This has been a busy month, and continues to be, but last Friday I (Kathryn) met with a small group of friends who also love exploring art quilting ideas and techniques. When one of us finds something we want to try, it’s suggested to the group and if enough of us want to do it, we all dive in. We also bring things to have them critiqued, for suggestions on where to go next if we get stuck with a project, and we can share techniques that worked (and those we found difficult) often to learn that someone else in the group can give some guidance on how to make the difficult stuff easier. The formal name for a group like this is a salon – going back to the French Impressionists and Fauves who worked as a group to get their work shown in galleries and museums. We call ourselves the FABS – and we are Fabulous Stitchers! We do make a point of setting dates to work together. Each experimental session is led by one of us who has already tried the technique. I have grown immensely as an artist working with this group and the more formal Capital Region (Albany, NY) Textile Artists who meet once a month.
On Friday we ice dyed our own silk and cotton fabrics. It’s extremely easy to do. There was an article in Quilting Arts Magazine earlier this summer which served as the inspiration for our day of experimentation. The magazing article included step by step instructions, but if you do not have a copy, you can find an online tutorial at Dharma Trading, as well as purchase everything you need through their online shop. Dharma is one of our go-to resoruces for textile art supplies. All you need is a plastic strainer, a pot it can sit down in with at least 3” of space between the bottom of the colander and the bottom of the pot, soda ash for presoaking your fabrics and some fabric dyes – even powdered RIT will work. Once set up, we covered the fabric and ice filled colanders with plastic wrap. Then you let it sit for 12-20 hours before rinsing. That’s the hard part! Waiting, not touching, and wondering what it will all look like.
The picture here is of my pot – an old enameled canning pot that I haven’t used for canning in probably 15 years, holding my colander filled with fabric, then ice and then the dye, sprinkled over the top of everything.
Two of the FABS have ice dyed before, so they brought their finished fabrics. The photos here are examples of what they did. One was folded carefully before placing in the pot; the fabrics in the basket were just “scrunched” randomly.
The next day, I washed out my fabrics and was very pleased with the results!
I have no idea what the fabrics will be used for, but I did dye some silk scarves that I’m hoping will become Christmas presents for friends. Some ¾” white silk ribbon and perle cotton thread were also thrown into my pot to see what they would do. I plan to use them for embroidery, embellishment, and quilting.
In the midst of your busy schedules, it’s good to set aside some time for yourself. I would encourage anyone who would like to explore techniques like this to find a small group of friends to “play” with. It’s fun, we teach each other and catch up on what our kids and/or grandkids are up to. Some techniques get added to my repertoire and some just don’t excite me, but it’s always worth the time to try something new.
Join us at the QUILT Schenectady Guild Show at the historic, Proctors Theater, Schenectady, NY on October 1st & 2nd. KayLynn Designs will be vending both days. The spectacular show includes over 200 quilts, vendors, demonstrations, and appraisals. Join our Newsletter or follow us on Facebook to recieve an exclusive coupon to use at our booth during the show!
On the Road to Vermont
Next week, KayLynn Designs is on the road to Burlington, VT. Kathryn and Lynn will be presenting their lecture, Amish Shadows Light Reflected on Tuesday evening, October 4th. On Wednesday, October 5th, Kathryn will be teaching Broiderie Perse. This is an old appliqué style which Kathryn has brought into the 21st century with an updated technique, machine stitching, and art quilting ideas. There will also be guidance in creating beautiful antique reproduction quilts. The picture to the right is a block from a Jacobean style broiderie perse quilt of Kathryn’s. Go to www.cvqgvt.org for more information.
Later in October Kathryn will be at View Gallery in Old Forge, NY. Their annual show, 2016 Quilts Unlimited opens on Saturday, October 15. In addition, they will have an exhibit titled, Keeping With Tradition: Log Cabin Quilts, opening October 1 and open through November 6, 2016. Kathryn is the Juror of Awards for Quilts Unlimited and is the featured speaker at the luncheon on the 15th. Check out their website, www.viewarts.org for more information on these and other upcoming exhibits and events.