Saturday, June 7, 2014

75 Yards of Hand Dyed Silk Chiffon

When I see a bolt of silk I start to salivate. When I see three bolts of silk I have to steady myself because I just might faint from the anticipation of what is to come. Does this happen to you? Maybe you haven't ever even SEEN a full bolt of silk in which case you probably can't identify with the bliss I am about to describe.

The first step was to cut the silk into five panels per dress. There were 10 dresses to be dyed in this order; five in one color way and five in another color way. 

In the photo above, I dyed all panels for the sea foam color and because it was a rainy day, I hung them to dry inside my studio which runs the length of my house the basement. 

Once that was done, I then dyed the second set of panels in the taupe/putty/brown/kinda pinky color. They were able to hang to dry outside as the rain had stopped. 

Here is a photo of the taupe/putty/pink panels receiving their ombre color on the lower sections of the chiffon.

Here are the dresses finished and ready for sale. 

The designer's name is Mikie Spencer and she owns PerfectPear Fashions- Take a look at her beautiful clothes! 

Thank you, Mikie for allowing me the pleasure of spending my days in bliss with the most gorgeous textile in the world. Nothing compares to a day spent with silk. Lots and lots of it. The more the better. Okay now....I'm drooling.


Monday, June 2, 2014

Zambia Trip!

I am so very blessed to have the opportunity to travel to Zambia with a few other people from my church to seek out ways to make the school and orphanage that my friend Sam has built, more self sufficient. It needs to be generating income and pulling from local resources to do so.

My job is to show the teachers some fabric designing techniques and make some long runs of hand painted textiles with the older students that I will bring back here and sell.

In the 13 years I have taught fabric designing on line, I have had about 12-13 students from Africa, so I am aware of some of the problems they have dyeing and producing textiles there, but I won't truly have a feel for it until I go and spend time seeing for myself what the limitations are in this specific town and country.

I plan on journaling the adventure and will blog about it on this site when I return. There is a documentary being filmed too which I will be able to direct you to when that is finished.

Here's to life's adventures! 

I'll talk to you again soon before I go.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Which Comes First the Fabric or the Idea?

Here's my question- do you first of all have an idea and then seek out the fabric to use, or do you see the fabric first and then the idea comes to you?

What would you do with these gradations?

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Uses for Hand Dyed Silk, and Cotton Flannel!

One of the many diverse products made using hand dyed silk from Fabric can be seen above.

Deborah Kordecki's web site is called She makes "worship tools" like this beautiful piece. Check it out!

Something else I want to show you is some custom fabric I made for a woman who was making a flannel baby quilt. She was desperate to find peach colored cotton flannel. Not knowing if I did this kind of thing, she simply asked me and I dug around with my sources and found undyed cotton flannel and was able to match her sample perfectly. 

So often doors open for us simply by asking. Speak up! What's the worst that could happen? They say no and you're back to square one? What's the best that could happen? (See below).

Thanks for looking everyone! Let me know if there are things you would like to see on this blog. 

I am still working in my spare time on three large painted panels for The Fat Cat Cafe here in Woodland, CA. I need to buy new brushes to motivate myself to finish them!


Saturday, February 15, 2014

Weighting Silk Video

I posted another video on YouTube regarding a problem I was having with gravity. Rather than fighting against it, I learned how to go WITH it.

In the picture above, you can see the sagging hem at the bottom of this monoprint on silk. It's actually worse than that as you will see in the video.

Let me know what you think. Any other ideas on how to deal with this?

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Dyeing Longer Runs of Silk

(Hanging my head in shame)...I know, I know, I know....I'm a terrible blogger. I wish I could say it will never happen again but it probably will so...I'm sorry if you kept coming here expecting something-anything to change.  I've been in a slump. Now I'm back.

That said, I made a new video for the Fabric Designs channel on YouTube. It is a demonstration of how I dye longer runs of silk. Here is the link:

I WILL be making a video of bloopers soon as they happen EVERY time I try to make one. The shot of me running the silk through the mangle has about 10 takes with me shouting in all of them as the silk gets all "mangled" up as I try to film it one handed. I eventually just selected a shot and took the audio off and dubbed over it. :-)

If you have any ideas of things you would like to see in video form, let me know. 

My next video, after the blooper film, will be tea dyeing wool. 

Thanks for your patience and thank you for looking.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

What to do with Bloopers?

As I close 2013, I am cleaning off my shelves and digging out from under the year's worth of fabric that was thrown aside or crammed somewhere/anywhere to get on with what was next. 

I have tons of fabric that was experimental, not quite right, misreads of orders, and lots that is just the result of a brain fart; stuff that got away from me for who knows what reason. It is still beautiful and worthy of something other than just sitting in a box.

I had a brief "Etsy" experience long ago and will reopen the store momentarily. If you want some hand dyed cotton for CHEAP, CHEAP, CHEAP, check it out. Silk and wool products will follow as I have the time and desire.

Here are some of the blooper photos which I know happen to you now and then when you do not pay attention to what you are doing. Can you imagine that I once had a customer who requested that I dye her fabric so it HAD these folds and "highlights"? Where is she now, I wonder?

Need some blue cotton? Need some yellow? You know where to find me. It's selling as soon as I get the store cranked up, for $4.00/yard or $1.00 per fat quarter. Once I get the store open, I will post how to locate it quickly and painlessly.

About Me

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Woodland, California, United States
I am a fiber artist. I am a teacher. I am a pastor. I teach, I create, I counsel, I listen.


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