Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Screen Collage!

After reading Susan Purney Mark's article titled, "Color Blocking" in the October/November issue of Quilting Arts Magazine I could hardly wait to get started! Susan described using thickened dyes and a silk screen to create blocks of color across the surface of the fabric. I had never thought to use a screen like this; I've only used the screen as a method of transferring a design... this is different - this is cool!  

Susan's technique was very freeing and I've already whipped through 5 yards of of screen collage designs. Here is how I interpreted Susan's method!
I used bright green, raspberry and cobolt blue 

I kept repeating until the surface was filled 

Lastly I added some texture with a non-skid rug mat 

For a twist I added strips of freezer paper on the screen

Once the dye sets I'll add another design to the striped piece... not sure what that will be but it defiantly needs more work! 
Give the technique a try... tweak it and go in all kinds of new directions! 
Thank you Susan... 

Monday, October 27, 2014


Ohhhh... I promise this book will be a real delight! Julie's famous for providing innovative ways to print on any fabric surface. Her instructions are easy to follow and realistic. I think every fabric lover will want one this holiday... but why not take a chance to win one of Julie's custom collections as well. Hurry - the pre order giveaway ends November 3rd! 

Steps for Entering the Pre-Order Giveaway for Fabric Printing at Home:

1. If you haven’t ordered yet clcik here: Fabric Printing at Home. You will be automatically direct you to the Quarry Bookstore where you can choose your favorite online bookseller to pre-order Julie's book. If you’ve already pre-ordered Julie's book (thanks!), just continue with the steps below to join the giveaway.

2. After pre-ordering Fabric Printing at Home, you’ll need to send an email with proof of purchase to fabricprintingathome@gmail.com. Be sure to also include a mailing address and if you are among the first one hundred to respond, you will receive an autographed bookplate! You will now own (or can gift) a copy of Fabric Printing at Home signed by Julie!

3. Whether or not you are among the first one hundred to respond, your proof of purchase automatically makes you eligible for the entry in the fabric giveaway.

4. The pre-order giveaway ends at midnight (Eastern USA time) on Monday, November 3, 2014. On Tuesday, November 4, a winner will be randomly chosen to receive the selection of hand painted and printed fat quarter fabrics. 


Good luck!!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Around the World Blog Hop - Round Two!



Although I posted an Around the World Blog Hop a few weeks ago I have more great artists that I simply must share with you! Highlighted today is the fabulous Kate Themel. I met Kate at one of the first CT SAQA (Studio Art Quilt Associates) meetings that I attended where she presented a topography series... it was crazy good! She had developed a unique layering technique to get the end results she was looking for and I became an instant fan!  


Kate's created custom fiber art for individuals and corporate clients and her unique fiber pieces have been exhibited in art galleries and museums from Boston to Botswana. Her work has been juried into international fiber art exhibitions such as Quilt National, Art Quilt Elements and the Kagoshima Quilt Show in Japan. Kate recently earned the Young Emerging Artist Award and the People's Choice Award for her work in Quilt National '11.

Kate enjoys sharing ideas with other artists and encouraging people to develop their own creative instincts. Kate offers a variety of classes and lectures ranging from one hour to full day workshops. She and I collaborate on her Magnolia Workshop by using my ice dyed fabrics for the projects she teaches. For more information about Kate's workshops, exhibition schedule and artwork please click here... enjoy! 

I have two other talented artists to share today... Lin-Hsin Chen and Terry Waldron. I became acquainted with both women when I curated The Color Wheel of Emotions exhibition through SAQA which traveled around the US for more than a year. After working on the exhibtion for so long it was kind of sad to let it go... I was delighted with this opportunity to continue to share the artists with all of you! Lin-Hsin's piece titled, "Warm Love" was an expression of a mother's enduring love and support. Terry was the exhibitions juror and I can attest to the hours she poured over all the submitted artwork to create a fabulous cohesive exhibition that shared my vision as curator. She was great to partner with! 


