Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Fall Colours Quilt Cruise Update

We just visited the Stories in Stitches Quilt and Needlework Show in Charlottetown, PEI located in a lovely old church in the heart of the city. The quilts were beautifully displayed over pews and along the walls. The Kindred Spirits Guild members warmly welcomed us as we viewed many generations of work, both old and new pieces. The show also included some CQA award winners!

Enjoy, Susan!

Location:University Ave,Charlottetown,Canada

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Round Robin Surface Design

After my last post about the Printed Fabric Bee, I remembered a Round Robin that I participated in a few years ago with members of the Complex Cloth Yahoo Group.
As I recall, we stated with a yard of our chosen fabric, dyed it and then sent it on to the first of four other artists. It took almost a year before our fabrics came back and it was such a delight to see how different they were. I had sent off three different fabrics, a cotton and linen blend:

A cotton lawn:

And a PFD cotton, they all started as a pale yellow:

Participants had screened printed, overdyed, stamped, discharged and painted with thickened dyes, it was wonderful to see the wide range of techniques.
I learned so much in the process, especially to honour the colours and designs that others had done previously and to enhance that work rather than detract from it.
Perhaps some of you might like to build your own Round Robin?
Enjoy, Susan!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

The Printed Fabric Bee

It's officially started! And I'd love it if you would join our Facebook page and read about all the exciting news....the bees are buzzing!

The Printed Fabric Bee is a printed fabric exchange between ten professional textile artists. Each month a member of the chooses a theme, making her the Queen, and the members of the Hive create a piece of fabric based on her choices. In the end, each member will have a collection of custom made fabric made by all the members of the Hive.

We will post about the fabric we create on this Facebook page. Thanks for joining us! :)

See us at:

Please visit our members at their websites:

Lynn Krawczyk:
Julie B. Booth:
Gerrie Congdon:
Leslie Riley:
Carol R. Eaton:
Jackie Lams:
Lisa Chin:
Susan Purney Mark:
Lynda Heines:
Pokey Bolton:

Friday, September 6, 2013

Print a Pair - New Thermofax Screen Sets

I've been busy this week designing new screens to be used as single screens with great designs or as a set to create even more exciting images.
You can start with Dandelion Stems and repeat them over a dye printed background:

Or you can take the Dandelion Blossoms and sprinkle those over a sky fabric:

Or combine the two screens for Dandelions waving in the breeze:
 Think of the design possibilities!!!

How about Tree Tops:

 Then perhaps some Cherry Blossoms:

Put them together and what have you got:
Its spring time in the orchard!
These screens and other designs come as sets of two screens in three different much fun, so many possibilities! Check them out at:
Why not try one or two?

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Create Beauty in my Soy Wax Workshop

This seems to be the week that many people are heading back to school. I used to love packing all my new school supplies and starting fresh with my pencils and notebooks. How about you?

I've scheduled an exciting  workshop on Vancouver Island where we can devote two entire days to creating beautiful fabrics with dyes and soy wax. I hope you will join me!

 We'll be covering topics such as:
  • Layering Wax and Dye – plus Value Gradations
  • Using Thickened Dyes – with Screen Printing
  • Pattern Resist – Pole Wrapping and Clamp Resist
  • Stitch Resist – a Surprising Technique! 
  •  Using colour and pattern in new ways with sponging, stamping, drizzling and dabbing.

You will get a comprehensive supply list prior to the workshop, the supplies are all easy to find and I will bring all the necessary dyes, paints and chemicals.
The workshop is in a lovely 1200 sq. ft. studio space so there will be plenty of room for everyone. If you are coming from out of town, there is a Best Western nearby and we have ar5ranged a corporate rate for you.

Please join me on November 5-6, 2013 for this workshop! You can register and get more details here:

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Good, Better, Best

When my children were teenagers they would often play a game at youth group called "Good, Better, Best". The idea was to start out with an inexpensive item,  and by visiting neighbours, try to trade up for a better item. By the time they had finished the game they had acquired intriguing and often fun items to show at the group. The winner was chosen by which team had traded up to the "best" item. A well known variation of this game can be found here:
What does this have to do with my work? Well, I had made a piece of fabric with soy wax resist, dye and textile paint. I had envisioned a vibrant and exciting result. What I got was this:

Not too impressive! My vision was very different from my outcome. But I always remember my textile design tutor telling me "when in doubt, do MORE" and I carry that thought often into my work. If a piece of cloth or quilt just doesn't excite me, very often it just needs MORE.
So back to the wax pot and a more intense layer of colour.

Once I washed the wax (remember, its soy wax, so cleaning is easy) and dye out, it was much better. But not quite good enough, it needed MORE!

This time I went back into the fabric with textile paints and a thermofax screen. I printed in bright magenta and then rotated the screen and printed again with vivid pink. This is the screen design I used:
Now I'm happy, I think the fabric is the best it can be. I think you'll agree that doing MORE is worthwhile. When have you found that doing MORE gives you MORE than you expected?