Monday, May 31, 2010

Weave Inlay

Here are a few more weaving explorations - the last one is a photo on cotton of a painting I did interwoven with stripes - I think a different fabric would look better but it's not sewn so I can change that if I want.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Safe Keeper

Another item I got at yesterday's rummage sale was a wool sweater made in Austria that I put to use in a next woven piece today, as well as the cotton handkerchief backing and green striped fabric. I've also included some of my hand dyed cotton and natural dyed silk strips, and the applique is a photo on cotton of a pencil crayon mandala I drew years ago. This one is basted and ready to stitch. The photo below shows one of two tiny pockets with weights sewn inside the wool sweater - I loved finding them - like secret hiding places. Maybe I will include one somewhere in this piece, a little pocket for safe keeping.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Lucky Me!

What a pleasurable day I've had. In the morning I found these doilies and fabrics at a rummage sale, as well as other linens. And I spent the afternoon putting coffee on for Australian Gloria Loughman's workshop sponsored by the Victoria Quilt Guild. I was very fortunate to see a wonderful quilt of hers that I have only seen in photos before - 'Kimberley Mystique', as she said it will be the last time she takes it on her travels as it has a permanent spot on the wall in her new home. It is absolutely amazing and huge - that is it folded up on one of the desks, but you can see it here if you scroll over the third thumbnail square down on the left: , although you won't see all the incredible stitched pattern and detail. The workshop was held in an old schoolhouse - I loved seeing the old desks, coal burning stove and an owl sitting with books in the room next to the one where the workshop was taking place. Lots of colours in what the participants were working on and Gloria had her new book 'Quilted Symphony' there as well as her glorious hand dyed fabrics.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Photos into the Weave

I've been wanting to try adding photos to the weaving and now I have - this photo is printed on the ready to print cotton sheets. When I pulled it off the backing, I thought to try to iron the backing onto the natural dyed silk from yesterday and ran it through the printer again. The result is muddier then I would like, so I may wash the silk again to remove the photo and still keep it for something else. But now I know that the paper sized backing of the commercial printing sheets can be reused for putting photos on my hand dyed cloth.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Label Experiment

Not all experiments work out, or they would just be called 'successes'. I'd heard that you can back a full sheet Avery sticky backed label with fabric and run it through the printer, so I got out a piece of my natural dyed silk - some of the materials I had used to dye it related to the photo collage I wanted to print on it (third photo) which shows an Arbutus tree leaf decomposing and seeming to float into the air where the tree it came from is pictured against the sky. I call it 'Return to Home'. I was careful to trim any stray threads and get the fabric smoothed down and it went through the printer just fine and I printed a second test photo in sepia on it. But when I went to remove the fabric from the sticky label - well you can see it didn't work. What a mess to clean off, but I did remove it all in the sink with a scrub brush and the pictures went with it - although the fabric now has a pink colour where the photos once were. I do have sheets of fabric that I purchased as printer ready, but that fabric is plain white. I have also heard that backing fabric with freezer paper can work, so I might try that in the future. The last photo shows a recent weaving I did that I've pinned to a wool backing - a thrift store find that happened to be the exact colour I needed! I've added strips of silk along the bottom as a fringe and now it's ready for some stitching.

Weaving Processes

I decided to combine a variety of weaving possibilities in one piece. The pale peach silk strip is from an old tie and nearly all the rest are garage sale remnants. For me, this weaving visually captures the movement from basic block weaving to expanding by using other techniques - and Jude has posted yet another variation in her online class to try, plus I have other ideas ... The bottom doily has words I've printed on organza woven in. I am reminded of a sentence I once wrote as the opening of a paper on the function of narrative in therapy and I notice that the weaving metaphor I used was years before I was doing any sewing or work with cloth: 'The words we weave both form and inform the fabric of our lives, creating colourful cloaks of security and obscurity from others and ouselves." Some parts are hidden, some rise to the top... All in all a very interesting process.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

A Dream Comes True

Wow - I'm so excited - I'm published through SharedBook! The book of my first year of blogging arrived today by post and I'm thrilled to have done this and plan to continue for each subsequent year, as I want to have a physical record of the images and journey as I follow my 'fibre heart'!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Weaving Along

Here is some more of what I'm weaving - regular and irregular shapes, curved strips and stripes woven with space between. My studio counters are heaped with fabrics as I act on idea after idea. I notice wanting to complete each piece or add it to a larger whole, as I usually work on one thing at a time. However, I think it's important to try alot of ideas so that I learn the various techniques in the workshop and then I can apply them to a finished piece. I just want to work 24 - 7!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Wet Felted Bag

My newly made wet felted bag is out drying on the deck. I enjoyed the whirlwind class at Knotty By Nature and hope I will remember how to make another one. We each made up our own design, choosing whether to have pockets or not, their size and whereabouts, what colours and types of wool and or silk. I've used Corriedale and silk for mine and I added a front pocket and two side pockets on the outside and I may strenthen them with some fabric lining once the bag is dry. Also, I will stitch down the salmon coloured flap and maybe add a magnetic catch or button. Very fun!

Friday, May 21, 2010

The Wonderful World of Weaving

Out walking last night I went past an opening in the trees and my attention was grabbed by the pattern of white and red 'strips' on the door and I was thinking weaving and fibre, not wood. I am also dreaming about weaving, so you can tell what's on my mind! The block in the second photo has another type of weaving within some weaving, so now I have tried the 3 methods Jude has given us in the online class - and - I have so many more ideas. I just had to try weaving some felted wool and ribbon...

