in a very pastel turquoise. I folded the fabric and used a metal switch plate as the resist. It was dipped in the indigo dye bath. Once it was unwrapped pink areas were visible, but no pink dye had been used! I am guessing that the metal switch plate reacted to the indigo. I thought that the pink would eventually fade away but it hasn’t and won’t. This scarf has been washed, dried and pressed with no change to the pink. I like it even though it wasn’t planned. Do any of you have an explanation for the pink?

All of my scarves have fringed edges and are machine washable. The Italian cotton gauze scarves and the linen/rayon crinkly scarves are available for $40.00 each. The silk scarves are available for $50.00 each and the last Italian linen scarf for $60.00.

How I wish my laundry line always looks!

 

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Silk Scarf Workshop at Amy’s Handmade Place

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!

 

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Silk Scarf Dyeing: an Artisanal Workshop

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.

Artisan workshop silk scarf dyeing poster

The Process

Step 1: Folding, twisting and preparing scarf.

Scarves folded ready for dyeing

Step 2: Applying dye

scarves folded and dyed

Step 3: Rinsing and washing scarf

scarf folded and rinsed

Step 4: Admiring scarf!

scarf washed and pressed

Below are a few scarves I have dyed using very simple techniques that create beautiful textures and designs.

blue green shibori scarf

orange brown shibori scarf

red arashi shibori scarf

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.

Artisan workshop silk scarf dyeing instagram

See you there!

 

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Indigo dyeing Fall 2016

I was hoping to squeeze in one last weekend of dyeing and was lucky to have a beautiful day this past weekend, to set up an indigo dye pot.

oct2016_indigo_preparation
Arashi and nui shibori

I had some pfd fabric that I wanted to dip in the pot, as well as some scarves that I wanted to over dye.

Sushi and itajime shibori
Sushi and itajime shibori

I tried one new technique: sushi shibori. The fabric is fan folded and then rolled up like a sushi roll, wrapped with elastic bands or string.

Itajime scarves and quilting cotton
Itajime scarves and quilting cotton

Three scarves and one metre of pfd cotton folded and clamped.

Linen napkins and quilting cotton wrapped and bound - itajmie shibori
Linen napkins and quilting cotton wrapped and bound – itajime shibori

I made two sets of linen napkins: four are cocktail sized and four are generous dinner sized napkins in a light beige colour. I use all sorts of items as a resist including canning lids, paint stir sticks, plastic electrical wall plates, elastic bands, and pieces of wood.

Scarves to be overdyed
Scarves to be over over dyed

I had a few scarves that I had dyed but wasn’t happy with the way they turned out. Two of them were rayon but they didn’t absorb the dye very well and turned out very pastel. The green in the lower right was dip dyed in green and yellow dye baths but the result was not very interesting. The shawl on the left was dip dyed in blue and it was boring as well. All of these were destined to be re-dyed. I am looking forward to seeing the results.

Indigo bundles and fabric drying
Indigo bundles and fabric drying

It was a beautiful, sunny warm day and I set my work area outside. The drying rack is loaded with some of the dyeing.

Indigo yardage
Indigo yardage

I hung some of the fabrics from some low hanging branches in between dips.

Indigo yardage and overdyed scarf
Indigo yardage and over dyed scarf

The cotton yardage is still wet in the photo above and is darker than when it is dry. The green strip is one of the scarves I over dyed. It already looks much better than before!

Indigo scarves and yardage
Indigo scarves and yardage

I wanted to speed up the oxidation and drying process, so I carefully unfolded some of the clamped pieces and suspended them from low hanging branches. I am still waiting for some of the wrapped arashi shibori pieces to dry.

Indigo arashi cotton fabric
Indigo arashi cotton fabric

Last night I carefully unwrapped the damp fabric from one of the pvc pipes. I love the texture of cotton. I hope that the deep blue colour remains after it is washed. There are still a few pieces I haven’t unfolded, maybe next week.

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Some Kind of Blue – President’s challenge 2016

My quilt for the Yorkshire Rose Quilter’s Guild of Toronto president’s challenge is a reference to the best-selling jazz record recorded by Miles Davis: Kind of Blue.

Previewing indigo fabrics for the president's challenge
Previewing indigo fabrics for the president’s challenge

This year, the president asked the members to create a 12 x 12 inch quilt based on a song or song title. The quilt could be made with any technique, with or without embellishments. I pieced the top using my hand dyed indigo fabrics.