Lin-Hsin Chen was born and raised in Taiwan. She has been organizing exhibitions and teaching for 20 years. Lin-Hsin supports students or groups to collaborate together on large-sized collective works. Lin-Hsin states, "Needles and threads are like my mentors; they lead me to absorb and mature. My thoughts and feelings are well-expressed in various forms and beyond boundaries through the narrative talents of works". She finds endless inspiration in nature and loves to play with various kinds of fabric prints by exploring the combination of possibilities for a new vision. Global environmental issues are close to her heart and reflected in her work. Lin-Hsin is the President of Taiwan Art Quilt Society (TAQS). For a prospectus on the upcoming exhibit, Protect the Earth's Environment, click here.  Lin-Hsin is a SAQA Juried Artist member and the SAQA Regional Representative of Taiwan. Have fun exploring Lin-Hsin's artwork - you will become a raving fan! Please click here for more information.


Terry Waldron is an award-winning fiber artist whose work hangs in art museums, galleries, and in patrons' homes, too.  She is a quilter, teacher and author with work published in several books and magazines. In addition to being a juror Terry has curated and judged fiber art exhibitions and had the unique expereince of having Simply Quilts with Alex Andersen shoot a segment in her homeTerry holds degrees in both art and English Literature and is a Fellow in the UCI Writing Project.  As a life-long high school teacher and now a busy fiber art teacher traveling all around the country, Terry loves to show others that they, too, are born artists! Her inspiration comes from taking notice of details in her surroundings. Terry encourages people to not just look straight ahead but to look UP and DOWN... way down to notice the smaller treasures not normally observed. Terry is a SAQA Professional Member and affiliated with Quilt Visions, California Fiber Artists and Quilts on the Wall. For more information on Terry and to view her exquisite art click here

As you most likely know already the spirit of the Around the World Blog Hop is to answer some questions to share who I am as an artist. Since I posted a few weeks ago I will provide an abridged version and hope that you will click back a few posts for a more complete picture of my work and what makes me tick! 

What am I working on?
The answer to this question changes almost daily. It's not that I'm scattered it's just that inspiration hits me and I act on it or make notes until I have the time to explore the idea. I just completed a series of shawls and scarves for an upcoming exhibition/sale on November 15th at the Mark Twain Library in Redding, CT being organized by SDA (Surface Design Association). Also, I recently went deep into an Indigo frenzy and everything got dipped in the vat and lately I've asked fiber artist Terri Stegmiller to create custom Thermofax Screens for my designs. A shout out to Terri - she is not only an incredible fiber artist but through her Etsy shop she'll create custom screens for you in addition to offering her own collection of screen and stencils



How does my work differ from others of its genre?
My work comes directly from my head and heart. I'm influenced by the natural world and love understanding techniques and processes so I can take my work to the next level. I sincerely believe that following this individual path differentiates my work from other fiber artists. 

Why do I write/work what I do?
I'm wired this way... for me being an artist is part of my personality and seeps into all other areas of my life and decision making. 

How does my working process work?
At the risk of sounding over simplistic an idea comes to me either by thinking through a topic or by having something in nature catch my eye. I roll that thought around in my head sorting through how to achieve the end result and once I have a path I get to work in the studio. The path is never straight and zigs and zags while keeping the vision for the end result in my mind's eye. 

Please check out my work on FaceBook at Carol R. Eaton Designs and Pinterest I'm a member of The Printed Fabric Bee which is a collection of professional surface design artists. The group hosts a monthly giveaway and for a chance to win your own custom fabric collection follow The Printed Fabric Bee Blog!

Check out a sampling of the other artists participating in the Around the World Blog Hop!









Saturday, October 18, 2014

Silk + Sharpies + Alcohol = Yum!


It's been a while since I picked up the combination of silk, permanent Sharpie Markers and rubbing alcohol. Using the technique in the past I became impatient working on small areas and waiting for the silk to dry before moving to the next spot. However, I was reminded of Mark Lipinski's, Slow Stitching Movement to stop and enjoy the process - so I approached my luscious silk with patience and decided the end result would be worth the time. 
The tools: silk, a variety of empty containers, rubber bands, permanent Sharpie Markers, rubbing alcohol (90%) and some type of dropper to add a small amount of alcohol at a time 

Stretch the silk over the tops of empty containers and secure with a rubber band. The size of the container is not important and if you find another method for stretching the silk to lift off the surface than go for it, (and tell me what you did!)