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Playing With Blocks

Here's the woven piece I'm working on so far. Jude has given us several options for weaving cloth strips, including the one I"ve done in the corner above. The top photo shows my small blocks surrounding the larger centre (unsewn) and I'm going to play with them and maybe make different ones to see if I want to keep this design or make changes. I am enjoying myself and can see so many ways to take this further.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Turning A Corner

I'm pleased with how my woven corner turned out and the piece is increasing in size, with the addition of a dark purple ikat. I have 18 four inch woven blocks, now - not sewn, yet - and I've been combining them in different ways, thinking about whether I'd like to make them into two 12 inch blocks and surround the centre block with them and others - or - I could add a band of solid fabric or try more ideas for small blocks that I have. But one step at a time! I am enjoying this process, and this way of working by expanding from the inside out is a return to the very first thing I sewed when I got my machine about 3 1/2 years ago, when I knew nothing about sewing but googled 'art quilter', as I wanted to make an art quilt and was led to a book on the internet that was available quite geographically close to me - and I couldn't wait to have it: The Careless Quilter by Kristin Miller . I was too impatient to get sewing to actually read far into the book, but it was an inspiration and got me started. I just took some scraps of all different kinds of fabrics and began with a square in the middle, turned it on its point and then added corners, strips, etc. I have noticed before that I prefer to start pieces from the centre and work out - or - to lay a ground quickly and then collage or stitch on top of that.

Monday, May 17, 2010


I decided to weave with a uniform small size and try out a variety of values, number of strips, orientations and fabrics, including lace. I am very interested in taking my diamond or 'x' shaped weaving further, as that is a shape that I especially like and used as part of a personal symbol I once developed for a former business. Cloth to Cloth is lively - Jude gives us a little of what she does and everyone responds with their own creating and what's really great is that she is going to develop the information she gives us in response to where we are heading - a very alive approach that I think is ideal! She is what-iffing right along with the class.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Weaving a Base

I've woven silk strips - some of it my natural dyed silk - as well as a textured cotton and a batik together as part of the learning I'm doing in the online class Cloth to Cloth. And I spent most of the day at the Victoria Quilt Guild Show, working a shift there and finishing seeing all the fine work. I notice that I am most drawn to hand quilting and texture.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Victoria Quilt Guild Show

The Victoria Guild's quilt show opened yesterday and I was there for the entire day, feasting my eyes on over 200 entries, from the large traditional variety to smaller original designs to wearables to a tablerunner challenge to community quilts to cloth dolls to fibre explorations - plus the items for sale in the store and the merchant's mall! I have two pieces hanging in the show and you can see them here: . 'Sea Change' (pictured above) is part of a group of seven fibre explorations hung together, each one made to uniform size, based on inspiration from another artist of any genre, and including a 'green' element. My piece is inspired by Jude Hill (Spiritcloth). Today is also the start of my online course with Jude on 'quilt weaving', and I had that in mind as I perused the merchant's mall, picking up a few silk and cotton fat quarters, here and there (okay - and a few books :)). As I was leaving, I saw a shadow quilt on the lawn - the perfect end to a delight-filled day. Thanks to everyone for all the effort involved in putting on the show, which continues all weekend.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

A bit of Everything

After this morning's quilt guild meeting featuring Eileen Wright and her bargello quilts, I came home inspired to machine piece and the top photo shows what I've done so far. And yesterday I was dying to dye, so these are a few samples - more uniformly orange then what I was hoping to get, as I used yellow, orange and red, but I like the patterning. And I've started hand stitching down the waves, which turns out to be a bit tricky as the chiffon moves around even with pins. Maybe using my Pfaff would have been a better choice. I also dropped off the two quilts I have entered in this weekend's 'Quilting With The Stars' show at the Saanich Fairgrounds and I'm looking forward to seeing everyone's work - there will be at least 220 quilts, other quilted items for sale and a merchant's mall.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Hatley Castle Treasures

I was walking in the gorgeous gardens at Hatley Castle yesterday, as part of the Mother's Day Art Walk tour featuring artists painting en plein air on the grounds, when I spied what I thought was a Eucalyptus tree and sure enough, it was a 'ghost gum', so I gathered some leaves from the ground below for future natural dyeing experiments, since these trees are not native here. I took a ton of photos - the stained glass panel was inside the castle and the sheep was at Coast Collective Gallery's booth - there were numerous art and craft venues displaying their work and the gallery was also open for viewing. The photo of old linens and laces is a jacket I bought from Mary Brownscombe, who combines them in interesting ways. It was a fabulous day.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Naughty Tales

I've decided to have the embroidery thread knots on the surface with longer tails as a fringe on the topside - and to curve my sky stitches using variegated thread. The bottom photo shows where I've unpicked a dart and hem in a pair of soft old jeans - I'm sure I'll find an interesting use for these little pattern surprises - especially since I will be taking Jude Hill's on-line spirit cloth workshop in just over a month. Last night I heard a bit about Quilt Canada, as some fellow members of my art quilt group had been to Calgary taking workshops and viewing the show. Susan Purney Mark was one of three judges for the National Juried Show, so there was plenty to talk about and it is always wonderful to share what we are working on.