Category Archives: surface design

Stitched Resist Results/Tutorial

I had quite a few people ask me to share my process so I thought I would do a mini tutorial. 
You will need Mx dyes, urea, print paste, soda ash and a paint brush. 

1. Prepare the print paste mix the night ahead. I started with 2 cups of water , 2T urea and 2 T print paste. It was way too runny so I added a few more tablespoons until it was like syrup. It thickened overnight to the consistency of thick honey which was perfect.

2. I had stitched this piece of cotton with my design of choice using upholstery thread. I pulled the threads tight and tied a square knot in about 3 threads at a time.

Stitched and tied piece ready to dye
3. I mixed my soda ash a little stronger than usual-1/4 cup to 1 Liter. I applied the soda ash to the piece using a brush as I really didn’t want it soaked through. I wanted to see more white than actual color in the back ground. 
4. Dyes were mixed stronger than usual too: 30 grams MX dye, 2 T urea and 250 milliliters of water. 
5. I added some of the mixed dyes to the print paste and stirred it thoroughly. I used Prochem’s deep navy, tangerine and loden which is an olivey green. 
Dyes mixed and added to the print paste

6. I again used a paint brush to apply the dye/print paste mixture.

Print paste and Dye mix applied

7. I covered it in plastic wrap so it wouldn’t dry out and let it batch  overnight.

Covered in plastic to batch in a warm place overnight

8. The next day I carefully cut the tied threads and pulled it out prior to rinsing. I really need a seam ripper, tweezers and my small scissors. It was time consuming but exciting to see the reveal.

Pulling out the threads prior to rinsing

9. Then I rinsed in cold, then hot and popped it in the washing machine with a little synthrapol.

final piece

close up

I didn’t look at my surface design notebooks or the many books I have….I was impatient and was just winging it but it turned out really pretty.  I am sure the many books out there have more concise instructions but this is how I did it!

I am going to pick out some of my hand dyed embroidery threads and have a new stitching project to work on.

Hodge Podge

     Just a sampling of what I did before the trip here last Thursday.

Tried to finish up some fabric dyeing of deep browns, blues and a funny mustard color.

I hand basted my Artprize piece-twice. The first time I didn’t follow the You Tube directions correctly using Sharon Schambers method. I really resisted hand basting but was going to hand carry this throughout the airport. The idea of hundreds of safety pins going off through security convinced me to do it.  A few wobbly lines which I am calling organic have been sewn in. Yes, I am doing this one from top to bottom with the walking foot.

And I squeezed in a little ice dyeing. I had a few pieces of fabric left and it was so hot I thought it a great time to try it.

A little ice on top of soda soaked fabric.

A little dye sprinkled on top of the ice and then a few more layers of fabric.

Twenty four hours later, I rinsed as usual and washed and I have some interesting pieces.

Nice markings on the fabrics and it was super easy.

I was stuck in the airport for about 36 hours and my husband came to get me in a CT airport.  I retrieved my lost luggage on Sunday which had the thread it in it for machine quilting. It was really an adventure from the netherlands which I have no idea why it always happens to me.  But this time it exhausted me .

In Vermont now for a few weeks and I hope I catch my breath enough to get the stitching down on Miss Artprize.

Clamping with Resists

     Last week’s class with Elin Noble was definitely a techniques and knowledge class. So, my goal for the week was to try everything at least once so I would have a good understanding of how to do it when I went home and tried to reproduce it. I was rotten at taking notes with my gloves on but I made a boatload of “samples”.

My Fabric Samples Wall-mid week

 That’s a better picture for you. I even did a shirt!

Linen  (clamped) discharged with Thiox and over dyed 

Linen (clamped) discharged with Thiox and over dyed

Cotton Bamboo blend clamped 

Cotton clamped and overdyed
Betsy having fun with her formulas

We looked like mad scientists mixing and fussing with all this color and fabric. I didn’t take enough friends pictures and the ones I did have others work in them so I can’t post them. Class rules. The procedures were time-consuming but it was great fun unwrapping what we worked on.

All the samples I have shown above are done with Procion Mx dyes. More results tomorrow. Elin is a great teacher. If you have the opportunity to take a class from her, do not hesitate for one minute!

Elin Noble at the Barn

The Crow Barn

      I am home after spending last week at the Crow Barn. I took a class with the lovely Elin Noble called Additions and Subtractions.  We moved quickly and were able to spend extra time with some additional things not originally scheduled.

    We covered three different types of dyes: Procion Mx dyes, acid dyes and vat dyes.  And  I learned a bundle of techniques: shibori stitching and pole wrapping, clamping, discharge with thiox, using a pleater and also how to mix and make all the solutions. Just writing this makes me a little tired! We were busy as always and Elin kept the day packed with lecture and then trials of all the principles.

Clamping with resists and Mx Dyes

My work table in the wet studio

More clamping with resists
Early in the week- my fabric wall

     Sorry this picture is so dark as I didn’t turn the lights on to take it. I need to process some others I took later in the week.

    Elin was another fantastic teacher -kind, extremely knowledgeable about dyes and surface design and just plain fun to be around. I had way too much fun!  More results coming up this week.

