shibori fabric

Monetizing Your Craft Part 2 – Who I Listen To

Help, guidance, inspiration and motivation can be delivered to your In Box! Last week during the panel discussion at the Toronto Modern Quilt Guild, three of us shared our journey into Monetizing Your Craft! The time went by so quickly that I didn’t have time to mention the resources I find helpful in crafting my business. Listed below are just some of the many resources available on the web. I have enjoyed listening to these people talking about their passion. 

parfait dyed quilting cotton brown, blue, rust hanging on laundry line

Podcasts

shibori indigo dyed cotton overdyed in purple and the other in green

Websites

parfait handdyed cotton for quilting by doris Lovadina-Lee drying on line

I encourage you to have a look at the sites above. You will find some that speak to you and others that won’t. When you find some those you enjoy, sign up for their newsletters, YouTube channels, and feeds. Support these creative entrepreneurs! Please let me know which blogs, podcasts you have found informative or just fun so I can add to my list. Enjoy!

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? 

Snow dyed mandala

There is very little snow left on the ground here in Toronto. I wanted to do some more snow dyeing, so I quickly prepared a couple of pieces of pfd cotton before all the snow melted. I folded one of the pieces of cotton so it would result in a mandala shape. The other was folded into a triangular shape.

shibori folded fabric snow dyed blue green toronto doris lovadina-lee

The mandala that emerged is beautiful. I sprinkled the snow topped cotton with a couple of blue dyes and a bit of yellow. I am not a methodical, scientific dyer, so each dyeing session is an experiment.

green mandala snow dyed toronto canada doris lovadina-lee

circular hand dyed cotton fabric mandala design doris lee

The triangular folded cotton is similar in colour, so I could use it in conjunction with the mandala. I really like how the colours are most intense on one edge, fading to a softer more watercolour effect.

shibori hand dyed with snow cotton quilting cotton toronto ontario small batch for sale

Since there was still one tiny pocket of snow left in the yard, I pulled out the last few metres of pfd cotton from my stash. There was just enough snow to cover the two pieces of cotton. I used the same colours of dye in different proportions. The fabric was also arranged differently from the first batch.

snow dyed quilting cotton pfd arashi shibori doris lovadina-lee

The piece above is 1 1/2 metres long and the pattern that reminds me of agate. The photo below is a detail from the piece.

hand dyed with snow cotton pfd toronto artist doris lee nui shibori available to buy

The itajime shibori cotton piece below is from the same snow dyed batch. It is quite different in design and the pfd cotton has absorbed a little more of the yellow to create a beautiful turquoise and green.

itajime shibori snow dyed cotton fabric toronto dorislovadinalee for sale

 

snow dyed itajime shbiori pfd handdyed quiting cotton for sale

I expect that we will not be receiving sufficient snow fall now that we are heading into spring. I do have a couple of other options I am considering to continue ‘snow’ dyeing all year-long.  Now I just have to buy some more fabric to do just that! 

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.

Cosmos quilt

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.

minimal modern mandala art quilt by doris lovadina-lee
Cosmos fabric selection 2

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.

Cosmos fabric selection using Doris lovadina-Lee's hand dyed and snow dyed cotton quilting fabric
Cosmos fabric selection 1

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.

Cosmos detail of spiral machine quilting with Bernina sewing machine by doris lovadina-lee
Cosmos detail stitching

I also quilted the corner block in a small spiral, echoing the larger mandala.

Cosmos detail of corner of mandala art quilt with Doris' snow dyed cotton fabric
Cosmos detail corner
snow dyed fabric created by doris lovadina-lee toronto ontario canada
snow dyed fabric

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.

Cosmos mandala art quilt by doris lovadina-lee

Cosmos
2016 ©Doris Lovadina-Lee
45 x 50 inches
Hand dyed fabric, thread
$1,200.00

Snow dyed fabric

I love fuchsias, pinks and reds. These colours make me happy and energized. It’s the colour palette I gravitate towards when choosing colours for a project.

 

All of the two metre pieces of cotton were dyed with snow in December.

I love that each piece of fabric has a change of pattern and colour intensity from edge to edge.

Berene from Happy Sew Lucky commented on instagram that the piece is like a complex ombre. I think that’s a great description of these pieces.

Observing the pieces folded in half, they look like two completely different pieces of fabric.

 

There are so many design possibilities in each piece of yardage.

What colours make you happy?

Indigo Bursts: textile paintings

Indigo dipped cotton, linen and white pique are combined to create four individual pieces of textile art. Machine quilting adds beautiful texture.

Indigo Bursts by Doris Lovadina-Lee
Indigo Burst: tetraptych
2016 ©Doris Lovadina-Lee
6 x 6 inches each
fabric, thread, dye on stretched canvas

Each textile painting is wrapped over a 6″ square gallery canvas.

Indigo Burst 1 by Doris Lovadina-Lee
Indigo Burst 1
2016 ©Doris Lovadina-Lee
6 x 6 inches
fabric, thread, dye on stretched canvas
$75.00
Indigo Burst 2 by Doris Lovadina-Lee
Indigo Burst 2
2016 ©Doris Lovadina-Lee
6 x 6 inches
fabric, thread, dye on stretched canvas
$75.00
Indigo Burst 3 by Doris Lovadina-Lee
Indigo Burst 3
2016 ©Doris Lovadina-Lee
6 x 6 inches
fabric, thread, dye on stretched canvas
$75.00
Indigo Burst 4 by Doris Lovadina-Lee
Indigo Burst 4
2016 ©Doris Lovadina-Lee
6 x 6 inches
fabric, thread, dye on stretched canvas
$75.00

These textile paintings can be displayed individually or grouped in twos or fours to create a diptych or a tetraptych.

If you are interested in having unique artwork to display in your home, contact me, I am happy to ship directly to you.

How would you choose to display these Indigo Bursts?

A trio of hand dyed zippered pouches

I stitched three zippered pouches using some of my hand dyed fabric. I dyed some canvas and paired it with some beautiful stripped leather pieces.

Hand dyed canvas zippered pouch with leather accents
Hand dyed canvas zippered pouch with leather accents

The pouches are a great size for storing sewing accessories, makeup, pencils and many other small items.

Hand dyed unzipped pouch with leather accents
Hand dyed canvas pouch unzipped with leather accents

The pouch below is slightly larger and has a full leather bottom.

Hand dyed canvas zipped pouch with leather bottom
Hand dyed canvas zipped pouch with leather bottom
Hand dyed linen pouch with leather bottom
Hand dyed linen pouch with leather bottom

I dyed a couple of small pieces of metallic linen using the Itajime shibori technique to create this diagonal pattern. The linen has a lovely shimmer.

handdyed linen pouch with blue lining
Hand dyed linen pouch with blue lining

This linen and leather zippered pouch is lined with one of my hand dyed light blue cottons. What would you store in these?

 

 

 

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