Sunday, August 31, 2008

break down printing

Last week I showed you the screen I was preparing for break down printing. Here are some pictures of the fabric I created using this screen. The fabric in the middle is a complex cloth.
I did a monoprint on it before the break down printing.
With this technique it is always a surprise how the fabric turns out. The quickness - or slowness - the dried thickened dye mixture responds to the printpaste is unpredictable and I guess that is the most interesting part :-).

Saturday, August 30, 2008

journal quilts and papermaking

Every month I make at least one journal quilt. This month the total is three :-). A couple of weeks ago I saw a hedgehog walking through my garden. For me it was the first one I saw in years, but looking at the reaction of my cats, they have seen them more often. The picture above shows the footprints of a hedgehog.

The coming months I am participating in a journal quilt challenge organised by Suzanne. The theme for September is: 'Nature, your view'. For this challenge I am using one of the journal quilts I started in Dijanne Cevaal's workshop. Both journal quilts I started that day are now finished, including binding, sleeve and label. The one at the right is the one I am using for this challenge. Both journal quilts represent the fruiting body of the Fatsia Japonica.

And the last picture for today are some paper sheets I made yesterday. This time I used an aluminium mesh and this worked much better for getting the pulp out of the water than insect screen material. I added some Procion dye powder to the pulp, that is the reason that my paper is a bit pink/red.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

workshop and challenge quilt

If you live around Amsterdam you might want to take the workshop I am teaching on October 25th at Birdblocks. Here you can read more details about it and how to sign up. I will be teaching raw edge applique, one of my favourite techniques. At the end of the workshop you will have made a small quilt.

On the Challenge group we are working with the theme 'Imagine'. I decided to focus on John Lennon's song and especially on the line: Above us only sky. On this picture you can see how

much I have done till today. I am also participating in the second ALQS swap and I think I am using this quilt for this swap at the same time. It fits what my partner wants:-).

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

workshop by Dijanne Cevaal

Dijanne Cevaal is at the moment in the Netherlands and she gave a workshop yesterday which I attended. We started with an inspirational picture, see picture at the left. I had picked a picture of a fruiting body of the Fatsia Japonica. Based on this picture we had to select a part and translate that into fabric. The next step was to change this, for instance by picking a different set of colors, or by changing the size, zooming in on a piece or whatever. As you can see my second step was a combination of both different colors and zooming in. Both journal quilts are not yet finished as my sewing machine was acting up.
The bonus of the workshop was that Dijanne had brought a couple of her quilts with her and I was able to take a good look at them. I can only say that they are awesome! If you want to see more or read about her musings, this is the link to her blog:

Sunday, August 24, 2008

this and that

I have been quilting for many hours this week on a quilt which unfortunately I can not yet show here. It is a quilt I want to enter in a Swiss show and one of the rules is that no pictures are allowed on the web till after the show.
What I can show you is some felted beads I made earlier this week. Each bead is 0,5 inch long.

And I can show you this. I am preparing a screen for breakdown printing and this is how it looks now:
After a couple of days it will be ready to do the screenprinting. Some of the stuff I put on it, I have no idea where the things are used for but wandering through a hardware store you see so many things you can use :-)

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Aspen trees in Minnesota

When I was in Minnesota I saw lots and lots of aspen trees. Took a number of pictures of them because I knew I wanted to do something with them. For me they asked for a quilt with a limited color palette: only black and white. I did a gradation with a black dye and made the background free style cutting a number of pieces. With undyed white fabric I cut out the shapes of the trees and fused the trees down. I used raw edge applique to stitch all the pieces. The black marks on the tree trunks were down with oil pastels - I could not find my black paintstik. With variegated black/white thread I stitched some extra lines on the tree trunks. After that the easy part was finished.
Aspen trees have many tiny leaves. One way of applying them would have been to cut out snippets of fabrics and attach these to the quilt. If I had choosen for that route I would have been working for many months on this quilt. Besides I did not want to take what you can call the 'traditional' route. That is the reason I opted for cheesecloth. I dyed - and painted - it till it was black. Draped it over the trees and pinned it down. This picture shows a detail
Now when the quilt is finished and hanging on my wall, I am not completely certain that it should remain like this. I like it a lot, but maybe I can improve it a bit more by adding tiny spots of white and grey paint on top of the cheesecloth.
I do not want to risk my quilt and start on it directly so I will be making a testpiece and see how it looks there.
Size of the quilt is 31"x39"(78 x 98 cm).