Mark the silk with the Sharpie 

Add a drop of rubbing alcohol on your colored mark 

Here are 2 shades of blue spreading, mingling and starting to dry!

Once the blue was dried I heat set and started again adding purple

Once you get the hang of how many drops of alcohol to use and how the marker spreads its easier to predict the results 

If you want a large blended spot of color start with larger markings and more alcohol - for smaller spots use a light touch

Here is a detail of the finished piece!
The small circles remind me of dividing cells but what if I stretched the silk over a very large surface... what would happen?!

Oh the places to go...

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Around the World Blog Hop!

I'm delighted to be participating in the Around the World Blog Hop! The movement is literally spreading around the world introducing artists to each other as comfortably as if we were in the same room. 


Artist Roxanne Lessa invited me to participate so let me introduce you to her! We met in the cyber world of Facebook and had the good fortune of meeting face to face at a SAQA conference in VA last spring. Roxane is a full time studio textile artist and teacher. She is a 2012 Niche Award Winner and exhibits her work all over the world. Her work is in several private collections and she loves doing custom commissions.  Most recently Roxanne completed two segments for Quilting Arts TV series 1500 which will air on PBS in early 2015! For more info go to http://roxanelessa.com

As part of the blog hop I've been asked to answer the below questions AND I get to introduce you to 2 artists I admire! I know this is a long post but stick with me and be sure to scroll all the way down to meet Julie and Mary!

What am I working on? 
As a fabric surface design artist I work on a number of projects at a time. Typically each fabric design has multiple layers which require some type of down time in-between and I’ve come to realize I’m not very good at being idle! Right now in the studio I have buckets of ice dyed fabric in the works (the ice is melting), there are lengths of fabric hanging on the line waiting for the fabric paint to cure before heat setting and I have some wrapped/clamped fabric soaking in an Indigo vat. While I step back and wait for the magic to occur my free motion machine is out and I’m working on a whole cloth piece that is screaming for random circles to be stitched into the design!

How does my work differ from others of its genre? 
Each artist strives to have their own signature look. Being a total color junkie I align myself more with impressionism and feel an emotional connection to color vs. realism. My fabrics have a subtle feel that allows the viewer to pull out what elements speak to them.

I create fabric for other artists/quilters to use in their work. In the sea of overwhelming fabric options my goal is to catch the eye of someone who needs that truly unique one-of-a-kind fabric to set their finished piece apart from the pack! I feel honored when people send me photos of their completed work and tell me the story of their journey!  

Why do I write/work what I do?
I’m totally wired to create and was fortunate to grow up in an environment that nurtured individuality. As a fabric surface design artist I feel drawn by the sheer joy I get from each added layer and finally the big reveal of the finished art cloth. My work feels happiest when I’m incorporating elements of nature into the design. I don’t mean literally but rather symbolically. I may notice a color combination in a flower garden and use those colors in the next dye bath or while out for a walk the textures of the path may catch my eye which leads to a series of texture inspired fabrics.

How does my working process work?
For me the most unique results come when I declutter my brain and immerse myself in the process. If I can tune out the outside world and embrace the development of the design then the progression flows like magic. If I try too hard to force a design the piece will feel strained and I’m never really satisfied with it. The studio is my happy place and you can find me there in the wee hours of the morning with my coffee pot, music and sleepy cat (in that order). I do my best to keep the studio free of outside stress… as much as anyone can in life and when you wear a respirator to work people tend to give you some room! 

I now have the pleasure of introducing you to 2 other artists that I have a profound respect for! 

I met Julie through our participation in The Printed Fabric Bee (a group of professional surface design artists creating custom fabric collections). I also had the pleasure of meeting Julie face to face at SAQA'conference in VA... a total treat! 

Julie holds a BA in studio art from Wesleyan University and a certificate degree in scientific illustration from Rhode Island School of Design. Although a graphic designer for 18 years, her first love has always been working with fiber. In 1994, Julie established her business, Thread Born Dolls specializing in one-of-a-kind soft sculptured figures and doll patterns. 