President's challenge quilt top: pieced
President’s challenge quilt top: pieced

The nui shibori strips were fussy cut from a piece of indigo linen that I dyed in the summer, while the rest is cotton. I added a hint of gold to reference the trumpet that Miles Davis plays.

Some Kind of Blue - detail
Some Kind of Blue

The quilt top was heavily quilted with straight lines using a walking foot.

YRQGPresident's challenge detail 2016
Some Kind of Blue – detail

Kind of Blue is a great album that contains a couple of songs with blue in the title including: Blue in Green and All blues.  What’s your favourite song?

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Snow dyed Shibori cotton scarves and Mandala

I dyed two cotton gauze scarves and one piece of pfd cotton at the same time. This is the last batch of snow dyed fabric for winter 2016!

Snow dyed Arashi Shibori scarf
Snow dyed Arashi Shibori scarf

My favourite Shibori technique is Arashi – where the fabric is wrapped around a pole, scrunched down and the dye applied. I wanted to try this technique in combination with the unpredictability of snow dyeing. I was very surprised and pleased with the results.

Snow dyed Arashi Shibori scarf
Snow dyed Arashi Shibori scarf

There is a lovely pattern on the gauze scarf created by the resist that looks feathers.

Snow dyed Nui Shibori scarf
Snow dyed Nui Shibori scarf

The other gauze scarf was loosely pleated along the length, twisted tightly and placed in the same tray. This scarf has more variation in colours where the red, yellow and blue dyes combined to make green, orange and browns.

Snow dyed Nui Shibori scarf
Snow dyed Nui Shibori scarf

The last piece I dyed was a metre of cotton folded into a wedge to create a beautiful Mandala.

Snow dyed tropical mandala
Snow dyed tropical mandala

This is a very vibrant piece that reminds me of a luscious slice of an exotic tropical fruit!

 

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Results of Snow Dyeing

The snow dyed fabric looked a very dark before it was rinsed. I could see some purple and a little blue, but mostly it looked grey and black.

snow dyeing purple pre rinse
Shibori folded fabrics ready to rinse

After, the fabric was washed, the vibrant colours and stunning patterns were revealed. It’s always a surprise to see the washed results of snow dyeing, you can’t predict the colour or the design.

Snow dyeing purple square fold
Itajime Shibori snow dyed square fold

I love the piece below, it looks like you are looking through a leaded glass window!

Itajime Shibori triangle fold
Itajime Shibori triangle fold snow dyed

My most incredible piece of snow dyed fabric is the mandala shape below. A metre of fabric was folded into a wedge shape and the melting snow created this magical mandala!

Snow dyeing purple mandala
Snow dyed mandala

I dyed a few more pieces of fabric before the rain fell and melted all the snow. I will rinse and iron those fabrics and have them ready next week. I wonder if we will get more snow soon? I think I’ve found a new addiction!

 

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Snow dyeing with Procion MX fabric dye

This is what it looked like in the corner of our backyard yesterday. A very light snow fell consistently throughout the day, prompting me to do some snow dyeing!

Snowfall February 2016
Snowfall February 2016

The fresh snow was perfect for dyeing fabric with Procion MX dyes. Vicki Welsh of Field Trips in Fiber recently posted tips on snow dyeing. She achieved some very beautiful results. I especially loved the mandalas shapes that she created.

Snow on branches
Snow on branches

I have done some snow dyeing in the past and have been happy with the results. What I haven’t tried is dyeing fabric using Shibori techniques to create mandala designs. I folded a one metre cut of fabric into a wedge and then refolded it into a rectangle.

Shibori folded fabrics ready to dye
Shibori folded fabrics ready to dye

The other two white pieces of fabric are fat quarters accordion folded into: a triangle and square. I used Nui Shibori on the olive fabric, creating a row of diamond and a row of circles, the rest is scrunched up. The fabrics were soaked in soda ash, wrung out and arranged in a plastic tub that I poked holes into for drainage.

Fabric covered with snow
Fabric covered with snow

I went outside and packed snow on top of the fabrics, piling up about four inches or so. I placed the plastic tub into another tub to catch the melted snow.  I layered a few plastic yogurt lids underneath so that the perforated tub would sit above the melted snow.

Dye covered snow
Dye covered snow

I mixed three colours of dye: black, cerulean blue, and fuchsia and randomly poured the dye concentrate over the top of the snow. The entire project was placed safely into the laundry tub overnight. I expect that all the snow will have melted by the end of my work day today. I can’t wait to see the results!