Saturday, August 16, 2008

paper making and fibre paper

For my c&g course I had to make paper. It was the first time that I did this and I must say it is a fun technique. I presoaked all kind of snippets of paper for a day, blended it this morning and use insect screen material to lift the pulp out of the container. This is probably not the most suitable material for it, but I could not find a metal screen for this. The pictures show two examples. On the one on the left I sprinkled some petals on the pulp, but unfortunately they did not make enough contact with the paper. On the one on the right I sprinkled the contents of a teabag when the pulp was wet. Luckily today was sunny so I could put everything outside to dry.
Another thing I did today was to make fibre paper. I used merino rovings in different colors and added decorative yarn and metallic thread in between the two layers. This is a bit difficult to see on the pictures, but believe me, it is there :-). As a 'glue' I used wall paper paste.

Friday, August 15, 2008


The present theme for the Challenge group is Imagine. I decided to go with the lyrics of John Lennon's song and I will focus my quilt on one specific line: 'Above us only sky'. To start this quilt I drip dyed the fabric for the background, a sky with some clouds:

The next step is to sandwich it and than I can start quilting.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

over ice dyeing

The last couple of days I have been playing with procion dyes. I placed a couple of fat quarters soaked in soda ash in the freezer. Took them out the next day and poured dye mixture over them. One of the fabrics had a bit too much white to my liking left so I decided to repeat the whole process using a different color. I have a lot of dye containers which have only a little bit of dye powder left, so this is a great way of using this. The pictures above show the result of two different fabrics. I love how they turned out!
Now there is the problem of how to call this. Normally you call it over dyeing when you repeat the dye process, but do you call it now 'over ice dyeing'?

Sunday, August 10, 2008

fiber cards

I have been cleaning out a box of scraps and knowing that my dyeing group has a fiber card swap this month I decided to use some of the scraps for these cards. On top of the pieced background I fused a skeleton leave and stitched some punchinella on it. For those of you who don't know what that is, it is sequin waste. This picture shows two of the cards I made. In total I will be making ten of them, but as they will look a lot like these I will not show pictures of all of them.
Further I am making complex cloth. I did some printing on a couple of fat quarters. However they need some more layers so pictures will follow later

Friday, August 08, 2008

ALQS quilt has arrived

This spring Kate organised Another Little Quilt Swap in which I participated and today I received my quilt from this swap. It arrived late because the artist Lynda Monk - better known as Purple Missus - had to ship the quilt first to a photographer as it will be featured in Maggie Grey new book. Lynda made the quilt is such a way that both sides can be used as the front, see the pictures above. The quilt is 21"x21"(52 x 52 cm) and feels like it is made from leather. Isn't is gorgeous!! And it is all mine . Thanks so much Lynda for participating in this swap and Kate of course for organising it and making this match!
At the moment it is hanging at my design wall to be certain that it is out of reach for my cats. I know where I want to hang it, but somebody has to drill holes in the wall first for me.
Here are some pictures of details:

Thursday, August 07, 2008

rust dyeing

With my surfacing group we have a rust swap this month. While I am still looking for nice rusty stuff - which is difficult to find here - I settled to use pot scourers, the type without soap. I wrapped vinegar soaked fabric around them and this is how the fabric looks after a couple of days.

Monday, August 04, 2008

quilties and aspen

I am participating in another swap organised by Lenna Andrews. This time it is the Shades of Sunshine quilties swap. Each quilty is 6"x6"(15 x 15 cm) and as the name indicates only sun colors (read yellow, red, orange) can be used. The pictures show the ones I made for the swap (4) and one for the swaphostess Lenna.

Besides these quilties I also worked on my aspen quilt. This picture shows a detail of the trees. I did nog have a black Shiva paintstik so I used some other oil pastel stick to make the dark areas on the tree trunks. The quilting on the trunks was done with a black/white variegated thread, for the quilting on the background I used grey thread. Today I will add the binding to the quilt and than I will be ready to add the leaves. This sounds an unusual sequence, but it works for me:-).


Sunday, August 03, 2008

shibori workshop

Yesterday I gave a shibori workshop for the participants of the Quilten Speciaal 8 group. I forgot to bring my camera along, but on Mia's blog you can see a couple of pictures. It is not possible to explore all the types of shibori in one day, so most of our attention was focused on arashi or pole dyeing and the variations you can do with this.