I am continuing my exploration of the log cabin. The selection below is destined for a minimal modern quilt using the traditional pattern in a new way. So far, I’ve sketched out the design and chosen the colour palette.
I am continuing the series I started with In Order and am stretching it in new ways.
I love having a structure to begin with and then thinking about the what can change.
Do I add hand stitching? Machine stitching? Embroidery?
Can I use more colours, patterns? What is the minimum?
Looking forward to seeing how this new idea evolves. What traditional blocks have you played with?
At the encouragement of a friend I submitted three pieces into the Fibre Content 2018 show being held in the Art Gallery of Burlington from September 6 to 16, 2018. One of the three was accepted! Fibre Content is an exhibit of Canadian fibre art with works in fabric, yarn, paper, and mixed media.
Pixels are the smallest unit of information that makes up an image. What do the they reveal in Pixelation 1?
Data 2.0 explores the connection between the pixelation occurring in digital formats and the ancient technique of mosaics. One obscures while the other creates patterns.
To see the textile painting that made it along with 90 other fibre art pieces, join me at the Opening Reception at the Art Gallery of Burlington on September 9, 2018 from 1pm to 3 pm. The show will be on from Sept. 6-16, 2018. Visit the Burlington Art Gallery to see some of the best Canadian works in fibre. See you there!
I recently attended my first meeting of the Studio Art Quilt Associates (SAQA). This large organization is divided into smaller regions and my local is SAQA Central Canada – Ontario and Quebec Artists. Because locals are large and cover so much ground geographically, smaller groups or pods are formed. The pod I attended was in Fergus, Ontario. A very enthusiastic and focused group of artists were in attendance.
One of the outcomes of our meeting was to work on a challenge. The parameters:
size – 12 inches
theme – summer
due – 2 months
I began with some hand dyed fabric and imagined a tall glass of water and ice. How would that look abstracted and constructed using small pieces? The two images are the evolution of my work in progress. I may move a few more pieces around before I begin to stitch. What does summer look like for you?
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.
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.
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.
This pfd cotton has been dipped a few times and the colour is deeper than I was expecting.
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.
Another wool suiting rolled and tied.
This pale yellow piece of wool has a few moth holes, but I love the yellow and blue together.
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.
Here are a few of the pieces I’ve dyed during the second round of indigo dyeing drying on my new rack!
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.
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.
I have been waiting very impatiently for warm weather so I could indigo dye. Finally, I was able to spend part of this long weekend indigo dyeing scarves, napkins and some baby onesies too. I will be bringing these hand dyed items along with my snow dyed scarves to Pickering, Ontario for their annual art festival: Artfest being held in Esplanade Park.
Generously sized cotton/rayon Arashi Shibori scarf dyed in indigo.
Itajime Shibori indigo dyed pareo.
Nui shibori cotton/rayon indigo dyed scarf.
Ombre dyed baby onesies dipped in indigo.
The Weather Network is calling for a sunny Saturday with a few clouds and a high of 25. Perfect outdoor weather to explore Artfest On The Esplanade. Hope to see you there!
I spent a lovely day in Prince Edward County meeting Shelley of KOKITO. This is a charming shop on Main Street in the town of Bloomfield, Ontario where the owners, Shelley Durnin and Jennifer Hadenne curate a beautiful selection of Canadian made and designed items.
Bloomfield is a small town located in the centre of the County. The Main Street is lined with small shops, restaurants and galleries. Everything is within walking distance and the shore of Lake Ontario is close by.
The shop stocks a great selection and variety of products all made by local artisans. Shelley and Jennifer source all the wares they sell in the shop personally, so every member of the family can find something they love. Kokito’s motto is: “Canadian Design and Lakeside Living” and this certainly describes the aesthetic of the shop.
I am happy to share that Kokito will be carrying my snow dyed shibori scarves as well as indigo napkins and table runners. The stack of hand dyed pieces below will already be out on display in the shop.
Prince Edward County is an area of southern Ontario that I had not visited. It has been described by friends as a beautiful, peaceful, yet vibrant place. I can see why! I hope you have the opportunity to travel to Bloomfield and meander around this pretty little town. When you do, visit Kokito and shop the beautiful locally made artisanal products for yourself or to give as gifts. You won’t be disappointed!
I am very pleased to have my Canadian Snow dyed scarves available for purchase at the Textile Museum of Canada’s gift shop. The museum is located at 55 Centre Avenue, Toronto, Ontario.
I began using snow to hand dye this past year and love the results of this process. Snow is piled on top of the scarves that have been folded, twisted and tied using traditional shibori techniques. Up to three dye colours are used to create beautiful watercolour effects.
lndigo scarves are also created using shibori folding techniques. Although not created with snow, they are still Canadian made. All of the scarves are made out of natural fibres like cotton, silk, linen, rayon and wool giving them intense rich colours. They are one-of-a-kind wearable art pieces.
The museum has two exhibits currently on display: Artistry in Silk celebrates the work of Itchiku Kubota (1917–2003). The other exhibit is Jane Kidd: Curious a display of hand-woven tapestries. Both artists use rich saturated colours to represent their environment. The exquisite silk kimonos made by Itchiku Kubota represent the four seasons, the changing landscape, light and feature Mount Fuji. I love the use of colour in the tapestries by Canadian artist Jane Kidd! Her pieces are hand-woven with bold colours, but upon close inspection, you can see the varied and subtle colour shifts that give her work so much depth.
I hope you have an opportunity to visit the Textile Museum. While there, please visit the gift shop to view all the beautiful offerings by local artists. You could take home a piece of Canadian winter!
Join me Saturday May 26, 2018 at the Artfest on the Esplanade from 11-5. This annual event takes place at The Esplanade Park in the City of Pickering. I will have a booth displaying my hand dyed shibori scarves.
I have kept busy this winter creating a line of unique and beautiful snow dyed scarves.
The Canadian snow collection of hand dyed scarves need to be seen in person to appreciate the subtle changes of colour and pattern. No two scarves are the same and no scarf is identical from one end to the other!
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”.
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.Raven 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.
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.
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.
I also sprinkled a small amount of dye powder on the snow and bright spots of vibrant purples, greens, yellows and blues appeared.
The itajime shibori scarf above is predominantly green on one end changing to soft purple and grey on the other end.
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.
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.
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.
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?