Wool Shibori Scarves

I found some very lightweight wool scarves that I experimented dyeing using fiber reactive dyes and Shibori techniques. I was very hesitant working with wool, but the results were beautiful! The scarf below is a very rich coral colour. It was rolled around a string, pulled tightly, immersed in the dye solution and steamed.

Coral wool scarf Kumo Shibori
Coral wool scarf Kumo Shibori

Working with wool resulted in a shopping trip to a charity shop to buy a pot that I could use to actually steam the scarf. Luckily, I found an enamel pot with steamer insert and lid – perfect for my needs. Once you have used an item to dye, you can no longer use it in your kitchen. After making certain my family was aware that the new pot was off limits, I began having fun.

Coral wool scarf Kumo Shibori
Coral wool scarf Kumo Shibori

My fear working with wool was that I would shrink and felt the scarf, but by slowly heating and then cooling the scarf completely before washing the dye out, there was no problem.

Blue wool scarf Itajime Shibori
Blue wool scarf Itajime Shibori

You can see how fine the wool is in the photo above. The pattern shows through the undyed portions. I was also surprised at how little dye washed out of the scarves. The wool absorbs the dyes beautifully.

Blue wool scarf Itajime Shibori
Blue wool scarf Itajime Shibori

The wool scarves have a lovely soft hand and are just right under a coat, and lightweight enough to use inside as a fashion accessory. I have another scarf to dye and can’t decide on the colour. What’s your favorite colour?

 

Little houses – quilted art postcards

I’ve been creating more quilted art postcards with tiny, quirky houses. Each home has it’s own unique personality.

pstcwovenroof house

I especially like the woven roof of the postcard above. The embroidered flowers were begun one day when my niece was visiting. She showed me how to embroider – she had just been taught at her school!

pstcyellow walk house

The houses are fused using hand dyed and commercial cottons. I’ve used some of the techniques taught by Laura Wasilowski.

pstc tassel house

I was also influenced by some quilts I saw this summer at the Paradise District Quilters’ 30th Anniversary Exhibit. One of the members is Celeste Thibodeau-Stacey from Paradise, Nova Scotia. Her work was cheerful, happy and quirky.

Thibodeau-Stacy_Rooted on the Rock
Rooted on the Rock, St. John’s, Nfld. by Celeste Thibodeau-Stacey

This piece is a town in Newfoundland, hugging the “rock”.

Thibodeau-Staceuy_Storm at sea
Storm at Sea by Celeste Thibodeau-Stacey

The lighthouse is bending with the prevailing wind and the houses too seem to have been sculpted into shape by the winds!

pstclemonslice house

Hand dyed perle cotton in a couple of different weights have been used to add fun details.

pstc evening moon house

This house has settled down for the evening.

 

Inspiration from architecture

I have a fabric challenge that I signed up for and am committed to having a finished piece by the end of November. I had a couple of ideas for the quilt but I haven’t narrowed down the concept so that I can begin.

Stone window panel
Stone window panel

One of my ideas is to use the log cabin block, another is to base the quilt on architecture.

Mosaic floor
Mosaic floor

Looking back at some photos taken on vacation last year may provide the spark that I need.

Mosaic floor tiles
Mosaic floor tiles

Tumbling blocks, rail fence, hexagons, attic windows, these are just a few of the patterns I see.

Mosaic floor
Mosaic floor

Inspiration is all around us, we just have to look for it.

 

Green Shibori scarves

Dip dyeing, where you dip a piece of fabric into a dye vat is one of the easiest ways to dye fabric. Although it is uncomplicated, this technique provides endless variety of design fun.

Dip dyed scarf
Dip dyed scarf

I first saw this technique in Kim Eichler-Messmer’s book: Modern Color: an illustrated guide for modern quilts. In it she wrote about dip dyeing placemats and they were simply beautiful.

Dip dyed scarf
Dip dyed scarf

I’ve been experimenting with this technique and have two scarves to show you. The green scarf above was loosely folded, rolled and placed into a container of green dye. I left it until all the dye had been absorbed. This creates a striped effect with the fabric at the bottom of the container absorbing the most dye and is therefore the darkest.

Plaid dip  dyed scarf
Plaid dip dyed scarf

In the plaid scarf, I first folded, rolled, and dipped the piece in a yellow dye bath. I dried the scarf.

Plaid dip  dyed scarf
Plaid dip dyed scarf

The second step was to refold in the opposite direction, re-roll and re-dip in the second colour. This time I placed the scarf in a turquoise dye bath. I love the colour that is created where the yellow and turquoise intersect. It looks like a much more complicated design. I will be experimenting with dyeing more Shibori scarves in various colour combinations in the future.

TMQG Postcard Swap – postcards received!

During the summer, the Presidents of the Toronto Modern Quilt Guild organized a postcard swap. I created three postcards and blogged about the process for each one.

These are the postcards I received:

TMQG postcard Lynda Hutchison

A very heartfelt thanks to Lynda for both postcards. They were fused and raw edge appliquéd.

TMQG postcard Lynda Hutchison1

I love the postage stamp fabric!

TMQG postcard Karen S BrownKaren’s card was also fused and raw edge appliquéd. The feature of the postcard was the beautiful centre with strands of embroidery floss capturing a few beads in shades of orange.

TMQG postcard Catherine Clarke

As a bonus, Catherine sent this lovely crazy patch design featuring embroidery stitches from her sewing machine.

At the September meeting, we got to see more of the postcards and they were all unique. I think it’s a great way to try new techniques without risk.

Red Shibori scarves

It’s interesting how different these two red Shibori scarves look when they both started off in the same dye bath.

Red Nui Shibori cotton gauze
Red Nui Shibori cotton gauze

The design is very subtle on this scarf, giving it a delicate look.

Red Nui Shibori cotton gauze
Red Nui Shibori cotton gauze

More rows of stitching would make this design more defined and graphic. I will be experimenting with this on another piece.

Red Nui Shibori cotton gauze
Red Nui Shibori cotton gauze

The scarf below was dyed in the same red dye bath and then pole wrapped and dipped in black to create a very striking design.

Red and black Arashi Shibori cotton gauze
Red and black Arashi Shibori cotton gauze

An intense black colour is difficult to achieve. I doubled the amount of dye powder and left the scarf in longer. In some areas of the scarf the black looks more like a very dark purple.

Red and black Arashi Shibori cotton gauze
Red and black Arashi Shibori cotton gauze

When I first began dyeing, I mixed red and blue dyes to create purple as you would when mixing paint. I did get a purple but it was very grapey! not really what I had intended. By mixing red with a small amount of black dye a deep rich royal purple is obtained.

Red and black Arashi Shibori cotton gauze
Red and black Arashi Shibori cotton gauze

I have a few more hand dyed scarves to show you next time.

Linen gauze scarves

My infatuation with dyeing has led me to experiment with fibres other than cotton. I was looking for a linen gauze to experiment with, when I came across Robert Kaufman’s Veneto Linen Gauze fabric. No one locally carried this fabric and I was hesitant to order it online without seeing and touching it.

Indigoseplinengauzeitajime
Indigo Itajime Linen Gauze Scarf

Luckily, Andrea, from On Blueberry Hill had used this linen gauze to make a scarf. She wrote about her experience in a post: Spring gauze wraps. The photographs of the Veneto Linen scarf and a Kokochi Double Gauze scarf she made were beautiful.

Indigo Itajime Linen Gauze Scarf Detail
Indigo Linen Gauze scarf detail

I contacted Andrea to ask about the weight, drape and her experience sewing with the linen gauze, explaining that I was interested in dyeing it. She very quickly responded and kindly offered to send me a piece so I could experiment!

Indigoseplinengauzekumo2
Indigo Arashi Shibori Linen Gauze Scarf

The piece Andrea sent was large enough to make two scarves. I tried two different Shibori techniques. Itajime Shibori is when the fabric is folded and clamped with a resist before dyeing, Arashi Shibori  is rolled and tied around a tube. The two pieces were then immersed in an Indigo dye bath. The experiment was very successful. I am happy with both of the results. The linen has a lovely drape and it accepted the dye very well, creating an intense blue with only a couple of dips in the dye bath.

Indigoseplinengauzekumo1
Indigo Arashi Shibori Linen Gauze Scarf detail

I didn’t take a photograph of the linen before I dyed it, so if you hop on over to Andrea’s blog, you can see the base colour: flax. I love this natural warm colour with the blue designs running through it. This linen gauze is available in white which I think would also look great.

During my Indigo dyeing weekend, I also experimented dyeing a rayon/linen blend and silk fibres. I’ll have more photographs showing those results soon. What fibres have you tried dyeing?

Indigo dyeing weekend

I spent two days of the long weekend dyeing a variety of cloth with Indigo. These are just three of about 30 pieces I dyed.

cotton cushion top wrapped and tied
cotton cushion top wrapped and tied

This cotton square was first wrapped around an empty plastic serving thread spool, held with an elastic band and wrapped with thread.

cotton cushion top unwrapped and untied
cotton cushion top unwrapped and untied

When first unwrapped, it has a very sculptural quality. This will flatten out when it is washed and pressed.

Indigo Nui shibori cotton cushion top string removed
Indigo Nui shibori cotton cushion top string removed

This cotton square was gathered on the diagonal and wrapped with long thin strips of fabric.

Indigo Nui shibori cotton cushion top string removed and diagonal design showing
Indigo Nui shibori cotton cushion top string removed and diagonal design showing

I like to wrap the strips so that there is a little space for the dye to seep in. This creates some lovely lines.

Indigo Nui shibori cotton/linen cushion top
Indigo Nui shibori cotton/linen cushion top

This cotton/linen rectangle was folded into thirds and triangles stitched across. There are three rows of stitching in each one.

Indigo Nui shibori cotton/linen cushion top unwrapped
Indigo Nui shibori cotton/linen cushion top unwrapped

Once unwrapped rows of squares appear in three rows.

There are heaps of washing and ironing in my future!

More hand dyed scarves

I am still having fun!

Dyeing pink circles scarf
Pink circle cotton gauze scarf

I have so many more ideas for dyeing that I am back to it!

Creamsicle cotton gauze scarf
Creamsicle cotton gauze scarf

This beautiful orange Arashi Shibori or pole wrapped piece unwrapped into a beautiful cream and orange scarf. It reminded my husband of a favourite childhood ice cream treat – the Creamsicle!

Dyeing creamsicle unwrapped
Creamsicle cotton gauze scarf unwrapped

Here it is partially unwrapped, once washed it is a softer colour.

Radicchio 2 cotton gauze scarf
Radicchio 2 cotton gauze scarf

I was asked to make a scarf similar to the Arashi Shibori scarf in raspberry that I wrote about in July. I didn’t keep track of the colours I mixed to create that shade and was challenged to recreate the colour.

Radicchio cotton gauze scarf
Radicchio cotton gauze scarf
Arashi Shibori raspberry
Arashi Shibori raspberry

They aren’t exactly the same, but very similar. When I first unwrapped the raspberry coloured scarf, washed and dried it, the colour and veining reminded me of radicchio. Radicchio is a beautiful Italian chicory lettuce that grows in a tightly wrapped ball. The leaf is a purpley red while the veins are white. Next time you are at the grocery store look for it – the colour is gorgeous.
I am also dyeing scarves in a silk/cotton blend and a linen/rayon blend. I’ll have more photographs of those scarves as well as some velvet that I’ll be making into pillows.

TMQG Postcard Swap – Part 3

This is the last postcard I created for the Toronto Modern Quilt Guild swap. With this postcard I tried a technique that was new to me – trapunto. I added a layer of quilt batting behind the butterfly, stitched around the outline and cut away the excess batting. This was then layered over a 5″ x 7″ piece of batting and backing. The strips were added in a quilt as you go style through the batting and backing.

Butterfly postcard
Butterfly postcard

All the fabrics used in this postcard are from Cotton + Steel. This year at QuiltCon, Cotton + Steel had a large display booth with all of their fabric lines on display. They also had sewing stations set up for quilters to make and take a small project using their fabrics. The last day of the conference, attendees were allowed to go through the scraps and fill a bag to take home with them. The recipient of this postcard and I were one of those waiting for the conference to officially close so we could fill our bag.

Back of the Postcard
Back of the Postcard

The back of the postcard is a solid white cotton that is fused to a heavy weight fusible interfacing. I used an ultra fine permanent ink marker to add the information. Postage is the same as it would be for any postcard mailed in Canada.

Have you received any unusual postcards?

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