Archive for September, 2012

Katazome – Round Tuit 9

September 27, 2012

After 2 years of looking at this:

propped up against the hearth in my family room, I finally got around to painting it.  That piece was screen printed in a Katazome workshop I took with Karen Miller years ago.  Instead of painting the second print in class – like everybody else who attended the workshop, I decided to bring this second piece home to paint it with thickened dye concentrates.  You know that saying about best intentions don’t you?  That fits me to a tee.

It’s time finally arrived, and here is a picture of the first paint step:

I put this on plastic on my front lawn, spritzed a soda ash mixture on it, covered it with more plastic and let it batch for 4 hours in the hot sun.  I was a bit worried about the soda ash mixture dissolving the soy resist, but it didn’t at all:

See all those nice clean cream lines?  That’s where the gold resist was.  Procion MX dye concentrates were used – the left over colors from my ice dyeing, and there was hardly any color run off on this silk fabric.

Day two, I painted the green vines overlaying the color blocks, and added a mixture of the green and boysenberry to get a very deep eggplant color for the centers.  Next came the soda ash spritzing.  I was a little bit over zealous, and got a small amount of color migration on the yellow blocks after the final batching and rinsing:

It’s not real noticeable, and I’m happy with how it turned out.

Am I finished?  I’m not sure.  I wish we could have used a dyed fabric background before we did the screen printing process.  I think it makes the print more interesting, and adds a lot of depth   The cream background seems stark to me.  Karen paints most of her background fabric before she screen prints, but that was not an option for this workshop.  We worked with the fabric provided by Karen, and had no time to dye or paint the fabric before we applied the screen designs.

If anybody has any suggestions on how to get some color on just the cream background areas, please let me know.  I don’t want to alter the dye painting at all, or I’d use a sheer over the entire piece.  Even a light color wash would change the dye painting – especially the yellow blocks.   And the reason I added a lot of  green around the print, is in case I decide to stretch this over a frame.

It feels very good to have finally tackled this project, but you know what?  You still can’t see the fireplace hearth in my family room.  It’s scary to see the pile of supplies and half finished projects laying against that hearth, and no, I’m not sharing a picture of that.  LOL  I’m going to leave you all with the illusion I’m organized, have no UFOs, and have a perfectly picked up home, sewing and knitting studio.



Garden Bounty

September 24, 2012

I appreciate color in my artwork, and in my food.  Luckily, my husband is a gardener, and we have had a pretty good crop of veggies this year – despite the drought conditions in the middle of summer.  Our corn and green bean crops suffered the most, but the rest of the garden has done well.

This is a picture of what my husband picked for our supper table yesterday:

Those veggies are so pleasing to me.  The colors were rich and saturated, and I knew I was going to make something wonderful with them.

Growing up in an Italian-American home, I saw my Dad harvest plenty of  tomatoes, and lots, and lots, and lots of zucchini in the past.  My Mom always fried the zucchini, or hollowed out the big zucchini and stuffed it with a hamburger and sauce combination.  I never liked it fried, and am not a big red meat eater, so zucchini was never high on my “veggie I like to eat” radar, yet my husband planted it every year.

About 10 years ago I came up with this idea:

I make a marinara.  It’s ridiculously simple to make, but tastes heavenly.   It’s the fresh veggies that make this meal.  You can not beat home grown tomatoes, and you can not beat cherry tomatoes for their sweetness –  especially at the end of the growing season.  And the extra bonus?  Not only does it taste great, it’s oh so healthy for you.

Diane’s Garden Fresh Marinara Sauce

Extra virgin olive oil to cover the bottom of a 1 quart CorningWare flat bottomed dish – It’s really not a lot of oil, but adds a lot of taste.

1/8 tsp Spice Islands powdered garlic – it’s grown in the USA – check your bottle labels.  The garlic grown in China makes me sick as a dog.  I’d use a clove of fresh garlic if my husband would eat garlic, but he hates garlic.  He can’t see it in the meal when I use powdered garlic, and what he doesn’t know, what hurt him.  LOL

1/8 tsp ground black pepper

1 tsp sea salt

Half the big zucchini in the picture – sliced – skin and all – you can the size I cut the zucchini in the picture

1 quart cherry tomatoes, cut in half

Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer for 15 minutes.

While the marinara is cooking, put some water in a pan, bring to a boil,  and make your whole wheat rotini.

Drain the rotini, and mix the marinara and pasta together.

Optional – 1 minute before you mix the marinara with your pasta, sprinkle  1/8 tsp of dried  basil into it, then combine the pasta and marinara.

Or if you’re lucky like me, cut some fresh basil from the garden and sprinkle it on top of your food after it has been plated.

Grate some fresh Parmesan cheese on top and mangia.


Ogden Art Group Meeting September 2012

September 21, 2012

Oh my gosh, we had so much fun yesterday.  Lucy brought a gorgeous purse she made for Show and Tell:

It was made of upholstery fabric with additional machine embroidery embellishments and ultra suede handles.  The lining was just as good looking as the bag itself:

I unsnapped the left edge so you could see how it expands if you want to really fill it up, but I like the sides snapped.  It gives a nice profile to the bag.

Karen had a beautiful piece, but no photos yet.  She and Lucy will be teaching the project at the October bead meeting, and I don’t want to ruin the surprise for everyone.  Hopefully, I’ll be attending that meeting too, and will have lots of photos to share then.

Jan – thank-you so much, Jan – demoed how to paint on copper and we made a necklace and earrings.   I very carefully wrote down the colors everyone used, and then forget to tag the photos, so I have no clue which picture belongs to which person.   I do have lots of pictures of beautiful pieces of painted copper though:

I totally forgot to take a picture of my pieces.  Heck, I’m lucky I took any pictures at all.   I put the camera on a table behind me, then was having so much fun, I almost forgot to take any pictures at all.