Julie has exhibited her work in numerous Washington DC area galleries as well as in nationally traveling exhibitions. She is a member of F.I.N.E. (Fiber in Nearly Everything), an exhibiting group of seven mixed media fiber artists as well as a longtime member of Potomac Fiber Arts Guild and Potomac Fiber Arts Gallery. In 2010, Julie received the Margaret Conant Grant to explore using common household materials (especially those from the kitchen) as fabric resists. She continues to use the kitchen as a resource for all sorts of surface design techniques on fabric. Her newsletter, Julie B Booth Surface Design News, focuses on the same topic.

Julie’s book, Fabric Printing at Home: Quick and Easy Fabric Design Using Fresh Produce and Found Objects (Quarry Books) will be published in December 2014.  For more information about upcoming giveaways and book signing events, be sure to visit Julie’s blog: www.threadbornblog.com or website: www.threadborn.com.


I've had the pleasure of calling Mary a friend for a few years now. She amazes me with her boundless energy and diverse interests. We met at a local SAQA meeting and had an instant connection. We are founding members of the Connecticut Fiber Arts Collective (a group of dedicated fiber and mixed media artists exhibiting throughout the state). 

Mary says she is still doing what she enjoyed as a kid: looking at things under a microscope, writing letters, stitching fabric, and playing music. She is an M.D. pathologist who writes, creates contemporary textile art, and plays the violin.

Mary is the author of Moth at the Window: Poetry of Grover W. Clayton and Recollections of Indiana and more than 20 original scientific papers. She has also written for Quilting Arts Magazine and Country Living. 


Her artwork has been juried into numerous local and national exhibits and has been featured in the Cheshire Herald online,Natural Awakenings Magazine, and Quilting Arts Magazine. In 2012 her art quilt, "Hexaggeration I" was selected to be part of the permanent collection of the Kresge Art Museum at the Michigan State University. In addition her textile art has been included in the Studio Art Quilt Associates (SAQA) national exhibit, This is a Quilt! and the SAQA-CT regional exhibit, Local Color.

Mary is a member of Studio Art Quilt Associates (SAQA) and Heritage Quilters of Wallingford. She is a founding member of The Connecticut Fiber Arts Collective (CTFAC). She plays music at Neighborhood Music School in New Haven. 


To see more art and learn about her process go to her blog: http://marylachmandesign.blogspot.com
or look for her on Facebook at: Mary Lachman Design or Moth at the Window



Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Urban Surfaces - The Printed Fabric Bee Give Away!


This month Leslie Tucker Jenison chose Urban Surfaces as her inspiration for a custom fabric collection. You can win this collection by hopping over to The Printed Fabric Bee blog to leave a comment. The winner will be chosen on October 15th! 

After much deliberation I decided to create a piece that pays homage to the surfaces we walk on. No one pays much attention to the urban ground yet it's the basis for everything... building footprints, parks, a way to get from A to Z! On a trip to DC I remember paying close attention to the brickwork in some of the older neighborhoods. Brick patterns were incorporated into the sidewalks, driveways and walls. Sometimes you caught a glimpse of old bricks through broken spaces in the more modern concrete revealing the past. 

So... how to take the image in my head and get it onto fabric! I started by painting a piece of cotton with a combination of brick-like colors. Next I cut out sponges in brick shapes. Using soy wax I applied the wax across the surface creating what I hoped was a brick pattern. A "mortar" color was added and when the wax resist was removed... voila - a brick walkway! 

I fussed around here and there by sponging some dirt and slime colored paint to help the bricks look old and worn. However, it didn't quite scream urban surface... it was too tame/clean. 

I took freezer paper and ripped it into random shapes and adhered to the cloth. Using thickened dyes I rolled more "dirt" colors across the surface to break up the design. I couldn't quite figure out how to add a wad of gum - next time! 

Lastly, I took children's shoes and treating them like a stamp created dirty footprints across the bricks. 

Here are just some of the tools used to create the fabric! 

To win your own custom fabric collection simply hop over to The Printed Fabric Bee blog and leave a comment. Leslie will choose a winner on October 15th... are you feeling lucky?! 

Check out the rest of the artists approach to Urban Surfaces: