Friday, October 30, 2009

Onesie Spiral

Spending the evening getting ready for a craft show and hopefully getting a massage so tonight's post will be about a new product up at the shop:

Baby Onesie Pastel Rainbow Spiral

A baby’s first tie dye should be a special, beautiful garment.
This little onesie is dyed with a pretty rainbow in a spiral pattern. 100% cotton, lap shoulders, a simple little suit in a beautiful design.
Appropriate for both boys and girls
100% cotton onesie.
Preshrunk, dyed with Procion MX Fiber Reactive dyes. The design is permanent it won’t fade or run in the laundry. Wash and wear with out worry.

Sizes 6M, 12M, 18M, 24M
please specify which size you would like in “message to seller”

Thursday, October 29, 2009


This is a little experiment I fit in while dyeing scarves last night... I love the pattern, but it was supposed to be deep navy blues. Either my dye wasn't quite active enough or I just didn't get the dye dissolved well enough. The silk turned out fine but the cotton came out really light. Still pretty, but not quite what I planned on. Thephoto looks grey but it is a light blue.

I haven't had much luck photographing the silk scarves. I need to spend some time on that problem, my photos always seem to convey about 2% of the beauty of them...

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Sneak Peek

This is a taste of the 3 panels in their final form. This old screen was my great grandmother's. I have held onto it for years looking for the right way to finish it.

It may be awhile more before I can call the project done as I will have to complete the refinishing of the wood and I'm not quite sure when I will have the opportunity to do it.

I have scheduled a few craft fairs for the fall/holiday season.

Like so many others I am having mixed feelings about doing fairs, I feel I should take the opportunities to (possibly) make some extra money, but so often I find myself at them wishing I could find a better way to use my time. The whole thing is compounded by an uncertainty about what it is I really want to be doing with my life...

(selling? art? licensing? playing with the dog?)

Its a bit of a muddle that I am trying to find a way out of these days and sometimes it leaves me feeling blue.

I guess its time to go make some shibori.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Fall Inspired

A little somthing new up in the shop:

Autumn Symmetry Discharge Adult T-shirt

Rich fall tones create a lovely and complex abstract pattern on this shirt.
To create these unique patterns a black shirt is discharged and then dyed again resulting in an irreproducible design. These shirts are popular with men and women because the subtle colors don’t scream tie dye but still offer something dynamic and hand made.
100% black cotton t-shirt tie discharge dyed in a gorgeous symmetrical pattern. Preshrunk, dyed with Procion MX Fiber Reactive dyes the design is permanent it won’t fade or run in the laundry.
Adult Sizes M, L, XL, XXL, available

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Perfect fall weather here today and since I had to run an errand in South County anyhow I headed to the shore to enjoy it...

Breezy bright and warm,

I of course collected a bunch of rocks

I hope all of you had just as nice a day.

Saturday, October 24, 2009


Here is the next step done. I flipped each of the previous pleats in the opposite direction and stitched them down in the center of the fold lines. I am really happy with the effect. it is serving two purposes. One technical the other decorative.

I had planned to cut the fabric down to the size I need when I first discharged/burned it, and so I started with a larger piece than I needed. However once I stepped back and evaluated it I felt I would lose something by slicing it up more than is absolutely necessary (I have cut it into 3 panels but there is no choice in that). Sometimes I find myself reluctant to cut shibori up and this was one of those times.

While I was laying it out on the orange background I realized I could use up the extra by pleating it and tacking it down, the added attraction was that it would add alot of surface interest without obscuring the nice modulations of the discharged fabric. In fact it kind of emphasizes it.

On to the next step...

Friday, October 23, 2009

I tried both peacock blue and orange for thread colors and decided that the orange is the way to go on this one. The blue was too dark. The orange seems to act as an extension of the background and helps to knit the two fabrics together. Off to rip out some blue stitches now!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Ya just never know....

The dye gods are capricious. As I was commenting to Leilani yesterday in comments sometimes you open up a piece of work and it is just wonderful.
See above, that one made me go "Squee!" when I opened it.
Other times...not so much.

Sometimes its an error in planning like not checking the fiber content of a piece of fabric.
this makes an interesting picture but it was a poly cotton mix and the dyes are faded and kinda sad.
Sometimes you are just messing about and hoping for the best and it just doesn't happen.
It is exactly like opening gifts at the holidays, some of them are better than you could have hoped for and others leave you going "WTF am I supposed to do with this?"
Lately its been a mixed bag with the discharge pieces, I truly have no idea what this will be good for beyond the learning experience, It has been discharged and overdyed two times. Definitely time to just put it aside and see if it can find a good home.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

A Deep Breath

Its always a little scary cutting up a piece of dye work that you like, this evening I took a deep breath and sliced the discharge piece into three panels.

I pinned it out onto the orange backing fabric which has been cut down to the size I need for the project. I found that the extra fabric I had included on the teal piece was too cool to waste so I've started looking at ways to use dimension/distortion to shorten it to the desired size.

I think it is going to work. I just have to keep breathing.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Hmmm... OK I admit it is a little jarring in this picture but when it is in real light not the blast effect of the flash it is far less disturbing, anyway I'm not done with it yet so lets all just give it a chance.