Off To Class Again

     I know, I know I am supposed to be buckling down and doing the work with new focus. I am still machine quilting so that does indeed count. I am continuing with my little mini master’s art degree as planned this year. Scheduled next week starting Sunday is a class at the Barn taught by Elin Noble. I have been busy gathering supplies in between machine quilting. And getting a little nervous and very excited. I have always admired Elin’s work so I am sure it will be a great adventure.

    I also had signed up for the Sets and Variables # 3 at the Barn taught by Nancy Crow in October. After this, my money tree fund is all gone. I am also realizing that the next class or the next technique learned doesn’t get the work done. You have to do it yourself. 🙂 I love all these life lessons. Geez. Fun though.


Friday Wrap Up

     I spent lots of time this week machine quilting. If I wait until I am finished with it to blog again, it might the year 2013! I feel like a turtle and keep thinking there has to be a quicker way to achieve dense quilting. (Ahh-yes, there is another unmet goal of learning to free motion quilt. I have promised myself to work on it this summer.)

Clamping and folding in the indigo pot. Nice to be able to come back to it and know how to “revive” it and work on new pieces.

 Taking inventory and setting up the dye studio. Fabric has been ordered to dye but way too cold here yet!

Some indigo photos. I love how when you take it out of the dyepot, it is this deep blue green color. And then with air contact , it oxidizes right before your eyes.  I really love watching it happen.

 The little moons need a special piece. Maybe some hand stitching. Linen accepts the dye so beautifully.
 I had bought a bolt of it years ago when a shop went out of business and sadly this is the last piece I had.
Does anyone have a source for ordering linen for purposes of dyeing?

A Really Lovely Workshop with Lyric Kinard

     I spent the last two days at a workshop sponsored by our West Michigan Quilt Guild. We bring in a teacher every two months and this month we had the real treat of hosting Lyric Kinard. I remember mentioning this in my last post and someone commented that Lyric is just lovely and that is exactly how I would describe her.

     I took the first class which was Surface Design sampler platter: thermofax printing, using textile paints with carved erasers , citrosolve photo transfers  onto fabric, using grey gel and foil, wonder under and foil, wonder under and ….many techniques to create a small journal cover.

Lyric Kinard and surface design

Lyric starting out the day with a carved eraser stamping demonstration. It definitely was a taste of the various techniques and I made lots of little samples to remember them. The next day was the” Bead It Like You Mean It “class. She has a new DVD out about various beading techniques which I purchased but didn’t watch yet.

Lyric Kinard -beading demonstration

 I really appreciated how she uses a small camera to display the beading demonstrations.

Lyric using the overhead screen 

Lyric’s box of cabuchons 

She had a beautiful box of cabochons to attach  with beading. Oh so pretty .

Lyric Kinard’s beading sampler

Lyric Kinard’s work displayed for class

 She  also gave a marvelous lecture on the elements of art and it passed by so quickly with all the beautiful quilts she used to illustrate her lecture. 

    I really appreciated her calm professionalism and her absolutely wonderful teaching demeanor. I walked away calm and confident to try new things and use all of her beading techniques. So it was a treat and a privilege. Lyric was lovely and no wonder she was awarded 2011 Teacher of the Year by the Professional Quilter Magazine.

Obsessive Stitching: Mokume

     One of the reasons that I wanted to try working with an indigo vat was for this reason: obsessive stitching to use as a resist can really be beautiful.

 I drew a pattern lightly on a piece of fabric and stitched under the lines. I used Coats and Clark embroidery thread.

 Once I finished stitching,  I wet the fabric and pulled all the lines tightly and tied them  in a knot.

I dipped it  in my indigo pot and this pot was the one containing the Pro Chem  pre-reduced indigo crystals. I used about three dips manipulating under the water . I let it oxidize to blue. I rinsed and started taking out the stitching. Yes, you read it right in that you remove the hours of stitching you put in. And you will be left with this gorgeous patterning . Some of my threads are still there.

That is beautiful texture to be cut up and used in another stitched piece which will be stitched again in the quilting phase.

It makes me fall in love all over again with stitching. Patience and the beauty of the stitch.

Settling In and 4 Minutes of Dreaming

     I was really tired for a few days after I had finished my class work. The adrenaline must be wearing off. I kept going though and have weeded through my work basket and purged a few projects that really never need to be finished. They truly were just experiments or class exercises. That was a good feeling. My studio was all  sparkly clean on Saturday and ready to go.

     I am machine quilting an oldie deemed worthy of finishing and hope to have it finished  in a few days.

      I also started a 1-2-3 lime fructose indigo vat.  I love blue.  I know -what am I doing now? After a long weekend of pondering what to do with my current class schedule, I decided to proceed as I scheduled. And paid for.  I had joined in on the on line class of dyeing indigo with Glennis Dolce before Christmas.  I may not fully participate and save some of the info for summer.  But as I was mixing it up tonight, I realized that I really missed my little  Rooflines motif the past few days. And figuring out that I missed what had been working on just was even more confirmation that working in a series is what  I want to do. And then I wasn’t a bit tired anymore. Just ready to go back to work.

     I won’t stop with surface design work but will contain it. How would you like to go to school here? What a beautiful video of a beautiful place! Enjoy and dream.