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!

 

Shibori mandalas in green – snow dyed

I was intrigued by the mandala shape I snow dyed earlier in the month and wanted to try making a few more. I folded cotton in various sized wedges, piled on snow, and then finished by pouring on the yellow, blue and turquoise Procion MX dyes.

Fabric folded in wedges
Fabric folded in wedges

The three manadalas absorbed different amounts of the dyes, creating three very distinct designs.

snow dyeing mandala green_blue
snow dyeing mandala green_blue

It is always a delight unfolding and rinsing out the cotton fabric after snow dyeing. You never really know what to expect.

snow dyeing mandala green
snow dyeing mandala green
snow dyeing mandala bright green
snow dyeing mandala bright green

The bright green and blue are a reminder that spring is on its way!

 

Hand dyed parfait

There was some dye left from the three colours (red, blue and black) of Procion MX dyes I used on the second day of snow dyeing. I decided to use the parfait technique described in Ann Johnston’s book: Color by accident.

Red snow dyed parfait
Red snow dyed parfait

I scrunched up the first metre of the pfd cotton in a small container, and began layering the leftover dyes. I started with the red dye.

Blue snow dyed parfait
Blue snow dyed parfait

Next came another layer of cotton and then the blue dye. You can see some light purple where the red and blue dyes mixed.

Black snow dyed parfait
Black snow dyed parfait

The last layer of cotton was then saturated with the black dye. The more you manipulate the fabrics, the more the colours will migrate to other layers. I didn’t manipulate the layers after I added the black, so there is no evidence of the red and very little of the blue on this topmost layer. It is still a very attractive piece.

What is your favourite flavour of parfait?

 

Dyeing cotton fabric with snow and Procion MX dyes

I forgot to include this snow dyed piece in my post last week. It is a lightweight cotton that was light olive in colour before it was dyed. The Nui shibori designs were made by stitching circles and diamonds.

Nui Shibori snow dyed cotton
Nui Shibori snow dyed cotton

My second day of snow dyeing resulted in more unique fabrics. The colours I used were similar but I used a less concentrated solution of dye. The result is more of the white background showing.

Itajime Shibori snow dyed cotton
Itajime Shibori snow dyed cotton

I also dyed two pieces of cotton canvas that I will use to make a tote bag. I folded the canvas as I did the PFD (prepared for dyeing) cotton that resulted in the mandala shape.

Snow dyed cotton canvas
Snow dyed cotton canvas

The canvas, of course is a much heavier fabric, so the design is not as detailed. as in the other fabrics. I look forward to seeing these two pieces sewn up.

Snow dyed cotton canvas
Snow dyed cotton canvas

My most favorite piece in this batch of snow dyeing is the honeycomb design that resulted below.

Snow dyed fabric honeycomb
Snow dyed fabric honeycomb

It’s snowing again and I’ve already prepared three more pieces of cotton. They are folded in wedge shapes and are covered with freshly fallen snow, yellow, turquoise and navy blue dyes. I can’t believe that I am happy to see the snow falling!

 

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!

 

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!

 

Fuchsias – a flower quilt!

I took the photograph of the fuchsias a couple of years ago with the idea of using them in a quilt design. I took a workshop taught by Helen Garland through the Yorkshire Rose Quilters’ Guild of Toronto based on Ruth McDowell’s art quilting techniques.

Fuchsias
Fuchsias

In the class we learned to how to draft a pattern from our own photograph using Ruth McDowell’s technique. Helen was an excellent teacher, explaining the concepts, design and sewing techniques that make Ruth’s quilts so original.

Fucshsia pattern
Fuchsia pattern

I’ve focused my design on three of the larger fuchsias and the three small buds on top. I’ve eliminated extraneous leaves and flowers to focus on the elements that I thought would make a good design.

Fuchsia patterns
Fuchsia patterns

You can see my original design and the enlarged copy. The finished piece will be about 48″ x 56″. I am excited to be trying Ruth’s techniques. She has written a few books explaining her design and piecing techniques. The books are available on her website. The next logical step is to trace the design onto freezer paper. But, my next step is to pull fabrics from my stash – I can’t wait!

 

Indigo Shibori silk scarf with rust!

This silk scarf was found in our garage a couple of weeks ago, left outside from my last indigo dyeing weekend in the fall.

Indigo Itajime Shibori silk scarf
Indigo Itajime Shibori silk scarf

I brought the scarf to the member’s demonstration night at the Yorkshire Rose Quilters’ Guild of Toronto meeting in January. I unfolded the clamped scarf to reveal the great design and ….

Indigo Shibori silk scarf
Indigo Shibori silk scarf

RUST!!

Indigo Shibori silk scarf close-up
Indigo Shibori silk scarf close-up

I had used home canning snap lids as the resist. The snap lids were clamped around the silk scarf for three months, much too long, and the lids began to rust. I’ve rinsed, washed and washed the scarf, but the rust is permanent. I will cut up this silk scarf and use it as yardage in a quilt. I will have to keep better track of my scarves in the future. Have you lost anything you’ve worked on?

 

Fabric Fusion blocks

I’ve finally started laying out the blocks for the Fabric Fusion quilt designed by Weeks Ringle and Bill Kerr of Modern Quilt Studio. I started this quilt in a class I took with Weeks Ringle at QuiltCon in 2013.

Fabric Fusion blocks
Fabric Fusion blocks

We spent quite a bit of the class learning about value, saturation and fabric selection. We were encouraged to bring an assortment of fabrics to the class, including fabrics we loved, hated, from different genres. Weeks spent time with each person, going through the fabrics, selecting and eliminating from the pile to come to a beautifully curated collection.  I learned a lot and it opened up new ideas about fabric selection. I encourage anyone who has the opportunity to take a workshop from either Weeks or Bill to do so. They are excellent instructors with a breadth of knowledge in the field of design. They are also very lovely people, genuine and sincere.

Patterns-Fabric Fusion by Modern Quilt Studio
Patterns-Fabric Fusion by Modern Quilt Studio

The Fabric Fusion pattern is available through their website. Have any of you completed any quilt designs from the Modern Quilt Studio?

 

 

Barrel chair upholstery completed!

In the early summer I posted photos of our leather barrel chair that was in desperate need of being reupholstered. I chose fabric, stripped off the old leather and then it sat, and sat and sat taking up space.

Barrel chair before reupholstery by Doris Lovadina-Lee
Barrel chair before

Finally, I had the time to work on it during the holiday break.

Newly upholstered barrel chair by Doris
Newly upholstered barrel chair

This is our new chair. I love the beautiful colours of the stripped leather that I found at Designer Fabrics. I was able to get enough of the leather in two pieces to do the outside of the chair.

Side view of upholstered chair with stripped leather and fabric
Side view of chair with leather

The inside of the chair is a beautiful op-art piece of upholstery fabric. I love the dimensional look it has.

Matching pillow for newly reupholstered chair by doris lovadina-lee
Matching pillow

With the leftover bits, I made a pillow and added a beautiful fringe repurposed from an old pillow. It feels great having completed this project after such a long time. How long does it take  you to complete your projects?

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