While we made jewelry yesterday, I plan on using this technique on copper pieces that will be used on my art quilts.


RAFA September 2012 Meeting

September 19, 2012

Last week I attended the Rochester Area Fiber Art meeting.  As usual, there were lots of beautiful pieces to inspire.

Anne had a gorgeous felted jacket:

She also had a large piece of yardage she had felted with beautiful silk inserts.  It takes a long time to create felted yardage, and hers is warm yet not bulky.  It drapes beautifully.


Caris modeled one of her jackets for us:

Beth took a class on dyeing with plants:

This was made with a variety of plants and I think one of them was sumac.  I carefully wrote all the plants down, and have no clue where I put the paper with all the details.  In the future, I’m bringing a notebook with me to the meetings so I don’t lose the information.


Kathi showed us this small piece:

She had more to show, but the photos came out lousy.  It’s too bad because one was a piece that she stamped the words to a poem on the fabric – letter by letter.  It took her hours and result was well worth the effort.

Tomorrow is my Ogden Art Group meeting, and we’re going to be painting on copper.  I love copper, and am really looking forward to learning this technique.




GVQC and Round Tuit 7 and 8

September 12, 2012

Last week was the first meeting for quilt club after our summer break, and it was very nice seeing everyone again.  There were quite a few convergence quilts thanks to a lot of the members attending the Ricky Tims Super Seminar, and I got a good photo of the one Judy Laurini made:

She even added the piping next to the outer binding – a technique shown at the seminar.  If you double click on the photo, it will enlarge for you, and you should be able to see that detail.

I did not get the name of the person who was making this, but thought it was a striking design, and she planned on having it completed for the UMC North Chili’s quilt show this weekend:

Some members were busy sewing garments over the summer and Jan DeTar made a beautiful dress for her daughter:

And Caris made some jackets – one for herself and one for her Mom:

I so want to be her sister.  Then maybe she’d make a jacket for me too.  😉

Y’all might think I forgot about my Round Tuit projects, but I haven’t.

Number 7 was learning a new way how to make flying geese.  It was in a recent issue of AQS magazine, and it worked beautifully.  Imagine my surprise when I googled it, and found the same directions all over the internet too.  Where have I been all these years?  LOL

I packaged up my sample blocks, the extra material, some thread,  the pattern from the magazine, and donated it to quilt club.  Hopefully, someone picked up  the package and is happily piecing away.  It’d make a great Comfort Quilt.  No pictures of the flying geese, but I do have one of Round Tuit Number 8:

This was a bag insert and another pattern from AQS I wanted to try.  I only did a little bit of the final step, but I was less than thrilled with this technique.  Maybe it was the fabric I choose.  It was quilting cotton, but on the beefy side, so the fabric tube was quite thick.  Regardless, I’m not going to finish it.  At this point in my life, I only sew what I want to sew.  I will happily package the pattern, the partially made insert, thread, and donate it at the next GVQC meeting.  Someone else might think it’s really neat, and do fabulous things with the technique.

That’s if I can make it to next month’s meeting.  I have knee surgery scheduled shortly with a 4 week to 4 month recovery, and I’m going to be back in a wheelchair for a bit.  I really hate having to use a wheelchair, and am feeling very sorry for myself.   Usually I’m pretty upbeat, but I’m in full pity party mode – reinforced by the book I’m currently reading – Pure, by Julianna Baggott.   It’s terribly disturbing, grim, and totally joyless.  I keep on hoping – that’s me, the eternal optimist – it will turn around, but I’m thinking it’d be a good idea for my own peace of mind to stop reading this book.

It’s actually well written.  It captures your attention and is hard to put down, but the graphic descriptions make me wince, and something tells me the story is not going to end well.   It’s time for a little Janet Evanovich.  Her books make me laugh out loud, and everybody knows that laughing makes you get better fast.



Ice Dyeing Part 3

September 3, 2012

This post will actually have 2 days of ice dyeing photos.  The third day was spent with a friend and I helped her with her pieces.  It was a lot of fun and her pieces came out great.   Here are a couple of photos from her dye session:

The fourth dye day I switched colors, but kept with Panda for the top rack position, and added RocLon muslin to the bottom of the tub.   I was in a rush getting ready to bring food over to my Dad’s house and only added two colors to the tub – Pro Chem 410 Turquoise and Pro Chem 711 Bright Green.  I was one mighty unhappy dyer when we got back home and I realized what I’d done:

It’s pretty, and will work well for a landscape quilt, but that is not what I was aiming for.  I figured what the heck, removed the top rack, and dumped a bunch of Pro Chem 801 Grape onto the RocLon muslin in the bottom of the tub.  24 hours batching, 24 hours in cold water, and after being washed and dried, this is what I got:

Now that is more what I was hoping to achieve.

Am I done with ice dyeing?  No.  After another trip to BJs – to pick up more ice – I think I’ll try dyeing some silk.   I want to compare the amount of rinsing required between the plant based vs animal based fibers.  The color runoff for the blues was pretty bad.  Everything in the washing machine turned blue.  I always throw a white towel in with my dyed fabrics.  It’s a good indicator if the fabric is colorfast or not.

That blue fabric required multiple washes and rinses before it stopped running, and no, I don’t use Synthrapol.  It bothers my lungs.  Ditto for Retayne.  I have to rely on the soaking in cold water and multiple washes, or in really bad cases, I simply boil the fabric.  Then I’m sure the color won’t run and ruin a project.

Silk never gives me the problems cotton does, so it will be interesting to see how the same blue, green and grape dyes will wash out of the silk.

To those who celebrate Labor Day, I hope you are having a wonderful day!!!