This is the second dye bath result on the over-bleached piece I did last weekend, I like it more now.

The dye gods seem to be trying to teach me to love the unexpected.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Here is the result from yesterday's discharge work. I had to shoot the picture at an angle so you are looking at a perspective shot not a good representation of the pattern.
Its not particularly clear from the picture but after putting on the camps I burnt the fabric and then it was discharged. the horizontal gashes are the result of the burning. I plan to back it with a contrasting fabric so it will be visible
(my light grey/beige deck isn't contrasty at all).
I'm hoping to dye that fabric tonight as well as another dye bath on my other discharge piece from the weekend, I think there maybe something worth saving there.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

My last attempt at a discharge experiment was interesting. Inapplicable to the original use I had intended it for but the fabric pattern/motifs are cool. I had intended a burnt/discharge shibori pattern in a radial pattern. As you can see the burn was so uneven it just looks like big holes.

The discharge was allowed to penetrate the fabric so much it only left squiggly little marks.

I like the little motifs themselves but as a single panel its not very successful as it is.

I'm trying another attempt at it but using a itajime fold instead...
Let's see how this goes.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

This is another one of my discharge experiments from the weekend. I tried an overdye after the discharge but it didn't take very well. I might try it again with some fresher dyes (it is quite likely that was the problem)

However the pattern itself is giving me some ideas for another project that has languished a long time unfinished...
Time to buy some more bleach.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Absolutely gorgeous weekend here so most of yesterday and today were spent settling the gardens in for the season. All beds raked, weeded and trimmed. most of them have had a treatment of top dressing too but I wasn't able to finish the whole project. It will have to wait for next weekend. It is also getting darker earlier and earlier now so I got caught short of light when I went to take a picture this evening....

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Not enough resist. Funny because I was worried that I wouldn't be able to discharge the fabric well enough to over dye it...

Well try, try again...
good thing I have a lot of this fabric!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Friday, October 9, 2009


I found yards of teal fabric that I had dyed for a discontinued project this summer.

Lets see what I can do with it shall we?

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Hmm... what started as a pretty empty week has filled up with many consuming activities...

Yoga, karate, an unexpected invite to a Bruins game and Lar's gig on friday is taking up all of my evenings this week and makes for a rather dull blog. tonight I did the second step on my rainbow peace sign shirts. Print paste stamping the motif on the dyed shirts.

I have another experiment planned for the weekend so maybe things will get more interesting then.

Also I am incredibly sore from yoga class last night, serves me right for taking the summer off.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Went to Power Yoga tonight after a summer hiatus. I now feel as though I am made entirely of quivering jelly so I will be curled up stitching quietly for the rest of the evening.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

9 years

Well I promised you another experiment and here it is. This was a godseye pattern bound and dyed with gold, orange and maroon.
Here is a detail that shows the way the binding reacted with the dye.

To go with it I made these vat dyes in the same colors.

I've been playing with the idea of creating dyed coordinates, one more complex along with "solids" that compliment it to sell on ETSY or at quilt shows. It seems to me that it would be a way to make hand dyed fabrics more usable for people who are making quilts.
I created another piece of pima in an autumn gradient, I really like the way this one turned out.

I am washing and drying all of the tiedyes so nothing to see there.

But this is what I'm really proud of:
Hand to God
I bought this fabric and planned this project 9 YEARS ago. I cannot begin to tell you how terrific it is to have it finished. I loved these fabrics when I spotted them in the remnents pile at Lorraines (local fabric mecca) back when we bought our home. I bought them planning to make a comforter cover, I even dyed up a coordinating solid because the two pieces weren't large enough to make it. I realized yesterday that I like the comforter cover we have just fine and I hate the look of the throw on our bed so I made a cover for it instead.
The bedroom suddenly looks so much spiffier (and less like a dorm room)
I feel vindicated!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Tiger Skin

Cool! I made a tiger skin!
The arashi discharge came out really nice, the cotton gauze discharged nicely with a diluted bleach wash. The bleach was sponged onto the wrapped fabric then I dabbed some golden yellow and camel dyes right on top of it. This dulls the dye down and tints the fabric lightly.

I had folded the fabric in half before I wrapped it and because my wrapping and binding were both so dynamically imperfect they created the tiger skin effect.

I planned to cut this fabric up to help with the background of a stalled piece of work but now I kinda hate to... but I dont know what purpose keeping it whole would serve either.
I spent the rest of the day dyeing shirts, not too exciting but satisfying in its own way.
More experiments tomorrow...

Friday, October 2, 2009


We are expecting rain this weekend. That will actually work out nicely for me since I plan to do
a batch of tie dyes. I've gotten the shirts prepped and they are soaking in an activator solution. I also got my order of Pima cotton, 8 yards of potential in pure white I bound up one experiment and cut a few pieces of fabric to make some more vat dyes
Since I will have the dyes out I also prepped a piece of black cotton for some arashi discharge.
I'm not especially adept at arashi so this will come out more organic/dynamic than most examples of the technique. I think it will suit the purpose I have in mind for it though. Keeping my fingers crossed.