Friday, October 31, 2008

Dyeing Weekend

Last weekend I led a 2 1/2 day dyers retreat here in Victoria. The students and I began on Friday evening by discussing their plans and hopes for the time in the dye pots and what previous experience the students had. The students all made colour samples for future reference and a colour blending chart.

On Saturday morning we started with simple low water immersion recipes but after lunch I demonstrated pole wrapping, clamp dyeing and stitched Shibori. The students loved all the variety of techniques and had so much fun creating a variety of pattern and colour on cloth!

On Sunday morning we discussed their successes and continued with a few more dyeing plans. After lunch I showed the students a variety of discharge products, including bleach pens, discharge paste and dishwasher liquid.

Students found it very helpful to document their work, create colour plans and write thei thoughts and ideas through the processes.

Lastly we displayed their work from the weekend and discussed ideas and thoughts they had for working with their new fabric.

A great weekend and we're all eager to play with the dye pots again!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

New Art Cloth

I've been working on some dyed fabric and adding layers of colour by silkscreening and painting thin lines. I used the Stewart Gill Alchemy paints for the silk screening. They are thick and very pigment rich. I love working with them.

The screen was partially blocked with soy wax that I had brushed's not permanent as I can wash it out with hot water later. I love the soy wax and use it often for batik, it melts at a lower heat, there's no smell and I can remove it very easily.

Once I was finished with the painting I let it dry and then heat set it with a hot iron. I'm very pleased with the results.

Monday, October 20, 2008

It's So Exciting!!!!

I just got the latest newsletter from The Quilt Show with Ricky Tims and Alex Anderson and its has a sildeshow preview of our taped episode that's due to air Oct. 27th! I can hardly wait!

You can see the slide show here:

Be sure you're a member of The Quilt Show so you can see the episode next week. In the mean time here's couple of pictures to whet your appetite! Photos by Gregory Case.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Empress Tiles

Last year I taught at the York Heritage Quilters Guild in Toronto and one of the classes was my original design, Empress Tiles. This project is in my book Fat Quarter Frenzy (AQS) and was inspired by floor tiles at the Empress Hotel here in Victoria, BC.

One of my students, Tracey Lawko sent me a picture of her finished project. She used some of her collection of African fabrics and a wonderful border print. I think you'll agree that it is a beautiful quilt. Tracey had worked at the Empress Hotel and so had a personal connection with the design and concept. Thank you, Tracey!

Friday, October 17, 2008

One Hour Quilts

Over the last two years I have challenged myself to occasionally create quick little art quilts in a very short period of time. I call these my "One Hour Quilts" and my time limit (excluding binding) is just one hour. They aren't meant to be great works of art but little creative spurts of energy where I can explore a technique, a colour arrangement, a shape, or a theme.

I have a lot of fun with these, they are kept purposely small and are perfect for little gifts changing wall arrangments.

Try them and you'll find they're quite addictive.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Pretty Enought to Eat!

My son-in-law is always surprising us with his creative abilities, but this is the first time he used food! A delightful sight he placed on the table I just had to take a picture.....

Thanks Rene

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Teaching in Ontario

I taught a number of diffferent classes in Ontario last month and had a great time meeting quilters and visiting with old friends. I had a very warm welcome to Country Concessions in Cookstown owned by Darlene Cooper. Darlene even had a sign outside the shop to announce my arrival...a great ego booster!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Sketching and Art Journal Supplies

I keep several sketch books going at any one time. One is a theme book for a project that is due next spring, I keep all my notes, drawings, photos, and colour studies in that. Another one is an ongoing study of trees. In that one I have rubbings, photos, and just about anything that is related to trees, I expect that this sketchbook will last me for many years to come and I can pull ideas for my artwork from that book.

Another book is my ongoing work that includes notes from workshops I've taken, exercises that inspire me for the moment, and quick notes of ideas that might disappear if I don't write them down. This book goes lots of different places with me so its smaller than some of my other ones (9" x 9") and through different attempts I've created a sketching case that includes most other supplies I might need.

The case includes a variety pencils; 2H, HB, 2B and such, finepoint black markers (some people like the Sharpie brand, but I prefer Pigma) a small ruler, my lino cutter and blades and a couple of small cheap erasers for carving stamps. I also have cello tape, a couple of brushes, and a small art knife. From time to time I might include a small group of acrylic or watercolour paints, a glue stick, a small assortment of crayons and a pair of scissors.

This case has just about all that I need and I can pick it up and go wherever I'm heading without having to pack it each time.

Consider something like this for yourself and you can be an "artist on the go"!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Checkerboard Cherries

I'm very excited about the latest McCall's Quilting magazine (December 2008 issue). My quilt Checkerboard Cherries is on page 32! The quilt is 74" square and uses black and white fat quarters, making this quilt made a small dent in my fabric stash. Although the cherries and leaves are red and green, the quilter could use almost any applique motif for the blocks. The triangular border was fun to do and it was quilted by Daphne and myself. Many thanks to my friend, Carol, for coming up with the name for this quilt.