Thursday, June 27, 2013

Blogger Photo Issues

Not sure why, but a lot of my photos have disappeared off the blog. Im working to put them back on. I apologize for the problem. Any suggestions on why would be appreciated!

Soy Wax Tips

This is the first in a series of tips for using Soy Wax on fabric. Today, it's Safety First!

Any wax, including soy, is flammable when allowed to heat to too high a temperature. Treat the technique with respect and ensure that the wax does not overheat. Use these safety tips for best results:
·         Use a dedicated  pan or wax pot that has thermostatic controls to regulate the temperature. Most slow cookers have too cool a setting to be useful and often their "high" setting is to hot!

·         Always turn off or unplug the appliance when leaving your work area.

·         Do not leave heated wax unattended at any time.

·         Never melt or use wax over an open flame or element. 

·         Do not leave your tools in the wax pot when not in use.  They can be damaged or broken.

·         Arrange your workspace with safety in mind. Do not overcrowd your work surface with unneeded items.

·         Situate your wax pot and electrical cords as close to the electrical outlets as possible. Do not place the cords where they could be walked or tripped over.

·         Be careful not to use tools that are wet, the wax will not adhere to the tool and may actually spit wax onto other surfaces.

Plan ahead for emergencies. There is always a slight possibility of an accident so know what to do when an emergency arises.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Cool Tools - Paint Markers

My friend Marny introduced these markers to me and after ordering them, they sat around in my dye room until this past weekend. They are called Molotow Empty Paint Markers and you can order them here from Dick Blick:

They must be designed for graffiti artists as the label on the markers states: use marker for art, not vandalism! I'm an artist....some might say my work should be vandalized!
I think almost any paint or dye could be used, I think textile paints such as Jacquard would need to be diluted a bit. I used Dye Na Flow and did dilute it by about 50% but also used it full strength and it came through the felt tips just fine.
Filling the markers was a bit of a challenge at first, I didn't realize that not only the top needed to be removed but also the valve that controlled the flow. Once I had done that I used a cup to hold the marker still and carefully poured the paint into the reservoir. There are two glass ball bearings inside to keep the paint mixed.

I began by pinning my fabric to the paint table but found that it moved too much when using the marker, I needed to push down on the felt to open the valve and start the flow of paint. I solved this by ironing the fabric to freezer paper and pinning it all to my print table (the yellow blob on the centre-left was when I forgot to replace the value that controlled the flow!)

I loved the wide 60mm. marker, I could see making large swoops and circles with it. The narrower 15mm wedge was great for a variety of lines as well and the narrowest one at 2mm was perfect for lettering and finer detail.

So are these any different from other commercial fabric markers? Well, for one, you can custom mix your colours, so you aren't having to use just what the manufacturer  provides. You can also use a wide variety of products.....whatever can flow through the felt tips can be used, paint, dye, bleach or?? Finally, I do love the wider tips, they appeal to my inner graffiti artist and I promise not to vandalize anything but my own art!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Hot Diggety! Two Pieces Accepted!!!

I'm thrilled to bits that my two entries into the Sooke Fine Arts Show have been accepted.  I decided that this would be the year that I seriously started entering shows and so far its working well for me!  Maybe they will sell! These are the two pieces:

Windows #2
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Sunday, June 23, 2013

Books On Sunday

Last weekend I was teaching at the Minnesota Quilt show in Duluth, MN. When I teach I rarely have time for anything else, but I did sneak a few minutes to see the wonderful quilts on display. I usually don't shop for much at the vendors but I was on the lookout for the latest Quilt National 2013 book. I was thrilled to find it and spend much of my plane ride home looking through and admiring all the stunning work by 85 different artists.

In my dreams I would love to be accepted to this show, I think many would agree that it is the ultimate show for contemporary and innovative quilts in North America. The book showcases a wide range of styles, themes, sizes and techniques and gives voice to many of the voices and visions of quilt artists working today.
If you would like to see the winners of the exhibition check them out here:
And if you'd like to order the book, go here:
I think I'm going to work on an entry for next year!

Friday, June 21, 2013

New Work

Last night I finished a piece that I had blogged about a few days ago. I've very happy about it as it is a trial piece for a much larger one that I plan to start painting and waxing the fabric for shortly.
I've finally titled it "To the Roof" as in the song "......up the ladder, to the roof" from the Supremes. You can check out the full lyrics here:
The pieces suggested "Snakes and Ladders" to me, but I thought that was a little predictable! And I decided against "Burning in the Night"...........
I had made the fabric with soy wax resists, thickened dye and then a layer of dilute dye for the background soft greys. The pieced segments are very relaxed, very narrow sashing strips and I played around with a straight line machine quilting design using variegated black and white threads and a bright red 12 weight rayon.
Here it is as an unfinished piece:
And this is it, all quilted:

 And here is a detail shot of the piecing and quilting:

Monday, June 17, 2013

New Fall Colours Quilt Cruise Blog Post

I've just posted more information about our Fall Colours Quilt Cruise here:  This post is all about our stop in the port of Halifax. I hope you will be able to join us, its not too late! Lots of wonderful scenery and history as well as some great quilting projects!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

One Word Wednesday


Tuesday, June 4, 2013

New Work - On a Roll!

When I got home after my travels I was feeling pretty tired. I spent a few days getting myself reorganized, unpacked (repacked too, but that's another story) and and generally re-orienting myself in my studio. Once that was done, I felt a little lost. No projects were burning a hole in me, no absolutely urgent deadlines to be met, so for a couple days I felt at loose ends.
So I took some time to putter about and not worry about working.....
Then early last week I got back into my groove and started working, really hard! Here's some of what I've done:

Friday Traffic and Rush Hour are mounted on frames and will be two of my entries into a show this fall. They measure 12" square and use my soy wax resist fabrics. Lots of heavy quilting!

Flywheel is also 12" square but has been backed and has a facing applied. I'm  beginning to really enjoy lots of dense quilting with heavy threads......
This one has no name, but perhaps you can suggest one? Again, lots of dense quilting. I may even cut it into a different shape......

As they used to say on Monty Python.....and now for something completely different! I finished this top today and have it sandwiched and ready for quilting. I may go and buy some grey threads, I seem to be lacking those in my stash! This is actually a prototype/practice piece for something I plan on later this fall. But I need to spend time with the wax pot and make more fabrics!
What have you been working on?